I got back into watching wrestling.
Who would have thought I'd still be into wrestling so many years later?
Professional wrestling is something that I never thought I'd get into watching again. You see I had these phases in my life that I really got into it. There was an innocent stage of my life in the 80's when the WWE was known as the WWF. Then there was a more mature stage of watching it. I thought I was done with it but here I am still watching it and liking it too!
My first recollections of wrestling was in my early youth in the 80's. I remember cheering for such stars as Hulk Hogan, Macho Man Randy Savage, and the Ultimate warrior. It was a time of great innocence and I loved it. Here were these giant superheroes battling it out in the squared ring. If anyone one drank the wrestling Kool-Aid it was me.
I still remember fondly the huge matches like Hulk Hogan body slamming Andre the Giant, or how Macho Man got back with his love Miss Elizabeth. I didn't know at the time but I was consumed by the drama of the whole thing than the actual matches.
Those days kind of dissipated when my favorite stars started to disappear from the WWF. Little did I know they were moved to a competing wrestling program known as WCW. I didn't get those channels on my television so I just naturally assumed they disappeared for good.
Years later I would enter my high school years in the 90's. I had garnered a group of nerdy friends who happen to watch WWE. What the heck was WWE? Well the WWF had changed their name to WWE because it conflicted with the World Wildlife Federation (WWF). Now they would be known as World Wrestling Entertainment.
To be part of the group I decided to start watching wrestling again. The tone was a lot different from what I remembered it but the drama was still there. However, the drama of this new WWE was amped up to eleven. You see this was the attitude era of WWE. They were still competing with WCW. I now knew where all my favorite wrestlers had gone and they really made a name for themselves but I was a devout WWE watcher.
With the old faces gone we had a whole slew of new wrestlers with Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, and Mankind. Boy were they really great years of wrestling. I remember being interested in wrestling back in the day but this was on a whole other level of interest. I couldn't wait until the next Monday night Raw to see what was going to happen next.
This went on for quite some time and then university hit and I guess the interest in wrestling kind of drizzled away. I had new friends that didn't watch the show and I found new hobbies. My brother was still into wrestling throughout all this time. I'd watch a few shows here and there with him but I was lost. I didn't know any of the storylines or who the characters were anymore.
Fast forward 20 more years and I'm back to watching the WWE. The show is admittedly a lot tamer than it was in the attitude era of WWE. With the new times that we live in now, the WWE has restructured their format. Gone are the very violent and bloody matches. There was no more over the top sexual innuendos and they watch their language a lot more. Still some of the stars are still shining through.
We have Roman Reigns who is this egotistical head of the table character. Him and his cousins are ruling the Smackdown show. There's the every so charismatic Seth Rollins and I'm loving the women's wrestling personalities too. Back in the day women's wrestling wasn't shined as much.
There were a few outliers in women's wrestling back in the day like Lita, Chyna and Stacy Keibler. Not a lot of promotion was made for them though. Now I think the promotion is on par with the men's matches. There are standouts like Bianca Bel-Air, Sasha Banks and Charlotte Flair. It just adds a whole new dimension to the wrestling roster.
I think all of the wresters have to hone their craft a little bit harder now because of the censorship restrictions on their promotions. Some of them have been pretty creative with their work.
On top of all this the wrestling moves are mind boggling now. Some of these wrestlers are humongous and yet they're still able to pull off some luchador-like aerials that I would never expect. Some of these matches are so dizzying because there's so much going on the screen at once. I have to say I've become a fan yet once again.
There's this sense of nostalgia in the history of the WWE that they still keep intact even in promotions. They refer back to their own history and WWE history. You can tell that the new wrestlers themselves are fans of yesteryear. Some of these new wrestlers are even pedigree to old wrestling legends.
To have them all do this and continually place new spins on the show is really impressive. I'm now watching both Raw and Smackdown now. I never used to watch that much wrestling before. The excitement of wrestling is back in the air. It could also be because of the new WWE competition AEW. With new competition everyone has to up their game. It's almost like the attitude era of the past.
Overall, I really hope that they will keep this upward momentum. As it goes right now I have really have high hopes for televised wrestling in general. I'll continue watching it as they continually improve themselves and the storylines. Now since the pandemic is finally dying down and we're seeing fans in the stands, I think this is just what I needed.