Having mixed emotions

It was time to rumble.

If I'm not at a rink, I usually sit in my room and stay in there.

So when things like World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) pay-per-views arrive, I watch it by myself on the computer, screaming at the screen.

But not for this year’s Royal Rumble.

Three years ago, a man approached me at the Ladner Leisure Centre. He was watching the Vancouver Giants training camp. I was there covering it for the team.

The man's name was Parker Schmidt.

“Hey, are you Dickson Liong?” he asked.

“Yeah, I am,” I replied.

“Hey, you're doing a great job,” he said. “I really appreciate all your coverage and your tweets.”

“Thanks so much.”

"Just thought I'd come and say hi,” he said. “See you around.”

I was shocked that someone actually approached me and showed their appreciation. No one had ever done that.

At that moment, I didn't think I would get a chance to get to know him and become friends. But, as they say, things happen for a reason.

A few months ago, I saw Schmidt, found out he was a WWE fan and we started talking about it.

Later on, we exchanged phone numbers.

“Be sure to keep in touch,” I said.

“For sure,” he replied.

I don't have many friends, and I have no shame in admitting that. But the ones that I do have, I consider family and I know that they always have my back.

Schmidt and his family are on that list. That's what is most important to me. It's good to always add quality people to your life, and to filter out the bad ones.

Schmidt is a beauty. I love that it was wrestling that brought us together. We have similar personalities as well.

A couple weeks ago, he sent me a text message inviting me to watch the Royal Rumble with him and his family at his house.

I was in.

I arrived at his house around 3 p.m., Pacific time, two hours before the pay-per-view. We both entered a pool making predictions on the event.

Here are the card results:

Dean Ambrose defeated Kevin Owens to retain the Intercontinental championship in a last-man-standing match.

The New Day defeated The Usos to remain tag-team champions.

Kalisto defeated Alberto Del Rio to become the new United States champion.

Charlotte beat Becky Lynch to retain the women's championship.

Triple H won the Royal Rumble to become the new world heavyweight championship.

I had Bryan returning and winning the 30-man battle royal. Schmidt, on the hand, was sure that it was going to be Triple H.

Well, one was extremely disappointed and the other was jumping for joy.

OK, Bryan didn't come back. So I can't help but think his WWE career is over. It's really too bad because the guy was a magician in the ring.

Just because he didn't return, though, doesn't mean the show overall was ruined for me.

The mid-card matches were great.

It was the ending of the match between Becky Lynch and Charlotte, who is Ric Flair's daughter, where I went absolutely crazy for the first time that night.

Sasha Banks, who hadn't been booked on any of the televised shows for weeks, made a return.

“I know you're excited,” Schmidt said.

“Yep,” I said, with a grin.

She walked to the ring, looked like she was going to attack Charlotte, but attacked Lynch instead. Banks looked to be on the side of Charlotte, who is a villain.

“Why!?” I yelled.

I looked over to Schmidt and said, “This makes absolutely no sense!”

I had jumped to a conclusion. Little did I know, the segment wasn't over.

When Charlotte turned her back to leave the ring, Banks attacked the champion.

As Charlotte was laying on the canvas, Banks grabbed the women's championship and raised it above her shoulders.

She didn't need to say a word. The message was sent: she is coming for the championship.

 Dawson Schmidt, Liong, Connor Schmidt and Parker Schmidt

Dawson Schmidt, Liong, Connor Schmidt and Parker Schmidt

It was awesome.

Both Schmidt and I are huge supporters of Banks.

The last-man-standing match was the best one of the night. It had me on the edge of my seat.

As for the 30-man battle royal, it was the best one in the last three years. Wrestlers from past eras didn't come back and there were surprise entrants.

That was great, because WWE needs to build towards new blood.

It has done that, and there was a moment during the match when I went nuts, even moreso than the first time.

One of my favourite wrestlers outside of the WWE is AJ Styles. For years, he had been performing on the independent circuit for different companies.

Recently, there were reports that WWE had signed Styles to a contract. When I heard this, it brought a smile to my face.

When was he going to make his debut? I had no idea. There were rumours, but I don't tend to trust anything until I see it with my own eyes.

When it came time for the No. 3 entrant, the buzzer went off.

Some theme song that I had never heard came on. I couldn't see who it was because the cameras weren't on the entrance ramp.

“Who the hell is this!? Is it ... is it . . . ?”

I couldn't finish my sentence.

It was AJ Styles, who came out to a massive roar.

“OH MY GAWD!” I yelled. “YES! YES! OH MY GAWD!”

Meanwhile, Schmidt's two sons, Connor and Dawson, had no idea why I was so excited.


“Who's this guy?” they asked.

“That's AJ Styles!” Schmidt told them in excitement.

They will learn in time who Styles is.

No words can describe how I felt.

Styles was in the match for 28 minutes before getting eliminated by Owens. This was a fantastic way to start a feud between the two.

If the WWE ends up going in that direction, it would be unreal.

The whole event was amazing, even though I'm torn about Bryan.

I'm grateful to have watched it with Schmidt and his family. It was an opportunity to bond with them all.

That's what really matters.