Confessions Of A True Wrestling 'Mark'

Confessions Of A True Wrestling 'Mark'

I am the biggest pro wrestling fan, bar none, to ever come out of the state of Massachusetts...with a reason.

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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."

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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.

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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?

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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.

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Working With People Who Are Dying Teaches You So Much About How To Live

Spending time with hospice patients taught me about the art of dying.

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Death is a difficult subject.

It is addressed differently across cultures, lifestyles, and religions, and it can be difficult to find the right words to say when in the company of someone who is dying. I have spent a lot of time working with hospice patients, and I bore witness to the varying degrees of memory loss and cognitive decline that accompany aging and disease.

The patients I worked with had diverse stories and interests, and although we might have had some trouble understanding each other, we found ways to communicate that transcended any typical conversation.

I especially learned a lot from patients severely affected by dementia.

They spoke in riddles, but their emotions were clearly communicated through their facial expressions and general demeanor, which told a story all on their own.

We would connect through smiles and short phrases, yes or no questions, but more often than not, their minds were in another place. Some patients would repeat the details of the same event, over and over, with varying levels of detail each time.

Others would revert to a child-like state, wondering about their parents, about school, and about family and friends they hadn't seen in a long time.

I often wondered why their minds chose to wander to a certain event or time period and leave them stranded there before the end of their life. Was an emotionally salient event reinforcing itself in their memories?

Was their subconscious trying to reconnect with people from their past? All I could do was agree and follow their lead because the last thing I wanted to do was break their pleasant memory.

I felt honored to be able to spend time with them, but I couldn't shake the feeling that I was intruding on their final moments, moments that might be better spent with family and loved ones. I didn't know them in their life, so I wondered how they benefited from my presence in their death.

However, after learning that several of the patients I visited didn't have anyone to come to see them, I began to cherish every moment spent, whether it was in laughter or in tears. Several of the patients never remembered me. Each week, I was a new person, and each week they had a different variation of the same story that they needed to tell me.

In a way, it might have made it easier to start fresh every week rather than to grow attached to a person they would soon leave.

Usually, the stories were light-hearted.

They were reliving a memory or experiencing life again as if it were the first time, but as the end draws nearer, a drastic shift in mood and demeanor is evident.

A patient who was once friendly and jolly can quickly become quiet, reflective, and despondent. I've seen patients break down and cry, not because of their current situation, but because they were mourning old ones. These times taught me a lot about how to be just what that person needs towards the end of their life.

I didn't need to understand why they were upset or what they wanted to say.

The somber tone and tired eyes let me know that what they had to say was important and worth hearing. What mattered most is that someone who cared was there to hear it.

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My First College Gal Pal Road Trip Was Amazing

Every girl should have one good girls trip.

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In some way or another, everybody has a list of things they want to do in their lives before it's all over. After all, we're human. There's adventure to be had in every life. One thing I have always wanted to do before I grew too old and grey was go on a road trip with my gal pals to the beach. A couple weeks ago, I achieved this memorable milestone, and it allowed me to open up to new surroundings and experiences.

On this trip, I went with two of my friends from college, Kait and Lindsey, to visit my roommate Elizabeth in Virginia Beach. This was pretty big for Lindsey and I because neither of us had been to Virginia Beach before. Thankfully Elizabeth and Kait knew their way around the city, so we never got lost on our way to and fro.

Like most vacations, my favorite parts probably took place at the beach. I'm always at utter peace stomping through mushy sand or leaning down to splash the salty water that tries to knock my short self over. We took pictures and did something us college girls rarely have time to do especially in school: Relax.

The four of us did not live up to the crazed stereotype of girl trips in movies. Although I finally got a chance to sing along to Taylor Swift in a car ride with my friends, so that's always a plus. We played "Top Golf" one day, and by some miracle, I actually won the second game by a fair amount after much humiliation in the first one. We visited some of Elizabeth's family, and I finally got to meet her giant dog Apollo (I call him 'Wolf Dog'). Everyday was another chance to ask with enthusiasm: "So what are we doing today?"

Our trip wasn't like the movies where we all cried or confessed our deepest darkest secrets. Everything the four of us shared was laughter and this calm feeling of being at home, in the chaotic peace of each other's company. We understand each other a little better due to finally seeing what we're like outside of Longwood University. After this, all I can say is that we're most definitely planning the next one!

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