After nearly 20 years of owning and operating wrestling websites, I’m calling it a day. As of the date this column is posted, IWHeadlines.com will cease to be updated. I’m not sure what will happen next as I’ve been talking to some people about acquiring all of this site’s assets. However, that is not a sure thing and discussions continue. For my part, in the coming days and weeks I’ll begin taking down parts of this website until the only thing remaining is a tribute/archive page. That’s my plan – to create a “page” that recalls the history of the websites that were aggregated over a 20 year period to create IWHeadlines.com. There is no plan to update that page outside of simply making sure that it exists.
I’m not one for these “good-bye” columns because I don’t think anyone really cares. However, suffice to say that a hell of a lot has changed from when I first started playing in this game in April 1996 to today.
Back then, I was a Sophomore in high school who enjoyed watching both RAW and NITRO. What else would a high school kid do on a Monday night outside of Monday Night Football? Today, I’m a 34-year-old who works at the highest level of real estate development finance in my state, owns two incredibly successful small businesses, teaches at two local universities, and is getting ready to enter a doctoral program. I’m sure I don’t need to make this comment, but the amount of free time that I had back in 1996 has dramatically decreased over the last 20 years.
And this entire internet wrestling business has changed since 1996, which I wrote about last year. There’s no single reason why I’m choosing to end this hobby. It just seems like the time is right for me to focus on other projects.
These types of columns are usually packed with “thank yous” and I really don’t believe in doing that because you’re always going to forget to mention someone. However, I’ll do it anyway. I am compelled to thank Dave Talbert for his help in running the early versions of TheBalrogsLair.com. I’m also compelled to thank Jacob Spades for his incredible work in helping to operate XHeadlines.com. I’ve had an incredible amount of folks post news, rumors, and opinion columns on my websites over the years, but none of their contributions were as great as William B. West or Julian Radbourne. These two are consummate professionals and I encourage you to frequent their websites to stay in touch with their activities.
But while I may have owned and “operated” all of these websites over the last two decades, none of these efforts would have been successful without the contributions of Martin Hawrysko and Eddie T. These two were more than webmasters or web managers or whatever titles we came up with – they grew into two trusted, reliable friends. And not just internet friends, but real friends where our interactions crossed outside of the wrestling world and into many other areas of life. If all I take away from these last 20 years is my friendships with these two guys, then the last two decades that I spent with these websites were well worth every minute of my time. I’m a richer man for knowing both Martin and Eddie. Thank you, guys.
And that’s it, folks. Thanks for your patronage over the years. Thanks for your support. Thanks for everything. I’ll be active on my personal blog at JerseySmarts.com and on my wrestling-related Twitter at @JoeIWH.
Sincerely, from the depths of my being… I thank all of you.