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 411mania » Wrestling » Columns

Wrestlemania - "Dare To Dream"
Posted by Michael Benjamin on 03.19.2003

Ken Anderson

"Dare to Dream"

Itís a trying time in the Western World. A war with ramifications the likes of which weíve never seen is looming in the Persian Gulf. A new super disease has left a handful dead, hundreds terminally ill, and the world on alert. The Pentagon admits that a major attack from within our own borders is all but certain. Unemployment is rising, fear is skyrocketing, and uncertainty is a way of life.

Despite this pivotal point we stand at in world history, time Ė flatly indifferent Ė continues to move forward. The only way to not go crazy in today's surroundings is to keep your mind occasionally occupied with things unrelated to world affairs. Days away is what can best be looked at as not only the primary event of the wrestling calendar, but also a welcome diversion from the shit thatís going on around us. Unfortunately, it seems as if half the internet is too fucking dense to get over their ridiculous "smart" attitudes and just appreciate what is upon us the way that it was meant to be enjoyed.

If you fall under this category, this message is for you:

Stop being a cynic. Stop being an internet critic. Stop being a mindless Scott Keith drone. It doesnít matter if the new blood is at the bottom of the card, if the Undertaker wins, or if Hogan/McMahon makes any sense.

Wrestlemania is whatís important. The moment is what matters.

This is Hulk Hogan doing the impossible and slamming Andre the Giant in front of a sold out Pontiac Silverdome. This is "Macho Man" Randy Savage winning a 16 man tournament and becoming the new World Wrestling Federation Champion. This is Steve Austin passing out in the Sharpshooter, Shawn Michaels flying in from the rafters, and Bret Hart giving his all for sixty minutes. This is the ladder match. This is that feeling you got when you Hogan shoved The Rock to the canvas at the start of their match. This is the race of your heart when the Warriorís music hit at the Hoosier Dome.

This is where stars are born, legends are made, and memories never die.

This is Wrestlemania.

This may seem like a free advertisement for the WWEís cardinal pay per view, but itís not. Itís an open invitation for everyone to stop bitching and just remember why we love this sport to begin with. Everywhere you look, an overweight "net journalist" or geeky "smart fan" is lamenting the fact that they just donít seem to be getting that "Road to Wrestlemania" feeling.

Guess what guys, itís not the product, itís you. Itís how you watch wrestling. Itís how you actively look for flaws and emphasize them over the positive. Itís how when the storylines are good, you bitch for better workrate, and when the workrate is good, you bitch for better storylines.

The wrestling "net scene" was once a flourishing melting pot of differing viewpoints, constructive arguments, and endless fandom. Those days have long since disappeared. The previously mentioned melting pot of opinion has been replaced with unanimous, robotic, uniform negativity.

"Triple H is the devil."
"RAW Sucks."
"The Undertaker's has no place on TV."
"Chris Benoit should be wearing the title around his waste."

The list goes on, you know the drill. If someone's opinion differs from the mindless legions, then they are ostracized by the "IWC."

Please guys, stop being so fucking negative about EVERYTHING. It's tough to enjoy life if you put a pessimistic spin on everything. If you don't like wrestling, don't watch it. If Widro and Ashish, two guys who spend more time and money than anyone in the world trying to make your day a little more enjoyable, decide to change the look of the site they provide to you for FREE, keep your damn mouths shut until you at least give it a chance, instead of quickly running to your local message board to blast the new look, but only after making sure your buddies feel the same way.

I hate how the "in" thing is to bash every single aspect of the product, pretending to be in "the know" by citing soft rumors regarding what happens "backstage."

I just hate what the net has become sometimes. I hate how the net takes matches like Hogan/Warrior, Hogan/Andre, and Hogan/Rock, matches that I hold very closely to my heart, and pisses all over them, citing them as trash simply because Andre didn't pull out a Dragon Suplex. Give me a break. If you can't enjoy those three matches for what they are, than you're not a fan. You're a fucking bitter old man.

Wrestling hasn't changed for the worse, your attitudes have. WWE television in the last six months has been as good as it's ever been, top to bottom. Go back and try to watch an old RAW from 98 or so and you'll see what I mean. Sure, the top of the card was strong, creatively and physically, but the undercard, which comprised 80 percent of the show, was completely horrid. Three-fourths of the RAW's in-ring action took place with Viscera, Mark Henry, The Godfather, Mideon, and Billy Gunn bearhugging each other

Nobody complained at the time though, because the current day "net logic" had still yet to fully take hold. Storyline and pops were as important as workrate and psychology. Steve Austin coming out with a beer truck was enough to make RAW a great show. Nowadays, unless there's a five star match, hundreds of idiots are writing the Torch idiotically making the statement (which no one believes) that they're "Done with the product... AND I MEAN IT THIS TIME!".

Anyway, I'll quit with the net bashing, but for one final time, I'll make this desperate plea:

Watch Wrestlemania as a fan.

"Dare to Dream."

Even if this means giving up the internet until after March 30th, do it. You'll thank me. Not only will your appreciation of the show triple, but you might even get that old feeling back in the pit of your stomach again. You know the feeling I'm talking about. The feeling you got when Randy Savage hoisted Miss Elizabeth onto his shoulders after losing a retirement match at Wrestlemania VII. The feeling you got when Ric Flair broke down into tears after returning to Nitro in 1998 to one of the biggest ovations in wrestling history. The feeling you got when Steve Austin walked through the curtains of your arena five years ago.

The only way that this is a possibility is if you remove yourself from the negativity.

Plain and simple, the internet has ruined most of our enjoyment of wrestling. Don't let it ruin what you've got left. Fight back. Be one of those non-net fans that you see at shows.

Think about all the great things and amazing highs that The Undertaker has brought to the WWF over the last ten years, and when he comes through the curtain, cheer him. Stay on your feet and enjoy the ride as Shawn Michaels wrestles Chris Jericho in what could very well be his final Wrestlemania match. When Michaels warms up the band, let yourself enjoy it instead of thinking of how he's lost a step in the last five years. Appreciate Chris Benoit's performance at Wrestlemania without sulking because he's not in the main event.

Cheer for Steve Austin to beat The Rock. If you like heels, cheer for The Rock to beat Steve Austin. Shout "You Suck" at the top of your lungs as Angle's music blares at Safeco field. Be part of the electricity when Angle and Lesner go forehead to forehead as the bell rings.

Forget about what Scott Keith thinks about his workrate and show Hogan your appreciation at Wrestlemania for all the memories you hold so close to your heart. When Hogan comes through that curtain, remember that this is the same man who slammed Andre the Giant, superplexed the Bossman off of the cage, and made is possible for wrestling to be in the position that it's in today.

Have fun. Be a mark again.

There's an age old adage that says you can tell the difference between marks and smarts by the fact that when you got a live event, the smarts are smiling, and the marks are grimacing.

Don't fall into that category.

"Dare to Dream."

Ken Anderson


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