So I’m going to make some enemies with this, and I don’t really consider myself one to go out of my way to stir up controversy, but it seems I might find myself knee-deep in it often. This is simply my opinion. I hope you’re going to agree with part of, if not all, of it. I don’t have time to hate; I’m simply going to share what I am thinking.
WSU’s icon Alicia went on a rant yesterday on Twitter. It has been consolidated here, among other places. Understand I am a huge Alicia fan. I’d probably put her in my top 10, if not 5 of all time. One of the reasons I would often get WSU DVD’s was because of her. So I’m not about to say what I am because I have an ax to grind or I have any other agenda. Her comments bothered me for so many reasons, so here are some of my meditations of what she said.
While I thought there was some garbage here and there, for the most part I liked the WSU product. You had Tina San Antonio, Marti Belle, Luscious Latasha, Mercedes Martinez, the Midwest Militia, Cindy Rogers, Nikki Roxx, Hailey Hatred, Rain, some great names. But there was some garbage there too. In my opinion, Rick Cataldo was a garbage character and set indy wrestling back 25 years. Production values were at best all right, and at its worst there was a broadcast where the color guy was about 3 times as loud as the play-by-play guy. There was another one where they had an announcer who was so loud and obnoxious, I stopped watching the DVD. This is a product I paid my money for. I work very hard for my money, and I don’t like paying $20 for piss-poor production values. And when there was wrestling, you were lucky to get much of it. Their 8-woman tournament didn’t even crack 2 hours.
I watched the first show after Drew Cordeiro took over. It seemed to be a more serious, focused product. Mercedes-LuFisto was my choice for match of the year for 2012. Wrestling became a priority in this incarnation. Production values were night and day. There were plenty of connections to the old guard: Mercedes, Tina, Marti and even Alicia. Matter of fact, Alicia was in the main event. And this is the part that I held back on in my original review but here goes. Alicia looked out of shape and rustier than the planet Mars. I understand having ring rust, but you need to make it look like you at least tried to get back into shape. I almost wish I hadn’t seen that match so I could preserve my happy memories of the Alicia I knew.
Drew isn’t an idiot. If somebody can wrestle at the level he expects, he would be bringing them back. That’s why he’s kept Jessicka Havok, Allysin Kay, Sassy Stephanie, Annie Social, Tina San Antonio and Marti Belle. Wrestling evolves. You are not going to be able to do the same thing your career and expect to have any kind of prominent place in today’s wrestling market (unless you’re Hacksaw Jim Duggan). WSU has evolved. It’s under new management, and quite frankly, it’s under the new management’s place to choose the creative direction they want to go. Drew is under no obligation to preserve the original legacy of WSU any more than Vince McMahon was obligated to preserve the legacy of the original ECW. Nobody gets a free ride based on their legacy.
There are many items I could take issue with Alicia for. One item stands out. She says that she wrestled in 100 degree weather 7 times. If you want to not impress a Texan, say you’ve wrestled in 100 degree weather. I’ve sat through shows in 110 degree weather. I’ve seen plenty of wrestlers wrestle in those temperatures. It never stopped Kyra Maya, Claudia, Lillie Mae, Bree Ann, Livi La Vida Loca or Jordynne Grace, all ladies and all willing to wrestle in a crowded, non-air-conditioned gym. I’ve seen referees in full referee gear work 7 or 8 matches in that same climate. Anarchy Championship Wrestling is down in Austin and they do their wrestling sometimes at an outside bar, and quite frankly, it’s often hotter than where I see wrestling. Have you ever seen Athena complain? Or Jessicka Havok? Or Christina Von Eeerie? Or Jazz or Serena Deeb or Portia Perez or Rachel Summerlyn or Jessica James? You don’t get to be impressed by wrestling in 100-degree weather a handful of times when there are wrestlers for whom its a lifestyle.
Do I think there is room for the “old guard” in WSU? Absolutely. I like Jana, Luscious Latasha, Brittney Savage, and with some closed-door discussion, even Alicia, and I hope to see them utilized in the future. I think Amy Lee is great on the mic (when the volume was working correctly) and would make a good mouthpiece and a commentator if she wanted to go down that road. And I think Cindy Rogers has done enough in this business she should be able to walk into any ring she wants to at any time she wants to. I liked WSU’s commitment to honor the women who had come before. I definitely feel a lot of the originals can contribute and already are.
Now I want to extend a challenge. Most major women’s promotions are either SHIMMER or SHIMMER lite. I want to see a legitimate alternative to SHIMMER. WSU is in a great spot to be that alternative. I want to see that alternative on a national level. My challenge to WSU or anybody else who wants to accept the challenge (hint, hint, AIW or Anarchy) is to have a product that is different than SHIMMER. To me the old WSU was that product. The question is now how do we maintain that upper level of women’s wrestling yet still differentiate ourselves from the SHIMMER product? I’m not really sure myself, but I am going to challenge someone to try.