As the 9/11 memorials and tributes roll along this weekend, the sports channels will undoubtedly discuss the way the NFL and the World Series were used to restore normalcy and pride to the country. However, the first major public gathering in the company came just two days after the tragedy came when the WWE held a live airing of its Smackdown! show. Because it’s wrestling, it won’t get credited as a major event, but as a teenager watching the event I was moved tremendously. The show opened with a stirring National Anthem and featured stars like Kurt Angle and The Rock offering in-ring tributes while other wrestlers poured their hearts out in real, out of character moments, should stand as a gripping display of the first raw reactions to the 9/11 attacks.
Dave Lagana, blogger and former WWE writer, just put up a Podcast featuring writers and wrestlers – including JBL and Paul Heyman – that were part of the WWE during the planning and execution of the show. They offer their experiences and the process behind the decision to have the event so close to 9/11. Even if you’re not a wrestling fan, this is a definite quality listen.