Promotions that don't get enough credit

I went through and made my list of my 100 favorite matches of the year, and when you break it down by promotion, it looks like this.

NJPW - 52
NXT - 8
WWE - 6
EVOLVE - 6
Progress - 5
NOAH - 5
PWG - 4
ROH - 3
WWE UK* - 3
Other - 8

*WWE UK refers to only that special show and the original tournament, any matches on Takeover/NXT will be in NXT Category.

So, my question is, why do companies like Progress, NOAH, and EVOLVE get talked about much less than an ROH or PWG when (in my opinion) the former have better matches (at least this year)?

I mostly stick to WWE/NXT/NJPW, and then branch out when there is some buzz about a match, so I might be missing even more promotions.

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I only watched a handful of EVOLVE matches last year, but they are such a consistent promotion that often has really great matches. I think for EVOLVE, it’s because they aren’t a flashy promotion, and tend to stick to the same region and same venues. Progress has been getting more and more talk, especially with Moustache Mountain gaining popularity, but Brit wrestling hasn’t quite jumped to that next level. For NOAH, it is difficult to access, and has very limited context to understand what’s going on.

I think PWG gets so much hype because a) it has a cult-like/Meltzer following, and b) they only book super Indy talent. ROH has been around forever, and has had TV deals and many guys head to WWE, so that explains that. With EVOLVE and Progress trying to build more homegrown talent, I think it keeps them from getting all of this “internet hype”, but it makes for a really great wrestling product.

Here’s to hoping for stellar years for all wrestling promotions. I’d love to see EVOLVE get more hype surrounding it.

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I’d literally watch any wrestling if it was just easier to find. Honestly though I have seen some of PWG, ROH and New Japan, just the fact that I have to work so hard to seek it out makes it hard to follow. I know I’m lazy, but with so much to watch, not just in wrestling, it’s hard for me to really care to much about these smaller promotions.

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PWG has shows online at the HighSpots Wrestling Network. The same principle as WWE network; on-demand streaming for a monthly price. They have tons of other content on there too. As for recommendations, you can practically watch any BOLA tournament from the last 7 years and be guaranteed a great show.

Same with New Japan and EVOLVE and almost any other promotion; they’ve got an on-demand service. It’s not ‘hard to find’ anymore and there are people who will happily recommend shows/matches to check out.

It is overwhelming to watch everything but what I do helps; pick one service for the month and try it out. Check out the current product and if you dig it, go back a year and watch the shows in order. I’m currently doing it with Beyond Wrestling on Powerbomb TV, then I’ll go to a different sub in February and do the same thing (thinking about AAW next). Again, if you don’t know where to start, just ask as there seems to be a good mix of fans here who will be happy to give you hand, me included.

As for the OP, I think the reason why EVOLVE doesn’t get much of a look is because a lot of people, including me, watched those 'Mania shows last year and found them to be an absolute chore to get through. The production, the audio-mix, the storylines, everything was so bland and, at points, cringe worthy. What’s worse, is that the show that most people called the best show of the weekend was Joey Janela’s Spring Break, which took place in the exact same venue as those EVOLVE shows but had GCW at the production helm. It was night and day! The camera choices, the commentary, the audio mix, the crowd were into it, it was FUN! Just a total 180. So it’s an issue at EVOLVE’s end.

So aye, EVOLVE isn’t for everyone, hence why they don’t have much buzz. I’ve checked out shows/matches since WM but it’s the same thing; shitty production and a bland product. I’ll be at NOLA for 'Mania this year. On the Friday there is a PROGRESS/EVOLVE/WWN SUPERSHOW/SPRING BREAK run of shows at the same venue. I have tickets to three of those. Not hard to deduce which one I’m avoiding.

As for PROGRESS, they do have quite a bit of online presence, way more than EVOLVE for what I can see. I haven’t seen any new NOAH, but I know it is gaining momentum as I’m seeing more and more of ther stuff pop up. That’s great news for everyone!

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Same here. I subscribed to ROH for a few months, and nothing on there blew me away. It wasn’t worth the monthly fee for me.

I don’t have as much time (or energy) to find and watch much wrestling these days. Even if those indy promotions were readily available, it would be yet another show to watch.

Time is really the big factor here.
I want to cover as much as possible, but also not the same stuff.
I’m currently subscribing to PROGRESS (for my British Wrestling), wXw (to support a German promotion, their network is also quite enjoyable), NJPW (of course!). Occasionally I subscribe to the WWE Network, but only if there’s stuff that interests me. Other then that I follow ROH TV on FiteTV. With Shotgun (wXw) and ROH TV I have two weekly shows to follow. So it kinda works for me, but with podcasts my schedule gets loaded pretty fast.

Yeah the combo of time and money are what keeps me away from other promotions. I have a full time job, wife, and i am in school. Between all that, wwe programming, and video games, I just have so little strength to devote to a whole new set of characters, stories, and history.

The best way is to just take it one promotion at a time until you’re all caught up. Have 3-4 promotions that you want to be up-to-date with, watching one promotion per month. Just replace the 3-5 hours spent watching RAW/Smackdown with those shows instead. Start from the January 2017 show and work forward, you should be up to date by the end of the month.

So for example; I’ve never watched Beyond or AAW before, and I dropped off PROGRESS early last year. But I’ve heard a lot of good things going on and, by watching clips on their YouTube channels and seeing GIFS plastered around, they’re something that I am interested in. So that’s my list; BEYOND, AAW and PROGRESS.

So far, I’m up to the July Beyond show. That’s by watching 2-3 shows per week. Big plus, is that the shows are only about two hours long, so it never feels overwhelming and the shows fly by. I should be up to at least the October show by the end of the month, but I’ll probably blast through the lot as I’m really enjoying the shows.

So in Feb, I’ll cancel that sub and I’ll sub to AAW and do the exact same thing. Then in March, I’ll cancel the AAW sub and I’ll sub to PROGRESS and start the 2017 catch-up. Repeat that cycle and you should be up to date with all three promotions by Summer, or even sooner.

And then when you’re caught up, what then? Well you sub to each promotion to watch each new show as they’re released. Now you’ve got the pre-2017 catalog to delve into. Watch the big shows in order or cherry pick stuff or have a look at some reccomendations. Remember to cancel the sub before the renewal date (unless you want to stick with that promotion, of course). Maybe even add another promotion to your rotation.

And that’s the keyword; rotation. It’s very cost effective as you’re only going to be spending an extra 10 quid/dollars per month (or even less in most cases) as long as you keep it to one sub per month. You’ll also never get bored of a promotion as you’ll be swapping it out for another before that can happen.

So that’s my plan. I’ll watch NXT too, the big NJPW shows/matches and I’ll watch/skim the WWE specials. I’m not feeling overwhelmed and I’m not spending tons of cash either, yet I’m still supporting the promotions and I’m watching more wrestling from more promotions. Variety is the spice of life lads; kick thet RAW and Smackdown habit and get stuck in.

For me a lot of it has to do with accessiblility. Promotions like WWE, NJPW, and even TNA and ROH are more easily accessible worldwide, so they get more attention.

I think more of these regional promotions are going to get digital services soon, so we’ll be able to see more of them in the future. I don’t doubt that they have great matches, it’s just difficult to get access to them from afar.

Almost all of the big regional indies have an on-demand service or are part of a collected subscripion channel, including but not limited to;

NJPW

Smash Wrestling

Elite Championship Wresting

PROGRESS Wrestling

Chikara

ICW

CZW/WSU

AAW

IPW:UK

AIW

Beyond Wrestling

Womens Wrestling Network

Monster Factory

HoodSlam

ECCW

MPW

WSW

World X-Treme Wrestling

OTW

Covey Pro

IPW:UK

MCW

HighSpots Wrestling Network

Rock Star Pro Network

ECWA

TCW

Impact’s Global Wrestling Network

ROH Ringside

Revolution Pro

Stardom World

Preston City Wrestling On Demand

wXw Now

DDT Universe

Britannia Wrestling Network

Innovate Wrestling On Demand

NorthEast Wrestling On Demand

Big Time Wrestling

New York Wrestling Connection

BIG TIME WRESTLING INSTASLAM

JAPW On Demand

PCW On Demand

Hughes Academy

SPW

WrestleCircus

New Taiwan Entertainment Wrestling

Premier British Wrestling

Fighting Spirit Wrestling

TIDAL CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING

XWA Network

Metro Pro Wrestling

WAW-BELLATRIX network

WL/SOS

4 Front Wrestling

Powerbomb TV

AML On-Demand

The Fite App

3 Count Wrestling

Ultra Championship Wrestling-Zero

Discovery On Demand

Impact Pro Wrestling

MCW Pro Wrestling

AML Wrestling

UWA Elite

Capitol Wrestling

FEST WRESTLING

House of Glory

Title Match Wrestling

Lucha Forever

EVE Wrestling

Over The Top Wrestling

White Wolf Wrestling on Demand

You can find links to all these services here -

This a weekly list curated by Twitter user @Tweakedenigma, which is a collection released every Friday consisting of legit free matches and links to all the currently available on-demand services.

On top of all of this, ROH will be setting up their own VOD service, likely much different from what they have now on their web site for Ringside members. They’ve been teasing it on TV as Honor Club.

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I’m pretty excited for the Honor Club, since I’ve missed the majority of the last decade with Punk’s, McGuinness’, Danielson’s runs and would like to watch it back. But since ROH is pretty late to the party, they have to deliver on their VOD service, so my expectations are quite high.

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I guess I should clarify, because for me it’s not just about the accessibility, but also the promotion of content.

The promotions you mentioned are all probably great, but my problem is I don’t really want to pay for their content without knowing what it is first. I would prefer to at least sample something for free first, to see if I actually like it, and then pay for it if I do.

So, I’m hopeful that some of these promotions will be smart and release some free content soon, because this is what makes the biggest difference in audience, which then relates to overall attention, in my opinion.

ROH, for example, offers free content on their website every week, so you can check it out first to see if you actually like their product or not, and then pay for iPPVs or Honor Club if you do.

With Progress, for example, I couldn’t find any way to watch their content without paying for it first, and unfortunately I don’t have extra money to spend on gambling; especially not when there’s already so much great content out there that I already know is great.

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I think wwe oversaturated so much that a lot of people has their appetite fed and also they have so much other stuff they watch and do it is hard. But with that said I don’t have a life so I watch most of these promotions. Lol

ROH is so easily accessible. I don’t have a channel for it where I live but I watch it on rohwrestling.com and it’s always a breath of fresh air. But I don’t see many talking about the tv… and it’s always great. We just got Jay Lethal vs Will Ospreay for crying out loud! Great wrestling, great promos, and fun angles… they deserve more love…
Evolve is awesome but even I fell off, need to get bAck… nxt lost a lot of buzz too but is still awesome.

I may actually get it.

MLW just started doing shows and so far I’m impressed. Probably the best produced Indy I’ve seen. The backstage segments are well done, video quality is top notch and they have top Indy talent mixed with home grown guys. Plus at 5 bucks a show it’s easy on the wallet.

Honestly, the best way is to just search the promotion’s handle and/or the latest show name on Twitter and check the GIFs and clips that people post. It’s a great way to quickly sample a product before you buy. Also, checkout the YouTube page for free matches and events; for example, PROGRESS has the entire Chapter 13 show up for free on YouTube and I believe they also have the first Unboxing show free on their On-Demand site.

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check out AJPW, really great promotion which seemed near extinction but has seen a big resurgence in Japan. Same with NOAH.

Checked out that Joe Doering-Zeus match, might be in my top five for the year so far. (Just three weeks in)