RETROspect: WrestleMania 29 – My Experience

WrestleMania 29 was, to me, more than just a wrestling show, more than just the ‘Grandest Stage of Them All‘.
To me it was about enjoying moments in life I had always envisioned but never thought would be a reality with two ‘good brothers’-one of them, the guy who got me into wrestling at a young age by lending me VHS tapes featuring Hogan/Ultimate Warrior facing off where this whole larger than life sport was born in front of my young eyes, who made a promise that one day we would go to a WrestleMania together.
The other, one of my closest friends, more of a brother than friend and fellow longtime wrestling fan. We had shared the highs and lows of life together-now we had a chance for all of our pop culture knowledge of New York and all our years of discussions, jokes etc of wrestling to be played out on the very streets where WrestleMania 29 would be taking place.
On a personal level, after having gone through a few personal things the year before, wrestling would once again live up to it’s role of enabling me to have pure fun again only this time live and in full colour.RETROspect WrestleMania 29 - My Experience - Rebellious Noise

As the years have gone by since WrestleMania seems to be even bigger and full on in the week preceding it but in 2013 for us the excitement began to build in the cab on the way to the airport-at the airport where the first joke started that would run for the whole holiday when 2 of us discovered the 3rd member of the crew could and would nap anywhere he was able to given the chance….RETROspect WrestleMania 29 - My Experience - Rebellious Noise

Once we set foot on the streets of NYC, sights from films we had grown up watching came to life in front of us in the form of yellow cabs, skyscrapers and all the other stereotypical stuff. The excitement of being in New York quickly meshed in with the reason we were there when advertising for WrestleMania was visible all along the route to our hotel, WWE truly does takeover the city that is hosting them for the week.

RETROspect WrestleMania 29 - My Experience - Rebellious Noise

RETROspect WrestleMania 29 - My Experience - Rebellious NoiseOver the next few days the perfect blend of NYC sightseeing and wrestling activities would combine, from seeing countless items of memorabilia at Axcess that had been part of our past in some way, to visiting pizza joints that the Ninja Turtles ate in.

From getting a boat to the Statue of Liberty and not really realise what we were doing (long story) to getting suited and booted for the Hall of Fame all whilst wondering how one of us, who hadn’t got tickets to some of the events but was going to wheel and deal out there, would get in and enjoy these experiences with the remaining two, to then go through the sheer joy of seeing him not only pull it off but actually get better seats than us other two, so much so he was sitting practically with the wrestlers…and then for this feat to somehow be pulled off a few days later for Raw where by the grace of God he ended up sitting literally in front of us so we were all together for the greatest post-Mania Raw. Truly Del Boy had come to NYC.
RETROspect WrestleMania 29 - My Experience - Rebellious NoiseSomething that had been such a major part of all of our formative years truly made us feel like children when the queues began to get into the Metlife Stadium, wrestling fever overtook us all as we began chanting all the way into the building as we took our seats whilst taking in the artistry of the NYC inspired design, seeing the famous ‘Mania ramp. The sheer vastness of it all was incredible and the wrestling hadn’t even begun.
To be honest I haven’t watched Wrestlenania 29 back since-I guess part of me doesn’t want memories tarnished and I can’t actually remember too much of the actual wrestling. I remember bits and pieces-I do however remember the joy of being surrounded by thousands of other fans whilst all enjoying this thing that had bought us all together for this moment in time, life all but forgotten. Life now replaced by seeing these larger than life heroes we had grown up watching (in the case of The Rock) make their entrance, to being torn between cheering uncontrollably for your current favourite (CM Punk) but not entirely wanting him to break The Undertaker’s, at the time, undefeated streak.RETROspect WrestleMania 29 - My Experience - Rebellious NoiseAfter the show the feeling of being on holiday with thousands of others continued as knowing nods were exchanged and chants continued in NYC hotel lifts (elevators).
The frenzied atmosphere only went to the next level the following night at the Izod Center for Raw where we all screamed at the top of our lungs for Dolph Ziggler cashing in the Money in the Bank briefcase and we introduced ‘Fandangoing‘ to the world which carried on way past the final bell onto the surrounding streets of New Jersey and New York.RETROspect WrestleMania 29 - My Experience - Rebellious NoiseThis was more than just a holiday and this was more than just a wrestling event. It was combining one of the most iconic places in the world with the sport that is so hard to explain to non-fans even though you try because you want them to witness just what this incredible thing is and the emotions it evokes. It’s a sport that had been through the highs and lows of all our lives, that had entered our minds from a young age to never leave. To be able to witness that with two close friends and create lifelong memories that are easily recalled at a word or a joke’s notice, is something I will always be grateful for. Then. Now. Forever.RETROspect WrestleMania 29 - My Experience - Rebellious NoiseIf you would like to hear me ramble in more detail about the ups and downs of pro wrestling then check out the Talk and Beans podcast where we have specials on all of the major WWE events.

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REVIEW: Impractical Jokers ‘Where’s Larry?’ Tour (13/10/17)

When around 15,000 people squeeze themselves into the O2 Arena you know it’s going to be a good night. We settled into our (much better than last time) seats and within around 10-15 mins it was time for the Support Act who was American Comedian Steve Byrne.

Although only having half an hour. Steve did pretty good, although there wasn’t much comedy and joke telling, apart from the odd joke about him being half Asian and half Irish and describing himself as an Asian Kevin Spacey dressed as a figure skater. The majority of his set was taken up by him playing out his dream of being in a boyband. He picked a number of men from the crowd, and wanted ‘One of Each’ and proceeded to pick five gents of different ethnicities to form the band. He then called up a girl from the crowd who was celebrating a birthday and proceeded to lead everyone in a hilarious dance routine. Which, for the girl must have been extremely cringeworthy. But from a fan’s perspective. It was utterly hilarious!

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He then asked everyone in the crowd to get to their feet and join him in singing a song, and as Mr. Brightside blasted over the loudspeaker and words appeared on the screen, The Impractical Jokers ended up coming out dancing around and singing with everyone else and pulling a few kids out the crowd to come on stage and give a few high fives and hugs, as well as posing for a few selfies. All in all, a decent warm up for the main attraction.
It then came to the four guys everyone was waiting for: Sal, Joe, Q and Murr – The Impractical Jokers.

One thing I found which was really heart-warming was there was a lady behind us signing the show for the deaf people.

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They kick off by warning the kids about curse words, then proceed to swear quite a lot, they refer to themselves as the older golden girls of Prank shows, and flow their banter backwards and forwards. They went on to talking about punishments, and the permanent ones they have had, which were the guys tattoos. They proceed to show off their tattoos they were made to get as part of a punishment, Joe was the one selecting what inkwork the guys would get, and he decided that he wanted to make them personal to each guy. Q was first up saying that his took 30mins and was a cat and the words ’38 . Lives Alone. Has 3 Cats’ which at the time was accurate. They were joking that there were enough spaces to add things to it, and they moved on to the next one which was Murr who’s tattoo took 1hr 30mins and was a skydiving ferret, due to the guys saying he looks like a ferret and him being really scared when he skydived. Sal was the last one up, and was in the chair for 3hrs when they showed him the tattoo that Joe had chosen for him, it was a portrait of Jaden Smith on his thigh, which was totally random, and he says adds a conversation starter for when he’s getting intimate with women etc. He also said they met Jaden Smith and showed him the tattoo, he didn’t seem best pleased in the photo they put on the screen.
The next story they told involved Q and WWE Superstar Hornswoggle, they got talking over twitter and Q went to DM his number to ‘Swoggle, not realising that he actually posted it as a status. He received so many calls and texts, that he called to change his number. When on the phone he read the number out loud, and while he was doing this, Joe over heard and tweeted the number, much to the hilarity of Sal and Murr. Q Called again and changed the number a second time, and again one of the guys tweeted out the number. They did eventually let him sort it properly.

Sal’s story he told was about a guy in a wheelchair. He said there was this guy he noticed who was either standing, or sitting up very high in his chair, so Sal challenged him, and the guy shouted out I’m in a wheelchair. Sal’s face was a picture! The next time they went to the show in the same city, the same guy was there and he had a T-shirt saying ‘I’m in a wheelchair.’

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They then decided to play a game which they play with each other on a night out. They teach us how to play: You put your phones in the middle of the table… Then someone random picks one of the phones, open their contacts, scroll down and when someone shouts stop, they have to stop and send the message ‘I tested positive’ to the person and wait for the reply. They did this with the audience, and a random chick gave them her phone, the contact it stopped on ended up being her Dad! He didn’t reply, so they texted again saying ‘Fuck You’ and then again with a picture of Joe’s butt.

The guys brought the show to a close with a massive thank you to their second home, and that in January over 75,000 people came out in London to watch them, and that they were family and not just fans.

They show the video of Murr eating shit again, and close the show with Twist and Shout.

All in all I enjoyed the show, and some of the stories that they told were brilliant and hilarious.

Check out the review I did back in January of the ‘Santiago Sent Us’ Tour

 

WWE unveil new “Universal Championship” title

The “Biggest party of the summer” has been and gone for 2016 and the event brought us a lot of action including a new championship title. Raw had needed a new main event championship since Smackdown had drafted the WWE Champion Dean Ambrose last month. The match to decide who would be crowned the first champion was at this years WWE Summerslam where Finn Balor took on Seth Rollins.

Before the match Stephanie McMahon and Mick Foley unveiled the new title to the WWE Universe, with a design that resembles the current WWE World Heavyweight Championship the Raw brand is well represented on their new title with the strap being red. Finn Balor defeated Seth Rollins to become the first ever champion in a moment that will go down in history, not only is the Irishman the first ever holder of the new championship but he is also the first wrestler to win a major title in his PPV debut.

The show also saw a gruesome ending to the Brock Lesnar vs Randy Orton match, the two veterans battled in the match that had been 15 years in the making. Lesnar viciously busted Orton open and the match ended in TKO decision and a win for Dean Ambrose against the ‘Showoff’ Dolph Ziggler in the Smackdown World title match.

Keep your eyes open for the Talk and Beans podcast special on WWE Summerslam and NXT TakeOver Brooklyn 2.