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Thread: Greetings Grapple Fans: Addiction

  1. #1
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    Greetings Grapple Fans: Addiction

    Everyone has things they are passionate about, things that make them do things they wouldnít normally comprehend even thinking. For some the vice is destructive, a chemical ďenhancementĒ that brings with it mind altering joy or forgetfulness. For others, their passion may be more harmless but all the same dictates their day-to-day routine so they can fulfill their ďneedĒ for it.


    For many years my passion has been football. When Iím out walking the dogs and see a stone on the ground I steadily take aim, raise my right foot and aim for the top corner of an invisible goal. When I've realised I am chewing the same gum for three hours, I spit it out and attempt to volley it into the nearest bin. Now, given I live on the other side of the planet to the team I love most, I find myself staying up until 3am to watch their games. Itís a love Iíve accommodated for years, made easier by understanding friends who share that same sleep-schedule-altering desire to watch. There is however, one passion I have that is mostly a secret to everyone I know and love, a secret that I accommodate just as much as my open one. That passion is professional wrestling.


    It started back home in the UK where I would find myself awake until 4am on a work night just to watch each episode of RAW and has continued even as I moved halfway around the world. A few months ago at work I drew up a three month rota for my team and peers. When we reviewed it and I was asked why I had placed myself working from home every Wednesday, I threw back a lame excuse about how I found it more beneficial to monitor compliance in a distraction free environment. How could I say it was because I wanted to watch RAW every week? Iím the COO of a successful company and honestly, I truly (perhaps wrongly) believe that this revelation would damage my reputation. Does it stop me? Hell no.


    Which begs the question: Am I addicted to wrestling?


    Slowly over the past few years Iíve started to notice that wrestling and, more importantly, my need to view it is slowly taking its place in all walks of my life. Some of you know that Iím currently training for my first MMA fight. The training, as one would expect, is incredibly hard and my body is feeling the effects of the now constant beatings it endures. I am currently dealing with a muscle strain in my back that, due to the location, requires the rubbing of deep heat into it by my understanding girlfriend. The pain is, to say the least, intense. Just yesterday, actually, it hurt so exquisitely I turned around and, without hesitation, put Jen in a headlock and DDTíd her into the bed.


    Is this a sign of addiction?


    Is it perhaps the start of things to come or has wrestling already taken over my life? I have a meeting on Monday where I will be handing in my 3 month notice. It will not be an easy conversation and I fully expect them to either offer me a new salary or ask me to leave immediately. No middle ground, as simple as Daniel Bryanís ďYESĒ and ďNOĒ. What if they actually do ask me to leave, and what if, when they do, I just jump on the table and start screaming, ďNO! NO! NO! NO! NO!,Ē? Or what if they banish me without full pay so that Iím forced to come back next week and knock out an owner or two?


    Just how deep down does this growing affliction lie? At this point I canít even ask for professional help as, as soon as Iím asked to lie down, Iíd be desperately trying to keep a shoulder up. Or even worse, reversing the concerned docís hand on my shoulder into a crippling Regal Stretch. Even help from the closest and most trusted people in my life is out of the question as they just couldnít understand. Imagine the blessed event of my wedding day finally arriving, dozens of my closest family and friends sitting patiently in the church as pleasant electricity crackles through the room and everything goes quiet. Followed, naturally, by the strains of ďI hear voices in my headÖĒ blaring from the churchís shaky old sound system as I arrive topless, an obscene amount of baby oil splashed across my chest.


    Really, am I an addict?


    When does fandom become an obsession? When does obsession become delusion? Iíve liked wrestling for as long as I can remember. Iíve cherished it for few years, sure, but now Iím full on engrossed. Itís taking over my life at a hurried pace and there is nothing I can do. I mean, is it even possible to become addicted to pro wrestling? I find myself writing wrestling columns to people who are mostly strangers to me and wonderingÖ why? Why do each of us spend countless hours trying to appease others by writing about this ďfakeĒ sport, get annoyed when people disagree with our opinions, ďmark outĒ when our favourites do well for themselves? Thinking about it objectively it makes absolutely no sense. This is now my 95th column and honestly, what have I written them all for? What am I getting out of it?


    Iím at work as I write this but canít leave until one of the girls accompanies me on my walk outside. My car doesnít even have a sun-roof, let alone a set of horns affixed to the front, so how am I supposed to announce my arrival home? Iíve lost countless amounts of sunglasses over the last few weeks as I keep give them away to children I donít even know. What if, pray mercy, the Boogeyman IS coming to get me?


    Am I?


    Experts suggest there are three stages to an addiction, so join me as I attempt to self-diagnose, try to find the final answer to this burning question.


    The Emotional Addiction

    This happens when you get so involved in something that it alters your state of mind. For example, you may find yourself sub-consciously changing your day-to-day routine in order to accommodate the addiction. This variation usually occurs without the afflicted person even knowing they are addicted.


    I believe Iím past this stage. Between having ensured that I work from home every Wednesday, perpetually catch myself sizing up colleagues and leave a Hulk Hogan-esque moustache every time I shave, brother, I believe indicates that I am, indeed, emotionally addicted to wrestling. The emotional side of an addiction, though, is the least worrying. If you love a television programme and are insistent on not missing it, that could technically be deemed as an emotional addiction, just as can missing a loved one or something of that ilk. Okay, so Iím emotionally addicted, but that doesnít mean that my addiction is a plague upon me.


    The Mental Addiction

    This is defined as having a physical and/or psychological dependence on something. Those afflicted with a mental addiction will continue to be involved with the object of their desire despite the negative or potentially harmful consequences associated with it.


    So I guess the question I need to ask myself here is whether or not I am truly ďdependantĒ on wrestling. If I am to be truthful about this then yes, I am. Having moved houses recently, Iíve been without Foxtel, or the internet for those confused, and I hadnít been able to watch wrestling for a couple of weeks, up until this past Sunday. So what did I do instead as I had this imposed distance from the thing that I fear may be taking over my life? I wrote about it, made lists about it, was creative about it, taken bets about it, read about it, dreamed about it, masturbÖ *ahem* Pardon me. Paying that no mind, it would appear that, mentally, Iím addicted to wrestling. Again though, this is but one dimension of an addiction. Train-spotting is looked at negatively. That doesnít necessarily mean it can ruin you. And yes, since you asked, I am reaching at this point.


    The Physical Addiction

    Fairly self-explanatory, physical addiction is just that; physical. It can manifest itself in the afflicted partyís appearance or via their marked lack of physical self-preservation in lieu of feeding the addiction. Simply put, the physical addict is impacted to the extent that their physical actions and entire sense of physical self are noticeably affected as they fully envelop themselves into said addiction.


    Itís with this one that Iím safe, with this one that I can prove I am not an addict but simply a normal fan. Iíve come to no harm whatsoever through my love of wrestling. The physical manifestation of my imagined actions, though played out vividly in my mind, are never physically carried out. Emotionally and mentally, sure, Iíll admit that it would seem that Iím there. That being said, it is only via affirmation of all three that you can be definitively diagnosed with suffering from addiction.


    Two out of three, though cutting it close, doesnít make me an addict. Iím just your everyday fan, maybe a little too absorbed from time to time but, for the most part, harmless. Now, if youíll excuse me, I must stop writing. As pointed out before, Iím writing this while at work and, though my end here is impending, I still have business to attend to. Currently, for instance, I have 30 applications to read for a role on my team. I figure Iíll be able to read one every two minutes. To keep it from getting monotonous Iíll probably give them some sort of a countdown, too. Iíll leave my favourite at the top to ensure that it stays fresh in my mind, banishing it from the top to the bottom if another hot prospect comes along. I figure that whichever is on top after all 30 have been read will be the number one contender...

  2. #2
    The Doctor's Orders
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    Very nice work, 'Bear. Hard not to relate to your reflective self conversation. Are we addicts? In the same way that we are with other sports, I'd say. The only time that I recall a physical manifestation of my wrestling obsession was third grade. I was in a chokehold by a bigger kid. I noticed the monkey bars, inched my way toward them, and kicked my feet up Wrestlemania VIII style, Bret Hart-ing the guy onto his back. Shocked, he let go. I never felt so bad ass.

    If any of that work-related stuff was legit, then best of luck with that.
    LOP Writer since 2004. Former Smackdown, ECW, Raw, and WWE PPV Reviewer. Current LOP Columnist since 2010.

    The Doc's first book: "The Wrestlemania Era: The Book of Sports Entertainment" on sale for LOP readers. Click here

  3. #3
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    Damn, Bear. Something about this felt less aggressive and more reflective than your usual stuff, and it worked for me in a massive way. I don't even have any fake feudy things to say to you. For my money you outdid yourself with this. It's relevant to most fans, at least any who would be on a wrestling website (at work no less, as I am as well, it's highly engaging, and I think even for you it was exceptionally witty. The wrestling references in every day life were especially great, with my favorite being the way you lose all your sunglasses. Top notch, man.

    A couple extra thoughts:

    -So you're COO, eh? I assume you Pedigree temps on their breaks.

    -Training for MMA, not wrestling? Some addict you are!

  4. #4
    Really liked this Bear. It hit all the right notes, and I think every fan finds themselves in this conundrum from time to time. I've watched this addiction of ours for over 35 years. Oh yeah, I'm addicted. No doubt about it. I was just watching TV and a Mercedes-Benz commercial came on that starts with a guy lighting a match. The first thought that came to my head was "We're here!". That shouldn't happen. I mean are the Wyatts going to come out driving a Benz? I don't think so.

    Anyway, humour, reflectiveness, and passion. All the boxes checked!

  5. #5
    Shine a light JCool's Avatar
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    Fantastic column with valuable reflection on what it means to be a wrestling fan in 2013.
    If this was your first main page effort, I'd definitely follow what you wrote next. The humour was cleverly placed throughout, too. Well done.
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  6. #6
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    A job well done, sir. At first, I was right there with you. You took me on this ride that felt real. And even though I caught on that it wasn't all legitimate, you still have that blurred line which was really awesome. Made me think. The WWE tends to blur lines as well, which is fitting.

  7. #7
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    Doc - Yeah, the whole "dont try this" will fall on deaf ears, always has for me anyway. I once really hurt my younger brother with a powerbomb, thing is, Im not really that sorry, I'll try it again some day. The work stuff was 100% legit, Tuesday is D-Day, Ive some stuff happening but it will all be fine, its for the best

    Half a point Miz - Outdid myself, a compliment? Yeah, Im a COO, for now anyway. I had this conversation with Mavs on Twitter, I dont even get to reprimand staff by putting them in a handicap match, its all a myth.

    Technically there is a lot of wrestling included in my training, and I've a boxing background, so yeah, I'm kinda sticking to my addiction.

    Trips - Ha! Yeah, I did the same, I often do, Im suspicious every time I see someone with a beard.

    JCool - Cheers, appreciate the words n stuff

    Uncle Leo - Cheers, this is 100% real though, well, all the personal stuff going on is, with maybe one or two exaggerations in there!

  8. #8
    Is Your Superior PEN15's Avatar
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    I can't say too much that hasn't been mentioned before. I think what scored you the most points with me was how different this was. It was good, but not any better than Mav's column. In fact, his was stronger in a writing capacity. But yours was enjoyable because it wasn't anything I'd ever read before. Truly awesome.

  9. #9
    Team Doc Kleckamania's Avatar
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    Bear- This was great. You really are quite creative in your column ideas, which is way up my alley.

    1 gripe, but I'm sure it was just me. I could have done without the humor at the very beginning as you set the stage for your topic. The more serious route I think, would have gotten the reader even more emotionally invested. Granted, I only think that this time in particular because I'd say 100% of people reading this display at least 2 of the 3 signs of addiction for pro-wrestling (such as yourself and myself). So they would be hooked without the humor as I'm sure at times we have all pondered this. Then when you dropped in the humor later, I think it would have hooked people even more than you already did. Having said that, it's a really small gripe on an awesome column.

    I can't tell you how many times I've wondered the consequences of flipping someone off right before dealing out a stunner to the person I'm talking to that I'm not super fond of, or DDTing said person lol. My buddy and I used to deal out 3D's our senior year of high school to unsuspecting victims (never stiff mind you. It usually only hurt whichever one of us was applying the cutter). Or a bunch of friends and I would get drunk and lock submissions on each other to see how much they really hurt (winner = Liontamer). So this column I'm sure was something everyone could relate to. Great job Bear.

  10. #10
    Oliver
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    Yeah, I think you knocked this one out of the park, 'Bear - funny, heartfelt, passionate, and nicely different too. Really good stuff, for me.

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