What can I tell you about our night in the presence of hulking, sweaty men in skinny trousers and tight shorts hurling themselves around (and often far beyond) a ring, surrounded by crowds going cray-cray?
Reader, it was a blast.
If anybody had told me three years ago that one day I would attend a WWE Live event, I would have chuckled long and hard. But last Monday I found myself at the O2 Arena watching WWE RAW London with the Mister and two very excited boys. Ok, excited is an understatement. My boys were PUMPED.
Aside from football, WWE is what the babes eat, sleep and breathe. It wasn’t all that long ago that then 5-year-old Jed told travel magazine Suitcases & Strollers that his dream holiday would be (and I quote) ‘go to America and buy some WWE tickets’.
We spent most of Easter holidays counting down to RAW and finally the big day came.
The evening began at the WWE RAW VIP party where we mingled with the likes of Lethal Bizzle, Harry Potter actors James Phelps and Matt Dave Lewis, and footie veteran Rio Ferdinand.
Ezra and Jed looked a little too edible next to WWE superstar Ryback.
This is Ryback later. His catchphrase is ‘Feed me more!’
Down in the arena, the pre-show had lots of men and women leaping in and out of the ring. I couldn’t make head nor tail of what was happening but I was soon too high off all the testosterone flying about to care.
With the kids between us, the Babe Papa and I spent much of the night grinning across at each other. If we’d been sitting closer, we’d have slapped high fives. Probably a couple of chest bumps. It was that kind of scene.
When the main event started, and we heard the signature tune of John Cena, the entire arena leapt to its feet. Even I was excited, after all he’s one of the wrestlers whose toy figures I’ve come to accept as part of our family (the boys own 5 Cenas between them).
The babes were slightly thrown by shouts of ‘John Cena Sucks’ ringing out (there’s a Cena backlash among some wrestling fans, don’t ask me why) but this didn’t take any of the magic away as Cena crushed his opponent in true ‘You Can’t See Me’ style.
Everybody knows the shows are scripted, but the athleticism and charisma of these performers is undeniable. Watching them live gives you a new-found appreciation for their physical prowess. I found myself gasping and covering my eyes as elbows hit chests, and skulls met fists.
It was sweet to see the boys’ faces light up as superstar after superstar burst forth: Daniel Bryan, Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, Roman Reigns, Sheamus, big bad Kane and current WWE World Heavyweight Champ Seth Rollins (the hottie below).
Tag team Lucha Dragons somersaulted and high-kicked their way into my heart. I also enjoyed the Divas session with TV stars the Bella Twins, and the acrobatic Naomi turning ‘heel’ (baddie) against UK dazzler Paige without breaking a fingernail.
There’s a panto meets comic book superhero element to WWE that’s huge fun for grown-ups and kids alike. And the combo of loud music (ear defenders are a good idea for little ones), powerhouse energy and passionate fans is electrifying. If your boy or girl loves wrestling, I urge you to take them to a live show.
Many thanks to Joel of WWE for inviting us. It’s amazing to see your kids’ dreams come true — even if those dreams come with eye-popping biceps and ‘don’t try this at home’ body slams!
Ezra, age 9
‘WWE RAW Live was really hyper and when everyone came out, everyone either booed or cheered really loud. I found it really funny when Randy Orton threw Seth Rollins over a chair. And I was really annoyed with the fans singing ‘John Cena Sucks’. It was an amazing experience and lots of fun as well. My favourite moment was when Randy Orton won on a two on one match against Tyson Kidd and Cesaro! And it was awesome when Daniel Bryan came and everyone was chanting ‘Yes! Yes! Yes!’
Jed, age 6
‘I felt very happy going to WWE. I was most looking forward to seeing John Cena. My best bit was when Randy Orton RKO’d Tyson Kidd in mid-air and pinned him 1, 2, 3 and he didn’t kick out. I liked when John Cena won against Bad News Barrett in a United States championship match.’
Photos 7 and 9 via WWE and O2 Arena. All other pictures captured via my iPhone.