Its less hokey today and, maybe, a little less fun.
But if you watched wrestling in the 1980s when the landscape was littered with regional territories, you got the clichs, you got the cringe-worthy—and oftentimes, offensive—trash talking, and you got the cornball aspect of paying good money to watch giant men pretend to beat each other up.
And though the WWE, by virtue of the fact that its the most successful wrestling company ever to be created, sets the trends for each era of pro wrestling—from the Attitude era of the late 1990s and early 2000s to the current-day Reality era—Vince McMahons creation can still poke fun at the business and the history behindit.
Thats why the WWE—which willshowcase Wrestlemania 33 on Sunday—has created a webseries, Southpaw Regional Wrestling, that reminds us of what old-time wrestling used to look like.
As the WWE explains in its first episode, an old VHS tape, with the label Southpaw Regional Wrestling (Dont Tape Over!!) was recently found in the companys archives, and on it, there is one month of storylines from the (fake) renegade wrestling promotion. The tape is from 1987, and its where you find goodies like this.
The series stars include current-day WWE wrestlers Luke Gallows (playing Tex Ferguson), Karl Anderson (Chad 2Badd), John Cena (announcer Lance Catamaran), and Chris Jericho (interviewer Clint Bobski), and its filled withwrestling gimmicks and storylines that we just dont see anymore. The synthesizer-based music is wonderful, the editing is terrible, and the graphics are other-worldly (if you, in fact, lived in this world in the 1980s).
In episode 2, pay particular attention to the accent of Big Bart, whos supposed to be playing a southern farmer but who is actually being portrayed by current-day WWE wrestler Rusev—who happens to be Bulgarian with a Bulgarian accent.
Unfortunately for anybody whos invested nearly a half-hour in watching the webseries, it doesnt look like were going to get to see the results of the Lethal Leap Year show that was scheduled for Feb. 29, 1987 at the County Fairgrounds. Ah, its just as well. The year 1987 wasnt actually a leap year, anyway.