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Tha Kid's Choice

This past weekend was my nephew Kareem’s birthday. He turned 11. Or 12. I’m not quite sure as I am a terrible uncle.

When I saw him the first thing I noticed was the bright red outfit he had on. I didn’t notice it because of the loudness of it. I noticed who was emblazoned all over it.

John Cena.

“John Cena?” I asked him. “You actually like John Cena?”

“He’s strong” my nephew replied.

“But…he’s John Cena” I said. My nephew just stared at me.

“He lifted The Big Show.”

Later a friend of his showed up. He also had a Cena shirt on but my nephew pointed out that his favorite wrestler was Batista. I was surrounded. I wasted a few minutes telling him about Bryan Danielson and Ring Of Honor until their eyes glazed over. They said that I was a HHH fan and that Cena could beat HHH any day. I told them that I actually liked Brock Lesnar more.

“Who’s that?” they asked.

At this point I switched topics and asked them who else they liked. Their answers were Jeff Hardy and Rey Mysterio. I told them that Rey would be gone for a month or so and Jeff had just finished his last match for the time being.

“Why?” they asked.

I didn’t want to get into the whole Wellness Policy violation Rey committed or that Jeff wanted to take off and make bad music that no one will like. I just told them to get into Evan Bourne. Then they said CM Punk was cool. I almost lost my mind.

Here I am, a 30 year old man debating wrestling with kids. The WWE Universe is not the same type of fan that I am/was. They don’t look at it like us jaded ass older fans. They don’t read dirt sheets. They don’t know about who is banging who. Who is in rehab. They don’t know what a workrate is. All they know is who is stronger than who and who is cool to them.

If only I could be like them again. Yes, I’m jealous. Okay? I admit it. I miss the days when The Ultimate Warrior was a friggin’ comic book character brought to life. When The Road Warriors were what I thought White people were like when I wasn’t looking. Andre The Giant was an actual giant. These kids look at Cena the way we looked at Hogan. Yeah, he did like three moves but they seemed amazing. Who was our Jeff Hardy? Liger perhaps? Mutoh?

Today there is more variety in regards to styles than we had when we were growing up. There aren’t too many different looks as we had though. We had trucker looking guys, farmers, guys that you would see on the streets, slick fellas, and a few buff ass dudes. Now most of the guys look like Muscle Fitness Magazine models and the chicks look like strippers.

Do any of you know kids that watch wrestling now? What do they think about it? Do you impose your “smarkiness” on them or do you wish you could watch it the way they do?

You think the Attitude Adjuster is a lame move? Hogan did a leg drop.

15 comments: on "Tha Kid's Choice"

.m.a.n.o. said...

I know exactly what you mean-- I've got two younger bros, aged 10 and 8.
One of them is a huge Cena and Batista fan, and the other one is crazy for Jeff Hardy =/
One point dude-- why'd you nearly lose your mind when they said Punk's cool? I think he's a tremendously effective heel with really good mic skills and good in-ring work; he's a good mat competitor, and you should see some of his pre-WWE indy days...

Anonymous said...

Like most people in my generation, I haven't really cared for John Cena since he was a white rapper. When I went to Wrestlemania I wanted to see Shawn Michaels beat him limb from limb (although I knew it wouldn't happen).

Cena's theme was met by a thunderous boo. I joined them. Then I noticed a little boy standing in the row in front of me with the camo shirt & sweatbands. Amid the F*CK you Cena! and chants of "you can't wrestle!" this kid obliviously cheered on his hero.

No one did that when I was a kid rooting for Hogan or Taker... I don't know what I would have done if my heroes were being cursed at.

Adam said...

Excellent article. I remember being a kid watching these top people and legit thinking they were the best.

I educated my 12 year old brother though, but by showing him the matches that us older people tend to like more.

He loves NJPW, NOAH, a huge KENTA fan and knows a little about ROH. But I didn't force it upon him, he simply liked the matches.

If NOAH and ROH were on TV it would be a different situation for most kids. However kids only care about what they see and what they know.

Especially in wrestling, people love wrestlers that they see in a match. You could tell me how good someone like Hiroshi Tanahashi is and I won't change my mind until I see his matches.

Mach23 said...

When your a kid all you like are the faces because they dont cheat and everyone else cheers for them and they are popular. Now all of us know more and over look everything. I think it is better watching the wwe after you stop knowing whats going on back stage and just knowing what is on tv. WWE is aimed towards kids and always was. we just grew up now and feel like they gave up on us because it isnt as appealing to us anymore like it used to be. All they care about is making money and kids bring in the most money because they will get what they want from their parents. I feel that heels are set up to appeal to the older crowd that hates on faces like cena and others. When i was a kid my favorites were all faces from hogan to hbk and i hated all the heels and how they would cheat. What i miss now are managers they were so important to a match for heels back then and made the match more entertaining.

Anonymous said...

Ignorance is bliss.

CJF said...

"...and the chicks look like strippers."

Sad (in a way), but true. Where's a Sensational Sherri or Luna Vachon when you need one?

Zyrone said...

I was working at Walmart and a mom with her two kids came up. They were buying alot of wrestling stuff and I made mention of it saying that I was a fan myself. I saw a spark in this kids eye as he began talking about his favorite wrestler in the world, Jeff Hardy. He asked me who my favorite guy was and I felt like shit when I told him that I liked Randy Orton cause he looked at me like I shot a load in his mom and flashed the Cena ok high sign. Thing about it though, is that the kid knew his wrestling history, I mean first NWA heavyweight champion; the date; and the wrestlers. Made me kinda feel good actually. By the way, Hogan's leg drop is nothing compared to the most electrifying move in sports entertainment The People's Elbow.

CJ said...

You know what? You are 1000% correct. I never looked at it that way at all. But your right. I always thought that Cena was the new Hogan. But Never looked at Cenna from a kids shoes. If you really think about it, if i was 10 again, id like Cena exactly like i liked Hogan. A Very good read. This has honestly made me stop hating John Cena. Do i really like him now?? Absolutely not! I just dont hate him anymore.

The Great Sudoku said...

"Our" Jeff Hardy was surfer Sting.

As an older kid I can remember marking out for the Dungeon of Doom specifically because their sole point in existing was to "kill Hulk Hogan!"

I was always a bit smarky, growing up watching World Class, AWA, and NWA. I wasn't your fed-Hogan mark kinda kid like so many were back then. My biggest Fed-mark moments were when they brought in guys like Kerry Von Erich or Curt Hennig.

Nothing is stopping that progression today. Kids can still go out and buy Apter mags and read the power rankings and ROH recaps and CHOOSE not to follow the #1 promotion because it has, and always will suck.

I can remember the late 80s, reading those apter mags, following the likes of Chris Benoit, Owen Hart (and other Stampede guys), Maxx Pain, and a slew of other guys when the NWA just felt too "mainstream" for me.

There will always be blind sheep the follow what mass media tells them to, that's just a microcosm of life. When you were a kid some of your friends were the typical "mark" fans I'm sure, you mention Liger, how many of your friends at the time even knew who he was?

Smarkiness is something you're born with, or you're not. Plain and simple.

D. Ross said...

Thanks everyone for commenting! Now let me respond to everyone in order.

m.a.n.o, I have seen CM Punk’s older matches and this is why I don’t like him in WWE. I first heard of the guy in the sheets and liked his look. He seemed like this plain ass guy that could fight his ass off and his heel personality fit so perfectly. Living a straight edge lifestyle and rubbing it in peoples faces. Then I saw his matches and was impressed by him. Then he showed up in ECW as a good guy with a lame finisher. He barely spoke (which was one of his best skills in getting crowds riled up). Then I realized he was using most of KENTA’s moveset but not as well. His heel turn just took so long that by the time he did it I no longer cared. Plus, they aren’t hating Punk for his lifestyle. They are hating him because he beat Jeff Hardy.

Anonymous 1, when I was little if someone trashed Warrior I would defend him like he was my father or something. I wanted him to waste Hogan so bad. When I was a kid there were pretty much no signs in the crowd and no chants of “You fucked up!” or “Asshole!” That was just unheard of and people had more class than to do that in a crowd with children.

Thanks, Adam. What you are doing for your brother my late brother did for me. He would find NWA, USWA stuff on UHF stations and I was exposed to The Von Erics. I loved Kevin Von Eric. The Iron Claw was one of my favorite moves since even as a kid I had big hands and could apply it to people older than me. When you get to see more than what’s readily available it blows your mind as a kid. Your little brother will thank you as he gets older.

Mach23, its harder to hate heels when we see videos of them at home with their families or hear about how nice they actually are outside the ring. Kane was called a “sweet heart” by Stone Cold. Orton’s life was changed when he had a baby girl. Back in the day I thought that these guys spent their off time figuring out how to cripple each other or place bounties on each other. Yes, its geared towards kids now. They throw in some ass and tits for the older fans but some of us would actually prefer to see a good match.

Anonymous 2, ignorance is indeed bliss. Reading spoilers ruins shows so I just wait and hate when someone say’s what’s happening days or weeks in advance. Some sites and “fans” will do this shit and then laugh or complain when a show gets low ratings. As Eminem once said “Why would I want to destroy something I helped build.”

CJF, the amount of classy women in wrestling is about at 2% nowadays. Think about this for a second. Who were the women you knew by name and who they managed and their storylines? Sherri, Woman, Miss Elizabeth. They are all dead and they took respectable female valets with them.

Zyrone, years ago when I was working at the hospital this kid that was going home was so excited because he was going to a show a few days after being released. He was so excited that he was seeing Cena live. I couldn’t shit on him for that. Kids are surprised when you like a bad guy and cheer him. It’d be like us cheering when Rick Rude came out with Jake Robert’s wife airbrushed on his tights.

CJ, I don’t know if I should feel good or bad about what I’ve done to you. But I know that if I was a kid that Cena would probably be one of my favorite wrestlers as well.

Great Sudoku, I didn’t even think of that. Sting was our Jeff Hardy. Colorful Sting. Not Brandon Lee Sting. A few of my friends knew who Liger was if not by seeing any of his matches then by his look. No one looked like that guy and flew around like him. I’m happy that he’s been around long enough for multiple generations of fans to get into. Aside from being one of the hardest CAW’s to make, I’ve never heard anything bad about him. Anyone that can wrestle in that bodysuit and not faint is good, right?

Thanks again to everyone that commented or read this.

Anonymous said...

I remember when I was 9 or 10, the Invasion angle happened. I lost all my friends and my girlfriend by wearing a Stone Cold t-shirt... They fucking hated him with passion...

Wrestling is awesome when you are a kid. You invest a lot more emotion in the product. Twenty years from now smarks are going to appreciate Cena, Hardy and friends for what they were and shit on... fuck, I don't know... Aurora Levesque?!

Anonymous said...

My country stopped broadcasting Raw and SmackDown! in 2002, because "wrestling was too violent, and was giving the kids a bad example"... And then they put gay porn in Raw's timeslot...

...Thank god, they started broadcasting WWE again in 2005... Fuck, I hate those faggots for making me miss the Brock years...

Anonymous said...

The gay porn didn't endure much, though... After about week or two they changed it with some crappy talk show no one cared about and after that, they started showing softcore lesbian porn.

Zyrone said...

dude what country are YOU from?

D. Ross said...

They for real replaced wrestling with porn? Damn. I guess people will talk crap about HHH's daughter years from now and how she is holding down Orton's daughter.