I am a recovering wrestling fan.
It all started way back in 1990. I was watching WTBS and was waiting for a James Bond film to start. WTBS always started programming 5 minutes into each half an hour and I was stuck watching the remaining five minutes of the program that came on before the film.
It was World Champion Wrestling. I didn't want to flip the channels to find something else so I decided to stick it out and watch it. And that was a big mistake. The last five minutes involved 2 of my all-time favorite wrestlers, Sting and Ric Flair. Sting was part of Flair's group the 4 Horsemen and Sting had a World Title shot wit Flair. Flair and the other Horsemen didn't like it so they kicked him out and attacked him, right in the ring. I had always thought that wrestling was just a bunch of wrestling matches in the squared circle (what they call the ring) with no story lines.
Yes, I was fooled. Fooled and hooked.
I just had to see what was going to happen next. So from that moment on, I watched wrestling and WCW in particular until they shut down in 2001. Unfortunately the wrestling business is not what it used to be and now I rarely watch wrestling nowadays. Sure if I am flipping through the channels, I may stop and watch but it doesn't hold my interest as it once used too.
It didn't help that my mom watched wrestling too. Her favorite was Ric Flair.
I have been to an actual live wrestling event. And I took my wife and my mom with me. My sister's family came too but they sat elsewhere. I went to see WCW back on May of 2000. And it was a lot of fun.
I actually made a sign to take. That is a staple of a wrestling fan, to make a sign and take it to an event. I wanted the full experience so I made a clever sign to take. Not your average misspelled poster. This was a classic. Both my mom and I were fans of Ric Flair and he was known for being quite a womanizer. One of his favorite things to say was "All the ladies want to ride Space Mountain." So I thought it would be funny if I took a sign that said, "My Mom Wants to Ride Space Mountain." And then my mom held up a sign that said "I'm His Mom!" Everyone around us thought that was the best sign. We didn't make it on TV though.
You know at the time we all thought it was funny. Now I am not so sure, now it sounds kinda creepy. Maybe I finally have grown up.
Wrestling was a fun thing to watch. People may think it is stupid and there are aspects that I think are stupid too but it was still harmless fun. I don't regret watching it at all, it was fun. And it was something to do on Monday nights when football was not on. Think about it, wrestling has no reruns. They are brand new every Monday night.
I hardly watch wrestling anymore, unless it is some of the old stuff. It just isn't like it used to be. Now I am much more interested in what was going on behind the scenes, the backstage decisions and the drama. That backstage stuff is much more interesting. I will admit that one of my favorite books is The Death of WCW. It chronicles how a company had lost 95% of its paying audience in about 4-5 years. It also is not afraid to poke fun of professional wrestling. Another book WrestleCrap takes a look at all the terrible stuff wrestling has done. And my next book for next month is an autobiography of a famous Canadian wrestler Bret Hart.
The biggest comment I get is well, you know it isn't real. Yes, I know that. I know things are scripted out and planned. But I also know that while wrestling moves are staged, they still have some impact and that these guys are definitely athletes. Just ask John Stosell if he thinks it is fake.
I feel much better getting that off my chest. Go ahead and make fun of me if you wish to. Just be careful, I know how to take a chairshot to the back (ask my bro-in-law Eric) properly. Do you?