Monday, May 21, 2007

"Jumped the same shark as fonzi"

Well, traffic on the blog has died down for a while now especially now that the required postings are complete. The last few weeks have allowed me to reflect on what I have gained from participating as a listener and what - after all this time - has stayed the same for me as a fan.

It's interesting because tonight my friend went to go watch the Judgment Day PPV and he made the comment that I mentioned in the title. Yes, it seems a lot of the show was downright awful. Add to this a number of recent firings, key injuries, and the general disintegration of the 3 separate show structure with WWE, and I'm left feeling like I did well before the class: wrestling is on life support (or a change has got to come).

Yes, now I understand more about what aspects of the show have origins in carnival, how injury send-off angles depict a sacrifice of the body, why fans like the townies at Good Times insist on chanting at the TV screen and why my friends like to razz on them, and how it all ties into the need to sell t-shirts. I think I will approach wrestling in a more thoughtful way. However, it appears I'm still going to spend a majority of my time bitching about how it could be better.

Not that I expected the class to make me a radically different type of fan, or even just a better one. That was part of the class disclaimer, as I remember. I just felt it important to note that for all that has changed, not much really has.

I wanted to thank Sam and the rest of you for letting me come in on Monday nights and add my two cents in, even when I had scarcely any clue about the most recent readings. It's the first time I was a part of any blog community, and I think we did get to develop our own cast of characters and get some discussion going back and forth. Good luck to everyone still taking finals and writing theses. I've enjoyed my time with you.

1 comment:

Sam Ford said...

Hey Brian! I am going to keep the blog up-and-running, and I'll be checking it from time-to-time, so feel free to keep writing here. I know that, at least at one time, we had a lot of non-MIT posters, so I thought the URL might continue to be useful if some of the folks wanted to keep posting on occasion.

I think you are right that knowing more doesn't necessarily change the way you enjoy what you watch, even if it increases the number of ways you can understand the phenomenon from. I was a film minor in undergrad, and people warned me I would never be able to watch movies in the same way. But I don't believe in that pretentious "can't go see an average movie anymore" type of philosophy. In fact, I found the opposite a lot of the time...being a film minor helped me find the art in things I wouldn't have enjoyed before. :)

Like there was a moment in Spy Kids 3D that was so transformative...

Anyhoo, I don't think you should get too gloom and doom. WWE house show attendance is up, but their PPV buy rates are in danger of overexposure. WWE international is growing, and Wrestlemania this year had its greatest number of buys ever worldwide. The injuries aren't good news, but if WWE plays it right, it will be a great way to build up some of the new stars who are a step away from becoming big deals. And they've got Booker and Rey Misterio who will be returning before long, and Kennedy will be back in another month or so.

That's not to say that Judgment Day was a great PPV, and that there aren't a lot of creative improvements to be made, but WWE is in much better shape than that 1993-1996 period, I would say.