Wrestlemania 31! (Yes, I still watch wrestling)
An article on professional wrestling (or sports entertainment if you want to use WWE vernacular) may not have been what you were expecting on this site. I mean, how can a grown man still watch a “fake” sport geared mainly towards kids and those with a kid-like mentality?
…because I just do.
Oddly enough, I’ve spent more time defending my interest in professional wrestling than I have defending my interest in comic books. While most nerd genres have gained some level of cultural acceptance, professional wrestling is still regarded as some immature subculture (even though wrestling was a pop culture touchstone in the late 90’s/early 2000’s). Ignoring the larger cultural themes at play, my interest in wrestling…much like my interest in comic books, “real” literature, movies, and tv shows…stems from one thing: the stories. Wrestling is just another medium by which the hero can triumph, the villains can dominate, and the damsels can kick ass. I appreciate the athleticism and the skill involved, but I enjoy the mental and emotional aspects of this world more. Stories that happen on the path to a pay-per-view event, the stories that occur in the ring, the stories that occur backstage and are talked about on the “dirt sheets”…these are the things that kept my interest in wrestling long after my fanaticism for the Ultimate Warrior and Hulk Hogan faded.
With that in mind, the Grandaddy of Them All is happening this coming Sunday, March 29 to Levi’s Stadium in “San Francisco” (the stadium is actually located 1 hour south of San Francisco…freakin’ Niners…). Wrestlemania 31, on paper, seems like it’s going to be a disappointment compared to last year’s Wrestlemania (which makes me wish we started the site a year ago, since Wrestlemania 30 was the culmination of a year or so of storylines and was generally pretty awesome). For those of you that are interested, the match listing so far is:
Brock Lesner v. Roman Reigns
Sting v. Triple H
Intercontinental Ladder Match
Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royale
Rusev v. John Cena
AJ Lee and Paige v. The Bella Twins
The Undertaker v. Bray Wyatt
Randy Orton v. Seth Rollins
For most, maybe two names stand out in that list: Brock Lesner, since he was a former UFC heavyweight champion, and The Undertaker, who you remember as a kid and who you probably thought had died a long time ago. I won’t dive into my opinions about the individual matches (although in the future…if there’s enough of an audience out there for wrestling, I’ll be happy to…), but I will ask anyone out there who doesn’t watch or who even derides wrestling…to just watch one episode and give it a chance. It may not be your cup of tea, but it might. And isn’t that really the point of pop culture…the internet…this site? To find something that interests you…that moves you…that engages you on an emotional, intellectual, spiritual level.