Tuesday, August 7, 2012

UPDATED: Wrestling's (Legitimately) Most Wanted

UPDATED 08/07/12 @ 4:05pm EST: Courtesy of The Wrestling Blog comes some new info regarding WMW.

The video seen below? Was apparently shot after a NWA Smoky Mountain show. Where the Team Ambition Team Bandits Wrestling's Most Wanted guys (okay, okay, sorry, couldn’t resist one more!) were portrayed as an invading faction, kicking off an angle.

So, the idea presented below, about taking things too far in real life in order to gain hatred to the point where promoters will bring you on because everyone wants to see them get their come-uppance? Totally worked.

Wrestling’s Most Wanted are now indeed that, as they are becoming quite the attraction on the independent scene despite their legitimately foul actions. This is going to be interesting to see if (or how long) they can fly in the face of politically-correct behavior and social media moralism and not reap any serious backlash.


I've kind of sat on this Team Ambition Team Bandits Wrestling's Most Wanted situation since it happened. Partly because it was already being talked about elsewhere, partly because the story is even still unfolding.

Before we go any further, let's get the uninitiated caught up to speed. Team Ambition was Kyle O'Reilly, Tony Kozina, and former Ring of Honor World Champion Davey Richards. (You'll see why that's ironic in a second. In fact, there'll be quite a few ironic statements throughout this whole thing.) There are two formerly-thought-separate-but-apparently-related incidents at play here. One is how Team Bandits stable member Tony Kozina legitimately assaulted a 16 year-old kid in a "match" where Kozina legitimately choked out a minor. The second happened the day after that, where Davey Richards, Kozina and O'Reilly took $350 from a promoter they were supposed to wresstle for and ran without working the show. Since all of that, Richards and Kozina remained silent at best and trolling at worst. Meanwhile, O'Reilly gave his share of the money he took back and has distanced hiomself from the rest of the gang. There's more to the incident(s) than what's over-simplified above, but you have the gist of what's going on, at least. Please feel free to follow the links above and/or find your own. It's an interesting tale of wrestling in 2012 - and it's getting more interesting because now, the remaining three - Richards, Kozina, and Darren Dean - are Team Ambition Team Bandits Wrestling's Most Wanted:

First of all, I'm sure a lot of people won't even post, embed, or link that video because of how "disgusting" and "morally reprehensible" these guys are. And for the record, I'm not cheering these guys or declaring my fandom or anything like that. Taking a promoter's money and running is one thing; most everyone has denigrated Team Ambition Team Bandits Wrestling's Most Wanted for being "unprofessional", but typically wrestling has been the Office vs. the Boys. Which do you trust? What Kozina pulled, though - and the rest of his team's support of it - is another matter. I'm honestly shocked that Ryan Kidd's parents aren't suing the living hell out of that litttle goblin Kozina and/or the promotion it happened in, or that that Kozina's not rotting away in jail. Just sayin'.

But, it's that patented reaction of outrage and comdemnation that fuels Team Ambition Team Bandits Wrestling's Most Wanted now (okay, I'll drop the strike-throughs after that, I promise). If all of this was done deliberately to cultivate this type of reaction, consider my mind blown. That would take guts that I don’t think very many people have anymore. However it happened - whether they planned all of this, whether the promotion they ripped off or even Ryan Kidd is in on this is all now pretty much immaterial. WMW seem to have accomplished a goal that no one else could have even visualized, much less saw coming.

Wrestling's Most Wanted have combined the omnipresence and availability of information the internet affords, the meme-filled, rapid-fire-yet-rarely-fully-informed opinions of social networks, and the "on-your-best-behavior-or-ELSE" intolerance of anything "offensive" belonging to a politically correct culture and created a real life heel stable. These guys aren't hated because they were scripted (booked, wwhatever) to beat the unholy beejeeezus out of the good guy after a match. They are hated for actions that were (seemingly, because anything in wrestling can be a work) perpetrated outside of a wrestling ring that riled up a holier-than-thou internet fanbase and convinced everyone paying attention that these guys are real assholes. They’ve taken the modern sense of palpable and very easily obtained outrage and used it to their advantage while thumbing their nose at a culture where we know everything as soon as it happens and nothing can get past us, amIriteguise?

I can’t say for sure that this was Wrestling’s Most Wanted’s plan. They very well may have stumbled onto this bit and decided to just run with it now. Even if that’s the case, what they’re taking and running with - a near-tangible hatred based on unprofessionalism and assault on a minor that’s gotten out everywhere thanks to the omnipresence of the ‘net - is nearly unheard of in this day and age. I’m very curious to see where this story and this stable heads next. I personally can’t stand them - but then that’s the point, isn’t it?

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