My views on Pro Wrestling from the East and West

Sunday, April 25, 2004

A response to Jim Ross...

I’ve got a big bone to pick with WWE and Jim Ross. Recently, Ross was the guest on wwe.com’s Byte This! radio show and was asked concerning Steve Austin possibly working in Japan. In his reply, JR included the following uncalled for remark: “They’re desperate. Japanese wrestling is sucking pond water.”

EXCUSE ME?!? ‘Sucking pond water’?!? This from a guy who works for a wrestling company that considers humping a corpse good TV? A company that has some of the best wrestling talent in America, but can’t find any programs for them, cause they keep giving and recycling stories to the established stars and give goofy gimmicks to workers that don’t need them? It really infuriates me that someone as knowledgeable in the business as JR would take such a pot shot at a market that’s not even in direct competition with WWE.

JR’s paranoia is based on the breaking news that New Japan Pro Wrestling and Dream Stage Entertainment were both interested in acquiring Austin to work some shows for them, possibly wrestling against Goldberg for DSE’s HUSTLE pay per views in Japan. That’s right, Austin’s possible in ring return might NOT be in a WWE ring! Goldberg already has a contract with DSE and even worked a pay per view for them while under his WWE contract.

How the Hell JR can justify his comments is beyond me since WWE isn’t doing any better. If anyone is desperate, it’s WWE as they scramble every week for instant ratings boosts and cheap publicity stunts that won’t matter in the long run.

And if puroresu is sucking pond water, it must taste pretty sweet to guys like D-Lo Brown, Jamal, Mike ‘The Gladiator’ Awesome, Justin Credible, Bull Buchanan, Brian ‘Spanky’ Kendrick, and others who have had less than stellar careers in WWE, but have found a place overseas where they can work regularly, and by that I mean they actually get to WORK, and not just be fodder or not used at all.

D-Lo, Jamal, Buchanan & Credible are currently part of the top heel faction in All Japan Pro Wrestling, lead by TAKA Michinoku, another ex-WWE talent! And Jamal is even being worked into a major main event push against Japan’s top foreign talent, Bob Sapp! Sounds a lot better than the crappy gimmick his former partner Rosey is stuck with isn’t it? Drop me an email if any you don’t know who Bob Sapp is.

Weeks after leaving WWE, Spanky became NWA Junior Tag Team champions with TNA star Low Ki in Zero-One, and works there on a regular basis. And Nathan Jones is also scheduled to make his return there soon as he recently signed a contract with K1.

Heck, Ultimo Dragon even got fed up of not having anything to do every week on SmackDown that he’s taken a ‘break’ from his WWE contract to go back to Japan, and he’s already been signed on to work New Japan’s NEXESS Tokyo Dome show on 5/3/04 in a huge six-man inter-promotional match! Even bigger news is that the freshly released Sean O’Haire is scheduled to work that very same show, but in the SEMI MAIN EVENT slot versus New Japan’s top young gun and U-30 Champion, Hiroshi Tanahashi!

Another thing about Japanese promotions is that they’re not so high on themselves that they can welcome talent exchanges with each other so that their ‘dream matches’ actually come true and really mean something. The results of such matches also aren’t so obvious that just because you work for another company, doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll win or lose when you step into the ring of your rival company. Unlike WWE who consider themselves the ONLY promotion in North America, and that other promotions don’t exist except for companies they’ve already buried (WCW, ECW). And the results of any dream matches they can come up with in this day and age are just too obvious.

So Jim Ross, before you start to criticize where Austin chooses to go, you best worry about the direction your own company is headed for. And again, if Japanese wrestling is sucking pond water, I’d rather drink that any day over the sewage water WWE is spiking its talent and fans with.

Eric Extreme – Proud Malaysian Puroresu supporter


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