Posts Tagged pro wrestling
Most of what I post on this blog happened years ago, but today I’m posting about something from the present. Yesterday was the first time I watched a wrestling match with my son.
One of my favourite things about being a parent is taking my son Tiny Dog (obviously not his real name) to different places and events. We have seen museums, theme parks, playgrounds, the circus, and live music, but I’m really looking forward to the day when I take him to his first wrestling show. I’m planning to take him when he’s a bit older (he’s only 4 now), but thanks to the wonder of Youtube, I decided to give him a bit of a sample of what pro-wrestling is all about.
I was lucky enough to grow up during the Hulkamania era of pro wrestling. The show was cheesy, over the top, and something that the family could watch. At the time I suspected, but didn’t know for sure that I wasn’t watching a legitimate athletic contest. It was a fun time to be a wrestling fan! My parents took my sister and I to see WWF (now WWE) every time they came to Winnipeg.
The good memories from my youth influenced the match choice for my son. I decided on a Hulk Hogan vs. Randy Savage match from 1985. This is during the second year of Hogan’s title reign; it was so old that he was still using Eye of the Tiger as his entrance music! The match itself is a textbook example of a cowardly, cheating heel vs. a superhero babyface. There were probably about 20 moves in total performed in 20 minutes and the crowd went nuclear for each one of them.
Tiny Dog’s reactions to the match were hilarious. He was upset that Hogan tore off his shirt and threw it at the start of the match. Why would he rip his shirt? He thought Macho Man was the good guy because he had a sparkly cape and a pretty girlfriend. He kept asking me where Hogan’s girlfriend was. There were some kids in Hulkamania gear in the front row – Tiny Dog wanted to invite them to our house for a play date. When I asked him who he thought would win, he picked Macho Man. What a mark – Savage never beats Hogan!!
I loved Tiny Dog’s reactions, but my favourite part was Randy Savage’s changing name. During the match, Tiny Dog referred to him as Macho Man, Macho Guy, and Macho Friend. Macho Friend was pretty cool, but I’m not sure that it would sell a lot of t-shirts.
After our viewing experience, I’m even more excited for the day that I can take my son to his first wrestling show. If we are still in Winnipeg, I expect we will see Canadian Wrestling’s Elite, a modern take on the classic wrestling territory operated by wrestler and booker “Hotshot” Danny Duggan. I’m looking forward to an afternoon of cheering the faces and booing the heels with my kid. Hopefully this will not be followed by any chairshots to daddy at home.
Long Live the Macho Friend!
FIFA World Cup continues, much to the delight of most of my coworkers. My roommates (both Americans) and I decided to give World Cup another try after suffering through an incredibly boring England vs. Paraguay game the other night. Tonight’s game was Spain vs. Ukraine, which we did our best to watch until we learned that there was Japanese women’s wrestling on another channel. Not just any women’s wrestling: hardcore women’s wrestling!
Finding this new program led us to a choice:
- Continue to watch 22 men mostly standing still pass a ball to each other while the crowd sang football songs
- Watch two terrifying Japanese women stab each other in the head with forks and then beat up the ref who tried to stop them
It was an easy choice. Wrestling > World Cup
I woke up with a headache and a raspy voice thanks to the farewell party last night. Consequently, I spent most of the day being VERY lazy. At some point I finally got off my butt and went out to rent a movie. I found the pro wrestling section of my favourite video rental store, and ended up coming home with an awesome tape of Tiger Mask matches.
Tiger Mask is a wrestling character based on a manga hero. He wrestles a high flying style while wearing his famous tiger head mask. To date, Tiger Mask has been portrayed by four different wrestlers. I believe that the tape I rented featured the original Tiger Mask, Satoru Sayama in matches against Dynamite Kid and a very young Bret Hart. Sayama was Tiger Mask in the early 80’s, but his matches (especially against Dynamite Kid) featured a fast paced, hard hitting, exciting style that was well ahead of their time. If you are a pro wrestling fan, you NEED to watch some Tiger Mask matches.
In addition to Tiger Mask, I also watched Paycheck, which could have been a lot better.
(2014 Update) In 2010, amazing pro wrestler / MMA fighter Ikuhisa Minowa became the fifth person to officially portray Tiger Mask.
My farewell party was at the Premier Championship Wrestling (PCW) show on Thursday, September 2003. If memory serves, it was annual the “Back to School Bash” show. At the time I was a big pro wrestling fan, and had been going to weekly PCW shows for over a year. There was a core group of us that would always go to the shows including The Ex (also a pro wrestling fan), and a few of the frat boys. Not only was I a regular, but I was also the undisputed wrestling trivia champion. Since this was a special occasion pretty much the entire fraternity chapter showed up. PCW ran all of their shows out of a local bar located close to the University.
The problems started when almost everyone wanted to buy me a farewell drink. When I mean everyone, I mean the fraternity brothers and some of the other regular wrestling fans. Being a fun, friendly guy I didn’t refuse any drinks at all. The promoter made a point of telling the crowd that it was my farewell show, and got me into the ring to demonstrate my beer chugging abilities. I also got to be part of an in ring angle where one of the wrestlers had a shocking revelation about his personal life. My job was to wait for the signal and then hit the mat and bail out of the ring in a hurry. Considering how drunk I was at the time it is fortunate I didn’t end up falling on my head.
At some point my brain went into survival mode and I started giving away the drinks that people were bringing me. Memories get fuzzy later in the evening, but I ended up puking an ungodly amount beer and awful shots in the bathroom, and then went to sit with another group of regulars for the end of the show to avoid further free drinks. My last memories of the wrestling show were of Mentallo winning a championship and getting into someone’s car to go back to the fraternity house. My next memories were at the fraternity house. A few people were trying to convince me to drink water while I was sitting on the floor in the bathroom, hanging onto the toilet for dear life. My brain, still in survival mode, convinced me that they were trying to give me more alcohol, so I flat out refused to drink anything else.
The problem with drinking stories is that some of them start fun and end fun. Others start fun and end badly. This was one of the “ending badly” stories. To be continued…