It has been a long time since I have been inside of you. The date was April 2, 2006. There was 17,000 plus people on-hand to witness WrestleMania 22. I have missed you. I am looking forward to reuniting with you this weekend. I hope you have not lost any of your edge.
I look back at my last PPV weekend in Chicago with fond memories. It was my first WrestleMania. It was my first WWE Hall of Fame. I finally got to see my hero, Bret Hart, for the first time. I remember hanging out in the hot tub with Homicide from ROH at that time. I had been in the wrestling business just under three years. I was in heaven.
Chicago, you were great. The wrestling fans are unbelievable. I remember it like it was yesterday. We packed that Allstate Arena. We were vocal. We were loud. We were appreciative. To this day Chicago has generated an ‘A’ rating from the WWE as a city to host wrestling events. Chicago, let’s live up to this rating this Sunday.
This past Monday in Albany the crowd sat on their hands during an overall well produced go-home Raw. Chicago, we have the opportunity to set a new trend. Why is #RawAfterMania the only show of the year, for the most part, where the crowd seems to really enjoy themselves? Chicago, we fucking love wrestling. Chicago, we fucking love wrestling. Chicago, WE FUCKING LOVE WRESTLING. This Sunday at WWE Extreme Rules let’s prove to the whole world, watching on the WWE Network, that we have a say. I love wrestling. I love WWE. I love the indies. I love it all. This Sunday let’s showcase how amazing of a crowd we actually are.
I started wrestling professionally at the age of 16 to perform in front of an audience as rowdy and crazy as a #RawAfterMania crowd. Let’s do one better. Let’s make the #RawAfterMania crowd look like a bunch of pussies. Let’s make Albany feel like they NEVER deserve a WWE event again. Chicago, are you ready? Chicago, are you ready to tear the roof off of the Allstate Arena this weekend? Chicago….let’s do this.
The Pencil Podcast is coming to you live and in color this weekend. Flying in Friday night and leaving late Monday afternoon will allow for plenty of time to make some memories. But before we embark on your windy skyline, I have a few things to request of my fellow WWE fans I’ll be joining at the All State Arena for the Extreme Rules Pay Per View on Sunday night:
First, let’s let Cesaro and Kidd know how much we appreciate them. I don’t know one wrestling fan that doesn’t think Cesaro is underutilized and Tyson Kidd is a solid hand that deserves the mini-push he’s gotten over the last six months as part of the tag team champions. They are on the pre-show against The New Day in a title match. A hot start will only energize the building – and the guys in the back – to give us a show to remember.
Second, let our voices be heard, but don’t cheer for ‘us’. We are there for the show and to be entertained. I know CM Punk chants are going to happen and I understand why. But, choose wisely. During dead times or between matches is one thing, but don’t spoil a US title match or even the main event by chanting for a guy who’s been gone for more than a year.
Don’t bury Reigns if the match sucks. He and the Big Show are probably going to leave a lot to be desired because, well, Paul White ain’t Brock Lesnar. And Reigns still hasn’t won most of us over. If it sucks, it’s worth it for the greater good and blow our gasket if something unexpected happens to let us know where Reigns is headed next.
“John Cena Sucks” chant to his music needs to happen. Because it’s awesome. And I want to be a part of it. I don’t even hate Cena, but it’s a cool chant. Do it.
I want Ambrose in a meaningful feud in the near future. If you do too, he and Harper’s match needs to be hot and entertaining. If they take care of their part (which I believe they will, because neither of them have given me reason to believe they won’t deliever), let’s do ours in getting Ambrose over BIG TIME!
Orton and Rollins are going to put on a show in the main event. Don’t let Kane ruin it. This is more of me asking creative not to give us a reason to focus on Kane being the guardian of the gate, because that’s unnecessary in my mind. But Orton is a babyface with a lot of potential and a world-class worker, while Rollins is one of the best heels in recent memory. I’m thinking pre-match chants of “LET’S GO ORTON – FUCK YOU ROLLINS” at the top of our lungs is what we need to get that match off and running! Those two performers will eat it up and repay us for it..I trust that.
Sidenote: We are all sports fans right? It’s the NBA Playoffs and NHL Playoffs and the Bulls and Blackhawks are both pursuing championships. Somebody on the card will be coming out with a jersey or make reference to the sports in the town being in the thick of it right now. Let’s get some pro-Chicago sports chants rolling through the crowd when that happens and let whichever ‘face’ comes out for the cause know that we appreciate their support of our hometown teams.
Most importantly, make me go home believing what I’ve heard about Chicago crowds: it’s one of, if not the top, wrestling crowd in the world. Let’s prove it.
I need some memories, Chi-town wrestling fans. I’ll put forth the effort to get them..this much I promise. I just hope you’re in a giving mood.