Wednesday, April 6, 2016

WrestleMania Weekend do's and don'ts

Chad and Kevin ready for WrestleMania 32
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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Chad and I wrapped up another WrestleMania weekend after taking a year off in 2015.  We always have a good time and over the next couple of days I'll share more of our experiences.  We did recap WrestleMania on this week's podcast, which you can listen to here.

I don't want to be "that guy" with this post, but I am going to share some advice for WWE fans and the creative team.  I also hope I don't sound like Grandpa Simpson ("angry man yells at clouds").  But these are legit concerns Chad and I discussed during our ninth WrestleMania experience.

For the fans:

Hall of Fame
Don't come to the Hall of Fame ceremony dressed like you're going to a wrestling match.  The HOF is an event to honor the men and women who dedicated their lives to entertaining us.  Dress up.  You don't have to come in a suit or dress, but leave the shorts, tshirts and flip flops at home.  We were amazed at the number of fans under dressed for this year's festivities.  At the very least wear a polo style shirt and a pair of nice jeans.  

While at the ceremony don't do cat-calls, chants or hold up signs.  This year WWE announced before the show people who do such things would be ejected.  I applaud that because in past years obnoxious fans have taken away from the event.  We had a douche bag a couple rows behind us who complained that every speech was too long.  My question, why come if you're going to gripe about EVERYONE?  I really hope that guy is reading this, because you were an annoying prick who nearly got your butt kicked by several people in our section.

Do support WWE philanthropies while in town.  This year we checked out Mania Crawl.  It's a fundraiser for Conner's Cure.  It was not only fun to try different beers, which I'll soon share on The Craftbeericans YouTube channel, but I had fun chatting with other fans.  Plus the crawl raises money for a great cause.

Do check out other wrestling companies.  WrestleMania is of course the big show (not Paul Wight) of the weekend.  But several other indy companies come to town and deserve a look as well.  This year we went to the NWA MidSouth: Parade of Champions show.  It was a great combination of up-and-comers, established wrestlers and legends.

Raw after Mania
Don't plan to "hijack" the Raw after Mania.  A few years ago when we were in New Jersey for WrestleMania and Raw the crowd did not want to see Sheamus and Randy Orton wrestle in the opening match.  The fans let the world know.  It was an organic reaction.  This year it felt like the crowd was ready to pounce and become the focus of the event.  Overhearing some guys before we went into the arena was an indicator of this.  Also, leave the beach balls at home.  They're annoying to those of us who want to watch what's happening in the ring and not be the center of attention.

For WWE Creative:

Legendary returns
Do bring in legends and hall of famers to WrestleMania.  But don't do it at the expense of the current roster.  As Chad and I discussed on the podcast, The New Day and The League of Nations were hurt more than helped by the appearances of Mick Foley, Shawn Michaels and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin.  Chad suggested putting these three into the Shane McMahon-Undertaker match.  His idea makes more sense than what we were given Sunday night.  I'm still not sure how the Rock's appearance helped the Wyatt Family, but at least we saw something out of them Monday on Raw.

Do continue to cultivate talent and bring up new men and women from NXT.  But not so many in one night.  There are a lot of newcomers making their main roster debuts this week between Raw and SmackDown.  Figure out what's happening with others who seem lost in the shuffle before adding more Superstars.

Do more with the tag team division.  The talent is there and I'm optimistic quality tag team wrestling is on the horizon.  And I'm loving the changes to the women's division.  Well done!

Zack Ryder
Don't contradict what happens at WrestleMania the next night on Raw.  To the live crowd having Shane run Raw made no sense.  Plus let Zack Ryder hold the Intercontinental title for more than 24 hours.  Very bummed by that decision.

This turned out longer than anticipated.  Hope you made it through.  I realize some of the things done by creative are part of the bigger picture, so I'll wait and see what happens next. 


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