Ahhh…the pay-per-view of my youth. I was born in the 70’s, which makes me an 80’s kid, which meant I pretty much grew up in the Golden Age of Birth for the World Wrestling Federation, or WWF, as we used to know it. Of course, my beloved WWF is now known as World Wrestling Entertainment, or WWE, thanks to the folks at the World Wildlife Fund and their complete misunderstanding of unintentionally accurate acronymic homonyms. I mean, if pro wrestling were initially called “World Wildlife Fund”, I’m not too sure anyone would cite that as mislabeling. In fact, I’m fairly certain that the bearded lumberjack society that is today’s young horde would gladly, and in their minds ironically, wear t-shirts emblazoned with “World Wildlife Fund” across the chest with a picture of Koko B. Ware and his parrot or Jake “The Snake” Roberts and his python or, better still, Hulk Hogan and his “24 Inch Pythons” (brother!). Now that I think of it, that’s a brilliant fucking idea right now, as is.
The current WWF should’ve just became a sponsor, shared the acronym, and gained a shitload of attention over the years by having their cabooses hitched to the greatest longstanding train wreck that “sports entertainment” can bring to a globalized television market. And as we all know from that famous publicity stunt put on by the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway Company (commonly known as KATY) near Waco, Texas in 1896…you know, the one we all recited in the Pledge of Allegiance…we all LOVE a good train wreck. It doesn’t even bother us too much if a few people get killed or maimed along the way. Just like in a wildlife show. Sure, we’ll watch an hour long television show about the perils of living in an Alaskan town inhabited by 76 human beings living without electricity while they are constantly frequented by 29 grizzly bears and the occasional polar bear and the less occasional, yet becoming more frequent, Pizzly Bear. No, that’s not a rapper. That’s a polar bear/grizzly bear mix. A Pizzly is kind of like a Liger…you know, a lion and a tiger combination. The main difference between a Pizzly and a Liger is that the Liger doesn’t carry the shameful stigma of being a byproduct of man-made climate change. No, no! That’s the Pizzly’s world, bitch! The Liger carries the shameful stigma of man-made genetic manipulation. Come to think of it, I wonder if the World Wildlife Fund gives a “F” about the Ligers. And by “F”, of course, I mean “Funds”. The world may never know. Let’s just try to curb all this cross-pollination before we get to an “Island of Dr. Moreau” point where Pizzligers are running around. That would totally fuck up that song from “The Wizard of Oz”. You know, “Lions and Tigers and Bears…oh my”. Now it would just be “Pizzligers…oh my”. Throws off the whole tempo and cadence. No, Dorothy, we are definitely not in Kansas anymore. (Full disclosure: Pizzly bears are also commonly referred to as “Grolar Bears”, or “Grolars” but due to a survey I recently took, nine out of ten dentists refer to a growth situated by your molars as “Grolars”, so I tend to shy away from that term when talking about Pizzlies.)
Point being, WWF, is that we will make and watch that “Alaskan, Grizzly, Polar, Pizzly” television show, because we love animals and how they interact with humans. However, I don’t want to put a fly in your ointment or bee in your bonnet or be a wolf in sheep’s clothing or make you feel like a fish out of water just because you already have a bird in the hand and don’t want to look a gift horse in the mouth, but I would be mad as a hatter and put in the doghouse as the black sheep if I didn’t let the cat out of the bag about the elephant in the room: That TV show is nice, but humans go ape-shit over extended documentaries such as the one about the guy in Alaska who was eaten by grizzly bears. You know the one…the one with the guy who supposedly came within one Mr. Harrelson from playing “Woody” on Cheers. That’s the train wreck. That’s what we want to see. And in the realm of sports and entertainment and television, the WWE is that train wreck. That’s what we want to see. That’s where you should’ve kept your cabooses in the first place. Imagine, at the end of every wrestling telecast, you’re promo would come up and you’d be waving goodbye to audiences from around the globe from the railing on your caboose, which would be securely attached to the now World Wrestling Entertainment’s money train, which is the only train associated with them that doesn’t wreck. By all metrics, it appears that the WWE has no intention of jumping the shark. You guys screwed the pooch on this one.
Oh, as for the actual spectacle of WRESTLEMANIA itself, it was just as I remembered it as a kid, save for a few changes. Even though he got his start in wrestling, The Rock basically filled the role of Mr. T…the Hollywood star who comes in to prove he’s really just a badass; John Cena was his Hulk Hogan-esque partner…the company badass who tries to prove he is a Hollywood star; Shaq was bigger than two men the WWE occasionally introduces as 7 foot 2 inches tall, which is kinda quirky, seeing as Shaq is 7 foot 1; my nephews filled the role of me and my brother’s laying on the floor, watching with giddy anticipation of every movement; Little Caesar’s Pizza stayed the same as it has been since the dawn of time; AND, yours truly filled the role of my father getting drunk and passing out on the couch before the Main Event. It was pandemonium.