I feel like starting things off with an entertainment update:
I saw Oceans last Tuesday. It was kind of a disappointment. It didn't really do as much for me as Earth did last year, but oh well. It was short and informative. I also had time to finally see The Men Who Stare at Goats, which I thoroughly enjoyed. The humor isn't for everyone, but the premise is excellent and it has a lot of good actors in it. Before those, I watch Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and that was okay, but it is definitely geared towards a younger audience...whooops. Nothing stand out, sadly, but we'll get em back in May with Iron Man 2 and Ridley Scott's take on Robin Hood.
I took the advice of my readers and bought Arkham Asylum. And let me extend a big THANK YOU to you guys. That game was fun as hell. I cruised through it 2 days (I took some time off the gym for my neck, so I had a lot of time on my hands) and it was super fun using all of Batman's gadgets and the fighting system is really fun to. It was the best superhero video game I have ever played; I can't wait for the sequel.
I tried Left 4 Dead before that, but it was a FPS and had essentially no story, so I returned it promptly after killing enough zombies to keep me satisfied for some time....until I moved onto Resident Evil 5, I've only devoted an hour to it, but I am not pleased thus far. I don't like the lack of control I have over my player. It's kind of slow and choppy. I think Splinter Cell: Conviction is up next. Thoughts?
A couple Sundays ago I ventured West 3 hours to see one of my favorite bands, Set Your Goals (pictured below). They played a great headlining set in a little dive bar called Vaudeville Mew's. I had been to this joint once before a summer ago to see Misery Signals, but damn was it packed this time for SYG...and their support: Comeback Kid, The Wonder Years, and a couple of other bands I wasn't too keen on. Comeback did work. It was the first time I had seen them live with their new singer, and while I was biased toward their old frontman Scotty Wade, new dude did a bang up job and they tore the place up. The Wonder Years was a band I had not heard until that show, but they impressed me quite a bit with their punk-pop stylings, especially in the lyrical department. It was a fun show, and me and my lady had a blast. Oh, and I bought a SYG t-shirt. It's neat.
In addition to live music, I just pick up Punk Goes Classic Rock, and it didn't disappoint at all! My favorite tracks are "Your Love" covered by I See Stars, "Caught Up In You" covered by We The Kings, "We Are The Champions" by Mayday Parade, and "More Than A Feeling" done up by Hit The Lights. Honorable mention to A Skylit Drive's cover of "Separate Ways."
I also downloaded an early release of As I Lay Dying's newest offering "The Powerless Rise." I hate downloading music early though, because it tends to be of poorer quality than what I enjoy. Regardless, I can still discern brutality, and damn AILD tear it up here. They are one of those metal bands who don't appear to give two shits about changing drastically from album to album. They just get better at what they do, which is write great songs. Kudos to As I Lay Dying.
Now onto wrestling stuffs...
This weekend is a big one. I daresay I have the biggest title defense of my young reign upcoming on Saturday in New York. Roderick Strong and I have met in some hotly contested matches over the past year, but never have the stakes been so high. I am not quite 100%, but when are any of us really performing optimally? I think that regardless of my condition, or of Roddy's condition, we both intend to give more than what is physically believed to be possible to win in New York. I know he has a chip on his shoulder based on how things have played out between us since January, but I have a chip on mine as well.
It's strange, because even though I have the ROH World Title and that symbolizes a certain status in this industry, I still don't feel like I am getting the respect I deserve. I hear whispers and the sentiment I am gathering is one of my demise. I hear shit like "Tyler's just a transitional champion," or "Who's going to be the next ROH champion?" It's frustrating because I have busted my ass to get to the top of this mountain....but I suppose taking a lesson from history, staying at this apex might be even more challenging than the climb it took to get here.
I often ask myself what any of it is even worth. A page in a history book? An inflated ego? Stories to tell my kids? I don't know...
One way or another, I'm still here doing work. People often ask me for advice when they are thinking of getting into the wrestling business; well here's a bit: Be prepared for it to consume your existence. That's why it's hard for guys to truly retire; because leaving this business is like starting your life over. While you're involved, wrestling becomes the major factor in 99% of every decision you make. For better or worse, pro wrestling will become your mistress. And it's just as trying as any human connection or relationship you will ever make.