“A prizefighter is a boxer” – someone that can edit Wikipedia
Is there a true prizefighter left in the world of professional wrestling? Well, I am here today as the most unqualified person to determine so to answer that very question. To determine this, I have listed four criteria in order to solve this debacle.
- They must not be tied down to one promotion (this throws out the entirety of the full time WWE roster and many world champions out of contention).
- They must have a presence about them, something one can feel experiencing them live or on tape.
- Must be a legitimate threat, as in can come in and immediately challenge for a title, be placed near the top of the card, etc.
- Must be a confirmed draw in either ticket sales or online sales, in some cases both (this throws Brock Lesnar out of discussion).
I don’t have all the answers, but I know one man who sticks out above all else in my mind, and that wrestler’s name is none other than Chris Hero. Hero has been wrestling going on nearly two decades at this point and has done it all, including wrestling all around the world in the top promotions, winning championship after championship and tournament after tournament and even having a brief stint in WWE’s NXT program, which gave us the satisfyingly great dream match between himself and William Regal. However, these are not the qualities that make Chris Hero the prizefighter that pro wrestling needs.
If you listen to Hero talk, you know that he is the champion of casting wrestling in a legitimate light, you can see this if he’s sitting on a couch with Dave Meltzer and Rob Naylor just talking or in an extremely well done video promo to hype his EVOLVE Championship match with Timothy Thatcher from last weekend, Hero has that last bit of legitimacy that pro wrestling needs. Because let’s face it, if the wrestlers don’t believe in what they are doing, why should we the fans care?
The repertoire of any notable athlete or movie star has to be different enough to stand out or else they wouldn’t be on the top of their craft, which is exactly why Hero’s moveset works as well as it does. Hero doesn’t come out and bullshit around, he hits you in the mouth and hits you in the mouth hard. Add his incredible elbow strikes in with his devastating kicks, sentons, piledrivers and the ten new things he does in every single match, you can’t beat it. Shouldn’t a prizefighter be THE master of the craft in more ways than one? So whether Hero decides to kick you in the mouth or twist you up like a pretzel or hit a tope because HE CAN, he does it as well as anybody else on the planet. It is a specific set of moves that should not be possible to work for one wrestler’s style, but Chris Hero’s style is Chris Hero, which is what makes him invaluable in the world of wrestling.
Chris Hero is immediately THE guy in any promotion he steps foot in. Currently, he is in a top feud in Beyond Wrestling and EVOLVE wrestling, challenging for the PROGRESS World Title at his second show after making it to the semifinals of Super Strong Style 16 on top of working a ton of the top promotions in Europe, and will be challenging for the Georgia Wrestling Tag Team Championships on his first show with the company for a title that has not even been crowned yet! Call me insane, but who else on the independent scene has that kind of star power around themselves to be able to do all of that? Not to mention that as opposed to hearing uproar about him being overexposed, the fans are grateful that someone like him even exists!
If it has not been blatantly obvious that Chris Hero is one of my favorite wrestlers of all time and for my money is having the best year in the world currently, my bad because it was suppose to be. Hero just checks off every box a wrestling fan would want and that is what makes him the prizefighter that wrestling needs, not to mention the fact he is out there killing it weekend after weekend, month after month, and year after year. In a world where the Internet exists to solely allow us to watch so much great wrestling every week, for someone like a Chris Hero to be have created a brand for himself as a star in every promotion he steps is truly remarkable. Thank you all for reading, and who’s your hero?