When I tell people I’m a wrestling fan they usually ask one of two things. If they’re not a fan themselves, they’ll ask why I like something that’s fake. I really hate that question because being a fan of wrestling is really no different than being a fan of a comic book, movie, or TV series. It’s storytelling done in an entertaining format. If they’re a fan, they’ll ask me how I became a fan.
I remember watching wrestling pretty early in my childhood, but it was never for very long. I know I watched old episodes of World Class Championship Wrestling and I even remember seeing the old Piper’s Pit segment where Andre turned on Hogan. It wasn’t until about a year later that I got hooked.
It was a Saturday morning episode of either WWF Superstars or WWF Challenge, I can’t remember which, but they were spotlighting a recent episode of Saturday Night’s Main Event. They were highlighting a recent match between the Honky Tonk Man and this man:
They showed some highlights from the match, but mainly the end of it. Macho Man had the match won and Honky’s buddies, The Hart Foundation, broke up the pin and the three of them beat the Macho Man down. Honky got his guitar and was about to smash it over Macho Man’s head when his manager, Miss Elizabeth, came in to prevent him from getting hit. She eventually left and Macho got smashed anyway.
A few minutes later Miss Elizabeth came back with reinforcements: the current WWF champ, Hulk Hogan. The two of them cleared the ring and faced off. Eventually they shook hands and this led to the creation of the Mega-Powers. This was also the angle that absolutely hooked me: the rise, fall, and redemption of the Macho Man Randy Savage.
To this day I still don’t know why this particular moment was what hooked me, but it did. I became a huge fan of the Macho Man and this led to me being a lifelong wrestling fan. What keeps me hooked and what keeps me coming back varies over time. It might be a killer storyline that draws me back in, like the several years’ long feud and friendship of Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn or Kevin Steen and El Generico as they were formerly known. It might be something like finally discovering how cool an indy promotion is like Progress Wrestling. All I know is I love it and I’ll probably always be hooked. So now I’ll ask you, how did you become a fan?