I apologise in advance as my memory is sketchy at best but here is my journey through professional wrestling in multiple chapters.
Chapter One: The Origin
To remember the starting point is hard, my earliest memories is seeing the Royal Rumble 1998 VHS cover with the back of Austin’s head with nails in it. I remember going over to my friends and playing on the NES, WWF WrestleMania, I think it was, with Hulk Hogan and Ted Dibiase being the names I remember. It was when I saw The Undertaker set Kane on fire then burn a teddy bear in front of Mr McMahon, I was hooked. These larger than life characters that scared me, I believed it was real. My Dad broke the news to me that it wasn’t real and I cried (the second part was confirmed by my Mum, I don’t remember crying but it was very possible, I was a cryer).
I was up in my room when I heard my Mum shout that something called WWF Heat was on Channel 4. I turned over to watch and I was glued to the TV for that hour. An hour every Sunday I could watch Heat. I would jump about, off my bunk bed pretending to be Jeff Hardy. My Action Mans became professional wrestlers, a teddy bear became my personal jobber.
I don’t know how my best friend starting watching it but he would tape the events off Sky when Channel 4 stopped broadcasting PPVs and I would get a borrow of the tape a couple days after the event. OnDigital, or ITV Digital I think it was back then, was my saviour. WWF Smackdown on Saturday, I would run home from church to watch WWF Metal on Sunday and a mad rush from football training for WCW Worldwide on Friday. We’d go the park in Rothes and pretend to be The Hardy Boyz or Kane and The Undertaker. We wrestled at school, much to the annoyance, I’m sure, of Mrs Gould the playground supervisor.
It was sometime around this period that I attended my first wrestling event. My Dad took me to a wrestling show in Elgin Town Hall. I have very little memory of this event as it was so bad. I remember there was a fake Kane and a fake Mankind and this guy from the crowd kept interfering. If anyone has any information about this event please contact me.
It didn’t put me off wrestling though. When my parents bought a computer I would go online with the dial up connection and look on WWF.com for results and look up my favourite superstars. My favourites were Team Xtreme and I had a massive crush on Lita. I would use my pocket money to buy WWF magazine and I had posters all over my walls with The Hardyz, Lita, Edge & Christian. The place was covered.
Next Chapter: Merchandise and the Death of Santa.