What Generation Gap"
March 1, 2005 by Johnny LaRue

Quick! Who was Lord Alfred Hayes" Those of you who knew I commend you but I want to know why you have not educated the youth of today on who he is. Those of you who are still wondering who Lord Alfred Hayes is then this column is for you. My guess is you are a fairly young wrestling fan or a new wrestling fan or perhaps both (if you are not a wrestling fan then why on earth are you still reading this column"). As not to make a horrible first impression let me state that I am not here to condemn or belittle any of you younger fans but my goal is to let you know wrestling did not start with Stone Cold Steve Austin, and Ric Flair is not just "some jobber in Evolution". To be fair when I hear kids talk about "Coach" the first thing that comes to mind is Mr. Perfect's original manager in the WWF. Hopefully by means of this column I can close the huge gap between younger and older wrestling fans.

One of those gaps involves those of you in the younger crowd (you know who you are) who complain about how bad RAW or SmackDown! is. Sorry, I have a hard time feeling your pain. When I was in grade school the only regular wrestling on free TV I got to see was on a Saturday afternoon. The show was called "WWF Superstars" and every match was taped from a house show. Not only that but 95% of all matches were a squash involving a mid-carder and a jobber. To put that into perspective imagine having to watch A-Train destroy some guy from an Indy fed. If you were lucky you might get a decent main event like Koko B. Ware vs. The Honky Tonk Man (on the plus side at least main events back then had a clean finish). Sometimes you would get real lucky and see a main eventer do an interview. You never saw blood during a wrestling match on TV and the closest thing to a hardcore match was when someone got smacked with Mr. Fuji's cane. Also, the only high spot of any match was the wrestler's finisher. Yet the sad thing (or sick thing depending on your perspective) is we enjoyed every minute of it!

The worst part of all of this is that most of the time you never got to see your favorite wrestler. A good month for you was being able to see an interview and a match with him in it. I bet you're wondering how were we able to see our favorite wrestlers outside of free TV" We had very few options. Option #1 was shell out $30 for a PPV. This was not too bad since PPV's only ran once every three months and each match had a lengthy storyline behind it. Option #2 was hope and pray they had a taping in your area. Hopefully you were lucky enough to get decent seats and save up your cash so you could get a T-shirt of your favorite wrestler for 20 bucks. Back then 20 bucks was quite a bit of cash (or in my case a months allowance). Seeing how there was no e-bay (or internet) back then to get a t-shirt this was pretty much the only way to get a t-shirt of your favorite wrestler.

Before I get accused of sounding like some cranky old fart I guess I'll quit while I'm ahead. So the next time you see a wrestling fan in his mid 20's ask him about the time Shawn Michaels threw his tag team partner Marty Janetty through a window. Better yet, ask him who Lord Alfred Hayes was. Now if you'll excuse me I feel like watching Wrestlemania 4 again.

When Johnny LaRue is not watching old wrestling tapes he can be reached at [email protected]..

Stephen M. Clugston Jr. wrote:
Mr. Larue, --- All I can say is AMEN!! I have loved wrestling since all we had was the WWWF. Later in years we were able to pickup the AWA/NWA and some time after that we managed to get a late night showing of the WCCW. It was the greatest and I can't believe that some people complain about boredom on the modern shows. Remember Saturday Nights' Main Event" That was like a pay-per-view to me, since we didn't have cable. In fact, my family didn't have even have air conditioning until the 90's. But that's a different tragedy in my young life. All I can say is that I Love Wrestling. I don't agree with everything that is done now, but I certainly can't complain about the entertainment value of it all.






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