Writer’s Note: For all those of you who have read my work in the CF and recognise the title, yes this is a re-post of a column from 5 months ago, just with a new paragraph at the end to bring it up to date. For those of you who are new to my columns since I joined the Main Page, this is a column I felt like I needed to share with you. This is the most personal column I have ever written and I constantly find myself thinking back to it. When I thought I was going to do the 30 month challenge last month I was going to post this on day 30 for why I watch wrestling and since pulling out I found myself unhappy that I was not able to share it with you. So today after much deliberation within myself I have decided that I will repost for you this column, I hope you enjoy my take on the sport of professional wrestling.
Wayne's World: Professional Wrestling
Dec 4, 2012 - 9:35:24 PM
Normally I would sit here and welcome you all back to my weird and wonderful world, well not today. Today I sit here and think to myself do I really want to corrupt you by sending you inside my mind? Do you really want to know what goes on up there in amongst that swarming mass of bits and pieces that makes up my thought process? On coming out would you ever be the same again? You see my mind is a mess, and I mean a real mess. You may have already gathered by my writing and some comments I have made over the last year that I suffer from a very low self-esteem.
Low self-esteem though is not my only problem. After living near 30 years with this poor outlook of myself I have developed the next obvious step up the ladder, yes that’s right I suffer from depression. I can function normally most of the time as since this is part of my life I am just used to it, but I have had two bad bouts that nearly cost me both my family and my job within the last few years. While I was in these times I was in a dark place, in my eyes nothing was good with my life. I realise how stupid those thoughts were now, but at the time they felt all too real.
Eventually I got myself back into a better frame of mind. I looked at my wife of the last ten years and remembered how lucky I am to have her. I looked at my five wonderful children and remembered exactly how blessed we are. I stopped letting the staff at work get to me and once again started to enjoy my time there. I once again let myself delve deeply into my lifelong love, that of professional wrestling.
Professional wrestling (often shortened pro wrestling, or simply wrestling) is a mode of spectacle, combining athletics and theatrical performance. It takes the form of events, held by touring companies, which mimic a title match combat sport. The unique form of sport portrayed is fundamentally based on classical and "catch" wrestling, with modern additions of striking attacks, strength-based holds and throws, and acrobatic maneuvers; much of these derive from the influence of various international martial arts. An additional aspect of combat with improvised weaponry is sometimes included to varying degrees.
This is the definition of professional wrestling as given by everyone’s favourite online Encyclopaedia, Wikipedia. While I will agree that in the true sense of the words this is what it means but to me it is so much more than that. Wrestling has been part of my life for varying degrees for 20 years, two thirds of my life so far. It is part of who I am and I am not ashamed if people know that. I have been called many different names for watching and constantly get told that I’m wasting my time but honestly I just don’t care. I enjoy watching wrestling, doing so makes me happy and when suffering from depression something that makes you feel good which is not harmful too you, say like alcohol, is always a good thing isn’t it.
Wikipedia was right in their calling professional wrestling a spectacle, there is nothing like it anywhere else in the world. It is that perfect mixture of sporting prowess and visual story telling that would not be capable in any other aspect. A few years ago I finally started watching some UFC, a company who I had heard so much about starting from my fanship of Ken Shamrock back in the late 90’s. I will admit I was hooked from the start. This sport was real and in your face. Eventually though my interested waned. Why? Well while the sporting prowess was so evident the storytelling and theatrics were missing. The storyline behind the action was never really there.
One of my favourite things I have ever heard said about wrestling I read in one of our newspapers here in Australia many a year ago. Vince was interviewed by the paper, I can’t remember exactly why or what the question asked of him was but he stated that ‘wrestling is a soap opera for men’. Vince hit the nail on the head with that comment, many of the arching storylines behind the action we could so easily fit in any of your favourite shows with only a minor tweak, but most of all into a soap opera. This underlying drama is what makes professional wrestling so much more enjoyable than most other platforms. It is the blend of sport and entertainment that has made me a lifelong fan.
Professional wrestling is not just these basic aspects for me though; it has a way of losing me like nothing else can. Yes I can get lost in a good book or even a movie but the effect is not the same, I just don’t feel it as much. The characters seem more real, like I know them somehow. I am more likely to react at something they do than a basic TV character, more likely to yell at them if something they do is profoundly stupid, more likely to say well done when something goes right. A match if done right can also have my emotions flowing, sitting on the edge of my seat awaiting the final outcome.
It is not all about me though; my love for wrestling comes from my family as well. For the whole ten years of our marriage the majority of bonding moments that me and my wife have had is in front of the TV watching wrestling. We watch all the shows together and most of the PPV’s. We have watched countless DVD’s together and therefore it is a common bond between us. It does not end there though, of course you all know about Zac and his love of wrestling. The majority of that comes from the time he has spent sitting and discussing the business with me and I can tell you this, nothing beats bonding with your kid over something you hold as such a big part of your life. My other kids are finally starting to watch more and more wrestling too making it a real family affair for us.
In my first bout of major depression, which was my worst since I really had no idea what was happening to me at the time, I let myself slip away. I drank alcohol more than ever, drinking nearly every day. My weight went up a great deal and I felt really bad about myself. My wife and I ended up at one of our worst spots of our marriage and I also nearly found myself back on the unemployment line. On trying to fix myself I took a look at what was good about me and wrestling was near the top of that list. I decided that I wanted to start discussing my love of wrestling more with others; this is when I decided to become a columnist. A few months later when I was starting to get my life on track I found these forums which I have counted my home ever since.
The ability to share my love of wrestling with all of you has become an important part of my life. While I still let issues with my self-esteem come into play every now and again due to things like comments and view counts, on the whole I am happy I found this place. I count all of you as friends, something that I lack a majority of in real life. While I could go on living without the CF and LOP, being here and doing what I do for you makes me such a happier person in general. I am doing something I love doing about a topic I love and other people enjoy what I put out.
As to my second bout of major depression I guess by now you may have worked out when that was. In all truth I nearly walked out on this place a few times over the last few months. I got that bad that everything on here was getting to me. My columns slacked off and I really put out some bad pieces of work, including some that had other people’s names attached to them when doing colabs. I do wish to apologise for this to all that were affected by me during my down time but all I can say is that I have now found my way back and I plan on keeping it that way. While it will be a continuing battle for me it is a battle I plan to win and wrestling will play a major part of helping me get to that outcome.
So here I sit just five months after writing this column and I find it repeating on me. I actually lost my job not much longer after writing it and I guess you could say my depression played a part in it. While I haven’t been at one of my real lows since, it has been a hard battle. The constant lack of money due to me and the wife both relying on government payments and raising five kids has put a real strain on me and sent me close to the edge. One of the major helpers in keeping me sane has been the wrestling just like this column was talking about. I threw myself at my writing and produced some of my best work, some of which I will repost in the coming months, which eventually saw me land here on the Main Page. Since I have been here I have been having a ball and it is helping me through the dark times I am currently going through in my day to day life, but of course life is still going on. This weekend has been a particularly tough one culminating today when I had just crumbled in myself. The one good thing coming out of it though was remembering this column and therefore remembering in myself that there are things out there to be joyous about, my wife, my kids and the sport of professional wrestling.
Thanx for reading,
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Just on a final note I must congratulate Skulduggery on beating me convincingly in our draft column last week. Well done Skul, maybe all that pandering to the fans is really a good thing.