Three days in, three hundred and fifty three to go. In yesterday’s edition of Grappling With The Past, we took a look briefly at the ill-fated reformation of one of WWE’s most popular Attitude Era stables in D-Generation-X. Today’s edition is going to be a little bit different than the previous two, and I apologize in advance if today’s edition isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea, because I know it won’t. This won’t be so much a look back as it will be just a general rambling. Before we get into today’s topic, there’s some fitting song lyrics I want to put in here:
I’m losing my only dream, I can use some guiding light, some place to go, if you hear me let me know.
–Save Me, by Avenged Sevenfold.
I’m sure there’s going to be at least one person who reads this and wonders why I’d bother quoting an Avenged Sevenfold song, but again, it’s fitting based on today’s topic. Escapism is a funny word, and one that I feel many of us are familiar with in today’s times. The simple truth is that there is so much misery, so many things that we just don’t want to see happen. Good people suffer terrible fates, and bad people suffer just the same. In all of this misery, suffering, and general bleakness of late, escapism is a very important word. We all have, in some ways, a guiding light: something we can keep up with/follow that keeps us from remembering the harsh reality we face. Some may say that’s plain ignorance, but I feel it’s important to have an outlet to escape whatever may happen in today’s world.
For a lot of us, that outlet is professional wrestling, and for good reason too. When it’s done right, captivating characters, amazing ring-work, and high quality production can really teleport a viewer to an almost different world. For me in particular, there’s a time in my life where things weren’t very good at all, and WWE in particular was an escape from reality, and a very entertaining one at that. For all of it’s flaw, all of it’s short-comings, WWE does do a really good job of immersing people in their product, and I think that’s the best complement you can give a product in this day and age.
One of the best examples I can give of this is the current product on Tuesday night’s SmackDown Live. While many gave the brand a bleak outlook in many post-draft scenarios, it’s risen from the ashes in one of the most entertaining ways possible. I’ve never fully enjoyed watching a current-day WWE product as much as I have with the evolution of SmackDown Live.