When WWE hits the New Jersey area for WrestleMania 29, the wrestling world will follow.
Aside from WWE's grandest event, New York and New Jersey will host events from independent promotions from around the country. SHIMMER, CHIKARA, Dragon Gate USA and many others will showcase their product in the Meadowlands Expo Center for Wrestlecon.
On the WWE side of things, fans will have a number of chances to meet and take photos with their favorite stars. WrestleMania Axxess has transformed the event from a single night of entertainment to a weekend teeming with WWE fun.
From Thursday, April 4 until the Monday following The Showcase of the Immortals, there are enough wrestling events to satiate even the most diehard of fans.
WrestleMania weekend kicks off with WrestleMania Axxess' first day.
VIP autograph sessions for CM Punk and Hall of Famer Ric Flair highlight the night. Punk will show up at 6 p.m. and Flair will style and profile beginning at 7:30 p.m. These sessions, along with all other VIP events for the weekend, are sold out.
General Axxess tickets are still around for the taking, however.
Starting on Thursday, independent promotion Pro Wrestling Syndicate will be putting on two days of an event called "Super Card 2013."
The first day promises the last appearance ever of former WWE Tag champs Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff. Vader will serve as the guest PWS commissioner. "Superstar" Billy Graham is scheduled to appear as well.
The matches for Thursday include Colt Cabana vs. Kevin Matthews, Starman vs. Alex Reynolds and John Morrison vs. Elijah Burke. Old school meets new school when The Rock 'n' Roll Express take on The Briscoes. Trent Barretta, Kevin Steen and Simon Dean are signed to appear as well.
The packed card also features a Hardcore Scramble with names like New Jack, Tommy Dreamer and Necro Butcher in the mix. In addition, Super Card's first day entertains with a 30-man battle royal.
Front- and second-row seats are sold out. However, $20 seats are still up for grabs.
Former rivals Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels will also pair up for a separate Q&A session where they will discuss their careers in an event dubbed "The Signing of a Lifetime." This will take place at 6 p.m. at Hotel Pennsylvania, located across the street from Madison Square Garden.
Tickets to the event include admission to the Q&A, an autograph from both Bret and Shawn and a photo with both of them. The entire package costs $225.
Should fans want to venture out a bit, an Extreme Rising show awaits them in Philadelphia. After about an hour-and-40-minute train ride, fans can check out a free fan fest before a loaded card at the Pennsylvania National Guard Armory begins.
Stevie Richards battles Raven for the Extreme Rising world title. Jushin Liger takes on Sabu in what should be an intriguing matchup. Super Crazy, Matt Hardy and Balls Mahoney will all be in action as well.
Friday is insanely busy.
The Beacon Theatre recently announced a Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff Q&A event. It is advertised as an "uncensored" event where Hogan and Bischoff will tell stories from the road and take questions from the fans.
Fans of the Nature Boy Ric Flair can see the icon at a Big Time Wrestling signing event at Hotel Pennsylvania. The event is from 6:30-8:30. $100 gets you one Flair autograph and one photo with him.
WrestleMania Axxess continues with the chance to meet John Cena and the legendary Undertaker. The VIP autograph sessions with both The Deadman and Cena are sold out.
Day 2 of Pro Wrestling Syndicate's Super Card 2013 is going to be one of the better events of the weekend.
Vader continues his role as guest commissioner.
Bret Hart and Superstar Billy Graham will both make appearances. Hardcore aficionados New Jack and Necro Butcher will go at it. Hurricane Helms, Trent Barreta, Matt Hardy and Tommy Dreamer have all been signed.
The event also boasts appearances by Lita, Paul Orndorff, Doink, Eugene and Kevin Sullivan.
The match of the night, though, is likely to be John Morrison vs. Jushin Liger. Liger has long been one of wrestling's most exciting performers. Imagining what he can do with an athlete like Morrison is saliva-inducing.
To get a seat, you have to grab one soon. Tickets for the first and second rows are already sold out.
SuperCard of Honor
The Hammerstein Ballroom will be rocking when Ring of Honor puts on its Internet pay-per-view, SuperCard of Honor VII.
In the main event, Kevin Steen battles Jay Briscoe for the ROH world title.
The other matches look mighty tasty as well. The American Wolves face RedDragon with the ROH Tag titles on the line. Former partners Charlie Haas and Shelton and Benjamin bang heads.
Other names for the event include Jay Lethal, Roderick Strong, Mark Briscoe and Adam Cole.
If fans don't mind driving a bit on Friday, they also have the option of attending a live TNA event in Westbury, N.Y. The event will held at the NYCB Theatre at 7:30 p.m., with an early autograph session happening at 5:30.
TNA's website advertises an attractive card.
Sting and Jeff Hardy go up against Bully Ray and Devon with a stipulation Hulk Hogan will announce that night.
Bobby Roode vs. James Storm, Christopher Daniels vs. Samoa Joe, Kurt Angle vs. Wes Brisco and Joseph Park vs. Robbie E. are the other matches.
For fans not willing to head out as far as Philly to see their old ECW favorites, Extreme Rising will put on a show at the Warriors of Wrestling Warehouse in Staten Island at 7 p.m called "Unscripted." Tickets are extremely limited and going fast.
Extreme Rising promises that ticket holders will be able to select the matches and stipulations. When fans choose the card, they can mix and match talent like Blue Meanie, Balls Mahoney, Sabu and Super Crazy and Hijo de Rey Mysterio.
Pro Wrestling Report Hall of Fame
Pro Wrestling Report presents their Hall of Fame ceremony at 10 p.m. in the Hotel Pennsylvania Gold Ballroom. Tickets range from $30 to $250 for a VIP weekend pass. King Kong Bundy and Demolition will be inducted this year.
The ceremony lasts until midnight and the afterparty meet and greet is scheduled to go until 1 a.m.
The dedicated wrestling fan should head to the Meadowlands Expo Center in Secaucus, N.J. for WrestleCon, a three-day independent wrestling extravaganza.
The individual wrestling event tickets range from $5 to $75. VIP packages for both the convention events and live events are available as well.
The event kicks off at 4 p.m. with the promotion EVOLVE.
Fans will see a tournament where the winner will be crowned the first-ever EVOLVE champ. Ricochet, AR Fox and Sami Callihan are among the most thrilling competitors in the running for that title.
The rest of the card features a Brian Kendrick match and Jigsaw and the Young Bucks go up against the Super Smash Brothers.
At 8 p.m., Combat Zone Wrestling will introduce new fans to its hyper-violent style of wrestling.
CZW is promising Greg Excellent vs. Colt Cabana, Jun Kasai vs. MASADA and Sami Callihan vs. Brian Kendrick.
High-flyers and tag matches round out the rest of the card.
The night ends with the bizarre work of Kaiju Big Battel.
This promotion blends Godzilla-type monster movies with wrestling. Giant monsters will battle in the ring from just before midnight until 2:30 in the morning.
Most fans will be seeing the undefeated Steam Powered Tentacle Boulder and the Kaiju Grand Champion, American Beetle.
Saturday's WrestleMania Axxess VIP autograph sessions feature a number of big names. Unfortunately for fans without tickets already, the Kane, Triple H, Randy Orton and Sheamus sessions are already sold out.
WWE has added Chris Jericho and Ryback to the event. Jericho will sign, meet and greet at 8 a.m. and Ryback will do the same at 8 p.m. Grab those tickets soon.
WrestleMania Eve's climax will be the 2013 WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
Madison Square Garden will play host to the best class WWE has ever inducted. Bruno Sammartino, Booker T, Trish Stratus, Donald Trump, Bob Backlund and Mick Foley make up the most star-studded and legendary group of inductees ever.
Saturday will also feature the finals of the WrestleMania Reading Challenge.
The program encourages teens and children to read and rewards them with prizes, including (for some) tickets to WrestleMania 29.
Pro Wrestling Report hosts another meet-and-greet party as a capper for the night. The Shenanigans in the Concrete Jungle Party will follow WWE's Hall of Fame ceremony. The event is scheduled for 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Famous faces signed to be there include host Kevin Nash, Matt Hardy, Diamond Dallas Page, Shane Helms, Rhyno, Jim Neidhart, Demolition, Rikishi and tons more.
April 6 is also the busiest day for WrestleCon.
Fans can start their day at the K&S Wrestlefest event. From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., famous faces from WWE's past will be signing and hand-shaking away.
One Man Gang, George "The Animal" Steele, Marty Jannetty, The Sandman and more are all scheduled to appear.
Legends of the Ring will host signing and photo-op events featuring Rob Van Dam and Kurt Angle from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For $200, fans will have a chance to meet Hulk Hogan. Additional tickets to get autographs and pics with the Hulkster go on sale Saturday, March 23.
Alternately, Legends of the Ring "Classic" will offer meet and greets with Demolition, Mr. Fuji, Tito Santana, Jimmy Snuka, Greg Valentine and Lex Luger.
Only 100 tickets (at $229 each) are being sold for this event, which goes from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
A Bret "Hitman" Hart appearance overlaps that event.
Bret will sign from 10 a.m. to noon inside a pink and black wrestling ring, an event presented by Highspots.com.
From 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., fans can meet all their favorite gimmick wrestlers.
Legends of the Ring & Lucky 13 "Gimmicks" features Doink and Dink, Eugene, The Hurricane, Boogeyman and even The Shockmaster.
Indy Gurlz has joined the crowded WrestleMania weekend.
The company will put on an event dubbed "Myths & Legends" in Boonton, NJ. The show is headlined by Japanese icon Kyoko Inoue—in a rare U.S. appearance—taking on Mercedes Martinez. Mia Yim, LuFisto and Leva Bates will be in action as well.
Noon - 2:30 p.m.: SHIMMER Women's Athletes
This is a great chance to see the best female wrestling in the U.S. The Illinois-based promotion rarely heads this far east.
Saraya Knight will take on Cheerleader Melissa in a cage match for the SHIMMER title. Ayako Hamada will battle "The Wrestling Goddess" Athena.
Canadian Ninjas, Mercedes Martinez and Serena Deeb are scheduled to appear. Fans will also get a chance to see Madison Eagles vs. Jessie McKay.
The standout match should be Amazing Kong (Kharma) vs. Mia Yim. It will be classic big vs. small, power vs. speed matchup between too supremely talented women.
4 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.: CHIKARA
CHIKARA will put on an event called The Shoulder of Pallas. This wrestling company presents a fast-paced, fun, tongue-in-cheek approach to the business.
In a match to decide the Grand Champion, Eddie Kingston battles Hallowicked.
The event also boasts the return of UltraMantis Black, a Saturyne vs. Kobald showdown, several tag matches and Mike Quackenbush and a mystery partner going up against Jigsaw and The Shard.
8 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.: Dragon Gate USA
Dragon Gate's live event has lesser-known names than some of the weekend's other shows, but the glut of athleticism on the card should prove for an entertaining night.
Johnny Gargano faces Shingo. CIMA and AR Fox take on the Young Bucks. Brian Kendrick, Sami Callihan and Ricochet will all be in action as well.
11:55 p.m. - 2 a.m.: 5 Dollar Wrestling
To end the night, fans will be introduced to 5 Dollar Wrestling's exuberantly odd product.
Colt Cabana and Marty DeRosa are scheduled at the announcer's table, and the man known as Freight Train is advertised to be there as well. His promos are compelling rides into a strange place.
Ring of Honor TV taping
Not affiliated with WrestleCon, Ring of Honor will be taping one of their wrestling programs that Saturday at the Manhattan Center. The show starts at 2 p.m.
Each half of the Tag champs have a singles match: Kyle O’Reilly is set to face Davey Richards and Bobby Fish will take on Eddie Edwards.
Micheal Elgin will battle Karl Anderson. Kevin Steen, the Briscoes and Jay Lethal all signed to appear as well.
Extreme Rising hosts another show in Staten Island, which has a very limited amount of tickets still available.
"Underground" starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Warriors of Wrestling warehouse. The fan fest begins at 5 p.m. Just like the show in Friday, the fans get to pick the matches and the stipulations.
Fans can put Sabu and Super Crazy in a Falls Count Anywhere match or have Balls Mahoney and Stevie Richards face off in a Singapore Cane match. The innovative concept should lead to appreciative fans and an exciting card.
The day will already be jam-packed thanks to WWE's full schedule, but WrestleCon's last day provides fans with a number of additional options.
The day starts with a former WWE champ, and a man who will forever be a part of WrestleMania lore thanks to a win over Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania VI. From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., The Ultimate Warrior will meet fans, take photos and sign autographs.
Legends of the Ring present another signing session with Rob Van Dam as well as one with former WWE Women’s champ Lita. Both events go from 10 a.m. to noon.
Bret Hart makes another appearance, presented again by Highspots.com. The Hitman will be available from 10 a.m. to noon.
Additional appearances include Abraham Washington, Kevin Sullivan, Sabu, Earl Hebner and D'Lo Brown.
After fans overload on meeting their favorites, they can take in some live wrestling thanks to Dragon Gate USA. The company will put on a show from 1 p.m. to 2:30 pm.
The card includes a Ladders are Legal High-Flyer Fray with AR Fox, Young Bucks and Samuray Del Sol. Brian Kendrick vs. Chuck Taylor and Shingo vs. Akira Tozawa are also scheduled.
Sunday is the big day. The Showcase of the Immortals is certainly the highlight of the night, and of the WWE calendar, but there are also some more chances to meet superstars.
Before WrestleMania 29 electrifies MetLife Stadium, WrestleMania Axxess offers two sold-out sessions in which to meet WWE's biggest names, past and present.
Session one starts with Big Show at 8 a.m. and follows with Rey Mysterio at 9:30.
The second session places two of the greatest rivals ever, side by side. Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels will sign, snap and chat with their fans. Michaels is scheduled for 12:30 in the afternoon, with Bret right after him at 2:30 p.m.
It all leads to this, an event sure to be packed with memorable moments and great matches. WWE's version of the Super Bowl goes down at MetLife Stadium at 6:30 p.m. that night.
An event that seems to get grander with each year features WWE’s biggest names, part-time or otherwise.
Jack Swagger battles Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship. Triple H puts his career on the line against Brock Lesnar. The Undertaker puts his 20-0 record at WrestleMania on the line against CM Punk.
John Cena gets a shot at redemption against WWE champ The Rock.
The IZOD Center in East Rutherford will host Monday Night Raw.
The stories born from the aftermath of WrestleMania 29 and the still-throbbing excitement felt by fans should make this an unforgettable experience to see live.
Last year, the first post-WrestleMania Raw saw Brock Lesnar make a surprise return to WWE. What surprises are in store for this year? Who will be champion and who will be looking for revenge?
The IZOD Center website lists The Rock and Chris Jericho as stars included on the show and advertises a match between Sheamus, Randy Orton and Ryback vs. The Shield.
The show will cap off WWE's extended stay in the New York/New Jersey area and will kick off the long road to WrestleMania 30.