The always entertaining (if partially unreliable) Bruce Prichard 'Something To Wrestle' podcast recently covered the highs and sighs of December 2001 pay-per-view Vengeance in tribute to Chris Jericho's Wrestle Kingdom 12 battle with Kenny Omega.
Far more revealing that any particular insights on 'Y2J' defying the odds and becoming the first Undisputed Champion though were the notes on the company and industry at the time in the wake of WCW's real-life and kayfabe collapse that year.
Like numerous observers have suggested since Vince McMahon monopolised the game in 2001, right-hand-man Prichard shared the belief that a lack of cogent competition extinguished the creative fire burning brightest within the Chairman, even to the extent that crushing the Atlanta brand within his own organisation was a necessary evil.
Not since then has McMahon faced legitimate opposition to his vision of Sports Entertainment, and he's admirably galvanised the brand leadership status in the process. However, a noted paradigm shift after TNA's abject failure to step to WWE in early-2010 saw the grass roots sprout into something truly beautiful.
The independent scene became a feasible avenue of employment for countless performers outside the WWE bubble, whilst New Japan Pro Wrestling emerged from their own wilderness off the back of transcendent displays from Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kazuchika Okada and others.
2017 in wrestling set innumerable new precedents, but McMahon and WWE just about held firm as the industry standard. Might 2018 finally be the year the facade takes its first major hit in over 20 years?
Square eyes on a square head, trained almost exclusively to Pro Wrestling, Sunderland AFC & Paul Rudd films. Responsible for 'Shocking Plans You Won't Believe Actually Happened', some of the words in our amazing Wrestling bookazines (both available at shop.whatculture.com), and probably every website list you read that praised Kevin Nash.