Sunday, November 23, 2014

That Stinging Feel Of Being A Wrestling Fan

Tonight, it happened. After everyone said you'd never see it, you saw it go down. After hearing rumors saying it wouldn't be possible, you heard it happened. Finally, after all these years, STING finally stepped foot in a WWE ring. And his impact was felt HARD.

I'm of age to remember cheering on Sting in WCW in the late 80s/early 90s. I'm of age to remember cheering him during his Crow era in WCW. His TNA, I cheered him on there as well. See, once I'm loyal to something or someone, it takes a lot...a LOT for me to give it up. And I've been a Sting fan since a young age when he'd put on great matches and he has the ability to put on great matches now, so why give up my love of the Stinger?

Tonight was huge. Make no doubt about it. History was made in St. Louis. After all the years of saying Sting would never step in a WWE ring, after all the back and forth, after the flipping and flopping, he finally appeared in a WWE ring in front of a live crowd. I can't believe it. I've been dreaming of this since I was a kid playing with a Sting Galoob fighting my Randy Savage Hasbro. I've been holding on to hope since WCW closed and every year his contract with TNA was announced to be expiring. Like I said, worth it.

When news broke this past weekend of Sting showing up, fans were clamoring and guessing in what capacity. I think most thought he'd just saunter down and do a speech advertising the WWE Network or plug the video game WWE 2K15. But I don't think anyone...ANYONE expected Sting to actually hit the ring to throw Triple H in a Scorpion DeathDrop. Being that active was way more than I and anyone else expected.

Now, what's next for the Icon? As someone who's been hoping and dreaming of this moment, it's simple: Undertaker. I can't say Sting vs. Taker will be the 5 star match of the century. It won't be Flair vs. Steamboat. At their ages, they're gonna work at a slower pace. But from a storyline point of view, they've beaten the same people, they were the cornerstones of each respective companies, they've been loyal to those companies that made them famous and they have rather similar styles. Will this match be a 5 star Dave Meltzer classic? Probably not, but for the fans who hoped it would happen, it would send us all back to being 8 year olds in front our tv playing fantasy booking with our action figures.

For the time being, Sting is in WWE. And no one and nothing can take this excitement away. I honestly feel like a ten year old all over again. I knew it was happening, I heard it, I saw it...but I still cant believe it.

And that's the joy of being a wrestling fan of any age. That's the magic of believing if only for a second. And while my girlfriend may have laughed and teased me(in good fun) of hyperventilating and going over the top with excitement, this is a moment I'll never forget as long as I live. A moment every fan will remember where they were. A moment...much like the man himself...that was ICONIC.

Now, WWE...make us happy...because IT'S SHOWTIME!!!!


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Happy 30th Anniversary Freddy!

30 years. Wow. Feels like a lifetime ago! Yup, today, November 9th, marks the 30th anniversary since the release of Nightmare On Elm Street and the introduction of my favorite horror icon, Freddy Krueger! Can you believe it? 30 years?!?!

Now, I was only a year old when the first Elm Street movie was released but being a child of 80s, Freddy was everywhere. My brother was a fan and rented the movies, Freddy gloves were in stores, Freddy's Nightmares were on tv. If you were a young fan of creepiness and horror, he was your number 1 guy. By the time I saw my first Elm Street movie at age 6, I knew the deal. I knew Freddy wasn't real, he was just a character on a movie. Some kids wouldn't be able to separate reality from fiction and would've become terrified of ol' pizza face. Not me. I embraced him. He was no different than a Ninja Turtle or He-Man. He was just pure entertainment.

Since age 6, I've become immersed in Freddy. Be it merchandising, meeting the actors at conventions, having multiple viewings of every movie(well, maybe not Freddy's Dead). It's consumed me. And why not? It's a movie series you can't compare to any other. We've all seen cartoons and movies make a "Nightmare on something street" joke or a Freddy parody. There's not too many movies 30 years later that can really say they have the staying power of Nightmare On Elm Street. Heck, not many movies 10 years ago that has the staying power.

Freddy definitely changed the way we look at slashers and fear itself. The movie series, if anything, has taught us we can control the fear, embrace it, and then kick it's ass! Freddy, while originally meant to be feared, became the charismatic, cool villain that we all fell in love with. And now, with all the troubles in the world, he's more important than ever. Because no matter what happens during the day, if you can come home and enjoy an Elm Street movie, then for an hour and a half, everything is ok.

I've had the pleasure of meeting Robert Englund twice which was always a dream for me. To meet the man behind the blades himself? Oh yeah. Had to happen! Just be careful, if he starts talking, he won't stop! Which isn't a bad thing!

Freddy's fans, myself included, are some of the most rabid, loyal, loving fans you'll ever meet. They can recite every line, discuss the characteristics of every character and even tell you all about the town of Springwood. I'd hate to even consider where the series would've gone without it's crazy fanbase. I can't imagine it would've been as successful. But thankfully, there are the wild fans who would follow Robert to the end of the earth.

Wes Craven didn't know what he was doing when he first came up with Freddy. How could he? There's no way to determine what will be a huge success. But I'm sure he's happy that he did. I know I am. And I'm sure you are as well.

So, here's to Freddy, Wes Craven, Robert Englund, Heather Langenkamp, and anyone else who had anything to do with the success of this great series! And here's to 30 more!


For more of my Freddy related entries, check these out:

Freddy's Nightmares
Awesome VHS ads
NECA 8-Bit Freddy Review
Freddy VS. Jason
Hell of Fame Induction(piece I did for Death Ensemble)
Freddy Memorabilia