The WWE Cruiserweight Classic just concluded last night and gave evidence to something that a lot of us have known for a while: Wrestling matches sell Wrestling.
For too long people have been stuck on the idea that professional wrestling NEEDS to be a soap opera, that it NEEDS a clear cut good guy vs bad guy angle. WWE has provided us with the proof that it doesn’t need to meet that criteria to succeed.
Now, to be fair, if you’re going to market to a global audience of casual fans, then yes, it will need good vs bad. However, if you’re an upstart indy promotion just trying to get your name out there? Good wrestling matches is what will drive people to your product.
In the WWE Cruiserweight Classic, we had indy darlings such as Johnny Gargano, Tomasso Ciampa and Zack Sabre Jr, while also sprinkling in international favorites like Gran Metalik and Kota Ibushi. Add in a veteran with something to prove like Brian Kendrick, with a bunch of unknowns like Tony Nese and HoHo Lun, and you have a recipe for success.
I know this website is one that generally covers independent wrestling, and I support that completely, but the Cruiserweight Classic is something EVERY promotion, no matter how small, can learn from. If you have this young gun on your roster that you think can set the world on fire in the future, why not give him a chance against someone who is proven? Trial by fire is not as popular in the indies as it should be.
On this site, I look out for guys who are the FUTURE of professional wrestling, guys like Alex Daniels, Shawn Phoenix or Keith Lee, guys who, if given the chance, can erupt into something more than their trainers ever thought they could be. If you have guys like that, and you have the chance to bring in a Colt Cabana, Chris Hero, Zack Sabre or anyone even remotely on their levels, why wouldn’t you put them against the youth? Against the future of the industry?
My request, from one single writer, to the wrestling promotions of the world. Focus on developing your young talent and putting on great wrestling matches. It’s not a short term fix by any means, but over the course of a few years, when your talent is developed, they will draw and they will remember who gave them the chance. Believe in the youth on your roster and they will believe in you. Together, you will grow. I can’t promise you’ll ever reach the heights of PWG or Ring of Honor, but I can guarantee you will be better off than if you never gave them the chance in the first place.
After all, if you don’t give them that chance to be great, somebody else will.