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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  2. Do you recall when The Ultimate Warrior battled The Undertaker? It was when the latter had just started in the WWF. I was there and watched it. I'm debating someone online who I'd disagreeing that I saw THE Warrior run down and pin Taker very quickly and then run out. I remember it well and the feeling of excitement and disappointment because of how quick the match was.

  3. The WWF did TV tapings for Superstars of Wrestling in 1988 and Wrestling Challenge in 1990 at the Show-Me Center. They did three episodes apiece and they taped all the episodes on the same day.