How WWE’s Lubbock Event Helped Me Relive My Youth
When my family went to blockbuster in the 90s, we all got to choose a video. When I wasn't choosing Jackie Chan VHS tapes, I would head straight back to the special interest section Pay Per Views from the glory days.
Rick Flair and Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat had epic matches. I got to live through Hulkamania, Andre the Giant's reign and George "The Animal" Steele biting the turnbuckles off the ring's corners. I got to witness Sting change from a blonde-haired, neon-wearing surfer from Venice Beach to the Stinger from every man's nightmare.
I watched every Monday Night when The Outsiders showed up and the WCW/NWO era was born. And it was too sweet. Goldberg was asking: "Who's next?" I lived for Monday Night Nitro, so when the WCW came to town in 2000 I had to be there.
I still remember buying a Sting mask hoping he would show up. Booker T and "Diamond" Dallas Page battled for the belt. Curt Hennig was there with his West Texas Rednecks to give a rousing rendition of "Rap is Crap." We set on the second level and our feet were prominently displayed on national television for the entire country to see.
Soon after going to the taping, my wrestling fandom came to a crashing halt when my mom walked in at the exact moment that Goldust was warming up for a Shattered Dreams finisher by licking his opponent. Needless to say, I did not rent another pay per view.
The WCW was bought out, I was not renting VHS tapes anymore and I lost the magic that is professional wrestling. As I got older, the matches and story lines just did not have the same effect. I saw behind the curtain, and it just was never the same.
On Saturday, October 17, WWE Live came to Lubbock and brought the magic back with them. I got to watch my nephews and an entire little league football team go nuts as each wrestler was announced...just like I used to.
I got to see them react like it was real and everything was riding on each move. Every finisher executed on their favorite wrestler hurt them more than it hurt the superstar.
There were also grown men, myself included, being drawn back to their childhood. We were chanting for John Cena like it was helping spur him to victory. We proved our patriotism by chanting "USA! USA! USA!" to Rusev to make it known we hate the dadgum Russians (even if it was Dolph Ziggler receiving the positive end of the cold war residual hate).
The WWE put on a great show. All the good guys beat all the bad guys, no belts exchanged hands and it was awesome. Stardust made an appearance. R-Truth won a dance-off with a line dance and a ho-down with the referee (admittedly, the low point of the night).
The two best matches were The Big Show and Dean Ambrose, and a 30-minute Iron Man match between WWE Champion Seth Rollins and John Cena.
The Big Show, a shell of his former self, is still an entertainer and was the most beloved heel of the night. John Cena was obviously the biggest draw, but do not ever count out Captain Insano. Captain Insano shows no mercy.
If even for only one night, it was awesome to be able to relive the joy of my youth, chanting along with the masses and getting to be a kid again believing in something that not everyone understands.