WWE WrestleMania XXIX Live Report
Hey peeps. I’m sure you’ll read 110 WrestleMania reviews before the day is over but I wanted to give my account of what the day and event was like being there in person.
WrestleMania. There I said it one more time. Last night I attended “The Showcase of the Immortals” and I must say I had a blast. My day at MetLife Stadium started around 1:30 pm when I arrived to the parking lot with my friends Jess and Mark. They are huge WWE fans and have gone to every WrestleMania since XXIV. You might actually know these two as their faces were plastered all over TV last night as they were sitting front row on the TV side. Me? I was way up in the sky, but I’ll get more into that later.
So, what do you do when you arrive to an event 4 ½ hours early? Eat and drink beer, duh. We chatted with some other wrestling fans and saw some people trying to make a spectacle of themselves by dressing up like the Iron Sheik and the Million Dollar Man which was cool. Then there were the Bushwhacker guys which was plain weird and then we saw the black Chris Jericho which was pulled off nicely.
Then we saw just the plain out stupid. Let me explain something, I lived in NJ all my life so I know this and that’s why I posted it on my Facebook yesterday morning in hopes that anyone not from the area would see it and be prepared. For the first week of April it was a nice day here, in the 60s, no rain. The problem is that at the Meadowlands you can throw any forecast out the window. It is always at least 10-15 degrees colder there than anywhere else because of the way the winds swirl at the complex. That is why I was shocked to see a guy wearing nothing but Daniel Bryan’s “YES!” t-shirt and Bryan’s trunks. Yes, essentially this man attended WrestleMania in his underwear. Ultimate Warrior guy though, thought he was a pansy as Warrior guy was just rocking tassels and tights, that’s it. I wonder how cute they thought they were around the time of the main event.
There’s only so much beer you can drink and who wants to get drunk to the point you don’t remember the show? So, we took a walk to see what was going on and I decided to stop and buy some merchandise. Total fail there as I waited on the most ass backwards, disorganized line I ever saw to only find out that the “Finally The Rock has come back to WrestleMania” shirt I wanted was sold out. Then I walked back to the car and had a consolation beer.
It was almost 4:30 pm and they were starting to let people in the stadium so we packed up and left. My friends had VIP access (jerks), so I waited on the new front runner for the most ass backwards, disorganized line of all time to get into MetLife. This wasn’t too bad as I finally stopped playing phone tag with TJR’s own Andrew Johnson and finally met the guy. Really cool dude and he was with TJR’s Fozzie, Lonestar, Jacob and their buddy Josh. All really cool guys. We got a team photo and then chatted like we were lifelong friends and not a couple of internet dorks meeting for the first time. We had plenty of time to talk because the line was so disorganized that I think we ended up in Secaucus. We got inside and said our goodbyes as they had good seats and well, I didn’t. Meeting those guys was definitely one of the best highlights of the day. I was on my own at this point. You would think that might suck but it didn’t because you can focus solely on the show and don’t have to worry about anything but yourself. So, I grabbed a cheesesteak and got my “Finally” t-shirt and headed for my seat.
My seat was far. It wasn’t that bad though as I was in section 317 which was center of the ring on the TV side so I could see everything including having to stare at the Statue of Liberty’s ass all night. The crowd was kind of quiet for a WrestleMania except for the dueling “Let’s go Cena/Cena sucks” chants that broke out occasionally. The crowd finally popped huge when they started putting WWE stuff on the video boards. We knew it was time for action.
The pregame started and I liked the concept with Scott Stanford hosting a panel with Jim Ross, Kofi Kingston and Dusty Rhodes. It gave WrestleMania that big event feel it should have. I have no idea as to what they were saying as I was that far up I couldn’t hear the sound. Lots of panel talk and video packages. The crowd was growing restless and then erupted when the referee came out for the Intercontinental Championship match. The crowd made decent noise for The Miz and Wade Barrett as it was the first match of the night and Miz got a nice reaction for winning the title.
I will say this for the preshow, it ended up being a colossal waste of time. They had an eight minute match in an hour. When you consider all the talent that wasn’t booked and that they had to cut a match, it may have been a better use of time to have another match there especially for the live audience.
The WrestleMania countdown hit zero and the place went nuts as the FBI PPV warning thing appeared. It was time to go. I was very surprised that there was no singing of “America the Beautiful” or a big fireworks display as those are two staples of WrestleMania. The show started with The Shield vs. Big Show, Sheamus and Randy Orton. I won’t go too much into match quality and stuff like that. If you need that then check out John Canton’s review. I would say this was a good choice to start the show. The crowd was into The Shield and the popped for Orton and Sheamus. They gave a nice hand to Big Show too. Match was fun and then ending was really cool with Rollins getting hit with the RKO while in the air and then the Reigns Spear on Orton. Not much of a reaction for Show knocking out Sheamus and Orton.
Next was Ryback and Mark Henry. They lost the crowd early and the annoying “Goldberg” chants started. I really hate those. The man is nothing like Goldberg; hell he loses as much as Gillberg. Crowd got into it when Ryback hit the Meathook and then went bananas as he had Henry up for Shellshock only to fall flat on his face and lose. Very shocking booking decision. I thought for sure Ryback would finally get a PPV win but it wasn’t to be. Then they gave Ryback his moment after the match when he hit Shellshock on Henry but it was too late as the crowd didn’t care as much as they would have had it occurred during the match.
The Tag Team Championship Match drew one of the biggest reactions of the night as Daniel Bryan and Dolph Ziggler were very over with the crowd. This match was really cool because it was well worked and the crowd made it seem even better. When Ziggler got pinned we all thought that for sure he was winning the World Heavyweight Championship later in the night.
Chris Jericho and Fandango was ok. The match seemed a little sloppy but Fandango didn’t flop in his debut. There was a lot more support for Fandango than I thought there would be but it could also be that people love saying his name. Jericho got a huge reaction. There was a mild shock in the building when Y2J lost but also a nice reaction for Faaaaaaaandaaangoooooo.
Diddy came out for his concert and it wasn’t bad. The crowd for the most part enjoyed it since Diddy is a New York guy. The video package playing the song from Rocky and then the DJ picking it up live into “Victory” was pretty cool.
The World Heavyweight Title Match was next and while they aired a video package for the feud, Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter rode down on a golf cart so when the package ended they were already in the ring. That was odd to give Swagger a jobber entrance in a World Title Match at WrestleMania. The loudest the crowd ever got for this match was sing-a-long with Ricardo Rodriguez. I try to get into all the matches when I’m at a live show but I couldn’t get into this at all. The feeling was really mutual in my section. The feud wasn’t interesting and we all wanted Ziggler. Just listen to the chants for him during the match. We were thinking that the reason the put this match after the tag title match was so that Ziggler could come out and cash in. He didn’t. The match ended and the crowd booed because there was no Dolph. Biggest disappointment of the night.
The crowd was really hit or miss all night until Living Colour came out to sing CM Punk’s theme song. Punk got a huge cheer and then out, or should I say up came The Undertaker. His entrance was awesome and one of the main reasons I wanted to go to WrestleMania. The scene where he was rising up and the hands were reaching for him was really cool. As for the match, what can I say? It was freakin’ awesome. These two delivered and they had the crowd in the palm of their hands. It was a treat being there live for this. Punk’s facial expressions alone made the match an instant classic. Thank you to both men for putting on a show I’ll never forget.
The men’s room was calling my name and so was the Mrs. Fields cookie stand so I thought this was a good time to get up. No way that they’d go right into another big match without a buffer, right? Wrong. As we were standing on line for the can we all heard Shawn Michael’s music which pissed a lot of people off. Fitting term for a bunch of guys waiting in line to pee. The men were getting antsy and then we all stopped to take note of the new aroma in the air. Those must be the special brownies Mrs. Fields was cooking up. There were definitely no sticks or seeds in them. I took a leak and got my cookies and raced back to see what I thought would be Brock Lesnar’s entrance but no, the match already started. I didn’t hear Brock’s music play but I did hear Triple H’s and HBK’s so that gave me a false sense of time. I’m a little upset I missed the entrances and a chance to take pictures of them.
The crowd had a hard time getting into the match. We just came off the awesome roller coaster that was Punk/Taker and now they want us to get into another big match with no buffer? Wasn’t happening. We pooped huge for the Superkick on Paul Heyman and the finish by HHH. Solid match that was really hurt by the fact it came on right after Punk and Undertaker. And how about Paul Heyman getting his cardio in? Walked up that big ramp with Punk only to walk right back down it with Lesnar.
Next up was the Hall of Famers. All got nice ovations expect Donald Trump. Trish Stratus looked gorgeous. That husband of hers is a lucky man. The Hall of Famers went away and then with no warning here comes John Cena. It felt like he was there to do something other than have his match. There was no video package, no big entrance and for WrestleMania that came off very odd. He got his usual mixed reaction and then The Rock came out to mostly cheers and we were ready for the Main Event.
The Main Event of WrestleMania is supposed to be the biggest match of the year. The problem is a lot of people in the crowd didn’t care. Which is a shame and at points really irritated me. There were “boring” chants five minutes into the match. That was embarrassing. There were people crapping all over the match before it even had a chance to get into gear. That’s a real shame. Then at one point when the “Let’s Go Cena/Cena Sucks” chants started there were many chanted a third part to that “They both suck”. Those people also got a decent “we want Doink” chant going just before the finish. So you spent all that money to go to WrestleMania only to boo both guys and chant for Doink in the Main Event? Real clever and really stupid. Just stay home next time.
I enjoyed the match for the most part. The best part was when Cena went for the People’s Elbow and stopped as The Rock waited for him. He tried the AA which was countered into the Rock Bottom. We all thought that was it. It wasn’t. Crowd was super nuts for that sequence. Then they played some hokey pokey before Cena hit the AA to become the new WWE Champion and the crowd booed. Before leaving the ring, Cena and Rock exchanged words before hugging. I was waiting for Cena to drill Rock with the title belt. That would have been cool. Instead the crowd just booed more. They stopped to cheer for The Rock as he said his goodbyes and then went right back into booing as the two stood atop the ramp together.
There are many reasons The Rock should have won. The first being the ending of WrestleMania wouldn’t have been the crowd booing. The crowd should never be booing to end WrestleMania. Vince McMahon must be smart enough to realize that Cena winning and then making all huggy kissy with Rock wasn’t going to garner a positive reaction.
The other reason The Rock should have won is that it would have allowed them to finally do something different with Cena. It’s becoming more and more obvious that no matter how much they may tease it or what golden opportunity they have to do it, they have no interest in doing anything different with him. This sucks, because his character has been the same for ten years now and it’s not like the days of Hulk Hogan where ten years seems like ten years because of the TV schedule. Cena’s on TV every week which makes ten years feel like 50.
The crowd was very quiet upon leaving the stadium which made the call to end the show that way even more questionable.
My WrestleMania experience was a fun one. It’s an absolute must to go to a WrestleMania if you can. It should be on the bucket list of any lifelong WWE fan. I’m glad I went and have no regrets at all. I met some awesome people and watched a great show. And yes, I said I great show. Maybe since I was there I enjoyed it more but I don’t understand all the hate for the show today. These guys worked their tails off to provide an entertaining show. If you don’t like the booking decisions that’s fine but don’t do it at the expense of hating what was an above average wrestling show. I know WrestleMania is the biggest show of the year and it is presented that way no doubt. Enjoy the spectacle that it is. Enjoy it as a celebration of all the hard work of the Divas and Superstars. When you come out of a show with a classic match and stacked with good matches that’s no reason to hate it. That’s just my opinion.
To close this very long column out, I highly recommend going to WrestleMania. I only went because MetLife Stadium is ten minutes from my house but I’m glad it was so I could enjoy the awesomeness that is WrestleMania. I hope all of you get to experience it one day.
(That’s what she said.)
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