While it will perhaps make me sound stuck up, I gotta say that I consider myself a fairly sophisticated fella. I know a lot about music. I'm a good cook and I love food. I know more than my fair share about wine. Hell, I can even talk about opera and fine art. In all, it would be easy to paint a picture of myself as a complete (if somewhat tongue-in-cheek) sophisticate.
I do, however, have a dirty secret.
Every couple of years or so I find myself drawn into the sinister world of... professional wrestling.
Yes, I'm one of those guys who can prattle on for hours about the relative merits of Triple H, Chris Benoit, and John Cena. Given my age, I can also reach back and discuss the careers of Hulk Hogan, Macho Man Randy Savage, Sting, Lex Luger, and many others. If I'm pushed, I can even go back as far as Bob Backlund, Super Fly Jimmy Snuka, The Wild Samoans, and some more Dusty history.
That last bit was a pun only a wrestling fan would get.
I know. It's kinda sad.
I do have to say that my favorite era, wrestling-wise, was the beginning stages of the NWO in WCW. This is a long and twisted story that ends badly, so I'll just skip it. However, I did also enjoy the WWF (now WWE) in the late 80s and early 90s. In fact, I've blathered on like this simply so I can tell you what I did last Friday night.
My friend Rick is also a wrestling fan (more than me, in fact, but don't hold that against him; he's a nice guy and he's also bigger than you). Through some stroke of good fortune, he discovered that there was going to be a wrestling event for charity right near his house. He snagged tickets for himself, his wife, and me (fourth row in fact!) and off we went last Friday.
Now this was not some over the top production like you'd see Mondays nights on television. The event was held in (get this) an ice rink. Yes, a lovely hockey rink (ice removed, of course) in the midst of Jersey City.
Man, oh man.
The main draw of this for both Rick and me was the cast of characters that would be featured that evening. After several no-name curtain jerkers (some of which were pretty decent), the celebs started to show. Plucked straight from the aforementioned 80s and early 90s: Tito Santana, Super Fly Jimmy Snuka, Brutus The Barber Beefcake, Doink The Clown (aw yeah!), Scott and Rick Steiner, Buff Bagwell (whoopty doo...), and Nikolai Volkoff.
Some of these guys are REALLY old. Jimmy Snuka looked mummified.
But we had a blast.
We spent most of the evening screaming insults at the babyfaces (that's wrasslin' talk for good guys) and cheering for the heels (that'd be bad guys). The crowd around us was also really into it and we managed to crack them up a bunch of times. The wrestling itself was nothing to write home about, but the atmosphere and the craziness was so much fun.
Nothing like a little time in the hood to lift your spirits (or your wallet...).
So thanks, Rick, for the keen eye that lead to catching those tickets. I had a blast, even if it dropped my IQ a couple of points for a couple of hours.
Brutus The Barber Beefcake and Doink face off in the squared (and, in this case, incredibly tiny) circle
These did not make the Rock 'N' Wrestling soundtrack:
Front 242 - Tyranny For You
(coming to NYC the end of the month; should I go?)
Pink Floyd - The Final Cut
(the last hurrah of decent from these guys)
L7 - Hungry For Stink
(four chicks and a bad attitude)
Aphex Twin - Come To Daddy
(RDJ eats fillet of soul)
Aphex Twin - Drukqs
(sprawling and disorganized, but ultimately wonderful)