I took a short sabbatical from writing a wrestling column because life has a way of sometimes getting overwhelming. I still watched the wrestling product weekly but too much was happening in life to bring myself to write a column. Then last week we had such a horrific event happen here in Massachusetts I felt compelled to write a new column. The bombings were such a devastating event that it defies comprehension. I live outside of Boston but what we all saw and felt cannot be contained in words. My heart went out to all those that suffered such a horrific loss. This state responded as well as could be expected and life is starting to get back to some form of normalcy, although nothing will ever be completely normal here in Boston again.
It made me think about some things I read and I thought about how some other writers on the internet complain that real life events should not be apart of wrestling storylines because they use wrestling as a form of escapism from the real world. I thought long and hard about that and I came to the conclusion that I disagree with that sentiment. I have no issue with using real life, hot button topics as a wrestling storyline as long as you do not exploit anyone that may have suffered loss. I never had an issue with the likes of Iron Sheik, Nikoli Volkoff , or Muhammad Hassan, and in fact like the Hassan character because Hassan elicited a seriously strong reaction from the fans.
I watch wrestling because I enjoy what the product is all about. I do not hope that for a few hours of watching wrestling that my troubles or the troubles of the world disappear. I know those issues still exist and if I see them while watching the news or while watching wrestling then what is the difference as far as I am concerned. Now I am not condoning having WWE all of a sudden use two wrestlers as terrorists, that would be sickening, but my point is that evil exists and we cannot pretend it does not or escape fully from it. Wrestling can give us the heroes to thwart that evil on a regular basis and that can be the type of escapism that we as fans crave. The knowledge that the good guy will rise up and win in the end each and every time.
I do not want the serious nature of what happened here in Boston to be used as an angle as I would find that disrespectful, I do want to see the realism of the world used in angles to better the wrestling product. I would much rather see someone like Antonio Cesaro using his homeland pride against the US a motivation to succeed or some rich wrestler exploit our recession and our poor, or Swagger talking about immigration problems, then as to see Fandango complaining about not saying his name correctly. It is all in the context in how WWE uses the real life situations that make it either enjoyable or atrocious. I certainly do not want to hear about “bombs” or CM Punks “pipe bombs” right now but I would not turn the channel if Punk were to say it again, although I doubt Punk would.
I would much rather see a feud start over something that might mimic a real life situation than two wrestlers engage in a match because one wrestler wears blue trunks and the other wears black. The latter is moreso what WWE uses to start feuds these days. There is no real conflict built up. There is nothing that pushes the envelope or makes fans so angry and invested at the same time. I do not want to see “Superman” Cena and his stupid smirk destroy every would be challenger with little trouble. I want to see someone destroy Cena so that bad prevails and then a hero rises up to save the people. That is the escapism I am looking for.
Real life evil will always exist and tragedy will always happen. We all wish it would not and we all wish we could stop it from ever happening again but that is not realistic. In wrestling we have that ability and that knowledge makes it enough of a form of escapism that I can handle a real life situation being used as an angle. I would turn the channel and never watch wrestling again if ever a terrorist angle was used but other forms of real life situations to form angles would be ok if done properly. Wrestling does not need to be all fantasy for me to enjoy it. I would hope no wrestling company would ever use anything that resulted in innocent people dying as an angle, but other real life situations would be acceptable.
I wanted to write this because my heart broke for all those affected by the Boston Marathon bombings and to congratulate the Boston police who brought these two terrorists to justice. I watch wrestling every week but not to escape the real world. My problems, your problems, they still exist before, during, and after the show ends. What I want is to be entertained and not offended and if a get that each week I am satisfied. Wrestling does not have to stay away from real life situations but to know which ones can be used and which ones never should be. Certainly Boston bombings are one that never should be. Having love for ones country or using Paul Bearer’s death or Lawler’s heart attack, with all those parties consent, is perfectly fine with me. BostonStrong.
You have just read another chapter of the Forzese Files and as always feedback is greatly appreciated.