WWE has been teasing the arrival of something called Southpaw Regional Wrestling for about a week now. I started seeing the ads on YouTube and my interest was instantly piqued. The early promos for it looked like a mash-up of several 80’s wrestling shows that I’d grown to love thanks to the WWE Network. Southpaw Regional Wrestling debuted today on WWE’s YouTube channel and WWE.com, and I will admit – it’s pretty damn great.
The premise behind SRW is a simple one. A mysterious VCR tape was found in the WWE Archives. It contained footage from a long-lost wrestling promotion known only as Southpaw Regional Wrestling. The footage stems from February 1987, as the company leads into its biggest event of the year, Lethal Leap Year. Of course Southpaw Regional Wrestling is a fictional company, and the stars from it are composed of actual WWE superstars. John Cena, Fandango, Chris Jericho, Gallows and Anderson, Rusev and Lana, TJ Perkins and Tyler Breeze make up the main cast, and they all do a stellar job.
Southpaw Regional Wrestling isn’t just great because of the comedic elements though, there’s much more to it. What makes this parody so great, is that it totally encapsulates everything that was awesome about pro wrestling in the 1980’s. The over-the-top personalities, the campy vignettes, the awful production value, nothing is left untouched. In many of the segments there’s almost a creepy correlation from segments that I’ve actually watched from promotions like Mid-South, NWA, and WCW. The brilliance behind Southpaw Regional Wrestling is in the relationship between its two announcers Lance Catamaran (Cena) and Chett Chetterfield (Fandango). There’s a palpable awkwardness between them, with Catamaran’s character obviously taking the gig way too seriously, while Chetterfield sits in a drunken stupor.
Southpaw Regional Wrestling is simply the greatest thing going right now. While I am a little upset that none of the New Day made an appearance, it’s otherwise damn-near perfect. Head on over to the WWE YouTube page to check it out in its entirety.