Superstars prepare for European treatment
WWE fans in Florence and Perugia, Italy welcomed the Superstars and Divas on Saturday as they embarked on a tour of Europe that covers two weeks. Between the Raw tour and the SmackDown & ECW tour, WWE is visiting cities in Italy, Germany, England, Austria, Wales and France.
"Everywhere I go, everybody loves Johnny Nitro," said the Hollywood A-lister. "Italy is great because those people are ignorant. They can't speak English, the greatest language of all. They have these great sunglasses, though. They're ugly people, but they pay money to see us and I'm looking forward to getting paid."
Kenny Dykstra is also happy to grace Europe with his presence.
"I'm like a god in Germany," he said. "People love me."
While Nitro and Dykstra planned on bringing a taste of stardom to WWE fans overseas, other Superstars were anxious to hear from their supporters.
"The WWE fans [in Europe] are so enthusiastic," said Matt Hardy. "Whenever you wrestle overseas, there are huge WWE fans. It's nice to wrestle in front of those people because they're so fresh, so excited to see us."
Hardy stuck with his brother for the Raw shows as they competed in tag team action.
"Probably the most exciting thing is that it's going to be the first time Jeff and I have been overseas teaming since he's been back," he said. "Jeff and I are doing tag team matches, defending our newly won World Tag Team Championships."
Shad also hoped to steal some tag team attention and take back a bit of culture with him.
"Italy is one of the best places in the world to go," he said. "Especially in Europe, [the WWE fans] are really good fans. They react to whatever we do in the ring and we always really appreciate that. They respect what we do and we respect them for being there for us and being WWE fans."
This trip marks the first time Mickie James has been to many of the shows' venues. Like Shad, she was most excited for the WWE fans.
"The WWE fans over there are always awesome," she said. "They never get to see us. So when they get the chance, they always go crazy."
After four nights in Italy, Raw Superstars travel to four cities in Germany and then a night in London. SmackDown and ECW Superstars will entertain Italian WWE fans with six shows, followed by visits to Austria, Wales, Birmingham and Paris. The Raw show in Milan and the SmackDown and ECW shows in Rome make up the first instances WWE has ever broadcasted from Italy.
"As a historian, all of these places have great interest to me because I am aware of the things that have happened throughout history in these places," said Matt Striker. "Of course, I speak conversational Italian. Whenever we go to the great Italian cities, I can navigate the treacherous and make it seem effortless."
The extreme educator also looked forward to the trip because of his affinity for European football and for the opportunity to become reacquainted with his Austrian heritage. Montel Vontavious Porter, on the other hand, anticipates familiarizing himself with the people.
"I'm a sucker for a good looking chick with a British accent," the highly paid Superstar said. "Women in Italy are hot. In my life, I've done virtually everything I've wanted to do except capture championship gold. I've got money, I've got cars and I love women. So every chance I get to go to another country to experience other women is something I look forward to."
Kristal was excited to see the men and women alike in Italy's cities.
"Italian WWE fans are crazy," she said. "They really express their passion over there."
Whether the Superstars were eager for the sights, for their heritage, for the WWE fans or for all of the above, they were all revved up for the experience.
"The world is a large, large place and most people say the world isn't big enough for [two people]," Striker said. "When we go to Europe, the world is simply big enough for all of us to get along. That's my special message from me… Matt Striker… your teacher."