PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING IS REAL
Professional wrestling is fake. Yes, I know I just got done saying it was real, but I was lying. Come on, you know that shits not real;besides, I just wanted to get you here. Now you're trapped, so you may as well keep on reading. I promise this'll be short and sweet. Okay, here we go...
I recently attended a Professional, and I use that word loosely, wrestling event in downtown St. Louis. It was a pay per view event for TNA, which meant it was live. Which meant there'd be millions (or at least hundreds) of people watching at home, not to mention we had front row seats. Except it wasn't really front row, but more like to the left side of the steel cage. Right behind one of the huge steel support beams, which means we couldn't see much. But still, we did our best to enjoy this event, and who is 'we' ? Well, that would be Black Hogan and myself.
Let me backtrack for a second. Black Hogan is a Hulk Hogan impersonator, and a damn good one. Hell, he looks just like him (well.....) okay, he kinda looks just like him, and we actually met through a common love of motorcycles. See Black Hogan, like myself, has a strong passion for street bikes, he even has a custom Spiderman themed Yamaha R1
It's also important to mention that when he rides the R1, he also wears a custom Spiderman costume. Why in the hell would anyone do this? It's simple. “I do it for the kids.” Thats was his answer the first time I asked him and it hasn't really changed. Except now his fan base has grown and it's not just kids that are interested. It's everybody.
BLACKAMANIA RUNNING WILD
The first time I ever went out with BH, that's what his close friends call him, I was unprepared for the public response. It was pure madness in every sense of the word. He was literally mobbed every few feet. Everyone wanted a picture, or an autograph, or both. And he's always happy to oblige his fans. Except he doesn't call them his fans. They are his Blackamaniacs, and Blackamania was running wild in St. Louis last this weekend BROTHER!
What initially began as a costume for a Halloween party (his original idea was to go as Black Chuck Norris, but they were fresh out of Chuck Norris costumes) has grown into a part time business, complete with a Facebook page, YouTube videos, a website, personal appearances, as well as starring in a music video. (He's even shared the stage with rappers, the Ying Yang Twins) It seems like these days everybody wants to meet Black Hogan, and for good reason, he's a really cool dude.
Did I mention he's a Professional dancer?
It's true, and I've seen him bust-a-move on more than one occasion. Last month we went to Las Vegas and shot a dancing video at the -5 Ice Lounge, for a documentary we've been discussing. Except he calls it a Blackumentary, and it's all about his exploits on this journey of his, and it's a journey that's attracting serious attention. Enough attention that he won first place in the Hulk Hogan Fu Fest earlier this year.
The Fu Fest was held back in February and it was considered to be the biggest gathering of mustache's at one place in the world. It was an event which celebrated the mustache in all of it's magnificent glory. It even featured members of the American Mustache Association (no, I'm not making this up) as well as a strong, heart felt speech by the President of the association himself, where he expressed his passion for the mustache and spoke of how the mustache was much more than mere facial hair, but also a symbol of confidence and power.
Enter Hulk Hogan, who walked onto the stage (slowly and in great pain) to thunderous applause as the crowd came to life and all of those in attendance (with mustache's) raised their fist in the air, as well as their beer, and showed the living American legend some love.
As the judging got under way I could see the competition was fierce, but after one look at Black Hogan, I could see the chiseled look of determination across his face and I knew that neither he, nor his fake mustache, would be denied. Black Hogan is a real American, and he would not be going home empty handed. Did I mention for BH, home was Minnesota, and he'd traveled to St. Louis via a 14 hour bus ride?
So after winning the Fu Fest, he received two front row tickets to the big TNA pay per view event, and he took me, his friend, his bro, his half-ass manager, and this takes us back to the beginning of the story.
Professional wrestling is about as real as an honest politician. In other words, nothing about it is real, but maybe that's the point. It's all about entertainment, and after watching with our floor seats so close to the action, this fact was reinforced by the constant pulled punches and missed kicks, although you'd never know it because those crazy fans were screaming at the top of their lungs. That's one thing I can say about Professional wrestling, while it's quite obviously fake, the fans are defiantly real, and most of them parted with a fair chunk of change just to be in attendance.
In the end, it was another memorable experience with a guy who travels a path to an odd kind of success and perhaps one day he will eventually ascend to the top of the ladder, and maybe when he gets up there he'll do a leg drop onto someones head. For me, that was the best part of the night, the violence. Comical as it was, it's still always cool to see grown men hit each other. Especially when weapons are involved. Even if that weapon is a chair. Or a table. Or even a laptop. Yes, someone actually hit Ric Flair with a laptop computer. Then an acoustic guitar. Now I've never been a big fan of the Nature Boy, I'll admit that, but here's a guy who's been wrestling since like 1947, but I'll tell you, the man is a warrior. Not only is he still alive, but the poor bastard just stood there covered in blood while all of these young guys beat the living hell out of him. He just stands there and bleeds, chest slapping himself and yelling, “WHEEEEWW.." Yes, after all these years, the Nature Boy can still take a pretty good ass beating.
So perhaps our destinies are intertwined and it is violence that is the common thread which unites us. He distributes violence in the ring and I distribute violence by a keyboard. It should be noted that BH is a fan of crime fiction as well, and I snapped a candid photo of him reading through my copy of NEEDLE magazine that I'd just pulled from the mailbox before I picked him up.
But even among such famous personalities as Hulk Hogan and the Nature Boy, Black Hogan still stood out. Way out. At times he even had his own cheering section and we were constantly on t.v., plus, every time I turned around somebody was taking a picture(s).