Jerry “Jerrdog” Love III can't wait for the WWE Smackdown this Tuesday at Memorial Coliseum.
A big professional wrestling fan, Love already has his tickets for the match. But what makes this match extra special is he will take his 5-year-old son, Jerry IV, to his first WWE event.
“He really likes it,” Love, the public address announcer for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants professional basketball team, said of watching WWE on television.
Love, who live in Berne, expects his son and area WWE fans will see some great matches Tuesday.
A portion of the evening will be recorded for broadcast as the “WWE Smackdown” TV show aired at 8 p.m. March 15 on the SyFy Channel, Love said.
“If they are bringing the television cameras, you are going to see something good,” he said.
WWE stars tentatively scheduled to wrestle here include Alberto Del Rio, the current world heavyweight champ, and Chris Jericho, one of the longtime big names in WWE, Love said.
The WWE website ( www.wwe.com) says Jack Swagger, Big Show, Randy Orton, Sheamus, Sin Cara and more will join in the action.
Love also looks forward to seeing three up-and-coming performers scheduled to wrestle — Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins, known collectively as The Shield. The three came up about six months ago from the WWE's developmental level, Love said.
He's also interested to see how Swagger reacts — and how the crowd reacts to him.
Swagger's WWE persona has been steered toward that of an ultraconservative, Tea Party-type, Love said. His manager also seems to relish antagonizing fans.
“They just get booed nonstop,” Love said.
Swagger, however, was just arrested for driving under the influence, and police found a very small amount of marijuana in his car, Love said.
The wrestling starts at 7 p.m., and the TV cameras probably will start taping about 7:45 p.m., Love said. Matches usually continue after the TV show taping ends, so he expects the event to end about 10:30 p.m.
“I like the before-show matches because they are trying to impress whoever they need to impress to get on the big shows,” he said.
Fans likely also will have some opportunities to see WWE stars, Love said.
Several of them usually make public appearances near the venue where a match takes place, he said.
In addition, the wrestlers usually travel in buses that will be parked behind the coliseum on its Parnell Avenue side, he said. When they performed here in June for a “WWE Raw Supershow” TV taping, some fans waited behind crowd barricades and obtained a few wrestlers' autographs as the stars made their way into the coliseum.
“When it's a good crowd, a hot crowd, the superstars are more likely to stop and say thank you,” he said.
Fort Wayne fans impressed wrestlers and WWE officials at the Raw event, Love said. The coliseum arena sold out, and the crowd really got into the action.
Love and his son won't be rooting for any particular wrestlers Tuesday night.
“He's kind of like me. He likes them all,” Love said. “Good guys, bad guys, I like them all.”
But he does have one wish:
“I am hoping we are close enough so he can see how big these guys are.”