Welcome to Koco’s Corner, this is the first of I hope many semi-daily columns.
This might not be 100% factual but it is how I remember it going down.
It was right before WrestleMania 3 and I was so pumped up for it. As a little kid I was the only kid I knew that hated Hulk Hogan, this was before the Internet was a common thing so who knows there could have been others. I was going around telling everyone how Andre was going to crush Hulkamania.
My uncle started chuckling and said Hulk Hogan is going to win, he always wins. My uncle had a serious gambling problem and he said it as if he knew. Confused, I asked him what do you mean? He asked me do you know why Superman always wins? Yea, because it’s not real and then I gave one of those annoying kid duhs that last forever. He replied with just like wrestling. You are trying to tell me it’s fake. He quickly said yup, everyone knows. I then went on a Stewie Griffen type rant about how other sports are fake. Are the New York Yankees not real? He just gave a laugh and said nope just wrestling.
I was so angry that I would bet him anything that Andre would win. At my age anything meant five dollars. I don’t want to sound too much of an old man but back then at that age that was a fortune. My uncle was a stand up guy that not only would tell a young kid that his favorite sport was fake but he would take his five dollars at the same time. We made our bet and I bragged to anyone who would listen.
When I told them how I was going to win five dollars they just gave me the “Oh, poor Dave” look. They all tried to tell me to cancel the bet. When I refused they all told me he was right and it was fake.
I got so angry and yelled about how they were all against me and I will prove them all wrong. I ranted and raved on and on how Andre will destroy Hulkamania and it would put an end to all of their lies about wrestling being fake.
I had got all my money together but I was still about a dollar short. I went to my aunt to borrow the rest. She said hold on; she went in the other room and yelled at my uncle. I thought she was on my side and yelling at him about how awesome Andre was. I was wrong. My uncle walked in with his head down like a little kid that was scolded. He said not to worry about the bet, he was wrong and wrestling is real. I looked at my aunt she stood behind him like an angry bulldog.
Then it hit me, my aunt betrayed me. I knew he didn’t mean it. I looked at my aunt and screamed (I notice by retelling this story, I screamed way too much as a kid) You don’t believe in me, you don’t believe in The Giant. She just rolled her eyes and mumbles something about me being a dumb kid. I see her point now. So I bet him my four dollars and I would cut his grass if I lost for his five. He let out a little chuckle (The same chuckle every fan gets time from time when the tell non-wrestling fans they are fans of pro-wrestling) and took the bet.
It was the night of WrestleMania and there are plenty of times in my childhood I wish I had more confidence but this night wasn’t one of them. I was over the top cocky with my white t-shirt that I drew Andre the Giant on. I was making bets with everyone to do chores for them from washing cars to doing homework and everything in between. I didn’t care Andre was going to make me rich. This might have been the start of my gambling problem.
As the night went on I was starting to get nervous as I held on tight to the piece of paper where I written down all my bets. The third match was the worst it was Hillbilly Jim, The Haiti Kid and Little Beaver vs. King Kong Bundy, Little Tokyo and Lord Littlebrook. Everyone laughed and said you still think it is real. I just grinded my teeth and kept looking at the paper dreaming of what I could buy when I won and how I could rub it all in their face.
They were mocking and teasing me all night then the Randy Savage vs. Ricky Steamboat match happen and it brought back my confidence in pro-wrestling and I was screaming how could that be fake.
It was main event time and I just knew Andre was going to win I could feel it in my heart and him winning would prove to me that pro-wrestling was real and I could collect on my money while giving the biggest I told you so in my life.
Once the match started the joking and talking came to an end and we watched in complete silence with the occasional fist pump when Hulk or Andre hit big moves. Wrestling might be “fake” but for that moment it stole everyone’s attention. Nothing meant more than that match at the very moment.
The slam heard around the world. I stood up in shock and awe. Once Hogan hit the leg drop it hit me that it was predetermined. I was wrong. When the ref counted three I screamed for a kick out but I already knew I was wrong and something I loved was a lie.
Everyone in the room was cheering and I just stood there feeling so stupid. The feeling of being stupid turned into anger and I crumpled up my four dollars and threw it at my uncle and stormed out and bitched under my breath as I marched all the way home.
I busted into my room and tore down all my wrestling posters I got from magazines and threw all my wrestling toys and books in to a garbage bag and put them in the attic with the plan to never see them again.
That summer I yelled at all my wrestling friends like someone who finds out that they are an atheist for the first time “You know its fake right?” I did all my chores except cutting my uncles lawn.
About two months later I manned up (Hey, there was no time limit on this) and mowed his lawn cursing under my breath the whole time while my uncle laughed and shot water at me with a hose.
After I was done he gave me a heart to heart talk. Is Spider-man real? I snapped back no because I thought he was still mocking me. Do you still like him? Yea. So even if wrestling is fake you can still enjoy it. Then it hit me who gives a crap if it is not real and I have been a pro-wrestling fan ever since.
Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed it; my goal is to do this multiple times a week. I would like to give a special thanks to Pablo Sepulveda and Gerry O’Neill for all of their hard work on making this version of Kocosports amazing. This is only the beginning, we have so many great ideas that we will be adding in the near future. The old staff will be returning little by little and we hope to get some new faces to help us. Be awesome and sign up for the site and leave comments. Tell us when the first time you found out pro wrestling was… well… you know…