Blog: Nikki Storm discusses wrestling being “fake”
“Turn that thing off,” 10-year old me screamed at my sister who was two years older.
I was talking about wrestling. Anyone who has shared a room before with a sibling knows how much of a pain it can be, especially when it is 1am and you just want to sleep – but no, sister Storm wanted to stay up and watch Fully Loaded 2000.
I was like, “what the hell you weirdo?!” I had never even heard of wrestling. So as sister Storm turned Channel 4 on I grumbled and mumbled about “bloody wrestling”. We never would guess how things would turn out, would we?
Triple H v Undertaker, WrestleMania XXVIII. Some said the match wasn’t as good as the year before. BAWSACKS (in my opinion, which is more important than anyone else’s). I remember watching the show live and was totally mesmerised – so much so that when my lovely boyfriend/servant offered me food, I didn’t even notice. I was captivated by these two wrestlers and Shawn Michaels – they told an epic story sold by the best facials I have ever seen and the booking was perfect; how right they got it, and what a brilliant moment it was when all three stood tall together at the end.
After taking it in, I felt a mix of emotions. Being as self-centred as I am, I immediately thought, I wish I was as good as that. The comforting thing is, one day I will be, in my own way. It also reminded me of the first pay-per-view I ever watched, Fully Loaded 2000. It let me remember what got me into wrestling in the first place; the roller-coaster of the matches, the stories, the characters. It also partly inspired this blog.
I doubt sister Storm quite realised the effect it had when she opened my eyes to wrestling. Or maybe she does. For months after watching it for the first time,I wondered if it was real. I knew it was a work but still, baby Storm wondered… for example, when Lita was busted open by Ivory‘s shoe heel at Survivor Series 2000, how could that cut right over her eye be the result of some trickery? I remember being so angry when Kurt Angle won his first WWF Championship at No Mercy 2000. I remember someone saying to me, “oh it’s fake you know, why are you getting so angry?” My lovely, well-mannered ten year old self replied “get knotted, I know it’s fake”, but really, 13 years on, I still couldn’t tell you why I was angry Kurt Angle had that belt. That’s how good he was at his job.
The word fake – I bet most wrestlers just love hearing that one. Really, it’s fake when we break our bones? It’s fake when we are gushing blood from the nose or mouth?? Yeah you’re right, it’s so fake when we can’t get out of bed some days. True story: a couple of years ago I broke my arm. I had it in this huge heavy cast but I had bookings to fulfil. I decided to do the bookings and protect my arm as best I could. Hey… if Bob Orton can do it, you can bet your balls Nikki Storm can. So I was in a mixed tag and this guy came up to me after the match – whilst I appreciated his feedback, I wasn’t quite sure how to react when he said “you should have used your cast more”. Mate, it was actually broken; I had to protect it. When I explained this to the fellow, he shrugged and said that the villains should have worked on it. Then he said something like, “they should have hit it off the ring post or something”. Again, there was nothing fake about that injury.
So… we generally know the outcome. Does that mean everything we do in that ring is fake? Of course not, I remember watching a match in the last year and it pretty much turned into a fight (to be fair one of them was just defending herself). Nothing fake there. I’ve had liberties taken with me in the ring. The panic you feel? The “oh God, what the hell do I do” feeling cannot be acted or pretended. When you’re getting your face punched in and you feel the blood? When we take bumps on the hard canvas? Nothing fake there. All the workers know this. That is why when we are in a nightclub or a pub and people catch wind that the wrestlers are there and then they try wind us up, some of us get defensive. Or even when your non-wrestling friends or acquaintances are making fun of it, I don’t know about anyone else but I get this feeling which is hard to put into words. Not anger or annoyance but there is an unsettling feeling when they are mocking something which I love and am somewhat protective of it.
On a positive note, when little kids come up and hug you after a show or boo and hiss you or are too scared to ask for your autograph, that emotion isn’t fake. That’s why I do it. I love being the centre of attention in the ring and doing things that will make people feel emotion, one way or another. I couldn’t care less what people think, as long as the crowd loved what happened, regardless of the result.
I’ll actually just get this in now – I’m sick to the back of my lovely teeth of people moaning about losing. I have only done this for four years and I know you shouldn’t care about winning or losing. Some people should know better. Do your job, entertain the crowd who paid for their seats (for Christ’s sake, we are in a recession), get your money, sign a few photos, do an interview if people are actually interested in talking to you (they won’t be for long with that shitty attitude). Silly morons kicking about these days.
Anyways, sister, when you turned on the TV that night, you started an obsession and a dream, which when I turned 18, became a reality. I will never be able to say this to your face, but thank you for turning on Channel 4 that Sunday night. So when times are tough and I’m raging I’ve been overlooked (which is surprising considering my God-given talent) or things don’t go to plan or whatever, I’ll rant for a bit, take a deep breath, then think to myself “fucking wrestling” and smile. This is the life I chose and I am so happy I did.
- Nikki Storm