Seeing Batista and Finlay in a backstage fight on an episode of Friday Night Smackdown will forever be etched in my mind as the first memory of pro wrestling I have ever had. Sure, I might've known Hulk Hogan or 'Macho Man' Randy Savage from pop culture outlets and such, but The Animal and The Irishman fighting in that backstage arena had me hooked onto pro wrestling since. It was something I knew was far different than other sports, and yes, a year later I knew it was fake.
How could The Undertaker actually be dead? How can a guy like John Cena be seen? Where is Ultimate Warrior really from?
It was all scripted, and from that point on, I knew it was something I would be faced with criticism for the rest of my life. "Oh, that's so dumb," "It's all a scam!", or the dreaded words, "It's fake."
Well, duh, people, don't you think we know that? Us wrestling fans, in my opinion, get the worst criticism because we follow a sport that's not really a sport. Sure, there may be larger than life characters fighting villainous foes in the middle of a ring like a comic book, but we're in on it. We know the thing is scripted and pre-determined, but you got to give it up to these athletes, yes athletes, for their skill and dedication to pro wrestling.
That's out of the way now, so let's get really into my obsession with pro wrestling.
First and foremost, my favorite wrestler of all time will be "Macho Man" Randy Savage. Bar none. His intensity and unique personality (along with the various colors) had me hooked later on in my life when the WWE Network came out and I could rewatch moments of his career, whether in WWE or WCW.
His greatest match will be at Wrestlemania III when he and Ricky Steamboat stole the show over the Intercontinental Championship. His second greatest will be against DDP at Spring Stampede 1997, and his third greatest could possibly be against Hulk Hogan at Wrestlemania V. The fact that he has fewer reigns as world champion than Hogan irritates me because Savage brought a more elemental 'big fight feel' to his matches. Always pumped up, never on half-power, he is the epitome of wrestling IMO. Don't @ me.
Macho Man inspired me in ways that have made me a more creative person with what I want to do with my life.
A few facts about my obsession with wrestling:
- I believe CM Punk's controversial 2011 pipebomb promo is real and not scripted
- NXT has better matches than the main WWE roster in the last five years combined
The biggest fact about it is that I have over forty wrestling t-shirts.
Four AJ Styles shirts, seven Bullet Club shirts, six NXT superstar shirts, two Kevin Owens shirts, a very special Macho Man and Wrestlemania III shirt, among countless other wrestlers that I have. If there was a photo to showcase all of these shirts, I would, but it would take some serious effort for me to drag all of them out. These shirts are like a flag to me, as if I'm wearing a Red Sox or Patriots shirt: I'm proud to support my favorite wrestlers' out in public. The designs themselves are pretty cool, which really draw a lot of people whenever I walk into a classroom at UMaine or even a restaurant.
Pro wrestling is something I was destined to take an interest in.
I have never been drawn to something as equally impressive as pro wrestling. I'm constantly watching old and new matches, looking up facts and such, and occasionally cutting a 'promo' on my Instagram about school woes and such. It's a 24/7 interest for me, even if I daydream of being WWE Champion one day.
Becoming a pro wrestler is the next goal I want to achieve post-college, so what's stopping me?
It's no shock to friends and family that I want to be more than a fan of pro wrestling. Sure, there may be a huge uphill battle to get in shape, stay dedicated, and really learn the business, but I'm eager to try it regardless. If I get knocked down in training, that's just a reminder to get up quicker and fight back. If they tell me I will never make it as what I intend to make my character, then I'll adapt and make myself better than my previous persona.
No one can take my respect away from pro wrestling. I f'n love it.
I want to have something as special of a moment as this.