My Wrestlemania Diary:
Thursday 25th March:
The British Point of View is taking a bit of a trip this week. As we all know Wrestlemania 26 is this Sunday and I come to you currently typing from onboard flight 0289 on its way to Phoenix, Arizona.
As usual there is a person sat in front of me which I will not name who has got his seat right in my face so whilst I’m attempting to type this. I feel like I’ve got the arms of a Tyrannosaurus Rex because I’m so cramped up trying to type on a small dining tray. I’m starting to realise that at least Hornswoggle has one small (no pun intended) advantage in life!
I am currently writing what I hope you will find an interesting few entries to the site as I will try to keep you updated on all events happening during my visit.
For the UK fans of this column you may take interest in knowing that Dizzee Rascal is currently on this plane but is obviously not crunched up in coach class like yours truly.
So what can we expect this weekend with Wrestlemania 26? Having been very lucky over the last few years, I have been able to attend the last 4 Wrestlemania’s in person. The card for this Sunday genuinely looks to be a decent one. It deffinately seems to be a card more interesting than last year’s ‘Mania. Last year’s efforts seemed to fall short with a bland match between HHH and Randy Orton, a terribly organised Diva battle Royale, a flat match between Jericho and the legends (seeing as we hoped that either Austin or Hogan was going to step in the ring. We even had Mickey Rourke in the mix at one point.)
So what do we have to look forward to?
Bret Hart against Vince McMahon will feel special in any case because as soon as we all see Bret in the pink and black then I’m sure the crowd will go wild no matter what the match will present for itself.
Triple H and Sheamus have a decent chance of a good match. I don’t expect it to be a classic by any means but if it ties everything over smoothly before the next match then I will be happy.
Jericho against Edge has the potential to be a true great championship main event for Wrestlemania if done correctly. I may be on my own on this one but I feel the ‘SPEAR’ build up to the match has taken away what could truly be a great technical match. We will have to see!
Batista against John Cena is the match which should have happened for the first time at Wrestlemania rather than them making each other face off at Summerslam for the first time 2 years ago. It has taken a little of spark out of the match but I have loved Batista’s mic work in the last few weeks. I can see the usual John Cena finish on this one but hopefully the match will keep us on the edge of our seats, a few false finishes and it become a great match.
The Money in the Bank Ladder match is potentially one of the more important matches in recent times this year. Most of the competitors are the younger roster and they really have the chance to shine this year. Kofi impressed us all in last years efforts and I think that has been the main catalyst for this years match being set out the way it is.
Then we have HBK and Undertaker. This was the one match that saved last years Wrestlemania and out of all the matches I have seen live it is easily the most crowd involved match I’ve witnessed. This year will be no different and there are many possible outcomes.
Overall as you can tell I may be excited! Not as excited as my friend who came to Houston with me last year and proceeded to sing AC/DC’s ‘Shoot to Thrill’ at the stewardess in a comedic fashion. Only for the Stewardess to wonder why a man on the plane is shouting “SHOOT YOU! YEAH I’M GONNA SHOOT YOU DOWN!”
The same gentleman is sat next to me now and hasn’t noticed I’m writing this yet but I will check his reaction later!
One thing that I must admit that about 70% of people who are on this flight are all people who are attending Wrestlemania. Respect to all the English fans who can and will make this trip, you are true fans!
I will provide another entry when I touch ground in Phoenix and get my hands on those lovely tickets for the Hall of Fame, Wrestlemania 26 and the Raw for the following night. Then and only then will I feel a little easier about spending this amount of time on a plane J
P.S. I have just checked the flight and I still have over 6 hours flying time left. How do these wrestlers sit on planes for most of their career? Respect!
Friday 26th March:
Today is what I like to call ticket day! The day when I go round the town to the various arena’s and pick up the tickets for the events.
Things started well. A small taxi ride into the town centre proved to be easy as we got chance to walk round Chase Field, Dodge Theatre the US Airways Arena.
As we were walking through the town centre a few limo’s pulled into one of the big hotels and Sheamus got out and went into the Hotel. It might sound an obvious statement but he looks less pale when he’s wearing full clothing, big guy though.
Then came the journey to the University of Phoenix Stadium, which the taxi driver misunderstood our instructions and took us to the actual University which happens to be 40 miles in the opposite direction! I got jooped a little there I think!
The tickets are now collected and there is no better feeling when you get handed those precious tickets!
Had a walk around Westgate, which is near the stadium and I have to say that it is an impressive place, plenty of bars and restaurants. It should be interesting to see how busy the place gets when Wrestlemania wraps up on Sunday night!
One thing that must be noticed is how many British people are here just for the event. I thought it might have just been our flight but the whole city seems to be full of us!
Saturday 27th March:
Today was the WWE Hall of Fame. When we arrived at the Theatre the crowds had gathered. They seemed to be more than the Theatres 5,000 capacity waiting outside to get a glimpse of some of the Wrestlers and their families entering the Theatre from the side. Saw I.R.S. walking in with what looked ot be his family which was pretty cool. Although the Theatre seemed small compared to an Arena it was still a great ceremony. Being in an Theatre rather than an Arena obviously looses the big atmosphere, but the heart was there none-the-less.
One thing I regret is that I wasn’t sat 2 rows forward to try and grab some of Ted Dibiase’s cash!
Upon leaving the Hall of Fame I noticed that Jerry Lynn was in the town centre checking out the UFC fight chatting to a few friends and family members by the look of it.
Later on in the evening I noticed R-Truth getting a bite to eat with some friends. It’s good to see these guys doing normal things and not being pestered by fans constantly.
Tomorrow is Wrestlemania and the heart gets pumping at the thought.
I will be back tomorrow with hopefully some great memories that I can share with you.
Sunday 28th March:
Well today is the big day! Wrestlemania!
We were very fortunate that a friendly Father and his Son from our hotel were also attending Wrestlemania today and they kindly offered to give us a lift to the stadium for today’s event.
Now people who read my article’s my notice that I’m not John Cena’s biggest fan. However, after hearing a young child in a car for 30 minutes telling me that he was living his dream of being able to go to his first Wrestlemania and talking about how he was looking forward to seeing John Cena try and beat Batista gave me a quick reminder of what I was like the first time I got the opportunity to see something like this in person. I’m still not a fan of John Cena at this moment in time but the reasons why they keep him in so high regard is obviously done for the right reasons.
The day was hot and the stadium looked even bigger than it did on Friday! When we got into the arena I was completely gob-smacked, the stage and the setup looked massive and awe-inspiring.
I knew they were going to use a canopy in the same fashion as they had done at Wrestlemania 24 but I never expected it to be the size that it was. This was obviously a better design than 24 as it allowed people to see more of the ring. At Wrestlemania 24 the canopy was quite small but blocked a lot of the ringside area. Overall very impressive.
The event got going with a bonus 26 man battle royal. The match wasn’t fantastic but at least it gave some of the talent who weren’t on the card a bit of the spotlight.
The intro package started which built up the Wrestlemania “Moment” quite well and made you realise just how big this event has become.
The event overall was good, I obviously don’t know how it came across on TV but I really enjoyed it. I felt the show was much better than last year’s effort.
I was disappointed that they decided to go with the usual John Cena Wrestlemania win. I felt if they had built on this properly with Batista beating Cena again they could have built up a rivalry with Cena finally going over in the end, but instead we get treated to the usual tap out.
Bret versus Vince was disappointing. I try not to knock it too much as what could I expect? Bret is not in great health and you do not want to see anyone get seriously hurt but the way they laid the match out didn’t seem to work in my opinion.
I liked how Jericho got one over on Edge as I felt it came across as a more realistic result.
The women’s match was pointless as usual and was used to fill a gap between main events.
And then there is HBK versus The Undertaker… This match was truly worth the wait. I honestly wanted HBK to win this match but I respect they way they presented this match. I know HBK can hang up the boots whilst he was still able to take the show (unlike Hogan.)
Although I didn’t feel the actual match itself was as good as last year’s effort, the emotion of knowing what could be about to happen was enough to carry it through. I would be lying if I said I didn’t have a massive lump in my throat when HBK was leaving the stadium.
I respect the man who has always been able to make his opponent look way better than he is, I credit the man who was able to make one event be the one worth watching, even if it was just for his match alone. I pay respect to a man who has been able to return from a career ending injury, turn his life around and adapt his physical abilities to remain thee man in this industry. If anyone was going to beat the Undertaker’s streak then I wanted it to be Shawn. Now it hasn’t been accomplished I’ll be disappointed if the streak is handed to somebody who does not earn this honour. Please WWE, think about what you’re doing before you may and go hand the streak to John Cena next year. (as I feel this is the only match remaining for Undertaker at the biggiest show)
Anyway today is nothing short of amazing. Tomorrow night’s RAW will be emotional send off for the man known as the showstopper and I’ll bring some tissues with me just in case!
Monday 29th March:
Tonight was Monday Night RAW and it was exactly what we all felt it would be, a farewell show for Shawn. I felt this was handled very well. The opportunity for Undertaker to pay his respect to Shawn on TV without breaking his character was done with dignity and the after air show with HHH was both humorous and heart-felt.
I was a little disappointed that a few more of the wrestlers did not pay respects in the ring the same way they did with Ric Flair 2 years ago. Either way they may have not wanted to do it with the spotlight on them which I cannot blame them.
On the other hand I liked how they teased Jack Swagger using the Money in the Bank briefcase tonight which could develop into something interesting.
Randy Orton well and truly turned into a babyface tonight with the pop he received from both adults and children who used to boo him constantly.
Overall a good follow up for Wrestlemania and a nice way to finish off the Wrestlemania week.
This brings to the end this small diary I have put together. I’m off to enjoy another week in Phoenix taking in the opening day of Baseball, a Ice Hockey game and see whether the Suns can roar into the Playoffs.
I hope you have enjoyed reading and I shall return with some interesting topics to discuss.
If you have any comments or if you were at these events and have an opinion to express then feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a news tip? Attended an event and want to send a live report?