I find it hard to write unless I have something specific to say. Whether it be about cage matches, hardcore wrestling, or John Cena. I love this writing gig, I just wish there was more to say. Everyone can write an opinion about Ryback, a WWE poll, nostalgia pieces of wrestling past, or where a storyline will go. I don’t mean to bury them, those writers have talent. For me though, I need something with more meat and potatoes. Recently I found my topic. A recent development in my life that was staring me in the face. Something so beautiful you’d think I’d have seen it right away. A goal I have waited for quite a long time to reach. In some ways my entire life. That is goal is finally being surrounded by wrestling fans.
To clarify, when I get really bored, I look at the Facebook friend suggestions to see if there is anyone I recognize and want to add, pretty self explanatory. What I realized is that all my suggestions were wrestling related. It took, I’d say, easily over 50 suggestions to see some scum bag from high school who I could add. While at first I laughed at this and shrugged it off, it creeped up on me and hit me like a ton of bricks. I have reached that goal. I finally have more friends who care about my passion than friends who mock me. My entire life, I’m sure like everyone reading this, have been made fun of for liking wrestling. A right of passage for most everyone who is wrestling fan, take the mocking from the haters, move past it shrug it off and move on. A story as old as time it seems for wrestling fans. Well, I like to think I’m a slightly different story and here’s why.
I have said before, I don’t quite know when the exact moment I saw wrestling and loved it. I do remember though, the feelings involved with seeing it. It used to be something I would watch with my dad. That shortly changed. As his health declined, so did the ease of ability to watch wrestling. My best friend loved wrestling, because hell, what kid didn’t during the Attitude Era? I would go to his house we would brawl with our wrestlers, he would come to mine to do the same thing. We would go to school and talk about wrestling. When we got a little older we would do our pathetic attempt at backyard wrestling. Like all good things, those faded away. My father got worse. He saw me playing with my wrestling figures and would constantly get make fun of me. To one point being told, “Only fucking faggots play with dolls.” To me, as a little kid, that hurt. Especially compounded by the fact that I, for one summer, wasn’t able to leave the house. All I could do is sit in my room and do boiler room brawls with Mankind and whom ever pissed me off on Raw the Monday prior. Monday night Raw, had to be taped on VHS, by the way, because if I didn’t, he’d burst into my room and smack me one, telling me to go to bed. The result was me watching Raw on mute and the tape back the next day after school. Basically idolizing Stone Cold and really getting used to his mannerisms. I always saw how he treated Vince and knew one day, no matter how bad my dad treated me, how much he hurt me, that I would get the upper hand, just like my idol Stone Cold.
Then there was my brother. Yeah he didn’t like it either. I vividly remember crying my eyes out because Foley lost his HIAC match and retired on Raw the next night. The song really got to me. Foley was my boy. He was someone I really looked up to. That no matter how much of a beating he took, the man always came out on top somehow, hell or high water. He was one of my inspirations in a time that was very dark for me. That’s jumping ahead a bit. I had the other family members who never really encouraged me. I did though have an Uncle who had his ways of getting PPV’s and would let me go watch them at his house for a short time so that was awesome.
My mom on the other hand, bless her heart, while she never really overly encouraged my love of wrestling, but she did buy me all those wrestling figures and supported me. What do you expect? She’s a mom! One of my favorite memories in my family that’s universal, almost, is the ability to play cards. I, at some point, created a Cards Championship belt via Windows Paint and would play for the belt every night. It seems cheesy but it gets worse. Every once and a while when I’m at her house she brings it out just to show me. Like I said she never really encouraged me, but supported me while thinking it was just a passing fad. At this point I see a sense of surprise from her that I still like wrestling. Like she hasn’t fully accepted that I’m a grown up like wrestling. Which sort of brings me to the point of this story. A lot of stuff that happened to me when I was younger, and really messed me up, and it wasn’t until recently that I really got my life together.
A few months ago I was at a GLCW show that the promoter put on for his son. It was a birthday party too. There were so many kids. While I don’t pretend to know their age, I will admit it was just awesome watching them get into the show. It reminded me that no matter your age 4 years old or 40, you still get caught up in the spectacle that is wrestling. Watching their innocence as they got into the show reminded me how much I loved wrestling, why I got into wrestling, and how growing up I never thought I’d have friends who liked wrestling. For years I never went out of my way to see wrestling shows, because I never had friends who liked it. I didn’t want to be that loser going alone. No matter if the kids will grow up and continue to be wrestling fans, that moment was great and a pleasant reminder for me as a grown up just how beautiful wrestling is. I have a poor comparison with CM Punk.
His reaction from the Chicago crowd is always beautiful. His humble embrace of the crowd while they bask him in glory is just beautiful to see. It really warmed me up. Here I was thinking most of my life no one would like wrestling and that I’m weird for doing so. Yet there is this guy walking into it like what 18 thousand screaming fans? It reminded me of how lucky I am now. To be in a place I never thought I’d be in my entire life. That’s with you guys. That’s with two of the greatest friends a person can ask for, and that’s one of the best wives in the world.
Without going into much detail, because this is already a really long article. My friends The Matt and Cat Connection have been some of the best friends I have been hoping to get since I was 10, and so lucky to have them. My wife, who not only likes wrestling, but supports me (sometimes begrudgedly), and has provided me more opportunities than I could have ever hoped. I would be hard pressed to forget the other lady in my life, The Queen of WNW. Kendra, what can I say about you? You have helped me and Rikki out more ways than I can list here now. You have given me this opportunity to write that just puts me in awe every time you’re willing to read what I have to say. Let alone when anyone wants to read what I have to say. Your brilliance and ability in doing all that you do is something that should never be forgotten.
I can’t forget all the friends I have made on this site too. So many good friends I am happy to have met. I have learned so much from you all. So many great times bantering on Facebook , the Open Thread Parties, and the Live Blogs. Once again the network of friends from all over the world, being able to write with diverse brilliant minds like Jesse, Alex, Brooks, Guy, and the not so brilliant Robbie. There is even more people I look forward to writing to, but really enjoy the healthy debate on multiple forums. Something I never thought I’d be able to do so few years ago.
I got a bit off track so I will just wrap it up. We have all our different paths that brought us to wrestling. Some good, some bad, but we are all here. Hopefully you all will wait to judge a person for their favorite wrestler, because you don’t know what that person meant to them. We have plenty to say and write, so why not express it? I am so lucky to be where I am today. I am so lucky I have such a great group of friends, and the love of my life who all support me in what I do. I sometimes walk into my living room see the TNA banners, the ECW championship belt and action figures that line the wall and just think. Wow, I never have to be ashamed again.