Of presidential candidates and wrestlers

The right entrance music combined with charisma can make a popular wrestler or presidential candidate.

Back in the day, I was a gargantuan World Wrestling Entertainment fan. Every Thursday night my schedule was booked. My social life? Statistics unavailable. A lovely chica would ask me to rendezvous with her to see a movie like “Flubber,” but I would respond to her invitation with something like, “Um, I, um, gotta take care of, um, some homework” or “I have to lift weights.” These were lies. I was in sixth grade. Homework didn’t exist in sixth grade. Weightlifting? My chicken arms and 90-pound frame couldn’t have curled even those pointless 1-pound dumbbells more than once.

The reasons why I loved the WWE were simple: unrealistic storylines, steroid-pumped bodies, girls wrestling each other in lingerie – you know, all the cliché reasons why 5.99 billion people despise it worldwide. It was raw, unadulterated entertainment that didn’t require an IQ above 10 to comprehend.

Then tragedy struck: I grew out of my WWE phase. I heard the “wrestling is fake” bit from every person I associated with. The lovely divas of the WWE? They were now sporting 40-inch arms. There was no reason to love the WWE anymore.

I tried various forms of therapy to remedy my WWE-less situation, some successful (“Dawson’s Creek”, “The O.C.”), some unsuccessful (“That’s So Raven” – don’t ask). But there was never going to be a soap opera as adrenaline-pumping as the WWE. I thought. I was wrong.

After Sen. Barack Obama won the Iowa Democratic Caucus, he marched onstage to make the most memorable speech in my 20 years on planet Earth (the speech where he exclaimed, “They saidÖ” about 131 times to begin the speech). One aspect of Obama’s speech that I will never forget is that as he came onstage, Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” could be heard blaring from the sound system.

Five days later, Sen. Hillary Clinton won the New Hampshire primary and strutted onstage to Tom Petty’s “American Girl.” Obama had lost – he needed to counter. Stevie Wonder was no longer signing, sealing, and delivering victories anymore. He needed (swallow) change.

Now Obama should receive the Democratic Presidential nomination because he adopted Bill Withers’ “Lovely Day” as his new theme song.

When my eyes were transfixed on WWE wrestling nine years ago, it was insane how crucial each wrestler’s theme song was. “Do You Smell What the Rock is Cookin’ ” prompted me to buy “WWE: The Music Volume Three” (which now sells on eBay for one cent if you “Buy It Now”). When the Rock finally changed his theme song, it was like a part of my life had been significantly altered.

The right entrance music combined with undeterred charisma can make one the most popular wrestlers on the planet. The same can be said of presidential candidates. If I weren’t following the 2008 election as closely as I am, I would probably vote for John Edwards because he has Bruce Springsteen for his entrance music.

The parallel between the 2008 presidential candidates summoning entrance music is eerily similar to a WWE wrestler’s. Perhaps that’s where the similarities between the two end. My claim that the sophisticated candidates and the savages of the WWE are similar is probably a dubious one.

Yet, it is hard to ignore the current crop of presidential candidates character-assassinate one another every chance they get (much like professional wrestlers do). And they do shed artificial tears to try to appear more human (like a professional wrestler would do).

The thing that’s so comforting about WWE wrestling is that we know it’s fake – there is nothing at stake.

Sam Mischke is a University student. Please send comments to [email protected]