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Review: WWE acts are fake, but connections real

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WWE Monday Night Raw Live took place at Nationwide Arena on Jan. 19. Credit: Sallee Ann Ruibal | Arts&Life Editor

WWE Monday Night Raw Live took place at Nationwide Arena on Jan. 18. Credit: Sallee Ann Ruibal | Arts&Life Editor

Going to WWE is like going to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey circus. There are performers who come out to deafening fireworks and leap from top ropes. Going to WWE is like going to Disney on Ice with the elegant choreography that acts as a charade. Going to WWE is like going to a taping of the “Maury Show” where the crowd just knows certain chants to yell at performers and hosts.

Going to “WWE Live” at Nationwide Arena on Monday night was a messy, papier-mâché experience.

I first got into WWE when dating a former boyfriend. He was a trained boxer who would regularly wake up at 6 a.m. for training sessions and chiropractor visits. He knew the art and sport of fighting, but still was amused, entertained and enraptured by this Bizarro World version.

I then shared this amusement with my roommate. It was always a good work day when I got home in time to flip on “Monday Night RAW.” We would catch up with each other as Dean Ambrose nailed jabs into the Black Sheep’s jaw.

I went to “Monday Night RAW Live” with both my roommate and ex-boyfriend. He and I were still dating when tickets went on sale and, since breaking up, have tried to foster a sort of friendship like Jerry Seinfeld and Elaine Benes. It’s working out so far, despite advice columnist Ogonna Ononye’s warnings.

We were a hodgepodge group, but I think that’s what WWE owner Vince McMahon would want. WWE superstars and divas are branded as weird outcasts who have found their place competing with others like them. And is there anything weirder than agreeing to join your roommate and your ex in watching grown men wrestle? No, but there are also few things that make you feel more like you belong.

OK, that’s over the top, but being dramatic is the lifeblood of WWE. It’s a well-known and well-respected fact that very little if any of WWE is authentic. If there’s any apprehension about that, see a live taping. It’s all about camera angles. No way do Ambrose’s jabs that I mentioned earlier even get near skin, nonetheless bone. It is like dancing in that partners move toward and dip each other in perfect harmony. Their speeches are dramatic monologues that are works of literary talent to rile up the 8-year-old behind us while simultaneously making our group of 20-somethings crack up.

WWE is an amazing empire. It is literally amazing how the majority of their commercials are just for their own video games, toys and festivals such as “Wrestlemania.” It is amazing how a very small infant with very large headphones can be seated the row in front of me and a grandpa and his grandchild behind. It is amazing that despite my roommate and ex not knowing each other too well, despite heartbreak, despite bickering about dishes, we could cheer and laugh together for Roman Reigns and New Day.

It’s amazing how WWE brings people together.

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