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The Stripped Down Escapism of WWE & What Keeps Us Going

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It’s been a month since COVID-19 has drastically changed the world around us.  I’m going into week 4 of quarantine myself, which is starting to get to me.  The stressful change is bringing me back to call an old friend who has been there for me the last 25 years.  Even though this friend has its flaws, I know that deep down, they can help me.

I’m relying on pro wrestling once more.  I know I am not the only one here.

Photo: WWE

Mike Mooneyham’s recent article on The Post and Courier left me feeling incredibly grateful that even during this time, pro wrestling is still what it is for me.  A form of escapism, pro wrestling is the sport that I and many others love mainly because it helps us forget our problems for a little bit.  Even though COVID-19 has forced shows being taped in an empty arena or Performance Center and has isolated some of pro wrestling’s biggest stars (Roman Reigns comes to mind), the fundamental avenue of why fans and talent alike love pro wrestling is there.


So this time, we’re once again relying on pro wrestling to keep us going.  However, they are going through something just as grandiose as well.  Just like pro wrestling has been there for us for so long; now it’s time that we as fans return the favor to support it during the hardest of times.


I always looked at a wrestling ring as ‘where the magic happens’.  No matter if it was at a flea market, a park, an arena, or a stadium, what takes place in the wrestling ring was where everything mattered.  It was the centerpiece of what pro wrestling is, the primary focus of where stories are told and feuds are handled.

WWE
Photo: WWE

The idea of this is truer than ever now, scaling back to the thing that is central to wrestlers and fans alike.  This thing is what we call passion.  Whether your passion is of you wanting to do your best or to be that difference maker.  Or perhaps developing the passion to carry on the history of pro wrestling to the best of your ability.  That is more prevalent now than any other time before.


The passion is there among the faces and action of the talent, who want nothing more than for things to be normal again.  Their normal is traveling to and from performing for the millions of fans whose energy is like no other.  Basking at the chance to make the difference and to put on the best show they possibly can.  But for now, as long as there’s a wrestling ring, the magic can still happen.


WWE
Photo: WWE

There is always positivity in even the worst circumstances.  Even though WrestleMania 36 was in the Performance Center, it allowed for WWE to try some different avenues.  The Boneyard Match was a theatrical masterpiece that most fans enjoyed for its storytelling.  The Firefly Funhouse match garnered a mixed reaction that otherwise would have been a fail if it was live at Raymond James Stadium.  With some talent opting out or becoming sick, it allowed for some tweaking and even some opened doors for other talent.  Aleister Black vs. Apollo Crews on this past Monday’s edition of Raw comes to mind.

It’s a great time for trial and error, a chance to see the hard work pay off.  But the beauty of what has happened is imagining the response Drew McIntyre is going to get once WWE is able to return to a full arena.  Or how about the thousands that will chant “EST” when Bianca Belair comes out with the Street Profits.  The emotional passion will be unreal once pro wrestling comes back to our arenas, our coliseums, or our stadiums.

All of us can’t wait for that night.

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