During the first part of this column, I wrote about Google dashing the modest traffic we were getting with their illogical algorithm updates. This time around, I want to leave Google behind to write a little bit about some of the other reasons why I wasn’t too excited to update this website over the last several months. Those reasons can be boiled down to four major points: a broken back-end of the website, a stale TNA product, a boring wrestling scene in general, and personal exhaustion.
First, I’ve been dealing with a broken back-end administrative area of this website up until about a week ago. While I love the content management system provided by the team at WordPress, I often find that their back-end “behind the scenes” updates foul up the seamless administration of my websites. As I’ve written many, many times – I’ve been playing at this silly online wrestling game for about 20 years. In those 20 years, I’ve utilized all of the latest technologies that were at my disposal to run the administrative areas of my websites. Whether it was the PSNews script 15 years ago or moving to the WordPress system 6 or 7 years ago – I always wanted my websites to be on the cutting edge.
One of the improved aspects of using WordPress is that it creates a transferable database of information that you can move from server to server, if necessary. This is a database that can grow with your site and – of particular interest to me – can hold as much information as you can put in it. I found that aspect of the script interesting because it allowed me to condense the old TheBalrogsLair.com, TBLWrestling.com, XHeadlines.com, WOWRevolution.com, and TNAStars.com databases into a single location. In other words, if you search for a news item that was posted on any of those websites, then you’ll find a page that now resides on IWHeadlines.com… almost. TBLWrestling.com is spinning off to become my own little personal playground – more on that in a different update!
WordPress updated its script right around the time that we stopped updating the site. One of the outcomes of their script update was that we could no longer edit the high-level determinants of our posts before, during, or after writing them. What that means is that if I wanted to write one of these columns, but I wanted to write it over the course of a few days, I wouldn’t be able to go back and edit the column itself. Further, once I had the column written, if I wanted to set WordPress to automatically post the column for me at a certain time on a certain day – I couldn’t do that either. This became a major issue for me as I often posted iMPACT Wrestling results anywhere from 12 to 48 hours after the shows were over. For those entries, I would go back and edit the date of the post so that they fell in the right place in the database. Well, with a broken back-end system – I couldn’t do that any more and thus the bulk of my updates would have turned up in the wrong place on the wrong date at the wrong time.
WordPress fixed those problems about a week ago.
Second, while I appreciate the cost savings of taping several weeks of television shows during a two or three day stretch at one arena, this strategy made the TNA product stale and bland during the last few months of 2014. Granted, I’d never take away from the incredible in-ring efforts of any wrestlers. And, in truth, my frustration here isn’t with the strategy of taping several shows at one time, but rather the incredibly poor television production that resulted from those shows. The Bethlehem shows were atrocious. I understand that most of those shows drew just a few hundred fans. That’s not acceptable for a wrestling show that is going to be broadcast to a national audience on cable television. If you can only draw a few hundred fans in a market, then either go to a smaller arena in that market or don’t go there at all. The terrible on-scene atmosphere of the Bethlehem shows made it easy not to watch those shows (or, in my case, to skip through them rather quickly on my DVR).
Third, professional wrestling is boring these days. The only real “big” moment that wrestling has had in the last few months is Sting’s in-ring debut with WWE… which wasn’t really your classic “in-ring” debut as much as it was him standing in a WWE ring and busting up on Triple H. Okay. Ummm… I’m supposed to get excited about that, I guess? Whether we like it or not, when WWE is boring and stale and not in the public eye, then the entire wrestling scene is marked with the same boredom in the national dialogue. Those of us who are fans of independent wrestling and iMPACT Wrestling hope that these other avenues can ultimately change that reality, but that’s the wrestling world we live in right now.
Fourth and finally, I grew tired of the rigamarole that is inherent in running a professional wrestling website. Sure, I could bring on a bunch of copy and paste “reporters” to the website and let them update IWHeadlines.com several times each day. But that’s not what we want to be and it’s never what I wanted any of my websites to be. Over the years, that mentality has forced more of the day-to-day updates on me. And I’ve always been okay with that because – as some of my long-time online friends can tell you – I’m a stickler for the little things on these websites. I want them to be perfect down to every last pixel on each post! Doing that for nearly 20 years will exhaust you – and it exhausted me.
Don’t take this column the wrong way. I’m still exhausted and generally bland about the professional wrestling scene. However, with Google seemingly finding some stability in its algorithm, WordPress fixing its back-end area, TNA moving to Destination America, and after taking 3 months off from updating this website – I think that I could slowly ease back into some regular updates. I’d love to hear from you about which types of updates that you’d like to read on the website. For my part, I’m going to backlog the iMPACT Wrestling results, ratings, and viewership numbers. If there is anything else that you’d like to see, then let me know and I’ll try to provide that coverage, too!