30 YEARS AGO TODAY, JUNE 11, 1987, I ENTERED INTO THE WORLD. JUNE 11TH IS ALSO A DAY THAT IS HOME TO A BIT OF WRESTLING HISTORY.
On this date in 1959 my favorite NWA wrestler, Magnum TA was born. In 2000, WCW ran their final Great American Bash show, highlighted by a Goldberg heel turn. In 2003, AJ Styles won his first ever World Title, defeating Jeff Jarrett and Raven to win the NWA-TNA World Title. In 2006 RVD defeated John Cena, winning the WWE Title, becoming the resurrected ECW Champion, and preventing a possible riot. And possibly most infamous of all, in 2007, Vince McMahon blew up in a limo and was presumed dead.
So, as I sit here on my 30th birthday and reflect on my life to this point, I can come to one obvious conclusion: I really like pro wrestling. It’s been a constant presence in my life and possibly the only true passion that I’ve found over the last 30 years. With that in mind, I figured for this “milestone” birthday I would sit down and make a birthday wish list of things I’d like to see in the near future in the world of pro wrestling.
Here it is, in a nice and neat Top Ten format:
1. NXT Midcard Title
The first thing on my wish list is for NXT to introduce a new title into the mix, one that could give the talent in the middle of the card something to compete for. With so much talent on the roster, it sometimes seems that the midcard is left in limbo as wrestlers move from one feud to the next with no prize to obtain without entering the main event picture. A title, like the Intercontinental title on the main roster, would be able to pull focus to the midcard. In fact, I wouldn’t mind to see the title named for the first ever IC Champ and one of the true pioneers behind the scenes in WWE, Pat Patterson. I know that’s a stretch, but it’s my wish list and I can do that if I want.
2. Cruiserweight Tag Team Titles
Speaking of giving the midcard something to compete for, I think the Cruiserweight Division could really benefit by having another focal point on Raw and 205 Live besides the Cruiserweight Title. Why not introduce a tag team title exclusive to the division? It would open up some opportunities to a couple of guys on the roster and give the Tuesday night Network show something else to showcase. With just the one title, the Cruiserweight division seems a little top-heavy and by introducing these titles it could really help spread out the division.
3. Bobby Roode Make WrestleMania GLORIOUS
Number 3 on my wish list is probably a “sooner rather than later” situation, but I cannot wait to see Bobby Roode make a GLORIOUS entrance at the Showcase of the Immortals. The guy has worked so hard and even completely reinvented himself to get where he is now, so to see him get the spotlight at WrestleMania would be an excellent treat for all wrestling fans. The dude not only looks like a million bucks in his entrance, but his work between the ropes has been stellar since making his way to NXT.
4. NJPW Recap Shows
I’m a fan of New Japan Pro Wrestling’s weekly AXS show, but I often find the dated content less than satisfying when compared to the newer content that the company produces. I’d love to see some kind of show that would update fans with ongoing storylines and keep us up to date with the latest goings on in NJPW. I’m not asking for a weekly wrestling show like Raw or Smackdown, just a recap/highlight show that could accompany the AXS show on Friday nights.
5. Impact Wrestling Rights the Ship
Wrestling is better when WWE has competition/alternatives. While there are some very healthy promotions out there, none of them have been in the position that TNA once was in the middle of the previous decade. I would love to see this company turn the sinking ship around and save the promotion that was once the “number 2” promotion in the United States. I’ve not been satisfied with the new Impact Wrestling, as Jarrett and company seem to be preoccupied with feuding announcers and GFW titles that no one has ever heard of or cared about. It might be too little too late, as Anthem bringing in the old guard back to the company seems to be a step in the wrong direction. I mean, why would anyone want Jeff Jarrett running your show? This is the same guy that booked himself as champion 73 times in a handful of years and kept Vince Russo employed. The latter is almost unforgivable.
6. Independents Keep Killing It!
As I mentioned, there are some very healthy promotions outside of the WWE bubble and I’d like to take a minute to use my wish list to wish them nothing but continued success. I try to keep up with promotions like CWF Hollywood, Booker T’s Reality of Wrestling, my beloved CHIKARA, and others, but there’s only so many hours in a day. Also, is Ring of Honor considered an Indy group still? They’re owned by the second largest television station operator in the United States, so I’m not sure. Either way, I wish them success as well as I’ve found their recent string of “big shows” very fun and entertaining, especially Christopher Daniels’ title win. Keep killing it, Indies!
7. Superstars of Wrestling on the WWE Network
I loved the cartoon atmosphere of the early ‘90s WWF. Probably because I was a kid then, but I felt like the show was a fun watch and I’d love to relive those shows on the WWE Network. Some of the biggest moments of the era either took place on Superstars or were covered/recapped on Superstars. In a day and age when there were only 4 or 5 PPVs a year, Superstars was where a lot of storylines were fleshed out. C’mon WWE, grant me this wish and give us that early ‘90s goodness!
8. Jim Cornette and the Midnight Express Scrapbook
If I were making an actual wish list for gifts, Jim Cornette’s Midnight Express Scrapbook would be on it. The only problem is, it’s out of print. So my wish here is that Corny decides to “re-commission” the book as he references it many times on his podcast. Speaking of which (and hence the YouTube vid attached to this wish) I absolutely love Jim Cornette’s podcast. The Drive-Thru especially is probably my favorite podcast, wrestling or otherwise. I’m pretty sure Corny is my spirit-animal, filled with rage and contempt, and I’m glad that someone else from my home state of Kentucky feels the way I do about the dummies we have in Washington. Never mellow out, Corny!
9. Accentuate the Positives
Now for some shameless self promotion! I’ve been authoring a series entitled Accentuate the Positives for a couple of years now, both here on TWM and previously on Between the Ropes. It’s been sporadically written as of late, mostly due to me not having the time and also due to me trying to figure out just the right format for the series. For those that read the series, I thank you and want to tell you that the series should be back up and running on a weekly basis (at least through the summer) starting next week. Now that’s positive!
10. Continued Love for and from Pro Wrestling
I want to end my wish list by simply wishing for Pro Wrestling to continue being awesome. Not only have I found a genre in which I’m obsessed, but also a community of fans that I feel a connection with and a sense of community with. I love that I have the opportunity to write things about wrestling and actually have people read it. And because of that I want to take time to thank all of the great people at TWM for providing me with this platform. I’d also like to thank Brian Fritz over at Between the Ropes for allowing me to create the Accentuate the Positives series in the first place. And I’d be remissed if I didn’t give a shout out to Rory Burns, OSW’s Jay Hunter, and the lads at the old PiledriverWrestling site for giving me “my start.” It was a tweet from Jay and an email to Rory that got me started with writing about wrestling and I want to thank them for that.
That’s it for my birthday wish list. Thanks for humoring an old man like myself (I know, I know, 30 isn’t old). I hope to be around in another 30 years (or more) to see what the crazy world of pro wrestling looks like. Until next time, stay positive!