Pro Wrestling

5 Things I Learned From Attending a Live WWE Event

It’s been obvious for a while but RAW has declined for months. The programming is poor, there’s not much to miss if you were doing something else on a Monday night and the statistics even back it up. This month RAW had its lowest ratings since 1997. Let that sink in for a moment. Regardless, I attended RAW when they came to Chicago earlier this month and this what I learned.

5. It’s much more entertaining in person

Watching RAW these days feels like a chore more than anything else. At least for myself, I watch it with the hope of something happening, not that something will happen — it’s simply not must-watch TV anymore. Leading up to the RAW in Chicago which I was attending, WWE programming was simply dreadful with nothing meaningful happening.

However, when I finally attended, I enjoyed myself a lot. I thought that specific RAW was finally one which was actually entertaining. Even the Divas match (without Sasha Banks, I must add) was watchable. But right after, I went on Reddit to see what the IWC’s thoughts were and it was the same thing — they found it boring. From this, I concluded that attending a RAW, or any other live show, is about 100x better than actually watching it on TV.

4. It’s also louder than you think

When you watch WWE nowadays on TV, unless there’s someone hugely over with the crowd like Daniel Bryan, it just seems less noisy compared to maybe 10-15 years ago. There is a reason for this, as most of the 18-34 year old demographic have drifted away from the product. Other than guys like Bryan and the occasional Rock/Stone Cold sighting, there’s not a whole lot to get pumped about. There is also the case of WWE sometimes editing the crowd audio for some weird reason, which makes us think the audience is dead at times.

That perception changed when I attended — maybe it was because it was Chicago, one of the best crowds in WWE — but simply put, everything was louder. People were chanting all sorts of things and were really into it. Fans also react to just about everything – for example, a clothesline doesn’t evoke much noise on TV but when you’re in the arena? Everyone reacts.

Even the moves sound much louder, for example, a Randy Orton powerslam is much louder than viewing it on TV. And of course, there’s something extra about being there live that adds to the experience.

3. The kids are as annoying as they seem on TV

Kids are annoying, especially in WWE. Remember that one kid who kept on chanting “Let’s go Cena” during Brock Lesnar’s annihilation of John Cena in Summerslam last year? When I entered the Allstate Arena, my one hope was not being seated next to a bunch of kids. So with my luck, I had a kid on my right and two kids behind me, cheering as loudly as possible for the likes of John Cena, Dean Ambrose, and Jack Swagger (dark match). And booing people like Kevin Owens, New Day, and Seth Rollins.

They’re enjoying the product, so I can’t fault them for cheering for their heroes. But the point remains — they are very annoying, more so than when watching on TV. Luckily I had a smark on my left who hated John Cena as much as I do.

2. Theme songs are like an adrenaline rush

If there’s one aspect of a live show I know I’ll enjoy, it’s hearing the theme songs of the wrestlers in an arena. It just sounds so good when you’re actually there. It really gets you pumped up to see the superstars enter the ring, especially with the added bass. My personal favorites to hear were Kevin Owens, Dean Ambrose, and Roman Reigns.

Oh and just a friendly reminder – if you know Ryback, Kane, or the Dudley Boyz are about to enter, make sure to cover your ears because the pyro is also super loud and feels like an explosion just occurred.

1. There are loads of smarks still attending

Despite the kids sitting near me or the general decrease in young adult fans, there were plenty of smarks in attendance. From people wearing nWo or Austin shirts to fans chanting “CM Punk” or “John Cena sucks” during his entrance, the inner smark in you will be rewarded.

All in all, it was a great experience and I highly recommend going to a live show if WWE come to your city. Even if you’re dissatisfied with the product or haven’t watched in ages (I also went to Extreme Rules this year after a nine year live event hiatus), you will enjoy yourself.