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Jeff Watkins
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Monday, April 07, 2014

A Piece of Me Has Died

Late on this cloudy, Monday evening, just before the new day begins, I take this moment to reflect on a portion of my life. But first, let me tell a little story. When I was a child, I had typical kid-like entertainment. I would go outside, play with my brother, ride bikes, etc. But one day in either 1985 or 1986, my dad brought home the first Wrestlemania to me on VHS from the rental store. At his behest I watched it. With amazement, I sat and discovered professional wrestling, or what was just then the genesis of 'sports entertainment.' Who was this Rowdy Roddy Pipper? Who was Andre the Giant? I didn't care. They were superheros. And one guy stood out to me even more, a character who seemed to transcend time and space. He was better than Spiderman or Superman. He was REAL. "I am a real american, fight for the rights of every man" the lyrics of his theme music chanted. So great, in fact, was this guy Hulk Hogan that I began to idolize him. I watched him whenever I could. Hogan was my guy. I was a believer. I would rent copies of PPVs just to rewatch his matches over and over. He helped me to fall in love with the sport/soap opera/exhibition of wrestling. I watched wrestling regularly until around 24 or 25. When I stopped having cable available, I was out of touch. I would still pay attention. But it wasn't in me. Even in my late 20's, when I could, I would try to watch it, but it was just so boring. Even still now, I have to force myself to watch it because in almost nearly 30 years of being a consumer, I think I've seen all I'm ever going to see. NOTHING will be new again. Or at least I presumed, but not a wager I would make. Or one I would win. You see, I would recently shell out hundreds to attend Wrestlemania events here in New Orleans. Could this be the greatest culmination of my childhood dream? No. The sad truth is, the reason wonderment leaves one as a child is because it takes the faith of child to be as naive about the world around us as possible. I'm not just being negative or cynical, no no no. This isn't just being mad at the cost of ticket prices, or the seating location, or the fact that the WWE seems to be focusing on the all the younger talent when the past fifteen to twenty years all they seemed focused on was the older boys. I paid entirely too much to see the Hall of Fame ceremony at the Smoothie King Center. It was great, but, I was burned up about the money the whole time. I paid SO much money for decent seats to Wrestlemania, only to be disappointed by the location. And also, the fact that Brock Lesnar ended the Undertaker's streak, but that's probably more of childhood pain rearing its head instead of real disappointment. Then on Monday Night Raw, there was no Undertaker rietirement. There was no arrival of Sting. There was an introduction of new characters. Point of all this is: you can't ever go back. The shit you loved as a kid was reasonable and right but only to a kid. And because it seemed real. I still mildly enjoy getting caught up in the hype of wrestling, but it's pointless. I'm not a fan anymore. I just like to relieve my childhood. Seeing the reality of time and money spent to get that enjoyment and burden Andrea with Nick is just too much. I need to seek pleasure of what I enjoy now and never look back.

posted by Jeff Watkins at 11:31 PM


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