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2013 Bucket List - #29 Attend Wrestlemania


It only took me twenty eight years and twenty-nine events, but I finally (finally!!) made it to Wrestlemania. I've attended so many wrestling events in my lifetime, from small local shows to pay-per-view events, from small local promotions, to the global companies, but never had I gone to the big one - Wrestlemania. 

Upon hearing the huge event was returning to the metropolitan area at Met Life stadium, I knew I had to attend. As soon as tickets went on pre-sale, I purchased them...way back in November. I knew, if not now, then when? If not this year, then probably never. Some might not understand the importance of it, but to crazy wrestling addicts like myself, this is the show. And while it wasn't on the 2013 Bucket List, this was on my absolute lifetime list, and this past Sunday, I placed a big fat check mark next to it. The following is a little review of my Wrestlemania 29 experience, live!

Not Your Usual Wrestlemania Sunday

Usually I get up early on Sunday as the tag team partner and I go through our usual Sunday routine of Church, lunch (most of the time its Taco Bell), and grocery shopping. However, on Wrestlemania Sunday,  I was still up early and honestly, it really didn't hit me that I was going to Wrestlemania. Most Wrestlemania Sundays I get up and wish the tag team partner a "Happy Wrestlemania Sunday!" to which she responds with a courtesy smile before turning her head to roll her eyes. But this day was different. I wasn't sure if it was because our Sunday routine was interrupted and preparation for our my Wrestlemania get-together wasn't necessary. But it was there. 

...Or maybe it was because I wasn't overly thrilled with the card the WWE put out for this year's Wrestlemania. All you had to do was follow my tweets to know that. Either way, that excitement wasn't there immediately. 

New Jersey Road Signs are Dirty

All packed up with food, snacks, wearing a double-layer rain jacket with tickets in hand, I was now excited. But of course, I tried to maintain my coolness in front of the wife who turned down this once in a lifetime opportunity. I know behind the 784 times she turned my offer down, which were of course accompanied with multiple eye rolls and body language of zero interest, the fact she wasn't going was eating her up inside.  I am going to at least go with that notion. She wasn't going, and I was!

Either way, replacing her was my friend, Earl, groomsman at my wedding, fellow wrestling addict, and head of  the Nerds on the Rocks blog. We were off to MetLife Stadium! We were pumped until we quickly realized we were going to New Jersey...

While the traffic in Manhattan utterly slowed our trip as we bumper-to-bumper'ed it funneling into the Holland tunnel, we finally arrived into the confusing daylight that was New Jersey. I'm convinced the Garden State enjoys having cars circle in direction looking for their destination. They must get a kick out of it as there can not be any other logical reasoning behind the perceived incompetence. I've had problems with directions and alternate routes for numerous Red Bulls games I've attended, but I figured MetLife and the Meadowlands complex would be easier to find.

Nope. Not. At. All. 

Its like the New Jersey Department of Transportation removed as many productive signs as they could from the roads. There aren't even signs for New York City near the Holland and/or Lincoln tunnels. Heck, there are roads upstate that have signs directing you to NYC, even if it may say "New York City 387 Miles".

Nonetheless, after getting on Route 3 which is right out side of the complex, we, like many other cars, came upon Wrestlemania posters on every light post. Oh we're here! The a digital board had stated "Wrestlemania" with an arrow straight ahead. Then we internally did our best Bryan Danielson. YES! YES! YES!

We followed the sign, then the posters stopped, and MetLife was in our rear view, and we were now wondering if this was some sick joke. After getting off at an exit that weirdly just went in a big circle (literally, it was a mini Nascar track), we managed to get on the highway going back the opposite way where these posters popped up again and a similar destination digital board appeared. This better not be another joke. But it wasn't, as it lead us in to the complex. It was just weird. It was very New Jersey. Stupid, stupid New Jersey. 

Snoopy Needs to Add Some Life, to MetLife


Ugh...how boring of a place
After climbing steps that made you feel as if you were being punished for buying tickets, we were finally in our seats. Why wasn't this place built with either ramps or escalators? Speaking of which, before I go any further, the sports facility geek in me came out about this time as I got to see MetLife Stadium for the first time. And let me say this, MetLife Stadium is the Bill Belichick of sports facilities. It has absolutely zero personality. Nothing to look at. Nothing eye catching. Nothing unique. Just gray, solid, and cold. And to think it cost about as much as Jerry's World down in Dallas! Heck, at least Belichick gives you a cutoff sweatshirt...MetLife offers nothing. Nada! I guess a billion dollars doesn't get you what it used to.


After getting to our seats, which felt like atop Mount Kilimanjaro after hiking up all those flights of stairs, the first thing I noticed was obviously, the very impressive replica of the Statue of Liberty that stood atop the structure over the ring. Unfortunately, said structure and one of it's supporting posts blocked a view of one corner of the ring from the view of my seat. Gladly, they added a large screen to make up for the inconvenience.


As for our seats, MetLife's seats are very average, but not that uncomfortable. Typical of what it seems MetLife stadium was going for - mediocrity. Red Bull Arena still remains my pick for most comfortable in-stadium experience I've ever had.

Welcome to...Wrestlemania!!!

The Pre-Show began, and the set, the lighting, and the overall atmosphere is so well done. I cannot emphasize that enough. No one does events like the WWE. And I've been to so many different types of events throughout my life, and throughout my professional career. The WWE really does out-do everyone.


Here are some other quick thoughts on the event: 

The Miz took on Wade Barrett for the Intercontinental Championship, and it was depressing for me. Not because it was a bad match, but because The Miz went from the main event of Wrestlemania 26 (and being a former DP Pro Wrestler of the Year) to being on the pre-show of Wrestlemania. Damn, homie, in 2009, you were the man, homie? What happened to you?!

It started raining right before they moved into the Wrestlemania part of the show. I was very much prepared, but oddly, a part of me found it to be very cool. 

No National Anthem, or no America the Beautiful? What?! Either way, we went right into the show with Shaemus' music hitting the loud speaker. And yes, Shaemus is still very white even from way up in the nosebleeds. Solid opener that was very enjoyable. Especially, the RKO by Orton.


I wasn't looking forward to Ryback vs. Mark Henry. And I still wish this match wasn't on the card. But watching Ryback lift Mark Henry up for the shellshock was pretty crazy. 

Even on pay-per-view Jack Swagger doesn't get a televised entrance. It was weird to see him stroll out in his dune buggy along with Zeb Colter while the video package played on the big screen. As for Alberto Del Rio, he remains the most awkward babyface in pro wrestling today. Although next to Earl was a man who was very thrilled with Del Rio. He waved his Mexican flag and imitated Del Rio throughout the match. It's what makes pro wrestling so great. Everyone has their guy or gal.


Fandango's entrance was very cool. Though Jericho's -  much, much, much cooler.

Anyone else tired of the WWE going with the three big matches format for Wrestlemania? I'd wish they'd go the route of TNA and just load the card with awesome matches and have them each try to top the other. Just bloggin'.


Diddy's performance actually was not as bad as I was anticipating. Surprisingly, he got a pretty nice ovation as usually wrestling crowds boo anything non-wrestling related, even if they like the music. Diddy ran through a few of his older hits much to the crowds pleasure. However, once he went into "I'm coming home...", the crowd quickly turned on him. Dude, the song is a good one, but it's just over played at this point.


Speaking of live performances, New York's own, Living Colour, playing CM Punk (Who I recently learned is a favorite of my wife. Very weird, I know) to the ring was pretty cool. 

The Undertaker's entrance is one of the greatest things I've seen in my life. I seriously mean that. I've seen it countless times at Raw and Smackdown tapings, and it's always jaw dropping. Tonight was even better.  The lighting, the smoke, the pyro around the building - everyone was literally watching with their jaw open. 



As for Undertaker/CM Punk, it was the best match of the night, and pretty much stole the show. The streak continues, and Undertaker continues to deliver on the biggest stage. Every. Single. Year.

Triple H vs. Brock just didn't seem to really resonate with the crowd. I'm not sure if we were still coming of the high that was Undertaker/Punk, or if we really weren't into Triple H/Brock. Personally, it was the latter for me. It was just one of those matches that wasn't attractive on the card, but it did turn out to be pretty good.

This was the first WWE Hall of Fame class where you really believed everyone should have been inducted. I'm still shaking my head over KoKo B. Ware. 

The John Cena entrance took everyone by surprised as we expected a match that was eventually cancelled due to time. As always in the New York area, John Cena got booed out of the building. As for The Rock, he received the complete opposite fan fare. The match was great, but I preferred their first encounter last year at Wrestlemania 28. It was odd to see The Rock give a handshake of respect and Cena leaving him in the ring to soak up the standing ovation. It definitely seems like The Rock is off (again!) to Hollywood. 

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed my Wrestlemania experience. Although my days of going absolutely nuts and losing my voice at wrestling events are over (I can't risk being seen doing so due to my job), every wrestling event still remains thoroughly enjoyable. No matter the size of the show or the company putting it on. Though, I still prefer the smaller, more intimate settings for wrestling events. They produce the more interactive atmosphere that wrestling thrives off of. Either way, wrestling is wrestling, and there is only one Wrestlemania a year and only twenty nine ever. And now I can honestly say I've been to one.

Largest attended and gross income event at MetLife Stadium


Wrestlemania 30 is in New Orleans next April. Already thinking about getting the travel package. Who's coming with me? 

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