Before I post about the epicness that was last night’s RAW from Richmond, Virginia, I want to share with you some tips on seeing the wrestlers entering and leaving the arena.
Tips on seeing the wrestlers outside of the arena
Scope out the Arena
You have to know where to go first. Usually when you get there early enough you will see a group of fans standing where the wrestlers enter the arena. For the Richmond Coliseum, there is a loading ramp on 7th street right across from the Coliseum. This is where most of the talent park their cars and enter the arena.
Timing is everything
This is where I failed yesterday. I got to the spot by around 10:30 a.m. Most of the people I saw at that time were crew plus Charles Robinson (Ref) and Joey Mercury. Since it was super hot, I decided to leave and get a drink by like 12:30 p.m. BIG MISTAKE!!!! By the time I returned at 2:00 p.m. I missed EVERYONE!!!!!! I recommend getting to the spot by 12:30 p.m., because most of the wrestlers get to the arena by that time. By 2:30 p.m./3:00 p.m. pretty much everyone has arrived. I did manage to see Ryback and JBL enter late. From 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., take a break and get something to eat and drink before the show. *Bonus perk for getting there early is the possibility of FREE parking (at least for the Richmond, VA location). If you get there early enough you get a ticket when you enter the parking deck on 7th instead of paying when you first enter. When the event parking starts, people parking pay when they entered. After the show, the gates are open and you just leave.
Prepare for the weather
I’m not sure about other arenas, but in Richmond there’s no covering for the loading ramp so, you will be in direct sunlight/rain. So prepare yourself if you are going to be camping out for a sighting of your favorite star. I screwed up yesterday and didn’t bring a drink (it was in the 90’s yesterday) and missed out on the wrestlers. When I got back to the ramp, it started to rain like crazy. One good thing about the Richmond location is that the parking deck is right across the street and I was able to take cover. I also prepared myself with an umbrella and plastic bag for my signs.
Bring Camera, Sharpies and Signs
I haven’t seen this yet myself, but I’ve heard stories of wrestlers signing autographs before and after the show. Be prepared in case they do, but don’t expect them to do so. For cameras, your cell phone camera will do just be sure it’s charged for the show. I’ve heard mixed stories about DLSRs. Some people say you can’t bring them into the show and others say you can.
Stay after the show
After RAW is done filming there’s usually a dark match (I love these!!!). Just one more match before the show is over. Last night it was Roman Reigns (even though he wasn’t on RAW, he was in the dark match) & John Cena vs Rusev & Seth Rollins. Now during the dark match, you may miss some wrestlers leaving. I’ve always stayed for the dark match and still made in out in time to catch some of my favorites leaving. Just head back to the first spot where they entered. Now there maybe more fans this time compared to when the wrestlers entered. Prepared to stay past midnight especially for the ones in the main event/ dark match.
Be respectful to other fans and to the wrestlers. Not all wrestlers are going to acknowledge you. It is what it is. You shouldn’t demand anything from them. Also catcalling the female wrestlers/ring announcers is just plain tacky. Now onto the fans; everyone is here for the same thing. Be respectful to everyone. I’m also going to add don’t cut in line with the arena opens. Usually you will have to wait in line for a while for the arena to open. It is so annoying to have people cut the line.
Stay Safe/Be Mindful of Your Surroundings
Your safety should be your number one concern. Use your head and be alert to where your personal belongs are. There may be moments where you are shoulder to shoulder with strangers while trying to catch a glimpse of the wrestlers; your personal bubble is gone. On the flip side, you could be standing alone while you wait. Random strangers will come up to you asking for money, a light, or just simply to talk to you. It always happens to me at pretty much every show. Just use your head.
Hotel Sightings…..Are you being a creeper?
I’ve never camped at a hotel before. I just feel like its one step closer to being a creeper. Am I wrong? (Let me know your thoughts in the comments). I know this post is already talking about camping in front of the arena to see the wrestlers which may be considered a low level of creeping, but taking it to the hotel is an extra level. I feel like once the wrestler reach the hotel, they just want to go the f**k to sleep. Now I did speak to another fan yesterday and he said he has camped out in hotels many times to see wrestlers. Some of the wrestlers were really friendly and talked to him (He mentioned Sandow was awesome about this). He told me that its pretty common for fans to camp out at hotels but he did give a warning, some hotels will not let you do this. You have to be a customer in order to hang around their hotel. Be warned. If you do plan on checking out the hotels in Richmond, VA, I heard the Omni and Marriot Downtown are popular spots for wrestlers.
Bring Your Friends/ Family
I’ve been to WWE events alone and it kinda sucks. The one time I went alone, CM Punk talked to me from the ring. It was a great moment, but I didn’t have anyone to turn to and be like, “Holy Sh*t that just happened?!” Flash forward to last night, my brother was able to record Cesaro and Kidd pointing to my sign from the ring. It was an awesome moment and now I have video to remember it by. I had a few people with me last night and it was the most fun I’ve ever had at an WWE event since I had friends and family to share the awesome moments with (especially when Kevin Owens debuted!! It was history!) It’s also much safer to go in a group. This helps with that personal bubble situation I mentioned earlier.
Talk to Other Fans
I know this sounds like the opposite of what I told you earlier about your safety, but just use your head when talking to strangers. I met a fan yesterday, Gordon. He seems like a veteran fan (as in he has been to a lot of WWE live events). He shared some personal stories about meeting wrestlers and gave me some advise about the timing (he recommends getting their at 10:30 a.m. and waiting it out). The great thing that I love about these live events is the atmosphere. It reminds me of when I go to comicons or midnight releases. You’re in an area full of people that you know all share the same love for something. You can join conversations and get to know people.
Have any other tips for seeing wrestlers before and after the show? Let me know in the comments below.