Noted Freelance Washington Capitals writer with Washington Post Express and Editor at NBC Washington’s “Capital Games,” Adam Vingan has his finger on the pulse of D.C. area sports and writes about them with great skill and a sharp wit. He’s also a fan of the sport of kings, Professional Wrestling. Adam has graced Chad Dukes Wrestling in the past with outstanding guest articles and today is no different. You can follow Adam on Twitter HERE. He is one of many men who live by our motto: Flying Elbows Before Hos.
When you’re eight years old, it’s easy for professional wrestling to be larger than life. After all, those behemoths being broadcast into your living room every week have muscles in places where you don’t even have places yet.
It was the spectacle that drew me in nearly 15 years ago. The lights, the action, the carnage. It was sensory overload for my prepubescent body. I had no idea what “Austin 3:16” meant (and I still don’t), but I wanted to see it kick somebody’s ass. I wanted my AIM screen name to be “Degenerate69,” but my parents had to delicately explain to me what both meant. “Poontang Pie” sounded delicious, but after the aforementioned conversation, I erred on the side of caution.
I remember sitting in my playroom watching a scrambled feed of the 2000 Royal Rumble hoping that whatever blob looked like Cactus Jack (no disrespect to Mick Foley, who also resembled a blob) defeated whatever blob looked like Triple H in a Street Fight for the WWF Championship. When Triple H hit Cactus Jack with the Pedigree onto a pile of thumbtacks, I huffed and puffed and stomped back to my room as quietly as I could so I wouldn’t wake my mom and dad. It was a school night.
Those moments are few and far between now. I can probably count on one hand the number of times that professional wrestling has coerced a true emotional response out of me within the past five years, most notably when I jumped off of a bar stool and embraced my friends like I had won the WWE Championship when CM Punk defeated John Cena at Money In The Bank last July or when I was legitimately upset that The Rock went over Cena at Wrestlemania 28. Watching wrestling nowadays has become a habit; Monday isn’t Monday unless it ends with me watching Raw. I had come to terms with the fact that maybe wrestling loses its magic as you age. What once was your life just becomes another part of it.
That is, until this past Monday.
Raw had the makings of a classic night. CM Punk, still the WWE Champion, took umbrage at Vince McMahon’s apparent lack of respect and proceeded to slap the 67-year-old man across the face. A flustered McMahon collected himself and challenged Punk to a fight later in the evening as the fans in attendance began to shake the arena to its very core.
Three hours later, McMahon ambled to the ring only to be blindsided by Punk before the match could begin. It had the makings of yet another heat-killing segment; Punk would humiliate McMahon before the latter landed a shot or two, only for the threat to be quelled by the champion. But when McMahon clocked Paul Heyman and grabbed a Kendo stick, everything changed. My heart, which had leapt into my throat when McMahon dived across the announce table, began to pound. Inside my head (and a little aloud; yes, I was the 23-year-old man talking to himself in his living room), I prayed for Punk to enter the ring. He finally did, but as the two wailed on each other with reckless abandon — an exchange that McMahon got the better of — I was waiting for the inevitable disappointment. Punk caught McMahon with a low blow and I sighed in resigned disbelief. Punk would finish off McMahon and I would go to bed disappointed.
Yet, as Punk lifted McMahon on his shoulders for the GTS, it only took two words for me to recapture my innocence of 15 years ago: “FEED ME.”
Ryback marched towards the ring as I sat on the edge of my seat. From there, I knew what was coming: Punk would escape, only to be thrown back into the ring by Cena (the camera angle gave it away; eight-year-old me would be so disappointed), but it didn’t matter. Ryback nearly decapitated Punk with a vicious clothesline and I fist-pumped and cheered in excitement. The hard camera was shaking as the Sacramento crowd frothed at the mouth. Across the country, I was doing the same.
When Punk slithered out of his predicament, I slammed my fist on the armrest. I didn’t get what I wanted.
At first, I was angry, but after turning off the television, I realized how happy I was. Wrestling made me feel something again.
I guess I got what I wanted after all.