Monday, June 14, 2010
The Sport of Sports
So. Professional wrestling. . . . Last night I went to a indy show, pro wrestling being one of those things you can be surprised still exists except to the subgroup that really loves it. But a show about 10 minutes away from my house? Sure, why not?
Anyway, a local downtown venue, the Mohawk, for this Anarchy Championship Wrestling tilt. Set outside, probably 200 people there all told and I got the feeling that lots of them had some tie either to the organization or were friends of the grapplers. $15 got me a ringside seat, which gives you an idea of the semi-pro nature of the exercise. But they had heart and took some way over the top bumps. Call me a mark (aka a dork who believes what he sees in the ring), but in one early women's match, one of the wrestlers got dropped right on her head and was laying still in the ring getting looked at while the announcers directed the crowd's attention elsewhere. When she got up, she was moving slowly and keeping her neck really still.
Up that close, what became evident--to put a namby-pamby thought on it--is that what you've got in each match is two or more people in the ring making up a story together. (This would be the point where we mention pro wrestling isn't really on the up and up). Especially clear when in mid-match you could see the wrestlers whispering directions to one another.
("Remember?" I caught this jobber in a cowboy get-up muttering to his opponent, who gave a little nod as he spun him into the ropes.)
So the matches were one story and I could follow them, but in pro wrestling there are always overarching stories leading up to the next main event and I had no idea about that stuff. I could tell good guy/bad guy but that was about it.
I mean, why is this dude wearing a pope hat? There was something there, and I'm sure everybody else knew what was going on.
This wrestler, the under 30 champion, claimed to have time traveled from 1985. Wait, what? But they were chanting his name (Robert. Evans. clap clap clap clap clap) the second he came out from backstage.
And he had a mysterious luchador sidekick, which of course, is nothing but awesome. . .
And his opponent's name, to throw a strawberry on top of the 80s nostalgia goodness? Jake Plissken. No wonder the "Starcade '85" chant started halfway during their match--the only chant I joined in the entire time I was there. (Basically every single other chant? "U. R. Gay!" That shit was as constant as the World Cup vuvuzelas.)