The Indie Corner: Farewell, El Generico

El Generico is climbing the ladder in the wrestling world - Scott Finkelstein

The indie scene's best wrestler has finally been plucked up by WWE. He deserves the money, but he leaves a larger than ordinary void.

If you come to this site a lot, you've already heard the news. El Generico, the kinetic, frenetic, bouncing ball of masked energy, who wowed crowds for every major independent wrestling promotion in America, and in every major country running cards around the world, has been signed by WWE.

The worldwide leader has swooped up several wrestlers in the last year or so, including Sara del Rey, Brodie Lee, Chris Hero, Claudio Castagnoli, PAC, and of course, the duo of Tyler Black and Jon Moxley -- who are now two-thirds of the company's newest hotness: The Shield -- as Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose, of course. While all of those wrestlers were important to the fabric of the scene, their departures didn't seem to smart as badly as Generico's signing does.

What makes the Generic Luchador so special? Why is this one the veritable death blow?

For those who've seen him more than a couple of token times, it's easy to explain. For those who haven't, well, imagine the ultimate good guy, the one guy for whom it's impossible to boo. Imagine a man of Ricky Steamboat-levels of likability, mixed in with a supreme handle on how to seize the moment. Look through your mind's eye and see a wrestler with the most ironic gimmick, who turned it into perhaps the most unique, non-generic character possible.

That's not even getting into what the man can do in the ring. If he was on a wrestling card, you knew you were getting at least one quality match, if not a legit Match of the Year candidate.

This feeling came from a recipe calling for one-part insanity, for bumping in even the most extreme circumstances, one-part exuberant and expressive body language, one-part forceful and stiff offense, and one-part the most brutal and awe-inspiring finisher this side of the Pacific Ocean, the BRAINBUSTAAAAAHHHHH~!

If Generico didn't have the best match on the card, it was because two or more other wrestlers had the matches of their lives. It was also physically impossible for him to have a bad match, at least from my reckoning. If he ever took place in a stinker between the ropes, I haven't seen it.

Of course, the past tense stuff might feel a bit overdramatic. Generico hasn't died, and he's not going away to a monastery. If he leaves the public eye, it'll only be for a few months while he gets processed and rebranded at NXT. All the things I described about him above aren't things that are unique to the indie iteration of him. Mostly all his positives translate to WWE rings. Whatever he debuts as, masked or unmasked, as El Generico (unlikely) or under a new name, the odds are that he will still be excellent in whatever role they have for him.

And really, if there's anyone who deserves to make a decent living while performing between the ropes, who isn't doing it already, it's him. The man has taken some massive bumps for money that a good bit of the people in the crowd might make for eight hours of doing their non-strenuous office jobs.

If effort and passion were to be prorated for money earned, Generico should be a millionaire. He won't make that right away, but right off the bat, he'll make more in a month as a WWE employee than he may have made in a year of being an indie darling.

However, there's no doubt that he'll be missed on the independent circuit. His is a presence that won't easily be replaced, whether by companies that regularly booked him, like Pro Wrestling Guerrilla or the ones that had him in occasionally like Chikara.

The one guy who might have his combination of ebullience and ability, ACH, is still gaining a foothold nationally, and is probably a year or so away from having Generico's cache. Anyone else who is as likable as Generico isn't nearly as talented. Anyone who can replicate Generico in the ring isn't nearly as endearing to an audience at large.

It's not unnatural to feel a little sad that after this Saturday in Reseda, El Generico will not work another independent wrestling show for the time being.

But it's perfectly normal to feel sad as a fan. It's a testament to how much of an effect he had on the fans who flocked to arenas to see him. If you're lucky enough to be in Southern California this weekend, and can make it to Reseda to see him team with Kevin Steen one last time for PWG's epic, annual tag team tournament, DDT4; then do it and get there quick. General admission tickets are close to selling out.

If not though, get excited. While the El Generico we'll see in WWE won't be the same as the one we got in the indies, is there any doubt that he won't be of the same quality?

Anyone who doubts otherwise just doesn't know what Generico is all about. The man is the truth, and the gaping hole he leaves on the indie scene will be the same size as the impact he can, and more than likely will, have in WWE.

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