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Embarrassed by wrestling


Cheapheat
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I read this quote in the names that define a horrible period thread

 

'1995 remains pretty much the only time I stopped watching wrestling voluntarily. It was a combo of things, the second-job guys mentioned by Unfitfinlay above, but the steaming turd in the crown was Mantaur. Nothing against the guy, I'm sure he's a lovely fella. It was simply that Droese was a bin-man, IRS was the tax guy, and they'd apparently run out of ideas and decided to rip off the Minotaur from mythology. His costume was terrible, his gimmick was terrible, the paint that was supposed to represent horns... at this point I was starting to realise that at 15, maybe watching play-fighting in spandex was not the doorway to being cool, and when I got spotted reading the WWF magazine in a local shop, looking at a picture of Mantaur as one of my class hard kids loomed over my shoulder made me decide at that point maybe it was time to try something else.'

By Grecian (sorry, i don't know how to use the quote function.

 

I think a lot of us have similar experience of being big fans as children, then hitting those awkward teen years and stopping watching pro wrestling when we realise it's not what cool kids do. Then a few years later when you stop caring what people think go back into it. I was wondering if anyone had any experiences/moments that made them give up on wrestling (or just feel bad) basically due to playground survival! 

I remember (actually in my early 20's) when a girl I had a crush on came into the cafe I was in and sat down to say hello, I was reading powerslam and desperately tried to hide it when she asked me what I was reading, I had to stutter though a poor explanation of why I was reading a magazine with a gurning Triple H parading a sledge hammer on the cover. 

Anyone got similar stories )sorry if this has been posted before, I couldn't find a similar thread.

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I've hidden my fandom from various people over the years. I'd like to say it wasn't out of embarrassment but it was. High school in particular, you knew who else among your friends still watched (this was post-Attitude boom so popularity had gone way down) and you knew you were safe to chat about the latest developments on Raw. But as the 2000s rolled on that number for me went from 3 people around Invasion time to 0 by the end of 2002. By 2006 and uni time all the retrospective WWE DVD box sets were coming out and it took on a kind of retro cool for a few of my friends. That got them into the current stuff too and we'd watch things like WSX and Mania 23 together. My ex was a judgemental type so I used to hide it from her, probably not a good sign to be honest! My other half now is well aware I watch it - and that I post on here - and isn't really bothered. She'll never watch it with me but she's never laughed at or mocked me for still watching the wrestling and this made me realise that by and large, the world is not high school and people aren't bothered enough by others' hobbies for me to be embarrassed by them because I'm not 15 anymore, and I haven't hidden the fact I watch the wrestling for a while now.

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I don't tell anyone I like/watch wrestling. Been a fan 16/17 years now, started watching just as it's popularity peaked in late 1999. Never really grew out of it like every other lad I knew. It's just my thing I suppose, and I'm happy enough to keep it that way. I'm not a die hard anymore, I just skim Raw/SD and the PPV's really. No interest in NXT or indies. I do like the podcasts (Cabana, Jericho, Austin mainly) and stuff like OSW review, but that's for nostalgia more than anything. Same with posting here I reckon.

 

Doesn't help that whenever I've met an overt wrestling fan about and about wearing a WWE shirt or whatever, they've been the stereotypical annoying, neckbearded twat that I'd never want to be associated with.

Edited by DCW
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I remember my neck feeling like it was on fire when I watched that episode of Raw with my Mam, Dad, Brother and his girlfriend and Goldust came out with a ballgag in his mouth and a pair of tits and being led around by the neck by Luna. It was just fucking brutal to watch. I think it was the same episode Shawn Michaels was talking about shit in the toilet or something as well. It was so ridiculous.

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I've never been embarrassed to the point of hiding that I'm into wrestling. Sure, I've been embarrassed by stuff going on in it, but I've never hidden it from anyone. Even during those awkward teenage years. Fuck it, ESPECIALLY during those awkward teenage years. By time I was getting into wrestling properly and people at school were becoming aware of it, I was already an unpopular (dare I say sometimes bullied) child, so I never hid wrestling from anyone. There was no point. Truth be told the guy who is now my best mate, I first got closer to at 14 even though he was one of the cool kids and I was a dork, because he knew I was into WWF and he still was too.

 

Even into college when most of my friends were trying to find a socially acceptable version of themselves that meant doing things they didn't really want to or casting off interests that would get them shunned, I never denied wrestling. "What's your plan this weekend, Raid? Going to stay in watching wrestling?" Yeah, and? As a wise fictional man once said, never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armour, and it can never be used to hurt you.

 

Even to this day when one of my friends decides to make a friendly joke about "You still watching that fake wrestling crap?" I like to remind him he likes that fake EastEnders, and at five nights a week he's definitely watching his fake crap more often than I watch mine. If a crush (as Cheapheat puts it) wants to use wrestling as a reason to not be interested, its better I know sooner rather than later because it means they're pretty shallow, and to be honest new friends don't have to know me very long before "I'll have to check, I might have wrestling" comes up when planning a weekend drink or activity or drink. I've never given a fuck about what the cool kids do and into my 30s its incredibly liberating to learn most of my friends, colleagues and peers don't give a fuck what anyone's into either. Unless it's something they can share in which is obviously great.

 

If I think about it.... I think the only time I have been embarrassed by wrestling that immediately comes to mind is having to squeak "Not now" when my mother knocked on my bedroom door, because I was midway through knocking one out over Sable's photos in the brand new copy of Raw magazine.

Edited by air_raid
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Never really been embarrassed about it, apart from when I started working at Royal Mail, then I kept it very quiet. Mainly because the place was full of men, proper old school union types who had worked there 20-30 years. When I started it was quite intimidating and I'd see people getting ribbed for minor things.

 

I used to tape trade, buy stuff an awful lot, especially in the early 00s. The guy delivering to my house would always ask why I'd have loads of videos/dvds delivered to mine, it got round that I was a porn fiend, rather than tell anyone it was wrestling I'd just say it was football or boxing matches on tape. Really weird time as a fan and I became really conscious of it. I would have been 19-21 around then so that didn't help either.

 

As I got older, and with Facebook etc and becoming friends with lads at work, it's all out now. I still get ribbed for it but I give it back. Work mates know I go to shows regularly and some have swapped days off to help me out, even took some to an ICW show, which was an eye opener for them.

 

Remember speaking to a lad who used to give me stick a lot and he once said that he respects people who have hobbies and it's better than what most people do and just sit at home doing nothing or spending money in bookies and pubs. He went on to tell me how he's a metal detectorist, but not to go shouting it from the rooftops.

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It never really occurred to me to be embarrassed about wrestling when I was in school. I remember once an acquaintance - we were the only boys in art class and we got on okay but we weren't really proper friends - asked me where I'd be going on Friday night. I kinda scoffed at the very suggestion and said, "nowhere... I've never been out on a Friday night before... that's when the wrestling's on!". We were 16 and he was completely bewildered. It seemed normal to me.

The only wrestling-related thing in my past that really makes me cringe to think of is DX-related. Whenever my family went on holiday, my brother and I would record a little tour of wherever we were staying on the video camera. I'd be holding the camera and my brother would "host", describing the rooms as we walked around like we were doing MTV Cribs or something. In 1998 we ended the segment with both of us doing the full DX routine, ending with, "And if you're not down with that, we got two words for ya! Suck it!" etc. - complete with the crotch chops. At the time it seemed fine - I was very innocent-minded and, weirdly, I never really thought too much about the sexual connotations of "suck it" - but then when we were watching our holiday video back with my aunt and her family I suddenly realised how weird and inappropriate and creepy it was, telling my extended family to "suck it" while gesturing towards my barely pubescent genitals. If I ever had to watch that video back now I'd be mortified.

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I don't get embarrassed by much, so my love of wrestling is well known. Even working in a corporate environment where "banter" flied around, I didn't give a shit about liking wrestling. If anyone ever said to me "Ugh, don't you know it's all fixed and scripted" I replied that they must only watch documentaries and read non fiction books...

 

However...There are two distinctly memorable times where I have been mortified by it. First one was when I went on holiday to Florida with my Dad and Stepmum. September 1998 so well into the attitude era, and the thought of me being able to watch Raw live on a Monday night instead of Fridays was one of the main reasons for me being excited. My Dad had always known I loved wrestling, but don't think my Stepmum did, and she's a very conservative, traditional person. I can remember watching Raw in our hotel room and Val Venis being on screen cutting a promo, and I was so embarrassed by it all, I think I turned it off.

 

Second time was watching Valentines Day Massacre 99, with two of my non wrestling friends. Height of my kayfabe believing days and daily having to defend it in the playground to all of my "Wrestling is gay and fake" mates. I can remember us all actually quite enjoying it until Ken Shamrock CLEARLY says to Ryan Shamrock in front of the camera and clearly audible "Slap me"...I think they made a point of rewinding it a few times and ripping the shit out of wrestling and me.

 

Other than that, loud and proud. I actually find that when people find out, they usually ask me about the old wrestlers and get a weird kick out of finding out that pretty much everyone they know is now dead. I think it might help having a 7 year old daughter who's mates pretty much all watch it, so the other Dads I know and play football with, watch it by proxy.

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Liking wrestling has never been something I've told people. Not through embarassment by because no one really cares about it anymore, and it's a bit of a conversatiom killer. Started a job a few weeks back and a few guys had been to WCPW in MK the night before, so we always chat about what's going on which is rather refreshing.

 

Only time it's been mortifying is on my 25th birthday, where my mum got me a wrestling cake by someone who bakes fancy cakes locally. Sounded great on paper, but when it came it was literally two barefooted fondant figures having a hug...

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Well, seeing as my quote started this thread...

 

Aside from my Mantaur / class hard kid moment, there have been many times I've flt-out refused to acknowledge that I like wrestling. After 1995, I got back into it in 1996 (my hiatus was a quick one), kept it silent all the way through the late 1990s, helped by being at uni and not having Sky. I did get to watch full episodes of Raw at my local boozer in an ironic way, saying how gay these idiots were as the landlord's 10 year old kid watched, whilst secretly loving every Rock promo and the rise of the Hardys and tag division. Graduated and moved in with a very good friend, who was a serious music fan, who I would have rather been caught shagging a goat than admitting that I liked wrestling. I knew no-one else who liked it, so I kept very quiet.

  We moved into a new house, I started going out with a girl who had a very hard brother and father. They ripped the piss for being a football fan ('footballers aren't fuckin' hard, you know!'), so what they would have made of me liking wrestling, I wasn't going to find out. Relationship ended, me and my flatmate got Sky, and I started watching it religiously, without him ever finding out. The closest I got to being found out was the night I got drunk, went home and started watching Smackdown and decided to strip to my pants and passed out. My uber-cool flatmate came home to find me semi-naked and comatose with WWE on TV. A couple of very carefully worded questions the following morning regarding my sexuality and I managed to persuade him there had been football on when I passed out.

  After that, I met my now-wife and I don't remember how, but she found out I liked it. Possibly by her wanting to spend time with me of an evening, on a Friday when Smackdown was on. She didn't seem to mind, and seemed to be happy that I had a hobby. From there, someone at work suddenly mentioned wrestlemania 22 and from there, I started to realise the number of people that liked it, or were interested enough to ask questions.

  I watched Mania 23 with a mate who was curious to see what it was like since he stopped watching, I then met someone else at work who's become one of my closest friends with whom I watch the majority of PPVs.

  People I now work with know I like it (helped by me wearing a Daniel Bryan t-shirt that a workmate's son owns), my niece loves it, my sister has started watching it now, and I no longer hide my love of wrestling, to the extent that I have a New Day lunch-box.

 

  It's odd how many people either watch it, or have an interest in what is happening in WWE, and although I wouldn't say it's cool, it's certainly more mainstream than I think I ever thought it was.

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It doesn't come up. The people that know I watch wrestling know because a) they used to be fans themselves or b) they knew me growing up. If I'm at a job interview or somebody asks me what my hobbies are, I wouldn't say watching wrestling. Not out of embarrassment but because that would come under watching TV/sport. I'm not such a huge fan that wrestling would need its own separate category.

 

I took the Monday off after the most recent Royal Rumble and somebody at work asked me what I was doing and I just told them. They didn't blink at it. The only place I ever see the, "you know it's all fake don't you?" stuff is online when a mainstream place mentions it and commentors feel the need to pass judgement.

 

My girlfriend knows I watch it. Don't know how I'd keep it a secret and she watches with me from time to time. I rarely wear shirts. I have a Bullet Club shirt and Los Ingobernables shirt. Only someone who watches wrestling themselves will know what they are

Edited by SpursRiot2012
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