Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Cody Rhodes and the Young Bucks to Dream Big

Rhodes wants five figures
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
Pro wrestling has an obsession with drawing. WWE stokes that with its numbers about how its crowds are just the biggest and best, whether or not those numbers are accurate. If they're not, then Dave Meltzer will be HOT ON THE CASE, because no issue in wrestling is more pressing than telling the truth about how many people watched your show. It's not only a mark of business, but it's a point of pride for the wrestlers themselves who want to be as famous as possible. Cody Rhodes and the Young Bucks obviously pride themselves on being the most popular wrestlers in America outside the corporate purview of WWE, and now, they're looking to prove it. As reported on Pro Wrestling Sheet, the core members of the Bullet Club are looking to self-finance a show at a 10,000 seat arena in 2018.

Apparently, the desire to book a show in such an arena stems from a desire to prove Meltzer wrong when he said Ring of Honor, the American company to which they are tethered, couldn't draw that many fans in a show. Rhodes replied on Twitter that if he and the Bucks had three months to promote, they'd be able to pull it off. So now, the show is at least in the ideation stage. Rhodes has picked out four potential locations: San Francisco, Chicago, London, and the site of the Bullet Club's infamous invasion of RAW, Ontario, CA. The first three make sense from a logistical standpoint. San Francisco has the Cow Palace. Chicago is known as the hottest market for wrestling in America. London is at the epicenter of the British wrestling explosion, and honestly probably would have the best shot of drawing five figures. Ontario reeks of pure hubris, although it would be hilarious to see the crowd happen there for obvious reasons.

Despite my obvious distaste for Rhodes, I hope he and the Bucks pull this off. Despite my more than obvious disdain for butts-in-seats or money made as the be-all, end-all metric for wrestling success, it would own if someone, anyone, proved that wrestling could be commercially viable outside of the WWE's media juggernaut. The truth is artistic merit in pro wrestling has to be chained to the fiduciary grind because the only income available is either through sales or through the benefit of a money mark. Ain't no government endowment for the arts walkin' through that door for the graps. So for people outside of Vince McMahon's sphere of influence to be able to do creative stuff that they couldn't do in WWE, they'd have to show that their brand can draw money. As gross as that sounds, it's the truth nowdays. The Bucks and Rhodes pulling off this show would go a long way to making it possible.

Of course, a lot of planning has to go into this for it to become a reality, let alone a high-attendance one. The group will have to go through a lot of hoops to get a card that will appeal to a wide enough audience, which makes me think it will happen in London. However, 10,000 people in London is just as good as 10,000 in the States as it is in Japan. Either way, I wish them good luck in their endeavor.