When did you start watching?

img_3898One question that all wrestling fans ask each other, besides who’s your favorite, is how long have you been watching?  And that’s what I want to discuss today.  My parents divorced in 1984 when I was two years old.  My mom had custody of me and my sister, and my dad would get us every other weekend.  My mom remarried and we moved to rural Ohio and only had “farmer vision”.  Basically local channels that would come in on the antenna.  My dad still lived in the city and had access to cable television.  And every other weekend I would get the chance to see shows that you don’t see on “farmer vision”.  My dad would typically have the music stations on as he loved to listen to music as he worked on things around the house, working in the garage or washing his Pontiac firebird.  A lot of VH1 and CMT.  However in the mornings he would allow my sister and I to watch cartoons or he would have wrestling on.  My dad would watch NWA/WCW wrestling on TBS at 6:05 eastern on Saturday nights.  I can remember being quite rowdy one Saturday night and my dad was getting a little aggravated.  Finally he yelled and made me sit on the couch to settle down.  As I calmed down,  I started to watch wrestling with my dad.  I don’t exactly remember who was wrestling that night, mostly because I was about 4 or 5 years old.  But I do remember being immediatley hooked!  I became obsessed with it.  I hated that I wasn’t going to my dads every weekend.  One because I always missed him, and two, I wanted to watch wrestling!  The more I watched the more I learned.  I started learning who the wrestlers are, and who were enemies, who were allies.  I learned who the “bad guys” and “good guys” are.  I knew all the tag teams, all the title holders, all the announcers.  I knew how much the wrestlers weighed and where they were from.  I soaked up wrestling like a sponge.  I would lock all that information in my head, and at eight years old was a WCW encylapedia.  It was probably 1989 when I noticed Brian Pillman.  I liked Pillman because he was a smaller guy and he did a lot of high flying moves.  And when I learned he was from Ohio, he was an obvious choice for my favorite wrestler.  I had a lot of favorites at that time; Lex Luger, Sting, Rock n Roll express.  All “good guys”, but my dad was a fan of guys like Arn Anderson and Ric Flair.  I said to my dad “why do you like the bad guys?”  He replied “they are funny.”  I thought, well that’s just ridiculous.  No one likes that bad guys.  As I grew older I understood it a little more.  And now some of my all time favorites were bad guys.  Even Brian Pillman, when he was with Steve Austin in the Hollywood blondes or when he was the “Loose Cannon”.  A bad guy!  I secretly still liked Pillman.  So I learned that my dad was a fan of their style and not so much the character.  And that’s how thirty years later I still evaluate the wrestlers I like.  Currently, I would say Dolph Ziggler is my favorite.  A bad guy.  But I like his style, not so much the character.  My son is now ten years old and he is a wrestling fan!  And he does the same thing.  He is more interested in a style of wrestling opposed to character.  I love seeing him watch wrestling.  It takes me back to when I would sit on the couch with my dad and watch in excitement.  I think wrestling will be around for as long as time.  It’s evolved into something that everyone can enjoy.  I plan to watch for as long as I am able, and I hope you do as well!