5 Things You Might See When WWE Raw Comes to US Airways Center August 26
We don't know how up y'all are on lowbrow culture, but professional wrestling sort of a big deal in Phoenix. Locals can't seem to get enough of this rope opera, which explains why there are at least three different indie federations operating in town and the glitzy grapplers of World Wrestling Entertainment keep coming back to our area.
Benjamin Leatherman The crowd at US Airways Center during the Royal Rumble in January.
The WWE has held six of its pay-per-view spectaculars at local sporting facilities in the last decade, including 2010's WrestleMania XXVI inside University of Phoenix Stadium and the Royal Rumble at US Airways Center earlier this year. The arena has also hosted more than a dozen sold-out episodes of its weekly Raw slam-fests. You can add one more instance to that list later this month as the program will once again emanate from the Valley on Monday, August 26.
And being die-hard devotees to rasslin' ourselves, we've got a couple educated guesses about what sort of melodramatic men-in-tights situations and scenarios will unfold during the two-hour show. Granted, there's another episode of Raw that will air before the show comes to Phoenix, but here's our predictions of what local fans will see (either in the ring or in the stands) when the WWE's one-ring circus rolls into town next week.
Benjamin Leatherman Alberto Del Rio (center) walks to the ring during Royal Rumble in January in Phoenix.
5. Alberto Del Rio Pandering to Latinos
During both Summerslam and last week's episode of Raw, Mexican-born World Heavyweight champ Alberto Del Rio got on the microphone and let it be known that he's eager to be a legendary role model to the Latino community and an icon they can truly rally behind. It should be noted that in the bizarro world of the WWE, when superstars make statements and declarations annointing themsevles as such a hero (see Angle, Kurt), the intent is to make their character anything but beloved, especially with someone as villainous as Del Rio.
Hence the decidedly mixed reaction -- including more than a few jeers -- that he got at both events which took place in two Southern California cities where Hispanics heavily turn out to WWE shows. Given the Phoenix area's similar demographics amongst both its general population and wrestling crowds (lucha libre has a noted following in Arizona), it's likely you'll see Del Rio once again making his feelings heard and soaking up some boos in front our hometown crowd. Expect statements concerning his machismo, accomplishments, and wealth that allows him to tower over all the peasants.