When one usually checks the articles on this site, as I myself have done from the shadows for the last 6 years, there is generally one distinct lens that the article adheres to. An adult resident of the United States of America, or Britain, who has been a WWE fan since their childhood years, and has a lot of knowledge and insight into the inner workings of the WWE machine (although often this is not complemented by a knowledge of the inner workings of the English language). Well my perspective is one that is fairly different, and my hope in writing this blog is that it will highlight the various different factors that can combine in order to form someone who is beyond passionate about the lifestyle that we call professional wrestling.
My name (as evidenced by the fact that it is printed above) is Michael Barrett. I was never really into wrestling growing up, except I do know that I knew about its worked nature prior to to becoming a regular viewer. My first memory of any wrestling was a backstage segment with Gene Snitsky where his eye was bruised, and I remember boasting to my friend about how I knew he was “totally wearing makeup on his eye”. But it was a few more years before my friend informed me of a WWE Smackdown live event coming to our hometown (Perth, Australia), and he wanted to know whether or not I wanted to go. Given that I was a fat 12 year old kid desperate for anything that remotely resembled social interaction, I got myself a ticket. And then the mania started.
I remember the first time I saw Ric Flair come out adorned in his regal robe, applying the figure-four with precision. The pure strength of Batista, the terrifying menace that was Kane, the exciting luchador actions of Rey Mysterio. I was hooked. I became obsessed with wrestling, looking up WWE history on Wikipedia, soon becoming an expert in events that pre-dated my fanaticism, and even preceded my own birth. Every WWE pay-per-view I was at a friends’ house to watch, mercilessly cheering the faces and booing the heels. When on with family on the eastern coast of Australia, I remember going to an internet cafe to check the results of the most recent event (No Mercy 2007), and my mood went from elation to pure horror as I read of the title exchanges between Triple H and Randy Orton. This was how I chose to spend my holiday in one of the most naturally beautiful places on Earth, because that was all that mattered to me at the time.
And then I started the descent into what is now known as ‘smark’ territory. I saw that despite being banned from the Royal Rumble match, my idol Triple H still got to compete in it. And I became angry. Why did Triple H not have to adhere to the rules set upon him? Why did he feel the need to circumvent the prior storyline, couldn’t he just go along with it and not ruin the continuity. I became frustrated with the WWE, and late in 2008, I found something that forever changed my perception of the professional wrestling industry; the local independent wrestling scene.
We are blessed here in Perth to have one of the most incredible independent promotions from around the world, Explosive Pro Wrestling. When looking at a ticketing for the next WWE live event, we saw tickets to an event to be held in Perth, that was boasting a main event of a 3-way cage match. My friends and I decided that we would go, since the worst case scenario would be a waste of $20. The money that was spent on those tickets set in motion the events that have led me to this point. That event I saw high flying beyond anything I could have ever dreamed of. I saw a shooting star press with my own two eyes, something I had never imagined I’d be present to witness (performed by Mikey Nicholls, who is now a former GHC Tag Team Champion). From that point on i attended every EPW event without fail, I bought the t-shirt, I was at the door 3 hours early in order to guarantee front row seats. But it still wasn’t enough. As all kids did, I wrestled on a trampoline with my mates, and the pure rush I got from actually wrestling gave me the confidence and exhilaration I could not get from anywhere else. I needed a way to get that fix more often.
At this point I will stop the blog, as my experiences with both backyard wrestling, as well as pro training, are more than enough to satisfy a whole blog by themselves. Please give me feedback, I know this post didn’t seem to have any true meaning behind it, rather than articulating the series of events that led me to where I am today.