The Dynasty Manifesto: Smackdown at MSG, Pt. 2—Chasing Dreams
Whoever said that dreams don't come true..they're wrong.
Whoever said that you have to go to Wrestlemania for the greatest wrestling experience ever....they're WRONG.
I've waited for this day forever. Ever since earning the SD! ticket in:
ON April 28th, 2009, I set out for what I thought to be just a normal night. I was stoked to be attending my first Smackdown, but the night went down in history as one of the most touching and greatest moments of my life. I was a balloon ready to pop. Anger, joy, sorrow, so many emotions filled me as I progressed through the greatest night in my life.
Before I got to the night, there was the day. I woke up cranky and irritated. The clock read 9:45am and I had Psychology class at 10am. The heat pounded on my 20 minute voyage to my college campus.
By time I got there I decided to skip class. A couple of classes later it was almost 4pm and the show started at 6:45pm. I had to get home and get ready. After getting a quick snack I ran to the train station.
By time I got there I realized that I left my ticket at home so I ran home and got them. The downtown train took a while to come and it was alreadypast 5pm. When I got downtown, I was amazed. Thousands of people were lined up and ready. Fans and marks of all ages, sizes, and ethnic groups.
My stomach growled around 6:20pm and I knew I would pay the price if I didn't eat. I was so excited about SD! that I forgot to bring my sign! I ran to the nearest Duane Reade and shelled out about six bucks for some poster boards and a pack of Sharpe markers.
The wind was so fierce it blew away one of my posters. It was impossible to write up a sign outside since the wind wouldn't let down. There was a nearby cafe that I went into to write my poster.
A father came in with his son who was an Rey Mysterio fanatic and they brought a sandwich. I slowly began crafting my Shelton Benjamin as he was my first priority. The father alerted his son to take the rest of the sandwich on the go due to the fact that it was 6:30pm.
There was no time to write up anymore signs, but I quickly put B/R on the other poster and ran for Madison Square Garden. The world's best arena they say...I agree. Wrestlemania started in here and came back for WMXX.
If this building was truly magnificent then something amazing should happen tonight, I thought to myself. By time I got to my floor it was 6:35pm. I passed by the mini shopzone stands where WWE shirts were being sold for 30 bucks a pop.
I looked in my wallet and only saw a 50 dollar bill...umm next time. My stomach came back to haunt me as it made unbearable sounds. I had an ultimatum, my biggest fear was staring me in the face. I had to purchase food from the concession stands. Couldn't have been that bad right? What happened to AkD at the stands?
1) Spent six dollars on a large coke
2) Spent six dollars on a hot dog
There was no time to rant about how much money I just shelled out, I payed the price just like I assumed I would. My cell phone read 6:41pm and I hit 90 miles an hour to the arena. The tickets were checked and so were the posters, so goodbye B/R poster.
I walked in and was blown away. I had seats in the mid section, but the arena was so small compared to others that It was as if I were up front. I love MSG. Everyone took their seats and I was seated next to some John Cena marks...oh boy. Everything ran like a movie.
The fans were told the shows would start shortly and showed video packages in the meanwhile. The first major heat of the night occurred. The tribute to the troops video was shown and it's inception was former United Stated President George W. Bush giving a speech about the troops.
Boos filled the arena.
People walked in the arena and immediately started booing when Bush's face appeared on the titan tron screen. Everyone got up from the edge of their seats when it was announced that some matches for WWE Superstars would be taped along with ECW and SD!
This was kind of like a supershow!
After about 15 minutes of tech crew moving around and shifting lights, the fans were told to get ready to stand up and wave their signs for the start of ECW. My sign read:
Shelton Benjamin For World Champ!
If I had more time I would have came up with something more clever, but simple isn't bad either. It didn't matter what show was on, I was putting up that sign. ECW started with Matt Striker and Josh Matthews coming out to a so-so pop and they took their seats.
Ricky Ortiz fought Mike Knox in a dark match before the show. How fitting is it that the first time I see Ortiz in action it's live in person? He was quite impressive and I look forward to seeing him on SD!, but he couldn't stop Knox who took him out with a vicious bicycle kick.
Everyone probably saw ECW by now so I don't have to keep anything to myself. Tommy Dreamer looked decent in a suit, it was a relief from always seeing him wear a ECW shirt. Christian came out to a loud pop and Christian-ism was in full throttle.
I clapped my hands as he came out. The title looked rather well on him I suppose. My night started to escalate during the Finlay/Kidd match. The Cena marks happened to be face lovers so they cheered for any good guy. My jaw dropped when Kidd and Natalya came out.
That woman is something I'll tell you, I was practically drooling.
The marks were cheering for Finlay and some guys around myself started chanting "Finlay sucks". The marks started chanting Finlay's name louder and louder and even turned back and glared me down.
Fortunately, Tyson Kidd won and I rubbed it in the faces of all of those snot faced kids.
WWE Superstars was taped next and many people just wanted SD! Only two matches were taped and I'll only say that the shooting star press is phenomenal in person and my other future wife Michelle McCool was amazing.
After Superstars the crowd was hungry for SD! I too was thrilled at the thought at what might go down on SD! RAW was forgotten in my mind, what transpired on SD! will blow minds away.
Rey Mysterio had a huge pop and it was assumed to be the biggest of the night until two wrestlers from Brooklyn came out. The arena erupted as an entire section of fans stood up and chanted..
It was a sight to see and I joined in though I was from the Bronx. The show was nothing less than fantastic. The arena nearly exploded when two wrestlers stepped in the ring.
John Morrison vs. Shelton Benjamin
I stood up during his entrance and waved my sign screaming at the top of my lungs without disregard for my surroundings. Just when you thought the night couldn't get better...it did. I had my second clash with the Cena marks when Jeff Hardy was out.
Sercurity warned us for our bickering.
Might have been a bit immature fretting with idiotic children, but the atmosphere was out of the world, I was in the zone. The ending of SD! left many wanting more. The dark match main event was one for the ages.
Batista, Rey Mysterio, and John Cena teamed up to face the ultimate trio of Edge, Randy Orton, and Chris Jericho. This is where the third and final clash between myself and the Cena marks went down. The crowd was literally split in half when it came to Cena. One section stared chanting
"Let's go Cena!"
and then the other half were chanting:
The marks came at me with a fury, but I declined their latest challenge. They saw my poster and said Cena was better than Shelton Benjamin. I crapped on those kids so bad their parents turned them back around...for good.
The show had finally ended a little after 10pm. My night would turn into the greatest experience I've ever had. There is NO exaggeration from anything I share from here on out. Upon my exit from MSG, fans were lined up outside.
There was an underpass/ underground parking lot which had two exits.
One was on 33rd street and the other was on 34th street. The fans lined up on a blocked off 33rd street at the side of MSG to watch their favorite stars exit the building and head into the parking lot.
One man ended up on the wrong side of the barricade and claimed to be apart of WWE. The cops didn't buy it and the everyone turned to see who this crazed nonsensical fan was. There was a brief moment of silence when we saw his face.
Everyone started cheering for Arn Anderson.
I couldn't believe my eyes!
The Arn Anderson!
An original Four Horsemen was amongst the people and the surprising part was that everyone wasn't freaking out. The fans blasted the police officer for not letting Anderson into the lot and he put his hands up for the crowd when he was finally let through.
People were clapping and bowing down to a true legend. Paul Burchill and Dolph Ziggler passed by...they were jerks. Maybe they were tired, but they didn't acknowledge anyone. MVP was ballin' for everyone and so did Orton and Cena, who were very kind to the fans.
Shelton Benjamin made his way out of the arena with Layla and some guy I didn't know. A rush of adrenaline overcame me. I got on the edge of the barricade and put my sign in the air. I started yelling like a madman.
"YOUR A MAIN EVENT STAR SHELTON! PUSH YOURSELF! YOUR THE BEST WRESTLER IN THE WWE, YOU HAVE TO PUSH YOURSELF!"
He looked at me and smiled. Regardless of what he thought I was happy to know that he heard me. A police officer told me to get off the barricade or else. One fan notified many that the superstars are exiting on lot on 34th street. My heart began pumping and I ran from 33rd street.
There was an easy overpass, but the cops kept it blocked off. I took the long way, but didn't miss Shelton. There were barricades on the 34th street as well and fans were lined up to see the stars drive off into the city night.
Burchill and Ziggler's car came out first and they ignored everyone as they drove out of the lot.
People started to chant "Spirit Squad" to Ziggler since he was one of the former members who was recycled into his new character. Police had to regulate traffic after a while as fans went bananas for MVP and Cena's cars. After about 20 minutes of waiting, Shelton Benjamin's car came out.
He was driving a Lincoln Towncar with some guy in the front and Layla in the backseat.
Benjamin's car had to momentarily stop as traffic became nearly chaotic with endless yellow cabs, buses and hundreds of pedestrians needing to pass along with the faithful fans. I once again leaned over the barricade and showed my sign.
Layla tapped Benjamin's shouler and he saw it. Benjamin couldn't help but smile and drove out of the lot when the police told him too. Unfortunately he was caught in traffic...I took it to the next level.
I ran down 34th street and caught up with Benjamin's car, which was sitting in traffic. I threw my Shelton poster in the air again and Benjamin's friend rolled down the window.
"Don't let WWE crap on you, your just as good as Morrison, Christian, and MVP...in fact your better. You've got to push yourself Shelton".
His friend rolled the window back up and kept inching in traffic. I was able to keep with with the car due to construction on the intersection of 34th street and 7th avenue. I kept my sign and got closer to the car.
Layla kept giggling in the back and Benjamin kept smiling at me. My heart was throbbing as the inevitable and impossible were both happening at the same time. Benjamin's car finally moved to first in line at the stop light and I took my last shot. I ran up to the car and Benjamin's friend once again rolled down the window.
"You've got it in you Shelton, I know you do. Don't be content, your too good for the mid cards. Make WWE realize the talent that you are and push yourself".
The light turned green, But Benjamin stood in place and responded to me.
"I want to be a world champ, it'll happen one day. I will win it, I'll do it for myself and you".
Cars were honking their horns and Benjamin's car took off into the night glancing at me as his friend rolled up the window. I nearly got into trouble three times with the law all for Shelton Benjamin.
The events that took place over the course of the night were unbelievable. I knew no matter what I'll never forget this night.
Whether or not Benjamin was serious didn't matter.
Whether or not he was or wasn't in character didn't matter.
He heard me.
I chased that car down and poured my heart out for five minutes. He usually smiled, but the last time when he spoke to me he was more serious. I knew Benjamin wanted the championship. Deep down inside he wanted it. Hopefully he'll get it one day and I know that I'll be proud.
Words couldn't describe what I was feeling.
My legs were shaky, I was sweaty, I was shocked, stunned, amazed, elated, I even felt like crying at one point. Not once did the thought of meeting, chasing down, and talking to Shelton Benjamin came across my mind.
Not once did I think I would be standing a couple of feet away from one of the Four Horsemen. That was the best 60 dollars I've ever spent. I now have another moment that will forever be imprinted in my mind, in my memories.
I only hope that the words of encouragement I gave Shelton does help him push himself to the top somehow. It wasn't the 80's, it was hulkamania, it wasn't Wrestlemania, but it was SD! I'll wouldn't trade this night for anything.
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