…and I have since I’ve been 12 years old. Admittedly, it was not the physical act of trying to pin another guy or make him submit that pulled me in, but PERSONALITY. I channel surfed through WWF Superstars and WWF Wrestling Challenge, stopping on the show a bit longer every week, and when I heard Hulk Hogan was going to be on the following week I was sold. Wrestling fan for life just based on the interviews and charisma that Hogan put forward. And my FAVORITE wrestler growing up? Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake.
Now, Brutus wasn’t a very good wrestler. It’s important to know that. He was not very good at performing wrestling holds. What he WAS good at doing, however, was putting his opponent to sleep and cutting their hair.
I thought that shit was H – I – L – A – R – I – O – U – S !!
And then I grew up. As time went on I began to appreciate the actual art of what they do. Exit Hogan, Brutus and the Ultimate Warrior – Enter Bret Hart, Curt Hennig, Davey Boy Smith and Shawn Michaels. These guys would force me to suspend disbelief for 20 minutes, 30 minutes, Hell an hour at a time with the intensity and complexity of their moveset. Let’s face it… watching The Ultimate Warrior and Hulk Hogan in a match against each other… we were never asked to suspend our disbelief. It was, “watch these big muscley guys punch and clothesline each other with big exaggerated movements for a while.”
Cut to modern day wrestling. The World Wrestling Federation was sued by the World Wildlife Fund for rights to the initials WWF. The WWF won (panda version). So the World Wrestling Federation becomes World Wrestling Entertainment. From WWF to WWE. I’m fine with that. In the last few years or so, the backstage folks would joke how Vince McMahon is trying to get rid of the word “Wrestling” altogether. As it turns out… they weren’t really joking. They don’t even want to be called World Wrestling Entertainment anymore. They request…forcefully… to be referred to as WWE.
I understand that WWE has been expanding. WWE Films puts out a couple films a year. WWE is looking to start up a cable channel which would obviously have non-trying-to-pin-a-guy’s-shoulder-to-the-mat content. That’s fine. We fans have been trained that these men and women are not merely wrestlers, but SUPERSTARS! You know what? I’m even fine with that.
So there’s a show about young folks training to become wrestlers. It is called “Tough Enough” and I like it a LOT! Bret Hart came in this past Monday to talk to the kids. The trainees are rightly in awe of this Legend of the Squared Circle.
At 1:48 into the video below, Bret mentions:
“I take a lot of pride in being a serious professional wrestler”
Now the kicker is… WWE fucking CENSORED the word “wrestler”. I am not fine with that.
My jaw dropped.
First of all, there’s the terrible irony of a legend in this business telling us how PROUD he was to be a wrestler, only to have the show he is on be ashamed that he is referring to himself as such. But second, who in their right mind censored it? Who thought, “Did Bret Hart just call himself a WRESTLER? No. No, we can’t have that.”
Because somebody did. And sadly, I think his name rhymes with Shmince ShmcMahon.
It’s just fucking ridiculous.
And FYI, I would rather watch CM Punk wrestle Daniel Bryan for an hour than listen to five seconds of John Cena making a “poopy” joke about his opponent of the month.
I Don’t Doubt El Dandy,