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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Top 10: Royal Rumble Surprise Returns

January is a special time in the world of Wrestling. The road to WrestleMania begins and some of the biggest and best storylines and matches start to form around the turn of the new year. There is no better feeling as a wrestling fan when you’re watching the WWE Royal Rumble live and the excitement starts to build as you try to guess who’s next, the countdown happens and then the entrance music hits…

Here are my personal top 10 times of when that music has shocked me to the core and left me open mouthed with shock at the return that I am witnessing.

 

 


  1. ‘Mr Perfect’ Curt Hennig – 2002

After spending the previous 5 years down in WCW, Mr. Perfect made his surprise WWE Return in the 2002 Royal Rumble match. He entered at number 25 and made the final three, before being eliminated by eventual winner Triple H. He only lasted another 4 months in WWE however, as he was released in May due to his involvement in the infamous ‘Plane Ride From Hell’ where a number of controversial, alcohol fuelled incidents occurred, his fight with Brock Lesnar caused the termination of his contract. He sadly died less than a year later in February 2003, aged just 44, and I was there in person to witness his posthumous 2007 Hall of Fame induction the night before Wrestlemania 23.


 

  1. Kharma – 2012

Best known from her time in TNA as Awesome Kong, Kharma was one of the first major acquisitions from Triple H when he took over as an executive. She became pregnant though not long after her debut, and so her WWE career was cut pretty short. She made a surprise return to WWE at the 2012 Royal Rumble event, becoming the third woman to ever enter the match and even eliminated Hunico (now portraying Sin Cara) and was eliminated quickly by Dolph Ziggler. This marked her last appearance in WWE and she asked for her release a few months later.


  1. Booker T – 2011

In 2011, the Royal Rumble had 10 extra places added, to become a 40 man event, it was the first and last time that happened. There were two very big surprises that night, Booker T being the first, after being in TNA for the three years previous to this, he cleaned house and even treated the crowd to a spinaroonie, before being eliminated by Nexus member Mason Ryan. He has since become a commentator, and play by play announcer for the WWE Network and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame two years later in 2013.


  1. Mankind and Dude Love – 1998

In 1998, Mick Foley was competing mostly as Cactus Jack, and was announced as a Royal Rumble participant in that year, entering at number 1. His tag partner Chainsaw Charlie (Terry Funk) entered at #2 and eliminated Cactus Jack. But this wasn’t the last we saw of Mrs Foley’s Baby Boy in this match. A while later the countdown was on to entrant #16 and the music of Mankind hits, and he comes out and eliminates Charlie. He was then eliminated by Goldust. Then fast forward to #28, the third face of Foley, Dude Love, entered the match, and lasted until the final four alongside The Rock, Stone Cold and Faarooq. He was the first wrestler to appear more than once in a rumble match. Foley is more recently the General Manager of Raw. He is due to have hip surgery at some point so, it’s unknown how much longer he will be around.


  1. Chris Jericho – 2013

Usually there will be vignettes galore when Chris Jericho makes a return or an appearance in WWE, but to our surprise there was nothing, and when Dolph Ziggler was standing in the ring in 2013 awaiting the second entrant in the Royal Rumble match, he was as surprised as anyone when the lights went out and Jericho’s music hit, especially having ‘ended’ Jericho’s career the previous summer. Y2J lasted 45 minutes in the match, and put in an incredible performance. He is currently in the main event scene on Raw, and recently won the United States Championship, the only title which had eluded him throughout his illustrious career, and it meant that he became a ‘Grand Slam Champion’. Giving the first ever undisputed champion (he beat The Rock and Stone Cold on the same night, you know!) his place in history, and more substance to his self proclaimed persona as ‘The Greatest of All Time.’


  1. Rob Van Dam – 2009

RVD Left WWE in 2007, after six years as one of the most popular superstars to come out of the ‘Invasion’ angle in 2001. During his hiatus he would spend his time working on the independent scene and then moving to TNA. During this hiatus he actually made a surprise and unannounced return in the 2009 Royal Rumble match, coming in at #25 to one hell of an ovation, he lasted 13 mins before being eliminated by Jericho. He is one of the best Hardcore Champions in WWE History, and is frequently linked with a return to the company. Don’t be surprised if he is one of the entrants this coming Sunday.


  1. Bubba Ray Dudley – 2015

Ten years previous to this The Dudley Boyz competed in their last WWE Match, they went to TNA and wrestled as ‘Team 3D’ for a number of years and Bubba’s ‘Bully Ray’ character actually made it as TNA World Heavyweight Champion twice in 2013. When the 2015 Royal Rumble match was announced as emulating from Philadeliphia PA, the home of ECW, there were rumblings that a few old ECW names would be part of the match. Bubba Ray Dudley was not the first name you would have thought of, which made his appearance at #3 even more shocking and special. Not only that, it was actually his first, and only ever Royal Rumble match, as he was always too busy throwing other Tag Teams through tables with D-Von (who has also never ever been in a Rumble match.)


  1. Edge – 2010

Six months previously, the ‘Rated R Superstar’ was on the shelf with a torn achilles. His then tag partner, Chris Jericho kept calling him weak and replaced him as champion with The Big Show. WWE were very quiet about his recovery from the injury and thus making it even more surprising when he came out at #29 in the Rumble and in the process surprising the entire building, eliminating Chris Jericho, and eventually eliminating John Cena, to win the entire thing, and head to WrestleMania, where he would lose to Chris Jericho. Since then, Edge has won multiple World titles, married Beth Phoenix, fathered two children been forced to retire from wrestling and taken up his place in the WWE Hall of Fame.  


  1. Diesel – 2011

Remember me talking about the 2011 Royal Rumble, being 40 entrants, and Booker T being a surprise entrant? Well he wasn’t the only one… as the countdown kicked in towards entrant #32, no one at all could have guessed that Diesel would be the man whose music would hit. Donning the singlet of Big Daddy Cool, for the first time in over 15 years, he was eliminated by Wade Barrett, and went on to sign a Five year legends deal with WWE. He became NXT Commissioner at one point, and even made a second return to the Rumble in 2014, becoming one of Roman Reigns’ 12 victims. Like most of the names here. Nash has also gone on to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, under his Diesel persona.


  1. John Cena2008

Most probably THE most famous return in Royal Rumble history, three months previous to this, John Cena had been injured and forced to relinquish the WWE title, the fans were told he would need 7 Months ‘on the shelf’ meaning Rumble and ‘Mania were both a miss for him. But this is ‘Super Cena’ we’re talking about, the scene was set, ‘The World’s Most Famous Arena,’ Madison Square Garden. Twenty nine men had entered the match, and there was time for one more. The countdown kicks in, and to the shock of every single man, woman and child present in that arena, John Cena’s music hits and there he was! The Garden went INSANE! With no previous mention of him even being in contention to make the match, everyone was shocked to see him show up. He ended up coming out, clearing house and winning the whole damn thing! Cena is now just one WWE title win away from equalling Ric Flair’s record of 16. Don’t be surprised to see this happen sooner, rather than later.


Thank You for reading this, and we look forward to many surprises in the next Royal Rumble!

If you would like more Rebellious Noise coverage on WWE then check out the Talk and Beans podcast and our RN YouTube channel for more Wrestling content such as our interviews with Willam Regal, Finn Balor, Neville and Robbie Brookside below;

 

Kurt Angle to be inducted into WWE Hall of Fame

It has been announced the Olympic Gold medal winner and former WWE Champion Kurt Angle will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame this year in Orlando, Florida.

WWE’s Executive Vice President of Talent, Live Events and Creative Paul “Triple H” Leveque who has been instrumental in the signing of many of the Hall of Fame inductees in recent years has said “Kurt Angle’s accomplishments both in the Olympics and WWE were extraordinary” and went on to say “He was one of the most gifted athletes to ever enter the ring, and we are honored to welcome him into the WWE Hall of Fame“.

The man of the “Three I’s” had an illustrious career in WWE and was one of the most charismatic and gifted performers of the “Attitude Era“, a period in which the industry was full of mega stars and Kurt Angle was definitely one of them.

Angle left WWE in 2006 and has been one of the most missed Superstars by fans around the world ever since. His run in TNA started out very well but in recent years fans have craved a WWE instead. Could this mark the start of a new working relationship with the wrestling legend?

Former WWE star Jimmy Snuka passes away weeks after being declared unfit to stand trial for murder 

News has been confirmed by Tamina, current WWE superstar and daughter of Jimmy Snuka, that her father has passed away at the age of 73. The former wrestling superstar had been through a controversial few years after being declared unfit to stand trial for the murder of his girlfriend Nancy Argentino who died in 1983 just a few weeks ago. 

Snuka was arrested in 2015 and pleaded not guilty but was deemed not mentally fit to stand trial on January 3rd due to terminal illness of dimentia. “The Superfly” had also been battling cancer since 2015. 

The wrestling icon made his name in the WWE throughout the 1970s and 1980 and became a WWE Hall of Fame inductee in 1996, however the wrestlers profile page on the WWE Hall of Fame website was taken down in 2015 during the trial.

The truth about that night in 1983 may never come out but one thing that is for sure is that the Fijian wrestler made a huge impact during his wrestling career and influenced many stars of today and the past, most famously Mick Foley who credits watching Jimmy Snuka jumping off the steel cage at a match in Madison Square Garden as one of the things that inspired him to follow his dream.