Breaking a Routine: A Loss of Love For Pro Wrestling?
It's crazy what happens when you get older.
Things happen, such as your family starting to treat you as an adult, being able to move on to bigger and better things like college, having to get a job, and even outgrowing certain things you never dreamed you would live without.
I was one of what seemed like a billion kids a decade ago that watched every second of every minute of every hour of every RAW, SmackDown!, and Heat, never missing a second to make a food run or go to the bathroom.
If there were Pay Per Views my parents wouldn't let me order, I would make the sacrifice of watching a fuzzy and scrambled picture just so I can hear Good Ol' J.R. yell, "DID YOU SEE THAT?!?!" when I clearly did not.
I would buy every action figure, and spend sometimes months or even years creating custom sets, shows, and rivalries, thinking that I was about as good at creating shows as the creative team was.
The years continued to roll by. 2000. 2001. 2002. 2003.
When it came down to 2004, instead of losing touch with wrestling like about a half a billion of those aforementioned kids did, I continued to plow on, becoming an even bigger fan than before.
I'll just say this to give you an example: During that time period between '03 and '04 my family had moved and we lost our cable TV service for a year.
Instead of just sticking with SmackDown!, which was/is on broadcast TV, I pleaded and begged my uncle to tape RAW every week and give me the tapes the next day so I never miss a show.
My VHS tapes eventually stacked up to the ceiling (since I would never tape over a show), and I decided that instead of praying that they don't fall down on me while I slept, I would get a DVD Recorder and convert them all to something a bit more compact.
That means I spent two months of my free time watching every show over again while the conversion took place, even making sure not to record the commercials.
This continued until we moved in 2006 and I fortunately got cable, making the idea of taping the shows ridiculous to most.
But I still continued to tape them anyway. Not SmackDown!, but just RAW, every single week. Granted, the show quality was pretty bad at this time, but I just felt that it was my routine to do this, and I had to continue.
It was something I never thought would change.
That is, until 2007.
I really don't know what happened. I don't even have a date for it. But one week I missed the show for one reason or another and decided that I was actually allowed to miss it without the sky falling and crushing me.
It was a small thing, but something that would open a huge hole.
Eventually I ran out of those recordable DVDs, and instead of running to the store to buy more like I would have in previous months, I decided that it was even okay to watch the show without recording it.
Then it was the length of the shows that I grew weary about next.
Maybe I'd watch the first half of the show, then decide to record the second half while I do something more productive like sleep or go on the computer.
After that, I'd continue to do the same thing with watching, followed by recording what I don't watch. However, after recording it, I started to either skip through most of what I recorded, or would just flat-out forget to even watch it.
The weird part of all of this is that through this time, I bought a bunch of wrestling DVDs, as well as the WWE 24/7 Subscription service, two things that said I wasn't falling out of love of wrestling.
But then it happened again.
We lost cable for a span of 6 months between 2007 and the beginning of 2008. The unfortunate part is that this was during a time when I actually liked what was going on, with Jericho returning and all.
I also missed a lot of the HBK/Flair build-up for WrestleMania 24, something I would have loved to have seen.
It was even easier this time, though, to watch the show without watching it from home. Not only did I have that one uncle, but I had another who had a DVR and could record all of the shows for me without the hassle.
The only problem is that I didn't care to watch any of the shows, save for some of the Flair stuff.
To make a long story short (or in other words to sum up what has turned out to be a long story), I out-nutted just about every one of my wrestling nut friends, by watching the show when most didn't realize wrestling past 2001 even existed.
It was my routine. I do what I have to do during the day, and tune into Spike TV or USA Network at Nine to watch RAW.
Or in the aforementioned cases, do what I have to do Monday, go to school Tuesday, tell all my wrestling fan friends to shut up and don't tell me anything that happened (at this point there were only three of us who even remotely followed), and pop in the tape immediately after school.
That's totally stopped now.
Now, I have turned toward the same trends about nine-tenths of a billion kids have, the same trend that I thought I would never know.
I have lost interest in wrestling.
It's a hard thing to explain. At this point, I can tell you that I've probably watched only three shows from front to back this year, not including WrestleMania.
Okay, check that. I should mention the only reason I watched one of them was because I actually went to my first live event this year at Madison Square Garden, and wanted to see how SD! would come out on TV after being there to see it first-hand.
Here's the funny part though. As I just said, and have shown, I don't watch the shows. I sometimes even forget that the shows are on TV when I have nothing else to watch.
But if I don't watch the shows, how come I still buy the DVDs and want to get my hands on tickets each time they come to town?
It's a silly question, but I really want to try to find an answer.
I don't think me not watching is due to the overall quality of the show, because wrestling in 2009 can't be that much worse than in 2006 when the Spirit Squad jobbed out to the reformed DX every week, or in 2007 when Vince McMahon decided to kill himself (something I actually found entertaining).
Besides that, I saw a bit of TNA a month ago on TV, and thought that it was actually good, something I said would prompt me to watch again in the future.
I have not watched it since.
In fact, and this is the main reason I thought about this, is that Monday night marked the first time I watched a wrestling show since SmackDown! on the First of May.
I actually watched most of this show even though it was probably some of the worst stuff I've seen on TV in a long time.
So after looking at all the facts, I just have one question to ask people out there:
Is it possible to grow out of wrestling?
I still have those dreams I'm sure every one else has, standing in the ring at WrestleMania, across from your favorite wrestler (in my case Shawn Michaels), the fans around you giving a loud ovation after wrestling the greatest match anyone has ever seen.
But now each time I see it on TV, I don't even feel a hint of excitement anymore like I used to when I was closer to ten than twenty.
I never thought it was possible to break out of a routine that was so strong and religiously held on to.
It seems I have done exactly that.
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