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El Pasco, Texas – Top 10 Moments in Pro Wrestling My Dad Hated

by on June 19, 2011

Depending on when this article sees the light of day, This Sunday marks the annual tradition of tie-giving, awkward dinner conversation, and drawn-out phone calls known as Father’s Day. Father’s Day is one of those holidays created by elementary schools so they have excuse to keep their Art teacher on budget for a full year. Let’s be honest folks, after the Paper Chain Christmas countdown things there really isn’t a hell of a lot more to make until May.  Some people do love Father’s day though, although I tend to suspect it’s because they are the fathers getting the gifts.

Thinking about Father’s day has always been strange to me because I’ve never really celebrated it. I would buy my dad a card, try not to piss him off, and then continue my focus on beating No Mercy (I’ve never been able to reform my legendary tag team THE NIGHTMARE since 2002).  However as anyone who had recently graduated college will tell you, nothing like a major life change to make you nostalgic. So I sat down and thought of all the good times and memories with my dad, and then slowly some puzzles filled into place and I remembered.

My dad hated pro wrestling.

I had always known about things he hated, but then I remembered more and more specific instances and all the evidence finally piled up. My dad joined a laundry list of people that hated wrestling like L Brent Bozell, Pat Miletech, Phil Mushnick and my first girlfriend. With this not so startling revelation I went and found my mother, in the kitchen where she belongs, and asked her about my dad’s hatred of wrestling.

(Note: My mom’s actually pretty awesome. The woman has gotten me such birthday gifts as The Visual Encyclopedia to Serial Killers, The Room on DVD, and Never Mind the Bollocks: Here’s the Sex Pistols. The women is a saint, #supportbensmom should be the new hashtag)

So with the help of the woman who bore me (BORE! BORE! BORE!), here comes a top 10 list of moments in professional wresting that my dad hated.


Number 10:  TAKING ME TO MY FIRST ROH SHOW (2004)

A lot of people speak in reverent and hushed tones when they talk about the first time they went to a ROH show. For me, it was November 5th 2004 in Revere, Massachusetts.  I was a huge Jushin Liger fan when I was a kid and when I heard he was coming to the states I lost my mind.  I convinced my dad to let me go, but my father would not let me travel to Revere alone and so he drove me. My dad ultimately decided that surely an independent wrestling show would start and end within a reasonable hour and so we took the train to Revere. I tried to explain that I didn’t think it had a designated end time, but no father (Hogan) knows best.

Bad Move #1
During the course of the show my father and I learned the lesson that has been re-taught to me everytime I step inside a building full of dudes watching other dudes play fight (MMA), wrestling fans are gross. My dad was forced to sit next to a dude who made Kristie Alley look like Kristen Stewart.  My dad may have paid for a seat, but he was forced to sit on half of one. My poor dad was just miserable while his 16 year old (not quite as handsome) son found himself seeing CM Punk, Samoa Joe, Homicide, etc. all for the first time and falling in love. So my dad being the genius he is decides that hell, this is a wrestling show it can go too long and called for a taxi to bring us to the T station at about midnight where surely the show would be over.

Bad Move #2
I saw Liger’s entrance and then we left.

Bad Move #3
I may have had a twenty minute fight about Jushin Liger with my dad the next day; my mom may have taken my side in what has to be one of the most unexpected moments of her parenting.

Number 9: THE UNDERTAKER DISAPPEARS FROM HIS CASKET (1994)

This entry takes us back to a long time before my teenage angst years, back when I was  5 years old and wrestling was still real to me (insert opening riff to “Damnit” by Blink 182). After Yokozuna and every bad guy ever (Dude, Tenryu was there!) put The Undertaker in his casket shit got real. The lights went down and Undertaker proceeded to give a speech, disappear, and scare me beyond belief. I was distraught over The Undertaker being gone and was now convinced that not only I had witnessed a murder, but that The Undertaker was a ghost and somehow I was going to be killed! I’m a little hazy on the details, but I remember it was the earliest moment in my life my dad tried to ban pro wrestling, and all because of that fear.

Or maybe he just really hated that outfit Jeff Jarrett was wearing.

Number 8: BEN PASCO ACCIDENTLY CAUSES ERECTIONS WITH A MAGAZINE (1995/1996)

I’m not sure on the exact dates on this one, but I just recently remembered the incident. During the downtime in school, we were encouraged to read when we finished assignments or when there was time for it.  While other kids may have been reading their fancy new books, I knew where the real information was and that was in the pages of WWF Magazine. I needed to crave that information and find out what was going on behind the scenes.   I needed to read what song parodies Vic Venom had come up with (the Psycho Sid set to the tune of The Cisco Kid was a classic), What adventures Scoop Sullivan would get into, ( Big Daddy Cool is an awesome dog name) and what album was Rad Radford going to love. So one afternoon I cracked open my WWF magazine and the kids all gathered to marvel at the action and glory of the WWF Superstars.

Nah, they were looking at tits.

Turns out that month’s centerfold were Tammy Sytch in all her bosomed glory. Sunny in 1995 was looking fiiiiiinnneeee and all the kids in my class had certainly noticed. So did my teacher who made me put it away and called my parents and I got in trouble. I was totally oblivious; I mea,n why I would want to look at boobs when there was an article about how al the King of The Ring participants had royal lineage….duh! But I got my magazine taken away for a week and yelled at.

If Only the Informer had tipped me off in his column that month.

Number 7: BEN PASCO HATES CANADA (1997)

Bret Hart was my childhood hero. The man really was part of the reason I was such a good kid as my mother would use the basis of that’s what Bret Hart would do. Bret Hart would clean his room; Bret Hart would go to bed on time, etc.  (My mom also utilized this logic to get me to eat carrots by claiming if I was ever in a blindfold match then it would enhance my vision. #supportbensmom).  However, there is one thing that an eleven year old Ben Pasco could not support and that was Anti-American Rhetoric! I took an anti-Canadian stance and proceeded to declare it at very inappropriate times. When we went to have dogtags made after a Cub Scout sleepover mine said “USA RULES BRET HART STINKS”. Aside from that shocking language, I ramped up my jingoism at a bonfire in my house telling all who cared that Canadians belonged in Canada.

Including my dad’s friend and her 8 year old daughter who both happened to hail from The Great White North.

Needless to say, wrestling was banned for like two days while my mom continued to sit and think this was hilarious. That was a reoccurring theme with this was my mom just sitting on the sidelines enjoying a grown man and a young boy fight about dudes in tights.

Oh Well, at least me and Bret made up.

NUMBER 6: THE REVERSE DANIEL BENOIT INCIDENT (1999)

My dad told me wrestling didn’t hurt and to come up with a move to prove his point. I put him in the crippler crossface and he was out of work for 2 months.

Boom: Know About It.

NUMBER 5: THE MCAS VS MALENKO FIGHT OF 98 (1998)

Allow me to paint you a picture. Your friend calls you on a Saturday afternoon because he has an extra ticket to the WCW PPV Slamboree on Sunday evening. You ask your mom all excitedly and she agrees (#supportbensmom), but then rush to get the approval for your father.

He says no.

He says no because the next day you have a standardized test in Massachusetts called the MCAS, which exists to be the torment of your soul until the tenth grade when you take your last one. Apparently, this test IN THE 4TH GRADE is more important than The Giant and Sting vs. Scott Hall and Kevin Nash.  (Also on the card Fit Finlay vs. Chris Benoit, Bret Hart vs. Randy Savage, Raven vs. DDP in a Cage Match, and Eddie Guerrero vs. Ultimo Dragon).

I was a little ball of prepubescent rage and started a fight (funny how it played out exactly like the ROH one) between my dad and me over this very thing.  In the end I didn’t go, ran train on my MCAS, and proceeded to still be bitter about it to this day. Why?

It’s the night fucking Dean Malenko unmasked as Ciclope.

Fuck you Dad.

Number 4: GOLDUST

Self-explanatory.

Number 3: UNDERTAKER SACRIFICES MIDEON

Out of everything on the list, this one is the most justifiable to me and the one I remember most clearly. Essentially, The Undertaker captured poor Dennis Knight and then proceeded to sacrifice him. Right now looking back on it, it’s still kind of hokey and cheesy. However at the time THIS WAS THE SCARIEST FUCKING THING I HAD EVER SEEN. This was straight up Freddy Krueger shit to me, and I heard my dad in the next room FREAKKKINNNGGGG OUT about it.

This right here is the shit that would kill a Linda McMahon campaign.

Number 2: HULK HOGAN TURNS HEEL (1996)

History will remember the day that Hulk Hogan turned heel as a major step in the evolution of wrestling, but I will remember it as the day that my dad finally cared about something in wrestling way more than I did. When Hogan turned heel, my father went berserk and claimed that Hogan had stabbed all these children in the back. His point, and it is kind of valid, is that by turning heel Hogan sacrificed his role model status for more money and a longer career. A lot of people shit upon WWE PG, but they forget about people like my dad with young kids who idolize these guys. Hogan betrayed his children fans in character, and out of character and my dad was furious.

As for me? Even when I was 8 years old I thought Hogan was too old.

NUMBER 1: THE TIME THE SMOKIN GUNNS DIDN’T GIVE ME AN AUTOGRAPH (1996)

I figure I’ve been kind of hard on my dad with this list and so I figured number one should be the one that showed just how much my dad cared about me. My grandfather wanted to spend one last night with me and my dad and they both swallowed their pride to go see wrestling with me. With that off we went to the South Shore Music Circus in Cohasset, MA. For me that night is about a couple specific memories including my dad and granddad making me furious by cheering for Bob Backlund instead of Man Mountain Rock. I wore a special white t shirt that night and brought a marker with the hopes that somebody would sign it. I sat on my aisle seat with anticipation asking anybody who walked by if their sign it. (Note:  Hakushi was the only person I wouldn’t ask that night. He seemed like a nice man at King of Trios, but I didn’t like getting my picture with him because I’m still terrorized by the fear I had at 8 years old that he would steal my Bret Hart glasses).  I stood with marker in hand waiting.

Only one person signed it.

Let nobody speak an ill word of Justin Credible who signed my t shirt despite that jockstrap on his head and got over with me forever. My dad however was incredibly peeved, but because he saw how hurt and disappointed I was. For what it’s worth my dad always had my best interests at heart with this and quite frankly put up with a lot of it, more then he should. I love my dad, and I owe him a lot.

Besides, Aldo Montoya ruled.

(Mike’s note: Justin Credible is legit THE nicest pro wrestler I’ve ever met.

Happy Fathers Day to all the dads and, in the case of some people I know who read the site, soon-to-be-dads!)

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