Here we are, standing in front of the old Maple Leaf Gardens on Carlton Street, just across the street I’m going to show you where I bought my first ticket to a WWE wrestling show, my first live wrestling show as a kid. So let’s go!
This is the spot where I bought my first ticket to a wrestling show and you might be saying to yourself there no box office, there’s no ticket windows for good reason. I purchased my first wrestling ticket from a scalper right here in this very spot. I’d come up with this scheme: A friend of mine had gotten WWE tickets for this show from his parents for his birthday. I had been saving my allowance money, I told my parents that he had an extra ticket for the show and I told his parents that my parents said it was all right if I used my allowance money, came down here with them and bought a ticket from a scalper. It somehow worked out.
I came down here, I stood on this very spot, bought a ticket. It wasn’t anywhere near where my friend and his parents were sitting. I was by myself. We made a pact to meet back at this front doors after the show was over, but all I want to do is get in this arena, I wanted to get in there. I’d never seen the ring in-person in my life, I just wanted to get there. As soon as they opened those doors I ran, I sat in my seat and I just stared at the ring. I couldn’t believe that I was looking at one in-person and I knew I wanted to be a wrestler, but that moment solidified what I was going to do with my life. I knew that I had to do this, I had to be in that ring, I had to perform someday and that was the single biggest moment in my life as far as wanting to become a wrestler at that point in time.
Adam and I used to get the same tickets on the railing so we could high five the wrestlers and I’ll never forget the Texas Tornado, Kerry Von Erich was the Intercontinental Champion at the time and we were cheering for him. He held it over the barricade, he let us grab it, put our hands on it and I was like – I just remember looking my hands thinking “oh my God, I can’t believe I just touched the Intercontinental Championship” and then to go on from there to become a four-time intercontinental champion was pretty cool.
The first match I ever saw was King Tonga vs. Paul Christy which was the opening match and the main event was Ricky Steamboat against the Magnificent Muraco in a karate GI match. It’s funny because I’ve gotten to know Ricky Steamboat pretty well and I got to tell him the story that he was the first main event of a show I ever saw. It’s pretty cool.
You’re seeing the guys that you watched on television for the first time and it’s larger than life. It’s everything you thought it would be, the live roars of the crowd and it’s intoxicating in a way you want to have that, I wanted to have that. I wanted to be those guys in the ring that were under the lights, to finally work your way up and to get that, have kids come up to you and say they watch you and they’re a fan of yours. It comes full circle, right? You were that kid. I was that kid that was standing out here waiting to get an autograph or tell a wrestler that he was my favourite. That was me, I was that kid.