Cleveland Indians at Raw
CLEVELAND -- Rain poured on the crowd of WWE and Indians fans who gathered tonight at Gateway Plaza -- an enclosed area between Jacobs Field and the Quicken Loans Arena, home of tonight's Raw. The weather was gloomy, but the excitement of the Indians fans couldn't be waterlogged. "Rally Monday" was a way for Tribe fans to celebrate the first post-season appearance by the Indians since 2001. (WATCH)
"I've never been to the playoffs," said Travis Hafner, the Indians designated hitter and a big WWE fan. "Jerry ‘The King' Lawler and Jim Ross showed up to get the crowd going a little bit,"said the slugger. "But a lot of people showed up for us, and that shows just how excited this city is about their team."
At the rally, Lawler took the microphone and made sure the crowd knew he was an avid Indians fan. "Even if Monday Night Raw wasn't right next door, I'd still be here to support the Indians," he said in his Indians attire.
In what proved to be a busy day for the two Raw announcers, Lawler and J.R. dropped by local sports-talk show All Bets are Off and talked Indians baseball with host Bruce Drennen.
"It was special night to have Travis Hafner, a big buddy of mine, and good ol' J.R. out here to support the Tribe," said Lawler. "I'm from Memphis, Tenn., but when I was seven my family moved to the outskirts of Cleveland to a town called Amherst, Ohio. We lived there for seven years and I saw my first Major League Baseball game at Cleveland Stadium. I've remained a Cleveland sports fan my entire life."
Between breaks in the live music, chants for "The King" and J.R. could clearly be heard among the loud pelts of the raindrops. One fan screamed, "Hey, J.R., ‘King'… look over here! Oh, hey, there's Travis Hafner, too. ‘King,' please sign my shirt."
Lawler obliged, signing autographs and shaking hands. J.R., sporting a white Indians jersey, said he wasn't surprised by the number of people who showed up in the rain.
"The Cleveland fans are great sports fans," noted J.R. "They had a big weekend here in Ohio: a nice win for the Browns on Sunday, getting ready for the Yankees on Thursday, Monday Night Raw tonight… so they're properly motivated. But I'm not surprised; they're usually one of our best audiences."