Magic to Do

For those who haven’t deciphered this tidbit of information yet from my Twitter, I work in a record store. That is my Bruce Wayne persona – during the daylight hours, I am the dark haired, bespectacled, snarky shop girl who gives you the side-eye when you ask for Rush vinyl or insinuate that I may not have heard of this local band…Minor Threat. I will mock you, I will turn the latest Every Time I Die record up as loud as it will go, and when all else fails I will simply throw your ass out. But here’s the secret about me: when no one is here, it’s 20 minutes to closing, and I’m just straightening up and counting the drawer, I will sing and dance to Cyndi Lauper’s She’s So Unusual or start crying in the middle of James Taylor’s “Fire and Rain”. I can actually get swept up in music, regardless of it’s indie cred, or how traditionally “good” it is – I do let my emotions get the better of me, and I think that’s great. “Beyond the Sea” by Bobby Darin isn’t the world’s greatest song, but it will always conjure a powerful image of my mother dancing in the kitchen many, many years ago. That song will always hold magic for me.

Is there any particular reason why all art, entertainment, and even sports can’t be the same way? What is the point for us as a society to say “this is good” and “this is bad”? What about the stuff that just makes you feel something? Obviously this is a huge issue currently in pro-wrestling, and in WWE in general. When we look at the current WWE product, sure there are things that are just bad – things that didn’t go according to plan, things that the audience never bothered to care about – and truly unifying moments (I’m going to go with Daniel Bryan winning the WWE World Heavyweight title at Wrestlemania XXX & I’m sure someone will disagree with me, but this is my damn blog so shush.) Those times are rare, though, when the majority of an audience can get behind something. The rest of the time, the best you can hope for is to have everyone feeling something – whether it be disdain, fear, surprise, elation – because in those moments is a different kind of magic.

As I mentioned yesterday, what’s happening currently with Eva Marie is not bad, because it’s getting people fired up about a wrestler. I think something that IS bad is the story line currently happening between The Brothers of Destruction and The Wyatt Family because it’s not getting people fired up, or talking, or interested AT ALL. And that’s not what you want going into Undertaker’s 25th anniversary. But there is a lot going on in the middle ground – the in-between story lines that we’re all just trying to figure out, and haven’t entirely committed to OR written off quite yet.

I’m not going to be a hypocrite who gets in here and says I was behind what’s happening with the WWE World Heavyweight title since Seth Rollins was injured. I am a convert. I thought it was boring and predictable at first (and, to the shock of no one, I was wildly angry as I am prone to being) but now that we’re going into the semi-finals and the finals at Survivor Series, I am intrigued. We all seem very confident that Roman Reigns is going to be carrying the title on November 23rd’s episode of RAW, but how are they going to get him there? That is my thing when it comes to WWE – not so much the finish, or the winner, but how we get from the birth of a feud to the end. I spoke earlier in the week about how I can’t recall what happened to all of us Shield fans to cause us to turn on Reigns – I can’t pinpoint the moment I stopped wanting him to win and started wishing he would lose (I’m sure someone out there can tell me when that was. Drop me a line.) But here’s the thing – it’s an opportunity. Not just for this guy, but for the whole company. It’s new. Please, for the love of all things good and holy, take this opportunity to put the title on Roman Reigns and do something NEW. The guy has actually worked hard, and he is leaps and bounds better than he was a year ago. He just had a barn-burner of a match with Cesaro on RAW, there is no reason you can’t find a way to make him interesting and give him a feud where he can work the new skills he has. What they need to stop doing is giving him a microphone – there’s no need for him to ever try to carry his own promo. Either he needs to be working with someone who can carry him (like a Heyman or an Ambrose, and I mean as an opponent, not as a mouthpiece) or they just need to bank on that Strong Silent thing. He smolders well – just leave him alone.

Am I going to lose it when Reigns wins the title on Sunday? No, probably not. Am I going to find something else to do on Sunday so I don’t have to subject myself to the PPV itself? No, of course not. I’m going to watch, and hopefully something is going to happen that will make me feel something. For all the complaints that went along with the Dusty finish of the main event for Money in the Bank this year (some of which were mine) I still had a meltdown in those few seconds when it looked like Dean Ambrose had won the title. Not just because I’m a huge Ambrose fan (come at me, Kevin Owens) but because for a split second, I remembered what it was like to have suspension of disbelief – to hope for actual magic. Somewhere, in an alternate reality, Dean Ambrose has been WWE World Heavyweight champion since July. Somewhere, my mother is still dancing. It’s better, I think, to keep hoping for the magic to come back around again. History has taught us that it will, and until then, I’m going to turn the metalcore up and pretend you didn’t just ask me why Stevie Ray Vaughn isn’t in the Blues section.

The Lady J Says

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3 Comments

  1. WWE is kind of an anomaly, though. Whereas someone like you or me wouldn’t dare watch MTV: imagine if current MTV also showcased metalcore (for you) and Front 242 (for me), but maybe played them once a day vs all the other nonsense – and fans of MTV were way more knowledgeable about music than they are now.

    WWE is like a Tower Records (RIP) or other deep catalog store that has all the cool shit but insists they only sell Beyonce and Drake albums.

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    • If you come into this store, you will find at least seven copies of Carol King’s Tapestry because someone will buy it. There are always copies of Prince albums. But if you’re willing to dig you might spot a copy of Mudhoney’s self-titled on vinyl. I think maybe we need to remember WWE is still a business and yes, they should be true to themselves but they also need to make money. Roman Reigns is going to make them money, I think. But there’s still plenty for us jerks – we just have to dig.

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  2. TV is so different now, though. Everything is a la carte. Canceled shows of yesteryear are returning because the platforms are narrower. If TV was still the same as it was in 1999, MST3K wouldn’t be coming back thanks to a Kickstarter. I am saying this because WWE is a TV show.

    I don’t think WWE will ever have NFL-levels of widespread appeal so, where’s the money? In your hardcore fan base. Triple H sees this as NXT is a better Ring of Honor with a better budget. Vince McMahon thinks people still watch the Today show.

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