I can remember being around 7 years old and my cousin Cliff presenting me with a sleek silver box. I remember being in the car, not quite sure where we were going. Nonetheless, I remember opening that box, which revealed tickets that in black print read “WWF Live At Madison Square Garden“. At least that’s how I remember it. I couldn’t believe it, I was on my way right then and there to go see professional wrestling LIVE in person! Now, at 7 years old, you could have told me that I was going to WrestleMania and I wouldn’t have known the difference. That’s the beauty of bringing a child to a live event, because for the most part, to them, these events are no different than a RAW, SmackDown Live or even a PPV. Roman Reigns is Roman Reigns and John Cena is John Cena. If you’re seeing them wrestle, it’s gotta be the biggest night of the year!
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that the wrestlers seem to enjoy the live events just as much, if not more. I hear countless stories from legends like Chris Jericho, who actually chooses to do live events because to him, at times, they’re more fun than televised events.
Ya see, there isn’t as much of a script. There’s freedom. Freedom to break the 4th wall and interact with the fans in a way that you’re unable to once the red light is on. It’s an experience fit for all ages, especially for the kiddies. For example, after putting Kane through a table, “The Monster Among Men”, Braun Strowman stepped up on the second rope and proceed to do the Hogan pose to the audience. He flexed. He posed. He even ripped off his shirt in Hulkster fashion. It’s something you’re not going to see on Monday nights, that I can tell you.
Another aspect of a live event is that usually the good guys win. It’s a way to make sure that the fans are sent home happy. It allows for a feel good story. Whether you’re in Idaho, Missouri or The Garden, the atmosphere at a WWE Live event is nothing but positive vibes for all that attend.
I’ve been fortunate enough to go to my fair share over the years. In fact, a bit of a tradition has come out of it. Every year, my Brother and a couple buddies of mine head over to the Garden the day after Christmas for the WWE Holiday Tour. Sometimes, we’re even able to score a Suite for the event by way of work connections. It’s a unique event because now all of us are in our 30s, but the majority of the audience is children. Most likely it’s parents that can’t quite get their whole family to a Monday Night Raw on a school night, but can swing a few tickets to sit up close for some Holiday Fun (during the Holiday/Christmas break of course). So all of us, at 30 something years of age, end up rooting furiously for the bad guys, even though we know they’re going to eat the loss. You’d be surprised how much fun it is to argue with an 8 year old as to why Sheamus and Cesaro are going to beat Rollins and Jason Jordan for the tag titles on a random Tuesday in December.
Another great aspect for Live Events is that you get to see WWE “try out” some things. By that I mean that they actually test story lines in front of an audience to gage their reaction. Are they buying it? Do they like this guy? Do they hate this guy? It’s all telling. For example, on WWE Programming, we haven’t seen “Woken” Matt Hardy wrestle Bray Wyatt yet. It’s clearly being held for a big event, however, at the Garden, I got a preview. I saw “Woken” Matt Hardy come out, fully Broken, with piano music and all. Matt ended up winning (remember, the good guys usually win at live events) and I was able to get a glimpse into what might be in store for two of WWE’s most intriguing gimmicks.
I also saw a live concert! Yes! I WALKED WITH ELIAS! (and the Good Brothers). We sang a few versus to Free Bird, which was interrupted for a 5 way tag match. I can’t remember who won though, not because it wasn’t memorable, but because I got caught up looking up Elias YouTube clips of him singing Oasis’ “Wonderwall” in the UK.
We got multiple women matches for the girls aspiring to be future Women Champions. We got some old school feel with Goldust and of course, a main event featuring The Big Dog, Roman Reigns vs. John Cena. I tweeted out the following, which actually got picked up by some other wrestling publications.
Reigns went over clean, which to an 8 year old isn’t out of the ordinary, but to me, at 32 years old, it’s a sign and kind of a big deal. It means that times are changing in the WWE and we’re ushering in a new era. Roman Reigns is THE guy, whether we all like it or not.
So if you’re thinking about attending or are just curious as to whether your kid is going to enjoy pro wrestling, give a live event a shot. It’s totally worth it. On the flip side, if you’re like me, throw your ego aside, call up some buddies and buy a cheap ticket. Sit in the nose bleeds, place some side bets and enjoy the night.
Live events for the win. Believe that.