The aftermath of the Royal Rumble pay-per view event on Jan. 26 was so horrendous in my eyes, as well as the eyes of a majority of the WWE fan base, that I more or less refused to be a part of the company’s success if the voices of the fans were going to be ignored, and I was going to “boycott” until further notice.
This “boycott” included not watching a single show or pay-per view event, purchasing any form of WWE merchandise or even subscribing to the “wrestling fan’s heaven,” known as the WWE Network. As it turned out, I stuck to my guns and performed all of the actions listed (with the exclusion of buying a Daniel Bryan shirt over spring break) and come the afternoon of April 6, I faced a crucial decision on whether or not to watch the biggest event of the year in WrestleMania XXX. I ended up going with the former, subscribing to the WWE network and watching WrestleMania XXX, which proved to be the best decision I could’ve ever made.
While I still believe my initial choice to boycott the WWE was a proper one, the spectacle that was WrestleMania XXX provided a reminder of how much I love pro-wrestling. I got lost in the majesty, the pageantry, the sights and the sounds, the thousands in attendance creating an electric atmosphere and the millions (and millions) watching around the world collectively witnessing this annual phenomenon. From behind my computer screen, I got lost shouting “OH” when they said “US” (ooh-se), I got lost smelling what the Rock was cookin’, I got lost watching the most prestigious win streak in sports entertainment history get snapped, I got lost screaming “yes” from the top of my lungs in extreme satisfaction when the underdog overcame all odds.
All in all, it was a reminder of why I love pro-wrestling so damn much. Those four hours I spent watching the event eliminated all of the irritation, resentment, ire and frustration I once had for the company after the Royal Rumble had concluded. Any negative feelings toward the company immediately evaporated the second Daniel Bryan won the WWE World Heavyweight Title. It was as if I was reborn as a pro-wrestling fan. All I could remember was sitting there after the event had ended feeling such a state of euphoria that I didn’t even want to watch wrestling anymore. Even the non-wrestling fans such as my floor-mates were watching WrestleMania XXX with just as much anticipation, interest, and emotion as myself, and these were people who just months ago mocked me for being a fan of that “fake and stupid crap.” They knew exactly why I love pro-wrestling so much.
As fake as it may be, pro-wrestling definitely deserves much more respect than it gets from those who do not watch. Pro-wrestling is such a passion, that guys like Daniel Bryan spend almost half their lives fighting to be No. 1. Guys like the Undertaker lose for the first time at WrestleMania in their career and immediately ascend to immortality upon defeat, that guys such as the recently deceased legend Ultimate Warrior are celebrated beyond the grave a day after returning to Monday Night Raw for the first time in 18 years. Wrestling runs deeper than many people like to believe. Is it scripted? Absolutely. Is it fake? Sure. Is it a waste of time? Never. It is the only product of its endeavor where good guys can be booed, bad guys can be loved and respect is given to every single man and woman that steps into that squared circle. Pro-wrestling is the only place where the fans can dictate whether or not a wrestler has made it and where wrestlers work to be the best.
Plain and simple, I love pro-wrestling. I love it for its stupidity, its ridiculousness, its fake nature, but most of all I love wrestling for nights like WrestleMania XXX. So go ahead, next time you see me, ask me why I love pro-wrestling so much. And I’ll give you an answer that defines generations, an answer that represents a loyal following. My answer will be simple: Wrestling is my aeroplane. And that’s the bottom line, because Stone Cold said so!