Tyler Daswick and Ben Williams can't freaking wait for Dillo weekend, not because of the intoxicated mayhem out on the Lakefill, but because of the sweaty, slightly homoerotic mayhem taking place before and after Saturday's music festival.
This year, Dillo Day happens to be bookended by wrestling events: Wrestlepocalypse 8 on Friday night, and WWE Payback on Sunday. T-Dazz and B-Dubs are going to both, and wow, are they riled up. So riled up, in fact, that they couldn't help going off on a wild spree of back-and-forth emails, talking about everything from their love of wrestling, how 'Poc can improve and how the highlight of this weekend is definitely, positively, absolutely the high-flying action of their favorite athletes.
T-Dazz: Let me just preface this email by affirming that you are probably the only person at Northwestern who would be able to carry on this email chain with me. For that, my gratitude knows no bounds.
I've been loving this stuff ever since my dad took me to the 2003 Summer Slam back in Phoenix. It was probably the perfect wrestling event: Triple H won a cage match, Rey Mysterio 619'd Shannon Moore (that's a move, not a sex position), the Undertaker pulled off a tombstone piledriver against A-Train, and Steve Austin interfered on a match between Shane McMahon and Eric Bischoff by doing his Stone Cold Stunner when no one was looking. When the match was over he and Shane chugged beers in the ring and threw middle fingers to the crowd. I was reeling.
The Undertaker was easily my favorite, and after the event my dad agreed to buy me a shirt. They didn't even have kids sizes, and I ended up with a huge tee branded with a giant picture of Satan and the words "Big Evil: Pain SinDicate" across the front. My mom never let me wear it.
B-Dubs: Let ME just preface THIS email by saying I have literally been waiting for you ever since I came to Northwestern (almost as much as I waited for my new fiancée, but whatever).
I came to love wrestling at an early age, back when this was still true. I would watch WCW Monday Nitro with my dad, and my brother and I had all of the action figures (NOT dolls). My bro and I would regularly wrestle each other, attempting all the extremely dangerous moves we saw on television. I was never allowed to watch WWF because it was "inappropriate," and I could never go to a live event. My interest waned until 8th grade, when I turned on the TV one night to find the WWE’s Monday Night RAW. A little bit of nostalgia arose in my soul, longing to taste the sweet nectar again, so I watched. After a commercial for ECW on Tuesdays and Smackdown! on Fridays, I was back baby. I watched unhealthy amounts of wrestling. My high school Young Life leader and I would organize pay-per-view parties every month from my freshman year to senior year, and we ended up attending Wrestlemania XXVI together down in Arizona (which you were also at!).
Although I do not watch regularly anymore, my heart is still with wrasslin'. One of my favorite recent moments was the end of CM Punk vs. John Cena at the Allstate Arena in 2011, the same place that (segue time!) we’ll go to watch WWE Payback on June 1, baby!
T-Dazz: It'll be the greatest wrestling weekend anyone at Northwestern will ever have. We have Wrestlepocalypse 8 on Friday night, and then we turn around right after Dillo Day and go to WWE Payback on Sunday night. There are going to be more than a few casualties.
I think your last clip with Punk and Cena was good for our readers to see, because in what other sport can a) the champ have his title taken from him anywhere, at any time, b) the CEO be mercilessly ridiculed by his own employees and customers, and c) can the athletes just enter the crowd and leave the effing building whenever they want? This stuff only happens in wrestling, and both the WWE and 'Pocs excel at this insanity. The showmanship is fantastic, the production value is crazy (if you haven't seen a pyrotechnics display from a wrestling event, jump on that), the performers are some of the best in sports and drama alike, and you better believe that the fans are the best that entertainment has to offer. Watch the first 90 seconds of this next WWE clip — you have a People's Elbow from the Rock right before the return of the Undertaker. I'm pretty sure some grown men fainted in that crowd.
B-Dubs: The crowd, the crowd, the crowd. Personally, I live for the “pop” — tens of thousands of middle-aged, overweight men going absolutely crazy all at once. It keeps me coming back (I mean, 70,000 people going nuts over oiled-up men in spandex? How does that not get you pumped?). Now, there can be just as much excitement with a smaller, more intimate crowd, where everybody can hear the smack of bodies on the mat or that jackass who won't shut up — it's beautiful. That's one of the beauties of Wrestlepocalypse at NU — it's intimate, rowdy and chaotic, like the old ECW crowds.
Does ‘Pocs want to become WWE? Maybe not, but they could try a few things to improve. Why not expand the venue? Yes, Shanley is historic, tiny, dirty – the perfect home for Wrestlepocalypse. But why not lower the number of shows, advertise like crazy, and try to fill the Louis Room in Norris? Imagine the room absolutely full, even the second floor balcony. AWESOME. That would mean the announcers could not drink the endless amounts of beer thrown at them, but that's a sacrifice they might need to make.
T-Dazz: I love that idea. You also have a lot more room in there for lights, props, and most importantly . . . entrances. Wrestlepocalypse is terrific, but Shanley doesn't offer a lot of room for those signature wrestling intros. As a fan, you want to see your wrestler run out to walls of fire, blaring guitar riffs and completely over-the-top promo-vids flashing on the Jumbotron. The Louis Room even has a huge screen you could use to throw up some montages and transition videos! Total win-win situation.
And, in a perfect world, we'd lay out giant mats on the East lawn and have someone thrown out those huge floor-to-ceiling windows every year. Imagine our Hero winning back the condoms and alcohol by giving the bad guy the ol' second story heave-ho. You'd have one hell of a pop after that. If the WWE can have the Undertaker throw Mankind off of a forty-foot cage, we can have someone go crashing through the windows of Norris. Reserve a little of the We Will money to pay for the new glass.
As for the concern about alcohol, I wouldn't worry too much about it. With wrestling, you usually find a way to work it into the proceedings. Take it from our guy Steve here.
B-Dubs: Yes! Can somebody please be thrown out of the windows of the Louis Room?? Jeez, where is the commitment? One thing that the WWE has consistently had, and Wrestlepocalypse really needs, is reckless abandonment with regards to one's body. Jumping 50 feet onto another man is simply PART OF THE JOB. Last time I was at Wrestlepocalypse, a guy got his forehead cut and immediately went to the hospital to get stitches. Back in the day, guys like Abdullah the Butcher would cut their own heads open for the people. I mean, we're worth that small sacrifice.
The WWE does need to create more of the "rockin" vibe that is so palpable at Wrestlepocalypse. Go to the last ‘Pocs show on Dillo Eve and try to tell me that you didn't wet your pants with excitement. I dare you. Everybody is standing on their chairs the ENTIRE show, starting ridiculous chants, and getting into every single mediocre wrestling move. I love it. The passion and idiocy are there in droves, and those might be the two most important things in all of wrestling.
T-Dazz: Man, and that's why this is going to be the best weekend ever. No matter how absurd this all might be, you still have some of the most passionate people in entertainment supporting it every step of the way. Wrestling goes where nothing else is willing to go, and that keeps us all coming back again and again. It doesn't matter if it's fake, because just like Wrestlepocalypse, you have to see the WWE as a performance. It is the most over-the-top, death-defying, borderline-psychopathic form of athletic theater you can find, and damn it all if that's not terrific.
What's going to happen at Payback on Sunday night? Who knows? We could have another "Shave Vince McMahon's Head" incident (with our dude Donald Trump looking on!), we could see another legendary unmasking (love this one — you even hear the commentator yell "Is that thing human?!"), or we could see Chicago hometown hero CM Punk in a stunning, triumphant return from retirement. Because after all, my friend, that's the beauty of the WWE — anything, and absolutely anything, can happen. We just better be ready.
B-Dubs: I just want my moment. I want my Wrestlepocalypse moment of insanity, pain, jubilation, ecstasy!!! I'm so excited. Will the ring catch on fire? Maybe. Will a dog wrestle a human? Maybe. Will money rain down from the ceiling? Totally possible. Could a deranged man with a black cloth come out and destroy an Olympic gold medalist? YES.
I'm pumped for this weekend because of indoor fireworks, lights, explosions, rednecks, arguing with small children about wrestling, arguing with parents about arguing with their children about wrestling, heckling wrestlers, cramming into Shanley Pavilion, watching NU students take wrestling semi-seriously for one glorious weekend, and for the unbridled joy of SCREAMING AT THE TOP OF MY LUNGS!
Sports. Wrestling. Lyfe.
Basic Thuganomics, — BW
T-Dazz: Couldn't have ended this any better. Let's go watch men in short-shorts beat the hell out of each other.
I could pop any second... in more ways than one. — Dazz