What percentage of your friends watch?
I watch wrestling for the mix of spectacle & athleticism.I watch out of curiousity and inertia.I watch to see new moves and to to be surprised(although that happens less and less).I watch hoping for sublime moments like last Monday’s tribute to Flair or ridiculous comedy like last year’s TNA Turkey Bowl.I have been fascinated by the absurdity of the backstage politics since I got the internet in late 1997 and was an avid reader of Scott Keith and the Pro Wrestling Torch( the pop-ups for that site nowadays are so annoying) for years.I love big moments- like Sting finally attacking the nWo after the Uncensored PPV or the ring breaking after the Lesnar superplex on Big Show.I love the sophmoric humour(Bachelor Party is one of my fave movies- so is Road House)- Wrestlecrap continues to fascinate me-from the absolute time capsule cornball comedy of GLOW to the various Villanos.
I watch Impact and Raw every week- I usually record Smackdown and watch it later on -so I can edit out the commercials- I watch ECWsci-fi- but more cuz it is on right before the podcast.My fave wrestling to watch -well - the process of editing my videotapes from the Monday Night Wars to DVD-r and DVDs of old school and indie wrestling.My curiousity about the backstage shenigans have led me to buy most of the wrestling books out there-I have some kayfabe photo books from the 80s- but I have alot of the biographies and stuff like Hardcore History and Wrestlecrap Book of Lists!
I started watching wrestling in 1977- even then my stepdad mocked my fascination with a sport "that everyone knew was fake".But I was hooked - Mid-Atlantic Championship wrestling was the show I was lucky enough to start with- the territory had Ric Flair,Greg Valentine,Paul Jones,BlackJack Mulligan,Wahoo McDaniel,Rick Steamboat,Jay Youngblood, "The Boogie Woogie Man" Jimmy Valiant and so many others.The guy that hooked me was Roddy Piper- his crazy charisma,his ability to implode at just the right moment in the match and his promos made me a fan even before he was a face.I was hooked and started getting the wrestling magazines- that feed into the mystique of the
territories- I was aware of AWA and WWF and wrestlers from around the country- so when some like say the Great Kabuki would appear on Mid-Atlantic TV I could not wait- I think we get overexposed to talent because they have the same people year after year on the top of the card-although there are several main eventers that have left WWE in the past few years.
I remember Abbdullah carving up Dusty on TV in action so "graphic" that they had to run a negative image of the event- I remember watching Thunderlips in a Rocy movie- I thought it was fun- but I was a Piper fan- I did not have cable until 1996 so I missed alot of stuff
I kept up with wrestling by renting videotapes , buying magazines and some books- I vividly remember the Flair vs Funk fued form 1989 because someone would play the videotapes at the afterhours club I was DJing at .I remember getting quarter rolls and going to play wrestling video games for hours on end in the late 80s. I remember going to a local flea market and seeing indie shows for several months in 1992-even booking one of the grapplers to be a MC for one of my concerts.I remember borrowing my best friend’s copy of Royal Rumble for Sega Genisis and playing for months- although it only took being Lex Luger and his bionic clothesline to win the game .
When I really got re-hooked was the Monday Night Wars- I had gotten cable and was flipping channels - and Roddy Piper was on- sure the matches that followed where the drizzling craps-but the promos were the bomb- and to top it off - Piper and WCW were coming to town- WW3 1996- I was lucky enough to have front row seats- that was a blast- nothing tops the experience of being front row center for a 60 man battle royal + a Piper/Hogan contract signing + STING!!!! coming from the ceiling.After that I was getting the magazines every month - a year later I was able to use my writing experience to get a backstage pass to a WWF houseshow the month after the Montreal screwjob and I got to interview several WWF superstars- blah blah blah - the Monday Night Wars were me and my best friend watching while being on the phone and switching from one show and back all night long.I remember having PPV parties- the best attended ones where the Rodman Bash at the Beaches- lol. I usually went to other folks places for WWF events
Now I usually have friends over for Raw and videogames every Monday night- I tend to go to sportsbars for the WWE PPVs- cuz the crowds usually enhance even the worst matches.
I have a lot of friends into wrestling- but even so I would put it at 50% into wrestling and 50% of my friends can’t understand my fascination with grappling.
I go to indie shows- I have been to several Nitros,Raws,Smackdowns, Great American Bash 2004- I have been to a couple of house shows- the upside of house shows- the action is continous - the downside - they don’t matter in the storyline sense.I missed the ECW shows that came to town because of work and I did go to the TNA PPV that came to town in March.
Wrestling when it is done well is the best entertainment,when done very badly it can be very entertaining.My problem will continue to be the middle part- when it is running on nuetral-when we have week after week of Chuck Palumbo vs Noble matches- but I continue to watch hoping for the next fun moment-