by Steve Soeffner
The final bell rang. I could do not believe that the Deadman had lost to the two trick pony of the Shield known ad Roman Reigns.
To make matters even worse Mark Calloway broke character, placed his gear in the ring, and hugged his wife. My childhood wrestling hero had called it quits. He did not go out on a high note and the best characters in WWE history was shattered. He would be brought out again for the uber rich money in Saudi Arabia, but it would never be the same.
I just sat there very frustrated and did not care about the rest of the card of Wrestlemania 33. The following couple weeks I tuned into Raw and Smackdown to see what new story-lines that creative was going to roll out for the following year, only to be disappointed. Mid card jobbers like Jinder Mahal were holding the World Championship and it started to become very clear that both of these programs were not the same the Attitude Era I grew up on.
For decades the WWE had told their fans subliminally that anything outside the WWE was garbage and not worth your time. I just felt that there was some sort of programming out there that would be on the same wave length that I could call home till McMahon machine could sort itself out. I let my fingers do the walking and kept stumbling across names like Kenny Omega, Bullet Club, and the Young Bucks.
Everyone on social media was talking about an event called Wrestle Kingdom and the Main event of Kenny Omega vs. Kazuchika Okada. I was familiar with the Meltzer star rating system, but I had never seen a single given 6 stars!
I sat down and watched the match in its entirety. It was over 45 minutes of pure action and never gave up till the final bell. Being a WWE fan I had never seen two athletes perform strong style with such intensity. Usually the top talent could go for stints of 5 to ten minutes and need a break. This would come in form of interference or slamming someone through the Spanish announcer table.
The more I started to watch, I really digged that the wrestling was done in the ring and there was hardly any promos. It was boring to watch 3 or 2 hour programs that only feature maybe 45 minutes of actual wrestling. These were usually cut in the back or on social media like YouTube or Twitter. Plus the wrestlers were engaging their fans or critics. Tama Tonga is a master of roasting haters and I would suggest following him on twitter.
I gravitated towards following members of the bullet club. This a group consisting of mostly gaijin or foreign wrestlers. They were heels and attacked very similar to the NWO. Unapologetic and they were the heels you loved and would cheer for all the time. My itch for adult programming and for the Attitude Era was met.
While I was watching some promos I came across Being The Elite. It was great to follow the journey of members of the Bullet Club factions and see them perform some funny skits. It allowed them to share who they are as individuals and step up future story-lines that would pay off in the ring or in the show.
I would highly recommend watching NJPW, ROH, and AEW in future.
This is just the start of my series of blogs on Heel Turn Wrestling.
Thank you for reading this first instalment and hope to share more funny insights about wrestling soon. Heel Turn have given me creative freedom with future podcast and Facebook LIVE episodes, so you might catch me on your iPad, iPhone and anything else with a screen on it soon.
Steve's social tags...he is located in Los Angles, California