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'The Animal' and I

india Updated: Sep 19, 2008 15:15 IST
Sahil Sharma
Sahil Sharma
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Watching Hulk Hogan slamming Andre the Giant remains a great wrestling moment. And since then the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) has fascinated me. The super charged entrances with the eye-catching pyrotechnics have made me jump with excitement. The exciting commentary added to the in-ring action, while the element of surprise often caught me off guard.

The first time I came close to the action was in 2003, when the WWE RAW toured Mumbai.

The thrill of watching the action live was overwhelming. It was during that tour that I met my first superstar - a man who at that time was the biggest athlete in the industry - The Big Show.

Shaking hands with a man three times my size was both exciting and scary. That made me hot property amongst my friends. Discussing what was going to happen between The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin next Monday, and who will Mr. McMohan fire, was all we talked about the whole day.

Though the WWE strongly urges its viewers not to imitate the superstars, for my brother and I, hitting each other with pillows, pretending they were steel chairs, was often our favourite pastime.

Recently, with the arrival of The Great Khali in the WWE, many more people started following the action. Even my mother, from time to time, would ask me about Khali.

As a generation of stars in the business bowed out a new generation of superstars entered to make their mark, one of them being Dave Batista. Fondly, known as 'The Animal', Batista burst onto to the scene with his superhuman power and athletic abilities.

He soon became a World Champion and a household name. Meeting and sharing the stage with a true great of the business really gives you the goosebums. Shaking hands with a guy double your size isn't exactly the best way to boost your ego. And being presented the title belt by your hero really makes you believe that God does exist.

Though I was with him for only a minute, the memory will be for a lifetime and when he enters the arena to fight the next time, he will always have a fan cheering for him.