Like many, I greatly enjoyed professional wrestling in my youth. My middle school days were witness to the Monday Night Wars, the rise of the NWO, and Sting vs Hogan at Starcade. I had the pleasure of seeing two episodes of Nitro live at the Target Center, and when the show wasn't in town, friends and I would order the events, gorge on junk food, and do one another bodily injury; such was my dedication that I, at one point, suffered a broken shoulder and torn rotator cuff resulting from my buddy's "patented" Full Nelson Bomb.
But with time, my interest waned and I misguidedly became of the mind that watching wrestling was beneath me; I even berated my friends who had kept the faith after my departure therefrom. For the next sixteen years, the industry flew almost entirely under my radar; I knew the biggest names, eg, Cena, Orton, Batista, etc, but these names meant nothing to me.
Then something wonderful happened. I suffer from terrible insomnia, and every night I either listen to an audio-drama/audio book, or watch a show/movie to distract myself from being unable to fall asleep. In late November 2013, I found myself drawing a complete blank with regard to what to put on, and for whatever reason, decided to see what was going on in the world of professional wrestling. I found an online replay of the most recent episode of RAW and hit play.
What I saw was awesome! The first thing I realized was just how severely I had undervalued the mic work in my previous round of fandom; I do actually enjoy a good deal of the in ring work, but for me, promos are king. I saw Bray Wyatt preaching the gospel of New Selfishness, I saw Damien Sandow rightly lecturing us on our inferiority, I saw BNB inducing roaring, LUSTY boos with his bad news, and I saw a man who had made up for what he lacked in physical gifts by harnessing the power of positive thinking.
Surely, I thought to myself, this is objectively brilliant and could not possibly be lost on my friends - friends who are by and large legal, corporate, and financial professionals. As it turns out, I could not have been more wrong, and I quickly learned that whether I was on a first date, engaging in a job interview, or giving a lecture, if I genuinely represented an interest in professional wrestling, I paid an immediate price. Responses have ranged from ridicule to genuine incredulity, and I have to say I am rather shocked by this intolerance.
Have any of you had this experience? Do you have any suggestions for a thirty year old guy who just got back into wrestling and is getting blasted by all of his friends?