Thursday, January 23, 2014

Booger-Eaters, Soap Operas, Beards and YES!! chants

"This is literally just a male version of a soap opera," my wife astutely noted the other day as I was watching WWE. She's right, of course, WWE isn't really about the wrestling, anymore. In fact, they don't even consider themselves to be a wrestling company. They famously changed their name a few years ago from World Wrestling Entertainment to WWE. The men and women who compete in the ring aren't known as wrestlers, they're known as WWE Superstars and Divas.

The WWE is, for all purposes, just a TV show that combines drama with sports. Yeah, the sport is scripted. Yeah, the matches are predetermined. Yeah, it's not wrestling in the traditional sense. I understand all of that.

And I'm completely okay with it.

I documented my last foray into a live event earlier this week. It was one of the worst nights of my life.

On Monday night, RAW was in the Nutter Center here in my area. I got a great deal on a pair of tickets, so I called my friend Marc and we went. I was excited to see Daniel Bryan wrestle, but he apparently had a concussion last week and wasn't available to wrestle. He was still there and cut a great promo, though. Daniel Bryan is the most "over" Superstar in years, possibly since Stone Cold Steve Austin was in his heyday.

The big news going into the night was Batista's return. I still don't understand why that was a big deal. He came out wearing the skinniest skinny jeans I have ever seen and some awkward open shirt. I genuinely don't understand why I should be excited about another big huge guy who isn't awesome on the mic (Orton and Sheamus already have this spot down).

I was shocked at how small the arena and the crowd were. I always thought WWE shows were in larger arenas. The Nutter Center is very small, and this means there are fewer voices to provide the crowd's part in the show. The smaller arena, though, meant that we were super close to the ring and were able to see what was happening as it happened.

The biggest thing I learned though, is that RAW is a TV Show. It's not a live event. People always say the big problem with the NFL is that people would rather watch the game from home. RAW is the same way. I enjoyed being there, and wouldn't mind going when the WWE is here in town, but I'd much rather watch from home the other 51 weeks out of the year. One of the big turnoffs was that during commercials, the arena just sat... in the dark. Except for one of the commercial breaks when they had "Sign of the Night."

I don't remember Nitro well, but I feel like there was more engagement during the commercials, maybe I'm just crazy.

The moment of the night, for me, was actually more a dad moment. There was a little boy, probably about 8 years old, walking around the hallway of the arena holding up a lantern and dressed like Bray Wyatt. A man (most likely his dad), was wearing blue cover-alls and walking behind him with a sign that said "Follow the Buzzards." I wish I had gotten a picture of it, because it was absolutely amazing, and something I hope to be able to do with my son someday.

All in all, it was a great time with my best friend. I'd love to go again, just because the environment is enjoyable and it's fun marking out with thousands of other booger-eaters.


Quick Bonus:

My predictions for the Royal Rumble card:

Big Show vs Brock Lesnar
I think Lesnar wins this one. I'm not completely sure why they're fighting, but I think Lesnar will come out on top.

Daniel Bryan vs Bray Wyatt
This is going to be a big win for Bray Wyatt, even though I very much want to see Bryan win.

John Cena vs Randy Orton - WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Orton will retain his title, and not have someone waiting outside the arena in a car.

The Royal Rumble
Better judgment for this match says Batista will win it. I'm hoping to see a Y2J return, his entrance always makes me happy. My most sincere hope, though, is that Daniel Bryan makes a surprise entry into the Rumble and comes away with the win, but if I were betting, it'd be on Batista.


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