WWE WrestleMania 27 Weekend: The Night Before Mania, I'll Never Forget
There is that movie called Sleepless In Seattle; well, I am speechless in Atlanta.
Before reading further, I have a small spoiler later in my article from the Hall of Fame ceremony.
WrestleMania weekend is finally here in my hometown, and I have already dived right into the middle of all of the action.
On Saturday, I ventured out to Atlanta bright and early at 8 a.m. to catch the first WrestleMania Axxess session of the day.
This will be my second WrestleMania to-date, but Saturday, was my first Axxess I've ever attended.
The WWE really does it right when they do this pre-WrestleMania event. Wow. I mean, wow.
I know there is a lot of B/R readers and writers who have attended the event, you will know what I am talking about. If you haven't attended Axxess, I strongly recommend it.
I met more wrestlers and divas today then I have combined at all of the past pay-per-view, Raw and SmackDown shows in the past, and I have been to plenty.
The very first thing I did was hit up the superstar entrance area and decided to come out as The Rock, easy choice there.
Then, I met and took a picture with WWE Divas Melina, Tamina and Alicia Fox.
From there, I waited in my longest line of the day for a chance to take a picture with Sgt. Slaughter and get his autograph. It was worth it.
My favorite part of WrestleMania Axxess was The Undertaker's Graveyard.
Inside of this area, which is very dark, purple and smoky, it feels and looks just like you are in the middle of The Undertaker's entrance.
There are tombstones of every wrestler he has taken out at WrestleMania, including the one that the WWE Creative team thinks or hopes we have forgotten about, Triple H at WrestleMania 17.
Also, there is a tombstone for WrestleMania XXVII (pictured), showing Triple H's name, followed by a question mark and a fresh burial ground in front of it—really nice touch there.
One of the last wrestlers I met was Cody Rhodes, who was a really humble guy and is from the city next to the one I live in here in Georgia, Marietta.
Out of all of celebrities and wrestlers I have met in the past, Cody has been one of the most generous to date.
Following Axxess, I had to kill a good six hours before the WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony later that evening at Philips Arena.
After grabbing a bite to eat, I headed down near parking where I stumbled upon Sean Waltman, known to many of us as X-Pac.
I didn't get his autograph, but I did get a chance to speak with him, and he just seemed like he was in the zone, and had a lot on his mind for the show.
After watching several wrestlers head out of their limousines and into the arena, I headed back up to enter myself.
This was also my first Hall of Fame show as well, as when I attended WrestleMania XXIV in Orlando, I didn't get a chance to attend any of the other festivities going on.
All of the inductees meshed well together and the biggest ovations of the evening, before Shawn Michaels, went to Road Warrior Animal and Hacksaw Jim Duggan.
As for Drew Carrey, that didn't go so well. What did you expect?
Then, it came time for something to happen that I didn't really want to happen.
It wasn't goodbye forever, but it sure did feel like it.
A man that I watched for so many years step inside that squared circle was being inducted into the Hall of Fame, and leaving behind a legacy of so many fond memories.
Last year, when Michaels lost his career-ending match, it really stung. However, this was the culmination of it all and really closed the door on his legacy.
What better way to close the final chapter of his legacy than by rehashing a scene that started the journey.
Fifteen years ago, Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash had a group hug in the middle of the ring at Madison Square Garden, just as Hall and Nash were about to jump ship to WCW.
At this year's Hall of Fame ceremony, with X-Pac replacing an absent Hall, The Kliq stood on the stage and had one last moment together.
I was emotionally doing pretty well until the DX music hit and Shawn closed out his speech with the famous DX lines, "If you're not down with that, we got two words for ya," as he and Triple H pointed towards the entrance to call out X-Pac and Nash.
That did it for me.
Tears rolled down my cheek as I remembered all of those posters on my walls and the night I watched the boyhood dream of Shawn Michaels come true 15 years ago at WrestleMania XII.
I have done the best I could to describe how I feel about how today went, but I can't do the emotions I am feeling right now any justice.
It was magical, special and something that I will hold in my heart for many, many years to come.
The craziest thing yet, I haven't even taken my ringside seat at WrestleMania on Sunday night yet, so I better get some rest.
Follow me on Twitter @nyyrobinson.
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