A while back I asked a few fans what they thought of certain aspects of professional wrestling. With the recent resurgence of WWE as something worth watching (at times), and with TNA having something approaching coherent story-telling and some good wrestling, and with all 4 local South Australian promotions seeing an increase in numbers to their shows across the board, I thought it might be a good time to revisit this concept of asking the local fans just what is going on.
I decided to interview the same four people as last time, but it sort of snowballed because of reasons too tedious to explain here. In the end 29 people answered my 3 simple questions. I’m not going to list each and every person and their responses, because, really, that would be even more boring than what I normally put in these columns.
So, over the course of 3 weeks, I have interviewed (for want of a better term) a diverse group of people. So let’s start with the stats! The ages ranged from 8 (my son) to 55, with an average of 24.3, and all claim to watch televised US wrestling at least once a month. 13 are fans of the local wrestling scene, interviewed at two shows I went to in that time. 4 are actual wrestlers. 1 is my son and 1 is a friend of my son. 2 are men who describe themselves as ‘casual fans’ of WWE and TNA. 1 is a fan of the indy scene from another Australian state. The rest are fans of US wrestling only. 11 are female, the rest male. 24 are Australian, 3 are from the Pacific Islands (including New Zealand), 1 is Canadian, 1 is South African.
Finally, I am not one of those here; none of the other columnists at Inside Pulse were included either. And, to cap it all, no regular IP commenter was included either.
Okay? Good. Now, like I said, I only asked 3 questions. So here are the answers I was given.
Question 1: What is good about wrestling at the moment?
I set a maximum of 5 responses. 19 gave 5 responses, 4 gave 4, 5 gave 2 and 1 gave 1.
– Daniel Bryan (22 responses)
– The Shield (19 responses)
– CM Punk (12)
– The local promotion/s (12) (This means the local indy, Australian promotion, which most of the 12 mentioned by the name of their favourite or favourites)
– WWE DVD releases (8)
– Longer matches on WWE TV shows (5)
– Curtis Axel / Axel getting the IC Title (4)
– NXT (3)
– Paul Heyman (3)
– WWE PPVs are interesting / good (3)
– Colt Cabana’s YouTube videos / podcasts (2)
– Dolph Ziggler (2)
– John Cena (2)
– Kevin Steen (2)
– Payback PPV (2)
– X-Division in TNA (2)
– Aces & Eights (1)
– AJ Lee (1)
– AJ Styles’ lone wolf character (1)
– Brock Lesnar vs CM Punk (1)
– Chris Jericho (1)
– John E. Radic (SPW) (1)
– Kurt Angle (1)
– Mark Henry’s speech then attack on Cena (1)
– Matt ‘GD Grimm’ Basso (RCW) (1)
– More submission holds being used (1)
– RCW’s women’s division (1)
– ROH-TV (1)
– RVD back in WWE (1)
– Team Hell No (1)
– The Rock wrestling again (1)
– The Wyatt family videos (1)
– TNA’s Bound For Glory series (1)
– TNA’s Tag Team Division (1)
– Wolfdogg’s return to the ring (SPW) (1)
35 different responses, with the only things even close to being universal being Daniel Bryan and the Shield. I think the only things that surprised me were the low number of responses in favour of CM Punk, the few responses concerning ROH, and the high number who think WWE DVD releases are a good thing in all of wrestling at the moment.
(Note: SPW – Snakepit Pro Wrestling; RCW – Riot City Wrestling)
Question 2: What annoys you about wrestling at the moment?
Again, I set a maximum of 5 responses. 21 gave 5 responses, 7 gave 4, and 1 gave 3.
– John Cena / John Cena being on top (11)
– Authority figures being used on wrestling shows/programmes (7)
– Price of WWE PPVs (6)
– The Miz (6)
– Women’s wrestling on WWE (6)
– The Rock wrestling again (5)
– TNA (5)
– Wrestling on Australian TV (5) (General complaints about timing, the channels it’s on, etc)
– A certain local promotion (4) (This was one local South Australian promotion that some do not seem to like; I shan’t name them here, however)
– Brock Lesnar (4)
– Hulk Hogan (4)
– No commentary at live shows (4) (This included most local promotions and WWE; I think RCW is the only one still with live commentators)
– Ryback (4)
– WWE Raw (4)
– HHH (3)
– Internet wrestling sites (3)
– Sheamus (3)
– The McMahon family on TV all the time (3) (“All the time” was the phrase used by all 3 people)
– “What” chants everywhere (3)
– WWE (3)
– YouTube clips from WWE that can’t be played in Australia (3)
– Aces & 8s (2)
– AJ Styles (2)
– Chris Jericho (2)
– Concussion storylines (2)
– Kurt Angle (2)
– Matt Hardy (2)
– Paul Heyman (2)
– ROH’s iPPVs (2)
– Standard of local wrestling (2)
– Sting still wrestling (2)
– The names indy wrestlers get in the WWE (2)
– The Shield (2)
– WWE’s tag team division (2)
– Zero-1 not having enough shows (2) (That is the local Zero-1 promotion, an offshoot of the Japanese one and supported by them, I believe, in some way)
– 3MB (1)
– Bully Ray (1)
– Jay Briscoe (1)
– Jeff Hardy (1)
– Kaitlyn (1)
– Mr Anderson (1)
– New South Wales wrestling (1) (Seriously, and I have no idea why)
– No Scott Steiner on TV (1)
– Randy Orton (1)
– Those With Heart (RCW) (1) (The heel faction run by the new Commissioner)
– TNA bringing in old WWE wrestlers (1)
– Velvet Sky (1)
47 different responses this time, with not one really dominating the responses. It is also interesting how many appear on both lists. It seems a lot more local wrestling issues annoy the fans, and that the fans are more critical of the local scene than they are complimentary.
Question 3: What is your favourite wrestling match of all time?
Of the 29 people, 4 felt they could not answer, but in contrast 3 gave 2 matches and 1 person gave his top 3. Hence the reason there are 30 votes here.
– Shawn Michaels v The Undertaker (Wrestlemania 25) (8)
– Shawn Michaels v The Undertaker (Wrestlemania 26) (3)
– Bret Hart v Owen Hart (Wrestlemania X) (2)
– Ricky Steamboat v Randy Savage (Wrestlemania III) (2)
– Royal Rumble 1992 (2)
– Bret Hart v British Bulldog (Summerslam 1992) (1)
– Chris Benoit v HHH v Shawn Michaels (Wrestlemania XX) (1)
– Eddie Guerrero v Kurt Angle (Wrestlemania XX) (1)
– Hart Foundation v LOD, Pillman, Shamrock & Austin (10-man tag match) (Canadian Stampede 1997) (1)
– John Cena v CM Punk (Money In The Bank 2011) (1)
– Kurt Angle v Chris Benoit (Royal Rumble 2003) (1)
– Rocky Menero v GD Grimm (RCW Key To The City 2011) (1)
– Samoa Joe v AJ Styles v Chris Daniels (TNA Unbreakable 2005) (1)
– Samoa Joe v Kenta Kobashi (ROH Joe vs. Kobashi 2005) (1)
– Shawn Michaels v Chris Jericho (Unforgiven 2008) (1)
– The Shield v Team Hell No & Randy Orton (Smackdown June 14, 2013) (1)
– TLC (Edge & Christian v the Dudleys v the Hardys) (Summerslam 2000) (1)
– Wargames 1991 (Flair, Windham, Vicious, Zbyszko v Sting, Pillman & The Steiners) (Wrestle War 1991) (1)
18 different matches on this list.
So in this case I disagree with most of the people I interviewed. It happens. But I think this shows one very important thing – very few people have the same concepts of what makes a match their absolute favourite. Sure, 8 of them liked the same match, but 13 matches were considered a favourite by just one person. The concept of a “best match” and star ratings may not mean much when it comes to personal opinion.
But look at the list – most of the matches are from WWE(WWF). One from TNA, one from ROH (which this interview made me look up and watch), one even from RCW (which I suppose says something about actually “being there”). In my opinion, there was one match on this list I found dull, 2 I think are vastly overrated and 1 that feels too recent to make a good value judgement on. Still, if these matches were on a DVD called “fan favourites”, I think I’d buy the set.
So, three questions. Sound off with your answers in the comments section.
And that’s the view.
Tags: 3MB, AJ Styles, Bret Hart, Bully Ray, Chris Benoit, chris jericho, cm punk, Daniel Bryan, fans, GD Grimm, HHH, Jeff Hardy, john cena, Kurt Angle, Matt Hardy, Owen Hart, randy orton, RCW, Rocky Menero, ROH, ryback, Samoa Joe, shawn michaels, Sting, The Miz, The Shield, TNA, undertaker, wrestlemania, wrestling, WWE, WWF, Zero-1