By Jason Powell, Prowrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Shawn Valentino sent the following report on the WrestleMania 34 Afterparty that was held for WWE personnel in New Orleans, Louisiana.
WWE calls its SummerSlam event the Biggest Party of the Summer, but their most prestigious and exclusive soiree is the annual WrestleMania Afterparty. It is a tradition that has lasted for decades, and it is an event that is so exclusive than even many wrestlers and their family cannot get into. Thankfully, I was able to attend this lavish festivity last night after a show that dragged on way too long and open bar was needed. Here are some live notes from the WWE’s biggest bash.
1. As always, it was a classy affair with open bar and amazing buffet food. It started extremely late considering the WrestleMania show felt like an eternity. Interestingly enough, former Dot Net staffer Rich Twilling spoke to an insider who told him that the Brock Lesnar win was a last-minute audible. Of course, we cannot verify that one-hundred percent, but it did make sense the way the match was booked for Roman Reigns to be a sympathetic face making a comeback after a beating.
2. Also, as usual, most of the main eventers were not there. John Cena, Triple H, Undertaker, and Vince McMahon were nowhere to be found when I arrived around 1:00 AM.
3. We did see Shane McMahon having drinks as his kids hung out nearby. We saw one of his sons play wrestling with AJ Styles so we may have a future WWE superstar in training
4. Speaking of kids, we also saw the mystery 12 year old partner of Braun Strowman, who is now the youngest Tag Team Champion in WWE history.
5. On the opposite end of the size spectrum. Big Show consumed enough alcohol to fuel a small country. As he was leaving the party, he commented that he may have topped Andre the Giant for his legendary night at the bar.
6. Speaking of Andre, I saw referee Tim White, who played a prominent role in the HBO documentary, and we discussed his emotional memories of the Giant. This is a must-see film for all wrestling fans.
7. I was also fortunate to run into Sam Roberts and thanked him for his excellent series of podcasts with Wade Keller breaking down which match should have closed each WrestleMania.
8. The real star of WrestleMania, Ronda Rousey was there, and she appeared to be exhausted and in an emotional mood. She spent her time hanging out with her husband, who made unintentional international headlines the night before for an altercation with Alicia Fox. She also interacted with some fellow female wrestlers but did not appear to be in a partying mood.
9. Charlotte Flair was quite the opposite as she appeared to be having a blast at the party and was very friendly when I spoke to her.
10. Other wrestlers in attendance including Bray Wyatt, Dolph Ziggler, Randy Orton, Roman Reigns, Finn Balor, Rusev, Scott Hall, X-Pac, and more. The event lasted until 3:00 AM when staff literally had to shut down the lights to get everyone out of the grand ballroom where the event took place. The final song at the party was Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way” and many superstars sang along, not exactly an adrenaline-fueled anthem associated with wrestling.
Overall, the mood in the party was exciting, but I think it could be defined more by who was not there and the fact that the Mania show was way too long. Even many of the wrestlers appeared tired and sat down instead of walked around getting drinks and mingling like at previous parties I had attended. Unlike the night before, where I witnessed a chaotic scene with Alicia Fox embarrassing herself and getting banned from the building at the biggest show of the year, this was a calm classy family affair, and I was fortunate to be there.