Why I watch pro-wrestling

For those of you who know me from social media, my love for WWE is well documented. I started watching a very long time ago and followed it seriously during the Attitude Era and some bits of the Ruthless Aggression Era before life took me to places where a TV wasn’t available to watch the shows. 3 years ago, I decided to give it a try again and fell in love with it. I’ve been trying to be in sync on all of the action that takes place in WWE, though I’d love to catch up on NXT and Lucha Underground as well.

A friend of mine has been wondering all this while as to what I love about the art form and why I love it. So here goes.

When I started watching as a kid, I was coming from the world of trump cards and seeing them people from pictures flex their muscles, fight in matches etc was a thrill ride. It felt like watching a circus. I did believe that wrestling was real at that point. A 6 year old wouldn’t trust what the adults said about it.

When the Attitude Era was at its peak, I was a teenager. I loved the rebel streak exhibited by Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock and DX. The middle fingers to authority figures, the bloodshed, the gimmick matches all had me intrigued. It was also a means of bonding between me and my father. We’d watch the shows together on TV, sometimes even waking up in the middle of the night to make sure we didn’t miss anything.

It fizzled out a bit when the channel which aired the shows lost the rights, and I had to rely on schoolmates with internet access telling me the results.

When I started watching again, Undertaker was a badass biker, John Cena was an upcoming talent, Kurt Angle, Eddie Guerrero, Chris Benoit etc were at the heights of their powers. The storylines were ridiculous, with a lot of sleaze. The highschooler me loved all of that.

I went to get an engineering degree and lost touch with the product. It was early 2015 when I watched it again. This time, it was the technical abilities of the talent that pulled me in. The charisma of Dean Ambrose made me a fan instantly. Then I learnt about Daniel Bryan and his journey. Someone mentioned NXT and I found the story telling to be of very high quality.

That’s the thing about wrestling. It’s as much of an opera as it is a display of athletic ability. A good technical wrestler can’t be a superstar without the ability to tell a story, gain the respect and love of the fans etc. There’s so much that goes on behind the scenes too. The real life events changing the plot at the last moment. So there’s that unpredictability. That’s where it differs from a TV show. And the performers having to please the crowds through their craft. My favourite type of performers these days are heels or the bad guys. These days, they get cheered for playing their role perfectly. And most often, they have to come up with some shticks that’ll get them booed. The spontaneity is something I love. And rooting for guys who are following their dreams to be entertainers.

I love wrestling because you never know who or what’s next and that’s the bottom line because milcom said so!

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Forever Grateful

“Fight for your dreams, because if you fight for your dreams, your dreams will fight for you.” – Daniel Bryan, WWE Smackdown, March 21, 2018

A huge news broke out when I was asleep. Daniel Bryan, one of the best pro-wrestlers of all time was cleared to perform in a WWE ring after almost 2.5 years. The promo, from which the opening line of this piece was taken, was chock full of emotions. It gave me goosebumps the three times I have watched it already. One life lesson stood out for me from the promo.

Being grateful. Caught up in the inertia of life, work, fatherhood etc, I’ve forgotten to be grateful. I have a lot to be thankful for. I often don’t give any credit at all for the fortunes I have had, and still encounter everyday. I have been focusing on the barren lands while missing the fertile lands that are full of life. I should forever be grateful.

I’m grateful for being happily married while there are unholy alliances aplenty.

I’m grateful for being a father when there are many who cannot experience the world of parenthood.

In grateful for not having to beg, borrow or steal for I’ve never had to do any of these to survive. On the same lines, I’m grateful for never having to go hungry because I couldn’t afford to buy food.

I’m grateful for books. They opened up a world where I could get lost in, while seeing the world through the eyes of characters.

I’m grateful for a satisfying job for I don’t have to go through the struggles of an unemployed.

I’m grateful for having a soft bed where I can go to sleep and get lost in dreams.

I’m grateful for everything.

If I’m grateful, and keep fighting, and keep dreaming, I’ll eventually get there. And when I do, the wall part of the marathon will be overcome.

When things change

A decade ago, I was very optimistic, cheerful, funny (at least by my own judgement), full of ideas, passionate etc.

Today, I’m an empty shell. I feel drained, lack motivation, angry, tired, negative etc.

Those of you who knew me then and know me now. What changed?

You said you loved me

You said you loved me. After you humiliated me in front of everyone.

You said you loved me. After you slapped me in a fit of rage that knocked out my teeth.

You said you loved me. After you burned me with words that are usually reserved for the most demented beings.

You said you loved me. After you deserted me at a time that mattered most to me.

I write…

I used to write for an audience. I thought they’d come. I carefully crafted posts and was disappointed when they didn’t come. When they did as little as leave a comment, I was happy. It felt like a reason to celebrate. I had things to write about and I wrote about them.

Now I don’t. I’m going to write nevertheless.

As a habit. As a means to give words to my wandering thoughts. To have something to look forward to. To focus on something with undivided attention. To find things to write about. To be mindful. For myself.