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Our 2nd Anniversary

Matt Spaulding




OK, so the second anniversary was actually a week ago. My brain's been clogged, and technology's been a bitch on wheels to me. (My TV is DYING.)

Two years. A million-plus hits. Wow. I'm not sure what's more amazing; that CRZ's been able to keep his sanity running this MASSIVE place by himself for two years, or that I've been a part of it for most of that time.

I started this gig with... a letter, of course, right after the Radicalz showed up:

First of all, in honor of Mr. Wight's new haircut and the new look that comes with it, I believe it is time for him to be re-christened as: "Well, It's The Buff Show." ("Well, It's the Big Buff" or "Buff Is The Big Show" could also work.)

I was originally going to offer to do a recap of some sort, but all the shows are taken (well, except for the U.S. version of Metal),

And I'm now glad I DIDN'T attempt this... (cheap plug alert) I recently recapped the Iron Chef 2000th Dish Special at The Oracles' War Room. It took me two days to write it, and I gained a new respect for Our Gracious Host and all the others like him who have ever recapped anything anywhere ever.

so instead I figured I'd try out a fantasy booking column like Kevin used to do on WL (whatever happened to Kevin, anyway? ). I don't really know if it could be a weekly thing or not - maybe something that could go once a month, or after a pay-per-view or something like that.

CRZ's reply?

Sure, why not.

Low-key as always. But somehow, this made an installment of "I Get Letters", and there he said that he'd put it up even though he normally didn't like fantasy stuff. I really should ask him why at some point - I keep forgetting to. Still, 60-plus (!) columns later and I'm still here - I must be doing SOMETHING right.

It's amazing to me how much "Idea Man" has changed in the almost year-and-a-half I've been writing it. Once I realized I couldn't fantasy book every week no matter how hard I tried, I started to pay closer attention to the angles we were being presented with to figure out what was going on; what made sense, what didn't, and what might come of it. Later, I'd start doing "post-angle" analysis, talking about what worked or didn't work and WHY I thought it worked or didn't work. "Idea Man" has evolved into becoming about ALL of the ideas, not just my own.

Also, simply writing put me in touch with other fans and writers who had their own praises, criticisms, and ideas of their own. Not long after I started, I exchanged some e-mails with mdb regarding the Great Vampiro "Push" of 2000. Whenever I say "Wrestler X needs this win more" in one of my PPV previews, that's where I got that from. The late, lamented EmZee/Slash Wrestling Forum on Delphi, and later CRZ's own ezboard, also let me talk to other people and get their perspectives on things. Feedback RULES. Not only is it good for the ego (it's tangible proof that people are reading your stuff), and not only does it help make you a better writer, I've discovered that I'm a better (I hesitate to use the word "smarter" given its multiple meanings) wrestling fan now than I was when I started doing this.

So why haven't I been writing as much lately? The easy answer is that with ECW disappearing and WCW being bought, once Austin settled into his heel turn, there wasn't really all that much to write about. I also haven't had as much time to write this year, with my new job doubling my commuting time and looking for an apartment in the meantime.

I also found that I could talk about some of my better ideas on the ezboard that normally would have grown into full-fledged columns (back in May, I was one of the ones calling for Kurt Angle to be sent over to help rebuild WCW) and I've gotten instant feedback from there as well. I suggest checking it out. (Good Foley, I'm turning into a shill.)

The other reason was something that I didn't really notice until Backlash time, probably because that's when it was at its peak: a sudden shift on the Internet towards decrying that whatever direction the WWF took was going to suck. While that's all fine and dandy - you can think what you want - my problem was with the fact that people were damning it to Abject Failure mere seconds after it started.

That didn't sit well with me. And the reason it didn't is simple - it just isn't smart to try to pass judgment on angles mere moments after they've started because we have no clue. No one knows for sure what will get over and what will bomb until it's launched and allowed to take shape. Minds are changed all the time. In fact, you could say that in professional wrestling, the only constant IS change. (And if Raw didn't teach y'all that, I can't help you.)

And that's WHY I do this thing that I do - I love the possibilities. I love the potential. I love seeing things as they are and wondering what they could be, and I love the feeling of seeing my own expectations surpassed. I'm a mark for the lucky guess, the off-the-wall revelation, the moment of clarity. I'm analytical. I think too damn much. It's my nature.

Two years. Man, this place has changed. It's strange for me, now being one of the "elder statesmen" of [slash] - when I started here, Jerry Root, Chris Jones, Dartmouth Dan Doomsday, Brady Porche, Michaelangelo ("Good, Bad, and Ugly" may have been the greatest thing EVER), Butch Rosser (with the possible exception of "Word From the Butchster"), Sharon Austin, and Mr. Rob T ran this yard, so to speak. Sharon and I are still kicking around, but now a lot of the talent is coming from the ezboard, with guys like Shaddax, Y Pac, and a man who calls himself Dean Malenko making sure that [slash] remains bigger than CRZ - or, I'd bet, any of us - thought it would be.

Speaking of that, when CRZ invites us to "join the crew," he sets modest goals for anyone who takes the plunge:

So what can I offer you in return for generating content? Well, "fame and fortune" is probably an exaggeration, but any kind of rub you think might exist from appearing on a site associated with "CRZ" can be yours! If you have a URL you'll get it seen, and maybe somebody will send you some email feedback. And isn't COMMUNICATION what it's all about?

No? Well, maybe it can lead somewhere else down the road. Who knows?

In-DEED. The [slash] Alumni Society is a proud group.

I met both Rob and Butch through [slash], and when Rob started, he brought us over, along with Sharon and other people far more famous in The Community than us. Scott Rees has his own wrestling site. Ian Challis arrived here late last year and is now doing stuff for the Shooters, as is Digable James Cobo, who was here before Rant Central (R.I.P.) picked him up. Josh Haggard passed through, went on to do some stuff for and ShootAngle, and just opened less than two weeks ago.

[slash] wrestling rules.

It's true.

It's DAMN true.

Matt Spaulding
The Oracles' War Room

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