Green River Star -

By David Martin

The joys of professional wrestling


The world of professional wrestling is ridiculous.

I know this. You know this. Even the annoying dog down the street that barks at 3 a.m. knows this. At this point, most people also know professional wrestling isn’t a true athletic contest and is more of a testosterone-fueled soap opera where everything is predetermined. Despite the gaudiness of it all, there is something incredibly appealing to professional wresting.

My dad introduced me to pro wrestling when I was seven years old through rented cassettes he would pick up every weekend from Warehouse Video in Rock Springs. We quickly started following the more cartoonish nature of 1980s World Wrestling Federation shows and watched as Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage and a colorful cast of one-dimensional characters settled their scores within the confines of the “squared circle.” We were regular watchers throughout much of the 1990s, but the intensifying Monday Night wars between the WWF and World Championship Wrestling as well as the more risqué nature of both programs at the time didn’t appeal to us. We stopped watching.

Twent-plus years on, a few days after Wrestlemania, a lot has changed. Hulk Hogan‘s image has lost a lot of its shine from the “eat your vitamins and say your prayers every night,” family-friendly persona he had in the 80s. A number of other wrestlers from the time have died, many of whom as a result of the steroids, drugs and alcohol they abused in the 80s and 90s. The business has changed as well, now consisting mainly of World Wrestling Entertainment (the former World Wrestling Federation’s name change when the 55-year-old World Wildlife Fund decided there was too much confusion surrounding the WWF initials and sent their lawyer pandas to bodyslam the federation into a new name), as well as a number of smaller promotions like Impact Wrestling and New Japan Pro Wrestling coming nowhere near the size WWE has.

About a year ago, I fell back into watching a show called NXT, which is the WWE’s developmental program based in Florida. I’ve never been able to get back into the convoluted story lines featured on either Monday Night Raw or Smackdown Live, but NXT’s show reminds me a lot of the older programs my father and I used to watch. Person A thinks he’d be a better champion than Person B and wants to challenge him. Person A is upset Person B didn’t want to join his group of wrestlers. It’s simple, it’s fun to watch and an NXT broadcast is only an hour long -- not too much of a time commitment involved.

I’ve become such a fan that a recent trip to Florida I took involved attending a live NXT show, which was a lot of fun in person. Yes, the world of professional wrestling is ridiculous, but it sure can put a smile on my face.


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