My father wrestled in college. He passed on his interest in wrestling to me. I studied Judo as a boy, but a back injury at the age of seventeen prevented me from participating in Judo or wrestling afterwards.

Professional wrestling was a mainstay of American television in the 1950s. My family regularly watched professional wrestling on television. We knew the matches were booked, with endings predermined, but this did not detract from our enjoyment of the matches as entertainment.

I still remember Gorgeous George, Carpentier, O'Connor, Rocca, Gagne, the Masked Assassins, the Kangaroos, the Crusher, the Bruiser, Ernie Ladd, Sailor Thomas, Bockwinkle, Hennig, and many other stars of the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. For many years Chicago was a professional wrestling stronghold, with both the AWA and WWA regularly holding major cards at the Chicago Stadium and sometimes at the ball parks.

I have always been a fan of heels like Nick Bockwinkle and Ric Flair who could execute all kinds of wrestling moves as well as "dirty" tricks. Flair and Bockwinkle kept themselves in great shape without looking like steroid monsters. They delivered great interviews. They drew tremendous heat from the crowds. I also enjoyed the wrestling of Verne Gagne, Antonina Rocca, Eduard Carpentier, Billy Robinson, Rick Steamboat, Wilbur Snyder, and other "scientific" wrestlers. I am also a fan of "crazy" wrestlers like Cactus Jack, whose ability to take bumps was second to none, and whose interview style was inspired.

I don't enjoy most of the matches put on by the current big wrestling promotions like the WWF here in the States. Some of the smaller promotions still provide entertaining matches.

I'm not a fan of freestyle amateur freestyle wrestling, whose rules are so restrictive that I find most of the matches dull. I still enjoy amateur Graeco-Roman matches. I also enjoy Sumo wrestling.

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Last modified by pib on March 6, 2005.