When you have a passion you don’t ask questions, you just push ahead. When you’re in the groove you don’t second guess it. If you feel the pull and love the rush, you’re going up- not down. You hear from many who show the scars but, never have felt the wound. It is talked about and yet never truly defined. It’s love. And love is blind.
Corner 2 Corner: What I love about this business
Hello everybody! I hope we’re all successfully over our post-Wrestlemania/Superstar Shake-Up hangovers. The past couple of weeks have been a nonstop ride. There were victories celebrated and defeats mourned. We saw the rise of “The Man” and we rode the roller coaster called “Kofimania.” We saw teams separated, heard of requests for releases, and even saw a new show claimed for “The Yard.” In short, there’s much to talk about in the way of news and rumor. Most of which, has been talked to death in whichever dirtsheet you typically read. Look to the Observer if you want to read speculation. Look to a lot of others to simply cut and paste news. That’s what we see a lot of, right?? I know you probably get tired of that much like I do.
I’ve enjoyed NXT, WWE, and independent wrestling for many years. The excitement felt of big debuts and major victories is difficult to duplicate. The desire to work inside that same industry is one that so many of us feel but, only a chosen few are allowed to try. By allowed, I don’t mean to say that the business sets rules to keep us out. What I mean is, only a chosen few take the leap. Some of us feel the pull but, we think “there’s no way.” Truth be told, there IS a way. Always. You just have to believe it. You have to GO with the pull.
A few months back, I got a response here asking “Who are you??”. A valid question. Truth is, I’m nobody special. I’m a guy who loves a business and industry so much that I’m willing to sacrifice myself to get into it. It started simple enough. I was 12 years old and I was a participant in e-wrestling. E-wrestling or “EFEDs” is basically like D&D for pro wrestling. The results back then were simulated with a program called “TNM.” TNM is a very intuitive wrestling simulator program made by a good friend, Oliver Copp. It is perhaps the most successful wrestling simulator for pc in history. Anyhow, when I was 12 I was “efedding” would receive results and promos by email. One day, I got this email from a guy named Eric Baal. Eric was a participant but also an editor. He told us that he was putting together a wrestling newsletter called “The Wrestling Manager.” He asked if anyone wanted to submit a column for his newsletter and said he’d let us know right away if we were accepted. I submitted my entry and hoped he didn’t ask my age. Sure enough, I got a response the next day saying I was selected. In that moment, “Grubb’s View” was born. My first official publication was sent nationwide in August of 1991.
I wrote my column for just under a year. I got feedback from fans by email and also by handwritten letters. It was mind-blowing. My parents told me it was a rare thing to experience but, to savor it for as long as it lasted. The publication went under and I was left with the rush of knowing what it felt like for a complete stranger to read my opinion. It was CRAZY! 12 years old and published? Really? As quickly as the rush hit me, it ended though. I went to the Prodigy. AOL, and even Compuserve message-boards just to find news and rumors. I continued to play in the efeds. I wrote a lot of really bad, really self-centered stuff. I think I wanted to make sure that I was sounding and acting like what I saw on TV. In truth, I really just wanted people to like it.
They didn’t. My writing was pretty typical for a fan. It was NOT so typical for wrestling publications or for truly competitive creative writing contests. That’s pretty much was e-wrestling evolved into. The simulators stopped getting used because of the possibilities for tampering. The feds converted to using promos or roleplays to decide the winners and would update angles and storylines according to their decisions. I ended up realizing that I couldn’t write or envision what actual performers would say but, I could adapt my OWN characters and write their perspectives. I did this and started to see that success came not in the form of wins but, I was able to understand what I was seeing on television.
Life happened as I graduated and started working. I would move out on my own and start living regular life like everyone else. I was BORED by it. I would watch wrestling and that would be my only escape from the boredom of working a 9-5 gig and making whatever I could make. I would hang with my friends and we would all enjoy being spectators. We’d talk about fantasy booking much like you see a lot of us do now. We played armchair quarterback like nobody’s business. The reality of it all was simple. I couldn’t just WATCH. I had to find a way to participate. Any way to participate.
Corner 2 Corner is born
As I continued to watch, work, and efed in my spare time, I was able to find more and more websites for news and rumors. I was in a lot of chat rooms too. The one I was in the most(probably way too much of the time LOL) was #WCW on Turner Entertainment’s own chat server. This would be during the Monday Night Wars. As the war came to a close and WWE purchased WCW, the chat room closed and I was again without an online outlet to exchange ideas with other fans. A couple years go by and I see a website start called Lords of Pain. It seemed really weird to me but, I remembered a user from the chat room who used to talk about his website from time to time. He went by PainLord. I continued to read the site for a number of years and finally found a forum to start writing in. The LoP Forums is a TREMENDOUS place for unique content and very intelligent fans. I started writing on the forums and after awhile, I was offered a spot on the main page.
Corner 2 Corner was to be my perspective on the industry as well as something that was willing to call readers to action. I encouraged people to write to WWE and demand change. I made as many attempts to challenge the status quo as humanly possible. I am hopeful that when I started in 2003 that I was able to at least entertain those who read it. I know that if I was being graded on previous work I wouldn’t have scored high for grammar or punctuation, but I feel like I made a statement that was different than the others. I looked up to Tito and the other main page writers as they were captivating in their submissions. As things progressed, I was excited to move Corner to Corner to multiple sites along the way. I would ultimately stop writing as I was working more and more. I got married, had some kids, and found that writing about the industry I love was difficult when I wasn’t solely focused on it.
Fast forward to 2009 when I get the chance to start podcasting. I know, it reads like a review from “The Comic Book Guy” from the Simpsons. I worked with a lot of different fans and was able to learn so much from names like Ivan Koloff, Babydoll, Fast Eddie Layne, and Mark James. As my life continued to change, I was introduced to Ultimate Championship Wrestling and Mr Devore. I want to be clear, I’m not writing this to give “inside” info. That’s just not going to happen here. My two co-hosts, Rob and Brian, and I were invited to a test run for play by play commentary. Imagine, three lifelong fans getting a chance to sit down and call the action. It was the best! Sitting at a table with head phones and a mic telling the world what we see and hear is the most thrilling thing I have ever experienced outside of becoming a dad.
When you can sit and watch two wrestlers go hold for hold, you have to make sure you’re describing the action in a way where you can tell someone what’s going on as if they couldn’t see it. Sometimes when you see a move that knocks your socks off you have to try to convey the power of it. I never understood why I heard Vince McMahon or Michael Cole react so dramatically. The shouts of “OH MY GOD!” or “WHAT A DEBACLE!” never made total sense to me until I sat down and started what we do. It’s based on the need to help tell the story. Now, this doesn’t mean that I’m an expert. No way. I’m learning constantly. I listen to our audio and dissect every second that I can. I ask as many people as I can for feedback. Yours included! In fact, you can check out our most recent work on NothingElseOn.TV if you search for UCW.
Wrestling has always been my first true love. The psychology of attacking the arm, making a person scream out in pain and allowing the audience to feel what they feel through the emotional connection is intoxicating. I love the idea that you can pull an audience together to make them cheer or make then call for someone’s head. The ability to soak in the emotion and convey to the viewer just how electric the atmosphere has been is overwhelming. If I could, I’d put each fan at the table for one match so they can see it the way we get to see it. It’s phenomenal. We are truly blessed to have the chances to sit and learn from veterans of the industry. We get to hear about things that don’t need to be said and the things that need to be said more. We hear about paying dues and let me tell you, that happens on all sides. It’s not just the guys in the ring. It’s not just the referees. It’s the security guys, it’s the ring announcers, it’s the family and friends who give their time to help everyone just because they love it.
It’s a family and it’s brotherhood and sisterhood. This isn’t just a business, it’s a lifestyle. I don’t guess I have to tell you guys and gals, do I? You guys are all seeing it. You read about. In fact, none of the things that get done in this business would matter at all if not for you guys. And for that? I’m eternally grateful.
Thank you very much for indulging me this time to talk about my journey. See you next time!
The Show on Twitter: @C2CRadioShow
Ultimate Championship Wrestling: www.ucwforever.com