Ten years ago this week, VoicesofWrestling.com was born.

Originally designed to be a website and podcast series where people would discuss how they became wrestling fans and why they are fans today, the website eventually evolved into what you see today. This week, to celebrate our 10th anniversary, we invited VOW contributors past and present to re-create that original concept with a twist: why did you become a wrestling fan and how has your wrestling fandom changed in the last ten years.

We hope you enjoy the #VOW10 series and encourage you to share your memories of VoicesofWrestling.com, our columns, our reviews, our previews, our writers and our podcasts by using #VOW10 on Twitter or jumping into our special #VOW10 Discord channel.

Thank you for a great ten years. Enjoy.

-Rich Kraetsch

Voices of Wrestling 10th Anniversary

Unlike most wrestling fans, I cannot pinpoint a moment where I became a fan. For as long as I remember, professional wrestling was always a part of my life. My dad used to watch when I was born (it was 1999, everybody was watching at that point) and I became enthralled as soon as I first laid eyes on this wacky art. I have a few “first” pro wrestling memories which I don’t know if it’s because I rewatched those tapes on repeat or if, for some reason that is most likely not possible, my baby brain latched onto them: Edge Spearing Jeff Hardy twenty feet up in the air at WrestleMania X-Seven and Mae Young flashing her puppies in Miss Rumble 2000 swimsuit contest.

From there, as I grew older, I would watch whatever wrestling I could get my hands on. I began as a WWF/WWE fan and was the biggest Jeff Hardy mark you could find. When Jeff jumped to TNA in 2004 and was featured on one of the DVDs, I started watching TNA and the obsession grew from there. If wrestling was on TV, I would sit down and watch it through and through. My grandparents would always record that week’s TV shows on a VHS tape and I would be kind and rewind as soon as the show was done just to start the show over again.

My obsession with wrestling grew and grew to the point where I booked my own feds and stories with my action figures. At the age of seven, ECW came back and I started doing my research online of old ECW shows and footage. My wrestling figures were never the same again as I put those plastic bastards through my own Deathmatch Hell every Halloween season when costume blood could be found on shelves and I would stock up. The liquid looked really cool and never stained my figures, so it was an absolute win for my budding creative mind.

As I grew older, the obsession with wrestling never went away. The wrestling figure federations stopped as I found online forums where I could fantasy book to my heart’s content. Fantasy booking has since been a creative outlet for me and something that has helped me refine my writing. (If you want to check out some of my old booking diaries: WWE: The New Era, Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide: ¡La Mejor Lucha Libre del Mundo!, All Elite Wrestling: Change The World, and DRAGONGATE Pro-Wrestling: Open The Diary Gate). This, in conjunction with my e-fedding days (Hi, I’m former WFWF International and Tag Team Champion Dave Demento), led me to write about my thoughts on pro wrestling here on Voices of Wrestling.

Thankfully Rich liked my writing enough when I first sent him my first draft of my very first article on the website: The Future of 205 Live. Since then, I have dipped my toes in different wrestling promotions in different countries and I’ve grown so much as a wrestling fan since then. Voices of Wrestling helped me refine what I like in my wrestling.

More importantly, however, I found a bunch of friends through Voices of Wrestling. One day I will do a Mania Weekend and meet a bunch of you in person and give you a worker’s handshake.

Until then, I look forward to continuing discussing wrestling with the best fans on Earth in both the Slack and the Discord.