Iya lads. Welcome to another edition of I GOT TILL 5!, the weekly column that looks at a specific subject within the wrestling world and lists five pros and cons of said subject whilst also trying to find the happy medium of opinion.

I had a bloody brainwave earlier and decided to change the names for “THE GOOD” and “THE BAD” section at the end of the column. From now on it shall be known as “THE YES!” and “THE NO!”. I’m a fucking genius.

Payback is this Sunday which is very exciting. PPV’s always make me feel happy, and next weeks column will most likely be my thoughts on said PPV, but I may just sneak in another column (WITH THE BOSS’ PERMISSION OBVIOUSLY) shortly after the PPV so that my opinions are still fresh in my mind.

ANYTHING enough rambling, time to move onto the last part of my State of Wrestling series as we take a look at The Independents!

The North American Independent Wrestling scene is a bizarre one. You have amazing pure wrestling companies such as Ring of Honour and Dragon Gate: USA, outstanding women’s wrestling companies such as SHIMMER, the ultraviolent bloodbaths of CZW and IWA:MS and the bizarre yet wonderful promotions like Chikara. The wonderful thing about independent wrestling is that there is something for everybody.

I recently watched the CZW Tournament of Death 2013 edition and it was fucking insane.

As I watched it, I wasn’t sure if I was enjoying it. I was more fascinated at the things these people were doing to each other. It’s a strange sort of experience to sit down and watch it happen, knowing that the wrestlers involved are fully aware of what they’re about to endure. A lot of people simply call it stupidity. It’s a shame really, because those people are usually ones blinded by ECW love. When ECW did barbed wire matches with Terry Funk and Sabu it “changed the face of wrestling forever”. When Danny Havoc and Scotty Vortekz smashed the shit out of each other with 444 light tubes, however it’s “careless and stupid”. As careless as falling off a 16 foot cage? As careless as taking numerous falls from 15 to 20 foot ladders? Hell, even as careless as wrestling almost every day of the year non stop?

Whilst some of the risks they take seems unnecessary (and some of them really are) its important to remember one thing. THEY HAVE BEEN TRAINED PROFESSIONALLY. It’s not like they’re some children playing in their backyard with a ladder and some wood that they’ve found (we’ve all done it, even me), these guys know how to work a match, they know how to bump and they know how to wrestle. Of course they’re going to take huge risks, they want to get themselves noticed. Having a name anywhere is still having a name. Where would Dean Ambrose be if Jon Moxley wasn’t tearing shit up in CZW? Where would RVD be if he didn’t risk his body for the rabid ECW fans? Where the hell would Mick fucking Foley be if he hadn’t been MICK FUCKING FOLEY in Japan, WCW and ECW?

All I’m saying is, don’t shit on CZW or any other deathmatch promotions before you give them a chance. You may find yourself being pleasantly surprised.

Speaking of pleasant surprises, HOW FUCKING GOOD IS CHIKARA PRO WRESTLING?

When I first heard about an Ant Colony being a main staple of a wrestling company I shook my head and sighed. I knew that the independents were silly but a fucking gimmick where a wrestler is an Ant is stupid – let alone an entire stable of them. Turns out they’re my absolute favourite part of the company. Yes, they’re over the top in ridiculousness but they play the part of it so well that I just couldn’t help but fall in love. It also helps that they’re all fantastic wrestlers.

And that’s one of the most surprising things about Chikara. I can enjoy a pure comedy match and still appreciate it for its wrestling ability.

I’ve not been able to watch as much Chikara as I’d like too, being in the UK it’s hard to keep up with independent wrestling more than any other type, and as such I often hear about an amazing series of matches that “you HAVE to watch but am never able too. A prime example of this is the Samoa Joe vs CM Punk series from Ring of Honour. I’ve heard countless times that the wrestling involved is some of each mens best work and is a true testament to why they got signed to their respective companies, but my god is it hard to find a decent quality video thats in sync online. And yes I could just easily buy the DVD’s, but I’m a 21 year old soon to graduate wrestling fan, writing a column for free on a word-press account at 8 in the bloody evening in my fucking pants. If I’m going to enjoy wrestling it’s going to be for free and I’m going to eat some fucking crisps and drink some fucking coke.

We’re a selfish bunch, us wrestling fans, we constantly strive for more. We want more blood from CZW. We want more wrestling from Ring of Honor. We want more Chikara from Chikara. We want to see El Generico succeed but we don’t want him to leave. We want Bryan Danielson to be recognised as the fantastic wrestler that he is but we want him to ourselves. The Independents leave us wanting more. They’re our babies, why should you change them in any way?

I love seeing a wrestlers journey from independent to mainstream. Austin Aries thrived in Ring of Honour. He was a name I heard so much about that I felt guilty not knowing who he was sooner. His rise to the top of TNA was wonderful, and one of the brighter things that company has done in recent memory.

There will always be a place for independent wrestling. The downside is, however, it’s pretty fucking hard to find that place.

THE YES:

– Some of the finest wrestling around

– A mix of different styles on every show

– Comedy wrestling thats actually funny

– Allows the audience to engage in a persons journey from very bottom to the very top

– Being at an actual live indy show is an experience like no other

THE NO:

– “Whose that guy?”

– Dependence on big spots to get over

– Where can I find said company?

– Live stream issues for PPV

– Very friendly to America. Not so much to us Brits 😦

AND THERE WE GO MY LOVELIES

That concludes my State of Wrestling series.

Unless I get the okay from The Boss, next weeks column will focus on WWE’s Payback PPV. If I’m allowed to air my thoughts earlier than next Thursday then I turn to you, readers, and ask what should I write my column on? I’ll send a message to my favourite suggestion and will plug your various websites on my next column.

Until then. Biya.

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