If Vince McMahon's wrestling ring could talk, it would tell all of us the tale of 29 years of the greatest wrestling event ever. It would stretch its arms and lean back against the turnbuckle, take a deep breath and spin a yarn of how Hulk Hogan and the son of Vince McMahon Sr. set a course to change wrestling history.
By the looks of things, they succeeded.
With the stroke of genius and the idea of making professional wrestling the media icon it has become, WrestleMania is by far the grandest soap opera ever created in the sports entertainment business. It continues to defy logic, however trumped up it seems. Although the ending is predestined and predetermined, everything is established to make us want more.
Of course, wrestling matters in the WWE and so does WrestleMania.
If I sat in that very ring right now, I would hear a story of how Shawn Michaels had a match with a ladder, and some guy named Razor Ramon came along for the ride. I would hear about how Rick Steamboat and Randy Savage had the greatest match in WrestleMania history. I would hear about how two guys named Rock and Austin defined the event with a historic three rounds of epic battle.
And of course, I would hear about some "Dead Man" who continues to win matches when he can barely get himself into the ring, out of it at the beginning and end of his journey.
Those are the highlights I remember and so many more. Wrestling matters in the WWE.
It matters like Bret Hart and his brother, Owen, putting family aside to give us one hell of a match. It matters when a tearful Shawn Michaels knocks out his idol, Ric Flair, and retires him from the business. It matters when we see some guy named "Mr. McMahon" and his "employee" Steve Austin fight in a ring, and fans wish they had been the man to give their "boss" the middle finger.
Yes, to us fans, wrestling matters.
It isn't often we see a connection between fans, mainstream media and something so rehearsed as professional wrestling as a "must see" event in our society, but this is the case. It is better than any soap opera, any reality television series, any first-rate movie.
It is the core of which we fans live and die for to some extent, and it is the reason we watch with anticipation for Undertaker's first appearance of the year.
If the ring could talk, it might tell us of a "Dead Man," a "Big Red Machine" and a man who was scary to look at and listen to being those two creatures together. Only in professional wrestling, only through the fertile mind of Vincent Kennedy McMahon. There have been others before him who crafted a great tale and some outstanding matches like Dusty Rhodes, Eddie Gilbert, Eddie Graham and Verne Gagne. None took what they knew and ran with it like Vinnie Mac.
Yes, to the owner of the WWE, wrestling matters.
The ring symbolizes so much for so many reasons. It is a place of safety and security. It is a place of great drama. It is a place where nothing matters but the action in the ring and the outcome of the match. And this year it will again be the focal point of drama, chaos, confusion, twists and surprises.
And we will all be waiting to see what happens. And our full attention will be on that ring.
Because whether we see it or not, wrestling matters. And WrestleMania matters.
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