WWE has been a favorite event of mine since I was just a little tike. So naturally, when they came to Miami’s own American Airlines Arena, I had to go. I brought my four year old, and boy did the night start off on the wrong foot. For starters, the WWE did not open it’s doors until 7:15, allowing the capacity crowd ample time to wait outside in the pouring rain. Not only were we drenched from head to toe, but there were many boos, hisses, and chants of “YOU SUCK” to the people who remained dry running the doors. It was not a fun wait. Once inside, we joined the rest of the soaked men in the bathroom and wrung out our clothing. Yes, you heard me right. Clothing. We were soaked, and who wants to sit in wet clothing for 3+ hours?
The event was so-so. A lot of good old school guys made it more fun though. Rowdy Roddy Piper showed up, as did Dusty Rhodes, Golddust, Hit Man Bret Hart, Jerry the King Lawler, and more. I felt since it was in Miami that Rey Mysterio should have had a bigger role, he was only out briefly and did not wrestle. The ending was certainly the best part. The ring was ransacked by a group of new wrestlers apparently just signed by the WWE. They tore apart the whole ring and every piece of equipment in the vicinity. Sitting in the front row, my four year old son was freaked out when one of the unknown men came and grabbed not only the man who rings the bell, but the ring announcer as well as some of the other WWE staff that aren’t involved in the show other than for tech work and camera direction. Many were visibly shaken up after getting tossed, thrown, and stomped for more than 10 minutes. Even Jerry the King Lawler was favoring his right arm as the show wrapped up, he was visually hurting. The ring announcer (his name escapes me) had his fancy suit coat ripped right off him and he was hurt as well. He was aided out by medical staff and appeared to have head injuries.
Best of all, this is REAL. I can report this because I was there. I was there with my son, hanging out with two high schoolers with a great “U Can’t SEE ME” sign, a play on the “U” as well as John Cena, when all of this pandemonium broke loose. Not only did we stay well after the event and listen in, but a fan sitting in front of me actually rang the bell in the ring when the people running it became involved in the show. Talk about being part of the action!
What I didn’t like were all the constant A-team plugs. The plot surrounding their promo was slow and boring. They could have got a younger actor that the crowd would have related to better, Brad Cooper, involved. He’s a great up and coming (well, actually after the Hangover I don’t think up-and coming is the term, he’s arrived is more like it) actor who people can relate with. Rampage Jackson has yet to go mainstream in most people’s homes as many people don’t watch UFC like they do movies.
Here were the top chants during WWE Raw in Miami, Florida.
“Rocky, Rocky, Rocky.”
“Let’s Go Heat, Let’s Go Heat!”
There were many more, and overall the experience was great. It wasn’t the normal show that continued story lines, it was a “viewers choice” show, where viewers elected what types of matches would go off and who would fight who. I read on another blog that the crowd was at 85% capacity. That’s not true as there was not an empty seat in the arena. I will agree with that blogger that many fans were young and left early. I enjoyed the event, but have to say my front row experience with the ending that took place was the main reason for enjoying it. The rest of the matches that went off tonight were average at best.
Terry Bender reports weekly at the Miami Blog, Miami’s #1 Internet news source