Sunday, 16 February 2014

2013 Year in review, Part Three: The Independents

2013 Year in Review
Part Three: Ring of Honor, 
Dragon Gate and the Independents

Ring of Honor won't have any relevance nor will it be of real, comparative interest. Ring of Honor proved it was in no way a wrestling company at all. Taken on by the Sinclair Broadcasting Group, with lacking management of PR disasters, abusive staff and general barbarians on television, ROH has nothing to offer. Currently pinching talent and stars from elsewhere including popular Alex Koslov, AJ Styles and advice with booking ignorant Adam Cole, to the heavyweight title from Wrestling Wonders, the direction is clear. Picking up scraps from the table is a measly mistake. Those crumbs will not become golden nuggets. ROH needs to fire or dispel current problems, act fast and stop the 'I do what I want even if people are wrong' mentality. Such bad attention will always stain a mark on the company. 

Lack of respect.
 Cole as unconvincing champion in 2013. 
Ring of Honor were in a bind. They needed to sell the company to someone who could distribute the airwaves. Facing problems with the now dropped internet PPV's for failure to understand how to conduct the procedure, Sinclair bought the show with the intent to gain more investment capital. That's fine, it's a business ideal. Though it has not had constructive management nor support in how to deal with mounting problems. Filled with scandals, abuse and allowance from management will always make ROH a non-entity. It will just be there in the mist. Somewhere to go when all other options fail. A stop gap come halfway house. Talent should avoid going there as much as possible, unless there is nothing else to do. That is its core being. Bookers at the time had to sell, but now, perhaps this is a lesson all can learn. The lesson being not to sell to the first buyer who comes along and promises an 'all teeth and suits' glory. This company is travelling down the TNA route of hiring anyone. TNA, has slumped to a categorical new low. ROH is following that trend in a drastic manner.  

Dragon Gate USA in its failure to drop Johnny Gargano as champion proved the promotion is booked on a fan mentality based of promoters with talent adoration as friends and not fan audiences. Every booker needs a dependable mannequin, but in order to make a business and truly, a company evolve, strong options than just friends in the back need to be adapted upon. Over the two years as champion, the DG heavyweight title has not made any progress, and hasn't elevated the stage of Dragon Gate USA. In fact, after shining as a company in 2012, Wrestling Wonders recognised it as the top promotion of the year. Despite naming it the Promotion of the Year in the WW 2012 Awards, Dragon Gate has dropped the ball. With extraordinary talent on the roster, as well as some levels of ignorance, DG is one company that moves slowly and simply fades away in the background. It should be high value and yet it is simply surplus to requirements when everyone is bored of everything else. It is the last toy to be played with in the playpen. When it is used, this is only for passing time and no one really cares about it until they are re-integrated into the national promotions instead. Full of trust issues with questionable talents, Dragon Gate needs to think about company appeal and not a booker's friend to be carried for favouritism which devalues the industry. Counting the string beans will not make Jack's beanstalk rise. Ditch the cows, plant the seed, bloom with golden water. Lose the ego. 

Tony Nese upholds strong
Indy scene foundations.
The real independent circuit is one that is very appealing. With likes of Christian York, Tony Nese and others the scene is looking rather handsome. With strong appeal, wrestling values and support in tow for fans and interaction, the shows deliver for attendees. The problem, as always, is that it is independent. While talent can make enough money on the scene to live a decent life, many leave the indy scene because there isn't much growth with career opportunities. This is no ones fault overall. This is simply the way it works. Fans go to indy shows to see pure wrestling without many, if any, storyline emphasis. Characters are welcome but story is not needed here. The formula cannot be changed as this offers an alternative when all else fail. How a star develops their career, however, is something that they have to contemplate themselves. The indy scene does however think cleverly on who it should book, rather than pick anyone. That is one of the key imperatives that keeps the scene flowing. Change that, and the beginning foundation of failure would rot the core fragments built upon. 

Indy wrestling doesn't have and could require 'brains' in the sense of those individuals that can really drive something further. The only problem with this understanding is that the only people left in this bracket who aren't new, young or fresh for today's market are the older generation of 1980's wrestling. Hiring those to run parts of the background show mentality would be a pitfall for the scene itself. Choices must be logically thought out as to who could really help make it a rising, yet stable opportunity. We don't see anyone able to do this. Perhaps others can see one? Remember, you shouldn't just hire anyone who is a fan favourite or booking adoration.

©  Max Waltham 16th February 2014

No comments:

Post a Comment