Last night, Wrestlemania 32 took place in Dallas, Texas. Kyle Mulholland: the Antifan, stayed up all night to watch it. This was his first attempt at writing about, and watching, professional wrestling.
Wrestling is an interesting sport because it's not simply a sport. It's also a sort of choreographed performance. A bit like ballet, with piledrivers rather than pliés, large sweaty men instead of sinewy Russian women, and 200% more rippling man-thigh.
Wrestlemania is the flagship annual event where the wrestlers of the WWE gather to wrestle each other maniacally.
The opening event encapsulates said mania perfectly, as the wrestlers take to the ring. Among the competitors was a Tekken character called Sin Cara, a David Bowie impersonator called Stardust, and a bricklayer-looking-individual called Kevin Owens.
They competed in a ladder match, the objective of which is to climb a ladder set up in the middle of the ring and grab a belt.
It’s a nice belt. It has a huge buckle. I can see why they want it.
I was shocked to see blatant misuse of the ladder. Once, I had to go to a health and safety course which taught us how to use ladders. Not once did I see the wrestlers check to see if the area was clear and level, no one braced the legs of the ladder, in fact they actively jostled it. Very unsafe.
— WWE (@WWE) April 3, 2016
In a progressive move, the WWE decided to showcase a new championship belt, the Women’s Championship. Because women can blindly somersault into each other just as well as any man.
Competing in a three-way match for the belt was Becky Lynch, a Dublin native who looks like the main character of Pixar’s Brave as played by Ke$ha and Sasha Banks who was walked to the ring by her cousin, Snoop Dogg, which was nice. Family is important. Finally, the current champion Charlotte Fliehr strode out in some kind of wizard's robe followed by her dad. The family focus of this segment was very touching.
The match was a whirlwind of multi-colour extensions, flips, and eventually devolved into the three women thrashing about on the mat in a way that made me feel profoundly catholic. Charlotte emerged as the victor after making a spirited attempt to remove Becky's arm.
— WWE (@WWE) April 4, 2016
One of the highlights of the night was the Hell-in-A-Cell match between The Undertaker, an over-the-hill Khal Drogo from Game Of Thrones in the midst of a midlife crisis, and Shane McMahon, a man with a weirdly affable face. On closer inspection, McMahon looked like what you'd get if you transposed the face of an accountant onto a shaved gorilla.
This match was a big deal; if McMahon won then he’d get to take over Taco Tuesdays or something. (I don't know the particulars as I was making a cup of tea during the exposition and the plot for this match was more convoluted than Game of Thrones.)
The two men clashed into each other with the floppy might of lethargic walruses. The fight eventually devolved into the two undulating against each other, falling over, then lying around gasping for air. They seemed to be fighting in slow motion, some of the moves had longer a build-up and more disappointing payoff than Batman Vs. Superman.
Eventually after a fight that had more meat clapping together than a butchers shop with a poltergeist problem, they broke out of the cage and started squirming about on the announcer tables. Shane stunned The Undertaker and laid him out on a desk.
In an inexplicable move McMahon climbed the cage like a big sweaty sloth. Perched up there he did something unbelievable. He lined up with the supine Undertaker and flopped off the top of the cage, falling 20 feet and slamming into a desk like a sock full of sausage meat.
— WWE (@WWE) April 4, 2016
Up until this point Shane had been winning. It was very sporting for him to give The Undertaker a chance to recover by pulverising his entire skeleton. Since The Undertaker hadn’t just plummeted from the top of a giant hamster cage, he now had the upper hand and pinned McMahon, winning the match. His victory was soured by the fact that his guyliner was now smudged.
At this point it was an ungodly hour, and I really wanted to go to bed. I wasn’t thrilled that these sweaty, burly men were keeping me up all night. But I had to stay up for the title match, Triple H vs Roman Reigns.
Triple H had a Marilyn Manson-esque intro longer than the director’s cut of Lord of the Rings while Roman simply ran onto the stage, cocked his fist like a shotgun and booped the ground with it (this makes him punch harder, because wrestling moves work on a ‘clap-if-you-believe’ basis).
Roman and Mr. H have some kind of beef for reasons too complicated for me to fully grasp. Perhaps they were arguing over who had the most voluptuous and glistening of pectorals? Apparently Roman and the entire crowd have beef too, because all they did was bay maddeningly at him throughout the match.
I’ve heard people describe pro wrestling as homoerotic. I disagree, watching these two oily, oily men clash was about as erotic as clapping two fillet steaks together.
The match was hard fought, the two men splatting into each other and somersaulting about.
It all looked very tiring. Roman was being pushed by the WWE as a ‘face’, a kind of paragon of good and justice. He lived up to this reputation by tackling Triple H’s wife and knocking her unconscious.
— WWE (@WWE) April 4, 2016
Eventually Roman won after a long and confusing match and it was all over. No one was happy.
Kyle Mulholland: the Antifan, is a writer based in Dublin. You can follow him on Twitter @Kyler_Murden