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Wentz’s Blog: Of Tough Decisions, Recapturing Fandom, Life Priorities, and the End of Ring Rap Audio

It’s been a challenging sixteen hours or so.

As you might have listened to by now, Drew and I are taking a break from podcasting and writing on this website.  Behind the scenes, we are exploring options to maintain an occasional editorial presence on the internet, but gone will be the news, weekly show coverage, and bi-monthly WWE pay per view reports that you’ve come to expect from us.  Gone too will be Ring Rap Audio and Around the Ring.  When will we be back?  Will we be back at all?  Right now, neither Drew nor I can answer those questions with any certainty.

This wasn’t a decision we entered into flippantly and certainly not without deep consideration for all points involved.  As alluded to in the audio farewell, we have discussed this in various ways over at least six weeks, considering many points.  We looked at our ventures outside of wrestling, where we were with our mindset on the sport, and the ability to produce quality content week in and week out for you guys among other factors.  We have enjoyed doing this, so the decision was met with a lot of mixed emotions from both of us too.

Drew and I are presently the only typing fingers and talking heads behind this site (others have been a part through the years and we love and appreciate them for doing so).  There are a lot of shows to cover and things to write about, and with only two people presently to handle it many things just don’t get covered or fall through the cracks.  As Drew alluded to in the audio, he is pursuing higher education now, and his class load is picking up.  My work schedule is extremely hectic with not a lot of relief in sight right now.  He is branching out into ventures regarding video gaming and YouTube, and I am getting deeper into the car and truck show circuit every year.  All of these things in the real world demand our time and attention and because Drew and I believe in doing things right that meant something had to give.  We knew running the site would start to get less of our attention as our priorities shifted in life.

The decision was challenging because of where the product is at, and not necessarily in quality.  Because it is the largest and most newsworthy organization out there, we’ve spent a ton of time invested into the WWE product.  WWE has a stacked roster like never before, and they also have a lot of product to cover across what amounts to three brands (Raw, Smackdown, and NXT).  Regular listeners to our audio know that the quantity of product was becoming overwhelming in many ways.

To get a grasp of it, just look at this past weekend.  NXT Takeover:  Brooklyn was approximately 3 ½ hours in length from the start of the pre-show to the final scene at the end of the main event.  SummerSlam started at 5PM EST and concluded just at the 11PM hour – a six hour show.  Follow that up with five more hours of televised content between Raw and Smackdown, and that’s a lot of seat time just on one brand, with nothing else garnering any attention.

WWE as an overall brand has been putting together good shows on the regular for months now, so it hasn’t been poor show quality that has gotten to us. Missing from the conversation is all of the other good to great wrestling out there from New Japan, ROH, the British independent scene, and more that we just weren’t seeing because of the demands of WWE coverage.  If this were our employment, we’d have found a way to suck it up and get it done, but in the end the sheer amount of content just became too much for two guys who don’t make a dime off of this.

When all of these factors are thrown in a pot and mixed up, the quantity of material combined with shifting priorities outside of the site definitely affected our view on wrestling.  We didn’t want to become those guys who ranted negatively about every little thing.  We love pro wrestling and there are so many good things happening in the sport lately, so when we listened back to some of what we were saying we knew we were getting close to that point.  So ultimately, a break for a period of time yet to be determined was what we felt we needed.

This decision becomes even more challenging when you read messages on Twitter from fans who have made our weekly podcasts a part of their routine.  And dammit, we love you guys – seriously.  You’ve given us a great ride for over eight years by supporting what we do on a weekly basis both in print and in audio.  So it bears conveying this thought from the audio into print – we love you all and are truly grateful for that support through the years.  Thank you.

I believe I speak for Drew when I say that we aren’t giving up on pro wrestling.  We aren’t going to quit watching because there is a lot of good content out there right now, though admittedly we might take a week or two completely away to decompress from the pressure of covering weekly product.  We’re both looking forward to seeing things that we’ve not had the chance to like Progress Wrestling and NJPW without the pressure of covering them. We’ve always been fans, and that’s not changing.

The Twitter account (@RingRap) and Facebook page aren’t going away and at times you might see one of us pop up during a show randomly to interact with you on social media.  As for the state of the website and our podcast, however, we’re going to step aside from being “Ring-Rap.com, covering pro wrestling, mixed martial arts, and boxing” and revert to being Bill and Drew, two pro wrestling fans who have watched for years for our personal enjoyment.  Though our emotions over this decision were very mixed and this wasn’t an easy decision by any stretch, we’re at peace with it and we’re ready to make that transition.

Again, much love and many thanks to all of you for your years of support of what we’ve done.  Maybe someday we’ll be back again in this format but for now, we’ll see you when we see you.

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About Bill Wentz (1562 Articles)
Ring-Rap.com's Senior Columnist, writing with the site since 2009 and a lifelong wrestling fan dating all the way back to the early Wrestlemania years. As a strongly opinionated fan, you can get my thoughts regularly on Ring Rap Audio and Around the Ring on Thursdays, as well as in "Wentz's Blog" in print. Look for my live show reports as well for MMA, WWE, ROH, and more. Outside of wrestling, I have a strong obsession with trucks, winning awards statewide with a truck dubbed the "Brahma Bull Edition." Interact with me on Twitter @Bill_SoonerFan or by email at bwentz@ring-rap.com

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