Today I want to take the time to talk about Wrestlemania. But don’t worry. This is not going to be a prediction column or a preview. I expect you’ll be getting swamped with them over the next few days. I want to talk about what Wrestlemania means to me as a fan. Any wrestling fan knows that Wrestlemania is the biggest wrestling show of the year. It doesn’t matter if your a WWE, TNA, ROH or just an independent wresting fan. You all know what Wrestlemania is and the history behind it. What I love about Wrestlemania is just how big it is. The production values. We have the pyrotechnics, we have the long walkway to the ring, we have the national anthem sung before the show starts. The atmosphere in the arena when the show starts is intense. I’ve never been to a Wrestlemania. But that intense noise from the crowd does come through the screen, It’s not the same as been there but even at home you get the feeling that Wrestlemania is special.
Wrestlemania is the only pay per view that I make sure I watch each year. Other shows I watch, but if I ever missed or maybe fell asleep, I wouldn’t feel so bad. I’d just catch a replay or check out the results on line. But no matter what the card looks like or what time it is in the UK (midnight most years) Wrestlemania is the show I have to watch live. Wrestlemania matches feel special. Even though through out the year we’ve probably seen most of the matches on a number of occasions, it makes them bigger. Almost as if its a must see attraction that will never happen again. There is like a virtual power that grabs hold of both fans and wrestlers when Wrestlemania season comes round. Unique things happen at Wrestlemania. These moments are normally referred as “Wrestlemania moments” Both wrestlers and fans experience these moments. Moments which capture our imagination. Things that we will remember for a long time to come. The magical things is that these moments are given to us in a scripted environment but it still leaves us wanting more and more. Wrestlemania is the time to forget about scripts and pre determined results. It’s a moment to savor.
Wrestlemania is one of only a few pay per views where you can sit back and actually watch wrestling. Call it sports entertainment if you want. But Wrestlemania is the time when each guy and girl goes out to the ring to show of what they do best on the biggest stage. We as wrestling fans, that what we’ve called for. We would like to see more actual wrestling. Wrestlemania has that extra action and the wrestlers themselves to try that little bit harder to put on a great show. They feed of the crowd. The crowd is so damn intense. What a buzz you must get being in that ring, a tidal wave or noise coming down onto you. It must give that extra element needed to have an excellent match. It’s so different any other pay per view. Look at the Elimination Chamber last month. It doesn’t come close to comparing to Wrestlemania. It’s built like the end of the WWE year and the Raw, the next night is almost start of the new WWE year. Things are decided. Feuds are ended here. The Royal Rumble winner. His journey ends at Wrestlemania. The Elimination chamber winner, His journey ends at Wrestlemania. Stories come together and more often than not, they end at Wrestlemania. Each story in turn, create their own Wrestlemania moment. Look at Rock and Cena. A year in the making. Imagine now, when these two men are standing face to face in the middle of the ring. The crowd going crazy. That will be a huge Wrestlemania moment which will be shown time and time again for a very long time.
This is why I love it so much. The build up. As soon as one Wrestlemania ends. he build up to the next one begins. It may not seem like it in the short term. But everything that happens in the WWE, It all comes to the boil at Wrestlemania. The reward of a hard years work comes together in a four hour show.
On a personal note for me. Wrestlemania means a lot because it was the first Wrestling show that I ever watched. It’s time for a little story here. I started watching Wrestling fourteen years ago. Wrestlemania fourteen was the first show I watched. My brother was already a fan at this time. He had actually recorded Wrestlemania fourteen. I remember a few days later being sick and missing the day of school. I put that video into the recorder and for the next three hours I never moved. I was captivated by what was happening on screen. The first match on the card was Taka Michinoku versus Aguila for the light heavyweight championship. Obviously not remembered by many people but, I can pretty much tell you everything that happened in that match. I watched it so many times. I watched that whole show over and over again. I could tell you the whole card, who won, who lost. I saw a dumpster match. How awesome is that. The first wrestling show I see and it has a dumpster match. I loved the names of people. I’d never ever heard of these people but names like “Cactus Jack” and Chainsaw Charlie. Names that are steeped in history. I was having my very own Wrestlemania moment without even realizing. It just kind of grabbed and I’ve watched ever since. I saw Undertaker and Kane go at it for the first time. I was a six year old child listening to this story about a dead man and placing people in coffins and setting them on fire. I loved it and I still love it to this day.
I look at some of the names who were on that card. HHH, Kane, Undertaker, Stone Cold and Shawn Michaels. I continues to grow up watching these people. Fourteen years later I’m still watching HHH, Kane and Undertaker compete. People who I have followed since I was a child, whether they were good or bad I followed them and I continue to follow them to this day. That’s why I love Wrestlemania. It was those people when I first watched who opened my eyes to wrestling. It’s down to them why for the past fourteen years I’ve been waiting for next years Wrestlemania. Now I wont lie. not every Wrestlemania between fourteen to the present day have been good. Even Wrestlemania fourteen isn’t exactly remembered for being a great show. For me it will always be special and that is why Wrestlemania will always be special to me. Wrestlemania maps my journey as a wrestling fan. Every time it comes round its another since I started watching.
In my very first column, I explained that I’ve got friends who ask me why I continue to watch wrestling. Just imagine. If I was never sick from school that day. I may never have watched that video. I may not have started watching wrestling. I wouldn’t be typing this right now. But Wrestling hooked me and I’ve been hooked ever since. It’s time like this when I try to watch Wrestlemania solely as a fan. I try not to criticize because Wrestlemania should be the time when you just watch. It doesn’t need to be critiqued. Some people take it way too seriously. There are people who will judge it on the main event alone. In my honest opinion I believe that John Cena will beat The Rock. If that does indeed happen, some fans will be unhappy, but they shouldn’t let one result ruin the show as a whole for them. Maybe people critique it too much because it only comes around once a year. People should savor it. We have to wait another year for it to come back. I want the fans to enjoy it.
Everyone should have their Wrestlemania moment. Fans and wrestlers. Not even just one moment. Countless things that you may enjoy. Maybe something that doesn’t even matter to anybody else but could be special to you. This could well be one of the best Wrestlemanias of all time. I just hope you can watch it and enjoy. I don’t want you to spend the whole year mulling over how bad it was. It just sours your expectations for the following year. Where ever you are. At the stadium live, watching it with family, watching it with friends. Just kick back relax and enjoy watching the pinnacle of pro wrestling. I know I’m going to enjoy it. I just hope you do too.
Time for the plugs.
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Until next time. Thanks for reading.