I admit, I wasn’t always a fan of it and I was in and out of it as a kid.
I remember in the fifth grade about 18 years ago, kids were doing the figure four and I thought that was the coolest thing ever but had no idea what it was.
Sadly, these were the same kids that called me “Lodi” for no reason (Lodi was a wrestler with a gay gimmick, it took me forever to figure that out, thanks internet, the guy that started that is in prison now, thanks karma)…
Either way, as a kid growing up in the nineties, I didn’t care much for Pro Wrestling because at that time, I just saw it as fat guys yelling at a microphone and occasionally throwing each other.
The concept of it being “fake” didn’t really detract me as much as there wasn’t anything cool about it and with a limited selection of television channels, the little bit of wrestling I saw was scarce.
One day in like 2002, I was invited to watch wrestling at my cousin’s place (his mom was a big wrestling fan, not sure if she still is), I was introduced to wrestlers like RVD, Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho and the thing was, I knew who like Shawn Michaels and Jericho was because of the video games on the ’64 but I had no idea about like the wrestlers from ECW (other than Raven, for some reason).
Either way, I was slightly enthralled until I saw the match that would keep me tuned forever: Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit for the 2003 Royal Rumble. That was probably the best wrestling I ever seen! I can watch that match now and still be at the edge of my seat and that match was 13 years ago!
It wasn’t long after that I was introduced to the Cruiserweight Division like Tajiri, Mysterio, Funaki, Ultimo Dragon, Scotty 2 and the like as well as wrestlers like Shawn Michaels, Jericho, RVD, Booker T…I mean, wrestling sure has evolved from the biggest move in a match being a flying clothesline or a powerslam.
It wasn’t long before I found myself learning about Indy Wrestling from the old WWE Chat Room (before getting flamed out, it was pointless anyway) and just completely enthralled myself with the likes of Alex Shelley, Homicide, Devon Moore, Trent Acid and pretty much anyone in the Best of the Best, Survival of the Fittest and the Ted Petty Tournaments.
It wasn’t before long that I was a RoH-bot that HATED CZW for seeing it as just a hardcore fed before being set straight that Ruckus exists. I remember watching IWA-PR after WWE Afterburn (RAW review show) and was introduced to wrestlers like Mascarita Sagrada, Ray Gonzales, Apolo (who for the longest time, I thought was Hotstuff Hernandez) and Savio Vega. I remember watching Jersey All Pro and being big fans of All Money is Legal and Low Ki and Amazing Red.
I got over Ring of Honor after Morishima beat Homicide because I was under the assumption that RoH was trying really hard to be a Japanese fed (the “puroresu” title and promoting “strong style” wrestling which is really just screaming while hitting a wrestler really hard) and at the time, I was looking for a wrestling fed that was doing it’s own thing.
I remember being happy for the Human Tornado when he beat Joey Ryan to become PWG Champion.
I remember HATING John Moxley in HWA when he teamed up with Dick Rick and made life hell for Pepper Parks.
I remember getting really mad when Apolo beat the hell out of Ray Gonzales post match after the title shot in IWA.
I strayed and came across Mexican Wrestling and my earliest memory of it is watching Rob Viper’s MV’s on the internet and learning how great Mistico vs. Perrito Aguayo was…I soon became enthralled with Hector Garza, Essa Rios, Barrio Boys and just all the flying moves I could handle.
Then one day, I came across a kid with a wrestling ring in his backyard and that’s where all the magic happened.
I admit I’m a horrible wrestler (which is why I want to get trained) but the fact is very simple, for a little over a decade, I breathed this stuff. I’ve forgotten about more stuff in wrestling than a few of these kids know about and I’m not just some internet reviewer. I want in on the action.