Stuff your Dad likes: pro wrestling

Jacob Zinn can’t give you fatherly advice, but he can hog all the couch cushions.

By Jacob Zinn

Professional wrestling.

The spectacle of two grown men in tights rolling on top of each other’s oiled bodies dates back centuries. From its Greco-Roman origins to the inclusion of freestyle competition in the Olympics to Mexico’s high-flying Lucha Libre style, the sport of wrestling has a rich history spanning the globe.

Then the WWE monetized it with bra and panties matches, outlandish gimmicks, predetermined outcomes and celebrity guests.

(Gloverinc / Flickr)

But despite the soap opera-like storylines and arguments of fakery, your dad has witnessed the evolution of wrestling since his childhood, even before Vince McMahon got a stranglehold on it. He remembers when wrestling was divided into territories and each region had its own exceptional talent.

My dad remembers watching the NWA’s All-Star Wrestling with his father, which had such Canadian greats as Rowdy Roddy Piper, Earthquake and Rocky Johnson, the father of the self-professed most electrifying man in all of entertainment, The Rock. Other ASW alumni include future then-WWF mainstays as the Iron Sheik, Jake “The Snake” Roberts and the late “Ravishing” Rick Rude.

Canada’s west coast has been home to a lot of exceptional talent — including the entire Hart family from Calgary’s Stampede Wrestling — and your dad got to see them wrestle well before they became household names.

Sure, he remembers the Attitude Era and when Hulkamania was running wild, but his nostalgia stretches further back than that.

While most of his childhood heroes have hung up their boots, he may still be reminded of them by the current wrestlers whose styles have been inspired by the late greats. With WrestleMania 28 on this Sunday, your dad has a chance to recapture that boyhood excitement with every body slam and elbow drop.

He can witness Chris Jericho’s technical skills against the muay thai-trained WWE Champion CM Punk. He can hear The Rock’s brash catchphrases versus John Cena’s battle rap technique. And he can experience the cerebral Triple H’s third attempt to kibosh the Undertaker’s 19-0 undefeated streak in the so-called “End of an Era” Hell in a Cell match — refereed by the Heartbreak Kid, Shawn Michaels.

This could be the last year these future Hall of Famers get in the ring on the grandest stage of them all, so round up $60 and order the Pay-Per-View! (Or save $60 and get the results Monday night on cable.)


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