“YESSIR WE PROMISED YOU AN OKAY MAIN EVENT”
Hello. My name is James A. Carter, also known as the second best in the world. Huh. Doesn’t look as cool in writing. I should probably take it off my business cards. This is my Pinterest is Piledrivers. But don’t be mistaken, it’s also powerbombs, pump-handle slams… and “Peanuts” by Charles M. Schulz. Classic, classic stuff. That last one is as brutal emotionally as the former two are physically.
Before I get started, let me wish all of you a belated Happy Valentine’s Day. And if you were single this year… don’t worry. You’re in good company. Sometimes in life you get the Maria, and sometimes you get the Maryse. (yay kayfabe references to unemployed Divas!)
I have a confession to make. I love wrestling. I’ve been a fan since the late ’80s-early ’90s heyday of Hulk Hogan, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Jake “The Snake” Roberts and Reagonomics. I got out of it, only to return in my teenage years to witness the rise of the nWo, DX, the most popular Pacific Islander since the Hawaiian Punch mascot and a bald redneck pissed off at rich people about thirteen years too early. I got out of it and into it again to see… stuff that may not be overall perceived as good, but hey! CM Punk, Chris Jericho and Daniel Bryan! That’s something, eh? Eh?
Ah who cares? It’s wrestling. Even when it’s bad it’s kind of awesome. It’s two (or more, never less) grown men (or women) wearing spandex and pretending to beat each other up. I mean, if that can’t make you smile, then someone must have sold your soul to the Android Dungeon (someone’s gotta pick up the slack on the dearth of Simpsons references around here).
But I have another confession to make. I almost used an alias to write this. I was afraid of any potential employers, girlfriends or assassins googling my name and finding out that I am a fan of sports entertainment. That if you put a Latino into a mask I will follow him to the ends of the Earth. Even back to Mexico.
But why? Wrestling fans have a reputation that’s now under UFC fans. Go to many YouTube videos of wrestling or articles on Brock Lesnar and witness the piling on of our beloved hobby by clairvoyants and oracles proclaiming to the great unwashed that wrestling is fake. This smug satisfaction is nevertheless emanating from a group of people with the reputation of being fans of butt rock, Ed Hardy and GHB. I suppose UFC fans are not really big on fictional television programs or books where… okay, now I’m getting crazy here. We know they’re not big readers.
Yes, there are a lot of crazy, weird, and creepy wrestling fans. There are also a lot of crazy, weird and creepy fans of almost everything you could possibly be a fan of. Google “Bronies” if you don’t believe me. But here is different. Read something from one of my favorite columnists like Andrew Wheeler, Scott Keith or Blair A. Douglas and tell me that it’s not funny, clever or well-argued. More often than not they usually are all three. And what’s this? A genuine female, Kelly Floyd! Women can watch wrestling, too? Will wonders never cease.
In today’s self-aware age of wrestling, where the secrets are out and you have PETA-approved vegans like Daniel Bryan, straightedge comic book geeks like CM Punk and mainstream MTV stars like The Miz, not to mention indie guys with a great sense of humor about themselves and, well, everything like Colt Cabana and Chuck Taylor, there’s little reason to be ashamed. These are cool guys. You are cool guys. Don’t stand up for WWE. It’s been my experience that giant corporations don’t really need anyone to fight their battles for them. Instead, stand up for yourself. Say it loud, say it proud. “I, insert name here, am a professional wrestling fan! And that’s the bottom line, because I, insert name again, said so!”
Hello. My name is James A. Carter. I have a college degree. I like Community and Kid Cudi. I wear pea coats and cardigans. And yes, I like to watch grown men pummel each other. And I hope you stick around.
Now if you excuse me, I have a young lady coming over, and I have to take down my mural of Edge, Christian and Chris Jericho. Apparently having giant pictures of shirtless, hairless blonde guys sends mixed messages. Who knew?
The Great Beyond:
Each week I’d like to bring you something that I enjoy from outside the squared circle. This week it’s the podcast “Doug Loves Movies.” Comedian Doug Benson hosts a combination talk show/game show every week (sometimes more) with everyone from actors like Adam Scott and Jon Hamm to comics like Patton Oswalt and Chelsea Peretti. They discuss, of course, movies, but in a way far more light-hearted and humorous than normal. It’s a great way to kill an hour at work, and it’s available free through iTunes, so giddyup.