2013 is already off to a hot start in the world of pro wrestling. Within 5 days, 2 of the most popular stars in the history of wrestling (The Rock and Sting) returned to WWE and TNA respectively. Sting is coming back to seek retribution against the Aces & Eights Faction, while The Rock put WWE Champion CM Punk on notice that in “20 days” he was going to become a champion again, for the first time in 10 years! While I expect that both returns and their respective participation is newsworthy and will create interest amongst fans, there was another pro wrestling talent related signing that occurred this week that has a niche of fans excited and filled with hope for the present and future of WWE. That man is EL GENERICO.
Now, if you’ve never heard or been exposed to El Generico, do not let the photo above fool you. El Generico is far and away one of the most talented professional wrestlers in the WORLD! He can compete in the ring with any competitor or style of wrestling from all over the WORLD! He has traveled the globe more than the Harlem Globetrotters. Even more amazing, is that he does it without using his ability to speak to capture and engage fans. Generico, The Generic Luchadore is from Tijuana, Mexico and having not yet mastered full bi-linguality with the English language, has created a fanbase that transcends culture, language, ethnicity and more. He is revered by die-hard “insider” wrestling fans as much as he is loved by children for his antics and colorful mask and golden cape he wears to the ring.
The bulk of my live pro wrestling exposure has come over the last 10 years. Equal to that, the exposure to many different promotions who run wrestling shows has greatly expanded in that timeframe as well. Through these opportunities I have seen El Generico and grown to appreciate him as being one of the best. Take his bout against Kota Ibushi from April 2008 in Ring of Honor. On this warm, Spring evening, these two incredible athletes dazzled and left fans exploding with excitement. From my 2nd row seat, I popped up and down with amazement and that same excitement. Or take his bout (of the many) against long-time partner and rival, Kevin Steen, from Pro Wrestling Guerrilla in December 2011. In a tiny Reseda, CA building that was seemingly bursting at the seams with fans, these men took risk after risk in a Ladder Match for the right to be PWG World Champion. The insane amount of punishment taken by Generico and the battle scars and welts he wore are images still very real in my mind today and this match was seen by me on DVD; I can only imagine what it must have been like in person!
Those are just two, brief snapshots of the many from Ring of Honor, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, CHIKARA, Dragon Gate USA/EVOLVE and more and more that Generico has created in terms of the legacy of the first half of his pro wrestling career. The next chapter will begin very soon, as the news that broke this week was of the agreement of El Generico to become a contracted performer of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and finally having earned what the majority of people who get into the crazy world of professional wrestling strive for – a contract with the biggest promotion in the world! The agreement in principal will likely become official within the coming weeks. Generico’s likely destination will be Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW), the developmental and “refining” territory where the majority of WWE Superstars make a stop on their way to “the big show.”
There is no indication of how long Generico’s stint there will be or who may join him, but that is the other aspect that has some fans excitement. What is to come? WWE has long been known for a body-type and “mold” for lack of better term when it comes to their wrestlers. A change has slowly been working its way into and through the system, where the size and amount of muscles you have isn’t the only ticket you need to play. With the number of untapped wrestlers on the independent scene, with their trails of blood, sweat and tears behind them, not only is WWE a professional goal, but the culmination and reward for the hard work. This is a welcome change from me – I find it refreshing that the sport of pro wrestling is evolving to reward hard work and skill instead of (only) time spent in the gym.
There is no sure outcome for what the future holds for El Generico. He is on the doorstep to his next great opportunity. Many have come before him and many that people cheer or jeer now have succeeded (Daniel Bryan being the first that comes to my mind). Based on what I’ve seen, Generico has every single thing necessary to join those ranks. I am excited to see where the journey goes and hope that you hop on before the momentum takes off!