The Indy Project has been on extended hiatus and I’m hoping to bring it back ASAP, but before that I want to talk about why wrestling is my life. I’m going to attempt to convey in blog form on how wrestling has impacted my life and why it means so much to me.
I never understand when people have these vivid memories when they were so young, my early memories of wrestling are being obsessed with collecting Hasbro figures, dressing as the Ultimate Warrior and stealing my brothers VHS tapes. (damn I’m getting old). My brother watching it at my grandma’s is my first exposure to wrestling and although I didn’t fully understand it, I was drawn to it instantly.
Fast forward to late 1998 at 10 years old, listening to my friend talk about last night’s ‘WWF Capital Carnage’ event and here I am, completely engrossed in what happened, thinking back to watching it at my grandma’s, thinking why is The Undertaker the only name I recognise here. So I started watching again, and the following month, me and said friend watched Survivor Series: Deadly Game together. Stone Cold quickly became my favourite, and is still my favourite of all time, but it was The Rock/Mankind feud that hooked me straight away, my friend related to The Rock and I related to Mankind. What that says about me I’m not sure.
Wrestling was the coolest thing on TV, during the adverts of RAW on a Friday night I would flick over to Nitro to see what was going on and watch ECW on Bravo afterwards. PPV Sundays me n my friends would always have sleepovers.
In 2001, when I was 12/13, wrestling suddenly wasn’t cool anymore and people were growing out of it. The last PPV I stayed up and watched was weirdly the best PPV of all time, Wrestlemania X7. I didn’t want to, but I gave in to the peer pressure to try and remain (somewhat) cool and stopped watching wrestling altogether.
In 2006, now 18, I was at a house party and in the friends bedroom he had some VHS tapes, which I found weird for 2006, but as I looked through I saw, ironically, Wrestlemania X7. Curiosity got the better of me and I stole the video tape. You wouldn’t think he’d care but he still brings it up to this day, yes I am aware that doesn’t justify me stealing it. Now my mum is abit of a hoarder so when I asked did she still have my old VHS player I knew that the answer would be yes. What I didn’t expect was to find all my old wrestling videos along with it. The excitement I had when putting WM X7 in that day was huge, and the nostalgia was amazing but it was like I was watching the matches in a totally different way with different eyes.
After weeks or months went by of watching all my old videos, from WrestleMania III to St Valentine’s Day Massacre, I wondered what wrestling was like today? So I went to Music Zone and bought the latest WrestleMania on DVD which was WM 22.
The Money in The Bank match blew me away, Mick Foley vs Edge with the flaming table was something I never thought I would see in the WWE and the main event with Cena and Triple H was just amazing because I’d never heard a crowd like that before. So now I was hooked again! The next PPV was Unforgiven, which I stayed up for and I haven’t looked back.
Watching it again made me appreciate the different styles, characters and forms of wrestling and just like when I started listening to heavy music and I wanted to find more and more bands and heavier and heavier music, I just wanted more. So I became obsessed with TNA, Ring Of Honor, NJPW and anything I could get hold of. No one has ever popped me like Stone Cold but CM Punk is in very close second. I met one of my best friends whilst in a bar and somehow CM Punk was mentioned, we then got wasted and spent the whole night chatting about wrestling and still to this day, me, him and my girlfriend go to Indy shows together. Indy wrestling is just the best! I would choose to watch indy wrestling live over any other form, especially PROGRESS. The matches are always top draw, the fans are so passionate, the punk rock attitude is something that really speaks to me and it feels like you really are a part of something.
Wrestling is my life because it brings friends, it evokes passion and if you get it and you allow to suspend your disbelief, it’s truly an art form.
Here is a list of my favourite things in wrestling, and I would love if you would tweet (@Wadji1) me with your list too.
Favourite match(es) of each decade (Mainstream) –
90’s – Shawn Michaels vs Mankind (Mind Games 1996)
00’s – Stone Cold vs The Rock (WM X7)
10’s – CM Punk vs John Cena (MITB 2011)
Favourite match of each decade (Other) –
90’s – Rob Van Dam vs Jerry Lynn (ECW Hardcore Heaven 1999)
00’s – Joe vs Kobashi (ROH Joe V Kobashi)
10’s – Okada vs Omega (NJPW WK11)