While some young kids were going crazy over Jordan, Johnson, and Bird, I was watching “Macho Man” Randy Savage beat “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase in the finals of the tournament to crown a new WWF Heavyweight Champion at WrestleMania IV. I was hooked from that moment on. There had to be a time in my life that I got to watch a WrestleMania in person, whether I was a young boy, or a grown-ass man. It didn’t matter when it happened; it simply had to happen.
Many more WrestleManias came and went; there was Wrestlemania IX in Las Vegas, WrestleMania XII when Shawn Michaels beat Bret Hart in an Iron Man Match for the Heavyweight Title, and there was the following one, where Bret Hart beat the dog-crap out of Stone Cold Steve Austin. There was XIV, when Stone Cold beat Shawn Michaels for the title, with Mike Tyson serving as the guest referee. There were countless other ones, including WrestleMania XVII in Houston when The Rock took on Stone Cold for the championship, and the common theme rang loud and clear: I didn’t get to see any of them in person. At this point, it seemed like this portion of my bucket list would be incomplete, and along with that, my passion for watching professional wrestling was slowly going to hell. But then B-Lew, one of the homies, as well as another avid fan of the WWF, came through and had the same passion, if not more, than I did, and we both had a common destination on the Bucket List: to get to a Wrestlemania one day in our lifetimes. Once he found out WrestleMania XXV would be in Houston, he hit me up, and we went about getting our tickets. Another one of our frat brothers, Carlos Qualls, is a wrestling fanatic as well, so we all ended up making the voyage, and he was able to get there a day before we did.
We got to Houston on Saturday morning, watched the Final Four with one of our sorors, and decided to stay in, so we could get up early Sunday morning, and get involved with all the madness that is WrestleMania. We got a chance to meet The Great Ted Dibiase, as well as another wrestling legend, The Great Dusty Rhodes. We were also in close proximity of the G.O.A.T. of professional wrestling, The Nature Boy Ric Flair, and to think, all of this happened in a two-hour span. There was still the actual show, which was approximately six hours away.
Fast forward to 3:30 P.M. and if there was a time when 72,000 people were about to be turned away due to a bomb scare, a crazy man holding the building hostage, or any other madness, it was around then. Ticketmaster messed our order up so bad, that one ticket was in Section 130, Row L, and the other was in Section 518! Needless to say, if they didn’t get it right, I was on the verge of fucking up EVERYBODY’S WrestleMania, because there was no way in hell I waited 21 years and drove 4+ hours to sit in the nose bleed section. After a few strings were pulled, the ticket fiasco was taken care of, and we ended up getting better seats than we originally had.
In all, WrestleMania XXV was everything I thought it would be. Kid Rock did a mini-concert (by no means was I a fan of his, but after that show, I just may become one), the building was packed, the matches were live, and the fans came from all over the world, which made my little four-hour drive seem like a walk down the street. Simply put, it may well be the single-best sporting event I’ve ever seen in person. It’s safe to scratch this one of the bucket list, for now and ever more.
WHATS ON YOUR SPORTS BUCKET LIST? WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU'VE GOT TO SEE BEFORE YOU HIT THE ROAD JACK? ANY FAVORITE WRESTLERS? LET US KNOW!!
(Ed's note: Let's take this moment to congratulate the winner of the 1st Annual ETSF March Madness Bracket Pool, Mr. Jonathan Forna from none other than Arlington, Texas. Mr. Forna was able to pick 52 of 63 games correctly and also picked UNC to win it all. He will be receiving a 1-year subscription to DIME Magazine and a t-shirt from BettorFan as well. When asked how he won the bracket he responded, "Because I'm a Que and I went to Langston, and I wake up listening to UGK and Slim Thug." Profound words from Mr. Forna...except for the Que part, lol.)