Getting signed by WWE is the dream of most wrestlers and has become something of a nightmare for many of their fans.
With the healthy independent wrestling ecosystem, wrestlers are able to travel the globe putting on matches designed to show off everything that makes them unique. On the smaller stage, they’re able to connect with fans, take risks and make impressions.
However, when wrestlers are scooped up by WWE there’s no guarantee they’ll see the ring at any point, and when they do, they often feel like a watered down version of themselves.
NXT has provided a temporary period in a wrestler’s WWE career where they feel like something resembling their independent selves, but there’s one hour of TV time and the occasional TakeOver event, so opportunities are limited.
And should a wrestler make it to the main roster, there’s no telling when they’ll be on TV, what they’ll be allowed to do and how their talent will be utilized.
Because in many instances, the attributes that make these wrestlers popular in the first place are stripped away. Why can’t they make a ton of money, have the safety net of a corporate environment, *and* still perform to the best of their abilities? https://t.co/OFC70EFaHo
— Beyond Wrestling (@beyondwrestling) November 28, 2018
Some fans develop a sense of ownership of their favorite wrestlers, thinking the decisions that most benefit them also benefit the wrestler.
Ricochet was presented with the idea he “sold out” by going to WWE — where he has been a centerpiece of NXT — and had this response:
Just to let you know, I have been doing this 15+ years. I was successful in EVERY independent company I worked for all across the world.
So if me trying something new & show I can be successful in the biggest wrestling company in the world means I “sold out”, I’m ok with that. https://t.co/Dqit4g8c2X
— The One And Only! (@KingRicochet) November 26, 2018
To be disappointed you may not see your favorites do what they do so well on the independent stage is fine.
Will a NXT UK-ified WALTER be allowed to chop chests into hamburger meat, or will he be asked to take a little off the fastball? Will Matt Riddle be treated as a killer if he makes the main roster, or is his personality just too … Matt Riddle for Vince and Co. to take seriously? Has the WWE approach to UK talent damaged BritWres irreparably?
It’s fine to stress over the idea someone you’ve become a fan of may not be allowed to do the thing they do so well, as well. And there’s plenty not to like about WWE beyond just limitations placed on talent — you know, like their being in bed with an oppressive Saudi government.
Still, every person is entitled to make the decision they feel is best for their lives. The security, benefits and massive stage of WWE may outweigh their need to control every aspect of their artistic exploits.
Feel your feelings. Just don’t yell at the wrestlers on Twitter.
It’s Wednesday, let’s get out there and get after it.