“Because I’m the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be” ~The great Bret Hart
I’ll admit it – I’m a sucker for professional wrestling. I don’t watch it as much as I used to, but I love a good played out storyline. It’s like soap operas for rednecks.
The sports entertainment industry has changed a hundred times over from when I was a kid. Back in the good old days, heroes were made in the squared circle. Hulk Hogan taught us to say out prayers, train, and take our vitamins. Ric Flair taught us that all we needed to succeed was a white-blond mullet, feathered sequined gowns, and a cocky strut. Jake “The Snake” Roberts taught us that you can fight anyone as long as you carry a big burlap bag around (with a snake!! AAHH!!)
Nowadays, there are amazing high-flyers, amazing fake racks slathered with amazing fake tanner, and amazing indoor pyrotechnics.
I still remember the joy and pride after Hulk Hogan bodyslammed Andre the Giant at Wrestle Mania III. I sang along to “I’m A Real American” and jumped on the couches, much to the dismay of my mother. I had a hard time finding similar joy when Vince McMahon introduced the “Kiss My Ass Club”.
I remember feeling true heartache the first time my favorite tag team turned into bad guys. Remember when the Hart Foundation (Bret “Hitman” Hart and Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, managed by Jimmy “Mouth of the South” Hart), turned on the Killer B’s (B-Bryan Blair and Flyin’ Brian Pillman)? I cried huge tears. In fact, I change “The Hart Foundation” into ‘The Fart Foundation” and refused to watch them again until they fought The Rockers at a future event.
In fact, I cried the same tears when Gorilla Monsoon was indicted into the WWF Hall of Fame, posthumous. When Owen Hart died tragically while making a ring entrance. When Ric Flair gave his retirement speech.
No, wrestling will never be as good as it once was. Heroes are different now.
It’s a shame, really.
Now we have showboating over-actors (Hello, Randy Orton?) who get TV time and use it to make 10 minute long speeches to tell the crowd how bad he’s going to kick so & so’s ass NEXT SUNDAY!! ON PAY PER VIEW!!
I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.