Wednesday, February 15, 2012

An Obsessive Observation

So the other day I was thinking about the whole Whitney Houston dying thing. Actually, what I was really thinking about was how little I cared about it. And then it got me thinking about how little I usually tend to care whenever news breaks of another celebrity death. So I was trying to think if there was ever a time when I learned of a celebrity dying and it registered any kind of reaction more than an 'oh, well that sucks,' and I was able to come up with two names.

The first was Eddie Guerrero. I was a little bummed out when I learned of his death, though granted, I had literally just graduated boot camp when I learned, so I was feeling way too good about that to be brought too far down about the news that one of my all time favorite wrestlers had died. Had the circumstances been different for me, his death likely would have struck me a little harder, and I know this because of the way I reacted when I learned about the second person's death.

A few years later, another one of my absolute favorite wrestlers, Chris Benoit, had died. When I initially learned the news, I was struck pretty hard, and I instantly started digging online for more details surrounding his death. And once the whole, heinous story broke out, I became pretty depressed for a while. This was a man who I idolized, I looked up to as a hero figure in the world of professional wrestling. Just days before he died, I was looking in the mirror, thinking about how when I become a professional wrestler myself (because back then, I was certain it would happen), then I'd wanna be just like Chris Benoit. He was a man worth modeling yourself after, or so I thought, before he saw fit to murder his wife and child and then hang himself.

Up until this point in my life, I was absolutely obsessed with wrestling. I lived it, I breathed it, I loved it. I was passionate about it. I soaked in as much wrestling as I could possibly get my hands on. I never missed a Raw, Smackdown, ECW, or even a TNA show. I watched almost every wrestling DVD that would get released. Hell, I even went out of my way sometimes to watch the crappy independent stuff that came on at three in the morning. I've traveled all over the state to see various wrestling events, and even flew across the country just to see a wrestling show, a fact that completely baffled one of my uncles. But I just couldn't get enough of it. And it was reflected in my blog. My old blog was to wrestling as my current blog is to movies. I reviewed television events, pay-per-views, live events that I attended, and commented on various storylines and gimmicks and all sorts of things.

But then the Benoit tragedy happened, and the wrestling world was never the same again. The product had a noticeably sharp decline in quality, both inside of the ring and out. And save for maybe a month here or a week there, it's never been as consistently good as it once was. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that, more often than not, wrestling is just frustratingly bad these days. But soon, I just stopped caring about it. I stopped watching TNA, I stopped watching ECW, and I even let Smackdown go by the wayside. I stuck around with just Raw for a bit, but it came to the point where I would miss an episode here or there, and I wouldn't even care. Before I knew it, I went from being a die hard fan of professional wrestling who never missed a moment of it and who was determined to become a part of it himself, to merely a passive fan who just kept up with it from time to time purely out of habit.

These days, I do still watch sometimes, though it's not the same way I used to. My eyes aren't glued to the screen, paying attention to the psychology of the match or watching the story being told in the ring flesh out before my eyes. No, these days I merely glance at it from time to time, watching for things to snark at as I take part in live chats during Monday Night Raw. And that's pretty much the extent of my wrestling outlet these days. And if it weren't for those live chats, I likely wouldn't even bother at all, for as I said before, wrestling these days is just so, so frustrating to even bother trying to get too invested in. And maybe I only see the bad for what it is these days because I've become such a bitter fan, but there's just so much wrong with the product now, though that's another rant for another day.

So yeah, while most times when a celebrity dies it doesn't really effect me much, that one shook me up pretty badly. To think that a man like that, who was so universally looked up to, could be capable of doing what he did, it was just unbelievable, and it really made me take a step back and observe the world of pro wrestling and my obsession for it in a whole new light.

But who knows, even if that whole Benoit situation never happened, maybe I would have just grown out of wrestling anyways. Maybe, but it all happened so sudden, and it all started with that one moment. And in dropping one obsession, I've since picked up new ones, and I've also shifted my career focus. Where before, I was so convinced that I was gonna be a pro wrestler myself one day, now I really don't think much of it. It would be cool, sure, but it's nothing I'd want to pursue anytime in the foreseeable future, and I just don't have the passion for the sport anymore to be able to deal with all of the backstage nonsense those guys have to go through in order to make it. Nah, now I'm more focused on other things, which those of you who follow me should be well aware of, and wrestling has become a thing of the past for me. Yeah, it was a fairly major thing of the past, but Chris Benoit, the man I once so admired, took my love for wrestling to the grave with him.

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