My top four favorite wrestlers of all time are: John Cena, Batista, Rey Mysterio, and Eddie Guerrero (but not necessarily in that order). Last night I met Rey Mysterio – in my hometown of Bristol, Connecticut – and it was one of the best nights of my life. As a kid, I was never taken to a wrestling show, so I would have never imagined that I would be able to shake hands with – and HUG – my favorite superstars. I am still in awe right now. The entire show was fantastic and so impressive. The crowd was electric. The atmosphere was intimate. It was truly an unforgettable experience.
We were second in line for the event, but first in line to meet Rey Mysterio. He was running a little late, and we saw him arrive, and then enter the locker room to put his bag away and get ready. A few minutes later, he came out, and the first thing he did was go over to Kevin Nash (who was sitting down), jump on that little brick wall you can see in the picture above, and hug him from behind. He was such a normal person! After greeting Nash, Mysterio came over to us and said, “Sorry about that,” to which I replied, “It’s okay, you can do whatever you want, you’re Rey Mysterio!” We bought a photo of him which he autographed. He asked our names to write them on the photo, and I said my name (Emily) which he misheard as “Emma.” He asked, “Emma?” and so I repeated, “Emily,” and then he said my name out loud! I leaned over to my boyfriend and said, “Oh my god, Rey Mysterio just said my name!” After he signed the photograph, I told him that he is one of my favorite wrestlers of all time, and he replied, “Thank you so much.” After, we took the photo with him, and before we were about to leave I asked him if I could have a hug. He said, “of course,” and then I hugged Rey Mysterio! And if I stood there another minute I would have cried ugly, happy tears.
Next, we met Kevin Nash. He didn’t seem to be in a very good mood – he was very quiet. However, he came out to address the crowd and apologized. He said that he was recovering from his 32nd surgery, and was medicated. Upon learning this, we were even more impressed, because he showed up anyway, even though he was in pain, and it was uncomfortably hot outside.
After we met Nash, we stood in line to meet Jack Swagger, who had not yet arrived. We were second in line to meet Swagger. When he showed up, he apologized for being late. I said, “That’s okay! You’re Jack Swagger! Better late than never!” and he said he liked my attitude. At this point, I turned to my boyfriend and said, “Jack Swagger likes my attitude!” To which Swagger replied, “Aw, you’re going to make me blush. I like Connecticut!” You guys, I made Jack Swagger like Connecticut. And oh my god, I didn’t notice he had his hand on my shoulder!
Here are some other highlights:
Hacksaw Jim Duggan performed in a six-man tag team match.
We were impressed by the athleticism of some of the other wrestlers, who we did not know beforehand. Flip Gordon, a very talented individual, competed in a triple threat match and had us with our jaws on the floor. The Young Bloods were also impressive. Ryback was supposed to compete, but his flight didn’t land in time. He was supposed to fill in for Jerry the King Lawler, who had to cancel his appearance a few days before the show.
The coolest part about sitting front row was the interaction that we had with the wrestlers, the host, and even the referee. Flip Gordon, who got knocked outside of the ring, asked us to let him know when his two opponents were both down so that he could go back into the ring and get the pin. Wrecking Ball Legursky’s manager came out and took the mic from the host, Kurt Adonis, and Adonis started a chant that the manager’s breath “smelled like poop.” Then he turned to us, and said, “It really does smell like poop,” and the referee looked at us and nodded in agreement. When Adonis was announcing a new match, he said, “This match is scheduled for one fall,” and of course, the crowd chanted, “one fall!” and the ref looked at us again and asked, “One fall, not two? One?” and we laughed and said “one!”
Rey Mysterio competed in the main event of the show. The entire crowd chanted “619” the entire match. He won the match after a 619 and a frog splash off the top rope. After the match, Rey grabbed the mic and thanked us all for coming out. He said that every time he comes to CT the 619 will be renamed the 860. After the match, and after he addressed the crowd, he walked around the entire ring to touch all of the hands that were out.
It was truly an amazing experience to attend this show put on by Northeast Wrestling. I started to feel emotional at the end of the show, thinking about the entire crowd coming together to enjoy the same experience. No matter our differences, we all came together because of our love of wrestling.