My name is Danny Ryan and I love wrestling. I've loved wrestling since I was about four or five years old and my grandmother introduced me to the sport of professional wrestling. Her favorite back then was Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorff. He was a mountain of man, or at least he seemed to be to the mind of a small child. He had long hair, a dark tan, and more muscles than was right for any human to have. He was a bad guy, a heel. He cheated, yelled at the crowd, insulted his opponent, and was an all around dick. My grandmother thought he was dreamy; I thought he was awesome. I was hooked, deep. Every weekend I spent with my grandparents in northern New Jersey included at least some amount of time spent with professional wrestling. This was the golden age. The era of Hulkamania, Macho Madness, Superfly, Piper’s Pit, and Jake the Snake Roberts. To a five year old boy, these were comicbook superheroes that walked and talked (and body slammed and leg dropped and elbow dropped). How could I not be hooked? When I would go home to my mom and stepdad’s house I would be told just how stupid wrestling was; how fake it was and that it was a scripted outcome and therefore included no drama or reason to watch. The good guys would win in the end only to be challenged by a new seemingly unstoppable foe and the cycle would repeat ad nauseum. And my response then is the same as it is today, so fucking what?! Here’s a news flash, Superman is ALWAYS going to win. He even beat death for the love of Pete. But, does that make his stories any less compelling? Knowing that the Avengers would turn back the Chitauri and Loki didn’t stop that movie from becoming not just the highest grossing movie of 2012 but the third highest grossing film of all time. And of course it wouldn't. As an argument against a particular form of entertainment, it simply has no legs. Has wrestling been great? Yes. Has it been awful? Yes. Have there been times where I have been embarrassed to be a wrestling fan? Never.
The purpose of this column is to highlight matches that make me love wrestling as much as I did as a child. We have unparalleled access to matches from all over the world. In this column you will get matches from Japan, Mexico, the United States, and everywhere in between from federations both big (WWE) and small (PWG). There will be big budget arena showcases and bingo halls. It’s what makes wrestling great; there is a tremendous variety of talent and stories to be told.
The first match we will showcase comes from Pro Wrestling Guerrilla. PWG is based in southern California and is run by wrestlers. It is an indie promotion featuring some of the most insanely talented high-flyers in the world. This match comes from their Mystery Vortex II show which was held on 3/28/14. It was a three way tag match featuring the teams of the Unbreakable F'n Machines (Michael Elgin & Brian Cage) vs. the African American Wolves (AR Fox & ACH) vs. the Inner City Machine Guns (Ricochet & Rich Swann). The match itself is very light on story telling or in ring psychology. What you get instead however is one of the most exciting spot fests possible. All six of these guys pull some unbelievably athletic moves and show off some insane feats of strength. It is one of the best matches of 2014. The video is hosted offsite and is not embedable. It is worth a click through though.
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