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The wrestling circus

Remember going to the circus? I remember going almost yearly when I was little and I was always excited, but then when we got there it was always a little disappointing. I guess it’s because I’m the video game generation and gas like a minibike in a sphere didn’t really amaze me. Thankfully though, as an adult there is another circus to enjoy – pro wrestling.

Just like old times

This was probably my fifth or sixth wrestling show I’ve been too. Frankly, nothing will beat the WCW show I saw back in high school – back when in the late 90s when wrestling was at its peak. Of course, I was 18 then and now I’m 30, but I can still enjoy a good wrestling show. Unfortunately wrestling has kind of been in the crapper for the past couple years, at least when watching from home. But this is case when I can say that wrestling was much better in person than I’m sure it was on television.

This time I really appreciated the circus that is pro wrestling.

John Cena is popular in Columbus
John Cena is popular in Columbus, the arena exploded when he came out

We had near-ringside seats on the floor of the arena, the closest I had ever sat, so we had a good view of the action and all the roadie action too. At one point all the roadies came to a huddle then went back out to their jobs, and it hit me just how exciting yet stressful it must be supporting a live product. Everyone has to do there thing in sync. One mistep and it will a) look bad and/or b) someone gets hurt.

There are maybe a dozen wrestlers that perform on any given live show, probably as much as any other sitcom or show. But then there’s double the amount of people running cameras, managing the ring, shooting photos, safety people…all the people that actually make the product what it is. The elephants at the circus are great, but lets not forget about the guys that put up the tent and string up the trapeze.

Nothing against the wrestlers…most of them are great performers but just think about the last rock band you saw that had a shitty stage show or crappy setup. It really doesn’t matter how good you are if you don’t have a good platform on which to do your thing. I never really paid attention to that before but this time, since I knew the show was going to be pretty average anyway, I tried to look at the bigger picture. However, lets not get confused into thinking that a top notch roadie crew will create a good show. Nay. Just because you have a polished support crew doesn’t mean you will look good. It helps, but you can’t get lazy – and some wrestlers…a lot of wrestlers…have gotten lazy as of late.

The Miz is one of the better new performers
The Miz is one of the better new performers, but he needs pants.

Good seats are a curse and a blessing

Having a floor seat had its pluses and minuses. We were close, yes, but since we were on the floor we didn’t have the luxury of “stadium” seating. This became a problem quickly because the kids in front of my row all had signs. Of course, at a wrestling show everyone has signs, so even in the upper deck you’ll have to fight your away from some lame DX sign. But the kids themselves were mildly entertaining because they were all more worried about getting on TV than they were about enjoying the show. Of course, when I was 16 I’d want my lame poster sign to be on TV too, but still…if the mass of people behind you are yelling at you, you be polite and put your sign down – especially if you know the camera isn’t even pointing in your direction. Our seats weren’t on camera side the there was a 4% chance the camera would ever be pointed in our direction.

Randy Orton, the best heel today
Randy Orton, the best heel today

I had my camera as usual but the batteries died before too long so it was out of commission. I had my Blackberry camera, so I used that to Twitter photos but the quality kind of sucked…which left me with something I hadn’t been without for a while. Technology. When you don’t have a camera to worry about you can actually enjoy the show. At past shows I probably spent more time looking through the view finder than I did watching the live event 50-feet in front of me.

Wrestling needs a boost, badly

The show itself was pretty un-spectacular. It was a lot of fun to watch but shy of maybe two matches, it didn’t really do much for me. The WWE is still doing the “special guest host” for each episode, so I was hoping we might get a nice washed up celebrity like Don Johnson the week before, but no, we get some lame cable TV star of which I had no clue who he was. And then I find out next week William Shatner will be hosting. Figures I get the lamest non-celebrity celebrity guest.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hvylt86mcxA[/youtube]

So unless the wrestling wars start to heat up again – which I wouldn’t bet on – I think this can be the last wrestling show for a while. I’ve seen all the wrestling shows possible. I’ve seen them from the top, I’ve seen them from the bottom. There’s nothing left to see live except a PPV but unless one come’s to Columbus I’m out of that race. I’ll always be a wrestling fan, but I can enjoy it from home just as much…only this time I’ll be thinking about all the people that actually make the show happen and not just the ‘roided up actors in the ring.

PHOTOS: See more wrestling photos over on Flickr