Honestly, this year has been quite a year for the National Wrestling Alliance in terms positive press and attention on the brand. I think they go more positive press printed about them then Corgan's former employers. For those who may not be aware earlier this year front man of the Smashing Pumpkins actually purchased the oldest wrestling governing body in the National Wrestling Alliance. If you are among those fans shocked that Corgan would have the money to purchase the NWA then you probably didn't follow his attempts to purchase Impact Wrestling late last year. Though Billy hadn't taken control until recently the changes have been coming in droves to give the NWA a new look.
For one the NWA has had an improved social media presence especially ahead of the first meeting between Tim Storm & Nick Aldis. The series known as "Ten Pounds of Gold" gave not just a historical story of the NWA brand, but also it provided a back story to how much both wanting the title and being champion meant to Tim & Nick.
One thing that I have grown accustomed to saying in recent years is the more places the boys have to work the better. Seeing the NWA sort of prosper in recent months and years is something that I have almost secretly wanted to see for a very long time. Recently, companies like CZW and House of Hardcore have become somewhat honorary members of the NWA hosting the champion and title matches which has been something very new. I for one am very excited to see what the future holds for the National Wrestling Alliance under the direction of Billy Corgan.
Since I began Wrestling Express I have had some annual ideas that have remained consistent over the last couple of years and one of them is the year end awards. These awards are designed to capture the moments from the previous year and honor the best of the best. I do know that a lot of other websites do this but I'd think my site is different as I only do a select number of awards every year.
The awards I will be giving out this year will be the Wrestler, Feud, Tag Team, and Match of the Year. Every major company will be accounted for and represented in some form with some companies gaining extra representation due to having more than one deserving talent. With that being said we will kick it off with the Wrestler of the Year and the voting will open tonight on my twitter. Who do you think is the Wrestler of the Year? Check out who is up for the award below:
Wrestler of the Year
As always wrestling gives us both great memories and memories we try and forget, but with the amount of moments worth remembering that have happened we are bound to forget some. The same could be said about some talent that were very much underrated during their career or never at the top of a company during a run this unfortunately makes it easier for fans to forget certain talent. I would like to wish a very big Happy Birthday to all who are celebrating their special day today and especially to the one featured below.
Recently, I saw the name Brent Albright which is the name of one talent that I always really wondered why he never accomplished more on the bigger scale. Albright would sign with the WWE in 2004 after competing as local star on many occasions. The company would send Brent to Ohio Valley Wrestling to begin his training and was among the talent brought in following the mass call up of 2002. While down in OVW he would become the first star to gain the "OVW Triple Crown while in the company.
To just give glimpse of how highly the company thought of Brent when he did come up there was talk of placing him with Chris Benoit as sort of a mentor/protégé relationship. But as we all know things didn't go the way it was initially laid out and within a few months of his call up Albright was off television again. However, very quickly after his departure from WWE he would move onto ROH and actually a little push by the company but receive the most success once he joined the NWA.
Overall, I do think that Albright was plenty capable in the ring but never really was able to show enough charisma on the microphone. I do think that the lack of charisma may have played a part in his lack of success in the E, but much like a Malenko or Benoit he could've accomplished more if given a shot. Don't get me wrong with the WWE giving him a name like Gunner Scott it didn't really help his case and may have never really allowed his career to start right.
The big series for the year continues as we move onto week two of the series. This series has become by far one of my favorite series to do and that is why even though the normal time for it has come and gone I still had to make sure I did the series this year. But now it's time to get back to Polling the Crowd.
Question 2: In your opinion has social media had a positive or negative effect on the entertainment industry?
Through the Ropes PW: In your opinion has social media had a positive or negative effect on the entertainment industry? "Negative for sure. There is no way that anything good has come from it. It has just turned fans into critics and want-to-be bookers....There is a good reason as to why there are followers and leaders in life."
Tom: Deciding whether or not this is a positive or negative change can be debated. On one hand, it gives viewers and fans power because ultimately, they are the consumer who is purchasing a sport’s product. On the other hand, it can create a difficult task for Network’s to try to please everyone. This leads to a lot of political correctness and that can water down the product big time, ultimately changing it from what it used to be in its purest form.
KM Podcast: Probably a bit of both.
Bryan: There has been a multitude of positive and negative effects stemming from social media's expansion into entertainment. Its added a new faucet to market and gain viewers from which is a plus. But can also be an easy way to spoil surprises or make things so viral that such thing gets annoying.
Gabrielle: I'd say positive. You get pertinent information on new movies, TV shows, special announcements, release dates, new TV series, etc. You can get all of that by watching TV of course, but if you’re someone who spend more time on the internet than on TV, social media is an additional tool to get all the information that you need. And in that sense, it’s cool for the industry.
Though it feels like yesterday that 2016 was wrapping up and 2017 was getting going it is time to start doing the same for 2017 as we move to 2018. Now I know that many sites & content creators will be making some predictions for 2018 and I thought I would jump on the gravy train. With that being said even though I don't give as much of the "spotlight" to somethings as I do other everything will have a little bit of it in this. Check out what I think could happen next year:
- New Japan will continue to expand into the states and will have more shows next year then the two they had this year. Though this might seem obvious there have been rumors that NJPW may be developing an American branch of the company which would absolutely lead to the company expanding the American shows. After the addition of the United State title it could be clear that NJPW is trying to grow outside of Japan.
- Ask for Impact Wrestling well I think that the company will still be in business number one, but stability will come for the company as well. By that I mean we wont be hearing about negative things that are plaguing the company. Now I know negative press is something that has hurt the company for years at this point, but I think its to the point that more positive news will be up front. This might be positive thinking, but I also don't think that there is much else that could happen to Impact Wrestling at this point.
It's time to revisit an old series before the year is up as I have found another very random video to share with you all. To give this video a little context the time period in question is early 1990 prior to WrestleMania. The initial plan was for Mike Tyson to be a guest referee for Saturday Night's Main Event special, but he would pull out of the appearance after his loss to Buster Douglas.
Anyone who remembers the fight between Mike and Buster Douglas know that Mike would actually fall to Buster, but the reason I bring it up is that Buster would take Mike's spot as the guest ref for the match. They go onto discuss how Vince actually pitched the idea of Hogan against Tyson at WrestleMania to Mike and Mike turned it down.
One thing that I mentioned a few days ago is trying to maintain over the years is consistency with the yearly posts that I do. Normally I have done this post series over the summer but unforeseen circumstances have put the series off until now. As always I want to thank those who took part in the series this time around.
Question: Do you think social media has caused people to forget how to be fans or just become more vocal?
KMPodcast: I'd say it's given us a much louder voice nowadays in comparison to when we didn't have social media.
Bryan: I feel as though with the expansion of social media into Pro Wrestling it has led fans to become much more vocal about decisions and things going on backstage. This makes fans more prone to boo wrestlers if they're being bad behind the scenes or bring up real-life situations at events to try a break the fourth wall in some cases. Social Media has caused people to get quicker knowledge of backstage happenings and be able to react instantly and aim it towards the wrestlers themselves instead of having to wait till your at the arena to express your opinion to the wrestler in question.
Gabrielle: I don’t think social media has caused people to forget how to be fans and be more vocal. I think people use these platforms (Twitter, Facebook etc.) because it's an easy access tool to express opinions, it's instantaneous. And yes, some people use them to be vocal just for the sake of being vocal. But I don’t think social media is a direct cause of that.
Tom: I think social media has caused fans to evolve. It used to be where programs would be aired and if you had an opinion on the matter, you would have to take effort and time in order to voice that opinion to their league or channel. Whether it be writing a letter or calling the Network airing the program. Nowadays with social media, everyone has a voice and it is easy to put your voice out there. If enough people are voicing a similar opinion, then the leagues or networks can listen to their viewers for instant feedback.
Through the Ropes PW: "Yes....One hundred percent. Social media is a platform for any type of fan to comment his or her opinions whether they are just thanking a wrestler for a great match, or going above their station and giving out advice to the wrestlers and promoters/bookers, on how to do their jobs! If you look back at when wrestling actually thrived on a constant and consistent level, their weren't fleets of rebellious fans who fought against every decision a booker made, They may have shown displeasure, like a wrestling show should bring out in people, but not to where they would write in and order for a change, That's because fans knew their place, whether it was as a viewer or as a member of the audience at the events, the fans never would have dreamed of going to the promoters or phoning them up at home and complaining that they're favourite didn't win. It was how it was and now that it has become easier to voice opinions, people take the liberty of abusing that closer connection to the wrestlers and force what they want....Yes it may be down to the knowledge that wrestling is predetermined, which gives the fans the idea that they can control the outcomes, but at the end of the day, when you watch TV soap operas, the viewers just watch the product, and either like it or don't, that's it. You have every right to your opinion, to post what you would have liked to have happened, like a lot of people do, but people think that because of it being a written show, they can write it better, so their attentions are not on being a viewer or a fan, but as a writer."
Since I started this website something I have always tried to do was stay consistent with some yearly ideas. One of those things has been coming together on Thanksgiving is figuring out what I could be thankful for. Honestly, this year has been unlike anything every before I have gone through truly due to the personal effects of the year, but in some ways almost this year was a new period of my writing. For example, one of the ideas and concepts that have always been centered in my writing is fan interaction, and though I have been slacking in that department this year and even though there are good reasons there is no good excuse.
Truly, there are only a few things I could pinpoint as being thankful for of everything that has happened this year. I have been thankful for the continued growth of the website and support as well but also the continued development of both working & friendships. There is no doubt in my mind that I wouldn't be where I am socially without Wrestling Express & I thank all of you for that and you know who you are.
The other part that I am thankful for is the idea of being able to research and further develop another wrinkle of wrestling express. Though I could further elaborate and add depth to this part but I am trying to watch what I include here. For those of you who may have seen my appearances on the various podcasts I have had the pleasure to be on this year, I think you'd be aware of what I'm talking about. Just the idea that I could sit around and write something that could one day come together as a book is incredible to think about, because it is something that I never thought possible. As this year wraps up I look back and I will admit that I am extremely thankful for each and every one of you that I have come to this site and read even one article I wrote. I've said this a lot over the years but this trip wouldn't be as much fun without each and every one of you coming along for the ride.
During the territory era and into the early 1990's both top American wrestling companies would hold major events on Thanksgiving night. Both WCW & WWE both held events on this night as both Survivor Series & Starrcade were held on this night. For the first few years both companies would have their Thanksgiving day tradition. Somewhere along the line both events would move from the holiday to different times during the year, but I think something like this could work.
Fact of the matter is wrestling has gone through many periods over the years and they have always been extremely fixed on having a heavy presence on social media. Also since 2014 when the company kicked off with the start of the WWE Network and though it was bumpy at first, but seems to have hit it's stride. The Network has been the greatest thing for the WWE and the fans as it allows the fans to access all PPV for just a small fee rather than charging $60 for all events. However, what I can say that it seems like things are changing in the world of wrestling considering the change of events like "Beast in the East."
With all this being said I do think that if the WWE or another major wrestling could hold an event on Thanksgiving night would work and draw a decent enough crowd. I am aware that most people would say that having an event on Thanksgiving wouldn't be right and that the guys should be off for the night. I would say that Thanksgiving is special but after a certain time most people are free and clear from Turkey Day plans to do as they please. This would open the back half of the day to a wrestling event and with the connivance of the internet this would make things all he more easier.