My uncle introduced me to pro wrestling. I think I was seven. He clued me in on the gag right away: Guys pretended to fight, and it was hilarious.
As was the case with most of my childhood fandoms, I became obsessed with it almost instantly. I collected wrestling action figures. I went to house shows at the Spectrum; my dad even took me to see SummerSlam 90, where the Ultimate Warrior defeated “Ravishing” Rick Rude in the main event. I rented every WWF VHS tape at Four Star Video, a neighborhood video store that closed well before the Blockbusters of the world did. I ate WWF ice cream bars. While I probably can’t tell you the full card of a WWE Money in the Bank PPV that happened earlier this week, I can recall everything from the WWF in my childhood.
So it goes. But it’s not just wasted space in my brain: I recently used this 1980s and 1990s WWF knowledge as part of my job. David Roth, who usually remembers Baseball Guys, joined me to test my knowledge of Classic Sports’ WWF The History of Wrestlemania Collector’s Cards Series II. I actually have no memory of these cards from my youth, but the wheels in my brain started turning as soon as I saw Akeem the African Dream facing off against The Rockers. If you want to learn some minutiae about 1989 and 1990 WWF—as well as how a Ted DiBiase/Brutus Beefcake match led to the Trump presidency—the video will, I hope, get you started.