I’m not a big wrestling fan, at least not anymore.
When I was a child?
Forget about it.
Saturday afternoon was always awesome when Calgary Stampede wrestling was on TV and whenever we got our new TV Guide (for you younger readers, it was a weekly publication that came in the newspaper that told you what was on that week), I would feverishly flip the pages to Saturday night to see if this was the week that WWF’s Saturday Night’s Main Event was scheduled for.
My late brother was a huge fan of the Ultimate Warrior. I was always partial to “Macho Man” Randy Savage. Oh, the battles that ensued in the basement. I think there are still a few holes in the drywall.
These days, the athleticism, talent and passion of the performers is still undeniable but as an adult (and I use that term loosely), one of the only things that tweaks my interest about pro wrestling is the sense of nostalgia it sparks. It takes me back.
But sitting with my son in Abbotsford Centre on Monday for WWE’s Road to Wrestlemania, I realized there can also be much to learn from pro wrestling.
As my son whooped and hollered as he watched his favourite grappler Dean “The Lunatic Fringe” Ambrose retain his championship belt in the night’s main event, I pondered some of the life lessons that be gleaned from a night of pro wrestling.
The good guys don’t always win.The “babyfaces” always give it their best but sometimes the “heels” get the best of them. There’s no shame in losing, if you fight fair and give it your all.
Be patient with people and learn to laugh things off. With his New Jersey accent, a guy sitting behind us screamed at the top of his lungs during every match. Some of his barbs were funny – the first 20 times. He annoyed everyone. But you know what? He paid for his ticket and he was having a great time. Besides, if bombastic fans annoy you, perhaps a live wrestling event isn’t the best way for you to spend your evening.
Anything the boys can do, the girls can do better. One of the best matches of the night came from the women of the WWE, who showed off their amazing athleticism and showmanship. These women are making a big impact in a male-dominated industry – and that should impress even wrestling’s biggest naysayers.
Bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better. The WWE put on a great show – but brighter lights and bigger stage aside, it really was only a small step up from what you can see from All Star Wrestling at Cloverdale Fairgrounds every month. Once a month (the next show is Saturday, Feb. 11) ASW brings its roster of young wrestlers to Cloverdale. These athletes – many bound for the big time, I’m sure – are always amazing with the kids, signing autographs and taking photos after their matches. Take your young wrestling fan. You won’t be disappointed.
Don’t take life too seriously. Sure, wrestling’s drama and action are staged but when you roll with it and have fun, you can appreciate the pageantry of it all. Sometimes, you just have lighten up, summon your inner wrestler and scream, “ohhhh yeahhhh!” in your best Macho Man voice. Be honest. You did it just now, didn’t you?
Here’s a final life lesson – don’t quit your day job.
Beau “Superfly” Simpson is the editor of the Now. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.