I'm a big fan of professional wrestling.
There. I said it. Happy now?
Yes, I know it's all "fake." Every fight is scripted and choreographed.
That doesn't mean these guys are top, world-class athletes. Have you seen some of the things they do? The falls, the leaps, the moves?
As much as pro wrestling is fake, it's very real. Real injuries and real deaths, sometimes. Bones are broken. Muscles and ligaments tear. Concussions are commonplace.
In my adolescent years, even into my teens, it was a dream of mine to become a pro wrestler. To make it to the WWE (then it was the WWF, till the World Wildlife Fund sued and won) would have been the ultimate.
Ask the people at school or my brother, who sometimes got put in a figure-four leglock, or pressed above my head for a super slam (only cushiony gym mats), or got my version of the Von Erich "claw."
I loved the old school wrestlers -- Bruno Sammartino, Fritz Von Erich ... the ones of my generation like Kerry Von Erich, King Kong Bundy, Jimmy Superfly Snuka, Andre the Giant, Jake The Snake Roberts ... and down the line to The Rock, Stonecold Steve Austin, the Undertaker ... the list goes on and on.
I never went so far as to think about my persona, but I figured at close to 6'6" tall and naturally big, I would have been a success being in the line of Bundy or Bruiser Brody or Killer Kowalski. And yes, that means I would have gone the "bad guy" route. Hehe.
Plus, I'm good with extemperaneous speaking, so I would have been a natural with the interviews, and maybe even have ended up doing commentary like the great Gorilla Monsoon.
A very bad shoulder injury (regular dislocations) put an end to that dream, as well as to any hope for a possible football career.
There are often times when I dream of what would have happened if I had made it out of high school healthy ... gone on to maybe play some college ball and then, if I didn't have what it took to make it to the NFL, tried my big hands at pro wrestling.
Ladies and gentlemen ... in this corner, from parts unknown, standing 6'6" tall and 300 pounds ... The DZER!!!!!