For me, finding out wrestling was fake was worse than discovering Santa Claus didn’t exist.
Until I was about 14 I believed the men knocking the lining out of each other in the squared circle were no different to boxers except they didn’t wear gloves and their finishing moves were a lot more spectacular.
When I was first told it was all a big fix, I chose to bury my head in the sand. Several years passed before I forced myself to face the reality that professional wrestling was nothing more than theatre for bodybuilders.
But that hasn’t stopped me loving wrestling. It’s still as spectacular, colourful and dramatic as I remember as a child. For me, it’s the best soap opera in the world.
Sadly, the lifespan of a wrestler isn’t that of a ‘normal’ sportsman and I’ve had to come to terms with the untimely deaths of a number of my heroes.
A year ago, the Ultimate Warrior, my favourite wrestler as a child, passed away, just days after being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
He joins the dead wrestler list alongside a number of my other childhood heroes – The British Bulldog, Mr Perfect, Big Boss Man, Hawk from Legion of Doom.
Given the short lifespan of wrestlers it makes it all the more amazing that The Undertaker is still going at the age of 50. When he finally passes to the other side I wonder who will look after his funeral.