Notes from the Nosebleeds #100
January 29, 2011
By: Matt O'BrIen of WrestlevIew.com
Over the holiday season last month, Wrestleview gave me a little time off to spend with my newborn son. Since coming home and adjusting to the world of fatherhood (not sure what that means), I have often pondered the possibility that he will become a wrestling fan. You see, regardless of what his mom thinks, he will probably watch a fair amount of wrestling growing up just because he will be around me. Actually, he has already started, having stayed up with me a few nights as I work on a Wrestlemania project. That being said, it is important to me that he learns about wrestling in a proper way. What I decided to do was lay out a series of lessons that I would teach my child about professional wrestling. What I found was that they were lessons that I need to remind myself of sometimes, and maybe other wrestling fans need to keep them in mind too. So I decided to share them with you. Here are great lessons I have learned about professional wrestling. Wrestling is not real...and neither are most television shows you watch.
The constant complaint about wrestling from the outsiders is that its fake. Because it isn't real people hammer it for pretending to be a sport. The thing is, wrestling is not a sport. As soon as wrestling fans can live with that, the critics can too. People who look at you strange because you watch wrestling is all because there are those out there trying to sell it as a sport. People who know me are familiar with my interest in wrestling, yet still do not understand because they fail to see it as entertainment. Just a few months ago I had a family member whisper behind my back to my wife, asking her if i knew it was fake. My answer? Yes. I know it is fake. I also know that real bullets are not fired on the set of 24 and that District 9 is not a real colony. When someone tells you wrestling is stupid because its fake, its like saying Dexter is a bad show because Michael C. Hall isn't really murdering people. The conversation is going nowhere and you should not be the one to feel embarrassed. Don't take it too seriously.
In reality this is a lesson for adults more so than kids. Kids can at least get lost in the story and really get behind their heroes. When you see adults taking it all too seriously it gets a little creepy. There was once a great wrestler named Hulk Hogan.
For a couple of decades now Hulk Hogan has been heavily criticized by wrestling fans. I admit that I was one of them. But what a lot of people forget is that Hulk Hogan brought us to the dance. How many people started watching wrestling in the 1980s because of Hogan? These same people that started watching because of him soon turned their backs on the Hulkster, labeling him a backstage politician who held young guys down, and saying he was too old to put on a good match. They called his character cheesy and tiring. Well Hogan wasn't the first and he wasn't the last. The same thing happened with other top stars. Just ask The Rock. One minute he deserved to be a main event player, the next he was being booed because he was a sellout. Ask John Cena. People constantly call him Super Cena and boo him because they feel he is too much of a goody-two-shoes and shoved down their throats. The fact remains that these are all good wrestlers. If you go on YouTube and watch some of Hogan's matches from Japan you will see comments from viewers about how Hogan was good in Japan and should have wrestled like that in WWF, because then he would have been good. But Hogan was good and if he had wrestled in the WWF the way he wrestled in Japan he would not have been the Hulkster. He would not have been the great hero that attracted so many people to wrestling. I think of Steve Austin in comparison.Austin's earlier work featured more mat wrestling, but his time atop the WWF he was a punch-and-kick guy. He was still a great wrestler, he just wrestled a different style. Even today you have people who say that you are only a true wrestling fan if you watch Ring of Honor. People were the same with ECW. Again, how many of these people even know about professional wrestling because of guys like Hogan? Never watch any of the WCW Uncensored pay per views for any reason.
Actually, run it past a panel of at least ten people before you consider watching any of their late-90s shows. If you ever have the privilege to meet or correspond with an individual in the wrestling industry, please take everything tell you with caution. Some workers do not stop working, ever.
I think anyone who has ever read or seen and interview with a professional wrestler can understand that. If you ever have the privilege to meet or correspond with another wrestling fan, please take everything tell you with caution. Some people do not stop making things up, ever.
Anyone who has been to a live wrestling show can understand that. If you like wrestling a lot, analyze it.
Being someone who has watched wrestling for a long time I have found myself more critical in recent years. My taste in wrestling is always changing, but I pick up more things from a match now than I did ten years ago. Some matches that I thought were outstanding when I first saw them now seem overrated, while matches I overlooked, I now appreciate. Enjoy it!
Some of the best memories I have with my dad, brothers, and friends were times we were sitting around watching wrestling. Its amazing how wrestling can bring people together. I will never forget being live at the 2000 ECW Anarchy Rulz show when Jerry Lynn won the title in his hometown. Strangers were high-fiving and hugging each other. Forget about ECW or the guy with the belt, its amazing how wrestling can have that effect on people. Readers have reached out to me and told stories about how they were watching something with their kids and it helped them bond.
Columnist, Wrestleview.com[email protected]