Pro Wrestling and the Tragedy of Falling Out of Love

I had a really great Australia Day long weekend, filled with many little new experiences, and I was all set to write all about it when a curious thing happened. I got home last night and my mother (fellow wrestling enthusiast) asked, “Do you want to know what happened at the Royal Rumble?” And my immediate reaction was that…no, I didn’t. I honestly didn’t care. And that was a strange moment of realisation for me. I am not in love with wrestling anymore.

In order for this to make sense you need to understand where I’m coming from. I had been obsessed with wrestling since 2004. And when I say obsessed, I do not exaggerate. I’m talking legitimate obsession. I used to spend hours every day on wrestling message boards. I’ve seen thousands of matches in my life. I would watch WWE religiously and never miss a show. I have copious amounts of tapes, copious amounts of notes – paper and digital – detailing lists of matches, match ratings, notes on shows, etc. I think I did more research and homework in aid of winning arguments and making scholarly points on wrestling than I ever actually did in my entire school and university career. I had a blog at Wrestling101 called The Redman Report, and I mean, you think I use a lot of words now…boy can I spill some ink on the prowres’. When I started writing this blog I wondered why it was such a revelation to just write again, and then I realised, it is filling the gap that I left when I stopped writing about wrestling on a daily and extremely lengthy basis.

But the point is…I stopped. The fate that I have witnessed many an accomplished wrestling geek succumb to in their time is now the same fate that befalls me. I have moved on. The first step is that real life simply gets in the way. I got a job that prevented me from watching WWE on a weekly basis as I was used to. I didn’t have as much free time to devote to message board perusal. And then, in the cliché of all clichés…I got a girlfriend. Boom, no time for superfluous shit like wrestling or friends or, well, anything anymore. So you start missing shows, you fall out of the loop, you have no time to get online and catch up, and you can’t argue online because you’re out of the loop. Then you finally catch a show weeks later and you think one of two thoughts: either “I’m so out of the loop I have no idea what is happening anymore”, or “I’ve missed a month of TV and it’s still the exact same shit going on”. Both of which are discouraging to the idea of jumping right back into the pool.

You still make sure to keep up with the PPVs, but then you gotta work on the day of a PPV and you miss one. Then you miss the next one. Then suddenly the Royal Rumble comes up – one of the two can’t-miss shows of the year – and you choose to hang out with your friends instead, don’t give it a single thought during the day, and then come home and aren’t even bothered to hear who won. I’m amazed that I’ve reached this point. I have taken days of school, off work, off seeing my friends in order to watch big PPVs. A few years back I was in Melbourne on holiday and I literally ditched my friends for half a day to go find an internet cafe and watch Money in the Bank 2011, because I couldn’t even wait until we got home. This is where my priorities lied for so long. And now…missed the Rumble. Don’t care. I still don’t know who won it. My mother will tell me next time I see her I guess. But I couldn’t care less. The magic is gone.

Whenever a great love dies it’s a sad moment. I do love wrestling. Wrestling is…amazing. I think we as hardcore fans feel like it’s one of those things that you can’t really understand unless you’re in it, unless you see it, unless you feel the same way we do. Wrestling can be anything and everything. It’s dramatic and athletic. It’s fighting and it’s dancing. Playful, and serious. Physically brutal, and openly illusory. Lowest common denominator trash, and incredibly complex art. It evokes the most visceral and base human reactions, and it invites minute dissection and rigorous debate. Anything and everything, all at once. Wrestling makes me feel things, think things, see things that I couldn’t possibly get from any other kind of art or entertainment. There are pieces that I’ve written on wrestling that I can look back on and know that I was never more happier, more satisfied as a writer than when I was writing them.

So it’s sad to think that I don’t experience that anymore. Don’t feel that anymore. I had no idea that things would get this bad between us so soon. I still had so much more to do with you, Pro Wrestling. I was all set to dive head-first into the PWO Greatest Wrestler Ever project and fill in so many of the gaps in my knowledge. There is so much wrestling I haven’t watched. NXT is amazing and so many indy geeks are making it in WWE. And wrestling just keeps rolling on and on. But it’s not the same for me. I still love you Prowres. I’ll always love you. But I’m not IN love with you. I wish you all the best in your future endeavours.

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