I try my best in my daily life to help get rid of those awful stereotypes that mainstream society uses to demean wrestling fans.  The stereotypes that we are uneducated, profane and have bad hygiene. We know the truth. We are doctors, lawyers and teachers. We can be college-educated fans who simply enjoy a fun, theatrical show. But then I went to Smackdown in Portland, Oregon.

I have attended nine live WWE events now. That would be three Raws, three Smackdowns, two live events and No Mercy 2008. That would be the pay-per-view with a Jericho-Michaels ladder match. We in Oregon don’t get a lot of WWE events but we are loyal and loud fans.

But in all those live events; I never understood were those stereotypes come from until this last week’s Smackdown. I was excited. I had floor seats and would see three shows taped (Superstars, Main Event and Smackdown). My parents, coming from a long line of wrestling fans, wanted to come and being a good son with some disposable teaching income, I bought us three tickets for a fun holiday trip to the big city. Then, we sat next to the Miami Heat fan.

I finally know why some in the mainstream media hate wrestling fans. The scary part was he wasn’t even drinking. He was just naturally obnoxious.

Granted I should have known right away. He carried a sign with someone peeing on a Randy Orton symbol. He carried a replica New ECW belt and was wearing sweat pants. I believe anyone who willingly wears sweat pants in public that isn’t a pregnant woman is problematic. You know you have a jerk in the making when he was wearing a Miami Heat hat in the Portland Blazers arena. Hey fair weather fan, the Blazers are actually good.  

One thing I am never surprised by is how small everything seems once you are there in person. The WWE does a grand job of making everything seem larger then life. I just wish tables, ladders and chairs weren’t in my way or I could have had some good pictures.

Also never get floor seats with your back to the Titantron. It makes it really hard to follow the action during the night. Especially when the WWE cameras are in the way as they frequently were for me. I had to re-watch “Main Event” and “Smackdown” to appreciate the quality of some matches. That and some pig next to me screamed language only appropriate to HBO during the entire show.

So I am going to share some thoughts about the three-hour show while including how a loud, obnoxious fan can ruin your viewing experience:

Superstars Isn’t Half Bad

                                                                                       

I think this is the first time I have watched “WWE Superstars” in a long time. I like the fact it actually gives lower card wrestlers, including the Divas, some time to actually work. The Portland fans were into it too because they were the first matches on the card.

The first match was Kaitlyn versus Aksana. My mother asked who Aksana was which is understandable such I can’t remember the last time I saw her on television. While it was a little sloppy at times, the fans enjoyed the Kaitlyn victory. The Miami Heat fan screamed for a “nip slip” the entire match. I decided to move to the empty seat on the other side of my parents. It did little good, as I would learn.

What Los Matadores wrestled against 3MB? I have never seen that before! I enjoyed their lengthy tag match but loved how Los Matadores spent a lengthy amount on the match fixing their masks. Can’t we just let them wrestle without them? The horrible man next to me screamed, “McIntyre go back to being a pirate”. Great not only is he annoying but he doesn’t even know what he is talking about.

 

Hey I Use to Review This Show!

“WWE Main Event” will always have a special place in my heart. I used to review it when I had time and the show slightly mattered. That being said I do enjoy watching the quality matches you generally get from the Wednesday night show. I must add I am impressed with how quickly the WWE ring crew can change the set from one show to the next. It was a very fast paced night. No wonder the WWE ring crew was dozing off near the end of the show. They were likely exhausted.

The “main event” was Dolph Ziggler versus Curtis Axel. Ryback amazed my mom as he came to the ring with Axel. She told me he was “much cuter in person”. I can’t say I have ever thought of him that way.

I was told the match was decent. I really couldn’t focus on it much with the Miami Heat Guy and a drunk guy yelling “Mr. Perfect” for the entire ten-minute plus match. This was where I started to understand why people hate wrestling fans. I know I was starting to.  What Dolph lost? Man, he sure has fallen far during the last six months.

After a quick match between Natalya and Alicia Fox, we got a surprisingly good match between Tons of Funk and Xavier Woods/R-Truth. In this short tag match, Xavier Woods impressed me as he has some real wrestling talent. The crowd loved the quick shoving match between Tensai and Clay after the match was over. I think it is beyond time for a heel turn. It was a fun end to the second show and every one around me seemed to be enjoying it. But it turned out the annoying Miami fan by me were simply gone at this time. He would tragically return.

Smackdown Before PPV=Quick Matches

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was a little sad that I didn’t get to hear Lillian sing the National Anthem but kudos to the WWE for moving along their potentially long night. Even the commercial breaks were cut short for the fans. The WWE decided to start Smackdown with Daniel Bryan. If you thought the reaction he got in Seattle was due to it being his home state rest assured it is not. He was clearly the most over guy at the entire show. So when will the WWE recognize this?

The best entrance clearly belongs to the Wyatt’s. The fans loved it and many fans, myself included, bought a creepy sheep mask. Nothing like a creepy sheep mask to scare my students for years to come! It ended with a well-timed flying knee by Bryan into Bray Wyatt. It sure got loud at the Moda Center at this point.

Portland fans do love The Real Americans. After Coulter complained about being told “Feliz Navidad”, it naturally lead to a good chant that didn’t seem to come across as well on television. You also know the “Cesaro Swing” is very popular because people booed that it was stopped by the good guys.

We all got quite excited as “Bad News Barrett” walked right by my section but I do wonder were this gimmick is going. I do love the asking for decorum from the crowd. It didn’t work out too well.

I do love the cowardly heel tactics of Sandow giving up on his match. It was a good way to irritate a crowd and irritate us it did. Way to save the fighting for Sunday WWE!

The crowd sure loves AJ Lee, as I do and we supported her well against the Bella Twins. I think the WWE has work to do if they want the Bella’s to be successful faces. While you wouldn’t have to convince Miami Heat guy, he would “do” all the Divas in the ring during the shows. He is an equal opportunity pig.

 

 

John Cena came out for a rare Smackdown appearance. It is funny to hear so much complaining about John Cena but as the Portland crowd showed, he is still very popular. I couldn’t see much of his speech with so many IPhones blocking my view. It wasn’t a terribly unique Cena speech but it doesn’t matter. You can’t dispute his continue popularity despite the Miami Heat guy getting mad at the little kids around us for liking Cena.

It is fun to see the Shield’s entrance in person and the Usos entrance sure is loud when you are only a few feet from it. This was clearly the match of the night and that is not a surprise considering the teams involved.  I think the slow build for Roman Reigns is working, as the reaction to his spear was loud. I also think Heather Hickey is quite correct, women around me were certainly enjoying looking at Reigns based on the comments I overheard. I think the biggest disappointment of the night was seeing CM Punk on the big screen but not in person. He likely had the second biggest reaction of the night after Bryan.

Does Ryback win anymore? I doubt it but it was fun to see the combination of Big Show and Rey Mysterio. I had two Latino families behind me who were so excited to see Mysterio. Makes me wish I could have that kind of child like enthusiasm for wrestling again. Instead I was just an annoyed guy who was worried about the effect of foul language on the kids behind me. I am a teacher Miami Heat guy; you need to act your age!

After a meaningless Miz attacked Kofi segment, we were on to the “main event”. There is nothing like Randy Orton apologizing to Triple H as your final segment. I understand we have a pay-per-view in a few days but don’t we deserve a fun match to hype the pay-per-view? Anyway, I can’t really tell you what was said. The Miami Heat guy was too busy have long, angry rants about Randy Orton wanting to have gay sex with Triple H. Someone sure has a vivid imagination. Save it for the fan fiction buddy! Triple H, by the way, cryptically ended the show and that was Smackdown.

 

I Do Love the Free Dark Match

One of my favorite things about attending a televised event is what occurs after the show is over. One show I attended, Undertaker wrestled despite not being on television for nearly three months. One Raw, we had Stone Cold entertain the crowd for over a full hour after it ended. This time we saw John Cena versus Randy Orton. Leave it to Cena to really hype the crowd in Portland.

It was a fun ten-minute match with both superstars really playing to the crowd. It is amazing how little they do that if the cameras are on. Anyway, we wanted tables and they supplied them.  It ended, as you would expect, with Orton cheating by using a chair and Cena takes him out with a finishing move anyway. The kids behind me even caught Cena’s wristband. They certainly deserved it after the fan from hell we had to sit next to.

 

Conclusion:

So that was my experience watching the three taped WWE shows last Tuesday in Portland. It was certainly a unique experience. You wonder where stereotypes for us wrestling fans come from and then you meet the stereotype in person. It was annoying but certainly didn’t prevent me from enjoying this night or seeing more live events in the future.  Oh and here is what I do during snow days now.

 

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Feel free to contact me at lasher@pacificu.edu.  Additionally, I have my Twitter account, WWELasher as well. I would love to hear your thoughts about attending a live WWE event. Have you had fans from hell?