Wrestle Society X

February 12, 2007

I’ve had a lot of people ask me about Wrestle Society X, the new wrestling program on MTV. While I don’t get MTV or Wrestle Society X in Calgary I have managed to watch some of the product online thanks to YouTube. Thus far I’ve watched the entire first episode as well as the 6 Pac vs. Vampiro WSX Title match from the second episode.

I think it is way to early to come to any solid conclusions about the product I think I’ve seen enough to give you a fair assessment and general opinion of the show, at least thus far. While the product certainly isn’t my preferred style of wrestling I think there is definitely an appeal to it and I could see there being a large enough fan base for the “crash and burn” high spot based wrestling matches for it to become a success.

The stunt feel to the show is like watching extreme sport wipeout videos and everyone enjoys a good death-defying stunt. The opening match of the first episode between Sydel and Evans had several “Oh My God” type moments that keep things exciting. The show is short, fast and to the point. You get a couple matches a bunch of dives and spots, not a lot of talking, holds or angles. It is very much what TNA advertises itself to be as far as “Non-Stop Action” and a 30 rather than 60 Minute “adrenaline rush”.

I like the fact that the show is just 30 minutes. I’m not sure I could take a full hour at this pace. Much like an overly sugary desert some times a smaller dose is better. The shorter show may also be an advantage when you consider the amount of wrestling on TV each week. With WSX now there is 6 ½ hours of pro-wrestling to watch each week and it is a lot easier to invest 30 minutes to follow WSX than committing 1-hour for TNA or ECW, or 2-hours for RAW or SD. I also like the warehouse atmosphere to the show. It has a completely different look and feel to other wrestling shows and does accomplish a bit of an “underground” atmosphere, which is unique.

There are a few negatives to the show as well. With it being almost all action thus far, you may not develop an attachment to any of the individual personalities and without strong angles either there may not be as much of a “hook” to get you tuning in each week. It could be like MXC on Spike TV. I love the show and enjoy all the crash and burn wipeouts, but it is a show I only catch if it happens to be on while I’m watching TV, I never make a point of catching it specifically. WSX may fall into this category for a lot of viewers.

I think there is a real chance that the show might climax and burnout quickly also. When you go balls out with spots, not selling much of anything, you might get to a point where nothing seems to matter and after the first couple dozen dives everything may seem the same. The explosions and electrocution type special effects for example where already wearing thin on me by the second episode. WSX can’t rely too heavily on the explosion gimmicks and if they use them every show they will get dull very fast.

Their announcing needs some work. I don’t think people realize how difficult that job is. There is a reason JR has been King for so long, announcing is a skill not easily mastered. JR is the Mohammad Ali of wrestling announcers. The Ring Announcer guy they have needs to relax too he is so over the top he was getting on my nerves by the second match; he makes Don West sound like Steven Wright (The Comedian).

The real interesting thing about WSX is that it is a completely different business concept to anything else we’ve seen in wrestling. To be a success it only has to be worth watching enough to draw satisfactory ratings. The show is produced by MTV strictly as a TV show. It is budgeted, taped and aired. They are not trying to convince viewers to attend live events, or order PPV. They don’t have to build to anything else or worry about drawing money. Their only goal is to make us want to watch the program, and with it only being a 30-minute investment of our time, that should be a lot easier. With it also being almost entirely an action based show, the product won’t be hurt by a constant turn over of talent so they should be able to keep the talent budget fairly low and the roster fresh. There are lots of Indy guys wanting to get some TV exposure.

I doubt I will be searching YouTube every week trying to keep up with the product, but if WSX starts airing in Canada, which I believe it is going to I will likely check it out more often than not, since it’s only 30 minutes out of my week.

Lance Storm