At the ripe old age of 32, I witnessed live for the first time the spectacle that is the World Wrestling Federation.
It was a Tuesday night taping for WWF SMACKDOWN, which airs on Thursday nights on the UPN Network.
Now that's good entertainment!
I have to admit it takes a little getting used to. Early on I actually turned to the people I was with and asked, "we're watching wrestling?". But then you just go with the flow, laughing at yourself and the rest of the crowd as we play right into the wrestlers' hands.
The biggest example of being led like lambs to the slaughter came with the appearance of South Florida's own, The Rock, as inimitably personified by Dwayne Johnson. Here's a man so charismatic, that if he suddenly were to start pushing a certain kind of Kool-Aid, the country's population would no doubt be reduced by a third. His opening line is always, "Finally, The Rock has come back to…" and he'll plug in whatever city he's in that night.
The fans all know this and chant along with him…and did so this time, ending his line with "Ft Lauderdale". The Rock however paused, and when the stadium quieted down, simply said, "home."
The detonation of a nuclear device would fight to be heard over the din that ensued!
To those fans, The Rock can do no wrong.
Overall it was a great, fun night. Most of the big stars were there, with the exception of Chyna, the so-called Ninth Wonder of the World. She's become a celebrity in her own right and recently posed in a best selling issue of Playboy.
Also missing was the WWF's best overall "superstar", as they are referred to, Hunter Hearst Helmsley, better known as Triple H.
Unfortunately the current "Commissioner" of the WWF, Mick Foley, was only there on tape, in a very cheesy, taped Thanksgiving sketch. Mick Foley, now retired from actual wrestling, is best known as Mankind, a psychotic yet oddly hugable character he created that will forever be one of the most popular characters in the history of wrestling. He still appears quite a bit, in the fictional role of WWF Commissioner, usually leading the fans to explode with cheers by repeating the name of the city they are in that week.
I have to admit, I had a very good time at the show, and I wouldn't be surprised if I end up going to another one sometime.
Hell, I'll even dish out another $25 for another T-Shirt!
Sure it's fake, but it'll cost ya just the same…