The rise of YouTube and other social media has led to a plethora of user-generated content about every subject on Earth, including pro wrestling. A lot of people have taken to YouTube with their opinions on recent WWE news and, well, a lot of it is unwatchable.
I'm here to help you filter through the tripe. Both fans wrestlers have made an effort to put together some great content that they've uploaded to YouTube, with some building up big followings. Putting aside WWE productions (which now include Zack Ryder's "Z! True Long Island Stories"), here are, in no particular order, five of the best shows you should be checking out.
Some of them may be familiar to you, while some are a little more obscure, but I bet a lot of you will enjoy them all.
Having just seen its 200th episode (embedded here) released, Botchamania is probably the most popular wrestling web series and the entry in this slideshow you're most likely to be familiar with. Creator "Maffew" scours recent and past wrestling events for amusing flubs (as well as accepting user submissions), edits them together with remixes of classic video game music playing in the background, and the the result is...Botchamania.
Constant copyright related takedowns have made the above linked official website the best source for the videos without a stable YouTube channel to link to. But that hasn't stopped Maffew, and the show has many vocal fans both in and out of the wrestling business, with many independent wrestling stars now recording intros for the show. In addition, high-profile independent promotion Chikara has sponsored the show at times.
With 200 episodes, the show has developed recurring segments and memes. The intro, a brilliant re-edit of the WWE "signature" video with clips from the most famous botches, never gets old, even when you're marathon viewing a large backlog of episodes.
All in all, Botchamania is awesome.
Speaking of Chikara, their video podcast is an easy yet non-traditional way to keep up with what's going on in the promotion. Even if you can't afford to pick up every show on DVD, the podcast keeps you informed and up-to-date with both recent and older clips of Chikara action. This show is a long runner and a good way to get acquainted with the...unique...cast of characters seen in Chikara.
The most recent episode, #300, is embedded here and covers some of the action from their "Joshimania" shows in December.
In conjunction with wrestling merchandise vendor Highspots (whose YouTube channel hosts the show), wrestler/comedian/CM Punk's heterosexual life partner Colt Cabana and comedian Marty DeRosa have developed the "Creative Has Nothing For You" shorts. Cabana plays himself, while DeRosa takes on the role of "Creative," the all-powerful but idiotic writer in control of his career.
They make the most of the minute they have and, like in the early episode above, can be tremendously funny. Well worth taking a minute out of your day each week to watch. The embedded episode is my personal favorite.
It's released weekly on Monday evening, so you can check it out right before Raw.
Last spring, my friend Joe Gagne (also of the "Joe Versus The World" podcast), with help from the "Mike & Tom Present" podcast, started "Joe Gagne's Funtime Pro Wrestling Arcade" to cover old pro wrestling video games.
With 22 episodes produced to date, the show is always funny (with a flair for jokes about various characters and memes in Internet wrestling fandom), informative, and a great look back at both the good and bad games we've all spent way too much time on.
Unsurprisingly, the embedded episode covering Technos' beloved WWF Wrestlefest arcade game is the show's most viewed. It's one of the best, as well.