I’ll be honest: I rarely even bother watching wrestling anymore. When I was younger, I would eat, sleep, and breathe wrestling. I would get upset if I missed a show, whether televised or on pay-per-view. These days, I’ll follow the news, skim recaps, and sometimes watch a YouTube clip, but that’s about it. The last time I was legitimately excited for wrestling was CM Punk’s now infamous pipe bomb promo and the build up to that year’s Money in the Bank.
The other day, Scott Keith posted on his blog this video. The Rock and Steve Austin stealing each other’s microphone in mid-sentence, followed by serenading to each other, then the usual bit of wrestling and run-ins. And you know what? For a decade-old clip that I hadn’t seen in probably a decade, I was excited. I’d forgotten all about this promo and I was getting excited right along with the then-live crowd. So excited, in fact, that I was actually interested in the PPV they were promoting (Survivor Series 2001).
It got me thinking, aside from Money in the Bank 2011, when was I last this excited for any of WWE’s product? I draw a blank. I’m still drawing a blank. It got me wondering: if WWE treated yesterday’s Superstars like they treat today’s, how would they be treated?
Yesterday, the BBC aired the 50th anniversary special of Doctor Who, The Day of the Doctor. it was filled with a cornucopia of references or nods to five decades of the great British television series. While I’d known about it growing up, I didn’t become a fan until the series returned in 2005 with Christopher Eccelston. But I’ve since watched some of the Classic Doctor Who and read up on even more. I enjoyed the special quite a bit, caught up on its many exciting and hilarious moments.
However, it really bothers me that John Hurt is now officially one of the twelve (and soon – with Peter Capaldi – thirteen) Doctors. That doesn’t spoil anything about the special, since it was announced at the end of The Name of the Doctor. They may as well had giant flashing neon lights for it. And honestly, it rubs me the wrong way. Let me explain. After the cut, I’ll dive a little bit into spoilers of The Day of the Doctor, so you’ve been forewarned.
Any writer worth their salt has said in interviews that research is an important aspect of their writing process. Many acknowledgements mention countless people that have helped a writer in their research. Greg Rucka, for example, name drops several reliable sources of information in many of his books.
When I first started working on The City of Smoke and Mirrors, I had passing knowledge of an armadillo’s biology. When I looked into it more, though, I had to become an armchair expert on armadillos. Who knew there were different kinds of dillos? Or that very few actually roll into a ball like the 3-banded armadillo. Or that, of land mammals, armadillos have some of the longest penises? (That one’s a freebie for you.) I’ve gotten into contact with some armadillo experts, like the author of The Nine-Banded Armadillo: A Natural History (something I should ask to get for Christmas.)
But honestly, my mind is constantly working on characters, stories, world building, or just general ideas. Given that I want to ensure those ideas make sense in the world of reality and science, I do a lot of research. Maybe not extensive research, but enough. At least enough to have a good grounding on the concept so I can write about it.
And by god, if that research isn’t fun sometimes.
Statler: Why do they call it Most Wanted?
Waldorf: It’s the movie most wanted to avoid!
DOH-ho ho ho ho ho ho!
Waldorf: Well, it looks like Kermit’s on the run.
Statler: Too bad I wasn’t.
Waldorf: What, you want to be a wanted criminal?
Statler: No, I want to run from this movie!
DOH-ho ho ho ho ho!
Society is filled with broken people. Some are due to horrible circumstances beyond their control. Some are the result of their actions, either directly or indirectly. Regardless, broken people continue to live day to day, sometimes just trying to cope with the idea of getting out of bed in the morning. I’ve sure as hell been there.
In Gia Milani’s All the Wrong Things, we’re introduced to a quartet of broken people. At first, they seem to be unconnected, each going about their day in their own way. As the movie progresses, however, we start to see their lives interconnect: a woman struggles from day to day with anxiety while her husband struggles with a potential job promotion – to say nothing of being unable to touch his wife in over a year; a firefighter struggles with a new, disfiguring physical disability; a young mother whose former boyfriend cares little for her or her baby.
WWE has always had corporate figureheads. I grew up watching Jack Tunney making the big decisions like announcing Hulk Hogan vs. The Ultimate Warrior at WrestleMania VI. Others maybe remember Gorilla Monsoon. Most, however, I’d hazard to guess, will remember one corporate figurehead above all others: Vince McMahon.
During the fondly remembered Attitude Era and especially during the Monday Night Wars, Vince McMahon did everything in his power to screw over various superstars including The Rock and most famously, Stone Cold Steve Austin. The Austin/McMahon feud had some of the best twists and turns of a wrestling storyline, including one pay-per-view match where the rules kept changing in favour of Austin’s opponent, Dude Love.
Nearly every wrestling fan will admit that Vince is unquestionably one of the best heels. It was great back then because he really was the boss, so it added a layer of reality to the corporate figurehead. It certainly helped that Vince was always - always - willing to go above and beyond the call of duty to get his superstars over, even if it meant peeing his pants or getting his head shoved between the buttcheeks of Rikishi or Big Show.
But WWE needs to remember something: the heyday of the Monday Night Wars was FIFTEEN years ago. With some very few exceptions, nearly every major storyline in the past fifteen years has involved an authority figure character.
Posted in Wrestling
In both my creative writing and chatting or posting on Facebook, I tend to avoid swearing. That’s not to say I don’t swear because anyone who’s a friend of mine on Facebook will know I swear. I’m especially potty-mouthed in person, depending on my mood. But I feel swearing should be held off for special occasions. Otherwise, the impact that swearing should have is lost.