WRITTEN BY ANTHONY RUGGIERO
World Wrestling Entertainment presented Wrestlemania 29 on April 7, live from MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.
Growing up as a fan you always dream about attending Wrestlemania weekend and all of the events that go with it. I was still young when Wrestlemania 20 was in New York City. But when WWE announced Wrestlemania 29 was coming back to the area, I vowed to myself I would be there.
Wrestlemania is considered the “Super Bowl” of professional wrestling. As a lifelong wrestling fan, I could not pass up the opportunity to attend the pay-per-view event since it was so close to my home.
It all started on Thursday when I attended “WWE Axxess”. Axxess was a four-day event in which fans can meet their favorite superstars and divas in person. During Axxess there are live matches, meet-and-greets, superstar Q&A and various memorabilia displayed throughout the IZOD Center. I met over 15 of my favorite superstars including legends like Harley Race and my favorite WWE Diva, AJ Lee.
As I walked around the IZOD Center, it seemed surreal to me. Meeting all of the guys you see on television makes you take a step back. Each superstar took time to sign an autograph and talk to you for a minute and thanked the fans for coming out.
When I woke up on Sunday morning, the fact I was fulfilling a childhood dream didn’t settle in right away. After some tailgating and parking lot football, the gates opened at Metlife Stadium at 4:30 P.M.
After the usher scanned my ticket and I walked to my seats, it finally hit me. Before I sat down I took a minute to look around the stadium. All I kept saying to myself was “Wow, I’m finally here.” I’ve watched WWE my entire life and I was finally at Wrestlemania. When the countdown clock hit zero I couldn’t be more excited for it to all begin.
The show opened up with a six-man tag team match that saw the team of Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose, known as The Shield defeat the team of Sheamus, Randy Orton and the Big Show. Despite the frigid temperatures watching the opening contest got the crowd going and set the tone for the rest of the evening.
The best match of the night in my opinion was CM Punk and the Undertaker. The Undertaker is now 21-0 at Wrestlemania. The match was back and forth and the crowd had dueling chants for each wrestler. MetLife Stadium was filled with fans of both wrestlers and despite the Undertaker winning the match, CM Punk fans were pleased with the level of action and intensity the match had.
The main event of the evening saw The Rock lose his WWE Championship to John Cena. Cena has been the top guy in the company for quite some time and was heavily booed. The children in the crowd were cheering “Let’s Go Cena!” and the men followed that with a “Cena Sucks” chant. Nothing beats a New York City crowd for professional wrestling. The theme of “coming home” couldn’t have been more true for this year’s Wrestlemania.
Just looking at the stage and the production that goes into the show truly was eye opening especially as a senior communications major. To see the crowd react to each superstar’s entrance music showed me that even though I may be older it’s still good to see WWE have such a devoted fan base.
There were some questionable booking decisions that I could rant about but since it was my first Wrestlemania I will never forget it, as I have a raspy voice left to prove it. This student at the “small college of big dreams” crossed one of the major things off of his bucket list this weekend.