After recently busting a few rack packs of 2010 WWE Topps Platinum, I started taking a little walk down memory lane. When I bought the two packs at a local Wal Mart I was quizzed by the checkout clerk. She wanted to know if I was aware that wrestling was indeed fake. I told her that I actually learned that years ago but it was still a part of my youth and a source of happy memories.
The memory of traveling to nearby Huntsville, AL to see Hulk Hogan at a house show. My dad lifted me up on his shoulders as I was clutching my Hulk Hogan LJN figure, I still swear that Hulk was pointing at me when he posed after his win. Years went by. I went to many shows, watched everything remotely associated with wrestling, I played with the figures-for hours. I had my own champions, I developed my own storylines. As a kid, I think these hours spent weren't a waste but instead helped to foster my creativity.
I met many of the wrestlers in years to come. I even did some business online with a couple of them. Here are a couple of the memories and interactions that still make me happy.
Jake "The Snake" Roberts
The Snake had always been my favorite growing up. He didn't need any allies except another snake. He just captured my imagination. After his first WWE run and WCW run, he was going through a personal renaissance. He had been through a drug rehab and discovered his faith. My mom found out that he was actually going to be speaking at a small rec center not very far from our home. It was a no brainer for me, we had to go. So we went and listened to Jake give a talk on all the tribulations and mistakes that he had encountered in life. After the presentation, Jake invited anyone down that wanted to meet him or get an autograph. He spent several minutes with me. He was very articulate and polite to me. Signed an 8x10 for me and inscribed it: Wesley-Praise God. Hate to hear over the years that Jake has continued to have problems but I still appreciate his talent in the ring and the chance that I had to meet him all those years ago.
Another childhood favorite was the JUNKYARD DOG. He was no technician in the ring but the kids(including me) loved him. I met him not long after his WCW run when he appeared at indy show in Cullman, AL. There weren't many people at that show but everyone that came to his table got to experience one of the kindest, nicest wrestlers I've ever met. He was so nice. He signed an 8x10 for me as well. Not long after that JYD passed away in a car accident. I was glad I had the chance to meet him before he left us.
These are just a few of the "legends" that still remind me of my youth. Another day I will share more stories. Have a great day and love life~Wes