In just a few moments I prepare to embark upon an annual epic journey that marks one of the highlights of my year. As the countdown to the Royal Rumble draws to a close I prepare myself for the Road to Wrestlemania.
(You have to imagine when you read that that there are wild pyrotechnics exploding overhead while loud rock music plays and you are joined by 70,000 other fanatics screaming at the top of your lungs. When you do that, it sounds a lot less stupid).
I’ve been hooked on pro wrestling for as long as I can remember. While some little boys were playing army men or burning ants with magnifying glasses, I was carefully constructing my own fantasy wrestling league, complete with detailed storylines and plot twists that would make Vincent K. McMahon himself proud.
I can’t tell you the day that I stopped believing in Santa Claus but I remember very clearly the moment I found out that wrestling was “fake.” As the Ultimate Warrior, hero to all 7 year old boys, was getting cheated out of his championship and I cried unrelentingly, my mother saw an opportunity to try to break me of my habit. She laughed at my tears and decried, “It’s fake you know.” Right then a light bulb went off and something peculiar happened — I started to enjoy the show more. It all made sense.
Over twenty years later and I’ve been to countless shows, have had the pleasure of meeting a few of the guys, and am as big a fan as ever.
Those that know me well know that I would leave any job to write for the WWE to this day. One of my motivating factors for pursuing a career in writing is to have the chops to help produce the greatest soap opera ever created.
I can feel the judgment coming from some of you. It’s palpable. I’m used to getting eye rolls and stares when I switch from an intellectual conversation seamlessly into a diatribe about how silly it is that Dolph Ziggler is so underused. I’ve accepted the stigmas that come with being a wrestling fan even as I defy most of them. I laugh to myself as people turn their nose up at my hobby and then keep up with the Kardashians.
From January through the beginning of April, the WWE enters this magical phase of the year known as WrestleMania season. It’s where the writers seem to try harder, the stars are a little more amped, and everything just feels more urgent, more dramatic. This year I will work to push myself creatively in a similar sense; I want to have my own personal WrestleMania with all the content that I produce.
There is a WWE superstar in all of us (now there is a future blog entry…). When your theme song hits, come through that curtain and give everyone the best show that you have within you. Know your role. Tell a good story. Listen to the audience (or customer or client or whatever). And, most importantly, when in doubt wear tights.