Saturday, July 28, 2012

Fifteen Years Of Dreaming

Hey yo,

Monday, July 28, 1997 was the day of the most influential singular moment of my life so far has occurred. It will probably always rank in my top ten give or take how many children I have. Hint, hint to all my long-time female readers of this thoroughly fabulous blog. The shedding of my painfully shy demeanor, my deep self-awareness, how I dress, how I behave, hell my entire world view are a direct consequence of this accident. This accident occurred next door, I was watching my cousin play Warcraft II. Yes, this is the secret to my Animal Magnetism. Well it would at least explain my lack of success with the womenfolk. Thinking out loud, I think the fact I described them as womenfolk might be why I am single.

Ya see, the video game just wasn’t doing it for me and to this day they don’t really do it for me. Though I totally see their appeal, but I still don’t derive that much pleasure from them. However, just upstairs there was something that has always leaving me wanting more and more. I left my cousin to go find out what my uncle was up to and to my astonishment I saw what could only be accurately described as superheroes come to life. There was Bret “Hitman” Hart cutting a promo about why America sucked. But get this, just two channels down on TNT (Ch. 33), there was a whole another company of these larger than life figures, but this one featured the super-cool badasses known as the New World Order. After just whetting my appetite, I raced back home and told my parents to drop everything and show them my latest discovery. My mom was probably horrified and my dad knew that this time would eventually come. I had discovered the spectacle that most boys enjoyed that weird mixture of an Action Movie, Broadway, Soap Opera and the Circus: Professional Wrestling. From then on the VCR was setup each week with a blank tape to record my wrestling programs and fifteen years later this has been replaced with a DVR, but no matter the device wrestling has been a fixture of the Cuddy household for 15 years.

Both thought that one day I would grow out of it, but just this past April almost 15 years later, my father and brother attended Wrestlemania XXVIII with 70,000+ other rabid wrestling fans. Most wrestling fans grow out of it, once they discover that they have been hoodwinked and it is all “fake”. I abhor the term “fake” because the very serious injuries and life-shortening measures these men and women undertake for my entertainment. Choreographed and pre-determined are much more accurate terms to define the nature of these “sporting contests”. Very close to the outset, I knew it was all “pre-determined” and I treated it just like any other television show. Except this TV show was TOTALLY FUCKIN AWESOME AND THERE IS NOTHING BETTER THAN IT. Sorry, had to mark out there. The thing is anybody knows from watching wrestling with me I am a pretty harsh critic. Most of the time, wrestling ranges from a fun diversion to an infuriating product. However, when wrestling is done just right, I don’t think there is a better form of entertainment in the world. The most recent example was the Summer of CM Punk angle from last year that generated buzz not only among the normal wrestling community, but also among ESPN and other entertainment outlets. Of course as is the recent problem with wrestling the creative team can’t sustain the buzz and achieve a thrilling climax. Noly Nowocien can relate to this problem.

Wrestling is also a very interesting form of entertainment because it very rarely leaves the viewer feeling complete. This would of course invalidate the entire business model. Everything wrestling program is geared towards making you watch the next episode, buy a ticket the next event, buy the next pay per view. There is no ending to pro wrestling. Movies, books, and TV shows all end (even though Matt Groening wants you to believe otherwise). There is a sense of satisfaction that is derived from finality, but in wrestling there is only a sense of longing. This is the reason why many disillusioned fans such as myself continue to watch. We long not for the better days, but new interesting gimmicks, creative character dynamics, crazier segments and addictive storylines. I see glimmers of all these facets of wrestling today, but they are never fully realized. Thanks to the wonders of technology, no wrestling fan is fettered to the current product and that is my favorite aspect of wrestling there is no beginning.

Before Austin, The Rock there was Hart and Michaels before them was Hogan and Savage before them was Backlund and Graham before them Bruno and Pedro before them was Thesz and Rogers and all this history makes this particular history buff drool. Even though I am only really a fan of wrestling from 1980-Now, that is over 30 years of wrestling history from companies such as WWF, WCW, ECW, AWA, NWA, AJPW, NJPW, Pro-Wrestling NOAH, CMLL, AAA, SMW, Georgia Championship Wrestling, Mid-South Wrestling, Memphis Wrestling and World-Class Championship Wrestling. I have devoured wrestling history from the outset: reading reviews of all the major supershows, reviewing title histories, perusing wrestling forums. Two of my favorite genres of pro wrestling is puroresu (Japanese pro-wrestling) and 1980’s southern wrestling from NWA. I would not be able to say those are my favorite without the wonderful platform that is youtube, which is like a wrestling fan’s candyland. You can literally find anything you want. You wanna watch some Attitude Era WWF, it has you covered. Wanna watch Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi take on Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue in what considered the greatest match in history got you covered. Wanna watch Ric Flair and the Four Horsemen run roughshod over the NWA in 1985, got you covered.

This nearly infinite library of wrestling allows me to be a wrestling fan without being a fan of the current fan and the infinity of the future always piques my interest. That is the ultimate beauty of wrestling it is just like a dream, no beginning, no ending. Here’s to fifteen more glorious years of wrestling fandom.


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