I’m a WWE fan, or my Smackdown Experience, or why Lilian Garcia is a geat superstar.
I’m a WWE fan.
My dream has always been to work for the WWE (or Disney) in some capacity.
I still have my WWF action figures, I still sleep on my pillow case with Hulk hogan and the Ultimate Warrior printed on it, and I still watch the program on a regular basis.
Smackdown was in Seattle. I bought tickets. Not too close to the ring, but good enough to see the superstars. I made signs. One for my favorite wrestler Daniel Bryan and another for my favorite Diva, AJ.
All day I dreamed of just meeting one of these people while they were in town and I thought of any possible way to make that happen. It came to a point where I was running around downtown, just to catch a glimpse of one of them either while they were sight seeing or leaving a hotel. I didn’t see a single one, but I kept up hope.
We get to the show. I’m excited. I head straight for the merch line. I was able to buy 2 shirts, a DVD and a program. Only to find out the show started while I was buying stuff and the program I was given, had a bunch of pages which weren’t fully cut away from one another. I was just too happy to be at the show. Seeing the characters I see on TV weekly, and the athletes I’ve been watching since before they were in the WWE.
I raised my signs only to find the couple behind us getting frustrated because it ruined their view every time I did it, while my view was constantly ruined by a little kid with his Wade Barrett sign blocking most of my view of the entrance ramp. Not to mention the fight that broke out between some fans 4 rows in front me. To be honest, seeing AJ and Daniel Bryan come out made putting up with these people worth it.
The show ends and I find myself thinking, I need to at least see one superstar outside the ring, so I convinced my brother to come with me to the Utility entrance in the back of the arena (where the production truck and the superstars park, before the show). We stood in the cold Seattle rain for 35 minutes watching superstars exit. We were out there with at least 16 other people. Rain pouring and we were able to see our breath, watching as superstars drive right past us, and we cheer as each goes by. The Usos, Theodore Long, Natalya…superstar after superstar passed us, while we were out there.
Then we hear two guys screaming “Lilian” while they press against a gate. They had seen Lilian Garcia getting ready to leave from the other side of this gate. They screamed “Lilian” at least 5 times. It came to a point where security is pulling them away from the gate. Her car finally begins to exit. The guys start yelling again. With how many superstars had already passed, you would think they would have expected to see her pass too?
Instead she pulls over a little ways down the street and greets those guys. Out of all the superstars to acknowledge fans standing in the rain after a show, when other superstars had driven past with not as much as a nod up or a wave, it was Lilian Garcia. I think she even signed some autographs for them. My brother and I couldn’t believe it. She gained some new fans with that one gesture, that’s for sure.
After seeing that scene, we focused once again on the gate. The next car begins to roll out. Everyone can’t tell who it was, but I knew immediately once I saw the beard. It was Daniel Bryan. My goal all day was to see this guy outside the ring. I knew he probably wouldn’t stop like Lilian, so I made the best of the situation, and just started yelling his name and cheering. My brother and I even started yelling some of his old Indy wrestling names too. As he drove away, my brother and I were just happy to have seen him outside the ring and to have cheered him even when he didn’t have to be in character.
In the end, it was kind of a day most would find disheartening. I was ignored by superstars, I raised my sign a limited amount of times, my program was screwed up and I missed the opening of the show.
But in the end, I’m still a Fan.
I still dream of working for the WWE someday and I know if I ever make it to that level, I’ll remember what I saw from Lilian Garcia. I’ll know the fans, aren’t just “the people” but instead are actual people who look up to what they see portrayed in that ring. That tune in time and time again just to be entertained, by athletes plying their craft for an international audience of millions.
I’m a WWE fan and always will be.