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

With the majority of my writing at Voices of Wrestling focusing solely on the 80s and the 90s, a lot of my previous work has already engaged with why I became a wrestling fan during that window of time. Put simply – I’ve never known a different way. From a very young age, I’d shown enough interest and excitement in a product to have been gifted several wrestling figures, a toy wrestling ring, and a number of VHS tapes including WrestleMania IV, thus giving it a much loftier position in my reckoning when it comes to the quality on offer.

As you’d expect of a child born in 1986, my interest in wrestling for at least the next ten years or so—pre-internet access—was one borne of genuine excitement for the good guy to beat the bad guy. If not that, it was an opportunity to see colorful, larger-than-life wrestlers pull off feats of strength and athleticism beyond my comprehension. It was a simpler time. Looking back from the wreckage of what is left of the wrestling scene here in the UK, it was a much better time.

The past ten years have been one in which I have never been closer to the horse and pony show that is wrestling as a whole. Though becoming a teenager as the Attitude Era and the internet both took off in various ways meant I was increasingly aware of how the sausage was made, my settled lifestyle (house, marriage, career) as I entered 2010 allowed me the relative freedom to eventually indulge in a scene that was burgeoning come the middle of the decade and generally exciting on an global, let alone a national, level. It was still rather light touch—wrestling was no longer the center of my world anymore—but I suddenly had the time and the money to travel, to buy tickets and merch, to support local wrestling in the UK.

I am by no means the biggest victim to all that has been unearthed about the scandals within the British wrestling scene, but it is with sadness that I now look back on times spent, memories formed, and purchases made.

As my time at home researching and watching old-school wrestling further took me away from the modern product at large, my trips to promotions such as PROGRESS and Riptide were my ever-decreasing threads that kept me somewhat engaged with wrestling this side of the millennium. WWE no longer interested; AEW was only a glint in the Khan’s eyes; IMPACT never really excited.

Having largely written off the scene following #SpeakingOut, it could have been a time in which wrestling ceased to be anything of interest for me, something which I maybe gave a cursory glance to on my Twitter timeline or through my participation at some wrestling forums. As with many, there have been times when my fandom has waned; this would seem to be an obvious window for the same to occur.

However, it is the beauty of the art form, the availability of ever-increasing action, my desire to want to know more that has carried my interest beyond the catastrophic events of 2020 and the prior years.

There will always be enough wrestling out there to engage my interest.

If I go to my tablet or my Google Drive, I can find episode of Superstars from 1987 and matches from the 91 and 92 G1 Climax, both shows and events that I am working my way through before exploring other years in further detail. My interest in 80s wrestling has been further developed through my work on The Wrestling Classic as I seek to research, rewatch and review some of the greatest matches of all time. It is hard not to be inspired when going back and watching these events, feuds and rivalries that spawned years before I was born yet exist in a tangible fashion for a fan to enjoy.

In the ten years that Voices of Wrestling has existed, I have experienced the highs and lows of wrestling fandom. However, my fandom has evolved and grown through these trials and tribulations, leaving me – if anything – a stronger fan than I was before. I may not care much for what is offered up as wrestling in 2021 if I’m being honest, but that stills affords me 50+ years of action to explore and enjoy over my next (hopefully) 50+ years.

I’ll happily take that.