By: Reyna Gobel MBA, MJ
I have fond memories from being a child of the ’80s of Ric Flair versus Dusty Rhodes wrestling in Charlotte Coliseum. It didn’t feel like a sport. It just seemed like two men in neon outfits talking smack to each other. It also was the precursor to reality shows such as Hogan Knows Best. I watched it the same way I watch Degrassi for 30 years and Full House, Fuller House, and the eventual Fullest House.
When we went to a WWE wrestling show in 2022, it was uncanny how much it still looks like the 80s wrestling battles. Neon and light shows are the third, fourth, or fifth wrestler.
Here’s what you need to know to enjoy a live wrestling match in 2022:
It’s become trendy for YOU to be the world champion.
Wrestling has always been a bit gaudy. You wouldn’t watch the Olympics wearing an Olympic Medal, but you would go to a wrestling event wearing a WWE Championship Title Belt replica. And they do require strength and deep pockets to wear. Expect to pay anywhere between $25 and $250 for the belt that could weigh up to 100 pounds.
Men and women are equals.
Women’s wrestling did exist in the ’80s, but it wasn’t performed on the same stage as men’s wrestling. Nowadays, events feature alternating men’s and women’s matches. There are men’s and women’s title fights at the end of evening. Wrestlers marry each other as well. For instance, Seth Rollins is married to Becky Lynch, champion in her own right. There are enough real life WWE wrestling couples to complete a top 10 list.
Go in costume, sorta.
I wore a torn t-shirt and a spiked bracelet. I even did a blow out for the occasion. You could go all out ’80s with neon and big hair or dress in a sweatshirt. Anything casual works.
Know the chants.
Pro wrestling is about the fans as much as the wrestlers. The night I went, everyone cheered New Day Rocks! New Day Rocks! When Seth Rollin’s entrance theme came on, half the crowd sang Burn it Down! Burn it Down! Then, there’s good ol’ teasing the crowd like when The Miz told the crowd in NYC how much the city sucks. It basically gives the crowd permission to boo him. Google a wrestler or two from the match list of the event you’re attending to find their catch phrases.
Check out arena menus before you go.
You might think arena food’s french fries, hot dogs, and salad if you’re lucky. We had choices at Madison Square Garden ranging from nachos to sushi and farmer’s basket type options. However, menus differ from city-to-city. Always browse the arena’s website for dining options. you may or may not to decide to eat somewhere else before the show.
Route for the good guy or the bad guy, no matter where you’re sitting.
Often, the bad guy is a little more fun. Route for them. It’s not a traditional sporting competition where if you sit in the wrong section, you’re verbally attacked for supporting the opposing team.
Nostalgia may not help you with who to route for.
I went to the match wearing a shirt for Charlotte Flair because her father wrestled when I was a kid. She wasn’t that interesting of a character, even though she’s a champion. Ronda Rousey, however, had roaring energy and entered to “Bad Reputation” by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. I’ll wear her shirt next time.
Don’t take the match too seriously. Have fun, dress how you want, and learn a chant or two. It’s a show as much as a sporting event. It’s a show at it’s core!