Tuesday, January 4, 2011

I Came to Play Part 1

I think it’s time I admitted it: I’m a WWE (formerly the WWF) fan.

And that tends to embarrass me. When I go in to buy a WWE magazine, the process is what I imagine buying pornography would be like. I buy a second magazine (Shape or Oxygen usually), put that magazine over the WWE one, and make sure my body is blocking the view of what I’m buying when I’m at the register.

The silly thing is, I have far more nerdy things I could be embarrassed about. I’ve spent most of my early twenties running around in some sort of guise be it a Ravenclaw student, a Spider Splicer from the bowels of Rapture, an Engineering Ensign, or the Master playing track 3. I won’t even mention the “We Believe in Harvey Dent” campaign I organized with my sister while we stood in line for the midnight showing for The Dark Knight. But I digress.

As a kid, I loved wrestling. My dad was a bad influence since his babysitting of me often involved sitting me on his lap while wrestling was on. Amongst the kids I grew up with, the only thing more popular than hockey was pro wrestling. The most popular teacher in my elementary school was the teacher that was a first cousin of Chris Jericho (we didn’t get to meet him sadly). Obviously WWF was a big deal. Tuesday morning recess was spent talking about Monday Night Raw the night before. The lucky handful that were able to attend a WWF event in Winnipeg were listened to the day they came back with a hushed reverence in the half hour the teacher set aside for them to talk (the teacher having been annoyed by our constant disruptions during math when we tried to get the goods out of the lucky traveler).

Thanks to my dad, I was one of those lucky travelers! My dad bought the tickets to a WWF house show when he found out that Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels was the main event that night.

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Bad. Ass

I was 11 and Shawn and Bret were two of the tri-Kings of my universe (the third being Batman). The story of that trip has reached the status of legend in my head even though I only remember two things about it: the lights going out during the Undertaker’s entrance and the Bret vs. Shawn match. Our seats were right at the hockey boards, 8 rows away from the barricade around the ring. There was a clear path from me straight to that barricade. When Bret’s music hit, I made a run for it. My dad grabbed me by my belt and pulled me back to the chairs, giving me a look that said, “Don’t think I won’t drag you out of here!” I frowned but sat down and cheered for Bret.

Then Shawn Michaels’ music hit and I lost all restraint. I got a whole leg and my upper body over that board when my dad grabbed me by the neck of my Shawn Michaels t-shirt and yelled, “SONYA!” To which I responded, “DAD. IT”S SHAWN!” and put all my weight forward. I didn’t care if I choked myself out, Shawn bloody Michaels was less than 50 feet away. So there I was, screaming at the top of my lungs with my last lungful of air while Shawn entered the ring and my dad tried to pull me back. I wouldn’t freak out to that level again until I saw my favourite band for the first time 12 years later.

I’ve only recently returned to regular watching of Raw and Smackdown. I wish I could say it was because of the fond memories I had of watching wrestling when I was a child but the truth is I developed a huge crush on Wade Barrett. There’s just something about a charismatic, dominating magnificent bastard that is just fascinating and fun to watch. And the fact that he has a sexy accent is a bonus.

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......I'm sorry, what?

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