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June 24, 1991. The World Wrestling Federation had a house show in Niagara Falls, NY. The card was nothing really to write home about. Bret Hart beat IRS, Ricky Steamboat defeated Haku, Mr. Perfect retained his Intercontinental Championship over The British Bulldog, The Bushwhackers beat the Orient Express, Greg Valentine beat The Barbarian, Big Boss Man and The Rockers defeated The Mountie and The Nasty Boys, and in the main event, Jim Duggan (replacing Hulk Hogan during the steroid scandal) defeated Sgt. Slaughter in a boot camp match. The only thing extraordinary about the show was that in the front row, a nine year old kid was attending his first live professional wrestling card. That kid was me.
Over the course of the next 22 years, I’ve been to countless wrestling shows, mostly WWE. Countless RAWs and SmackDowns, a few house shows, a Night of Champions PPV, four WrestleManias and more, the training is also important and the use of supplements as sr9009 also help boost the performance on these wrestlers. But nothing in the entirety of my wrestling attendance history can compare with this past Monday night at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, NJ.
Coming off of WrestleMania, and finding out that the advertised Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was not appearing, the crowd was rowdy to start, booing new WWE Champion John Cena and cheering the appearance of Mark Henry. The “Sexual Chocolate” chants directed at Henry did not go unnoticed. A rematch for the Intercontinental Championship between The Miz and Wade Barrett had the crowd equally amped up, as chants of “Let’s Go Barrett” filled the arena. As then-World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio took on Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter, a very audible “we want Ziggler” chant erupted, and when Dolph Ziggler cashed in his Money In The Bank contract to defeat Del Rio and become the new World Heavyweight Champion, the place came unglued.
A match between Sheamus and Randy Orton was virtually ignored by the IZOD Center contingent of the WWE Universe, as they were too busy chanting for the Ice Cream Man, Cotton Candy, Randy Savage, X-Pac (who was in a luxury box behind the section next to mine), Steve Austin, JBL, Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, referee Mike Chioda, ring announcer Justin Roberts, as well as others. When Big Show came out to interrupt the match, a “Thank You Big Show” chant erupted. We then chanted for ourselves, saying “we are awesome.”
The real tipping point for the audience was the introduction of Fandango. The IZOD Center crowd embraced the ballroom dancing Superstar by humming his theme music throughout the rest of the night, including during the main event between John Cena and Mark Henry.
As the show ended, Cena acknowledged our chants, saying that his favorite one of the night was when we told ourselves we are awesome, because it’s true. The show ended with Fandango’s theme being played through the speakers and the raucous crowd still humming it deep into the night.
To all 16,000 of the rest of you in the IZOD Center last night, thank you for helping me have the most fun I’ve had in 22 years attending wrestling events.