Sometimes you find yourself in weird situations. Like when your boyfriend who’s been a massive fan of pro wrestling since he was a kid, decides it’s time step away from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the martial art he’s dedicated the last 8 years of his life to, and take the plunge to try out pro wrestling for himself.
Far removed from the glossy world of the WWE, my guy’s first fight took place in the small working class town of Batley, West Yorkshire. The fans were there, the super-tight wrestling outfits were there, even the classic steel-chair-as-a-weapon was there.
Confusingly, I was there too.
As a lone female attending a local wrestling show, my request for a single ticket was met with a puzzled look from the people on the door. Once we all established I was definitely where I intended to be, they led me to one of the few seats still available and my evening of wrestling began.
On an entertainment level, the performers were definitely going for it. They had truly passionate fake arguments, riled up the kids in the audience to the point they cheered and booed on command, and pretended to hit each other with all the passion in the world. On a plausibility level, it was difficult to believe some of the things I saw that night. Maybe I’m too cynical, or maybe I just understand basic physics.
Either way, I watched a tiny waif of a thing beat the crap out of a woman five times her size, cringed as a faux German man’s losing cries of ‘nein’ were met with chants of ‘ten’, and witnessed a guy get beaten to submission with a baseball bat. All under the amazing narration of the grandma behind me who hadn’t quite grasped the concept of pro wrestling but was a high priestess in the art of heckling.
When the time came for the fight I‘d been waiting for, I was surprised to find one of my favourite songs had been appropriated for the entrance music. If you’re going to do that, you’d better put on a good show.
And that’s what they did. I couldn’t name a single move I saw, or tell you who would have really won the predetermined conflict that unfolded before me, but I can say, it looked pretty good.
From the anger the kid next to me expressed when it ended, it seemed that, for some at least, it was pretty believable too.
The glitz and glamour of American pro wresting may have been missing from the evening but what stood in its place was a menagerie of mismatched wrestlers entertaining local families in the name of charity, and a couple of older ladies who openly enjoyed how tight my boyfriend’s pants were.
I couldn’t smell what The Rock was cooking, but I could smell pot noodles.
And for a one off evening of peculiar entertainment, that was alright with me.