The Story of a Nickname

Name’s take on identities of their own. This time of year it means everything. When we called Jesus, Jesus and pronounce it right it means something. And we strive to become what we need to become. If he was named another name his identity would change.

Somewhere a long the way the name Santa Claus got incarnated. I compare Santa Claus to Professional Wrestling, the myth of the name lives in full scale. Hulk Hogan is not Hulk Hogan, but Terry Bollea becomes Hulk Hogan when he stepped in the ring. When he wrestled as Terry Bollea it wasn’t the same. But everyone knows the myth of Hulk Hogan, because when Terry stepped in the role, he played him.

When people step into the role of Santa Claus, they played him and they are Santa Claus for that brief moment. No one can deny that they are Santa Claus at least for that short period time. And for that short time they were that role. Nobody could say they weren’t Santa or Santa didn’t exist.

Somewhere along the line we lost the importance of the role. It is why I still watch wrestling today, because the myth existed, they were not afraid to cross boundaries it existed and they showed what went on. Identities took on roles of their own and it was the battle of good and evil before it was blurred. But fans dictate what they want. They want their culture represented, but I saw a change yesterday. First time someone said Merry Christmas of WWE TV for a long time and cut a promo on it. Someone said it. Slowly people are taking their rights to religious freedoms back and we are finding our spirituality again.

First time in awhile I went to Church twice on Christmas once alone and once with parents. Second time was better then the first. Normally I don’t go to Church and I am saying something and having a debate that I didn’t have with my Dad in awhile Gods vs God and saying the Gods aren’t going to be happy. I don’t think I said that in ages.

We lost track of where we were that we have to define a new meaning of what we do and have a new battle of the sexes. But before I lose track of what I was talking about, let me talk about the story of a nickname.

I thought I was going to become The Wolfman no problem what so ever, then out of nowhere when me and my brother were walking down memory lane this Christmas, he called me the name of Joseph The Russian Bear. I have always been a wrestling fan, but this is the name I dawned when I was a kid against my brother growing up. Our identities we had led us to try to be the greatest but I forgot what the name I was called somewhere along the line.

It was the Cold War then at least towards the tale end of it. I was a fan of The Iron Shiek and Nikolai Volkoff. I knew nothing of Muslims or didn’t know about Communism, but understood what it was through those role. They had a good scam as my friend would say, the two wrestlers were funny I liked them.

During school I learned the nature of the Cold War, each country wanted to be the best. My brother represented America and I did Russia. I wanted to be different then. If it wasn’t for me learning about the nature of Communism and then study Sociology, I would not become a very good Patriot for the Country of America that I am today and fight to speak up about the honor of it.

The Cold War was going on in America. People were afraid for their views and afraid of life, but I saw something yesterday as WWE Monday Night Raw had a Christmas chant in Chicago. It meant that things in society were changing and as Rocky Balboa said in Rocky IV, “If I can change, and you can change, we all can change.”

At first I saw changing in the beginning of the Holiday Season I wasn’t happy with it, I was starting to give up the fight. I was miserable. I was not included. I beat myself up for being broke, then someone made me feel special and gave me a gift, she made me feel special when I was down and she knew it, but little did she knew something was dying in me. You have to die a little to live a little.

Then my friend Ricky gave me the name of The Wolfman which I felt released of my traumas and finally I could have fun again. I felt good about life and for the first time I was buying the drinks for all my friends and I felt good because I won when it counted. I wound up driving my friends home and had taken them home.

Then it was Christmas Eve my brother and I gave the gift of Superfly Jimmy Snuka, an old school wrestling figure. Something happened in a trade and I won’t forget it. My brother traded three wrestling figures for one Superfly Jimmy Snuka. and it was rare at that time. The brother stuck up for the other brother family banded together and forced my brother and our family to give the trade back, it meant a lot to my brother at the time. We both never had Snuka. He lost having Snuka that day.

However on Christmas many years later about 31 to be exact, me and my brother each simultaneously opened up the gift of Superfly Jimmy Snuka and both laughed. Somewhere the Spirit of Snuka must have known, because moments like that were Priceless.

Later that day, my brother gave me another gift. a Joe Niekro signed Autograph card from 1976. He was my favorite pitcher in Baseball. Another Story for another time.

But during that time my brother called me a name I haven’t been called in about 30 years, Joseph The Russian Bear. He gave me an old name back.

Now everything is changed. I’ve got a link to who I was back.

Names are everything, they represent our identity, and they represent who we are. As a wrestler steps into the squared circle he dawns a name. A name that signifies who he is as an individual and with someone a shared Identity. And sometimes that is the next step to find an identity and a Shared Identity.

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