Monday, April 7, 2014

Yackety Schmackety

Warning: this is a pro wrestling-centric post. If that's not your thing, by all means feel free to hit the "Back" button above.

If you are a wrestling fan and somehow have absolutely no idea what happened at WrestleMania XXX, same applies to you as well as this your obligatory SPOILER WARNING for you sensitive types. For something that happened live and everybody already knows about except you because analyzing that finale of "How I Met Your Mother" was just too important. Kthxbi

Now then, if you stuck around this long I'm sure you can see by the tags that we're discussing what everybody thinks is the biggest news in history - that being the ending of The Streak at WrestleMania XXX. The Undertaker finally lost. To Brock Lesnar. In a match that, honestly, was good-but-not-great and wasn't that well built at all. There was zero indication this was coming, and anyone who tries to tell you that they predicted it is just a bald-faced liar at this point.

But, yeah, it happened. There's no way of getting around it, no way of denying it, no way of turning back the clock in making it unhappen. For good or ill, it's a done deal.

You don't have to like or agree with it. Hell, I'm not 100% sure I do at this point. (In this arena of theater and entertainment, this is a little big to take in. Haven't quite processed the implications. Still working on that part yet.) There is one thing that some of you should do, however, and that's calm down.

It's one thing to dislike the booking or question why the decision was made. I'm all for that. But to proclaim that this is the "worst booking decision in wrestling history"? That there's nothing but doom and gloom from here on out? That this will ultimately lead to the company going bankrupt?

Get. The hell. Over. Yourselves.

Quit stamping your feet and holding your breath like a petulant child. Quit blaming creative, or Triple-H's ego, or Vince McMahon, or whatever other evil that you think ruined your life. (Because none of those may even be at fault.) Quit pretending you have a damn clue and could possibly have done this any better. (Because if you could, you'd be working for them in that capacity.) And really, quit raging with your little keyboard every single time something does not go your way. Because, quite honestly, now you're just ruining the internet for the rest of us.

My theory (which is based purely on speculation because I have no inside information and I certainly wasn't there when the decision was made)? In training for this match, Mark Calaway came to the heartbreaking realization that his body was not going to last as long as he or the company wanted it to. Maybe he got hurt or maybe he simply felt all of the injuries of time piling up on him. In coming to this realization, he decided that he would "do business" the right way, give his friend the best gift he possibly could, and begin the process of winding down his illustrious career. If that's how it went down, I could not think of a better way for history to have been made.

BREAKINGNEWSEDIT: Lending credence to that theory? This right here.

Again, in this arena of theater and this continuity...this is a big deal. I completely understand that. But it's certainly not so big that wrestling will cease to exist forever. What we saw was not the end of the WWE (although the stock is down several points the morning after it happened? The hell??), or the end of the world, or the sky toppling down on us. What we saw is rare in wrestling anymore - a legitimate surprise that resulted in a true moment in history. What we might have seen is a man who's given so much to this particular form of entertainment choose to give back to his company and to this form of entertainment one more time in very big, spectacular fashion.

Wrestling fans love to bemoan that we don't get any true surprises or memorable moments anymore. At WrestleMania XXX, we got both. In the biggest way anyone could have imagined. Instead of crying and yelling because it didn't go exactly the way I wanted it to, I plan on sitting back and taking this end. I watched wrestling history happen live. And I'm thankful for that.

And with that said...on a completely unrelated note...the #CS100 resumes today on Twitter. Feel free to check that out and thank you very much in advance.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Home Away From Home

I was born and raised in (and very near) Daytona Beach, FL. For good or ill, I consider Florida home (although I'll be the first to admit that has a specific "Florida" section for a very good reason).

As I talked about recently, the last couple weeks have been the roughest of my life having to bury Dad. But there were some positives to the fateful trip north. Getting to see family I hadn't seen in a long time. And getting the opportunity to finally show my wife and kids my home away from home... Baltimore, MD.

I hadn't been there in a couple decades so I was afraid I wouldn't recognize the place. There were certainty some changes, but recognizable enough to bring back the kind of memories I had with my Dad - that I was finally able to pass along to my own family.

Harborplace had apparently been overrun by big corporations since the last time I had been there. Specifically the Light Street Pavillion, which was taken up mostly by a Hooters, Bubba Gump, and Ripley's Believe It or Not. Pratt Street Pavillion still had a lot of little shops and was laid out a lot more like what I remembered. We also finally got to see the Gallery at Harborplace - a five-story mall tucked inside a hotel lobby.

As an added bonus, there was snow! Being a Florida kid, this marked the third time I'd ever seen snow in my life. It wasn't of blizzard proportions or anything, but it was freely coming down. We all got a kick out of that as well.

I don't have to recap the whole day or anything, but suffice to say it was a joy I won't forget. It's not easy for a big family to just up and take a trip several hundred miles north, so I had to take advantage of the opportunity while I could. I'd like to think we all got a little closer, and I know I was able to get closer to Dad, even though he may have been watching from afar.

LIstening to: Prince - "3 Chains O' Gold"