WWE-Perhaps the Greatest Theatrical Endeavor, Ever!

Executive Director of PhillyGayCalendar

Like many, I was trying to find something different to do on this Valentine’s Day. So my girlfriend and I went to a WWE Raw wrestling match at Wachovia Center. Not everything new one does has to involve infidelities, group sex, latex and mingled fluids.

Truth be told, while spending some quality couch time last year I put WWE on more than a dozen times due to lack of television programming. I had no idea that shows like Raw (on Monday nights, 9pm on the USA Network) and Smackdown! (8pm, Fridays on the CW) would be so funny, engaging and homoerotic. But I guess what else would one expect when two almost naked men grease up and run through a gambit of various ass fucking positions.

When the tickets fell into my lap I was first daunted by the idea of the WWE crowd. A friend had warned that “USA” would be chanted and I try to not put myself in those situations. There were more kids in attendance than I had anticipated and not nearly as many muscle heads as I thought. The crowd consisted mostly of the working class, nerds, and dads feeding their kids disgusting foods and letting them run wild (and step on my coat). Sadly, “USA” was chanted, but as an insult to the UK wrestler William Regal, who saw it as no insult at all.

I felt more comfortable with this sort of underbelly society than those that pretend that they are something they are not in a country club type setting. At least these people have cleaned a toilet, though some of them may not always use one.

The match started right on time and I had no idea I would react so excitingly. WWE is an environment for hurling insults and just shouting horrible things in general. I felt right at home. There’s nothing quite like being there. It’s very intense. The lights go out. The theme music, different for each wrestler, starts. The crowd knows from the first few notes of song who’s about to come wrestle next and everyone goes wild. Catch phrases are yelled, people shout out the wrestler’s signature moves and when punches connect in the ring fresh spittle can be seen flying through the air giving that personal touch of drama.

The first match tag team DX or Degeneration X (very old, gay seeming Triple H and Shawn Michaels) took on Legacy (very muscular and young gay seeming, Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase) in what I will call, Act I. DX, has a catch phrase “Suck it,” and they made Legacy do just that. The older wrestlers were in control throughout the match and just when I thought things couldn’t get any gayer Triple H ended up pulling down Cody Rhode’s wrestling panties exposing his tanned bare ass. Following in queer suit, Shawn Michaels did the same thing to Ted DiBiase. This bare assed scene was prolonged and was like an advertisement in the back of Inches magazine. The audience roared with laughter and seemed totally secure with their sexuality.

DX not only topped Legacy, they won the match. Most of the wrestlers, when finished with their match, took a lap outside the ring and shook hands with fans. Seeing the wrestlers up close is quite fascinating. I was shocked at how much cleaner they seem in person and I found their physique’s interesting. Some wrestlers like the DX tag team are angry, orange looking like Michael Kors. Those that are muscular, like team Legacy, Randy Orton and Shamus are even more striking in real life. However the older ones, like Shawn Michaels seem to have painted on muscles and a lot of side/back flab. Only a small number of wrestlers I’ve seen have well defined leg muscles.

In addition to the clearly gay male athletes, there is an updated version of GLOW (Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling). I was brainwashed like so many young girls when I was a kid when I was told that wrestling was for boys. When I saw GLOW late one night I realized this was true as the audience seemed to be made up of the local sex offender registry with a sea of shady sunglassed sleazy looking white men with puffy trousers watching women take off each others clothes violently. Today’s WWE Divas would kick the asses of those creepy GLOW watching guys. They still have scripts that make them act like fools but today’s wrestlers are faster and seemingly more fit than the males. Diva Kelly Kelly sat ring side at this Valentine’s Day match and the Divas did a 6 woman tag team match. I don’t like to see women hurting each other fake or not, so this just didn’t appeal to me.

About 9 bouts were fought at this un-televised event. The Miz (Mike Mizanin from Real World Back to NY), Kofi Kingston, Mark Henry all wrestled and more. The highlight for me was seeing the high flying Evan Bourne compete. With the toned body of an Olympic swimmer, Bourne is best known for his acrobatic moves. I got to see him finish his opponent with his move called the Airbourne. He daringly climbs to the top rope facing the audience while his opponent is down. Raises his arms to get the crowd going and flips his body in the air backwards landing for the pin. I was on my feet shouting 1… 2… 3… with the referee. This is just one of many top rope moves today’s wrestler’s have.

The main attraction of this match, Shamus vs. John Cena, had the audience in a frenzy of sign wagging and screams. John Cena, a short stocky guy with a Boston-like swagger and neanderthal shaped head is a crowd favorite for more reasons than his perfect blow job lips. He’s a huge audience motivator and a “good guy” of the wrestling world. Shamus, a pasty tall Scottish chap, who has a habit of not stopping after the 3-count, had a grudge to settle with Cena and the two went at it like cranked up methed-out Craig’s List sex seekers.

WWE claims to be sports entertainment, which to me means a great mix of athleticism and gaiety. It’s said the show isn’t real, but their bodies have to be somewhat fit and the injury risk is high because of what they are doing to their bodies. At the end of the day, what else are lisped actors who can’t get real Hollywood gigs going to do? I wish more wrestlers would come out of the closet, I would probably become a huge fan if that was the case. I’ll still watch Smackdown! and Raw for the fun factor and just zone out during the much too long bad SNL-like skits between bouts. Randy Orton is my favorite along with Evan Bourne and I look forward to the next time these guys come to Philadelphia.

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