WWE Summerslam 2018: The Undying Desi Appeal of Pro-Wrestling


WWE Summerslam 2018: The Undying Desi Appeal of Pro-Wrestling

Illustration: Palak Bansal


s I scrolled through my usually mundane Twitter timeline earlier today, the top trend of the day made me feel particularly nostalgic. “#SummerSlam”, as many of us might know, is one of WWE’s “Big four” Pay-Per-Views along with Royal Rumble, Survivor Series, and the Grandest Stage of ‘Em All, Wrestlemania. Usually, I scroll past anything that reminds me of years gone by, because… baggage. But then I read the other two trends, “Brock Lesnar” and “Triple H”, two names that are synonymous with my childhood, so I gave in to the wishes of my inner twelve-year-old while excitedly browsing through the dirt sheets to see what exactly had happened. As expected, the seemingly unbeatable Lesnar had been trounced by Roman Reigns, making ‘The Big Dog’ the new Universal Champion. And Triple H joined Ronda Rousey in her first win as WWE’s Raw Women’s Champion. The hype around it all certainly took me down a familiar trip down memory lane.

The year was 2002 and I was all of ten years old. My best friend and I were in the middle of enduring a shrill dressing down from his mom. Aunty was beside herself that we were horsing around “playing WWF” around the house. “Aa choke slam su che? What if you get hurt?!”, she enquired furiously, dumbfounded that we had the gall to explain what moves we were performing. This was a standard scenario for any kid who grew up in the late ’90s or early ’00s. Stone Cold Stunners, Walls of Jericho and Rock Bottoms were playfully meted out to your mates while the nerdiest kid of the group did his best J.R voice, incessantly yelling, “Baah gawwd, he’s broken in half!” I recently found out that today’s kids have been taking this to another level. Not to mention, the cornerstone of every middle-class urban childhood involved squeaking “Fights fought 413 clash!” in a free period enlivened by a game of trump cards, and weekends meant endless hours of Smackdown vs Raw on the PS3 (Suck it, XBox fans!)