“Don’t let him in here!”
September 28th, 1998. Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan. A taping of the popular wrestling program Monday Night Raw. Head of the WWE/WWF, Vince McMahon had just screwed fan-favorite Stone Cold Steve Austin out of the title. In a super unbalanced match, he was pinned by both the Undertaker and Kane and lost his belt. Now, McMahon was having a ceremony to announce which of the men would be the new champion, but Stone Cold had other plans.
The event was taking place at the Joe, the home of the Detroit Red Wings, so it was only fitting that Stone Cold would ‘borrow’ the arena’s zamboni. For those who are hockey illiterate, a zamboni is a large vehicle that resurfaces the ice in between periods. That tough S.O.B., Austin drives the zamboni straight to the ring. McMahon must have known something was going to happen because security was fierce. I’m talking uniformed Detroit Police Officers everywhere. Please enjoy this amazing slice of history. If your boss is lurking, then skip ahead to around minute 5 when things really get cooking. But if you have the time, please watch the set up. Wrestling is only good when you understand the story with the matches.
This is just the best. It’s so comic but amazing. Where else could you find this kind of entertainment? Driving the zamboni into battle is like a little kid playing with their toys and making a Batman figure ride a T-Rex. It doesn’t make sense but it’s perfect. The best part is that Stone Cold uses the body of the zamboni as a runway and dives over the security and right onto Vince McMahon. It’s beautiful theater.
Taking a step back, we see a war of class. Vince parades in the ring with red carpet and the gold belt. Surrounded by his paid help. Then we have the aggressive symbol of the working class. A literal truck-load of blue collar appeal sitting atop the maintenance rig of the stadium. He might as well have used a mop to clean house. When people talk shit about wrestling you can bring this up to explain to their narrow brains that the spectacle tells a full narrative and that the fighting is just part of it. And, like any good party in Detroit, someone ends up in handcuffs. But this one was totally worth it. Cheers.
Man, I don’t know why, but I could really go for some Coors Light right now. Just like a quick 6 or 12 pack. Maybe 18. Are you going to have some? Fuck it, let’s get a case. Oh, hell-yeah!