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Day 5 means it’s time for WRESTLEMANIA!! I bounded out of bed like a little kid on Christmas morning and threw on my Bray Wyatt inspired clothing for the day.
The plan was simple, get to the venue early as I had to collect tickets, then just generally hang around and soak up the atmosphere as we wait for the largest wrestling spectacle of the year to begin.
The best part about the trip to the arena? The number of adults telling me the Bray Wyatt thing was cool, while at the same time their kids dressed like John Cena were giving me evils. One little kid all decked out in his Hustle, Loyalty, and Respect shirt, replete with matching head band, wristbands and jean shorts assured me that “Bray’s going down”. It seriously took all my willpower not to respond to an 8 year old with “Yeah, well so is your mom”.
As soon as we got to the Superdome, there was just people EVERYWHERE. Big screens were pitched up that played previous WrestleManias to appease the crowds, merchandise stalls were around literally every corner for you to buy shirts, belts, programmes, just a myriad of WWE Merch, and there were even a group of guys who had took it upon themselves to keep the crowd entertained by having a little tailgate party of their own in the middle of the parking lot. Full marks to these guys, they all dressed up as various wrestlers from throughout the years, and played a succession of WWE entrance themes as the queues started to form.
It was at this point that I realised that I’d had nothing to eat, so had better find something sharpish. The only place nearby was a fast food taco place, and the queue was HUGE. But food is food (especially tacos…mmm, tacos) so we queued for pretty much an hour just to try and avoid the prices inside the arena.
From there we headed back to the arena, only to find the crowd had pretty much quadrupled in size, and now the queues were stretching back out towards the nervous looking police in the street trying to herd the crowds in the right direction. Somewhat luckily for us, we took a shortcut across the car park and got to by the arena just in time for security to open more doors and usher us straight in. I later found out that some people had been queuing for over 2 hours to get in, whereas it had somehow only taken us literally 3 minutes to get into the building. My advice would be to get there early, oh and don’t take a bag or backpack. They will pick that apart and it’ll only delay you getting into the venue. Some poor kid was getting the third degree from security for having the audacity to have a Butterfinger in his backpack.
We found our way up to our seats, here’s the view we had:
And patiently awaited the start of the show. I’m not going to go into the details of the show itself, since you all already know what happened. All I will say is that I chanted myself hoarse during Cena/Wyatt. Some little kid on the row in front insisted on chanting “Let’s go Cena” all the way through, so I felt it was my obligation to inform him that “Cena sucks” over and over again. It was all light-hearted and in the spirit of things, but that didn’t stop me losing my voice completely.
I’ll also say that you should prepare for your wallet to be mercilessly fleeced should you choose to purchase food and drinks inside the arena. A hotdog cost me $9 and each beer I drank cost me $6. Yikes. But it was WrestleMania, so if you can’t splash out a little then, when can you?
So for 4 hours we laughed, cheered, booed, marked out for Cesaro, freaked out at the end of the streak, and enjoyed one of the happiest Mania endings ever. Simply put, it was brilliant. Watching the event on TV is no comparison to actually being there (if only because you don’t have to listen to Michael Cole for 4 hours) and I can’t recommend the entire experience highly enough. In fact, the only people who didn’t seem to have a good time was the guy I saw outside who’s come dressed as CM Punk (trunks and everything) while making his girlfriend (I assume it’s his girlfriend anyways) dress as AJ Lee. That guy didn’t look happy.
For the most part though, everyone left the Superdome that night relatively happy that Daniel Bryan won (although I can’t vouch for the people I noticed walk out after The Undertaker lost).
So there you have it, that’s my little adventure to New Orleans for WrestleMania week. After looking for them for 4 days straight, I did finally manage to find some of the TWO guys on Monday:
We watched Raw in Spirits (which had become our favourite haunt by this point) and headed back to the airport Tuesday morning to return to the UK.
So, to answer the question I posed at the start of this article “should you go to WrestleMania”? The short answer is yes, of course you should. It really is one of those things that needs to be experienced if you do truly love your wrestling. Even if you’re down on WWE right now, it’s worth going for the myriad of other events that take place in and about town over the course of the week. There’s typically something for everyone, and it really does feel like wrestling Christmas as you’re bowling round town with a bunch of like-minded folks all there for the same reason. Take the opportunity to explore your surroundings, find your nearest IHOP and set up shop there if you want to meet the wrestlers, and most importantly just have fun with it. Make it your own special WrestleMania experience, I guarantee you won’t regret it. I know I don’t.
Will you be attending WrestleMania for the first time or have you been before? Share your experiences below…