It’s no secret that professional wrestling is the victim—to a small extent—of a social stigma.
Thanks in part to the middle-aged man who tearfully admitted that wrestling was still real to him (dammit!), the untimely deaths of many prominent performers and an NBC primetime special that revealed the insider secrets of the industry over a decade ago, pro wrestling has left some detractors rolling their eyes at the mere mention of WWE or a body slam.
But if you’re a pro wrestling fan and you hear the groans or witness the shaking of heads at the expense of the industry you love so dearly, I advise you to ignore the noise (or, as John Cena would say, rise above the hate).
After all, this is your time, and nobody should take it away from you.
It’s WrestleMania time, of course, the equivalent of Christmas in the spring for pro wrestling fans around the globe. It’s a time where fans proudly display their love for this unique blend of sport and entertainment, and rightfully so.
From its humbling beginnings nearly three decades ago, WrestleMania has grown into an amazing spectacle.
It’s where Hulk Hogan slammed Andre the Giant; where the boyhood dream came true for Shawn Michaels; where the Ultimate Warrior electrified an entire fanbase; where Stone Cold Steve Austin and John Cena won their first major championships; and where the Undertaker turned winning into a habit.
Iconic moments like these have turned Vince McMahon’s baby into a larger-than-life extravaganza for wrestlers and fans alike. For wrestlers, performing at WrestleMania is much like giving an acceptance speech at the Academy Awards, hitting a home run in the World Series or driving a victory lap in the Daytona 500.
For fans, it’s an opportunity for them to unite from all corners of the globe and revel in the glory and glamour that pro wrestling offers when firing on all cylinders. And surely, it’s on the bucket list of all wrasslin’ fans to attend at least one WrestleMania in person before they die (I’ve personally vowed to attend next year’s WrestleMania in New York).
So let the haters scoff at all of professional wrestling’s negative stereotypes. If they never understand why we watch, who cares?
As a dedicated fan, you know what draws your eyes to the happenings in and out of the squared circle. And you know that WrestleMania is your night just as much as it is the Rock’s, John Cena’s or CM Punk’s.
So enjoy WrestleMania 28, not only because it comes around just once a year, but because not even the most rabid of critics can take it away from you.