At the age of 9 I was playing this game called Raw, a pro wrestling game on the Nintendo 64. It became my favourite game for a none gamer at the time, it was all I played. Everyday I ran home from school, turn on the console and sit on the bed and play. Stone Cold became my favourite. But on one sad Tuesday when I get home from school I couldn’t find it. The day before I took the game to a friends house to show the greatness of this game, he was a proper gamer, he would sit for hours and hours player all kinds of crap that I wasn’t interested in but I would sit and play them with him and lose most of the time. So I decided to take Raw round to him to show him and he fell in love with it, I didn’t get home till about 9 at night.
So when I got home on the Tuesday I realised I had left the game round my friends house, so I put my coat back on and legged it like an Olympic athlete round to his house.
I got to his house in record breaking speed that only Usain Bolt would be proud of and I banged on his door. When he opened I said while out of breath “I think… I left.. raw around.. here.”
“No, no you didn’t, you took it home with you yesterday when you left”. I could see the lies in his eyes, I knew I didn’t take it home, I forgot it “well can I come in and have a look for it just incase I forgot it”
“ok, come in”.
So I ran upstairs and into his bedroom and it was nowhere to be seen “see I told you, not here” my friend said, but I knew he was lying. But I left anyway, I knew if I called him out on his bullshit I could break up the friendship, so I just walked out and said ok and I took a slow walk home.
When I walked through the door I realised I would never see the game again and I didn’t. Eventually my dad stopped playing it, he would stop playing Goldeneye and F1 Racing and the Nintendo would never be played again, it would eventually be put into the attic and collect dust.
5 weeks later and It was coming to the end of the summer holidays and I get up early one Friday morning, the sun shines through my curtains as I get up out of bed so I can go and watch cartoons. I run down the stairs and burst through the living room door with hopes of putting Pink and The Brain on, my favourite cartoon at the time (it was pre Simpsons). But sitting on the side near the telly was a VHS tape and it saying Unforgiven live 1999 and a note at the side from my dad who had gone work “A late birthday present for you, Dad”. The best presents I get were either music or videos tapes so I get all excited. I press eject on the tape and take out Independence Day and I put this video in and I press play.
The first image that pops up is Kane, the 7 foot monster from the game Raw, but it not a game it’s the real thing. Then I see The Rock and Stone Cold and Mankind and I can’t believe what I’m seeing, the game is a real thing, they are real. So I just sit in front of the t.v and watch. I see wrestlers I never heard of who weren’t in the game. Edge and Christian, Chris Jericho, Mark Henry and who the hell Gangrel? The Dudley Boyz? I just kept thinking this is so much better than the game, they’re real, all of them.
The final is this thing called a six pack challenge for the world title with Stone Cold on commentary. The Rock v Kane (he’s read) v Triple H v Mankind v Big Show v British Bulldog. That’s when my mum walks through the living room door and notices the Bulldog “Who’s that? He’s nice”
“I don’t know, he’s some bulldog guy”
“Your nana used to love this stuff, she used to wet herself laughing at Les Kellet”.
I don’t know who’s talking about so I just carry on watching the match.
In the end the match went to Triple H and I just boo at the screen, I really didn’t want this loser to win, I remembered him from the game, he was abit of an idiot, but he looks different in real life. Stone Cold then gets in the ring as Triple H poses around the ring and then he gets in Stone Colds face. Stone Cold out of nowhere hits with a kick and drops his jaw right onto his shoulder and I jump out of my chair with excitement and ran around the living room and almost knocking my sister over as she walked through the door with a bowl of cereal. I remember that I did the same move in the game to Owen Hart (I didn’t know what happened at the time) and when I did I jumped out my chair then.
The show the finished and the first thing I did was press rewind and I watched it all over again.
The summer holidays ended and I returned to school and the first thing I could talk about to the little friends that I had was this wrestling thing, I just wouldn’t shut up about it. I told them that for the last couple of days all I was doing was watching this thing called Unforgiven. They talked about how they all played football and went on holidays to Spain. But, I didn’t care about all that, I played football and went on holiday too but I thought about was those last couple of days watching Stone Cold drop Triple H. I told them all about the kennel from hell match, a cage within a cage surrounded by Rottweiler’s and how stupid and yet how fun it was and how Mankind and Kane were real, they were actually real. That’s when one of the kids, Wayne the spotty kid who thought he knew everything and liked to bully girls said “You know it’s fake, they don’t really hurt each other”
“But they are real, I saw them”
“No, they are all friends, my dad said”
“I don’t care what your dad says, it’s real and so are they”
“Those tables they get put through are fake and so are the chairs”
“Good for them and for you, I still like it and I know it’s still real” I said and it ended the conversation I had with Wayne.
17 years later and I finish up watching WWE Battleground and things have changed a little. I don’t have Unforgiven 1999 on VHS anymore, I just need to click on a link on the WWE Network and I can find it easy, and I all I have to do is plug the lap top into the back of the t.v and I can watch it just fine. I found it nothing is real in the world of pro wrestling and that not all of them really get along backstage. Owen Hart had died a couple of months before unforgiven and the kennel from hell match really was a piece of shit.
I still watch like now and it’s just not the same but I can’t help myself, I know Summerslam this year isn’t really something i’m looking forward too, but I bet i’ll still stay up till one in the morning with a can of booze and still watch it.