My Life As A Longtime Wrestling Fan

My life as a longtime wrestling fan of 21 years has been an emotional roller coaster personally with seeing highs such as Kofi Kingston becoming the first pure black WWE champion at Wrestlemania 35 to the lows such as seeing negative stereotypical depictions of black wrestlers in WWE as gangsters, thugs, or rappers.

In my journey as a lifelong wrestling fan, I’ve seen numerous stories of not only wrestling taking the lives of many wrestlers, but there are certain wrestlers that I grew up watching like Booker T, R-Truth, and MVP who credit wrestling for saving their lives and keeping them off the streets.

My journey as a longtime wrestling fan begin one night in July 1998 when I was 12 years old at the time because prior to watching wrestling and becoming a wrestling fan, I was heavily into video games, playing baseball in the front yard with my siblings, and watching Saturday morning kid shows like The Original Power Rangers that I was a huge fan of at the time with Zach Taylor played by Walter Jones as not only my favorite Power Ranger from the show, but also my favorite all-time Power Ranger. My childhood dream was to actually be a Power Ranger like Zach Taylor.

On a pretty hot Monday night in July 1998 at the young age of 12, I remember flipping through the channels and seeing absolutely nothing that interested me until I stopped to watch a match on an episode of Nitro and upon watching that match, I was absolutely blown away by what I was seeing because this wrestling thing was clearly unlike anything I’ve ever seen prior to that because there were on-screen characters, promos, builds, feuds, and storylines. The match was a very solid match, but what made that match memorable for me was the ending of that match and I immediately fell in love with wrestling and I became a big WCW guy at the time. I was watching episodes of Nitro and Thunder every week until WCW closed its doors in 2001 and that forced me to watch WWE and I immediately didn’t like the racially insensitive angle involving Booker T in 2003, I didn’t like Shelton Benjamin that should’ve been a World Champion be reduced to a little momma’s boy in 2007 which I absolutely hated, and I also didn’t like the negative stereotypical depiction of black men as “gangsters and thugs” with The Cryme Tyme gimmick which I also hated. I watched WWE between 2001-2007 because 2007 is when I personally became sick and tired of WWE not only because of the constant disrespect towards black wrestlers at the time, but also I didn’t like the PG direction that the company was going in at the time because I saw before anyone else that the WWE was heading for very bad, dark times which is exactly where they are today. That’s why I personally don’t care too much for WWE nowadays like I used to many years ago because there’s a lot of indie promotions out there and also there are bigger ones like AEW and NJPW that have better wrestling quality than the current WWE main shows have nowadays.

From 2008-2018, I took a very long 10 year break from watching wrestling because I personally felt that I had not only outgrown wrestling, but I had to deal with several personal tragedies such as my grandma passing away from years of alcohol abuse to my oldest nephew and one of my oldest cousins getting gunned down in an act of horizontal violence that affected me so much that it pulled me further away from watching wrestling until last year on a very warm day, there was definitely something that was missing from my life. I remember going to YouTube to look at one particular video and I watched a 45 minute highlight video of “All In” aka The Prelude To AEW and I absolutely loved every bit of that 45 minutes of amazing wrestling quality that I saw and it not only reignited my passion for wrestling, but it made me truly happy to be a wrestling fan again for the first time in 10 years.

The Conclusion - For those ignorant and misinformed “wrestling fans” out there that say “wrestling is dead” need to get their brains examined because the future for wrestling is bright.

By Kwame Shakir
My Life As A Longtime Wrestling Fan My Life As A Longtime Wrestling Fan Reviewed by Blerds Online on Sunday, August 11, 2019 Rating: 5

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