Another evening spent with sweating, muscular men, shouting and cheering as they executed particularly skilled maneuvers.
Another night of indie, semi-professional wrestling with the Ring of Honor in Chicago Ridge.
I can't tell you how delightful it was. This time, it wasn't even that I was surrounded by the uber-nerds that are attracted to this kind of niche sporting entertainment. They just kind of existed around me like a warm sea of ambient interest.
This time, I was entranced by the actual wrestling. I'm starting to get to know the characters and by knowing the script, I can enjoy booing at the heels and cheering the faces. I made fun of Jimmy Jacobs when he cried. I I booed Adam Pearce just on general principal. I marveled at the beauty of Kota Ibushi. I marveled at how not huge El Generico is. I yelled gibberish back at Delirious but admired Chris Hero, since he's currently Daniel's favorite, although his was a disappointing finish. I even yelled a sarcastic "Good job Sinclair!" in a moment of quiet with my obviously female voice at the official that everyone loves to hate (but only in Chicago, interestingly). I chanted "R-O-H! R-O-H!" out of appreciation for the experience that the league provides when the overall wrestling itself was particularly fine, such as in the tag-team match-up between the Briscoes and the Motor City Machine Guns. This is a crowd that chants "Please come back! Please come back!" when visiting wrestlers work well with the regulars and provide a good show. Of course, they also chant "You fucked up! You fucked up!" when a wrestler sets up a move and then fumbles it. They're very aware that this is entertainment, not competition.
There were some particularly cringe-worthy moments last night. One of the wrestlers only has one leg! That's some crazy shit. He does back-flips and stuff. But he's evil so you feel all torn inside whether you should admire him for overcoming adversity or hate him for beating up Austin Aries.
I hate the moments in wrestling when the wrestler threatens his girlfriend after she cheats on him. It doesn't matter that she can fight back because she's a wrestler, too. It just makes me uncomfortable to see that dynamic played out when you know that it actually happens to millions of women every night and they can't fight back. When the men fight each other or the women fight each other it's just a caricature and doesn't cause me to have that response. Maybe it should.
The final gross was that Kevin Steen had some sort of growth under his armpit. It was bigger than a quarter. The band-aid came off early and so we were morbidly attracted to it every time he raised his arm. It was like we couldn't look away. Then, it popped. Let me say that again after the carriage return for emphasis.
Then, it popped.
I can't get the splatter out of my visual memory. It was all CSI and shit. I was so overcome with laughter that Daniel told me I had to calm down because he was afraid I would hurt the wrestler's feelings. But seriously, why didn't he wrap that thing with an ACE? He really thought that little bit of adhesive would hold it with all the sweat and hair?
Daniel says that sometimes he and I show up in the DVDs. Since we now spend the money on second row seats, this is going to become even more likely.
A terribly satisfying evening.
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