Monday, January 5, 2015

WE'VE MOVED TO A NEW HOME

The original banner for this blog.

The Good Worker has moved to The Work of Wrestling.

Like an NXT wrestler who'd accomplished all he could in the WWE's minor leagues, it was time to graduate to the main stage, to swim with the big fish, and to conquer the showcase of the immortals.

THE RAW REVIEW, THE NXT REPORT, and editorials and podcasts will still exist, they'll all just be located on the prettier, more brand-friendly www.workofwrestling.com.

I started writing THE RAW REVIEW on June 4th, 2012. The Raw Review became an escape from whatever was bothering me. It became an escape into a world that I could control, into a forum that I could create, into a world that I could develop and evolve over time.

As I grew up, THE RAW REVIEW grew up.

Originally a weekly feature on a friend's blog, I eventually felt a need to have complete creative control over this endeavor. I felt a need to take not only pro-wrestling more seriously, but my writing more seriously.

So, after writing the RAW REVIEW (and other editorials) on The Future Machine for two years, I created this blog, originally The Good Worker, six months ago in June of 2014.

In those six months I've managed to accomplish more than I had in two years of not taking my writing very seriously. When I made the decision to actually do this and to be the best in the world at what I do, I started to see positive results.

But The Good Worker was still a safety net here on Blogger, a host that has served me incredibly well.

That blogspot.com domain was a source of comfort for me. And it was financially preferable (free). Blogger is a spectacular platform to create something, and if you spend the time learning the nuances of the site and its interconnectedness to Google platforms, you can do awesome things. It simplifies everything you need to know about SEO and how the internet actually works.

But if I really wanted to start taking my efforts to analyze and celebrate professional wrestling seriously, I needed to create my own site with its own domain, a legitimate brand that attempts to sell you on the idea that professional wrestling is art.

And so, after years of development, www.workofwrestling.com is born. Just in time for the first Monday Night Raw of 2015!

I thank those people who have read my work since 2012, since that first RAW REVIEW. You and I are privy to something very special; we've grown up together.

One of the excellent qualities of the internet is that this evolution has been charted. You can actually look at the first review and you can read from one blog to the next how I, you, the WWE, and the writing has matured. The RAW REVIEW exists like a human being evolving from childhood to adulthood, or like a wrestler evolving from bad gimmick to an honest reflection of the soul.

One thing won't change, however. THE RAW REVIEW will arrive on the internet every Tuesday. The time it arrives exactly is dependent upon how long it takes to create (sometimes up to six hours), but rest assured, it will arrive on www.theworkofwrestling.com.

Along with THE RAW REVIEW, there will be a NXT REPORT and a weekly podcast and the usual editorials. Time affording, and should expansion continue, you will be treated to more articles, videos, and the like. And, maybe someday, I can make you guys a cool tee-shirt. Because everyone needs more wrestling tee-shirts.

Thank you Google, thank you The Future Machine, thank you WWE, thank you Steve Austin, thank you Paul Heyman, thank you Mick Foley, thank you friends and family, and thank you, dear reader, for giving me something to work for.

Your readership helped make this the best blog in the world.

BEST IN THE WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORLD!

Thank you for commenting and reading and liking and sharing, Good Worker marks!

Head to www.workofwrestling.com. That's our new home! And, as always, follow & subscribe on the gimmicks:

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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

THE RAW REVIEW (12/29/14)


The last RAW of 2014 was a good representation of the entire year.

Some good performances, some progressive booking, some stilted performances, and some incredibly regressive booking.

2014 has been a good year for the WWE, despite the flaws, with several younger performers slowly rising to a place of prominence and, in so doing, reinvigorating some of the veteran talents. While fans have had to endure a truly disheartening stream of advertisements on an overlong flagship show and angles that seem booked and built by a blatantly out-of-touch board of directors, they’ve also been treated to an overall sense of increased hope and positivity and signs of legitimate change in the wake of significant events in the WWE fiction and in the actual WWE company.

There is still a great deal of work to be done, though.


RAW kicked off with a somewhat stiff opening segment between Edge and Christian. Sadly, their late 90s/early aughts schtick just doesn’t seem to resonate any more, either because they had to repackage their gimmick into a script or because today’s generation just doesn’t understand who they are and what they’re referencing.

The intensity picked up when Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar entered the scene.


When Lesnar and Heyman enter the arena, standing together as a truly villainous, all-powerful duo, I feel as though I’m watching a good scene in a good movie. These performers become forces of nature in an old-fashioned yet timeless tale of good versus evil - Brock is the brawn and Heyman is the brains. Thanks to Heyman’s oratory skills and Brock’s steely, serial-killer eyes, their threats to babyfaces like Edge and Christian are actually convincing.

Cena came to the rescue and settled into his traditional Cenaisms.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

THE WWE IN 2014: A RETROSPECTIVE


Writing weekly reviews of two WWE shows along with the occasional editorial is sometimes daunting (if the shows are bad), but almost always nourishing and energizing.

Each week, sometime around Sunday afternoon, my mind resets and I become excited for RAW. This would happen even if I didn't write about the show, but because I write about it, the prospect of building a new RAW REVIEW for a new week, trying to keep it as fresh and as-engaging-to-read-as-possible is an enjoyable, personal challenge. My focus is always on trying to keep these reviews and these editorials fresh and engaging for myself, first and foremost. Because if I write from that place, from a center of passion and interest, then it will show in the work and be more enjoyable for you to read (hopefully).

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

THE RAW REVIEW (12/22/14)


Christmas RAW was supposed to be fun, and it was fun.

As much as I’d like to arrive at some deeper meaning behind Dean Ambrose chucking Bray Wyatt into a Christmas tree, there isn’t any deeper meaning. And that’s perfectly fine. As fans critical of the product, it’s best to pick battles wisely, and after two RAW REVIEWS in a row where I outlined the various ways the company might improve the quality of their show, I think it’s best to not waste time bemoaning the fact that Dean didn’t win his “Miracle on 34th Street Fight” or the fact that the entire feud has yet to deliver.

What more can be written or said about these two and how they're strangely not benefitting from one another?

It was certainly an awkward note to end on: watch these two guys kill each other, watch the villain succeed, watch them both crash through a table…Merry Christmas!


But I counted ten wrestling matches (correct me if I’m wrong), no backstage segments, and two of those wrestling matches were superb. The three hours, though still gruesome around two hours and thirty minutes in, moved along at a much better pace than usual thanks to the focus on in-ring action.

There were brief glimmers of hope for change peppered throughout this episode.

Friday, December 19, 2014

THE NXT REPORT (12/18/14)


This was another strong week for the WWE'S strongest hour, NXT, on the WWE Network.

Coming off of NXT Take Over R-Evolution, this episode needed to push the top narratives forward, but also serve as epilogue to the events of last week’s remarkable pay-per-view. The result was an unexpectedly superb main event, where the intensity of last week both winded down to a simmer, but also contributed to the mythos of Kevin Owens.

Owens’ debut last week, both at the start and conclusion of R-Evolution, is the most impressive debut I’ve had the privilege to see live. And while there are many other wrestlers on the roster who’ve been in NXT longer and conceivably have a claim to the main event and the NXT Championship, Owens instantly feels like the right fit for top heel. And, from the character’s perspective, he deserves that top spot above any of the WWE’s home grown, performance center talents due to all of his work on the independent circuit. And, because of his natural charisma and power, it's hard to deny he's better than a lot of guys on the roster.


The first match of the night was between Bayley and Becky Lynch.