Our First WWE Event

When I was growing up I was a big fan of the WWE, back then known as the WWF. I remember watching it on television. I remember going to my friend Jose’s house to watch Wrestlemania and see Hulk Hogan take on Andre the Giant. My favorite wrestlers during this time were The Ultimate Warrior and Macho Man Randy Savage. I loved watching Warrior come running out onto the ring and just shake the ropes all crazy-like! I also loved watching the animated cartoon, Hulk Hogan’s Rock and Wrestling. It was such a fun time watching these matches and seeing the storylines play out.

As I got older I was not watching wrestling as much as I used to. I would watch it here and there but things changed when I started dating my wife. She would watch wrestling with her brothers and we started watching them together. Now and then we would take turns purchasing the pay-per-views and watch them at each other’s house. During this time The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and Eddie Guerrero were my favorite wrestlers! All of these guys were just incredible. These shows were a lot different than the ones I remembered watching when I was little. It was brutal, hilarious, and sometimes emotional.

Our sign during the telecast. “Our First WWE Event!”

After a while, with work and life, we stopped watching WWE. We would turn it on now and then but we did not know the wrestlers who were fighting. There were so many new faces it was hard to get into it again and we just moved on. Enter 2020 and the pandemic. During this time, my wife started watching Total Bellas, and Miz and Mrs, and these shows made me miss wrestling. Our kids were watching these shows with us they wanted to see matches of the Bella Twins. We would look up old matches online and started to see how WWE had more women wrestlers than before. It was a new era for wrestling and we wanted to get back into it.

Another great thing was we used to watch The Miz when he was on The Real World and Tough Enough. Seeing him out on the ring living his dream is incredible and makes you think that you can do that too. So because we started watching these reality shows our Monday and Friday nights were dedicated to watching Raw and Smackdown. It was a great way for our family to spend time together and cheer on our favorite wrestlers and enjoy the storylines playing out.

Showing 2 of our 3 signs after the show!

When we found out that WWE Raw was coming to Chicago we decided we were going to go. We waited for tickets to go on sale and tried to get the best seats we could without breaking the bank. My wife and I have never gone to a live show ever and knowing that we were going to attend our first one with our children made it more special. My wife and I decided that if we do get seats, we would have to keep it a secret from our children. We wanted to surprise them because whenever a commercial mentioned that the WWE was coming to Chicago, our children would ask about going.

In the days leading to the show, we had to think of ways to get the kids ready for the event. None of us had any WWE shirts so we had to buy shirts for all of us. We would look online with our children and look at shirts and ask them which ones they would like to wear if we went to the live event. Luckily there was a sale going on and we got some good shirts for low prices. We then started brainstorming about signs to hold. We would say things at dinner like “What would your sign say if we went to a WWE event?” or “If you could make a sign for your favorite wrestler, what would it say?”

As we got closer to the event, my children kept asking if we were going to go. We said that we were told by their Uncle Jorge that sometimes that have good seats available at the last minute for a cheap price. We said we were going to go and pray for the best. On the day of the event, I had them make signs “just in case” we get tickets to the event. When we were heading to the event I think my daughter already caught on to what we were doing whereas my son was hoping for the best. Once we got to the door and walked right in my son was surprised and my daughter just said, “I knew it!”. It was not much of a surprise but it was cool that we were all there.

Walking around the stadium to our section was kind of surreal. In my head I am going over all of the times that we have been here as a family to watch Disney on Ice, Marvel Themed shows, and the Chicago Wolves games. Looking at the booths that once held Disney Mugs and princess crowns now stocked with WWE shirts and championship belts. We looked at the shirts in the booth and picked out our favorites and got in our seats ready to enjoy the show.

Sitting next to my daughter we were pointing out how small the ring looked in person. We knew the show will be different since we will not be able to hear the play-by-play like we do when watching on television. When the show began it was crazy to hear all of the explosions and the roars of the crowd as the wrestlers came out to the ring. I have to admit seeing this live with my children next to me was fantastic and emotional at times. Hearing my children scream and cheer as their favorite wrestlers walked out to the ring filled me with so much joy. My daughter, who is normally quiet and reserved, was yelling at the top of her lungs. Seeing my son waving his sign like a mad man was so much fun to see. Hell, even seeing my wife jump up and down when Rhea Ripley came out was cool to see.

Seeing the show at home is great but seeing it in person is such a great experience. Experiencing the roars of the crowds, the flashing lights, and explosions all around you is a next-level experience. I do admit the tickets were not cheap and as much as an amazing experience we had, this might be an event we do once in a while. Again, seeing the joys on my kids’ faces is priceless and I would definitely love to attend again.

Now while there were a lot of highs at the event there was one low that did have a silver lining. At one point during the show, I stepped out to get food for my family. I quickly bought some shirts and merchandise for my family and then got in a long line to get food. While in line I could continue to hear the cheers from the audience as the matches were going on. All of a sudden I hear the familiar “Brooooooo!” from one of my favorite wrestlers, Matt Riddle, come across the PA speakers and the cheers erupt from the crowd. One of the wrestlers I was excited to see and I missed his entire appearance because I was in a long line for food.

I got back to my seat and my daughter was telling me all about Riddle’s match and we enjoyed the rest of the show. Some of my favorite moments from the show:

  1. Seeing Rhea Ripley in person
  2. Watching The Miz and John Morrison perfomr MizTv in the ring.
  3. Hearing the cheers for Mustafa Ali who is from Chicago
  4. Nikki A.S.H. beating Charlotte Flair
  5. Seeing Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston come out after the event for a off-camera match dressed in Masters of the Universe costumes.

On to the silver lining. We always record Raw and Smackdown to watch later in case we are not home when it is on. We watched the Raw event we attended during the week and noticed our signs many times throughout the show. There were some very clear shots of our signs and even on the WWE website we were in a few pictures.

Rhea Ripley

When the match I missed came on the show and “Brooooooooo!” zoomed over the crowd in the background of the shot I can see my daughter on her seat holding up her Riddle sign that says “Broooooooo!”. Seeing that on the screen made my night.

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