|Our 3rd Anniversary||
DOING THAT VOODOO
I don't know how he does it.
Three-plus years and I still haven't figured it out.
I say "three-plus" because I started reading CRZ's recaps on the late, not-particularly-lamented WrestleLine when it first started in 1999 before he opened [slash]. He was doing Raw and Nitro then. [slash] opened in July, and SmackDown! debuted as a regular series in August and he added that to his recapping duties. He was ALSO putting his unedited, unsplit recaps up on his site, AND updating it with reader-written content five days a week.
He took over Thunder for WL in March 2000. So at this point in time, we're talking about one person running his own website and updating it every day, as well as recapping eight hours of wrestling per week for TWO websites. He gave up Thunder later in the year, but WOW started up. That died out, then WCW got purchased, but take one look at the [slash] community and you'd never think that CRZ was doing less work (and he's not.)
I don't know how he does it, but I know now how hard it is ever since I've started doing it.
About six weeks ago, I took over the regular Raw recapping gig at ohemgee.com (a site which basically owes its entire existence to [slash] - webmaster Josh Haggard, SmackDown! recapper Butch Rosser and I all started as writers here once upon a time), and although I'd done a couple of fill-in appearances, I didn't really know just what I was getting into by committing myself to a weekly recap. Plus, I hadn't developed any sort of style.
There's a heavy CRZ influence in my recaps because after you read his recaps, you know exactly what you missed. You know what happened, why it happened, and who it happened to. You know who said what, how he said it, and how the crowd felt about it. I'm not nearly as thorough as he is - I don't transcribe complete interviews, which, when I first started reading him, was the most remarkable aspect of what he did - and I don't know how long it takes him to do them, but I know how long it takes to do mine, and mine are about half as comprehensive as his are.
It was said better somewhere else quite some time ago, but I think one of the biggest reasons people who read CRZ's recaps prefer them is that while he'll tell you how he feels about something, he won't tell you how YOU feel about something. Sure, you may agree with him, or you may not. But he gives the reader the freedom to make that decision on his own without shoving his opinions down your throat. (He's almost too subtle sometimes. But after you read him for a while, you start picking up on things.)
After three years of [slash], I think it's easier to answer the question of why he does it.
Bitchfactor wrote during the one-year anniversary that CRZ takes what he does very seriously, but not seriously enough to the point where it feels like "work". I'll go a step further: I don't think he's ever felt like the world (or at least the wrestling world) would come to an end if he stopped. He's got enough perspective to realize that while he's providing a service, he can't take it too seriously or else risk alienating his audience.
He hasn't made a dime off of [slash], either, though I'm sure he could if he wanted to (and he certainly wouldn't turn down the money to feed his vinyl habit). Three years and over two million hits (is the countdown to 3 million on yet?) is a testament to how he's survived while other sites have faded into history. We have a running joke at OMG about how many wrestling sites have bought it since we went online ourselves just a year ago. Nobody expects this place to join that list.
CRZ and [slash] have flourished for the same reason his recaps are so popular - he doesn't impose his will unless he absolutely has to. He does his thing and the rest of us pretty much do what we want, and everyone's happy. [slash] has always been as much our (the writers?) site as it's been his.
In short, he does this because he wants to.
I still don't know HOW he does it.
But I respect the hell out of him for it.