Posts Tagged ‘Wrestling Society X’

Why I Love Pro-Wrestling: Specialty Matches

January 28, 2017


Royal Rumble

This is the type of match that sparked this blog post. The 2017 Royal Rumble takes place tomorrow (1/29) and I am excited. The rules of the Rumble is that every 90 seconds a new superstar enters the ring and the last man who did not get thrown over the top rope wins. I have never watched a bad Royal Rumble match. Some have been better than others but most are full of some awesome moments and great surprises. The Royal Rumble is not really a great place for good technical wrestling but there are some fun high spots. Also, the match is tailor made to highlight a lot of the roster and it has moments for character spotlights. For example, the 1998 Royal Rumble saw Mick Foley enter three times under all three of his personas which made a clear statement that they were separate people. The 1999 Royal Rumble had Vince McMahon spending most of the match cowering or on commentary instead of competing which showed him as a cowardly authority figure. It is so much better than a normal Battle Royal. Lately, I have been loving Lucha Underground’s variation called Aztec Warfare where opponents either pin or submit rather than getting thrown over the top rope. Aztec Warfare feels a lot more kinetic than the Royal Rumble but also feels a little more chaotic.


Elimination Chamber

Invented in 2002, this match owes a lot of its origin to the Royal Rumble and the Hell in a Cell match types. In this type of match, a high enclosed cage surrounds the ring and four pods feed into the cage. Like the Rumble, two superstars start in the ring and at timed intervals, the pods are opened one by one which lets a new competitor into the match. Performers are eliminated by pinfall or submission until there is only one remaining. I would say ‘last man standing’ but they are rarely standing very well at the end of these matches. The pods are opened at random which makes each entrance a bit of a surprise. It also changes the makeup of the match as each performer gets to enter. This match is extremely brutal as the cage’s walls are made up of chains and the floor around the ring looks like subway grating. The plexiglass pods can also be used as weapons. Unlike a lot of match types with multiple people, the matches have been really good at putting a limit on rest spots and some of the best multi-person sequences I’ve seen have been in these matches. The only thing I have seen remotely like it elsewhere is the King of the Mountain match which involves competitors getting locked in a shark cage. It also has a lot of elements of the next match type…


Money in the Bank

This match was invented in 2005 by Chris Jericho who came with an awesome idea. At the turn of the century, ladder matches really picked up a lot of popularity in the tag team division. By the mid-2000s, they needed to come up with a new innovation. In the match, there are five to ten participants who all enter the ring at the same time. Hanging high above the ring is a contract for a championship match that can be cashed in at any time. There is a mad scramble up ladders to get at the briefcase hanging there and there is always a very brutal fight among the competitors to get at it. The match is probably career shortening so I am glad they do not do it more than once a year. Brutal attacks from ladders, with ladders or on ladders are what this match is about. Every single competitor gets to do their finisher and signature moves, often with the aid of a ladder. It has all the anticipation of a normal ladder match but it adds in a lot more chaos and there is a lot less time between high spots. The other aspect, the contract that can be used anytime, is incredibly intriguing and adds an air of anticipation to every event afterward. The only other place I have seen this match type was in the first episode of Wrestling Society X which had two contracts above the ring for their Heavyweight Championship.


Iron Man/2 out of 3 Falls

An Iron Man match is a match where two competitors face off against each other and try to accumulate the most victories in a set time period which is usually 30 or 60 minutes. A 2 out of 3 falls match is where the competitors must win two out of three matches that are immediately consecutive. Both match types allow for multiple finishes without ending the match which gives you the satisfaction of the ending of the match multiple times. The first Iron Man match I saw was Brett Hart vs. Shawn Michaels which saw no falls during a 60 minute period and had to go into overtime. A more normal version happened recently in an awesome match between Sasha Banks and Charlotte Flair. It is a match that shows how much conditioning the wrestlers have and how much abuse they can take. It is kind of like watching a good hockey game as you watch the score go back and forth and wonder who will come out on top. The two out of falls match is similar but is definitely shorter. At NXT Takeover Toronto, we saw a 2 out of 3 falls match between my current favorite tag team #DIY and The Revival (who used to be my favorite at one point). The match was so good that I am voting for it as NXT Match of the Year for 2016 because it easily stole the show. Having to beat your opponent and then get up and beat them again is such an interesting concept that it leads to some awesome matches.

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Why I Love Pro-Wrestling: Alternative to WWE

September 11, 2014

WILPW

In this modern world we live in, despite what conspiracy theorists might say, we live in a world full of freedom.  As a consumer, we have freedom of choice.  As long as we have the money then we can buy whatever we want.  We are adults.  Ice cream for breakfast? Done.  Bacon on that burger?  Done.  Of course, this freedom of choice can sometimes come with what I call “the paralysis of choice”.  “How can I choose between one hundred different shampoos?”  This can be tough and requires shopping around.  The upside?  If you don’t like something there’s a lot of competition out there to check out.

I have definitely sampled a lot of wrestling and I’m always interested to check out companies that are new to me.  These are the companies that I have seen and I continue to search out more and more.  I have not watched really any of the Japanese or Mexican promotions.  I want to though.

MCW Maryland Championship Wrestling

The state of Maryland is near and dear to my heart.  It makes sense that I should throw some love to MCW, a local treasure.  The company has been around in some form or another for a long time and a lot great performers have passed through there.  They continue to have great independent wrestlers while playing host to big stars to draw crowds.  It does not hurt that I am a huge fan of Justin Shlegel, 98 Rock personnel and royal adviser of Ryan McBride.

Covey Pro Wrestling

I have seen exactly one episode of Covey Pro Wrestling but it felt pretty fun.  As I said on twitter, this one is country as hell.  The episode I saw was staged in a high school gym but the performers looked dedicated and hard working.  There were no real high spots or anything flashy.  It was old school, hoss wrestling but sometimes that can be nice.  This promotion serves West Virgina, Maryland, Pennsylvania and I think Virginia.

ROH Ring of Honor

The biggest independent promotion in the country.  They are funded by Sinclair broadcasting and they hire only the best talent from around the country and internationally.  They have a weekly show and regular internet payperviews.  They are the most polished of all of the organizations below TNA and WWE.  In fact, both companies regularly raid ROH for talent.

TNA  Total Nonstop Action

The second biggest promotion in the United States (and maybe the world?) behind WWE.  They seem to hire a lot of ex-WWE wrestlers but they have done a pretty good job over the years of generating their own talent or hiring from ROH.   They were revolutionary back in the day but when they sold the company to Dixie Carter the company started to go downhill.   The booking often doesn’t make sense and some of the gimmicks are really stupid.  Still, the perfomers have heart and I still find myself floating back to it after quitting it in disgust.

CHIKARA

CHIKARA is silly as hell.  It has goofy over-the-top performances and cartoon characters as performers.  I have not seen a whole lot of their product but the matches are often dynamite.  The comedy is often mixed into a highly technical match with amazing athleticism.  Besides, there are few other American promotions that I know of that can stop a match in the middle for a dance off between the competitors.  There is no other promotion who has hired both Bob Saget and Dave Coullier to be in story authority figures.
Or you could dig up some archives of other defunct promotions some of which are on the WWE Network. (Only $9.99/month!)  These would include WCCW, WCW, ECW and Smokey Mountain Wrestling.

Bonus Honorable Mention:
Wrestling Society X

I actually really liked MTV’s wrestling show back in the day.  The production values were amazing (including special effects which were so bad they were good) and the wrestling was pretty top notch.  Unfortunately they made Vampiro their champ but nobody’s perfect.  You can still find all of it on Youtube.  Check it out.

Double Bonus Mention:
NXT
NXT is unfortunately only available on the WWE network but it is the one show that I definitely do not miss each week.  It’s WWE’s farm league basically but they push the boundaries and try a lot of wacky and fun stuff on there.  The women’s division on NXT is the best I have seen.  There is a lot more comedy that is a lot less forced.  Besides, it’s got Enzo Amore who is quickly becoming one of my favorites.


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