Joe Pritchett’s Real Talk: A Trifecta of Feeling
A mixed feeling of fear, anticipation, and excitement creeps over my body whenever the time comes to order tickets to a WWE live event. While this feeling is significantly less when it comes to events where I know I can get good seats, I none the less experience some form of this while watching the seconds tick away before I can place my order.
I generally forgo standing in long lines and buy tickets in the comfortable confines of my computer chair. I most recently experienced this sensation while waiting for Summerslam tickets to become available. As it will be coming from Washington D.C. this year, it is only a two and a half hour drive from my home and I had full intentions of intending since I found out about it taking place in D.C. months before. This mixed basket of feelings I get is usually heightened when ordering tickets for events such as the Royal Rumble or Wrestlemania XX, as I have done in the past. Maybe I’m crazy and irrational, but I can’t shake the feeling that I’ll be too late and the seats will be taken, leaving me sitting on the couch come time for the event while I could be sitting in the arena with thousands of other screaming fans.
My fears of not getting tickets for this year’s Summerslam were not in fact centered around not being able to see the event itself, but my real dread came from the thought of not being able to finally live a dream in which I have for so long thought unattainable.
For you see, the moment Shawn Michaels delivered Sweet Chin Music to Hulk Hogan weeks ago on RAW, my excitement for this annual summer time ritual shot though the roof. I have been a Hulkamaniac since the age of four. That is sixteen years that I have followed the exploits of one of the greatest entertainers in wrestling history. I had for a long time hoped that one day I could see Hulk Hogan wrestle live. As time passed and Hogan aged, I realized that that dream was slipping farther and farther away from me. I did gain the distinction of seeing him live and in person in February of 2003 in Philadelphia, but alas, seeing him standing in the center of the ring with only a mic and not an opponent made me wish to see him wrestle that much more.
Up until Shawn Michaels delivered that Sweet Chin Music, I had pretty much given up any hope of seeing Hulk Hogan stepping into the squared circle to take on an opponent live and in person. But I am happy to say that unattainable dreams sometimes do become realities. I will be sitting ten rows from the floor in hopes that on August 21st I experience what should be the culmination of sixteen years of Hulkamania fandom.
And so I now ask myself the question, will he live up to all the hype? When thinking of this, I compare this match to his match against the Rock at Wrestlemania X8. They are very similar in many senses, maybe the biggest being that Hogan, Rocky, and HBK are probably the three most charismatic performers to ever step inside the ring. They are also similar as both are billed as a sort of “dream match”. There are no titles on the line, and the Hulk Hogan/Shawn Michaels match will certainly overshadow both title matches much like Hogan and the Rock overshadowed Triple H and Chris Jericho for the WWE Undisputed Championship.
Hogan versus Rock was no wrestling clinic, but it is to me and always will be one of my favorite matches. And so I ask myself if HBK and Hogan can top it? While I can come up with many reasons for both sides of the argument, it boils down to two reasons on opposite sides of the spectrum for me. The one reason I don’t think this will top the Rock/Hogan encounter is simply because Hogan is older and not a full time WWE superstar. Hogan came into the WWE before Wrestlemania X8 with the n.W.o. Believe it or not, that was three years ago. Hogan was on television every week and had the opportunity to build up what I thought was a good back story and feud. Anticipation is essential when trying to build up excitement for a match, and I know for a fact many people anticipated that match more than they had any match in a very long time.
Hogan is now three years older. He isn’t with the WWE every week. He can’t be there to do what he did with the Rock. The only anticipation is the hype that is carried along with Hulk Hogan returning to the ring against on the all time greats, Shawn Michaels. Yet in my mind there is hope. The one reason I think this match can be better than the Rock/Hogan encounter is that very simply, HBK is a far superior wrestler than the Rock. It is rare, if ever, that HBK has a bad match. He will be relied upon to carry this match. The only way he will look good is if he makes Hogan look good. Yet if anyone in the WWE can do this, it would have to be the Heart Break Kid.
The deciding factor for me may eventually turn out to be the fact that I will witness Hogan versus Michaels live. I will get to experience the chants, cheers, and boos first hand. My adrenaline will be amped up ten fold with the live crowd as my fuel. That could make all the difference in the world.
This match will be expected to carry Summerslam. Besides this match, we are looking at JBL facing Batista in a rematch to what was a below par showing at the Great American Bash. They will most likely make some sort of stipulation so we do not have to witness the same match again. Jericho will take on John Cena. While I love Jericho and would love to see him win the title, I have a feeling he is being fed to Cena and nothing will come of this feud. It also seems imminent that Randy Orton will take on the Undertaker. I did enjoy their match at Wrestlemania 21, and this may be the chance for Orton to defeat the Undertaker and establish himself on Smackdown. Beyond these “main event” matches, Summerslam is wide open. We still don’t have a defined spot for Kurt Angle or soon to be returning Triple H, along with many other top superstars. Fortunately, we still have nearly a month to work out all the kinks and put together a top notch card.
None the less, Hogan and Shawn Michaels will carry this show. It has been a dream of mine for ages to see Hogan step in the ring, and I couldn’t pick a better opponent than the Show Stopper. Now that the feelings of fear, anticipation, and excitement over whether I will get tickets are now long gone, those feelings have transferred over to a new event, the Pay-Per-View itself. I can only wait and see if the event and the match lives up to the hopes that have been swirling around in my head, but I know that I can say that a once thought unattainable dream will soon become a very real reality.
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