Sam’s Town the undisputed champeen of WrestleMania

Sometimes you just have to know your market. On April 3, I made the trek to Sam’s Town to venture into the squared circle of the Sam’s Town Arena for WrestleMania XXVII. Sports entertainment’s marquee night didn’t just draw a couple hundred die-hard loyalists – it got more than 800 Vince McMahon devotees in the space.

The sound guy told me they run the pay-per-views every month and they are usually able to fill the tables on the main floor. This time around they had to bring in bleachers — and lots of them.

I have been a wrestling fan, for better or worse, most of my life. But these people are committed on an almost scary level. The show started at 4 p.m. Doors probably opened around 2 or 3 p.m. Fanatics were lining up to get in starting at 6 a.m. That means, with a four hour running time, some people were there 14 hours. I’d have to re-evaluate my life choices if I spent 14 hours anywhere waiting to watch pro wrestling. Especially Sam’s Town.

I brought my friend Jeremy with me. He hasn’t watched wrasslin’ since he was a kid. We were hoping there would be a nice mix of tweakers and rednecks. While there were certainly some of both, we couldn’t believe the amount of old people there.

Sadly, the crowd was well-behaved. After the television feed went out during the Jerry “The King” Lawler vs. Michael Cole match, and again during the Undertaker vs. Triple H match (two of the main events), we wanted a riot. There were chairs there. Why was nobody hit over the head with one? There were tables there. Why was nobody powerbombed through one?

All in all though, we had a good time. Jeremy probably won’t be dedicated to WWE Monday Night Raw from now on. As he later told me, “Nothing much has changed …  Scripts are about the same men getting thrown into tables and dudes’ heads being suffocated in other dudes’ sweaty crotches in silky polyester tights. Which for some reason could be considered gay and yet the very gun-toting, hunting, overly heterosexual, gay-rights hating crowd of men still whoop and holler when other guys are slapping and prodding each other because that’s OK. It’s a ‘sport.’ ”

He would, though, go back to Sam’s Town for another event. “Had I watched the show at home or at a friend’s house, I would’ve turned it off — which means I would have missed the Snooki double cartwheel booty smack down.” Yes, that Snooki provided one of the night’s main highlights.

I did watch Raw the night after and they have already announced the main event for next year’s WrestleMania: The Rock vs. John Cena. The most successful crossover wrestler/actor ever versus the number one star in the WWE today. I wonder if people will start lining up at Sam’s Town tomorrow?

Jason Harris is a local stand-up comedian.



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