Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Rant #760: Wrestling With My Thoughts

Happy summer, and good to be back after a day of tests on my eyes, which, I am happy to say, are doing quite well, thank you.

Now onto a pressing matter:

Professional wrestling.

No, I am not going to argue about the merits of professional wrestling. I can do that until I am blue in the face, and that's not from a choke hold being applied to my neck.

On Monday night, my son and I attended Monday Night RAW at the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island.

Whatever you want to say about professional wrestling, consider this:

RAW is approaching its 1,000th show.

That's right, more shows than "Gunsmoke," "Lassie," and even "The Simpsons."

I think "Meet the Press" has it beat by a lot, but 1,000 shows is a lot, especially when they are two to three hours in length each and many are live.

So we went, we saw, and we conquered.

WWE puts on a great show. This is the circus, basically, without the three rings.

In its place is what they call "the squared circle," and that is where most of the action takes place, although a lot happens outside the ring, too.

On this night, not only were most of the WWE's top wrestlers, including John Cena and Cain, in attendance, but in a nod to the past, Cindy Lauper, Wendy Richter and Rowdy Roddy Piper also appeared, basically to appear in one sketch to take the proceedings to a comical turn.

You might remember that in the mid 1980s, wrestling was still basically its own best kept secret. People had been flocking to wrestling matches for generations, but it wasn't yet mainstream.

Cindy Lauper came onto the music scene, an overnight sensation who had worked years before she hit the big time. "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" was her biggest hit, and she had a kind of tomboy/girl next door personality--with all the 1980s glitz thrown in--to make her very endearing through her music and her MTV-hot videos.

Someone got the extremely bright idea to mix rock and roll and wrestling, and Lauper was the leader of this brigade, eventually becoming the "manager" of Wendy Richter, who toppled the Fabulous Moolah and became champion. Moolah had held the women's title for eons, and Richter was tall, good looking and became a fan favorite.

Anyway, on Monday night, the WWE, through Roddy Piper, acknowledged the fact--and it really is one--that Lauper, Richter, and their alliance with the WWE moved professional wrestling into a loftier mode, helping make it mainstream and the global phenomenon it is today.

To make a long story short, Lauper leveled a current wrestler who showed no reverence for the past by hitting him over the head with one of her gold records that was in a glass plaque.

'Nuff said about that.

Anyway, the two-plus hours of wrestling moved at a brisk pace, and my son and I had a good time among the sold-out house.

Professional wrestling is a funny thing. You either love it or hate it, there really is no in between.

On this night, my son and I had lots of fun, as did seemingly everyone else who attended.

Professional wrestling has become a family thing, with more kids than adults in attendance.

As a bonding tool, you really can't knock it, and I don't. I take it for what it is--a chance for my 16 year old son and I to share something together--and leave it at that.

I leave the analysis to people who think they know a lot more than they actually do.

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