It was an amazing 40 years
Every day I become less and less of a wrestling fan. Yes, the women do things right, but to be honest...that's not enough. There aren't enough women's shows to tide wrestling over. Stardom is the only company I know running frequently. Nearly everyone else is once a month at best. That's not the only problem though. Wrestling can no longer get me to "emotionally invest" any more. I always loved wrestling because it was a "combat sport." Even after I learned what a "work" was, and what "Kayfabe" was, I still saw it that way. It was a violent sport where I lived vicariously through the "workers." It was very much like "The Walking Dead" is for so many today. Everyone knows that TWD isn't "real," but by god it's presented as if it is. Many get so attached to the characters (workers/gimmicks) and their stories (angles) that they have real emotional reactions to them. The possible death of Rick Grimes tonight has millions on edge. That story (angle) is causing a legitimate reaction. That story is "viral." Wrestling doesn't even try to get anything like that reaction anymore. The WWE still does "angles/stories" but they are almost always horrible. They have an amazing roster, being wasted by soap opera writers and Vince McMahon's unwillingness to get anyone "over" in a major way. The indy's are simply matches. Promoters look for performers they feel will create a good match/performance, and try to book those wrestlers. That's all indy wrestling is anymore, and it's just not enough.
Why is that not enough? Well, because if I want to see a "combat sport" that's only about the best fighters (not performers) going up against each other, then there's no doubt that's MMA/Kickboxing. The thing that wrestling always had over anything else was the ability to make me care about more than just what happened in the ring. Wrestling used to make you care about each wrestler, and why they were fighting. It was never just about "lets see which one of these two guys (or tag team) is better than the other." Hell, even if there was a time or two where a wrestling match focused only on "who is better" it was almost always for a championship title, and today, championship titles mean less and less. I could argue that most titles in wrestling today mean nothing at all. Too often wrestling titles are placed on lesser performers because "they need the rub." Wrestling companies today are so bad at getting their performers over, that they often put a title on them hoping that will do it for them.
I am at the point today where if I want to see two guys, or women fight, just to see who is the better of the two, then let it be an MMA or Kickboxing fight. Why? Well, because at least those are real fights, to obtain a real ranking, to chase after a real championship, that really means something. Wrestling has gotten so bad today that not only did they give up on their ability to create story lines that elicit legitimate emotions from their fans, they'v even made most of their "cool moves" meaningless. The moves were something else wrestling had on all other sports. Superplexes, pile drivers, DDT's, and clotheslines were things you saw nowhere else! Today, these moves have graduated to even bigger moves like Canadian Destroyers, brainbusters (often even on the apron) death valley drivers, and an unbelievable amount of dives from the ring, to the outside venue flooring, sometimes even the cement part of the floor, without padding. The occasional chair shot has turned into multiple chair shots, kendo sticks, canes, whips, and even sledgehammers! The problem is that far too often these amazing, unbelievable, over the top, moves, don't hurt the wrestler on the receiving end enough for him to be pinned. No only that, far too often a wrestler who has taken a move (bump) like that, is back on his feet on offense, with no visible signs of having taken such a move.
All this just to say that my ability to "suspend disbelief" is as dead as the kayfabe era. I only watch wrestling today in order to discuss it, and break it down on social media. I don't watch wrestling for fun. I don't watch wrestling for excitement, and I can't even recall the last time I was able to live vicariously through a wrestler, or a wrestling match. If you took away my ability to analyze and break down a match, a card, a show, I'd never watch wrestling again. I believe that's telling me everything I need to know. I've moved past a sport I used to love more than any other. I hung on to the end of that rope for as long as I possibly could, but I slipped...and I've fallen away from professional wrestling, and the slapstick, variety show, parody that it is today. I'll be covering MMA and Kickboxing now, and discussing what's wrong with wrestling, and how it could be "saved" on my monthly podcast Jason and Adam Save The Wrestling World. What wrestling was is dead, and what it is...is something that wants to compete with MMA, and it just doesn't stand a chance doing that. Wrestling that doesn't want to compete with MMA is often the kind of wrestling that introduces penis flips, invisible bullets, wrestling dinosaurs, and male wrestlers wearing dresses with their hair in pigtails "just because". I've never had any interest in that garbage. It was a great 40 years as a wrestling fan, who even got to spend several years in the business. I'll always remember it fondly, but I have to get out before I completely start to hate the business I've loved most of my life.
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