After a difficult few months, several-million fans of professional wrestling assembled in Connecticut this morning to console one another with a colossal, much-needed group hug.
Their eyes moist with tears, the fans embraced one another on the lawn of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) headquarters in Stamford to collectively grieve the recent loss of several of their mutual childhood heroes.
The massive hug began to form yesterday shortly after news broke about the tragic passing of legendary wrestler “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. By midnight, more than 3 million wrestling fans — including 27 women — had assembled for the love-in.
For countless wrestling fans — who have recently endured the deaths of Dusty Rhodes, The Ultimate Warrior and Connor “The Crusher” Michalek, as well as the disgrace of former hero Hulk Hogan — the passing of Piper was a final straw they couldn’t bear without peer support.
“Oh man, I needed this,” sobbed fan Ellis Mbeh (better known as the bug-eyed Shocked Undertaker Fan), while hugging a stranger in a Hot Rod t-shirt. “I thought I was sad when the Undertaker’s streak was broken, but man, Dusty and Piper? Jeez.”
After hours of hugging and crying on one another’s shoulders, the mood of melancholy changed to one of love and optimism as the fans stood, arm in arm, and sang in unison the song Piper immortalized on The Wrestling Album, “For Everybody.”