@NotThatTomGreen – NotThatTomGreen@gmail.com
I know your type. You’re dreading something this weekend. A loved one/friend/partner has convinced you to come to a viewing party that they are attending on Sunday.
You’re probably not dreading the food — no one dreads mozzarella sticks, after all.
You’re definitely not dreading the company. Unless Carl is coming. No one likes Carl.
You’re absolutely dreading the reason for the season.
PRO WRESTLING. Ugh.
For wrestling fans, WrestleMania is like if they just let Katy Perry perform whenever and as long as she wanted on Super Bowl Sunday, and the football players had to play around the giant beachballs. It’s the biggest, most important, and most flamboyant day of the year in the world of pro wrestling. It’s a day where America’s favorite half-naked heroes make-believe fight their most dreaded enemies in a football stadium filled with tens of thousands of screaming fans. Good overcomes evil, scores are settled, and forever-lasting memories are made.
You probably don’t care, right?
But guess what? You’re stuck there for four hours and at some point during your marathon Instagram scrolling, your phone will probably die. You will end up looking at the screen for a long enough period of time that you might wonder what is happening in front of you, whether you like it or not. You might feel bad that you’re a little curious, but you WILL be a little curious.
Luckily for you, I’m here to help. I wrote this handy guide for you in such a dire situation. I will tell you just enough that you won’t be completely confused by the mishmash of flesh and spandex flashing on the screen, but not so much that you won’t be able to completely forget it by Monday morning if you want.
Grab my hand and join me on this journey, as I educate you on the mythology of sports entertainment in hopes that you might not completely hate your Sunday evening.
(Yeah, they call it “sports entertainment” sometimes. For real. How dumb is that?)
WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns
You might know Brock Lesnar’s name. One of your friends (the one who keeps telling you how women think that his Axe bodyspray is really sexy and that the skulls on his t-shirts make his arms look huge) has probably dragged you to Buffalo Wild Wings before and screamed at the top of his lungs as Lesnar pounded some guy’s face in for real.
Lesnar is a former Ultimate Fighting Championship Heavyweight Champion. He was a pro wrestler before that, but apparently the appeal of dudes punching him in the face was too strong to resist. After a life-threatening illness, Lesnar came back to pro wrestling and is kind of the best at it. He has huge muscles, looks mean, and does cool things (like sometimes lifting two dudes over his head at the same time). He ended the almost quarter-century-long winning streak of a seven-foot-tall zombie wizard at last year’s WrestleMania event and then beat John Cena (The Marine, 12 Rounds, Fred: The Movie) for the World Title over the summer.
Lesnar even has an advocate. Sometimes, they argue about Brock in Congress, so his little buddy Paul Heyman (the bald guy that you will see around the ring) has to go scream in his defense on C-SPAN.
So, why would anyone have an issue with this buff, rad dude?
He might be leaving wrestling on March 31. For real. Not part of the television storylines.
Lesnar’s contract is up on that day and he might be going back to the UFC because he misses making more money than most small island countries to punch a guy for fifteen minutes. A lot of wrestling fans will resent him for leaving because we’re really protective of wrestling. It’s the girlfriend that won’t do any chores around the apartment, but then will grope our privates in fun and interesting ways.
But, in Brock’s defense — wouldn’t you be embarrassed if you had a co-worker named Fandango?
There’s a lot more to the story, but it’s super-boring and you don’t have time.
Roman Reigns used to be a member of wrestling’s SWAT team, but they split up and he had the biggest muscles of his pals, so he got to win the most. He recently won a big thirty-man match called the Royal Rumble and the fans were like, “Whoa, you aren’t good enough at pretending to do fighting!”, so they revolted. Not a dangerous revolt — they just screamed cuss words in front of children and weren’t in the mood to kiss their partners when they got home. Because he won that match, he gets to face Lesnar at WrestleMania for the World Heavyweight Championship.
Everyone in your party will probably complain about how some dude named Daniel Bryan should be in this match instead of Reigns. I’m going to give you a sweet life hack for this situation.
Look at your buddy in the eye and go, “Hey, Roman Reigns gets cheered at the non-televised events and is improving by the week. Shut up”. Your friends will go silent and be impressed with your superior knowledge. They will lift the chair you’re sitting on above their heads and parade you around their home, all while chanting your name. You will be the king/queen of WrestleMania!
Also, Lesnar and Reigns will sweat a lot. It’ll be totally gross and really unsexy, but I don’t think either one of them will pass out or anything.
WWE United States Championship
Rusev vs. John Cena
While he looks like he’d sell you a beautiful windbreaker out of his van in Queens, Rusev is portrayed in wrestling as being the baddest Bulgarian since scientist George Chaldakov (I assure you — I didn’t use Wikipedia for that joke). Making it his mission to show how weak America is since debuting in WWE a year ago, he has conquered a weightlifter, a hip-hop artist, a seven-foot-tall giant, and arguably the most muscular member of the Tea Party. Rusev even clinched the United States Championship months ago because irony is evil.
Having taken out a majority of America’s elite and mostly-naked heroes, who is left for this evil European to take down before he is elected President of the United States?
The guy who had the violent orgasm in that Amy Schumer movie trailer you saw on Yahoo the other day.
Having the biggest muscles around, John Cena felt a moral obligation to his country to end Rusev’s reign of terror before it was too late. If Rusev is to win this match, we will lose all of our rights and our factories will be forfeited to the Russians. But if John Cena wins this match, he will get a ten-pound leather belt with our flag painted on it. It’s a totally fair trade and clearly the most win-win situation any fictional character has ever put himself in.
But, why would the Russians get all of that power if Rusev wins? Well, he represents Russia.
Yeah, I know I just said that he’s Bulgarian. But, it’s hard to get mad at Bulgaria because they’re just hanging out over by Macedonia. They’re not really doing much to anger anyone. However, Rusev is really mean-looking and it would be a waste of his human potential if he didn’t grow up to be a bad guy pro wrestler. So, he intimidated his mom into selling his custody to the Russian government as a child.
Even if you don’t care about Russia or America or wet hair, this match will give you a great opportunity to perform a fun experiment among your friends.
Rusev will walk out to the ring with a pretty blonde lady named Lana. While this is happening, I want you to look to your left and then look to your right. Then, think to yourself that every person you just looked at has masturbated to that woman sometime in the past twelve months.
Now you get to see all of your friends as sexual beings and that’s kind of weird, right?
Sting vs. Triple H
No, Gordon Sumner is NOT wrestling. To the best of my knowledge, this Sting doesn’t know how to play bass and I don’t have conclusive evidence one way or another about his history with tantric sex. You won’t impress anyone by making a Police joke, so maybe don’t.
The Sting that is wrestling is this painted-up real estate agent who sometimes wears a Liberace jacket and interferes in Triple H’s evil corporate affairs. Not like extramarital corporate affairs (again, no knowledge about Sting’s sex life), but rather when Triple H is really mean to the good guys. Triple H is one of the bosses for real, but he’s also the evil, conniving boss on television. This doesn’t confuse WWE’s stockholders at all or anything.
This match is also a super-big deal to some people because Sting was one of the featured players for WWE’s enemy company in the 1990’s, World Championship Wrestling. When WWE bought WCW in 2001, Sting chose to stay on the sidelines instead of sign with WWE. After vacationing in Orlando for almost a decade, Sting finally had enough and joined WWE this past November.
Everyone at your shindig will be really into this uncle-fight. Just go along with it and don’t bring up how it looks like their hairlines are having a race to the finish line.
The Undertaker vs. Bray Wyatt
Let’s go back to high school for a moment. If your class was anything like mine, there was probably that one kid who sat down far away from everyone else. Chances are, he wore a fedora. Maybe he had some scraggly, whispy facial hair. On the rare occasion when he would raise his hand in class, he would freak everyone out by confidently displaying his elfin knowledge and answering algebraic equations in tongues. He probably made the school paper once for protesting against the principal’s ban on trenchcoats in P.E. class.
So, what happened to him after graduation?
He moved down south with relatives, got a minimum wage job, and went nuts every time Walmart had a sale on Hawaiian shirts. He changed his name to “Bray Wyatt” and learned how to say it with some dramatic flair. Somewhere along the way, he bought into his role-playing character and convinced some of the locals that he had magic in his fingers. The delusion grew greater, to the point where he built a shack and got a cult.
Here’s where things get weird. You know those cards that he used to pester you about playing with him in study hall? The ones with the different cartoon characters that had special skills and defenses and such?
Well, Wyatt got so far into the mythology of that make-believe that the most powerful magic warlock in the game came to life, on a mission to strike him down before he can start to mate with underage girls of questionable relation to him.
That mystical warrior is The Undertaker.
The stage is set. Will Bray Wyatt m’lady his way to a complete conquest of some game with shields and invincibility and stuff, or will The Undertaker do to him what every teacher at your school really wanted to do, but was afraid to do so in fear of getting their hands smelly and having to report someone to child protective services?
Seven-Man Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match – Bad News Barrett vs. Luke Harper vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Stardust vs. Dean Ambrose vs. R-Truth
The rules to a ladder match are simple: they will hang the championship belt above the ring and the first man to climb up and grab it using a ladder wins. If you’ve ever changed a lightbulb in a crowded room, you are just as qualified as anyone in this match to be the Intercontinental Champion of WWE.
Just to answer any questions you might want to ask during this match:
- Yes, you and/or your girlfriend probably saw the guy with the beard get married on E! once.
- No, those guys in the jeans aren’t fans who they just let wrestle.
- Yes, the tall guy has a super-dreamy British accent and it’s totally normal that you wouldn’t mind kissing him on his mouth.
- No, I don’t know if the sparkly guy’s zipper actually works.
- Yes, everyone else thinks that the portrayal of the black dude is super-racist too. But we say nothing because they used to make black dudes dance around in tribal paint and if enough bloggers click their heels, they might actually stop this crap someday, anyway.
If you have any questions about the painted-up guy with the star on his face — you’re on your own. None of us wrestling fans get it either.
(For real – this might be the one part of the show where you get a little worried about the wrestlers’ health. They will be jumping off of those ladders for real onto little-to-no padding and it absolutely, positively hurts them as much as it looks like it does.)
Seth Rollins vs. Randy Orton
This is a battle of the two skeeziest type of dudes who could end up dating your teenage daughter someday.
Seth Rollins is one of those skinny metal kids who wears the band t-shirts that look like the Care Bears are throwing up on themselves. He’s over six foot tall, but his jeans are a child medium. He’s on the bowling team ironically, but he ended up being really good at it. He’ll deny ever having said the n-word on XBox Live, but he totally has. His hair is kind of floppy, so your kid will fall for anything he says. He has a job, but no real aspirations of going anywhere with his life (other than “managing bands”). Oh yeah – he’ll convince your innocent girl that she won’t lose her virginity if she lets him use the back door. He might even write it into a song that he sings to her on his acoustic guitar and use adorable metaphors, comparing her anus to a sugary tunnel.
On the other hand, Randy Orton would just go for your daughter’s butt cherry because he’s 35 years old and he’s not wasting any time. He’ll introduce her to “classic rock” like Korn and Disturbed while blasting it out of his mom’s 2001 Taurus. You will never find out about the “his and hers” barbed wire rose tattoo that he convinced her to get with him (both strategically placed right above their pelvic bones). Unlike Rollins, he doesn’t have a job, but he is convinced that once someone falls for his clever bootleg DVD eBay schemes, he will be rich. Everyone at her prom will be intrigued by how he’s the only one there who has a really clear memory of where he was on September 11, 2001.
There’s a long back-story in wrestling lore about Rollins and Orton formerly being teammates before splitting up violently, but this match is only going to go six minutes and I don’t want to take up too much more of your time.
Let’s face it — the winner of this match will probably get to see your daughter’s boobs before anyone else when she grows them.
The Bella Twins vs. AJ Lee & Paige
They’re billing this match as “twins versus frenemies”. What might confuse is which team are the twins?
The woman with the championship belt that looks like RuPaul’s uterus and her partner with the flannel are the biological twins. I swear to goodness – they used to look alike. But at some point in the recent past, at least one of them went to a surgeon to have him/her fix what their mom’s eggs created.
The other team is referred to as “frenemies” because pro wrestling is run by white dudes who haven’t been teenagers since Tumblr was just a misspelling of that thing you put bingo balls in. It’s not that they HATE women per se, but they do think that mental illness is a common link of anyone who identifies as female and that all ladies all hate each other. But it’s totally okay to send this image to young kids because they DVR’d a movie on the Disney Channel for their granddaughters called Frenemies and they just ate it up.
As this match is happening, you will probably begin to notice how the television announcers at ringside are not working very hard at their jobs. They are absolutely being paid more than your entire family combined to sit there and yell dad jokes at each other. This fact should make you really upset for probably thirty seconds. At that point, feel free to eat five chicken wings off of the snack table at the same time. They will heal your soul and make your belly smile.
Maybe someday, they will give the female characters enough of a story that I can write five paragraphs of just jokes about how ridiculous their thing is.
The Second Annual Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal
“Anybody want a peanut?”
Those words (spoken by Andre “The Giant” Thegiant just seconds before Hulk Hogan maliciously murdered him via atomic bodyslam in Pontiac, Michigan on March 29, 1987) were more appropriate last words than any that have ever been spoken. They were an example of his unselfish nature, even in the most unfortunate of times. Also, he felt kind of weird about ordering an entire bowl of peanuts for himself because he had body issues.
In honor of Andre’s kind soul and legendary status as a wrestler, WWE now holds a yearly twenty-man fight where you must throw a bunch of dudes high in the air onto the concrete floor in order to win. Sure, nineteen other dudes might end up with broken bones and stuff, but the winner of this struggle will do so to commemorate the spirit of wrestling’s most adorable acromegaly patient.
I wasn’t exaggerating earlier – there are literally twenty guys in this match. To save you hours, let me just give brief character summaries of a few of the more notable wrestlers in this match…
- THE MIZ – Veteran of hundreds of battle royals on The Real World/Road Rules Challenge. Would appreciate it if you would stop bringing up how he was racist to Coral fifteen years ago.
- DAMIEN MIZDOW – The Miz’s personal assistant who used to be his stunt double. People like it when he mimics The Miz. Will eventually be hired by a bovine and change his name to Damien Cowdow.
- RYBACK – Muscular hero who lives by Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret. His legs are made of healthy bread, but he didn’t think that WheatCalves would be a good wrestling name.
- ADAM ROSE – Author of the autobiography My Booky Wook. Played “Aldous Snow” in the 2010 comedy Get Him To The Greek. Host of The Russell Brand Podcast.
- FANDANGO – You thought I made up that part about Brock Lesnar having a co-worker named Fandango, didn’t you?
- BIG SHOW – Full name is Large Feature Presentation. Served in the United States Military, where he earned the honor of receiving the fifth-degree blue camouflage singlet.
- JACK SWAGGER – Used to be hated for being racist against Mexicans, now beloved for being racist against eastern Europeans. Despite the killer name, his wife is actually the only member of his family to be filmed having sex. Probably liked that Randy Quaid video.
- ERICK ROWAN – With a measured IQ of 143, this amateur vintner enjoys solving Rubik’s cubes and showing off his classical guitar mastery to friends. (This is the one I didn’t have to make up. They really claim all of this about him on their TV show.)
Now that I have given you this knowledge, I urge you to use it responsibly. Please don’t harm anyone with this temporary doctorate in pretend-fighting. Don’t use it as a dirty trick in a fistfight, don’t distract any 7-11 clerks with it while your buddies steal from the soda machine and please, please, please don’t use it to confuse your friend into losing a rock-climbing competition that might save his grandma’s home from an evil debt collector.
But here’s the one thing I really want you to take out of this. Wrestling IS stupid. Wrestling IS ridiculous. But above all else, wrestling is really fun when you just let it be. You probably like things that are way more stupid than a bunch of big dudes in costumes stage-fighting.
No one is making you become a wrestling fan. You don’t even have to acknowledge it beyond Sunday night. But if you do end up at a WrestleMania party, try not to be a jerk about it. We support your Scandal habit. We put up with you hanging on every breath that Olivia Pope breathes. Be a good friend/relative/partner and don’t judge us when we get excited about our favorite sweaty, bare-chested superhero dude getting his comeuppance on his enemies.
But if you do end up liking it — don’t bet on it. That’s really stupid and I would ask Obama to ban you from having money if you did.