There’s Nothing Wrong with Being a Mark
Mark (Noun): Person who believes in wrestling, and all of the people, situations, and excitement that it brings.
True story. I walked into the gym of the AWWL and stood beside the ring. I reached up and touched the ring post. I patted the mat. I raised the ring apron and looked underneath. Instantly, I was 6 years old again, and sitting with my father at the Fairgrounds in Jackson watching Bobo Brazil battle THE Sheik. I remembered Chief Jay Strongbow and Bulldog Don Kent tearing into each other like a pair of cougars. I saw Dick The Bruiser working over some jabroni in the corner.
In other words I marked out. Big Time!
When I met Ed Farhat, I remembered Captain Ed George, and the people’s army. I marked out. Stuttered and got unreasonably shy. Which, if anyone has ever met me, they know that does not happen. I sat and had coffee with Tom Farhat, and was engrossed as he told me stories of setting up the ring for his fathers promotions. I met THE Sheik's wife, Princess Joyce or “Ms. Joyce” as I call her, and hugged her, THEN introduced myself and became a complete idiot for hugging this little white lady who doesn’t know me from a John Wayne extra.
Wrestling was something that I shared in common with my friends and enemies alike. Everyone enjoyed it. My aunts and uncles would watch it every Saturday at 1:00. Mom would call us in from playing outside to tell us “Big Time Wrestling is on”. As I grew older, went to college, and got a “real” job, I always watched wrestling. My wife’s third date with me was watching the Monday Night Wars between WCW and the WWF. When I discovered E-bay the first thing I looked for was anything to do with THE Sheik. Then it was Sabu and ECW. Sabu vs Terry Funk, Sabu vs Taz, Sabu in Stampede Wrestling, Sabu in XPW, Sabu vs RVD, Sabu vs Abdullah The Butcher, and on and on and on. I have a collection of tapes that showcase THE Sheik in Japan. I eat this stuff up!
It's escapism pure and simple. I don’t watch movies that provoke emotions of anger or sadness in me. I feel that everyday on my own. I live in a world where every time I go to New York I visit the ghosts of friends killed by terrorism. Where people have called my wife low class for “marrying outside your own”, or I get on an elevator and people hit the button for the next floor to get away from me, or I’m followed by security in the malls, where dear friends of mine have lost their battles with drugs and alcohol. Where my niece is told to stand in front of her class because “This is what some Indians look like”, the economy tanks, and where kids are killed on a “playground”. When I watch Big Time Wrestling, I see Good versus Evil. It’s pretty plain who is who. It’s a battle of skill and ability. Sometimes the best man or woman doesn’t win, but they ALWAYS come back. So do I.
Imagine me sitting there broadcasting the matches next to Paco or The Unknown Commentator, or interviewing The Hollywood Hustlers or Shaffee and Sabu. I can barley contain it when I’m there sharing my love of this business with you, our fans. You holler when your favorite comes out...I’ve been told not to because it messes up the microphones.
BUT don’t think for a minute that I’m not doing it on the inside.
So I “mark out” like any good fan would and does. I share it with you and you with me, and that separates us from the sheep. It’s what we do.
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