Family Outing to WWE’s Night of Champions

Wrestler Girls and a Happy Boy!

We don’t look like a likely trio, me and my kids, waiting in line in the parking lot for the arena doors to open to the pay-per view WWE matches. Maybe because we didn’t have tee shirts that said AWESOME, RAW, or Smackdown! Or maybe because we don’t have our own wrestling masks, cardboard signs, or Leprechaun hats. Hard to say. But after waiting with the thousands of hard core fans out in the cold, my son reminds me that he looks like the kind of guy that gets beat up at these events – and isn’t there a special door for my corporate program? He has a point, and we discretely take our special pass and head to the assigned door.

Once in the suite with the WWE staff, my colleagues, and some other corporate types with families, we get to meet “The Talent” – code word for the wrestlers. My son poses between 2 leopard skin clad female wrestling beauties. I’m betting that this becomes his Facebook picture for LIFE! Then we meet some of the nicest, hunkiest young men you would ever want to meet. Ever hear of the Miz? Kofi? The Punk? Me either! But not a problem! They take pictures with the group, they chat, and they are genuinely charming. My 12 year old daughter was a little awkward at first posing with the Talent wearing only a Speedo, but that’s to be expected, right? We also met Hornswaggle – a midget wrestler. Am I allowed to say midget wrestling? It sounds so non-politically correct. Okay – both my kids were a little freaked out with that picture.

We eat a lovely healthy dinner – veggie soup, fresh green beans, a nice rice pilaf and skinless chicken breast. I guess I was expecting nachos and hot dogs – not the gourmet weight watchers treat! Then on cue, the corporate types are rounded up and escorted into the big arena with all of the WWE Wrestling fans. Bam! Again, we look like the people who can’t seem to blend at the event.

The show is spectacular and LOUD! Fire blasts from the stage kick it off, thousands of fans are screaming, big screens announce the first contestants. More big screens show the wrestlers in cameos talking to their loyal followers. Then they jump in the ring and the fun begins. Arch enemies bounce off the ropes and smack each other to the ground. They “pound” each other, flip and bounce each other and do the best real action horseplay that I have ever seen. Let’s not sully the experience by talking about what’s “real”. Because the show is very real to the audience. We have in front of us a group of 8 – 10 year old boys chanting “He Is Awesome” to which another group of 30 year old men reply in chant “No he’s not”. This continues for 10 minutes – no lie. The packed stands go wild with home made posters, slogans, and cries for wrestling justice. Once the shock has worn off, my kids look at me and smile from ear to ear. You just can’t get this kind of entertainment everyday. So they start trying to blend in by yelling some of their own smack. “Finish him!” hollers my daughter, Kit. “Your strategy isn’t working very well” shouts my 16 year old son “You may want to re-think it”. The crowd around us goes silent and stares at him. He really is the kid who would get beat up at a WWE event. Kit and I decide it may be time for us to head back to the suburbs before people figure out he’s with us. But the damage is done – we are now confirmed fans. Maybe matching Smackdown shirts for Christmas are in order.

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