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READER ALERT: For all the latest wrestling happenings, check out our News & Rumours section.

Meeting 'Taker a scary undertaking


By JASON BOTCHFORD -- Toronto Sun
  Looking up at a 6-foot-10 giant death-stare last night, Peter Ruberto came face to face with what he hopes will be his future.

Without fear, the 14-year-old grand-prize winner of The Sunday Sun's Meet the Undertaker contest approached the tattoo-covered behemoth and challenged him pointblank to a wrestling match.

"I wasn't really scared, but I couldn't believe how big he was," said the Markham Grade 9 student, who won tickets for himself and nine friends to see the wrestling card at the SkyDome.

"I hope one day that could be me. I've always wanted to be a wrestler."

Although the Undertaker -- who beat his brother Kane last night at the SkyDome's Don't Trust Anybody show -- turned down the invitation to fight, he had some helpful hints for the hopeful grappler.

"It's not about size, it's all about heart and desire," he said. "A lot of doors will be closed in your face and you just have to kick them down."



CHILLING THRILL

Ruberto said it was a chilling thrill to meet the Undertaker but he was most excited about seeing Stone Cold Steve Austin from his front-row seat.

And from the sea of black and white "Austin 3:16" T-shirts, it seemed most of the other 23,714 fans felt the same.

The first nine matches proved to be a two-hour warmup filled with body slams and four-letter expletives which whipped the mostly male crowd into a frenzy for Austin's match against Hunter Hearst Helmsley.

"To me, everything else is filler," said fan John Franklin.

There were many families on hand in what became a very unfamily-like atmosphere, with boys and girls, no more than 10, swearing and holding their middle fingers proudly above their heads, returning Austin's salute.

Austin didn't let those fans down, beating up Helmsley, his valet Chyna and World Wrestling Federation owner Vince McMahon -- all to standing ovations. By the end, wild fans were hurling plastic cups, full water bottles and assorted souvenirs into the ring, hitting Austin and McMahon on their heads.

For Alfred Shaw, 12, who was moved around the SkyDome in his wheelchair all night because of overbooking, Austin's match was the show.

"They kept moving me so Stone Cold was the only match I saw," he said. "But that's the only reason I came and he was awesome."

Winner of The Sunday Sun's grand-prize trip for four to Montreal, two nights' hotel accommodation and four ringside tickets to the WWF showdown Aug. 2, was Renato Garcia of Scarboro. Milagros Castaneda of Scarboro picked up four ringside tickets to the WWF meet at the SkyDome on Aug. 1 after his entry was chosen in a random draw last night.

Jennifer Lameiro of Scarboro, Stephen Hawkings of Ajax, Tim Laing of Simcoe, Rob Ariff and Jamie Belanger, both of Toronto, each won two tickets to the Aug. 1 SkyDome show.