I consume entertainment. Some more than others. I watch too much TV, I watch too many movies. I don’t really watch sports and I read less books than I should-but I do read. However my two major mediums of entertainment are comic books and pro-wrestling. With comics being my main fandom and wrestling second.
Once I got a job and had a local comic shop, at the time, close by I became very hardcore about product. I followed comics here and there before that but you need money and local comic shop for that, especially before 2000 when purchasing online was nowhere near as easy as it is today. I use to hit the shop every Wednesday after work, if I was working, I’d walk the twenty minutes to the shop and arrive before opening. Or I’d wake up and walk the hour up to the shop and another hour back. Drop anywhere from twenty to seventy five dollars on books every week. Eventually I went to mail order, decreased how much I was spending but still I get a lot of material.
As for wrestling, I have been a lifelong fan. Jumping in and out for periods of time. Mostly WWF(WWE) because that was the thing. In High School I got turned on to WCW and ECW and friends lent me tapes of some of the wrestlers work over in japan as well as just compilations of Puroresu (Japanese Pro-Wrestling). It was eye opening to see such different workers and styles. The problem is availability. Ordering from tape traders never was not something I cared to do but after 2000 I met and friended a tape trader. I got to see the likes of Daniel Bryan when he was Bryan Danielson. CM Punk as a much scrawnier guy in basketball shorts. Ring of Honor was the hot thing. I got to hit up indy shows and have fun. However that friend moved away and I was back to mostly watching WWE and checking out matches on the hot new Youtube. Eventually I started buying Ring of Honor (and a few other company) DVDs online but was in and out. I stuck with Chikara on and off for a few years before fully engaging in damn near every show.
So why has wrestling over taking my love of comics right now? Multiple reasons.
Comics cost more and more per issue or per trade, and when you’re a comic fan you are buying several books a week normally. This adds up. Even with my subscription service discounts I put a monthly cap. Independent wrestling is becoming more and more affordable. DVD’s (and before that VHS) use to be the primary source but with premium VOD services, mp4 downloads it presents multiple choices for the product. While comics have digital too it seems in soem acses those prices are too close to the physical prices. Plus I prefer my books in physical copies where as I have slowly embraced watching shows on the computer.
Another aspect is the industry’s states at the moment. DC comics has my favorite heroes but with the newness of DC’s post-Flashpoint reboot fading I am now buying less than what I did before. I tried some of the best reviewed DC books of the relaunch only to be disappointed. While I am buying more Marvel, most of that is the X-Men which is my fave franchise. Outside that I still mostly care little. The independent comic scene is glorious, Image specifically, but there is so much out there with little previews before hand and a lot of times the only of those books getting reviewed are ones with top creators or almost universal praise. This does not help a person who orders off subscription. I have to go in sight unseen a lot of times.
Wrestling, while WWE is a mixed bag and TNA in general is lousy the independent scene is wide open. Lots of styles and talent who can work multiple companies. Sure, some smaller companies have contracts which prevent them from working some promotions you can still have an ROH contracted wrestler like Kevin Steen face off against a DGUSA/Evolve contracted wrestler like AR Fox in another promotion such as PWG. You don’t even have to worry about having to be there live because it will be available for viewing. A number of the better indy companies present full matches, hype videos, and previews all online to give potential customers a taste. So while jumping into a new promotion means you’ll be missing storyline/feud elements it is never too much a of a deterrent. Its about the end product and at the heart that product is the in ring action.
I love comics, but right now wrestling is my favorite thing. Checking SMVOD everyday for new shows to watch from Chikara, Wretsling Is… and many others. Waiting for match announcements for companies I follow. Even reading show reviews, which I take more seriously than comic book reviews.
Now if only Shimmer and PWG could get their DVDs out quicker I would be happier.