– Satyakam Ray
Have you ever tried wrestling with siblings or cousins during school holidays just for fun in the absence of parents? If the answer is yes, the author predicts that the fight may not go as well as planned, resulting in a scuffle. What was supposed to be a friendly banter among cousins eventually reached parents’ ears as complaints and subsequent reprimands.
Well, this case among 90s kids directly results from watching WWE on TV during weekends as time passes. WWE wrestling, formerly WWF, ruled the 90s kids’ world back then. Today’s generation is busy with smartphones, various streaming services, and endless sources of readily available entertainment. In the 90s, kids had the luxury of watching WWE after homework.
The glory of one and only Undertaker, Triple H, Kane, John Cena, Rey Mysterio, Big Show, the Great Khali, and many others constantly flashes back when one talks about WWE. Specifically, the undefeated run of Undertaker and continuous maintenance of the character for 25 years show the commitment and dedication of the guy toward the wrestling fraternity. Many other superstars graced the stage. Andre, the giant, was such a character. The clash between the Big Show and the world’s strongest man, Mark Henry, always reminds us of the strength aspect of this sport. Brutal attacks using chairs, rods, or other equipment were an additional factor added to the gory side of these events.
What made these events special was the commentary of the panel members- mostly ex-WWE superstars. The adrenaline rush among the spectators at the venue and TV viewers always doubled by listening to the live commentary. Pro wrestlers used the commentator’s table to slam the opponents to make the matter more entertaining.
Still, WWE was just an entertainment industry, unlike the previous 80s WWF events, where the fights were real, and many wrestlers were injured or killed. Many argue that WWE events are always scripted, and wrestlers act according to the previously discussed acrobatics or moves. The theory seems legit to many after growing up as adults. But during our school days, as 90s kids, we considered the fights accurate and enjoyed them a lot. So, the question of scripted or not scripted does not make sense to the 90s kids anymore. Some unfiltered fun might stay as it is without any condition.
Many kids, unaware of the dangers of wrestling moves, used to practice among friends, cousins, or siblings and got hurt. So much so that the WWE wrestlers came up to warn children, “Do not try at home” after the telecast was over.
The many superstars’ trademark moves were so popular that long after their careers were over, they are still remembered among 90s kids. “You Can’t See Me” by John Cena, “What Rock is Cooking” dialogue by Rock, Double Choke Slam by the Undertaker, and Beer Can Splashing by Stone Cold Austin are some noteworthy.
Many 90s WWE superstars made their way to Hollywood and are big-time action stars. Rock is a prime example of it. The other name is Bautista. All play badass characters in movies just as their WWE fame or character did. John Cena and Stone Cold Austin are two other noteworthy examples.
These WWE superstars entertained us through their moves or acrobatics in the rings and inspired many to fight back in life during adversaries. Even during pro-wrestling matches, these superstars supported familiar people for various reasons- especially the survivors of terminal diseases like cancer, a definite morale booster. Recent John Cena YouTube videos where the fans told how his “never give up” mantra helped them fight their life’s setbacks made John Cena teared up a little.
As the WWE universe is controlled by Triple H and Stephani McMahon, many superstars have retired from the industry. It’s hard to create a buzz among the younger audience and general viewers all over the globe about WWE as it used to be among the generation of 90s kids. But the chip has yet to fall. Still, there is hope.
There will be many sources of entertainment in the coming days, but WWE wrestling will remain close to the 90s kids. But there will be no Undertaker waking up from the grave as Deadman! WWE forever!