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Thread: I Can't Be Bobby Roode

  1. #1
    Protector of the Oomph
    Join Date
    Nov 2013

    I Can't Be Bobby Roode

    It's past midnight, and I have class in the morning. I don't have time to read this column again and again. I don't have time to think about what I might type or go back and edit.

    I just need to write.

    Tomorrow I will continue to be shamed.

    This is the funny fuckin' thing about life, about the lived human experience: it is not linear.

    We progress and we regress. We are lifted up and we are brought down. We are loved by one, hated by another, and, worse, get no reaction whatsoever from some.

    It's not just pro wrestling. In life, there is no worse response than an audience that does not care.

    So yeah, in life, you graduate high school, big-person on campus, just to be a freshman again. Again and again you rise and fall. You are somebody until you are nobody and nobody until you are somebody again.

    In 2013, I had to decide between two Master's programs, and I did something that maybe nobody else in the world has ever done. I wrote columns, wrestling as the great metaphor, until I figured out which university I wanted to choose.

    Yes, I chose my Master's program off of CF columns and the responses I received.

    And I based much of my work off Bobby Roode, who had, at that time, recently dominated the heavyweight division in TNA. I considered Roode to be of the earth element--very sound, very grounded, very methodical.

    I am the opposite.

    I am of the air element.

    Everything I've ever done has been based in the invisible.

    I am emotion.

    I am energy.

    I am the experiential.

    I walk in a room and I can't tell you what it looks like or what anyone is wearing, but I can tell you the mood of the person three rows back who has yet to speak a word.

    But Bobby Roode.

    He doesn't strike me as a man of the inner world.

    He is of the earth. He is leg strength and spinebusters and he doesn't use his time away from wrestling to contemplate the world. He uses it to watch hockey.

    In 2013, I made myself methodical.

    I copied Bobby Roode.

    I traded air for earth and I chose the program opposite of what I would have otherwise chosen.

    And funny thing: life imitated art. In the program, I learned critical thinking. I learned to use my mind and not just my expressions. I happened to become the person I imitated to make my choice.

    But it's over two years later.

    I have graduated from that program, and I moved a thousand miles to start a PhD program.

    But the program I'm in, while it may be a better fit, is not the program I wanted to choose. It's the program my mentors told me to choose.



    I have now experienced the other side of giving away your natural element.

    I became so good at being something that I'm not that I forgot who I truly am.

    I became very social and often led my cohort. I influenced them and they influenced me. I came to believe, according to my teachings, that there was no personal, no individual, that everything was socially constructed and socially influenced.

    But guess what happens when your social influences influence you to move 1,000 miles away.

    You wake up one morning and everything that you've known is gone. You wake up one morning and there is no one to tell you what to do or where to go or even why you're where you are.

    You wake up one morning and don't know who you are, where you are, or what the hell you're doing.

    And it's not like you can ask yourself. You were once of the air element. You could touch the sky, gather the most elusive emotions, and bring them back down for humankind. You could go inward and find anything anyone needed, at any moment.

    But you gave it all away.

    And you wake one morning and you remember

    that there is

    a personal

    and there is

    an intuition

    and there are


    And you write your way forward, write your way up, out of bed, and you look out the window and see within your soul.

    You remember

    that everything you see

    is everything you are.

    You are not quite redeemed.

    Your not flying again.

    But you've got that first feeling.

    And you remember,


    you remember in your being,

    that you are a being,

    and that you have a choice.

    And you know

    you're getting ready

    to do something



    And you look to Bobby Roode,

    and you wonder:

    What the fuck were you doing when you were playing the babyface?

    When you looked like a poor man's Nikita Koloff?

    You went from longest reigning world champion to a world title win that didn't even entice me.

    When you were playing the babyface, were you doing a role reversal similar to mine? Had you forsaken the earth element, the methodical, to pretend that you were born to prance about, all good-ish like, and maybe try to fly?

    Now you've wrestled tag matches, and I hear that they were good. But I don't want to watch them, either.

    I don't want to see you, Bobby Roode, as anything less than what you were born to be. Just like I no longer want to see myself as less than my elemental birth.

    So I see a tweet the other day, Bobby Roode, and it says that you will be in the GFW world title tournament.

    A new place.

    A new start.

    Another chance.

    I don't guess you will win it, but could you want to?

    Could you fight for it?

    Cheat for it?

    Hell, maybe kill for it?

    Could I see what I saw in 2012 once more?

    In other words, once we've fallen out of favor and lost ourselves, is there a way back to what we used to be?

    See, I haven't told you this


    while I may end up staying where I am

    and choosing this place

    I may just as easily

    in a year


    to a place

    of my own choosing.

    I may do something crazy,



    I may blow up the world constructed,

    to remember what it's like to walk amongst broken shards.

    GFW is like transferring to a similar program. It isn't TNA, but is like it, or maybe even is it.

    Last time I went first

    in trading elements

    and it worked for awhile.

    You followed.

    This time you go first.

    And I will be watching

    and hoping

    that our better days

    are not somehow lost in time.

    I can't be Bobby Roode. I know that to be true. And you sure as hell don't want to be me.

    But could we recreate what was never created in the first place?

    Could we go back to being what we were when we weren't trying to be anything at all?

    Or is the truth much worse?

    Did we stop being who we originally were because there is no place in the external world that will privilege who we were?

    I benefited from trading away my air element, at least in the academy.

    And maybe you played Nikita Koloff and the tag wrestler because nobody will let you be who you truly are.

    Maybe we never wanted to change.

    Maybe there just ceased being a place for us as we were.

    I want to go back, Bobby.

    I want to be me again.

    And it sure as hell would help me

    if I could see you

    be you


  2. #2
    Goldberg Rules!
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    West Saint Paul, MN
    Is there still a Randy Orton or a Roman Reigns in this parallel universe?

    If not, I'll blow it up.

  3. #3
    The Underage Pessimist Subho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Kolkata, India
    In life, there is no worse response than an audience that does not care.
    This line sums up so much of my life. For 2 years, I too chased something that I didn't wanna be. But I had to put my foot down, tell people what I wanted to do and then see my life turn around quite a bit. Your heart is never wrong; I know that for sure.

  4. #4
    The Brain
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Ah Mystic... you trapped air under earth, perhaps it was only a matter of time before the ground cracked and the air escaped upwards once more? Your life in particular seems to be a series of upheavals, but as I said privately I greatly respect that and I love your dedication for not settling and constantly seeking what is best.

    I'm very excited to see what Roode will do in GFW, personally I have greatly enjoyed his recent work (did you know his heelish ways have been showing through again?) but I agree the Bobby Roode who is fundamentally true has not been as present as in past years. Every man in their time I suppose, but Roode's time is far from over.

    Very good to see you here sir, you know how great I think your stuff is so I'll leave it at that.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Shane, this was awesome. I am a bobby roode fan, in most any iteration, but I also completely understood exactly what you meant. I love when personal touches wrestling and you were able to interweave the two beautifully here. Fantastic.
    Read my latest. That's not a request.


  6. #6
    Part of me wants to use this, modifying it line by line, for James Storm.

  7. #7
    Protector of the Oomph
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    T.O. -- Oh, I'll be sure to feature Roman Reigns in a column one day. Remember, it was your request.

    Subho -- Thanks for sharing that. It hits at where I think I will be going with my next piece. I used to be able to say "follow your heart" and that be enough, but I've learned too much about audience and space. It sometimes takes more than the individual and his/her preference in order to find a place to perform that heart's desire. Especially when you, care too much about what people think. But maybe that is why "Roddy Piper" will soon be dropping by to challenge me on this stance.

    mizzie -- It is very interesting, my friend. A person, no matter his/her element, cannot live forever in the sky. I came to earth, I think, to see if there was a space for the air-version of myself here. I thought I found it, found it for a while, kind of found it. But I'm looking again, which means I'm fighting again. (Or need to be.) I think I'm learning that I've got to fight. But maybe that is why "Roddy Piper" will soon be dropping by to challenge me in this stance.

    rayhagan -- Thanks for the kind words. I am a Bobby Roode fan, in all iterations, as well. It's just that...well, I'm probably in greater need of something that I *really* like rather than *kind of*. There are all these wrestling promotions and so many are excited about different ones, but I can't find my way back into any of them. I need someone to excel, to be all he can be, in the army of my fandom. It's just not happening for me right now.

    Murph -- Would love to know how that turns out. I have argued that Roode and Storm are forever tied together, and your comment supports that. That is the wrestling I like: with storylines so meaningful and histories so influential that guys never fully get away from who they were and what they did no matter where they go. One of the things I miss.

  8. #8
    You always force me to question myself, 'Who the hell am I?'. I am doing something that I will continue to do for the rest of my life and I don't know what is it that I really want to do.

    I am totally indifferent towards GFW. I was excited for it initially but this weird TNA - GFW partnership has put me off. We don't need another TNA.

    We do like to remember the Roode of 2012, don't we? TNA has done well to make their World champions look like World champions. But it has failed to give second chance to the deserving candidates. They move from One Great Champion to another Great Champion but forget to bring the former Great Champion back in the game. It is the cliched Championship reigns that they should avoid like Jeff Hardy and recent Kurt Angle reign.

    Good to see you back. You gonna be teacher after phd?

  9. #9
    Wet Dream Machine SkitZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    I like to tell myself that you're me with a college degree.

    You and I will probably never leave this place for good. Cheers to that? I think?

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    I don't watch TNA, but I enjoyed this. It was pretty deep. I liked the metaphor of Bobby Roode doing something great, but seemingly uninspired, like you were doing.

    Hope everything works out for you.
    Last edited by RIPbossman; 07-08-2015 at 08:54 PM.

  11. #11
    Protector of the Oomph
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Newton -- Long time, my friend! I am happy to help you question. It sometimes sucks in the immediate, but it is a path to better things. Or, at minimum, better awareness. You have captured my issue with TNA with more clarity than I ever could. This:

    We do like to remember the Roode of 2012, don't we? TNA has done well to make their World champions look like World champions. But it has failed to give second chance to the deserving candidates. They move from One Great Champion to another Great Champion but forget to bring the former Great Champion back in the game. It is the cliched Championship reigns that they should avoid like Jeff Hardy and recent Kurt Angle reign.

    Just a few days ago I was trying to explain that it wasn't as much that I have issue with Magnus or EC3 or anyone else, but it's all the lost opportunities for guys like Roode, Aries, Styles, Joe, Bully Ray, and Morgan. You had a chance to build history and to revisit these guys in feuds and title swaps that would have built a genuine era of greatness. I've never known how to express it, but you hit it right on the head. They are good at X but not at Y. I just wonder how much X is or isn't part of why they suck at Y.

    I do plan to teach. With my assistantship, I teach freshman classes now, and I love it. The students are often the best part of my yearly life experience now.

    SkitZ-O-- That is a hell of a thing to tell yourself. Makes me want to live a more compelling life, for both our sakes! I think it's good we always return. This place was something for each of us that should never be fully erased, and when you are away you tend to forget. Cheers, my friend.

    Bossman -- Thanks for reading. Yup, it sucks to demand folks be inspired. It's not as important for some people, but I can't give my time to a product if I don't feel like the people I'm watching are at least as inspired and invested as I am.

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