For the first time in my life, I know exactly how I feel about the WWE.
Like most fans of professional wrestling, I tend to be pretty critical of the WWE. I spend a lot of time making bold statements about why the company is in a bad place and how the bookers have no clue about what they’re doing. Yes, I am a jaded wrestling fan, who has seen and heard it all before. But for anybody who ever doubts the product that Vince McMahon and company put out every week, all I can say is go to WrestleMania.
As I sat near the top of the Georgia Dome on Sunday night and witnessed 70,000 plus screaming their heads off for their favorite WWE superstars, I found myself struggling to emotionally keep myself together.
At first, I was completely overwhelmed by the sheer site of the WrestleMania setup. Over the years, I have been to countless live TV taping's and pay-per-view events, but nothing could even come close to comparing to the display I witnessed upon first entering the Dome.
A slight fear of heights had my knees buckling as I walked though section 308, eagerly approaching my seat. I purposely avoided looking out at the arena until I sat down. I closed my eyes for a split second, took a deep breath and then looked out on to thousands of fans who were just as impressed as I was.
Of course, the instant adrenaline rush dies down after a few minutes, and once I actually came to terms that I was finally attending WrestleMania, I began to ponder some of the matches I was about to see. I was trying to figure out what I was truly excited about. I wanted to know what match I would still remember 20 years from now. Sure, I was completely thrilled that The Rock and Steve Austin would be featured, but Wrestlemania is always remembered for legendary matches, not legendary cameos. What would be this year’s WrestleMania moment?
Some of the night’s early matches were pretty exceptional in my opinion. I can’t say enough about guys like CM Punk and Randy Orton. That is a match that could, and maybe eventually will, headline WrestleMania. With those two, you get great workers who really have amazing in-ring chemistry. It was a true pleasure to see them live.
Rey Mysterio and Cody Rhodes really won the crowd over as well. With Mysterio, it is no surprise. The guy has become a larger-than-life type character, and it’s amazing to see how The WWE’s younger fanbase connects with him. It was awesome for me, personally, to say that I saw Mysterio at the Georgia Dome in 1998 while he was in WCW, and now, 13 years later, in the same arena he is just as impressive.
I don’t know how Triple H and Undertaker came off on TV, but I probably will never watch the match again. I want to always remember it how I saw it live. I have no idea how it came off on TV, but there was not a person sitting around me who was not at the edge of their seat for what seemed like an eternity.
Even though we all knew for a fact that there was no way that the streak would be ending, for those few moments in the ring, I was biting my lip waiting for that three count on The Dead Man. Hunter and the Undertaker put on a show for the wrestling universe, and though it probably won’t be remembered nearly as well as HBK and ‘Taker, for those who saw it live, it will be just as special.
The one thing I took away from the night's main event was something that I thought might happen. The Miz won the crowd over. He really is a fun guy to hate. He is so fun to hate, that is translating into more cheers than boos. Having The Miz retain the title was a really good move, and he is getting more credible by the minute. It seems though as the fanbase is going to dictate the Miz’s direction, and I wouldn’t be shocked if he is the company’s top baby-face within the next year.
The finish was not too unpredictable, and it was fun to see The Rock get in on the action. Going into the event, I was worried that The Rock wouldn’t be used to potential, but the live audience ate up every word he said, and for a lack of better terms, he really did bring it.
Overall, maybe it wasn’t the best WrestleMania ever, but for those who were there, it will be the most memorable. The live WWE experience cannot be compared to any other live form of entertainment. For those of you who have never attended a WrestleMania, I would go ahead and try to check if off your bucket lists. It will give you a new sense of appreciation for the overall product.
I do not see a foreseeable circumstance that would prevent me from attending WrestleMania in Miami next year. And with the main event already announced, I think it is safe to say that it may be the biggest one yet.
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