When I was a kid, pro wrestling was the coolest thing around. Yeah, it was the 1980s. And yeah, looking back, some things seem silly. Nonetheless, WWE is coming to State College and I will be attending, mainly because no one offers a live experience like the WWE.
Take, for example, WWE superstar Damien Sandow, the self-proclaimed “Savior of the Unwashed Masses.” I recently had an opportunity to speak with the wrestler about his life in the WWE, what he brings to a live show and proper personal grooming techniques.
“You’re welcome,” said Sandow to open our interview.
Sandow, 6-foot4 and 243 pounds, said, unlike other professional wrestlers, he relies on his vast intellect and knowledge to place him above the others. He said there’s one thing that makes him stand out: “Obviously it is my intelligence.”
I didn’t imagine Sandow would be fighting anyone other than, say, another man or possibly a woman. Never did the thought once cross my mind that he’d be fighting a dinosaur. Sort of.
“I shall be defeating Brodus Clay and contributing to his demise,” Sandow said. “Any man who names himself after a prehistoric reptile and prances about is laughable and sad. People will have a chance to see me put Brodus Clay, the ‘Funkasaurus,’ into extinction.”
Is there anyone in WWE worth his time and intelligence in the ring?
“Quite frankly, no one,” Sandow said. “There are people now holding championships claiming to be role models. As the avenging sword of taste and decency in the WWE, I will be striking them as the weeks go by. I’ll name a few: Rey Mysterio, the Big Show, CM Punk. If I get finished with Brodus and someone says something that I don’t agree with, I may need to come back out.”
WWE travels all over the globe throughout their grueling road schedule, and the venues vary. Sandow seemed excited to be bringing his message to the Penn State student body.
“That is a great thing. When the mind is open to learning, it’s a wonderful, wonderful thing,” Sandow said. “I just hope that even the professors who educate the students there show up so I may enlighten all of them as well. I’m quite looking forward to it. Any time I get to visit an academic institution, it’s definitely a good day.”
Sandow also had a specific message for all those in Happy Valley still on the fence about coming out to the Bryce Jordan Center: “The WWE is without a doubt the leader in entertainment. We have something for everyone. And if — and I can’t believe I’m going to say this — a near 400-pound man who names himself after a prehistoric reptile and dances isn’t entertaining enough — which, OK, to the average member of the unwashed masses, of course it is — it’s not something you see every day,” Sandow said. “This is bigger than entertainment.”
Sandow’s list of reasons for attendance did not stop there, though.
“This is bigger than what people just think of as a ‘wrestling show,’ ” he continued. “This is a complete entertainment experience. You can take the whole family, it’s PG and, most importantly, with me being on the show, you are going to leave smarter.”
He said his brave new world will allow the intellectual enrichment of all of the “unwashed masses” for a fraction of the cost of a college education.
“People pay all this money to send their kids to go to college when, if you could just pay to go see me live, you walk away smarter anyway,” he said. “Price of admission to a WWE show vs college tuition? Of course, I’m an economically savvy way of educating yourself.”
Sandow, generally clad in a bathrobe, pink trunks and purple kneepads, is easily noticeable by his well-trimmed beard. He owes his trademark beard to a family tradition.
“At the Sandow compound, we have our own groomer, so to speak,” the wrestler said. “My great-great-great grandfather, Ozias P. Sandow, started the tradition of beards in the Sandow family. And since then it’s been a source of pride and manhood, and a rite of passage if you will. The beard-grooming techniques have evolved and the Sandow family has been at the forefront of it. We’re actually very good friends with the Gillette family. And the Gillette family, as you know, is at the cutting edge, no pun intended, of all facial grooming products. We have our own way of doing things.”
What dos the future hold for Damien Sandow?
“Intellectually sound as I am, I have not nor do I believe in psychic powers,” he said. “I will continue to champion the cause of taste and decency within the WWE, and anyone who stands in my way will be struck down at once.”
WWE will start at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 21 at the Bryce Jordan Center, University Park. Call 865-5555 or visit www.bjc.psu.edu for more information.