Pro Wrestling Grab Bag Questions - "Kill the Business" – Triple Threat POV | Smark Out Moment

Pro Wrestling Grab Bag Questions - "Kill the Business" – Triple Threat POV

Posted by Robert DeFelice Saturday, August 12, 2017
Welcome to another edition of Triple Threat from Smark Out Moment, where three of us get together to discuss three questions based on one big topic going down in the week of professional wrestling.

This week, Robert DeFelice, Callum Wiggins and Gabby Velasquez will be giving their opinions on Lio Rush's no-sell, independent stars who belong in WWE, and Kurt Angle's illegitimate son fiasco.

It's another potpourri of topics this week as we gear up for SummerSlam coverage next week.

Question 1: With the recent Lio Rush incident at CZW Once In A Lifetime and the meeting of Mick Foley and Joey Ryan at an independent show in Germany, does independent wrestling go too far and do irreparable damage to the wrestling business as a whole just to please a single crowd?

DeFELICE: In regards to Joey Ryan, I think it's a little overkill at this point but I'm sure it's fun to see in person. I've always been of the opinion that much like comedy or concerts, Independent Wrestling isn't much fun watching it through a screen. You're meant to be there alive and enjoy the fun for the evening. That being said, I have no fondness for this spot but I understand it.

On to Lio Rush…

After watching a GIF of that spot over and over and over I decided to actually buy the show. I watched the match and to be honest it was so intense and I was loving it. They had so much drama going into that. It was brutal, intense, passionate and everything else that pro wrestling is supposed to be. Then, it happens.

What you may not understand if you didn't watch the match, is that was only the beginning. Following the no-sell of doom, comes a Package Piledriver. After kicking out of that, we enter this ridiculous homage to Triple H because Lio is headed to NXT. Janela goes for a Pedigree after saying "It's time to play the game!" Only to be hit with a sledgehammer in the leg, because, Triple H. All of this leads to a weird hug moment before rush picks up the victory with a pedigree of his own because hey everybody's in on the joke. That is the side of independent wrestling I hate. Oh, and did I mention that all of this occurred while the crowd chanted "kill the business?" I hate it. It annoys me so much when guys like Daniel Bryan or Edge have to retire from career threatening injuries while there are so many people who insist upon making it seem like this sport is all one big inside joke. That's where the damage comes in. You are doing permanent damage because you're preconditioning people to think that everything is one big acrobatic stunt, in spite of the amount of real pain and sacrifice that it actually requires. It was a great match that completely fell off the wagon and nobody cared because everybody felt like they were on the inside. *yawn*. Next topic..

WIGGINS: I don't feel the damage done during these independent shows cause irreparable damage to the wrestling business, simply because the 'serious' companies like WWE, NJPW, ROH and so on try to keep their silliness somewhat contained. Having said that, these are the sort of clips that go viral and make wrestling seem like a joke among the uninitiated, and Joey Ryan is the prime example of this behavior. I'm not saying he's a bad wrestler, a bad promo or a bad performer, but he'll only ever be remembered for flipping a few people over with his dick - if he's happy with that, all the power to him.

At least with Joey Ryan it's expected his matches are going to be rather contrived - the Lio Rush incident made me legitimately tense up with anger. Selling is a vital part of what makes people invest in a wrestling match, and when properly timed a no-sell can bring the crowd to its feet and add to the story - Tomohiro Ishii in NJPW is a master of this. But when you take a powerbomb off a ladder through a table and jump straight back to your feet, not only do you cheapen the business and everyone who works in it, but you make it more likely that wrestlers are going to legitimately stiff you for not reacting to their offense.

Enjoy NXT Lio…

VELASQUEZ: I attend indie shows regularly, and I can say without a doubt that they do more for the legitimacy of professional wrestling to me than almost any other shows I've attended. WWE Developmental isn't chugging out the stars (Charlotte being a notable exception) on the level of the indie wrestling scene. It always frustrates me to see people passing judgment on indie wrestling as a whole when they've never tried attending a show in their area to see the work these guys put into their craft.

I've had the chance to talk to a lot of guys who wrestle on the indies and based on those conversations alone I believe that wrestling will be just fine. Joey Ryan's dick flips can't possibly be more ridiculous than the concept of Kane and the Undertaker or half of the storylines of the Attitude Era.

That said, I was not a fan of Lio Rush's table spot. I think it's a bit self-serving and made no sense. But here's the thing: we'll forget about it in a month. He's not the first to no-sell something like that and he won't be the last. And if someone unfamiliar with wrestling loses respect for the sport because of something like that, they probably won't be a big fan anyway. Indie companies will continue producing amazing shows and WWE will continue to mine their talent from these companies. The business will be just fine.

Question 2: Who are some underrated, unsigned talents in the world are professional wrestling that we should be keeping an eye on?

WIGGINS: I think a name that goes under the radar a lot is Angelico, who has most recently been seen on Lucha Underground and the WCPW World Cup. The South African is a spectacular high-flyer and seller and played a big part in some of Lucha Underground's most memorable moments. Angelico is the definition of a daredevil and has plenty of charisma, both in and outside of the ring so he would be an excellent addition to any company that is able to sign him.

Another Lucha Underground alumni member is AR Fox or Dante Fox, who is an incredible athlete and performs a wide range of death-defying moves from all angles, and I'd love to see him appear in WWE one day. A number of my fellow Brits are also lighting up the independent scene and could certainly deliver in the major promotions across the globe, including Joe Hendry, Joe Coffey, Zack Gibson and Kay Lee Ray.

VELASQUEZ: To be a fan of the St. Louis wrestling scene is to be a fan of unsigned talents poised to set the business on fire. Ring of Honor fans might recognize the names Myron Reed and Curt Stallion, and with good reason. At the age of 20, Myron Reed is making a name for himself around the country with his daredevil aerial style and natural charisma. He's the current champion at Glory Pro and has put on spectacular matches with the likes of AR Fox, Shane Strickland and ACH. Similarly, Curt Stallion, fresh off a successful title defense against Joey Janela at Southern Underground Pro, is having a wonderful year of incredible performances. Stallion is impressive in the ring and has the charisma to spare, and has a bright future in the business as far as I am concerned.

All that said, someone who has exploded onto the scene in EVOLVE is someone I had the pleasure of seeing perform live at the Scenic City Invitational last week: Darby Allin. He's a straight-edge, hardcore goth skater punk of a character who flies through the air like a maniac. He's very young, but he already has a strong sense of character many who have been in the business for years will never have. Some call him a spot monkey, but I think he has a terrific in-ring style, and the crazy spots he does fit with his character perfectly. He captures your attention every second he's in the ring, and if he can avoid damaging himself too much, he'll have more eyes on him in no time.

And last but not least, the best-unsigned tag team in America: the Carnies, Kerry Awful, and Nick Iggy. These two wrestling Twitter darlings have crafted a social media and merch presence to rival any team out there, and back all of it up with wildly entertaining matches that leave fans wanting more every time. They just mixed it up with British Strong Style this weekend, for god's sake. They have a wonderful chemistry both in and out of the ring and can work a crowd like few can. Mark my words, before this time next year, they'll either be signed or even more of a catch than they already are.

DeFELICE: I'll be honest, I've never seen myself as a devoted follower of the independent scene. Back when most of the guys who now grace our television screens through WWE dominated the scene, I may have said otherwise. However, now that all my favorite independent guys are in the WWE there are only a few that I would like to see join them in the coming months and years.

Jay Lethal. The fact that he isn't already within the WWE's infrastructure really upsets me. Far and away, he is the best pure athlete that's been around for years and never catches a break. He can do it all and do it perfectly and most importantly he doesn't have to rely on a racial stereotype to have a gimmick. I'll be honest, he's the first African-American Pro Wrestler I can think of with that distinction. He is real. He is what Pro Wrestling should be.

Matt Riddle. This guy is so good. He's Kurt Angle to the next level. He's killing it in WWN and I'd like for him to spend the bulk of his Pro Wrestling career in WWE where he can create memories that will last forever. Also, Matt Riddle vs Chad Gable, please.

Johnny Mundo. Growing up, I always thought John Morrison was going to be the biggest thing to ever happen in wrestling. Now granted, I was only maybe 10 when he debuted but still. He deserves a second chance to shine. He has worked all around the world and made a name for himself and I'd like to see him get the chance to shine in a one on one opportunity at the grandest stage of them all.

Adam Cole. In Episode one of season three Boy Meets World, Cory Matthews tells Topanga Lawrence "if I had to dream up the perfect girl, she wouldn't even come close to you." Well if I had a dream up my perfect embodiment of a Pro Wrestler, it wouldn't even come close to Adam Cole... Bay Bay!

Question 3: Rumor has it that the creative team is already losing interest in the Jason Jordan/Kurt Angle storyline. What is your take on that story so far?

VELASQUEZ: This story was good for one maniacal laugh but at this point, I just couldn't care less. I'd much rather have Lio Rush no-sell a 70-foot fall through 54 tables than continue to watch the fake family drama play out on my screen.

DeFELICE: Phony family storylines are one thing that I really wish WWE would stray away from since they're so damn determined to expose what their own superstars are doing in real life. I really hate the whole concept of the "WWE Universe," when it's used to describe this storyline world where everybody totally understands that reality checks out for however many hours a week. WWE really doesn't know what they are sometimes. They want to be reality-based but they want to be soap opera based. The Kurt angle illegitimate son storyline is one of the worst examples of the WWE pretending to be a soap opera.

I don't know why they just couldn't let Angle be an unbiased authority figure. Why do we need a fake personal storyline? That being said, the resemblance is uncanny, they deserve applause for that. I hope that they don't throw the storyline away because I think it does have potential but I just don't understand the need for these phony baloney soap opera elements.

WIGGINS: I neither like or dislike this story - it has so far done nothing for me. Kurt Angle is my favorite wrestler of all time, but this soap opera will probably not end with him getting back in the ring, so I'm not interested. I firmly believed from the very start that if they were going down an illegitimate child route, it should have been with Chad Gable. While Jason Jordan has a vague resemblance to Angle, he has far less charisma, wrestling ability, and promo skills than his former American Alpha partner, which means his push as a singles wrestler has been tepid so far, to say the least.

I'm going to continue to give it a chance for now (even if WWE are rumored not to be) to see if it leads somewhere exciting. But for the time being, this has not been any more than a cheap way of eating up some of the three hours Raw has to fill every single week.

Those are our thoughts on the issue, but where do you stand?
Let us know your answers to these questions in the comments below!

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Robert DeFelice is a journalist and marketing student. You can follow him on Twitter, Instagram as well as his apparel website Time Killer Apparel and his pro wrestling blog PandemoniuMania.


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