|Our 2nd Anniversary||
MY ANNIVERSARY PIECE
Yeah, I'm late. Later than CRZ, even.
Hey, I can't sit here and say I was writing at the [slash] from it's installation in July 1999, but I was very much a dedicated reader back then. I remember the day I logged onto the internet, probably from school, and found out that Wrestlemaniacs was no longer Wrestlemaniacs. It had a different font, new writers, and it had gone all blue. Wrestlemaniacs had become Wrestleline. It was a corporate buy-out, so we were told. Like most readers of Wrestlemaniacs, I didn't like it from the start. Granted, it had most of the old Wrestlemaniacs writers (I think Brian French may have been the only casualty of the changeover), but it had lost the edge it once had. Online Onslaught was still there, alongside articles like Micasa's news, and so were CRZ's recaps. Wrestlemaniacs is a very fondly remembered site for me. It was a site which I started reading every so often when I could actually get on the internet. It was probably the first wrestling site which I started reading at least semi-regularly. Wrestlemaniacs was the site which proved that a wrestling site run by true wrestling fans for true wrestling fans could succeed and achieve great stardom as opposed to a corporate backed site with droneesque writers. Wrestleline was the site CRZ rebelled against.
So went the story. CRZ formed [slash] around the time of the Wrestlemaniacs switch over, and the rest is history. CRZ wasn't the only one initially displeased with the whole Wrestleline product and the censorship (read: Rantsylvania), but I think it was his site which achieved the most as being a breath of fresh air alternative to the Wrestleline debacle.
Here we are two years on, 2.2 million hits and a load of bruised egos later. [slash] is still going, and going strong. CRZ is *still* working his ass off churning out what I like to call classy weekly wrestling recaps. I'm still reading the [slash], have been since it begun, and now I've taken to writing here (I can't even remember when I started).
After these two years (and maybe a little before, as well), I've come to realize just how much has changed in the wrestling world whilst we've been online. The entire landscape has drastically changed. Contracts have been broken, promotions have folded, and wrestlers have died. To tell you the truth (and I think I've actually started to get to the point now) it's getting harder to comment on the wrestling world. What with the WWF as not only the dominant wrestling promotion in the US, but also the only wrestling promotion, it's getting harder and harder to talk about wrestling. Maybe it's this anniversary thing which has got me all philosophical, or maybe I really am onto something here? I can't explain it, not that well anyway. What you've just read in this here paragraph is about as good an explanation as any-it's just getting hard writing about wrestling.
Yeah, I know, this is really starting to sound like some kind of a retirement speech, but bare with me. I think the base of it is the fact that since I came online (sometime in the summer of 1998) the internet wrestling community has changed dramatically. It's expanded (ing). Maybe for the better (or maybe for the worse), I think it's too early to tell just yet. It's crowded. So many sites want your hits and clicks. There are so many writers practically begging for page views. We've got writers literally ripping off other writers like day light robbery. Maybe we have too many people in this little internet community. But who am I to say what or when is too much?
That got me to thinking about being a smart (smark?) fan. No, I'm not going to go on a rant about the differences between marks and smarks. I'll save you that. There are people who can do that better than I could ever think about doing it. What it got me to thinking about was what outside people (like people in real life) would think about the internet wrestling community. Ever tried telling a friend about what it's like reading and talking about wrestling online? Maybe you know the feeling. They just don't understand. A lot of people just don't understand wrestling and the internet, let alone the two together, for whatever reasons.
What I think it comes down to is that a lot of people enjoy reading and writing about wrestling on the internet, and I think we should all keep doing it. Whether you're Mr. Ryder at 1wrestling.com, or Mr. Bloggs at stonecold316.com, I believe you'll (or is that we'll?) always have an audience. And after all, an audience is what's really important in this "business," isn't it? What's the point in somebody writing their heart felt thoughts about Monday's Raw is War if no one's going to read it? I think feedback is important, too. Which is why I always e-mail a writer who I think has put in a lot of effort and passion into their work. This internet wrestling community is still around, it's been around a long time, and I think that it may just be around for a lot longer.
As long as CRZ is still pumping out passionate wrestling recaps, and as long as the community still has at least one reader, I'll be here reading and writing.
Thanks for the good times, CRZ.