DolphDrew Jericho Tracker is almost nine, and I slowly introduced him to rasslin. He watched me play the PS4 WWE games, started watching some NXT, and then we moved to the weekly WWE shows in very small increments. He took to Miz and Rusev and Styles. Oddly, the Tuesday guys won him over almost exclusively.
He became invested because of books. The school library has biographies on the more prominent performers like Cena and Taker, and he wanted to see them in action. I used the Network to show him big Mania matches like, hey, Cena/Taker from last year. He also knows Andre from Princess Bride so we watched the Mania I match against Studd.
We have a bachelor week while the Lovely Mrs. Tracker is on a work trip, and I offered him RAW and SmackDown if he did his homework and helped me keep the house running. He did that; he's good boy. And the shows are building to Mania, so it's a good time to watch.
He couldn't get through Monday's show. That third hour was too much. The Alexa/Braun segment weakened his resolve, and the Triple H promo did him in. I agree. It's a one-sided nothing angle to sell a match I don't wanna see. Hunter looked slow and lumbering in the Saudi Arabia tag match even before he got hurt. My boy called it a night before his namesake beat Dean.
He liked Finn and Charlotte and Samoa Joe. He LOVES Ricochet and Aleister Black.
But Tuesday's SmackDown was leaner, simpler, and more emotionally absorbing. It helps that the Charlotte/Asuka match was rock solid even with inconsistent presentation through ad breaks. He was happy Charlotte won, and that match made both performers look great.
The Miz promo had him from the first minute and then Miz beat a dozen guys to prove his anger at Shane.
Wait, Miz did what?
Yeah. A gaggle of security/indie dudes, Shelton, Epico, and Sanity. And Miz was the last guy standing. Crazy. CRAZY. My dude liked that a lot, but Miz hasn't been written to be this dominant since ... he and Truth beat up Cena, Del Rio, and Punk?
He was annoyed at the quick end of the Styles match thanks to Boring, Boring Orton Who is Boring and Bores Us. He wanted more Styles, but I think we've all seen enough of Angle. His last match can't happen too soon.
The New Day gauntlet had him from the beginning, thanks to the initial quick win. Xavier is an alum of the same university as The Lovely Mrs. Tracker, so we root extra hard for him. Then came Rusev and Nakamura and the latter's motorboated boot choke in the corner. We rewound that spot a few time for the sheer goofiness of it. This was the first time he saw Sheamus wrestle, and the Bar/New Day matches are always worth watching.
Then the Usos almost stole the whole show by forfeiting to get Kofi to Mania. We stood and applauded. That is a great bit of storytelling for the angle and the individual, and good for the WWE. He loved the Big E ringside table spot to end the gauntlet, and he cheered for the entirety of the ring celebration.
He can't watch all of Mania in one sitting, but he wants to see the show now. We can make that work.
"To be the man, you gotta beat demands." -- The Lovely Mrs. Tracker
DDJT knows what's up. Smackdown has had a pretty solid build to Wrestlemaina. If you count Becky/Charlotte/Rousey as a Smackdown match (the majority of the participants are techincally Smackdown) it's got all the matches* with sizzle. RAW is on in the background out of shear inertia at my house, but Smackdown usually gets watched. Raw objectively has better performers than Smackdown, but without having them you know, wrestle, it's hard to care. Becky beating the shit out of Charlotte got her over. Kofi wrestling over and hour in a gauntlet match got him over. Mustafa Ali wrestling an amazing one-off match with Daniel Bryan not only got him over, but moved up to the main roster. As turns out, wrestling fans like wrestling and violence. Who knew?
*I am also way into the Cruiserweight title match with Tony Neese, perpetual hanger-on, being sidekick NO MORE- but that is its own thing. If you aren't watching 205, you should be. The story telling might be a little subtle and slow going for some, but bell-to-bell it is easily the best wrestling out there.
It's the most important meal of the day.
The Kofi storyline is awesome, and it's what's getting me to watch WrestleMania live this year.
It's so awesome that, during our trip to the Mexican restaurant a few days ago, I talked to Mom about it in great detail. Mom is soooooo not a fan of professional wrestling, but I think that even she was impressed by the storytelling.
(She even laughed when I told her about some of Kofi Kingston's signature Royal Rumble moves.)
(edited by ekedolphin on 29.3.19 1810) "Does this conversation end with us rolling initiative or not?" --Roy Greenhilt, The Order of the Stick
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Co-Winner of Time's Person of the Year Award, 2006