I’ve been watching wrestling for my entire twenty-four years and there has been a thought stuck in my mind for weeks. I can count the wrestlers still around from my childhood on one hand. It is shocking and saddening that one day they will all be gone. There are several current superstars on the roster that remind me of my favorites but it isn’t the same. Perhaps I’m being mighty nostalgic here, nothing is as good as the original. The magic and feeling that those superstars had (and still have) for me can never be replicated.
It’s not like they vanished into thin air. Many retired for various reasons, some moved on to other things, and many of them died. Like with anything else, wrestling fans form attachments to the superstars that they watch for years. The WWE superstars of today are dynamic and exciting, I’m not saying that they aren’t with this article, but no one can beat my childhood heroes. There was something magical and special about seeing Bret Hart, Randy Savage, and others, come down to the ring. When that music hit, a chill would run down my spine and excitement would course through my veins (and it still does).
Sounds cheesy but it is 100% true.
The only active wrestler left from my childhood is the Undertaker. He has been a constant presence in the company since he debuted and is the last remnant of the past. He is so amazing, in presence and statistics. How many en can say that they have gone 20-0 at anything, let alone Wrestlemania? The thought that the Undertaker may not compete at next year’s event is truly saddening. It’s almost like a funeral, a person that you loved for years is suddenly gone. You only have your memories of that person.
What makes people like the Undertaker, Bret Hart, and Randy Savage so memorable is that they had an identifiable personality and commanded the ring. People know who they are. They don`t need to see a picture or anything, they just know. Not every person who steps through those ropes is held in such high esteem. Fifteen or twenty years from now, no one is going to remember a Brad Maddox or a Sin Cara, but everyone will remember a John Cena or a CM Punk. Men like that (Punk and Cena) will one day be included with the likes of Savage and Hart.
Every athlete in the ring should have a purpose, they should strive to be the absolute best performer that they can be.It doesn`t mean winning the most championships, but taking pride in your work. If a superstar is at their best, fans recognize that and remember it.
Not to discredit men like Buddy Rogers or Bruno Sammartino, who made the business what it is, but I am speaking about the wrestlers that I grew up with. I believe that each generation owes a certain debt of gratitude that to the generation that came before them. The demographic of the WWE is changing and expanding, the younger fans should learn about the past and they owe it to themselves to do so. Wrestling, to me, is something that has such a rich and full-bodied history.
When I have children, I want to sit with them and share my love of professional wrestling like my dad did with me.