I've been a professional wrestling fan ever since I was a kid, when my old man used to take me to matches in Hawaii, featuring guys like Ripper Collins, Tex MacKenzie, and Curtis "the Bull" Iaukea.
As a 13-year-old boy, I was hooked instantly. And it is something I carried all the way into my adult life.
But it's been pretty tough being a wrestling fan the past few years.
You see, professional wrestling is a cyclical business.
And the cycle has been decidedly on the "down side" for the past couple of years...ever since Vince McMahon and the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) basically won the interpromotional wars of the nineties (the last time professional wrestling was really hot) and absorbed all of the competition.
Back then, at least for a time when wrestling was at it's peak, there would be competing pay per views nearly every week between the three major players in the game:
Vince McMahon's World Wrestling Federation (or the then WWF); Ted Turner's World Championship Wrestling (WCW); and Paul Heyman's revolutionary upstart group, Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW).
Like I said, it was a great time to be a wrestling fan.
And it all came together each and every Monday night...when WWF's Monday Night Raw would square off with WCW's Nitro on cable, in what came to be known as "The Monday Night Wars".
Since those glory days, Monday Night Wrestling has been in a steady, undeniable creative decline. Oh sure, there are the occassional weeks when you still get a decent show.
But nothing compared to the shock a minute thrills of the original "Monday Night Wars" of the nineties.
That was when the big boys of the then WWF and WCW went head to head in a constant battle of oneupmanship for wrestling supremacy...and of course, for ratings.
Meanwhile, the upstart Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) kept the heat turned way up (literally) on the big boys with it's own mix of edgy storylines, (catfighting lesbian vixens we're a regular fixture) and staged ultra violence (things like barbed wire and flaming table matches...with lots of blood).
As a reference point, I highly recommend checking out the recently released DVD Bloodsport: ECW's Most Violent Matches.