Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Brock Lesnar's WWE Return And The Annoying Gravitational Pull Of Pro-Wrestling

I'm pissed at Scott. WestleMania Sunday would have easily passed me by without much interest beyond wondering if Brock Lesnar would return. Something of personal interest, but also of concern to my day-to-day business.

But then Scott had to go and order the show. And worse than his personal decision to watch the event, he had to send me messages about it all damn day.

Wrestling has a sort of gravity that only pulls when you acknowledge its existence. Since January, having pushed wrestling from my mind, I'd not been compelled to fire up an old show or make yet another ill-fated attempt at embracing "the modern product." But as Scott talked about wrestling, and my Twitter timeline filled up with tweets about wrestling and my news reader feed filled with articles about wrestling...it became impossible to escape the pull back to the show, technology acting as an insistent carnival barker.

For some people, that gravity may not have the same pull. But wrestling was so important to me when I was a kid as we moved from place to place and I couldn't be bothered to make friends since we'd just be moving in a few weeks anyway, my wrestling tapes were a constant source of escapism. Then, in middle school through high school, with the wrestling boom..um...booming, it became a central focus of my social circle. It's been a lifelong thing that just won't go away and keeps pulling me back.

I tuned in to last night's Post-Mania Raw feigning frustration and a professional obligation. If Brock came back (which I'd been informed was a certainty earlier in the day), it would be a big story. One that would have to be covered for "the day job." So I sat, TV locked on USA but only half paying attention. I was, after all, only here for Lesnar.

I laughed as Jericho tried to hit Punk with a bottle only to have it shatter into a million pieces mid-swing. I didn't care that Alberto Del Rio returned to get kicked in the face by Sheamus. I thought having Daniel Bryan stare and "be intense" while not speaking during his backstage interview showed a lack of faith in his ability to get a point across with words and represented a great missed opportunity.

Actually, before I continue, here's what Bryan was able to do AFTER the show went off the air:

Back to the point though. The show was mostly waves of white noise crashing onto the shore of Who Gives A Shit Beach.

As the worst point of every night of professional wrestling arrived and John Cena began his soulsuckingly boring shtick of "hey you guys! You guys are great! :) I know you all think I'm going to be mad! :-/ But naw, I'm here for you! :-D Oh you guys, with your booing. I feel ya! 'The Man' right? ;)" that always lasts far too fucking long to be maintain even the slightest bit of interest. It's amazing to me that, at the base level of who he is as a wrestler, he has regressed consistently on the mic and has never really gotten significantly better in ring. He's just the top guy who is the top guy because people identify him as the top guy because he was positioned as the top guy for a long time. I can't imagine a single person sitting through a promo segment like he was delivering last night and thinking "yes, this is a guy I enjoy. I sit all program long in anticipation of his coming out to make stupid faces and deliver lines with all the emotion of a seventh grader in a church nativity play.

But then that weird synth didgeridoo-type sound hit and...welp, here come da pain. And, as hard as I tried to fight it, I kinda started marking out. And, believe me, I put on a brave face in public, focusing on how badly Cena sucked and how a match between a rusty Lesnar and Cena (who still requires someone who can carry him to have a good match) will be miserable. Didn't Brock look kind of tired after delivering that F-5? (he didn't despite my thinking he did "in the moment")

But, Brock was back and I was excited. Even if I wasn't ready to admit it in public.

In the end, Lesnar is the Anti-Cena. While John loves you all, WWE Universe , Brock is the alpha male of alpha males. Unconcerned with all but kicking the shit out of whoever is in front of him, Brock as maladjusted hyper-athlete is the answer to all that is wrong with Cena. Cena is a waste of athleticism, wrapped up in his brightly colored shirt, wristband, hat combinations. Never striving to be the best for any reason other than acceptance. Brock Lesnar gives a fuck for your acceptance. Brock Lesnar is here to win because winning is what you do when you're Brock Lesnar.

After nearly two hours of not giving a shit about what was on my TV, it took the return of Lesnar for the inescapable gravity of wrestling to pull me back in. Lesnar, with all the doofy mannerisms (as explained by Scott earlier in his breakdown of why the return kicked so much ass), the complete lack of words and the immediate establishment of his physical dominance.

That's what I needed to bring me back, pulling me back into this world I just can't seem to escape...at least for another week.

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree with you Re: the gravitational pull thing. It's sort of an all-or-nothing proposition.

    I thought that the Bryan post-Raw promo was basically terrible, really. It just came off as more sexism and a very thinly veiled attempt to sell some t-shirts.