The Underage Pessimist
Sub'isms: Story of The Ring
Story of The Ring
“I shouldn’t have had to tell you my story; at least not in an obscure column on these parts of the internet. But it is what it is, I guess. Nobody notices me until something bad happens. I should have been the most talked about thing in professional wrestling, but here I am; not even sure how many people would read this. But since you’ve had this opportunity, consider this a chance of a lifetime. So, it’s my honor; no, it’s YOUR honor to read my story, and give me the recognition that I deserve:
I am a wrestling ring, under the employment of the WWE. I don’t know where I was born, but I’m told that there are hundreds of us made every year. But our legacy is the same. We have a telepathic communication and we all know what’s been going on through the years. I have a lot of friends in this business; the turnbuckles, the ring ropes, the apron covers, they’re all good people and we’ve shared some great memories together. Currently, there are 2 of us working for the WWE; me and my twin brother. We go on tours with the RAW and SmackDown guys interchangeably; nobody cares about us enough to give us some distinction. We are under the care of the ring crew. They are a bunch of very nice people. They clean us up every night, carefully assembling us together before every show and then clean us up again and disassemble us after the show is over. As is always the case with us, even they are massively overlooked and have never got the amount of recognition and respect they deserve. We understand their pain, but are merely silent spectators.
When fans enter the arena, the first thing they notice is me. Nice and bright, the spotlight shining over me, imagining what is to come during the night. But damn them if they’ll ever praise me! They are all too busy gaping at the TitanTron, wondering about the pyro, drooling over the quality of the stage and the lights; attention whores all of them. The event I hate the most is Wrestlemania. Not only are the gimmicky stage and ring designs a bunch of assholes; coming once a year and getting all the sweet attention like they’re The Undertaker, they don’t even let the fans enjoy all the action that is going on over me, because they have to accommodate freaking palm trees and shit. Times like these are when I want to be an asshole too and just hurt everybody.
But no, I have a job to do. I have to make sure that all these wrestlers live their dreams, while I try to make it hurt as less as possible. But does anybody care how much it hurts me? Have you ever been squashed by Andre the Giant, The Big Show, Mark Henry, et al, thousands and thousands of times? Can you even comprehend the amount of pain I have to endure every night? No, you cannot! Even the divas are no slouch either. All they do nowadays is dropping their bum on me, anyways. Though, nothing can match the feeling of The Bella Twins doing ‘The Worm’ on top of me. On that note, there’s nothing worse than being doused in beer and then have Vince McMahon swimming balls first on top of me. Damn, I hate that guy!
And as if the hurt wasn’t enough, these wrestlers all drop their sweat, saliva, blood, pee, poop; everything on me. While you all laugh away the cases of Natalya and John Cena getting a little too private over me, it is me who has to bear all that filth. And all those moves that you praise or bash the wrestlers for, hurt like hell. There is no Era that I love. The only good thing the PG Era has done is reduce the amount of blood falling on me, but the wrestlers keep getting bigger. Damn Vince and his love for muscle bound freaks! I hate matches; the special kind of matches like ladders, TLC, all that violence. I hate moves; the superplexes, the powerbombs. Fuck, they hurt! What comes as athletic and only harmful to the wrestlers to you shakes me to the core, but I can only lay their motionless. It hurts even imagining The Big Show and Mark Henry crashing down on a brother of mine and killing him. The same way Brock Lesnar and Show killed another brother back in 2003. Big Show is a psychotic serial killer! But would you ever jail him for that? Would you? The hours that I have to go through for each show are the worst form of torture ever devised by mankind; yet nobody ever extended me a helping hand.
But I’ve also had my prideful moments. I watched closely as guys like Bruno Sammartino, Bret Hart, Steve Austin, John Cena, all had their crowning achievements. I was there when Austin and Bret tore it up at WrestleMania 13. 6 years later, I saw Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels portray an opera of emotions. Most recently, I saw Daniel Bryan pin John Cena, however little its afterglow was. All these moments have kept me inspired to go out there and keep enduring the pain, no matter how much it hurts. It doesn’t matter if they spit on me or cut me open, exposing the wood and steel underneath, my job is to give the wrestlers and the fans something to live by. I am the medium of their dreams.
Yet there have been moments that have tormented me and made me not want to be there at all. I endured the force of Owen Hart falling on me from the rafters and watched him shiver to death. How I wished I vanished at that moment. People say Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit gave their life to me. Should I have been more giving? The smell of their blood still lingers on in my memory. But I tried. Every time Chris came down for the head-butt, I tried to warn him that it’ll hurt. But he took it upon himself to prove me wrong and came down harder each time. How could I have known that his iron skull sheltered a slowly deteriorating brain? I felt his bones, but could never peep through his soul.
My elders tell me that things were a lot different for them. They were much less sympathetic and tried their hardest to scare away the budding wrestlers. But those who had the courage to stick around stayed regardless and they had to change their ways. They saw the fans growing bigger in number and realized that they need to protect the wrestlers. Certain fans lived vicariously through these wrestlers and their duty was to become almost non-existent and just merely do their job. They evolved into us; much more comfortable, much more conscious about the wrestlers’ health. But those who disrespect us, those who come to us believing that they can rule over us just like *that* are gladly taught a lesson. We know that some of these people really want to perform on us, but it is a painful route they take to learn that maybe they’re just not meant to wrestle.
While there are many injustices being committed upon me, I am in a happy place. The endless torture is a small price to pay for the dreams that these wrestlers are able to make true. Be it Heath Slater or Hulk Hogan, I can proudly say that they sweat, bled and cried on me to entertain the fans. Be it my homeboy, Hornswoggle or The Great Khali, they have all been earning their livelihoods by running around my body, however hardly. I have seen every great wrestler since they were a noob and watched them grow into the legends they eventually became. While I don’t want anybody to fail, the harsh reality has to hit sometimes. None of the injuries are caused voluntarily; I just wish for the same kind of respect I have for these athletes. I can be their best friend, or their worst enemy.
This is my story. I am the ring. The greatest tweener this business has ever produced.”
Sub- Very interesting concept. There were parts in here that were very clever and some parts that had me laughing. Although I wonder if this concept might have been better if you waited to reveal that the main character was a wrestling ring until the end of the column. At times the logic was difficult to get past (all rings just knowing all other rings and their life stories.) This was a very creative idea and it was cool to see someone attempt it. Out of curiosity how did this idea come to you? Although I think ultimately it didn't work as well, it still was different and interesting! It's cool to see you step out of your comfort zone like this. I would encourage it again in the future taking the feedback from this attempt in mind when you do. Nice effort Mr. Rocks
Very unique take, Stubbed Toe. Refreshing and clever. Love the creativity and I think you executed it very well. Your beginning picture was fantastic, I might add.
I wonder if the column might've been ever a bit better if you had stuck throughout to the tone you reached in the last half of it. I think that was the true magic of your column, calling the ring the greatest tweener ever produced and discussing how it can both produce everything from magical, lifetime moments to contributing to the Benoit incident. The idea of a ring as a cold, neutral, equal opportunity entity who can give and take away - I love that. Reminds me a bit of when JR described Hell in a Cell - he called it uncaring, heartless, it doesn't give a damn who it hurts. You describing the ring as such, but adding the element that it can be equally as great an aid, takes the discussion back to the core of wrestling. Sure, the Hell in a Cell or Chamber can be described (aptly and artistically) like JR did, but the ring, with far fewer frills, can act equally as punishing. Truly wonderful stuff, man.
The poop and beer stuff probably would have stood pretty well on their own, given a distinct tone, but I don't think they quite jived with the concluding tone you ended up going with. I think a more uniform tone, preferably the final tone, would've increased the quality of this already damn good piece. That's pretty much my only gripe with this column.
Overall, a very clever look at something we all see, maybe daily, but rarely see through the lens you've provided here. Good job, man!
That is well done. Creative and explored a number of different aspects, from being ignored, to Eddie & Chris to the ending where the ring named itself tweener, and properly joined the IWC. Good comeback from the disappointment of the previous one as well
Huh... the first half of this gave me a few laughs, and I thought I was in for a decent ride.
Then we got to the second half... damn, it was suddenly on another level. From the really excellent line "I am the medium of their dreams" it just went up from there and kind of blew my mind a little. Really fantastic on those last few paragraphs, I actually felt some chills.
There was a time when a lot of people would try something like this around here, but we haven't seen it for a while. Offering a unique perspective from an unexpected source can be a brilliant way to make a completely unexpected point.
Very nicely done here, it built on itself and got some amazing depth by the end. One of my favorites from you, for sure.
Interesting concept here Sub, and good to see you going for the creative...this was probably a bit too postmodern for my tastes, at least as pertains to columns about wrestling, but I can imagine you could refine the idea and make it work for other things: title belts, hell, maybe the ring bell on the night of the Montreal Screwjob! Ha! As Mizzie mentioned, the second half was considerably stronger than the first. At the stage of development you're at, it's certainly good to be experimenting and writing as much as possible. Keep up the pace!
As Mizfan pointed out, the hook of the column was the incredible line: 'I am the medium of their dreams." From then on, the shift in the tone of the column was subtle yet powerful.
I like this a lot. It reminds me of those funny rom-coms which mostly started out tongue in cheek, but ends off with a big bang. (E.g. About time, Stranger than Fiction, Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless mind etc)
Prepare the way
Sub, I don't think I've seen this advised yet nor am I sure you want to....but I'd really like to see the next draft of this.
Taking in the advice of those above and reworking the column to be even better than it already is.
Part of the reason for being in the CF is to improve our writing and this kind of piece, a creative writing piece, is the type that will only improve from being edited for organization of ideas and concepts.
Your conclusion, the "tweener" line, would absolutely make for a compelling introduction. Something to consider.
The back and forth nature of being upset and angry, and then proud and jubilant was very well done so keep that! In fact, there are a few spots where you switch pretty quickly, within the same paragraph. Those ones are worth reviewing to decide if you want to have more separation between them (more line breaks) or keep them within the same paragraph.
On a grammatical note, interesting choice to place all of this in quotation marks.
Sub, this was a unique perspective on discussing the history of the WWE. Kudos for stretching on this one.
Whether you choose to rework it or not, I applaud you.... but I hope you take up the challenge! You could even post the edit in this thread.
I say this to most guys who attempt creative pieces, so don't think I'm singling you out, but you broke the first rule of fiction: show, don't tell.
When a writer tells the reader something, it's difficult for the reader - at least this one - to immerse themselves in the world the writer has created. This would have been far more impactful if you’d been more subtle. You gave the game away in the title of the piece, which was a turn off for me.
I don’t usually go in for “creative” columns because of this repeated error. Not many people share the same grievance, mind, so I wouldn’t lose too much sleep over it
Remember: subtext is your friend.
The Underage Pessimist
Kleck- I went for 'real' feel to it. Kinda like a shoot interview, that's why the character was revealed straight up. As for how I got the idea, then I have always identified objects as people. Might even be a psychological disorder, but yeah I do it. So, it was only natural that I feel the pain of the ring, and hence the idea. Thanks for the read and feed, mate! Might not have worked for you totally, but glad you found some positives.
Skul- First off, thanks for the praise and the constructive crit. And once again, thanks for the shoutout at the MP.
My inspirations for the contrast of emotions were the movies, 50/50 (starring Joseph Gordon Levitt and Anna Kendrick) and a Bollywood movie, Khatta Meetha (Sour-Sweet). Both are comedy dramas. In 50/50, Joseph suffers from a rare spinal cancer and has to undergo chemo and psychological therapy while trying to mend his relationship with his mother and also deal with a break-up; While his friend just wants him to get laid before the surgery. The juxtaposition of comedy and tragedy is pretty emotionally wearing and I went for that balance. Also, like I said above, I went for a 'real' feel to it, so I was trying to stay close to what a real person might do when given the chance of a lifetime to speak his mind, and didn't really go for a cohesive tone. I do understand that there could be a lot of improvements made to this, and I would definitely keep your tips in mind for future pieces. Thanks for the read and feed, mate!
Thunder- Yeah, the previous column was a disappointment. I'm glad that I could salvage it and also glad that you liked the column. Thanks for the read and feed!
Mizfan- I went for that exact balance. Like I mentioned to Skul, the movies from which this column was inspired from had the viewers go through a roller coaster of emotions and I tried that in a smaller field. Glad it worked with you. Thanks for the read and feed, mate!
Mav- The post modernism was not intentional, but I guess these things just happen like that. Like I said to Kleck, identifying objects as people is something I've always done, and that was the only thought process behind the column. Glad you appreciated the effort. Thanks for the read and feed, mate!
Jacob- I haven't seen any of those movies so thanks for mentioning those. You should watch 50/50 for the real inspiration and to see that emotional juxtaposition on the silver screen. Glad you liked it; thanks for the read and feed!
JCool- I don't know if I could write this again, mate. The emotional roller coaster was too wearing and writing those lines about Owen and Chris tore me apart. But since you;'thrown in the challenge, I won't disappoint. Maybe someday later, but I'll remember to revisit this. Thanks for the read and feed, mate!
Sidgwick- Like I mentioned, I went for the shoot interview feel, therefore the character was revealed on first sight and it slighted away from the rules of fiction, like you mentioned. But I'll definitely keep your advice in mind for the later creative pieces I attempt. Thanks for the tip and the read and feed, mate!
Sub - had missed this one on my enforced absence and only just got round to reading it now I'm back, but I've got to echo what some others said in that the second half of this was phenomenal and the first part a bit less phenomenal. Which is still pretty good, when you think about it! I really enjoyed it, this sort of creative thing always works with me as it could essentially be a 'standard' column but you've changed it by being creative yourself, something I'm appalling at.
Grammatically, I think your semi-colon use was a little off in the opening paragraph as you used them where a comma was more appropriate. You did nail using one in your second paragraph though! Just remember, you can use them where you have two clauses that can stand alone as sentences - so for example 'So, it’s my honor; no, it’s YOUR honor to read my story' isn't really appropriate. Personally, I'd have used some ellipsis in there so you had 'So it's my honor...no, it's YOUR honor', but either way a semi-colon isn't appropriate here, for me. It's very minor, though, and the fact that I'm nitpicking is indicative of the overall strength of your writing here.
The Underage Pessimist
Thanks heaps for the read and feed, Oli. Glad that you enjoyed it. Creative pieces are really tricky. Thing is, I didn't go into the column thinking that I would write a "Creative" piece. It's just the idea that worked, which is common with almost all columns, really. Thanks also for the hawk eyed nitpicking. These things can be very easily missed, so thanks a lot for pointing that out and it definitely stopped the flow of the reading when looking back at it. Also glad that you found the overall writing to be strong.