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  1. #1

    The New Event #5 - Nostalgia (AKA Birthday Blues)

    What's up, guys? Welcome to a special birthday edition of The New Event. Whose birthday is it, you ask? Well, mine of cause! Today I turn 28 years old. Two years away from thirty! Wow! Time really does fly. I still remember turning twenty-one and after that it was all a blur. To all the teens out there please appreciate the time you have because before you know it you'll be pushing thirty! But enough with the life advice. Let's get to...




    THE HEADLINER


    Every birthday that I've had since I was twenty-five I've always ended up reminiscing about the good old days. The good old days can always put a smile on your face when the present gives you know joy. And these days the present gives me no joy whatsoever, and that also applies to modern-day WWE. There is so much potential for the future but WWE seemingly refuses to fulfill the potential that we can clearly see. Who knows if they are afraid a new prospect won't prosper or if it's due to the lack of their creative team actually being creative. Whatever the case may be, WWE's inherent lack of vision got me thinking about my favourite moments of their past and some of the things that I miss the most.

    I miss being a new WWE fan. I miss the excitement of not wanting to miss a single episode of WWF RAW. I started watching wrestling in late 2000/early-mid 2001. I don't know what it was that got me hooked but I didn't want to miss a single episode. By the end of 2001 I was recording WWF RAW every week on VHS just so that I could watch it again. Wrestling was so awesome to me that I got my friends hooked and when RAW came on we would drop everything that we were doing so that we could watch. Hell, once me and my friend took a fifteen minute walk to my house so that we could watch RAW because we weren't able to watch it at my grandma's house! That's how much I used to love wrestling and I miss feeling that way about the sport.

    I miss Rob Van Dam. I miss how entertained I was when he was wrestling a match. He was the second wrestler who I ever considered my favourite after Steve Austin hung up his boots. He was just a ball of energy and I absolutely adored watching him wrestle. I even miss how I used to think he was related to Jean-Claude Van Damme. They looked eerily similar to me at the time and RVD having the same last name as him didn't help things. I ended up googling it eventually and found out they weren't related. I must admit that I was rather disappointed.

    I miss Brock Lesnar. I miss the guy that actually gave a shit about wrestling. I miss the guy who put on great matches and was touted to be the next big superstar. He lived up to all expectations but he decided to leave because WWE wouldn't let him be on a lazier schedule compared to that off other wrestlers. Considering that he was only on WWE TV for 2 years at the time he had no right to demand that. He eventually got his way, but I digress. I'll always miss the guy who attempted a Shooting Star Press in the main event of Wrestlemania.

    I miss Chris Benoit. Yes, I said it. But I'm not talking about Chris Benoit the vile human being who murdered his wife and son and then committed suicide. No, I miss The Rabid Wolverine. The guy who couldn't talk for shit but who fucking crushed it every time he stepped in that ring. I swear that every single one of his matches that I saw was good. The crispness that he employed in that squared circle ensured that even a throwaway match was far from bad. Unfortunately, it's really hard to separate the man from the wrestler.

    I miss CM Punk. Oh boy, how I miss CM Punk. I enjoyed Punk since the debut of his Straight Edge gimmick (to the WWE audience). But even before that I liked the guy. I liked his run in WWECW and the match between him, Miz and Morrision for the ECW Championship is one of my favourite CM Punk bouts. It's funny that WWE dropped the ball on him so hard because in hindsight WWE must have seen something in him to allow him to win the WHC twice before he even became truly popular (against Batista no less). I remember at the time people were wondering how Punk even got to that spot. Many have said (and still say to this day) that Daniel Bryan was/is better than Punk. To each his own but in my humble opinion I always thought Punk was better. Both of them got shat on at the end of the day though, so we're all wrong.

    I miss TV-14. I miss how much more cooler that made WWE. I'm not talking about cooler in the sense of being ashamed to let people know you watched WWE. What I'm referring to is how much cooler the show was presented. You can't be a badass in a PG-13 environment. Well, you can, but the creative team doesn't have the writing chops to pull it off. I miss how things seemed more realistic in a TV-14 environment whereas now it feels condensed and watered down to ensure that the stakeholders don't throw a bitch fit. Wrestling might be aimed at kids but there is a large section of their fanbase who are red-blooded males who look down on their discounted violence. I accept it as it is now, as I'm not one to complain, but dammit if I don't miss it.

    I miss puppies! Yes, I said it. I miss Bra & Panties matches. I miss Evening Gown Matches. I miss Wrestle In The Mud Matches (whatever the hell they used to call it). Yes, I really do. Before we go down the sexist route and how I don't appreciate the female talent that WWE has on display just remember that I've always advocated for the Women's Division in my columns and I always will. These ladies that WWE have on their roster today are fucking incredible. Want proof? Go look at Toni Storm vs. Io Shirai and Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair from Evolution and you'll see exactly what these women are capable of. But I'll be damned if every now and then I actually miss the eye candy, especially considering that eye candy was all I saw in WWE growing up and I bet none of y'all can argue that you at least miss puppies a little. Nevertheless, I wouldn't trade what we have now for a thousand puppies.

    I miss blood. I miss how blood can add to a story. I miss how the simple use of blood can lead to a story about vengeance. Blood used to play such a pivotal role in wrestling matches that it still seems surreal to me that it's rarely used in modern-day WWE. I miss how blood can make a match a CLASSIC! Can you honestly tell me that if Steve Austin wasn't dripping with blood in the Sharpshooter that that image would have been one of the defining moments in WWE history? I think not. And that's what blood can bring to the table. As awesome as Lynch/Flair was at Evoulution, everybody who started watching wrestling before 2005 knows that it would have gone into all-time great status if one of them were bleeding. Sure, they're women, but this is the Women's Revolution so a stament such as 'but they're women' doesn't fly anymore.

    There's so much more that I can add to this list but it's my birthday and I don't feel like writing forever. My girlfriend is taking me out for supper/dinner and I need to get this done. My point of this whole column is that if wrestling gets you down try and remember how awesome wrestling used to be. Of course, I'm just referring to WWE here but I always try and look at the silver lining and hold out hope. That's basically where my life is at, at the moment. Thinking about how great my life used to be and trying to find a way out of this rock bottom state that I'm in.

    Perhaps WWE is trying to do the same. Maybe Vince yearns for the success that he used to have and holds onto all his former glory for as long as he possibly can. That's why guys like Undertaker and Kane are still around. Nostalgia can be beautiful if used correctly, but in the wrong hands it can shift an entire mood. It can make you feel like the future is pointless based on past triumphs. One day WWE won't be able to use the past anymore and they'll be forced to play their hand with the present. When that day comes Vince might regret not setting things up in the interim until that day finally arrives.

    Hell, Vince needs to start looking at his past successes and try to incorporate that into his current product in a fresh manner. If he was smart enough he could even try to look at what went wrong in an angle that was a sure thing and modify it to make it work now. I'm sure he could get some results using that approach. But at the end of the day the past is behind us and no matter how far we look back we won't be able to recapture the same lightning in a bottle. So I suggest Vince goes out in a thunderstorm with a bottle in hand.

    The past cannot be altered. The present holds but regret and loss. It is only in the days to come that a man may find solace. When memory fades.

  2. #2
    LOP's part time glass ceiling DynamiteBillington's Avatar
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    Hope you had a great day.

    Noit much to argue about in this column, most of us probably miss most of thesse things too. The thing is, it's not that they've gone away that matters, it's the fact they haven't really been replaced with anything thats grabbed our attention in the same way.

  3. #3
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    I miss some of those things, too. Not all of them. I think TV-14 was used to include all sort of things that didn't belong on a wrestling show, and that the last few years of that era were fucking dire. And as much as I enjoyed the sexual content of the WWE when I was an adolescent, I honestly don't miss it. Hard not to be a little bit embarrassed by some of that stuff looking back on it.

    But I do think that, used sparingly, there's a space for blood. I do miss most of the people you've listed here, even if I wasn't ever as convinced by Lesnar as newer fans were. I think they pulled the trigger too fast with him personally, and while newer fans went with it they were always playing catch-up with the older fans, which was a big factor in them rushing through his heel/face/heel rotations so quickly. But I'll agree with all the others. And I certainly miss being a new fan - or even the first decade of being a wrestling fan.

    But yeah, nice read. And hope you had a good birthday!

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  4. #4
    The Brain
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    Ah, the power of nostalgia! But nostalgia is usually based on something real, and I'd agree there's a lot to be missed here. Some of it is just getting older, but some of it is that WWE doesn't really produce the same kind of product that they used to. Maybe this version makes them the most money, and maybe there are lots of people out there who prefer it now, but I'd have to agree personally they often don't seem much fun anymore. Definitely why I started being attracted to other products that give me more of the old feelings!

    Definitely agree on the blood, I'm a fan of including it when the situation calls for it. Heck, even the Hogan era had blood at times! Not so much sold on the puppies though, you're always a couple clicks away from all the breasts you could ever hope to enjoy so I think taking them out of the focus of wrestling was just as well. Won't lie though, as a young teen I was titillated more than few times!

    Fun column, Don, happy birthday mate. Hope it was a good one!

  5. #5
    @Dyno - Thanks man. The day was pretty awesome.

    So true. You have to replace something that was good with something that was better so that we don't ending up missing those things in the first place.

    Thanks for the read and feed!

    @Prime Time - I must admit that I too am embarrassed about some of the things that went down under TV-14. Katie Vick? Fuck that shit. As for the sexy women aspect I was referring to my teen years as I truly believe their is no place for that in modern day WWE.

    Using blood sparingly might be okay but hardly ever using blood? I mean, come on. As for Lesnar, I feel like if he got the same push in today's climate as a new superstar he would be buried alive by fans. However, I do believe that his level of talent and the manager that he had probably gifted him his prolific rise to the top. I do feel that he should have remained heel though. Also, there's no better thing than being a new wrestling fan, that's for sure.

    The birthday was good man. Thanks for stopping by!

    @Mizzie - Nostalgia can be a powerful thing and it probably can be attributed to getting older, but it's almost like the magic isn't there anymore because WWE hasn't really created any new tricks, you know? These days it's money over everything so I doubt there will be a change anytime soon.

    Blood is important to me as it shows how badly two wrestlers want to destroy each other. I'm sure they could find a way to use it sparingly like Prime mentioned above. As for the titties, watching so much beautiful women on wrestling in my younger days was a definite treat for me, with Stacy Kiebler being the cream of the crop. I wanted change that for what we have now though.

    I'm glad you enjoyed this. The is for the read and feed!

  6. #6
    Author of 101 WWE Matches To See Before You Die Samuel 'Plan's Avatar
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    I've lurked around your work a couple of times and one thing that I've liked has been the Daveyboy-structure, with the three shorter sections separated out. I'm presuming you only scrapped that for a shorter piece?! I hope so, because it's a format that works very well and could take you very far. Oh, happy birthday as well buddy!

    I really connect with your writing Don. It's a personable as TheImplications and can drive home a point succinctly too like Maverick's. I think it could do with a little polish - there were a couple of glaring spelling mistakes up to - "know" instead of "no" and "cause" instead of "course" - and I think you might have overplayed your hand at the conclusion. I thought the paragraph ending "state that I'm in." would have been a more pertinent last line than the three paragraphs that followed. You could have maybe woven that actual final line into the aforementioned paragraph or something. I don't know, maybe it's personal taste, but the strongest endings I often find are ones that don't linger. Gotta kills those darlings on occasion!

    Generally really good stuff though! Definitely going to be checking more out and I do hope you stick around and get stuck into the community as you've got loads to add to the place and it's a pleasure to have you here!

    As for the topic, I'm personally at a place where nostalgia actively aggravates me. I'm ready for the stars of today. I couldn't care less about what I loved from years ago - I have the Network, so at any time I can go boot that stuff up and watch it when everyone was in their prime and still contemporary. I don't need to endure some embarrassing cringe-inducing retread at the expense of the stars of today who get blamed for not succeeding like their predecessors when they are offered none of the benefits their predecessors were offer - like decent creative or just a little god damn faith from the company!

  7. #7
    Plan! Good to have you stop by. Yeah, man I remember you commented on one of older columns under my D.O.N username. Daveyboy was my favourite columnist which is why I modelled my format after The Wrestling Menu. I had this format under my previous username too, but just with different. On occasion I don't use a format when it's just something I'm writing on the fly but 99% of my columns use this format.

    I'm glad you connect with my writing. That's definitely a compliment coming from you so it's much appreciated. Those damn spelling mistakes though, it annoys the hell out of me. I do proof read my work but sometimes you get those little errors you don't see. Thanks for the constructive criticism, I fully believe a writer can never have enough of it no matter how long he's writing. These little mistakes can also be due to me writing all the columns on my phone and not being able to use Grammarly. I've got a laptop but I'm so used to writing on my phone and I'm a creature of habit.

    I'm happy that you thought this was good too, as I do plan on sticking around this time. As for being stuck in these forums I have been since March 2016. I reply to every column and under my old username with The Main Event series I've written just over 100 columns but work forced me to take a break and in the process I reinvented myself.

    I feel the same way that you do about the topic of Nostalgia, but past events just came into play because it was my birthday and I was feeling... well... nostalgic. Ive touched a little bit on the old stars WWE needs to let go in my next column that will be coming out later today. That column was actually inspired by this one so I hope you check it.

    Thanks for stopping by!

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    Ah, no problem good sir. An easy mistake to make.

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