Outta Control Wrestling, a group based in Arkansas, has come under fire lately for showcasing what many independent wrestlers and promoters say is soon to be the death knell for indie wrestling, untrained workers and sub-par promoters. "This is the worst wrestling I have ever seen" said one Mid-South promoter in response to watching a video of one of OCWs matches.
One match in particular, which is featured in this article, has received biting comments from wrestlers and fans alike. The match involves four men who seem to know little about how to work a match from not being able to lock-up properly to doing the same moves (flying cross-body in the corner), to botching the finish (attempted double suplex in which the two never get the guy up in the air and then they drop him). The four in the match do not know a wrestling hold, they do not hit the ropes correctly and there is no rhyme or reason to the match.
Independent wrestling has long operated under the stigma that the people participating are "play" wrestlers or "weekend warriors" who only wrestle a couple of times a month on the weekends. While there are many in the business who are not trained properly and who possibly have no business in the ring, there are a great number of workers on the indie scene who are top notch wrestlers and one "right place at the right time" event that would take them to the next level.
Those who are trained and know how to work are hampered by the activities of those who should have no part in the wrestling business. "I trained the right way and I have been busting my ass for 15 years and you have goofs like this who ruin my business" said one indie wrestler who asked for anonymity. "I would like to get into the ring with these idiots, all four of them, I would show them just what being a professional wrestler is all about" he continued.
The video includes running commentary that seems to be being played live in the arena and is difficult to understand due to a poor sound system. "Who does that? Who does commentary for the audience while the match is taking place? Ridiculous..." fan Kevin Hughes said after watching the video. "I have seen some crappy stuff but this, this is the absolute most awful thing I have ever watched. This was painful."
While Outta Control Wrestling is not the only bad promotion on the independent scene, it has to be in the top 10 of the worst. For every good indie promotion there are at least three that are bad and those that are bad seem to get more publicity than those who are good. That bad publicity makes it difficult for the good indie promotions and the boys who work for them to get the respect they are due and for them to convince fans the product they offer is as good as if not better (in some cases) than what fans see on TV (WWE/TNA).
"People see this crap or garbage wrestling and think that's all it is, garbage. It's hard to get people to support good wrestling when this is what they see" said a longtime indie promoter. "There has to be a way to get fans to stop supporting this crap wrestling but I don't know what it is."
Getting fans to stop supporting bad indie wrestling is almost an impossibility when a number of promotions believe drawing 30-35 people is a success. There are indie shows and promotions that draw 200-500 people consistently and who use talent that are experienced and properly trained but they are outnumbered by fly-by-night promoters who use cheap (untrained) labor and offer forgettable shows.
If you are a fan of professional wrestling help support the independent promotions by going to local shows. If the show you see has matches like what is presented in this article or wrestlers who have no idea how to work a match, then do not return for their next show. Find the promotion in your area where the promoter and the wrestlers know what they are doing, who know how to wrestle and put on a good show and support them.
As for OCW may the Lord have mercy on you for what you are doing to the professional wrestling business.
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