We are days away from the grandest stage of them all in the World Wrestling Entertainment, WWE, WrestleMania 33!
In the main event, we have the tag-team of Denny Dorrel and Tyson Goings, Opposites Attract, taking on Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson, The Club, for the Raw Tag-Team Titles.
Although this would be an intense main event, Dorrel and Goings can’t make the trip down to Orlando.
Bluffton Head Football Coach Denny Dorrel is a big WWE fan. Dorrel grew up in Brookville, Ind., with his father’s discipline and his mother’s nurturing. Becoming a fan of professional wrestling is something Dorrel kind of just got into.
“When I was growing up, we really only had four channels I think,” said Dorrel. “Saturday Night’s Main Event was something that was always on NBC that we looked forward to. It was one of the things you could watch on TV and (I) just kind of dug it.”
Saturday Night’s Main Event was a professional wrestling TV program that occasionally aired on NBC from 1985-91 when Saturday Night Live was not airing. It featured wrestlers like Hulk Hogan, “Macho Man” Randy Savage and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper in matches people might have watched on pay-per-view.
WWE fans have their favorite WWE Superstar, and one of Dorrel’s was “Rowdy” Roddy Piper from back in the 80s.
When the “Attitude Era” hit in the mid-90s, Dorrel said as he got a little older “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and The Rock were some of his favorites as well.
The “Attitude Era” increased the level of depicted violence and Dorrel said if he had kids back in that time, he wouldn’t allow them to watch the program.
Currently, Dorrel says he likes the entertaining trio known as “The New Day.”
Dorrel’s children may not be dedicated fans to “The New Day” or WWE in general, but they do have a toy WWE microphone and action figures.
“They aren’t heavy into it,” said Dorrel. “I’ll wake up with them in the morning and I’ll say ‘New Day Rocks,’ and they’ll do the clap with me.”
Wrestling fans either watch different companies along with WWE or they say they are wrestling fans and just strictly watch WWE. Dorrel is a wrestling fan who now only watches WWE programing.
“When I was in, I think, college when the Monday Night Wars was kind of big,” says Dorrel. “I would watch some WCW and some WWE, but once those two factions came together I’ve been solo with WWE since.”
The World Championship Wrestling, WCW, started in 1988 and then was sold to Vince McMahon, the chairman of WWE, in 2001 after the approximate six-year “Monday Night War.”
Josh Boos, junior history education major and one of Dorrel’s players, is also a big wrestling fan. Boos said Dorrel does different taunts out on the field and would name plays and units after wrestling factions.
“I like themes, I like to show off my personality,” says Dorrel. “I think that anytime I can show my personality off it gives something that our guys can gravitate to, so all of our special teams are named after wrestling groups or wrestling factions.”
“It’s definitely interesting and entertaining. Sometimes, he’ll start doing some of the taunts and act like some of the wrestlers,” said Boos.
Dorrel has relished in the fact a few players have as much of an interest in professional wrestling as he does.
“You walk down into the locker room and you see some people got pictures up in their locker and it’s a genuine connection that we have and my thing is if you have connections with players, then hopefully they’ll play harder for you and wrestling is a connection that I have with some of our guys,” says Dorrel.
Dorrel said Coach Tyson Goings is the only other coach “carrying the flag” as wrestling fans.
“Me and coach Goings, I think it would be like an opposites attract kind of thing,” says Dorrel. “That’s what he and I are, he’s from a small town as well but coach Goings has been one of my really great friends here and our backgrounds are different but I think who we are as people is the same.”
Coaching a football team requires a level of motivation that helps build relationships and produce results on the field. Dorrel said if he could choose any WWE Superstar to come to Bluffton and give a motivational speech, it would have to be John Cena.
Professional wrestling and football have many commonalities, such as being physical and extremely calculated, along with performing in front of crowds that want to be entertained.
Dorrel hopes he can continue to use professional wrestling as a bridge to build relationships with his players, and to further better his relationship with the team as a whole.
“I think at some point throughout life, most people know about wrestling and they can identify with it in some way and it’s a way I think that our whole team can gravitate to it,” Dorrel said.