If you know me you know that I am a huge wrestling fan and this past weekend was one of my greatest experience and solidified why I love WWE. This was my second Wrestlemania, I attended Wrestlemania 27 and had a great experience but this time the experience was on another level. The whole aura of Wrestlemania Weekend while not on the level of fandom and anticipation that Super Bowl week gets it’s damn near close. My first big experience of Wrestlemania Weekend was Axxess. Axxess is WWE’s fan festival that gives their fan’s a chance to meet some of their favorite wrestlers, take plenty of pics, and pretend to be a wrestler. You could do promos and entrances, jump off the top rope into a foam pit, take a pic inside the elimination chamber or in front of the old school RAW sign. It’s so much to do in 4 hours that you have to pretty much prioritize what you want to do. Honestly you spend a lot of time waiting in time, sometimes half of your time is spent in one line. Especially for the more popular superstars you may stand in line and not get a chance to meet your favorite superstar. I attended 3 out of 6 Axxess sessions and enjoyed every single one. With the exception of an interaction with one former wwe diva everyone else was a pleasure to meet. Even Guys who I wasn’t a fan of I became a fan because they were so nice and humble.There is room for improvement as Axxess could benefit from a longer window to give people more time to do as much as they can in their time there.
At superstar signings there is a regular line and a separate line for disabled people, depending on the handler who is with the superstar to manage the flow of the line the frequent back and forth between the lines can become disruptive and annoying as people are waiting 45 minutes or more for their turn to meet their favorite superstars. When I went to Wrestlemania in 2011 the handlers were very adamant about not taking pictures with superstars, just get your item signed and move along creating a very rushed atmosphere this time they were there to take pictures of the fans with the superstars which in the end is all everyone wants when they meet superstars.
The Hall of Fame was another good experience yet it dragged on. All of the inductees were good, Diamond Dallas Page speech was a little long but inspiring, The Rock n Roll express was short and sweet, Rick Rudes family kept it short, Beth Phoenix's speech was good but dragged, she made a point to emphasize the importance of woman, their accomplishments, and their contributions to making WWE the global phenomenon it is. Eric Leguard speech was relatable as just another fan who had a unfortunate circumstance that opened up the doors to other opportunities. Teddy Long speech was typical Teddy Long funny. Kurt Angle showed why he is not only one of the best wrestlers ever but most entertaining. Everyone's speech was good but people’s attention spans get short when listening to people talk back to back. I’ve read the WWE prefers to let everyone take as much time as they want during the hall of fame. I think limiting the inductors speaking to give more time to the inductees if they choose to use it would be a better option.
I didn’t attend NXT takeover because I was at axxess during the same time. That leads us to the “Ultimate Thrill Ride” Wrestlemania 33! Which was a decent event, no real bad matches that sucked the air out of everything just draining. The event ran from 530 pm until Midnight which is entirely too long even for die hard wrestling fans. Since their on the WWE network I guess they feel they can go as long as they want but they really need to work on time management. Some of the outcomes such as Randy Orton beating Bray I was against. I left once Roman pinned Undertaker so I didn't see his farewell moment. A few exciting things happened at Wrestlemania that you won't see on tv that was a major part of the experience. A young man proposed to his girlfriend and a Stone Cold cosplayer battled other cosplayers in the nwo, ultimate warrior, and Ric Flair in a exciting “match” in the stands.
One important part of the experience I think is overlooked is everyone was there to have a good time. My wife and I met a lot of nice people while waiting in line at the various events. People from all over the world who clearly love sports entertainment. You may have come across a occasional casual fan but the majority of people there were to the core in their blood wrestling fans. I also believe Vince McMahon and the WWE don't get enough credit for the marketing geniuses they are. There was a “Wrestlemania Superstore” with all kinds of merchandise and no shortage of people gobbling it all up. Grown men buying replica title belts like their in a toy store. Families of four and everyone of them having replica belts, cosplaying, people with bags of stuff enough credit is not given to the WWE for the love their fans have for them. All in all I had a very good time and experience and if you are a real wrestling fan and are able to I highly recommend attending a Wrestlemania. Just being in the atmosphere is a experience you’ll always remember.
About the Author
B.Easy is the co-host of Talkin' Suplexes. He's a self-professed geek loving movies, wrestling, comic books, and using his imagination. Goal in life is become to a world traveler and get paid to hop on lear jets.