Despite the fact that I have been a life-long WWE fan (and a wrestler at one point in my life), I must admit with a bit of shame that before yesterday night, I had never attended a live WWE event.
The reasons for me not previously attending a live WWE event are many, but really, that is neither here nor there, because after last night—as if the stars and the elements wanted me to be there—I finally got to be part of a live WWE event.
"Night of Champions in Boston was the first WWE event I ever attended," and until I die (or most likely forget), this will be a statement that I can proudly make whenever someone asks me if I have ever been to a WWE show (a much better response than my usual, "Actually, no.").
Having been to several wrestling shows, including some big shows in Mexico, I can honestly say that nothing compares to the spectacle that the WWE puts on.
"Go big, or go home."
"The ring is smaller than you might expect." It is a statement that first-timers often make, but a true one nonetheless.
It has been well over a year since I last set foot in a ring, and honestly, I forgot how small those things actually are. On TV, the WWE ring looks endless, an on-going canvas with no limits—except when those need to explicitly exist.
Strangely enough, the scale of some wrestlers is also hard to comprehend without witnessing their presence live.
Rey Mysterio and Daniel Bryan truly are tiny, while CM Punk is actually taller than you'd expect. Kane is huge—bigger than television would lead you to believe.
As JBL walked down the red carpet toward the announce table, the only thing I could think was "Damn!"
No, this thought didn't perpetuate in my head due to his time with former tag-team partner Ron Simmons, but instead because I knew that by watching the event live, I was going to miss out on hearing JBL's pipes color commentating.
As annoying as Michael Cole is most of the time, I really did miss his voice.
There was a moment in Randy Orton's match against Dolph Ziggler when Orton performed an elevated DDT on Ziggler. The move was beautifully executed, but one thing was missing—Michael Cole calling the action "vintage Orton."
Thankfully, the Boston crowd was a smart one, and someone sitting behind me called out the phrase.
I've always known this about wrestling, from my own days as a wrestler to watching Raw every Monday night, but without a doubt, the most important part of a wrestling match is not the men squaring off in the ring, but the people reacting to the match.
Thankfully, I could not have picked a better city to have my first WWE experience. Boston is a great crowd.
The fans are fickle, but loyal.
What surprised me most about the Boston crowd is how respectful they are.
I live in Providence, R.I., so there is usually a bit of dissonance between what the people in Providence say about the people in Boston and what actually goes on there.
Sure, there were a few drunken folks here or there yelling "What?" during random times or asking people to give them a "Hell yeah," but these where the exception.
Perhaps my favorite crowd moment was during the Ziggler/Orton match, when half the crowd was chanting "Let's go Ziggler" while the opposition replied "Let's go Randy." The moment was great not because the chant was pretty cool, but instead because the whole chant was started by two guys sitting behind me.
For a few moments, they had control of the crowd, and to them it was amazing. It really made me happy to see them react at the end of the chant when they both looked at each other yelling, "We started that, we started that."
I have always heard of Divas matches as "the bathroom break match." For years I thought this was an inside joke referring to how awful these matches are. Never did I actually expect these matches to be actual bathroom breaks.
The exodus of people rising out of their seats as Layla and Eve made their way down the ring was phenomenal; within seconds, a third of the arena had left.
Yes, the Divas match was pretty bad—better than Layla vs. Kaitlyn would have been, I suppose—but it was still a match between two competitors. Honestly, I felt bad for how little respect the Divas division gets.
If it was up to me, the whole project would probably be scrapped, but since the Divas division does exist, you'd think the WWE and fans alike would pay more respect to them. But then again, in a night filled with so much action, bladders can only take so much, so I guess if fans have to miss a match, it might as well be a Divas match.
From watching on TV alone, you get a sense that the WWE goes to great lengths to put together their show. What is not easily captured on television is how hard the men and women who are behind the scenes work.
Watching on television, I've always wondered two things: When do they set up Kane's pyros in the ring and when does Alberto del Rio's car get driven away?
Having the opportunity to witness these two events live, I kept my eyes peeled hoping that I would see a crew put the pyros up or a stagehand drive del Rio's car away. Nope.
Sure, I was immersed with the matches that were presented before me, but even though I was openly trying to look for these things, the WWE still pulled a fast one on me—it was suspension of disbelief at its best.
Note: Thanks to Evelyn Ramirez for her awesome-ish pictures—not too shabby for her first WWE event.