I love wrestling, but wwe has never been my favorite. I grew up in the southeastern U.S., where the NWA ruled up until Ted Turner bought out Crockett promotions around 1990 and transformed it into WCW. When you watch guys like Harley Race, Ric Flair, Tully and Arn, the Midnight Express, etc, it's impossible to watch bums like Hulk Hogan or HHH for too long.
But I do watch every wrestling program I can: Raw, ECW, TNA, Smackdown, AWA classics and UWF (Thank you ESPN Classic!!), and the Mexican AAA lucha libre.
I used to buy lots of tapes/DVDs of wrestling from all over, Japan, Mexico, Canada, Indy feds, anywhere. I still go to small independent shows, as well as a couple road trips to see some TNA pay-per-views live.
Most of my memorabilia/toys are masked wrestlers. I have about a dozen masks, my favorites are La Parka and Tiger Mask.
My oldest brother was a wrestler, but never really made it to the big leagues. He did one international tour, here's a vid of him jobbing to Big John Studd:
Other stars he laid down for: Tully & Arn, Varsity Club(Rick Steiner & Kevin Sullivan), Tatanka, Ivan Koloff, Nikita Koloff (he wrestled as one of the many Russian Assassins), and he travelled with the Patriot and the Godfather.
you're absolutely right about Miss Elizabeth's od, but you're mistaken about Austin's 'retirement'. He returned from several neck injuries, having a surgery similar to what HBK, Benoit, Angle, and Edge would later have. He stopped performing in ring because he was completely dissatisfied with the writing/storylines (understandable, considering how many amazing and super-hot angles he was a part of) and he has more than enough money to sit at home and drink for a few hundred years. He was extremely vocal about this during his last two active stints with wwe.