Perhaps the most significant news story of the previous WrestleMania week/end was one that never happened. Specifically – and for the first time in a long time – pro wrestling’s biggest stage wasn’t buoyed down by gossip tales of cross-promotion wars and/or out-of-the-ring personality dramas.
Instead, we saw indy wrestlers easily and capably bounce between stages, wrestling legends blatantly acknowledge contributions of indy promotions, and the surprising retribution of a female star only recently scarred by a slew of life dramas and scandals.
Scouring coverage and tweets from this past week, I smiled to playful match recommendations galore between indy and WWE talent. This was echoed by the increasing popularity of WrestleCon, and with it even more opportunity to bridge these artificial divides and the respective communities.
As stated prior, pro wrestling – especially midsize promotions – simply got too big for their britches. It’s a niche form of entertainment, and with a finite number of revenue streams to draw from. A market correction was required and did occur…except it happened in surprisingly quiet fashion despite technical faux pas from ROH, FloSlam revenue debacles, and Anthem Wrestling’s never-ending makeover. Instead the community bonded together in support of the greater good.
What we have is the first true meshing of indy wrestling and its bigger brother. It’s a surprisingly successful cultural shift that emerged almost out of no where, and with few – if any – feeling disrespected along the way. As WWE cuts roll proudly into indy promotions and vice versa, women’s wrestlers no longer sporting unwanted training wheels, and smark crowds now outcasts versus market predictors, things are right with the wrestling world.
Pro wrestling finally has a long deserved quiet period for the industry that is being reflected in universally top-notch product. It’s not surprising WWE stock hit all time highs this week; it is industry confidence versus network subscribers that ultimately spurs investment.