All In and its success is brilliant for professional wrestling. There is no debating that point. A group of wrestlers have put together a show independent of any promotion and sold 10,000 tickets in under half an hour. I don’t care if they’re known to many because they worked for WWE, ROH or NJPW. I really don’t care if some of those tickets went to touts (they wouldn’t go to touts if the demand didn’t exist). And I certainly don’t care what people think of the ability of the wrestlers involved.
What makes All In’s success so important to me is that it finally opens up a world where wrestling can get away from the views of Vince McMahon. A place where racial stereotypes and heels beating up people with dwarfism won’t be considered the cutting edge of booking. Sure, The Bullet Club isn’t perfect. Some of their storylines have been clunky and failed to deal with glaring issues. However, I would take the creative minds of Omega, The Bucks and Rhodes over Vince and co every day of the week.
And the key to all of this is that it doesn’t have to end with All In. Those men have opened up a path for other wrestlers to follow. We’re already in a world with more alternatives than ever before when it comes to promotions. If you don’t like WWE, you can watch NJPW, wXw, PROGRESS, RevPro, Dragon Gate, ICW and countless others via streaming services. Now, we have the possibility of wrestlers making things for themselves. It’s the next step up from what Colt Cabana did with the Art Of Wrestling where he turned himself into a brand that was stronger than a lot of the places he wrestled for. That led to a million copycats (some good, some awful) and I have no doubt that All In will do the same.
Of course, those copycats aren’t going to go out and sell ten thousand tickets tomorrow. That’s now how the world works. What they can do, though, is give a voice to people that might not get one in the traditional structure of professional wrestling. Whether it’s the LGBTQ+ community, women or those from a minority background, All In is proof that wrestling fans are willing to follow the talent they love just as much as the promotions. With, sadly, a lot of companies not doing a perfect job at presenting these communities. All In hopefully shows that they can say fuck that and do it themselves.
I’m delighted for The Bullet Club. I’m more pro them than a lot of people. They’ve worked their asses off to create something unique, and the positives outweigh the negatives. Even without that, All In is proof that wrestling can exist in ways that weren’t possible before. I see no way in which that is a bad thing.
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