WRESTLING WRANTS PRESENTS-The Effect of the IWC on the Wrestling Business
Hello again Brandon Stransky back once again for the Brand with another column and this one is titled Wrestling Wrants and the subject of this one is going to be about the IWC and I know ahead of time I'm probably gonna get heat for it and all I gotta say about that is turn it up and set me on fire cause I'm ready to burn.
If you've ever went to go look up something online about the world of professional wrestling, chances are you've come across members of the IWC and there's a lot of ways to define who and what they are. In order to try and define a difference between the IWC and the casual fans who want to read about wrestling, I'll try to do what I can to point out the differences between each one.
A casual fan is someone who when they go online to read about wrestling, they just want to go and see when wrestling is going to be in their area, or wants to read up on their favorite stars or read about just general information, mainly sticking to offical websites relating to their favorite promotion wether it be WWE, TNA, ROH, LU, or even their favorite local indie promotion.
Someone who is part of the IWC however, is someone who is so obessive over it that they basically eat, sleep, and breathe wrestling to the point that the only next logical step is for them to actually get involved in the business. The problem is that they are so fanatical about the style and brand of wrestling they like, they will completely crap all over anything that doesn't fit their vision of what professional wrestling should be.
And before going any further I just want to point out and clarify that there is absolutely nothing wrong with loving the wrestling business as much as these guys do. Nothing at all wrong with it whatsoever. It's just when it gets to the point that when you become so fanatical about what style and brand you love that any opposing viewpoints or opinions you completely shut down and bury is when the problems start.
And even though though some of you might think this is going to go down a completely negative path I'm going to cut that off right here as there actually is a lot of good that the Internet and the IWC has done not just for the business, but also for some of the boys and I would like to point that out before we get into the negative aspects of the IWC.
First and most importantly is the fact that there would be a lot of guys without work right now if it wasn't for the Internet and IWC. As an independant wrestler myself, I can say that the Internet is a very important tool in promoting yourself and trying to get booked at places. Many talented workers have gotten to where they are through the Internet and it certainly helps when you get over with the IWC to the point that they are able to use that loud voice that they have and get someone more bookings, work, and exposure to more and more people.
Getting over with the IWC as a wrestler is such a hard yet rewarding thing to do as with their support, you can get that exposure and start popping up on radars and thus get more opportunities to showcase your work and get ever closer to making it to the big show. However, that can also be a double-edged sword as I will get to in a bit.
Another positive is that they can also boost coverage of and promote other smaller, companies and get them national attention. Granted it's a much smaller network, but a nationwide network nonetheless. There are many places such as PWG, AAW, FIP, EVOLVE, and yes we can even include TNA and ROH in that as well that would not be at the places that they are now without the help and support of the IWC which creates more jobs for wrestlers and makes more money available for wrestlers to earn.
Here's where it starts to get a bit murky. The problem is that the style and brand of wrestling that's usually on these types of shows and is preferred by the IWC diehards is one that does not create interest for the casual wrestling fans which is where the real money is at. The amount of coverage and exposure you get through the IWC will only get you so far in the wrestling business before you you hit a ceiling and realize that you have to change yourself up and become more appealing to a mass casual audience instead of the niche that helped get you to the spot that you're at currently.
The main problem is that too many in the business, from wrestlers to bookers to promoters are taking the opinions and values of a small niche audience(albeit a very loud and vocal one) as gospel. They are cutting out the things that create interest in the mass casual audience and instead booking, writing, and wrestling, to appease the IWC fans simply because they have the loudest voice in the room and people aren't realizing that gaining the approval of the IWC is just a stepping stone to the next level and not the be all end all.
Now again, there is nothing wrong with the IWC having their preferred style of wrestling product and if some of the people in the business are happy with where they are at and what they're doing, then they have the right to keep on doing it. But if we want to see the wrestling business grow and get back to what it once was, we have to realize that although extremely rabid and loyal, the IWC just isn't where that growth is at. Like I said before, there is a ceiling that will be hit when you cater to this audience that you will not be able to overcome unless certain changes are made.
The biggest thing I see that, in my opinion, needs to be changed, is the way matches are wrestled nowadays a lot. One perfect example I can give is that I worked a show recently where there was a six-way elimination match on the card. At one point in the match, one of the guys was eliminated with a superkick. About a minute later this same guy that just got a pin with that move, superkicked another wrestler who not only didn't get eliminated, not only didn't even bump it, but bounced off the ropes and fired back with a clothesline and showed no effect of the move whatsoever. That's right, a move that just pinned someone about a minute prior was completely disregarded by another wrestler. Now a spot like this would be something that the IWC would enjoy watching, but the casual fan who doesn't devote their lives to wrestling 24/7 would watch that and be thinking it makes absolutely no sense or that the guy that just got pinned is a pussy.
And that's just one of many examples that I'm sure happen across the country at not just independant shows, but also on the big stages as well. Again, there is absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying this type of wrestling product. The IWC though has to understand that they themselves are a niche audience and that what they like does not translate to the mass audience who just want to watch an entertainment based product with intriguing characters and riveting storylines being the driving force behind it with the in-ring aspect taking a backseat to those traits. If the IWC can one day realize that the big money and success is not with catering to them as well as respect the opinions of those who do not agree with them(and vice versa as well as we are all entitled to our opinions and preferences in regards to how we choose to entertain ourselves), then maybe one day we can see the entire wrestling business flourish once again like it did so many years ago. There is a brand and style of wrestling out there for everyone, but when one niche group demands that their likings are catered to and those at the top listen to them, that's when we begin to see the fanbase of the entire wrestling business diminish until all that's left watching is that smaller group with the loud voice.
I hope this was an enlightening read and manages to spark some critical yet respectful and civil debate amongst the readers. Agree? Disagree? Please feel free to comment as it's only through civil and respectful discussion and debate can anything ever move forward. Thanks again.
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