Let me preface this tale by saying I knew ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about professional wrestling. I'd heard of the top name stars, like John Cena and The Rock, but that's about it. I knew nothing of the fans, nor the level of devotion these people feel for "their man." I'm familiar with NASCAR, and the kind of crazy people get for their driver, but the WWE fans were over the top. There were a berjillion kids, even toddlers, all decked out head to toe in stuff covered in slogans and catch phrases that I couldn't decipher. It was eye-opening.
These fans came from every walk of life, all races, ages, ability levels, and every other categorization you can think of. And they were universally polite and kind, at least the ones I saw walk past my beer stand. I was shocked. I don't know what I expected, but it wasn't the welcoming, friendly crowd I saw.
After the intermission when the stadium cut off alcohol sales, I counted out our cash drawer and headed off to the cash office to sign out for the night. I opened the door to the stairwell that went down into the bowels of the arena, and was confronted by two burly security guys asking if I needed to get through. Um, yeah, security guys, I need to get through. I was apparently the last person they allowed down that way, because there were three even larger, even burlier guys clad in black leather blocking the entire freaking hallway behind the security guards. I paid them no mind, other than noting that for guys who looked like a pornographic SWAT team, they smelled really nice.
I cashed out, signed the register, and tried to go back upstairs. I was told no. No going up those stairs again. Sigh. I had to run all the way around the arena to the opposite side's stairs, then all the way around the concourse upstairs to where my ride was waiting for me. I stopped at the ladies room, and when I came out, the three leather-clad guys were standing by the portal waiting to be announced to go in to wrestle. Suddenly their outfits made more sense. One of the guys made a funny face at me, stuck his tongue out, and I fumbled for my camera. I wanted to see if I could figure out who they were when I got home. He was announced and dashed off behind the curtains before I could get the camera app up. Dang it.
As soon as I got home, I looked up the WWE site, and immediately discovered who they were: Roman Reigns and The Shield. Okay, then. I still have no clue when it comes to the actual wrestling, but based on my little hallway encounter, and the tongue thing, I am now a Roman Reigns supporter. *fans self*
|This is basically what I walked into.|