• Brad Ward’s BlogaMania: Part IV (WRESTLEMANIA!)

    Wrestling superfan Brad Ward takes us on a trip; HIS trip. From Canada to New Orleans, enjoy Brad’s daily antics leading up to Wrestlemania 30 with Brad Ward’s BlogaMania. Take it away, Brad!

    Welcome to my Wrestlemania week blog, where I will detail, star rate and fill your eyes with pictures and sometimes videos of New Orleans. Wrestlemania week is more to me then WWE’s biggest show of the year. It is seeing an entire year of stories and superstars build to one week to see who is going to be the next new star. It is the chance to see friends and colleagues. It is seeing Superstars live and just taking in what you talk about for a year in front of your own eyes.

    This is Wrestlemania week, it’s time to be cool and eat fruit.

    SATURDAY: More Axxess, a casino and the WWE Hall of Fame.

    Up bright and early after the fun night of Axxess and drinks with great friends. Today’s Axxess started at 8AM, so I was up at 5AM to get there an hour early so we didn’t get a bad place in line at the New Orleans Convention Center. My friends from England, Emma and Tara, were going to be there so I’d be hanging out with them mostly, as other friends had Daniel Bryan VIP tickets and would be there at a different time.

    I brought my program too Axxess so I could get even more autographs done. I had a lot of fun, with the exception of getting up early. I got photos with 3MB, David Otunga and Brad Maddox. All five of them were all very cool, especially Jinder Mahal:

    bradaxxess

    After Axxess, we got some coffee at the Starbucks inside the convention center. From there ,we then headed to Harrah’s Casino for lunch. We started by doing some gambling, and I made $50 profit at the slot machines. It was my first time being in a casino for over 3 years and I was pretty happy with my success.

    We then hit the buffet for lunch and it was a variety of breakfast and dinner type food. I had baked fish, rice, some deep-fried shrimp, with some red velvet cake, lime cake and cream puffs for desert.

    From there we returned to Bourbon Street and, with a pit in my stomach, I had to say goodbye to Emma. I was expecting something else and I didn’t exactly get what I wanted. Sometimes life can be tough and very real. If you meet someone, do your best to soak in every minute of your time with them. I then headed back to my hotel and, feeling somewhat confused, disappointed and upset, I spent some time relaxing in the room before getting ready and heading out to the Hall of Fame:

    bradhofoutfit

    The Hall Fame is my favorite part of the entire weekend; hearing the stories and all of the thoughts of the Hall of Famers is great. The Hall of Fame is being broadcast for the first time ever on the WWE Network, so that is very cool too. It was being held at the Smoothie King Center:

    bradhofarena

    We got into the arena around 7PM, about an hour before the Hall of Fame went live on the WWE Network. I grabbed a diet Pepsi in a souvenir Wrestlemania cup and headed to my seats. This year they had a red carpet that took place just in front of the Hall of Fame set. I always love seeing all of the WWE Superstars arrive, but this time there was no video feed on the Titantron, but I guess you just have to deal with it.

    The show opened with a fantastic video package set showing the new inductees and inductees of the past. Lita was the first one of the night and was inducted by Trish Stratus, who is Lita’s best friend. I enjoyed Trish’s speech on Lita’s I also liked the props that Lita took advantage off. Lita’s speech had the most independent flavor of any of the people of the evening.

    Next was Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts being inducted by DDP who was the apprentice of Jake before Kizarny. DDP’s induction was very good and it talked about a great story about Jake moving in and losing his python. They then talked about putting together the ‘accountability crib’ and the resurrection of Jake Roberts. Jake came out and talked about his father, his career and how close he was to committing suicide and how happy he was on the night of the Hall of Fame.  For some reason Hornswoggle and El Torito decided to run around on the stage afterwards.

    We then went on to Mr. T, whom was inducted by ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund, who told some stories about how much Mr. T meant to the WWE. Mr. T did a crazy long-winded speech about humble beginnings and his mother. Nobody in the crowd really took it seriously and he was interrupted by Kane to get things moving. Kane came back out shortly after and talked about Paul Bearer being Percy Pringle and his early days, as well being a real life Mortician. Bearer’s sons came out to accept the induction – they kept it short and ended with the OOHHHH YES.

    Razor Ramon was next and was inducted by Kevin Nash. Nash kept things very short and I liked the joke he made about his Vinny Vegas gimmick. Nash made a point to say it was Razor that helped him make as much money as he did in the business. Hall came out and did his speech and it was really short but I really liked the ending with him saying bad times aren’t forever but one thing that are is a bad guy.

    Next up was The Colons inducting their father Carlos Colon. Carlito made a joke about their time being cut, and it was just like old times. He came out hugged his boys and talked about Abdullah the Butcher, Flair, Dusty, Wild Samoans, and so many more like Pedro Morales. He had a funny joke about having a 3000 mile downside guarantee.

    Next was the Ultimate Warrior, who was inducted by Linda McMahon and she talked about his passion, him calling her mom and his intensity for the business. Warrior came out with his two daughters and talked about how much he loved being a dad to his two kids. Warrior’s speech went on for a very long time, but it was very good and I was highly entertained.

    bradhofset

    We got back to the hotel a bit after midnight.

    Sunday: WRESTLEMANIA!

    I did have an Axxess ticket for Sunday, but I was very burnt out so I decided to sleep in instead and work on signs and got ready before heading out:

    bradwmselfie

    We walked over to the Superdome around 3PM. Doors were suppose to open at 3:30, but they were late. There was a mass of humanity waiting to get in and they had the WWE Network playing on the outside videotrons and WWE superstar entrance themes.

    bradsuperdome

    We finally got in around 4PM and made it to our seats around 4:30 PM. We checked out our seats and grabbed some food at the concession stands. I had a cheeseburger, waffle fries and nachos, which I didn’t like too much.

    bradwmset

    I am not going to really run the card down too much, as you can go to the usual sites for that type of thing but here are some random thoughts:

    • The set was gorgeous, grand and awesome.
    • Opening video package captured the feel of Bourbon Street very well.
    • Fatal four-way tag opener was a very hot match and we finally saw Cesaro and Swagger split.
    • The Rock, Austin and Hogan segment was very cool and a great Wrestlemania moment.
    • Bryan and Triple H was great to fantastic and thought that the entrance for Triple H was very cool.
    • Shield versus Kane and NAO was action packed from the get go, was short and sweet and did its job.
    • Cesaro was super over and was a great moment for him.
    • Bray Wyatt had an absolutely awesome entrance and the match was just as awesome. Really cool spot with YCSM.
    • Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker had a very classic vintage Memphis-style pro wrestling matchup. The streak ended and I was in shock that they would actually do it – it happened and was a moment I will never forget till the day I die.
    • The Divas had their match and they tried hard but the crowd was just totally deflated. AJ retained but there was some cool spots.
    • The main event saw Bryan become the WWE WHC, after suffering through a brutal onslaught of offence by Orton and Batista. Spot of the match was the Batista Bomb and RKO combo through a table followed by Bryan getting off the stretcher.
    • Very cool celebration for Bryan with him getting the pyro and confetti treatment, felt like a huge moment.

    bradcelebration

    Getting back was somewhat of a joke, in my opinion – as we got out of the arena, there were tornado-like signs taking place in the area and I am not talking about Brock Lesnar. It was also quite troublesome getting down to ground level as well, but I got back and walked to the hotel.

    On the way back the crowd was singing some Wyatt nursery rhymes. I got back and we ordered some pizza, I wrote this blog and now it is time for some sleep.

    Star Ratings

    Axxess – ★★★★

    Lunch – ★★★

    Harrahs Casino – ★★★★★

    WWE Hall of Fame – ★★★★★

    Lunch – ★★★

    Getting into Wrestlemania – ★★★

    Wrestlemania – ★★★★★

    Getting home from Wrestlemania – DUD

    Dominos Pizza – ★★★★★

    Be sure to check back on Wednesday, as I give my thoughts on meeting others, Raw, any developments heading into Raw, the Raw itself and the trip overall!

    – Make sure to follow me on Twitter @BradWardFGN for more updates throughout Wrestlemania week!