30 Years Of Wrestlemania….What It Means To Me
April 3, 2014 8 Comments
My first memory of wrestling was when I was 12 years old, flipping through channels on a Saturday morning. I turned on the former WWOR network, in New York. I saw what seemed to be a talk show. I knew who Hulk Hogan was, so I saw him standing there. I also knew who Andre The Giant was, from interviews, and of course he was about to be in the movie “The Princess Bride”. So I knew who the two main people involved were. Hulk Hogan was the then, WWF champion. Bobby “The Brain” Heenan informed Hulk his good friend Andre wants a title shot. Andre confirmed this by ripping off his cross, and walking away.
From that point, I was hooked.
Something about that, and I know now why, it was the two men involved. They carried so much charisma, they held the fans on their fingers. The camera panned, and saw crying kids. It had a big impact, and let’s face it, Wrestlemania 3 was the even that put Wrestlemania on the map.
Don’t get me wrong, without Mr. T, or “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, there would never had been a Wrestlemania I. But Wrestlemania 3 was the real money-maker.
The moment Hogan slammed Andre, with 70,000+ screaming fans in the Pontiac Silverdome, wrestling never looked the same, again. I became a fan. I watched Wrestlemania 3 scrambled….old school. There was no digital cable, so my TV connection had PPVs, I just couldn’t see it, but I heard what was going on. Then when they became available, I rented them at the video store, and watched them in its entirety. My first PPV that I purchased was Summerslam 1988, where it was “Mega-Powers Vs Mega-Bucks”. My first Wrestlemania I purchased was Warrior Vs Hogan, at Wrestlemania 6. Which brings me to this weekend.
The Ultimate Warrior will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. Hulk Hogan is the host of Wrestlemania. Mr. T is inducted too for his role in Wrestlemania I and II. And, we are going to have an Andre The Giant 30-man Battle Royal.
In other words, this is their legacy.
Now, we can all agree that the buildup to Mania 30 has been poor, at best. However, what I am going to say is it’s still Wrestlemania. You know the men and women will work hard, to entertain us, and keep us on the edge of our seats. I watched the Wrestlemania press conference a few days ago, and it brought back memories.
I am 38 years old, I started to watch wrestling at the age of 12. 27 years, I have been invested in seeing what is going to take place, and where we go from here. Every Monday night, I watch Raw. I remember what it was like not having wrestling on Monday nights. I remember when USA Network had “Primetime Wrestling” with Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan as our hosts. I remember the very thought of Monday Night Raw, and when they started, I truly missed Primetime. But now, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Because without Raw, there wouldn’t have been WCW Nitro, and without the “Monday Night Wars”, there wouldn’t be any “Attitude Era”.
It’s truly amazing we can watch this all on WWE Network. I am re-living these moments, the good, the bad, the in between. And with that, I can watch the Hall of Fame ceremony this weekend, and Wrestlemania 30.
This is not an infomercial, I am not telling you to purchase it, but I did, and now I can watch the very same moments that grew me to wrestling with my family. I can show people certain elements that had me hooked in wrestling.
And no matter how crappy the build is, it’s still Wrestlemania. It will always be special.
What is your Wrestlemania memories? Share with me here.