By Christopher Canadeo
I know what you’re thinking. What is this? 2008? Well, hear me out. This past Monday I went to WWE Smackdown v. Raw and it was one of the most electric shows I have been to in a long time. Walking into the newly renovated Coliseum (which was clean, but not very impressive), I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Growing up, I was never into professional wrestling or anything of the sort and I only knew a few names, such as The Rock and John Cena, from other sources of entertainment like movies and internet memes.
However, as soon as I stepped out of my car to walk on line, I was hit in the face with the echoes of cheers from inside the building and on the lines. As I walked past a flurry of pick-up trucks and fully-tapped kegs, I started to get the feeling that I was in for a wild night.
I got to my seat a half-hour early and was one of the last people to be seated in the sold-out arena. Fans from all across the tri-state area were already deep into their pre-fight chants, as well as their Budweisers. When the first wrestler came out, the whole place lost its mind as he threw his hands in the air and flailed into the ring. The 40-year-olds in the arena were jumping up and down like children while their own kids began to scream out phrases that only 40-year-olds should repeat.
I couldn’t help but laugh when the grown man in front of me whipped out his digital camera to take a snapshot of the first wrestler inside the ring. Maybe it is 2008? The fights in the ring were exciting for viewers of all ages and you couldn’t help but cheer or boo whoever was inside of the ring, regardless of whether you’ve known the wrestler for five minutes or five years.
The entrances and moves of each wrestler were unique to his or her character and personality in the ring and this added a sense of style and—fine, I’ll say it—elegance to what was going on inside of the ring. Even the dichotomy of having one wrestler act as a hero and one act as a villain was extremely entertaining to watch and added to the depth of the show at large. Even if you had no idea who was anyone fighting in the ring was, watching two grown men chase each other in spandex and jump from the top rope to slam one another is, and always will be, an excellent source of entertainment.
The entire show (which was filmed live and shown on USA Today) was a solid three hours and not a single person left the arena until the final fight was over.
The chanting and cheering was early and often from the very first match until the last. There were also a variety of signs that were thrown in the air from “Roman Reigns Supports Childhood Obesity” to “We Want the Islanders Back.” Islander fans can learn a lot from this passion and dedication to this sacred and special sport.
Is wrestling fake? Yes, but so is Santa Claus, and we can’t help but worship that jolly fellow once a year. Think of WWE like Santa Claus, only meaner…and sweatier. The point is, although WWE may be slightly outdated for millennials, if you’re sitting at home with nothing to watch at 8 p.m. on Mondays, throw it on your TV screen for some good laughs and nostalgia.