Three weeks ago in The Midnight News, Hyatte had the following to say:
>A week or so ago, someone found me on AIM and asked if I loved wrestling anymore. I said no. He then asked if there was anything wrestling could do to make me love it anymore… I thought about it. I thought about how lame I feel whenever I tell someone I watch wrestling. It really is a white trash sort of business people… you know it and I know it.
So I said no. I’m older now. I can’t see myself proclaiming my love for a business that has given me so little back like I used to do in ’98…
…He asked again… was there ANYTHING that would make me love the business again?
I had to admit… there wasn’t.
There’s a reason why I don’t write much about wrestling here, why I haven’t done so in a long time. And Hyatte hit the nail right on the head. As much as I’m loathe to admit it, the spark is gone.
I’ve been a wrestling fan since at least 1991. That’s over 12 years, people. I remember when wrestling meant WWF Superstars on a Friday night, WCW on a Saturday afternoon, and sometimes, even New Japan on a Thursday.
I remember when the Ultimate Warrior was locked in a coffin, _and_ when he was ‘possessed’ by Papa Shango. I remember when Earthquake squashed Damien, when Jake the Snake turned evil. I remember when the Undertaker was scary, would drop dirt onto his vanquished opponents, and Paul Bearer with the mysterious urn. I remember when Yokozuna crushed the immortal Hulk Hogan. I remember when Bret Hart became the WWF champion, and things started to change for the better. I remember Michaels and Ramon, _that_ ladder match. I remember Men on a Mission, though I’d rather forget.
I remember the fourth annual King of the Ring, where Steve Austin coined the phrases that changed the world, all in a single victory speech.
I remember when ECW invaded the WWF and took no prisoners.
I remember Jushin Liger wowing the New Japan crowds, laying waste with the Super Fisherman Buster.
I remember when Taka Michinoku and The Great Sasuke came to the WWF and tore the house down. Twice.
I remember when wrestling suddenly became cool, and it was finally safe to admit that yes, I am a wrestling fan.
And I remember when wrestling lost its cool again. I remember when ECW went bankrupt. I remember when Vince McMahon bought WCW and destroyed its legacy. I remember when the World Wrestling Federation became World Wrestling _Entertainment_.
I remember when the storylines served the _wrestling_, not the other way round.
>”Who DOES love wrestling these days?”
I don’t. I might _like_ it. I still watch it, week in week out. If only for those split seconds that make everything worthwhile, however few and far between…
Hyatte followed up his sentiments in the subsequent column:
>There was a time when I was very passionate about the busines (sic)… when I didn’t care about workrate or politics or when Benoit will get his push or any of that … all I cared about was what I watched on TV… the characters, the action, the laughs.
The laughs? The characters? The action? _Where did they go?_
Wrestling, for me, just isn’t fun any more. It’s all sub-Sunset Beach acting and politics. It’s all big juiced-up megastars obliterating their competition and giving the fans nothing to chew on. It’s racism and misogyny. It’s boredom and mediocrity.
And even as I sat there at the TV last weekend in awe of the amazing Ultimo Dragon, at the story he told with his moves and holds, his kicks and chops, his flips and dives, his sheer gracefulness and inventiveness in the ring, inside I knew that it wouldn’t last long, that five minutes later we’d be back to the same old same old and the Dragon would be on a plane back to Japan or Mexico, where people still appreciate _wrestling_. Where people _still love wrestling_.
But I still watch it, week in week out. Waiting, hoping for a change. After all wrestling is, as they say, ‘a cyclical business’. Though maybe they meant _cynical_.