Hello fans, and by fans I mean ten people and my mom. Welcome to the second week of My Pinterest Is Piledrivers, and boy what a week it’s been. It went from the high of seeing my inaugural column published on a website I’ve read for years… to emotionally feeling like I’ve watched an episode of Impact. Yeah, that bad. Nevertheless, it helped spur my decision for this week’s column, and I can always just add Prozac and painkillers to my Pinterest. On with the show!
There are educational programs, ones that seek to inform and entertain. Most of the time they fail at both, with the exception of Sesame Street, which I hope and pray still exists if I ever bring up any “Little Jimmys” of my own in the future. But all forms of entertainment consist of some sort of storytelling, some essential communication to be exchanged between entertainer and audience. Doubtful? Head down to your local bookstore (preferably independently owned) and check out the Philosophy section. Name almost any major television show, and even major video games, and there’s a professor extolling the deeper hidden meanings within the realms of a small Colorado town or legendary Hyrule.
That unlikely intro leads me to this: have you ever learned anything from professional wrestling? And no, I’m not referring on learning how to do a “sweet-looking” Rock Bottom. C’mon. You shouldn’t be doing those moves anyway. Vince made those PSAs for a reason. Same reason he does everything else. Fear of bad publicity.
I’m talking about ascertaining something more from wrestling. In the 1980s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling era, they beat you over the head with it as Hulk Hogan told you to say your prayers, eat your vitamins, obey your parents, marry gold diggers, raise a douchebag son, and some other stuff I forgot. But since the advent of the internet, the backstage struggles are more widespread now, and the lessons more intriguing.
About a year ago, Zack Ryder was more than likely looking at being wished well in his future endeavors, as long as those future endeavors didn’t include drawing a paycheck from the WWE. Desperate for an outlet for his creativity, and to maybe get noticed and get over, he created a YouTube show filled with inside references, edgy jokes and even not-so-subtle jabs at his employer. The Vegas odds? Canned. What happened? People loved it, started cheering for him despite a lack of airtime, and cue insane merch sales and you can call Ryder a self-made success story.
On a similar bent, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin was once just a normal temperature Steve Austin, who was fired by phone while recuperating from an injury. From a former US Champion to the unemployment line. That could not have been a good feeling. Of course, using his own determination and intelligence, Austin rose to become… oh, I don’t know, one of the biggest stars in the history of the medium.
But in an example of real life intermixing with reel life, it was CM Punk’s legendary promo on the June 27th, 2011 episode of Raw that made the world stand up and notice. Not just the world, but myself. Here was a guy that had all that he could take. Was sick and tired of killing himself for a company, and culture, that refused to acknowledge him. He ran down his peers, his higher-ups, the fans, and to a certain extent the world. Thirty-two years of anger spewed forth that night, and I was so captivated that I watched that speech on YouTube so many times I literally can recite it from memory.
Does anyone else need a cigarette? Oh wait, straight edge. Does anyone else need a Diet Pepsi? I started thinking more about the meaning of those words. What it must feel like to say you’re the best in the world at something, and mean it. Have it be accurate. And so I decided that whatever I attempted to do, I would attempt it with passion and sincerity, so that one day I could tell people that I was the best in the world, and not have it be a half-joking ironic comment. I paid more attention to his twitter. He had some surprisingly deep thoughts. “Your life is a snow globe. No matter how much you shake it, it’s still full of flakes.” I can relate to that one. “A little less professional. A little more upfront and confrontational.” Why, yes, I COULD stand to kick a little more ass and be a little more in-your-face.
Has that worked out for me? That remains to be seen, and those are just my takeaways. Has CM Punk convinced you to go clean and sober? What about Daniel Bryan? Has anyone gone vegan, or vegetarian? Did HBK get anyone to set foot in a church? One with “Sexy Boy” as a hymn? I’d love to hear from anyone and everyone that’s ever taken something away from wrestling. Other than what an enziguri is.
THE GREAT BEYOND
Every once in a while there’s a song that’s weird, with a video that’s weird, and you half-remember it or maybe even assume it was a fever dream. This is one of those songs.
One of the guys, either Geggy or Tah, helped found The Bird & The Bee, and that’s hipsterrific! But give this a listen and let me know what you think down below!
Tags: cm punk, Daniel Bryan, hbk, Hulk Hogan, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, vince mcmahon, WWE, zack ryder