The NBF: What WrestleMania Means to Me
by, 03-26-2013 at 02:07 PM (3509 Views)
I have always been the type of person that goes against the grain as it relates to what is popular. I think most wrestling fans can relate to that sentiment. Outside of the Monday Night Wars era when it was considered cool to be a wrestling fan, people like me are lumped in with YouTube stars like the “It’s still real to me dammit!” guy. I’ll take the jokes and the mocking comments that come my way because, when it comes to wrestling, I have something that most people don’t have for anything in their lives… passion.
I didn’t have a Facebook account for a very long time. It wasn’t until I moved away from home and the majority of my friends that I found a need for it. When I begrudgingly decided to join, I was not shy about posting things about wrestling, especially when it came to WrestleMania season. I was challenged by a friend to countdown to WrestleMania for an entire year with each post I made and did so without batting an eye at the presumption that I wouldn’t. Toward the end of the countdown, I was ready for it to end because I was tired of non-wrestling fans asking me what I was counting down to or telling me that they heard about the big match that year and asking me my thoughts on it. I don’t want people like that to act like they care about wrestling just because they know I am into it. I’d prefer they just left me to enjoy it on my own. In a way, they are as fake as they claim wrestling is.
Throughout my life, I have encountered few people that I could connect with via pro wrestling. But the few that I have, I share a special bond with.
The first person that I had this bond with lived right across the street from me growing up. He was the type of guy that bought all the action figures, which I was totally jealous of because I could never talk my parents into buying them for me. He also had an amazing collection of wrestling t-shirts in the 90s that he used to wear to school. His love for pro wrestling was always very visible and well known.
The second person I had this bond with I met in high school. I had heard that he was a huge wrestling fan, he had heard that I was a huge wrestling fan, and it was only a matter of time before our paths would cross. He was walking up the stairs in front of me between classes when I noticed that he had written the words “Pearl River Plunge” across his backpack in white out. I tapped him on the shoulder and said, “I think you and I need to be friends.”
In the days and weeks that followed, the three of us started getting together to talk shop. We realized that we shared many of the same views on wrestling. We all liked different wrestlers and wanted to see the WWE do different things, but at the root of our discussions there was an underlying theme. We all hated the bullshit and just wanted to see the wrestling because we were No Bullshit Fans. The NBF was born.
If the calendar was based off of the wrestling year, WrestleMania would be the highest of high holidays. People should exchange gifts as if it were Christmas, get together to have dinner as if it were Thanksgiving, and party as if it were the 4th of July. It’s a day that belongs to the true believers. The fans that love pro wrestling for the emotions it brings out in them and the moments that they will always remember. These fans feel the excitement and build up anticipation for an event that very rarely disappoints us.
It is our day. The one day a year where pro wrestling takes center stage. The one day a year where, in my opinion, everything is right with the world. It is also the one day a year where we all come together, not as a “universe” as the WWE has dubbed us, but as a people or a brotherhood. We come together to watch our heroes shine on the grandest stage and we are on the edge of our seats waiting for the next great WrestleMania moment. WrestleMania is pro wrestling in its purest form. The best are at their best and hold nothing back.
Every WrestleMania Sunday, I get phone calls. The two calls I look forward to most are from the two other original members of the NBF. They are the most knowledgeable and in depth conversations about wrestling I have every year. We discuss the matches, potential outcomes, and what we think they will lead to in the next wrestling year. We talk about the wrestlers. Who we like, who is due for a push, and who could be a star in the future. In essence, we allow ourselves to be kids again as we discuss wrestling through the eyes of our childhood selves. A time when our love for pro wrestling was pure and not clouded by the business that it has become.
Although it isn’t possible for us to be together to watch, knowing that we are all going to be watching later that night is enough for me. I wish all of you out there the same joy and happiness that I feel this time of year.
This year I ask you all to do one thing. Don’t focus on the things that you disagree with (directed at all of the Cena Haters out there), but enjoy that you are watching history in the making. Enjoy WrestleMania for what it is, The Showcase of the Immortals and The Grandest Stage of Them All. Happy WrestleMania!