My friend and Wrestling News World iPhone App developer “Awesome” Alan Taylor attended many of the shows over Wrestlemania 29 weekend and was nice enough to send in a complete recap.
Please check out his new fantasy wrestling App called Main Event 2.
EVOLVE – The show started late which had many of the crowd restless, with many hoping to make the trip across to New York for ROH worrying about the show running late. Once it started however it was bell to bell action with some great matches and action. There was some odd booking from a live-crowd stand-point though, and a lack of commentary seemed to make the tournament take a bit of an odd turn.
An intermission before the main event due to technical issues saw many people, myself included, leave to make the journey to the city. A shame as everyone had been putting in a stellar effort.
Ring Of Honor – I’ve seen many great ROH shows live but never in this venue and it was something else. A red-hot audience and the unique setting that is the Hammerstein Ballroom made for a memorable show. My personal opinion of the audience was unfortunately quite negative however, as many people in the area around me were especially rude towards people for no reason, and seemed more interested in recreating old moments than enjoying the new ones unfolding in front of them. But that’s part of ROH getting bigger and attracting a wider audience I guess.
As a huge Steen fan, I’m interested to see where his character goes from here.
Kaiju Big Battle – after lots of partying in the city, I made it back eventually for the last half of this show. Kaiju was possibly the most unique in-ring show of the weekend and a hot crowd helped to generate a hell of an atmosphere for the main event which saw American Beatle run through Dr Cubes series of henchmen before finally taking the Dr himself out.
Axxess – My seemingly miraculous ability to avoid hangovers made attending the 8am session a possibility, but I really wished I hadn’t. The concourse of the arena was full of memorabilia which was neat, and the matches featuring NXT talent were a treat. But the show was very much geared to two groups of fans: young children who all appeared to be having the time of their lives, and fans looking to get autographs and have their pictures taken with specific stars. As someone who isn’t fussed about meeting the wrestlers, I found many of the attractions such as the Fruity Pebbles ball pit and WWE 13 stations to be of little interest.
WWE Superstore – Touted as being the one-stop-shop this weekend for WWE fans, I again found the store to be underwhelming. Many of the current shirts for sale on wweshop.com We’re nowhere to be found. The store had shirts for a select few people that were also at the basic live event merch stands, along with practically anything that they felt they could stick a ‘Mania logo on. Christmas ornaments? Garden gnomes? Sofa cushions? All here, and apparently selling very well.
Shimmer – A hell of an event, Shimmer really brought their A game here with both new pairings and rematches of some of their hottest recent fights. The main event stands out especially, with a show-stealing cage match and a very well booked 4-team tag match.
WrestleCon – I didn’t have much time to send here, and as I said I’m not one to seek out photos/autographs so my main concern was picking up new merch. This didn’t go too well for me as most of what I wanted I was already buying from inside the live shows, however it did give me a chance to talk to some great people such as Rob Schamberger and Jon Harder.
Chikara – Scheduling issues pushed Chikara back to a late start, a big shame as it meant that I had to miss the last two matches and Chikara is one of my favorite promotions. Some great matches that told stories included The Colony vs The Colony: Extreme Force, and a great 4-team tag match that saw the characters of Sugar Dunkerton and Mr Touchdown develop further around Dasher Hatfields injury.
Hall Of Fame – I don’t envy the people tasked with cutting this down to a 75 minute show at all. Foley and Booker T had the crowd in the palms of their hands, and Bruno was treated like a god by every single person in the building. Trump was of course booed out of the building in a move that the WWE seemed to be expecting, and Bob Backlund was, well, intense. Really really strange speech which left many people in the audience uncomfortable.
$5 Wrestling – Following a little comedy to warm the crowd up, everyone grabbed a drink and sat back for this great showing of terrible wrestling with amazing commentary. After two solid days of amazing shows, this was the perfect thing to let people relax before the big shows on Sunday. Colt and Marty killed it.
DragonGate USA – Absolutely amazing show. The Ladders Fray match, the 6-man tag and the main event of Shingo vs Tozawa all had the crowd on their feet for most of the match and earned standing ovations at the end of it. Everyone on the show went into the afternoon looking to be the best wrestling of the weekend, and they did just that.
WrestleMania 29 – A spectacle. The rain started during the preshow but cleared up by the time the PPV went live. The cutting of the tag match and backstage vignettes meant that the pace moved quickly and people didn’t have too much time to sit around thinking about how cold it was getting!
I heard speaking to people after that the show came across as a little lack-luster on TV, but the crowd where I was seemed pumped all night and the matches lived up to my expectations. I think that this is just the curse of running a massive show like this in an open-air arena and loosing all of the sound.
Monday Night RAW – Tons of fun! The show started predictably enough with Cena, and the crowd were hot all night. But then the Sheamus/Orton match happened. Asking people to vote between two matches they couldn’t care less about, then changing and making a third match they don’t care about? The crowd dumped on the match, and as it dragged on began to just amuse themselves. Ziggler cashing in and the Taker/Shield interaction started to pull people back, but the second it got slow again the crowd was right back to the chants. And then Fandango came out. I will end by just pointing out that the theme was being sung hours later still in the train stations of New York.
Best Show – DragonGate USA: Mercury Rising
Best Match – CM Punk vs The Undertaker
Sickest Bump – Lufistos moonsault to the floor where no one caught her
Biggest Pop – Ziggler cashing in
Best Entrance – The Undertaker
Best Value – $5 Wrestling