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The school newspaper of Oakville High School

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The school newspaper of Oakville High School

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What’s With Wrestling?

Heidi Niedermann (12) gets back into an old interest in professional wrestling
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Heidi Niedermann
Heidi Niedermann (12) celebrates her eighteenth birthday with friends and family. “I loved how everyone dressed up and gave it their all for me,” Niedermann said. She also had wrestling themed food at the party, playing on their names for the dishes.

Blinding lights fill the screen of an old ipad as shadowy figures take the stage. Through the wired headphones the crowd screams as smoke appears and the music starts. A 10 year-old Heidi Niedermann is enthralled by the two figures face to face on stage. After what feels like a lifetime of anticipation the match finally starts and so does a lifelong obsession with watching professional wrestling.

“In 2016, I was on Youtube and clicked on a video of a Royal Rumble match and thought it was the coolest thing I had ever seen,” Niedermann said.

Watching wrestling matches became a new regular for Niedermann as she dove deeper into the world of WWE and RAW.

“I love the connection between the storylines and the actual matches,” Niedermann said. “While watching other sports is great, this is more entertaining because we get these feuds between characters and these stories within the athleticism.”

After first getting into wrestling, Niedermann quickly shared her newfound interest with her family, going to her first live event in 2017 and continuing to do so since then.

“My mom and I went to the Royal Rumble when it was here in 2022 and that is my favorite match of all time so it was amazing to see it live,” Niedermann said.

While seeing the wrestlers live is exciting, being amongst other fans brought a new level for Niedermann.

“The excitement of the crowd is the most fun thing about going to these events live,” Niedermann said. “Every time a new wrestler was about to come out, I got to join in on counting down from 10 to 1 and then getting a surprise as to who the next wrestler will be and the crowd goes absolutely crazy.”

In addition to those on stage, some of the wrestlers that her dad grew up on, and that Niedermann first got into wrestling with, also attend the event.

“Also, at the Royal Rumble there is a high concentration of famous wrestlers and older wrestlers as opposed to a Raw or Smackdown where you only see current wrestlers,” Niedermann said.

With going to live events comes traveling to make it to all of them.

“I haven’t gone very far yet, the furthest being Illinois, but in April of this year, me and my mom are traveling to Philadelphia to attend Wrestlemania 40,” Niedermann said. “That is definitely the most amount of money we have spent on tickets because it is such a big event for the wrestling community. It was over $1000 for both of us to get tickets for the 2 night event.”

In addition to watching the events real time, meeting some of the participants was a goal of hers.

“I’ve only really met 3 wrestlers and my favorite by far was Seth Rollins,” Niedermann said. “I met him in October of 2019 and he was the sweetest person ever. I have anxiety so when I met him I didn’t talk too much because I couldn’t believe that he was really standing in front of me, but he initiated conversation and gave me a hug at the end too.”

Another wrestler Niedermann would like to meet is one whom she had a Twitter interaction with.

“The one wrestler who I’d love to meet is Cody Rhodes,” Niedermann said. “He is one of the most popular wrestlers in WWE right now, but I hope one day I’ll get to meet him. Everyone dreams of meeting their favorite celebrity and even though mine isn’t the same as most people, I still have that same dream.”

In addition to meeting the athletes, purchasing merchandise is a huge aspect of Niedermann’s interest in the hobby.

“One of my favorite parts of being a fan of anything is getting merch and for wrestling I tend to lean towards collecting action figures. It may sound a bit childish, but I love displaying them on a shelf in my room and trying to find rare ones on eBay and getting them at a good price,” Niedermann said. “I also have a collection of autographs from my favorite wrestlers Cody Rhodes, Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose. I think when people are die-hard fans of anything they tend to integrate it into their daily life, learn a lot about it, and surround themselves in it with social media and live concerts/events.”

Despite being so with wrestling now, there was a period where Niedermann’s love for it waned.

“I did lose some love for it (wrestling) during the pandemic because there were a lot of other things happening at the time,” Niedermann said. “But in 2023 I got back into it and have found that love again.”

After reigniting her interest in it, Niedermann had a wrestling themed birthday party for her eighteenth.

“I had really gotten back into wrestling in January of 2023, and because of that I thought it would be really funny and cool to make all my friends and family who don’t watch wrestling dress up and indulge in my favorite thing for a day,” Niedermann said.

Everyone that attended dressed up, but one person’s costume stood out above the rest.

“My favorite part of that party was when my grandfather dressed up as The Undertaker and surprised me by coming in with smoke machines and the whole bit, it was hilarious,” Niedermann said.

While her grandfather took it a step further than everyone else, everybody made sure to take it as far as they could.

“My family and friends all really committed to the bit and it was so fun,” Niedermann said. “They were all coming in to the music of their wrestlers that they were dressed as. They could have told me no and said that it was too embarrassing, but they really killed it with the costumes.”

With all of her supportive friends and family rallying to partake in her interests, Niedermann’s love for wrestling is at an all time high.

“It’s just unlike anything I’d ever really watched before and I have loved it ever since I first saw it,” Niedermann said. “While I know I’m in a minority of the fandom being that I am a teenage girl and most fans are middle aged men I still love being a part of the community and getting to call myself a long time fan.”

Niedermann poses at her first event in 2017. “Two wrestlers start in the ring and then every 90 seconds another one joins,” Niedermann said. “To be eliminated, you have to be thrown over the top rope, with both feet hitting the floor. When it came to the St. Louis in 2022, Brock Lesnar and Ronda Rousey won.” From 2017 to 2022, Niedermann has been to events with countless members of her family including her grandpa, who took her to her first.
Niedermann, on crutches, attends a live event April 20, 2019. “The merch at live events is different and I got a cool shirt that says ‘I was there’ on the back which is a special little thing that only the people that went to the event can get,” Niedermann said. At the time Niedermann was shocked to be the only young girl in the audience.
Niedermann takes a selfie at an event Oct. 6, 2023 at Friday night smackdown. “We love to see what our favorite superstars are doing when they aren’t in the ring, test our knowledge with trivia, and get merch of our favorite wrestlers,” Niedermann said. The most recent event Niedermann went to was Feb. 5, 2024.
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About the Contributors
Maddy Geisler, Design Editor-In-Chief
Hey there! I'm Maddy, and I'm a senior at Oakville High School. I'm the Design Editor-in-Chief of both the school's Tiger Paw yearbook and The Prowl newspaper. I love to write about the school and showcase the interesting talents, ideas and people within it.
Heidi Niedermann, Reporter
Hello, I'm Heidi, and I joined the newspaper for my senior year. I'm here to report the hidden features of my last year at OHS. I love cats, music and incorporating them into writing.

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