(Photo via wrestlezone.com)
Dallas, Texas seated 101,000 wrestling fans in the AT&T arena on April 3, 2016. A house in Bridgeport, Connecticut seated 11 raging wrestling fans in a living room.
11 friends gathered in a living room at 5pm with 100 buffalo wings and buffalo chicken dip ready to go (sounds like the start of a sick joke). To some, wrestling is a joke. To others, it was their childhoodtheir heroes, their dreams, their entertainment. “Wrestling is fake, it’s not real,” well no shit. We know it’s not “real”. But when you have 11 friends, all 20 and 21 years of age, something special happens when watching Wrestlemania: you have fun again.
I haven’t seen a live Wrestlmania in about 6 years. I had high hopes. Wrestling is not what it used to be. Gone are the days of the “WWF Attitude Era” with blood, sex, and anything crazy. We accepted that this era of wrestling is different.
We sit around and get ready. We see a Long Island boy win his first ladder match for the Intercontinental title. We see creepy Uncle Rick and his daughter Charlotte ring in a new chapter for women’s wrestling. We see AJ Styles get his first long-deserved Wrestlemania match. We see our favorite legends return for a segment. We see Brock Lesnar take Dean Ambrose to suplex city 13 times. We see the Phenom take down the Prodigal son. We see the King of Kings get dethroned and the rise of the Roman Empire.
Wrestling isn’t Wrestling. It is a 32 year ongoing male soap opera story. It is sports entertainment. It is a production and a business.
Wrestlemania 32 didn’t show wrestling, it showed surprises. It showed the Beast taking down the fringed-lunatic. Wrestlemania told a story of the Prodigal son, coming back to take what is rightfully his from his father, and ultimately failing. We saw a man fall 35 feet off a cage through a table onto cement. Wrestlemania isn’t just good guy versus bad guy. Wrestlemania told a 2 year story of a man trying to win his prize from his boss who keeps holding him back for 2 years.
Wrestlamania wasn’t wrestling. Wrestlemania was 11 college friends reliving their childhood. Not all the matches were good. But the memories were.
Summerslam at Barclays center, here we come.
– M. Fritz