I went to Wrestlemania! It's something you're supposed to do once in your life was my rationale. I am glad I went but also I very much never need to go again.
1) Do not sit behind the stage. The live experience of Wrestlemania is the entrances & atmosphere. We had the choice of lower bowl behind the stage or upper bowl nosebleeds. We chose the former & it was 100% the wrong choice, even though we had unobstructed views of the ring. It was made even worse by the fact that they didn't show the entrances on the big screen, and just played the generic entrance graphic. We started walking around and found a good standing room place to post up opposite the stage, which was pretty good views but, you know, we also stood for hours.
When walking around we checked out a bunch of different views. Not being able to see the stage is the worst. The posts for the support were not that obnoxious of an obstruction, even from the corners. Being high up is very, very high but you do have a view of everything. You're also right by where the fireworks and bangs go off (but can only really half see them) when you're behind the stage.
2) There came a point maybe halfway through the show where I only cared about the entrances & not the matches anymore. We were at the top of the lower bowl & it was still too far to really see the action in the ring (our original seats were maybe 6-7 rows up & there it was 50/50 whether to watch the screen or the ring). I'd check out the entrances, then go walk around or pee or whatever. This was after a lot of walking around at the beginning too. I just figured I'll enjoy the atmosphere and watch the matches later.
There were people who were videoing with their phones and such which I just did not get at all. Just watch it later on TV, which will be much better.
3) It is insaaaaanely long. Easily the longest show you'll ever go to in your life. The longest Greatful Dead concert ever played is more than 2 hours shorter than Wrestlemania. There's 6 major league baseball games in history that have been longer than Wrestlemania. It's A LOT. We got to our seats for the ARMBAR and I was kind of mad I missed the earlier matches. At the end of the night I was so glad I hadn't gotten there earlier. Main show is more than enough (although you definitely don't want to miss the kickoff to it).
Then after you have to somehow find your way back home. I didn't get home until 3:00 AM. If we hadn't booked after the last bell and waited around for the celebration is probably would have been 5:00, the line for the shuttle bus to Manhattan was unbelievable.
Get there before the main show for crowd watching though. There's a lot of people in fun costumes and such, and everyone is walking around during the preshow. You really feel like you're back in the late 90s. Lots of attitude-era swag and costumes - some ironic, but most not. It's very obvious that the Attitude Era has never really left the fanbase. The biggest change from that era was that there was a lot of LGBTQ visibility in the crowd which was really good to see. A lot of rainbow gear (non-New Day related), people has shirts with "Gay Wrestling Fan," things like that.
4) In that vein, they really really really need to cut about an hour and a half of the show. With a couple small exceptions (Cena, a little bit of HHH/Batista), the crowd was just dead for the whole section between Kofi/Bryan and the Main Event. The crowd chants for Kurt Angle's send off were best described at "dutiful" which was sad.
11:00 is the latest they should end things. If they had lost Balor/Lashley, Orton/AJ, Reigns/McIntyre, and Joe/Mysterio, and a couple of the tag matches it would have been a waaaaay better show. I get that everyone's got to make the card & get a payday, but that's what the Battle Royals are for.
5) Despite all this, it was a great Mania. Evidence - there were still loads of unsold, face-value Smackdown tickets before the show (I bought mine a couple hours before Mania started). My friends checked for Smackdown tickets early this morning and they were all sold out with resales listings at twice the face value.
Speaking of sold out, MetLife sold 82,000 seats, and our seats in our section were over twice as much on StubHub the day before the show. Mania is really a cultural event now.
6) Things that the crowd was most into were:
#1 Kofi/Bryan. Easily the hottest match of the night.
#2 Brock/Rollins. Big flashy entrances, unexpected ending. You may have missed Heyman's mic flip into the crowd after the intro which was GOLD.
#3 Basic Thuganomics. Everyone loved this. They were even hot for the Elias nonsense to start. I think it's mostly that Mania is "entrance/match/entrance/match/entrance/match" for so long anything that breaks that up is welcome.
#4 Main event. I feel so bad for the main eventers. Everyone really wanted to be into this. The crowd was trying its best. But it was just so late and everyone was so tired. It wasn't dead, but it was obviously exhausted.
#5 The Undertaker. A lot of chants, and very obvious hope at certain points in the night that he'd appear. Even just a walk out would have exploded the place.
All in all fun. Go once in your life if it's near you. If it comes to NY again, I'll see NXT and/or RAW, but skip Mania. I'd go see another (shorter) WWF PPV again live though.
EDIT: I’m reading there may have been something fishy with the ending of the main event. It did seem... kinda off in the arena. I thought they were counting Becky’s shoulders down until three count actually.
Also forgot to mention I saw Big Show coming out of the arena afterward. Other celebrity sighting was Chuck Zito.
Last thing is that Bayley had a total entrance fail that I don't think was shown on TV. They spent forever setting up a bunch of her balloon thingies, but it was too windy and only a couple made it all the way up. It was somewhat hilarious live.
As another live attendee, besides a bag of $140 worth of stuff what stolen from my seat, I thought it was great. From the pre-show to Kofi winning was the best Mania since X-7. I had tired little ones, so we did not stay for the main event.
I stopped caring about entrances after it became apparent HHH was the one of few getting one. Speaking of HHH, early WOMTY candidate, his matches need to stop. The last hour would have worked better without his match. It probably would have save a few thousand people being stranded by NJ trains. The Finn Entrance and Main Event was it was needed. Kurt losing to Barron sucked and I fear Seth/Corbin for the Summer.
Kofi/Bryan was MOTN. By a lot and early MOTY for me. Loved Ryder/Hawkins winning, Icons as Eddie/Chyna, AJ winning and Carmella upset win. A lot of great stuff in this. WWE needs to realize these part time matches are dumb. Best PPV I have been to since Survivor Series 2002.
I went to MetLife for Wrestlemania 29 and feel like I've gotten the experience already. That felt so long and this event was even longer. It is really cool just walking around and seeing all the fans and what they were wearing. We went to Summerslam 2017 in Brooklyn after going to a Mets game that afternoon. Fun, but made for such a long day.
WWE has really gotten lucky running these early April outdoor shows as far as weather goes.
I agree. I was looking for some more current WWE workers commenting on Rock. What further disappointed me about that fact, was that Angle & Jericho each said a total of 3 lines between them. I would have liked more elaboration than that.....