As my 30th birthday fast approaches I’ve been feeling nostalgic about a lot of things. Wrestling has, and always will be a big part of my life. I have watched many great matches, many bad matches, but one thing always stays the same – my love for the professional wrestling industry. I used to watch occasionally, and then the real obsession began! Looking back I can tell you the exact moment I fell in love with it – I turned on my TV and saw Bret Hart. That was that. I was hooked! I spent most of my teenage years (and all the years that followed) hopelessly in love with The Hitman. When it’s said that Bret Hart is the best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be, that’s no exaggeration. The man was and still is utterly brilliant. I have him to thank for introducing me to so many happy hours of watching. He will always be my all time favourite, and quite deservingly so.
I am proud to say I am a wrestling fan; however it wasn’t always that way. We all know that wrestling was not a ‘cool’ thing to like growing up and I certainly took some stick over it, and sometimes still do from small minded individuals who have no idea what they are missing out on! Now I see more and more people from all different walks of life falling in love with it. As fans we are often stereotyped as being geeks and I think the haters think we all have acne, wear jam jar bottomed glasses and will never get laid! Once upon a time that might have been true, not anymore. Each time I go to a live event, whether it’s TNA, WWE or a local Indy event I am surprised to see more and more types of people. Wrestling is getting more and more popular and it really is great to see. More and more Indy events are popping up all over the country, and doing much better than previously; the quality of events is improving as the ever growing crowds are harder to please. It will never be as big here as it is across the pond, but the UK fan base is ever increasing!
Although my love for wrestling will never change, the way I watch it sadly has. Gone are the days of my childhood where I watched every move with anticipation and excitement, gone are the days of knowing it’s not real, but still kind of believing it is, and gone are the days of watching through naive eyes without criticism. Now when I watch I’m looking for the botch, trying to guess where the storyline will end up and criticising every word and action. Yes I know it’s all part of growing up and the fact that now as fans we are far more aware of the business aspect of things, but sometimes, I just want to watch it, and enjoy it for what it is – the greatest form of sports entertainment. Sometimes I allow myself the pleasure of just watching. Screaming at the TV and in that moment (I’m sure we have all done it) it is as real as the nose on your face. Is he hurt? Did they really get married? Did she just give birth to a hand? We never knew what would happen next. These days we would never be allowed to watch someone have ‘sex’ in the middle of the squared circle, drown anyone in beer, and make those sexual innuendos we all loved so much. As The Game gave his heart wrenching speech on Raw this past week, I was thrust back to my childhood, watching the clips of Trips in action and how exciting it used to be. I know we all yearn for the attitude era to return, but perhaps it’s the way we perceive it now that makes it PG?
Wrestlemania 28 saw the end of an era match. Anyone around my age can appreciate it genuinely is the end of an era. All the greats I grew up watching have almost disappeared off my screen. No more Hitman, Owen, Mr Perfect, British Bulldog, HBK, Edge, Flair, Savage, Stone Cold, Hogan, DDP, Nash or Benoit. Only occasionally do we see them on TV. They have been replaced with the new faces of wrestling, Cena, Punk, Sheamus, Del Rio, Orton; these guys have a hell of a lot to live up to! I look forward in another 30 years to looking back on their matches and careers and seeing how, and if they can ever compare to some of the all time greats!
As always you can follow me on Twitter @helenrobinson82