Rip Rogers vs. Will Ospreay: Indie Wrestling Nothing But Diving?
Get ready for another bout of old school vs new school.
If there is one thing that is sure in the world of pro wrestling it’s that people cannot get along. All it takes is one tweet and before you know it we are back to the old chestnut of the old school and the new school being at each other’s throats. Rip Rogers (who is the head trainer for OVW) decided he would make his feelings known about Indie wrestling. It’s safe to say that he is not a fan. The problem here, as it’s always been, is that while Rogers has a right to his own opinion, and there is a element of truth to it, his statement shows a distinct lack of appreciation for the fact that wrestling evolves over time. More alarmingly, it also shows a lack of respect to those Indy wrestlers who bust their ass all over the world to entertain fans.
Even if we overlook the fact OVW is an indie fed, and therefore Rogers is inadvertently disrespecting his own company, painting all indie matches as identical is an incredibly asinine thing to do. There is no doubt some of what Rogers said is true, even if he exaggerates. But there are companies out there such as Evolve and PROGRESS putting on fantastic wrestling shows in a variety of styles, telling great stories through both promos and ring psychology. Overlooking this for your own ends doesn’t come across well.
Another point that needs to be made is that trying to claim all indie wrestling is how Rogers proclaims it to be is like saying all 80s wrestling is like watching Brutus ‘The Barber’ Beefcake. Thankfully, neither of those statements are true.
Will Ospreay is a wrestler often put forward as someone who is all flash and no substance, but that is utter shit. I defy anyone to watch Ospreay vs Katsuyori Shibata at New Japan’s New Beginning in Osaka show and come out with that mindset. The same can be said for Ricochet and a whole host of other wrestlers branded with being nothing more than a “spot monkey”. To be honest though, Ospreay doesn’t give a single fuck what Rip Rogers has got to say about him and that’s why he released this shirt.
As was probably to be expected this led to Randy Orton getting involved, throwing insults at everyone including Bully Ray, a man who is possibly (probably) more well respected than him. It’s one thing to troll the wrestling world when you are putting on great matches, it’s a whole different thing to do it after two of the worst matches in recent memory.
At the end of the day, not every style of wrestling is going to resonate with everybody and that’s a good thing. The problem comes when people think the style they prefer is the only acceptable way of doing things. Professional wrestling would be a much better place without all of the sniping and the bullshit, but that just isn’t going to happen.