As many of you who have read my column know I’m a father, and for those of you new to my writing let me tell you, I’m a father. Being a father is a challenging thing, everyday you have to watch what you say, what you do, how you do it, because your kids idolize you. As a father I watch my kids grow, I can shape how they grow, but I also have to understand that there will be growing pains. There will be moments where you let them do their own thing and just trust the process. Trust that they will learn from their mistakes and trust that they will grow up and not be on a reality TV show. How does that tie into wrestling and the current state that Raw is in? Simple, we have to trust CM Punk, HHH, Vince, and the rest of creative. We have to trust the creative process, I know we all think we know what is better for the product, and I for one am guilty of that from time to time. We all “know” we could write this whole story arch so much better, but let’s just step back and trust them. That is what CM Punk’s message was on Bill Simmons’s podcast (which by the way is a very candid, awesome interview and if you have 45 minutes give it a listen). CM Punk wants us to just step back, stop being so jaded, stop trying to guess what is going to happen, and just enjoy the process.
The best thing to come from this process and new road is that HHH is back and in power. Monday he did a great job on the mic, he was funny, intense, and entertaining. He brought back JR and put Mr. Woo Woo Woo the internet darling in a match. Just a real quick tangent off of that whole thing, look I’m not a big Zack Ryder fan, I don’t like his internet show, I don’t like his character, but I love that the creative can’t hold him down because of the fans. Internet fans are always looked down on, and Vince from what I’ve read really looks down on us, are being recognized. There has been an online ground swell to bring this guy to the forefront, and while I don’t like his character, I love to see this happen. We need some new blood and we need new things and Zack Ryder certainly isn’t like anyone else in the game on Raw right now. Okay, back to HHH and his new found “power” and leadership. His conversation with R-Truth was the first entertaining thing I’ve ever seen R-Truth do. HHH brings new life to the role, he’s still young enough to get in the ring and get physical when the time comes, and he is all around the perfect fit for that role. Vince was great on TV for a long time, and while I don’t know if he is done or not for sure on TV (I doubt it) I do know that the role of “the boss” needed some new life. HHH understands the business, is very good in the ring, and will undoubtedly add to the Cena/Punk feud.
This is a very exciting time for wrestling/sports entertainment fans, because there is actual movement toward something new. Not the attitude era v2.0, but something different. We as fans that have been here through the lull, through the stagnant last few years need to open up some room on the bandwagon for the new people, and the returning people. I’ve read online recently on a few forums where people were just bashing new fans of CM Punk. Like Punk is ours keep and fight off all others from liking let’s just cut that crap out right now. We need more and more people to join the bandwagon. We will only get a better product with the more people who jump on board and show Vince that a guy like Punk works. This exclusionary attitude wrestling fans have has never made sense to me. It’s the same with MMA fans who resist mainstream media attention. You want to be able to say that you were here first, you liked Punk in ROH and therefore you are better than the “Johnny come lately” and that just isn’t the case. Will there be a lot of people who jump ship in just a few weeks and months, of course, but there will also be people who will become lifelong fans because of this new direction. We shouldn’t be turning them away, we should embrace them. We should embrace anyone who trades in their Cena gear for Punk gear. We should count those as victories, and force them away. I know, I know, asking people on the internet to be nice is stupid and pointless. The internet is a place people go to bitch and complain. I know I do it quite a bit, sometimes you can’t help it, and the internet gives you a chance to leave a post filled with hatred without anyone knowing it was you. I for one get loads of hate mail, and I mean real hate mail. I love mail that tells me I’m wrong, because then I get to debate and have a discussion. That to me isn’t hate mail, hate mail is an email I got from a guy named Gregg who wrote “I want to come to your house and kill you. You are a waste of air and shouldn’t be allowed to breathe the same air as me. You are wrong about everything, and you are smug about it. I hope I get the chance to see you die.” Seriously, I got that email, people are that invested in their own self-worth and their own opinion that they think I should die because I disagree with them. Now look I get a good laugh from people like that and I’m not trying to be preachy here but if you consider yourself a reader of mine please make a conscious effort to embrace any new fan you see.
As I am accustomed to do I’m now going to switch gears on you and talk about some none wrestling stuff so if you want to check out now I won’t mind. Alright, so I recently started compiling a list of my all time favorite graphic novels and almost all of them have become a movie, except my all time favorite the Preacher series. If you aren’t familiar with graphic novels, and you haven’t read Preacher please do so, you know if you aren’t squeamish. A graphic novel unlike any other media prides itself on being hard to read, not that they are difficult in they have big words but in the content and how they look. Very few mediums can reach out and tackle subjects quite like Preacher does. It is amazing to read and I want you to go out and read it. It is very dogmatic and really questions religion in a way that can make you uncomfortable. This series has been around a while now and so has the idea for the movie. The movie has been on the shelf for years and really no one wants to commit to it because of the message. If you enjoy social commentary taken to like a hundred, and enjoy a compelling, messed up story read it. If you follow me on twitter, which there aren’t many of you, but those of you that do, read it tell me what you thought of it. I’m always looking for new nerds to connect with and discuss graphic novels and wrestling with. Read Preacher you won’t be disappointed.
Thanks again for reading and if you want to get in contact with me you can do so by emailing me here: firstname.lastname@example.org or you can bug me via twitter @JaredGebhardt. As always, I try to get to every single email and tweet I get.
The Wrestling Genius: Jared Gebhardt