When I first decided to jump back into this writing bit, I couldn't help but think of Eminem's "Without Me".
Guess who's back? Back again. Shady's back; tell a friend.
Only, as soon as I thought about it, I realized I would no longer be doing wrestling. I can't because it wouldn't be fair to myself or anyone who reads what I write to churn out articles about something I didn't care for anymore.
I'm still a wrestling fan at heart and I don't think I could ever not be a wrestling fan, but I can't invest myself in it anymore.
Not when there is only one major player who can put out whatever it wants at a half-assed click because they're they only game in town. Not when the only potential competition can't figure out how to stop trying to be like "big brother" and try to be itself.
I still enjoy Ring of Honor, but realistically, who on this site watches it? What's left to be said about ROH that anyone would want to read about? Everyone who knows it gets that it's a great indy federation that meets a lot of quotas. Those who don't know it won't because they can only accept a brand because of it's production values and star power.
With that being said, I feel I at least owe an explanation. How did it get to this? Why am I basically out of following something I've followed for nearly 20 years?
Vince McMahon is partially to blame.
No, this isn't going to turn into a WWE bash-fest. Vince is a smart man and is doing what he feels he needs to in order to make money. He's a businessman; I'd expect no less of him.
It's just how things go in the wrestling world. Randy Orton, CM Punk and Chris Jericho are about the only appealing stars out there now, to me at least, but the gimmicks and feuds have been hashed and re-hashed so many times, I can't keep count.
How many times do I need to see the same feud before I just say "ok, maybe I need to step away"?
The WWE, though they are trying, isn't able to churn out stars quite the way they were able to during the attitude era and the product is suffering. There isn't that factor or face who can draw everyone to them.
The in-ring work has declined as well. I'm a wrestling fan; I like to see good wrestling matches. They just don't happen anymore. From both a pure skill and entertainment aspect, they just don't perform the same.
Everything is so scripted in terms of the matches, that you can tell when, after a botch happens, the wheels fall off as guys try to remember the following lines of the script. It's unappealing and uninteresting.
Unfortunately, as I've gotten older, I learned a bit about the behind-the-scenes aspect and it probably has ruined a bit of it for me. I hate knowing that Triple H can politic anytime he wants a title reign and probably get one. I hate knowing that certain feuds or angles can't happen because a certain guy will nix it and so on.
TNA has also done it's fair share of souring wrestling for me. I had high hopes for them a few years back when it looked like they might finally rise up as true competition for the WWE juggernaut.
Slowly, but surely, they started following the "WCW: 1999-2001 Guide for Terrible Booking" and frustration couldn't accurately describe my emotions.
They had a product that was DIFFERENT from the WWE, with great young stars and athletes. So instead of pushing these guys like they should, they sign aging stars and WWE cast-offs and push them instead.
I loved Mick Foley, Kurt Angle and Sting ten years ago. I do not want to see them battle for the TNA Title now. I want to see them do what true superstars do: make future Legends.
Terry Funk is a Legend just as much for making his opponents look good as he is for being one of the craziest, hardcore sons-a-bitches to even lace 'em up. Ric Flair may be a 16-time World Champion, but he's also helped make guys like Bret Hart and Sting.
There are too many selfish personalities in the wrestling business right now. Far fewer guys care about the business as a whole and more about going into business for themselves and it hurts the product.
It's all too frustrating and slightly depressing for me to invest in anymore. These companies want my business but insult me with their effort and products? No thanks.
I hope some day that big star comes along and hooks me in like the Ultimate Warriors, Outsiders and Stone Cold Steve Austins of the wrestling world did a long time ago.
I hope some day I can find myself invested in it again, but the older I get, the less and less I care.
I hope that stops because I'd like to care about wrestling again.