One year ago this weekend, I was forced to watch “Wrestlemania 26.” I had it in my head that the wrestling I used to love as a kid was just a gimmick for entertainment. It was all fake, and I was not emotionally invested in it anymore.
But being friends with mostly guys makes it hard to ignore events such as “Wrestlemania.” So I grabbed some wings and sat down to watch.
I grew up when the World Wrestling Federation was at its best. Sure, before my time there were the Hulk Hogans and the Andre the Giants, but the show was in its prime in the ’90s.
The past 15 years of wrestling, whether real or fake, has been the most entertaining I have ever seen. With characters like Stone Cold Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels, The Rock and The Big Show, every week brought something new, some new plot twist.
Then, as I grew up, it all seemed less important. The sport had a lot of turnover, and some of the best stars left for different careers. The magic was gone.
But that weekend last year changed my mind. I watched Shawn Michaels, The Heartbreak Kid, try to take down The Undertaker. He failed, and I was legitimately upset for about 20 minutes after. I was emotionally invested. So from then on, I decided to keep tabs on the "sport" I had loved as a child.
Then, as if they wanted more of my attention, they did the impossible: They allowed a “Real World” cast member to wrestle. “Real World” and WWE were both separate guilty pleasures in my life, and now the world was combining them. The Miz, also known as Mike from "Real World: Back to New York," has taken WWE by storm.
My obsession deepened. I haven't invested in a toy championship belt, but every Monday I am glued to the television for “Monday Night Raw.” I follow The Miz on Twitter, I tweet him at least once a day hoping for an answer. It's a problem, I know.
Which leads me to this coming Sunday: “Wrestlemania 27.” The Miz takes on John Cena with a title on the line. I am practically counting down the days. Then, as if they knew they knew just how to reel me in, they bring back my favorite wrestler of all time: The Rock.
I am all for Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson thinking that he needs to be taken seriously as an actor and drop his wrestling moniker. He can even do the sequel to "The Tooth Fairy" and I would still respect him. But in the past few weeks, after several cameos on “Raw,” one thing is clear: The Rock belongs in the ring.
On Sunday night, the star of the past, The Rock, John Cena, and the star of the future, The Miz, will share the ring. And, without any complaining at all, I will be watching.
Contact Corianne Egan, a staff writer at the Paducah Sun, at 270-575-8652.