Tyler Harkins, a 17-year-old wrestling fan from Omaha, enjoys regaling his friends with tales of the “good old days” of professional wrestling, back when The Shield filmed shaky handheld diatribes backstage and Cesaro still had the first name Antonio.
“I’ve been a die-hard since way back when,” he said while watching Backlash with his friends, who have grown weary of his yammering. “Back then, Ryback was the best worker on the roster, and Big Cass was known as Andy from Tough Enough.”
Describing himself as a “wrestling historian,” Harkins can name every Intercontinental Champion dating back to Kofi Kingston, and he was even in attendance the one-and-only time John Cena and the Rock squared off at WrestleMania, back in 2013.
Harkins insists WWE will never “recapture the magic of its greatest period,” which he says is the latter half of the so-called PG Era, culminating in the battle between Cena and Randy Orton at TLC 2013.
He says he’s soon going to do a “deep dive into really old wrestling history” by finally finding out what the heck the Monday Night Wars were all about.