Denigrating the city in which an event is being held is one of the oldest and most reliable ways for a pro wrestler to get heat. It’s probably pretty cheap, honestly, but who cares. It’s easy to rip on a city’s sports teams, but there’s a reason wrestlers still do it: It generally works.
Last night on WWE Raw, Elias and Kevin Owens came out for what was supposed to be a promo hyping their match Saturday at WWE Super Show-Down, an Australian PPV airing this Saturday at the convenient time of 4 a.m. Eastern.
They’re facing John Cena and Bobby Lashley. Elias said the pairing of their opponents was weird, “like having a basketball team in Seattle.”
It was a good choice of words. Seattle is famously still angry about the SuperSonics moving to Oklahoma City—and for good reason. The team’s departure was a disaster. Chris Cornell ranted about it. So has Eddie Vedder. There’s even a documentary about it called Sonicsgate.
Elias hit a nerve. The crowed booed, loudly. He doubled down: “Now, Oklahoma City! I get that.” They booed more. Elias and Owens continued to attempt to scream their lines over the crowd’s jeering, which continued even as they made fun of John Cena.
“John Cena ruins things all the time, just like the people of Seattle ruin everything all the time, too,” Owens said. “That’s why their basketball team left!” WWE turned the crowd lights up a bit so you could see the fans’ anger. All in all, a pretty fun segment.