Returning To The World Of Pro Wrestling
Are We On The Precipice Of Another Golden Era?
It had been quite a while since I had sat down to watch any type of pro wrestling. WWE blessed me in my teens. I grew up during the legendary WWE Attitude Era. Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, D’Generation X and Mick Foley, just to name a few, spoiled us week in, week out. On the other channel, WCW challenged Vince McMahon’s WWE like no other had before.
Then it happened. I grew up, I got a job - life got in the way. It happens to everybody in life. You simply don’t have the time to enjoy the things you enjoyed when you were younger. And in the rare moments, I had time to see what was happening in the wild world that is pro-wrestling, I didn’t recognize it. WCW didn’t exist anymore. The Superstars I grew up knowing and loving were nowhere to be found and the product, to be frank, was something I figured I had just grown out of.
For many years, the closest I got to watching pro wrestling was seeing The Rock in a movie. I didn’t see any news or YouTube content. I didn’t follow any talent on Twitter. I was not a member of the Internet Wrestling Community, or the IWC, as they are so often referred to.
Over the past couple of months, that all changed.
First, Vince McMahon retired. The man who was ubiquitous with pro wrestling, sports entertainment and WWE for so long, was gone. It all ended with a one-sentence tweet amid a hail of allegations of 16 years of sexual misconduct (probably longer if we’re being honest) and accusations of paying a king’s ransom [$14.6M USD] in hush money.
The idea of a Vince McMahon-less WWE intrigued me. And that former D’Generation X member Triple H was taking over intrigued me even further. I glanced at the results and got a feel for how the shows under his direction were being received. Generally, the reviews were positive. It officially piqued my interest.
Dipping my toe back into the wrestling world, I discovered something that brought me back completely. There was a viable competitor to WWE again.
AEW, founded and co-owned by Tony Khan, is now considered the number two wrestling organization in the world. Starting in 2019, it has built up an impressive roster of talent. What caught my eye was one of my favorites from back in the day, Chris Jericho. Not only was he part of the roster, but was the competition’s inaugural World Champion.
That was it. I was in. And the first show I watched after a nearly 20-year absence from being a wrestling fan was AEW Dynamite: Grand Slam.
It was surreal seeing a 51-year-old Chris Jericho win a world title in the first match I had watched in nearly two decades. And it only got better from there. I was instantly invested in the incredibly charismatic ‘Acclaimed’ tag team. And I was stoked when they won the tag team titles. The women’s match was incredible. Women's wrestling is a completely different animal from what I remember. And I loved it too.
I thought the ending of the main event was a little abrupt, but just figured I wasn’t across what was happening ‘storyline-wise’ between the two awesome wrestlers that were in the ring.
The show wasn’t perfect, but it was enough for me to buy back in. I guess it is time to have a look at my schedule and see where I can fit it in! Hopefully, my timing is impeccable, and I have got on board just in time for a new golden era of pro wrestling.
Stuart Kavanagh is a journalist currently residing in Broken Hill, Australia. He writes for the Barrier Truth newspaper, along with being a contributing editor at thesportsbank.net.
He also co-hosts the ‘After Extra Time’ podcast and contributes at edgeofthecrowd.com when time permits.
Football mad, he is always down for debate and discussion at @stueyissickofit on Twitter.