Thursday, January 12, 2012

Rant #654: Wrestling With My Problems

Just a week ago, I was in a pretty big pickle with jury duty. I didn't know where I was going to be for the next month, and I didn't know what was going on with my place of work related to the time I was going to have to take off to serve on a jury.

Everything was a mess.

But a few months back, I bought Impact Wrestling (formerly TNA) tickets for myself and my son to see professional wrestling at the NYCB Theater in Westbury (formerly the Westbury Music Fair), and looking back, it served as the perfect antidote to what was ailing me.

It was fun. Period.

The newly renamed Impact Wrestling, doesn't, well, have the same impact on professional wrestling as WWE does, and they know it. The WWE controls probably 95 percent of the wrestling here, and the other 5 percent is divided up between other pro organizations, including Impact.

But since Impact only probably has about 2 percent of the pie, what impact does it have?

The organization has been around for about 10 years or so, started as an alternative to the 365 days/24 hours a day rigors of the WWE.

Impact is a bit different. It has a home base at Universal Studios in Orlando, Fla., and although there is some traveling involved--they often do house shows and pay per views away from their home base--about 75 percent of the action takes place in Orlando. Thus, the participants aren't always on as they are with the WWE. There is at least a little wiggle room.

On this occasion, they traveled to Long Island for a house show, and the two-hour event featured the usual professional wrestling stuff, like yelling and screaming, prancing, and egging on the crowd, and it also featured a lot of fine wrestling.

Sure, a lot of it is orchestrated, but these athletes do know what they are doing.

Impact Wrestling has inherited a lot of big names from the WWE, including Kurt Angle, Rick Flair and Gail Kim, but it has made its mark by creating its own stars, like Bobby Roode, Velvet Sky and A.J. Styles.

Most of the main roster was there, the bouts were generally of shorter duration, and the crowd--the place was about 75 percent full--seemed to enjoy the goings on.

I know my son and I did too.

And we saw history. Referee Earl Hebner refereed his 100,000th match in his career that night.

For me, for at least two hours, it took my mind entirely off of my jury duty troubles.

And more importantly, it was a bonding occasion between my son and I. He is now 16, and getting older by the day.

I cherish these moments when he and I can get out and witness a sporting event or a concert, and it serves to make us a bit closer.

So thanks, Impact Wrestling. You did your job that night.

Come again.

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