Steve Case, a regular VOW contributor, and Elise MacArthur, a VOW reader and token doctor of Egyptology, are having a baby literally any day now.
As you might expect, we’ve been anxiously reading pregnancy and parenting articles online for months but have not yet come across anything specifically for pro wrestling fans. We find this curious, as many pro-wrestlers have found themselves in our position: quarantine wasn’t all that boring [wink, wink, nudge, nudge]. We’re looking at you, Becky Lynch and Seth Rollins, Brandi and Cody Rhodes, Moxley and Renee, and, most recently, Candice LaRae and Johnny Gargano. So, here’s our take on raising a future pro wrestling fan.
Since meeting at the beginning of quarantine, our relationship has been an enjoyable confluence of our interests. I tune in weekly with Steve for AEW Dynamite and Rampage. In exchange, he sits through the dark foreign crime dramas, so I can brush up on languages I learned looting cemeteries in the desert. And when we can’t find anything new to watch, I say, “Just throw on an old pay per view,” and we foray into the best and worst of the Attitude era.
Our mutual interests have also taken us out of the living room to the Windy City for two live shows: the first show of Warrior Wrestling’s action-packed Stadium Series and AEW’s absolutely superb All Out PPV, the latter of which we did at 37 weeks pregnant, with me holding the little guy in, so I wouldn’t have to suffer “In Labor” Day jokes for the rest of time. Here’s an interesting fact for other wrestling moms-to-be: if he’s big enough to drop elbows in the womb for his daily “kick [out] count”, he’s big enough to bounce along to every musical entrance theme, every crowd chant, and every big pop that drives his dad to his feet cheering. My poor ribs!
In exchange, Steve followed me back to the hallowed halls of the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute Museum of ancient Egypt and environs, and generally plied me with deep dish pizza for my troubles.
Looking ahead to life outside of the womb, we have set up in the middle of an otherwise perfectly lovely medieval-themed nursery, a pro-wrestling ring. Our classy white Graco crib has been adorned with yellow ring rope and puffy black turnbuckles, stuck to the side of which is an “AEW All Out” sticker that I skipped the bathroom break match to buy from merch at the live show.
The little nursery bookcase is filled with classics such as “Goodnight Moon”, “Where the Wild Things Are”, “Rainbow Fish” and, of course, “Friday Night Wrestlefest” and “S is for Suplex” (future book reviews pending).
Littering the toy shelves are Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior action figures and original wrestling buddies from the ‘90s that his dad has unearthed for a second life playing with our son.
Naturally, his closet has no fewer than three wrestling onesies, including Brandi Rhodes’ “Little Nightmare” piece and a WrestleMania outfit, spaced out at newborn, 3-6 and 12-month sizes to keep him dressed for fandom for months to come.
Finally, we set up an old TV for the wee hours of the morning, so when it’s dad’s turn to attempt to soothe an inconsolable baby, he can turn on old PPVs and rock the baby back to sleep to the sounds of “ECW ECW”.
Listen guys, I found the great white buffalo. It only took a pandemic and Hinge, but I found her. Somehow she has not only accepted my fandom, but she’s also embraced it to the point where our crib has ring ropes on it (in a safe place out of reach of the child, settle). I can’t possibly follow her words above, so I will keep this brief.
Worship your women y’all. Especially if they are bearing your children. I do my best every day because honestly, there’s not a whole lot more I can do as our elephant child grows inside her. Throughout this process, she has still been pumped about every Wednesday, attended two live wrestling shows, watched countless hours of old (mostly bad, and some offensive) wrestling, and is still looking forward to our son hopefully becoming a fan. She’s also watching her stomach expand and losing sight of her feet. Her ankles have disappeared. She deals with random nausea at the drop of a hat. And this kid is seemingly trying to break her ribs constantly with his kicks. She does it all with a smile on her beautiful face and with more energy than most people, including me.
Wednesday is probably the biggest wrestling television show in AEW’s history. Well guess what? It’s also the start of the most important stretch of time of our lives as we begin the process of bringing our child into the world. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say we will not be catching the show live. That said, I bet if there’s any chance, the good Doctor is going to tell me to throw it. And that folks is why I’m the luckiest guy in the world. Well at least until the baby boy comes. Because then I will have to slide to number two.
This Wednesday, as you sit down to watch another exciting episode of Dynamite, we’ll be checking into labor and delivery at the hospital, bringing a future pro-wrestling fan into the world. And if you thought the Britt Baker vs. Thunder Rosa Unsanctioned Lights Out match was bloody, allow me to introduce Elise MacArthur, P. H. D.