Wednesday, July 16, 2008

OT: You Are Invited

For those who might care to take a look at my new website, it's now available for viewing. It will contain articles, columns and the occasional rant, all of which have nothing to do with pro wrestling. All's you need to do is click here:

Richard Berger's Point of View

Thanks for your attention.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Who's Embarrassed?

Most wrestling fans that have studied their history or followed the business for more than 10 years are familiar with the infamous WCW debut of Fred Ottman as “The Shockmaster.” The unscheduled tumble he took as he crashed through the wall only to fall flat on his face, is considered by many as the quintessential screw-up on live TV; at least, among those that took place outside of the ring.

There isn’t a person over the age of five that hasn’t experienced embarrassment in one form of another. As we get older, we are naturally going to accumulate more events of this type. Upon reflection, they will cause us to wince. Eventually, when we relive these episodes after enough time has passed, we can wind up laughing and shaking our heads … just what the hell were we thinking? In most instances, the “pain” is fleeting and we carry on, hopefully having learned something along the way. What’s the point in making the same foolish mistake again and again?

So, even though that momentary sense of humiliation was definitely unpleasant, it’s just one of life’s many reminders that none of us is perfect. I'll go so far as to proclaim that we actually NEED them occasionally. Why? Because when we take a pratt-fall, we gain something valuable that we should remember and apply when next confronting similar circumstances. Ideally, we’ll be more informed by those lessons we've already experienced.

So, I ask one and all not to ridicule Mr. Ottman but to give the man a break. Unfortunately for the former wrestler, his mortification took place in front of a million or two viewers. Even worse, his brief act of buffoonery has been preserved on tape and can be viewed anytime on YouTube. Still, there comes a point when the humor has passed and cruelty sets in.

The fact that I've just written the above has very little to do with me. Having now picked myself up after dozing off in front of my computer, causing me to come a-crashing down to the floor (the back of the chair banging me on the top of my head during the journey), I’m already starting to accept that I’ve just received a valuable lesson.

Well, I will once the excruciating embarrassment wears off…

Be back soon!

Friday, July 4, 2008

The "Jig," As They Say, Is Up

To paraphrase an old saying, when a relationship runs its course, it's time to take the high road and move along.

My connection with The Fight Network and Live Audio Wrestling has now come to an end. I would like to publicly express my appreciation to John Pollock, Mauro Ranallo and everyone else at the network who had a hand in this venture. Their guidance and cooperation during our one-year partnership was invaluable.

I also want to convey my sincere gratitude to everyone who read my weekly offerings. At this time, I must send along a special acknowledgment to thank those who wrote with kind words of approval and enthusiasm. I include the folks that corrected me whenever I took a misstep, along with the people who disagreed with my positions. Whether or not you concurred with my beliefs and opinions, I am more than thankful that just about everybody who sent a message did so respectfully and with an open mind, for the most part. Can't ask for much more than that!

For now, I'm going to devote my efforts into putting together a soft-cover book. While it's still in the the earliest of early stages, I'm hoping to make it available by the end of 2008 or early in 2009. The format has not yet been finalized, but it will likely include selected (and corrected) RB columns, along with some never-before-published articles, musings, interviews and photographs. More information will be posted on this site as the project continues to develop. Most of the published columns will now be unavailable at this website, possibly temporarily or perhaps permanently.

I'd also like to invite one and all to visit this site periodically, as my plan is to post short pieces, random thoughts and what-not once or twice a week. For now, I'll simply say for the record that the readers who have dropped by from just about every country in every corner of the world have made writing these columns a joy for this old wrestling fan. Having the opportunity to share ideas, as well as receiving your input from various vantage points, has certainly done wonders in furthering my education.

I am gratified for the kindness you have shown. Thank you!

= Richard Berger =