Still dealing with funerals and wakes and all that stuff, my friend invited me over to his place on Sunday afternoon. He said that he purchased a sporting event and he had a few guy invited, so bring beer and he would provide the snacks. I expected boxing or UFC or maybe a ball game, what I got was an afternoon watching Money in the Bank, a WWE wrestling event.
I have not watched wrestling since I was a young(er) man. The show used to be called WWF back then, but through some sort of legal issue with the World Wildlife Fund, the brand changed to World Wrestling Entertainment. I used to enjoy watching greats like Hogan, Andre, and the other cartoon characters go at it in the center of the ring, boasting unbelievable arm sizes and outrageous costumes. And then there were the finishing moves. Hulk Hogan simply ran across the ring and dropped his enormous thigh across the throat of his poor victim, Andre the french freak giant with the big head (who once acted as Big Foot in an episode of the Six Million Dollar Man) who used to simply over power and over size his opponents. My favorite was Jake the Snake, who would end matches with the devastating DDT, in which he held the victim’s head in a reverse head lock, and pounded their forehead onto the floor. This move won plenty of matches for Jake, and NOBODY ever got up from that move. Oh, he also had a ten foot python in a bag, that he proceeded to allow to slither across the bodies of his slain victims. That stuff HAD to be real, how could you fake that?
On Sunday, I seen wrestlers half the size of their proteges throw several DDT’s on their opponents, only to have them unscathed by the move. Did wrestlers develop hard heads throughout the years, or are the young guys unable to utilize the move correctly? Or was it all fake, right from the beginning. Sacrilege! What would my grandfather think? He watched wrestling and figured it had to be real, after all, it was TV.
As I watched the event, I felt like I was part of a soap opera, with incredibly poor actors. The ‘sporting event’ featured story lines such as two opponents, one a champion (by the way, they have several champions, shouldn’t there be only one, like in the old days?) facing the former champion for the love of a girl (who just happened to be the referee for the match).
The show also featured two matches where a briefcase was suspended high above the ring, and wrestlers had to climb tin foil ladders to grab the brief case, the winner receiving a chance to ‘cash in’ the brief case anytime they chose, for a crack at the title. I know those guys are bit, but they tossed the ladders around like they were made of paper, some even breaking in two with impact from another wrestler’s head being drove into it. I have an aluminum ladder, and there is no way to crack the thing (although I never tried driving it into someone’s head, that might break it) so my only answer is tin foil ladders.
One of the wrestlers, The Big Show, weighs in at over 500 lbs, and is quite agile for such a big monster. He brought in his own ladder, possibly the only real ladder, only to lose to a smaller man.
As much as I wanted to believe this stuff was real, it was far too fake to fool anyone…except for the guy in the ball hat who sat next to me. He jumped and yelled when his favorite wrestler was in action, almost cussing when he lost. The drunker my fellow ‘fans’ got, the more they believed the stuff; looking at the crowds of fans who surrounded the ring, I noticed something. Most of the fans were in their late 30’s to their early 50’s. Maybe it is me, or there are many gullible people out there who actually believe the stuff, or perhaps they are like me, and just enjoy the hype and the excitement of a good show.
In the end, I had a good afternoon and it helped keep my mind off all the sadness that surrounded me on Sunday. Thanks to my friends for thinking of me on that day. My regrets go out to the guys who were used as battering rams to break ladders with their heads.