At the start of this year, I made a decision. A decision to no longer spend at least five hours of my week plugging myself into the WWE Universe. While I would still catch every PPV, (I’m not going completely cold turkey) Raw and SmackDown were consigned to the bin, because life is quite frankly too fucking short.
And you know what? It’s been one of the best decisions I ever made. Every Tuesday and Wednesday used to be wrestling days. It didn’t matter whether I was in the mood or not, I’d sit down in my living room to do some writing and watch Raw or SmackDown. Now, I read a report online and catch anything particularly interesting on YouTube. It’s very quickly whittled those five hours down to about ten minutes.
It’s not only the extra time that makes the difference. It’s the freedom from watching wrestling that 90% of the time I don’t enjoy. A good episode of Raw or SmackDown tends to have about half an hour of unmissable actions, half an hour of decent stuff and the rest is crap. Some of the bad ones are entirely crap. Watching that every week can be soul destroying. Watching talented men and women have their careers derailed by bad scripts hurts.
Leaving Raw and SmackDown behind has reminded me exactly why I do love wrestling. It’s reminded me how exciting it can be to sit down and watch an art-form that I adore. It probably helps that I’ve been replacing my WWE time with the much less time-consuming world of New Japan which with not even a quarter of the year done has already shown me some of the best wrestling matches I’ve ever seen, but it’s not just that. I’m enjoying watching WWE more as well.
Wrestling’s great. I love it and it, doesn’t matter how stupid it is or that it’s ‘fake’, that won’t change. However, it is far too easy to have too much of something you love. You get so caught up in needing to see every second of it that you don’t even notice that you’ve actually stopped liking it. It’s become something you do. By stepping away from WWE, I’ve remembered how much I love this stuff and how many great examples of it there are. Whether it’s New Japan, Progress, PWG or ROH, wrestling is on a high, and maybe it’s all time we turned WWE off and went out and discovered that. Not WrestleMania, of course, we’re all watching that, right?