Best: This is how reunions should happen
I know that not a lot of wrestlers made it out of ECW with their finances (or even lives) fully intact, and much to the surprise of everyone Sandman probably had it the most together when it came to post-wrestling plans, but I have to say, there’s something about continued ECW reunions that make me really sad. Guys still trying to wrestle death matches, desperately clinging to the ECW name in order to make ends meet. Whether I like a wrestler or not, it’s a mean business that will chew you up and spit you out if you give it the chance, and in a lot of cases, when wrestling is all you want to do, you don’t tend to plan for what happens when wrestling isn’t the best option.
In a perfect world, this is how we would see these guys. Not touring in the middle of nowhere still trying to do what they did half a lifetime ago, but safe and sound, getting paid to joke around and be happy. Look at them, all not covered in blood and making jokes about Paul Heyman. It’s great, and I truly wish it could be this way for everyone. Make fun if you will, but I watch wrestling to be happy, and why shouldn’t I want that for the people who have given me, all of us, so much of themselves for so little?
Best: The show so far
I’m doing something a little different this week, and changing up my process for writing this column. Usually I watch the show all the way through, maybe make a note here or there, and then rewatch everything bit by bit so I can write about it. Because of a few things out of my control, I didn’t get to watch it the first time around, and due to time constraints I’m actually writing it as I watch. I’ve been told that everything goes downhill in the second hour, and I’m willing to wait and see for myself, but before I do I just want to take a moment to reiterate how happy this episode is making me. Sometimes it’s hard to enjoy watching something knowing that you’re going to need to dissect it bit by bit. TNA has a brutal track record of making me feel just the worst, and it’s frustrating when they go down a negative path because it effects how I feel for the whole show. As bad as things have been in the past, and this goes for any wrestling show or promotion I watch, I always try to come into it hoping for the best.
We all get smarky, no matter how much wrestling we watch, because that’s a learned behavior that is probably the hardest to avoid when being a fan of this sport. We start out loving the dumb stuff unconditionally, and then the more we learn, the more we watch, the more we get our hearts broken, the more jaded we become. When you’ve been misdirected and lied to and swerved in every direction, it’s hard to take things as they are without expecting the other shoe to drop. When something happens in real life, we have to wonder, were they really fired? Were they really injured? Was it because of whatever backstage politics we just heard about? It’s what we’ve come to expect, and taking things at face value is never really an option. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and sometimes it’s because a company is about to embark on a squicky oedipal storyline because wrestling. We never know what to expect because so many lines have been crossed. Story arcs become puzzles that need to be figured out, and sometimes they’re predictable enough that you know it doesn’t matter where he’s been, Jeff Jarrett is going to show up and ruin everything.
This episode has been great so far, and I want to take the time to fully appreciate it before it gets the chance to really get me down. But who knows? I could end up loving everything after this. You’ve probably seen it by now, but I haven’t. I have no idea what is waiting for me when I press play again. But this has touched so many nostalgic, emotional points for me, and already included the WTTCotW, Joseph Park, and the fashion house of Aries & Roode. I know I’ve tossed in a few worsts, but please know that these feelings are what keep me attached to wrestling. I put up with a lot of bad, because the good…well, it’s the best.