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The 7 - Guest Columns - Lament- For my Mark is Dead Register and log in to post!
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Pool-Boy
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#1 Posted on 3.1.03 1440.08
Reposted on: 3.1.10 1441.57
Something strange has happened.

I can't watch wrestling anymore.

Yeah, I know!

And I am not saying this in your typical "Raw sucks, ratings are down, blah blah blah" fashion. I really mean it. I have not watched wrestling since SUMMERSLAM! A few times I just out and out missed it. Most times, however, I knew it was on and just felt like doing something else. So it has not even been turned on.

Many might have noticed, and most probably do not care, but I have been pretty much staying away from the wrestling portion of Weiner"board". (Get the 'ville out?) Sure I have browsed it, but I almost never have anything to say.
So I missed Kurt Angle winning the title. I also missed Al/Dawn Marie and all kinds of other dredge.

Last night, I thought I would give it a change. I set myself down in front of the TV, all set for two hours of Smackdown goodness. My mind started to seriously wonder after I was forced to watch Al Wilson in his tidy-whities sporting a mean mad-on (I am not sure I blame him)... Team Angle caught my attention again, and I was like "Finally!" but then I drifted again and sometime after their match a turned off the TV.

This is very disturbing to me. I adored wrestling as a child. I watched Hogan vs. Andre "Live! on PPV!" I remember CHEERING for the Ultimate Warrior. I thought Brutus the Barber was pretty badass, though I still wondered how a barber would use the hedge clippers to cut hair. I was worried when Hogan was beat down, time and time again, by the likes of the Big Bossman, the Undertaker, Zeus, and so many others. I though Miss Elizabeth was... damn!

Then, sometime during Jr. High, it stopped. I started moving around a lot (eventually landing me in California), and since I was nowhere near all of the friends I would watch wrestling with, I never even thought of it.

Until Sunday, July 12, 1998. WCW's Bash at the Beach Pay per View. I was 22 years old, living in Tucson, Arizona at the time. Yes, I admit it- it was the Rodman vs. Karl Malone match that got me back into wrestling. Sad, isn't it? I just had to see what kind of crap they were going to come up with for something like this. I was surprised to see an actual attempt at wrestling, and I was entertained. But it was the Chris Jericho vs. Rey Mysterio match that got my attention. Jericho was an ASS... but funny as hell. Rey was flashy, colorful, and FAST. And the crowd cheered for him like he was the most popular wrestler in the universe. While the Worm and Karl Malone drew me back into wrestling, it was Jericho and Rey that kept me there. I slowly started tuning into Nitro. I got the occasional PPV. A friend of mine drew me back into the WWF as well, just in time for Rock vs. Austin on the Roody-poo Bridge and other amazing performances from the high point in both of their careers. I saw the Undertaker kidnap Stephanie, who looked like she was going to have a heart attack from nerves every time she was onscreen. I was also amazed that a clearly adult woman was being portrayed as such a little girl...

And then the "smart" was born.

And I had a guide. A friend of mine directed me to Scoopswrestling. He was this small skinny guy from North Carolina that had dreams of being a wrestler. We would all talk the "smart" talk while watching wrestling. We would all sit and play Smackdown 1 for hours in season mode (loved the multi-player season mode back in the day where I was smoking pot and sitting on my ass for hours on end with tons of people) and yes, Smackdown 1 is responsible for the majority of the move names I enjoy knowing today.

Eventually I left Dirty Little Tucson and returned to Sunny Southern California. I continued to watch wrestling, but no one out here I knew was into it. I got some of them past the mocking You watch WRESTLING? point and they would check it out with me, but none of them ever got into it to the level I was. Hell, I dont know why, maybe it was the lack of marijuana. So I turned to my good friend, the IWC, for my wrestling support. I read up on Scoops until it died, then I turned to prowrestling.com until I got sick of pop-ups, then I went to 411 until IT died (well, in my eyes it died, for the most part), then onto slashwrestling, until it got shot, and here I am, now at Weinerville. For some reason, prior to my first post here, I never considered posting on an Internet chat-board. I was glad I did. My first post? A post in a response thread to a column about Gimmicks CRZ was kind enough to post at slash.
So Weinerville is great. So why is my Mark dead? And why does it matter? I have this huge community of people who, in their own ways, love the same thing I love. Professional Wrestling. And while I like pretty much everyone I have conversed with on this board (yes, even you, OldFuzzyBastard, you poor misguided soul), I have to say that the IWC, and the wrestling folder on this board, and other websitres killed my Mark. And that is a terrible thing.

I have come to realize that in order to really enjoy wrestling, some part of you has to believe it. Some part of you has to believe that the matches are real, that the hatred is real, that the championship is truly the pinnacle. Some part of you also has to believe that there is no politics backstage, that the wrestlers get to where they are by actually beating their opponents. And that everything backstage actually happens. In essence, you NEED an inner-Mark to enjoy professional wrestling.
I gave this week's Smackdown an honest chance. After all, it was fresh to me, I heard what was going on, sure, but I had seen none of it since Summerslam. I saw Bill DeMott take out Chuck Palumbo. I heard over and over on here how terrible this Bill DeMott thing was and I honestly thought it was a decent idea while I was watching this match. He is starting at the bottom- it is a good character idea and they are giving him a build. And his matches were not bad- sure he was not a matt-technician but his character does not have to be. And while I started to enjoy it, all I could think of was how they had turned Chuck into a jobber. Hell, he did not even get an intro! So what? Jobbers (or as I called then, no-names) did not affect my enjoyment of wrestling as a child, why should it now?

I tried my damnest to enjoy the Team Angle match. This was an exciting concept. But one sloppy counter and I was immediately critical. I immediately was down on the Team Angle members, when in reality, I should be excited about this creative story twist. Instead I am worrying about how well they are performing, and not everything else that I am supposed to watch.

Some might say that it is the writers fault they are not producing quality storylines! For the most part, that might be true. But it was not the story that was turning me off, it was my own over-analysis of it. I liked where the Bill DeMott story was going. I adored the Team Angle concept. Yeah, I still did not like the Dawn Marie/Al Wilson thing, but at least they are working Kidman (a real wrestler)in there. In short, the story did not kill the show for me, my own overactive analysis machine did.
My Mark is dead. I am totally incapable of enjoying professional wrestling program, because the smart has completely taken control. So, it is over. Yup, this is a farewell thread of sorts.

Yes, that is right, my affair with wrestling is over. Perhaps I might tune in from time to time, and I will certainly check out the Big Five PPVs, but no longer will I even pretend that that I am going to try and watch every week. My activity in the wrestling folder will continue as it has been in the last few months- merely browsing with the rarest of posts.

Wrestling I will miss you. I will still care, I will always care, but I cant see you anymore.

Why should you care? I call it a warning. Week after week I read the same things over and over again. The hatred. The bashing. The mind numbingly repetitive verbal slaughter that you see in thread after thread after thread. HHH sucks. Kevin Kellys wife. The Bill DeMott push is going nowhere. What is up with that John Cena and B-2 (I thought it was B-squared?) garbage? There is a glass ceiling. They are not pushing enough younger talent. They are killing the cruiserweights. Even if all of these things are true, they completely ignore the purpose of wrestling- to entertain. The best wresters dont care if they lose week in and week out, as long as the crowd leaves happy. The ideal IWC wrestler does not care at all about the things that you read more than anything else on a wrestling website. They love the business, and care only about entertaining you. And that is the one thing a smart refuses to allow happen.

There is no joy in the Weinerville wrestling folder. I see so few threads that express true affection and excitement about what we all have spent so much time following. The few that there are usually drop of the front page like a rock, or are consumed by hatred and HHH bashing.
It could happen to you. Protect your Mark. Take a step back from the blind criticism and enjoy WWE programming for what it is, before you are completely incapable of doing so. Like me.

EDIT: Paragraph spaces for Zaphod


(edited by Pool-Boy on 7.1.03 1053)
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fuelinjected
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#2 Posted on 3.1.03 1914.04
Reposted on: 3.1.10 1915.28
There's joy in the Wrestling folder. Lots of love for Kurt Angle and the Smackdown Six's work over the past few months.

What do you want people to do? Become porno stars and just fake enjoyement to things that they don't like?

I wasn't on here during WWF's peak so maybe you're right. Maybe there was blind criticism. I do see some of it like if the women have a match, automatically it's going to suck or it did suck even if it really didn't suck at all. I've just been on here during the recent bad skid where there really has just been a lot of bad TV and fair criticism to be dished out.

Maybe it's the fact that Smackdown this week was horrible is the reason you didn't enjoy, that your mind started to wander. Perhaps if it was a tight good show that it can be without all the useless crap, it'd hold your attention. Mark, smark, smart, fart, whatever you are, it's just bad TV. You're telling me that if you had never wandered across the internet, that you would have enjoyed the Al Wilson & Dawn Marie segment?

If you truly believe that the net is the sole reason why you can't enjoy a wrestling show, you've got no one to blame but yourself. Maybe you ought to make a choice - wrestling or the internet if you can't have both.
Pool-Boy
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#3 Posted on 4.1.03 0358.12
Reposted on: 4.1.10 0359.02

    Originally posted by fuelinjected
    If you truly believe that the net is the sole reason why you can't enjoy a wrestling show, you've got no one to blame but yourself. Maybe you ought to make a choice - wrestling or the internet if you can't have both.


I believe that was the point that I was trying to convey.
mountinman44
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#4 Posted on 4.1.03 1554.03
Reposted on: 4.1.10 1554.30
I know exactly what you're saying. Sometimes I feel the same way, that my enjoyment is taken away because of all the alleged backstage stuff. I finally figured something out, though. Outside of all the crap, heresay or not, that goes on backstage, I still love watching the matches. I still love "the show". That's why I still watch.
CRZ
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#5 Posted on 5.1.03 0337.11
Reposted on: 5.1.10 0343.21

    Originally posted by Pool-Boy

      Originally posted by fuelinjected
      If you truly believe that the net is the sole reason why you can't enjoy a wrestling show, you've got no one to blame but yourself. Maybe you ought to make a choice - wrestling or the internet if you can't have both.


    I believe that was the point that I was trying to convey.

You're still HERE?!?
Pool-Boy
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#6 Posted on 5.1.03 2151.59
Reposted on: 5.1.10 2153.47
Sorry Z... love the other folders too much to bail :). The countless hours of entertainment this site offers, as well as others, far outweighs the mere 4 hours a week I get watching it on TV. PLus it is a hell of a lot easier to pop in here for 5 minutes at a time and still keep "caught up."
I think my solution to this problem is to "keep abreast" of wrestling happenings online, watch the major PPVs, and that is about it. I am far too contaminated now for there to be any hope of a cure by quitting the internet...
BrewGuy
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#7 Posted on 6.1.03 0852.12
Reposted on: 6.1.10 0853.22
Perhaps instead of trying to choose one or the other, try concentrating on what YOU like/dislike about the show, instead of what "the Net" or other folks 'round these parts like/disklike about the show. Fight the power, brother! Tow your OWN line! Say what YOU think! Tell the Net to go screw itself! Tell everybody YOUR opinion, not the opinion they want you to say!

Look at me! I'm a huuuuge Test fan, and have been for a very long time. How many times have people pointed and laughed becuase of this? Has this stopped be from being a fan? NO! Has this stopped me from TELLING people I'm a fan? NO!!! Should this stop me from being a Test fan? HELL NO!!! I'm a fan for MY reasons, and MY reasons only! When I watch wrestling, my opinions are all about ME! I watch wrestling for ME! ME!!! MEMEMEMEMEMEMEMEME!

Sooooo, I suggest that you watch wrestling for YOU! Make your opinions all about YOU! YOU! YOUYOUYOUYOUYOUYOU, not the NETNETNETNETNETNETNET! If you do so, I believe you'll find that "co-existing" is not only easy, but fun (IMHO). :)
Zaphod
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#8 Posted on 7.1.03 0943.22
Reposted on: 7.1.10 0944.44
Brilliant post, Pool-Boy. A little hard to read, though. If I might offer a tidbit of advice: add an extra line before starting new paragraphs, the essay won't run together so much. Otherwise, fine, fine stuff. And at the risk of being lectured by somebody, I agree with you about 120%. Do I like all of the things WWE has tried lately? No. But I wonder how many of those things I now find bad I would've found to be such before I started frequenting DDTDigest, then Scoops, and my smark was born.

Familiarity breeds contempt, and we're all now too familiar, or at least think we're familiar, with the inner workings of wrestling to feel much of anything but contempt for everything that isn't "perfect." My English literature professors, at least the honest ones, tell me that when they want to be entertained by reading, they have to step away from the texts that they study for their research and teach to their students to read stuff that they haven't analyzed to death; they're too busy looking for literary genius to allow themselves simply to enjoy the work, so they turn to things where they know genius won't be found and thus they won't waste time looking for it. I think the same principle applies here as well. The problem is that there really isn't a solution in our case. If we watch wrestling at all, the smart virus will kick in again.

For this, I do not blame the IWC. Nor do I blame the wrestlers, bookers, announcers, or even the McMahons. I blame myself for having to know more, making suspension of disbelief, and therefore openness to enjoyment, that much harder.
Ringmistress
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#9 Posted on 10.1.03 1220.34
Reposted on: 10.1.10 1229.02
Pool-Boy, your post is definitely a good one, and I can't disagree with your feelings. I can see what you mean, ever since I started to get more and more into the internet wrestling sites, the less I get out of WWE. Still, I have this switch in the back of my head that goes from "internet fan" to "mark" that goes on and off at the right times. I only bark at the WWE when they are doing something completely stupid, even from a casual fan's point of view (example: any bad angle from 2002). But, at least you still check in from time to time, because after all, for all the crap they threw at us, this is our home away from home. I'm a HHH fan, imagine what I've been going through in the last year! Hell! A fan of my caliber would've been laughed off other wrestling sites, but not here. Let's face it, we like who we like, and whatever that person does we don't approve of, we knock that. That's all there is, but for me, the good HHH memories easily outweigh the bad. That's why I'm still here, that and the fact that I had another good memory added to my collection on Monday... :-)
Excellent post, and good luck to you.

Ringmistress
Ana Ng
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#10 Posted on 12.1.03 1536.49
Reposted on: 12.1.10 1537.24
Interesting post, Pool-Boy. It's a sentiment I've heard many a time, in one form or another. "The internet has killed my love for wrestling".

I just don't get this. Yeah, there's cynicism all over the internet. But since when can't you be a big dorky cynic about things you love? That's what hardcore fans do, they nitpick and they complain and they piss and they moan about every little detail that's not just right, but in general, they still *like* the overall product. Not just with wrestling. Star Wars, Star Trek, comic books, whatever geeky thing that floats your boat.

Maybe I haven't gotten cynical enough, though. I've been a "smark" for five years now, about, and I can still watch a match without thoughts about backstage politics ruining my enjoyment of it. Well, except for recent Triple H matches, but chances are, I wasn't enjoying that match BEFORE smark thoughts polluted it.

My question is this: Is it really difficult for the rest of you to watch wrestling without delving into thoughts that are coded in SmarkSpeak? Does one botched move in a match that is otherwise really quite good cause you to lose your enjoyment of the match as a whole? If the answer is yes, I do recommend laying off the internet for a while. Such bitter cynicism should not be bleeding into your non-computer life.
Madame Manga
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#11 Posted on 12.1.03 1809.54
Reposted on: 12.1.10 1810.06
I hang out a LOT on wrestling-related sites. But since I am an Undertaker fan, I long ago decided that most posters/writers/recappers were too full of bile and self-promotion for me to give any credit to their ravings. ;-)

So I pick and choose what I want to read, and if someone is just heaping up fuel for his personal auto-da-fe, I backclick. And as you say, Ana Ng, if I start thinking about backstage politics during a match, it's probably dragging pretty badly anyway.

MM
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