There Is No Competition for the WWE, Only Competition for Second Place

Everyone wants someone to challenge WWE, but they dwarf their competition, even the red hot New Japan.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Not sure when Waypoint embraced wrestling but I am very much about it. Hope it expands into more critical pieces on the art/business. There is so much to explore besides WWE, and even NJPW who gets painted so often as the “place for great wrestling action” that it has its own number of pieces on the subject. Like seeing people I’ve interacted with for years like Harrington and Thurston involved as sources.

new japan is a really great source of better content on a similar scale but in terms of accessibility and actually marketing to an english-speaking audience, the WWE has what feels like an unbelievable monopoly. the last thing i saw that seemed like it could start to put pressure on them is something like lucha libre AAA. streaming on twitch (for free!!!), similar showmanship in terms of story and delivery but way better use of talent and understanding what fans want to see.

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No mention of Lucha Underground here so I guess it’s not really all that big? Or is it a different type of thing than WWE/NJPW? I want to check it out soon.

disclaimer: I watched WWE for like a month when I was 13 so I know next to nothing about anything lol

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On that note, is there any primer for people who’d wanna get into the WWE?

i mean… i don’t think i can in good faith recommend WWE to anyone right now. you’d be better off searching up older clips on youtube and dailymotion and going from there

It gets 100K-ish for each episode so it isn’t terribly small but smaller than a WWE, NJPW, GFW, ect. Easily accessible because of Netflix so definitely worth at least trying.

The WWE Network gives you a free month, so just hit that up and watch probably Battlegrounds (normally I’d say ‘the latest PPV’ but that’s Summerslam and that was like 8 hours of fucking nothing) and then hit up Takeover Brooklyn III and maybe a few episodes of NXT. There’s honestly no real reason to watch main roster week-to-week, and even NXT is in a rut these days.

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LU is weird. It’s like a standard wrestling promotion in one sense: people wrestle, it has tournaments, champions, inter-wrestler story lines. On the other hand, it’s very much a show produced by Robert Rodriguez, with its “gritty telenovela” presentation and out there plot/character developments. While the show itself never had a huge fanbase that would compare to NJPW or ROH or even TNA, its following is very dedicated due to the show’s quality of matches and its willingness to embrace campy sensibility. It has a ton of flaws (e.g. intergender matches are only occasionally good; it sometimes paints itself as progressive but often ends up being as bad in that regard as WWE; the third season is noticeably weaker than the first two), but what the show does well made me tell everyone I know to check it out. Especially since it’s now on Netflix, there’s little harm in checking out a few episodes to see if you’ll like it!

I may be the biggest Lucha Underground evangelist on here. Like people have already said, it feels like a fun weird experiment that feels genuinely amazing at times. It does try to push itself as a very progressive promotion while still falling for some of the same old sexism in wrestling problems we have seen before. I personally think most of the intergender matches have been really good but thats just a personal opinion.

Kind of like how ECW at the time was a niche thing with a passionate audience, I feel Lucha Underground is a similar thing. It’s not a traditional wrestling promotion & that in it of itself is not for everyone. Also it’s relationship with AAA and the politics of that company rub some people the wrong way.

All that said, no other promotion has a fiewd involving a former best friends a time traveler from the future & a literal dragon.

I personally think most of the intergender matches have been really good but thats just a personal opinion.

While I have issues with how these matches are often presented (especially with Ivelisse early on and currently with Taya), I still think about Io Shirai’s Canadian Destroyer against Pentagon most days.

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I guess the fact that, Sexy Star, Taya & Ivelisse seem to be pushed as legit competitors who can & do go toe to toe with the likes of all the top guys like Pentagon, Cage, Mundo & Mil Muertes speaks more to me (which to be fair should be taken with a grain of salt since I’m not a woman). Trying to come up with a counter argument to peoples concerns actually made me have to acknowledge a lot of the things I actually don’t like about how the women are treated. The way Vampiro & Striker talk about the women is often uncomfortable, the way some of the male wrestlers seem dismissive or “comedically reluctant” of the women competitors (although they usually put that aside), everything about Marty the Moth, Catrina’s kiss of death even if it was her idea to do it, Sexy Stars title being a crime, Mariposa just being buried constantly. So I guess I have more issues with how the women are treated than I thought but I also think that if I were to show someone my top 10 LU matches about half of them would probably be intergender matches.

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Brief mention, but it’s in there!

Lucha Underground was going to revolutionize the way pro wrestling is filmed and experienced with its action show framing, at least forcing WWE to do something different with its aesthetics. Through all of those ebbs and flows, WWE barely felt a dent in its business.

vampiro + stryker are probably my least favourite thing about lucha underground bc holy shit i swear half of their commentary is “i have noticed, that ladies, have boob,”