Over the summer, I moved to a new state. I got a job in a record store. During the hiring process for said job, the manager spotted my blog and other Lady J-related essays and smiled. Apparently there is another employee at the store who is a big wrestling fan and he was stoked to have someone to talk to. We agree maybe 50% of the time in terms of our opinions or preferences inside WWE. But recently, the most used phrase we’ve been saying is “I didn’t watch.”
I didn’t watch RAW. I didn’t watch SmackDown. I didn’t watch NXT. I didn’t even watch NXT Takeover: Respect until two days later. Now, I think we can all agree: it’s a LOT of content on any given week – and there wasn’t even a Pay-Per-View. But why is it so easy to walk away right now? I could say it has to do with the writing, but I couldn’t even tell you what the story lines are right now. SummerSlam was something I watched back in NY and cried through the NXT program the night before. I was still invested then. So what has changed?
Maybe it’s me. Maybe trying to start a new life in a new place meant that I needed to do things that kept me away from my TV on a Monday or a Thursday night. Then again, maybe it’s not me. Maybe the Diva’s Revolution on the main roster has turned out to actually be a Diva’s Genocide and they’re going to slowly destroy anyone with any sense of self or self-worth once they get to the main roster. But that doesn’t explain why I’m not watch NXT. Things down there are pretty sweet for the women, and just pretty sweet in general. They’re giving the audience a bigger variety of faces – more names every week to get invested in and never selling out what the NXT brand was always about – building something unique with a focus on hard-workers and quality storytelling. So again I ask – what is the problem? I needed time to think.
Today I had off from work. I spent most of it at home, catching up on some reading and some emails. I had a few lingering questions to ask – if I was going to stay in my current living situation or try to find something else, if I was still looking for supplemental work or not. On paper, it occurred to me that I had done what I had longed to do for years – I moved out. I moved on. Now what? I started to wonder what I was working towards. What happened to my goals? Did I give them up? Did I need new ones? Recently, someone had sent me a really beautiful email and the last line of it was, “what is your dream job?” I got angry even thinking about it. How am I supposed to know what I want to be when I grow up? So I figured I would play a trick on myself, not entirely unlike flipping a coin to make a decision and really asking yourself just before the coin falls – what did you WANT the outcome to be? I called my Dad. I asked him, “if I called you up one day and said to you – Dad, I’ve done it! I’ve got my dream job! What would you assume I was hired to do?” And I knew before he answered me what I wanted him to say.
This. This is where my heart will always be. Writing here. Writing for another organization. Trying to learn more about the storytelling and the dynamics behind the scenes of professional wrestling. Watching things unfold, watching things get changed – and there in lies my answer. Why am I not watching wrestling? Well, how can you watch a product when you’re not as involved in it as you once were? I was once tweeting every show, I had surrounded myself with wonderful, funny, passionate fans. I was once a part of this living breathing monster of an industry. And now I’m on the outside and I think the glass is frosted. So the only conceivable answer is that I need to get back in. You have to be in it to win it, right? If you want something, stop hoping it will strike you like lightning, J – get out there and do something about it.
So this is a new start. In a new place. With new WWE-watching friends. And my trusty old #EXPLICITAMBROSEVIOLENCE hoodie. The Lady J Says: it’s time to get re-dedicated to the product, regardless of whether or not you agree with where the content is going. You want to fix it? Figure out how it works first. Stay tuned. This is just getting good.
The Lady J “To Watch” List: