By Michael Hicks
If anybody knows me, they know I’m a traditionalist. I love how things used to be and I’m not the biggest fan of change. This is especially true when it comes to sports arenas and professional wrestling.
Whenever I hear of a sports facility being torn down so it can be replaced by a brand-new, spankin’ arena with all the bells and whistles it saddens me. All the people doing the tearing down think about is the almighty dollar. They don’t care much for the tradition and history of the building they are replacing.
This goes for places such as the old Boston Gardens, Mile High Stadium and Orange Bowl. Thankfully some cities, while they have made room for new arenas — like Denver’s Pepsi Center and Charlotte, N. Car.’s Bobcat Arena — they still have the Denver Coliseum and Cricket Arena, formerly the Charlotte Coliseum. A lot of history has been made in those buildings and that history should be preserved for as long as it can until time comes that the building is no longer holding up and it must be torn down.
The same goes for pro wrestling. I started watching it in 1978. To me it was all sport all the time then. But, then again, I was only six years old at the time.
The likes of Bruno Sammartino, Blackjack Mulligan, Mr. Wrestling Tim Woods, Ivan Koloff and others filled my television screen every Saturday morning. I was hooked from the get-go.
Now, 30 years later, the only time I watch wrestling is when I decide to pull out an old tape or DVD, catch something on World Wrestling Entertainment’s 24/7 pay-per-view channel or if I accidentally turn the channel on Monday nights to watch WWE’s premier show, “Raw.” And that’s not often when I can watch “Monday Night Football” or “24.”
Wrestling, like old sports arenas, isn’t the same. Thanksgiving just passed and I longed for the time when multiple regional promotions ran their highlight show of the year with a number of feuds headed to their big blow-off match. But those days are long gone.
Now, we get all these acrobats who don’t know a wristlock from a wristwatch. Thank God, I can go out to Berthoud High School and watch the high school boys wrestle or catch the Berthoud Wrestling Club in action so I can watch somebody do it right.
I’m not saying that pro wrestling was ever real or legit. But, in the past, at least it was presented as something somewhat real-life like and entertaining. Now those moments are few and far between.
Which brings me to this point. Vince McMahon, the chairman of World Wrestling Entertainment, has gone on record as stating the wants his performers to be known as sports entertainers and not wrestlers. If that’s the case, don’t you think they should change the name of the organization to omit the word wrestling from the title?
It would only seem fitting because things aren’t what they used to be anymore, and for me, that’s a shame.