Of course, I knew what happened, but there's a world of difference for me between the digitals and short clips on WWE.com and actually seeing the whole thing on my big screen TV.
That promo? Holy hells, I had goosebumps. You know, somewhere, I still have the vinyl album of Kate Bush's The Kick Inside. And a couple of her vinyl singles, including Running up that hill. Kate Bush is legendary, in my books.
Combining her song, and Placebo's done a damn fine job of covering it, with the history between 'Taker and HBK over the last year? Man, that was a masterstroke.
And then, of course, HBK and 'Taker face to face.
But before we get to that, how about 'Taker's entrance, huh?
Man comes out the night before at the Pay Per View and walks into a fucking fireball. A propane fireball. One that burns him pretty bad. And yet he goes right on with a match.
So he's a tough sonofabitch. Sure, adrenaline probably had a lot to do with that - and I'll bet you money that he worked himself up pretty good in that pod to keep the adrenaline flowing. Cos when he exploded out of it? Man, he was wild!! (And hella sexy, but you all knew I was gonna say that anyway!)
However, this is now 24 hours later. All that adrenaline's long since gone. And he's got some nasty burns, and they hurt like a muthafucka - I speak from experience, having had some bad-ass sunburns of my own that probably went around second degree, and one third degree scald that was something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.
Plus, even though it pains me to admit it, particularly as I refuse to believe how damned old I'm getting, he's not a kid any more. All that adrenaline helped him put on a hell of a performance, but I'm betting he had some stiff and sore muscles the next morning. He wasn't moving all that well coming to the ring on RAW.
But again, I'm ahead of myself - he's coming out on RAW . . . and they're using the fireball rig for his entrance again.
And he goes out there, and he doesn't even flinch. He had to have been . . . well, I won't say "scared" but how about "concerned"? Sure, I bet he read the riot act, and I'm damn sure the crew spent the night making sure whatever went wrong wouldn't go wrong again, but the first time you go to get back on the horse that bucked you is always a little scary.
He stood right at that spot where he got burned . . . and he paused. Almost like he was daring it to happen again. That man's got balls of steel.
So yeah, moving a bit slowly, a bit painfully, and then he's there, face to face with Shawn.
And my heart hurt a little bit, seeing where he'd got burned on his beautiful face and then he accepted the challenge and I wanted to cry.
I can see where they're going and I don't want it. I don't want The Streak to end, and I don't want HBK to retire on a loss. And hell, I don't even think either of them want it either. Did you catch that moment, right before 'Taker tells Shawn he has to put up his career? Where he ran this thumb under his eye?
I've never seen 'Taker do anything like that before. I know his eyes were awful red - probably from, oh I dunno, the flash fire he'd been in the night before. Maybe they were watering a bit and he knew he'd be in close up and didn't want that seen.
But it just added pathos, even if it were unintentional.
Just please, please, please don't let Creative fuck this up.