My Post-Modern Approach to Following Professional Wrestling

My interest in professional wrestling comes in phases. In the early 90s, when I was an impressionable youngster who thought wrestling was real, I idolized the likes of Hulk Hogan, The Undertaker, and Bret Hart. I cried when Shawn Michaels kicked Marty Jannetty through the glass, officially ending The Rockers as a tag team. After a few year hiatus, I jumped back on board thanks to the one-two punch of fantastic AKI-made Nintendo 64 games and some of the best stories and action during the Monday Night Wars. I was even in attendance for Wrestlemania X8, where I screamed my lungs out as Hulk Hogan faced The Rock in one of the most legendary bouts of all time.

After ECW folded into the WWE in the 2000s, I took a long hiatus. Oddly, it was my wife who pulled me back in a few years ago, as she went through a phase where she was deeply invested in the Total Divas reality TV show. When the opportunity arose for us to see her favourite wrestlers perform at a local event, I’ve been “sort of” following the scene again ever since.

I’ve always loved the athleticism and theatrics of professional wrestling. From high-flying splashes to back-shattering slams, it amazes me how the wrestlers are able to perform these moves without inflicting serious harm on one another. Of late, women’s wrestling has caught my attention, as they’re putting on matches that are just as good – if not better – than the men. Great stories behind the fisticuffs make the action even better.

As great as all of that is, I don’t have the time or patience to sit through the deluge of content. I never watch the lengthy episodes of Raw or Smackdown, as it’s such a huge time commitment. Oftentimes, the WWE weekly shows are still a subpar product week-to-week and there’s way too much of it. With pay-per-view events, we’ll make an effort to watch Wrestlemania and sometimes the Royal Rumble, but that’s it.

At this point, I follow wrestling almost entirely through Reddit and YouTube. Browsing Reddit threads, I can save myself a ton of time by reading the notes on what happened and watching any accompanying clips for key moments. Once in a blue moon, I’ll even watch a full match on YouTube if the buzz behind it is big enough. Most recently, a feud between my all-time favourite wrestler Rey Mysterio and upstart Andrade has led to some must-see matches filled with high spots and excellent in-ring psychology.

Though I keep a cursory glance of the WWE and beyond at best, I have been more invested in seeing live shows than I was as a kid. Whether it’s a big pay-per-view event or a small-scale house show, there’s an infectious excitement that fills the arena during high points, punctuated by chants of, “THIS IS AWESOME!” It’s not cheap, but my wife and I try to go to as many shows as we can.

I definitely don’t invest the time or effort that I used to with professional wrestling, but I try to keep tabs on what’s going on. Will continue to use the internet as a filter so that I can engage with the good stuff. Most recently, my wife and I attended a Road to Wrestlemania house show and had a great time! Also, our family got tickets to Summerslam this August and we’re excited to be in the building for one of the biggest wrestling events of the year!

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