As a wrestling fan it’s always a goal to attend a live event, be it Raw, SmackDown or even WrestleMania. Watching it on television is a pleasure on its own, but to see it in person is always the ultimate goal and for me circumstances allowed me to attend my first Monday Night Raw. To say I was excited was an understatement, years of watching it on my couch was finally over as I sat about twenty rows away from my favorite superstars.
One of the first things that caught my eye was how small the ring look compared to on the television. Compared to the arena the ring looked small and frankly impossible to perform the moves that I was about to see. Naturally the action went on as usual, but it took some time to accept what I was seeing.
Pro wrestling has always been known to have a outrageous crowd with chants ranging from catchphrases to loud boos. At the live event these were amplified to new levels, with some superstars and moments eliciting a reaction so loud that you couldn’t hear yourself talk let alone anyone in the ring talk.
Another thing that stands out is the in-ring action. Specifically the big spots in each match become even bigger when you see them in person. An example was during the Sasha Banks/Nia Jax match. As the match was picking up in speed, Banks attempted a hurricana outside the ring, but Jax was able to catch her and perform and giants swing into the barricade. At that moment the crowd was in shock and so was I. The two competitors were building up slowly and capped off a sequence with something like that, and it was awesome to see.
Going off the crowd, participation was key to making the live event all the more enjoyable. Every time I felt a reaction I needed to be vocal about it and join in with the crowd. From What! chants, to Yes! chants, to the occasionally scream of joy it felt much more engaging to be vocal. Starting a new chant almost made it more awesome, if it the chant caught fire…
One thing that some people either love or hate is the commentators of WWE (sorry Micheal Cole). Naturally when you watch it on television you get play by play from a table of commentators, but whens it live that element is removed. For some, including me, that was something that at times I missed. However, crowd participation is what makes up for this and in some cases improves the product.
First hand surprises
Possibly the best thing about attending a live event is witnessing a big surprise first hand. Naturally this won’t happen for every show, but when it does it makes you feel so excited to witness something new. I enjoyed the cruiserweight championship changing hands as well as the first step in reuniting The Shield. These moments would have been awesome to see in my living room, but when they happened right in front of my face, it was ecstatic. One of the major reasons why attending a pay-per-view is a must for any fan.
Factoring in traveling and money it was totally worth the experience. I attended TD Garden in Boston, so naturally it took some time to take the train to and from the event, and to get decent tickets will cost around 50 dollars or more. However if you can rally a few friends and say some of your allowance or paychecks, then go online and check when WWE comes to your area next and buy tickets right away.