Ousta! Welcome back to the only WrestleView column covering topics both nowhere yet everywhere at once. If you are new to the column you are probably going to hate us for the first couple weeks, but then you are going to hit a point where you say ?oh wait a minute, I think he gets it?. Don?t worry, that’s exactly how it is designed to be. This column is all about gut reactions and traveling thoughts. As the great Andy Kaufman once said: ?I just want real reactions. I want people to laugh from the gut, be sad from the gut, or get angry from the gut?.
The Longest Second in Professional Wrestling
It is the moment when the entire world freezes. Like a bullet zipping over Keanu Reeves? body in the Matrix, or a clutch play in the closing moments of a sports game which will be replayed till the end of time on ESPN. In Professional wrestling it is the moment when sweat drips from the bodies of the competitors with the referee on his hands and knees arm raised in the air poised to strike the finale ultimo.
The space time continuum itself comes to a halt. There are so many mixed angles and emotions going at once that it becomes difficult to take stock of the situation. For a complete understanding it becomes necessary to break the moment down into its individual components.
Wrestler ?On Verge of Victory?
It doesn?t matter if the match is for a Championship, a lame gimmick stipulation such as ?kissing the feet of the winner? (not making that up, just ask Bret Hart), or anything else; the bottom line is that when straddling your opponent with a leg hooked and your eyes rolled up to the ceiling, there is a thirst for victory which only the strongest opiates could quench outside of the ring. Caught in the second between 2 and the hopeful 3, the thoughts racing through the wrestler’s mind is bound to be everything from ?did I put on the best possible match?? to ?how am I getting to the hotel tonight??. Having wrestled for years, he doesn?t even have to look at the referee. He can sense the arm of the ref falling to mat, with the gasp of the crowd accompanying every move like a climaxing soundtrack.
Wrestler ?Flat on Back?
For some, there is the worry that this might be the last time he?ll ever be on his back in a wrestling ring. There is a real fear that doing the ?job? may be the sign that this is his last job ever, at least with this company. But that isn?t to suggest that every wrestler in a position to be pinned is filled with worry or guilt. The most talented and gifted no doubt carry a smile underneath their exposed grit. The greats of the business take solace in the fact that win or lose, they did their absolute best to both get over their opponent and draw sympathy or proper heat for themselves. In the instant before the wrestler kicks out or is vanquished, he is the calmest person in the entire arena, because his artistic role on the wrestling canvas is over.
Whether they call themselves ‘smart marks? or are just sitting in the crowd to enjoy the show, NONE of them knows what is about to happen. Is this the last pin attempt, or merely a halfway point? Is the belt about to change hands, or are they just witnessing a continuously unfolding drama? Standing on their feet and cheering, the emotion of the moment is overwhelming. Even the smarkiest of attendees have extreme difficulty restraining themselves from tribal and instinctual fandom. And that is the beauty of the business.
If I were to spill the result of the pin attempt, it wouldn?t matter. What I want you to take from this glance at a microscopic moment is the inescapable adrenaline and passion that it brings out in so many individuals. The fan who believes they are above such feelings, is quickly becoming a fan no more.
The normal format for the column is out the window this week and most likely next week. My computer is in the shop getting fixed so I am not only computerless, but relatively out of touch with the wrestling world. I am able to get columns out as I planned in advance for this time of absence, but there shall continue to be no ECW recaps from me. If you are paying attention you will notice that I have some ?guest recappers? filling in, and I hope you enjoy their efforts.
I hope that you enjoyed this, and my other prewritten columns that you will see while I?m out. Please don?t hesitate to e-mail me with your thoughts. I do have internet access on my phone and have been using it to stay in touch with you guys, as well as read results and the wonderful columns of my colleagues.
So ?that’s a wrap??. Love it? Hate it? Disagree with everything I said? Just want to chat wrestling? I?m always up for reading your thoughts so send them ?em on over.