By Don Lindsey
Ever since I was about 7 or 8 years old, I’ve been a fan of pro wrestling. Every Saturday at 6:05 I would turn on TBS and watch my favorite good guys battle their enemies. Names like Dusty Rhoades, Ric Flair and so many others from the National Wrestling Alliance graced my TV screen and brought me hours upon hours of enjoyment. In 1984, a guy named Hulk Hogan stormed onto the scene wrestling for a different promotion called the WWF (at the time, now it’s referred to as the WWE), and by winning their version of the world title, planted the seeds for professional wrestling to be as huge of an attraction as it is now.
As the years followed, I seemed to be drawn more and more into the world of pro wrestling. I knew when the newest editions of the different magazines came out and always searched the stands I saw in the store to buy them. At a time when there wasn’t the internet, I was dedicated to keeping up with what was going on in the business anyway I could and the mags along with the weekly television shows helped me do that. When I knew that the newest wrestling video had been released, I would have my mother drive me to the local Blockbuster to rent it. Wrestling for me was an escape the way some folks use movies or music to relieve stress. The second I would start watching a program, I was completely immersed in everything that was happening, from the matches to the interviews that set up the various storylines. I would draw inspiration from the good guys over coming odds to win their matches, and I was also blown away by the larger than life characters I saw.
My love for pro wrestling continued up until 2010 when I found that I was no longer interested in the product. Sure, everyone knows that the outcomes are predetermined but for me, the type of wrestling I grew up on was like a really good movie. If the action is believable enough, you can forget that much of the show is scripted because of how hard the wrestlers work. These guys and gals risk their bodies every show to entertain. During the time I stopped watching, I saw that the wrestling product had changed so much by going with the reality TV approach that the matches and titles meant nothing. I understood that the business had to change with society, but it changed too much for my liking, so I quit watching.
A couple years back, one of my best friends started to hound me about watching again. I didn’t listen much at first, but slowly started watching the developmental brand of WWE and found that the in-ring product was very good, and the storylines made sense again. From there I started watching the main shows again and am happy to say that I’m once again finding a great deal of enjoyment out of wrestling.
Take now for example. It’s Wrestle Mania weekend and I am just as excited as I was when I first started watching as a kid. Since 1985, Wrestle Mania has delivered great memories for fans all over the world. I can’t wait to see what happens this year as there are always some awesome surprises during the show. The weekend itself is just as celebrated as the show with several events and specials streaming live on the WWE network. I’m finding that I’m enjoying wrestling again and I’m able to escape into the stories as I did as when I was young. I’m also finding inspiration again by watching the shows. This weekend I’m anxious to see a guy that goes by the name of Daniel Bryan wrestle in a match on Sunday after being told that he’d never compete again. That’s just one of the aspects that I’m looking forward to and I am not the only one. I’m sure that if there are any wrestling fans reading this, they have moments that they are waiting to see and celebrate these three days as a holiday the way that I do. To those folks, I say happy Mania weekend. To everyone else, I say have a great weekend and God bless.
Don Lindsey is a follower of Christ, son, husband, father, and a survivor. Originally from Dayton Ohio, and resident of Apopka for six years, Don sees his life as a dedication to his wife, parents, children, and community.