When I was ten, Monday Night Raw was can’t-miss television. I’d graduated from the Power Rangers school of martial arts and entered the “Steel chair! Steel chair!” academy of mayhem. It was two hours of people beating each other up, which, in some ways, was an upgrade from watching teenagers with attitude fight putty patrollers.
It didn’t matter if the matches were fixed or if it was all scripted. I was there for the thrills. Is Triple H going to rush in for an illegal save? Who’s going to get Stone Cold Stunner-ed? Will Vince McMahon screw The Rock out of a title shot?
Raw was a show in which I was heavily invested. The WWF(/E) ramped up the drama. The stakes were high and sometimes reachable only by ladder. It added the word “turnbuckle” to my vocabulary. I learned that dousing your boss in beer would have people chanting your name and that getting up when you were down was more exhilarating when it was impossible.
I intern at a place that occasionally brushes elbows with celebrities, where the question “Who can we get?” is usually followed by a list of recognizable names.
I was at my desk when I overheard someone share her to-do list.
It went like this:
- Doing something
- Doing something
- Doing something
- “I’m meeting with Chris Jericho”
I swiveled in her direction like a dog that heard the crinkle of a goodie bag.
“Chris Jericho?” I said.
Excitement rushed up, warmed my face, and threatened to burst out in one loud, electrified “WOOO!” Chris Jericho was coming, and I would see him with my own two eyes.
A smile escaped and I tried to hide it by bending the corners of my mouth down, but the smile still dimpled my cheeks. I tried to play it cool. Cool, man, cool.
“Are you okay?” she said.
“Yeah, yeah I’m fine. It’s cool.”
I spun around and let my excitement take over, which means I beamed at my computer screen for a good five minutes.
I didn’t end up meeting him, but if you asked why I was so hyped at the time, I’d be at a loss. Why was I so excited? It was only Chris Jericho. I wasn’t a “fanboy.” I didn’t know if he was still locking people into the Walls. I couldn’t name a single Fozzy song. I couldn’t think of a reason for my excitement until I got home.
Meeting Chris Jericho wasn’t what excited me (ok, it did a
little OMG SO FUCKING EXCITED!), it was the memory of excitement echoing from the past.
Monday night: my ten year old self engrossed in the on-screen chaos of Raw is War. At some point during the broadcast, the arena would go dark. A countdown would start on the Titantron. The crowd’s murmur would swell into cheers (or jeers).
Then, entrance song!
Then, Chris Jericho!
I pumped a fist into the air and reveled in the electricity of the entrance. I cheered when he was face and booed when he was heel. But I always “WOOOP”-ed when the place went dark and the countdown started.
Above: how I imagined Chris Jericho would enter the office.
Memories are strange because the details aren’t always clear. For me, the the who/what/when/where of a memory is secondary to how I felt at the time and how I feel as I remember it. Some memories stick around , and without the feelings associated with them, those memories wouldn’t mean anything.
The chance of meeting Chris Jericho conjured a long-forgotten buzz. You’ve probably felt something similar. No, not wrestling-related. Whatever it was, you might have paused for a split second and thought, “man, that brings me back…” and if you were on a TV show, you’d turn your head a little as the camera zoomed to the dazed look on your face while the picture dissolved with the sound of a cascading harp, and ten year old me would’ve changed the channel because OH MY GOD RAW IS ON EVERYONE SHUT THE
FUCK HECK UP!
Original photo from IdleLive.com