Saturday, June 16, 2012
Sports Entertainment: WWE vs Boxing
Now I've been a boxing fan for years. In fact it was the only sport I actually followed and/or cared about for the majority of my adolescence. I spent hours upon hours scouring Youtube and Google to find the must see matches of yesteryear and the classic bouts of a golden age long gone. I've caught myself up and then some to one of the most courageous and physical sports in the world and I've stuck with it through the modern era, which is a something so hard to do I feel I can add to my resume. I love and have loved boxing through its slow and sad decay over the years, just like any sports fan should, but I've once again been dealt a hay-maker that has me out on my feet, ready to walk away from the sport entirely.
It came on Saturday the 9th, in one of the few matches that actually reach mainstream media and garner the "hype" of boxing's lost past. Manny Pacquiao is one of boxing's only superstars left. Its hard to say who is bigger, Pacquiao or Mayweather, but that is irrelevant. They are boxing's biggest stars and the only star power that the sport has left. Therefore they have the most to lose and boxing has the most to lose by this fight and fights of this caliber.
Now mind you, I followed the fight on Twitter and didn't actually see it live, so my review/critique/rant is coming from a new place. Now, I'm not much of a Twitter guy, I rarely go on Facebook, and I just recently got an iPhone so for me to follow the fight online like this made me feel modern. I mean, I felt so "modern" I went out and dyed my hair neon green, bought a 3D TV, snorted some bath salts and ate a guy's face.
Anyway, I watched round by round and almost punch by punch described on the Twitter-sphere. It was unanimous that Pacquiao was not only winning, but it wasn't even close. And don't worry I could weed out the difference between the true boxing fans and the casual boxing fans. Usernames are a dead giveaway i.e. @MikeTyson as apposed to @xxassbaby92folife.
But no matter who was Tweeting, it was a sure thing that Pacquiao was winning and was going to win HANDS DOWN.
But he didn't. And my phone almost exploded.
The outcry from the decision that gave Bradley the win was so fierce and so powerful and so dumbfounding that it almost seemed like a Twitter joke. Like the monthly Bieber is dead thing - gets me every time! Immediately conspiracy theories were abound, riots broke out, babies were sacrificed and the fabric of space and time were ripped irrevocably. Even Teddy Atlas spoke out on Sports Center saying that boxing is a corrupt sport. Now this isn't news to me, the hardcore boxing fan, but I would dare to say that it is to the majority of casual boxing fans out there. This is such a blow to boxing that it has shaken it to its very fragile core, threatening to lose even the most faithful of us.
Now, I've titled this post WWE vs Boxing because the two sports share much in common. Besides the obviousness of two guys in a ring, the colorful commentating, and the elbow drops off the top ropes, there are many "story" and "character" similarities the bleed between the two sport entertainments. Most of wrastlin' and boxing involved two men or women or divas going toe to toe, talking smack, beating the shit out of each other, all for the hopes of winning the belt. Now where you think they might differ would be that one if fake and one is real. But is that even a difference anymore?
So this is my send off to the world of boxing, of sorts. Or perhaps a persuasive letter to the sport I love. For I have found a "sport" with the same themes, the same action, and the same heart. Wrestling is what boxing should be, what it could be and what it will never be, all wrapped up in one oiled up and flashy bow. Wrestling has what boxing has lost, the thrill, the excitement and the characters. Where once we loved Ali vs Foreman, we can now love The Rock vs Cena. Where once we'd pay out of our asses to see Tommy Hearns and Marvin Hagler beat the fuck out of each other from the nosebleeds, we'd pay out of our asses to see the Funkasaurus beat the fuck out of Heath Slater with the "Aww Funk It" splash. No joke, that's what it's called. Aww Funk It.
And you know what, aww fuck it, I love it! And the soul reason why is because it's entertaining. I laugh, I cheer, I shout, and I always want more. How could something so fake, so OBVIOUSLY fabricated, hook me so more than a REAL sport, with REAL people and REAL stakes while generally consisting of the same stuff? It doesn't make sense, and I don't care.
So here is it boxing, we stand at a crossroad. Either you get your shit together or I'm gone. And I'm not the only one out there, believe me. There is something better and cheaper out there that is much more satisfying and respectful to the audience than your shitty sport.
And if you're looking for me, I'll be at No Way Out at the Izod Center this Sunday, shouting my dick off and Aww Fucking the nearest Cena fan off section 230 to their death 30 feet below.
Can you dig it, sucka?