RAW Deal: The 2017 Christmas wrestling wishlist
MANILA, Philippines—Now that it’s December and there wasn’t really much to talk about from this week’s episodes of RAW, SmackDown, 205 Live, and NXT, let’s take a little time to ask for a few things from the pro wrestling universe this holiday season.
1. More international wrestling in Manila
Let’s start with the home front. If you’re active on the wrestling side of the internet, you may have already heard of a new Southeast Asian superpromotion forming, Asia Wrestling Entertainment (AWE). It’s got some of the best wrestlers from the region – including former PWR champion “Beautiful” Billy Suede – and the best news is that international wrestlers, including some who currently work with the WWE, will be present.
AWE’s bringing in legendary former WWE star Shane “The Hurricane” Helms, Cruiserweight Classic competitor Ho Ho Lun (who will also be here next week as part of Manila Wrestling Federation’s Noche Buena event) as well as current United Kingdom champion Pete Dunne, former champion Tyler Bate, and fellow British Strong Style member Trent Seven.
We’ve got Lun, as well as Suede and British wrestlers The Regime appearing in Philippine Wrestling Revolution, and I hope it doesn’t stop there. It’s likely that WWE will hold more shows here, but I hope there’s more to it than that. I hope it’s the beginning of a new era in the local scene where more and more international wrestlers find the Philippine market a lucrative one; with a solid foundation already popping up, this is even more likely to become a reality. We need TJP to come back and perform for his home country.
The next step, of course, is to sign someone from the local homegrown scene.
2. More progressiveness from mainstream wrestling
The WWE took major strides forward in hosting the all-women Mae Young Classic tournament earlier this year, and I hope it doesn’t stop there. I hope the goal becomes even more progressiveness, and we finally get more fleshed-out characters and representation not only for ethnic minorities, but also for the LGBTQ+ sector.
Of course, it’s tough to do when there’s an old white American man in charge of the whole thing, but it’s high time to get with the program really soon. They can’t delay this any further in 2018 and beyond, because the old paradigm’s feeling a reckoning right now. They dropped a huge ball by not capitalizing on Darren Young’s coming out and the media momentum from that moment, and now he doesn’t work for them anymore. They’ve still got chances to do better, but I hope they know that they can never go backwards at this point.
3. Better, more sensible storytelling - especially on RAW.
We’re already in a phase in which the WWE is building the clear next generation (moreso after the last one that came to prominence in the late 2000s and early 2010s felt very lost – poor CM Punk and Daniel Bryan) but they can’t get anywhere, they can’t get over if the writing isn’t behind them.
WWE’s suffering so much from a pathological need to micromanage their creative side that it’s hampering a lot of the up-and-coming talent from establishing their place. So they’re still turning to veterans in the game, such as Brock Lesnar and AJ Styles, simply because they can’t seem to support who they have. It’s always money first before the future, and it’s not a sustainable model. Styles can’t wrestle forever, and if this generation becomes the next wave of veterans, then the quality will decline even more. Tell better stories, and make better characters
4. The emergence of even more competition
Chris Jericho crossing over to New Japan Pro Wrestling (even more than Cody Rhodes signing with Ring of Honor and effectively associating himself with NJPW) establishes the fact that NJPW is the clear #2 competition with the WWE. This is wonderful for the wrestling scene because it will eventually force the WWE, even if it’s the runaway top dog in the business, to do better.
I hope that this clear rise to power would elevate players like Ring of Honor even more, even though it would be really hard for them to achieve WWE’s heights. But as long as they remain a viable option, the business would be all the better for it. It’s also hard to with TNA/GFW/Impact well because of so much cursed mismanagement, so if you’d like to keep them in your thoughts and prayers, go right ahead.
So what about you? What would you like to wish for from wrestling next year? – Rappler.com
Do you listen to podcasts? Would you want to listen to a local podcast about pro wrestling? If the answers to those questions – especially that last one – are yes, then you should check out the cleverly-named Smark Gilas-Pilipinas Podcast, featuring PWR General Manager Stan Sy, wrestling writer and Wrestling God Romeo Moran, and all-around multimedia person and former voice of PWR Raf Camus! On their latest episode, the boys discuss the ho-hum week of wrestling that was! Listen to it here!