READER REPORT:

80s wrestlers had Hart

A.M. CLARK
Last updated 05:02 13/04/2014
bret hart
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HART FOUNDATION: To me, Bret Hart truly was the best there was, the best there is and the best there ever will be.

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For me, the heyday of wrestling was during the late 80s.

I remember as an 11-year-old girl, sneaking out of bed at 10.30pm on a Friday night and curling up on the bean bag in front of the TV. I used to have the sound turned down low so as not to wake anyone. Annoyingly, I would have to sit through Married with Children first - but after that finished, the wrestling - or WWF as they used to call it - would be on.

I loved it all - Hulk Hogan and his trash talk, Rick Rude and his 'rude awakenings', Jimmy 'Super Fly' Snuka and his aerial fly off the side of the ring, Jake the Snake Roberts and his snake Damian, Hacksaw Jim Duggan and his two by four, The Boss Man 'enforcing the law', The Million Dollar Man throwing around all his money, Rick 'the Model' Mattel and his classic move - the Boston Crab, Koko B Ware and his colourful bird and of course our very own Kiwi tag team - the Bushwhackers.

My favourite tag team was the Hart Foundation - to me - Bret Hart truly was the best there was, the best there is and the best there ever will be. I also loved the Rockers - Shawn Michaels and Marty Jenetty.

But my all time favourite wrestler was the American Dream, Dusty Rhodes - 'the common man'. He was huge - yet he could still do a drop kick! Pretty impressive in my book.

Some people may wonder why an 11-year-old girl would watch wrestling. To me, wrestling had all the drama of a soap opera. I loved the long monologues, the trash talk, the over the top costumes and the feuds that would be settled in the ring.

And who can forget the handy fold up chair - always available to hit someone over the head with! That chair was always ringside - no one ever sat on it!

It was all pure theatre and I found it incredibly entertaining. I remember watching the first ever Royal Rumble in 1988 when Jim Duggan won - he was circling the ring yelling his catch cry at the top of his lungs - it was awesome.

From what I remember, in the early 90s, there was controversy about kids watching wrestling and thinking it was real. Did I think it was real? Yes, I did. I remember when someone at school told me it was fake and I pretended like I knew it was. But I didn't. I was shocked! Soon after that, it was taken off TV.

Now days I'll watch an event like Wrestlemania every now and then but that's about it. I don't like the way women are depicted. When I was young, there was Chyna, Miss Elizabeth and Sensational Sherri who had characters. Now - the girls have to have implants, fake tans, bleached blonde hair and skimpy costumes.

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It's a shame because female wrestlers are incredibly athletic and every bit as talented as the men. Some of the moves they do require incredible strength and flexibility - yet that is somewhat tainted by the narrow range of characters they can play.

The heyday of wrestling may have been and gone. Many of the wrestlers now are in it for the money and the fame. They don't seem to have the heart that the wrestlers of the 80s did.

Many seem to use wrestling as a way to get into movies or other sports. However, I still respect their athleticism and the amount of training they have to do.

Does it matter if it's fake? They get injured, they do acrobats, they train, they act, they use tactics, and they are fit and flexible. That all sounds pretty real to me.


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