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Thursday, 16 February 2012

The Beginning of an Era

After reading a blog on ewrestlingnews earlier referencing the current Triple H/Undertaker impending feud, named The End of an Era. I replied with a comment in the thread that felt like more of an autobiography via my life long relationship with wrestling, with that in mind I thought it should also go on this blog in its own right.

To read the original blog written by Azure follow this link 

I replied with a story;

"I watched wrestling the first time round as a young boy, I watched between era's consisting of wrestlers such as; Hulk Hogan, The Ultimate Warrior, Jake the Snake, Bret Hart, Diesel, Razor Ramon, Shawn Michaels. I was astounded by each and every character that entered a WWF ring. However as the next few years of (Primary) School went by I just sort of stopped watching. I always had it in the back of my mind and would look at my action figures or trading cards but I didn't really put much more thought into it. I spent more time re reading my small collection of English reprints of American comics.

Then a few years later my youngest brother, who at this point was a little older than I was when I stopped watching, bought a WWF sticker album. My first reaction was a gasp, ' I cant believe they changed the logo, the old one was well better!'. As he showed me the characters page by page, I looked for a familiar face. Not many could be found barring The Undertaker, who now had a brother of his own. All I could think as he turned the pages was, 'Who's this X-Pac kid? He looks'. My brother showed me his favorites; Triple H, Big Show and Stone Cold Steve Austin, and to be honest didn't see what was so special about them. Where had all the cool characters gone? Where were the colorful costumes? Where were all the animal sidekicks? All I could think was 'I've got to watch this with him and find out who these characters are'.

I quickly got back into wrestling, and to my surprise it had gotten dark and violent. This was the height of what we now know as the attitude era. But it took Triple H a few years to become that headline threat that the audience came to love him for. The Undertaker seemed less impressive somehow and soon after we started watching, he was riding around on a motorbike to Limp Bizkit - the now legendary streak at that point was just a byline, a side note to any Wrestlemania match. The big draw was always Stone Cold, The Rock and McMahon in the middle (or indeed somewhere on the edges). That era gave us some of the best and the worst of Wrestlemania history.

I continued to watch just up until after the WCW invasion angle, which  I really enjoyed, and I remember thinking 'I wonder who will come next? I wonder who will the next Rock?' I still get excited about that prospect, that within five years the roster will change so dramatically that it is almost unrecognisable.

I'm sorry this turned more into a blog of my own than a response, but I'd just like to end on the point that the legends of the era we've been talking about, only became those legends over time. We have seen the beginning of CM Punks rise over the last year and I'd like to think that your list of legends will continue to grow. "

I was attempting to touch on the cyclical nature of long established serial programmes. I think it probably has something to do with the limitations of narrative structure, but from soap operas, such as Coronation Street, to wrestling programming, such as Monday Night Raw, there will always be an element of recycled material. However there is also the idea of a history, recording of information and an editing of said information born out of the fact that WWE programming presents itself as falling somewhere between Sport and Reality TV - often when WWE want to make a champion sound more prestigious they will combine their Heavyweight and WWE title reigns. In the same way that they will mention all the greats of WWE history when referring to The Undertaker's Wrestlemania Streak, however they will fail to mention Giant Gonzales. But this is forgivable, for the reason that we are watching a work of fiction. In the same way that a death in a major comic book has the permanence of, well, no permanence at all.

Digression aside, in pop culture, each generation has a defining experience depending on the cartoons that were available, the technology at hand and in my case and the case of thousands, the wrestlers that were employed by the WWE. I'm sure to the children born into 'The Cena Era' this is the classic age, where Cena is Hulk Hogan, where Orton is a more successful Jake Roberts and where Hacksaw Jim Duggan is still Hacksaw Jim Duggan.  

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