I took my daughter to get her flu shot last week.
She hates needles and is big enough to run away from them.
The nurse and I looked each other in the eye and I knew I had to do SOMETHING.
Like many kids of my generation, I was (am) a massive professional wrestling fan.
Real life superheroes and villains competing in the center of a jam-packed arena…and broadcast into my home on Saturdays…and Sundays…and eventually Mondays, Thursdays…and…well, now you can fresh wrestling content on TV just about every day of the week.
I vividly remember in 1994 when Bob Backlund returned to the then-WWF to face Bret Hart. Before my time, Backlund was a champion and superstar. (I didn’t remember a time before Hulk Hogan)
In their bout, Backlund was the aged golden boy…doing the same schtick he apparently did in the 1970s that earned him prominence and fame. However, the 1990s fan was a different fan and his goodie-two-shoes persona agitated fans.
Then, when he couldn’t beat Hart…Backlund snapped!
He locked Hart in a devastating hold I’d never seen before – the crossface chickenwing!
Backlund wrapped one arm around Hart’s neck and used his other arm to wrench his shoulder.
And to REALLY sell it, Backlund screamed like a banshee, with veins bulging from his neck and beady eyes wide open.
I thought Hart was going to die at the hands of this crazy old man!
As Beanie screamed at the sight of the flu shot needle being prepared and the nurse asked for her shoulder, I had the eureka moment.
The crossface chickenwing will keep her shoulder stable long enough to get the shot.
Finding inspiration from Bob Backlund’s hold, I pulled Beanie’s arm back to expose her shoulder. I then gently restrained her flailing neck with my other arm then wrapped a leg around her to prevent her from running mid-shot.
It wasn’t pretty (and it did NOT hurt her, only restrained her for safety), but it held for the five seconds needed to complete the shot.
When it was all over, I expected my daughter to spew venom at me like never before.
Instead, she smiled and said it wasn’t that bad. Then asked for a sticker.
And that’s how watching professional wrestling helped ensure my daughter got her flu shot. See, Mom and Dad, I told you it would come in handy one day.
[Note: Please do not use wrestling holds on children. This was for medical purposes only to help a nurse to give my scared kindergartner an important shot. Thank you.]