THE DEAD WEB
So what the hell is going on with pro wrestling Web sites these days?
I've been away from the scene for awhile and the whole landscape has changed.
If you were around during the initial Internet wrestling boom of 1996-97, you'll remember that sites were popping up all the bloody time. And not commercial sites, either.
Genuine fan-driven, read-my-opinions, get-results-from-the-pay-per-view, check-out-these-wrestling-chicks, let's-call-someone-a-homo pro wrestling sites.
I ran one of my own, though I never picked on anyone for their sexual preference. Launched it in June of 1997, and I got regular requests in '98, '99 & '00 from people who wanted me to promote their HTML masterpieces.
Most of the time, those masterpieces featured simple white backgrounds with an off-centered logo and a picture of Sable tilting her moneymakers at the camera. Oh, and somewhere, there was a line of text that usually read "UNDDER CONSTUCTION. MORE SABLE PITURES SOON!"
Needless to say, I didn't post too many links.
But it was cool to see all the uploading going on. Because occasionally, someone would post something interesting or funny or cool -- or all of the above.
But over the past few years, things have changed. Those charming sites with the Sable pics have turned into dead links on Geocities or Angelfire. Worse, some of the most popular sites have gone belly-up, or have changed altogether.
I spent most of 2000 and 2001 avoiding wrestling. I needed the break after watching WCW disintegrate from the period beginning with Starrcade '97.
When my interest in wrestling started limping back to life recently, I started to surf.
My goodness the changes. I know you're probably aware of most of them, but if you list them all, it's somewhat impressive to look at.
Wrestling Uncensored dead.
Strictly ECW strictly dead.
Wrestling Tidbits updated infrequently.
DDT Digest posted but not updating.
Slobberknocker Central turned into a poetry site with a wrestling archive. Yes, I wish I was kidding about that.
It's truly staggering. Though not totally surprising. I guess wrestling has entered a new dark age, much like the one in the early '90s that was sandwiched between the WWF's two big eras.
In a few years, perhaps wrestling will be hot again. Several sites will pop up featuring real content, and thousands more will be posted with stolen pictures of whatever monster-boobed chick is hot at the time.
For now, we're lucky we have sites like this one to help us wade through the growing commerciality out there.
Yeah, I know 1wrestling.com is just trying to pay its bills, but damn... I had to close 20 pop-up windows after a short visit there.