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View Poll Results: Which is the Best of the Rest
TNA 2 25.00%
ROH 1 12.50%
NJPW 2 25.00%
AAA 0 0%
Lucha Underground 3 37.50%
Other 0 0%
Voters: 8. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 03-08-2016, 07:08 PM
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Default The Best of the Rest (sell it to me)

Obviously WWE is the biggest wrestling promotion in the world by a good stretch but I am curious to know what people's next favourite promotion is and why. I want you to tell me which promotion and why I should watch it, feel free to go into detail about best divisions, favourite performers and technical aspects. Please no negativity and no hating.
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Old 03-08-2016, 07:50 PM
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I'm going with Lucha Underground, though all companies have their merits.

The first reason I love it is because there is a sophistication in their storylines. This was underscored by the finale if season one, when one of the best swerves of the last ten years took place. A good swerve is shocking, but more importantly, it makes sense, and doesn't devalue any part of the angle that happened before hand.

Once more for the angles, is that all roads are a path to the Lucha Underground championship. It's funny, because in WWE, losses can be so detrimental to a talent because the person that they lost to doesn't really go anywhere. They flounder in the 50/50 booking model. Just because Aerostar loses to Drago, he doesn't look weak, because Drago goes on to challenge the Champion. When wins matter in kayfabe, then losses aren't as damaging.

I would advise Lucha Underground to fans who appreciate storytelling over matches, or simply better patience for faster paced matches. While there are numerous gems peppered through season one and two (so far), most of the matches get cut down on the editing room floor, which usually manifests as an absence of selling.

Specific talents; Angelico, Son of Havoc and Ivelisse (the story around these three is a blood relative to the tale of Team Hell No), Drago, Mil Muertes (Spanish Undertaker) and Pentagon JR.
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Old 03-08-2016, 08:45 PM
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Honestly this question is greatly dependent on what it is you prefer when it comes to pro wrestling. The aspects of pro wrestling that entertain you specifically would determine which of these promotions is the best non-WWE alternative for you.

Here's a little breakdown:

Starting with TNA, if you haven't already developed a following for the TNA product, now is a tough time to jump on board. Many of the stories involve continuity that heads back months to years. The talent pool is fairly small due to a limited roster size, and if you have never taken the time to acquaint yourself with guys like Roode, Storm, The Wolves, etc., you'd be better suited exploring their past work before trying to take in the current TNA product. There are still a lot of great wrestlers in TNA, but the company has devolved into having very little identity of its own and operates more as a WWE-light than an alternative and it still tries to feed on some of its own past "glory days". At this point TNA basically only exists in the eyes of long time followers of the company like myself who somehow haven't quit it yet.

Modern ROH is essentially what pre-Hogan TNA was, minus Jarrett's influence and the whoring out of washed up former WCW/WWE stars hovering around undeserved high card positions. That is to say for most WWE exclusive fans it is the most palatable and mainstream packaged version of indy wrestling, while still maintaining many of the indy tropes that have always set it apart from the companies with longer histories in the national spotlight. So while it has admittedly begun to take on more influence from the sports entertainment side of the sport than ever in its past, it is still a good ground level entrance into the indy style for people mostly unfamiliar with that approach to pro wrestling. It also heavily benefits from its strong relationship with New Japan.

PWG(the best candidate to fill the "other" position) on the other hand is now the most "Indy-riffic" of the super indies. Boasting a roster that consistently features similar(if not superior) level talent to TNA and ROH, PWG brings comedic, hard hitting, high flying match cards bloated with contests worked with what is traditionally main event style storytelling(read: sometimes excessively near fall filled would be epics with tons of high impact, high spots, and finisher spamming) positioned at all stages of the card. It is pro wrestling porn for hardcore indy fans, and a treat to try out for people who feel they'd be attracted to that style, but it can be exhausting and exacerbating(not to mention hurting for production value) for those who prefer sports entertainment style wrestling.

AAA and Lucha Underground, needless to say, are for fans of the Lucha Libre approach. As an American wrestling fan, LU which is a quasi little brother promotion for AAA, is probably the more likely product to gravitate toward. LU does have an interesting cinematic approach and some very over the top, yet cohesive and well told, storylines that separate it from other alternatives. Also NXT fans will appreciate LU's consistent week-to-week hour of effective TV time usage with great main events, encounters that seem important, and fun filler matches on the undercard that rarely overstay their welcome.

New Japan is quite simply the best pro wrestling company in the world not under the WWE umbrella. New Japan has an overall talent base every bit on par with the WWE's main roster, and features a couple of talents(most notably Tanahashi and Okada) who belong in any conversation for best pro wrestler on Earth. New Japan's roster and divisions are so widely diverse that any and all types of wrestling are represented. The storylines are simple and competition driven with little over the top story telling, but then again so is NXT. NJPW is definitely classically puro and could turn off fans that don't get Japanese wrestling, especially when elements of strong style flood over into matches that aren't primarily packaged to display that approach, but the across the board level of talent and match quality is impossible to find in any potential pro wrestling alternative. Also if you do find yourself attracted to the violent encounters of pure Japanese strong style then NJPW's NEVER division will surely sate that attraction with guys like Shibata and Ishii in a perpetual battle to prove an inhuman toughness that supersedes traditional American boundaries of in-ring stiffness.

I hope that helps as a start. With more input on exactly what you're interested in as a fan I could further expound on any of the aforementioned companies that would seem the best fit for your taste.
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