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Wrestlemania Weekend: A Wrestling Nerd's Dream

(The Verge) – I’ll be the first to admit that I have an addiction…and yes, I think Dr. Drew may need to get involved to help me out. But until your people can get a hold of the celeb’s entourage, let me indulge you a little bit with my problem and the bender of a weekend I had starting on April 4th.
Like millions of people across the country, I suffer from a debilitating addiction to Pro Wrestling and it’s something that’s been going on for over two decades of my life. To break it down, I have close to 400 wrestling videos, a countless amount of vintage shirts, boxes upon boxes of action figures and going out on a Monday night before 11:15pm is not an option. But even with all of those collectibles (which would put Steve Carrel in The 40 Year Old Virgin to shame), there was one thing I have never done; and that was to attend the Mecca of Sports-Entertainment: Wrestlemania. (And guess what, I finally I lived my dream).
Since going to Wrestlemania has been something I have been dreaming of since I first laid eyes on superstars like The Ultimate Warrior, Hulk Hogan and Macho Man Randy Savage as a kid, there was no other option for me other than to go all out with my ‘Wrestlemania Weekend”. In order to ball out on this event it required me to not only spend $340 on my Mania tickets but also to attend the WWE Hall of Fame, WWE Fan Axxess and PWS Supercard for two nights in a row.
The first stop on my Mania Weekend was to attend PWS Supercard on April 4th & 5th. For anyone who is not a wrestling fan, let me just tell you that you must attend at least one independent wrestling show, as they are an even better time than attending a WWE show! I brought two girls who knew nothing about pro wrestling other than The Rock and they spent the night watching men dressed as anime characters, legends way past their prime hustling autographs to their overly nerdy fan base and of course they saw a man staple gun another man in the head…but hey, who hasn’t seen that before on a Thursday night?

Wrestlemania: a consortium of wrestling events that prove to become a lifelong memory. Image taken from: sportsgameupdate.com

After spending two straight nights watching some great independent pro wrestling and more importantly eating at Denny’s after both shows, the next stop for Wrestlemania Weekend was the WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony at Madison Square Garden. To prove how bad my addiction problem is, just soak up this little fact: I despise dressing up in a suit for weddings, funerals, graduations etc. but I dressed in a suit on my own will for this event.  The night was special as it was Bruno Sammartino’s first WWE related appearance with the company after a bitter fall out in 1987, so to spend $100 on tickets on this was no problem.
Sunday was the big day of wrestling nerd celebrations. It started off with attending the WWE’s official fan festival known as Axxess which was held at the IZOD center. The festival had a ton of ring worn memorabilia, superstars signing autographs and WWE NXT matches held in the arena section. This was honestly the weakest part of the weekend (aside from when I schooled a group of 14yr olds in a John Cena trivia contest) but I did meet a man named Gustavo who came all the way from Chile by himself just for Wrestlemania Weekend. After Axxess, a group of my fellow wrestling nerds held an amazing tailgate party, which in my opinion was the highlight of the entire weekend. It was such a good tailgate that even the band The Wonder Years showed up for a cheeseburger and we introduced Gustavo to his first ever tailgate experience.
Finally, the moment I have been waiting for my entire had come! Walking to my seat to Wrestlemania 29 at Metlife Stadium was something that I’ll never forget. We kept walking closer and closer until we reached the floor of the stadium, as we sat down in section 128F, we looked around and gazed at the 82,000-occupant-filled stadium in amazement. If I had to pinpoint one moment in my life that I thought would never happen, this was it. Honestly, the actual matches on the card were far from the best and the event itself felt very rushed but the adrenaline rush of just being there was worth the ungodly amount of money that I spent that weekend.
After accepting the fact that I spent a little under a thousand dollars on one weekend of pro wrestling, I realized that it wasn’t the wrestling that made me so blissful that weekend but it was all of great experiences I had with my group of friends all weekend. As much as this was the wrestling experience of a lifetime, I like to think of it as a great overall life experience with a group of great people. And that is an addiction I could never curb.
The Rock, a prime-time feature of this year’s Wrestlemania, is seen enticing the crowd. Image taken from: media.lehighvalleylive.com