By: Ryan Wooley
It’s hard to believe that it has been 28 years since the vision of Vince McMahon came to fruition with the first WrestleMania at Madison Square Garden in 1985, and that World Wrestling Entertainment has produced a new event each and every year that has captivated generations of fans.
Here in Detroit, we have been fortunate enough to hold two of the spectacles. WrestleMania III at the Pontiac Silverdome in 1987, and twenty years later at Ford Field in 2007 with WrestleMania XXIII.
Believe it or not, the success of WrestleMania III is actually credited for the wrestling boom that took place in the 80’s and why wrestling is what it is today. It also recorded the largest attendance for a live indoor sporting event in North America, cramming 93,173 fans in to watch Hulk Hogan defeat Andre The Giant. That indoor attendance record would remain until February 14th 2010, when the NBA All Star Game eclipsed the mark with 108,713 at Cowboys Stadium.
Growing up, I like many of you was a huge wrestling fan. I would watch every show that would come on TV, attend live events when they came to town, and even rent the monthly pay per views with my neighbors that I used to backyard wrestle with.
As I began to grow up and go through high school and college though, I found myself not watching as much and just occasionally checking out the shows and websites to see what was going on, and who the new Stars were.
During my senior year of college however, I actually made it a point to attend WrestleMania 23, as I always said I would go to a WrestleMania before I died, and what better place to view the event than in your own backyard down I-94?
Now, five years later, WrestleMania is set to hit the air on Sunday April 1st, and I find myself intrigued yet again. The card features wrestlers that I used to cheer for as a kid like The Undertaker, Triple H and Chris Jericho, and also will showcase the return of The Rock to take on today’s version of Hulk Hogan, in John Cena.
Now I know some of you are probably saying: “you do know Wrestling is fake right?” Of course I do and that’s not the point. Wrestling has been and always will be entertainment, and just like other forms of entertainment in strippers, casinos or even MMA/UFC fighting, it’s not for everyone.
But with the return of The Rock, The Undertaker fighting Triple H in a Hell in a Cell, and the event taking place outdoors at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, it’s enough for me to rent it and relive my youth with the same friends I used to watch it with as a kid. The question is, will you do the same?