Thursday, December 25, 2008

Shopaholic Takes the WWE

December 22, 2008 marked a special day for Torontonian wrestling fans. Kids from one to ninety-two joined in on the fun at the Air Canada Centre on a cold Monday night. For this "fan", it was the first wrestling show, and hopefully it would live up to its title of a "Super show", featuring both Smackdown and RAW. Fighting through the swarm of fans, though they prefer to be called marks, our crowd went to the box office, in hopes of securing the coveted tickets. After much patience, on our behalf and that of the ACC staff, we walked off smug and excited, clutching our prized fourth row ring side tickets, though not before rubbing it in the face of a scalper. Though seemingly steep, ticket prices went from under 20 and up to 80 dollars, yet for fans, this price was laughable for the four hours of entertainment waiting.
Though I have been known to watch an episode of Monday night RAW once in a blue moon, one would never be able to tell. Under the pink exterior, there is indeed a fan of this brutal, yet exhilarating sporting event. Toronto has proved in the past to be a loyal city to the WWE, and tonight was no different, as families and friends crowded the doors in anticipation of the 6:45 show. Neon green "Jeff Hardy" arm bands, Rey Mysterio masks and Jon Cena paraphernalia dotted the crowd, which was surprisingly younger than usual.
The 2000s have brought back the family era for the WWE, as this event became a pre-holiday must. Whether seated in the 300 section or close enough to touch the Superstars, children and adults seemed to enjoy themselves, though the night did have its highlights and disappointments.
The show opened up with Smackdown, a taped show which can be viewed on channel 53 on Friday nights. New comer, Kizarny, characterized by his creepy circus persona, was featured in a dark match, for the eyes of the live viewers only. High-flying Jeff Hardy pleased the crowd by retaining his status as the WWE champion against Big Show, the proclaimed world's biggest athlete. This segment of the show was overall uneventful, though fans were disappointed that Canada's own rated-R superstar, Edge did not make an appearance.
RAW, the live Monday night show, was taped afterwards at 9:15, leaving fans without an intermission and cramming in the actio
n. Four matches left JBL, Randy Orton, HBK and Jericho in the fight to face John Cena for the World Heavy-weight Title at January's Royal Rumble. Clips from the Tribute to the Troops were heart-warming, yet appearances from US president, George W Bush, seemed unwelcome, telling by the hissing crowd. WWE Divas made an appearance in the show, though the male crowd appreciated them for their looks rather than their wrestling moves. At the close of the evening, fans were Stratus-fied, as retired Trish Stratus returned to pair up with John Cena to face Santino Marella and Beth Phoenix, the current Women's Champion.
One surprising factoid is that during the live show, audience members cannot hear the commentary as viewers at home do. While this made it difficult to understand what was going on, it would have likely been futile as the crowd's cheers and jeers were overpowering. Fans showed their appreciation and diss
atisfaction with humourous signs, such as "Cena Enough" and chants like "Get a Haircut".
The crowd was energized and the evening was enjoyable for this shopaholic. Despite being unaware of much wrestling terminology, the fans was inviting. Chanting, jumping and being startled by the loud pyrotechnics were all a part of this great evening. Though not quite a full-fledged mark, this shopaholic can now call herself a WWE fan!

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