I knew this Raw was going to be good from the start. For once we arrived in plenty of time, which meant cheaper parking. The Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Indiana reminded me of the arena we had gone to in Indianapolis. Not bad prices for parking, spacious so that people could go inside if they wanted to, with horrible seating inside. Oh, the seating arrangements themselves are great, especially the ones we ended up at, but the seats and their cushions, just awful. Still, I like an arena that starts letting people in an hour before hand as opposed to a half an hour, and it’s nice when the lines move fast.
However, we still had to wait for our tickets to arrive at the box office.
While waiting I tweeted Tyler Reks to let him know that Chris would be wearing his MidCard Mafia shirt. Reks said he must see a picture.
I sent the picture of Chris, at the arena, with the shirt on and was tweeted back that Maxine agreed to be Chris’s date for the night. This became a running joke for the rest of the night. (For those who haven’t caught up, Chris is my boyfriend of five years).
So, hey, we already had a good laugh and our tickets ended up arriving at 7:30 on the nose which gave us a lot more time than usual, and we needed it.
We were in section 216 row 6. At the time I had no clue where that was, I was just following the signs. As you can see from the picture, it wasn’t all that far away!
Standing in line to get through the ticket checks (no one checked signs or purses here unlike every other arena I’ve been to) someone was talking about shirts behind me. So his friend says, “All of your shirts have woofs on them.” Woofs? “Are you a werewoof or something.” Oh. You know there is an “L” in there, right? The guy then continued to wonder how anyone could boo Cena, Cena is awesome. Another guy saw our sign we made for Dena, “Striker Appreciation Sign,” and proceeded to tell us the story about he really was a teacher and was fired for all of the sick days he was using for working the wrestling circuit. Not something I didn’t know, but the guy really wanted to seem knowledgeable so we just let him go.
Once we sat down I turned from the stage to look up because I was going to meet Tom for the first time and he said he would meet us at our seats. So I was expecting him to come from above me. Suddenly, at about the same time I hear, “Solace!” “It’s Lombardi.” I turn and standing at the barricade is Steve Lombardi, the Brooklyn Brawler. I’ve never jumped out of my seat so fast in my life as I ran down towards him, not thinking, hello, barricade. And Lombardi, being him, simply climbed it and came over to us. At that time Chris also had to point out to me, “There’s Tom,” and I look, and sure enough, about the same place, is Tom, but he wasn’t going to climb everything, and I couldn’t blame him.
The first words from Lombardi were, “You know Tom?” Yes, I know Tom, or at least would soon! I hugged a man I had practically adored for ten years, at least. If Undertaker was my 80s of wrestling, Lombardi was most of my 90s of wrestling. Even as a teenager I had a huge crush on the man and meeting him gave me sweaty palms. The first thing he said to me really was to thank me for my dedication to the WWE and all of my tweets and blogs. Haha, wow. I had no clue what to say to be honest, I was kind of a grinning mess at this point.
Tom joined us at this point and I was stuck between two people I really admire for their work and here they told me they liked what I did. Yes, yes, I was excited. Tom pretty much copied Lombardi and said, “You know Steve?” Well, no, but yes? I do now! Lombardi explained to Tom that I was the first fan he had ever come out to meet that he didn’t know already. Yup, trying not to be a complete screeching female at this point.
The majority of the first part of the conversation was starring Steve Lombardi. He asked where we lived and I was explaining it to him, so used to people going, “Where?” and forgetting I was talking to someone in the wrestling industry. I said, “Lima, Ohio,” and he said, “Oh, I know where that is. Where Al Snow is from.” Why, yes. I always forget this tidbit myself.
I let Lombardi know that I had once had a huge crush on him, he almost looked surprised. I was surprised by that! I loved this guy! I still do, and maybe a little more now. He asked if I was sure I wanted to say that in front of Chris, but Chris does hear me talking about Scott Stanford. Every day. Chris is used to it, and besides, he was Maxine’s date tonight, not mine. Onward with loving Lombardi!
Lombardi also asked me about his parody account that I’m friends with on twitter. I told him the man absolutely adores him and means no offense by it, he really does want to pay homage to Lombardi, but Lombardi insisted he does not speak like that. “I don’t say, hey yous,” and Tom vouched that this was true. Lombardi does have a definite accent, but it’s a sweet, intelligence to it. Have I mentioned the man has aged beautifully as well? Eh-hem, sorry, but that man is so well built, has a brilliant smile, and just… yeah… excuse me…
Now, where was I? Oh yes, so I was told to definitely tell everyone about meeting him, which wasn’t a problem, I kind of couldn’t get over it myself, still not over it. And to especially rub it into that parody’s face to let him know I met him, but in a teasing way, no worries. No animosity here! This is when he mentioned that he can’t do twitter, he doesn’t have time, and I was tempted to beg him harder than I already was. I would love for Lombardi to be on twitter, and I think a lot of other people would as well. I know quite a few people who every time I say #WeWantLombardi immediately retweet me. Tell Lombardi you want him on twitter! Leave it in the comments, he’ll read it!
Oh, also told him we had a sign for him and he was surprised they didn’t take it from us. I mentioned I’ve never had a sign taken and he did correct me that we did at the one. Yes, we did, that was because of where we were sitting though, we would have blocked the cameras. Boo. The man has a better memory than I do.
Then he left and it left me, Chris, and Tom. Ah, one man I adore and another who was leaving me for Maxine. Oddly, my conversation with the man you guys probably don’t know is the one I will not give a lot of details on, but I love this man. He’s a genius at what he does and will never take full credit for anything. Humble, handsome, sweet, creative. I’m lucky to know Tom.
We didn’t get a lot of time because then the announcement started about turning off recording devices. We said bye to Tom and went back to our seats. One of the two women in front of us turned and said, “Who was that you were talking to?” I assumed she meant Lombardi and not Tom and said, “That was the Brooklyn Brawler.” She turned to her companion and said, “I knew it was him.” Awww.
No, as usual, I don’t have any pictures or signatures. It was absolutely enough for me to have gotten hugs from two men I think are brilliant.
The dark match was Bray Wyatt vs. Alex Riley (of course). What surprised me is that most of the crowd recognized Bray Wyatt in some capacity, even if not by his new name, and were booing him nearly instantly. This was one of the loudest crowds I have ever been apart of and in general they would cheer or jeer for most people who came out.
Bray Wyatt gave a promo and wrestled a match that was given a decent amount of time. It’s the first match I’ve seen him wrestle since becoming Bray that lasted more than a few minutes and I can now fully stand by that I like Wyatt now. Alex Riley, though, needs a push again. Despite how long it’s been since he was in a big feud the crowd remembers him. He steps out and the crowd was deafening. Of course, for a lot of things last night, the crowd was deafening.
Next was introduction of Josh Mathews and Scott Stanford. WOO!!! SCOTT!!! He was wearing a purple shirt, so this made me extra giddy. At one point they were talking to one of the techs on the side and Mathews and Scott were working in hand signals to him, for some reason I found this completely amusing.
Scott goes through and touches hands with everyone in the front row on the side he goes through. He says hello to as many people as he can on his way to the table and then gets down to business for the first match. The first match is Kofi Kingston vs. Michael McGillicutty. McGillicutty probably had one of the quieter reactions of the night, though at least there were some boos. It was a reaction.
After the match was over and the two superstars cleared out Scott looked for us in the crowd and gave us a smile and a wave. Okay, so I’ll admit, being acknowledged by Scott was not the mark-out moment of the evening, but I still giggled like a school girl!
The next match was Darren Young, accompanied by Titus O’Neil and A.W. vs. Epico, accompanied by Primo and Rosa. How good this match really was I’m not sure because I was distracted by the fact that they allowed A.W. a mic and he added nothing to the match, at all. Plus I wondered how that would work when it came to listening to commentating later, because I want to hear Scott’s voice!
After the match ended the commentators leave. Scott then goes to the other side and while Mathews walks past everyone in a hurry to get out of the arena Scott now says hi to the other side of the arena, smacking hands and giving everyone he can a quick hello.
There was still time before Raw was going to begin. Lillian Garcia sang the National Anthem, and did so beautifully. Though I think this is only the second time I’ve heard it sung since we started our circuit of shows just a little less than a year ago. (This was our ninth show since September of 2011)
You guys have already seen Raw so I might rush through this a bit more now, since this is already much longer than I typically have one of these. The first match, though everyone was cheering wildly for all three men in the ring, and AJ when she came skipping out, was weak in the beginning. I like Punk and I can appreciate Bryan, but they move too slowly to set up their moves and it begins to become obvious to even me where they are missing shots. One kick reminded me of the Show punch to Vince last week. Okay, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but it was obvious to me. Still, was a good show for the three (and fourth when she made her appearance) and for now this angle has me very intrigued.
I was surprised at how loud the crowd was throughout most of it, and then Jack Swagger came out. I was honestly embarrassed for him that there was just no reaction except from about ten people, and I could see them all, Chris and I were included in there and the two women in front of us. I cheered my head off for him, but we knew he would lose to Santino. Entertaining, though!
I give credit to Triple H for keeping his promo short and sweet. I never want to take away what Triple H has done for the company and will do for it in the future, he just has to stop repeating himself when he’s out there and shorten it up a bit. Like this one!
John Cena’s promo was somewhere between horrid and making me chuckle. I have to admit I cracked a smile at some points, then rolled my eyes at others. Especially when he didn’t really have anything to associate more with Laurinaitis at the end. Thank goodness for Chris Jericho! And that jacket! It was odd to see Jericho’s hair grown out a bit, I almost didn’t know how to handle it. It was also one of the first times I thought he looked closer to his actual age, but not in a bad way. Men have this distinguished look where as they get older they are better looking, and Jericho with a style like that only made him more handsome to me. Not sure how much I like the stipulation for the ladder match, not with Cena joining it now, but it could be interesting.
The divas were fun to see, and Chris announced, “I have to cheer for Maxine to win because I can’t have both of my dates mad at me.” I don’t care what anyone says about Vickie, she looked good out there. She may be softer than the other women but she still made her cougar outfit look good. Layla needs to be nice to her, though! Vickie’s still wearing the Cougar necklace that Layla and Michelle McCool had given her!
Did I mention I was laughing my butt off when Show came back and hit Clay again? And again? Yeah, I loved it. But I’m still a Big Show fan. He may not be what he once was, but I still adore him.
After Raw went off the air it was two on one. Tensai and Big Show vs. John Cena. Cena, who was nearly dead, had his kryptonite taken away and revived enough to take down the two men. Afterward, Laurinaitis came out to, “You got fired” chants and had an Attitude Adjustment done to him. I wonder if this is punishment because every time he gets it done to him he doesn’t even look invested in it. It was a quick close-out for Raw and we booked it out of there.
Oh, and Chris did come home with me.