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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Professional Wrestling & Living Life like a Big Kid

Helllllooooo everyone!

A few weeks ago I had an amazing opportunity to attend WWE's Monday Night Raw at the Staples Center in Los Angeles California. 

I know I know, Professional Wrestling - trust me I have heard it all before:

"It's Fake," "It's not a real sport," blah blah blah

It's fake?!  Has anyone ever watched professional basketball or soccer?  And have you ever seen one of those players "fake" being knocked down or hurt to try and get a ref to make a call on the opposing team?

I'm just saying, it happens.

It's not a real sport?!

Ummmm, hellloooo WWE = World Wrestling ENTERTAINMENT.  It is entertainment plain and simple.  It is a show put on by some amazing athletes kind of like Cirque Soleil.  Key differences being, WWE entertainers tend to be a little bigger and often have speaking roles.

I have always enjoyed wrestling.  As a young kid (age 8) I was a huge Hulk Hogan fan, I considered myself a true Hulkamaniac, and it has always been a dream of mine to see him perform live.

As a big kid (some people call this an "adult") wrestling has always given me the inspiration to access my inner child whenever I watch it.

I have never been particularly close with my Dad and my Brother, and as a kid there were very few times that all three of us did things together to really bond.

As a teenager, one of the things we did do together was watch wrestling. 

Monday nights had become my favorite night of the week because my Dad, Brother, and I were all going to be on the same page as we cheered for our favorite wrestlers and booed the ones we didn't like.

The above is the reason why I am such a fan of wrestling and why I still enjoy it so much today - when I watch it, it gives me that feeling of closeness to my Dad and Brother.

When the opportunity arose to attend Monday Nigh Raw, here was my thought process:

There are two wrestlers I have ALWAYS wanted to see: Sting and Hulk Hogan

I knew Sting was going to be there and I thought there was a good chance the Hulkster would be.

It was the show before the Superbowl of pro wrestling aka Wrestlemania, which meant there was a high chance of an extra amazing show.

Seeing it live would be a ton of fun (I had previously been 2 or 3 times).

It would give me a chance to connect to that feeling of closeness I had with my Dad and Brother.

So I went, and

I had one of the most amazing nights ever.  I will let the pictures tell most of the story, and I will say this.  My face was sore the next two days from smiling so much. 

I was smiling for the fun I had and I was smiling for realizing a dream.

As mentioned before I had always wanted to see Hulk Hogan live... guess what, it happened.

If you have a dream, and you want it bad enough, and you believe in it enough, it can happen as long as you hold the belief that it can happen.

To make it happen you have to be willing to hold onto the belief and take actions to support the belief.

My Hulk Hogan dream was over 20 years old and I still wanted it and believed in it enough just as much as I did when I was a little kid.

Do you have a childhood dream that has come true?  Do you have one that you are still pursuing?

Your dreams are treasures, ones that are worth believing in, and worth doing whatever work is required to make them come true.

Enjoy the pics (some of them are ones I took and the ones you see me in are ones that were sent in from members of the 1 Year 1000 Challenge community who were watching the show on tv).

Carpe Diem,


Brock Lesnar in the ring.  He was the current champion. He is a big big boy!

STING opened the show!  I was just a little excited! :)

This is Ryback.  Prior to seeing him live, I was not totally sold on him.  When he finished his match he took the time to walk around the ring and give every one a high five.  What really impressed me was hearing him say "Thanks Guys" to all of the fans. 
Very special to see an entertainer personally thank the fans he entertains.

Sting opened the show - EPIC.  Sting was the most famous wrestler to never join WWE.  This was a real treat

You have to BOO the bad guys!  Especially when they are doing a USA vs Russia storyline.

Not going to lie... I screamed, yelled, and "woooed" (Wrestling lingo - wrestling fans woo as a tribute to "The Nature Boy Ric Flair") when Hulk Hogan came up.  I did not know if he was going to be there, but I figured there was a good chance he might be there being as this was the show before Wrestlemania.  When the segment started I thought to myself, "If Hogan is going to come up now is going to be the time."  As the segment went on and it became evident they were building for something special, I knew that one of my child hood hero's was about to make his way to the ring.  When Hogan's music hit - my inner child was overjoyed with excitement.

The high pitched "wooing" is me... I was just a tad excited :)

I swore that if I ever got to see the Hulkster live, I would Hulk up with him.  As he was asking the audience to make some noise and flexing the "24 inch pythons," I was doing the same (In between taking photos).  And my pythons are not quite 24 inchers

As awesome as it was to see Sting, Hulk Hogan, and the rest of the WWE perform.  The real highlight of the night for me was this kid.  
In wrestling you have "good guys" (baby face's) and "bad guys, " (heals).  They all play their characters out giving the audience the chance to choose a side and choose a side that aligns with basic morality good vs evil.  

When  a wrestler is in character they are, like an actor, supposed to stay in their character always, while the show is going on .  

So many of the wrestlers, when exiting after their matches, stopped to sign this kids sign.  Many of the ones who were playing "bad guys," if they did not stop to sign it, at the very least made an effort to go over and give the kid of high five. Most of the good guys, as you can see by all the signatures, stopped to sign.

As a fan it was so special to see the WWE Superstars making this extra effort to make a young child's night something and one he will always remember.

Daniel Bryan, one of the current fan favorites.  When he comes out everyone stands up and chats yes to his music!

John Cena, who has been the main face of WWE for last several years, and is the most popular American pro Athlete (as measured by social media "likes") was knocked out of the ring and landed right below me.

What many people do not know is John Cena has granted more "wishes" for the Make the Wish organization than any other person in history - well over 300.  Pretty remarkable when you consider that pro wrestlers do not have an off season and are on the road year round. Very Inspiring!

Next goal for me... seeing Wrestlemania in person.  It will happen... one day... soon :)

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