WWE Live In Cincinnati

WWE Live In Cincinnati

I haven’t written much on this blog about my new fascination with WWE. Last April I was talking with a coworker and he noted that Ronda Rousey was going to perform at Wrestlemania, which was in April of 2019. He noted that I could get a free month on the WWE app and watch if I wanted. I had mentioned that I liked Ronda Rousey from her time in UFC and was interested in the women’s only headline match. I liked wrestling a lot when I was a kid and loved WCW when I was in college, but hadn’t watched it in twenty years. The last I remember was the introduction of Stone Cold Steve Austin but missed the entire “Attitude Era.” Although I knew who the Rock and John Cena was I never saw them in a match. However, I would catch up pretty soon I would find as I signed up for the service.

After Wrestlemania 2019 I became interested in professional wrestling again. I love spectacle, and the WWE is the epitome of spectacle. It’s basically a live action stunt show with crazy characters and a fast paced and ever evolving story line of beefs, betrayals, and redemption. Some of the wrestlers even have special powers, it’s great. And before anyone comments that “hey don’t you know it’s fake,” well it is a TV show so get over yourself. Since my rediscovery of the WWE I’ve watched every Raw and Smackdown since that April event oh Hulu and watched all Wrestlemanias from 2001 and forward to catch up on “the lore” on the app. Obviously, I never cancelled that free trial.

Some things to note about the WWE this time around as a relatively new watcher familiar with its history. First off, the women wrestlers are awesome. Female wrestling was relegated as a side act in the old days, but these women are main eventing and are headlining in their own rights. Honestly at times I think their story lines and characters are more interesting than the men’s. Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks and others put on amazing shows. These women do aerials, power bomb each other into tables, and are overall great entertainers. Bravo.

Secondly, the crowd reactions are what really gets me going. I love when wrestlers piss them off, or they start razzing performers who aren’t performing up to their standards with “this is awful” chants. When they’re surprised they go crazy, or stand with their mouths open. They’re so into it and passionate about it. I’ve heard that nobody hates wrestling more than their fans and that seems true.

Lastly I like that WWE pays homage to the past by rolling out wrestlers from the old days like Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, and The Million Dollar Man. For old guys like me this gives us something to remember and it’s cool seeing them again.

Since getting back into wrestling, I have been perusing WWE’s calendar to see when they might come back to Cincinnati, and found that they were visiting during the holidays for a WWE Live Event. WWE Live Events are non-televised so they don’t carry the same luster as the Raw or Smackdown travelling events, but given that tickets in great seats were available and very affordable I signed us up. I was not disappointed.

This event was the Smackdown roster, and it was the ENTIRE Smackdown roster. We got to see some amazing matches, including from our favorites the New Day and Braun Strohman, all from really great seats. I left appreciating Roman Reigns more as I experienced how he works a crowd. But the icing on the cake was seeing the current superstar The Fiend’s entrance, with the red lights and music and everything that makes his character so over the top. It was great experiencing it first hand.

Do you know what got me though? How empty the arena was. I am really surprised more people didn’t turn out given how much of a value this show was for us. If the WWE comes back next year we are there for sure.

NOTE: I thought it would be cool to go to Wrestlemania 2020 this year and sum up the entire experience with an article about a year watching WWE and what I learned from it as an experience. They are even in Tampa the week that we usually visit, but this year we decided to stay home and save money for a camper. If I were a professional writer this is a trip I’d pitch to an editor, but in this instance I am writer, editor, publicist, webmaster, and janitor.