“Why do you travel so far to see wrestling? Is that no tiring? I mean you ain’t a wrestler are ya?”
These were three questions I got asked in that exact order from a wrestling fan as I attended an SSW show in Bathgate last night and I won’t lie there was a part of me in recent weeks that has questioned why do I do all this travelling to see the sport that I love, for some bizarre reason on this night it got to me a bit.
I started to think daft things when I got back home about this subject and when it reached 3am the thoughts deepened from idiot levels to almost selfish reasons of why I travel like, “no one appreciates that I travel so far to see them” these were statements echoed on a recent wrestling forum I jumped into by other fans. And when you see someone else mirroring what you say a damp reality hits, c’mon now, promotions and wrestlers alike will appreciate that you travelled far to see them but that doesn’t mean you’re better than another fan who lives down the road to see them, deep down both sets of fans have come to that promotion to see the amazing wrestling and are rewarded in seeing that action, I mean shouldn’t that be enough, after all that is why you went to that event in the first place right? Just saying.
Part of my love for wrestling is that I like to write about it, I love to write reports and articles like this and within doing this I have made amazing friends along the way. I never thought this would have occurred but it has and these friends are now invaluable in my life but as I said this wasn’t the main reason of why I travel.
Experience, that’s it, that is why I travel and let me explain why. Two years ago, I was attacked by three men who wanted to rearrange my face, during this unprovoked drunken attack they succeeded in doing so. Two of my orbital bones on my left eye was fractured, my nose was broken in two places and there was a high risk of blood seeping into my brain. I had scans and all sorts done, then came the counseling sessions apparently I chose my own therapy going by the tests by doctors who said writing about wrestling was my therapy but “we’ll see where it goes from here”. For weeks I was attached to my phone writing article after article but opinions can only get you so far, I had to experience from events to get more knowledge, to form actual opinions of live events and weeks later I travelled. I made a vow or something less dramatic to myself that I will travel anywhere I feel like it to gain experience in seeing great wrestling or at least how live shows in different promotions in how they are done.
Case in point, ICW is doing a UK tour at the moment, I know there are writers who love that company who are travelling every stop of that tour because they love that promotion that much. They want to gain the full ICW Tour experience, they also want to see their promotion out of the regular comfort zone and excell at what they do, which they do well.
Do you think they would get the same experience via the On:Demand service? It is a fantastic service but it is not the same experience being there. Would you be able to write the same report watching it via TV or attending that event? No.
My thoughts are these, so you want to do this writing thing, this journalism thing huh?, go for it, do it but if your doing it right realise it isn’t gonna be easy, anyone can be a keyboard warrior sitting comfortably behind a monitor dishing out opinions and criticising wrestling, it takes work to gain the right experience in it.
Now that attack was a while ago and since then I’ve written alot, I’ve even helped out behind the scenes also refereeing at times as well as doing ring work and one thing like any job you tend to hear gossip in this case about wrestling including the wrestlers themselves as a result this it can change your outlook on the sport possibly damage your idealism of the wrestlers as well. Now, sometimes you have to think what do want from the world of wrestling, are you a fan? Journalist? A good journalist? Wannabe wrestler? Or someone who is in with those wrestlers?
And returning back to last night, thoughts in my head about gossip I’ve heard in the last few weeks, one thought arrived. I couldn’t give a shit about the drama behind the scenes, absolute fuck all about it. I report on the wrestling inside the ring, you got a story? Tell it in the ring and I will report the shit out it. This is the difference between certain journalists and myself I began to realise, sure it’s interesting to hear the gossip behind the scenes but is it noteworthy? No.
Hey did you hear that wrestler X stopped that wrestler Y from getting his push? No I didn’t, but I do know that wrestler Y just had an amazing match and the fans love Wrestler Y so pretty sure they’re gonna get booked again. Also while I’m at it the casual fan doesn’t care about the drama behind the curtain either, they ask that the wrestlers entertain them for two to three hours and that’s damn hard enough for the wrestlers to do. So I’ll do my part which is promote the best action, the great shows and try to convey the passion that the wrestlers display to entertain the fans every single time they are doing an event, to get the word out that the UK has the wrestling in the world, I truly believe that and if your in this wrestling journalism gig just to get the gossip and “look cool” maybe you should be looking elsewhere as a career.
Oh and while at it, Wrestling click-bait sites you are the parasites of wrestling journalism. Fans are tired of your crap because you don’t say what is occurring, you don’t actually say anything relevant and you just want views. If that is all your after in the business good luck because the numbers will drop and that amazing moment you do get a genuine story, you know that real a good story barely anyone will read it then another website will copy it, take it and be rewarded for it.
– Craig Hermit