World Wrestling Entertainment is returning to Dallas-Fort Worth.
WWE will be in Arlington on Friday night for "WWE Live" at UTA's College Park Center. I recently spoke with Dean Amrbose, one half of the Raw tag team champions, about the upcoming event:
What's different about performing a mid-week 'WWE Live' show as opposed to an episode of Raw or Smackdown on TV?
Ambrose: I live for the house shows. It's more of an intimate experience because every one is a little bit different. It's only going to happen that one time in the arena for that audience.
The live events are what I dreamed of when I wanted to be a wrestler as a kid. There's a lot less restrictions, time constraints, commercials. There's no somebody standing out there with a microphone, talking for 20 minutes, driving you crazy. There's no commercial breaks. There's no ads popping up on the screen. It's just, straight up, a night of pro wrestling - WWE style. ... The live events are my personal favorite type of show we have. It's not something you want to miss.
The show at College Park is just a few miles away from the site of WrestleMania 32 (AT&T Stadium). What do you remember about that event?
Ambrose: It was really wild, man. The best way I can describe WrestleMania is just 'surreal.'
I remember pulling up to that stadium, in particular, seeing the 200-foot picture of my face plastered on there - my brain can't even process that it was so weird. And when you walk out in front of 100,000 people, your brain can't comprehend that big of an audience - at least mine can't.
It doesn't really feel any different once you're in the ring. Once you're in the ring, it's like you're in the eye of the storm. There's nothing really outside of the first couple of rows of people you can see. But the sound is different because there's 100,000 people there, it's like this giant, vacuumous, weird sound. It's very strange.
You build up to it all year, and then it's over so quick. It's very surreal. I've wrestled in front of as little as like ten people or less when I first started ... and that's a lot more awkward than wrestling in front of 100,000 people.
You've rejoined former Shield partner Seth Rollins in this current title run, what has it been like being back together?
Ambrose: We're having a lot of fun, I've got to tell you, the last two PPVs - "No Mercy' and 'SummerSlam' - been very, very happy with the matches we've had with Cesaro and Sheamus, who are also a great team. Probably underrated. They're No. 2 to us, of course, but we've been having some great matches.
The thing about me and Seth Rollins, we take our reputation as former partners in The Shied - we have a certain standard when it comes to tag team wrestling. Our thing was the second you put us together, we instantly become the best tag team in the world and we have to live up to that every single night. That's how we got our start. That's how we got to where we are just by having kick-ass matches every night.
Any tag teams in WWE you're wanting to go head-to-head with?
Ambrose: I really appreciate the experience of getting to work with Cesaro and Sheamus. They're just a great team. But also, I really have enjoyed the time we've got to be in the ring with [Karl] Anderson and [Luke] Gallows, The Club. I think this is going to be a good year for them. I think they're really going to start catching on with the audience, come into their own as a team. They're an excellent couple of wrestlers ... Karl Anderson is a guy I've known since I was probably 18, and I think the first time I wrestled him was here in WWE. Really enjoyed it. I hope we get to have more matches with The Club.
On his 'No Mercy' match which saw two of Cesaro's front teeth pushed '3 to 4 mm' into his upper jaw after an in-ring maneuver...
Ambrose: I didn't know that his teeth were busted out until after the match. I saw his face after the match backstage. I thought he just bit his lip or had a little, tiny cut, a little bit of blood ... The thing is, we're so safety conscious, and in WWE they really go out of their way to protect us as athletes. If they think we're hurt, they're going to try to stop the match no matter how much we're telling them we want to continue. ... But thankfully, the referee got it under control, got the blood stopped, and then you just keep going.
Cesaro, I know, would have never for one second want to stop the match and go get his teeth fixed because we're just wired differently as athletes. Compared to like NFL, NBA players and so forth, those guys are pansies, sorry, we do this 365 days a year. We voluntarily beat each other up for a living. Nobody does the schedule that we do on the pace that we do. We're just machines, professional wrestlers as a whole. Just another day at the office.
On wrestling somebody like 6'8", 385-pound (listed) Braun Strowman...
Ambrose: If you've ever been a little kid at the zoo, and they let you ride the elephant...what's the biggest thing you can think of that you would climb up on when you're a little kid? It's like that. You're literally a child when you're in there, it's foolish, he just picks me up like I'm Jiminy Cricket and I can't do anything about it.
That's the fun thing about WWE, we've got all shapes and sizes. To think I can get in there with smaller, athletic guys and try to keep up, but then sometimes you've got to get in there with big dinosaurs. I feel like, more often than not, I'm in there with big dinosaurs - the story of my life. Just walking around, all 6'2" of me, and just walking around all these giant behemoths, pretty much just trying not to get stepped on. It's like I'm living in Jurassic Park.