General Life and Writing Update, plus the State of WWE

This is the third or fourth week in a row of me trying to write something about Telltale’s Walking Dead game. For some reason that I have yet to ascertain, it’s not happening. I want to write about it, and I feel like I have a lot to say about it, but I can’t seem to translate it onto the page. I’ll leave it at this. As a piece of interactive fiction, it’s spectacular. Probably my game of the year, the best written Walking Dead thing ever, and if you haven’t played it, go remedy that.

So, if I’m not talking dead, what am I talking about? Truthfully, I don’t know. We’re seventeen days into December, and I don’t really have much to show for it. I’ve made a couple of small efforts to return to Post-Apocalipstick, but nothing has really come of it yet. I’m not giving up on it though. This right here is my promise on that front. And if we hit January, and I’ve shown no signs of getting my arse in gear, please link me back to this and point out what a lazy fuck I’m being. I’ve got the last bits planned out, including several possible endings, so I’m running out of excuses to not get back to it.

In terms of other writing, I’ve not written much since Boy of the Market. I have a short story that may or may not end up finished and on here. It’s quite similar to Boy in terms of being an informal character piece as opposed to a fleshed out plot, but it’s much longer. Just over 2000 words and nowhere near done. Feel free to ask me about that one in a couple of weeks too, if I don’t seem to be doing anything creative.

In other news, after all these months of searching, I have a couple of job interviews lined up finally. IT stuff, tech support, that sort of thing. I’m quite looking forward to getting started at a job, if only to fill my days and make some money while I figure this whole writing thing out.

The final thing I’d like to talk about is wrestling. I’ve left it for last so anyone really not interested can skip it. I was really into (at the time) WWF from probably about 2000 until around 2004 or 2005. I find it hard to pinpoint when I stopped, but I’m pretty sure the Evolution stable was still a thing, and Wikipedia tells me they lasted through 2004.

What I’m getting at is that I watched the tail end of the Attitude Era, the time that most fans (including myself) consider the best time to have been into the product. The Rock and Stone Cold had a series of legendary matches, Undertaker and Kane were on again/off again rivals and brothers, Brock Lesnar carved a path through the roster and had one of my favourite feuds ever with Kurt Angle, and with the Dudley Boys, the Hardy Boys, Edge & Christian, the APA, Too Cool etc, the tag division has arguably never been better.

I started watching again with the 2012 Royal Rumble, and I have to wonder what’s changed. The storytelling has gone downhill, and far. Don’t get me wrong, wrestling is dumb. I know that. But there always seemed to be things happening in the early 2000s. Now we have shows which are more about the people in charge (General Managers) than the wrestlers themselves. They have a wide variety of talent in guys like CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Dean Ambrose, Alberto Del Rio, Damien Sandow, Cody Rhodes, as well as the older guard like Kane or John Cena. But their storylines are being squandered by constant promos of whoever is GM this month doing… things?

Another thing in steep decline is the actual in ring storytelling. While that has improved a bit recently with an excellent series of matches between Punk and Bryan, Punk and Cena, and Punk and the Ryback (noticing a pattern?) there are a lot of wrestlers who can’t seem to execute anything but the same match over and over. Alberto Del Rio is very good at in ring storytelling. Watch him next time he’s on. He’ll focus all of his moves on his oppponent’s one arm, building to his submission finisher. But pair him for half a year with the black hole of charisma and talent that is Sheamus, and his potential is being squandered.

If you can find it, watch the iron man match between Lesnar and Angle. Lesnar sacrificed a fall by beating seven shades of shit out of Angle with a chair, only to score two pinfalls on him to get ahead. And it’s that sort of storytelling and planning that’s missing. Everything leads to a wrestler’s Five Moves of Doom. Every tag team match has that structure where the heel team will keep the weaker face in their corner until the face comes back with a power move, then both guys have to crawl to their corners for the hot tag, and the faces win clean or the heels cheat.

That whole thing was probably a little disjointed, but I’ll finish with a salient point. WWE is not competing with TNA. For my time, and for the time of their other viewers, they are competing with a whole slate of entertainment, including high drama shows like Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Mad Men. I’ve been watching Breaking Bad lately, and it occurred to me that hiring writers like Vince Gilligan could really help them get their storylines back on track. After all, what does Walter White go through if it’s not a heel turn?

That’s enough for today. I’ll be back next week with something about something, I hope.

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