Happy Friday! Today’s article is something I usually don’t write about here. I have a separate Twitter account for this discussion, because I understand that not everyone likes sports. I have geared most of my writings towards the literature and lifestyle portion of blogging, and you can always follow me here on WordPress, email, or via Blog Loving’s website.
On Sunday April 8th,, the biggest sports-entertainment PPV rolls into New Orleans for WrestleMania 34. On Saturday April 7th, the NXT event occurs in the same city, and then tonight is the Hall of Fame induction ceremony. With all the wrestling that is happening in one city, for one weekend, that does not include other wrestling companies coming to town and having their own show. Or even the wrestling that occurs the Monday and Tuesday after WrestleMania week.
Being a Fan
I have been watching wrestling for ten years now. That includes breaks, hiatuses, and returns to the sports-entertainment TV programming. During my middle school years (2006-2008), I was struggling with my own mental health and emotions. I had just moved from one strict family (no TV no fun stuff) to a lenient family, who would let me watch what I wanted. I was also starting to have anxiety, six years before I recognized it.
When you take into consideration of how my life was during the first year of me finding wrestling on TV on Monday nights, you’d think that all the “violence” wouldn’t help with my life emotions.
I’d argue that because I understood that what was on TV was not real fighting, i was able to use the time I watched wrestling, to relax and foster my creative skills. When I was going to college (from 2012-2013 and 2014-2015), I didn’t watch as much wrestling, but I also managed to watch the four major PPVs every year (Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, SummerSlam, Survivor Series). I also leveraged wrestling into my life as a way to motivate me to work past depression, anxiety, and weight loss.
The most beneficial thing I have used working out for, is working out with wrestling on my phone. It helps me stay focused with what I need to work out on, and I can time my workouts to end when the programming ends.
Personally, it doesn’t feel like I have been watching ten years of programming. I say that, because sometimes, I actually prefer listening to the announcing over watching. I’ve realized I am more of an auditory person, so podcasts and radio ball games are preferred over just sitting and watching a game. Usually when I do start going to a “listening only” type of day, I also use the time to clean my apartment, create goals, etc.
I haven’t been able to attend very many wrestling events. I went to one when I was so tiny, all I recall are two entrance theme songs and the pyro for the entrance. Another, was almost ten years later, and I was in high school. An independent wrestling promotion came to my small town, and I have never seen them again.
In 2016, my Mom surprised me with tickets to WrestleMania 32 in Dallas, Texas. The event was okay, since most of the superstars were injured. I had a blast that entire weekend spending time in a sea of people. I also had lots of social anxiety that weekend, that my sister or Mother had never seen before, and so emotions were high.
In between 2016 and now, I have tried to go to three events. Each time, I have had life events come up, and I couldn’t attend. This year, I was quite close to going, but with car troubles, I had to use the money for a car, and not a trip. One day, I’d like to go to another WWE event, before I return to school.
Being an adult, I don’t watch the three hour of Monday Night or two hour Tuesday night programming live. On Hulu, you can watch an abbreviated version the next day. Most days, I don’t get to watch the programming until Friday. I don’t mind not watching live anymore- I use to throw fits when I wouldn’t get to watch live, or even if I missed the first thirty minutes. Being a perfectionist and with the anxiety of missing something important, I learned to work with it after a few years.
Questions I get asked all the time
How are you still watching it?
I watch wrestling from two points of views: the first, is from an athletic view, especially when I’m at the gym. The second, usually kicks in during a promo is happening or a confrontation- creativity and story lines. This is originally what drew me into WWE, even during a not so fabulous time in story telling. Also, the Undertaker’s undefeated streak (until 2014) was a great way to draw me in.
But it’s scripted!
Yes, and so is reality television. You like what you like, and I’ll enjoy my programming.
Who is your favorite?
Depends on what timeline we are talking about. If we wanted to go for the more classic wrestlers from the 1980s and early thousands (before I was born, mind you), I would say that “Macho Man” Randy Savage would be that era’s answer. For the “Attitude Era” I’d argue that Shawn Michaels and Undertaker tie for me. For the early 2000’s up till the arrival of John Cena, I’d answer with Triple H or Edge. For the current decade of stars (2010s) Roman Reigns, Finn Balor, AJ Styles, etc. are my “I can’t decide who is the best” answer.
But really? The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels. Hands down. Always a tie, that answer has never changed.
But what about the female wrestlers?
Okay, the women’s side of things went through some rough patches. From pillow fights to actual matches, most of my favorites are from the most recent years. For the wrestlers before the 2010s, I’d answer with Chyna, Beth Phoenix, Natalya Hart, and a tie for third place for Trish Stratus/Lita. These four women helped pave the road for where we are now. When I started watching wrestling, Beth and Natalya were just starting to bring back Women’s wrestling but it went through a few more years of mud before we got to the “Revolution/Evolution” phase we are in now.
For current women superstars, Charlotte Flair (Ric Flair’s daughter), Asuka, and honorable mention to Becky Lynch.
WrestleMania is the one event in the year where you better expect millions to be spent on seven hours of entertainment, and wrestling. Yes, seven. This year, there will be 13 matches, and a two hour pre-show. Most likely, a concert. Becaue those things happen during WrestleMania.
What’s your favorite WrestleMania moment?
Every time I watch this particular moment, I get goosebumps. I use goosebumps, by the way, as a “hell yes” moment for creativity and personal life things. So every time Shawn Michaels comes down from the roof top of the stadium at WrestleMania 12 (1996), I wanna cry. It’s a beautiful moment that you can watch HERE on YouTube.
The week before WrestleMania is known as WrestleMania week. After the official “end” of that year’s WrestleMania, we then kick off the next season’s worth of wrestling and story telling the next day. I also use the momentum from one season ending and another one beginning, to start new healthy habits (mental, physical, etc.). I love the power I get from being able to reset in March/April, instead of January.
What are some of your favorite moments in wrestling history? If you did watch wrestling, when did you fall out of it? Let me know in the comments, and I wish you the best weekend this weekend. Happy WrestleMania weekend (and happy Rusev day).