I have a confession …
When you come from a family of 4 sons, you’re bound to watch some type of sporting event or have an affinity for a sport. I happened to love cricket and rugby and be a casual football fan. After living in Canada for the last 15+ years, I’ve become an American Football fan because of the gambling involved on the games. That being said, the only type of sporting activity that my entire family shares is a “pretend”, “imaginary”, simulation of wrestling.
Yep … we’re WWF … WWE fans!
I grew up in the “Attitude” era of the WWF … hence I grew up with the Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, DX (Shawn Micheals and Triple H). Growing up in Trinidad, I always wanted to be front and center with the action. The brothers all wrestled and there were many a suplex and piledriver on our parent’s king size bed. The clip below perfectly illustrates the action that we had at home … except that we were actually big boys and not skinny little Pakistani boys, as illustrated here.
When my younger brother suggested that I come down to see Monday Night Raw with him, I wanted to go a little bigger. I had been to the Bell Center twice before to see wrestling but I was seated in the bleachers. After being so high up in the rafters, I was completely uninterested in see a show and not being right in the middle of the action. So my brother and I decided to go big with front row tickets. However, getting front row tickets is not for the faint of heart … the price is actually fairly reasonable for what I would deem a “bucket list” experience. The problem is that you can’t actually get any front row tickets because they’re actually bought before the official channels are open. Problem #1
We had to buy these tickets from an online scalper and these were still only 2nd row tickets. We consigned ourselves to making our signs for the TV taping and we were off to the Bell Center. I might mention that for me to attend this event, I had to leave Toronto at 2:30pm, catch a flight at 4pm, then head to the Sheraton Center for 5:45pm, so that we could make our “RAW is TRINIDAD”, “STONE COLD SANKAR”, “DO YOU SMELL TRINIS” signs and then head over to the Bell Center.
As you can see below, it wasn’t the greatest weather in Montreal that day.
After making our signs and braving the lines, we got in to the following sight. This was the sightline I had when I was in university. It’s not terrible, but I can’t really see how being in the rafters differed from watching Monday Night Raw in Montreal on TV.
With our tickets, our seats were right into 2nd row. That’s quite a change in perspective. We were close enough to actually the feel the action in the “squared circle”. I normally don’t geek out completely for anything, but I could appreciate that I was getting to do something that I never thought I would be able to do, when I was growing up in Trinidad.
My brother was completely excited. Grown men with kids learn to temper their excitement for stuff that their children do. However for us, this was going back to when we were kids throwing punches, suplexing each other and staying away from forbidden piledrivers.
Once the pre show tapings were over, then it was on to the main event … of course preceded by the announcers coming on stage. If you’re not a wrestling fan, you won’t know who Micheal Cole, Booker T and JBL are … but as you can see below, my brother was excited enough to grab Booker T’s hand. (My brother’s nickname was “Booker She” when he was growing up back home in Trinidad)
We never did get to use our signs on camera though. You can see the cardboard behind the male security guard in black. I was actually quite upset at this. They didn’t even let us get our signs back during the sign spotlight. If you have to pay exorbitant ticket prices to get a front row seat, the ticket should actually indicate whether you’re TV side or not. Problem #2
The rest of the show went according to script with the usual suspects and fairly usual matches. Even with serious injuries actually happening, it’s sometimes difficult to figure it out on TV, but when you see the result of some of the “bumps” that the performers took, you wonder about the shelf life of the average “sports entertainer”.
In the end, it was a long 4 hours … since we sat through the TV taping, but then Vincent K. McMahon came out … you can hear some chants … “you screwed Bret” …
If you’re a WWF/WWE fan, you’ll know that watching a wrestling card in Montreal is a true bucket list item. The fans in Montreal are some of the most knowledgeable there are, in the world. Montreal was also the site of the one of the most infamous incidents in the history of Professional Wrestling. I’ve put links from Jim Ross breaking script to talk about it, along with the documentary about the “Montreal Screwjob”.
With all this history … and all the negative feelings over the years … you can always count on money to talk! Bret Hart now comes out to shill and introduce people for Vince! Bills have to be paid …
More proof that the Montreal crowd is a hot crowd. John Cena is an amazing talent and he feeds off the crowd like almost no one before him … It’s yet another reason to visit Montreal!
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