by Robert Bell
7 p.m. Verizon Arena. $17-$62.
Did you know that professional wrestling buffs have their own incredibly detailed jargon that they use? It’s crazy. For example, from a January 2010 Wrestlezone forum titled, “Randy Orton: Face or Tweener?”: “So my question is what would you do? Keep Orton a heel for a heel vs. heel feud, turn him into a full-fledged babyface, or maybe try for that SCSA type character once again ... but do it right this time? IMO I would have him a Tweener, keep him as that SCSA kinda guy and try to propel him into the next level. Some smark fans cheer for him anyway and he has been getting more cheers as of late, however his last face turn was horrible and I think he has done too much heelish things to be a face [sic throughout].”
I’ll try to translate some of this. Here goes: So Orton used to be a “heel” (bad guy) but eventually became a “babyface,” or “face” (good guy), but for a little while there he was a “tweener” (neither good nor bad). “SCSA” refers to retired wrestling champ “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. A “smark” is a fan who knows wrestling is all scripted and likes it anyway, and it’s a variation on the term “mark,” which variously refers to people who think wrestling is real; wrestlers or others in the industry who are overly concerned with fan perception; or, pejoratively, self-proclaimed wrestling experts who actually don’t know a damn thing. A “turn” is a change in a wrestler’s persona from good to bad or vice versa.
So besides the insider lingo, there are the convoluted storylines, which seem to be at least as hard to keep up with as most soap operas. Anyways, this right here is being billed as The First Smackdown of 2012, in which “The Apex Predator” Randy Orton takes on “The World’s Strongest Man” Mark Henry AND “The World’s Largest Athlete” Big Show in some sort of three-way match, with special refereeing by Booker T.
Also appearing will be: “Captain Charisma” Christian, “The Celtic Warrior” Sheamus, Wade Barrett, “Dashing” Cody Rhodes, Ted Dibiase Jr., Ezekiel Jackson, Daniel Bryan, Justin Gabriel, Natalya, Alicia Fox and more.