A Mistake Becomes Who You Are Submitted by LoneLee on 10/20/2018 at 01:33 PM
“A mistake becomes who you are.” A quote taken from the season finale of Better Call Saul, spoken by the insidious titular character. It’s a harsh generation we live in, not just as a wrestling community, but also as individuals in our cultivating society. Controversy has its way of manifesting into our minds and spread across a simple social media post. Sometimes we take for granted the power we have and the privilege we’ve been given with freedom of speech without thinking. Unfortunately, one thing that will never seem to change is the fact that one bad deed cancels out a hundred good. Does that make it right? Has it ever? It’s an opinion, as is the body of our page. Or do we as human beings disregard the contingency of comprehending and understanding in favor of the intent to react and respond impetuously?
That is a line paraphrased and borrowed from the always outspoken Austin Aries. He recently made waves on Twitter by exemplifying discriminatory remarks in a tweet before deleting it. Rather than reading and understanding the context of his message (a heat generating work for a feud by the way) followers were verbally outraged at the slurs used. While his presentation may have come off extreme and unquestionably attention grabbing, I believe he made a valid point when stating that it isn’t okay to height shame someone, short or tall. Height can be as genetically inclined as girth, race, or mental disability, so does it make it okay to jest those with less than average stature? Putting it in that context degrades a group that isn’t of the vast majority. All we need in this overly offended generation is another hot-button, but I must ask, where do we draw the line on ridicule and disparaging remarks? Certain gimmicks do not age well. Goldust with Tourette syndrome wouldn’t be cool nor funny now. Eugene? Cryme Tyme? The list goes on. Maybe in years to come, height jokes will be a thing of the past. Whether you choose to laugh it off or not I challenge you to answer that.
Before going on a tirade (sorry, only being 5’5” has always irritated me) my original point was that Aries was barraged for comments and nearly blackballed by the wrestling community. See, sometimes we as fans tend to let things go and others we never forget. Let’s look at independent wrestler Chasyn Rance. Firstly, I want to make it clear going forward that I am not stating my personal opinion, I am merely presenting every side of an argument I can conceive. My thoughts and considerations. I am in no place to judge or condemn anyone, but I’ll get to that. Rance is a convicted sex offender that has served the time he’s been sentenced and paid the required dues determined. Does that make him a free man? Of course not. He wrestled a decent dark match at an indie show and no one was the wiser until he was recognized by a fan. That mistake will likely be how he is labeled in the future going forward. If that’s the case, what place does he have in society that will deem him acceptable? There’s no name or credential that could persuade people to find a hint of redeemable qualities.
…Which brings me to something I’ve internally debated on writing about in the last couple of weeks or not. Hulk Hogan. Again, I don’t want to turn this into a debate if what Hulk did was passable or not. The fact of the matter is none of us know him, nor were we in the room when he apologized to the locker room. Apparently, his apology had been recorded for a future WWE Network special but has yet to see the light of day. We’ve all heard from current and past stars of all credence and color who’ve both forgiven or condemned Hulk. All that does is exemplify that everyone has their own opinions, no one’s right or wrong. Unlike Chasyn Rance, Hulk has the history of accomplishments and accolades to give a lot of people mixed emotions given the circumstance. Think about that. Does the fact that he is who he is give him a pass for the comments he made or is it the fact that such a widely regarded hero from our childhood disappoint us in a candid moment of ultimate humility? I guess it depends if you’re a forgiving person or a judgmental person. Would Chasyn Rance have the same debate if he were as popular as Hulk Hogan? We’ll never know. Is it fair to compare derogatory remarks to sex offending? Probably not. The point is, a mistake has become their everlasting identity.
One of the opinions presented after Hulk’s apology was that of the New Day. Their joint statement was both eloquent and relatable. This paragraph might be the most difficult for me to write being the huge New Day mark that I am, with a shelf and closet full of merchandise to prove it but for the sake of the article I feel I need to present this. In the statement they said they feel “indifferent” toward Hogan and that nothing else would be said on the matter going forward. A number of weeks later on Austin Creed’s YouTube show, young NXT upstart Brennan Williams used Hulk’s famous phrase “Whatcha gonna do, Brother?” during a game. A usually jovial Austin appeared stern, looked to the ground and suggested “Maybe a different phrase.” Surprisingly, this wasn’t edited out of the WWE produced show. The show is supposed to be a fun time so why leave in that inconsequential moment of uncomfortable awkwardness? (I’m a little bit curious to see if Austin edits Hollywood Hogan from the upcoming episodes of WWE Smackdown Shut Your Mouth.)
Their statement also stated “Perhaps if we see (Hulk) make a genuine effort to change, then maybe our opinion will change with him. Time will tell.” In the following weeks, on a Table for 3 appearance Austin Creed joked about a fan tracking him down after being blocked on Twitter. Not giving the fan a chance to redeem himself online but stating in person they could still have a pleasant conversation. It’s his choice who he blocks or not, as is all of ours. But what does it really mean? Even if Austin were to become friends over the course of time with that guy would he be forever labeled by that mistake he made? Does time or effort really change any of our minds? And if so, what kind of effort for the given situation?
I want to close with this: I know the attention our articles can garner on the wrestling community. I want to thank Aaron and the rest of the NoDQ family for giving me this platform to express my opinions. But these thoughts are mine, and in no way reflect anyone else in any way. So NoDQ fans, when we have an opinion it is a great thing, tis our right as human beings to act accordingly. But are we quicker to condemn faults and controversies, short-comings, and irrational behavior then we are to assess the entire situation? Do we act based on what were told or based on what we actually know? When we shut someone out for a mistake, are we closing the door on them or are we really just holding onto the knob? And what kind of result does that have on us as individuals in the long run?