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The Rider Online | Legacy HS Student Media

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Seven Things I Learned at WrestleMania

Grant Baker shares his experience of going to Wrestlemania
Photo by used with permission from youtube.com
Grant Baker shares his experience of going to Wrestlemania

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to branch out and try new things. First, my resolution brought me to a Donald Trump rally. Now, after months of waiting, my travels have taken me to WrestleMania 32. Since I haven’t followed professional wrestling for around six years, or know any storylines that led up to the event, I went into WrestleMania expecting nothing more than a good time and a good chance to soak in the atmosphere of the “Superbowl of Wrestling.” What I received was something I could’ve never imagined. These were my findings:

EVERYONE YOU KNOW AND LOVE WAS INJURED
This was something incredibly apparent that casted a dark shadow over the event. Last year’s main event winner, Seth Rollins: Injured. 14 time champion and meme sensation, Randy Orton: injured. Posterchild of the WWE and even bigger meme sensation, John Cena: injured (Sort of. We’ll get to him later). Despite this, the injuries allowed the company to bring up newer talent, and give guys who have been stagnant in the roster a chance to get their due. What else did they do to combat this injury epidemic? Well…

ALL YOUR OLD FAVORITES WERE BACK
In order to compensate for the numerous injuries, the WWE brought a nostalgia trip to Arlington. Mainstays of the 90s like “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Mick Foley and Shawn Michaels all made appearances at the same time, causing arguably the loudest fan response of the night. While they didn’t do anything groundbreaking, having them there softened the blow of the many injured wrestlers.

WRESTLING STORYLINES MAKE NO SENSE
This was a real thing that happened: Last month, Shane McMahon, the son of WWE CEO Vince McMahon, returned to their flagship show Monday Night RAW, to talk to his dad. Shane told Vince that he was driving the company into the ground, and he would like to take over the show. After basically disowning his son, Vince says that Shane can take over the show IF he can beat the Undertaker (notorious for never losing at WrestleMania) at WrestleMania. On top of this, if the Undertaker loses, he has to retire from wrestling forever. But if Shane McMahon wins, can’t he just let the Undertaker back on the roster, completely negating the entire point of this storyline? It doesn’t matter though, because Shane lost anyway.

INSANE WRESTLING FANS MAKE THE EVENT GREAT

When I went to WrestleMania, the atmosphere brought waves of memories from the Donald Trump rally back into my mind, which also brought the same existential issues I suffered from the rally. As I judged everyone around me, I realized that even if I was attending ironically, am I any better than anyone else here? The answer- absolutely not. The people there varied from down-south, partially overweight fans who always cheer for the good guys and have watched for years to middle-aged men who know everything about every storyline and use terms like “kayfabe,” “mark,” “face” or “heel”. And in a way, I found myself to be somewhere in between, except ironically. Or so I thought.

IRONY GETS THROWN OUT THE WINDOW WHEN SOMEONE FALLS OFF A LADDER
I intended for my trip to WrestleMania 32 to be completely ironic and for me to not actually enjoy the event on a real level. What I didn’t know was that saying, “I’m going to a wrestling event as a joke,” was like saying “I’m going to support Donald Trump as a joke.” Both are hilarious at first, with extensive repercussions. As soon as the opening bell rung at the opening match, a seven man ladder-match for the intercontinental championship, all irony disappeared. I became enveloped in the barrage of body slams, chokeholds, flying elbows and punches as all seven wrestlers attempted to reach the intercontinental championship belt by setting up and climbing a ladder. As you can imagine, chaos ensued.

WWE FANS ARE INCREDIBLY LOUD

In case you weren’t aware, WrestleMania 32 surpassed the 93,173 spectators at WrestleMania 3 with 101,763 fans watching sweaty men pretend to beat each other up. The crowd was electric and reacted loudly with every surprise entrance and impressive move. I’ve been to many Dallas Cowboys games at AT&T Stadium, and no moment was quite as crazy as when Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson used a flamethrower to burn down the letters of his nickname, and then proceeded to break the record for the fastest match in WrestleMania history, winning in just under six seconds. Truly awe-inspiring.

EVERYONE SHOULD GO TO WRESTLEMANIA
In my journey, I saw the pure essence of entertainment at its finest. Entertainment, like sports, brings people together. Specifically, 101,763 people were brought together to watch a 46-year-old man jump 20 feet off of a steel cage onto a 51-year-old man, among other seemingly ridiculous things. The atmosphere, the entertainment and the spectacle ultimately provided an enjoyable experience unlike anything I’ve done before.

This year, my objective has been to try new things and step outside of my comfort zone. Both of these objectives were surpassed in attending WrestleMania 32. I don’t know if I’ll continue to keep up with professional wrestling, but even as a casual fan, I still had a great time. I have no idea where or when my next crazy event will take place, but one thing remains constant: I’ll be here to write snarky recollections of whatever happens.

About the Contributor
Grant Baker
Grant Baker, The Rider Editor-in-Chief
I'm Grant Baker and I write for this website. I love serving God, watching football and listening to 2000s southern hip hop. Maybe not all of those at the same time. I don't know. Okay you know how hard it is to write one of these things? Pretty hard.
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