On Numerology, Biorhythms, Metaphysics And Capitol Wrestling
Empathy, spirituality, dates, times and the Sport of Kings
I believe in numerology. I also believe in biorhythms and Hindu metaphysics, so there’s an awful lot of pseudoscience and quasi-mathematics happening in my head at any given time. How all of this applies to Capitol Wrestling requires me to give you some backstory to 15 years ago, on June 22, 2002, when I was a DJ with an office job who deeply loved pro wrestling, wanted something more, and purchased a bus ticket to New York City.
Fifteen years ago, the now vaunted and underground iconic Ring of Honor promotion hosted their first show at the Murphy Recreation Center in south Philadelphia, PA with February 23, 2002’s Era of Honor Begins. That show was followed by the Round Robin Challenge card on March 30, 2002, with April 27 and June 22 — the first Ring of Honor event I attended in person — as the next two dates. Why do I mention four dates? Well, numerology. I’ll NEVER forget those four dates, as well as the dates for pretty much every wrestling show I attended in 2002 and 2003, which, between June 22, 2002 and December 31, 2003 was 55 shows. Yes, that means that of a total of 80 weekends, I was on the road for roughly 70% of them. These were 55 weekends that pretty much altered the course of my life. As well, in many ways, the matches and experiences I had — while travelling over 20,000 total miles — during this period are the reason, because of their attachment to the numerology, biorhythms, and metaphysics that guide my life, why Capitol exists.
Similar to 2017, 2002 was a fascinating time in professional wrestling. WWE was emerging past the era of The Rock, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, and Mick “Mankind” Foley as their top stars. In their stead were performers like Triple H, Kurt Angle, and Brock Lesnar, who, while great, weren’t the alliterative trio of The Brahma Bull, the Bionic Redneck, and Mrs. Foley’s Baby Boy. Wrestling just wasn’t fun anymore, as in so many ways, it felt like the new stars were trying to be doppelgangers for the last of main eventers, and while oftentimes entertaining (yes, I’m pointing at you, Smackdown Six), there were far more misses than hits.
After attending Ring of Honor’s June 22nd show, I became pretty much obsessed with every style of wrestling in the world outside of WWE’s 2002-era presentation. Wrestlers like MMA-meets-kung fu performer Low Ki, white-bread grappler “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson, and his oddball Shawn Michaels trained counterpart Brian “Spanky” Kendrick, though diminutive-as-compared to WWE’s heavyweight behemoths, felt much less orchestrated and pre-ordained in presentation and performance (read, their biorhythms felt better to me as someone who views pro wrestling most often from an empathetic standpoint) as wrestlers employed by Vince McMahon.
Rather quickly, my love of independent wrestling became a love of Japanese and Mexican pro wrestling, as so much of the style I loved in this era of the North American independents was deeply influenced by wrestlers I grew up seeing glimpses of in Pro Wrestling Illustrated and more often than not in the National Wrestling Alliance and World Championship Wrestling. I was so entranced that I distinctly remember the first time I shaved my head completely bald being at 4 AM in the morning a week before Halloween in 2002. This was only after I felt a profound metaphysical connection to legendary wrestler Keiji “The Great Muta” Mutoh after watching six consecutive hours of footage of his astounding performances on two heavily surgically repaired knees while taking on the gimmick of a bald and gray-bearded shaman nicknamed the “Shining Wizard” in 2001.
Fast forward to 2017, and it would appear that the entire WWE Universe and mainstream professional wrestling world has fallen desperately in love with the kind of wrestling that I loved 15 years ago. There’s small children having the same metaphysical connection to (similar to Mutoh) one-time New Japan-based Japanese wrestler Shinsuke Nakamura, and adopting everything from his haircut to his body motions. Low-Ki hasn’t really become a crossover pro wrestling superstar. However, the man who faced him at Ring of Honor’s October 5, 2002 event (I don’t forget ANY of these dates, lol), Samoa Joe, certainly is. As for Brian Kendrick, he’s no longer “Spanky,” but he’s still an oddball, and is the cornerstone of WWE’s “205 Live” light-heavyweight wrestling brand. And of course, there’s “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson, who headlined the 30th Wrestlemania after becoming a social media and pop culture phenomenon, plus is now retired, the on-screen general manager of WWE Smackdown, plus a star of an E! Network TV program alongside his supermodel/wrestler wife Brie Bella. To me, all of these things that so many find so exciting are so fantastically dis-interesting to me, so it’s time to blow up the standard that saved my love of pro wrestling and brazenly forge ahead.
15 years is a long time. 15 is a magical number to me when it comes to wrestling because of some math that I heard while listening to an interview with a wrestler whose name escapes me, but in consuming probably somewhere in the range of 20,000 (again, these numbers follow me around) hours of pro wrestling footage, proves true. There was once a time (amazingly enough, until around 2002-ish) that most pro wrestlers wrestled five times a week (at minimum) against almost completely well-trained and highly-seasoned professionals for 300-plus days a year. Thus, given that there’s roughly 9,000 hours in a year, the math weighs out that says that a wrestler should take minimally three-to-five years to become a “Malcolm Gladwell-level 10,000 hour master” at their craft.
In the 15 years since I fell in love with pro wrestling as an adult, there’s a greater number of wrestlers who wrestle for fewer than five times a week for roughly 1/2 to 1/4 as many days of the year against oftentimes not-so-well trained unseasoned pros, as guys who wrestler five times a week for 300-plus days a year against the best wrestlers in the world. Thus, the “Malcolm Gladwell-level of craft mastery” takes ten-to-fifteen years to achieve, or maybe even never. Therefore, when it comes to Capitol Wrestling, there’s a significant move towards basing the product a) in a feel similar to that “300 days a year on the road wrestling the best available professionals” model featuring b) wrestlers with, for the most part, 10–15 years under their belt.
Most wrestling promotions want to showcase a roster that’s heavy handed on “up and coming” performers. At Capitol, I’d like to give the fans something that aspires to creating the conditions where the best wrestling possible in the world, as according to a classic and ultimately, I feel, timeless standard, at any given moment could exist. If you see a performer in Capitol that falls outside of this quasi-mathematical expectation, trust and believe that they’re incredibly special and worth watching closely.
On June 21, 2002, I sat in an office, then went to Nathan’s bar and lounge in Northwest Washington, DC to play a DJ set of 90s pop music. I then boarded a bus bound for New York City (yes, the show was in Philly, and yes, I deliriously thought that Philly was further away that NYC) because I loved pro wrestling, and wanted a more empathetic connection to something that I loved so much. On March 24, 2017, I sat in an office inside of Decades, a nightclub I helped design in Northwest Washington, DC, where later that evening, DJ Skribble played a set of 90s pop music. I then boarded a bus bound for New York City to run the debut Capitol Wrestling event in Jersey City, New Jersey.
To close, some numerology.
The Era of Honor continued on March 30, 2002 and by 2017, that era had not only changed my life, but evolved into the era that presently defines modern mainstream professional wrestling.
The Era of Capitol begins on March 25, 2017, and by 2032? I feel something not dissimilar to the era that changed my life forever will occur.