WrestleMania for Sissies, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Spandex

three_wrestling_fans.JPG
Not scary: These guys.
I'm just going to come right out and say it: I am a wimp. A pansy. One of those girls who has to ask men to open jars and help get her luggage down from the overhead compartment. I've never been naturally gifted when it comes to sports, and I've always preferred curling up with a book to running around a soccer field or whatever.

I also grew up on Lifetime movies and episodes of Law & Order: SVU, so I find big 'roided-up dudes to be extra scary. I'm a feminist, so they also make me angry. And that's not exactly a recipe for professional wrestling fandom. I once seriously considered dumping a guy I was dating because I found out he was a big wrestling fan.

Instead, I married him. And that's how I found myself at WrestleMania XXVIII last night.

Having actively avoided professional wrestling my whole life, this summed up my entire knowledge of the sport: It is fake. There is spandex involved. Rednecks love it. Hulk Hogan got famous this way. The Rock went to UM. And ... yeah, that's about it.

So it was a little intimidating walking into Sun Life Stadium surrounded by hundreds of hardcore wrestling fans, almost all of whom wore the same uniform: black t-shirt with wrestling catchphrase, and jeans. Even before we'd gotten inside, fans had begun dueling chants: "Let's go Cena!" "Cena sucks!" I was relieved that I'd chosen to wear a dark shirt and jeans as well (thanks, Girls' Guide to WrestleMania), because I imagined that, should a violent riot start in the stands, I would not be immediately targeted. (I took enough sociology in college to know how crowd mentalities work.)

There was something really silly about droves of dark, seemingly angry people filing into a building covered from top to bottom in Britto art, though. "It's weird," I told my husband Joe. "Britto is so colorful, and so happy, and so gay." "So ... just like wrestling?" he responded. Point.

We found our seats, then decided to walk around in search of funny costumes. I was told WrestleMania is like the Lady Gaga concert of sports, and wacky getups were one part of the experience I was genuinely looking forward to. But we saw very few elaborate outfits -- mostly just black t-shirts and plenty of people (dudes, mostly) carrying enormous golden belts slung over their shoulders. I asked Joe if there was any meaning to right shoulder vs. left shoulder where the belts were concerned. "Y'know, like how in the '90s it meant something if you had one ear pierced?" He just looked at me with disappointment.

I was disappointed, too, because the three dudes in this story's opening photo made up the majority of the costumes we saw. There was also this guy -- yes, this guy -- signing up for a raffle:

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And this fellow, who I'm betting really enjoys beef jerky:

slim_jim_dude.JPG
But that was it. So we went back to our seats and waited for the show to start. I was feeling a little more relaxed at this point, because there appeared to be a good number of children sitting around me. If one of them tries to start a fight with me, I figured, I could probably take them. (It later turned out that we were sitting right next to the Make A Wish Foundation seating section. Seriously.)

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If there's one thing WrestleMania does well, it's spectacle -- and that's coming from a former figure skating fan who's attended both a Super Bowl and two Lady Gaga stadium shows. I knew enough to expect some pyrotechnics, but the giant light-up stage was genuinely impressive. It also had the effect, from where I sat, of completely dwarfing any person to stand upon it. So when, say, The Undertaker made his entrance, and we were supposed to be all scared of him? Dude looked like an ant.



In the very few occasions I've seen pro wrestling on TV, the dudes are all greased up and snarly and throbby-veined. They're gross and intimidating. But at the actual event, they just look like dudes with muscles dressed up in funny costumes. And there's so much going on around them that you're not even really paying attention to what they're doing. Well, I wasn't, anyway. The fanboys seated in front of me? Not so much:

excited_dude_wrestlemania.JPG
​That's a look of sheer joy on that guy's face. He was so genuinely excited for this shit. He told me he was 30 years old, and made a big point of mentioning that he had a girlfriend, lest I think he was one of those wrestling stereotypes. Watching him was just as entertaining as watching the show.

It's hard to sit in a crowd of 78,000+ psyched-up people -- record attendance at Sun Life, by the way -- and not get a little psyched yourself. I was in a safe place, surrounded by children and fanboys who acted like children, and the stars in the ring were hilariously dressed and even more hilariously overacting. They'd fake-punch or fake-kick or fake-throw each other to the ground, then writhe in pain for a minute or two, then do it all over again. As spectacle for spectacle's sake goes, this was top quality.

An Irish dude named Sheamus beat his opponent in a matter of seconds, before I could even snap a picture. The Undertaker continued what I'm told was a 20-0 WrestleMania win streak. Extra's Maria Menounos was laughably unconvincing, even by my very low pro wrestling standards, but won anyway. A midget was tossed. Fireworks exploded. Diddy made a cameo. Flo Rida performed. At points, I actually wanted to cheer. All was right with the world.

Then the fights started. One a couple sections over to my left, and a few minutes later, another down and to the right. As I craned to see what was happening, part of me wondered what all these kids around me were going to take away from an experience like this, watching thousands of people cheer two people beating up on each other. I worried, a little. But the other part of me realized that I was cursing the people in front of me for blocking my view of a real, live fight in the stands instead of watching the fake fight on the stage, and that maybe I was part of the problem. Woah. Better concentrate on the pretty lights rather than think too hard on that.

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Don't worry. By the time the rest of the fireworks had gone off and The Rock beat John Cena (who sucks, in case you hadn't heard), I'd forgotten all about it.

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53 comments
Bebep
Bebep

Hahahah at all these comments.

It's not surprising that people who get all worked up on fake fighting get baited so easily on a humorous post.

Well played Ciara, and you should thank everyone for the page views!

Jamie Lowndes
Jamie Lowndes

It's amazing what qualifies for journalism nowadays. We get it, you don't like wrestling, it's all fake, we're all morons for liking it etc.

The internet has truly proven that anyone can pick up a gig as a journalist.

Angry Misogynist...Apparently!
Angry Misogynist...Apparently!

I feel sorry for her husband. He must wonder how he ended up with a moronic, self-absorbed, vindictive bint for a wife. 

It is laughable that you consider Lady Gaga to be the measuring stick of entertainment and the basis of your argument, considering that she shares a lot in common with wrestling, the costumes, the pyro, the stage...the use of disguises to cover up her fake talent (Although that's an insult to the wrestlers, they've spent years honing their craft, doesn't take a lot for Gaga to kiss up to the LGBT community and wear stupid stuff to cover her mediocrity).

In addition, I'm hope you got permission for posting those photos of the fans that you brutally insulted. Clearly you have some deep routed insecurities if you feel the need to do so. Not forgetting you claiming your a "feminist", with itself give a bad name for "other feminists" because you clearly use this as an excuse to be a total bitch.Oh, and last thing, maybe you should take your previous sociology classes and apply it to another job, because journalism isn't your strength, dear.

your name
your name

well, we can all tell that everyone bashing ms. ciara are all 40 year old virgins. pathetic attempt at trying to rile her up. i enjoyed your blog. it wasn't like the average "i went to wrestlemania, fuck yeah!" posts. well done!

Markus
Markus

This cunt is married? She must be a real bitch at home.

Markz_1
Markz_1

Kind of lonely on that pedestal isn't it? 

Alta
Alta

I think this bitch should offer an apology in her next article for her extreme smugness. Did she get paid for this? Someone fire her.

J.J. Colagrande
J.J. Colagrande

Who's in the danger zone! It's not a smorgasborg; it's the WWF. Oooooh yeeeah! You want everybody to freak out! Freak out! The Macho Man is right here, and you're gonna take it to the limit! Yeah! BE NICE BROTHERS...

Kanenite
Kanenite

I feel like I have to preface this comment with the statement that I've been a wrestling fan for about two decades now (I'm also 30 like that fan you mentioned in the Rocky shirt that's pictured).

I disagree with all the comments here saying you're a condescending/smug "bit**", it's clear to me that you came into Wrestlemania with a few preconceived notions about the fans, the Superstars and the general atmosphere and left being highly entertained and a bit surprised at how legit an industry pro-wrestling really is.

I can see why people who just 'skimmed' this article wouldn't pick up on that subtlety.  But to me it's clear that Ciara isn't bashing wrestling, or wrestling fans.  She's on the verge of becoming one, or at the very least she a lot closer than she was before when she'd practically dump a guy for speaking the name Hulk Hogan.

So I guess on behalf of wrestling fans I apologize, Ciara-- when even the implication of someone bashing our passion is there we can be unforgiving and relentless in our retaliation.  Even so Ciara calling a few costumes 'silly' is not at all deserving of calling her a 'bit**' or a 'cunt' or whatnot.  Shame on some of you.

Wrestling Fan
Wrestling Fan

Your story is extremely condescending and your attemptsat humor in this poor excuse for journalism are feeble at best. Not only do youstereotype the entire wrestling fan base (not all fans are dumb rednecks), youeven seem to turn your nose up at the Make-A-Wish children who were inattendance. Heaven forbid anyone attend a wrestling event for entertainmentmuch like someone else might attend a play at a theater. Please excuse thosesick children whose heroes happen to be professional wrestlers.

If you hate wrestling so much that you nearly dumped yourfuture husband, why did you even attend in the first place?

Brandon
Brandon

It disgusts me that you were given a ticket to WrestleMania, something most people would love to go to but cannot because of travel and money.  

You clearly hated the show before it even started.

Your pathetic boyfriend
Your pathetic boyfriend

You're a jerk. You're not funny and nobody likes you. You get off on slating people for having fun, go and watch some shit American TV and hang yourself. Pride of Poulton you slag.

Bob
Bob

Oh dear, don’t you realise the cool kids have moved awayfrom the usual stereotypes and either point out the athleticism, compare it to theatreor maybe bring up The Wrestler?

 

Shame really as there was the basis of a good article there,I’d have liked to have heard more about the crowd psychology you studied beingapplied to wrestling fans. If only your bizarre paranoia didn’t get in the way you’dhave realised WWE crowds are about as safe as it gets even if they are a bitrowdy. I cant’ claim to have studied sociology but being in English soccercrowds and various concerts gives me a good sense of when things could kick-offand I usually find shopping in sales more scary than any of them.

 

Or maybe looking deeper into that joy that you mentioned wouldhave been better especially when it came to the make a wish kids, seeing thejoy in their face when they meet John Cena explains more than any article likethis.

Alowishus
Alowishus

Also...gotta love how you got pictures of everyone. You probably asked nicely and laughed at all their dumb jokes, only to get on here and rip on them. You truly are a pathetic cunt.

Btw...here's a picture of the girl who wrote the article.

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/...

For someone who lives in Miami...you should get a tan and lose about 20 lbs, you're nothing impressive to look at. Good luck finding someone to fuck your pale ass.

Alowishus
Alowishus

What a dumb snarky bitch. I love how you're "reporting" on something you don't care anything for. I'm glad I skimmed this piece of shit article, and truly hope that I can somehow interject my douchiness about something you care for. Maybe you should stick to Twilight premiers and tampon conventions, you wretched cunt.Now go to the bathroom and cut yourself and cry about how "no one gets you".

Amdragdanbyesyesyes
Amdragdanbyesyesyes

YES! YES! YES! 

I appreciate this blog but would drastically prefer if you implored the same world beating attitude that you did in this blog,that I do with my matches into fixing me a sandwhich. A tofurkey sandwhich because i'm a vegan which is a code of ethics you could really grow to learn something about but of course that would require you to be a champion like me. I mean really,you could stand to learn alot from me. Not just you. Your fans. You see,i'm a role model. I'm a personal life coach. I'm the one who's here to tell you that everytime you even look at that big mac you're killing another cow.

You're a monster. A terrible human being. That's why there's people like me in this world to make it all better.

YES!YES!YES!YES!YES!YES!YES!

SamIAm
SamIAm

In your next article can you please discuss your dislike for Make A Wish kids? 

Sometimes it is best to keep your observations and opinions to yourself.

Alta
Alta

You sound like a real bitch. How elitist. I hope you're not this fucking smug all the time, people must hate you.

Emily
Emily

Is this article terrible?

YES!YES!YES!YES!YES!YES!YES!YES!YES!YES! YES!YES!YES!YES!YES! YES!YES!YES!YES!YES! YES!YES!YES!YES!YES! YES!YES!YES!YES!YES! 

PS. Shut up, Ciara!

Just Some Punk  Ass Kid
Just Some Punk Ass Kid

LOL well this went really well for Ciara. She must feel like an ass right now. Awesome article ONLY because of the user comments

Kawaiigirls5
Kawaiigirls5

I was flabbergasted as to why you would write such idiocy until I realized:

FeministTook Sociology in collegeLady Gaga fan

It all makes sense now.

#Heel
#Heel

Mrs. Lavelle, what you've just written is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent written response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this comment section is now dumber for having to read through this painfully ignorant article. My mentally challenged cousin with cerebral palsy could have, at many points, made more poignant, concise and educated arguments. I don't care if you're a feminist; I don't care if you don't like wrestling; and I certainly don't care if you took a basic course in psychology once in college years ago and claim to be queen of understand the complex decisions and thoughts that go on inside the minds of thousands of people you've never even said a word to. Mrs. Lavelle, this entire article was horrid. I award you no points, and may 'Macho Man' Randy Savage have mercy on your soul.

Tomas
Tomas

You lost me at attended two Lady Gaga stadium shows. You also lost any and all credibility to pass judgement on anyone or anything.

Herpasherpa
Herpasherpa

Shit article. "I'm too good for this even though I'm an uptight bitch who knows nothing about it."

SIEGE
SIEGE

The amount of elitist hipster in this article almost killed me. "I'm a feminist""I took enough sociology in college"Yeah you lost all credibility.

Hugh Myron
Hugh Myron

5 star article. I'm surprised you haven't made a name for yourself yet. Would read it again at least 20 more times (or even more). When I'm old I'd tell my children and grandchildren about this grand article I once read. p.s, it's your article. 

Pepe
Pepe

OH MY GOD, WHAT A SUBLIME ARTICLE.

You're so edgy and cool!!! I hope I can be as edgy and cool as you one day!

Wildfire
Wildfire

Congratulations Ciara, you've managed to be *THAT* girl at the party. You know the one right? Despite it being a party that everyone wants to go to, she still had to be dragged to it by her boyfriend, the one who just drinks the entire night and never talks to anyone (although she is secretly judging them), and then on Monday at work she calls everyone there a bunch of losers and assures everyone that she was absolutely only there "ironically".

Lee Byrne
Lee Byrne

CIARA LAVELLE AINT READY BROTHER,SEE THAT ARTICLE JACK, SHE JUST TRYING TO WORK THE MARKS DUDE

InokiInsanity
InokiInsanity

Interesting, can someone explain the concept of "fake-throwing" another man to me?

Mr. Nagoh
Mr. Nagoh

WELL LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING CIARA, I'VE READ YOURCONDESCENDING ARTICLE, AND I'VE SEEN HOW YOU'VE WORKED THOSE INTERNET MARKS,BROTHER. I THINK IT'S ABOUT TIME YOU KICKED IT INTO FIFTH GEAR, JACK, YOU HAVEWHAT IT TAKES TO TAKE IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL, YOUR READY FOR THE BIG TIME. ME ANDTHE GAZILLION OF HULKAMANIACS ARE FIRMLY BEHIND YOU,DUDE!

I THINK ITS TIME THAT YOU LEFT THE PEE-WEE HOCKEY TEAMOF MIAMINEWSTIME, AND MADE THE BIG LEAGUES, THE MEGA BUCKS, OF BLEACHEREPORT,BROTHERDUDEKJACK.

MachoMadness
MachoMadness

You won't know when, you won't know where, but someday you will find yourself on the floor in a puddle of your own blood and the last thing you hear will be "OHHHHH YEAH!" as I leap off a forklift in the warehouse that I kidnapped you to, and as I fall to the earth I will deliver an elbow drop with a force strong enough that your spine will be shattered. I will make you humble.

Barry Weiss
Barry Weiss

LOLOL WRESTLING IS GAY AND FAKE, AREN'T I AN ORIGINAL WRITER?!

Dude
Dude

Hey guys I'm bashing wrestling, AM I COOL YET?

Eric
Eric

Holy crap this article is smug.

Jacob1
Jacob1

I don't think your article was condescending enough.  Maybe you should try harder next time.

Jason
Jason

This article is the equivalent of a wrestling fan writing something titled "Cunts at the Sex and the City Premiere".  Do you really feel good writing stereotypical drivel like this?

JP1181
JP1181

Nicely written article. Love the Gonzo feel you went for :] 

Jessloveshervw
Jessloveshervw

Wrestlemania was amazing.  You saw him [Undertaker] as an ant because of where your seats were located.

SamIAm
SamIAm

Oh and the only reason why I am reading your blog... Because trust me nobody cares what you have to say... Is because wrestling fans sent it to me on what a great laugh I would get out of it.

ValkyrieSmudge
ValkyrieSmudge

Hey, I'm a feminist who's studied sociology and I still like my sports entertainment! Don't tar us all with the same brush. Though, she's on her own with the Gaga thing...

Jamie Lowndes
Jamie Lowndes

 Brilliant. The "I'm a feminist" line slayed me. It makes serious feminists look ridiculous by association because they have hacks like this idiot spouting off how feminist they are.

Matt Striker
Matt Striker

"Fake-throwing", or the "hammer throw" as it's known to pro wrestling fans, is a technique that consists of a wrestler pulling his/her opponent's arm, and then the opponent runs in the direction pulled, and continues running even after the contact with the other wrestler is lost, all the way into the ropes or turnbuckle. This continued running causes the move to appear to be a throw rather than a pull.

Herpasherpa
Herpasherpa

Well clearly they leap across the ring and land on the part that ISN'T made of wood, but instead temperpedic foam! You have to look closely though!

Terry
Terry

NO WAY CIARA IS READY BROTHERDUDEJACK. THAT CRUISERWEIGHT IS GONNA HAVE TO CRUISER WAIT. 

Gsgs123gs
Gsgs123gs

It's just your typical " I'm too cool to enjoy wrestling but I'm force to write this" article. There is no point really. Shit article

Smark Snark
Smark Snark

LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING BROTHERDUDEJACK CIARA IS READY BROTHER 'CAUSE EVERYONE KNOWS THAT WRESTLING IS TERRIBLE BROTHER. THE ONLY TIME WRESTLING IS GOOD BROTHER IS WHEN HULK HOGAN IS SLAMMING ALL FIFTY THOUSAND TONS OF ANDRE THE GIANT IN FRONT OF THE TRILLIONS OF HULKAMANIACS IN THE PONTIAC SILVERDOME BROTHER.

Knobbs
Knobbs

You tell 'em, Terry!

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