Man oh man. I did not expect that when it scrolled across my ole timeline. Ken Shamrock- Frank's brother- was the first UFC fight I ever saw. I remember it as clear as day. Back in the days of going to Blockbuster on a Friday night, my mom would be lookin for something for the whole family to watch. Ernest Goes to Camp. The Great Outdoors. Homeward Bound. All fam favorites. Every now and then, I was allowed to rent one for myself. Not in like the 2.99 or, god forbid, the 3.99 section, but in the 99 cent section, the world was my oyster which I had no idea was an aphrodisiac.
I was a WCW kid. Clem and Large tell me that's for poors but I think it's for people who love some southern charm in their squared circle. My mom would sometimes watch wrestling with me. She was a Ric Flair lady. If she heard that music, she'd come runnin. She loved the Nature Boy which made Wrestling more real to me. Ric Flair is up there talkin about how ladies wanna ride in his limo with his alligator shoes on. My mom would have been waiting with bells on for that limo to pull up. My dad probably would have let her too. Big time cuck move, dad. Sheeh.
Anyway, I would often get older Pay Per Views of big events. Bash at the Beach. Summer Slam. All the hits. Well, I picked up one that I hadn't seen before. UFC. Nice. Something new. I had no idea it was real fighting and, at that time, it was real fighting that was extremely raw and largely without rules.
During the fight, I heard that Ken had a brother who also fought professionally just in Pancrase. I had no idea what that was but could only imagine what the fights between Ken and Frank would have looked like when they were arguing over what to watch on TV.
As I got older and moved to Japan, I became a HUGE Pride Fighting Championship fan. Huge. I watched everything they did and listened to interviews in Japanese that were crudely translated into English. I could not get enough. The pageantry of the fights there was like Wrestling mixed with UFC. The Japanese people went BANANAS when their favorite fighters did well. The neighborhood where I lived in Okinawa would erupt when Kazushi Sakuraba would defeat yet another Gracie. Listen to the crowd when Sakuraba gets announced.
That fight wasnt a Pride event but you get the idea. The first time I had heard Bas Rutten speak about fighting, I knew he wasnt to be fucked with. As a junior Marine, I LOVED Bas Rutten on the color call. His cohost would always talk about Bas in the ring and how he'd punish people but I had never seen it. He had a reputation of being a wild man.
Watch the first 30 seconds of that. If you've never had that open palm rabbit punch to your ears, be thankful. That shit fucking hurts and makes you feel like your swinging around like Jenny and Forrest when she taught him how to dangle. I bet if I thought about it real hard; I could remember exactly what it felt like.
It's also wild seeing those fights when their hands have no gloves at all but they are wearing the dopest shin guards of all time.
Long story short, knowing of the Shamrocks for so long and hearing a story about a dude who could walk into any bar and beat the living shit out of just about anyone in there suffering and emotionally scarred took me aback. Sleeping in the back yard in the rain. Feeling that your parents didn't care about you. Getting physically abused. We don't think about the toughest of the tough go through that kinda shit but even big trees lose their leaves. Knowing the background of the story, makes Frank's arch make so much more sense. It's hard to be completely stable when your foundation as a human was built on shaky ground.
Anyway, here's Wonderwall.