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Tanvir Raquib




Every week gives me another thing to look forward to.

Another album by some cheezy pop star that will probably be my guilty pleasure.

Another reason to hate Metallica.

And finally, another batch of professional wrestling to soak my teeth into.

Well, scratch that last one.

I don't really look forward to watching professional wrestling as much anymore. The "what will happen next" element is all but killed. I still watch the show as obsessively as I did in the past, but I'm more willing to change the channel during the 20 minute mic sessions.

There was a time when I was really curious to know what was going to happen next - but the Rock, who is the center of everything that is wrestling right now, doesn't grab my attention and neither do alot of the main event storylines. I find myself digging the midcard feuds alot more - it's too bad that not as much time is put into them as this Rock-HHH feud is. I dislike the Rock's character - he represents every arrogant jock that I've been jealous of. The one who thinks he's 'all that' and all.

I dug Stone Steve Austin, however.

Unlike the Rock, he grabbed my markish throat and MADE me tune in.

His character was great, in my opinion. I didn't like him stunnering Vince that first time in MSG. Remember, Vince was still playing a tweener owner at the time. But that was during my non-Internet smark days so forgive me.

Anyhow, I really gave a damn about wrestling at that time - be it RAW or Nitro.

The Hart Foundation made me give a shit.

Stone Cold Steve Austin made me give a shit.

And the nWo - they REALLY made me give a shit.

I learned about the nWo from reading the Apter magazines at my local Genovese drug store. I was the dude standing in the last aisle reading through the wrestling magazines. I also was the dude looking around to make sure that none of the employees would see me looking through the magazine. I occasionally would swipe a magazine inside my coat - but it would usually be a basketball magazine.

>From what I remember standing there and looking through the magazines, a couple of things stick out.

Number 1: I must've really been hard up for cash back then.

Number 2: I thought the nWo was a shoot - a real thing. And maybe, just maybe wrestling wasn't a work. I remember one magazine with the front page headline reading 'Will Hogan Buy WCW?"

Don't look down on me too much. I didn't even get cable back then.

Anyhow, once I got cable, I was really interested in the nWo concept. The first Nitro that I ever watched was Spring Break '97. That was the one where the lights and the sound went off during DDP's interview. Remember that one, CRZ?

It hooked me to the product. I wanted to watch more. And I would continuously watch - week after week after...

But then I got some stable Internet access. A real account that I could call my own. Err...let's forget that last statement.

I learned about these problems WCW was having.

Bad, repetitive and annoying announcers.

Talented wrestlers not getting a push.

Too much Hogan.

And that's when i started getting more critical of the product. Everytime I went to a wrestling site, it seemed another ounce of my markish tendencies were being drained out of me.

Sometimes, I miss that original mark inside of me.

The mark who actually cheered Tugboat.

The mark who actually believed the "Hogan is Wrestling" propoganda.

The mark who actually liked Schiavone's commentary.

I could go on and on, but it would only serve to lower me even more in some of your eyes. Nevertheless, the mark inside of me was not very anal about the wrestling product.

But what about now? Where is that mark? Well...

My love for pro graps has lessened. I no longer anxiously await the 'Benoit-Jericho' match that I did even a year ago.

Now, when I watch a match like that, I sometimes think to myself "Hmm, how many stars is this?" Doesn't that just blow? I should be watching the match and letting it entertain me.

That's how bad my Internet smarkdom can get at times. But all is not lost - as long as there's a Heat, Worldwide or a Hardcore, I'm seem to be a bit more secure for some reason. Those shows seem to make me cling to my markdom a little more than the flagship shows.

But the love I had for pro graps through my markdom has been replaced with a sometimes rote habit of "just tuning in because it's Monday" - now with a smark's skepticism.

And that kinda sucks.

Tanvir Raquib
The Firestarter
Oracles of Delphi

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