Friday, October 26, 2018

Leaving the Territory

Nothing is as good as wrestling at its peak, and that's why I was able to write this blog for so long
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A little under ten years ago, I set out to write about professional wrestling. At that time, I didn't know how long that endeavor would last, but I knew a few things. One, wrestling is a tremendous thing that straddled the line between art and sport. Two, Triple H sucks. Three, I thought I was good at writing and thus would be fine writing about this thing I liked a lot in my spare time. Over that time period — just under ten years, a few hundred under 10,000 unique posts — nothing really dissuaded me from the first two points. The third point, well, that's up for debate. Maybe I'm good at writing. Maybe I'm just good at creating sentences and don't have great ideas. I have no idea. I'm not sure that matters.

The thing about writing in your spare time is that even if it is a labor of love and thus less oppressive than writing for gainful employment, it is dependent on having spare time. In 2009, I'd like to think I had enough of it to go around to spend on musing about pro wrestling. Over the years, the churn in my brain began to work faster and faster. I was putting out 100 posts a month, and eventually, I started to take on team members to add their thoughts about pro wrestling. I had time not only to write, but to edit. Most of it was for free; in the interest of disclosure, I made 25 USD off an advertisement for Rudo Reels sometime back in the more active days. In the interest of even more disclosure, even though I've never used their service, I would still recommend it.

It's not that I didn't want to monetize; it's that I didn't want to do it at the expense of editorial freedom, as I had and still do have a well-paying job that allowed me that luxury. The thing about well-paying jobs is that no matter how much latitude they give to you to do what you want, they still expect you to produce results for them. I am not exempt. In the years since starting The Wrestling Blog, my responsibilities have increased so that the time I need to spend on producing said results increased proportionately. Of course, I also have a marriage and two young children. Family, it seems, requires a lot of time to get right, and above everything else, I feel like I want to see myself as a good husband and a good father first.

So, something has to give, right? I have to budget time and effort and desire to things in my life, whether necessary or elective. I don't have the time at work to dedicate to writing. When I get home, I barely get to watching the wrestling I want to watch let alone write about it. I've made no secret that I've cut WWE main roster weekly shows out of my diet for reasons of quality. Nothing matters on Smackdown, and the same can be said for RAW a trillion times over. I haven't watched anything else in maybe a month though, which is the biggest thing. It's not that I don't want to watch the things I want to watch, and it's not that I'll never watch them again. But if it takes effort for me to watch the stuff, what makes you think I have the desire to write about it?

Of course, WWE's continued partnership with the genocidal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia makes following that particular company less palatable by the day. Of course, people are (rightfully) aghast at the refusal to cancel Crown Jewel in the wake of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The thing is, the Greatest Royal Rumble wasn't exactly clean either, since the KSA has been engaging in a genocidal war against the nation of Yemen for years now, with the United States' help, of course. It's one thing to pretend you're above the morality wars of various promotions given that few people who head a wrestling company are decent. It's another to think that WWE's positioning with the Trump administration and the Saudi deal and other things don't put it head and shoulders above the rest in dirtiness. But I digress.

The truth of the matter is this was probably a few years coming. I found time in between here and there to put down some thoughts on things, but looking at TWB recently and TWB at its peak, the contrast is stark. You can only sling hot takes about mainstream wrestling for awhile before you've written everything you could possibly write, and without immersion in indie wrestling or in other country's scenes, the well gets dry pretty quickly. The funny thing is that in the future, I probably will get deeper into other avenues of wrestling, but doing so just to write about it is the wrong thing. Getting into something because you like it and find fulfillment in it though, that's more important, right?

It's also not that I haven't found enjoyment in this endeavor; writing TWB has brought me supplemental fulfillment in wrestling as well as having brought me into contact with so many people that I now call friends. I mean, I have my reasons why I've prolonged this final lap for so long. But the time comes that the good things from writing just don't bring the benefit enough to have to carve the time out needed to do it well, to do it correctly.

So that means I have to step away. Will it be for good? Wrestling writing, in the same vein as wrestling, is not something people completely walk away from. I won't rule out a piece here or there that I'll run at other sites perhaps. But I feel like I've written everything I was meant to write about the topic, about most topics to be honest. I'm ready to be just a dude, not a *extremely Jon Lovitz ACTING voice* writer or a blogger or a personality. I'm ready to just live and do things that people who don't dedicate major time to writing about things out of a sense of love that morphed into a sense of duty do. Maybe I'll play more games. Maybe I'll spend more time offline to do stuff with my kids (GOD WILLING). Maybe I'll get more into activism to help make life better for people not in situations as fortunate as mine. Or maybe I'll do none of that. I have no idea.

I just know the last decade or so has been a blast. I couldn't have done it without you, the readers. I certainly couldn't have done it without Butch and Scott and Elliot and Danielle and Lacy and Shane and Michael and anyone else who has contributed over the years. To them I owe a debt of thanks. Most of all, I couldn't do this without wrestling, which might be full of scumbags and run from the top by capitalist monsters. It might fuck up more often than not, but when wrestling is good, what is better than it? I've seen great movies and shows. I've listened to incredible albums. Nothing in entertainment has ever equalled the endorphin high I got at the end of WrestleMania XXX or at High Noon or when Steve Austin turned at the end of WrestleMania X-7 or when Chikara re-opened or at the finish of Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Kota Ibushi or Macho Man and Miss Elizabeth reuniting or at any of the other dizzying highs I got watching this silly spectacle of human beings fighting in their underwear or in elaborate costumes or in John Cena's case, jorts.

I'll be around on Twitter, but after this, TWB will go dark. Thank you for reading, be kind to your fellow human, and as always, remember above all else that Triple H fucking sucks, no matter how much of a cool NXT dad he tries to be. Peace out.