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Cup of coffee in the big time: There is still good in wrestling

I spend a lot of time writing about things that are bad, frustrating or personally upsetting in this column. That’s largely because I think a lot of things — see: Crown Jewel — are important to talk about.

I could write about the upcoming event in Saudi Arabia again today because it’s one of the most interesting stories in the history of professional wrestling. But instead, I thought I’d take a few moments to write about some things I’m happy about in wrestling, just to remind myself this silly thing I follow so closely is not all bad.

I should probably start with Evolution. This is, after all, a groundbreaking event in a good way. You can find plenty of cards held around the world featuring only female wrestlers. Hell, you can find cards featuring better top-to-bottom all-women talent. But the stage the event will be held on and the attention given to it is a great thing.

Which boils over into the Mae Young Classic. I’ve intentionally held off on watching a few of the most recent episodes so that I could binge them with my daughter. But, much like Evolution, giving the women in the tournament the spotlight is great and works to normalize what was a gimmick at best and sleaze at worst for so long.

I’m happy for Impact Wrestling for finding a direction that isn’t as frequently embarrassing as was the case for so, so many years. Somehow, the company managed to survive and survive and survive no matter how dire things became and now they’re bringing in the right kind of talent (such as my podcast co-host Ethan Page) and running better angles (outside of trips to the underworld and “work or shoot” nonsense) to where it isn’t a complete drag to turn on their show.

While I obviously have major issues with a lot of WWE’s business practices, I’m also thrilled at the continuation of building out WWE Network’s offerings, including the complete show for The Last Battle of Atlanta, an event I truly thought I’d never see and which had deeply saddened me for a long time. It’s now available on WWE Network in Hidden Gems.

Independent wrestling remains strong despite the departure of many of this generation’s top stars, NXT remains infinitely watchable, 205 Live is still very good, NXTUK looks to be something worth watching week to week.

There are some really awful things in wrestling, but there are days it’s important to take a step back and remember there are reasons we love this stuff.

Almost through the week, everyone!

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