There’s a little mood-setter. I really do want that music, and that’s no joke.
As I’ve established in this blog, I am a lifelong fan of professional wrestling (see post “Well, you know somethin’, Mean Gene?” for verification). Hours upon hours have I spent watching matches on DVD, VHS, and any available innernets source. However, I had only been to one live wrestling show at the time I moved to Kansas City. It was a local show presented by Traditional Championship Wrestling out of my hometown of Fort Smiff, Arkansas. While I did have a hell of a time, I would be lying if I said that the atmosphere and production values of said show were somewhat less than inspiring. Not that there’s anything they can really do about that, short of suddenly inheriting several million dollars, and I wouldn’t want them to anyway. A big part of the appeal of local wrestling is the chutzpah of the people involved; they can’t be making much (if any) money from the shows, but they do it because they love wrestling.
All that said, nothing could compare to seeing this show. When I heard Raw was to be hosted in KC, I decided that it was my duty as a fan to be there. A couple of years ago, I was part of a college theatre festival that happened literally across the street from a Raw held in Amarillo, Texas. I couldn’t miss my chance this time. Luckily, Baby Carrots had some loan money to spare and I had just started my barista gig. I didn’t really expect her to go, as her reaction to wrestling is a mixture of apathy, revulsion, and peals of laughter, although she will make an exception for what she calls “flippy” wrestling. So I was quite surprised when she said “Oh yeah, I’m totally going with you, are you kidding?” However, she had a condition.
“We have to wear silly costumes.” The terms were agreed; the tickets were purchased; and, of course, we didn’t make time to get silly costumes until the day of the show. I whirled through the rolodex of wrestlers, managers, and gimmicks to come up with something. The costumes had to be cheap, quick, and legal to wear in public. The last necessity immediately ruled out many options. Then, a stroke of inspiration: milady could paint her face up like the Ultimate Warrior, add some makeshift bicep tassels, and the rest of the outfit didn’t really matter.
My own outfit, admittedly, didn’t turn out nearly that bad-ass. Throwing together whatever I had in the closet, I approximated a costume that would be in keeping with current WWE wrestler Zack Ryder’s “Broski” character.
My shirt features ninjas engaged in a rumble with luchadores, by the way. So, we were ready. We carpooled it with some kind folk I met via the Something Awful forums, and then waited in line a LONG time to get in the arena. Let me try to make you some ASCII art to represent the position of our seats.
This is us! | |
This is the entrance ramp.
This is the ring.
Unfortunately, this means you can’t see us from the camera. Am I narcissistic enough to have checked? Yes. Yes I am. You can see the guys we rode to the show with, though. One of them is wearing a white t-shirt, and the guy on his right acquires a purple headband halfway through the show. This headband was given him by Zack Ryder. Hugh Jackman did a segment with him on Raw that was so money, it should’ve been illegal. Apparently, Mr. Ryder decided to do that YouTube show of his own volition, and it became so popular that WWE was forced to put him on television. I thought that was admirable.
So, the show:
Best part of the show was undoubtedly the interplay between people around us. In front of us were two girls of about 10-11 years. During one match they shouted at a wrestler, “I don’t know who you are but I love you!” In the middle of a women’s match they took great pains to inform us that they had, in fact, written the theme song of one of the participants.
Then there was this very young boy, clad head to toe in color-coordinated John Cena gear, including foam rubber hands. At one point, I was cheering a veteran wrestler who is technically a bad guy in the current story. As though I had hurt his feelings, this boy turned around and asked with cherubic innocence “Why would you cheer him? He’s mean. He hurt that one guy.” I couldn’t bring myself to explain that I respected this man’s dedication and was glad he was finally being given a chance to shine in the story-line, so I just conceded that the boy was right about the mean man and that he shouldn’t have hurt that one guy.
Wow. I just realized that I’ve written a novel here. Wrap-up time. A fun show, a childhood wish fulfilled, and we had bar food afterwards. The End.