I am a lifelong wrestling fan, something I accept, something I will be for the rest of my life. I grew up watching wrestling; it’s been at least 24 years since my first time. There are so many moments, so many different superstars who’ve graced my screen over the years. I never got sucked up into Hulkamania, I never fell for the antics of the Ultimate Warrior, but I did have my long list of favorites. I grew up looking at people like Randy Savage, The British Bulldog (Davey, I just missed the team), and Jake Roberts, they were larger than life characters. When you’re a child you become enamored with the gimmicks more than anything else, it’s a character you can imagine being, try to actually play the part and live up to everything for which that character stands. Like so many others I have developed and evolved in my taste of the years.
The night is still in my mind, that moment I actually dreamt of becoming a pro wrestler myself. If I had been able to get the money together I may be giving interviews to Wrestling News World, instead of writing for this page currently. I remember watching one of my favorites at that time, Vader, taking out Sting (yes, it was WCW not WWE) and thinking that this monster wasn’t in the greatest shape, he wasn’t this granite statue of a man like some others, but he could move for his size. I was a doughy, out of shape teenager and seeing that made me realize that even if I never had the bodybuilder physique I could achieve a dream of becoming a wrestling Superstar. If I worked hard enough, and trained hard enough, I could see myself standing on top of the mountain as the man in pro wrestling sometime down the road. Unfortunately I never did get the money together that would allow me to actually follow this dream.
Another moment that helped shape and change me for the rest of my life was the very first time I saw the guy who is at the top of my list as my all-time favorite worker in the history of the business. I remember seeing The Undertaker for the first time and thinking this was a character that would be around for a long time, although I had no idea how many different sides to this seemingly one dimensional character we would actually get to see over the years. I’ve been given the compliment of being told I resembled Undertaker a few times in my life. I’ll admit that it’s not entirely by mistake. I learned in middle school that life is actually exactly like pro wrestling, you have your heels (bullies), your faces (the popular nice guys [very rare]), the tweeners, and the divas. At some point in life you fell into one of these categories and still do to this day. I learned that you need to have a gimmick to get by in life and borrowed from those who I enjoyed most in wrestling. I lifted from Undertaker, Jake, Raven, and even Ron Simmons at times, it has worked well and kept me relevant and in the good graces of people for many years now.
As a student of the game I grew up watching, and loving, one thing that has endured and kept me going was the simple fact that I started paying attention to the back stories and paying attention to the work rate as opposed to JUST the characters in the business. I started to enjoy Benoit, Malenko, Jericho, as time went on I started to realize how great Curt Hennig was, and became enthralled with the matches of CM Punk, William Regal, and so many others. This isn’t as easy to define for me, but at the same time I know it happened gradually as I got older. Now I find myself looking at workers who may not be getting over and keep thinking of ways to change little things about them that could give them the opportunity to break out and become the superstar they have buried inside. One of those has been Zack Ryder, but the biggest is Joe Hennig. The kid has the talent, he’s got the look, and he’s damn sure got the genetics for being one of the greatest of all time, he just needs to ditch the name, become himself, and take over. I know I’m just a fan but at the same time I feel that over the years I’ve learned a thing or two about how this business works and how to get certain people over, I just wish that I could get in the door and have a chance to make this happen.
I’m a huge fan, and I always will be. While I am not as insane as the “it’s still real to me” guy, I do have the same passion inside as someone like that. I will watch, even if it’s sparsely over the years, for the rest of my life because pro wrestling (particularly WWE) has become a part of who I am and who I’ll remain for the rest of my days on this earth. I learned over time how it works and the facts of works versus shoots, accidents versus what was meant to happen, and gimmicks versus reality. It’s hard to get some people to admit it sometimes these days because it’s not “cool” anymore. Some people say you should grow out of it as you get older, they couldn’t be more wrong if they tried. Like it or not, there are many life lessons doled out in pro wrestling. Much like the locker room, life will be run by politics as well. You’ve either got some heat with your boss, or you’re in their good graces. The problem is that most of the time you’re not really able to work hard in order to get to the top, sometimes you’re stuck kissing ass to get ahead. You can say what you will, but I will always know, life isn’t like a box of chocolates, it’s like the WWE, oddly enough you STILL don’t know what you’re going to get.