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Imperial Privilege


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So I've been getting back into the wrestling thing. I grew up watching the WCW/WWF feud before the WCW imploded under the weight of its own piss poor management and too many bloated egos. (Reading up on Hogan and Nash's corruption is almost cartoonishly evil.) I stuck around for a little while after that, latching on to guys like Mankind and The Rock, but tryhard, "edgy" WWF just wasn't my style. You can imagine my culture shock tuning back in years later to the kid-friendly WWE.

I like some of what's going on -- Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, Cody Rhodes, Dolph Ziggler, Rusev, Kevin Owens, the New Day and Seth Rollins being standouts. But Daniel Bryan is probably retiring on his neck, and CM Punk burned every bridge imaginable on his way out. It's kind of impressive, really. The New Day and KO are some of the best heels since Jericho in his heyday, and it's great to see a heel champion in Rollins who isn't as generically "intense" (read: boring) as Lesnar or Orton. Cody is just the all-around best guy in the company between his finesse in the ring and his ability to act his ass off, no matter what character he's been given. The guy has gone through at least half a dozen phases or characters, and he hits it out of the park each time. I actually do like Orton as a wrestler, but Cody has so much more to bring to the table. He should have been the Legacy breakout, with Orton being the upper-midcard guy.

But even those guy can't make up for how much ho-hum is going on in the rest of the company proper. Too much digging up the Attitude Era's corpse with guys who should have retired by now or guys coming out of retirement in what is pretty clearly a sign of no confidence in the current crop of guys. Too much Super Cena. Too much filling time with the new three hour time slot because they clearly don't know what to do with it. The "Divas Revolution" is a snorefest, though Kana/Asuka and that recent Iron Woman Match have been fan-freaking-tastic. really my thing. Seemed to have all of WCW's ambition wed to all of its missteps. It also got uncomfortable watching Angle perform when it became clear he can still put on A plus matches at his age, but he's probably only able to do it because he's doped up to the gills.

So imagine my surprise when I check into WWE's "junior league," NXT, and see it's some of the best wrestling stuff on TV these days. C'mon, WWE. You've shown us you're still capable of putting on a good show. Why does the main brand suck so much when NXT is so good?

Imagine my even greater surprise when I tune in to Lucha Underground and see it's everything I could have ever wanted from a wrestling series. These guys are true athletes, rather than the old, immobile, size-over-ability steroid monsters that have been the kings of the roost for far too long in major wrestling promotions. Their high stunts are amazing. The episodic, overarching storylines and the slick production values make it feel like some twisted Breaking Bad spinoff rather than just another would-be WWE competitor, and it's great to see two of my WWE favorites -- Chavo Guererro Jr. and John Morrison/Johnny Mundo -- killing it in LU. Alberto del Rio wasn't ever my favorite, but he's so solid in the ring I'm glad to have him back.

I know I started off this blog blabbering about WCW/WWF/WWE, but LU is where it's really at. This is going to be my wrestling fix for the foreseeable future.

I also like the behind the scenes stuff. By shooting in seasons, wrestlers get to take some time off instead of wracking up the constant injuries, surgeries and addictions to pain pills that seem to be the new scourge of the industry now that steroids get you suspended. It also seems to let LU bunch up their budget on these high-quality episodes instead of stringing it out over a constant, grinding, year-long schedule. It just strikes me as a smarter, sharper package than anything the WWE is doing.

So I'm going to blitz through LU just in time for season 2. Looks like I chose the perfect time to get back in to the wonderfully dumb machismo of wrestling.


  1. KENTA's Avatar
    Go watch New Japan.
  2. Imperial's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by KENTA
    Go watch New Japan.
    I've seen some of that. Those guys are stiff as fuck. With moves like The Burning Hammer, how do they not kill ten guys in the ring per year?
  3. JetKinen's Avatar
    Thats All Japan.

    I'm glad someone here is watching LU though
    It really is the best thing in wrestling right now. Heres hoping season 2 carries it o