Thursday, January 4, 2018

WWE Smackdown Live In Orlando

Except for the occasional tweet, my fangirling life as a WWE fan isn't that well-known. I became a fan when I was twelve years old, finding one of their televised programs Smackdown on a whim and becoming obsessed with everything wrestling.

Since to 2002, World Wrestling Entertainment has been in and out of my sphere. There was a good five years where we went through a rough patch, and I honestly didn't think I'd be going back to a wrestling event anytime soon. I was super surprised to find myself at Smackdown Live to kick off 2018 with one major goal in mind: seeing Shane McMahon in person.

All over my twitter you might know of my love for Ryan Gosling, Chris Evans, and Andrew Lincoln. But, there was once an adoration towards Shane McMahon, or as I've been penning him lately The Original.

One of the reasons why I went through that rough patch with WWE was because a lot of my favorite wrestlers (way too many to name) left the company around 2008-2009. While Shane wasn't a regular on-screen talent at the time, he was working behind-the-scenes. So I thought all was well...until it wasn't. To one of the biggest shocks in the WWE Universe, Shane left the company to do other things, as many predicted he would inherit the company after his father Vince McMahon. As creative output became increasingly uninteresting and stilted, I found my fandom lacking.

For several years, he was gone, living an ultra private life making other businesses, having kids, and whatever my crushes do when they don't know I exist.  Until he returned in February 2016 out of nowhere. The video above doesn't even cover the huge reception he got from fans, and not many fans expected for him to stay longer than one major feud against the Undertaker in April 2016.

So, here we are about a two years later, still managing Smackdown while having feuds with other superstars, and what has he done to me since then? Oh, all kinds of things.

Jumping off of twenty foot cells.

TWICE.

Working out

Showing off his muscles in a variety of Henleys, and black leather jackets.

Showing us his abs.

Beating the hell out of other wrestlers.

Getting into helicopter crashes and being too chill about it.

Of course, when Smackdown came close enough to where I live, I HAD TO GO. And, it was glorious. The Amway Center is smaller than I anticipated for the ring set-up than when I've attended concerts, so we were only several rows away from all the action. I'd suggest everyone, even if you're not a wrestling fan to go to a WWE event because its electric; there's no way you can go and not get an energy boost from it or feel like you're apart of something bigger than yourself. For posterity, I did see others wrestlers I love A.J. Styles (left), Charlotte Flair, Naomi, and Becky Lynch (right).


But Shane is ultimately what I went there for. This was fourteen years in the making, and I wasn't disappointed. I had seen Shane once at a live event back in 2003, and never thought in my wildest dreams he'd back in WWE especially long enough for me to see him.

We were facing the camera, so I mostly saw the back of wrestlers when they talked to each other. But I'm not complaining about the view. No matter what happens in 2018, I can say I went to Smackdown Live and saw Shane O Mac. I'm starting to feel the love of an old fandom return.


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