Pro Wrestling, and Catching Up on a Childhood I Didn't Have

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DinosaurCanada

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Edited By DinosaurCanada

There's almost no worse feeling than having to play catch up. I was kind of a slow kid when it came to getting work done, or "obeying rules." But sometimes, catching up can be a profound joy. It's like unlocking a door into a world with seemingly boundless content waiting for you. This joy of discovery could turn into something that could define a section of your life. That is me with professional wrestling.

I didn't actually fully get into wrestling until I was 18, in 2014. I was always cognizant of it, and my friend had a Steve Austin poster on his wall. The only thing I really knew about it was that South Park episode, and that it was fake. But on a whim, after a lot of buzz from people online, I decided to check out WrestleMania 30. It was that show, and the following Raw, that hooked me. I fell in love immediately; I instantly "got it." It was a cross section of lifelong passions - sports, and cool guy shit. I would have loved wrestling as a kid. As I continued to watch WWE weekly with my dad (a lapsed fan from the early WrestleMania days), I realized I missed out on a part of my childhood I could have had.

I became obsessed. I started to branch out quickly, spending almost all my free time for the next coming year soaking in all the wrestling lore I could. I watched everything I found online that even resembled a wrestling match. I read books and resources that seemed legit. I’m still learning - I spent many nights last year reading old Wrestling Observers, trying to get context for this new medium I've been sleeping on my whole life. I just need more. It went from being a thing where I could only name a few big cross media stars, to something I've attended live thrice, and something I'm constantly breaking my sleep schedule for. At this point, with all the preordained athletics I've digested in the past half decade, it almost feels like I've been watching all my life.

Thus I urge you: if you're an adult, and think wrestling isn't for you, or you feel like you could never get it, give it a try. Watch Raw or AEW one week. It's not like sports or video games where it feels like there are all these language barriers and walls to hurdle around. Its fun. You'll just feel it, and know immediately if you want more.

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Dizzyhippos

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#1  Edited By Dizzyhippos

I would maybe suggest watching NXT or AEW instead of Raw, more because 3 hours is a BIG ask for most people.

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DinosaurCanada

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Liontard

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#3  Edited By Liontard

this is nice : )

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nutter

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My son got into WWE, so I watched some pay per views with him. We already do plenty together, so while it was nice to spend time with him, I really didn’t care for the shows. He stopped watching about a year ago, I guess.

I found a nice middle ground with Lucha Underground. It was like Mortal Kombat (silliness, drama, some mysticism and magic) meets wrestling. We both dug that enough and watched the seasons that were on Netflix.

Since then, I’ve dabbled. AEW is fun. NJPW’s G1 is probably the most entertaining thing I’ve seen. Those Omega/Okada matches are basically amazing action movies.

I guess I should note that even when he was watching WWE, he basically watched pay per views and youtube highlights of the regular shows. He had no interest in watching Raw or Smackdown. He did go to a couple of house shows and a Raw, and really enjoyed the live atmosphere.

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@nutter: The funny thing is that WWE kind of shifted the importance of their shows over the past few years

PPVs are more or less the "free" content because of how cheap the network is. Whereas the weekly shows are what get them big money from networks/advertisers and are the bigger ask for fans to watch (a significant percentage of the audience don't have cable).

So that leads to weird things where we are back to almost an attitude era "every show must end on a cliffhanger" deal where plots might change radically from night to night to make sure they can end on a talking point. And PPV matches are almost an epilogue to most of the arcs.

Unfortunately, to get that "must see TV" angle they also went back to attitude era Jerry Springer shittiness. But if you like watching problematic depictions of folk for drama then they got you covered. And if not: Asuka and Kairi are actually allowed to be on screen and their characters, while maybe slightly racist, are frigging awesome lunatics reminiscent of DX/New Age Outlaws while also being great wrestlers.

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redwing42

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@gundato: I'm not an expert on racism, but I feel like the Kabuki Warriors are definitely more stereotypical than racist. It also seems like Asuka and Kairi have significant agency in how they play their role, so I don't feel like that is anything to be upset by. I know that their Japanese dialogue is completely unfettered.

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Gundato

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@redwing42: If it were any other company I would assume it is just stereotyping. But WWE has enough of a history that I feel I should be slightly miffed even while enjoying every second of their shenanigans and using google translate to figure out what they actually said.

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Mick654

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WWE has its own history and own fan base i am watching the ww3 from the childhood and all the wrestlers are best from all of them Rock was the best and i love the most..