Last year at the tail end of March, I got on a plane. I flew across the country to Miami, Florida, where I would end up having one of the greatest experiences of my entire life. Sure, there were a couple hardships in the culture shock of Miami, but that only enhanced the experience.
Last year, from Thursday March 29th, 2012- Monday April 2nd, 2012, I went to WrestleMania Weekend. This is my story.
WrestleMania Axxess was tremendous. Right when I walked into the event on Friday March 30th, I met Kofi Kingston! Kofi was great, and no where near the jackass that some people say he is. That day I also met Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler, who were fantastic. When Axxess ends, the people running the autograph sessions instruct the people to leave since the session is over. Ross and Lawler, however, stayed after the session was over and made sure that everyone in line got to meet them, and get an autograph.
The next day on Saturday morning, I met Rikishi and Jimmy and Jay Uso. All three were nice, especially Rikishi. I also ended up meeting Swagger and Vickie. At that point, we weren’t even allowed to take pictures, but Swagger made sure that I got a picture with him. Vickie was ten times less annoying than she was on TV, and probably overall one of the nicest people I met at WrestleMania Axxess. Vickie even screamed her signature “Excuse Me” at Jack Swagger per a request from the fans. That day I also ended up meeting Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez. Ricardo was way nice, but Del Rio was a jerk. Out of everyone I met at Axxess, ADR is the only one to not shake hands with me or take a picture. He just looked pissed the entire time.
The two other people I met on Saturday were Howard Finkel and Paul Bearer. I met Bearer in the awesome Undertaker’s Graveyard, and he was great. He was just a normal guy signing autographs, but when the camera flashed he did one of those scary Paul Bearer faces that the fans have come to love. Finkel was really nice, and his line wasn’t long, so I got to talk to him for a bit.
The Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
This was an emotional, but incredibly fun night. Our stupid hotel didn’t get us our room service before we had to leave to the event, so I had to conquer my hunger with some quality American Airlines Arena popcorn. The event itself was tremendous. The Four Horsemen and Edge‘s inductions almost had me in tears. You could just tell that this meant a whole lot to the people getting inducted.
After the ceremony it took us roughly two hours to get a cab and head back to the hotel. And trust me, two hours in downtown Miami late on a Saturday night is a little scarier than it sounds. On Sunday morning, however, I was up as early as possible!
Before the event I nearly got sick. Greasy Sun Life Stadium chicken and 80 degree weather just don’t go well together.
Once we got into the stadium and took our seats we were shocked to see the Hell in A Cell already on the floor over the ring. You could tell that we were pretty disappointed at the thought of the End of An Era match going on first. Much to our delight, however, the cell was raised around 45 minutes before the show began.
When the show started, we got to be in the middle of a parade of “YES” chants during, after, and before Daniel Bryan‘s entrance. Hell, even at the Hall of Fame and Axxess people were chanting “”YES”! The crowd was never the same once that 18 second match ended. They were chanting “YES” all the way until the Hell in A Cell match.
Oh yeah, the Hell in A Cell match. The entrances themselves were awe-inspiring. Watching Undertaker’s entrance live and in-person was a bucket-list moment. Once the match started, everyone was on their feet. I have never heard any reaction close to that when Shawn Micahels and Triple H had their Superkick/Pedigree combo and Taker kicked out. Out of the entire trip, that just may be my favorite moment. It was definitely a heart-wrenching moment when Taker, Shawn, and HHH hugged at the top of the stage. Just a great moment that will stick out in my mind as the greatest in WrestleMania history. It was truly the End of An Era.
We were dead for CM Punk and Chris Jericho. And I really hate saying that, because those two guys worked their butts off that night, but we just weren’t into it. It still got a big pop when Punk won though.
The final match was a thriller. The fans weren’t as into it as they were the End of An Era, but we were still on our feet the whole match. The fans went wild when The Rock won. Oh yeah, they also booed the hell out of MGK.
At the end of the night, when the pyro went off, and The Rock won, it was truly a sight to behold.
The Day After
On the Monday after WrestleMania, we were waiting for our flight in the Miami Airport. I had to go to the bathroom before the plane arrived, so I casually went. After, I went to go wash my hands, and I looked up at a rather large man standing next to me by the sink. He has short, blonde hair, and he has some tattoos that I immediately recognize. I realize that I am standing next to EDGE in the bathroom. So I run out to go tell my mom that I think I just saw Edge in the freakin’ restroom! Low and behold, The Rated R Superstar walks out of the bathroom right after me.
So I go up to him, shake hands with him, congratulate him on the Hall of Fame induction, say he’s one of my favorites ever. He thanks me with a big smile on his face, and we go about our business.
Edge ended up being on the same flight as me, right along with Mae Young and Sgt. Slaughter!
Overall, my trip to WrestleMania was amazing. From Axxess, to the Hall of Fame, all the way to WrestleMania itself. It was just a fantastic weekend that was completely worth flying across the country for.
I recommend to anyone that if you have the opportunity, go experience it, because it is truly the definition of amazing.