The first of what will no doubt be many self indulgent farewells...
June 11, 2017
Yesterday afternoon at world-renowned sporting facility, Markland's Little Acres, after trying my hand at off-roading (it's not for me), I made an announcement that's been oscillating in my head for some time...after more than a decade of willfully defying the advice of medical professionals and generally showing NO indication of common sense, I have finally been forced (grudgingly) to admit that the consequences of my repeated experiments in masochism are no longer something I can simply defend against through willpower and stoicism. My spine--which, as I gleaned from a documentary on the late Christopher Reeve, is fairly integral to optimum performance--is degenerating in multiple locations due to my years of traumas. Imagine it as a half-finished game of Jenga, if a visual analogy helps. Another related irritant (and easily as bad, objectively) is that my brain--at one (pre-abuse) time, a lightning-fast mechanism with wit ever at the ready, is now mostly a murky soup of suspect memories and snippets of information lacking any context; a cacophony of synapses firing blindly with no targets. Like a bunch of "naval cannon battle"-era ships manned by an improbably high number of Helen Kellers. *I'm widely-praised for not only the succinctness of my jokes, but the topical and timely components with which I construct them*
Walking away from this ridiculous, dangerous, stupid, silly, awesome, wonderful thing that I've been inseparably tied to for over a decade now is incredibly difficult for me. Granted, anyone who has bumped into me at a show and inquired about any aspect of wrestling has likely gotten the following response from me: "I fucking hate wrestling." And there is a kernel of truth in that...I can throw out a dozen things in my life just off the top of my head that would likely be better had I, upon coming to that divergence of roads in the Yellow Wood, taken the one a little more well-worn.
<Wait...why was the wood yellow? Did he mean "the leaves?" Was he cavorting through a forest afflicted by Dutch Elm Disease? Goddamn Dutch. Maybe Robert Frost had an ocular condition that affected his perception of hue... Well, I could cogitate at great length on the subject, but we're simply going to assume that ol' Bobby Frost was a ponce, a man of low character, and a likely pedophile. Maybe even Dutch.>
Back on topic, for whatever reason I initially chose this path, the fact it that it quickly became how I defined myself for many years to follow. Even when I was home for the holidays, gathered around the the dining table with the family enjoying some Kringle and goose hearts (not in that order), my mild-mannered civilian alias struggled to contain the uncontrollable thirst for pre-arranged bloodshed and 3/4 strength punches. I don't honestly know how I'm going to fill the hole left in my life when I am no longer routinely dropping close friends dangerously on their spinal columns. The Scriptures say plainly, "suplex not thy mother, suplex not thy father...nor shalt thou applieth any of the chicken wings, scorpions (Oriental nor Death Lock), or any which may resulteth in the forcible submission of your kin to you; for it is only to God that we submit, and we do so humbly. Humbly, piously, and for good measure, a little flagellation probably wouldn't hurt" (Leviticus 11.14). It's been many a moon since I had a pool of dispensable* livestock upon which to release my Dr. Death urges...
*Still a point of strong contention between my old man and me...
I mean...realistically, let's not kid ourselves...I'll probably pop back up from time to time down the road, delusional about the degree to which my capacity has diminished, and disgrace myself for a few bucks and some extrinsic validation...but I assure you that--for all intents and purposes--my days as an active wrestler are done. I place a tremendously high value on stoicism, so I would hope that few people have seen me limping around, looking pitiful...but the chronic pain is growing evermore relentless, and alas, I still have to go work a day job once all the shrapnel is pulled out of my head and the blood is showered off. I have always prided myself on having a fairly high threshold for pain, which is why I have excelled in this bizarre field. But that only accounts for short term, instantaneous infliction of pain… It's the dull ache and the difficulty with basic movements when you're loading boxes or running a machine or [Choose your own adventure] that are would really get you in the end. Unlike Doogie Houser M.D. or Diagnosis Murder, I am not a doctor... but with that important bit of prefacing out-of-the-way, I would say it is unlikely I will ever stop suffering from some degree of this chronic pain. I came by it honestly, I asked for it, and never in a million years would I beg sympathy... but my acceptance of responsibility, cause-and-effect, and my understanding of consequences do nothing to negate the fact that it SUCKS. It's a total lottery draw too… Some days I wake up and cartwheel my way into the kitchen so that I can do the dishes and get my handstand push-ups out-of-the-way simultaneously… Other days I have trouble standing erect in the shower, and wonder why the lid to the shampoo seemingly requires a prybar in order that I might reap it's volumizing wonders. While the good days make me second-guess this decision to leave (and imbue me with the suspicion that I may very well be the Thunder God reincarnated...), the "showering is hard" days bring me back down to earth and drive home the point that perhaps I had best not exacerbate these problems any further. No matter how badass exacerbating problems undeniably is.
One of the biggest annoyances about bringing to close a chapter of your life is that you are then unable to resist looking back over it as a whole and trying to assess its value. It is of no worth to do this, but something within human nature dictates that we determine whether or not the choice was, on the whole, a good or a bad one. You may also notice, at a juncture of this nature in your life, that you are apparently not the only one who gets to weigh in... indeed, all manner of voices will rise to your ears from among the riffraff to share with you their take on how you've lead your life. Hitler, for example--while pretty widely regarded as having made some serious faux paus, and generally looked at as someone who did a "botch job" with his life – – probably would've assessed himself otherwise. Now I'm not saying that his opinion was more valid than that of the masses, simply because it was his life to live… Generally, when mass graves come into play, the decision whether or not to award yourself a gold star is taken out of your hands forever.
I'm not sure this analogy leads anywhere… I just wanted to make that Hitler joke.
What I was really getting at was this, "Was it worth it? Am I glad that I chose the path that I did?"
I have a number of aunts, uncles, and cousins who wouldn't say that I was very successful in this industry at all… And I would be hard-pressed to pose a fiscally-based argument to sway them. Conversely, if I choose to look at the glass as half full…
<Which is not generally my nature; I'm more of a "the glass is half empty and who the hell is responsible?!?" kind of guy, just before I start making outrageous accusations against the bartender and any nearby patrons and am invariably 86'd...>
I could easily take solace in the fact that I have well exceeded my expectations by becoming a fairly well respected member of the community I sought to join, and getting to travel all over the world without ever having done anything that would really warrant that much money being spent to bring me anywhere. I met a lot of cool and interesting people, and a great many more uncool and uninteresting people...I've somehow conned people into wearing shirts emblazoned with ridiculously boastful and borderline sacrilegious claims about my status in relation to religion...I was once sent a custom-made set of CZW Pogs (Nick Gage was, of course, The Slammer)... the list of positives is a long one. Although there are certainly some solemn memories tied to my wrestling experience, I would have to say that the number of tremendous anecdotes, great friends, and good memories of good times (whether or not they are real memories, or just my brain filling in gaps and trying to repair damage portions) greatly outweighs The myriad arguments with DJ and even the Rotten/Gram low points.
Truth be told, I don't know that anyone will read this, nor do I really care. This decision has weighed heavily on me and is going to present a difficult transition for me. I have always found writing to be cathartic, so that is why I have opted to put these thoughts in this format. If anyone has gotten this far, allow me to close by saying this…Yesterday was TOD. It was not a good day for me. The culmination to a lengthy feud, which I have every confidence was going to be exciting and stand up to my requirements for it, fell apart less than five minutes in when one of my opponents (an extremely integral part of the match) badly injured his foot and could not put weight on it any longer. Obviously, I can't and don't fault him for this unfortunate happenstance, but it was very disappointing to see the match we had in the works crumble into dust. To his credit, Kit Osborne--for no other reason than that he was the one who had shoes on still and was nearest the entryway – – flung himself headlong into something he had absolutely no context for and did everything that was asked of him and more. Granted, it made absolutely no sense in any storytelling capacity… But this is CZW, and while I agree we should continue to strive for improvement going forward, Christ knows it's not the first time that something utterly nonsensical has happened because something else went awry. Remember when that 'deadly ninja assassin/outspoken weed advocate' with the name of a magician "ninja magick'd" his way past security so that he could do a series of poorly executed springboards that culminated in a front flip directly to the floor, all because he was single-handedly looking to start trouble with a collective of angry black fellas for no discernible reason? Within the context of the Great Blazini, Kit Osborne replacing Devon Moore on short notice makes the most sense of anything I have ever heard.
Anyway, to reiterate, I was not over the moon about the way the whole day went… So to anyone and everyone who came up to me at the end of the show (while I was shamelessly hawking my T-shirts for your hard-earned money) and said to me words to the effect of, "thank you for everything you've done; thank you for entertaining us for all these years"... you guys turned my day around with your gratitude and appreciation. I do not provide a service that anyone needs, but I have, if nothing else, striven to entertain during the course of each and every outing in my wrestling career. If I have done that, as so many of you were kind enough to indicate that I had, then I feel like I have accomplished a great deal.
Yesterday afternoon at world-renowned sporting facility, Markland's Little Acres, after trying my hand at off-roading (it's not for me), I made an ann...
The first of what will no doubt be many self indulgent farewells...
June 11, 2017
Alright, listen up…Sami Callahan, as much as I enjoyed your MySpace-styled bedroom threats against me, I’m not going to dignify your paltry attempts a...
8/18/09 (CZWrestling.com Article)
August 18, 2009
Attention: Fans, Comrades, and People Who Force the Inclusion of an Inconvenient Third Category: