Jabroni Journal: Two Reasons Why The WWE Is Currently Blowing My Mind

aka Wrestling Is So Cool In 2016.

June 23, 2016

It's a crazy time to be a wrestling fan. As a guy who grew up during the "Monday Night Wars" era that pitted Monday Night Raw vs. WCW Monday Nitro week after week in a fight to the death, for years I swore we would never see such an exciting time in professional wrestling. And for quite some time, that was true. Depressingly true. 

But it's my strong opinion that RIGHT NOW, we are experiencing a true golden age of professional wrestling. It's not just in WWE either. A casual fan with a cable box now has weekly access to watch Ring Of Honor, New Japan Pro Wrestling, TNA Impact, WWE Raw and Smackdown and Lucha Underground. Then consider the countless amount of hours one could spend on a YouTube vortex searching for indy wrestling worldwide, all the subscription services and local regional independent promotions popping up. 

I would like to take a closer look, though, at exactly why WWE has been blowing my nerd mind over the past year or so. Here's two major reasons why...

1. Samoa Joe and A.J. Styles in WWE 

When Samoa Joe walked out on NXT Takeover last Summer, my jaw dropped. This was a long time TNA and Ring Of Honor superstar that was often looked at as one of the biggest badasses in the world of wrestling, but never seemed to be a likely pick for a WWE run. And here he was on WWE TV with a T-shirt that said, "Samoa Joe." Not only did they bring him in with the acknowledgement of being a former world champ, but they allowed him to use his name, not some contrived monikor like "Joey Samoey" or "Just Joe," like some internet pundits predicted. This opened the door wide open for WWE to bring in AJ Styles. AJ was the John Cena of TNA - the cornerstone of the company. After leaving the company, he went on a huge run in New Japan Pro Wrestling and Ring Of Honor, doing some of his best work in his career ! Samoa Joe doing well in NXT allowed the WWE to know that it was a smart idea to bring AJ Styles straight up to the main roster, put him against main eventers and also, allow him to use his own name, trademark and entire image. This is huge!

2. The Cruiserweight Classic 

Earlier today, the WWE began filming the Cruiserweight Classic tournament, a series of matches that will be shown on the WWE Network this summer. This is a never before seen thing for WWE, as they have hand picked some of the finest independent wrestlers from across the globe to compete and be crowned as the top cruiserweight wrestler. In past years, WWE seemed to try to ignore what was going on outside the realm of the "WWE Universe," but with NXT stars like Shinsuke Nakamura, Finn Balor, Asuka and Hideo Itami drawing a sizeable amount of interest, it's obvious there is a fanbase that is dying to see a more, dare I say, "indy-riffic" presentation. This is the perfect platform for WWE to showcase new talent to the casual WWE fans and cater to the diehard internet wrestling addicts. I personally can't wait for the tournament to start on July 13th. The two top stars I'm excited to see wrestle in a WWE ring are former New Japan high flyer Kota Ibushi and British grappler Zack Sabre Jr.