This is gonna be short and sweet, folks. What I'm writing tonight is primarily just an introduction for this new weekly column, which will have a limited run every Wednesday night on Latino-Review throughout the ROAD TO WRESTLEMANIA. This means it shall conclude on Wednesday, April 6, three days after WRESTLEMANIA 32.
So, what can you expect? Let's start with an overview of my history as wrestling fan, so you can better understand the filter through which I view the product these days.
Age 5-12(1988 - 1995) = Fan
Age 13-19 (1996 - 2002) = Obsessive Super Fan
Age 20-22 (2003 - 2005) = Fan
Age 23-27 (2006 - 2010) = Casual Fan Who Pops Up For Big Moments
Age 28-Present (2011 - 2016) = Someone Who's Mildly Familiar With What's Going On
Yes, while I began watching WWF SUPERSTARS as a 5 year old boy, sitting on the couch next to my grand-grandfather Ernesto and eventually became the kind of nerd that owned ALMANACS, watched every TV show, and attended every single NY-based WWF event, these days I'm someone who checks out 1 or 2 PPVs a year on the WWE Network and am mainly interested in NXT. If I watch RAW at all, it's on fast-forward on my DVR, and if I watch SMACKDOWN! at all it must mean I'm dead...because I haven't spent a single waking minute of my life on that show since about 2005.
There was a period of time where I helped edit the recurring wrestling column for the New York Daily News, written by "THE SLAMMER." Hell, he even let me sub in for him for his first column post-9/11. That gig had fun perks, such as getting to attend every WWF show in the NY/NJ area for free and sit in the press box. Hell, I got to witness a returning Shawn Michaels- my #1, all-time favorite wrestler- win the WWF Title at SURVIVOR SERIES in the first-ever Elimination Chamber, and I was sitting behind two young bucks named John Cena and Randy Orton who were getting ready to break out. But that's when I was 19 or so. I haven't written about wrestling since then, and it's probably because of my Love/Hate relationship with it.
On the one hand, it was a seminal part of my formative teenage years. On the other hand, it's become downright painful for me to watch these days. And yet, I do subscribe to the WWE Network (mainly so I can relive the moments that made me fall in love with it to begin with), and every year- at around this time- I decide to give the company a chance to reel me back in. Yes, between January and April of each year, I give Vincent Kennedy McMahon a chance to make me a believer again.
So I'm inviting you to join me on this ride; on this Road, if you will. And see if McMahon and company can get the ol' fire burning, or if I'm going to disappear into the rafters again after April 6th.
Next week's column is going to start things off with a look at ROMAN REIGNS, and my thoughts on the first two weeks of the ROAD TO WRESTLEMANIA.
Thanks for reading! See you next week.