July 25 - Ultimate Memories
When I entered LOP’s first ever NXT tournament in the Columns Forum, I knew I needed to make an impact from the start since I was an outsider with an obvious distaste for the people handling the writing on lordsofpain. Our first task was to describe our earliest memory of wrestling. My approach was different then the (sub) standard approach taken by most competitors, and it earned me top spot of the first round. Instead of a typical essay type reveal into what drew me in, I did a play by play recap of the actual segment and match, using actual dialogue from Gorilla Monsoon and Superstar Billy Graham, interspersed with reflections on my reaction and excitement. I still get goosebumps when I hear the Honky Tonk Man tell the MSG audience “Get me somebody out here to wrestle,” followed by Graham’s animated response of laughingly disapproving of the open challenge, insinuating that there were lots of guys backstage waiting to rip him apart.
“There’s somebody’s music!” - Gorilla Monsoon.
The NYC crowd knew the music, got to their feet, and in less than a minute we had a new Intercontinental Champion (in a terrible match, but memorable moment).
Back when I was 14ish, my bank was telling me to come up with a PIN for my bank card and not make it something like my address or phone number. I struggled. I tried to think of a date that stood out to me as important and memorable. I didn’t want to hold up the line like those assholes at McDonald’s who didn’t read the menu while wrangling their 8 illegitimate children away from the Happy Meal toy display. So, I went with the date of my favorite wrestling moment at that time: Wrestlemania VI.
Now, I somehow messed up on remembering the correct date, and thought it was April 4th, 1990. So for a long time, my PIN was the wrong date I was hoping to somewhat commemorate. As funny as that is, the funnier part (in retrospect as a 31 year old) is that a cherished date to a teenager can be something as stupid as the day your favorite wrestler at the time won the WWF Championship.
With Bret Hart as champion in the New Generation era, I wasn’t watching near as much as I used to. Life got in the way, and the wrestlers I once knew weren’t really around anymore. I tuned into a few hot angles like the coin-toss for Mania X and Undertaker vs Undertaker, but I wasn’t the fan I used to be.
Then, a friend called to tell me he was coming back.
I didn’t have parents who would allow me to buy a wrestling PPV at 15 years old, so my friend who informed me of the return called me during Mania XII and put the phone to the TV. Jerry Lawler was bashing his sources who informed him that this return would be a 400 pound version of the former WWF Champion. Hunter Hearst Helmsley was on the offensive and dominated for most of the very short match, but eventually there was the ultimate comeback, and the music aired again. Over the phone, I marked out.
WCW? That never happened. Shut up. You’re a liar and you’re ugly!
I am a mark
Stone Cold Steve Austin might have been the reason I became a fanatic again in 1996, following weekly with Raw and monthly on PPV. But Stone Cold didn’t get me to watch WWF enough to notice him. It was the Ultimate Warrior who did that.
At 31, it’s a little bizarre to think back to a time when I was so impressionable. There’s no doubt in my mind that if this guy were to debut today, I’d take a hot curly steamy dump on everything he’d do. But, because of nostalgia and childhood fondness, anything Warrior does in 2013 makes me smile and crave an appearance.
Never before has that seemed as likely as it is right now. From his commercial for WWE2K14, to public appreciation for Vince McMahon, it seems that a hatchet has been buried between the former Jim Hellwig and WWE. And I couldn’t be happier.
I’m not hoping for a return to win the WWE Championship. I would personally love if he squashed Curtis Axel in an open challenge at SummerSlam, but I won’t pretend that it’s all that great an idea. It would just be fun. Hey, it could lead to Punk/Warrior vs Brock/Axel at Survivor Series. Holy shit, that would be insane.
I think the only realistic in-ring appearance Warrior would make in WWE would be as a surprise Royal Rumble entrant. Music hits, he runs to the ring, shakes the ropes, runs the ropes. shoulder block, clothesline, a possible Gorilla Press, a splash, and elimination. He can celebrate, and then leave the ring having made his impact.
He can then be a Hall of Fame inductee for the Class of 2014 in New Orleans.
The man who self-destructed would be reconstructed and become a legend. How bad could that be? Do it Vince. Do it Warrior. Give me one more Ultimate Memory.
And on that note, Peace out
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