A good chunk of the area’s wrestling fans turned out for Big Time Wrestling promotion’s third annual show at Pawtucket’s McCoy stadium on Friday evening.
The doors opened around 6 pm.
The show didn’t begin until 8 pm, but there was plenty to see before the show. Fans lined up in droves to get an autograph from what were legendary, albeit now washed up, professional wrestlers.
I was a huge wrestling fan when I was knee-high-to-a-grasshopper. As I got older, my interest in professional wrestling waned.
By the time I left high school, I had stopped watching any wrestling at all.
But when a friend of mine texted me asking if I wanted to catch this particular show, I was open-minded about it. Here was the key: he had free tickets. He won them in a contest.
A Free Show (For Me Anyhow)
Seeing I had nothing in my calendar for the evening, I decided to go.
Some of my memories previous times watching live wrestling made me think it would be worth my time. When I was probably 12 or so, I went to watch what was then WWF at the Providence Civic Center. I don’t remember the card, but I do remember two guys throwing hay-makers at one another in the street after the event.
Remembrance of Things Past
I went to “Wrestlemania” XIV, which took place in 1998 at the Boston Garden. That night, Mike Tyson was a guest referee. Fortunately, no real violence took place outside the venue.
It may seem like I’m being nostalgic. This show, however, was all about nostalgia. The event’s main attractions were WWE Hall of Famers Mick Foley and Kevin Nash–three men well into their 50s, who made their bones decades ago.
Then there was former WWE Tag Team Champion Billy Gun, also in his fifties.
And how could anyone forget “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan. Duggan, known for his patriotism, leading chants of “USA! USA!”, is 64-years-old. Sadly, it seems like he has trouble walking at this point. But that didn’t stop him from “wrestling”.
The whole evening was built on nostalgia. Most fans wore T-shirts saluting their favorite wrestlers who would have been in their heyday at least 20 years ago.
In any wrestling event, the fans are the most interesting aspect of the show. It’s interesting to see people take such a keen interest in a scripted show that makes pretend it’s real. Friday night was no exception.
For instance, one fan told me I looked like one of the evening’s headliners, “Jack Swagger”. I waited for him to ask me for money. Seeing he was serious, I told him if I was 7 inches taller and subtracted 30 lbs of fat and added 50 pounds of muscle…maybe.
The event also took on a Comic Con-like feel. The wrestlers, prior to the event, sat at tables to meet fans. They were charging $30-$40 for an autograph and a photo with the wrestler.
There was some decent action inside the ring. The fans seemed to be pleased with the product.
The venue is actually a pretty cool place for wrestling. The concessions were expensive, but I have to be honest–they’re nowhere near the ripoffs at the Xfinity Comcast Center in Mansfield or the Blue Hills Pavilion at Boston’s Seaport.
I was happy, since I ate dinner before heading there. That meant I didn’t spend $1 on the night’s entertainment. How can I complain about that?