Sunday, April 5, 2009
Wrestlemania 25-A Must See Event For Yours Truly
March 31, 1985. I remember the day well. Two friends and I walked to the Centre of the Arts in Regina for the first ever Wrestlemania. We weren’t the only ones there that afternoon. Many showed up to watch the event from Madison Square Garden and they enjoyed themselves after seeing the show that ended with the legendary Hulk Hogan and Mr. T defeating Paul Orndorff and Rowdy Roddy Piper in the main event---one that arguably made wrestling a part of mainstream America. Little did I know that 25 years later, Wrestlemania would still be a major part of my yearly calendar. That being said today is a special day. Wrestlemania 25 will soon be viewed by yours truly and a group of others at a friends place today as we plunk down money for the pay per view and enjoy the WWE then the WWF at its best.
I’m a big wrestling fan. I always have been. One of my favourite memories is being in high school and going to Exhibition Auditorium every Tuesday night to watch the stars of Stampede Wrestling. Bret Hart, Owen Hart, Davey Boy Smith, the Dynamite Kid, Chris Benoit, Bad News Allen, Duke Meyers, Kerry Brown, the names just go on and on and on. I knew wrestling was fake but the entertainment was second to none both in the ring and in the crowd where people took it a little too seriously. That’s one of the great things about going to High Impact Wrestling in Regina every month. First off, I love heckling these guys who do try hard to put on a good show and I love watching the people just lose their mind while watching the battles ensue. It is pure hilarity!!. As guys from Stampede went on to be a part of Vince McMahon’s empire, I started watching it as well and its something that hasn’t stopped. I even remember introducing Bret before a match at the Agridome against Del “the Patriot” Wilkes. Maybe I remember that for the reason it was the same night that Princess Diana died. I’ve had ringside seats for WWE events that have been here. I was front row for a Torrie Wilson-Stacy Keibler swimsuit competition(thank god I have visual proof of that event), I’ve never laughed as hard as I did when the “Godfather of Rock”…the great Vinnie Scarpelli who was easily the best announcer Regina radio has ever had(and another talent that Rawlco was too stupid to recognize and embrace) standing up and outdancing some guy whose name I forget during an event and talking smack to some diva (Nidia) who thought she was all high and mighty during her appearance here. Good times!!!! I could even get into the story where Chris White of the WOLF and I interviewed WWE diva Sunny and got her to leave a message for Rod Pedersen. I still laugh at that when I think about it. I’ll have to tell that story at another time.
Wrestlemania has simply become a staple. No matter where I have been, I have always watched it. All 24 of them are events I have seen live. Regina, Lethbridge(where we actually drove to Calgary to see it---and that was just wild seeing “The Hart Foundation” was going for the belt. It was like the guys were in the building for that match. It was electric!!)Peace River. I have watched it in friends’ basements, I have watched it in my basement, I have been to Tumblers, I have been to Stats, I have been wherever I could get a ticket for it. There have been great Wrestlemanias…Bret and Shawn going at it for over an hour at WM 12. Hulk Hogan vs the Ultimate Warrior at Skydome in WM 3, the Table, Ladders and Chairs match at WM 17 and last year’s emotional farewell of the legendary Ric Flair at the hands of Shawn Michaels. There have been bad ones as well(whatever one that was held at Caesars Palace in Vegas was abysmal) but that’s OK. I wonder what it would have been like to have been a part of Wrestlemania 3 at the Pontiac Silverdome when 93-thousand people were in the building. The roar when Hulk Hogan beat Andre the Giant must still echo in that facility.
I don’t know what WM 25 has in store later this afternoon but I can promise I will have a good time. Can the Undertaker stretch his WM streak to 17-0. I think he can. Will Chris Jericho get his ass kicked by the hall of famers. I’m betting on it and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Hulk Hogan make an appearance. Triple H and Randy Orton will bring the house down. It should be a great night. I can’t wait and I have to make sure I see the ad which promotes WM 26 so I can get home and circle the date because I won’t miss that one either. Hey Vince….how bout having it in Calgary at “MacMahon” Stadium. Do that and I will be there in person and I can guess that I’ll have several friends with me in what would be a weekend to remember.