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Published April 12, 2011, 12:00 AM

Parenting Perspectives: Love for pro wrestling spans generations

The man marveled at the thought of my 74-year-old mother standing in line with us waiting to get her photo taken with all-star wrestler Kurt Angle. “That’s a-w-e-some!” he said, mouth agape. “You know, my grandma brought me to my first wrestling match, too.”

By: Devlyn Brooks, INFORUM

The man marveled at the thought of my 74-year-old mother standing in line with us waiting to get her photo taken with all-star wrestler Kurt Angle.

“That’s a-w-e-some!” he said, mouth agape. “You know, my grandma brought me to my first wrestling match, too.”

All-star wrestling, that is … in all of its stripped-down glory. None of that fancy, highly produced affair you see on primetime TV. No sir. This was old-fashioned, road-show, civic arena action.

But as strange as it may sound, all-star wrestling is a family affair that stretches down the generations. And that’s what led to us standing in line, dozens of people deep, waiting to shell out $20 just to get a photo with a “B” level pro-wrestling star.

My youngest son is the No. 1 reason the wrestling match was a must-see event for our family. The Bug can run down the list of marquee wrestling names like some kids can recite a Minnesota Twins lineup. He can tell you which wrestlers are rivals, which are friends and who holds the infinite number of championship belts in the infinite number of televised wrestling organizations.

And so when I heard that TNA’s Impact wrestling show was making a stop here in town, I knew we had to go and that my mother would want in.

While she isn’t too hip to the Undertakers and Ray Mysterios on top of the pro-wrestling world today, my mom’s loyalty pre-dates the modern high-glitz, high-glamour wrestling in sold-out sporting arenas to the days of when pro wrestlers grinded out a living traveling from small town to small town.

In fact, Mom tells an extremely charming story about her, my father, my great-uncle and his wife all attending a pro-wrestling match at Moorhead’s old armory building some 50-plus years ago.

I knew she wouldn’t pass on the chance to join her grandsons at the match.

“Man, you don’t know how awesome that is that you brought your mom,” our new best friend said again. “Your sons are going to remember this forever.”

And I hope they do, especially the Bug.

I hope he remembers every hokey detail, including the bad acting, the cliché-spewing ringside announcer, the obnoxious, drunken fans, the dimly lit civic center, the smell of sweat and stale beer and the warmth of a few hundred wrestling fans nearly sitting on top of each other just to see the action.

And I can’t wait for him to take me to a match with his kids when I’m 74 years old.


Devlyn Brooks works for Forum Communications Co. He lives with his two sons in Moorhead.

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