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Combat Tested, Mother Approved

Posted by Admin on February 6, 2008

“Combat Tested, Mother Approved”
Issue 1

by Joshua Ray

Introduction, Thoughts, and Paying Respect to Wrestling!

I’ve been planning on writing a column for the site since I started this thing a month ago, but until now I hadn’t had the time. Between my actual job and a labor of love known as Missouri Wrestling Revival, I have been keeping myself very busy and very tired. I’m not complaining, though, as I am enjoying every minute of it. I have time to do both and still spend time with the family, so life is good.

A little bit about me:

I’m a wrestling fan. I was a fan in the early 80’s when my grandma (mom’s side) would take me to the shows to yell at the bad guys in Alabama. I was a fan when I move to Missouri at the age of 5 and my grandpa (dad’s side) would record, rent, and buy any wrestling he could get his hands on so that we could watch together. I stayed a fan until 1999 when I was 18 and joined the Army.

I spent years deployed and in the field, with no real time to stay up to date on wrestling, so I missed WCW and ECW being bought by WWE, and all of the lackluster wrestling that followed. I returned to wrestling in 2005 while attending Korean language school after becoming an interrogator for the Army. I needed time to unwind, and wrestling once again provided an outlet for me to keep from stressing out. By this time, I was married with a kid on the way… I wanted to spend time watching wrestling with my son just as my grandfather had done with me.

In 2007 I left the Army (at the time I was in California) and moved back to Missouri, where I now reside. I work as a government civilian and love the time I have to pursue my dreams as opposed to marching through the desert in Iraq or other great places. Wrestling is a part of that dream.

Now I’ll get to the meat and potatoes of my first column on the site.

Since returning, I have went out of my way to get my wife involved in my labor of love. I try to make her sit down and watch wrestling, but it just doesn’t appeal to her very much. To her, most of the angles are boring and unrealistic. Promos are rarely entertaining to her, although she enjoys old videos of the Rock, Stone Cold, Flair, and others deemed as great “talkers”, which lends to the theory that those guys really ARE great. She’s still very entertained by Ric Flair even though he is old.

Recently, as I’ve got more involved with wrestling and shown interest in the business side of it, I’ve tried to bring my wife to live wrestling events. She’s not been very enthused, but she’s been to three shows with me. The first was a WWE house show, the second one she was sick, and the third one was this Saturday. It was Central States Wrestling’s “Reloaded”.

Now, don’t get me wrong. This is not some lame plug for CSW. This is a look at what it takes to bring in those fans that sit down and watch WWE every Monday, Tuesday, and Friday, yet won’t go to an Indy wrestling show. This is how Indy wrestling won my wife over.

To understand my wife’s frame of mind as it pertained to that show, you need to understand that:

– She’s not a wrestling fan, but watches about 5 to 10 hours of TV wrestling (and MMA) per month with me.

– She got up at 6AM with her husband, prepared the food and packed, spent time with her son and then helped her sister-in-law and mother get ready to babysit.

– She then rode in a car for 4-5 hours, checked into a hotel in Lawrence, KS, and then went to eat and relax.

By the time the show rolled around, both of us were tired. The first match was exciting but things slowed down until the main event, which was Michael Strider vs Jeremy Wyatt in a no rope barbed wire match.

She seemed out of it for most of the show. I passed the time by talking with friends and buying/trading DVDs in between matches. Until that main event, she was very apathetic… and apathy is a trait you don’t want in a crowd at a wrestling event. That main event made her interested in the product, and afterward I talked to her about what she did or did not like.

The no rope barbed wire match really got to her, but in a good way. She couldn’t stop talking about the respect she had for wrestlers like Michael Strider and Jeremy Wyatt who obviously put a tremendous amount of effort into entertaining the fans. In her mind, it seems like some wrestlers just go through the motions and aren’t there to entertain. She said that she would go to a show anytime that she knew people like those two were going to be there.

I was curious whether or not the blood had anything to do with it, but she was quick to let me know that the blood wasn’t a factor. To her, the main thing was that the wrestlers gave it their all and tried to make sure the crowd was involved. She pointed to Mark Sterling, who earlier in the night had berated the fans and seemed to always be aware of fan reaction and how to keep them involved in his match with Darrien Sanders.

She also mentioned the first match and how fast paced and interesting it was. It featured Hype Gotti, Jaysin Strife, and Tony Cortez. While there wasn’t as much interaction with the fans in the match, it was entertaining and all three seemed to be aware of crowd reaction.

One thing is for certain, and that is that she has a newfound respect for professional wrestling. In her eyes, these men and women go out there and do extraordinary things and getting hurt in the process, simply for our entertainment. We all need to look at wrestling through these new eyes. Promoters, fans, Internet smarks, and wrestlers should all take a look through my wife’s eyes at the things that do and do not work, and give each other the respect without all of the attitude.

She reminds me of how wrestling used to be.

Here’s to all of those wrestlers out there with a dream and the integrity to give it their all for the fans. Here’s to the promoters that work with their talent and their fans to create a great and profitable atmosphere.

Here’s to the fans that give proper respect where respect is due, and don’t critique everything as if they could do it better.

This is Josh… Combat Tested, Mother Approved!

One Response to “Combat Tested, Mother Approved”

  1. […] The first ever “Combat Tested, Mother Approved” column […]

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