Pro Wrestling: Passing On the Tradition

Will HowardCorrespondent IMay 4, 2009

TOKYO - JULY 14:  Professional wrestler Antonio Inoki attends the 'Kung Fu Panda' Japan Premiere at Shinjuku Piccadilly on July 14, 2008 in Tokyo, Japan. The film will open on July 26 in Japan.  (Photo by Koichi Kamoshida/Getty Images)

Last night I couldn't sleep so I went up to my room, actually started cleaning, and I came to find my old WWF and WCW tapes from events like the early WrestleManias, Starcade, and even the first edition of SummerSlam.

I brought my tapes down and randomly popped them in. Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard from their WWF days is something to watch if you have a copy of the SummerSlam where the Hart Foundation and the Brain Busters wrestled. A quality wrestling match if their ever was one.

About two hours into my blast from the past night, my soon-to-be two-year-old daughter came down and climbed into our recliner, and just started staring at the television.

I thought she had gone back to sleep until she started cheering and giggling when Rick Rude's match from SummerSlam had come on.

I think it was his "super pose off" with the Ultimate Warrior, but I'm not exactly sure. She just started taking an interest in what he was doing.

So I got to thinking, maybe I should've taken her on my excursion to WrestleMania this year.

Maybe, just maybe, a two-year-old can understand the concept of wrestling and enjoy it, or at least have fun with the colors and take in the ambiance of the lights, music, and superstars on a wrestling card.

When is it okay to welcome a newer, younger member in the the group of "it's not fake" faithful that are pro wrestling fans?

Since it's choreographed, you can't really call it violence. But at the same time, when is it okay to expose a child to the type of micro-nudity associated with the divas?

When we are in Washington, D.C., she will get exposed to it. I mean, it's going to happen.

Who am I to keep a child from the past, present, and future of something that plays such a tremendous role in my life as my primary source of non-Wii related entertainment?

I am going to give her a major history lesson, though. She's going to know about everyone from George Hackenschmidt of the 1920s to Lou Thesz and Jerry Graham in the 1950s, and so on.

I'm going start her at the beginning, not with all this John Cena, Vickie Guerrero crap where talking on the microphone and cutting promos triumphs over great wrestling.

She will know of international stars like Mil Mascaras, Antonio Inoki, Jushin Liger, and the Great Muta. The Hart Family and the Guerreros—only skipping the Vickie part.

To know where you're going, you have to know where you came from, and a lot of the current WWE stars don't know where wrestling was when they weren't around.

I don't want my daughter not to know the past because the past was the golden age of wrestling, and today it's only a shell of what it was then.