Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.
In part one of my epic look back at the first ever WrestleMania, I talked about how the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) hyped its closed circuit (CC) extravaganza so well with its MTV special The War to Settle the Score that all of my friends and I had to see it. We weren’t exactly sure how closed circuit television worked but we knew we had to see it.
We’d been to several house shows over the years but nothing could compare to the lineup on this card. We got our tickets and waited for the big day. If I remember correctly, we had seven people with us when we went to see WrestleMania. Unfortunately in the rush to get tickets, we forgot to get one for our friend Keith. He still reminds us to this day of our oversight. Luckily he’s the forgiving type and I watched future WrestleManias (as well as many other shows) with him courtesy of his parents’ cheater box.
For me, the first WrestleMania still remains one of my favorite WrestleManias. The show didn’t have the pyro and music that we associate with today’s product. The matches weren’t technical masterpieces either but they were entertaining and the WWF hyped them so much that my friends and I just had to see them. None of us rated the matches. There was no Internet to go on and talk about the show. None of us knew what a dirtsheet was (we were lucky that we knew that wrestling was scripted). And none of this stopped us from having a lot of fun. All we could think of was how would the WWF top this super-show?
The WWF built up a lot of good will with that show. While there were other promotions that we could watch, the WWF really had our attention now. They also had drawn the attention of many other people and over the next few years, the WWF would become bigger and bigger, adding PPV’s and the TV special Saturday Night’s Main Event.
As I prepare to watch the 33rd WrestleMania, I’ll be joined by some of the people that watched the first show with me as well as a new generation of wrestling fans. While the landscape of professional wrestling has changed quite a bit since 1985, there are still basic elements of story-telling that remain with it that make it compelling to watch even as the players change. Will there be a WrestleMania 61 thirty years from now and a new generation of fans? Something tells me that there will. Hopefully I’ll still be around to talk about it.
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