The Problem With #RAWlternative

RAWlternativeThe WWE’s Royal Rumble will be held this Sunday, January 25th. That means we’re officially on the Road To WrestlMania 31 and the blog here tends to take on a professional wrestling tone for a couple of months. Many fans have been less than happy (for good reason) with the product that the WWE has been producing in recent months. Some have even created an alternative to RAW known as #RAWlternative. And even though they’ve got themselves a snappy hashtag, I’m not quite sure they’ve accomplished what they’ve set out to do.

I first learned of #RAWlternative on Twitter from my good friends the FTW Podcast (@ftwpodcast).  FTW is a weekly WWE & TNA discussion that looks at the wrestling world in “all its laughable glory”.  They too have been turned off by recent WWE programming and are leaning towards “wrestling hipsters” these days, but they’re the best wrestling podcast out there so I cut them some slack 😉

Anyhow… RAWlternative is an event put on Beyond Wrestling and Inter Species Wrestling.  The description from the Facebook event:

“The purpose of #RAWlternative isn’t to get fans to stop watching WWE. The purpose of #RAWlternative is to get the internet wrestling community to band together for one night to raise awareness for the mainstream alternatives. If you are unhappy with what you see on your TV every Monday night, please don’t stop supporting professional wrestling. Tune in to #RAWlternative on 1/19/15 and thrust yourself head first into the indie scene. We are teaming with a dozen of the most prominent independent wrestling promotions in North America to broadcast some of the best matches of 2014 to a worldwide audience.” -courtesy of

The matches announced for the event are:

  • Young Bucks vs. Super Smash Bros courtesy of Smash Wrestling (Twitter: @smashwrestling)
  • Ricochet vs. Josh Alexander courtesy of Alpha-1 Wrestling (Twitter: @A1Wrestling)
  • Chris Hero vs. Colin Delaney courtesy of 2CW: Squared Circle Wrestling (Twitter: @2CW)
  • Johnny Gargano vs. Ethan Page courtesy of Absolute Intense Wrestling (Twitter: @aiwrestling)
  • Takaaki Watanabe vs. Andy Dalton courtesy of Inspire Pro (Twitter: @InspireProWres)
  • Ninjas With Altitude vs. Food Fighters courtesy of Inter Species Wrestling (Twitter: @ISDub)
  • Eddie Kingston vs. Keith Walker courtesy of Aaw Pro (Twitter: @AAWPro)
  • Kevin Steen vs. Mike Bailey courtesy of C*4 (Twitter: @C4Wrestling)
  • Brian Kendrick vs. Dark Sheik courtesy of Hoodslam (Twitter: @HOODSLAM)
  • Rich Swann & AR Fox vs. Christian Rose & Matt Cage courtesy of DREAMWAVE Wrestling (Twitter: @DWWrestling)
  • Kyle O’Reilly vs. Gary Jay courtesy of Saint Louis Anarchy (Twitter: @stlanarchy)
  • Athena vs. Mia Yim courtesy of Girls Night Out
  • Plus a previously unreleased match from Beyond Wrestling (Twitter: @beyondwrestling)

Supercard Vs. Weekly Show

Basically what we’ve got here is a supercard from several wrestling organizations being compared to a weekly episodic television program.  Is it an alternative to RAW?  It sure sure. Its something you could spend time wathing instead of RAW.  But then again so are the Cavs, reruns of Friends or porn.

The above statement says that the goal of RAWlternative isn’t to get folks to stop watching WWE.  Actually, that’s exatctly what the goal is. That’s the definition of an alternative. And that’s 100% fine. I’ve got no issue with folks not supporting WWE (or TNA or any other promotion) if they’re not happy with the programming. And let’s face it, there’s lots to not be happy with in the WWE Universe these days:

  • There’s WAY too much programming. 3 hour RAWs suck the life out of you.
  • The WWE Champion (aside from the past couple of weeks) has been absent since SummerSlam.
  • Dean Ambrose has been on an epic losing streak against holograms and television monitors.
  • Emma looks like a retarded pengin walking to the ring.
  • The Big Show still has a job.
  • Etc.

But this post isn’t about WWE necessarily. My issue is that RAWlternative is being presented as an alternative that’s “better” than what WWE has to offer.  And why wouldn’t it be better?  What they’ve done is cherry picked great matches from the past year and put together a great card.

And while 2014 wasn’t the best year in the history of RAW, I guarantee that if I took the time to go back and weed through them all, I could build a damn good supercard of my own out of RAW matches.

Main Stream Wrestling Vs. Indie Wrestling

I’ll be honest… I’m not a huge indie wrestling fan these days. It’s not because there isn’t great stuff out there. There obviously is. I only have so many hours in my week to devote to wrestling and I tend to stay with WWE and TNA (before they went to a channel I don’t get). That’s not to say that I’m a WWE mark and hate indie wrestling. That’s far from the truth. But I get REALLY sick of people bashing on the WWE and TNA at every single turn.  I’ll agree with the folks from RAWlternative on one thing.  If you don’t like what you’re watching you should turn the damn channel. But please… stop bitching. Just because I watch and for the most part enjoy WWE and TNA doesn’t make me any less of a wrestling fan than someone who wathces Lucha Underground, New Japan, Ring of Honor or numerous other feds that have 3 letters strung together.

I’m rambling now so I’ll close up with this thought. Watch what you like. Don’t look down on other wrestling fans for watching something other than what you watch. I didn’t tune into RAWlternative tonight and I probably won’t. It’s not because it’s wasn’t a good show… I’m sure it was. I was spending my time watching a pretty damned entertaining episode of RAW.

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