I tell people that I have been a lifelong wrestling fan. And that is true to a point. Like a lot of kids, I grew up with a dad who was a fan of wrestling. My dad’s favorite was Dusty Rhodes, so we always watched WCW in my house. I grew up right in the thick of the Attitude Era. Looking back, I am shocked my parents let me watch, but we ordered every PPV, and every Tuesday lunch was nothing but talk about the NWO, Sting, and the luchadors of the cruiserweight division.
But then, I grew up and wrestling stopped being a priority. I’ve always loved wrestling and would watch it if it caught my eye. But I found other interests and wrestling became uncool and almost hoaky. I remember seeing kids wearing Austin 3:16 and DX shirts in high school and silently wondering when they were gonna grow up. Secretly, I still kept up with wrestling. I knew who all the champions were in WWF-E were, I would even watch Raw on occasion. But they were always talking when I turned to it. That always got me to change the channel.
But one Monday, flipping through channels, I saw that a match was about to start. CM Punk vs John Cena. I knew all about Cena but hadn’t paid too much attention to Punk. Intrigued, I decided to watch the match. What followed was, after going back and studying, the greatest Raw main event of all time.
I hadn’t watched a full episode of Raw in years but I was glued to my seat until I was jettisoned from it by incredible moments like this one.
I was hooked. I had to get back into wrestling. That started a year long Mariana Trench-level dive back into wrestling. I started with CM Punk. I watched the entirety of his feud with Cena, and his great WWE-produced documentary. But then I went deeper. I watched his Ring of Honor match and his indie stuff. I landed at his iconic match series against Chris Hero in IWA-MS.
From there, I was all-in. I watched every bit of wrestling I could get my hands on. Independent, Japan, Mexico, European. I went after it all. And all of it was due to sitting down to watch CM Punk and John Cena duel one last time.
I personally don’t think CM Punk will ever wrestle in WWE again. It makes me sad that I wasn’t watching wrestling during most of his big run in WWE. But thanks to the WWE Network and Youtube, I got to experience his entire career. And let’s not forget about Cena. I know he gets a lot of undeserved grief from fans. But he’s been the top guy for this long for a reason. He’s a workhorse and an incredible wrestler.
Do you have a story of falling back in love with wrestling? We’d love to hear it! Share it with us on Facebook or in the comments below.