Okay kids. Story time! Kick back and let your friendly neighbourhood non-blogger entertain you for a few minutes. You might learn a thing or two… Or at least, where all my back injuries initially came from.
I rarely talk about this, because it very rarely comes up in conversation and y’know, it’s kinda silly. Even now when I realize that nobody actually gives a fuck what you’re into once you leave high-school and the whole clique/friends circles thing stops mattering once you get your fancy certificate which doesn’t even mean shit in the real world, I neglect to share this info with anybody because… Well, it’s hard to admit with a straight face that I once enjoyed watching beefed up sweaty dudes damn-near molest each-other in front of a packed out crowd.
Yeah. I was totally into professional wrestling. I’m not sure when it started. I think my cousin Mike was way into it back in the day and -because you know, my older cousins were fucking badasses (at least, to 8-year old, spotty-faced me), I wanted to be in with the cool kids. My invested interest also came from my longtime primary/highschool friend, Daniel -who I returned the favour with by getting him into KISS.
…Yeah. For some reason, our mutual love for watching dudes prance around in skintight lycra forged a friendship that’s lasted roughly 20 years. Who woulda thought it?
Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart, Hulk Hogan, Mick Foley, Roddy Piper, Curt Hennig, I knew ’em all, could rattle off stats off the top of my head. I remember staying up way past bedtime to watch ‘WWF Superstars’ without my parents knowing and being overjoyed when we finally got Austar so we could get in on that sweet, sweaty, lycra-clad pay-per-view action.
I had the video games, the action figures, a D-Generation X T-shirt (complete with “Suck It!” emblazoned on the back), the theme music CD’s, the list goes on and on and on. Daniel was no better. His collection ended up pretty damn impressive. Hell, instead of actually, y’know, doing anything constructive for high-school drama class, we pulled out the gym-mats and beat the fuck out of eachother. (Yeah, we were the kind of dumbasses who got “don’t try this at home” plastered all over your shows/events. Sorry guys)
The fandom didn’t come without its consequences, though. Remember that this was 1997 and went on till 2000 or so. Pro-wrestling was still gaining popularity amongst people around our age. So for some inexplicable reason and despite the fact that everyone and their dog was watching rugby league or whatever, showing an interest in a bunch of guys in lycra throwing eachother around was inferior, stupid, mindless and -of course, so very very “gay”.
“Hurr hurr, you know it’s not real, right?”
“What are you watching that for? There’s no skill involved.”
“Wrestling is gay, gayface. You like men don’t you? You gay poof” (I went to Bowral High, this may as well be verbatim)
Yep. Thanks guys *thumbs up*. Tell me something I don’t know (‘course, as it turned out, I did indeed turn out to be a cock-in-the-mouth-shy of being gay anyways, so perhaps that had something to do with it).
Like any maladjusted high-schooler does, I
shot up the place turned to drugs dropped out of highschool and turned to a life of crime derided their interests, pointed out the lack of skill in driving around a track for 10 laps and defended pro-wrestling as best I could. It was my damn sport, damnit. You didn’t see me bitching about how football was “fucking gay” (though, do remember, I was also a clumsy, tubby, pale kid whose brawling skills were comparable to that of Tinkerbell from ‘Peter Pan’. Also? A bit of a bleeder. So I didn’t exactly want my head punched in). Looking back, I’m kinda glad that I got into Dungeons and Dragons way after I left high-school and I learned that a punch in the dick would easily take down anyone who made taking people’s lunch money via weapons-grade atomic wedgies a short-term career path. I might not have survived through to senior year otherwise.
All good things must end bitterly, though. My parents pulled the plug on Austar and my interest in pro-wrestling went downhill. Mostly because by that point I had discovered the internet and I couldn’t be arsed checking TV listings for “Superstars”. It never quite went away completely though. Even after discovering ice-hockey and roller derby, part of me still finds a guilty pleasure in keeping tabs on the goings-on in the wrestling world (even if I don’t know half of the current lineup)
-I still maintain one of the best, well-written and interesting documentaries I can think of is Paul Jay’s “Wrestling with Shadows”, documenting the events surrounding the ‘Montreal Screwjob’. Second maybe to Banksy’s “Exit Through the Gift Shop”.
-I can probably loosely thank countless hours of watching WWF events/storylines to my recent interest in scriptwriting (or at least, doing something creative)
-For better or worse, one of my constant role models has always been this guy:
Yeah, it’s silly, not a real sport (whatever that means), and mindless. Y’know what? It’s also entertaining, fun and an absolute fucking joy to watch. Not to mention classier than all the GTL’s and redneck children that “Jersey Shore” and “Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo” can respectively muster. I mean seriously, would you rather watch these guys generally fail at being anything other than wastes of oxygen?
Or this guy being thrown through a goddamn cage onto a shitload of thumbtacks?
I dunno about you, but I know what I’d be picking.
Till next time…