The State of Pro Wrestling As We Know It
by, 07-05-2013 at 07:11 PM (2353 Views)
Professional wrestling has changed since the days of Gorgeous George and his luxurious robe first set foot in the wrestling ring some seventy years ago. Promotions such as the WWE, TNA, Ring of Honor as well as the defunct WCW have lit up the TV screens ever since, but where does each company stand today?
And so without further delay, here's a look at the top three pro wrestling promotions and what the future holds for each company:
The company that Vinnie Mac built has found itself somewhat of a Cross Rhodes (Cody Rhodes' finisher) in the last couple of years as WWE Brand Extension (which saw RAW and SmackDown as separate but equal shows) was discontinued in order for content to flow across TV and online platforms as well as boost TV ratings for both shows.
It was also around the same time that The Rock made his long-awaited return to the WWE when he was named the master of ceremonies for WrestleMania 27. The Rock's presence bolstered an otherwise lackluster event as WrestleMania 27 got over one million buys, up from 885,000 buys for WrestleMania 26.
The success of The Rock prompted Vince McMahon to bring back other part-time talent with the ability to help boost TV ratings and generate PPV buys with the likes of Brock Lesnar, Undertaker, and Triple H.
On the other side of the spectrum, guys like John Cena, CM Punk, and to a lesser extent, Randy Orton, Sheamus, Big Show, Daniel Bryan, Kane, Dolph Ziggler, Mark Henry, Ryback, and Alberto Del Rio have also dominated WWE's main event scene with Cena as WWE's most profitable and over Superstar since the days of Hulk Hogan and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin.
However, the WWE has the tendency of de-pushing younger Superstars while very talented, have been deemed not over by the WWE Universe. Guys like Cody Rhodes, Damien Sandow, Wade Barrett, Kofi Kingston, Zack Ryder, Antonio Cesaro, and Santino Marella have been victims of "creative has nothing for you" in favor of more marketable talent. The only bright spots are The Shield, Curtis Axel, and to a lesser extent, Fandango and Big E Langston.
The Divas Division, which has been demoted in terms of storylines in recent years, has enjoyed somewhat of a renaissance with the heated rivalry between A.J. Lee and Kaitlyn.
With RAW now three hours long as well as SmackDown, Main Event, Superstars, and Saturday Morning Slam on TV and online; the future looks bright for the WWE.
TNA Wrestling has its roots with the Jarrett Family back in 2002, a year after WCW was shut down as a result of TNT/TBS going in a new direction with its programming.
Eleven years since its inception, TNA has brought top talent such as Jeff Hardy, Kurt Angle, A.J. Styles, Bully Ray, Robert Roode, James Storm, and other wrestlers with the leadership of Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff.
TNA has also made great strides with its women's division (dubbed the Knockouts) with the likes of former WWE Divas such as Mickie James, Gail Kim, and Tara as well as Velvet Sky and Miss Tessmacher with its anti-Diva approach.
Although TNA has made some improvements such as taking TNA Impact on the road instead of the Impact Zone in Orlando, Florida and decreasing its live monthly PPVs, TNA will always still be the bridemaid to the WWE.
Ring of Honor
This is the one promotion that I'm not as familiar with since I don't get the show in my area, but I will try to decipher what's been going on with the promotion that has produced WWE Superstars CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, and Antonio Cesaro.
Ring of Honor has made some progress with its recent TV deal with Sinclair Broadcasting Group as well as its internet-only PPVS.
With the likes of Kevin Steen, Davey Richards, Jay Lethal, Roderick Strong, and The Briscoe Brothers lighting up the Ring of Honor stage, the future looks solid for the third most-popular wrestling promotion.