The Stomping Ground: “We Are Awesome!” (Wrestlemania XXIX Aftermath)

It’s only been a few days since my last column on the Hall of Fame ceremony and already it seems like the majority of the IWC has made up its mind about Wrestlemania XXIX and its implications for the rest of 2013. As you are no doubt aware by now, I tend to think things through and rarely come to knee-jerk decisions unless the situation calls for it. It’s been five days since Wrestlemania at the time this has been posted and plenty of news has come to light since then. I’ve heard all that my fellow columnists have had to say, so now’s a good a time as any to say my piece.

This was my second live Wrestlemania appearance, and in many ways it paralleled my experience in Texas at Wrestlemania XXV. For one thing, the main events were overshadowed (perhaps even eclipsed) by an Undertaker match at both shows. Interestingly enough, both Triple H AND John Cena were involved in the “crowd killers” on both occasions.

I was overjoyed that The Shield won their match, further adding credibility to their run as a dominant faction. I’d still like to know exactly what the end game might be for them, because aside from proving they’re a cohesive unit, they don’t have any real agenda. No, “delivering justice” with vague or non-existent explanations does not count.

Fandango was incredibly over simply because the smarky crowd embraced the utter ridiculousness of his character; to whit, the gang in front of our seats had a group of signs that drew out his name with about 12 letters. If that made it onto the broadcast, then technically I was on TV. Fandango also happened to botch a top rope fall when Jericho was supposed to trip him up on the ropes; he actually forced himself to bump long before Y2J got to the ropes!

The reports about the ring not being properly set for audio were not exaggerated. From my section, which was opposite the entrance ramp to the left and just above floor seating, you couldn’t hear anything but a chop here and there or a particularly hard-hitting bump. I’m sure this had more to do with the open air environment than anything else.

I’ve heard that the live broadcast made it seem as though the crowd was disinterested; that couldn’t be further from the truth. We were incredibly vocal about pretty much everything. I myself started a couple of chants:

1. During the tag title match, I called out “19 seconds!” which received a decent response.
2. When Big E got into the ring I yelled “Show your man-boobs!”

I tried to avoid looking at the big screen as much as possible, but it was necessary to catch Taker’s face as he sat up from the Anaconda Vise and his entrance itself, as I had no idea there were zombie hands reaching up for him from where we were seated.

The pre-show chat with the panel of Kofi Kingston, Dusty Rhodes, Scott Stanford, and Jim Ross made it seem like a pathetic attempt to ape the NFL’s roundtable discussions. Why was The Miz given an opportunity that should have gone to Kingston, a guy who’s clearly over more than the “Master of the Figure Fuck-Up”?

Getting home was exhausting. We were herded like cattle in a slaughterhouse onto the train and I didn’t get back to my condo until 2 AM!

I noticed that a lot of people have commented on the raucous New Jersey crowd from Monday night. The disinterest in Sheamus/Orton, the sing-along with Fandango’s theme song, the massive pop for Ziggler’s cash-in……these are what we call the result of an anomaly. It is waaaaay too early to say that, because of the crowd response in the Izod Center, audiences will from now on be more vocal about the current product. My hometown crowd on the East Coast has always been loud and obnoxious; it’s been that way every time the WWE comes home to the Tri-State Area. While I would love to see this moment carry over to future shows, there’s no way to know whether or not other cities will follow suit. It’s just too soon to make that assumption, folks.

I’m rather excited about next week’s column, as it’s one that I’ve promised for months. When Team Hell No first arrived on the scene, quite a few of you claimed that the tag team division was now renewed and revitalized. I said I’d reserve my thoughts on the matter until after Wrestlemania, just to give it time to saturate. Well, here we are, right? How much has REALLY changed in all that time? Find out what I think next week (the answer may surprise you)!

So long, and thanks for all the fish.

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