It is something that apparently we cannot live without…yet we as a species are often falling in and out of it quicker than a Goldberg squash match.
When you’re in love you feel infallible, omnipotent and wondrously complete…and when you’re not, you’re either ‘polyamorous’ or just waiting for the right something or someone to come along.
Whether it is ‘love-at-first-sight’, or a ‘slow-developing’ love, or even a ‘love from lust’, there are emotions involved that almost totally consume your daily activities or powers of thought.
This is or can be wrestling.
I have progressed from the ‘lustful’; to the ‘serial dater’; to the ‘promiscuous’; to the ‘settled and content’; to finally become the ‘in love’.
You see many people say they love wrestling…and for the most part I believe them. Hell to admit that in a world that often provides ridicule and instant revulsion to such comments is good enough proof that these people are for real. I would go so far as to guess that YOU love wrestling. And showing this through commitment at times of deteriorating products or tired storylines or backstage politicking, is what makes us the ‘in love’ rather than the ‘casual lover’ or the ‘serial dater’.
I know people that ‘know’ about wrestling, but they are not smarks. They know about Hulk Hogan, they know about Wrestlemania being the SuperBowl of wrestling, and some even know that Vince McMahon really does own WWE. These people though are the ‘uninterested’…the ‘unimpressionable’…those who right now and maybe forever will never engage in ‘love’. They have other interests, other concerns and other priorities. And for all our questioning they are ‘satisfied’ to continue as is.
But if we were to consider the various stages of love in a way that illustrates how wrestling is so sentimentally important then we can see a pattern than is not so atypical for the ‘typical’ wrestling fan:
LUST – “To have an intense or obsessive desire, especially one that is sexual”
Just as with ‘love at first sight’, lust is one of those phenomenal feelings that has your heart in your mouth and your senses shot to pieces. Now while I never feel a sexual craving for wrestling, I can often be seen in an extreme state of excitement and anticipation when I know Raw or Smackdown is coming on the TV. An obsessive desire? Yes. But does it stop there? No. When the longing for something goes on longer than a few sightings, then you know you have got something worthwhile. When I first saw a wrestling ring and the action unfold within it, I was in shock and awe. At the time I must have been in disbelief, yet what I watched was something that was to mean more and more to me as the years unfolded. Hulk had not only lifted Andre, but my spirits also. At Wrestlemania 3 it all began for me. 93,000 were in attendance at this special outdoor event, but one new and very young fan was ‘born’.
DATING – ‘An engagement between people, or a meeting for pleasure’
By the mid-90s I had become one those wrestling fans that was up on things. I knew exactly what was going on; I knew who was feuding with whom and what matches were on the upcoming PPV cards. Yet I was somewhat ‘innocent’ and naïve still. I had no knowledge of the IWC or the influence that it may have. I knew nothing of backstage pressures or ‘faked friendships’ in the business. Instead I watch, I enjoyed, and I left it for a week. I came, I saw, I conquered you might say. And true to these words of Julius Caeser, I came back time and time again. Raw (and eventually Smackdown) was my engagement. My weekly fix. But when cable became readily available and my parents entertained the notion that extra channels would benefit our televisual enjoyment, I had other options. I had various engagements sprung upon me. I had Nitro (and eventually Thunder) to entertain me. I had NWA shows to please me. I had Philadelphia’s own unique promotion: ECW. I was ‘playing the field’ and loving every minute of it. You see, back then I was an ‘easy’ wrestling fan. Whatever tickled my fancy at the time would be the thing that got my attention. Much like a child in a candy store, I had ‘tasty treats’ in all directions. The Ministry and The Corporation feuds; the Austin/Rock rivalries; the Hell in a Cell debut; and D-X…right through to Tyson and the Montreal ‘Screwjob’. Yet on the other side I had Goldberg and Sting, Steiner and Booker, Flair and Rey. Hogan shocked the world by turning heel; Bret Hart defected to the enemy and the NWO were dominant. I even became an avid fan of RVD, Sandman, Sabu and the whole ECW product. While the Monday Night Wars were in full swing I was addicted to wrestling and no matter what I got I liked. WCW, WWF, NWA, ECW it all meant the same to me.
LOVE – ‘An intense emotional attachment, as for a person, pet or treasured object’
With the break of a new millennium and the expected dissolving of WCW, a new era was born. One in which WWE not only was created, but dominated. Rosters were stripped down and streamlined; guys and girls lost their jobs…but the big names stuck around to make what has been (and still is) the top wrestling company that is in existence right now. The Invasion angle was gold; the TLC was created; the Undertaker gimmick returned; and the influx of new talent was so refreshing. Orton, Batista, Cena, Carlito, JBL, Jordan, and the list goes on. Things are never always perfect – like in any relationship – but right now TNA doesn’t cut it for me. I love wrestling because I am totally at ease with it. I am not too critical when things go bad; I am not too bothered when storylines go awry; and when a new guy gets a push that others not approve of, I often remain contented. Moreover, when I am away from the TV for a few weeks I may be disappointed but I know that when I return I will be welcomed back ‘with open arms’. Today seeing Batista give the thumbs down and then powerbomb HHH through a table is just as sweet as the memory that still remains from 1987 and Wrestlemania 3.
TNA, ROH, CZW, FWA, IWA-MS (and others) are all doing good things for honest wrestling fans around the world so whether these represent your ‘lust’ or ‘love’ then continue to let it happen. Wherever you may be on the timeline don’t worry, because they all have their merits. Much like in real relationships, the formative stages are exciting and refreshing; while being ‘polyamorous’ or ‘promiscuous’ can be fulfilling in a non-pressurised way. But when love sets in, you have arrived at your final destination. Enjoy the ride. But when you get to where you’re headed, you will hopefully see that this journey we all make as wrestling fans has all been worth it.
As Wrestlemania 21 draws ever closer I cannot help but think how many people will have their love for wrestling made crystal clear…while at the same time I am excited to think about how this event will provide so many people with their latest ‘love at first sight’.
Well another ‘Double A’ Report is done and a rather heart-felt one in many ways. Thanks to those of you who have been in constant contact with me, I appreciate all your support. I just hope you have enjoyed the above.
For those of you who have an opinion on wrestling, love or anything else that you want to discuss then drop me an email at DoubleAReport@yahoo.com and I will be more than happy to read and respond.
Until then or next time,