In June 2015, Wednesday nights have essentially become the night of Wrestling for hardcore fans of the art form. If you have a subscription to the WWE Network or Hulu Plus, you get NXT which, in my opinion, is the best show the WWE currently produces. If you have access to the El Rey Network, you can watch Lucha Underground which is undoubtedly the most unique Wrestling show out there at the moment. Finally, if you get Destination America, you can watch both ROH and TNA, both of which just started airing on Wednesday nights.
I don’t know how long this arrangement will last, but it is amazing to see five hours of wrestling content being provided by four different sources and all on one night. Thus far, we’ve had one night of it, and so far it is enjoyable to get so many different wrestling experiences back to back.
It can be easy to get burned out on WWE when you consider their high volume of weekly content. Between 3 hour Raws every Monday, two hour Smackdowns every Thursday, and all of it building to 3 hour PPV events that seem to happen every other week now, the over-saturation of the brand becomes a major issue. After a while, all of that content starts to look the same and it easy to get apathetic to what goes on, especially when that high volume of content all starts to merge together and look the same.
I am not going out of my way to criticize the WWE. Like I said earlier, I love NXT. However, all of that content can be tiresome to watch every single week and I am sure it is cumbersome for the producers & writers to fill that content week in and week out. Getting all those different products on Wednesday night is actually a breath of fresh air and provides different experiences, different characters, different feuds, and different presentations for the art form of professional wrestling.
After the first Wednesday, I can truthfully say that it was an enjoyable experience. NXT & Lucha Underground are still my favorite Wrestling programs out there. NXT this week did a great job of setting the stage for big things down the road and we have a big match set for July 4th as Kevin Owens will be defending his NXT Championship against Finn Balor in Tokyo, Japan. As for Lucha Underground, their cinematic presentation and comic book style storytelling continues to be the main defining element that sets the show apart from everything else out there. It also helps when they can put on great matches like the submission match between Sexy Star and Pentagon Jr.
ROH’s first show on Destination America was not a bad show, but I am not sure how well it would do at grabbing first time viewers. It felt like we were coming in the middle of the story rather than an introduction to the brand for this new journey they are embarking on. Obviously, this show was taped before the TV deal with DA was finalized, so they just aired a show they’ve had in the can for weeks (and already aired in local markets). There are elements to the presentation that work well and the action is solid. Once Best in the World 2015 takes place and the next run of shows is taped, we will probably start seeing changes in how the episodes are presented. I really like the inclusion of NJPW stars as that gives them plenty of great talents to cycle into the show once in a while. Also, the feud between ROH World Champion Jay Briscoe & ROH TV Champion Jay Lethal is an interesting main event for their next big show.
Much has been said about TNA in the last few weeks with much speculation on how much longer they are going to last on Destination America. The announcement that Ring of Honor would be their lead in show on Wednesday nights came as a shock and has led many to believe that TNA’s time is just about up. For right now, it is part of the Wrestling line up on Wednesday nights. What did I think of this week’s show? Well, there are definitely problems that go hand in hand with TNA these days, but there is enjoyable stuff as well. ECIII continues to be a diamond in the rough for TNA (His barbershop quintet entrance was fantastic!). The storyline throughout the night with Rockstar Spud was actually interesting and well performed on his end, and the best of five series between The Wolves & The Dirty Heels is at least yielding good matches.
Right now, the Wednesday Wrestling Marathon is a nice break from the monotony that is the high volume of content of the main WWE programming. If you are looking for something different to satisfy your wrestling appetite, there are plenty of options for you if you know where to look.