Saturday, February 10, 2007

A blast from the past

Hi I'm Chris Pena, known by many as Crispy. When I was in middle school I remember the hip thing to talk about between classes was pro wrestling. We would try to reenact the moves of the wrestlers like the diamond cutter, the drop kick, or the stone cold stunner. Many times we were sent down to the principle's office. We would even have games where we would try to name as many wrestlers as possible. I would go home and watch wrestling at home on mondays if I remember right. I would always sacrifice my school work for it. I did that because if you didn't know about wrestling then basically you were not going to have friends and you were not going to be popular, and back then being popular was everything.
Once High School started, I feel like this all went to a hault. Wrestling for me felt like it was jsut a phase, an era, just like Pokemon or yo-yo's. I went several years without watching or speaking about wrestling. Every once in a while I would catch a show or two, but with so many stories, I wasn't able to keep up and so I would quickly change the channel.
When I heard about this class, I realized it was going to be fun because of the context and because it would resurect my childhood memories. So far I have been correct in my hypothesis and I see no reason why that should change. Pro wrestling is fun and exciting, I guess the only reason why I didn't follow it as much after middle school was because I was a follower. But I hope that with this class I will be able to catch up with all the stories that I missed out on and continue with watching it.


Sam Ford said...

Chris, thanks for fleshing out your interest in the class a little more. (Or would you rather it be Crispy?) You bring up one of the aspects of pro wrestling that Dr. Michael Ball said troubled him most, the mimicry of children of the moves. How did your parents feel about this? How do you feel about it, looking back on it now? Do you feel that watching wrestling made your style of play more aggressive than it would have been otherwise? Should WWE hold responsibility for these situations?

Wrestling was vrey popular in the late 1990s and early part of this decade, particularly on Monday nights, so we'll be covering that era in greater detail as the semester goes along. That time period, with the "Monday Night Wars" between WCW Nitro and WWE Raw, was what some call the third "golden age" of wrestling, following the 1950s national popularity in early television and the Hulk Hogan cartoonish era of the 1980s.

For many people wrestling is indeed a phase, a form of entertainment connected to a particular era. And, oten, fans who no longer watch pro wrestling will argue about how good it was back when they first started watching but now terrible it is now. I'd venture to say that many wrestling fans will identify the best era almost always as the time they first tuned in.

Glad that this class has rekindled an interest for you, and I hope that we can provide you with a look at why you--and many other people in the country--have gotten caught up in these stories and theatrics over the years. Look forward to your insights on the readings and viewings as the semester goes along.

luistenorio said...

Wow, the same kind of thing happened to me. I got into wrestling and found that lots of my friends had been into it for years. I kind of got disappointed with the storylines and I just stopped watching.

Sam Ford said...

Luis' comment raises an interesting question as to what draws people into pro wrestling in the first place, the athletics or the storylines. For both of you, it seems that it is predominately the narrative that interests you, and your tiring of some of the storylines led to your tuning out.

Did you still consider yourself a fan after you quit watching?

Brian "Louxchador" Loux said...

Re: sam

I think personally I came for the athletics, and it's undeniably an integral part of it (you can't have amazing matches with guys who can only punch and stomp), you stay for the storylines. This is why MMA hasn't blown pro-wrestling out of the water.

As for the fan question, during the lulls, I still consider myself a fan. It's the Zell Miller "I didn't abandon it, it abandoned me" line. I just take on the role of the two old muppets guys being cynical at everything that takes place in the meanwhile. Additionally, I think the reason we see so many old wrestlers coming back in the last few years is because of a half-hearted attempt to get fans to feel the way they did about them a decade ago. The thing is you need those story lines to make you feel that way about them. Hulk Hogan was adored because he worked great with Andre the Giant et al. Bringing him back in 2002 just to have him pose, punch, and chop works once tops.

Alex Maki said...

Yeah, however, to some wrestling fans, referring 'pro wrestling' as a childhood phenomenon or phase, might offend them. I, too, reenacted moves throughout school, but never got in trouble for it. We even had a Hardcore Championship that could be defended 24/7 and some times it would be defended during school. It was great.

Carolina said...

So many of my friends have gone through this exact same thing, and I myself have been seriously tested with keeping up with pro wrestling. It's hard at times for even the most "faithful" to the shows, because there always seems to be a part of it that will disappoint you. I think it's great that you want to turn back to it, and with a new perspective, I think you'll enjoy it so much more. When we were younger there was some mystic appeal to wrestling that gets lost after a few years, but there are still plenty of ways to find it enjoyable. It's all perspective.

Ismael said...

I remember the same thing happening in my school as well. There were only a handful or kids, including myself, that kept up with the WWF growing up. Then around 1998/1999 it became the cool thing to watch and reenact. After a couple of years, the fad passed and eventually the kids that no longer wanted to fit into the wrestling crowd stopped watching.