Show Me Center gets 'Raw' tonight

Friday, August 24, 2012
From left, wrestlers CM Punk, John Cena and Big Show will perform today at the Show Me Center. (Submitted image)

The Show Me Center will pin entertainment to the mat tonight as it once again plays host to some of professional wrestling's superstars.

WWE Raw World Tour offers wrestling fans several treats, the first being a steel cage match between John Cena and Big Show. The two went at it in an earlier steel cage match this year, with Cena winning during "No Way Out" in June. There is also a "Triple Threat Extreme Rules" championship match, featuring CM Punk versus Cena versus Big Show. Show Me Center marketing director Josh Hanlon said wrestling has always been one of the venue's more poplar events.

"We like bringing in the WWE on an annual basis because there is quite a bit of interest in our community for this particular type of event," Hanlon said. "Tickets are selling well, and we expect a very nice crowd. Wrestling crowds have always stacked up well, even against the concerts we have."

Local comedian and amateur wrestler Louie Benson said this is a major event for area fans.

"WWE only typically puts on a show like this once every few years. These are people who are seen by millions of people on national television weekly, and a company that has been seen by millions over the last 25 years," said Benson, who has followed professional wrestling for more than 15 years. "Any time you get to see something of that magnitude in person, it's great."

Other wrestlers scheduled to appear are Rey Mysterio, The Miz, Kofi Kingston, Santino Marella, R-Truth, Zack Ryder and the WWE Divas.

The WWE Raw World Tour matches precede the Royal Rumble, a 30-man, every-man-for-himself battle that will be on Pay-Per-View on Jan. 27. Tonight's match showcases stars like The Miz and John Cena, who will be getting in some of their last ring time before the rumble. Benson said wrestling events like Raw bring something different to the town's entertainment lineup.

"I always equate wrestling to an interactive play. If you go to a play and you don't like a character, there is nothing you can do about it but whisper to your friend that you hate them," Benson said. "In wrestling, if you hate somebody, you are able to stand up and yell 'you suck' right in their face, and they will yell right back at you. Entire crowds of people chant together. Interaction is a big part of the entertainment side of live matches."

Hanlon said fans are getting excited to see a different brand of wrestling come to the Show Me Center.

"Last year we brought in WWE Smackdown, so it is a nice change of pace for fans to bring in Raw this year," Hanlon said. "This gives wrestling fans a chance to see both sides of the WWE superstar groups."

Show Me Center doors will open for WWE Raw World Tour fans at 6:30 p.m. today, with wrestling action beginning at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $15 to $95, and are still available. For tickets or more information, contact the Show Me Center Box office at 651-5000 or visit showmecenter.biz.

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