Indie Wrestling vs Sports Entertainment: Which is a Better Use of Your Dollar?

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Photo: WWE

In the past thirty days, I attended WWE‘s latest pay-per-view, Clash Of Champions, as well as a local indie wrestling show. I decided to take careful note of how much I spent at each event. My goal was neither to bash the WWE nor speak poorly of, in this case, Chaotic Wrestling. Both were extremely enjoyable in very different ways.

Photo: WWE

A problem that might be specific to Boston, it is nearly impossible to drive into the city and park at the TD Garden. Because of this, most people will take the T into the city. While this isn’t a big deal, it is worth noting it’ll cost you about four dollars to get to and from the venue. Parking at the Garden would be significantly more expensive, so public transportation is definitely the way to go.

The cheapest seats in the stadium were $44 after fees. Once you have arrived, if you look to indulge in an adult beverage, a beer will cost you $9. Merchandise is the same price you would pay on WWEShop.com, but obviously without any shipping and handling fees. But none of these things are particularly necessary. Let’s get to the show.

There are few experiences that compare to the WWE live. The atmosphere in the arena is electric. Thousands of people come to the arena for an event that comes to town once or twice a year. The fans certainly add to the experience, and I have found that the higher you are in the arena, the more friendly and rambunctious the fans are.

The event itself is a spectacle of the grandest scale. In an industry where larger-than-life is the standard, no one does it quite like the WWE. The lights, the sound, the videos, everything is so pristine. This is also true of their matches. Though this can be a very good thing, when something is botched, it looks particularly bad. When it happens, it takes the viewer out of the match, and at times, it can take quite a while to get back into it. Overall, if you attend a WWE event, you will quickly learn why it is called sports entertainment. For the four hour show, including pre-show, I spent just under $70 for the show, two beers, and transportation to and from the arena.

Photo: Chaotic Wrestling

Chaotic Wrestling might not be the biggest name in the country, but it has birthed many stars. Kofi KingstonSasha BanksTommaso Ciampa, and, most relevant to this show, War Beard Hanson have all come through the ranks. The particular show I attended was at a local Elks lodge. While public transportation wasn’t necessary, there was extremely limited parking between the wrestlers and the fans excited to see indie wrestling. We parked behind the pizza parlor next door. Upon entering the building, I told them I had three general admission tickets under my name. Our hands were stamped and we headed into the function hall.

Doors opened at 7:15. We got to the venue at about 7:40, and general admission seating was full. There were plenty of fans standing behind the seats. General admission tickets were $15. The first three rows were $18. Unfortunately, a family of four was unable to make the show, and my group became the lucky beneficiaries. There were several wrestlers in a side room looking to move t-shirts and other products. The room was quite overcrowded, so I opted to pick up a beer at the cash-only bar. $4.25 for a light beer was a much better deal than $9. How did the show compare?

The video and sound production were slightly above what one might expect from an indie wrestling promotion in an Elks Club. The talent was top notch as well. Wrestlers well on their way to becoming household names like JT DunnJosh BriggsBrian MilonasAshley Vox, and Delmi Exo put on great matches. It is always nice to see talent from CZWChikara, and ROH all at your local indie. This show was War Beard Hanson’s last match before heading to the WWE, so of course, he was the man of the night. A smaller, more intimate environment lead to a much different experience than a WWE show. This felt like wrestling in its truest form. It doesn’t have quite the same shine as a bigger event, but it felt right anyway. And at just under $20, it is something much more doable on a regular basis.

So, at the end of the day, which is the better option? That is a difficult question. The unique experience of attending a WWE event is worth the extra expense on perhaps a yearly basis. The local indie wrestling show can easily become a regular event in your life since the costs are so low. Supporting indie wrestling is very important to a lot of fans, but if you prefer to stick to WWE, Impact Wrestling, or anyone else, that’s fine too. At the end of the day, if you are a fan, then that should be enough. How you enjoy the product is completely up to you. How you choose to enjoy wrestling is a personal decision, we’re just glad you’ve decided to make us part of your experience.

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