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  1. #1
    Lamb of LOP anonymous's Avatar
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    Inside the Mind: Broken Rose-Tinted Spectacles



    Hello and welcome to another addition of Inside The Mind. My name is anonymous and I’d tell you a bit more about myself but that would make my name meaningless. I didn’t actually mean to write a column right now but this just sort of came out. It’s not my usual stuff and is probably more personal but I felt compelled to write it. Apologies if you disagree.




    Royal Rumble Approaching! It's Royal Rumble season and the start of the road to WrestleMania. I have no idea who's going to win the Rumble this year and am genuinely excited for it. It's my favourite PPV of the year and I can't wait to see what happens. I'm excited for most of the card, think the build up is being done well and am really looking forward to it. Who would I like to win the Rumble? An Uso? Big E? Very few main eventers appeal to me right now, so I would love a shock winner. I just assume John Cena's going to win it though.

    Raw batters Smackdown! Seriously, aren't the WWE ever going to do anything about the sweep at Survivor Series? As it stands, Smackdown did pathetically simply because it's the lesser brand, which isn't how it should be. There should have at least some sort of angle in follow up but instead, everyone just moved on. What the fuck? And we have The Miz in a worthless team/feud with Shane McMahon. The whole thing is just a total mess.

    It's 2019 and everything still sucks! Happy new year folk. Let's get this straight. Nothing has changed since December 23rd. ou're probably a bit heavier, your liver's a bit weaker and your bank balance is lower but you're still in exactly the same life you were in before. People treat the New Year like their whole life has changed. It really hasn't.

    WWE hits reset! It was Rikishi. He did it for The Rock. How did Rikishi convince WWE management to claim they were going to save the product? How did The Rock get Rikishi on his side again? Does The Rock's desire to hit reset suggest he's going to return to the WWE? Or just that he was fed up with all the shit? Will HHH and Rikishi fight once HHH finds out Rikishi caused the reset?! That's a WrestleMania match I'd pay to see...




    For a recent project I had to watch a lot of old PPVs. It was a lot of fun. I got to see a lot of my old favourites performing and putting on a show just the way I remembered. I got to see hot crowds, chanting for the faces (a novelty these days) and booing the heels; living every sequence and false-finish as if it really mattered. I got to see matches that were part of brilliant storylines, were well executed and had finishes which made you feel satisfied, or utterly furious for the right reasons. It was light years better than today’s product. I also saw Rikishi, the greatest wrestler in history, performing at his peak. I miss Rikishi but I’m glad he’s happily retired with his family. Other wrestlers should take note. It was a nostalgia trip for me and I benefitted from seeing what WWE used to be again. The product I used to love.

    So why did I hate every second of it?

    Quite simply, every PPV without fail had a moment in it which made me feel uncomfortable. There was so much wrong in them; chair shots to the head, physical shots to the head and blood- so much blood. You had Superstars dripping with blood; with it covering their opponent and the ring, whilst the gloveless referee just stood and watched, not doing anything about it. Maybe I’ve been resensitised to all this following WWE’s banning of blood but, a lot of it just felt like a superfluous way to create drama, when it really wasn’t needed. And actually, it made me feel downright disgusted by what I used to think was the “norm”. I found it sad that they felt the need to blade for the audience. Like we weren’t entertained by their match alone and they needed to top it up for our sake. Of course, the bloodthirsty crowds lapped it up and I found myself looking in the mirror and wondering, was that me? It probably was.

    Then you have the Superstars involved. I watched a cacophony of villains on screen who were incredible at their jobs. True heels are a lost art and I saw some shining examples of what a good heel entails. Some were cowardly, some were sadistic, some simply bullied the faces but, they were definitely heel. There was no “cool heel” aspect to them- they were just bad guys to the core. But then I started to notice the true villains. Whilst recounting legendary PPVs I witnessed serial killers, rapists, racists, drug addicts and alcoholics. A lot of them were bleeding or receiving chair shots to the head. With my eyes wide open, I contemplated why I was nostalgic about a product that had glorified these men and made them untouchable. A product that had allowed substance abuse and alcoholism. Had allowed wrestlers to become bullies in real life. A product that had encouraged head shots as part of its day-to-day productions. Do I really want to watch that?

    It wasn’t just the bad guys on the screen who made me uncomfortable either. As much as I was disturbed to be watching serial killers battling proud racists, I was equally disturbed by the amount of time I spent watching dead people. Even in matches from 10-15 years ago, the amount of dead on the card was difficult to comprehend. It made me sad when I saw their entrances. It made me nostalgic when I saw their moves. But it made me wince when I saw them drop as a result of a head-shot or a botched move. How many of them would be alive if they were from this safer generation? If they’d been steered in the right directions and stopped before they fell off their wagons? How many of them would be retired happily, with their children? How many children were missing their mummies and daddies because of the WWE’s past work?
    Looking back at the past can be an interesting experience. For years I’ve watched the Network nostalgically, viewing my favourite matches repeatedly and not thinking of the context and the results. This was the first time I’ve properly dwelled on the consequences of what’s been happening. Kurt Angle and Eddie Guerrero are in my top 3 wrestlers of all time and yet, right now, I can’t watch either of their matches without feeling slightly sick. I wonder what state they’re going through in their lives and what each shot is doing to them. With Eddie, I struggle most as every blow feels like a nail in the coffin for him and I have genuinely shed a tear to see him looking out of it, covered in blood, having his head smashed with a chair. I wish he was here today. I’d trade every match he had for some extra years in his life. The same applies for Angle, and I’m grateful he’s still with us.

    With that in mind, I’ve made a conscious decision to try and avoid the past wherever possible from now on. Fuck the WWE Network’s archives. Its nostalgia has been replaced by pain and disgust. And for that reason, I’ll only be using it for new content. The past also makes you more cynical of today’s product and our access to it has done more damage that anyone realises. The WWE has become a watered down shadow of what it was and we have access to thousands of videos that prove how “good” it can be. I say “good” but, having done some soul searching and reflection, I’ve decided WWE’s past is far too murky to be considered “good”. Regardless of the quality of the matches and the brilliance of the stars, the real life results of the past make it utterly unwatchable. The fact the WWE is proudly displaying it is unbelievably fucked up.

    The difference is, at least now, the WWE goes to every effort imaginable to try and stop its stars from going off the rails. There are always going to be exceptions but they get found out, and often released. Some get rehabilitated, others find themselves in far worse situations. Are today’s Superstars the Serial Killers of tomorrow? Only time can answer that question.

    What I do know is that the past doesn’t appeal to me. The present is massively flawed and often difficult to watch. But at least at the end of an episode of Raw, I haven’t watched 3 hours of dead guys shortening each other's lives.

    Fuck the past.


    Thank you for reading.


  2. #2
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    I think once the crowd got their first taste of blood and violent they just wanted more and more. And because of the crowds bloodthirsty desires WWE had to up the ante every time to ensure that they don't lose any of the shock value that comes with seeing a crimson mask through gory violence.

    Hindsight is a motherfucker and it sure as hell is disturbing watching a wrestler from past events who is dead now. But it's not just that they're dead. It's what caused them to die in the first place. It's the ripple effect that came from years of working unsafe in the ring to get a crowd reaction and not being monitored with what they were doing outside the ring. So it's totally understandable as to why it would be hard to watch now.

    At this point in time I can't say I wholly feel the same way as you do regarding this matter. Because I actually want to watch what I haven't before to see what everyone was raving about back then. I hope that I don't feel disgusted as you do now, but knowing how things turns out for some of those guys in the end I wouldn't be surprised if I do end up feeling the same way as you when it's all said and done.

    Great work, dude. I hope this different side of you isn't a one off.

  3. #3
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    Well I was feeling all good upon seeing that our upcoming project inspired this column... then I delved into the subject matter. It shined some light on the ugly side of the business and I have to think that just about any wrestling fan can relate to your feelings on the topic. Blood and chair shots were so prevalent 15-20 years ago that they become commonplace in pretty much every major match. WWE used blading to intensify feuds and crowds loved it because things of that nature made the action seem more real. It's crazy to reflect on how bloodthirsty we were in those days but people were still largely clueless about concussions and head trauma back then. I try to tune out all the dark stuff while watching old matches but it's difficult sometimes. WWE catches a lot of flak but at least they've implemented policies to (hopefully) prevent more wrestlers dying young.



    Thanks for writing this column, Nony. Any trip inside your mind is a worthwhile one.

  4. #4
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    I have a very different take on the archive and on the past, but then I'm watching a very different era. I've long viewed that period that I think you are talking about here, starting in '98 accelerating in' 99 and probably continuing on until 2007, with suspicion and I'm probably generally in line with you here.

    I could make more of a nuanced case for the stuff I actually go back to if I weren't typing this with one finger on a phone, so I'll just finish by saying this is one of my favourite ever things from you. Kudos.

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

  5. #5
    The Brain
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    That's the problem with the past, it almost always sucks if you actually go back and look at it. Maybe the good thing about that is it means we're always getting better? I wouldn't bet my life on it, but I like to think on average the world slowly gets better, albeit with many detours along the way. Maybe that's too optimistic of me, but I believe it just the same.

    Blood in old matches doesn't bother me, on the whole it's a pretty safe way to juice up a match. I'd prefer that to guys taking apron bumps or certainly to guys getting bashed in the head with chairs. I did feel some of the same things as you when watching Rumble matches for Skul's project, especially the unchecked concussions running amuck. It seems anyone who is a wrestling fan on more than a casual level will eventually hit a motherlode of wrestling guilt, and everyone's got to deal with that in their own way I suppose.

    Really good piece Nony, glad to hear from you.

  6. #6
    LOP's part time glass ceiling DynamiteBillington's Avatar
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    Trouble is, the more you push boundaries, the further you have to go to push them.

    It's a problem with all aspects of wrestling, and one which is currently causing a new problem. Back then, it was blood & hardcore wrestling. Today, it's false finishes. Too much of a good thing is too much, a reset is required occasionally.
    FACT or FICTION: Ladies and Gentlemen, Elias.
    PM me to get involved.


  7. #7
    Lamb of LOP anonymous's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Franc View Post
    I think once the crowd got their first taste of blood and violent they just wanted more and more. And because of the crowds bloodthirsty desires WWE had to up the ante every time to ensure that they don't lose any of the shock value that comes with seeing a crimson mask through gory violence.

    Hindsight is a motherfucker and it sure as hell is disturbing watching a wrestler from past events who is dead now. But it's not just that they're dead. It's what caused them to die in the first place. It's the ripple effect that came from years of working unsafe in the ring to get a crowd reaction and not being monitored with what they were doing outside the ring. So it's totally understandable as to why it would be hard to watch now.

    At this point in time I can't say I wholly feel the same way as you do regarding this matter. Because I actually want to watch what I haven't before to see what everyone was raving about back then. I hope that I don't feel disgusted as you do now, but knowing how things turns out for some of those guys in the end I wouldn't be surprised if I do end up feeling the same way as you when it's all said and done.

    Great work, dude. I hope this different side of you isn't a one off.
    DF-MP Sellout I agree with your points- it's very much the reason why the wrestler is dead that's disturbing, as well as the deaths themselves. I think it's hard to look back and see those guys giving their lives for the business, and that's what it feels like they did. Biblical levels of commitment.


    I tend to mix it up occasionally, depending on mood and thought process and this column was written out of pure self indulgence and angst. So, if something does hit me the way this does again, I'll probably write something similar. Thanks for all the kind words.

    Quote Originally Posted by SkitZ View Post
    Well I was feeling all good upon seeing that our upcoming project inspired this column... then I delved into the subject matter. It shined some light on the ugly side of the business and I have to think that just about any wrestling fan can relate to your feelings on the topic. Blood and chair shots were so prevalent 15-20 years ago that they become commonplace in pretty much every major match. WWE used blading to intensify feuds and crowds loved it because things of that nature made the action seem more real. It's crazy to reflect on how bloodthirsty we were in those days but people were still largely clueless about concussions and head trauma back then. I try to tune out all the dark stuff while watching old matches but it's difficult sometimes. WWE catches a lot of flak but at least they've implemented policies to (hopefully) prevent more wrestlers dying young.


    Thanks for writing this column, Nony. Any trip inside your mind is a worthwhile one.
    Fruitstick- I'm sorry. I'll post some T'N'A soon (no Jeff Jarrett) just to appease my regulars.

    I think it's great that the WWE have decided to take action but, it is was only as a result of all those deaths. How many deaths could have been stopped? But yeah, I was very much part of the problem as a teenager and seeing a WWE/ECW/WCW Star covered in blood was very much part of my childhood. And I probably though it was great back then. But as you know, Eddie's death hit me more than most and that might have been the first turning point for me.

    I love you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Prime Time View Post
    I have a very different take on the archive and on the past, but then I'm watching a very different era. I've long viewed that period that I think you are talking about here, starting in '98 accelerating in' 99 and probably continuing on until 2007, with suspicion and I'm probably generally in line with you here.

    I could make more of a nuanced case for the stuff I actually go back to if I weren't typing this with one finger on a phone, so I'll just finish by saying this is one of my favourite ever things from you. Kudos.

    PT2- I would say that's almost exclusively the era I've been looking at. Maybe slightly pre-1998, but yeah, I appreciate that the earlier years were a lot better. It's like in their quest for ratings, WWE fell down a slippery slope and actually harmed their "staff". However, I would argue that far too many people from earlier years died young. Maybe not from blood and similar, but down to the lifestyle and the lack of any sort of policies these days. Flair should have died 5 times over with all he's done. But anyway, I appreciate there are eras and matches which make for less painful viewing. I think that's why I love Rumble matches so much really, they tend to be good, clean frequently nonsensical fun.

    Thanks for the high praise- it's much appreciated.

    Quote Originally Posted by mizfan View Post
    That's the problem with the past, it almost always sucks if you actually go back and look at it. Maybe the good thing about that is it means we're always getting better? I wouldn't bet my life on it, but I like to think on average the world slowly gets better, albeit with many detours along the way. Maybe that's too optimistic of me, but I believe it just the same.

    Blood in old matches doesn't bother me, on the whole it's a pretty safe way to juice up a match. I'd prefer that to guys taking apron bumps or certainly to guys getting bashed in the head with chairs. I did feel some of the same things as you when watching Rumble matches for Skul's project, especially the unchecked concussions running amuck. It seems anyone who is a wrestling fan on more than a casual level will eventually hit a motherlode of wrestling guilt, and everyone's got to deal with that in their own way I suppose.

    Really good piece Nony, glad to hear from you.

    Morrison>Miz- If the past sucks, why does everyone choose to glorify it? And is the product actually getting better these days? Are wrestler's lifestyles getting better? Do they have a healthy annual leave policy? I highly doubt it. I love the idea of the WWE being like a normal employer, with healthy staff policies that don't burn their staff out. Sadly, it seems like it's just the elite (Lesnar, Rousey) who get it easy, while others are still worn out and ground down.


    Blood in moderation is sometimes acceptable. If every match on the card features a crimson mask, with a referee and the opponent(s) getting caked in it too, I find it really uncomfortable viewing. Maybe I'm squeamish. But I find it a bit messed up that it became the "norm". Chair Shots are just hard to watch these days and the apron bumps are flat out nasty. And yes, I do feel massive amounts of guilt. I feel constantly on a fine line between loving and hating the products. One day I might just switch it off and never turn it back on. But that day is always tomorrow.


    Thanks for the read and the feed.

    Quote Originally Posted by DynamiteBillington View Post
    Trouble is, the more you push boundaries, the further you have to go to push them.

    It's a problem with all aspects of wrestling, and one which is currently causing a new problem. Back then, it was blood & hardcore wrestling. Today, it's false finishes. Too much of a good thing is too much, a reset is required occasionally.
    BombFreddington- It's true. There are "trends" in wrestling and blood and hardcore was definitely a trend. I massively blame ECW for that. And it actually desensitized a lot of people, including children to blood and brutality. Which is pretty messed up.


    My least favourite trend right now is the dive through the ropes. Everyone is doing it and 90% of the time it looks ugly. It's a move that's purely for show and every time someone does it, my heart stops as it seems most people are incapable of doing it botch-free. I'm waiting for the moment when someone gets a really serious injury from it just to stop it. It's reached a point where it's repetitive, adds nothing to a match and looks stupid, as well as being downright dangerous. And I massively blame Ambrose and Rollins for making it "cool". [/rant]


    Thanks for reading.



    I love you all.

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