Ever since I became a fan of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) back in late 2007, I learned about the magic that is WrestleMania. 103 months later, I got to attend my first WrestleMania.
How I got to WrestleMania:
Once i knew that WM32 was going to be in my home state back in 2015, I knew that 2016 was going to be the year I finally get to attend an event that has been on my bucket list since middle school. It’s really funny, because apparently my Mother got me into wrestling back in 2001, and took me to my first event when they came through Huntsville; of course I was a tiny child, so the only thing I recall is Kane’s entrance from the top of the SHSU stadium. That’s fine. But last week, I knew I was getting to go to WrestleMania at age 22, and I was darn sure I was going to remember everything.
My Mom got me tickets on pre-sale for WrestleMania back in November, and she had to have my help over the phone. I was living in Oklahoma City at the time, and it was amusing to see her surprise me, and then it not work in her favor. We got two tickets way up top because I didn’t care where I was, and I knew that a lucky family member would be with me.
Fast forward to February, where we were in the beginning throws of Mania season.Roman Reigns lost his championship in the Royal Rumble, and Fastlane was looming. Literally-looming. I was excited for Fastlane at first because I hoped that maybe the company would change what they were trying to do, but no. They were stead fast in there tracks, and proved everyone wrong. The trend continues…
I surprised my Mom, who wasn’t sure she could attend WrestleMania; she’s a special education teacher. I warned her about the amount of lights and pyro used at previous events, thus how “everything is bigger in Texas” and how it’ll be hard for her to sit all those hours at the event itself without having to leave early, take lots of medicine, or to close her eyes the entire time.
What did I do? I bought tickets for the WWE Hall of Fame, and two events for WWE’s WrestleMania Axxess. I bought two tickets each, so I could take my Mother to the Hall of Fame and to a Axxess event. What about the other events? I have my sister, who is a stage manager in high school, and she joined me for the second Axxess session and for the WrestleMania event itself.
We had everything ready to go, and I was so excited that I did not feel like I had everything ready nor prepared. I tried looking for articles and videos on what to expect at Axxess events. And that’s what I’ve got here too; resource for those who want to know what its like to go to the biggest wrestling weekend for casual fans, or even (like myself) the wrestling geeks.
NXT TAKEOVER: DALLAS is here…
My Mother, sister, and I left for Dallas during the live NXT Takeover: Dallas event. We drove from Huntsville, Texas. It was about a three hour drive to Eueles, where our hotel was. We embarked on a fun trip, and I got to watch NXT Takeover in the passenger seat via the WWE Network. That was a fantastic show with a indie appeal. That’s what draws wrestling fans to NXT.
We got to our hotel around one A.M.;I tend to be the one who wants to plan everything. But I was able to relax that weekend. How-I have no clue. When I had returned from my weekend adventure, my family asked if I could be that relaxed at other events again.
Good question. Let’s move on.
Saturday Sweet Sunshine
With all of us being slow to wake up, seven A.M. was rough. My Mother and I left for the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center at 8, and in line at 9 A.M. Axxess is fun, and if you don’t mind waiting in line, its always worth meeting the stars. Also, when you shop at the WWE Superstore, they have WWE reusable bags. I almost geeked out, because I am all about going green, recycling, and reusable bags!
Please understand that I totally wasn’t prepared to meet any WWE superstar. I was shocked that I decided to get in line to meet R-Truth on Saturday morning. The lights in the Elimination Chamber bothered her, and that’s why she did not get a picture with R-Truth. NOTE: Because we took the picture of me & R-Truth on my Mom’s older iPhone, it won’t upload on here. That’s fine.
I enjoyed all the memorabilia, just like my Mother. She grew up during the independent circuit and attitude era days of wrestling. She and I talked about the business during our trip back to the hotel. We spent three hours at Axxess, and we had a blast.
I don’t have a lot of energy, due to medical problems. I wanted to go to WrestleCon too. But I knew that I needed to take a nap before going to the WWE Hall of Fame. Which, I did. I hadn’t realized how excited I was about going to my first Axxess even that I wore myself out. Nonetheless, it was time to watch Stan Hanson, Jacqueline, and Snoop Dogg to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
The Hall of Fame went over the allotted time on the WWE Network, and so did WrestleMania. With the content being on the WWE Network, its up to the Network to decide how long they want the content to run. Its fine, by me.Fans should know by now that WrestleMania is expected to run over, and the same goes for the Hall of Fame. I enjoyed the Hall of Fame, and my Mother got so many laughs in herself. She couldn’t believe that all of these superstars were actually saying certain things live. Once again, WWE is known to cut things out once it its retired. It happens. Me and my Mother were happy to be there live. The real question was is Sting really retiring? I say yes. He has had his run , and I appreciate everything he has done for the business.
Afterwards, I met with wrestling fans and friends and stayed up till 2 am. Thank goodness I took that nap.
APRIL 3, 2016: I HAVE ARRIVED
There was this buzz at the morning WrestleMania Axxess I went to, right before leaving for Dallas Cowboys Stadium. I had my WrestleMania 32 shirt on. As a gift to a friend of mine who got married before, I gave her the second shirt I bought as a wedding gift/Fan gift. She geeked out. We went to college together. I took my sister to Axxess, and she had fun looking at all the memorabilia items (like the ladders), but mainly she wanted to listen to “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan in the NXT ring.
Around 11:30 we left to get lunch at the In-N-Out Burger restaurant on the way out. Now my sister, she grew up with me playing what WWE/WWF DVDS I had and watching the Attitude Era and the early 2000s. She hasn’t followed up on wrestling since 2012, so she of the superstars she knows are now pushed aside, retired, injured, etc. Or, like Triple H, the champion. That was fun to explain…
We headed to go park. I had bought us a parking spot, that cost sixty American dollars. I think next time I will take a shuttle bus. I waited in line for twenty minutes for parking to open; showed up at 12:57 P.M. That wouldn’t be the first time anyone would spend time waiting that day.
I took my sister to go visit the New Age Insiders, which is a wrestling podcast based in Boston, Massachusetts. I had only started listening to them the week before, and the crew members there had been doing social media coverage of WrestleMania weekend that even I enjoyed watching, even with being in the city as well. They did a live pre-WrestleMania show, and a Connor’s Cure fundraiser to fight Pediatric Cancer. I listened and got to meet Lee Morgan, who also works at Hot Topic in Massachusetts. Me and my sister enjoy podcasts for this reason. When they are for the fans, and not just for profit- it makes you feel a part of the show (the podcast and Lee Morgan also answered many WrestleMania questions for my sister).
Update: I now have a DDT Wrestling profile as well! I plan on writing Wrestling articles for the DDT Wrestling Podcast, who work hand-in-hand with the New Age Insiders. Both podcasts can be found on iTunes. 😀
SOOOOOO-The Fun part. Waiting.
The time the gates to get into the stadium were supposed to open was 3:30 P.M. and the pre-show was to start at 4:00 P.M.
It is highly possible that the WWE Crew and Stars were still doing rehearsals up until last minute. Also, some people got past security and stalked some WWE Superstars. So they had to bring in extra security. The AT&T stadium staff were as prepared as they could’ve been; they are use to 80,000 plus for a typical NFL game. 94,000 fans were in “actual” attendance for WrestleMania. Also, fans traveled from different parts of the world, some were with special needs, and let it be known that Texas is HOT!
All of this considered, this gives something for AT&T Stadium and its staff to continue developing and working on. You had to be there to understand how long it took to wait and to be patient. My sister and I started standing in line at 3:00, and we did not get into the stadium until 5:00. In some of the photos I took once inside of the stadium, there’s not many fans who got inside in time for the pre-show.
The matches were like, okay? I think the only reason I give WrestleMania 32 a solid B+, instead of a B- is because I was live in attendance. I have not rematched WM32 yet; I’m watching all the WrestleMania’s in order. I am now in WrestleMani 20, and I had left off on WrestleMania 17 on April 1st.
The highlight of WrestleMania was the Triple Threat match for the WWE Women’s Championship. LET IT BE KNOWN that WWE finally took the correct steps to retire the “Divas” Championship that had a seven-eight year run in the major company. I started watching WWE when they had started the Divas championship, and when the WWE Women’s championship was going away. As a young teenager, I was confused. And now, hopefully, WWE can “un-write” history. Sometimes the company is good at that, sometimes not.
Me and my sister got to experience Stone Cold Steve Austin coming out to assist Mick Foley and Shawn Michaels with taking a part the League of Nations. I was in the concessions when the Rock came out and announced the WrestleMania attendance record of 101,____? I can’t recall the other numbers. I was with a friend as well, and we were still talking about how Shane McMahon had jumped off the Hell In A Cell.
Wanna know what else WrestleMania taught me?
- When you stack the card and try to say that possibly everything can change with a victory (i.e. Shane getting control of RAW) and it doesn’t. You leave everyone asking what in the world is the Creative team doing. I am wanting to go into the creative field myself. Its because of WWE that I want to go into creative-writing. What WWE did was to hook us into something we want, take it away, and BAM. They got us wanting change. Is it possible for change? Sure. I think the company could be doing a slow progressive change, but then again-I’ve been wrong before.
- Roman Reigns is here to stay. This was something I had to explain to my sister. Some people boo Reigns because they can. Others because they don’t like what the WWE is forcing down there throats. But really, what can you do? The best remedy if you want to be heard is SILENCE. Silence is the best thing for any live event. Roman Reigns, personally, is a good competitor. Not good at the microphone, but good competitor. But if you don’t do anything and just sit in silence (like me and my sister did), then what do superstars do? They feed off of reactions. Well, if you don’t want the guy, then don’t cheer OR boo for him. Just be silent. Shhh my friends.
- Independant wrestling comes to play. These companies who end up brining some of our favorite stars, come to town, and showcase there best talent. I was not able to attend any ROH, WrestleCon, etc. but I might next year!
- WrestleMania, for many Wrestling fans, is like a vacation. Treat it and wrestling fans, like they are on vacation. AKA BE NICE PEOPLE.
WrestleMania 33 will be in Orlando, Florida! I plan on attending, and I hope to take my family as well! WrestleMania 32 is set for April 2nd, 2017.
Comments, questions? Thank you guys for reading, and if you want, you can always subscribe to my personal blog here, to DDT Wrestling and the New Age Insiders!
I play Tenor Trombone, so of course I got this beautiful art work for my office!