TLDR: I am going to get eaten up and spit out at Mania and I have never been so simultaneously terrified and turned on.
Unnecessary Extrapolation: Hey, gang! We’re headed for the home stretch—this Sunday marks the last PPV before the great Mania overtakes us all and I, your humble reporter, try desperately to track down the Big Show at the year’s biggest event. Are we doomed to a Reigns main event? Sure, but with Owens as reigning Intercontinental Champ and the possibility of a Styles and Jericho show-stealer there’s a few creative beams of light shining yet, and we’d do well to pay attention to them.
If you’re anything like my designated wrestling fan group, you will be watching from the comfort of your like-stained inherited piece of street furniture. There’ll be chips, dip, self loathing, polite declines of more food and immediate “just kidding” before accepting another slice of pizza. Hey, you’ve got to make it look like you’re really thinking about it.
And then there are the folks that will be at AT&T STADIUM in Arlington, Texas, sweating bullets and narrowly avoiding death at every turn. Tinder will be the sweaty territory of nightmares, families will be torn apart, someone will definitely scream so loud they burst a blood vessel and this will definitely be ignored because their travel companion will definitely be in the back of an ambulance having toxic hot dog meat purged from his Cena merch-clad body. There will be children (Jesus Christ), there will be someone dressed as Jesus Christ, there will be marks complaining about the good old days and Bryan truthers and paramedics specifically there in case Undertaker’s huge body gives up on him. It is a big show, and the Big Show will be there, and I will find him, and I will kiss him.
In short, it’s going to be a fucking mess.
So how do you deal? I haven’t been to finishing school, but I have had an elderly camp counselor who yelled at me for using the incorrect fork at a picnic, making me absolutely qualified to lay out the Wrestlemania Rules of Etiquette, by Jamie “Emily” Post.
Be respectful of personal space.
While at Wrestlemania, you may feel the temptation to spontaneously grab the flesh of someone nearby when experiencing a common victory, jump into the arms of a stranger after too many overpriced beers, or fling yourself with gusto at the company’s largest wrestler when “mistakenly” wandering into his dressing room. To this I say, resist at all costs. Instead, lightly tap the inside of your own arm two times when picking up on the “pleasure sensors” of others—once in memory of Rowdy Roddy Piper, and once for the Holy Spirit. Leave at least one Big Show between you and your peers and leave the physical contact to the folks in the ring, you disgusting animal!
Do: Ask the person sitting beside you, “I’m interested in slapping our palms together to indicate a celebration of the family Wyatt. Do I have your consent?”
Do Not: Smile at someone without their written approval and a witness.
Should you feel threatened, politely make your stance known.
Often, in combative situations like Wrestlemania, you will feel yourself wronged by any number of outside factors, whether this be the twelve dollar hot dog you were forced to purchase to break your fast, the aggressive alcoholic shouting racial epithets two rows back, or the injustice of your favorite wrestler losing a title that has largely lost its meaning due to gross creative malpractice over a course of years. Do not shout. Wrestlemania is not a place for shouting. Instead, make your displeasure known through either a well written note to the object of your frustration or a barter that proposes an exchange of an end to unpleasant behavior for three well-fed, slaughterable farm animals.
Do: Let Roman Reigns know he sucks.
Do Not: Shout “Reigns sucks!” Instead, consider writing a novella where Reigns is symbolized by a cup of vanilla pudding, slowly curdling in the sun.
Dress with class.
Keep it casual in your wardrobe choices, but remember that you are a woman on a trip alone and while this may seem like a reason to exercise caution, what I’m saying is that you should only be wearing a skin suit that looks like the Big Show.
Do: Wear your best wrestling attire! Your spandexes, your limited edition Always Pounding Ass shirts, your layers for the weather.
Do Not: Let anyone tell you that stealing the hide of the Big Show to wear throughout the weekend is anything short of appropriate.
Make your alliances clear and respectful.
Just as one must express their lack of approval with grace, one must make their alliances firmly clear to your fellow Wrestlemania attendees. This can be accomplished through a number of approaches including but not limited to: indicating through clothing, indicating through legally changing one’s name, indicating by quietly getting a nosebleed after saying the name of the allied, nodding with approval and not shouting as they enter the ring, saying at a normal volume, “Yes, hello, those within earshot, this is someone I could see myself getting a cup of coffee with and they have my respect.”
Do: Cheer for Kevin Owens.
Do Not: Be anything but Canadian about it.
Ah, food manners! The most delicate and complicated matter of etiquette at any social function, made especially treacherous when the only food available is in massive portions and in a cardboard sleeve. Never fear! It is Mania custom for food to only be forged of trash. Be sure that you have come equipped with all necessary silverware—Kane’s pitchfork, the tiny spoons given to Divas so that they continue to reinforce women’s beauty standards, the knife that Vince McMahon holds to the throat of every writer on a daily basis, among others. Respect the culture of Mania by only eating in portions that the average human being would consider disrespectful given the rate of world starvation, be sure to get plenty of thick, mysterious sauce on your face, and don’t flinch when a soft-brained audience member inexplicably suggests that the sauce looks like a male orgasm. Instead, politely wipe your face, chuckle through the thick paste that is coating your throat, and do your best not to vomit through the thirty-six hours that separate you from the normal world and the Texan fever dream you’re existing in.
Do: Eat the hot dog.
Do Not: Eat the hot dog inside of a hamburger inside of a bigger hamburger inside of a cooked human man.
Approach your beloved with caution before becoming forward.
While all behavior at Mania should be kept appropriate and at a reasonable volume, it would be naive to assume that there won’t be some light courting and petting in Arlington come April. Kids will be kids! (Please don’t court a kid.) When approaching the object of your affection—provided, of course, you have received the written consent of them and their guardians at least a month in advance—it is important to first extend one’s hand and say delicately, “Weeeeeeeeell.” Allow your beloved a moment for response, and should they respond, “It’s a big show” in an even tone, you are free to proceed in courting. Should they reply, “It’s a big man’s show tonight,” accept that they have declined your advances and head for the holes that have been dug for the retreat of Loveless Persons, just outside the stadium in the hot Texas sun.
Do: Find the Big Show by any means necessary to marry you.
Do Not: Take no for an answer.
Did I miss anything? Leave it in the comments, marks.
Thoughts From this Week:
-Okay, I’m coming around to a worst-case scenario of an Ambrose-Reigns card as the main event for Mania. I’ve come around to the whole wife-beater “Greased Lightning” backup dancer caricature Ambrose cops in recent months, there’s enough back story to make it work and love him or hate him, Ambrose brings an energy to the ring that few can match. In an already cartoony world, he’s the top Loony Tune and will event out the smooth, pudding-like qualities of Reigns. (That said, the whisperings of Cena vs. Undertaker are promising.)
-And speaking of the company’s inexplicable main boy, can we see him turn heel already? He’s had months to prove himself a viable Hero Among Men while Cena heals up and collects million-dollar checks for grumbling a few lines in middling big-budget comedies, and the kids aren’t necessarily clamoring for him. He’s at his best when strong, silent, occasionally full of rage and just a damn good wrestler, and wincing his way through the good guy act is slowing him and everyone down.
-For your consideration: Big Show vs. hologram of Big Show for the Mania main event.
-Can’t wait for the Rowdy Roddy Piper and Dusty Rhodes tributes at Mania. The misandrist that lives beneath my skin loves seeing grown men cry, particularly when it’s a stadium full of grown men and particularly when that stadium of grown men is in deep Texas.
-OWENS. OWENS. OWENS. THE CHAMP. Also, do yourself a favor and look at the pictures of Owens and his family available online. You will melt. It’s so fucking Canadian.
-Have you seen this picture of the Big Show? Because literally every person I have ever met sent me this picture of the Big Show this week.
While there are three legends in this photograph, there is no doubt who is the biggest. (Note: not most influential or talented. But like, if we’re talking size.)
Hours of Wrestling Consumed: I’ve run out of numbers.
Days Until Wrestlemania: FORTY-THREE DAYS.
State of Union: training my sweat glands to excrete ketchup so I don’t need to pay for it.
Jamie Loftus is a comedian and writer whose baby teeth have been bronzed and loaded into a gun for when the moment is right. You can find her some of the time, most days at @hamburgerphone or jamieloftusisinnocent.com.