Rasslin’ is on the rise

Jesus Cano, twitter.com/y2j_cano

If I had a dollar every time someone asked me “Why do you watch pro wrestling if it is fake?” I would be able to pay off the entire sports staff’s tuition and beyond.

Pro wrestling isn’t a sport — it’s entertainment. Vince Kennedey McMahon, owner of WWE, has said it himself and even prohibits his commentators from refering to his athletes as professional wrestlers. Furthermore, pro wrestling isn’t fake — it’s scripted. Just like “The Big Bang Theory”, “Pawn Stars” and “Orange is the New Black”, pro wrestling has creative writers, producers and agents whjo work on coming up with new ideas, story lines and, of course, matches to display for its audience.

But the biggest misconception is that pro wrestling is dead. Pro wrestling is thriving and is stronger than it ever has as a unit. And I’m not just talking about the WWE, because if I were, it would be about how they’re lacking. I’m talking about pro wrestling as whole. Even smaller promotions such as Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling are doing well.

As of the publication of this article, pro wrestling fans are currently witnessing the road to WrestleMania — WWE’s version of the Super Bowl. This year’s WrestleMania is going to emanate from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. The last time the Big Easy saw the grandest stage of them all was 2014. It drew an estimated 75,167 people. The venue also held the Super Bowl XLVII, which is set to be the biggest stage in any sport. But it drew a smaller audience with 71,024 fans attending, less than WrestleMania.

If you were to tell me when I was 8 years old that companies not named WWE were going to be more entertaining, I would have thought you were nuts. Now, that is reality. 

Much of that has to do with the growth of technology. Even as early as 2008, the independent scene was not as popular. Nowadays, you can easily type in the event of your choice and watch it on demand through any Internet server. Back in the day, if you didn’t have the opportunity to buy tickets and attend the event, you would just read about it the next day.

The main difference between WWE and the independent scene is that WWE is more entertainment based, while the Indies showcase more athletic ability between the competitors in the ring -— especially since there is no restriction of scripted moves.

But WWE is the alpha male of the pro wrestling world, for now. +And if WWE cannot adapt to how well independent promotions like New Japan Pro Wrestling and Ring of Honor are doing, they will soon be tumbling down the ranks.

But WWE is starting to take note. While superstars like John Cena, Brock Lesnar and Randy Orton are all homegrown entertainers of the company, the new direction ahead of current executive vice president, Paul Levesque, better know as Triple H, is changing the landscape. Just look at the NXT brand.

Many former indy stars like AJ Styles, Samoa Joe and Bobby Roode have been key components in the main roster.

NXT is WWE’s version of a developmental league, what would be the D-League in basketball or Triple-A in baseball.

Wrestlers like Aleister Black, Andrade “Cien” Almas and Johnny Gargano made a name for themselves in the independent scene and brought that flavor to the developmental brand, and as early as the next month will be up on the main roster.

While pro wrestling was at its peek back in the early ’90s, it will again reach to the top by the end of the decade.