As I stood in line on Monday night at a kiosk in the Verizon Center waiting to get my hands (or back, rather) on a fluorescent pink T-shirt that read in gigantic black-light-ready block lettering “IT’S NOT SHOWING OFF IF YOU BACK IT UP,” I became keenly aware of who I was, er, who I am. Obviously, I'm still getting used to the idea. I'm a rabid World Wrestling Entertainment fan.
There. I said it.
What started eight months ago as a one-time ironic viewing of a television broadcast called Monday Night Raw (a title that sounds perfectly fit to be the pinnacle of entertainment for stereotypical redneck Middle American males), had somehow become an obsession for me, a 32-year-old, East Coast-educated female urbanite. But how? Why was I in this seemingly endless blob of a line so eagerly anticipating my purchase of an arguably hideous T-shirt to support a wrestler/villain named Dolph Ziggler? That sounds crazy! Even crazier, why had I spent hundreds of dollars to fly all the way to Miami just 8 days earlier to catch WrestleMania, the Superbowl of this scripted sport?
Finally, after nearly half an hour of shuffling forward about a foot per minute, it hit me like a Randy Savage elbow. What attracts me to this uniquely American form of entertainment is also why it should attract you. Straight up: the WWE is high-brow theater disguised as low-brow hijinks. It’s Macbeth in sparkly Spandex trunks. In Shakespeare’s play, a crown is sought. Drama ensues. Fights follow. In the world of WWE creator Vince MacMahon, a belt is sought. Drama ensues. Fights follow. There are good guys and bad guys in both—heroes, anti-heroes and villains. There’s occasional comic relief. Truly, except for the Elizabethan period garb (although, actually, there have probably been exceptions to that rule too), the WWE offers everything to satisfy the modern intellectual.
And more. Awesome pyrotechnics.
But still more. See, unlike Macbeth, the success of any WWE production depends on the audience’s willingness to participate. There are the kids and
Which might be why I wasn’t surprised to see a few hipsters in their skinny jeans at WrestleMania earlier this month or, on Monday, several people donning their wrestling T-shirts over their white-collar office outfits during the live taping of Raw at the Verizon Center. Pro-wrestling isn’t just for flyover country anymore. It’s for everybody, including the smarty-pants people of DC. Including you.
But intellectualism aside, no matter what your IQ, the WWE sure is fun to look at. Behold, photos!
ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?! And while you can catch all the draction (that's drama + action) on television most every Monday and Friday night, you can also plan to see it all live the next time the WWE rolls back into the Verizon Center on December 29. That's more than enough time to become obsessed (I'm lookin' at you, people talking at minute 19 on 365 Things DC's "Topical Storm" streamcast). But act soon because tickets are already on sale and if my wish in this article comes true, it'll surely sell out.