THE PRO WRESTLING LEAGUE
Across the internet there are stories about former wrestlers and businesspeople planning to create new wrestling federations.
The problem is that, despite the obvious talent out there, WWF-E will have the market for wrestling as we know it saturated. The Southern style and family wrestling market with long matches will be covered by WCW, sports entertainment covered by WWF, and more extreme and 'realistic' wrestling covered by ECW. If people want real fights, UFC is going for a song.
Really, to compete nationally, anyone who wants to run a fed will have to think outside the box and create a new format. Wrestling shows us that the biggest growth in wrestling is unleashed when radically new concepts are introduced in a league which 'changes the rules'. Examples of this are the WWF in the mid '80s with Hulk Hogan, WWF Attitude, ECW, the monday night wars, etc.
My suggestion is a wrestling league based on the 'team' formet used by the NFL, NBA, NHL, UEFA, and other 'legit' sporting competitions around the world.
Enter the PWL, or "Pro Wrestling League".
The idea behind it is that there will be, say, 8 teams in the league. Each team will have a hometown and 'home' arena. Each week 4 teams will play 'home' matches against an 'away' team. Thus the 'home' team wrestlers are face and the away wrestlers are heel.
The team rosters would be made up of 10 wrestlers each (2 women, 2 cruiserwieghts, 2 hardcore, and 4 heavywieghts). The shows would be made up of a women's, cruiserwieght, hardcore, tag team, heavywieght, and 'survivor-series' style 4 vs 4 elimintaion match (with interviews, etc., in between). The teams would score 1 point for each match they win. In the 8 man elimination match, a point would be scored for the 1st team to eliminate the 1st opponent, then the 1st to eliminate the 2nd, then the 1st to eliminate the 3rd, and the 1st to eliminate the 4th.
Each team would, during the regular season, play every other team both home and away. The top few teams would play in the 'playoffs' at the end.
The year would be filled out with a "Pre Season" that would have a tourney for the new wrestlers in each division, a 'draft' and 'trading period', then the regular season, and playoffs. Afterwards there would be maybe a 'World Series' where the best players would represent countries in a playoff series, Japanese or Mexican tours of some teams (eg. Chicago Vs. NJPW) and such.
Just imagine the possibilities for wrestling in a league like this... like a wrestler feeling extra heat after being traded from a team... Team A waiting eagrly for half a year for their 2nd match against team B coz team A beat up one of their guys. Can the guys from bitter rivals Toronto and Calgary come together as "Team Canada" top win the world series, or will they fight amongst themselves? A team putting a woman in the C/W match and both C/W's in the tag match to have 3 heavywieghts and a hardcore guy for the main - will it pay off? A loosing team starts colling the titles.
Stuff you wouldn't catch on any of Vinnie Mac's shows.
It would be a network's dream... I mean each 'match' would fill 1 - 2 hours, plus a weekly highlights show, a 'hardcore', 'cruiserwieght' and 'women's' highlight show. With interview shows thrown in, for a few million bucks a year a network could pick up 7 - 12 hours - or more - of content a week.
It would be a promoters dream too - the league would be much bigger than any individual wrestler, just like the NFL. Without adding extra storylines, each match would have meaning and significance, and big feuds would pay off over many many years rather than months.
And the teams could be linked to legendary wrestlers too old for the squared circle (eg the Carolinas Horsemen, the Calgary Hart Foundation, the Texas HeartBreakers) or linked to wrestling schools and minor-leagues (LA All Pro Wrestling, SF XPW).
How would this re-jigged NWA work in the real world? Its anyone's guess. But its the sort of thing that, if done right, could redifine the boundaries of pro-wrestling that may even lead to a new golden age, filled with mainstream marks.
And its the kind of thing a new fed with dreams of knocking off Vinnie Mac would have to do.