Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Survivor Series 2013: The Experience

Everyone has guilty pleasures. Kel Mitchell loved orange soda.  My roommate watches a lot of shows on BET. Rebecca Black loves naming the days of the week. In addition to having 'Call Me Maybe' in my Top 10 list of songs, I like to watch some good ol' fashioned WWE. This past Sunday night, I really indulged myself by attending the 27th annual WWE Survivor Series pay-per-view event in Boston, and it was pretty awesome. I am shameless.  

Survivor Series was an interesting experience.  One of the most interesting aspects of it were the people who were in attendance with me and my buddy Tyler. I knew we would be in good company when we saw this guy seriously wearing this race car driver jacket: 

Funny thing is that I actually saw this jacket at Saver's in East Providence and failed at convincing my friend Urk to purchase it.  I was shocked that more than one actually exists to be honest.  Anyways, this was an excellent foreshadowing of the people we would encounter at Survivor Series, or any other type of wrestling event. The most normal are the families who bring kids ages 12 and under.  They make sense.  At first I was kind of amazed at how into it kids were, but then it hit me that I was the same way at that age, which made me feel very old and kind of sad for a split second.  Not really. Well.  Kind of.  Anyways, with families you have the parents who either are A) suffering through watching guys beat each other up in spandex, or B) suck it up and actually try to enjoy themselves, which is probably for the best.  Another type of person you see at these events are the overweight people in their 40's.  These are the people who you think might have kids who are not sitting next to them because they're busy getting food or a tshirt or something, but then you realize the kids never show up and it's just a grown man who is really, really into wrestling.  One of these guys sat in front of me and Tyler at Survivor Series, and I was somewhat spooked by him.  Im sure this guy was very nice, but when you are dead serious chanting 'CENA SUCKS' at poor John Cena, it may be time to reevaluate yourself.  These guys are the type who definitely love Dungeons & Dragons and hope to one day have a Star Trek themed wedding.  Lastly, there are the drunk 20-somethings like yours truly who was reliving a part of their childhood, which they learned is very watered down to what they grew up with.  I was thrown off by the lack of swearing, lack of weapons being used, and lack of Stone Cold Steve Austin drinking beer in the ring.  I enjoyed myself for the most part, but it just wasn't the same.  

The first match of the evening included Rey Mysterio Jr. and Goldust teaming up with 3 other guys against a team of 5 guys who were all absolute monsters.  I was pulling hard for Rey Mysterio and Goldust to kick some ass in this match.  Anyone who watched wrestling growing up will remember Goldust, that freak.  I remember my Mom getting uncomfortable watching that guy on TV, and me wondering why that was.  At the age of 23, I have come to learn why.  What a weirdo.  I have always been one to cheer for guys in masks or face paint.  Wearing a mask means you have some secrets, and I respect that.  I personally think masks should be used more often.  Anyways, the team of Mysterio, Goldust and the other guys lost and I was bummed.  
I can now see why he was kind of a freak. 

At one point, Ryback, a meathead who seems to be fond of bullying people came out to the ring and issued an open challenge to fight anyone in the arena.  This got me pretty excited because I recall this gimmick being used back in the day and normally it would mean that a surprise wrestler who hadn't been fighting in a while would make a shocking return, which is always exciting.  You could be the most hated wrestler in the world, take off a year from the ring, and then comeback as a mystery wrestler for a match and everyone will love you.  I guess it makes sense?  Anyways, I had my fingers crossed that out would come The Rock or Hulk Hogan or my hero Stone Cold Steve Austin, but I was let down by the return of Mark Henry.  Mark Henry.  The World's Strongest Man.  This was a wrestler who was known as 'Sexual Chocolate' when I was younger.  This wasn't exciting.  Apparently he was hurt for like 3 months, so it wasn't even that much time off, making it a real let down.  Anyways, Sexual Chocolate and Ryback tossed each other around the ring a few times and Sexual Chocolate got the win, and people were happy I guess.  Welcome back, Sexual Chocolate.  I hope to never use the term Sexual Chocolate on this blog ever again. 
I really wasn't making that name up. 

The 7 on 7 Cat Fight was a real barnburner of a match, let me tell ya.  This match was kinda pathetic.  I do not want to hate on female wrestlers.  I took women's psychology in college, I have the utmost respect for the entire female race.  In fact, when the gals started fighting, I was feeling bad that most people got up to go use the bathroom or get more beer or a 35$ CM Punk t-shirt.  How dare they not give these girls the respect they deserve!  Then I watched 30 seconds of the match and realized why: it sucked.  Growing up, we had the likes of Trish Stratus, Lita, Sable and Chyna fighting, and it was actually watchable.  They would use steel chairs!  Do flips and stuff!  It was entertaining!  I appreciate those 4 women so much more now after the crap I saw Sunday night.  At one point, one girl challenged another one to a dance off in the middle of the match, which was awkward, and then she got pinned after taking a dropkick to the face as she was doing a split as part of her dance routine.  It was terrible.  Another girl took a clothesline and was out for the count.  I don't want to say I'm tougher than these girls, but even I could take a clothesline from someone and not be on the ground for 3 seconds.  It was brutal to watch, and hard to be taken seriously, which was kinda disappointing.  I think the highlight of this match was when someone 10 rows behind me yelled out MAKE IT STOP.  We laughed and we laughed at that remark.  It was so mundane that I can't even remember who won the damn match.  

John Cena came out to an interesting ovation in his hometown of Boston.  Apparently a lot of people love him and a lot of people hate him, and there really isn't an in-between.  How naive was I to think that the hometown boy would have everyone love him?  Throughout his whole match, there was a LET'S GO CENA! chant immediately answered with a CENA SUCKS! chant.  Basically it was one chant of LET'S GO CENA CENA SUCKS and it was just kind of weird.  Anyways, John Cena beat up the boring Mexican guy who was waving the Mexican flag while walking down to the ring, which wasn't very intimidating in my personal opinion.  
John Cena fighting the guy from Fast and Furious 6
The best match of the night was CM Punk and Daniel Bryan against the creepy Wyatt family.  The Wyatts are basically southern hillbillies who are into voodoo or some stuff.  I will admit that they kind of gave me the creeps.  There is something unsettling about unkept hillbillies who don't talk and wrestle in jeans, boots and a wifebeater.  One of the Wyatts wore a plastic sheep mask down to the ring, which was more frightening than it was stupid in a weird way.  CM Punk, who I was personally looking forward to see is basically a skinny guy covered in tattoos who is straight edge.  Stone Cold would drink beers before matches and CM Punk advocates a healthy booze and drug free lifestyle before his matches.  Times have changed. Daniel Bryan is a feisty little guy with a huge beard who is easily the crowd favorite.  That match was very entertaining and stole the show in my opinion.  It was the only match that would have passed as awesome even back in the glory days of WWF.  CM Punk and Daniel Bryan won the match and the creepy Wyatts went back to their swamplands or wherever they live and probably went hunting for alligators.  
That is a lot of beard in one picture.
The main event of the night was a total snoozefest.  The WWE champion Randy Orton put his title belt on the line against The Big Show.  Two things hit me going into this match: 1. Why do they award belts in wrestling?  They're huge, they would never fit any size pants.  No belt loops exist for a belt that size.  What happened to trophies and medals?  Too mainstream?  I don't know.  The second thing was how the hell is The Big Show still wrestling/alive?  The Big Show was one of the guys who I had heard about even before I started to watch wrestling, which was when I was about 7 years old.  The Big Show was always listed at 7 feet tall and 500 pounds, and I noticed that he was announced Sunday night at 7 feet tall and 425 pounds, so I would like to congratulate The Big Show on dropping 75 pounds.  Take that Subway Jared.  This match was a real disappointment.  The Big Show seemed to be struggling, which just wasn't pretty but kind of expected for a 425 pounder who has got to be about 50.  I don't know how WWE could make this match happen and think it would end well to be honest.  Randy Orton looks like someone whose only form of fun is lifting weights and has 0 personality, and the Big Show is just kinda there for the ride.  You know it wasn't a good sign for the match when there was a chant of BOR-ING and a chant for Daniel Bryan, who wasn't even involved in the storyline for that match.  Things ended on a bad note and people were not pleased with the outcome of Randy Orton winning and keeping his stupid belt.  
Overall, I'm glad I went to Survivor Series for the experience, but it was kind of lackluster.  Good for people watching and as long as you can sort of get into the matches it can be entertaining.  Times have certainly changed, and I'd sort of rather watch old youtube videos of Mick Foley jumping off of the top of a cage or something back in 1999 than witness some of the guys who wrestle today.  I think it's good to indulge yourself in some guilty pleasures, so it was still a fun time.  Also, it's totally worth it to see Goldust kick some ass. 
Sup Goldust.
Finally, the blog surpassed 50,000 visitors recently, and my mailbag of questions will be answered soon enough.  I want to thank everyone who has viewed my blog, passed along the word or just put up with me talking about it/posting about it on Facebook and Twitter.  I've come to learn that writing is something I enjoy, and it all started with this and the feedback that my friends have given me over the past 3+ years.  I don't really know how I hit 50,000 visitors but I'll take it.  Maybe I'll finally get those t-shirts made some day.