I walked in the building, up the steps from the back door and could see a ring and 2,000 empty seats surrounding it. All I could hear was the soft tone of AJ Styles' voice as he lectured some young wrestlers. It was the calm before the storm.
After the Saturday daytime drive on the interstate to Meadville, I had arrived at the venue for IWC Wrestling's Night Of The Superstars 3. I was pointed in the direction of where my locker room would be, as I was managing my associate RJ City against Davey Boy Smith Jr., who had Bret “Hitman” Hart in his corner.
In my time doing this, I've learned these are the hardest parts of the day — the waiting game. Getting to the building to beat the crowd, prepare, but having to wait for your music cue.
RJ City currently holds the Super Indy title, a title that has been the prize for over a decade of Super Indy tournaments. Some of the past holders of the title include AJ Styles, Colt Cabana, Chris Sabin, Low Ki, Delirious, Sami Callihan and Shima Xion.
Mr. City doesn't concern himself with all of that and is there to be Mr. Entertainment, not Mr. Indy. We've officially changed the title to the Super Entertainment title. Needless to say, some are offended by this. Something about tradition.
As the hours go by, the catering gets spread out on the table, the energy in the building begins to rise. The Steiner Brothers, Matt Striker, Matt Taven, Bobby Fish and many more are featured on the show.
Live music of The Delaneys could faintly be heard through the locker room walls as they played in front the crowd for the final moments before the action began.
My nerves and excitement are in a blender as I pace around the locker room waiting. RJ City, who's entertainment endeavors stretch to film and television, including playing a character on a Nickelodeon series, is focused but much calmer than I am.
We finally get the cue that we're up next. Standing just feet from the curtain for those final seconds are the quietest seconds ever. RJ pushes the curtain open as he sings his way to the ring with me trailing behind him presenting the Super Entertainment title for all to see.
Just as you walk through the curtain, there is about four feet of open space on each side of the guard rails before the row of seats begin. It felt like the entire audience rushes to that open space and are all within inches of slapping your face. All the attention is on us.
RJ sings us all the way to the center of the ring. Just before he can finish his version of “I've Got To Be Me,” he's cut off by the recognizable screeching electric guitar riff of Bret Hart's music. All at once, 2,000 people erupt in excitement for his appearance and what the future held for RJ and I.
Just minutes ago it felt like I was in the most claustrophobic situation ever. Now, with the energy of the music blasting, Hart appearing from the curtain, anticipation of what was going to happen to us, it felt like RJ and I were in isolation. The storm had come.