By Peter R. Clark Travel Editor, Illustration by John Mueller Graphics Illustrator
I recently watched Wrestlemania XXIII which, to my surprise, was more exciting and interesting than I originally thought it would be. My friend invited me a few weeks before and I was initially hesitant, but after he tempted me with good beer I accepted. I hadn’t watched wrestling much since I was younger, and I stopped because it became boring for me. All the greats have long since left to do other things or sometimes come back for special appearances that seem more fake than the wrestling itself.
I arrived late to my friends and some matches were already over, but apparently those matches were not as exciting and interesting. When I arrived, there was a tag team championship match taking place between the boring League of Nations and somewhat exciting The New Day. It was mostly uninteresting save for one of the The New Day guys playing a trombone mid-fight.
The excitement came after the League of Nations won and started talking some bullshit. That’s when Shawn Michaels, Mick Foley, and Steve Austin all came out and kicked all their asses.
As a side note, Steve Austin was drinking his own beer that was brewed by El Segundo Brewing. It was cool to see these three old icons come out and kick ass.
The next form of excitement came from something completely unexpected. There was a Battle Royale for the Andre the Giant memorial. Because there were so many wrestlers—mostly B-stars—in that match, a number of them were already in the squared circle.
What was unexpected was that Shaquille O’Neal came running out to the ring. It was cool to see him stacked up next to Kane, The Big Show, and Mark Henry.
Despite those wrestler’s size, they seemed tiny compared to Shaq’s massive stature. He was unfortunately the first one to be eliminated in this match, and the eventual winner was someone I didn’t know, but just the fact that Shaq of all people made an appearance was worth it.
The last thing that left all of us in the room questioning everything was the fact that, of all people, Snoop Dogg was inducted into the wrestling Hall of Fame. There was really no explanation for it, and he didn’t seem to be fazed by it either.
Another interesting note is that the diva Sasha Banks is apparently related to him. Perhaps that is how he got into the Hall of Fame? It was unclear, and my limited research online didn’t provide much other than he did do a lot of guest appearances.
Other things happened throughout the night, such as “The Rock” having a verbal dispute with the Wyatt Family, and John Cena making a return.
Overall, this Wrestlemania proved to be interesting and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Maybe I might be so inclined to watch next year’s, but I fear that nothing will live up to this year’s excitement. Time will tell.