WWF… The heroes, the villains, the flamboyant costumes, the catchy entrance music, the outrageous story lines and even more outrageous matches… Yes, The World Wrestling Federation presented itself as a form of escapism for me when I was a kid.
Why publish a post about wrestling? Simple, my reason behind it is to give my audience the opportunity to learn a little more about me. As a child, I would not say that I was happy. I’ve had happy moments with the three best sisters ever, however, my childhood was far from perfect. As a child, I realised the importance of escapism. I needed a channel to help me escape from my daily realities and, believe it or not, the WWF’s weekly wrestling segments broadcasted on our local sports channels, afforded me with the opportunity to escape.
I knew the wrestlers in and out, their signature moves, and I can even say that I’ve been to four live wrestling shows in 1996,1997, 2003 and 2012. I attended the last show in 2012 to accompany my nephew, but hey, I also wanted to relive some childhood memories too. I had all sorts of wrestling memorabilia from t-shirts, official videos, stickers, large foam hands, and the sunglasses worn by my favourite wrestlers.
My childhood wrestling hero, who still has a profound effect on my life now, was none other than Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart. There was something always endearing about him, the kind of childhood hero that even evoked self-belief. So, it’s only natural that his book, ‘My Life In the Cartoon World of Wrestling,’ is my favourite autobiography. It’s raw, honest and added a whole new dimension to what was once the be all and end all in my life.
Other wrestlers who I adored were Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker. I adored HBK as much as I adored The Hitman. The Montreal Screwjob made me adore HBK far less. However, they shared one of the greatest rivalries in all of wrestling. It’s amazing how easy it was to juxtapose these two characters. Bret Hart was the straight shooting family man, while HBK was the cocky showstopper with his head in the clouds. Everything about them symbolized the vigor and enthrallment associated with wrestling.
At the age of 27, I still find myself sifting through Youtube to relive some of those moments. My favourite match, without a doubt, is the 60-minute Iron Man match between Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania XII. Today, I feel like wrestling has lost its flair. It seems like they’re scraping the bottom of the barrel for new ideas and storylines to sustain their audience. Nothing will ever compare to my childhood heroes, or the extent to which they made me smile as a kid on some very rainy days.