I didn’t always like professional wrestling. As a matter of fact, I used to HATE professional wrestling. I didn’t hate it because I didn’t like what I saw or because of its content though, I hated it because it came on during the Saturday morning block of cartoons!
The Las Vegas affiliate of ABC, KTNV would run the national broadcasting of Saturday morning cartoons, commercials and everything. So when the 10:30 cartoon (I don’t recall what show it was) went off the announcer would always declare that up next was Looney Tunes. Every week I would get hyped to watch Bugs Bunny and company perform their classic brand of slapstick comedy animation and every week I would wind up disappointed when that stupid graphic and ominous voice popped on, talking about, “The World Wrestling Federation – for over 20 years… something, something sports entertainment.”
If I was alone, the moment WWF came on I either turned the TV off or switched to playing Nintendo. If my brother was around, he’d watch and I would ignore it. I wasn’t interested in anything on Saturday morning that wasn’t animated.
One Saturday night however, I remember trying to sleep and my brother was up late watching TV as there would be a Saturday Night’s Main Event coming on that night. I figured since we shared a room I couldn’t bitch about him having the TV on at 11:30 at night so I would turn away from my pillow and actually see what was going on.
The main event that night was a white guy dressed as an African dude who had manager who looked like a pimp against a cat who rocked yellow, had thinning hair, a mustache and the crowd was ROCKING for him. So this was the Hulk Hogan I would casually hear about.
I think I was about 8 at the time I was watching this shit. I didn’t know any better back then so I thought all Africans shared my skin tone. When I saw this 400 pound white dude being called the “African Dream” Akeem, I couldn’t take him seriously. I became a Hulkamaniac that night. I wanted this fake ass African to get his ass beat for mocking my ancestors. Hogan won that match by DQ because this crooked ass cop, who was apparently friends with Akeem and Slick (the manager whom I would later learn his name to be) jumped in and put the beats to Hogan in unison with Akeem. All was well though because this sawed off bearded bastard with a steel chair came to the ring and chased the bad guys off. I was like, HOLY SHIT!!!!
That sawed off bastard was the WWF Champion “Macho Man” Randy Savage. That was the first time I ever remember watching wrestling and my goodness, I loved it.
I became obsessed with the World Wrestling Federation and was determined to put together all the pieces to the story that led up to this seemingly special event. Who was Hulk Hogan? Who was “Macho Man” Randy Savage? How was Miss Elizabeth such a manipulative skank and a good guy at the same time? I needed to know these things.
Between watching the weekly TV shows, Superstars, All American Wrestling and Prime Time and renting video tapes (here’s a Wikipedia page for the younger readers to research just what the hell I’m talking about) I was able to educate myself on the full back story of like EVERYTHING WWF.
In that research not only did I grow into a more avid Hulkamaniac but I loved “Macho Man” too. I loved that skank Elizabeth. I thought Brutus the Barber Beefcake was like the sharpest dressed, coolest dude on the planet. Then there was the Ultimate Warrior, Demolition, Jake the Snake Roberts and ANDRE THE GIANT.
Even the fucking Red Rooster was a thing… and I wanted to get his T- shirt.
Shouts out to Terry Taylor.
The first pay per view event we ever ordered was the Royal Rumble in 1989, where during the match the seeds for WrestleMania V were planted. The Hulkster accidentally eliminated Savage while going after Bad News Brown.
…and where the Mega Powers, the team comprised of Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage finally EXPLODED. It was fucking glorious.
People ask me all the time how I got into watching pro wrestling. Well, there you have it, brother.
Next month is WrestleMania XXXI, which culminates from San Jose on March 29th. I’m throwing a party for the event, as I have every year for the last several.
Holy shit. I’ve been watching this shit for over 26 years, faithfully. People ask me all the time how I continue to follow something that is so… well, it’s fucking pro wrestling?
I tell them that I’ve seen some cool shit and I’ve seen some horse shit. But ultimately, it’s MY shit. I’m a wrestling fan damn it. If you don’t like it frankly, I’ve got two words for you.
More Wrestling? I’ll be back next week with more. Happy WrestleMania Season!