The first time I legitimately cared about Pro-Wrestling was way back when Macho Man Randy Savage busted Tito Santana open with a foreign object in order to win the Intercontinental Championship. It was the start of a long reign that saw Savage defend that title against George Steele and several other wrestlng legends before finally being defeated by Ricky Steamboat at Wrestlemania 3 in what I think was one of the greatest matches in the history of the business. It stole the show and it left me a rag doll on the floor at my Uncles' friends house where we saw Mania broadcast live. It was amazing.
And now we flash forward to last night and the Elimination Chamber- specifically the moment where my suspension of disbelief ended and I just stopped giving a shit. The moment Kane walked down the aisle to put another screwjob finish to Daniel Bryan's opportunity to headline Wrestlemania. Let me be clear- I understood that he was small, that he didn't have the right "look" that the McMahon family wants, and I would have even been happy to see John Cena headline the event against Batista, I would have accepted just about any person at all in the Main Event at Mania. I'm not able to accept Orton vs. Batista. I'm not able to accept it. I realize that I'm a mark or a smark or whatever else the WWE wants to call me and I'm just one fan out of millions, but I was still a fan. And last night's end of the Chamber didn't end with me angry, or booing, or much of anything- I just gave a sigh, felt numb, and I felt like I was finished. I just don't care.
I've had high points and low points as a wrestling fan. There have been huge moments that left me breathless with excitement, left me filled with rage, left me insulted, left me overjoyed, and I have felt every emotion there is to feel from a live on-going storyline that has stretched on some thirty + years for me... from the moment Wrestlemania 1 hit a Video Store shelves and captured my imagination. But I've never felt empty before. Even the worst night I ever experienced as a fan when I woke up from a surgery to discover that Chris Benoit, a man I virtually idolized, was dead- and then found out less than a few hours later that he had died from his own hand after killing his wife and young son. The moment when a hero turned into a monster and I felt like I couldn't even watch wrestling anymore because of the pain- even then, I eventually found my love for the business again and came back to watch a few Pay Per Views and shows and found what it was that held my attention so deeply all those years ago.
Having Daniel Bryan get screwed out of the WWE title for the umpteenth time isn't a travesty, it isn't a horror, it isn't the end of the world. It's just another moment of time in the waning days of a company that forgot what it meant to entertain their fans. And they'll keep doing it because they have no competition and they're not afraid of losing a few customers here and there, because they're not losing them to a competitor. They're losing those customers to disinterest and boredom. They're losing those customers because they're tired of being told who they're supposed to cheer and who they're supposed to boo. I'm done with the WWE for the foreseeable future- I have no interest in the network, no interest in Wrestlemania 30, and no interest in watching a part-timer who happens to be in a future Marvel film get the headlining gig at Wrestlemania in order to face off against a blank slate.
And I get that the company is trying to throw a bone by having Daniel Bryan face off against HHH. And I know that enough people will accept that so that the company can buffer their losses a little bit, but I'm not going to be pacified. I'm just done.