There is a little place that just about every wrestling fan gets to visit every now and again. Every so often you will see something on television or at a live show that will transport you back to a different time in your life. Wrestling fans need that. Wrestling fans are sometimes cynical in their nature to begin with. Most of their lives anytime the word wrestling comes out of their mouth near others they get bombarded with the standard line of questions. Is it fake? Do they really hit each other? Is that really blood or is it ketchup? Then the person that is interrogating them on the legitimateness of their chosen entertainment will provide a little bit of at no cost ridicule. You know, before they go back to talking about how realistic the robots in the new Terminator movie look. But like I said, every so often, we wrestling fans get a little treat. Something happens that takes us back to when we were six and all those questions didn’t matter. Back to when all we knew was that we liked it and we were happy to.
It’s the middle of February, which means there is about six weeks until this year’s WWE Wrestlemania event . Every year for the past couple of years, the WWE has drummed up viewers for their annual big show by advertising something unique that people don’t get to see every day on regular television. Whether it be a once in a lifetime matchup or the return of an old legend to make one more go of it; they pull one big thing out of their hats. So even if the rest of the card is relatively lacking in substance, people will still finish watching the show thinking they got their money’s worth.
This year is no different. The WWE by admission has been in a bit of a slump with their pay per view buyrates. They’ve lost a lot of people to retirement, outside projects or injury. The past couple of years they have pulled every possible trick out of the hat. Last night on their flagship show Monday Night Raw, they promised the announcement of a special guest host for the upcoming Wrestlemania. Beleaguered by disappointment many times by the company; many a wrestling fan like myself sat down last night thinking it was going to be whatever flash in the pan celebrity they could find that had a Sunday free. Boy, were we shown up. They brought back The Rock.
For those of you that only know The Rock as the guy from The Tooth Fairy, he’s a pretty big deal to we wrestling fans. For years, he was the guy that we tuned in for. For the goofy thing with the eyebrow. For the silly elbow drop that is preceded by a hundred yard dash. Something about the guy drew us into our televisions every week. Those of you that have taken a child to one of his movies can definitely attest to the talent of the man. He’s literally been good at everything he’s ever done in the entertainment industry.
Last night, he did little more than come out on camera and speak for about ten minutes. No physicality whatsoever. Just spoke into a microphone. It was announced that he would be the Guest Host of Wrestlemania. We have no idea what that means exactly; but we were hooked. He could never appear on television again until the day of Wrestlemania this year and people will gather around their televisions and pay sixty dollars just to see if he does anything. After seven years, the one guy we thought would never come back came back. Much will be said in the weeks to come of the possibilities of his actual involvement in the event. Even if he does nothing but sit in a chair and read the paper, The Rock and WWE have done their job. They got us thinking about buying what they are selling. More importantly, they have sent us back to being that six year old kid that just wants to watch and have a good time. Without the fear of becoming cynical about it. That’s worth way more than sixty dollars.