Yes, you read that correctly, WWE Smackdown. On Tuesday night I went to my very first wrestling match. At 6:30 I left the office with 16 coworkers and we journeyed to the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey for the big event. Two guys I work with are huge wrestling fans and thanks to their countless emails leading up to the evening, completely with gifs, summaries of story lines, and a color coded list of who “we liked” and who we did not, I was very excited.
On the train to the game someone commented that wrestling was like reality TV for boys and amidst a general murmur of consent it was agreed that this was true, just with higher production budgets. But seriously, it was not too far off. The stadium opened hours before the main event and we arrived about 45 minutes after the start time – missing no crucial fights, I was assured. Once inside people bee-lined straight for the seats, the restroom, or for drinks, wherever their priorities lay. After finding a rum and Diet Coke I made my way to the seats and the fun began.
The intros were definitely one of the highlights of the evening as they gave great background into the fighters, told a story, and had highlight clips of recent fights. The first match was two on two and there was just so much to watch and take in – everyone jumps under the ropes, no one uses the stairs in to the ring, the floor is super super bouncy, and there are sound effects in time with the movements. In the 2-on-2 the team that was favorited, the Usos, won.
As opposed to a regular sporting event, there was a great deal more waiting time than I was used to but that made for prime photo opportunity, first of our fearless group leader who organized the trip and then time to take half a dozen selfies wearing his crown and toting the championship belt.
Then it was time for the real “main” event – the smackdown. The commentators were WWE hall of gamers and came out just after 8pm for the real match. But first, the replay of the historic night prior where Roman Reigns (actually Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s cousin) beat Seamus and the belt switched hands. This was a big deal. Google it if you want to know more.
With this recap the main fight took quite a while to get going and in that twenty minutes I did not stop laughing at funny comments, everything from one coworker commenting on a fighter’s tights saying, “I wear tights and those are not tights” (so true by the way) to the WWE fans traditions including yelling, “you look stu-pid,”when someone they did not like was speaking.
I would say it was 15% fight time and 85% commentators talking which was quite surprising. For the main event I was all prepared and thought I had the hang of it – I like rules and once I know them I like to follow along. Fo example TV time outs in college basketball happen at the same time every game like clock work but in wrestling the rule that you can not spend more than 10 seconds out of the ring in a match? Not so much. None the less, I had a good time watching the fights.
The final fight was no more than fifteen minutes but by 10pm I was ready to be done. Before we headed out we managed to take a partial group photo and one of the girls – it was a great night and I am so glad that I went. Granted, I will not be attending another WWE event soon but it is definitely something that is crossed off the list!
Have you ever been to a wrestling match?