Wednesday, May 11, 2016

3 times wrestling made me cry

The end of Hulkamania?
Courtesy: WWE
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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Sometimes emotions get the best of us while enjoying something that brings so much joy. Here are a few times I broke down while watching wrestling.  I'm mostly secure enough to share these tales with you.

February 5, 1988: I was a freshman in high school and watching the Main Event.  Hulk Hogan had beaten all the challengers who'd come his way over the course of his four years as champion.  It seemed like the prime time WrestleMania III rematch against Andre the Giant would have a similar ending and Hogan would have a new challenger to face at the upcoming WrestleMania IV event.  That's how my 14 year old brain operated.

Andre wins
Courtesy: WWE
I was stunned when the referee made a bogus three count on Hogan and awarded Andre the belt.  The Giant quickly handed the gold over to "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase.  My disbelief turned to anger and sadness.  Looking back, I'm pretty sure I was sobbing.  I was so loud my younger brother came downstairs thinking I'd endured some legitimate form of trauma.  When I bellowed "Hulk Hogan LOST!!!" in between tears, he laughed at me and told me it wasn't the end of the world.  I still can't believe I had such a strong reaction to the first of many attempts to end Hulkamania...

Stone Cold's toast to Owen Hart
May 24, 1999: We were just 24 hours removed from the tragic death of WWF Superstar Owen Hart when the company went on the air again for a tribute show on Monday Night Raw.  The men and women who worked with The King of Harts told stories and cried in between matches that night.  I held it together through most of the show, only tearing up from time to time.  But when as Jerry "The King" Lawler and Jim Ross wrapped up the show with their memories, I began to cry.  Then "Stone Cold" Steve Austin's music hit.  He walked to the ring, held up a beer and toasted the TitanTron that had Owen's image displayed. He set a can in the ring and then left.  I lost it and cried like a baby for a long time after the show went off the air. It was one of the saddest memories for me as a wrestling fan.

Daniel Bryan and Connor "the Crusher"
Courtesy: WWE
Summer 2014: I don't remember the exact date, but it was when WWE released the video package about eight year old Connor Michalek.  Connor the Crusher was battling cancer of the spine and brain and his prognosis was not good.  I'm actually tearing up right now thinking about it.  There was something about that little boy that captured my attention.  Maybe it's because Connor and my daughter were just a few months apart in age.  None-the-less seeing him get to interact with the men and women he idolized and knowing these were likely his final wishes broke my heart.  I'm glad WWE has shared his story and helped build a foundation to honor this little guy's legacy forever.  Learn more about Connor's Cure here.

Honorable mention: I know I said three, but I couldn't end this post on a sad note.

Randy Savage and Elizabeth reunite
Courtesy: WWE
March 24, 1991: Even though they were married in real life, "Macho Man" Randy Savage and Elizabeth reconciled in the middle of the ring after Savage lost a retirement match to the Ultimate Warrior at WrestleMania VII.  I didn't really cry when the two embraced, but I did tear up.  And for that I should probably have my man card revoked forever more...

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