Thursday, October 27, 2016

The night I stalked WWE Superstars

Searching for Superstars (circa 1996)
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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I've been a wrestling fan for more than 30 years. Twenty years ago this week I was back in my college town of Cape Girardeau, Missouri for Homecoming weekend festivities. I also had tickets for the WWF house show the next day at the Show Me Center. Back then, none of my friends were wrestling fans, so I was dragging my fiance (now wife) to the show.

But the night before we were all hanging out at the Outback Steakhouse in town having dinner before the Homecoming social was set to begin. A couple of my fraternity brothers walked into the restaurant and asked me if I knew about the WWF semi parked in the hotel parking lot next door. I had no idea but instantly became interested. We hadn't been seated yet and I looked Lisa who simply nodded and said go.

Goldust at the Show Me Center (1996)
Remember this was 1996 so there were no smartphones or social media. I did have a regular old camera loaded with film in my pocket. I quickly entered the hotel lobby and headed for the elevator. I was dressed in a shirt and tie so I figured I didn't look like a crazed wrestling fan. The hotel only had three or four floors, so I started at the top, walking down the halls hoping to run into a Superstar or two. Shawn Michaels, Hunter Hearst Helmsley, Mankind, Goldust, Sid, Owen Hart and the British Bulldog were all scheduled to wrestle so I really didn't want to miss a chance to meet one of them.

Shawn Michaels wins (1996)
I walked the halls of each floor with hope fading. I never did run into any Superstars or even anyone who resembled a WWF employee. Little did I know the wrestlers were still in St. Louis for a show up there before making the two-hour drive to Cape Girardeau. I did get my picture taken in front of that semi and I thought it would be the closest I'd ever get to such a thing. But if you read this blog you know in the 20 years that have passed I've enjoyed some amazing opportunities. Here's to another 20 years of wrestling fandom and hopefully no more stalking.

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