El Pasco Texas: Learning to Let Go: Ben Pasco Attempts to Make Pro Wrestling Grow Up.

I’ve been out of college for only a year, but it’s hard for my brain to truly comprehend that. I still visit infrequently, I’m still friends with a lot of people who go there, and I still wake up every few days and think I’m in my dorm room. I can’t seem to break past that part of my life.  I know there’s a lot of jokes amongst people about my level of drinking, but I’ve reached a point where it isn’t cute anymore. There’s something about being away from a college campus that makes getting frequently destroyed at a bar kind of sad. I don’t know why it is that I can’t break from this. I think it has something to do with the fact that college was the last barrier holding me back from adulthood. It was that glorious last chance to destroy my body without repercussions, and ever since I left I’m losing my superpowers. I gained a few pounds, I got a bad left knee, I spent my entire days making dad jokes at a retail store…I’m not the same cute kid in a Shawn Michaels vest I used to be. I’m a slightly less cute adult in a Shawn Michaels Vest over a shirt and tie now. In case you were wondering what a mainly serious Ben Pasco would be like, this article is it.

It’s becoming increasingly apparent that it’s time to start letting go of the past and moving forward. Those pounds I’ve gained are slowly coming off, my stubbornness over doctors is ending with a trip next week, and I’ve found out that dad jokes are funniest when the people you tell them to be not aware they’re bad on purpose. Overall, it’s a process like grieving over a loved one or making it through an episode of NCIS before Raw. Throughout this process of letting things go and moving right along, I find myself drawn into professional wrestling’s need to let things go. Is there anything in the world that relishes the past to spite the future like professional wrestling? Just so you know, this article has nothing to do with holding guys down, but professional wrestling doesn’t just respect its elders…but it sacrifices virgins covered in money to them.  Older wrestlers seem to always have an upper hand on these kids today, and believe me they’ve earned it, but it’s just kind of odd. It’s like once you hit 45, every old professional Wrestler becomes Clint Eastwood in

Honky Tonk Man wins more now than he ever did the 80s.

Gran Torino expect with chops instead of racial slur.

I suppose that there isn’t much harm in letting Jim Duggan knock around Hunico every now and again, or watching Sgt Slaughter choke out a dude in West Virginia. That stuff has been around for years, with guys like Jackie Fargo, Terry Funk, Mongolian Stomper and tons more of the older gentleman beating up young kids without reproach. The harm of professional wrestling’s living in the past recedes within its fans, within the very people who drive the industry.

Don’t believe me?

Imagine it’s your ten-year high school reunion. You go to a Marshall’s and pick up a reasonably priced Shirt and tie. You make sure to shave and coif the shit out of your hair. You pressure your wife into losing weight. You make your kids sit still for several hours so you can find the most adorable pic possible to show to your former classmates. This night will be yours; you will be the envy of anybody who went to Nameless Public High School 152. Imagine you walk into those doors, your lungs full of oxygen and arrogance. You see a familiar face and walk over to stick your hand out, but you’re interrupted as they loudly proclaim “Oh my Sweet Goodness, it’s the kid who got in a fight with the throat cancer lady with a voice box who came to our school to lecture us about smoking.” (Note: This legitimately happened at my middle school.  He was the only kid who couldn’t keep the obvious Kane joke to himself)

That’s basically what people are doing to Lord Tensai.

The WWE has done everything short of calling him Albert, to indicate to the fans that yes.the Robert Kelly look-alike with the Japanese letter face paint is the man formerly known as A Train. The fans have refused to let this go and it seems as though a lot of people cannot get past the fact that he used to be Albert a decade ago. Barry Darsow never had to put up with this shit. Can you imagine all the things from a decade ago you still can’t get past?   I mean it took some time, but I did finally get over Serena beating Venus Williams in the French Open. Wrestling fans need to let stuff like that go and at least to attempt to like something new. At the end of the day, is there anything more pro wrestling that a large giant man from Boston spitting mist in people’s faces and claiming to be a Japanese Superstar?

Then again, I am a hypocrite…I am a man who finds myself stuck when it comes to one particular professional wrestling subject. I refuse to let myself move onwards from what it used to be.

Ring of Honor.

I’ve probably addressed it in previous columns, but it’s hard for me to stress how important Ring of Honor was to me during my High School years. I was never able to be the kid who found the hot local band before they made it, and caught a good TV show before it got popular. I used ROH as that underground music representative in my life, replacing bass solos for backdrops and keyboard players for kickpads.  Whenever a windfall of money came my way, it immediately went towards purchasing multiple ROH DVDs. If Gregh had a trivia contest on the board, you were damn sure that I was going to enter it and attempt to win (I won half of my DVD collection just from typing random trivia super quickly). Back in 2005, it wasn’t that crazy to me to sit at home on a Saturday Night refreshing my computer screen because I needed to know if AJ Styles beat Jimmy Rave in his return match.  I was hooked. When everybody thought Faction Warfare was the worst thing ever, I was the kid walking around in my No Remorse Corps shirt wondering if The Irish Airborne were going to join a faction.

And Now, Now Ring of Honor is just somebody I used to know. Gotye said that, or Goatse…I forget.

I can’t even look you in the eye Jim

I can’t tell you if Ring of Honor is good or bad, because my vision won’t allow me to give you an unbiased opinion. I think it’s boring and it sucks, but I can’t let go of the past. When Gabe Sapolsky left, I was pissed and I hated Adam Pearce unnecessarily for a long time because of it.  A lot of it had to do with my hate of Jerry Lynn, but I still was just disgusted with what my favorite wrestling company had become. In their defense I did get hooked again two years ago…but I feel like a good section of that may have had something to do with the fact their venue in Plymouth Massachusetts was a ten minute walk from my apartment.  Now it’s just numb to me, I don’t feel anything but condescending Wonka face whenever I read results or watch some of the TV. I like the guys there, I like Kevin Kelly, I like Nigel McGuiness, and I like the idea of ROH but somewhere down the line….the innovation stopped. I can’t let go of the ROH I grew up on, of all the moves I had never seen before, of “We Don’t Imitate, We Innovate”. Somewhere, I lost that sense of ROH and because of that I can’t let go of the past.

Eight years ago, CM Punk and Samoa Joe had a match Dave Meltzer rated Five Stars. I immediately ordered the DVD and watched it within seconds of having it. Davey Richards and Michael Elgin had a match Dave Meltzer rated Five Stars…I have no desire to watch that.

Ben Pasco

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