Mystery Wrestling Theatre is one man’s somersault plancha into the thousands of hours of wrestling video available online. From full PPVs to individual matches, let’s celebrate the good, the bad, and the weird in pro wrestling.
Early 90s WCW is a treasure trove of some truly great matches, some completely daft gimmicks, and some very odd half-baked concepts. Nothing sums up the latter two like the Chamber of Horrors match from Halloween Havoc 1991. A complete clusterfuck that is an absolute must-see for anyone with a WWE Network subscription.
Wrestling merchandise can be weird, like really weird. Spotted on eBay by the person who runs the @WCWworldwide Twitter account, this (apparently rare) Sting hat is one of the oddest pieces of merch I’ve ever seen. It’s certainly the first latex hat of a facepainted wrestler riding a rocket ship I’ve ever seen.
Cool WWF ad by Ocean, via the brilliant oldgamemags.tumblr.com.
Very recently, I’ve been battering into Dark Souls. It’s a gem of a game and I get a real feeling of satisfaction from every little piece of progress I make. But when I switch it off and go to bed the feeling soon wanes – I haven’t resolved anything, merely distracted myself til it was bedtime. I fall asleep, the gnawing at the back of my mind grows a little.
I feel like a prick for writing this, honestly it’s so conflicting. But if someone else reads this and identifies, then job done. I feel conflicted because my issues aren’t any worse than anyone else’s – there’s no great tragedy in my life and your problems are probably worse than mine. Again, it’s not about my problems. However, for too long I’ve just avoided confronting certain things, choosing instead to escape from them. After time, this has built up straw by straw on the camel’s back. Recently, I lay down on my bed with a shooting pain in my chest – at the same time, pins and needles danced down my arm.
The Money in the Bank briefcase always guarantees an exciting time for WWE fans. Whether it’s speculating who will climb that ladder and haul the briefcase down at the event itself, to anticipating just what moment it will be cashed in and a new champion potentially crowned – and this year’s event promises even more than the usual excitement with the uncertainty around the WWE title.
But before Sunday’s event, lets take a look at the MITB matches of the past. Like any annual wrestling event that’s been around a while, the Money in the Bank provides lots of stats to dive into. So I created a Gdoc, dropped in a pile of data, and started sifting through it. Here’s Wrestling with Numbers – MITB edition. Sources of information and a Gdoc with raw data can be found at the bottom of the article.
When I was young I went to a good few independent British wrestling events with my dad and younger brother in tow. The product on offer was a mishmash of past-it heavyweights, wafer-thin lightweights and at least four WWF “tribute” acts (which always had a Kane and a Doink in there). Simply put, the standard was terrible.
Fast forward to 2014 and British wrestling is thriving. Top international stars are joined by the best young talent from these shores to put on cards that rival any independent wrestling show anywhere else in the world. There’s not a single sniff of hyperbole in that last sentence, just take a look at Revolution Pro Wrestling for instance.
Everyone has that one safe wee space to retreat into. Be it a go-to book, game, film or TV show. It’s always there when you feel you need it, and you always get that familiar feeling of comfort from it. It’s just familiar and nice to dive into it and switch off from the world. For me, it’s wrestling. I can watch it any day, in any mood, and just get lost in it for a while.
It’s an industry that has branched into so many different flavours now, that the old adage there’s something for everyone really does rings true. There’s the mainstream WWE, which merges serious athleticism, comedy, drama and star power into its own unique product (male soap opera is a term the company has thrown around a lot in the past). I’d imagine that nearly every wrestling fan got their first fix of the squared circle from WWE/WWF.
Now though, you can tumble down the wrestling rabbit hole via YouTube and find a fantastic amount of different interpretations of the ‘sport’. From the serious to the surreal, I find myself dipping into parts of every kind – I’m like a kid in a sweet shop, except they’re serving up suplexes rather than sugar. I’m going to be writing about some of my favourite companies and feuds (sometimes just a little bit, other times I’ll write a lot), first up is Japan’s premier promotion: New Japan Pro Wrestling.