PUMPED with adrenaline and ready to rumble, my nine-year-old son punctuated our journey to the Newcastle Arena with tales of what to expect from WWE Raw.
The names of all the moves and his favourite WWE stars came flowing forth as I battled to expel thoughts of him replicating the action with the help of his six-year-old sister!
I must admit that my attitude to these modern-day exponents of a spectacle that used to fill my childhood Saturday’s was not exactly positive. Just for kids, I told myself.
Then I found myself in the presence of a large number of growling, grown men who jeered and cheered through every bout.
I soon realised you don’t have to be American to get excited about musclebound men in ill-fitting trunks putting on an impressive display of slapstick and gymnastics.
In a way, you could understand why the atmosphere was so electric.
The arena wasn’t full, but it wasn’t far off and the gladiatorial atmosphere was soon whipped up with pumping rock music as the performers stalked to the stage – sorry, ring.
Draped in all manner of official paraphernalia, our James and his fellow WWE fans absolutely lapped it up.
Stars including CM Punk, Kofi Kingston, Dolph Ziggler, R-Truth, The Miz, Santino Marella, the mammoth Kevin Nash, John Morrison, Alberto Del Rio and one of the biggest current heroes John Cena all strutted their stuff with the occasional reminder of a “don’t try this at home” message.
Booming fireworks, a knocked-out referee and even some marvellously-toned female competitors all added to a spectacle that even I had to appreciate.
The good guys generally got the better of the bad guys, everyone recovered sufficiently from what appeared near-fatal injuries to walk out of the ring and, of course, we were all reminded of the T-shirts, caps, video games and a repeat visit next year. We’ll be there!