Hey everyone and welcome to the first installment of “The Golda Standard”, a weekly column written about a hot button topic from the wrestling world. Look out for a fresh installment every single Friday!
Now, a little bit about me. I’m a 33 year old guy living in Charlotte, NC. I’m currently a Lyft driver suffering from Crohn’s Disease just trying to have the best day that I possibly can every single day. I’ve been in love with pro wrestling pretty much as far back as I can remember, watching WWE Saturday Morning Superstars with my father in front of our old ass box TV set on the carpet. You know the one I’m talking about, the one with the dial you had to turn directly on the set with like 12 channels on it that had the squiggly lines half the time.
I may have had a couple of lapses of watching over the years(as most people) but the love of professional wrestling has always brought me back. I love everything about the business. I love the corniness of the 80s and 90s. I love the face versus heel dynamic. I love seeing the crowd go nuts when they see a big spot or something controversial. I love the atmosphere of a live event. I love the pageantry of a big WWE show just as much as I love the feel of a small, 200 person indy show in the gym of some random National Guard Armory in the middle of nowhere of Anytown, USA.
Like most 30-something wrestling fans outside of the South, my first love was Hulk Hogan. My first clear memory of seeing one of his matches was when he lost to The Ultimate Warrior in The Ultimate Challenge at WrestleMania VI. Having an April 2nd birthday means that WrestleMania falls on my birthday whenever it’s on a Sunday, so all of my friends and I were sitting on the floor of my house, watching our hero be defeated by someone we felt to be unworthy on that same set top TV that I mentioned earlier. I cried, I can’t even lie. It was my birthday and I wasn’t getting my wish. All a little boy wants on his birthday is for his wish to be grant, but this just wasn’t meant to be.
Of course, I loved Stone Cold Steve Austin. What teenager didn’t? The way he challenged authority, bucked the system and did whatever the hell he wanted to do. Not to mention the dozens of beers he drank per week between RAW and SmackDown. What teenager didn’t want to be all about that? But, at the same time, you couldn’t help but have a deep appreciation for The Rock as he developed his heel persona, from The Nation to The Corporation. Or love to watch HHH mature from Shawn Michaels’ stoogey sidekick to becoming a 15 time world champion who is changing the WWE as we know it with his developmental brand NXT. With the way that he was so vehemently hated just ten years ago, who would have that thought he would turn into the no brainer choice to take over the company whenever Vince finally decides to “retire”(I use the term retire very loosely because we all know the only way he officially retires is the day his casket is lowered into the ground)? Sure, we figured he would have had a role to play since he was nailing Princess Stephanie, but actually being THE GUY? You don’t have to be Roman Reigns to see that.
I love the way that storylines are structured. I love to try to guess what’s going to happen next and am somewhat disappointed when I realize that I am totally wrong. I love the story that the matches themselves tell. Nobody told a story in that ring better than Ric Flair, as much as I absolutely loathe him as a person. He worked an opponent over in ways that just looked too damn perfect. His selling was remarkable. And the way he could go 30+ on a nightly basis with whomever was the top guy in that territory was amazing.
I’ve been to numerous WrestleMania events. I’ve traveled for Survivor Series, Royal Rumble and SummerSlam events in the past. I’ve traveled all the way to Ohio to check out a Rockstar Pro iPPV taping and had the absolute time of my life. At least a few times a month I travel at least 90 minutes to see some indy event held at a bingo hall, VFW or community center. Shout out to PWX(Brian Kanabroski), FSPW(LaBron Kozone), XWW(Manny Mac), the guys at Rockstar Pro, APW in Chester, Milestone Wrestling(Dentino) among many more who are always gracious hosts to me and let me see a little more than what the average fan gets to see.
As much as I may be let down by the product being currently put on USA Network on Mondays and Tuesdays, I know that it will get better. It always does. Sure, some competition would help, but professional wrestling, er, SPORTS ENTERTAINMENT always goes in cycles. With the crop of guys coming up from NXT in the coming months into next WrestleMania season, they will get their shit together. They have to. Bobby Roode will be up sometime after SummerSlam and I do not believe that they will screw up his debut, he is just too money. Aleister Black might only be in NXT for a cup of coffee, DIY and the Authors of Pain are close to coming up and helping two tag divisions that sorely need a little direction. Drew Galloway, oops, I mean McIntyre just oozes star and will hold NXT down in the short term after Bobby Roode is called up to The Show(which should be the sooner the better since he just turned 40 this week!). Andrade Cien Almas is the perfect cocky heel for this generation. And the women? Fuck, don’t get me started there. NXT is FLUSH with future stars in the women’s division between Asuka, Billie Kaye, Ember Moon, Peyton Royce, Ruby Riot, Nikki Cross and some others that haven’t really gotten the TV time yet but will soon enough.
The future of the WWE product is bright and we all know that the independent circuit is getting stronger by the day(which I will cover in a future TGS, as the entire Marked Out Universe knows I am a total mark for indy WRESTLING). Knowing that the future of sports entertainment will come around makes me happy, and knowing that makes my inner child just as happy. Wrestling was my first love and I will always love it with the same youthful spunk that I always have. I just hope that the people who put on the product can say the same.
Thanks a lot for reading! Don’t forget to check out RAWESOME Monday nights, SmarkDown Tuesday nights, The Takedown Thursday afternoons at 5pm and The Indy McIndyface Show which will be premiering our debut episode in the coming weeks! That one is a labor of love for Brian and me, so we apologize in advance for the wait, but it will be worth it!
The Heaviest of the Heavies…OUT!