Here we are, this is the week most wrestling fans have been waiting for. WrestleMania is right around the corner, and I can not be anymore grateful for it. A questions I always get is, “Why do you like wrestling still?”
I had to think about this for a long time, most of my friends were wrestling fans back in Junior High School and High School. I guess I never grew up from it. I have always been a wrestling fan from since 1990s. My aunt introduced me to it, and the first match I can remember was Jake “The Snake” Roberts VS “Macho Man” Randy Savage (some of you know what happened, others can YouTube it). I was addicted to the personalities from Hulk Hogan, Undertaker, George “The Animal” Steele, and Shawn Michaels. I remember I stopped watching it until one day in 1995-96 when WCW Saturday Night was on.
I saw a match with Chris Iverson and it was awesome, the next week he came in as the “Lionheart”, he eventually would find his name to be Chris Jericho. When WCW Monday Nitro came on Rey Mysterio Jr. would make his debut on the show and I was sold. These little guys being able to fly around the ring and do spectacular moves. Then one day I was looking for wrestling on Monday Night, I was having difficulty up until I found another wrestling program WWF. I was drawn in and kept watching. I remember watching WCW and then randomly finding WCW on TNT later on in the month. Suddenly I found myself flipping the TV between two channels and trying to view all the wrestling.
My dad saw I took an interest in wrestling and decided to sign me up, there was no ring…it was a mat with a circle but I got to wear a singlet (I guess that worked). I kept my eyes on the product going through my teenage years into my twenties. Stone Cold, The Rock, Goldberg, NWO, The WolfPac, DX, The Nation of Domination, The Ministry, etc. So many good wrestlers and fun things going on (Triple H getting a woman to show her chest on Live TV).
As the product began to evolve, I found myself changing with the product. I remember the start of the Attitude Era with Bret Hart spitting on Vince McMahon, to the start of the Aggression Era with John Cena slapping Kurt Angle, to the PG Era (ugh the PG Era). I remember being overseas in Iraq, and seeing the end of WWE’s ECW only to have NXT start up. NXT use to be a “Reality Show” where future WWE Stars would compete for a contract to the main roster.
NXT would then get changed once again, and the show would be a developmental show for the main roster. It was being ran by Triple H, and honestly it has become an amazing product. So many Indy wrestlers (wrestlers who are not attached to WWE or Mainstream Wrestling) coming into WWE and showcasing why they have been so successful outside of WWE.
I kept watching RAW and Smackdown and slightly enjoying the product less and less. A good friend of mine, told me I need to start watching NXT on a weekly basis instead of just once in a while. So I gave it a chance in 2018 and fell in love with the product all over again. NXT has great action, great stories being told, and great personalities.
Yes, I get it and people tell me all the time “You know wrestling is fake, right?” I just shake my head and continue with what I like. Yes I know wrestling is fake and scripted, but the athletic ability it takes to go in and work is incredible. I ask some of the people who tell me if wrestling if they enjoy shows like “Survivor”, “The Bachelorette”, etc. We know the shows are fake “WHATEVER!” You watch the shows because you enjoy it.
Wrestling has been in my life so long, that it is a part of me. It always reminds me that it is supposed to be fun and entertaining. While most people have grown out of wrestling which is fine, I just found a new reason to watch through different stories and wrestlers. They continue to give me a reason to search more wrestling out and watch (Ring of Honor, New Japan Pro Wrestling, World Championship Wrestling, All Elite Wrestling, Impact, etc.)
If you have fallen out with wrestling and having trouble getting back into it, I totally understand. If you are interested in getting back into it, find a friend who enjoys it and ride a long, there is so much good wrestling in the world going on something will stick with you.
Enjoy your journey in the wrestling world!