Pro wrestling and rock ‘n’ roll have more in common than the snootier denizens of both mediums would care to admit, I’d wager. Both exist on the backs of a small army of larger-than-life personalities who are all, out of necessity, on tour forever. In the Reagan-era, the individual daily cocaine regimens of both WWF champions and hair metal headliners could kill a full-grown walrus. And viewed from the right angle, their hierarchies look kind of the same.
Let’s say watching Monday Night Raw is equivalent to streaming a Green Day album. WWE and Green Day both aim to attract the largest audience possible, neither of their products are difficult to find, both have truckloads of money. That makes backyard wrestling akin to D.I.Y. basement shows, where performers compensate for their lack of skill and financial resources with indifference to their own physical well-being. And a proper indie wrestling showcase is like a better-than-average bill at T.T. The Bear’s or Great Scott – in other words, the middle tier tends to provide the best bang-for-buck ratio.
In the interest of altering fans disenchanted with WWE’s product to said middle tier’s existence, the Providence-based Beyond Wrestling organization is curating #RAWlternative, streaming for free on YouTube alongside tonight’s Raw. A collection of indie matches from promotions across the U.S. and Canada, #RAWlternative is slated to include The Young Bucks, innovators of the moonsault selfie, combating Player Uno and Player Dos of the Super Smash Brothers, courtesy of Toronto’s Smash Wrestling. New York’s Squared Circle Wrestling presents noted CM Punk associate Chris Hero against ex-Tommy Dreamer tag partner Colin Delaney. There’s a heap more where that came from, but we’re most excited to see Inter Species Wrestling’s contribution, wherein Ninjas With Altitude battle a masked Italian chef and a human-sized lobster collectively known as The Food Fighters.
The full lineup for #RAWlternative:
– Young Bucks vs. Super Smash Bros courtesy of SMASH Wrestling
– Ricochet vs. Josh Alexander courtesy of Alpha-1 Wrestling
– Chris Hero vs. Colin Delaney courtesy of 2CW: Squared Circle Wrestling
– Johnny Gargano vs. Ethan Page courtesy of Absolute Intense Wrestling
– Takaaki Watanabe vs. Andy Dalton courtesy of Inspire Pro Wrestling
– Ninjas With Altitude vs. Food Fighters courtesy of Inter Species Wrestling
– Eddie Kingston vs. Keith Walker courtesy of AAW Pro
– Kevin Steen vs. Mike Bailey courtesy of C*4
– Brian Kendrick vs. Dark Sheik courtesy of Hoodslam
– Rich Swann and AR Fox vs. Christian Rose and Matt Cage courtesy of DREAMWAVE Wrestling
– Kyle O’Reilly vs. Gary Jay courtesy of Saint Louis Anarchy
– Athena vs. Mia Yim courtesy of Girls Night Out
– A Super Secret Mystery Match from Beyond Wrestling
#RAWlternative starts at 7:30 p.m. and can be streamed for free here.