Tag Archive | "professional wrestling"

The Allure of the Squared Circle: My Fascination with Professional Wrestling

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I have been a fan of professional wrestling since I was four years old.  I am 20 years old now.  For the sixteen years that I have been a fan, people either look at me weird or they are excited to know that I am a fellow fan.  It’s either one extreme or the other.  Rarely has there ever been an in-between response (or “tweener” as smart marks call it) when I bring up the topic of professional wrestling.  Regardless of the response I get, I am still a fan and I always enjoy discussing, arguing about and watching wrestling, because it is a major part of my life and it has been a huge influence on me.

 

I remember first discovering WWE (WWF as it was called back then).  I was four years old, watching Sesame Street in the living room with my parents and my brother.  My brother kept whining about wanting to change the channel.  My parents kept insisting that he sit through Sesame Street, but when I was done eating, they allowed him to do so.  So he clicked the remote to change the channel.  And that click changed my life forever.

 

I looked on the screen and saw a bald man with a mustache and beard, sporting black trunks, black kneepads and black boots.  I did not know his name at first.  But his character and the way he beat down his opponent drew me in as I stared at the TV screen.  After many mentions of his name by the commentators, I came to know that I was watching Stone Cold Steve Austin.  This was the wrestler who would become my role model.

 

From that point on, my interest in professional wrestling grew.  I would watch RAW IS WAR and eventually SmackDown every week, learn the names of the wrestlers, their characters, their moves etc.  This became the sport I would constantly talk about with friends.  While everyone else talked about baseball or football, and quoted RBIs, home runs, touchdowns or penalties, I talked about who became the World Champion at Wrestlemania.  I’m a huge Jets fan, but I can quote how many times Stone Cold won the World Championship before I can say how many passes Vinny Testaverde managed to complete.

 

Even though this was my favorite sport, I would go throughout childhood being made fun of for being a fan of “fake wrestling” and “watching two sweaty guys touch each other.”  To be honest, their teasing did not bother me, because I knew what I was watching, and even though it was not completely legitimate, it was still entertaining.  Also, I grew to know the trials and tribulations that wrestlers go through in order to make it in the business, and how some fall short, while others make it to the top.  This realization made me love wrestling even more, because I came to learn the dedication that it takes to become a pro wrestler and how that dedication must be maintained throughout their entire careers if they truly desire to be successful.

 

However, as cool as it is to watch wrestling on television or on the computer, there is absolutely nothing that compares to buying a ticket, traveling to the arena, sitting down with some good friends and family and watching the show live.  My first live wrestling event was WWE SmackDown in East Rutherford, New Jersey in November of 2003, shortly before Survivor Series.  I attended the event with my cousin, my uncle and my dad.  I remember the drive on the way to the Continental Airlines Arena (what is now known as the IZOD Center), talking with my cousin about the storylines, matches, etc.  We were ecstatic and could not wait to get into the building.  Once we got into the seating area, I immediately gazed at the entranceway where the fist was below the SmackDown logo and I was hooked.  I looked around and saw the thousands of fans in attendance and that made me even more pumped.  As soon as the SmackDown theme song “I Want It All” hit and the fans started cheering, my cousin and I stood up and screamed along with them.  I was lost in the moment, as I had my fist in the air and my voice on maximum.  And once Kurt Angle’s music played, my cousin and I along with the rest of the crowd chanted “You Suck!” along with the beat of the song.  We went on to have a great night watching some incredible entertainment.

 

Since then, I have attended many live shows from WWE events to various independent shows around my area.  It is a very special feeling being there live and interacting with thousands of fans who share the same interest in wrestling as me.  It is also very interesting talking with these fans and hearing some stories of their many pro wrestling escapades, such as meeting the wrestlers (which I, myself, have done), talking with the promoters or simply being involved in a crowd  brawl.  The wrestlers I have met are extremely down-to-earth and some of the most humble guys you will ever meet.  The promoters/owners that I have conversed with are very pleased to be talking with fans because they enjoy receiving feedback on the product, which is very respectable, because the fans are what drive the wrestling business.

 

Wrestling is such an interactive business and that is why I love it.  What makes it different from other sports is that it presents a blend of athletic competition and entertainment solely aimed at pleasing the fan.  It does not matter who wins or loses a match.  It does matter, however, how good the match is.  As long as both participants put forth their best effort in a match, or an entertainment segment, the fans are happy.  Pro wrestling has a certain magic, and that magic keeps bringing fans, including me, back for more.

 

 

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