Wrestlemania and Other New Orleans Adventures
Wrrreeesssstlemaaaannia 34 was liiive from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome! And, hey, I was there! With a Nerdbot Girl!
Image: Darth Kitty and I waiting to party.
This is the story of my second Wrestlemania adventure, my New Orleans trip, and other musings about the WWE. Nerdbot Girl Darth Kitty (@darthkittyheidi on Instagram) and I took a vacation from sunny SoCal to slightly-rainy NOLA. The plan was to see Wrestlemania 34, enjoy the city, and escape reality for a few days. Even Roman Reigns couldn’t ruin our fun!
Image: JOHN CENA! *blaring music*
My first Wrestlemania experience was 29 in New York (really New Jersey, but don’t tell Vince McMahon that). Like 29, 35 was in a giant stadium. The Superdome is both better and worse than any stadium I’ve been in. It was better because it was covered. It was worse because it has the most uncomfortable seats I’ve ever sat in in my life…
But that’s getting ahead of myself.
The city of New Orleans is much like the WWE: It’s at times fantasticly beautiful and at other times disgusting. Think a shooting star press one minute, and a broken femur the next The buildings throughout much of the city are old, colorful, and fascinating. Unlike much of the US, buildings feature all the colors of the rainbow. The beige of suburbia throughout newer cities gives way to pastel blue, neon pink, and any other color you’d imagine. The effect is that the city welcomes you and seems vaguely familiar, and not just because it looks like the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland.
Image: Beautiful old cemetery.
If you go, you must see the French Quarter, though skip Bourbon Street (smells like piss and is full of tourists) and walk along the Mississippi or listen to music on Frenchman Street. Be sure to look for Undertaker in the cool, old cemeteries. I didn’t see any ghosts, though, or even Paul Barer.
But the main event was the grandest stage of them all, Wrestlemania!
The crowd was electric. We were into it, chanting for Rusev Day and, “Yes! Yes! Yes!” We WERE into it, until Jinder Mahal won and killed the crowd. That started the lul into the lackluster second half of the show. Full disclosure, Darth Kitty and I left before Roman Reigns v. Brock Lesnar. That’s a combination of me being bored to tears by Roman Reigns, trying to beat 76,000 people out of the stadium, and the painfully uncomfortable seats in the nosebleed section of the Superdome. Seriously, they were too small for children. I’m a 5’10”ish, 210ish pound dude. My knees are still hating me.
Image: City Park or last known photo?
We skipped the Hall of Fame, NXT, and other events of the weekend. I’m glad I did. I swear Wrestlemania was at least 47 hours long, including preshow. Delete! Delete!
Let’s talk matches. My ratings and comments are based on being there live. Any fan knows a live crowd can improve a mediocre match or ruin a great match, thanks to cheers, boos, chants, and guys spilling Dixie beer onto you.
I may also be harsh in my ratings because I didn’t buy any bootleg merch in the French Quarter. I has a sad.
Image: Bootleg Bart sez: “Eat my shirts.”
Andre the Giant Battle Royal – 5/10. I don’t think the match was actually that good, but the crowd was ready to go. Everyone, myself included, loves Woken Matt Hardy, so seeing him win something is always amazing. Oh, and Goldust dabbed. That was fun.
WWE Cruiserweight Championship – 3/10. I don’t know. These guys are both good, but neither I nor the crowd was into it. I love cruiserweights but this was my first “go get a hurricane” moment of the night.
Fabulous Moolah… Uh, Wrestlemania Women’s Battle Royal – 4/10. The match itself was kind of funny, then faded into a lot of nothing. My whole opinion on the Fabulous Moolah, her apparently awful past, and the controversy over the renaming kind of soured this for me. Perfectly serviceable. Oh, and the women are LOVED by the crowd.
Image: My future wife (Asuka) with Darth Kitty’s future wife (Rhonda).
Intercontinental Match – 8/10. This may have been my favorite match of the night. Everyone in the crowd was into it and all 3 of these guys are fantastic, with Finn Balor being my favorite. I mean, I hate the Miz but I’m supposed to, right? Plus, both he and I are from Ohio, so there’s a thing.
SmackDown Women’s Championship – 8/10. Everyone – and I mean everyone – in the Superdome was into this match. It was a great, epic classic for the women’s division between Charlotte Flair and Asuka. Asuka losing made 0 sense, though, considering her Royal Rumble win. More on that later…
WWE US Championship – 2/10. And then crowd died. This crowd was solidly behind Rusev. From the minute I entered the arena until Mahal (ugh, really?) won, the crowd was chanting for Rusev Day. That day never came and the crowd stopped giving a shit and started going for beers after his match. So long, electricity.
Second Hurricane Trip – During the entrances for Rousey, Angle, HHH, and Stephanie McMahon, I got another drink. I was not disappointed because everyone else wanted to watch them enter. I did not. I wanted to pee and drink.
Rowdy Rhonda Rousey – 7/10. Sure, we had 2 Hall-of-Fame caliber talents in this match in Kurt Angle and HHH, but you were here for Rousey, right? Aside from whatever the hell that throw was Rhonda gave Stephanie where she landed on her knee (?!), Rhonda was on point. The crowd – and specifically Darth Kitty – loved Rhonda and some energy came back into the crowd when she faced off against HHH. It was awesome, but she should’ve pinned HHH or done an arm-breaking angle. Ah, well. The best celebrity match ever?
SmackDown Tag Team Champsionships – 0/10. No one in this arena knew, or cared, who the hell the Wyatt… uh, Bludgeon Brothers were. They were behind, in order, New Day, the Usos, not watching this match, the Bludgeon Brothers. Whatever energy came back into the crowd with Rhonda Rousey was lost to the Not-The-Wyatt-Family.
UNDERTAKER! BY GOD, THE DEAD MAN! – 3/10. This match was entirely worthless and I hate that Undertaker un-retired, especially for this nonsense. Live, though, this was damn fun. Cena sold like a champ. We all cheered. It was a fun moment. Elias is a heel. Next.
Daniel Bryan/Shane v. Owns/Zayn – 4/10. The match started strong, then the knocked out Daniel Bryan stuff went on. And on. And on. And on. I swear, it felt like he was lying around for 30 minutes live, and this guy is a SUPERSTAR! All the crowd wanted was for him to kick ass. When he did, we loved it. When he wasn’t, no one cared.
Raw Women’s Championship – 3/10. Great build up! The live crowd was DEAD. This is when the show started to drag on, everyone gave up caring, and most of the cheers were for Rusev Day, still. It’s a damned shame, too, because there was a solid story build up. Did Nia Jax do that same throw by the hair move 45 times or was it just me?
WWE Championship – 6/10. Somehow these too amazing athletes had a boring match. I don’t know how. Not only that, Nakamura was the second Royal Rumble winner of the night to NOT win his match. Ugh. I don’t know. Fine match just lackluster from these too fantastic stars.
Raw Tag Team Championship – 4/10. All 4 of these stars go to NICHOLAS! The first ever wrestler to have his first EVER match at Wrestlemania AND win a title! Haha. Stupid, comedy match but it was fun. We all chanted for Nicholas. Charlotte v. Asuka should’ve been the lead in, though.
WWE Universal Championship – ?/10. Darth Kitty and I left early because we didn’t want to have to fight 76,000 people to get back to our hotel. Also, Roman Reigns main-eventing anything is boring. He isn’t awful. He’s just perfectly ok. And average doesn’t make me want to see him win or get his ass kicked. I couldn’t care any less about Roman Reigns and Lesnar being a part-timer kind of ruins his ability to make me care. Meh.
OVERALL: When you go to an event like Wrestlemania, it isn’t so much about the quality of the matches but the atmosphere. Jinder Mahal winning KILLED THE CROWD DEAD. We all came back, here and there, for Rousey and Nicholas and such but, hey, I guess we all wanted Rusev Day. Despite this and some questionable booking, I had a ton of fun. And there, good reader, is the point of going to Wrestlemania. Though 34 might be a middle-of-the-road event, with some good matches, some bad matches, and no classics, it was 10/10 for my week in New Orleans.
Image: THE Bourbon Street.
If you ever get a chance to see Wrestlemania, do. Even if you weren’t into wrestling much as a kid or now, it’s still the grandest spectacle of them all. Really. It feels… special. You WILL have fun with like minded nerds. It also helps if you are over 21 and have a few hurricanes in N’awlins to get you through.
My takeaway is that the city of New Orleans smells weird, but has a lot of history and fantastic food. Biegnets are like donuts from heaven. Darth Kitty (and the crowd) were into the women’s matches more than usual. That’s a great sign, considering the talent on that half of the roster. They deserve it. Everyone loved Rusev, Daniel Bryan, AJ, Nakamura, Charlotte Flair, Asuka, Matt Hardy, and Undertaker. No one liked Jinder Mahal. Oh, and alligators were REALLY over on our swamp tour. Alligators can main event any arena in the country, no doubt.
Image: Reigns v. Alligator, Wrestlemania 35.
So long from WREEEESSTTTLEEEMAAAAANIIIIAAAA!!!!!!! *Hogan poses*
What did you think of the show? Let Nerdbot know in the comments!