10 Modern Wrestling Moments That Gave You Chills

Dust in your eye.

Ricky Havlik/AEW

Emotion is lacking in the modern era of pro wrestling.

WWE's artificial, slick production values ooze over freedom of expression. The fitful narrative doesn't reward the investment and catharsis of drama; Vince McMahon punishes it, yielding either memes, fury, or disenchantment. If anything, to invest in WWE in 2019, you must surgically remove all emotion from your core and marvel at the catastrophe through a distant, LOLWCW lens.

Even NXT, as incredible as the in-ring component is, operates on a soundbites/video package approach. It is as produced and as formulaic as the main roster is, only, those producers very much know what they are doing and do not, for example, banish half of the roster to catering, which at this point resembles Maggie Simpson and her baby pals trapped in the daycare centre. Only, the infants have more agency.

The modern Independent scene is almost post-everything - certainly post-earnest. Where Bryan Danielson and CM Punk once led it through a workrate revolution, Joey Ryan and Orange Cassidy are the new aloof, d*ck-grabbing kings.

Daniel Bryan's WrestleMania XXX triumph resonated so emphatically because it was a rare throwback to the days in which investment mattered. Through defiance or accident or something else, everything is starting to mean something again.

The paradigm has shifted.


Former Power Slam Magazine scribe and author of Development Hell: The NXT Story - available NOW on shop.whatculture.com!