When people think about Spring Break, usually they look forward to a vacation at a warm and relaxing location, with the chance to take a deep breath and forget the stress of school.
However, this year, I was able to soak in the bright lights of MetLife Stadium and the unlimited energy of over 80,000 individuals from all across the world, as I fulfilled a life-long dream.
I went to Wrestlemania.
This is more than a scripted performance between athletes. It’s the telling of a story between two or more larger-than-life superstars to millions of people around the world that generates emotions of excitement, heartbreak and surprise.
I’ve been a fan of professional wrestling since the day that I was born. Being able to attend the biggest event in the company’s calendar year was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. Observing the costumes of favorites like Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels and “Macho Man” Randy Savage, crazy wrestling fanatics embrace with each other for one day.
This was something my brother, Branden Crosier, and I have been waiting for since we were little kids. From jumping off the couch, hitting each other with “steel-chair” pillows and practicing finishing moves on each other, Branden and I have been enamored by the WWE for as long as we can remember.
“My initial thought when I reached my seat was disbelief for two reasons” said Branden Crosier. “One was that I couldn’t believe I was actually at Wrestlemania for the first time. The second was the fact that my seat was much closer to the ring than I had anticipated.”
Branden wasn’t kidding.
For The Miz and Shane McMahon’s ‘Falls Count Anywhere’ match, they literally took the action right to us, throwing haymakers less than twenty feet away from our section.
It was an absolutely unforgettable feeling to be a small part of the spectacle.
For Castleton University alumni Cody Collins, this was a culmination of a lifelong dream as well.
“It was unreal” said Collins, an account executive for business development for the Philadelphia 76ers and the New Jersey Devils. “Seeing not only myself, but 80,000 people with the same exact mindset… it was a great environment.”
Collins was most excited for the return of “The Immortal” Hulk Hogan at Wrestlemania, showing up as a surprise appearance to kick off the show.
“Hearing Hulk Hogan come out, it just made me almost jump out of my seat and take flight,” Collins said.
Wrestlemania is also a time for people from different backgrounds to interact with each other and get to know one another.
Jarold J. Guzman of Brooklyn, New York is an avid wrestling fan who was proud of the fact that Wrestlemania weekend was in his backyard.
“If it were anywhere else, I may never have had the opportunity to see Wrestlemania live,” said Guzman, a creative manager for a non-profit organization. “This may have been one of the greatest ‘mania’s of all time if I had to choose.”
The night was highlighted by the major championship victories of Seth Rollins over Brock Lesnar and Kofi Kingston over Daniel Bryan.
However, most significant was the main event of Wrestlemania.
For the first time ever, women were featured in the final match of the biggest pay-per-view the company produces.
Former UFC trendsetter Ronda Rousey, the daughter of the legendary Ric Flair, Charlotte Flair and the most popular individual in the WWE today, Becky Lynch.
All three left it all on the line to be declared the undisputed women’s champion of the WWE. After a grueling contest, Becky Lynch overcame the odds and celebrated with all of MetLife Stadium as fireworks lit up the New York/New Jersey skyline.
This experience was a long one, with over seven and a half hours of wrestling taking up the day, the four of us were exhausted, but proud that we finally made our dreams come true.
“When I was a child I felt drawn to professional wrestling,” said Branden Crosier. “To be there at the Super Bowl of professional wrestling, it was a feeling of achievement, and all I did was buy a ticket.”