Sunday, March 4, 2007

WWE Smackdown TV Taping - The Obligatory Wrestling Post (Part II)

Joining me for the evening of sports-entertainment would be longtime Friend of the Bootleg, "That Mexican Guy" (who would probably prefer that his real name, Mike Castro, not be used). There was Austin, who once got us thrown out of a strip club by inappropriately touching a dancer. His excuse, "I thought she told me to." Seriously. And, finally, a dude named Jose, who came with the other Mexican guy.

And, with a 50% Hispanic factor in our favor, I'd like our odds in case the crowd broke out into little mini-race wars in factions of four.

Now, it's no secret that San Diego's southernmost border is about 10 minutes from Mexico. Most of this country has shifted its irrational racial hatred from Blacks (years 1619-1988), to the Japanese (1988-90), back to Blacks (1990-2001), over to Muslims, Middle Easterners or any Blacks who looked Muslim or Middle Eastern (2001-2006), then, finally found Mexicans (2006-current).

Well, we've always had 'em down here and nights like this bring out generations for a celebration of their colorful culture. And, to watch wrestling.

Wading through a legit sellout crowd at the San Diego Sports Arena ipayone Center (worst corporate arena name ever), I felt like Snoop Dogg in the Vato video.

Wrestling fans are often stereotyped as some sort of sub-human species (regardless of race) and, I gotta tell you…this stereotype is right.

Grown men were wearing those replica belts, around their waists, in public. Grown men were lugging so much crudely scrawled poster board, that a separate entrance was required for anyone with "10 or more signs". And, four grown men laid down $200 between 'em for the chance to sit eight rows from the ring.

The f/k/a Sports Arena was built in the early 1970s and everything from the toilets to the architecture to the ticket takers haven't been cleaned or kept up since the first season of Alice. If this place were built in New York or Boston, it'd be called "historic". Here in Cali, it's just "sh*t".

We had seat numbers 5, 6, 7 and 8…and all four seats were a different shape and color. It was like part of a dining room set from "The Compton Collection". And, taking a cue from my college days, the Arena was practically pitch-black, save for a bank of lights over the ring.

And, just like I discovered in college, there's not enough darkness on earth to hide the ugly of whatever you happen to be inside of on any given night.

The tapings were broken up into two shows: ECW and Smackdown. For those of you who abhor wrestling, please don't make me explain the difference between the two. It would involve words like "extreme", "cruiserweights", "pirates" and "vampires". For the sake of brevity, the difference tonight is that ECW was taping first.

You can find the results of the show right here, courtesy of America's angriest white man. Meanwhile, some quick thoughts from me:

-Lots and lots of kiddies in the audience. I'm talking 8-years-old and younger. Not to sound like one of "those" parents, but who lets pre-teens watch this crap? There were actually kids, right behind us, explaining gimmicks and storylines to their parents. To summarize, when I was a kid, TV was safe and fun…today it's a creation of Satan. Gordon Jump, you took away a nation's innocence. You, too, 9/11 terrorists.

-Watching a faction called the "ECW Originals" come down the aisle, I wondered aloud if pro wrestlers could be considered the equivalent of "ringers" in those department dead pools. While everyone else is picking Goldie Hawn or John Wooden, why not surprise your friends by calling Sabu? Pretty much free money, if you axe me. Oh, and RIP Mike Awesome. He was 42. I'm just' sayin'.

-Some guy named "Kevin Thorn" was in the first ECW match. He's one of the wrestling vampires I referenced earlier. And, as with most guys with sh*tty gimmicks, he's paired with a buxom valet. In this case, his second is named "Ariel". Points for her showing off her man-made cleavage, but she might have the lumpiest ass this side of a St. Louis music video.

-Next match: CM Punk vs. Johnny Nitro. I can't be bothered to get worked up over either of these guys, but can I tell you…Nitro's valet Melina is pure, uncut cocoa butter beauty. The ringside fans shared my animalistic lust for her, but they were far less classy with their words. After the match, she pointed out a few fans who were especially profane and security led them out. Sorry, Melina, but dressed like that, you had it coming. Whore.

-Now is as good a time as any to point out that these live TV tapings can be quite the chore to sit through. The show lasted a little over three hours and the production crew ran that "Tribute to the Troops" promo no less than a half-dozen times. The See No Evil and The Marine commercials ran all night, as well. Finally, they ran the trailer for Stone Cold Steve Austin's new movie. Even the unwashed degenerates around me couldn't help but comment on how bad it looked. Wrestling fans finding something that might actually be unwatchable? It's Bizarro World.

-Funniest line of the night that no one will get: "How many 300-pound sons did Mrs. Wallace have?", from Jose after watching Bobby Lashley's mom in that "inspirational" piece on Lashley that's been running for a few weeks now.

-It takes about 10 minutes to convert the set from ECW to Smackdown, so during this break in the action I should mention that I actually got some emails from people who told me that one of the "juiced up Japanese guys" I mentioned in my earlier recap was someone called "Gedo". I have no idea who that is and now I know how you non-wrestling fans feel if you've read this far.

-Foreshadowing: Smackdown announcers JBL and Michael Cole come down the aisle and a handful of white folk in front of us (seriously, they were the only "group seated" Caucasians that I saw all night) were really cheering for JBL. For the uninformed, the "JBL" character isn't exactly a fan of "the brown people". Stay tuned.

-Inspired by Batista's pinstriped suit worn with a black wife beater underneath, here are some other wrestler fashion statements that should just stop: 1.) The leather vest w/o a shirt combo. 2.) Fanny packs. 3.) Skin tight jeans. 4.) Denim shorts. 5.) Any wrestler that wears his own t-shirt.

-OK, enough time has passed that I'll just go ahead and say it…Vickie Guerrero might be the least attractive woman to regularly appear on TV since the salad days of Mackenzie Phillips. You wore the crown proudly for three decades you 80-pound smack addict. The Queen is dead. Long live the Queen.

-During the Chavo Guerrero/Scotty 2 Hotty match, I discovered that "counting to 10 as the wrestler's head hits the turnbuckle" and "doing the 'w-o-r-m' thing" in unison with everyone else probably trumps the "bringing a sign" and "wearing the replica belt" points I made earlier.

-Memo to the "pyro" guys: There's a fine line between the 200 lbs. of TNT you use to announce the entrance of Kane and the same amount of explosives that kept about 100 people from ever exiting that Great White concert.

-During the Boogeyman/Finlay/midgets match, Finlay threw a handful of Boogey's worm into the audience. Men and women were parting like the Red Sea. This led to the first of several fan fights over the next 40 minutes, as a woman was hit square in the mug with a handful of harmless, yet unsanitary organisms by a dude who was about five rows in front of us.

-Finally, the return of "Rey Mysterio". By now, y'all know that the local boy came home only to catch a faux beatdown, but in the stands, four lone white folk stood and applauded the "abuse" that was being heaped upon the wee Hispanic. These people were right in front of me and their joy didn't go over too well with the Mexicans around us.

"Sit the fuck down", "I'll follow you outside" and a well placed shove by a dude in a Merriman jersey (fitting) and tattooed neck helped the four anti-Rey fans remain quietly in their seats for the rest of the show. Amazingly, these events caused the two Mexicans that we were with to get awfully leery of their countrymen.

And, not wanting to have to tell everyone in hell that I died "at a wrestling show", we took our leave…with about a half-pint of pride still left between us.

1 comment:

Tom said...

The Japanese and the mid-40s would like a place in your timeline of hatred.