At twenty-six years of age, I’m pretty much done having the “wrestling is fake/not a sport/gayer than the day is long” conversation. I just can’t do it anymore. It’s exhausting. I mean, I’d sure like to show the entirety of Wrestling Isn’t Wrestling to anyone who tries to start the dialogue, but you can’t write a YouTube link on your hand and shove it in the face of the guy at the party who overheard you giving your definitive NWO Power Rankings. At least, not yet. My preferred exit strategy at this point is to drop a smoke bomb and vanish into the crowd, or fake a heart attack like Pierce’s dad on Community.
I’m bringing this up because of ESPN’s recent surge of cooperation with WWE. They were all over WrestleMania week – Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman showed up on SportsNation, Lesnar dropped his bombshell announcement live with Michelle Beadle, and there were honest-to-god highlights of ‘Mania itself on the late Sunday edition of SportsCenter. Seth Rollins was right there cashing in Money In The Bank between March Madness analysis segments, it was pretty rad if you were a wrestling fan!
Spoiler alert: It was only rad IF you were a wrestling fan. Everyone else on Earth thought it sucked. Here’s a very small sampling of the detractors.
Man, that last one got weird in a hurry.
I remember something similar happening on Metallica’s Facebook page before WrestleMania XXVII. After they posted that Triple H would be entering to “For Whom The Bell Tolls,” fans jumped on en masse to gently point out that pro wrestling is fake and/or gay, with some describing The Undertaker’s sex life in worrisome detail. METALLICA FANS TOOK THE HIGH GROUND. Don’t get me wrong, I love Metallica more than I love certain members of my family, but that doesn’t stop me from realizing they’re almost self-parody at this point. So if some yokel on social media with a “Nothing Else Matters” lyric as his senior yearbook quote is going to educate me on the finer points of pop culture, pardon me while the pot places a collect call to the kettle.
There was a point I was making here, sorry for losing myself in the anecdote. I was trying to say that I simply do not understand people who feel compelled to leave comments in every blank text field on the internet. But hey, if you simply HAVE TO run down wrestling, do your thing. If there’s anything John Cena taught me, it’s that people have different opinions and that’s okay. Wrestling stopped being cool in the mainstream around the same time the Tamagotchi did, so people like me happen to think it’s pretty awesome that WrestleMania is becoming more of A Relevant Thing. If you beg to differ, that’s fine… just know that wrestling fans usually play nice and don’t bring up the worthlessness of pretty much everything else on TV. Hell, right now I could drop a 20-minute pipebomb on why every new episode of The Big Bang Theory directly aids ISIS recruitment, but I’m choosing to be a good boy.