Alternate Reality by Vin Tastic


As I explained in my last column, I was recently forced out of the loop for over two weeks, for the first time since I started writing a weekly column well over two years ago. I participated in a large field exercise (war games) so I couldn’t maintain my usual schedule, watching all four major US weekly shows, reading thousands of words a week online, or writing my own column. My favorite hobby, a huge part of my normal day, was taken away from me. What was the result of my Air Force-imposed hiatus?

TODAY’S ISSUE: Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

As much as IWC writers tend to criticize, break down, and over-analyze professional wrestling (and I’m as guilty as any), I really missed having it in my life. We’re not talking about missing one show and reading the online recap to catch up. I missed everything for over two weeks.

But thanks to the miracle of DVR, it was all there waiting for me when I returned to my home base. I was surprised when I started the first playback just how good it felt to get back in the swing of things. I learned something interesting about being a pro wrestling fan.

A movie lover who sees a few films that don’t strike his fancy still loves going to the movies. A Seinfeld fan who isn’t crazy about an episode or two still looks forward to the next rerun of a favorite or that hidden gem, the episode he’s somehow never seen before, and a restaurant fan who is served a sub par meal still enjoys the experience of eating out. That’s where I find myself now, after the time away and a very subsequent return to the pro wrestling scene. Do I love every episode of every weekly show? Absolutely not. But I realize now that I have no desire whatsoever to give up my favorite pastime, no matter how poorly some storylines are written.

Some of the big things that caught my eye as I played catch-up were:

Vince winning the ECW strap is a groaner, but his comment to Cena about “coming after the big one” was priceless. RVD versus McMahon is perhaps the most allegorical match ever, considering Van Dam’s contract negotiations. I think a lot of that real life scenario between WWE and RVD might play itself out in the ring on Sci Fi Tuesday night.

Ratings be damned, the 60-minute Cena/HBK match was phenomenal. I’ve noticed what appear to be longer matches on both RAW and SmackDown!, and I’m all for it. It’s ridiculous that these hard-nosed warriors can only survive against their opponents for more than 6-8 minutes when the matches take place on pay-per-view.

Jeff Jarrett’s face turn comes at the right time. Did I hear the Orlando faithful chanting “Welcome back! Welcome back!”? His offer of the title shot to Sting, his stand-up attitude with Kurt Angle and his role as Showtime’s “friend” all make it difficult to do anything but welcome back the former multi-time world champ and cheer him, even if you aren’t privy to his personal struggles of late.

Team 3-D can now go down in the books as a one-of-a-kind tag team. Good for them.

Deuce & Domino went from the penthouse to the outhouse and back to the straps in a really short time, didn’t they? Last I heard, they had heat backstage.

We’re finally getting the highly anticipated Jillian/Michelle feud on SmackDown! KIDDING.

Stepping back from the grind of shoving copious amounts of pro wrestling down my own throat each week has taught me one thing. Absence does make the heart grow fonder.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled reality.

p.s. – “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.” – Sigmund Freud

Master Sergeant, United States Air Force