I recently started reminiscing back on catching glimpses of The Ultimate Warrior and the British Bulldog as a youth and how excited it made me at the time. Living in England I missed a great deal of the ‘pro’ wrestling action because of unfriendly time-zones but my dad tried to keep me updated as much as he could with news and highlights. He bought us the WWF Wrestlemania game for the Atari ST which I have only very recently sold on and I have great memories of playing that game back in the day. As I grew up and moved on to the Playstation I continued to love wrestling games. I had WWF Attitude and Smackdown on the Playstation 1 and I continued to occasionally catch highlights of the current pro wrestling story-lines as a guilty pleasure. I really do think the themes, gimmicks, the music and branding of pro wrestling all combine so well and translate to make hugely entertaining video games.
Because I missed a great deal of the story-lines as a child I’m in the process of binge watching this retro bygone age of classic wrestling in my free time, ie The Hogan era. I’m looking back on some of the awesome entrances and gimmicks which were most often far better than the actual wrestling itself, such as The Legion of Doom’s theme song which was so simple yet so powerful and would blow the roofs off stadiums. Stuff like that shows the true power of punk when combined with the personalities and appearance of Hawk and Animal. A good example of this is the Legion of Doom’s 1992 Summerslam entrance which can be easily found here on YouTube. Music and pro wrestling just go together so well..even Ozzy Osbourne recognized this and made guest appearances in the WWE a couple of times. Ronda Rousey with her love of ‘rowdy’ name provider Rody Piper has also been known to show up in the WWE.
Pro Wrestling of this classic time period is still very much watchable as an adult simply for the pure comedy value and it surely inspires and entertains young kids who are still willing to suspend their disbelief. These factors mean pro wrestling should be commended for what it is, and that is simply unadulterated entertainment in it’s purest and simplest form. The dark side to pro wrestling back then however was the alarming abuse of steroids that took place. The Ultimate Warrior and The British Bulldog, aka Davey Boy Smith where both famously ousted from the WWF due to steroid issues before later returning..drug addictions took the lives of many famous wrestlers within this time period.
The WWF became the WWE and things are well and truly PG and Politically Correct now (don’t dare call one of the female wrestlers a diva!) and in my mind can’t compare to the classic shows of yesteryear. It’s also the case now that there is simply too much of it. It maybe worth a watch for a laugh now and again but for me nothing can quite compare to watching the LOD riding out to the ring with the music blaring and the sun setting over a packed Wembley stadium.