Children as Scapegoats
by, 07-05-2013 at 06:38 PM (2249 Views)
Wrestling has been a part of my life for a little over 20 years now. I was introduced to the product at an early age. I couldn't have been older than 4 or 5 when I sat back and watched legendary feuds like Hogan vs Warrior and Roberts vs Savage. I owned (and still have tucked away) numerous action figures and wrestling buddies. I played WWF wrestlefest at the arcade and owned Royal Rumble on the super nintendo. So yeah, I was a big fan.
As a child I didn't care about things like work rate and who could take the best bump. I was captivated by the characters and the stories they told. I know it's become a joke in the modern era, but there's something to be said for the way you process wrestling when you can't fully differentiate real from scripted (I hate referring to wrestling as "fake"). Just because I was told wrestling was scripted, doesn't mean I could see or fully understand the illusions that were taking place. It was that element of blindness that led me to become more then just a causal fan.
I remember Earthquake "crushing" Jake's pet snake Damien. I was devastated. I was a massive Jake Roberts mark and watching Jake mourn the "death" of his pet felt real to me. As an adult I can see the simple bait and switch for what it was but I'm glad I was able to experience that moment the way I did.
I actually wasn't a Hogan fan as a kid (I've been rooting for the underdog for as long as I can remember and Hogan was certainly never that) but I remember being into the Ultimate Warrior. Again, as an adult it's hard for me to look past the incoherent promos and the sub par match quality; but as a kid I was drawn to his energy. He was so different from everyone else, even Hogan.
I can't speak for other wrestling fans and how they interpreted wrestling when they were younger. Fact of the matter is there are plenty of members on this site who are older then me and a good number who are younger. There are some who've watched wrestling for maybe only a year or 2 and those who've watched it for a quarter century or more. At the end of the day, I love wrestling. I loved it when I was 5 and I love it today. That's why I think it's so unfortunate that children are the whipping boys (and girls) when "smart" fans in the modern era see something they don't like.
"Oh John Cena won the title, the 5 year olds must love that." Screw that mentality. I'll say right now children are some of the best fans out there. They're not jaded, they don't take it personally when the guy they like doesn't get a "push." Children aren't spoiled and always compare the product to how it used to be. I'll be the first to admit I actually made the WWF more money as a kid because of all the merch I had my family buy me. And guess what, those children who everyone has so much against are the ones who are going to go on and support wrestling 10, 20 years from now.
Sometimes I miss having that part of me that was a bit more naive. As an adult, I thought it was cool to watch the Nexus beat down Cena and dismantle the ring back in 2010. But the kids man, I bet they really took that to heart. I'm glad there are young fans to remind us that wrestling doesn't always have to be about criticism and critique, it can be about the experience.
Thank you for Reading. Feel free to leave praise, constructive feedback, or troll. If you're going to troll though, please have some style.
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