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Favourite Moments of 2011 (#12): The MITB Video Package

DO I HAVE EVERYBODY’S ATTENTION NOW?

This video package was released on July 13th, four days before Money in the Bank took place. I was sitting on the bed in my New York hotel room, and I waited for over half an hour while it loaded in shitty quality on my iPhone using the hotel’s unstable (but free) wi-fi. I watched this video and it finally hit me; I would be going to Money in the Bank. I pressed replay. I watched it in silence. I pressed replay again, and I had begun subconsciously memorising it. I sat on that bed, staring at that screen for hours that night, and then again the next day, and the next, and then again on the day of the pay-per-view. Every time, my heart and my stomach churned with excitement, anticipation and overwhelming emotion. Even now, I can recite every line and it never fails to make me feel everything I felt back in July.

I’ve never been shy about professing my love for WWE’s production crew, so you all probably know that I get off on good video packages. This was beyond good. This was the best of 2011. This beautifully and dramatically summed up everything that had happened between Punk/Cena/McMahon before Money in the Bank, preparing me for what was without a doubt the best night of my life. But we’ll get to that later…

If I never get to experience anything like this ever again, I will still be forever grateful that I got to belong, even for just one night. Especially on a night that may have revolutionized the entire wrestling industry. And you know what? Even if it comes to a point where people one day look back on this feud and this storyline and decide that it was completely fruitless, and that none of the things that it promised to deliver actually pan out, they will be wrong. Because it was revolutionary. It was. It revolutionised my love and my passion for professional wrestling, and for that, I will be eternally thankful.

What I had to say about Money in the Bank a week after it happened. Looks like that revolution didn’t go as smoothly as I hoped it would, but this still holds true. I miss July. 
Also, here are my hands half way through Punk’s entrance at MITB. The camera didn’t pick up how red they were (from all dat clapping), but you can kinda tell. MISS U, NIGHT. 

Also, here are my hands half way through Punk’s entrance at MITB. The camera didn’t pick up how red they were (from all dat clapping), but you can kinda tell. MISS U, NIGHT. 

I have finally had enough time to sit down and properly go through my photos and videos from Sunday night. It makes me both really happy and really sad, but I’m trying to focus my energy mostly on the really happy part. I still can’t believe that I was there and that I witnessed such an amazing show in a city that I have wanted to visit my entire life and that I met one of my freaking idols (and that he was the most friendly guy ever!). I’ve had four flights since I left Chicago, and I have spent every one of them just thinking about everything that happened. I have had no more than 3 hours sleep a night for the past week, but I feel more awake and more energetic than I ever have in my life. I just feel different

On the 17th of July 2011, I finally felt like I belong. 

I have been to wrestling shows at home. I’ve been to crappy indy shows in Adelaide and I save up for front row seats at WWE’s annual Australian tour every single year, and don’t get me wrong; I love it. I just had absolutely no idea what I was missing until now. I’ve always recognised that wrestling isn’t quite as popular in Australia as it is in the States, but I didn’t realise how striking the difference actually is. 

I walked out of my hotel in Chicago on Sunday evening to grab something to eat before the show and was blown away by the sheer number of people in wrestling shirts walking the streets. There were kids sitting at tables outside Subway making signs for John Cena and excitedly explaining the brilliance of the Punk/Cena storyline to their parents. A few metres away, parents were the ones excitedly explaining the great storylines of their childhoods to their own kids. Chili’s was full of guys dressed up as Zack Ryder immitating Ric Flair at the bar, threatening to riot if Cena walked out champion. There were CM Punk chants breaking out on the footpath, in Target, in the hotel lobby.

I have never experienced anything like that before, and honestly, it was really confronting at first. Maybe American fans are just far more flamboyant and vocal about their passion than Australians. Maybe it’s a Chicago thing. I don’t know, I just know that it was an entirely different atmosphere to any wrestling show I have ever been to before. I made friends with complete strangers, and by the end of the night I felt like I had known them for years. People from around the world (including myself) had flown for hours and hours to get to this show. This wasn’t WrestleMania, this wasn’t SummerSlam, this wasn’t even the Rumble! This was just an overachieving lower-tier-PPV during WWE’s off season that somehow managed to remind me why I love this industry. Why I skip uni to watch Raw live every Tuesday morning. Why I spend too much money on shirts and tickets and the occasional action figure. Why I have kept this blog for three years now. This was my ultimate catharsis. 

So here is Punk celebrating his title win (and knocking Del Rio the fuck out) from my perspective. If I never get to experience anything like this ever again, I will still be forever grateful that I got to belong, even for just one night. Especially on a night that may have revolutionized the entire wrestling industry. And you know what? Even if it comes to a point where people one day look back on this feud and this storyline and decide that it was completely fruitless, and that none of the things that it promised to deliver actually pan out, they will be wrong. Because it was revolutionary. It was. It revolutionised my love and my passion for professional wrestling, and for that, I will be eternally thankful.

Thank you, Punk. Thank you, Vince. Thank you, Cena. Thank you, WWE. Thank you, Chicago.  

I have been debating whether or not to post this all day, because it is undoubtedly the most revolting photo of me that has even been taken. But seriously, who cares? LOOK AT THE MAN STANDING NEXT TO ME. I met Colt Cabana last night, and it was beautiful, and everything felt perfect. He was the most friendly guy ever. I’m still in shock. 
I just wish I could go back. So, so badly. Hopefully I will be home (aka at the hotel) in time for Raw tonight. I need to know what happens. 

I have been debating whether or not to post this all day, because it is undoubtedly the most revolting photo of me that has even been taken. But seriously, who cares? LOOK AT THE MAN STANDING NEXT TO ME. I met Colt Cabana last night, and it was beautiful, and everything felt perfect. He was the most friendly guy ever. I’m still in shock. 

I just wish I could go back. So, so badly. Hopefully I will be home (aka at the hotel) in time for Raw tonight. I need to know what happens.