Hello everyone, and Happy New Year! I’m back from my little Holiday Hiatus,
as you can see. I mentioned before Christmas that I would be telling the story
of how I got into wrestling; well, now is that time. For one week only, I’m
abandoning the usual format. I know you don’t come here for the news anyway,
since you can get that in the Newsboard section of the site. Regardless, next
week I’ll be back with business as usual (and hopefully a movie poster to boot!),
but for now, I’ll tell my story. First, though, I have to once again pimp myself…check
out my 4 comic reviews in the Nexus!!
How I Became a Wrestling Fan: Andy’s Story
I first became a wrestling fan around about the 4th grade, which would be roughly
1991. Obviously, because I was so young (and influenced by the other 10-year-olds
around me), I was a WWF fan. They had all the colourful characters that I could
connect with. Connect with, not identify with. I mean, honestly, what did I
have in common with the Berzerker? The answer is "nothing," but that
didn’t stop me from thinking he was cool. Yeah, I said it. I thought the Berzerker
was cool. Anyway, I loved the characters, and I certainly had my favourites:
the British Bulldog, the Undertaker, Sid Justice, Shawn Michaels, Crush, Mr.
Perfect….and the goddamn Berzerker.
So, I started liking wrestling because the "cool" kids liked wrestling.
Make no mistake, I was NOT one of the "cool" kids. By gawd I tried
to be, but they just made fun of me regardless. One of the big reasons was because,
naturally, they all LOVED Hulk Hogan…….and I couldn’t stand the bastard.
When he cheated to beat the Undertaker, I was PISSED. So yeah, even when I tried
to be cool, I failed. Normally, I would just drop the "obsession"
and try to make them like me another way. Not this time. This time I found that
wrestling was actually something I enjoyed.
Being a geek, I loved to make lists. I made lists of anything you could imagine:
comic book characters, video games and video game characters, dinosaurs, etc.
But the most important list I made was my List of Wrestlers. If I heard someone
in school mention a wrestler I’d never heard of, BAM…he went on the list.
If I was watching the Saturday program, I would keep my eyes and ears peeled
for someone new for the list. This was kind of tough, because I was simultaneously
keeping my eyes and ears peeled for my parents, since watching wrestling was
forbidden in our house (my parents still hold by this rule, but obviously it
doesn’t affect me anymore, since I moved out years ago…not that it stopped
As my list grew, my obsession grew. I started to write down dream cards…that
is, I would "book" my own events. Obviously, I didn’t know what "booking"
was back then. I knew wrestling was fake, but I was a professional at suspending
my disbelief, because I wanted to believe. One of my favourite cards
to book was the Royal Rumble. I spared no details when booking Royal Rumbles;
who eliminated whom, and when, etc. I also didn’t limit myself to 30 entrants,
oh no. I entered every single bloody wrestler on my list. Oh how I loved the
Royal Rumble (and still do)!
It should come as no surprise, then, that I was absolutely JAKKED when it came
time for Royal Rumble ’92. Now, I didn’t see it right away, but a friend of
mine taped it (actually, his older brother did, but that’s beside the point),
so I watched it the next time I went over to his house. I was hoping for the
British Bulldog to pull it off (shows how smart I was, but dammit, I loved the
guy), but I would have settled for Sid Justice. I was upset when Davey Boy got
chucked out, but I still held out hope. I was really really excited when it
got down to the final three, and I FLIPPED OUT when Sid threw Hogan out. Oh,
that was a SWEET, SWEET moment…and then it all came crashing down when that
cheating, sore-loser, bald bastard caused Sid to be shoved out by Ric Flair.
God, was I furious. Not furious in a bad way, though; furious in the "I
can’t wait to see him get his comeuppance" kind of way.
Later that year, on Thanksgiving Eve, I had the chance to go to my first live
wrestling show, and it just so happened to be the motherf’n Survivor Series!
I was a bit crestfallen when I heard that they would be doing away with the
traditional Survivor Series matches, but I didn’t care TOO much, because I was
gonna be there! Oh, and for those of you non-trivia buffs out there, Survivor
Series ’92 was in the Coliseum in Richfield, Ohio, myself being a Cleveland
So, we had decent seats, but after about 5 minutes, we gave ourselves an "upgrade"
and moved WAY down….just opposite the hard camera, as I recall. Believe it
or not, I still haven’t gone back to look at the tape to see if you can see
me in the crowd. Anyway, I had an absolute blast, and I got to see (almost)
all of my favourites in action; I was upset, however, at the lack of British
Bulldog, even though he was listed in the program. Alas. Anyway, we were treated
to an absolute classic between Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels, and even though
by boy Shawn came up short, I still had a great time.
My friends and I started to rent a bunch of WWF tapes, and I became an even
BIGGER fan. My highest point as a fan back then obviously still sticks in my
mind. My grade school was putting on a show, where each grade would sing a couple
of songs for all the parents gathered there. Being in a higher grade, we had
a lot of time to kill, and one of my friends just happened to have brought a
wrestling tape. So, while we were waiting to go on stage, we watched the British
Bulldog beat Bret Hart for the Intercontinental Title in England. I was in nirvana.
This is going to take longer than I expected. I’ll still be back with the regular
format next week, but I’ll also include the next installment of my story. In
the meantime, keep the e-mails and IMs coming, and I’ll see you here next Friday.
AIM = GoldenAce 007