It’s okay to be a wrestling fan. I know it’s not often to hear such a thing, but it is true. It is okay being a fan of professional wrestling, no matter the whats, wheres, or hows.
If you live here in the United States we’ve been filled for years with this ideas that Vince McMahon’s WWE (or WWF if you are older) was the be all/end all of Pro wrestling and if you watch their shows and aren’t entertained and enjoyed, then you aren’t a wrestling fan and nothing else matters. Well, the WWE put on a really bad show and you know what, IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT. After watching for nearly 30 years I can tell when the WWE is disconnected from their audience and that the blame lays with everyone else and not themselves. But there is plenty of other things out there beyond the WWE scope. So if the WWE isn’t doing it for you right now, there is plenty out there for you to still enjoy yourself and have a good time. So here are some of the best WWE alternatives out there!
Wrestling from Japan. New Japan Pro Wrestling has been around since 1972 but it’s been in recent years they have elevated themselves. The company has had more of an emphasis on in-ring action and a harder hitting style to show us fans that these guys are really going through things us normal mortals can live through, instead of the WWE of off-screen but televised skits, posing and image being the main deal. Although they do support the NJPW World streaming service, those without a lot to plunk down have a lot to enjoy. NJPW puts on a weekly show on AXS TV that is carried online as well, and Youtube and other media sites are filled with their events. The awesome thing is, NJPW is with it and put stuff on Social Media for free with their “Young Lions” matches that feature their trainees and the experienced wrestlers putting on spirited contests. It’s not for everyone, but it is still a good show.
Wrestling with a decided English twist. Based out of England this group started as What Culture Pro Wrestling, the group based on the online video site with a visible crew hosting or writing their content. As time went on there was a split as many of the crew members went on to form Cultaholic, while the What Culture Wrestling group changed their name to Defiant Wrestling and started their own deal, and the What Culture website itself got new people to write and host their videos. Through personal, name, and image changes these shows have shown to be really good! They have their own stars and champions, along with bringing in other “known” names from around the world. Their major shows are shown for live crowds and their “On Demand” Service, but they have been putting on the “Free To Youtube” show for quite a long time as well.
Lucha Libre is the style of Wrestling out of Mexico and AAA has been the best at it since the early 90s. Not the only or even the oldest, but AAA likes to run things more like an American wrestling company instead if a traditional Mexican one with a lot to explain for us in the States. For American fans, they show a lot on the Twitch gaming channel, including live shows. They show their weekly shows on Youtube with some delay and while it may not be the most up to date videos, they are full of a lot of action the WWE is missing. They also sponsor the Lucha Underground show as part of an English speaking expansion that can be checked out on top of their main shows.
Just Being Online!
As a fan, you don’t need a unifying brand. Sites like Youtube and Dailymotion can turn into Wikipedia in that if you find something, you can allow yourself to be lead down a rabbit hole of related content. If you are looking for a Wrestler, you will find something, if you are looking for a company, you will find something. Just find a site and start. It doesn’t matter who or what you start with, you will probably find something to entertain you and I for one encourage it!