You know, it occurs to me I haven't really made a full introduction. I mean, all y'all basically know about me is:
- I used to be in e-wrestling (from whence the Shadowbird character for my Shadow Shoots comes)
- I'm a huge Jericho-holic
- I'm a smark who tends to lean toward "smaller" wrestlers primarily
- and I have a pretty healthy disdain for anything that makes no damn sense whatsoever (at least in my twisted view).
Other than that, I haven't said or indicated much about myself or my wrestling fandom. I thought I'd take this opportunity to amend that...in case, you know, y'all care. So I'm going to do this by the numbers, take a handful of things you need to know, and go by the numbers in elaboration. (Only the things that are germane to things here, of course. Yes, "germane" is a real word; if you don't know what it means, I refer you to Merriam-Webster
1) I have a love-hate relationship with wrestling.
This...is going to take a lot of explaining. I first started watching wrestling back in the late 90's, whenever I could sneak away into one of the bedrooms in my grandmother's house by myself and watch WCW when it was still good. (I also foresaw the splintering and fall of the NWO from the beginning, but I don't expect you to believe that, as there's no proof.) Back then, wrestling was a guilty pleasure and also a passing interest, largely because I couldn't admit I watched wrestling? Why? Well, I grew up in a fundamentalist church (please do not use this as reason to start a religious debate; what I'm about to say is one church's stupidity) that believed that wrestling was a tool of the devil and that, I kiddest thou not, Stone Cold Steve Austin was setting himself up as an antichrist because of one person's blatant mis-stating of what Austin 3:16 meant. Because of this (out of annoyance for such stupidity, I assure you), I stopped watching wrestling for a time until I left home, went to college, and was introduced to one of WWE's Smackdown! series games (owned by a hallmate in the dorm). This led me back into wrestling (WWE, specifically) during the build-up to Wrestlemania 20.
After a while, I started to get bored and annoyed with WWE, and that was when someone introduced me to TNA while they were on Fox Sports Net. Unfortunately, watching that was difficult, since the only time I could watch the show was during their 2AM Sunday morning showing. Which was often preempted. Yeah. I stuck with both for a while, before eventually dropping WWE a while after Eddie Guerrero's death. I went to TNA's first house show in Oklahoma City (yes, I'm an Okie; sing the state song at your own peril because I HATE IT) and met (among others) Christian Cage, who impressed me with his level of approachability and professionalism. Suffice it to say I became a fan for life then. But eventually TNA brought in Vince Russo and started to go insane (including putting over old fogies over their younger talent), and it ticked me off, and I stopped watching.
Then came the Benoit murder-suicide. Until that point, I'd looked up to Chris Benoit as a wrestler and (foolishly) a man. This singular event killed wrestling for me for quite some time. I got back into WWE for a while, but honestly, nothing was ever the same, even as new blood and new favorites arrived. I gave both companies an earnest shot once more in 2010, but yet another foolish decision on my part (attempting to quantify the amount of actual wrestling each company's show possessed) started to drive me down, as did bungles like TNA's Immortal/Fourtune and WWE's blatant mishandling of Christian's title reign. CM Punk almost brought me back, but the jury's still out on whether even my vaunted Jericho can keep me watching WWE at least. Also, I started watching Ring of Honor when it debuted on network TV, but between lack of time and ROH's cavalier attitude toward chair headshots, I've been unable to watch the last several episodes, and I am considering dropping it from my DVR.
Bottom line: when it comes to wrestling, I am as mercurial as you can get, and one false move can ruin everything for me.
2) My e-wrestling career was as erratic as my wrestling fandom.
Long story short: my career started about when I was in college with a character called the Phoenix, a face cruiserweight. Eventually, I turned the character heel (and subsequently, to Dark Phoenix), and he won the main event title in the second fed I was a part of (though my friend at the time ran the place, so I discount it in my history). When that fed folded, I took a break for a while until I eventually got back in through a pro-wrestling forum using an intelligent face named "The Analytical Warrior" James Dawson. I eventually revamped my old Dark Phoenix character into Merrill "Shadowbird" Waters (there's where the nickname comes from), made him James' twin brother, turned James heel, and had them feud. Merrill later went on to become tag champs with someone who is my spirit brother to this day, formed a stable with his brother and one other character I made, fell in love several times (alas, most of his romantic interests ended up being killed off in increasingly unusual ways), and eventually won an upper-card title that arguably was handled better than the fed's top belt. However, during the course of that, I came across trauma, hopped around feds to get away from it, retired only slightly less times than Hulk Hogan, nearly killed off all of my characters except one, got bored, created my own fed, saw it get sabotaged and killed TWICE, then eventually just gave up on the whole damn thing altogether. I did find a soulmate through e-wrestling, but unfortunately, fate made life imitate art in the most heart-breaking way possible. As a result, I am definitively done with active e-fedding, though I keep the Shadowbird character around as a convenient alter-ego for my shoots (among other things).
3) I have a weird but strongly defined sense of logic,
which only exacerbates #1 up there. In fact, it's because of that sense of logic that I have quit watching wrestling and doing e-fedding so often. To paraphrase Alton Brown, "a man expects what he's expecting, and if he doesn't get what he's expecting, he tends to get a little disoriented." What do I expect? Well, I expect companies to listen to what their fans wants (my biggest problem with WWE much of the time). I expect feuds to have a logical progression to them (my biggest problem with TNA all the time, and WWE some of the time). I expect wrestlers to be given a fair shot to get over doing whatever it is they can do best (WWE again, though TNA arguably treads this ground with the fogey-focus). I expect that the whole program is focused on getting the storylines into the ring somehow (WWE, again, though TNA is just as bad). And I expect forward-thinking from management to facilitate growth and better the product (WWE, TNA, and ROH all strike out on this in some way). When I get this, I'm happy (Jericho's non-promos, for instance, are a fine example of management letting a guy do what he does best, but I've mentioned that already). When I don't get this, or when I get the exact opposite of this on a regular basis...HOLY HELL WATCH OUT. This Bird's rage is hotter than an Inferno Match (though still not violent).
4) Finally: as a result of #3, I am very opinionated.
I do enjoy a solid debate, largely because while I do have the aforementioned strongly-defined logic, I'm also smart enough to know I'm not always right. I try to make my points as intelligently as I can without being abrasive, though being human, I am still prone to falling to the dark side on issues I am reeeeeeeeally passionate about. Fortunately, most of the people I've interacted with here seem to be intelligent and reasonable in their own right, so I'm not too concerned about getting involved (inadvertently or not) in any drama. Just know that when I have an opinion, I tend to stick to it unless someone can manage to turn my own logic around on me and show me where I'm wrong. Also, if you're going to do that, better do it respectfully. Nothing's going to freeze me on an idea faster than being abrasive.
That's all the important stuff I can think of. I hope this serves as an adequate introduction to me and how I think and feel regarding wrestling. If there are any questions you have that aren't answered here, post them below, and I'll answer them as best I'm able. I will be watching Raw this Monday, and hopefully, some Shadow Shoot material will be able to be drawn out of it. Until next time, later, y'all.
The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Cageside Seats readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cageside Seats editors or staff.