Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Rant #1,371: 21st Century Circus

Well, yesterday was as an exasperating day as I have ever had.

I won't go into too many details, but the bureaucracy--and trying to maneuver yourself through it--is alive and well.

I did make some inroads toward the end of the day, so it wasn't a day wasted--although it almost was.

Enough about that. How about we talk about professional wrestling?

My son and I went to another show at the Nassau Coliseum on Saturday night, a house show in the so-called "Road to Wrestlemania."

All that this means is this was a house show--an untelevised event put on by the WWE--that is just one of many that leads up to the big Wrestlemania show in early April.

Nothing of consequence happens at a house show, so the crowds are less than they would be for a televised event.

In fact, with Monday's Raw show at the nearby Barclay's Center in Brooklyn, this was nothing by an afterthought to most wrestling fans, and thus, the place might have been half full.

But as usual, it was a good show for what it was, but the future for professional wrestling shows like this is cloudy on Long Island.

For the first time that we have been going to house shows, the WWE did say they would be returning to Long Island "in the future." Usually, they give you a date and say that tickets would be on sale right after the show.

But they didn't do that this evening, and the reason is that the future for the existing Nassau Coliseum is something that will unfold during the next few years.

The plan is that the Coliseum is going to be redeveloped and repurposed, all under the auspices of the same people who created the Barclay's Center, so you know that they will make a nice venue, but one that really won't compete with the one in Brooklyn.

The Coliseum's main tenant, the New York Islanders hockey franchise, is moving to Brooklyn after it completes the 2014-2015 season, so it has just one season to go in the existing Coliseum.

The venue has numerous attractions slated for the next year, but after that, it will be at least two years to complete the newer, smaller, Coliseum and all the other improvements the area has been slated for.

Thus, the next few years are kind of murky for the WWE on Long Island.

Its main competition, TNA Wrestling, usually has its own house show at what used to be called Westbury Music Fair. It is a nice venue for a concert--maybe the best around for its size--but for wrestling, it is a bit too small for the wrestlers to really do very much.

There are no comparable larger venues to the Coliseum around on the Island, and with Barclay's Center just miles away, the WWE probably isn't sweating this thing out.

So, on Saturday night, we might have seen the last show for the WWE on Long Island for a long, long time, if not forever, depending on just what happens with the Coliseum as it is rebuilt.

Will it be big enough for the WWE--which regularly sells out larger arenas, especially when it broadcasts one of its shows from that particular arena--of usually 15,000 to 20,000 fans?

I don't know, but at least I can say I was there if, in fact, this is it for now between the marriage of Nassau Coliseum and the WWE.

Funny, if that is the case, it will be the second such occurrence in my lifetime.

I was also there for the final games of the old ABA with the old New York Nets, who also now reside in Barclay's Center.

I was there for that league's final championship before it was merged into the NBA--those were the days of a young Julius Erving, and the games were really memorable.

I was there with friends, and I will never forget those games, and the Nets won that last championship of that league.

So it will be two times that I went down for the count with the Nassau Coliseum.

Let's see what the future brings, but I will tell you that if the WWE does come to the Coliseum at least one more time before the work begins, I will be there.

Like they say in the WWE, "It's best for business," at least their business, and I look forward to seeing them again sometime, someday soon.

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