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Random Thoughts from a Random Guy

The Mania of Wrestlemania

This post is long overdue, sorry for the delay.  It’s been nearly three weeks since my trip to Burbank and Phoenix.  I mentioned in my last post that everyone should have some kind of bucket list.  A “to do” list if you will, before they die.  I’m fortunate enough to have been able to check some items off mine.  As I talked about before, going to Hollywood was one of those things.  Check.  Another was attending a live Wrestlemania event.  I am lucky to have been to four now.

Money Inc.: The Action Figures

Ever since watching the very first Wrestlemania on closed circuit television back in 1985, I’ve dreamed of going to Wrestlemania.  In 2006, that dream finally came true.  For those who don’t understand, Wrestlemaina is like the Superbowl of wrestling.  It’s such a huge event, with so much hype that my words will truly not do it any justice.  Some will roll their eyes and stop reading, if they even made it past the headline.  For those who want to know more, keep reading.

I won’t give you the whole back story that led up to it, but in the summer of 2005, my friend Chad asked if I wanted to “buy a package deal” and go to Wrestlemania 22.  Since it was in Chicago (and we’re in southern Illinois) it would only be a 5 hour drive.  The package deal though cost $1,400 (that included the ticket to Wrestlemania, a ticket to the Hall of Fame (yes, there is a Hall of Fame), a ticket to a breakfast, an autograph session, the hotel room, special prizes, and the chair that you sat it.  I remember asking Lisa (yes, I had to ask) if I could go.  She was supportive and said yes.  My wife is truly awesome.

The Spirit Squad!And in true geek fashion, we dressed up like the rule breaking group of male cheerleaders, the Spirit Squad.   We even made up several cheers based on the night’s matches.  We performed them prior to entering the All State Arena.  Fans who were waiting to get inside were entertained.  Others thought we were insane, and still some thought we were the actual Spirit Squad.  No joke, we were followed around the Target store near the arena with teenie boppers asking if we were really them.  Now, if you’ve ever seen the real squad, you’d know we are far from looking anything like them.  Even with the Bow Flex, I don’t come close. 🙂

So leaving Chicago in 2006, I thought this is it.  I can now die a happy man.  I’ve been to a Wrestlemania live and in person.  I remember going to the old Kiel Center in downtown St. Louis to watch Wrestlemania IV on the big theater screen via closed circuit TV.  I thought that was pretty damn cool (but I was 14 then).

It never occurred to me that I’d make a return trip, let alone three more.  But that’s what I’ve done.  My friend Chad and I have been to Wrestlemanias 22, 24, 25, and 26.  Each year it’s a different adventure.  In 2008, Orlando was the host city and the package deal included tickets to Universal Studios.  That was a lot of fun, and since it was in Florida the event was outside at the Citrus Bowl.  The weather was perfect and the night had a lot of great (okay, good) matches.

Hogan vs. Piper

By the time 2009 rolled around, we scaled back on the package deal and just bought tickets to the events we wanted to go to.  It was much cheaper that way, of course we weren’t as close to the action, and didn’t get to keep our chairs.  Houston was the host city for the 25th anniversary of Wrestlemania, so Chad and I decided to dress as two of the men who were in the main event of the first ‘Mania, Hulk Hogan and Rowdy Roddy Piper.  It was a lot of fun, but no one mistook us for the “real deals”.  Guess it’s the lack of workin’ out, right?  This Mania for me was not as much fun as the past events, I think in part because there was a lot more down time.  With the package deals, there is more to do and interact with the wrestlers and other fans.  Even though many wrestling fans are somewhat annoying (I’m sure I fit in that category too), it’s still fun to “observe” and make funny little comments.

We're not the only geeks.

This year, we made it back again.  And I’d have to say this was probably the most enjoyable of the trips for me.   I think that has partly to do with the Hollywood experience beforehand, but the Wrestlemania weekend was a lot of fun too.  We opted to not do the package deal again this year, but we did buy tickets to Fan Axxess, which is an interactive event where you can get in a ring, meet wrestlers, and see some old time exhibits.  Prior to our arrival, we had been selected to be a part of a focus group during part of Axxess, so to compensate us for our time, we got tickets to return on Sunday.  Bonus!  When we went back Sunday, we were dressed as former WWF tag team champions, Money, Inc.  I was the Million Dollar Man (big thanks to my mom for altering my suit coat into the Million Dollar jacket) and Chad was Irwin R. Shyster (IRS, get it).  We were stopped by so many people wanting to take our picture or have their picture taken with us.  I joked with Chad that they’re posting our pics on Facebook with the caption “check out these douchebags.”  I don’t care though, because we had a great time.

I enjoy these trips for a couple of reasons.  One, I really do like wrestling.   Don’t tell me it’s fake.  I know it’s predetermined.  I watch it like you’d watch a movie or a TV show.  Do you really think those people are dead on CSI?   Secondly, it gives me a break from work and home and allows me to recharge my batteries.  I appreciate the fact that I have a loving and supportive wife who lets me do this.  Because let’s face it, not every woman would want her man gone for an extended weekend, spending money and acting like a fool.  And finally, it allows me a chance to catch up with a good friend who moved away several years ago.  We don’t get to see each other very often and I enjoy the time we spend together.  It’s a bromance, a man-cation, whatever you want to call it.  I just say it’s a hellva good time.

So who’s up for Atlanta next year?  Anyone?


One Response to “The Mania of Wrestlemania”

  1. If my wife will let me go…I’m totally in!

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