It’s the biggest week in wrestling history as Smackdown moves to FOX And AEW debuts on TV, and Rob Bonnette has some words of advice to help you through the week!
This week it all really begins with Smackdown on Fox and AEW debuting on TV, and then next week Impact gets added to the mix on AXS TV to give us a full week of wrestling on TV for the first in a long time. There was a time where we had Raw and Smackdown along Nitro and Thunder from WCW (plus Sunday Night Heat for WWF/E and what was left of WCW’s traditional weekend fare) but even then there were still a few days left open on the calendar. Now we’re legit going to have seven days of new stuff every week. So what do you do? How do you take it all in? Can you take it all in without going crazy or burning out? Well…..maybe. Do I have any advice? You bet I do!
Do: Watch what you want
This should be a no brainer, but it really isn’t. There is many an earnest podcaster out there who has tried to watch and analyze everything and burned themselves out in the process. So don’t try to catch them all. Pick the stuff you really want to see and stick with it. We got DVRs now everybody so you can watch what you want live, record the rest and then pick your spots for everything else. There’s also YouTube if you want to just get clips from some shows to keep up. This isn’t the 90s where you had to set a VCR to record whatever you couldn’t get to and then buy a bunch of tapes and all. Most importantly don’t try to take all this stuff in just for the sake of being to make conversation on Twitter or your podcast.
Don’t: Overanalyze everything
Overanalysis has done a real whammy on a lot of people’s enjoyment of wrestling in general. If there’s a silver lining to all of this content coming it’s that it’ll be damn near impossible for a lot of people to pore over everything with a magnifying glass anymore. And hopefully there will so much for you to enjoy that you won’t spend too much time thinking about it. Professional wrestling really wasn’t built for that kind of micro analysis; the entire premise is nonsensical if you want to keep it 100 so stop trying to turn it into prestige TV, ok? It’s Jerry Springer with a ring and athletic contests instead of pull apart brawls. And that’s ok!!! It really is. You’re here because deep down inside you like that kinda stuff.
Do: Watch other TV shows! (and talk about other stuff)
Don’t give up your other stuff for the sake of being up on all the wrestling. I watch a bunch of other stuff, too. Variety is important so don’t turn this thing into a full time job. And if you find yourself watching something else other than wrestling on any of those nights, it’s ok!! It really is. DVR is a thing like I said before. So is just taking a break for a bit. It’s all gonna be there when you come back because unless you have a ratings box in your house you’re skipping a week or even several weeks doesn’t actually affect the ratings.
And while you’re at it don’t just talk about wrestling with your twitter friends. You like other TV shows, talk about them! Movies, music, whatever. Don’t focus so much on this one thing that it breeds contempt for it.
Don’t: Fight the Wars
Look, I’ve said before that there aren’t that many who really want to fight another wrestling war. I for one do not, especially with things getting as toxic as they can on social media. You’re not getting paid to take shots at anyone in any company, alright? And like I said previously the people who own these companies will all be fine no matter what happens so there’s no real victory in anyone ‘winning’ or ‘losing’ a wrestling company war. All you’re going to do by getting down in the mud is get mad over a goofy TV show and bring down a bunch of other people’s moods in the process. That doesn’t mean you can’t be critical of something you don’t like but don’t mimic the worst stuff you see out there in the name of fighting back or whatever. You’re not a soldier or an employee, dude. Vince isn’t putting you on TV and Tony Khan isn’t either.
Do: Unfollow, Mute and Block
Get that toxicity out of your life! You don’t owe anyone on social media anything. If somebody gets your blood boiling every time they pop up on your timeline, get em outta there. You don’t just have to block people spewing hateful comments, it’s perfectly fine to mute or block someone even if you just personally find them annoying. It’s ok! I don’t regret muting or blocking anyone that I’ve done it too, and if you’ve blocked me it’s ok. This is supposed to be fun so if anyone is making it less fun for you it’s perfectly fine to get them out of your life. Even me.
Don’t: Take in the negativity
You’re already not going to like every part of every show and have your own critiques or what have you so don’t waste of bunch of time listening to sad sack podcasters telling you how everything is terrible or reading stupid clickbait articles going on and on about how (insert name here) is committing this catastrophic mistake or not. Most of these hosts who do that kind of thing all the time don’t know what the hell they’re talking about anyway. Don’t let they’re overreactions or (even worse) prejudging based rumors and innuendo put you in a bad place before the next show even starts. This is an excellent chance to do a hard reset on what kind of commentary you allow into your space so don’t let it slip away.
Do: Be a Fan!
Watch the shows, enjoy the shows for what they are, talk to people on your same wavelength, listen to podcasts on your same wavelength. Well don’t you want to hear some different opinions? Not really. I know what I like and I enjoy it; why do I need to listen to someone drone on for hours about why the thing I like is actually bad? Or on the flip side i know the stuff I don’t like and I don’t need to listen to or read someone going all caps to tell me that what I don’t like is actually better than the stuff I do. When I feel inclined to give something a chance I’ve previously passed on then I will, but it won’t be because I was convinced by anyone’s browbeating. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with just wanting to watch something fun on the TV for a bit and not wanting to hear any opinions about it that you don’t want to hear. If you don’t want “serious analysis” of a wrestling show, you don’t need it.
Don’t: Feel Guilty about missing stuff
It’s going to happen. You have other stuff you like to watch. You have jobs, schools, kids, maybe all three. Enjoy life and don’t turn this into a job. If you’re a podcaster don’t try to watch everything just for the sake of being up on everything. I’d rather listen to somebody happily talk about 205 Live than try to cover everything and sound overwhelmed in the process. I sincerely doubt any of you are making so much money from it that it behooves you to catch everything in time to talk about it. For me, I watch Raw, Smackdown and NXT pretty intently but the other stuff I get in when I can (MLW, New Japan, 205 Live and NXT UK) is often glorified background noise that occasionally gets more attention. And it’s fine, it really is. I don’t feel bad if I can’t get all in depth about any of it, and neither should you about the shows you don’t get to whatever your reason may be.
In closing, I know that with the Wednesday Night Wars beginning there’s gonna be some real bad stuff showing up on the internet. You can’t avoid it all but you can take some steps so that it has minimal effect on you. Don’t let the worst of us drive you away from partaking in something you love. Hell, if you have to get off twitter altogether or limit your interactions to a select few then do it. And like with the muting and blocking if you feel like you have to cut me off too, then so be it. I’m really not here to make anyone’s experience worse, but if I have done that for you I apologize. Yes, I’ve gotten pretty critical at times in some of these debates and I have taken a side of sorts at times. And while I won’t stop having opinions I promise to contribute as little as possible to the mess that’s out there. I really want everyone to just have fun with this stuff; real life is too serious to being with isn’t it?