Dot Net reader Dylan Maharrey attended WrestleMania 33 and sent the following report on the in-person experience.
Getting into the Camping World Stadium was a bit of a mess. There was a huge traffic jam at the entrance, with nowhere near enough metal detectors. Some fans were putting on wrestling matches in the stands. Not the smartest idea, but it was fun to watch, and the other fans played along.
The highlight of all of that nonsense was a Stone Cold vs. Ultimate Warrior vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Ric Flair match. It was… something that happened. The fans ate it up.
By the time first match started, the stadium was decently full. Looks like an improvement from last year. There was a massive pop for Austin Aries, and massive heat for Neville. Both guys are incredibly over. There was a brief “Funaki” chant during the Cruiserweight title match when the foreign language announcers came out. Watching the change from the cruiserweight setup to the normal setup is impressive. They’ve got it down to a science.
I think we had one fan proposal during WrestleMania. I’m not sure if she said yes, but it appeared that way.
Apparently Mojo Rawley is popular with WrestleMania fans. Who knew? I missed most of the battle royal cause I was at the merch stand. It started to drIzzle a bit around the end, though.
As much as I wanted to see AJ Styles against a proper opponent, seeing the Coast to Coast in person is awesome. Like a lot of candy in one sitting, a Shane McMahon match isn’t good for you, but it’s fun. One missing part: there are a lot of big things on the set that Shane could’ve jumped off of and didn’t.
As soon as James Ellsworth appeared on screen, there were massive boos from the crowd.
I felt like Kevin Owens vs. Chris Jericho disappointed. The drama was there, but it just didn’t have a lot of time.
I’m not sure if it was ever shown on the network, but the ring above the ring had ropes that changed colors based on who was entering the ring.
For the second year in a row, the women (of Raw) got a main event treatment, complete with unique entrances and pyro for three entrances. During the Raw women’s match, it became an issue to have lights shining on the uppermost deck of the stadium. There were chants of “shut the lights off” and “we can’t see.”
During the opening of the ladder match, most of the arena was still on their feet. Once the Hardys came out, it became incredibly obvious who was going to win, and the crowd loved it.
Love him or hate him, singing “John Cena sucks” is just pure fun. Maybe it was where I was sitting, but Orlando was filled with heartless bastards. Booing a proposal like that? Shameful.
The entrance for Triple H was the Undertaker’s circa 2002, with police. Interesting choice. The flanking ramp was a better looking entrance, if just a little silly to start. The Triple H pace of the match really made the show start to feel long. That’s when the five hours started to be really felt. A great ending to a slow paced match. I’m surprised Steph took the table bump.
The musical performance clearly meant “bathroom break” for a lot of people. I think every section cleared out a bit when they announced it.
The firefly entrance is a sight that needs to be seen in person. It’s amazing how bright all of those cell phones actually are. Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton had to have set the record for jumping the shark. And for whatever reason, a good majority of the crowd loved it. During the match, there was a camera person (WWE employee, I’m assuming) who was filming fan reactions. They looked pretty staged to me. Keep an eye out for a guy wearing the old World Title and old WWE title (pre spinner version) as a necklace. The damn referee sold those stupid video effects more than Randy did. This was the first bad match of the night. What a stupid finish.
I couldn’t tell what percentage, but some fans were definitely chanting “Oldberg.” The best part of the match was chanting ten with the suplexes.
It was not surprising to see the Smackdown women moved to semi-main. They needed a buffer match. It was a nice spotlight for the match. The match was a flashback to the dark days of Diva’s wrestling. No time given to it, no actual story, just trying to get everyone on the show. To be fair, I didn’t see most of it cause there was almost a fight in my section over someone throwing a beer, and almost hitting a baby. That was fairly distracting.
Roman Reigns and Undertaker both had really cool entrances. The announcement that the match was falls count anywhere was a complete shock to the live crowd. We weren’t told that on (I’m assuming) the kickoff show.
There were dueling chants for both men, but Taker’s were much louder. A decent match, but not spectacular. Not how I would have wanted Taker to go out. The final part, with Taker leaving his gear in the ring, was beautiful, and a fitting close to his career. Taker got his hero’s sendoff throughout his closing, with at least three “thank you Taker” chants. The crowd was incredibly respectful. And when Taker looked back at the ring and raised his fist, the entire stadium raised theirs in solidarity. That was a moment in and of itself.
WrestleMania was a much better show than it had any right to be. The only disappointing match was the Smackdown women’s title match. Everything else delivered on what it needed to be. If you’ve never experienced WrestleMania live, you should. It’s unlike anything else.