After all, this is The Sportatorium. Right?
I grew up watching Saturday Night Wrestling on Channel 11. While the adults played Canasta the kids were banished to the TV room, where we couldn't wait for Bill Mercer on the black-and-white Zenith. I remember Blackjack Mulligan and Frtiz Von Erich and Ivan Putski and "Bulldog" Danny Pletchis and ...
Not gonna kid you. I was never a huge fan of rasslin'. Was it me, or did it seem kinda, I dunno, fake?
Nonetheless, it'd be sacrilege on my part to let this weekend's festivities in Houston pass without mention. As part of the WWE's Wrestlemania XXV, the Von Erich family will inducted into pro wrestling's Hall of Fame.
Five of Fritz's sons - Kevin, Kerry, David, Chris and Mike - followed him into the ring. Today, after tragic suicides and freak accidents, only Kevin is still with us. (Kerry's daugher, Lacey, however, seems to have a blossoming career. Yowsa.)
On Saturday - 9 p.m. on USA Network - The Von Erichs will be inducted by Michael Hayes, formerly one of The Freebirds. Wrestlemania XXV is Sunday night at 5:30 in Houston's Reliant Stadium, available only via pay-per-view.
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I remember in pro wrestling's prime how Mr. T and Cyndi Lauper and Bob Costas and even Muhammad Ali would show up ringside. But on Sunday's card: John Cena vs. Edge vs. The Big Show.
Pro wrestlers rank somewhere on this list, but with the rise of MMA their "sport" has been further rendered irrelevant. If CBS' 72-year-old soap Guiding Light can be cancelled, can rasslin' be far behind?
Or maybe I'm way off. You buyin' the pay-per-view this weekend?