When it comes to professional wrestling, I really don’t give a toss for most of the story-lines. To me, the best story-lines are simple ones that would, logically, lead to a wrestling match. Ones like: “I want your title.” Or “I want to stop you from getting a title shot.” Or “I just don’t like you because you did something.” So long as it leads to good wrestling, I don’t want Days Of Our Lives. I don’t want men fighting over the paternity of a minor or shampoo contracts or the marriage of a bad guy to the daughter of a good guy or any of a myriad of other strange and pathetic excuses for a wrestling match that I’ve seen in too many years of watching this.
It’s got to a point where I barely acknowledge the story-lines any more. I don’t care why they fight because I know I am going to be severely disappointed 9 times out of 10. Make it 99 times out of 100. All I want is a good wrestling match. Some back-story, sure, but I want a match that excites me and that I can watch again and again. I want two wrestlers telling their story inside that wrestling ring.
So it was with some sense of “I don’t really care” that I saw the whole concussion angle play out with HHH and Curtis Axel, and also with Dolph Ziggler and Fandango suffering apparently legitimate concussions. It was just a means to an end, and I was glad that the WWE were doing something about concussions in the wake of what we are learning all the time about head injury.
I had a try-out match this past week.
Just five minutes to show what I could do on the fly. Three minutes in I’m locked in a front chancery. A hand grabbed my pants. My opponent stopped and propped and I went with him, over the top, vertical suplex to a nice landing – lots of noise, very little discomfort. “Again,” he whispered. I rolled with him, still locked in the chancery and we made out feet pretty smoothly. “Snap,” was the next whisper.
I readied myself for a fast move. I jumped into it on the stop and prop, but he didn’t go backwards straight away. He couldn’t control me.
We went down like a sack of spuds.
There was an immediate pain down my spine. And then… not a real lot.
I vaguely remember climbing to my feet, being whipped into the corner and taking a splash. I think I gave a hiptoss. I don’t remember ending the match. I don’t remember the car drive home. I woke up the next morning with a headache pounding like a migraine and a neck and shoulders that felt like someone had filled them with concrete. A hot shower loosened everything up a little, but the head remained a constant source of pain. Oh, and sick. I wanted to throw up, but couldn’t. What a day.
I read text messages saying I’d done well, but asking if I was okay because they all thought I’d taken a nasty bump to my neck and I was quiet afterwards. My opponent PMed me, apologising for not snapping, but his foot slipped.
I went about my normal day. I think. Big chunks are missing.
The next day I saw that I’d left comments on Facebook and on Inside Pulse and on various other sites, none of which I could remember writing. None of them were bad – they all sounded like the sort of things I would write, in fact, with my normal rushed typos (like “lk” coming for “l” when I hit the two keys at the same time). It was me. But it wasn’t, because I don’t remember a thing. I read a thousand words I’d written of a short story and it was pretty lame, but I don’t even remember having the initial idea.
By day three I was back in control. My neck was a little stiff, but my shoulders were fine, the nausea had passed and my mind was once more my own. I still wished someone would have taken the metal pole out of my shoulders. No more memory lapses (I think). Headache a very dull throb.
Wow. I guess it was pretty obvious – I’d had a grade one, maybe grade 2 concussion.
It’s damn scary.
What if something had happened with my kids? What if I was cooking dinner and something had gone wrong? What if… what if… what if…? And this was my fifth (1 at high school, 2 in gymnastics, and now 2 in wrestling), but my first where I lost chunks of time. What if…?
It makes me think that the caution taken with Fandango and Ziggler was well-placed, even more so than I did before. It also made me think that if HHH was going to be involved in a concussion story-line, it might not be the greatest idea for a wrestling tale. Depending on where they went with it (and it now looks like it’s all but forgotten as nothing else has been made of it at all), it could even be seen as making light of it. By dropping it (if it is in fact dropped – hard to tell at the moment), they will definitely be making light of it. And in the case of Ziggler, they had Alberto Del Rio go after his head with kicks. While that might not be the best thing to do if it was a real concussion (some of those kicks looked like they connected firmly), it did highlight the absolute dangers of that form of head injury. The crowd was with it, and they knew getting kicked in the head like that was not going to end well.
Losing chunks of your life, doing things that are normal, but not knowing what you are doing – that’s not anything good.
I only hope that there is a legitimate attempt to look after those who go through this. That can only be good for everyone.
And to lighten the mood somewhat, my ECW education continues.
(NSFW warning – naughty language)
Sorry, it didn’t allow embedding.
DISCLAIMER: I have been accused in comments and by email of not knowing what I am talking about when it comes to professional wrestling. So these simple thoughts are merely those of someone who has been watching wrestling for more than 30 years and has been stepping into the ring as an appallingly underskilled indy jobber for nigh on 20 years, who was a former state level gymnast and was one of the worst boxers in the history of the sport. I apologise for knowing nothing.
Tags: Dolph Ziggler, Fandango, HHH