Tag Archives: John Cena

Answering The Bell: Wrestlemania, Nostalgia, and a Lapsed Fan

My name is Andrew, and I have a confession to make: I was once a fan of professional wrestling.

It’s March 20th, 1999. I’m twelve years old, and I’m at an arena in Austin, Texas to see the World Wrestling Federation put on a show. My dad marvels at how Kane, a wrestler who’s billed at seven feet tall, towers above his competitors. He’s graciously tolerating this event on my behalf. I don’t realize it at the time, but this show is largely a dress rehearsal for Wrestlemania 15, which is only a week away. Still, I’m dressed for the occasion.

I have a foam championship belt slung over my shoulder. I’m wearing a pair of cheap sunglasses I picked out at the corner drug store. I’ve taken a magic marker and drawn a pair of long sideburns on my prepubescent face. I do my best impression of his demeanor, his strident presence, his swagger. I’ve spent hours looking in the mirror, trying to keep one eyebrow raised over the other. I have every one of his catchphrases memorized and ready to be deployed at a moment’s notice.  It’s all I can do to imitate my favorite wrestler — The Rock.


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