Wrestling Reflections: The Hand of Time and Its Inherent Effect Upon Perception

Steve Austin

Let’s be honest here, everyone has a favorite wrestler. The longer you’ve been a fan, the more likely it is that the favorite no longer actively competes. I don’t mean this to be stating the obvious by that. Instead, what I mean is that fans usually flock to the earliest stars they see.

For example, those who began watching in the Attitude Era would generally be inclined to be fans of guys like Austin, Rock, or Foley before Cena, Orton, or Punk. I personally can tell you I’m a huge fan of Cena and always have been because he was the reason I started watching wrestling.

As a fan who has only been watching for a decade now, I can tell you that I don’t fully understand the impact of guys like Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage. Despite watching back countless hours of video from all different eras of wrestling, I still can’t claim to fully understand any era before the year of 2002.

How many fans watching wrestling today once watched Hulkamania run wild? How many even saw the NWO explode onto the scene back in 1996? The percentage of wrestling fans is miniscule at best, and this creates a huge discrepancy in how fans see the past stars of the WWE.

This is no more prevalent a fact than today when more than ever the stars of the past are being seen in many guest roles in WWE and TNA. A few are even working complete part time schedules as challengers in WWE most notably the Rock.

What does all this overexposure to past stars mean to fans today who can barely understand what these guys did in the past? Does the exposure now create a false sense of apprehension toward these stars or possibly even cause false appreciation? It all is a bit confusing how limited knowledge and experience can affect one’s perceptions.

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