Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Wrestling Six Packs: The Best Wrestling Features/Sites I Don't Write For

A sampling of Chickbuster pics B posts
I joked on Twitter, the forthcoming podcast and elsewhere that it's probably easier to count the sites I DON'T write for rather than I do. That's hyperbole, obviously (OR IS IT) but with one full-time blog, three once-or-twice a week blogs and a new Tumblr based around Chikara (FOLLOW IT, HECK YEAH CHIKARA!), yeah, I do have presence. But enough about me. There's a rich community of wrestling writers out there, at places where I don't write, and quite frankly, the creme de la creme put me to shame, at least in my humble opinion. Here are the six best blogs or features on existing blogs that focus in on wrestling where I'm not a writer. This includes TWB (duh), Camel Clutch Blog, Fair to Flair and Cageside Seats (although it doesn't disqualify personal sites of writers of those sites if you catch my drift).

1. Best and Worst of RAW/WWE PPVs

When I want to be entertained by a RAW recap and simultaneously feel greatly inferior as a writer. Seriously, Brandon Stroud throws out such a strong lineup of persuasive prose, obscure references and oddball humor that it's not even like reading a RAW recap. It's like some magic narrative through a series of cheers and jeers that makes the reader feel the exact opposite of wanting the time it took them to read back. It's even better on PPV weeks, because there are two recaps, doubling the experience. Plus, there's always gratuitous pictures of AJ and Kaitlyn, so he's got something for everyone.

2. International Object

It's one thing to be different. Anyone can come with a contrary opinion to the norm, but not everyone has a knack for changing minds, expanding viewpoints and laying out a point of view as clearly as K. Sawyer Paul does. A lot of what he does on International Object is short burst writing, links with blurbs and pseudo-FJMing of WrestleZone. There are longer pieces from time to time, but whoever said that length equaled quality in writing was either paid by the word or was grossly misinformed. Every time he comes out with a piece, it's got something to say, and it's usually something no one else is saying. That's a feat.

3. The Masked Man at Grantland/Deadspin

David Shoemaker brings the style to wrestling writing. Much like the rest of the staff at Grantland, TMM is looking to raise the game of writing in his field. He's the unofficial seventh member of Fair to Flair, as he's our spiritual cousin, but really, with his Deadspin cache, he's been doing this for awhile. To be a guy writing so lovingly about something most people who get PAID to do this treat like crap is such a novel idea even though it should have been the way Shoemaker's been doing it all along. He's required reading, even moreso than all the other great writers there (and there are a lot of great writers at Grantland).

4. David D. at The Smoking Section

David D. doesn't write about wrestling all the time at TSS. It's a site all about hip-hop culture and sports, and he writes about those subjects a lot. But when he delves into wrestling, it's really fresh because of the topics he chooses to tackle. The best was when he posited that WWE should buy Impact because someone was going to die in a TNA ring. It's definitely a look at wrestling through a more urban lens, with a street smart sense.

5. Wrestlegasm

A lot of times, how people look at wrestling on either side of the Atlantic can be as different as we speak the common language. What we here in America might hive-mindedly pan is sometimes conversely praised in the UK. It's always interesting to read those viewpoints, and even though they don't update as often as some other blogs, any time Andrew and Rae post their views on wrestling, it's a great insight into how differently the English (and in Rae's case, Welsh) look at things.

6. PizzaBodySlam

My blogging Bromas Brokoun is obviously going to be on here. OBVIOUSLY. Even with Mitch's almost constant state of flux keeping him from writing regularly, whenever he does get to a computer to write, it's magical. He's got such a naivete about him without really seeming totally doe-eyed. It's paradoxical almost; it's smart writing without seeming too jaded. He dances on the line, and that's what makes him such a great writer.