What's next in the Manziel saga? Mafia ties? A baby mama? A strip club shooting? Isn't anything in play here? I still think the end game to this is a five interception performance against Bama, leading to a point shaving investigation. AND I'M ROOTING FOR THE GUY!! I don't understand the "haters" out there. Manziel's great. But he's also played out. So let's change the subject.
Let's talk about pro wrestling. More specifically, let's talk about Chris Jericho.
I really only go this route to share a story. It was the summer of 1999, and after an awesome run in 1998 as "Conspiracy Victim," crybaby heel, Chris Jericho, the self-proclaimed "Ayatollah of Rock n Rollah" was on his way to the WWF. Little did I know I'd witness, up close, one of my favorite wrestlers' final WCW appearances.
They ran a house show in Montgomery in July. Tickets went on sale the May morning after the final day of my junior year of high school. Being the dork that I was at the time (and by NO MEANS still am), I ditched the big end of school party early to get up with the crowing roosters to go be the first person in line for tickets. In a related note, I was single at the time. With ZERO prospects on the horizon.
And sure enough, I was the first person in line at the Civic Center box office. I was an hour ahead of the second guy, who was 45 minutes ahead of the third guy. I was there at 5:30am, tickets were said to go on sale at 8:00, but for whatever reason, the box office didn't open til 9:00. After an hour of wondering if I was getting screwed over by people getting tickets online, which wasn't a big thing yet, they opened the window and BOOM! Major success, I locked down three seats (for me and my two buddies) ringside, front row, dead center. I was giddy.
I made a handful of signs for the occasion, most notably the one stemming from my 180 minute wait on the Montgomery, Alabama concrete: "I Waited Three And a Half Hours in Line Just to See JERICHO!" Jericho's character had been arguing with sign-wielding fans ever since he became a bad guy, so I was hoping this might stir some action. I took the night off from work, and we went to the Civic Center to make idiots of ourselves. As it turned out, literally.
I remember NOTHING about the majority of the show. I THINK Buff Bagwell beat DDP in the main event, but I honestly have no idea. In the time since I had purchased the tickets, the company had gone in a completely different direction, pushing some new guys on top, phasing out others, and in general, really alienating me from the product. But, at least for one more night, I still had Jericho.
He was featured in the co-main, tag teaming with Eddie Guerrero against Rey Mysterio and Billy Kidman. For you wrestling nuts out there, yeah, this was some excellent stuff. The bad guys heeled it up to perfection, Eddie played the aloof wannabe tough guy, and rock star Jericho thanked all his fans for coming out "here in, in... [to the ring announcer] where are we again...? ... MO-BILE, ALABAMA!" The good guys entered to their new No Limit Soldiers music, and I got a laugh from them with my oh so clever "Hoody Who?" sign. But it wasn't long before the masterpiece came into play.
Fairly early in the match, we had the pier six brawl, where the good guys came in a house of fire, where it was indeed breaking down in Tulsa, or Montgomery, or wherever. Jericho ended up on the floor right in front of us and ate a baseball slide from Kidman, sending our hero careening into the guardrail at our feet. Now was the time! I flipped the sign over the rail for Jericho to read as he staggered to his feet. Still shaking the cobwebs, I see him read my sign. Without missing a beat, he berates me, no more than 18 inches from my face: "SIT DOWN! YOU'RE AN IDIOT IF YOU DID THAT!!"
My night was made.
Aside from the smarks sitting around us who ate this up, Jericho rolled back in to boos and the match continued. It's all a blur, I just remember someone doing the job to Kidman's shooting star press, an inverted somersault splash from the top rope. Whether it was Eddie or Jericho that took the three count, it didn't matter. They'd entertained the hell out of me, and I didn't know there was more to come.
Post-match, the bad guys faked a falling out, then opted for a hug instead, eliciting more boos from the fans. My group gets extra loud talking smack of unintelligible nonsense, I'm sure, drawing Jericho back around to our side of the ring, where he proceeds to take my sign and, in a trademark Jericho move, RIP IT IN HALF before calling me an idiot again as he leaves. OUTSTANDING!
Less than a month later, the "Countdown to the Millennium" clock reached zero on Monday Night Raw, and Chris Jericho walked out on the stage and ran down The Rock, who was on the verge of being the biggest star in the business, and called him, of all things, an idiot.
So that's two things that The Rock and I have in common, the other being that we both are totally fed up with this Manziel offseason drama and can't wait for the season to start. At least I presume he is - the Gators head down to Miami to take on Rock's Hurricanes in on 9/7. Can't wait.
Spoiler: You will get more takes from Mikey on the NWA U.S. Title scene from 1986 thru 1990 than you will on PAC-12 or Big Ten football.