This week with Caliber…

This week with Caliber, now presented to you in left-alignment!

Last week, I talked about my favorite memories as a kid, and this week I thought I’d go with live events. In some cases, the holy grail of being a wrestling fan.

I always like to hear about people’s experiences from wrestling events, so if any of you guys have any worth while stories, do share.

The first live show I went to was a
Raw, and I was damn excited. Of course, my dad got some terrible
seats, and I was almost at the top of the Key Arena in Seattle. This
was of course during the time when Raw was recorded for 4 weeks. Man,
was that terrible. Because I had no idea just what the hell what was
going on. Who was this guy in blue that came out to kick Ahmed
Johnson? Oh yeah, that’s right, I was there for the debut of Farooq.
Good things come to the good. Also, the music for the Bulldog was
louder than almost anything I’d ever heard before in my life.
The biggest bummer was the fact that I
looked forward to Monday Night Raw like nothing else, and now I knew
what was going to happen for a month. Well, almost a month, even as
an 11 year old die hard wrestling fan, more than 4 hours of
wrestling, crappy wrestling, was more than I could take.
There was an upside though. See, this
was 1995, or 1996. Oddly enough I can’t remember. Anyways, at the
time, wrestling was at an all time low. No one at school I knew
watched it, and it was like I had leprosy. But when I went to Raw, it
was like I landed on the Island of Misfit Toys. Everyone here was
like me. We all loved wrestling. Seeing people in wrestling shirts
blew my mind. It was like seeing a UFO. Then once it was all over, I
went back to being the only person at my school who knew how to apply
a Figure 4.
My next event was a house show during
the Attitude Era. The seats were a lot better this time, as I was 2nd
level, but front row. So I could see everything, and didn’t have to
sit and stand with the whim of the crowd.
When The New Age Outlaws came out, we
of course did their whole shpeel with’em, to which Bad Ass screamed
into the mic “GODDAMN THAT WAS LOUD”. Afterward, Road Dogg told
us a story about being in the showers with Mark Henry, and when he
bent over, all he saw was “black hole suuuun…” so that scored
him points with the Seattle crowd.
The main event was Stone Cold vs Kane
vs Undertaker vs Mankind. Sgt. Slaughter was the special guest ref,
and he told us he was given explicit instructions to not let Stone
Cold Steve Austin leave Washington with the title. Well, he failed at
that. I really wanted one of those DX jerseys, but alas they had
none. But I did end up with a Stone Cold hat & shirt, and I was
in hog heaven with that. I use to wear it to school all the time, and
there were a few very religious girls who absolutely hated me,
because they thought I was being blasphemous. Which made me love the
shirt that much more. 
Afterwards, while we were walking to the car, The Headbangers were like, 100ft or so away talking to fans. My friends and I weighed out the pros & cons of walking over there. We opted for the car instead. 
After that, my next stop was the most
infamous Raw in Washington’s history, in where I was treated to the
main event of Booker T vs Buff Bagwell. Thing was, people said it was
a disaster, but everyone I could see loved the absolute hell out of
it. The two guys in front of me were pretty awesome, because they,
like me, got a pair of Christian’s sunglasses, and were drinking
themselves into oblivion.
That’s what I love about a wrestling
show, is when you find really cool wrestling fans.
I popped really big for Buff Bagwell,
and knew I was seeing something historic. Of course, it was historic
for the wrong reasons.
It was at this point I decided I’d only
go to PPVs. House shows & TV are great and all, but PPVs are
really where it’s at.
Now, in 1999, I told my friend that
within 10 years, I’d be at WrestleMania, watching Hulk Hogan come
down that isle in the red & yellow. He said I was crazy, that
there was no way. If I was smarter, I would have bet him, because
sure enough, I was there at WM19. I was so excited. I mean, it was a
dream come true, really.
There was talk about Cena taking on
Jay-Z or Fabolous in a battle rap, and I prayed that wouldn’t happen.
It was answered, as he came out to trash some card board cut-outs.
I’ve never seen the DVD of the show in full, so I don’t know if that
made it or not.
I was on my feet the entire time for
Hogan v Vince. I know that everyone who’s a smark is suppose to hate
Hogan, but I just can’t. He’s the Hulkster, man. I was beyond stoked
to see the red & yellow hero live, right before my eyes. It was
awesome. Of course, the real highlight came when Roddy Piper showed
up, and the guy next to me who’d been dressed exactly like Piper
absolutely lost his mind. I mean, I honestly thought he was going to
rush the ring. Unfortunately he didn’t.
We decided to leave during the middle
of the Angle v Lesnar match, because we didn’t really care about it.
Then as we’re walking through the arena, you hear this “oooh!” as
we then hear someone say “Brock just died in the ring!”. For that
second there, I thought he actually did. But then we saw Arn Anderson
down below, to which my friend yelled “Arn, you’re a legend!”.
Arn turned and smiled. Then my friend, who hated The Horsemen, yelled
“Arn, you’re fat!”. So, I guess he finally got his justice.
After WM, I passed up house shows,
Raws, and Smackdowns for a few years. Then I finally got back to the
real thing when I went to Elimination Chamber PPV. Honestly, that was
the most fun I’ve ever had a PPV. I had incredible seats, and it was
a damn great PPV. There was a family in front of me who had 2 little
kids, and for most of the show the kid kept holding up his mom’s
“Batista Bomb Me!” sign that was cut out in the shape of an old
cartoon bomb. I guess the mom didn’t have the heart to tell the son
she was trying to get Batista to f--- her.
I also had the awesome pleasure of
having 4 Canadian fans sitting behind me. So, you can imagine how not
annoying it was the whole time Shawn was wrestling. I mean, it’s bad
enough I have to watch JBL in action. Now I’m forced to watch it
while hearing “You screwed Bret” for about 9 hours.
The pre-show match was Melina vs Beth,
and this was during the time that Santino was with her. Man, did he
get a monster pop. During the Smackdown chamber, everyone thought
that Taker vs Triple H was going to happen at WM, because of how much
they tore it up during the end of the match.
I don’t know if anyone else experiences
this during the live shows, but isn’t it funny when the little kids
get all befuddled and start defending Cena to all the grown ups? I
mean, kids these days have balls. I would have never done that as a
kid. They must love the Dr. of Thuganomics.
That’s it for this week, next week I’m thinking we’ll venture into my favorite and least favorite wrestling video games from my youth. So those waiting to talk about Raw & Royal Rumble on the SNES, next week is your week. Any questions for the mailbag, [email protected] is the addy. 
– Caliber Winfield
Str8 Gangster, No Chaser – Caliber gets GLAMOROUS, interviews Matt from Botchamania, as well as plenty of horror talk, Top 4’s, and The Man Movie Encyclopedia.