We make such a big deal about the current wrestling scene and the one that got away.
The one that our heroes wrestled in, gave up blood and injuries and performed over 300 nights a year. The one that made wrestling "cool" and "real" and sensitive to the mainstream media.
The one that doesn't exist now.
While wrestling is more of a theatrical performance and the athletes are better than they have ever been, the lost art of kayfabe and true secrecy is lost on this younger generation of wrestling fans.
Gordon Solie, Jim Ross and Lance Russell used to tell a different story from the announcer's chairs, one about great heart, sacrifice and the need to pay attention to the storyline and the feud, not the merchandise it would sell.
If there were less PPV events and more build on characterization, then maybe the cross-culture that unites us as fans would be stronger. Titles would remain around the waists of our champions for longer periods and the idea of a real feud would not last a total of three minutes.
I know I am sounding off, but it pains me to see what has become of this business some times. And when we see former wrestlers come out of "retirement" for one last match, it does not always go according to plan.
As a kid growing up in NWA country, I was amazed at the "magic" of the screen and the story told. Solie made everything seem as real as possible. The wrestlers had a "homey" charm to them both "face" and "heel" and the scripts were better than they are today.
It would be great to see my favorites in the ring today. Wrestlers in their PRIME, not washed out, not looking to get over, but to help build the "sport" because back in the 1970s and 1980s, it was considered a sport until Vince McMahon and Hulk Hogan broke down all those walls.
These 20 wrestlers provide me with the comforts of my youth and by love for the business and in their prime of their careers, they were the best at what they did.