The surprise returns of CM Punk and Becky Lynch provide a striking study in contrasts of how America’s two biggest wrestling promotions operate.
“In the two years since the former first officially entered the scene, I feel like AEW and WWE have carved out separate lanes for each other in the American pro wrestling sphere, offering up different experiences and styles of the medium for different audiences that can coexist with each other. One does not need to ‘beat’ the other, it’s not really a ‘competition’ unless you’re weirdly invested in capitalistic ideas of there needing to be some kind of victorious dominance, and pro wrestling as a whole (much like general society) works better when there are legitimate alternatives and healthy one-upmanship pushing everyone to bring out the best in themselves instead of stagnating under a monopolistic hegemony. Whilst I vastly prefer AEW’s programming at this point, I don’t actively have a dog in this fight and would rather both companies thrived since that theoretically leads to a better product for myself, the mid-20s pro wrestling fan.
That said, this democratic Switzerland approach to the ongoing conflict does have its limits and doesn’t refrain either side from criticism or direct comparison when they deserve it. To wit, these last 24 hours saw both companies pull off the surprise returns of maybe the two biggest wrestlers of the 2010s: Becky Lynch for WWE and CM Punk for AEW. Both are aiming to be the biggest news stories in the wrestling sphere this year and both demonstrate a marked difference in each company’s overall attitudes towards the medium they operate within. Thanks to the timing of both returns, it’s impossible not to look at them in a direct compare/contrast gaze, especially when one of those returns was pulled off practically perfectly and the other was… the polar opposite.”
Full article exclusively on Soundsphere Magazine (link).
Callie Petch gave you power in their God’s name.