Dave Dutra Vs. El Chupacabra
30 October, 2010
APW Garage; Hayward, CA
All-Pro Wrestling is a promotion that has been running out of the San Fransisco Bay Area for over a decade now. It was featured prominently in the movie Beyond the Mat and is probably best known as the place where Mike Modest and a handfull of other guys got their start.
A few months back one of the wrestlers that I trained when I was running the NWA school up in Pittsburgh went to a Ring of Honor camp, and he told me that I needed to check out a dude working in California by the name of El Chupacabra, which is Espanol for "werewolf". So, when I saw this match pop-up in my subscription queue on Youtube, I figured that this would be perfect for Project 33.
I thought that this was a great back-and-forth match that told a great story. Dave Dutra obviously had a size advantage here, but Chupy had a speed one, and he used it to his advantage. Dutra countered repeatedly with power moves, which looked devastating on the smaller Chupy.
The commentary let me know that this was Chupy's APW debut, and that Dutra was a former APW Heavyweight Champion. Knowing that, this was a very strong debut here for Chupy, and he obviously took Dutra to the limit, even if he didn't get the win. Dutra worked very hard to make Chupy look good in his debut too.
This match brought to mind a conversation that I will occasionally have with my fellow wrestlers.
As you should be well aware, almost anywhere you go, you are going to find an independent wrestling promotion of some sort. Some promotions may be more well known than others, but there are hundreds if not thousands of promotions all across the United States. Sure, some promotions blow, and should have not ever have attempted to put on a card. And some are going to be solid and have a great night of wrestling action.
However, to most "smart" internet fans, there are only about a dozen independent promotions that are worth a damn. When you hear about ROH or TNA, or even the WWE signing some indy wrestler that no one has heard of, you often hear the "smarts" talk about how so-and-so from this group-or-that is way better - but it is always someone from one of that dozen or so indy promotions. Then, at the same time, a mediocre act from one of those top indy promotions will have praise heaped up on it, while other far better acts out there are over looked.
To me, this is a "chicken or egg" situation. Are these "super indy" promotions so good because they have awesome talent, or are the wrestlers hyped so much just because they wrestle for one of these promotions?
Put this match up against one of the preliminary matches on a Ring of Honor taping. To me, if this match had the same quality production as a match you might see on ROH on HDNet, you would have a damn hard time trying to figure out which match was the ROH match.
So, if Dutra vs. Chupy pops up on an ROH taping, or on a Chikara card, would these guys automatically be awesome, because they worked for ROH or Chikara? If a Tim Donst or Erick Stevens didn't work for super indy promotions, but popped up on the APW Gym Wars television show, would the smarks on the internet still hype them like they do?
There are soooooo many good wrestlers out there - I do not understand why more fans do not broaden their horizons by trying different products, and I do not understand why more promoters/matchmakers/bookers do not bring in different talent. I see independent promoters bring in "names" from ROH and draw houses of 65 paid fans, and I do not understand why they wouldn't spend far less money and bring in locals guys with talent - like Dutra and Chupy in this case, and perhaps build the house up with them over time.
This is why I think the business is in the shitter. People just try the same old crap and waste money, rather than working hard and innovating.