The Ballad of Bobby Fish

Mark Madden

Bobby FishBobby Fish impresses me. I’ve seen him work twice for the Pittsburgh-based IWC promotion. His ringwork is beyond solid, his matches far better than the usual small-show spot-fest, and Fish engages the crowd, the ultimate rarity at an indie card.

Fish is great on ROH TV, too. His promos come off as unscripted, something most WWE promos don’t. reDRagon is a decent team, kind of Smoky Mountain-esque, but again…solid.

Bobby Fish will never work in WWE. At 34, he’s already at a career peak. Fish is what he is, and it ain’t much. Fish deserves better. But he simply isn’t going to get it.

That’s what sucks about fake wrestling today. Too many Internet marks act like one dominant company is a good thing. It’s not. WWE’s monopoly is the worst thing possible.

I’ve often written about how WWE’s monopoly stifles the promotion’s creativity. They’ve won, so…AGENDA TIME! The biggest part of that agenda is doing things the “WWE way.”

The “WWE way” is exclusionary. A guy like Fish can’t make it. Too small, too plain, too this, too that. Daniel Bryan was the best of that bunch, and even getting over ultimately didn’t help Bryan.

When WCW and ECW were legitimate secondary and tertiary companies, quality got a shot. The aforementioned Smoky Mountain afforded opportunity, too – though, in retrospect, Smoky Mountain was just ROH with a hillbilly accent.

Going further back, to the territorial days – Bobby Fish would have been a star. Absolutely. In a tag-team territory, or a light-heavyweight territory, Fish would have been a star. Fish would have bounced around. But he would have made a good living.

That’s just not possible for Fish in today’s wrestling environment. That sucks, it’s sad, and it applies to dozens more.

So when you marvel at WWE’s product, keep in mind: It’s not that good, all legit alternatives have been killed, and a certain kind of wrestler has zero chance. That guy’s dream is dead.

It’s not better now. It simply isn’t. ROH is the second-best product in America, far surpassing TNA. ROH is different by way of being old-school. TNA is just low-level WWE served at the warmth of a urine sample. It stinks.

But there’s no call for a No. 2 promotion. Even if there was, WWE’s production value doesn’t allow for a No. 2. Everything else looks minor-league by comparison. There’s a big difference between No. 2 and minor-league.

Tyson KiddJealous Guy

It’s good to see Tyson Kidd healthy and involved in a storyline, not just a one-off match on Raw or Smackdown. Kidd’s the last product of the Hart Dungeon, and that means a lot to me. He’s also the style of wrestler I prefer watching. Kidd’s a talent.

Kidd’s an excellent worker. But in WWE, you need personality. More accurately, you need to be assigned a personality.

WWE did that. Kidd is “the jealous husband,” and will presumably have benefit of exposure on “Total Divas.” That program means a lot to “the family,” and so affords Kidd opportunity. Chances in WWE are fleeting, so Kidd needs to make the most of it.

BTW, if Fandango is trying to maneuver Summer Rae and Natalya into a three-way…I really can’t hate him for that.

Follow Mark on Twitter: @MarkMaddenX

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