As a child of the 80's, I grew up a huge fan of professional wrestling. Hulk Hogan was like a God to me, and I took great pleasure in acting out the moves that I saw on television with my classmates.
Throughout high school and college, wrestling had gotten more sophisticated. The story lines were more involved and often times downright R rated. Yet it was ok since I was getting older and was able to adjust to understanding that wrestling was just a show and could appreciate the more mature direction that my favorite superstars were going in.
However after college something changed. As I started working a full time job and entering adulthood, I had a desire for something more real.... more authentic.
Enter Mixed Martial Arts. It was like a whole new world had opened up for me. These guys were hardcore athletes that weren't following scripted movements or predetermined outcomes; they were modern day gladiators that exemplified exactly what it means to be a man or depending on the organization, a woman.
One of the reasons that I found MMA instantly appealing is because of the fact that an average guy with enough determination and discipline can participate in the sport. The combination of boxing, grappling, and submissions was something that I could participate in and actually gain skill from.
Little by little I began making trades:
Chuck Liddell over Randy Savage
GSP over The Rock
Dana White over Vince McMahon
Eventually more time passed between my viewing of any regular wrestling programming. Days turned to weeks; weeks to months; months to years. Recently, while flipping channels, I stopped on the latest installment of WWE's Monday Night Raw program. It was just plain sad. The idea of watching grown men essentially "play fighting" with each other made me sick.
MMA became the caviar to wrestling's tuna fish. It could no longer compete with my interests and unfortunately only keeps my attention when I find out that a wrestler has passed away.
Just for the record, professional wrestling will never go away. With the steady stream of kids the world pumps out, the fan base will continue to stay steady. However, I don't think that it will ever have the run that it did from the 80's to the early 2000's again.
Alas, poor wrestling, I bid you goodbye, for "When I was a child I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man I put away childish things."
Thanks for the memories.