|A Long Overdue Grab|
So if you do not follow any independent pro wrestling fan on the internet, this will be the first time you’ve probably heard the big report that WWE has signed the one and only El Generico to a developmental contract. And just like any time that the big group up north makes a grab from the independents, it is met with a whole lot of positive and negative reactions from the fans.
Let me just start by giving you an idea of how I felt when I found this story out. Like I’ve mentioned before, the internet was my main way of following independent talent since I lived in Corpus Christi, a city with little to no indie wrestling. From watching his various works in companies like ROH, Chikara and many other top companies, El Generico became one of my favorites. And as I began to watch more, my view of him progressed from him being an ungodly hilarious comedy character into seeing him as an absolutely amazing professional wrestler. Living in Texas, I knew that there was a good chance I was never going to get to see him perform, and then while venturing the internet in December of 2011, I saw he was wrestling in Austin for a little promotion called Anarchy Championship Wrestling. Now, I am a devout “Fanarchist”, and because of following this company I’ve seen many other great talents I never thought it was possible that I could see. But going back to the show, when I walked into Mohawks, Generico was standing by the merch stand selling his 8x10s and t-shirts and I decided to stop by to buy his signature blue El Generico t-shirt (which I wear all the time now). Then Generico offered his hand for a handshake and I remember being so petrified that I awkwardly forgot to even reach my hand out. I’m usually never nervous when it comes to meeting wrestlers, but I remember the only thing going through my mind was, “Holy crap I am about to shake hands with El Generico”. This was the guy that constantly gave me a laugh and entertained me across my computer screen that I was finally getting to meet in person, and I pretty much went into shock.
That is the effect Generico has had on me, which is why I was so happy when I heard the news about his recent signing. Not too long ago, I watched the first round match from PWG’s Battle Of Los Angeles 2011 with Generico vs. Claudio Castagnoli, and that excites me in so many ways as far as the opportunities that come with bringing in a star like Generico. However, many people are talking about how they fear that WWE will repackage the character, making “El Generico” gone for good. I won’t go too long into this, because you can read the post I did about a week ago titled “A Great Wrestler Does Not The Indies Make”, but Generico will still be the great wrestler no matter what WWE gives him. I’ll ask this question. Are stars like Claudio Castagnoli, Chris Hero or Jon Moxley that much different from the way they are now in the WWE? Besides the definite name changes, these men have all gotten to keep the qualities and the styles which have made then so successful on the independents. There is no doubt they will be changing the name of El Generico for the whole “rights to ones name” issue, but I highly doubt that they will remove his mask or change his style in any major way. Sure, we won’t see a lot of him dropping people on their heads with a BRAINBUSTAH, but Generico is so much more than one move.
Also, I see Generico as an amazing money making opportunity for the WWE. Since bringing him in, WWE has tried to capitalize on their younger market by pushing someone like Sin Cara, expecting to see him get a large following, followed by a great deal of merchandise being bought, to the level that people did when Rey Mysterio was first brought in. So far, it hasn’t been as successful as they wish it could be, and I think the character of El Generico could be the perfect way for WWE to get to this goal. Generico is one of the few people that WWE could grab from the independents that target the “indie wrestling fan base” as well as young children, and they would be idiots if they didn’t run with it.
Overall, as an independent wrestling fan, I must be proud and hopeful that someone that I have known as good for so long is getting recognized and getting the opportunity for some major success. Yes, I will miss the fact that I could see him wrestle in a bar in downtown Austin for only $15. But, I am excited to know that I could pay $60 dollars to see him wrestle in an 18,000 person packed arena for the entire world to see. So Mr. Generico, I salute you and I cannot wait to see you tear it up inside a slightly larger squared circle, that way so many others can see what a lot of us thought about you for so long.