Inside Wrestling/Wrestler Magazine Report [Vol 31, 2010]
Inside Wrestling/Wrestler Magazine Report
Volume 31, 2010
Displayed until February 2nd on select newsstands.
[Gone are the glory days of pro wrestling when magazines such as Pro Wrestling Illustrated, The Wrestler, and Inside Wrestling (among others) ruled supreme. The Internet has stolen their thunder for the most part and these publications, while still around, have lost a lot of steam. I am an advocate of all three, collecting back issues and subscribing, as I think they are great audience growing tools. What follows is a brief overview of a particular issue. Here’s hoping it will encourage you to get out there and purchase a copy of your own!]
Inside Wrestling’s Key Stories and Features
- Data Sheet: ODB
- Data Sheet: Jack Swagger
- Capsule Profile: John Morrisson
- What Happened To… Butcher Vachon
- Hot Wrestlemania Rumor: John Cena vs The Rock!
- What’s Ahead for Wrestling’s Top Stars in 2010?
- Hotseat: The Undertaker
The Wrestler Key Stories and Features
- Introducing… Shane Haste
- Spotlight On… Samoa Joe
- Q&A: Ivan Koloff
- Rey Mysterio Jr.: Why He is WWE’s Most Important Wrestler
- It’s Danielson vs McGuinness Again! This Time, However It’s Long Distance
- TNA World Champion A.J. Styles: The Untold Story of How Sting Saved His Career
- The Wrestling Analyst: Daniels
Although this is my first report on a magazine issue for the site, it may be a little out-of-order from future magazine reports. That disclaimer out of the way, my first reaction is one of happiness because High Voltage Wrestling Midwest, a promotion I do video work for as well as minimal booking duties, was in this issue’s Wrestler Ratings. It’s nice to see the promotion get solid exposure, and I hope I can develop that exposure into something positive for HVW.
I really enjoy the columns that cover indy wrestling, and this issue was no different. What I enjoyed most, however, was the question and answer feature with Ivan Koloff. I am a product of 1980’s wrestling, but truth be told my earliest recollections of pro wrestling come from about as early as 1983. I know I may have watched earlier wrestling products at around that time due to the sporadic nature of that era’s broadcast and home video technologies, but the earliest Ivan Koloff memory is the VHS release that Pro Wrestling Illustrated had out on the market featuring Ivan and protegé Nikita versus The Road Warriors (Hawk and Animal). I never really thought much about his World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF) Heavyweight Title victory over the legendary Bruno Sammartino or his subsequent loss of the belt to Pedro Morales. This Q&A feature really put his career in perspective for me, and made me feel like Ivan Koloff was one of the guys that came to terms with the end of his career and adapted positive habits (as well as becoming a Christian) that preserved his life and health. The life of a professional wrestler often ends before they make it to old age, but Ivan Koloff seems to have found his balance. As is often the case with us men, Koloff gave credit to his wife for help and support, too. I can definitely relate, although I am only 20 years of age! This feature was definitely worth a read, and I recommend doing so.
I never thought of myself as someone of Ric Flair’s caliber or nearly as famous as anyone who’s been involved in wrestling since pay-per-views came along. WWF and NWA wrestlers always appeared overseas, but pay-per-views changed everything. I highly respect the guys who have been stars over the past 20 years and true legends like Ric Flair, who has held the NWA, WWE, and WCW titles. I’m just honored to be recognized anymore.
I was not as thrilled with the Rey Mysterio Jr. feature, although I can certainly understand why it was in this month’s issue. One of strengths of pro wrestling magazines are their ability to walk a fine line between kayfabe and pleasing the smart wrestling fan. As a self-proclaimed “progressive” in pro wrestling, this article seemed to take the worst elements from both sides and work through rather than around them. Keep in mind, this is one humble individual’s opinion. If you pick this issue up, you may find this one of the more enjoyable articles.
Coming from a resident of the State of Missouri, let me tell you that kayfabe is NOT dead. Stories like the AJ Styles feature about how Sting saved his career are perfect for those looking to enhance their enjoyment of pro wrestling. My naive wish is that the top pro wrestling/sports entertainment companies would work more closely with the publications in order to do features like this that develop storylines. Of course, this is all wishful thinking. The story tells of Sting inviting AJ Styles to his home for a video retrospective of Sting’s career. Sting’s plan was to show the ups and downs of his life and how he never gave up… hoping all the while to teach AJ the importance of hard work and perseverance. I enjoyed reading it, and think many of you will to.
As an enhancement to Inside Wrestling/Wrestler’s Introducing… column, I will be offering additional information, videos, or photos of the featured individual. This month’s magazine introduced pro wrestling fans to Shane Haste.
Shane Haste in a September 12, 2009 match against popular California wrestler Scott Lost.
This Youtube video was made possible by the good folks at So Cal Pro Wrestling. Please be sure to go check them out and, of course, keep your eyes out for anything featuring Shane Haste!
I thought the Nigel McGuinness (Desmond Wolfe) vs Bryan Danielson feature was very well done. Written by Al Castle, this article is a perfect example of the type of work I would love doing in the professional wrestling industry. Well-written and researched thoroughly, my only desire after reading it is to see these two veteran internationally traveled independent wrestlers achieve great success. Maybe we’ll see them in a one-on-one showdown for TNA or WWE in the future, but for now the comparisons will be distanced by their new respective companies. Ring of Honor lost two great wrestlers, but as the article states, there is room now for a new crop of young passion-filled individuals to fill the void.
On the heels of the passing of legendary Lou Albano, this issue talks about his life and how he will be greatly missed. I agree fully, and wish their was a resurgence of managers the caliber of Captain Lou. Rest in peace, Captain.
In all honesty, I feel the Wrestler Rating’s have the most impact at the indy level. That said, here is an overview of the top individuals for each promotion in the very fine print on this page:
Drake Younger (Combat Zone Wrestling)
Ivan Koloff (Exodus Wrestling Alliance)
The Pharaoh (Ground Xero Wrestling)
Kahagas (High Voltage Wrestling Midwest)
Tim Storm (Mid-South Pro Wrestling)
Jason Blade (Northeast Wrestling)
Joe Rules (JWA-United Wrestling)
Fatal Franky Thomas (The School of Hard Knocks Wrestling) [Championship is vacant]
Ryan Davidson (Texas All-Star Wrestling)
Jeff Crowe (Ultimate Championship Wrestling)
Joshua La Rue (World Revolutions Entertainment)
The DBA (Xtreme Intense Championship Wrestling)
Right off the top of my head, only three names stand out on this list: Drake Younger, Ivan Koloff, and Kahagas. Younger, obviously the CZW Champ, recently made a trip to a now-defunct wrestling organization about seven hours away from my hometown. I very nearly made the trip to see him live, but found out after the fact that the event drew less than 30 individuals. That’s always unfortunate, because Younger is an exciting performer. It saddens me a bit that some of these young guys on the indy scene don’t have much drawing power. Even some of the TNA guys hitting the local scene can’t do much to boost attendance at these shows. I’m sure I’ll cover that topic later down the road.I talked about Koloff earlier, and it’s nice to see that he is at least somewhat active on the indy scene. I’m guessing that having him as champion is a short-term angle for Exodus Wrestling Alliance, although I could be wrong. Koloff stated in this issue’s Q&A session that he didn’t really stay active in wrestling due to old age and various other priorities.
Kahagas, on the other hand, is one of the most active pro wrestlers out there. As High Voltage Wrestling Midwest’s Heavyweight Champion, Kahagas gains the promotion a lot of prestige. He often competes in Florida, mainly for Coastal Championship Wrestling but also for Ring of Honor’s sister promotion Full Impact Pro. He’s a legitimate world traveled independent wrestler that stands poised to make bigger splashes across the country, too. Just before IWA Mid South closed it’s doors yet again, Kahagas earned a spot in the prestigious 2009 Ted Petty Invitational and a first round matchup with Roderick Strong. The guy is worth a look from anybody looking to book a new wrestler for their shows, for sure.As I continue researching some of these other names on the list for future reports, I encourage you to take the time to look up information on each of them. Remember guys, it’s not all about WWE and TNA!
Your Letters Spotlight:
As a big-time RAW fan, I would like to say that I feel Evan Bourne is being grossly under-used by WWE. Evan Bourne brings it all to the ring. He’s smart, fearless, and doesn’t cheat. He’s everything WWE could want in a wrestler, yet he’s only on RAW sporadically.If WWE signed more wrestlers like Evan Bourne, it wouldn’t need to rely on special guest hosts to get ratings because real wrestling fans would tune in to see Evan each week.
One very interesting feature on the Inside Wrestling side of the magazine talks about a rumor that has been red hot all over the wrestling world for a few months. Wrestlemania 26: The Rock vs John Cena! Brian Solomon put this article together in such a fashion that makes the reader really believe that this match will happen. With TNA making strides at actually competing with WWE over market share in 2010, it stands to reason that “The E” might get serious about putting together a real Wrestlemania-style main event. I for one was very underwhelmed by last year’s Wrestlemania. Hot Wrestlemania 26 Rumor! John Cena vs The Rock is the type of article that brings some excitement back into the pro wrestling equation!
Overall, this magazine delivers some great pro wrestling reading for serious and casual fans alike. There is a lot more to this issue, including a look at what’s in store for wrestler’s such as Tyler Black, Chris Jericho, and Mickie James in 2010 and a roundtable discussion about why Vince McMahon and WWE signed Bryan Danielson to a contract. Don’t miss out on your copy, available at newsstands until February 2, 2010!