Since the decline of the Attitude Era, WWE, the largest wrestling promotion, has undergone rapid change. From a change in wrestlers and the presentation, to the audience themselves. I’ve written on numerous occasions about pay-per-views, such as this past weekend’s Wrestlemania and NXT TakeOver. Today, I’d like to chat about why pro wrestling is actually a geek topic. Hopefully, this’ll explain why you see so many wrestlers at Comic Cons!
We have seen a change in a lot of the core dynamics of pro wrestling as a whole. The industry was ‘exposed’ quite a long time ago, which has led to a lot of people screaming “fake!” at them. This is definitely the wrong term, as otherwise you would have to make the argument of not watching anything fictional. Indeed, pro wrestling is far from fake; it’s very real, but it’s done purely for entertainment.
Now that the industry have let people in on the secret, they have new ways to get attention. From Twitter feuds between wrestlers, to having and appearing on their own YouTube channels, wrestlers are doing everything they can to be noticed, to reach to a new audience and to push the industry further than ever. Here are three pro wrestling channels that you should look out for:
Wrestlers With YouTube Channels
The biggest one first, UpUpDownDown is a video game YouTube channel led by pro wrestler Xavier Woods. Known as Austin Creed, he’s a huge personality who is genuinely a breath of fresh air to watch. Practically always smiling, a huge fan of video games both old and new, he grabs a bunch of wrestlers to play some video games with him. He’s also held tournaments and more on his channel.
During the time of UpUpDownDown’s rise to prominence, it won a Guinness World Record for most subscribed celebrity YouTube channel at 1.6 million users (at the time of the record). But WWE have of course seen that Austin ran these videos – And they’re completely on board with it. They have held a League of Legends tournament, which pulled in prominent figures within the League of Legends YouTube/Twitch community. This was advertised by the WWE.
All in all, Austin represents all of the gamers in the locker room – and there are a lot of them. There have even been reluctant gamers come along and enjoy themselves. With the WWE on his side, there’s no doubt this channel is worth watching. I’m waiting for Vince McMahon himself to show up on the channel.
This one isn’t a WWE one, but it’s definitely worth bringing up in the same conversation as UpUpDownDown. This series is run by a wrestling stable called The Elite, which prominently features figures like The Young Bucks, who are considered one of the best tag teams on the planet right now. They are inventive and they’re reliable, having worked for New Japan Pro Wrestling for a while, before leaving to set up a brand new promotion with a former WWE wrestler (and later member of The Elite), Cody Rhodes.
Being The Elite is effectively a series of skits, which pokes fun at the industry as a whole. There have been numerous times they’ve taken shots at WWE wrestlers, who respond. One of the greatest rivalries spawned from Being The Elite was with a tag team called The Revival, where both The Young Bucks and The Revival were using a hashtag “#FTR”, which meant different things to each team.
Great comedy fun, with a bit of insight to the industry.
Long-time pro wrestler, Sheamus, has done mostly everything within the company. An all-round good guy, with a lot of experience, the Celtic Warrior has been working on his own YouTube channel. He reaches out to wrestlers, as well as other fitness YouTubers, showing off their workouts. Some of the workouts include the current Universal Champion’s, Seth Rollins, where Sheamus and his tag team partner, Cesaro, have to take on Seth and his training partner in Seth’s Crossfit routine.
This one might not be the most geeky of all, but it’s genuinely interesting to watch. If you’ve ever wondered how people get into the shapes they’re in and how they maintain their physiques, then this is the one for you. Men and women are showcased, as well as showing how much effort goes into each of their workouts. The quality of production is really good on this channel, so even if you’re only passively interested, you should check it out.
I’m calling it Twitter feuds, but actually this is about all of social media. Just about every pro wrestler start life as a form of independent contractor, when they get signed to a promotion of some kind. As such, these men and women have to get proficient with social media these days. From Tweeting out their thoughts, to actually coming up with something new for their storylines, wrestlers of all kinds need to get involved with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram – You name it.
For a weirder social media account, check out John Cena’s Instagram page. It’s… Unique!
Wrestling is all about the numbers, which is great for those into stats. The industry has been going strong for a long time now, meaning they have some crazy figures. For instance, did you know the longest reigning wrestler of the “modern era” was a Brit by the name of Pete Dunne? I mentioned his streak ended at NXT TakeOver: New York last Sunday in my article covering the event. 685 days as a champion, in this day and age, is a lifetime – and it never felt like a stale run. This is just one of many stats that are created, changed and improved on over the years.
From the number of times a title has changed hands, to the length of time a wrestler has been with a title, the number of wins they’ve had in a row (or losses), there are stats to be found everywhere. If numbers are your thing, then when you get past the action, there are numbers everywhere in pro wrestling.
I’m not telling you to drop everything you’re doing and start watching wrestling. Instead, I hope today’s article gives you a bit of insight to the men and women behind the industry. Hopefully the next time you’re tempted to scream “fake!” at a wrestler, you’ll instead have a bit of appreciation for who they are. But perhaps you were already a wrestling fan and this has given you some new information? If you enjoyed this article, make sure to share it!