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Cup of coffee in the big time: The last time I was scared watching wrestling

There are a million takeaways from last night’s edition of Raw. Everyone is turning and making moves and DX is temporarily a thing again.

But I’d already kind of committed to the idea of writing about the last time I felt scared watching wrestling. It is October.

When I say scared, I don’t mean worried or nervous, that happens often enough, but I mean feeling a genuine fear.

In 1992, WWE was a bit all over the place. But, as a nine-year-old kid, I was into all of it. Ric Flair? That guy was cool, I’d seen him on TV a few times. The Undertaker? I’d never seen anyone so cool in my life. Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage were still around, which was awesome.

But as a kid who grew up loving horror movies, books or anything else I could get my hands on, I was mildly obsessed with Papa Shango.

I wasn’t a huge Ultimate Warrior fan as a kid, much of that given to the fact he felt like too much of a threat to Hogan and I couldn’t handle that.

So, for one of the first times in my life, I was rooting for the bad guy when Shango and Warrior began their feud.

When Warrior was “cursed” and fell to the ground with abdominal pain and puked on camera backstage, I was still down to ride with Shango. Voodoo is a thing you have no actual concept of as a kid, even if you snuck a tape of The Serpent And The Rainbow to your room when your parents were asleep, but you’re still obligated to think it’s cool.

But, when Warrior was cutting a promo on WWF Superstars only to have goo start to drip down his face, I was out. Screw Papa Shango, that dude is a demon and voodoo probably is the worst thing.

The image haunted me for weeks as my brain played a game of Telephone with itself. That was some sort of black goo, right? Voodoo goo?

Or was it blood gushing down Warrior’s face?

The whole thing is so silly to rewatch now. It’s still a reasonably good visual effect, certainly good enough to have blown my mind as a kid. But there’s nothing about the angle commanding anything near the level of seriousness I had given it.

The magic of pro wrestling, I suppose.

Tuesday is here, don’t let this week slip away.

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