Joey Ryan made welcome history during last night’s outstanding Lucha Underground taping. Not from his enormous amounts of oiled chest hair (impressive in its own right), rather a simple fact that an in-ring debut didn’t require reinventing an athlete for the worst.
To explain, there appears an unwritten rule that: established pro wrestler changing promotions must do so from the ground up. Simplified repertoire, occasional name change, and a gimmick more vanilla than ice.
Sure, every now and then a Kevin Steen or AJ Styles sneaks through. But only when social media pressure is so immense that the powers that be succumb.
But for every Steen or Styles comes a Gargano or Glidewell, awesome talents semi-neutered to put over an arguably lacking card. Except veteran fans, of course – especially at non-WWE promotions – are far from stupid. ‘Johnny Wrestling’ or ‘Andrea’ chants inevitably rain down from Full Sail faithful, despite that day’s script. One can’t simply erase knowledge of athletes with a robust repertoire incredulously left behind in another promotion.
Thus, Joey Ryan’s wrestling debut last night speaks volumes for both him and Brian Cage. It takes a proper dance partner to create wrestling artistry; both were ready and willing to strut their stuff for Ryan’s debut. Not only did they execute an incredible in-ring display, they likewise allowed both existing and new storylines to take advance, in tandem. Equal kudos to the announce team of Vampiro and Matt Striker eager to welcome Ryan with logical surprise turned respect.
The saddest notion is that this occurrence an anomaly. If pro wrestling is to flourish, promotions must embrace the talent crossing in/out of them, based on bookings.