On April 1, 1990 my baby sitter’s brother informed me that Hulk Hogan had just lost to the Ultimate Warrior. I took every Pro ‘Rasslin’ magazine I had and scribbled on every picture of the Warrior I could find. Around 1994, even after I learned wrestling results were predetermined, I was so passionate about Warrior/Hogan I got into a shoving match with a little league teammate about that match (because Hogan won but that damn fragile referee was knocked out!).
Warrior would leave WWE (then WWF) in 1996, briefly appear in WCW in 98 and only just recently return to WWE TV to be inducted into the Hall of Fame this past Saturday. What was special to me about the Warrior returning was how I felt when I heard his music, it made me feel that tingling passion I had as a kid, because while I hated that match back in 1990, I look back on it now fondly because it reminds me of the pure excitement and passion we don’t feel as much as adults very often.
We love nostalgia this day and age, we look back on pogs and power rangers with joy. But there’s something real special about the things from our youth that we really truly loved. For me that’s wrestling. And I know people look down on it. Think they are above it. Because they know all about it without really taking the time to find out why people love it. But to me it’s an art form. They are on the road 300 days a year, performing live for thousands of people, acting, improvising, “play” fighting and getting really injured while still somehow invoking a passionate response from a crowd who knows they are watching an athletic competition where the participants already know the ending. And while I still love it, I loved it in a different way when the Warrior was on top.
Today I love it because of the last point I made about the crowd knowing it’s a show and how good they are at making us believe anyway. But back then, when the Warrior would run to the ring and shake those ropes. I loved it in a less snarky way. I could enjoy it without picking it apart. It was still magical back then. It was “still real to me, damn it.”
And seeing Warrior return made me feel that pure passion and magic one more time. I’m grateful to him for that.
About The Author:
Chris Luther is a NYC based comedian and non-profit fundraiser. Read some of his previous articles like Wrestlers Who Are Probably Smarter Than You: Raven or 7 Oblivious People Slowly Driving Us All Insane or follow him on Twitter @chriscantlose.