Miami Book Fair or WWE Survivor Series? Intellectually stimulating discussions or cheap recurring story lines? That was the dilemma we faced last night, but ultimately chose wrestling as a sort of sociological experiment. And watching grown men pretend-beat the shit out of one another proved quite telling about the current state of mankind. We met several socially inept guys and gals that rarely make it out of their bedrooms at last night's WWE Survivor Series, an event that combines pyrotechnics, acrobatics, and homoeroticism, neatly packaged into a three-hour Pay-Per-View event.
By 6:20 p.m., a line of eager wrestling fans stretched well beyond the front steps of the American Airlines Arena and onto the Biscayne Boulevard sidewalk. As triple-A staffers opened the door ten minutes later, five grown men--presumably all in their mid-to-late twenties, and virgins--argued about WWE plot lines and made match predictions. In the very brief, yet incredibly awkward exchange with said dudes, we learned that "John Cena is a dick" for being a traitor, and "MVP is the best" because he's from Miami. When we touched on the topic of predetermined match outcomes and predictable story structure, one man nearly died of an asthma attack after he passionately informed us that there is nothing fake about wrestling.
Courtesy of WWE
We casually slipped away from the conversation as the asthmatic signaled to his buddy for the inhaler, and blended in with the crowd as we shuffled passed the entrance. Once inside, we made our way towards section 108 and found our seats. Like restless children at church, we fidgeted in our chairs as the anxiety built up for the performance.
The relatively small crowd--the upper deck was blocked off and several empty seats in the lower bowl--of WWE disciples was 70% male, 27% female, and three percent indistinguishable. That last group wore Mexican wresting masks or some other type of wrestling-related regalia, so identifying a gender proved quite difficult, mainly because man boobs and chubby girl breasts look the same in Survivor Series 2010 commemorative shirts.
At 7:45 p.m., still fifteen-minuets away from going live, the WWE ring announcer introduced a "very special bonus match" between rapping wrester Our Truth, as the "good guy," and Zach Ryder, "the villain." A six or seven minute display of intense acrobatics resulted in a good guy victory. Our Truth's theme music--a rap song that asks, "What's up?" several times--brought the crowd to their feet as he proudly stood atop the turnbuckle in a victorious manner. After the match, the ring announcer introduced the commentators and we finally recognized a face, longtime WWE soap star Jerry "The King" Lawler. At 60, he doesn't look a day under 70. Michael Cole and Matt Striker joined him at a ringside booth, but for fans in attendance, their presence wasn't felt beyond their lackluster intros.
Daniel Bryan and Ted DiBiase, Jr. acted out the first fight broadcast on last night's Pay-Per-View event, which again resulted in a good guy victory. Bryan played that role, but a former Real World cast member interrupted his predetermined victory celebration atop the Survivor Series ramp. In 2001, Mike "The Miz" Mizanin joined the cast of Real World: Back to New York, and subsequently earned a living as a MTV reality whore before joining another cable network to wrestle. As a "proud citizen" of Cleveland, Miz--who did not perform last night--used the triple-A as a forum to shit on the Miami Heat and LeBron James.
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After whacking Bryan across the back with a metal briefcase, Miz told the crowd that the Miami Heat were "arrogant, despised by millions, helpless and mediocre at best." He said James is "nothing more than D. Wade's little sidekick." Naturally it sparked a "Let's go Heat" chant.
Following the first bout came a series of matches seemed to drag on forever. Matters were made worse by a boy in front of us who was oblivious to the fact that others were in attendance and held up a dumb sign for the duration of the play. Our view of the stage was obstructed, and we were left no option other than to watch the performance on the video screen.
By the time the final match rolled around--a highly anticipated bout between good guy Randy Orton and the evil Englishman Wade Barrett--we were miserable. It was like being at a mediocre opera and not knowing Italian. We were lost, struggled to follow the plot, and were yelled at by a socially inept manchild for asking too many questions. From what we understand, John Cena refereed the final match and was supposed to fix the results. If the good guy won, Cena would've been "fired" from the ongoing melodrama known as the WWE. Writers chose the good guy to win, so Cena is likely "out of a job" until a stupid, melodramatic twist of fate possibly happens tonight on Monday Night Raw.