AS I SEE IT
Sometimes you remember why you began following wrestling in the first place....
Sometimes you can go back to those days when honest to God emotion from a wrestling match wasn't something you had to apologize for.... Moments like Horsemen-Midnight Express, 1988, from the Philadelphia Civic Center, Flair-Vader at Starrcade 1993 from Charlotte, the Malenko-Guerrero Farewell in 1995 from the ECW Arena.
Last night was one of those nights.
Forget Eric Bischoff's mean-spirited, coffee-throwing, pencil-pushing, force-fed crap of the last year. Forget the abuse of Chris Benoit, Eddie Guererro, and above all, Ric Flair. Forget canned crowd noise for a force-fed champion. Forget the mindless hot-shotting for Monday Night ratings, and non-existent storylines. Forget WCW's ignorance toward the Mucciolo family after the death of Louie Spicolli.
Last night, watching Monday Nitro from Pensacola, I saw fans REACT, saw fans roar in a way they haven't in some time in a WCW venue. Why?
Dammit, for a few minutes, it was FUN again....
Let me share again my memories from a August 1997 AS I SEE IT . I'm sure I expressed the feelings of many when I wrote these words, immediately after Anderson's retirement announcement:
"I go back to Anderson's first days in Georgia Championship Wrestling. I remember looking at Arn and seeing a WRESTLER who WORKED in the ring. No glamor. No flash.
A man whose character came across as credible to the point that you would literally fear him if you saw him on the street. He was tough and he was real....."
And in my writing about the feelings of Philadelphians....
"Back before it was 'in' to be a heel fan, Philadelphia fans were always known for their hatred of the cartoon-character babyfaces. They always appreciated the Horsemen for their colorful nature and their hard-edged style. But as always, they had a special appreciation for the man who was the least colorful, but hardest-edged of all, with a blue-collar image that Philadelphians loved: Arn Anderson...."
Reality, unfortunately, intrudes. Arn Anderson can't work again as "The Enforcer". With his lamanectomy (surgery) a year ago, getting back in the ring would be literal suicide. In Anderson's eight-hour surgery, the C5, C6, C7 and T1 were removed. Arn Anderson's spine is exposed. He has no cushion whatsoever if he were to take a bump
Undoubtedly, he'll be involved when the anticipated return of Ric Flair occurs next week. And perhaps he'll be at ringside as the Four Horsemen return for one last ride.
But God, it was fun for just a few minutes...to watch Arn hit the ring, perhaps for the last time.... As I said in my AS I SEE IT a year ago
"Thanks, Arn, for showing wrestling fans the true meaning of the word WRESTLER and the word WORKER. Thanks for so many magic memories.... "
And thanks, Arn, for giving us one more...
Until next time.
If you have comments or questions, I can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.