March 3, 2013
Record crowd in Kingston treated to WWE’s best
By JAN MURPHY - Kingston Whig-Standard
The largest wrestling crowd in Kingston history witnessed some of the best WWE Inc. has to offer on Saturday night.
A hair over 3,700 people were inside the K-Rock Centre as WWE brought its Road to WrestleMania tour to the Limestone City, one of only two Canadian stops on the mini-tour just weeks from WrestleMania, one of the largest and most-attended events on the planet each year.
The reward for those who bought tickets was a fast-paced, well booked show that opened with the lively duo of Brodus Clay and Tensai, renamed Sweet T. by many in attendance. Clay and Tensai defeated 3MB (3-Man Band). The victory celebration saw some young Kingston fans lifted inside the ring to celebrate with the dancing duo, highlighting the WWE’s commitment to its young fan base.
One couldn’t help but notice a large proportion of those in attendance were young, boys and girls alike, many who ranged in age from as young as five all the way up.
Of course, there were even some seniors in the audience, including one gentleman beside yours truly who sat silently for much of the evening until CM Punk clearly got under his skin, prompting some jeers from this individual — and cheers for Punk’s opponent, Kofi Kingston.
That match easily stole the show, with Punk, a heel (villain) like few other, mixing it up with the crowd, ripping up signs, picking on those who booed him and eventually showing those in attendance why is the best in the world, as he claims.
Punk, and his match, were the best received of the evening.
To show he meant no ill, this reporter witnessed a short conversation between Punk and an official, who then hand-delivered a ring-worn T-shirt to a young boy in the front row, whose sign Punk had earlier taken. The sign was also returned.
Even before the show started, fans who lined up outside the arena to await the arrival of the WWE superstars were not disappointed. Stars would arrive, unload, mug for a few photos, maybe sign a few autographs before entering the arena.
John Cena, long the WWE’s biggest star and poster boy, also received a huge applause during his entrance for the main event, a six-man tag match featuring Cena, Sheamus and Ryback versus the hated Shield.
Post-match, all three of the babyfaces (good guys) signed autographs for young fans around the ring, even mugging for a few photos.
Another match saw the popular Miz defeated by the United States champion Antonio Cesaro, in a match that was determined by fans in attendance via Twitter. Fans chose a no disqualification match. The match concluded with both men crashing through a table.
Other winners on the night were: Justin Gabriel over JTG; Bray Wyatt defeated A-Ry; Layla knocked off Tamina Snuka (daughter of Jimmy Superfly Snuka); and Michael McGillicutty (son of Mr. Perfect Curt Hennig) defeated Zack Ryder.
WWE has been a somewhat regular visitor to these parts for the last dozen or so years, both at the Memorial Centre and recently at the K-Rock Centre. The nearly 4,000 in attendance Saturday night easily outpaced any other appearance at the new downtown venue, prompting announcer Justin Roberts to declare the WWE will return to Kingston in the near future.
Judging by the smiling faces, and record attendance, Kingston fans will too.
Jan Murphy is the news editor at the Kingston Whig-Standard and has written about wrestling for 15 years. You can follow him on Twitter at Twitter: @Jan_Murphy.