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18.03.10 15:24 Age: 8 yrs

Damage Gauge 3

Smackdown and RAW

Hey KPW fans,

Well this is the update you have all been waiting for! It's Wednesday now, which means that the Raw and Smackdown tapings have come and gone. I'm guessing you want to know all about it...

We'll start with Monday. Jesse Hernandez drove myself and EWF Champion Ryan Taylor (another offered a tryout) to San Diego for the Raw taping. After we signed in, we set down our things and went to grab a bite to eat in catering. Our call time was early to make sure we did everything we needed to. We met a lot of the WWE superstars there. I'll save a list of names for later on...

All of the NXT wrestlers were there, Justin Gabriel and I got along well due to him being South African, and I was the only other person who knew anything about rugby! San Diego Sports Arena isn't too big of a place, when we arrived that afternoon however it was already a sell out, but I was to be proved wrong the next day at the Staples Centre.

We watched the show backstage with all the superstars, trying our best to fit in. The key was to prove that you belonged there; they are a professional company, and you need to be a professional. It was an important Raw, with two legends present that night - Stone Cold Steve Austin, and Bret "The Hitman" Hart. While hanging around with Ryan, Kyle Webb and Tommy Wilson (two other locals having a tryout) we got to meet this legend. Shaking the hand of the Excellence of Execution was a dream come true. Many more would come true in the following hours.

Although we didn't wrestle - it was after all the second to last Raw before Wrestlemania, we did get used in a backstage segment as Triple H walked to the ring. If you have an eagle eye, you'll see me on the right hand side!

The Raw taping came to a close, and we drove back to Los Angeles, ready for what the next day would hold...

Smackdown and NXT were being taped at the Staples Centre, which is where the Los Angeles Lakers play. I thought the Sports Arena was big, but this place was something else entirely. Seats as far as the eye could see, just a huge arena. And they sold that out too.

Thanks to Ryan's driving we almost got there late - we made it in the nick of time! Staples Centre security were very strict, not believing that we were wrestlers! After we got in, we settled down and organised our things. While there, we were always well looked after.

Later that night, we were watching the show - its interesting because you watch it on a screen backstage, forgetting that it's all happening behind you! Not to mention the pyro - there's a stage hand who yells out that there is pyro to go off, and everyone puts their fingers in their ears - and for good reason! It is LOUD.

The whole show was great, the best part was the "dark" main event, which was a match they put on to send the crowd home happy. A massive 8 man tag with the best names in the business doing what they do best - entertaining. Ryan and I watched from backstage from behind a curtain watching it as it happened live instead of on the TV. It was a magic moment, the kind of thing you live for, seeing such a huge audience explode with everything these guys did.

We called it a night, and hopped in Ryan's truck to drive back to San Bernardino, where I was staying. He drove around trying to find petrol (or gas, as they call it here) but everything was too expensive. If only he had been willing to pay 40c more per gallon... as we broke down on the freeway! Luckily it was by a construction zone, and one of the guys had some petrol to spare! We got off on the next exit and Marty Elias, a good friend of Ryans and ex-WWE referee, scouted ahead finally finding us a gas station before the little gas we had left ran out.

I think that is everything...

oh wait, you guys want to know who I got to meet. Here is the list, in no particular order (of course, excluding Bret Hart); Shawn Michaels, Undertaker, John Cena, Big Show, Chris Jericho, Maryse, The Bella Twins, Carlito, Chavo, Chris Masters, Evan Bourne, Cody Rhodes, Gail Kim, Eve, Hornswoggle, Jack Swagger, Katie Lea, Kofi Kingston, Kelly Kelly, MVP, Primo, Rosa Mendes, Santino Marella, Ted DiBiase, William Regal, Zack Ryder, Yoshi Tatsu, Justin Gabriel, Daniel Bryan, Heath Slater, David Otunga, Wade Barrett, Skip Sheffield, Michael Tarver, Beth Phoenix, Caylen Croft, David Hart Smith, Tyson Kidd, JTG, Shad, Luke Gallows, Matt Striker, Michelle McCool, Mike Knox, Natalya, Great Khali, Theodore Long, Tiffany, Trent Barretta, Layla, Vickie Guererro.

Phew... I think that's all. Plus you'd be surprised who is backstage at a Los Angeles WWE taping... like Freddie Prinze Jr and MMA Fighter Josh Barnett.

That's all from me... I'll be back in NZ in a few days. Looking forward to being home again! Thanks for keeping track with me fans through the KPW site, and thank you for all your support and help. Couldn't have done it without each and every single one of you.

Raise your Axe high!

Max Damage