Bonding with my brother over Hulk Hogan and Macho Man!

When I saw the news on Twitter Friday morning that The Macho Man Randy Savage had died I immediately called my big brother. Only he would understand why I would be upset that a professional wrestler had died.

Growing up in the 1980s I cannot tell you how many hours I spent eating hot boiled peanuts and watching WWF wrestling with my brother and his friends. We watched during the golden age when Mean Gene Okurland manned the mike and Hulk Hogan ruled the ring.  We loved Rowdy Roddy Piper in his crazy kilt. We loved to boo the Iron Sheik (not PC now!) and just marveled at Andre the Giant. And somehow it didn’t seem odd that Miss Elizabeth was passed back and forth between wrestlers as their manager. (My brother told me the sad news that she had died several years ago. I didn’t realize that.)

(ABC ran a nice slide show of WWF wrestlers from the Golden Age!)

We came to wrestling honestly. My grandfather and uncle were huge fans and we would watch The Nature Boy Ric Flair when we were at their house on what was then Channel 17. (Wooooooooooo!) Were those matches in black and white? Because that how’s they are in my mind. Maybe it was just my grandfather’s TV set.

When my brother turned 30 I threw him a party, which included a WWF cake with a wrestling ring and stand up toy wrestlers. When I was checking it at the bakery, some kids were patting their moms saying “I want that cake!”

Michael and I watched through the ’90s when the mantle was passed to The Rock and Chris Jericho. But I haven’t probably watched since I had kids.

My brother still watches DVDs of old WrestleMania with his kids and I think watches some of the current wrestlers.

He sent me this note on Facebook on Saturday: “WE WISH YOU WERE HERE TO EAT HOT BOILED PEANUTS WITH US AND WATCH WRESTLE MANIA 3 ( RICKY THE DRAGON STEAMBOAT VS RANDY MACHO MAN SAVAGE). IT WAS A GREAT LOSS AND WE ALL WILL MISS HIM. WE LOVE YOU THERESA. UNCLE C., THE SAINT OF PROFESSIONAL WRESTLERS, IS GIVING HIM THE HEAVENLY TOUR.”

I tracked one particular TMZ link about the Macho Man’s death and it had more than 100,000 page views in less than an hour. That is an amazing number of people remembering and wanting to read about a wrestler they watched growing up.

Did you bond with your siblings over WCW or WWF wrestling growing up? Have you shared it with your kids?

52 comments Add your comment

Seriously?

May 23rd, 2011
12:47 pm

You do know professional wrestling is fake?

If you do know it is fake, then you get entertainment satisfaction watching large sweaty men in their underwear, rolling around on each other?

So which is it? You are too dumb to realize it is fake, or you enjoy gay activities?

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

May 23rd, 2011
12:54 pm

I can remember going to the Philadelphia spectrum when we were stationed on the east coast to watch Jessie “the Body” Ventura face off against “Mr. USA” Tony Atlas in a cage match. Also that night, Ivan “the Hammer” Putzki, and Superfly Snooka. I was 10 or 11 and my dad LOVED that stuff. He was always a big fan of the villians…I remember him yelling out “Come on Jessie…kick him where he lives!!!”

Hilarious stuff.

Another Gem

May 23rd, 2011
12:55 pm

Wow….Just wow!

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

May 23rd, 2011
1:00 pm

Sure it was fake….but so is everything that Andrew Lloyd Webber does too. Honestly, I saw the Phantom of the Opera and thought “what a bastardization of theater this is”, but people eat that stuff up, just like people eat up wrestling being the bastardization of sports….or the bachelor being the bastardization of entertainment…or a snickers is the bastardization of nutrition.

The point is, as long as you recognize that cheap alternatives to enlightenment are just that…what’s the problem? I have a feeling that when you find that person who only participated in altrustic, self betterment, enlightening activities…..that person is probably not a whole hell of a lot of fun.

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

May 23rd, 2011
1:02 pm

TWG….my comment got censored. I didn’t even say anything bad!

Metro Coach

May 23rd, 2011
1:48 pm

Seriously…How about you list your interests so we can pick a few of those out and attack you. Are you that self esteem challenged that you feel the need to ridicule someone else’s childhood/teenage interests? I think we all realize that professional wrestling is fixed, but I could argue that so is the NBA. Whether the outcome is predetermined or not has nothing to do with whether it entertains someone or not. Find another way to raise your self esteem.

jarvis

May 23rd, 2011
1:53 pm

I had a hard time Friday. Must be a Liburn thing.

jarvis

May 23rd, 2011
1:57 pm

I’ll be wearing my bandana at half-mast all week.

Seriously?

May 23rd, 2011
2:03 pm

So you enjoy the sweaty man on man contact? It’s OK if you admit it. It’s not my thing, but if it makes you happy….Or aroused.

Seriously?

May 23rd, 2011
2:15 pm

Further……I am not attacking you. I just find it odd that adults find entertainment with something so over the top like professional wrestling.

It’s one of two things. Either you don’t know it’s fake, or you enjoy the homo-erotic theme of professional wrestling. We all know now that your attachment is the man on man action.

Another Gem

May 23rd, 2011
2:23 pm

Seriously?

A lot of redundant statements with redundancy.

jarvis

May 23rd, 2011
2:26 pm

I find it odd that a man, obviously insecure about his masculinity, comes onto a blog for moms and accuses the FEMALE author of having homosexual tendencies because SHE enjoys watching two men.

That closet must be pretty dark and scary. Why don’t you come out?

Seriously?

May 23rd, 2011
2:31 pm

Show me where I accused the blog author of homosexual tendencies. Enjoying gay activities does not make one homosexual. I myself enjoy the drag queen shows and parades. Further, I find your reaction to all this as borderline homophobic.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

May 23rd, 2011
2:35 pm

Tiger — i was thinking exactly what you wrote — of course it’s fake — it’s like any other live theater – it was just fun.

I really thought A. more people would have memories of watching in the 80s and 90s. I know I wasn’t the only one. Also am surprised more people aren’t sharing memories of things they shared with their siblings. This wasn’t a family thing where my parents would have memories of this. This was a me and my big brother thing watching the matches.

Jarvis — very, very much a Lilburn and Atlanta thing — the old WCW operated out of CNN center for a long time. When Michael first starting working in that building he would see Ric Flair all the time. Atlanta was the epicenter of wrestling it felt like.

Young@Heart

May 23rd, 2011
2:38 pm

hahahahah Whoooooo Yeaaaaaaaaa Jarvis you tell em……
I was young when he/they were on and I loved it…its not the same in todays wrestling, at 7 to 10 years old who cares if its real or not…I was still trying to determine the same thing about santa clause, easter bunny, tooth fairy….It was entertaining and oh sooo fun.

jarvis

May 23rd, 2011
2:39 pm

I had a beer with Flair at the old Jocks & Jills in CNN Center when I was in college. He “lived the gimmick” as they say. One of the most entertaining half-hours of my life.

motherjanegoose

May 23rd, 2011
2:42 pm

No, but my Dad got a kick out of it.

Seriously?

May 23rd, 2011
2:42 pm

“Also am surprised more people aren’t sharing memories of things they shared with their siblings”

To be honest, the question you asked was in regards to WWF. I have plenty of memories of doing things with my brothers. It was wrestling as we out grew that before we were 10.

One thing we did was go to Road Atlanta. We would all get off work early on a Friday, pack our camping gear and head to the track. We spent all weekend there and we did watch the races. Some of the legends we saw were Bobby Rahal, the entire Andretti family. Saw Bob Wollek trash a Porsche 962 in the pre race practice. A very rare occurrence indeed and he never made mistakes. Al Holbert, before he became a Porsche driver. P.L. Newman. Laughing at Tom Cruise when he tried to become a race car driver. I could go on for hours…..Lots of fun. Best of all, it wasn’t fake.

Young@Heart

May 23rd, 2011
2:45 pm

Also…TWG…to share a wrestling story….my little brother was a baby when Ric Flair came out and Ultimate Warrior time frame and they were always intense and loud when they spoke…very much like the Macho man…well he had colic and for some reason the only time he would stop crying is when the wrestlers would start ranting on and on and be hypnotized by it all. One night on a long car ride home, he wouldn’t stop screaming so we pulled over at a truck stop and there was a group of “wrestlers” I know they weren’t WWF but they were all characters and loud, we weren’t there 2mins when he focused in on them and stopped crying. I would also dress him up with bandanas like the Ultimate Warrior

TinaTeach

May 23rd, 2011
2:48 pm

My sister is a huge WWF fan. Every time they come to Tulsa she has tickets. I can’t say we’ve bonded over it though. I don’t like it that well. I did make sure to give her tickets for her birthday though!

Young@Heart

May 23rd, 2011
2:48 pm

Days of Thunder wasn’t fake? Tom Cruise wasn’t a REAL racecar driver only did it to make a movie, no different than a wrestler getting ready for his part……go away Seriously?…….

Seriously?

May 23rd, 2011
2:56 pm

Did I say Days of Thunder was real? Did I even mention it? If I did mention it, I would have spelled it Days of Blunder.

I talked to Lil Tommy’s driving instructor…..She….Yes, a she, said he was not very good and most likely never will be good. She encouraged him to stick to club racing and to bring his check book as he would endure a lot of sheet metal damage. He wanted to be a real race car driver. He hung out with P.L. Newman while filming The Color of Money and got hooked to it. Sadly for lil Tommy, he was not any good at it and therefore he gave it up. Now Mr Newman was an excellent driver. He raced right up until he died of cancer.

I’m not sure why you went out of your way to attack my post.

Relax…..The world is a better place when we are not always angry.

Sylvania

May 23rd, 2011
3:07 pm

Watching wrestling as a kid with my brother up in the northeast, our hero was Bruno Sammartino. Bruno wrestled Macho Man sometime in the 80’s, but this was after my interest in the sport had long since waned. It’s a shame that Randy had to die in a car accident at the ripe young age of 58.

Regarding the comments from Seriously?, people who denigrate others for their beliefs, likes, or dislikes typically have problems with their own self-esteem and self-respect. If someone “dislikes” something, everyone else who “likes” it is stupid or has “something wrong with them”. I see this behavior quite a bit in many of the AJC blogs. Especially the political ones. Lack of self-respect or self-esteem is also a major driver in children who bully other children.

Seriously?

May 23rd, 2011
3:15 pm

@ Sylvania

After school, in the field behind the gym…..You and me….Fight! This time it is for your lunch money!!

motherjanegoose

May 23rd, 2011
3:26 pm

Sibling memories…I thought of this when you were on the playground blog…my sister and I loved four square. That’s about it as far as it gets for sports for me ;/. We had our own tennis court, on our property ( 400 acres) but I never played nor did I ever ride on the motorcycle with my Dad.

I did win at Putt Putt last week, in Florida. This is a big joke as I always lose and have NO strategy.
It was funny!

DB

May 23rd, 2011
3:51 pm

My (much younger) little brother adored wrestling. And oddly — so did my 94 year old aunt! When we would go to visit the relatives, my little brother would dash next door to the aunt’s house and there we would find them hours later, completely engrossed in wrestling, he stretched out on the rug in front of the TV, munching on cookies, and her in her easy chair, as they traded opinions and exclamations over the matches. :-) I suspect that my brother would consider it one of the highlights of his young life that he was taken to one of the WWF tour events when it came through our hometown – and when we first moved to Atlanta, his first comment was, “HEY! Can you get wrestling tickets?!?” He gradually lost interest — but it was a fun part of his childhood.

It’s entertainment — kinda like The Monkeys weren’t really a band, but I can still humm “hey, hey, we’re the Monkeys!” And I’m pretty sure that the Skipper and Gilligan didn’t really run aground on the shore of this uncharted desert isle . . . !

memories

May 23rd, 2011
3:53 pm

Growing up in the 70’s and 80’s we always had fun pretending to be our favorite wrestler and jumping off the bed like it was the top rope, doing the figure 4, or someother crazy move. Yeah, we knew it was fake, but it was still fun.

John Stossel thought it was fake too:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrX9Ca7LSyQ

Denise

May 23rd, 2011
4:05 pm

I LOVED wrestling when I was growing up. LOVED!!! I hated the Sundays when it was my grandmother’s “turn” to have the preacher over for lunch because that meant we couldn’t watch wrestling after church. :-)

And I was a little sad when I heard about the Macho Man. There is a guy here who looked a little like the Macho Man, or at least that is who he put in my mind when I first met him. That is what I do when I meet people – assign them “characters” that they fit. Jim was the Macho Man. There is also a Friar and Prince Charles. Helped me remember them.

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

May 23rd, 2011
4:07 pm

@Seriously…I watched the Pascal vs. Hopkins title fight on Saturday night. Just trying to understand your angle….since that (presumably) does not have a predetermined outcome, then that qualifies to you as good old fashioned entertainment that one can watch without being motivated by homo erotic overtones?

motherjanegoose

May 23rd, 2011
4:13 pm

DB…my husband often has folks who tell him that he looks like Mickey Dolenz.
Since you have never met him…maybe you should :p. He also loved Gilligan’s Island!

Seriously?

May 23rd, 2011
4:14 pm

I used to watch boxing a lot. Then Don King got involved and ruined the sport. Honestly, I may have gotten aroused a little.

Seriously?

May 23rd, 2011
4:17 pm

No trench coat, but I do have my car tricked out to look like an ice cream truck.

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

May 23rd, 2011
4:17 pm

did you wrestle in high school? attend high school matches now…in your trench coat?

DJ Sniper

May 23rd, 2011
4:25 pm

This was sad news to me as well. I started watching wrestling in the 80’s, when there were a lot of other choices to watch. I grew up watching Macho Man, Hulk Hogan, the Road Warriors, the original Four Horsemen, etc etc.

Matt

May 23rd, 2011
4:36 pm

I bonded with my dad over wrestling. I started watching it, I remember him watching The Main Event, a live show on a Friday night in 1989. That was when Macho and Hogan broke up and starting building up a feud. That July, he took me to my first live show. I was 11, and it was the greatest thing ever.

Seriously? -You’re a moron.

Another Gem

May 23rd, 2011
4:41 pm

Matt

May 23rd, 2011
4:36 pm
I bonded with my dad over wrestling. I started watching it, I remember him watching The Main Event, a live show on a Friday night in 1989. That was when Macho and Hogan broke up and starting building up a feud. That July, he took me to my first live show. I was 11, and it was the greatest thing ever.

Seriously? -You’re a moron.

Another interwebs tough guy.

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

May 23rd, 2011
4:42 pm

@Seriously…so you sound like you’re pretty in touch with yourself (particularly when you’re in ladies underwear and smeared in peanut butter…but I digress)……it just sounds to me that you’re down with homo erotic “light” entertainment, but your disdain for pro wrestling stems from that imagery making you address feelings you’re not quite ready to face. I hope this blog can help you sort some of that stuff out.

Fire Rodney Ho

May 23rd, 2011
4:51 pm

Nice troll job Seriously, nice job indeed.

On a side note, FIRE RODNEY HO….OOHHHHH YEEAAHHHHHHHH!!!

BehindEnemyLines

May 23rd, 2011
5:32 pm

With siblings, no. With my son, most definitely. An oft-mentioned (among diehard fans) quote long ago appropriated for wrestling comes to mind here. “For those who understand, no explanation is needed. For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible.”

jake

May 23rd, 2011
5:44 pm

It’s best to just ignore people like Seriously?
They want you to reply because attention is needed.

Jeff

May 23rd, 2011
5:51 pm

I have been a wrestling fan since I was a kid in the late 70’s. It was cheap entertainment, we were poor and it was something my father and I bonded over. I know it’s predetermined. But the injuries are real. These guys are real athletes that take a physical beating 200-300 nights a year. For those ofnyou that don’t get it, thats fine. I appreciate it for what it is. If you have hate for it, I’ll tell you the same thing people tell me @ Kate Gosselin and sex and the city: don’t watch, change the channel, get over it, you don’t get it.

The guy was 58 and had a heart attack while driving. It happens to everyday people. But when your mind is focused on what you hate, no amount of reason will convince you. Reference articles about the recent apocalypse.

John

May 23rd, 2011
6:20 pm

I can’t stand wrestling now, but as a kid, I was a huge fan of the Junkyard Dog and Hacksaw Butch Reed.

djm_NC

May 23rd, 2011
8:04 pm

oh lord…i dont know anyone (much) who hasnt been inbvolved in watcbing all the fake wrestling! my kids loved it….in fact they sport a few stitches from trying out the moves. my old (rip) grandma and her old friend went to ‘wrestlin’ every weekend!! geeze. i doubt they were getting off sexually on it all. and im sure my sons werent.

and yes theresa it was channel 17 lol..havent thought of that one in years…i loved that tv station!! wasnt that turners family’s?

djm_NC

May 23rd, 2011
8:05 pm

to the typo cops-arrest me now.

charlene

May 23rd, 2011
9:00 pm

I never really cared for it myself growing up, but my best friend would watch like a fanatic. Whenever I’d spend the night on a weekend, she would be glued to the TV when WWF came on. I never got it. Never could understand why in the world she liked watching it at all. She & her brother both would be shouting at the television supporting whoever it was and I would just be in the background watching them both. It was very interesting to see them shouting and having a grand time. I don’t think they fought much (he was a good bit older) but they seemed to really come together whenever wrestling was on.

My brother & I used to play with matchbox cars, climb trees, or play “baseball” (with 2 people?!) for fun. I was very much girly and he was all boy but we had a lot of fun with those games.

Nacho

May 24th, 2011
1:19 am

“You do know wrestling is fake?” is a question that actually proves how stupid and clueless you are. If you for a minute think that any wrestling fan out there thinks that professional wrestling is real, you are a complete idiot.

By the way– Hollywood, the circus, and music videos are also fake. I wonder if you know that.

RedFox

May 24th, 2011
11:08 am

Theresa, I totally get what you are saying! My cousins and I adored WWF wrestling, we were all of 12 and really loved the story lines and the whole show. We would spend hours discussing Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake, Mr. Perfect and Bret “The Hitman” Hart but in the same token we also spent hours talking about Saved By The Bell and which characters we were most like. When we get together for family reunions we still talk about it because it’s a cherished memory and bond. Of course we all grew out of this phase but when Macho Man died we texted each other immediately, it was just sad.

Seriously!

May 24th, 2011
12:05 pm

Seriously?
“You do know professional wrestling is fake?”
Yes. All theater is fake.

“If you do know it is fake, then you get entertainment satisfaction watching large sweaty men in their underwear, rolling around on each other?”
Oh, yeahhhhh!!! Like the writer of this article, I am female.

“So which is it? You are too dumb to realize it is fake, or you enjoy gay activities?”
Oh, I get it! You’re not just an @$$hole, you’re a homophobe as well.

[...] some minor league baseball before he donned the colorful cowboy hats and championship gold …Bonding with my brother over Hulk Hogan and Macho Man!Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)all 170 news [...]

Lynnknot

May 24th, 2011
12:47 pm

I was a big fan of WWF wrestling back in the 80’s Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage. I was deeply saddened by Randy “Macho Man” Savage’s death on Friday. Wrestling may be fake but it was extreamely entertaining. I watched faithfully every week, with my husband and daughters. It made for great water cooler talk with fellow employees and family. Those guys may have known who was going to win, but they really put on a good show. Nothing gay about it. Seriously, get a life! Who are you to judge what people find entertaining, and comment about it. If you don’t like it why the heck are you here posting about it?