Wrestle Mania?

I asked Marty what I should wear to the WWE Royal Rumble tour. I don’t watch WWE on television – though Marty tries to change that – and I didn’t know what to expect. He suggested tight jeans with either a low cut top or one of his WWE t-shirts. I opted for the low-cut top. And then decided I would need to wear my hair down and full make-up. I think I did fit in. The audience was male dominated, most of them wearing jeans or some sort of droopy trousers. Some were dressed as their favourite WWE Superstar (I called them wrestlers but Marty was quick to correct me) and some women were even wearing kimonos.

The venue was impressive. It’s an aspect of living in a big city that I love – great venues to hold great events. We had seats on the arena floor putting us really close to the action. The seats weren’t tiered and when the crowd jumped to its feet, which happened a lot, I couldn’t see anything but the backs of all the tall people who stood in front of me.

I still don’t know what to make of the whole thing. It’s obviously staged – yet the crowd screamed and yelled with every fake punch. I was close enough to see a lot of the missed punches and kicks. However, they still throw huge men out of the ring and the acrobatics are amazing. It felt like a rock concert crossed with pantomime only the audience was more excited. I assume it’s because they have villains as well as heroes. Imagine how much fun a rock concert could be if the bands you thought sucked got hit over the head with chairs by the bands you thought rocked. O.K. some people would love that – I’m still not sure about the violence part.

Marty seemed to know in advance who would win every match. This puzzled me – why is it still fun if you know? He told me that no titles would change hands because the event wasn’t being televised. For the non-title events he could tell who would win by how the crowd reacted to the performers – apparently there was no way that Umaga was beating Triple H tonight. Or that Ric Flair would be beaten (something about a plot). The crowd went mad when Ric Flair came on. He is nearly 60 years old and he still was able to throw his competitor out of the ring and allow himself to be tossed about.

The crowd was fascinating. There was a little boy sitting close behind me. He yelled and yelled until he couldn’t yell any more. My favourite yell had to be, “you suck, forever and ever and ever … and when I die and I’m in heaven you will still suck”. He was also very cute when he realised that in his excitement he yelled that one of his favourites sucked. He would scream, “Jericho sucks – em no he doesn’t really suck, Y2J, Y2J…”.

I noticed that the losers get cheered as much as the winners. Even when the loser was someone the crowd was booing just minutes before. When I mentioned this to Marty he told me that this might be peculiar to Japan.

I didn’t enjoy watching the two female wrestlers. They were acrobatic and the crowd loved Mickie J but it didn’t have the energy or power that the men had. Some of the male wrestlers, like Jeff Hardy and Chris Jericho, have great charisma and had the audience hanging on every move they made. I really wanted to see a woman that made me think “warrior” and not “playboy bunny”. There is nothing wrong with woman looking like playboy bunnies but I felt that the emphasis on sex appeal stripped away some of their power in this forum. And I’m not saying that the men didn’t look good – Randy Orton was gorgeous – but the emphasis was very much on his skill and not on his beautiful body. Nor did I get the feeling that conventional beauty was a prerequisite for the men.

I can’t imagine this becoming my favourite sport or pastime but I am considering taking Marty to see one of the big American televised events – at least then he wouldn’t be sure who would win.

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