2005-01-06 / Arts & Entertainment

Through The Ropes

One thing beats getting good wrestling tickets.

Getting them for free!

I got the hook-up, and there I was, less than 25 feet from the ring at Nassau Coliseum Monday night for RAW, sporting my Jimmy “The Boogie Woogie Man” Valient T-shirt. I will give myself kudos for having one of the coolest signs ever: “FLAIR 4 NC GOV” (North Carolina governor).

My cardboard tribute to the greatest wrestler ever earned some “Wooooo” chants, and quite a few middle fingers. Flair strolled to the ring with Triple H for the main event, and offered me a quick nod. He once considered being to my native Tar Heel state what Jesse Ventura was to Minnesota, and like his 16 world title reigns, I’m sure he would have tasted victory.

My wife forgot her camera, upset that she wouldn’t get to snap any photos of Shawn Michaels, her secret true love. So, I shelled out 15 clams to some enterprising gent for a throwaway. It was money well spent, as she’ll soon be developing pics of Michaels and H sharing yet another classic staredown.

World Wrestling Entertainment says there’s nothing like attending an event live, and although their motive is profit, the statement is nonetheless 100 percent true. You haven’t lived until you’ve been so close to Triple H spitting water up into the air that you consider opening up your umbrella. It is a silly, profane, undignified evening of fun that everybody should experience at least once.

If you’re a bit disappointed with the state of the televised product, then you must show up at an arena sometime. The characters in the ring are fun; the characters in the stands are better. A woman in front of me was wearing a Hurricane jersey and had a sign that said, “REAL MEN WEAR MASKS”. A lady a few feet behind me had a sign that was not subtle in suggesting that she would gladly pay for an evening with Randy Orton, and we’re not talking about dinner and dancing.

Farther behind me, a pair of teenagers had replica title belts, and they kept them on their shoulders all night, feeling like real champs. When Jerry “The King” Lawler and Jim Ross were beaten silly by Muhammad Hassan and his flunkie, the announce table directly behind us was left barren. My father-in-law and I quickly formulated a plan in which we would charge the table and take over, calling the rest of the show and quickly earning contracts with the company. We decided in the end that it would have been undignified to beat the hooligans keeping the fans from the table, so we kept our seats.

But our enthusiasm wasn’t diminished. When Kane finally battled Gene Snitsky, the pyrotechnics seemed like they would bust our eardrums. But we didn’t mind. The sound is deafening, the lights are blinding and with all the people jumping up and down, you don’t get to see everything. But you simply go home and check the Internet for what you missed. The energy more than makes up for the lapses of view.

The RAW crew will be back for a nontelevised show at Madison Square Garden on Feb. 25. Get your tickets now!

You can contact Josh Stewart at throughtheropes1@cs.com.

Soaps ALL MY CHILDREN: After encountering Zach, Ethan told Kendall, Ryan and Greenlee that he would have a DNA test conducted to see if Zach is his father. JR learned from his private investigator that a couple resembling Babe and Jamie were seen traveling with a baby. Tad and Erica led Joe to a surprise party celebrating his 35th anniversary at the hospital. Adam attempted to elicit information about Paul Cramer from Dorian Cramer. Upcoming: An old friend comes to Babe and Jamie’s rescue.

AS THE WORLD TURNS: Dom was killed in another avalanche, allowing Lucy, Dusty and Rafi to escape. When Rosanna learned the truth about Emily, she tried to get Will to forgive her, but he resisted. Holden decided he could no longer live as he had been with Lily and told her he was moving out. Henry asked a shocked Katie to marry him. Upcoming: Lily and Carly form a plan.

DAYS OF OUR LIVES: Sami saw John steal drugs at the hospital. Alice was surprised by Jennifer’s feelings about Patrick. At Belle and Philip’s wedding, Kate had the doors locked in case Shawn tried to stop it. Brady saw Chloe, but wondered if it were only a fantasy. Upcoming: Sami uses the information she has to good advantage.

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Durant urged Steven to bring the fact that Alcazar murdered Mary Bishop to light in order to eliminate Alcazar as competition for Carly. Alexis lied to Sonny and claimed Kristina had an interview at an exclusive pre-school in order to prevent Sonny from taking Kristina on vacation with him and the boys. Connor challenged Emily to allow herself to see him as Nikolas and acted accordingly. Diego agreed to leave Port Charles with Maria but promised Brook Lynn he would return one day. Upcoming: Alexis catches Ric in a lie.

GUIDING LIGHT: Jonathan, knowing Tammy had seen Josh drag him off, goaded Josh into a fight, and when Tammy arrived in the stairwell, Jonathan “slipped” from the landing and fell down a flight of stairs. Michelle urged Danny to save himself before Sebastian returned, but it was too late when Sebastian arrived, having recaptured Holly. Rick was devastated by the revelation that Harley could be Phillip’s killer, but Beth surprised him when she admitted she understood. Billy donned the disguise of a magician and created a disappearing act so Bill and Olivia could escape. Upcoming: Harley’s defense begins.

ONE LIFE TO LIVE: Jen overreacted to Rex’s arrest as she insisted to Nora that he was innocent, which Riley noticed. Natalie and Antonio convinced Cristian to see a therapist. Blair, Starr and Mrs. Bieglow joined forces to find Todd. Marcia and Michael struggled with their separation. Upcoming: John suspects Cristian of wrongdoing.

PASSIONS: Tabitha was only too happy to help Rebecca. Sheridan began reacting irrationally, much to Luis’ consternation. A custody battle ensued. Mrs. Wheeler tried to do damage control, to no avail. Upcoming: Sheridan slips further into despair.

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