Burnout is a type of psychological stress. Burnout is characterized by exhaustion, lack of enthusiasm and motivation, feelings of ineffectiveness, and also may have the dimension of frustration or cynicism, and as a result reduced efficacy within the workplace/hobby/etc.
Frankly, I tend to suffer burnout a lot when it comes to many things. My mind is one of those ones that does not like to be locked into one thing for too long. I crave excitement, stimulation, a challenge. This is why I haven’t had a job for any longer than 6-9 months (unless it’s Call Center work, then it’s usually 3 months) and some projects that I undertake really don’t last any longer than 2 months or so.
Wrestling is the one thing that has survived my mental burnouts time and time again. I’ve been a constant water of WWE, WCW, ECW, Impact Wrestling, NXT, New Japan ProWrestling, and a great many local promotions for the last 20+ years. With the local promotions, I’ve done just about every single job to be done. I’ve worked production (music, lighting, set construction), Ring Crew (Assembling and disassembling the ring), Camerman, Road Agent (A person who works with the wrestlers in what things they want to do in relation to the stories), Booker (The guy who arranges the event from storylines to who is on the show and when), Commentary (Those bored guys on the side making things sound exciting), Referee (That guy wearing stripes), and even wrestling in a few matches too. Now that doesn’t bore me in the slightest and I love every time I’m working an event in whatever fashion…
However, I’m getting bored with WATCHING prowrestling, in particular WWE.
I’ve been watching WWE since the late 80s, during the era of Macho Man Randy Savage, Rowdy Roddy Piper, The Ultimate Warrior and Hulk Hogan. I sat through the ‘Monday Night Wars’ in the mid 90s as World Wrestling Federation (now WWE) and World Championship Wrestling went to war against each other (Though, I never saw it on Monday nights like you Americans did. WWF RAW was on Thursday at 9pm and WCW Nitro was on Saturdays at midday) while the upstart Extreme Championship Wrestling group was throwing people through tables (Via copied VHS tapes that I got through the tape trading system). I was there through Austin 3:16 & “Die Rocky Die!”. I saw Sting drop from the rafters more times than I can count… And yet I was never bored. Hell, I saw Vince & Shane McMahon appear on WCW Nitro as the company was bought out and WWE came into existance in the early 2000s. I’ve seen the best and the worst that wrestling has to offer, but it’s only now that I’m finally sick of seeing it.
I have no idea why it is happening. We’re in the midst of a ‘wrestling revival’ when it comes to crossover stars like John Cena appearing in movies, TV shows, and memes. We see WWE Divas appearing on TV talk shows to promote not only WWE, but the Total Divas TV show on E. One of the upcoming popular Youtube channels is run by a wrestler who plays video games with other wrestlers. So why is it that during this time of popularity for wrestling as a pop cultural event do I feel bored by it? I guess I started to explain it. Wrestling, or the wrestlers in it, are more interesting and exciting outside of the ring than they are in the ring every single Monday, Wednesday and Thursday night.
Every single week it’s the same program on repeat: The Authority (A bad guy group with head members Triple H & his wife Stephanie McMahon) comes out and bores me to death with a promo (segment of the show that is 100% talking) about how they know what is “best for business” and that the current babyface (good guy) is nothing and that what they say goes, blah blah blah… And I’m asleep already. This is usually followed up with things like: Dolph Ziggler losing to someone, the female wrestlers getting next to no match time in the ring, Roman Reigns trying to make jokes about his next PPV (Pay-Per-View, a monthly paid event meant to end storylines), more Authority bullshit, more crappy midcard (middle of show) matches, a New Day promo segment, more Divas bullshit, then a main event that was put together at the beginning of the show. All this does is create predictability.
Not to sound old or anything, but back in my day, even with my knowledge of how wrestling is done; I was excited to see people in the ring, talking on the microphone, having people appear at random, and even all in brawls. All of this made for a show that I would be excited to see all week, and then once I watched it I was excited to talk about it till the next episode. Today, I respond to the shows with “Well, that was a thing that happened”.
Something that could be creating this burnout, other than the predictable nature of the shows, is the fact that I do a podcast on another website about wrestling every Sunday night. I’ve been doing it for almost 10 years come hell, high water, or gainful paid employment. So maybe I’m just talked out. As fellow Outerhaven writer Clinton Bowman can attest to, we’re both wanting to talk about anything but wrestling while watching WWE RAW on Monday nights.
But how do you combat burnout? Well, the best way to make something exciting again is to walk away from it. As the saying goes “You want what you can’t have”. So that’s what I’m going to be doing for a while. WWE is in the first third of their build for their annual Wrestlemania event (Think the wrestling version of the Super Bowl) and I’m thinking that regardless of the result (Which seem to be Roman Reigns, someone I don’t care for at all character wise, winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship off the COO/Part Time Wrestler Triple H) I’m going to just stop watching. I did the same with anime. I was bored of the same selection of things in each season that I just stopped watching what was coming out. This will give me more time to do things like play more video games, which means more reviews and stories that I’ll be posting here, which means more stuff for you to read… I just hope you don’t suffer burnout on my reviews or articles.