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By Jack H. Smith
Three Forks Voice 

Column: It's not real?


When I was a little kid, I was a borderline obsessive fan of professional wrestling.

It wasn't today's era where I could catch a program or one of the many easily accessible pay per view events, instead I had to wait to watch my favorites like Sting on the weekend on the NWA show on TBS or sneak out of bed to watch the WWF's "Saturday Night's Main Event" that seemed to air after midnight and would always include several really big matches.

I would spend multiple hours wrestling and practicing moves with friends which often times would get too rough and lead to a fight.

I think I tried to go as a wrestler about five times for Halloween and on one occasion my mom tried to do my face paint so I could be Sting, and I ended up looking very odd. Nobody knew who or what I was, in fact by the end of the day I wasn't really sure what I had dressed as.

I would also get really mad when somebody called my passion fake. I'm not sure if I was that naïve or similar too someone in a bad relationship who people keep telling to leave but won't listen, but I was insistent there was nothing fake about it. I somehow believed that what was going on television were true stories and they really would fight it out in the ring.

I should have paid much better attention to what I was watching and what people were telling me.

When I was around 12, I was finally able to go see a WWF show. This was before the name change to WWE and I was so stoked to go and see one of my favorite wrestlers The Ultimate Warrior.

This was years before you could just download the tickets to your phone so we showed up early to get our tickets at will call. We could see a door open to the arena so we decided to walk in and see if we could see any wrestlers. This was probably a stupid move but when you're that age things really don't cross your mind. We didn't see any wrestlers but minutes later found ourselves by the ring. It was a really strange moment because nobody was around, and the ring was just sitting there. Of course, we had to get in there and practice our moves. I was a proverbial kid in a candy store. The first time I hit the mat I was really surprised how much give it had. I wouldn't call it soft, but it certainly was not as hard as they made it seem on television. We would get kicked out and several hours later returned for the show.

We had descent enough seats to see just how silly our passion was. The first few moments I was like a kid figuring out that Santa Claus wasn't real. I had held on for so long to the belief that the world of professional wrestling was real only to find out it was just a show.


After a few minutes of pouting, I just took in what was around me and enjoyed myself. It turned out being a blast and for the next several years I would continue to follow wrestling with a passion. By the time I hit college this waned and now I don't think I've watched more than ten minutes in a decade.

When I do turn it on, I am really surprised just how awful it is these days, but I'm sure that is exactly what my parents thought back in the day. As much as I don't like watching it today, I still remember how much joy it brought me and think fondly of those days.

I don't care that it wasn't quite as real as I thought, it was just fun to have something in common with my friends.

Things in life aren't always what they appear to be and sometimes that is okay. Of course, if you are in a bad relationship and need to leave do it, but if you want to believe in Sting and the Easter Bunny, go right ahead.


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