In the early 80's, around The Empire Strikes Back time, my cousin Mike took my brother and me to my first wrestling match in Wheeling, West Virginia. It was Georgia Wrestling and it featured the Road Warriors.
Yes, the same Road Warriors that finally made a name for themselves in the WWF. And the same Road Warriors who spawned son James Laurinaitus from Buckeyes fame.
In any event, it was bloody. Very bloody.
It was so bloody that my 10-year old mind had feverish nightmares for weeks. I pictured the blood. I felt the blood. I was the blood. I was fucking scared.
But then, that mind turned. I started to crave wrestling. Then, I couldn't get enough of it. I bought the magazines. I watched it on TV (not much) and I would go see it was much as I possibly could at the Wheeling Civic Arena.
In fact, my brother and I would go every month. My mom would drop us off at the entrance and pick us up three hours later.
Eventually, I would learn to crave the violence, to lust for the blood, and finally realize that I wouldn't be satisfied until I saw someone die in the ring. Or at least get decapitated by a guillotine. (Which, by the way would be spectacular to see!)
Each month, the matches would get crazier and crazier. If you don't believe me ask my brother next time you see him. The first month it was a cage match. Three months later is was a street fight with no refs. And the wrestler could bring into the ring a weapon of choice. It was a fight to the finish. And it was awesome.
Can you dig it?
Then, came the WWF. Then came puberty. Then came, well ,women. Then came the end of my wrestling fetish and on to other fetishes if you know what I'm sayin. Heh heh.
In my past posts, I was gushing about The Road as an Oscar frontrunner this season (it's not being released until next year). Then I crossed my fingers at the possibility of The Dark Knight cleaning house (It won't. It's good. Just not great).
So now I'm hearing about The Wrestler. Darren Aronofsky's low-budget homage to Jake The Snake, Ravishing Rick Rude, Paul Ellering, Jimmy (Superfly) Snuka and Rowdy Roddy Piper.
I was perusing ESPN looking for Fantasy Football picks for my championship when I came across Bill Simmons praise of The Wrestler in this article.
Let me tell you something, I think this will be a pivotal movie for people of my generation. (Generation X, if you already didn't figure it out). Well, at least from the point of view of those wrestling geeks in the early 80's. I guess that's why I'm pretty psyched to see it.
I still believe The Curious Case of Benjamin Button will finally win Director David Fincher a much-deserved Oscar. But, The Wrestler is one of the movies on my must-see list. Even more so than Button.
Bring on the blood, brothers. Bring on the blood.