By Mitchell West
Wrestlemania is this Sunday. I love Wrestlemania. In honor of this blessed event, I have decided to pair up my adult + childhood obsessions – as follows, my all time favorite wrestlers and their corresponding beer pairings.
Stone Cold Steve Austin
Beer was a central part of Stone Cold’s persona. Also known as the Texas Rattlesnake, wrestling was secondary to him causing trouble. He would interrupt other people’s matches to talk shit, beat people up backstage, and he chugged beers the whole time. One time he stole a beer truck and drove it down to the ring. At first, he drank Budweiser and called it Steveweiser, but then the marketing geniuses at Natural Light decided to sponsor him and so he drank that. I guess most of the people watching at home were drinking Natty too – it made sense.
Hailing from Death Valley, AZ, the Undertaker is one of the most popular wrestlers ever in the WWE. His character has had many forms over his 20+ years in the WWE, but he first appeared as a sort of undead mortician. In the early days, the lights would go out before he’d enter the ring, which the announcers would “assume” to be a power outage before he entered dramatically. There was all sorts of campy stuff like that with the Undertaker and the fans ate it up. His manager, Paul Bearer, would lead him to the ring carrying an urn that seemed to be a source of power for the Undertaker. His image changed over the years, sometimes becoming a bit Satanic, sometimes magical, and for a few years he was weirdly a badass biker, but he was always the Undertaker. A big Russian Imperial Stout, with its huge body, high alcohol content, and nuanced flavors that change and develop over time: it’s a match made in hell for the Undertaker.
Hulk Hogan is a true American patriot. In the early nineties, during the Gulf War, he took it to the next level. At Wrestlemania VII the main event was the Hulkster vs Sgt. Slaughter. In the weeks leading up to the match, it was made clear that Slaughter had become an Iraqi-sympathizer. He entered the ring waving the Iraqi flag, he defaced the American flag, and there were photos of him with Saddam Hussein. Obviously, Hogan couldn’t stand for this anti-American activity, and he defeated Slaughter to win the Championship.
So, brother, in honor of Hogan’s patriotism, I am pairing Budweiser with the Hulkster. Two national treausures.