By Billy Carpenter
“…in the meantime, just have fun with wrestling—that’s what it’s all about.” I’ve spouted this line at the end of every 4CR radio show & podcast that I’ve appeared on from the start. Admittedly, I didn’t intend for it to become a “tagline” or anything like that, it’s just something I said on the fly in the midst of trying to think of something to close the first show. For whatever the reason, it stuck and I‘ve been doing it ever since. I feel that it’s a great reminder to all of us who watch pro wrestling to remember why we started watching to begin with—we thought it was fun. Whether it was the choreographed violence, the pageantry of the entrances or whatever your reason was, I felt it was important for people to hear that they should just remember that feeling and not take it too seriously.
I’ve been watching professional wrestling since 1985, a fact that my wife raises her eyebrows to but I’m extremely proud of. I told her it proves my loyalty and that she should take that into consideration. Back to wrestling—there’s never been a time that I haven’t had fun watching it. Even when a truly bad episode of RAW or something like that comes across the screen, I have an innate ability to find something that will make me chuckle. This is what it should be…escapism. Letting things go and not taking the wrestling business too seriously. After all, it’s guys in spandex “fighting” each other with a predetermined outcome. Like I said earlier, it’s the pageantry of the entrances with the various themes playing. It’s theater for guys. It’s FUN—the very definition. All too often we find ourselves getting wrapped up in buy rates, television ratings, merchandise sales figures and the like. I can admit to being guilty of the same things from time to time, which I think we all can-especially as we get older and allegedly “smarter” about the business that makes money from working us and making us believe things that simply aren’t true. I recently interviewed Ethan Page, current AIW champion, on a podcast and he said it best—people should just sit back and enjoy what’s presented to them. We don’t have a personal connection to the promoters or talent, and we shouldn’t get wrapped up in things like that. Let them handle the business side of things—we as fans should only worried about being entertained. After all, were you more entertained by the fact that Hulk Hogan was taking on Andre the Giant or the number that they grossed in ticket sales at the gate? Was it the “This is Your Life” segment with The Rock & Mankind or the quarter hour number that it drew? Did you enjoy CM Punk’s game-changing “pipebomb” more than talking about how his shirt was the company’s biggest seller and the stats that went along with that?
I changed my profile picture on Twitter in a moment of clarity. It’s a young Billy with a poster of his favorite wrestler, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, on his closet door—the same closet door that contained my WWF wrestling ring with figures like the Iron Sheik, Jimmy Snuka, Hulk Hogan & more just behind it. I still remember that 3 year old kid with the posters of Randy Savage Magnum T.A., Dusty Rhodes & Ric Flair on my wall. I can still conjure up those same feelings, that pro wrestling is fun and I can lost in this other world and be transported back to that time. Emma—my dear, sweet Emma—is just like her daddy. She takes her Rumblers and her little wrestling ring and I can see her going away to this world and I know exactly how she’s feeling in that moment. When I took her to her first matches, along with my oldest daughter, I could see just how much fun she was having and she saw the fun that I was having too. She begged me to get her the Zack Ryder glass, headband & foam finger and of course I obliged. Then she said to me “you should get the same stuff and then we can match!” Without hesitation, wrapped up in being 3 year old Billy all over again, I bought the same exact set. I watched both of my daughters jump and cheer or boo the wrestlers, and they had the time of their lives. It was the best feeling to see, and it’s the essence of why we fell in love with wrestling to begin with.
“Daddy, this is so much FUN!”
Yes. Yes it is. It shouldn’t be anything else.
“In the meantime, just have fun with wrestling…that’s what it’s all about.”