I Want Wrestling is a social media movement created by former WWE writer and ROH for HD Net producer, David Lagana. Since its creation in January it has spawned a website, podcast and gained an almost cult-like following on Twitter. The internet is abuzz with people saying “I Want Wrestling.”
I was fortunate enough to attend Wrestle Reunion 5 in Los Angeles at the beginning of the year. It was at the Ring Of Honor Q& A session that I first heard of David Lagana. That weekend really opened my eyes to the real world of wrestling, and how important fans are in keeping these precious wrestling memories alive. The passion and love these men still have for this sport shines through.
In the seven months since I Want Wrestling was launched, it has gained over 20,000 followers on Twitter. Lagana and the I Want Wrestling movement are delving further into the world of professional wrestling, straying from the format and content of other wrestling sites and podcasts on the internet. It is not about attacking the wrestlers themselves, but constructive criticism regarding the storylines and the amount of air time which is spent showing actual wrestling. There are already far too many negative sites filled with rumours. I Want Wrestling is about starting a conversation, a positive one. It is the cold hard facts, transforming the online wrestling community’s views.
Lagana uses his social networking tools and legion of followers to help promote struggling artists and athletes, products and companies which he believes wrestling fans should be aware of. I Want Wrestling has given hope to people who had given up on WWE and TNA. There are alternatives out there.
Being a script writer for the WWE was a childhood dream that Lagana got to eventually fulfil, working for the company from 2002 – 2008. Lagana knows the inner workings of the WWE. He is dispelling the rumours and misconceptions people have about former and current WWE creative writers. The little control they have over the product makes them unfair targets. The writers don’t make the match bookings; they have to work with what is given to them. In the end it ultimately comes down to those in charge/power and the wrestlers themselves.
Working for the WWE is a demanding job – little social life, long days and nights and extensive travel. The WWE doesn’t have an off-season, nor do the writers. An ordinary person could not do this job, it is not as easy as it seems. With his contacts throughout the wrestling community it makes for varied views and intelligent discussions on his podcasts, Formerly Creative, Promote This and Press the Press.
There are still some people who choose to use the Internet to attack Lagana, using their anonymity as a shield. But it seems now the majority of people have gotten to know Lagana, from his work in Ring of Honor and with I Want Wrestling that they now see his vision and have gotten behind the I Want Wrestling movement. Fans have even taken to bringing @Lagana signs to WWE events and starting “I Want Wrestling” chants during WWE and TNA broadcasts.
Sometimes wrestling fans are their own worst enemies. Instead of sitting back and enjoying the product, they read spoilers and visit wrestling “news” and rumour sites that carry no merit. Many have over-analysed all that is happening with CM Punk at the moment. We all know that the match winners are predetermined, so why ruin that last bit of uncertainty by reading the spoilers and then complaining about the show once you watch it? You’re ruining the surprise and the entertainment for yourself.
The point that Lagana continues to reiterate is “if you don’t like it, don’t watch it.” If WWE and TNA continue to garner solid ratings each week, then nothing will change with the product. We, the people, have the power to create change, by speaking with our money. By not tuning in each week, not buying the PPVs, merchandise and tickets, it sends a message. Personally, I’d much rather find a product that delivers me quality matches than pointlessly complaining about one which I do not enjoy.
In a way CM Punk and Lagana are alike. They’re giving a voice to the voiceless, letting others be heard for once, and helping mould the future of wrestling. I Want Wrestling has given fans a forum to discuss what they want to see in the wrestling industry, and it is clear to see that the entertainment side (10 minute promos) and 5 minute matches is not what people want.
Lagana has opened up people’s eyes and is directing them back to what is important in wrestling. More people are aware of the other options out there, and the independent wrestling scene is sure to benefit from his words of wisdom.