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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Oh! What A Night
November 10, 2005 by Godfrey Gauci


Living in Australia, we are seriously limited to what wrestling we actually get to see. Controlled by the ever reluctant FOXTEL, our viewing pleasure has been diminished to around about 10 hours per week of actual WWE wrestling (this includes RAW and Smackdown! being shown twice). We are not privy to TNA, though I must say Jeff Jarrett pisses me off completely, he so wants to be HHH, but lacks the mic skills. But that's an argument for another article on another day.

Where I was actually going with this article, was back to September 2003! RAW headed Down Under, for only the second or third time in 5 years the WWE was coming to Australia. The card featured some of the greats, Flair, RVD, Shawn Michaels, Kane, Kevin Nash, Randy Orton, Scott Steiner and many others. One glaring omission was HHH and his groin! I probably saw the funniest sign I have ever seen at a live event, a young boy holding a sign that said "HHH, time to stop playing with your groin!" an obvious dig at both HHH's favourite saying and a young fans disappointment his hero couldn't make it. And this is what I wish to discuss, how a small action by a wrestler can make a fans night!

Now luckily for me, one of my best mates was actually able to gets us seats on the floor, four rows from the ring! So in preparation for the evening I actually shaved the letters NWO into the back of my head (I have always openly admitted to being an Online World of Wrestling Fanatic). So off to Olympic Park we went to see some of our heroes. The night was awesome, from being burned by Kane's fires, to Kevin Nash saluting my NWO hairstyle, to actually mouthing off with the Nature Boy...side note what happened was that Flair and Orton were taking on RVD and Shawn Michaels. We were so close that individual fans were of course taking any chance they could to get a quick word in with Flair. My chance came as Flair was strutting by us. Getting the mans attention was the key, so at the top of my lungs I yelled "Flair, are you serious you wrestled with Randy's grand father!" Flair actually stopped and began to laugh, then in true Flair fashion goaded me to enter the ring and take him on. It was a moment I will never forget and the beginning of what would be an amazing evening!

After the show I was off to see Adam Freeland play at a local club. So having had a run in with Flair and a salute by Kevin Nash I was on cloud 9. But my night was to get a whole lot better!!!

Half way through Adam Freeland's gig, I decided to go into a side bar. Now that in it's self is nothing new, but what I failed to realise was that the side bar was actually roped off, and I somehow just made my way past the bouncers (The fact that I stand 6ft 7in and weigh about 230 pounds with a shaved head probably didn't hurt). But when I looked up I was actually face to face with none other than Chris Jericho and Val Venis! In true fan fashion I shook both hands and proceeded to get my photo taken with both stars, they were both fantastic and were more than happy to pose for photos. Chris then asked if I would like my photo with the other superstars and I was personally introduced by Chris Jericho to Hurricane, The Dudleys, Test, Christian, La Resistance, Stacy Keibler, Trish Stratus and Victoria. All of them were fantastic except for Christian and Test, who refused to pose for photos. Now I found this to be a little sad as here was the first Undisputed Champion Chris Jericho introducing me and having photos with me, and Test and Christian couldn't even pose for a photo, they both actually said to me, "Sorry, we don't pose for photos"!! Well I built a bridge and moved on!! Then Val Venis got a look at my haircut and mentioned that Nash had walked into the back and told the guys that he had seen a fan with NWO shaved into his head in the crowd. I got such a buzz from hearing that. I then spent the majority of the evening hanging out with Val and Chris, who I might say are two of the most fun and polite stars one could ever meet!

But the defining moment of the evening happened a little later. Whilst walking through the crowd, I spotted a quiet looking gentleman, sitting by himself nursing a Coke. At first I couldn't think how I knew him, then it hit me, I was staring at one of my favorite wrestlers of all time and a man whose family name is legendary amongst fans, Dustin Rhodes aka Goldust! I couldn't believe it, so I made my way over and introduced myself, and sat down for the next 45mins and had what has come to be the greatest chat about wrestling I have ever had with anyone. Dustin is an incredibly articulate guy, and was even happier to hear that I was a fan of both his Dad's and his career. In the end, Dustin didn't have to take the time to sit down and have a chat with another fan in another country, but he did. To him, those 45mins may have meant nothing but to me they are minutes that I will treasure. A small act, like posing for photos, chatting to the fans can mean so much to us. It was also awesome to see him back in the ring this last week, I hope he stays!!

I would like to especially say thank you to Victoria, Chris Jericho, the Hurricane, Val Venis and of course to Dustin Rhodes for making an amazing night incredible.

So next time you get the chance to meet one of your wrestling heroes, treat them like a person should be treated, with respect. They love the fans and love the interaction, but don't forget these are human beings to who also need their space. When Test and Christian didn't want to have a photo with me, I didn't kick up a stink and cry, I merely respected their privacy and moved on....... and had my photo with the Undisputed Champion of the World instead!!!!

by Godfrey Gauci ..


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