Monday, April 17, 2017

WWE's history at the Show Me Center

Cheryl Roberts vs. Rick Rude (Show Me Center)
Courtesy: WWE

Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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Easter Sunday 2017 WWE returned to the Show Me Center. Because of my work schedule, I was not able to make the hour-long drive to Cape Girardeau to see Randy Orton retain the WWE World Championship against AJ Styles and Bray Wyatt. But by attending Southeast Missouri State University, I attended several WWE house shows in the early and mid-1990s.

My first WWE show at the Show Me Center
December 1991
My first show I watched Roddy Piper battle Ric Flair. I've seen Bret Hart defend the WWE Championship against Papa Shango and Randy Savage face Razor Ramon. I witnessed Shawn Michaels retain against Mankind, Sid battle Goldust and an up and coming Steve Austin in the curtain jerker against "The Stalker" Barry Windham. More recently my son and I watched the likes of John Cena, Triple H and The Big Show do their thing in southeast Missouri. I even met and interviewed The Miz at the SMC prior to a live event in 2010.

Cheryl and Rude
Courtesy: WWE
However, one of the most memorable storylines from the late 80s was actually recorded in Cape Girardeau. It wasn't until I moved to southern Illinois and talked with some friends who were there that I realized the incident happened here. It was 1988 and in the post-WrestleMania IV era of wrestling.

Cheryl says "no"
Courtesy: WWE
"Ravishing" Rick Rude had just beaten an enhancement talent and a beautiful woman in the crowd caught his eye. He wanted her to accept his "Rude Awakening" which involved a kiss in the middle of the ring. The woman objected, which had never happened before. When pressed as to why she explained her husband was a WWF Superstar. Rude balked and grabbed the woman by the wrist. That's when Jake "The Snake" Roberts sprang into action and protected the honor of his wife.

This lead to a great feud between Rude and Roberts. Cheryl Roberts became the centerpiece for the battle and gave Rude a snap to the face a time or two during the war. I find it very cool that this all happened in a small town (comparatively) speaking like Cape Girardeau. I never knew WWE did TV tapings at the Show Me Center. That building holds an iconic part of wrestling history.


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