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One Night in Jackson

Last night, I attended the WWE Live event in Jackson, Mississippi. I live about thirty miles north in Canton, so it is about a forty five minute drive from my house to the Mississippi Coliseum, where the event was held. I arrived around 6:50 pm with my three children; my nine year old son Kynderrick; my eight year old daughter, Kyndrea; and my four year old daughter, Kayleigh. The show was slated to start at 7:30.

There was a loooooooooooooooog line outside of the venue for a security check. It took about twenty minutes to get inside but I would rather wait and be safe than to let anyone inside with a weapon. My kids have picked up my rather bad habit of not liking to wait in line and I could see the grumpy looks on their faces. Fortunately, that ended as soon as we got into the building.

After waiting in line for refreshments, I entered the show a bit late as the first match-Sheamus versus Apollo Crews-had already started. Sheamus was already getting "You look stupid" chants by the time I made it to my fourth (should have been first but they were all sold out) row seats. I had a great view of the ring. I could see everything up close and personal. I could even hear the slaps, kicks, punches, and talking from inside the ring. It was fantastic.

Sheamus and Crews worked a high energy match. It was honestly the best match I have ever seen from Crews. Kinda makes me feel like he’s holding back on television for some reason. After Sheamus hit a Celtic Cross from the second rope, Crews kicked out at the last minute and stunned everyone. He was able to pin Sheamus in with a cradle to win. I was definitely more impressed with Crews live than I have ever been on television.

The exact same could be said about the Shining Stars, Primo and Epico. Well, Primo, really. The team faced Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler. Before the match, the Stars went into their usual spiel about Puerto Rico. The crowd responded with "USA!" chants. Then Primo said something along the lines of how we, the audience, should get better education because we should know the Puerto Rico is THE BEST PART ABOUT THE U.S.A! I marked out. He was also great in the match. I may be getting ahead of myself but, seriously, push Primo.

After the tag match, Karl Anderson took on Jimmy Uso. Before the match, Anderson got into a shouting match with a woman a few rows behind me who had a sign about Roman Reigns. I did not get a clear view of the sign but it really set Anderson off, which got heat with me, so I started heckling Luke Gallows, who was ringside, which popped the people in the rows in front of me. Gallows probably could not make out who was calling him a wannabe Kevin Nash and the Fake Kane and Cousin Festus, so he just focused on being a dirty, dirty cheater and helped Anderson win the match against Jimmy. Whatever. We gave Jimmy Uso (who is, in my humble opinion, the better Uso) a nice ovation before he left.

The next match of the night saw the New Day face the Vaudevillians with the WWE Tag Team Championships on the line. New Day got the second loudest reaction of the night overall. Xavier, Kofi, and Big E were great. Xavier actually wrestled in the match and was the face in peril for most of it, with Big E coming in and cleaning house and twerking while doing it. Really. New Day is just a good ass time. Also props to Aiden English who was pretty good at the heel banter with the crowd while he was on the apron and on offense in the match.

After the intermission, the WWE Women's Champion, Charlotte, defended her title against Natayla. Now, wrestling fans in this area aren’t really smarks by and large and Natayla still was the least over act on the card. Even the Shining Stars, who no one really knew, got more over as they performed. Nattie was really getting the obligatory face reaction. I don’t think any other woman would have fared any worse because everything was all about the Champ.

Charlotte was funny with her banter and mannerisms. She started off with a good reaction because this is the South and people love themselves some Ric Flair but she got the crowd to boo her and cheer Nattie. She cheated to win by using her feet on the ropes. I must say, though, the Bella Twins got the second biggest reaction here last year. John Cena got the first.

The next match of the night was Alberto Del Rio versus Cesaro. The Swiss Superman got the fourth biggest pop of the night for a singles act. The only people who got bigger reactions were the New Day and the men who competed in the main event. Cesaro and Del Rio did a thing where Del Rio actually ran into the crowd to get away from him so Cesaro started do a chicken dance, which got a "You’re a chicken!" chant. Cesaro won a very good match. It makes me want to see these two work together more.

The main event of the evening was a triple threat match between AJ Styles, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. As far as singles acts go, Styles and Rollins’ reactions were pretty much the same: some boos and a looooooot of cheers. Both are over as hell but, sorry, not as over as the greatest Samoan/Italian wrestler to lace up a pair of boots, Roman Reigns. When I mean EVERYONE stood up when THE GUY came out, I mean it. There were two ladies in front of me who enjoyed the entire show but never got out of their seats and cheered until Roman came out. Still in no way compared to the building shaking from the vibrations of the cheers the Face that Runs the Place received last year. But it was pretty loud.

Now, I will admit, there were some boos. There were some people standing up and doing the thumbs down and all of that. Luckily for Roman, there were more women and children there to drown all the grown men out. The match itself was great. Rollins ran from Reigns a lot in the beginning before teaming up with Styles to take him out. Then Rollins and Styles turned on each other. Then Roman kicked both of their sorry behinds and won the match. It was perfect.

I also have to say that I feel like Rollins loves Mississippi because he’s always giving something extra. Last year, he took an RKO from the top of the steel cage. This year, he’s breaking out banned/barely used moves on Styles. He seemed really happy to be back and did not heel it up to the crowd whatsoever. Neither did Styles. He was mean and nasty, as he has been since his heel turn but not much back and forth with fans. I really appreciate that, too, because all three men were over and got cheered. The main event had a big match feel that I did not expect from a house show so kudos to all three men.

And, if in their match at Money in the Bank, Rollins hits Reigns with a buckle bomb and then Reigns Superman Punches him before going down, I will mark out extra hard as that is the sequence that got a "This is awesome" chant.

My children, as different as they are, all loved the show. My oldest daughter, who is not really into wrestling that much, was into everything and chanting along with everyone. My son, the New Day fan, stood up for one match the entire time and that was the main event. My four year old is four and it’s hard not to please a four year old. All three said that Roman Reigns was the best part of the night for them.

After the match, I was able to get close to the barricade where Roman was walking past and he touched my right hand. I will never wash this hand again for it has been blessed by a king. I’m only joking a little.

I have been a wrestling fan since I can remember. I am 31 years old. All my life, I always wanted to go see one of my favorites wrestle in person. I went to my first wrestling show ever last year but none of my absolute favorites were there. Like, I don’t think people get how much I really like Roman Reigns. In just two years, he has become one of my top ten favorite wrestlers of all time. Most of the guys on the list are dead and the other half is the Kliq. I fulfilled a life long dream last night. I got to finally get to be that fan who cheers on their favorite wrestler. And it was awesome.

And, yeah, my phone sucks so the only photos I have are in my head. But that’s all I need. It sounds corny and I have rolled my eyes when someone from the WWE has said this but, judging from the show I attended, they really do put smiles on people’s faces.

Okay. Now I can go back to being a cranky, old smark . . . until the next event.

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