Imagine for a minute gathering all of your dreams and desires into a pile. Given the option to pick one dream out the pile, one per year, and having it come true. What seems impossible no longer is impossible. What once seemed out of reach is no longer out of reach. For me, that pile is very high and in that pile are years and years of things I’ve always wanted to do but never had the chance to do so. But this past weekend I had a chance to pull from my pile of dreams. This past weekend I chose Wrestlemania33.
As a wrestling fan of nearly 20 years, I’ve always wondered what it would be like attending a Wrestlemania in person. The grandest stage of them all. The Super Bowl of Sports entertainment. The pinnacle of everything Professional Wrestling stands for. A personal favorite Wrestlemania of mine has always been Wrestlemania 22 in Chicago. Great matches, a few surprises, and everything that Wrestlemania stood for. But as the time change and technology became more advanced, Wrestlemania evolved into something different. Sure it was the same principle. Top matches with top superstars going balls to the wall for one night. But the Stadiums got bigger, the crowd grew larger, the lights became brighter and the desire to attend Wrestlemania in me grew at an uncontrolled rate. I didn’t know when. I didn’t know how. But one day I was going to Wrestlemania. Because I had to. I had to experience the energy. I had to experience the excitement. I had to be there in person to receive the justice it rightfully gave.
I’ll never forget the day when I bought the tickets. It was a cloudy November day and my Brother Clifton and I went half on our Wrestlemania tickets. A pretty large price to say the least. But it was worth it in our minds. The opportunity to see this live and in person outweighed any cost that was in front of us. Simply because our dreams were coming true.
The days leading up to our Wrestlemania trip our excitement could not be contained. Our bags were packed, our housing in Orlando was ready, and we were set to go on the biggest trip any of us has taken. The crew consisted of Myself, Clifton, Cardon, and Nene. Guys I’ve known for some time now are fellow WWE fans. We all knew that something special was happening this weekend and we was ready for it.
One thing that I will say about when Wrestlemania comes to town, they take over and considering this was my first Wrestlemania it came to me as a shock. The entire town of Orlando Florida was overrun by Wrestling fans!!! Not just fans of WWE but pro wrestling fans from all over the world. WrestleCon was in town also so that added to the already large crowd. Ring of Honor had an event that weekend and that along brought in 3000+ plus fans. So the culture in Orlando was welcoming and it felt right. Not only did we feel comfortable in our skin, we belonged there.
The Day of Mania was insane. Traffic, police, security, and over 75,000 fans in one place at one time. Camping World Stadium was the sight of the crime and legit I think we walked over 20 mins to the stadium and that was the “close parking.” LOL! Mind you it was hot too. But none of us cared because something we have been dreaming about our entire lives was about to happen.
As we entered the stadium I got goosebumps. The crowd outside of the stadium was best described as an angry mob willing to knock down walls to get in and see what the WWE prepared for its fans. And believe me, they didn’t spare any expense. The 80 plus yard ramp to the ring alone was the most impressive thing about Wrestlemania! The set that paid homage to Universal Studios was unique in its own way and brought out the culture of Orlando, Florida to a head. This was indeed the ultimate thrill ride for any and every WWE fan in attendance and watching around the world.
Our seats were at the very top in the crows nest. Not the best view but we was happy to be there. But due to a technicality, something amazing happened. Picture yourself. Your very first Wrestlemania or even your very first concert you are attending of your favorite artists. And out of nowhere, you are told that you will be upgraded to floor seats. Too good to be true right? Ha!!!! Makes me chuckle. But yet it happened! And at Wrestlemania 33 myself and my friends got to watch the entire show at eye level to the ring. Incredible does not even begin to describe how we felt. We legit was like kids on Christmas morning receiving the gift we have been wanting all year.
The card itself was stacked. Too many matches to explain here but what I can say is the Pyro man stayed busy all night. Fireworks rang throughout the night as WWE superstars graced us with their presence and talents. And I will say I was most impressed with Brock Lesnar vs Bill Goldberg. Believe me, if you saw the WrestleMania 20 disaster between these two you would understand my reservations. Overall the action of the evening was non stop and surpurb on all levels.
The highlight of the evening unfortunately was not anyone in a attendence or watching on TV expected. Roman vs Taker was moved to the main event and sadly most of us knew exactly what that meant. We didn’t wanna believe it but we knew in our hearts what was gonna happen. But on the level that it did, not of us expected. In front of 75,000 plus The Undertaker had his last match at Wrestlemania. A legecy of over 2 Decades had come to an end. For me it was emotional. My grandmother who was a Undertaker fan till her dying days. I know she was watching from somewhere in the heavens as tears of joy and sorrow fells from the sky and the faces of those in attendance. To see that in person put a lot into perspective for me as a fan. You never know when the end will be for anyone in their career. But to be able to say you saw it is something that no one can ever take from you.
As I am writing this I am on the plane heading back to Kansas City leaving from Orlando. WrestleMania weekend I got to see things I never thought I would see and experience things that never in a million years I could ever thought I would. I am blessed that I had the love and support from everyone in Kansas City who watched our adventures from back home. I only pray that next year I can bring even more with me. Yes Wrestlemania33 was on my bucketlist. But more importantly I got to share this with people I love and care about. And at the end of the day that’s what life is about. Peak life experiences with people you share the same vision with. Wrestlemania 34 is already in the works and the excitement is already brewing for that. I’m ready to the next thrill ride, but will always be greatful for the first. I’ll be there! Will you?
Written By: Dejuan Mills