Best: The AT&T Center, Or “WrestleMania Palm Tree Make-Up Tickets Are Awesome”
If you read my Best And Worst Of WrestleMania XXVIII report, you may remember how I paid almost 200 dollars to stare at a skyscraper-sized palm tree and crank my neck around to watch a video screen just to see Rock get bearhugged on the ground for 30 minutes. It was an awful experience (aside from being at a WrestleMania, which is inherently fun) and the cool cats at WWE Fan Services offered me two free tickets to the next two events in my area as a make-good. Raw in San Antonio was my first makeup event, and I’m gonna cash in the second Money In The Bank style later this year and try to get front row seats at TNA “IMPACT” WRESTLING AND DIRECT AUTO INSURANCE PRESENT TURNING POINT.
These live reports are a little different. If you’re okay with reading “lol look at this kid sitting in front of me, he loves people based on whether or not they get stuffed animals version of themselves made” instead of “that thing Jerry Lawler said about how [nationality] is [horrible stereotype] [follow-up about him being into 13-year olds]“, you should be fine.
If you ever find yourself in San Antonio, drive an hour north and hang out in Austin. If you find yourself in San Antonio without an hour’s worth of gas, here is a complete list of fun things to do: walk along a river and visit its 200 variations on Applebee’s, visit an old building and remember whether or not you’ve seen Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, patronize a Minor League Baseball team with a dancing jalapeno mascot, go to the worst Six Flags ever and eat at my favorite restaurant in the world (Green Vegetarian Cuisine). That is all. Oh, you can also get run over by a car or have your bike stolen.
Best: The Lady Next To Me Who Asked About/Flinched At Everything
One of the reasons I like going to wrestling shows put on by local promotions is because I fit more naturally into their vibe. I’ve never been the guy who tries to constantly heckle wrestlers and get himself over (you won’t see me doing that F**K YOU F**K YOU F**K YOU middle-fingers-to-the-face thing to wrestlers ever) (well, almost ever), but I occasionally like to get into it and yell out asinine shit like a normal wrestling fan.
WWE shows are bad for this for a few reasons, the big ones being:
1. The wrestlers can’t hear you, so there’s no point unless you’re sending in a live report to 411 and want people to think you were the coolest, smartest and most popular person in your section.
2. There are a lot of kids around you, and while you can keep your Shouted Things PG and under, the good stuff without curse words requires too much capacity for abstract thought for them. Like, I can’t yell YOU’RE BEING RACIST at Sheamus for throwing a burrito into a river because the kid in the John Cena shirt’s gonna turn around and look at me weird.
3. That’s the other thing: people at WWE shows love to turn around and look at whoever just said anything. It’s probably why they’re at WWE shows, they love looking at people who talk. It’s never malicious, but if Brock Lesnar’s staring down Shawn Michaels and you, the average, reasonable man, decides to yell BREAK HIS ARM at the top of your lungs, 30 people are gonna turn around and look at you. Why? Because that’s not what you’re supposed to say here, and they don’t understand why you’re saying things.
Long story short, Damien Sandow should walk out with a stack of books and just f**king throw them at people as hard as he can.
Anyway, the point I’m getting at is that people in bigger wrestling fan sections form these weird social contracts, and you end up sorta briefly chatting with someone and they turn into YER BUDDY for the rest of the night. Mine was a lady in my row who was there with a small child, but who chose to spend the night asking me who everyone was, why anybody was booing anybody and whether or not I remembered the Von Erichs. She FLIPPED THE HELL OUT WITH FEAR when the Raw pyro started, so my job for the rest of the night was to warn her whenever somebody with pyro was about to show up. It was stressful. I was being forced to speak a lot, and deal with everyone looking at me when I did. I’M SORRY I KNOW KANE’S COMING OUT NEXT OKAY, THEY PUT HIS SHIT ON THE RING POSTS.
Worst: These Opening Dialogue Segments Would Be Better If Anybody Speaking Watched Or Paid Attention To Wrestling
It was pretty difficult to explain to my Section Buddy why everyone was wearing CM Punk shirts and going crazy for him when he walked out, and again why everyone decided to boo the same guy they were just cheering. The best thing I could come up with was, “they like him, but they’re supposed to be booing him, so they just do both”.
Business Suit AJ continues to depress me (her affected “cute” mannerisms have gone from endearing to forced at record speed) and while I didn’t mind Punk’s involvement here, I didn’t enjoy that easy-to-handle and totally-expected “I have a problem with the GM, so I’m going to talk to the GM about my problems in front of everyone as condescendingly as possible” thing. That’s not a big deal, that’s just wrestling writing. I thought the “a general manager should be treated with respect” thing was loveably douchy, because I remember him treating John Laurinaitis like dogshit for like a year for no reason.
What bothered me most is John Cena’s continued insistence that CM Punk has CHANGED~, and is no longer the SUPER RESPECTFUL FRIEND OF JOHN CENA WHO’D NEVER TURN HIS BACK ON THE WWE UNIVERSE he knew and loved. Cena makes no goddamn sense when he goes off about this, because in like five years Punk’s only come close to that in the last seven months. The guy organized a cult of worshippers and threatened Rey Mysterio’s children, but that’s not even the worst of it… Cena doesn’t seem to remember that the entire Punk/Cena beef that led to the Summer Of Punk started when Punk commandeered the Nexus. You know, the gaggle of helpless goons who got Cena fired (“fired”) the previous Autumn. After this, Cena should get into a feud with Daniel Bryan and be all, “you’ve changed, the Daniel Bryan I know would never yell YOU ARE NOT BETTER THAN ME and kick me in the head”.
Best: LOL Big Show
My favorite moment of the opening segment was Big Show appearing, causing AJ to go NO WAIT HOLD ON HOLD ON JUST A MINUTE and move things forward without letting Show get into the ring or say anything. That’s how almost every Big Show segment should go. Like, he walks out for a match and Vince just starts screaming NO STOP IT DAMMIT GO TO COMMERCIAL, and when we come back Alex Riley’s wrestling Curt Hawkins or whatever and Big Show’s covered in a tarp.
Worst: My Votes Don’t Count
Nobody listens to me.