Not so Super Bowl Sunday

It wasn't so much Super Bowl Sunday for me. 

Many sports fans around the world anticipate the NFL's Super Bowl game every year. It's one of the biggest events. 

This season, it was Super Bowl 50 between the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos. 

I, however, have never had a real interest in the sport. Sure, maybe I'll play EA Sports' NFL video game series from time to time, but that's about it. 

For me, it's hockey and wrestling. I go all in when it comes to those two things. 

In December, I found out that World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) had announced that they were going to do a non-televised show at the Abbotsford Centre in Abbotsford, B.C., on Feb. 7. 

Then, Seattle's Keys Arena was going to play host to Monday Night Raw.

I didn't really consider buying tickets to attend either show. After all, the Vancouver Giants were scheduled to play host to the Edmonton Oil Kings on Monday, which was Family Day, at 2 p.m., Pacific time. 

But as it turned out, I ended up attending one anyway.

rendan Batchelor, the Giants' media relations director and play-by-play broadcaster, is also a fan of the WWE. 

“You going to the Abbotsford show that Sunday?” he asked me soon after it was announced.

“No, I don't think so,” I said. “You?” 

“Yeah, I don't think so either,” he said. “But we'll see. Maybe.”

A few days later, when I arrived at the office, I went to the stands and just stood there staring at the rink. I know, I'm weird like that.

All of the sudden, I heard a voice.


It kind of startled me. I looked ahead, and I noticed that it was Sheldon Arsenault, the Giants' tickets sales and service manager.

“Batch is looking for you,” he said.  “Did you see him?”


About two minutes later, I saw Batchelor. 

“There he is!” he said.

Batchelor had an announcement. Arsenault moved beside him before Batchelor said what it was. 

“Sheldon and I have put our heads together and we're going to get tickets for the three of us for the show in Abbotsford as your Christmas gift!”

“No you didn't!” I said, surprised. “You guys didn't have to do that!” 

“Yep,” Batchelor said. “It's already done. We're going.” 

“That's unreal,” I said. “But you guys didn't have to do that.”

I was excited. As it came closer and closer, the excitement slowly increased.

AJ Styles vs The Miz at WWE Road to WrestleMania tour

AJ Styles vs The Miz at WWE Road to WrestleMania tour

AJ Styles, who was one of my favourite wrestlers outside of WWE, had signed with the company and made his debut at The Royal Rumble last month. 

A week before the show in Abbotsford, Styles was listed to be there. 

“Oh my gawd,” I said to Batchelor. “We're actually going to see Styles live for the first time. I'm pumped.”

“Yeah,” he said. “I am too. It's going to be good.”

“What is the plan on the day?” I asked.

“I think Sheldon said he would pick you up at your place. The show is at 1 p.m., and it it's Super Bowl Sunday, too. If you want we can go watch the game somewhere.”

Truth be told, I had no idea Super Bowl 50 was going on that day, too.

“Oh, okay,” I said. “Sounds good.” 

To be honest, the show couldn't have come at a better time for me. I wasn't having the greatest of weeks. 

But I just kept telling myself, “I'm going to a WWE show with Batch and Sheldon in a few days. Plus, I'm going on vacation soon to get away from all the garbage. Things are going to be better, just hang in there.”

Arsenault arrived at my house around 11 a.m. We arrived at the Abbotsford Centre after about an hour. Batchelor drove separately to the arena. 

“I'm going to find Batch, drop you off with him and go find a place to park,” Arsenault told me.

“No problem!” 

I couldn't wait to get inside and to the seats. Just as I was about to enter the line to scan my tickets, I heard someone call my name.

“Hey Dickson!”

 I turned my head, and it was Parker Schmidt and his kids. 

“Hey! Hey!” I said. “What timing!”

I knew that they were going to be at the show, but it was just crazy timing that we all arrived at the same time. 

It was so awesome to see the kids decked out in WWE gear. It was absolutely the cutest thing.

Dawson, the youngest of the two boys, had his John Cena wristbands and everything. 

Seeing that never fails to bring a smile to my face. 

“Hiiiiii!” Dawson said. 

“Hi buddy!” I said. “You excited for the show?”


I turned to his older brother, Connor.

“Hey Connor!” I said in excitement. “How you doing? You excited for the show too?”

He nodded. 

I love those guys. 

When I did finally get in, there was something that caught Batchelor's eye.

“Hey, look!” he tapped me on the shoulder and said: “They’re selling AJ Styles shirts. You want one?”

“What!?” I said in shock. “The last time I checked on, it said they were still on pre-order!”

“Look!” he said, pointing at the merchandise stand.  “They're right there! You want one?” 

“Yeah! You getting one too?” 

“I'm trying to decide.” 

He ended up getting in line and buying one for himself, too.

“I'll get it for you,” Batchelor said. 

“OK. Let me know how much.” 

“No,” he insisted. “Don't worry about it. I've got you.”

With that all done, finally we went to our seats and waited for the show to begin.

I really thought going into the show that seeing Styles wrestle was going to be the best part.

Sheldon Arsenault, Brendan Batchelor, and Liong

Sheldon Arsenault, Brendan Batchelor, and Liong

He went against The Miz and was magnificent, but there was also something else that got both Batchelor and me out of our seats. 

Jojo Offerman, the ring announcer, announced that a tag-team match was about to begin. Unexpectedly, Enzo Amore and Colin Cassidy's theme song hit.

“YEAAAAAAAAAAH!!!” I screamed. 

“They're here!” Batchelor yelled.

“Who are these guys?” Arsenault asked. “Are they from NXT?” 


Arsenault is a casual watcher of the product. He doesn't follow it as much as Batchelor and I do. 

For those who don't know, NXT is WWE's developmental program based out of Orlando, Fla. 

Amore and Cassidy, along with Carmella, who is their valet, combine to form one of the top tag teams in that program. 

With them doing non-televised shows, does that mean they're going to get called up to the main roster in the near future? I think so.

They're so good on the microphone. They always have the crowd in the palm of their hands.

That was, at least for me, the highlight of the show. 

Even though I wasn't as loud for the remainder of the event, it was awesome to spend time with Batchelor and Arsenault away from the rink.

By the end of it all, I was pretty tired. I just wanted to head home.

“What are you doing now?” I asked Batchelor. 

“I think I'm just going to go home and get ready for the game tomorrow,” he said. 

“Yeah, I think I'm going to do the same.”

Arsenault was the quietest of the three of us during the show. 

“Hey, man,” I said on the ride back. “You were pretty quiet in there. You OK?”

“Yeah,” he said with a chuckle. “I had fun watching you and Batch go crazy. Batch really gets into it. You were nuts, too. 

Did he really expect anything less? Of course I was. 

And I'm damn proud of it.