Words by Mickey Lavender
Last Saturday, Emilio and I attended the Ring Of Honor wrestling event in NYC. Sparks was expecting the highest quality of wrestling but what he got was so much more. Thanks to AC and former TNA Superstar Sonjay Dutt, Emilio got to go backstage and hang out with the wrestlers.
Behind the curtain, the same guys who feud and give eachother hell in the ring, sat together, told jokes, and were “boys.” Roderick Strong, The Dark City Fight Club, Kevin Steen, El Generico, Claudio Castagnoli, Kenny Omega, The Briscoes and others were backstage mingling. Bret Hart and Jim Cornette made brief appearances as well. The Broke Celebrity didn’t show his markdom too much and kept it cool. He spoke to the guys of the locker room like regular people, and they seemed to appreciate it. It’s no doubt that the wrestlers appreciate their fans, but at shows, it’s probably not that common for them to talk to a fan about things other than wrestling. They’re people with different interests just like any of us.
For most of the night, Emilio talked hip hop with Chris Hero. Hero is an avid fan of the genre. The former co-trainer of the Chikara Wrestle Factory praised Jay-Z’s Blue Print 3, ODB’s first record, and Kanye West. He also stated “Sound Off is the perfect introduction for Slaughterhouse.” He knows his stuff. During his tag teaming days with Claudio Castagnoli, their double team finisher was known as the KRS-1, after the legendary MC. The big topic of conversation between him and Emilio was his new hip hop entrance theme. He urged Sparks to listen to it carefully when his match was up. After his brutal bout with Eddie Kingston, which left him bloodied, Hero’s first words after the match were directed towards Emilio, bloody face and all. “Did you hear the song? What did you think?.”
It just so happened that Tiesto was DJing six floors below the event. The bass was audible throughout the night. Hero, Eddie Kingston, and Korey Chavis joked about the situation. “It’d be so funny if Tiesto dropped the beat right on this Cornette promo,” said Hero. Kingston responded. “And then Cornette would start rhyming to it!”
What happened backstage wasn’t the only memorable part of the night. The action that took place inside of the squared circle was definitely something to remember. After suffering a broken elbow the night before, Eddie Edwards still defended his Tag Team championship alongside Davey Richards against Steen and Generico in a brutal ladder match. Even with a cast, his performance was impressive. While he portrays a heel, the audience couldn’t help but cheer for him because of his dedication to the sport. He gave his all. All four men gave their all. Steen and Generico performed death defying spots, and somehow were able to walk post match. Other solid matches included Austin Aries defending the ROH Word Title to Petey Williams, The Briscoes vs The Young Bucks and most importantly, the main event, Bryan Danielson vs Nigel Mcguinness in their last ever match for the company before leaving for WWE. They went hold for hold and after over thirty minutes, Danielson was the victor. Post match, Mcguinness and Danielson thanked the fans, their fellow wrestlers, and ROH. Emilio Sparks couldn’t get enough. Before Saturday, he was a casual fan, but after the event, he became a die-hard, as well as a friend of the locker room. It seemed that the wrestlers looked up to him as much as he looked up to them.
“Besides meeting my girlfriend, it was the happiest day of my life.”-Emilio Sparks 9/30/2009. What a mark.
Emilio and ROH are the truth
Emilio Sparks, AC, Mickey Lavender, Bret Hart, Jay Briscoe, Homicide, Chris Hero, Sonjay Dutt.
For information on ROH, please visit www.rohwrestling.com
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