Wrestlemania was on the other week. I didn't watch it, I haven't been really into wreslting for a long time now. I used to be a bigger fan; I actually made two computer games about wrestling back in the late 90's. Still, one of the matches did kind of catch my interest: Shawn Michaels vs The Undertaker. Two of my all time favourites locking it up. It kind of got me thinking a bit deeper about wrestling and who I liked and why.
The "Trinity of Wrestling" for me is The Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, and Mankind (Mick Foley). Each of them represents something different for me.
I suppose The Undertaker represents the ultimate aspiration. He is the unstoppable and undying deliverer of justice. No matter what happens along the way: betrayl, being buried alive, or whatever else the writers come up with in the long run the Undertaker always comes out on top. He has supernatural powers and is the ultimate judge, jury and executioner of all things in his universe. Immortality and power; the ultimate aspiration.
Next is Shawn Michaels who represents the things that some part of me wishes I was. The "sexy boy" and womanizer with incredible athletic gifts. The guy who puts on an amazing show every time. As cool as the Undertaker is, Shawn Michaels always puts on these amazing wrestling matches. There's just faster action and variety. Age and Christianity may have slowed down the act a bit, but HBK is still gold in the ring. Really this kind of attitude and ego with athletic gifts is also in various other wreslter characters such as the late Mr Perfect, Rick Rude, Owen Hart, and others.
Finally this brings us to Mankind (Mick Foley). For me, Mick represents myself as a wrestler. Mick is who I'd be if I was a wrestler. I'm not the biggest guy in the world, or the fastest or have a muscled body, but I've always had a talent for taking punishment. During my time in karate I was once compared to a tank, because I would just take the hits and hit back. I found it was easier that way than trying to speed around without having the required speed. During my time playing street hockey I once remember someone saying the great thing about me taking a hit was I would always come back smiling. For me the physical parts were the fun parts, although they were sometimes more painful then I let on.
Just as I mentioned that "sexy boy" above as an aspiration, Mick too once dreamed of being that kind of high flying, lover-boy. You can see it in his "Dude Love" character.
The duality of Mick's personality is also visible as is my own. There is the darkness pulled together in his early Mankind interviews. I still remember some of them: "... and on the eighth day, God created Mankind. Why was he having such a bad day? Why did he create all of you normal and forget so many important parts of me? He made the ear that was ripped from my head, a face that no longer exists... Deep inside you are all mirror images of me. The ugliness that exists outside of me, lives inside every one of you". Classic stuff. Then there is the contrast in his cheesy comedy like Mr Socko or seen all through his books.
I think Mick's one of the "good guys" in real life. He didn't live it up on the road, he saved to take care of his family. I have to really respect that and hope if I have a family I'll do the same thing.
So there you have it the three faces of wrestling for me. The immortal power, the egotistical performer, and a good guy.