Let's be honest, it's not easy being a wrestling fan these days. Television ratings for the two major wrestling promotions in this country are as low as they've been since the pre-Attitude Era days.
One of its world champions just completed the rare one-year run, yet is at best, the guy riding shotgun. The other major world champion had his share of legal troubles and may be leaving said company as its world champion in three months time.
And the NWA... well, they went NWA again.
But for all the things we lament about as pro wrestling fans (of which, there are many), there are many things for us to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. So, for once, I'll (try to) not be "cynical IWC guy" and look at the positives in being a wrestling fan:
- WWE '13 - It's probably the best wrestling game since WWF No Mercy (or Fire Pro Wrestling Returns, depending on who you ask). Playing through the Attitude Era alone is worth the $60. Not to mention a robust creation suite, the best DLC lineup of any wrestling game ever, and oh yeah, you can create your own show to your liking. Because, let's be honest: it's probably better than the one you're watching on Monday, Thursday, or Friday. Speaking of Attitude...
- WWE: The Attitude Era, nWo Revolution, and CM Punk: Best in the World - Say what you will about the state of the WWE today (it's varying degrees of bad). But holy hell, they've been knocking it out of the park lately with their documentary and anthology stuff. CM Punk: Best in the World is considered by many the best wrestling doc WWE's ever put out. nWo Revolution is quite good as well. The one many have been waiting for is in stores Tuesday, and my guess is it'll probably be sold out of its initial printing by the weekend: WWF: The Attitude Era, complete with all the blood, sex, and WWF (yes, I said WWF-they finally worked it out with the other WWF to get the F back) fans loved from the late 90s and early 2000s.
- Twitter - No, not WWE's obsession with it, the fact that I've made a few new friends, who just happen to like wrestling, because of it. Plus, I'm not offended by spoilers on Twitter. More often than not, I'm thankful I didn't drop $45 on what was essentially a three-hour PPV version of RAW. P.S. - I'm on Twitter @notoriouseddie. Give a brother a follow, will ya? I follow back! :)
- CM Punk, Bryan Danielson, and Austin Aries - As recently as two years ago, we all assumed that these three former ROH world champions would never break the glass ceiling in their respective companies. In the two years since, Austin Aries won both TNA's X Division and World Heavyweight Championships. Bryan Danielson won the United States, World Heavyweight, and Tag Team Championships. And CM Punk won the WWE Championship. Twice. His first WWE title win at Money in the Bank: The PPV 2011 was his breakthrough performance. His second, which started a year ago in Madison Square Garden, is still going. He's very close to being the longest reigning champion in the post-Hulkamania era. In the old days, these three would be considered "vanilla midgets". Now they are at the forefront of mainstream wrestling.
- Ring of Honor Wrestling - Because you know the next big mainstream star is probably coming from there. Yeah, I get that ROH isn't as good as it was in its glory days, but hey, neither is American Idol. People still watch it. And ROH's in-ring product is better than just about anyone else's. Their production (especially on iPPVs) on the other hand...
- YouTube - Did you know that nearly half of the videos on the Internet are hosted on YouTube? You know what's on there? Old wrestling stuff. Lots of it. It'll get you through those long three-hour RAWs or unimportant SmackDowns or Impacts that make you cringe. And if it's not on YouTube, there's a pretty good chance it's on Dailymotion.
- Linda McMahon's failed Senate campaigns - Just hear me out, people. Remember when a lot of the "Attitude Era" magically, accidentally, on purpose on YouTube, especially during Linda's recent Senate run? Now that Linda's lost-again, I'm guessing those videos will start to magically, accidentally, on purpose reappear on YouTube again. Plus, those failed Senate runs will be fodder for many jokes for years to come on WWE programming. You know it will.
- AJ Lee - The only female performer that doesn't make me change the channel on WWE programming (not named Lilian Garcia).
- Competent tag team wrestling - This will probably change in six months. Tops.
- WrestleMania XXIX is 138 days away - And I so want to go.
- Cageside Seats - All kidding aside, thanks for letting me share my thoughts on wrestling. It's easily become one of my go-to destinations for wrestling news and views. (Shameless plug!)
Happy Thanksgiving! I'll be spending it enjoying the Attitude Era. So what are you thankful for as a wrestling fan?
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