Philly’s WrestleMania Weekend: Inside the Experience

The dust has finally settled in Philadelphia after the unforgettable WrestleMania weekend. The entire city came to life and welcomed the WWE and all other companies with open arms. The weekend saw the smashing of attendance and gate records. Leaving an indelible mark on the hearts of the people of The City of Brotherly Love. This weekend, people from all 50 states and over 60 countries gathered in Philadelphia. Making it the center of the wrestling world. As someone who was born and raised in this beautiful city. I made it my mission to experience as many events as possible.

Philly Sports Trips Generic

It had been 25 long years since the last WrestleMania was held in Philadelphia. Who knows when it will return again? I didn’t want to miss out on this opportunity. To enjoy the sights and sounds of all the events with my fellow Philadelphians. Even if it meant biting off more than I could chew. With very little sleep and a whole lot of editing and content to put out. I wouldn’t change a thing about the experience. I manged to get to over 11 events this weekend. It was a magical journey that will always stay with me. Let’s relive the journey of WrestleMania weekend from the perspective of a lifelong wrestling fan from Philadelphia and soak in the excitement once again.

Thursday

 11 Am: Defy Wrestling

To start off my Mania weekend on the right foot, I made my way over to Penn’s Landing Caterers, the bustling hub where the GCW collective was set to unfold over the entire weekend. This was going to be my main hangout spot for most of the weekend shenanigans.

Now, let me tell you about the Collective – it was like a wrestling marathon, stretching out over three action-packed days with a whopping lineup of over 11 shows. DEFY wrestling kicked things off with a bang, setting the tone for the rest of the weekend with their high-energy performance. The atmosphere was electric, and they really got the crowd pumped up for all the wrestling goodness still to come. It was the perfect start to what promised to be an epic few days of wrestling madness.

4pm : Blood Sport 


Bloodsport during WrestleMania weekend stands out as a distinctive event, diverging from the traditional wrestling format by emphasizing the raw intensity of striking and MMA techniques. Pinfalls take a back seat here, with victory achievable solely through submissions, knockouts, or referee stoppages.

This year’s Bloodsport marked a significant milestone, as WWE permitted an active wrestler to participate in the event for the first time in its collective history. Shayne, drawing upon her MMA background, engaged in a riveting encounter with Masha, captivating the audience with their skillful exchanges.

The atmosphere within the Catering Hall crackled with excitement, as enthusiastic fans contributed to the palpable energy permeating the venue. Notably, the presence of WWE superstars among the spectators heightened the spectacle, underscoring the camaraderie and mutual respect within the wrestling community.

Adding to the intrigue, the unexpected appearance of Nick Khan, President of WWE, further elevated the occasion, positioning him prominently amidst the cameras capturing the event for viewers worldwide.

Year after year, Bloodsport remains a highlight of WrestleMania weekend, drawing avid spectators eager to witness the dynamic fusion of wrestling and MMA techniques firsthand. As a testament to its allure, I ensured my attendance at this year’s event, immersing myself fully in the thrilling spectacle it offered.

8pm: DDT


Man, let me tell you about DDT wrestling – it’s like nothing else out there! It’s this awesome mix of jaw-dropping athleticism and side-splitting humor that keeps you hooked from start to finish. Seriously, when you step into one of their shows, get ready for a wild ride of entertainment.

The matches? Insane. These wrestlers pull off some mind-blowing moves that’ll leave you speechless. But here’s the kicker – they don’t take themselves too seriously. It’s all about having fun and bringing a smile to your face. So, alongside all the crazy flips and slams, you’re guaranteed to be cracking up at the hilarious moments they throw in.

I recently caught my first DDT show, and let me tell you, I’m officially obsessed. The energy in the crowd, the non-stop action in the ring, and the laughter echoing throughout the venue – it was pure magic. You better believe I’ll be keeping an eye out for any future shows in the area. Trust me, you don’t want to miss out on this level of entertainment!

xr:d:DAFeWL5xUJk:275,j:9105577014879219919,t:24041021

Friday

9 AM : WWE Media Scrum

As an EOP writer, I have had the privilege of attending some of the biggest events in the world, including Wrestlemania. The most rewarding part of this experience has been gaining media access, allowing me to participate in Media Day. As a lifelong fan of WWE, being granted access to this exclusive event was a dream come true. The opportunity to mingle with some of the biggest names in wrestling media was an unforgettable experience that left me feeling grateful and humbled.

Interviewing some of the biggest names in the company, including Natalya Neidhart, Rey Mysterio, and Tommaso Ciampa, was a highlight of the day. But there was so much more to the experience than just the interviews. During the interview process, I witnessed an unexpected event – LA Knight and AJ Styles’ paths crossed, and their match began right there in the media room. It was an electrifying moment that left everyone in awe.

Overall, Media Day was an opportunity to showcase my hard work and dedication to my craft. The chance to interview some of the biggest stars in the wrestling world was a reminder that my efforts are not going unnoticed. I will always cherish this experience and be forever grateful for the opportunity to attend such a prestigious event.

Natalya Neidhart Interview

In this interview, I asked Natalya about the experience she had the day prior at GCW Blood Sport.

Tommaso Ciampa Interview

Tommaso Ciampa Interview

Media Day FIght

1 PM : Battle Ground Wrestling

So, after spending the day checking out all the cool stuff at Media Day downtown, I was on a mission to get over to the 2300 Arena, AKA the ECW arena, for the Battle Ground event we’d all been buzzing about, “Born to Die”. Let me tell you, the lineup was stacked – we’re talking Riddle, Swaggle, Brian Myers, Brian Kendrick, and a bunch more top-tier wrestlers.

Once I got inside, it was like being hit with a wall of pure adrenaline. Every match was like a highlight reel of jaw-dropping moves and heart-pounding action, exactly what you’d expect from Battle Ground Wrestling. But the cherry on top? Seeing Drake Younger, a CZW legend, back in the ring where he made history back in the day. It was like stepping into a time machine for a lot of us.

The crowd was wild, too – you had little kids screaming their heads off next to old-timers who’ve probably seen it all. But one thing’s for sure, everyone was losing their minds cheering on their favorites.

By the time the final bell rang, I was already counting down the days until the next Battle Ground event. Seriously, it was one heck of a show, and I couldn’t get enough.

7 PM : Spring Break


After soaking in all the madness of Battleground, I finally got a chance to kick back for a bit, catch my breath, and regroup. But let me tell you, the calm before the storm didn’t last long because I had arguably the wildest show of the weekend lined up for 7 pm – Spring Break.

Now, if you’re into indie wrestling, you know that Spring Break is like the WrestleMania of the scene. It’s legendary, man. Every year, without fail, it’s one of the absolute highlights of the whole weekend. And let me tell you, this year was no exception.

Spring Break was an absolute rollercoaster of a show, packed with wild spots and dream matches that had the crowd going nuts. But one moment that really stood out for me was when Matt Cardona went head-to-head with Blue Kane. They even tried to recreate that infamous wheelchair spot from WWE back in the day, but things took a wild turn when Jimmy Lloyd got involved and ended up crashing through a table courtesy of Kane. Talk about unexpected twists!

You always know you’re gonna get your money’s worth at a GCW show, but Spring Break? Man, it blew even my expectations out of the water. It was one heck of a ride, and I’m already counting down the days until next year’s event.

Dolans Bar

Saturday

10 AM: Bray Wyatt Disscussion Panel


After a brief respite on Friday night, I eagerly embarked on a full day of activities on Saturday. My first destination was WWE World, where I anticipated attending a panel dedicated to the memory of the late Bray Wyatt.

Entering the event, I braced myself for an emotionally charged experience. Bray Wyatt held profound significance for my family, particularly my son, who deeply admired him from the outset of his wrestling fandom. Thus, Bray’s untimely passing weighed heavily on us.

The panel, expertly moderated by Big E, boasted an impressive roster of speakers, including Seth Rollins, Bo Dallas, JoJo, and Natalya. However, the occasion was not without its surprises. The WWE orchestrated poignant guest appearances by luminaries such as The Undertaker and Bray’s own father and uncle, of the renowned U.S. Express tag team.

Yet, the most poignant moment transpired when the visionary behind Bray’s iconic Fiend persona unveiled plans for a new iteration of the character. This revelation, though tinged with sorrow for what might have been, underscored the enduring legacy of one of WWE’s most enigmatic figures.

In essence, the panel served as a poignant tribute to Bray Wyatt’s indelible impact on the wrestling world. It was a privilege to bear witness to such a heartfelt commemoration of a luminary who will forever hold a cherished place in the annals of sports entertainment.

Undertaker tells a story about a young Bray Wyatt

1 PM : SVW Block Party


Following the emotionally charged experience at WWE World, I hailed an Uber and made my way to Suplex Vintage Wrestling. They were hosting a massive block party event with live wrestling right in the heart of South Street. I’ll admit, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect as I headed over, uncertain about the turnout and atmosphere awaiting me.

However, any reservations I had were quickly dispelled upon arriving at the event. To say I was blown away would be an understatement. The place was buzzing, packed to the brim with enthusiastic fans. It was standing room only, with the ring at the center of it all, surrounded by a sea of excited spectators. The Philadelphia wrestling community truly showed up and showed out for what turned out to be an incredible event orchestrated by SVW.

From the electrifying matches to the vibrant energy pulsating through the crowd, every moment of the event was a testament to the passion and camaraderie within the wrestling community. It was an absolute blast, filled with laughter, cheers, and unforgettable memories.

As I left, still buzzing with excitement, I couldn’t help but hope that SVW would make this block party a recurring tradition. It was the kind of experience that left me craving more, eager to relive the magic again and again.

7 PM : WrestleMania Night 1


Finally, the moment I had been waiting for – WrestleMania Night 1. As someone covering wrestling for EOP, scoring press passes for the event was an absolute dream come true. And let me tell you, it’s an experience I won’t be forgetting anytime soon.

Watching the action unfold from the cozy confines of the press box was nothing short of amazing. Leading up to WrestleMania 40, WWE had been hyping it as the biggest WrestleMania ever. And while the early matches may have lacked that signature WrestleMania spark initially, let me tell you, things heated up real quick.

The co-main event was a showstopper. Seeing Sami snag that IC championship from Gunther sent shockwaves through the crowd, and WWE really nailed the presentation of that match, making it feel like a monumental moment for everyone in attendance.

And then there was the main event – talk about epic. Anytime you get to witness The Rock in action, you know you’re in for a treat. And boy, did he deliver. The energy in the arena was off the charts, and seeing The Rock pin Cody left fans absolutely stunned.

Overall, Night 1 of WrestleMania was a fantastic show, laying down a solid foundation for what promised to be an even more thrilling Night 2. I couldn’t wait to see what else WWE had in store for us.

Sunday

10 AM :WWE World


Sunday morning rolled around, and as a dedicated dad, I took on my Dad Duties before diving back into the wrestling whirlwind. After witnessing the awesomeness of WWE World on Saturday morning, I knew I couldn’t miss out on sharing the wonder with my kids the next day.

Let me tell you, WWE World is like paradise for wrestling fans, young and old alike. It’s a place where dreams come true, giving fans the chance to meet their favorite superstars up close and personal, along with a whole slew of other incredible activities.

But the real highlight of the event? Watching my son light up as he got to live out his wrestling fantasy. He had the opportunity to do his very own ring entrance, complete with his own personalized video package. And guess who he chose to emulate? None other than Cody Rhodes himself.

Seeing the pure joy on his face as he stepped into the spotlight, strutting his stuff just like his wrestling hero, was a moment I’ll cherish forever. It’s those little moments that make being a dad – and being a wrestling fan – truly special.

7PM : WrestleMania Night 2

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – APRIL 7: Cody Rhodes celebrates during Night Two of WrestleMania 40 at Lincoln Financial Field on April 7, 2024 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by WWE/Getty Images)


After the epic conclusion of Night 1, my anticipation was through the roof as I made my way back to the Linc to witness how the Bloodline Rules match would unfold. And let me tell you, Night 2 did not disappoint. It took the momentum from Night 1’s strong finish and ran with it, delivering an absolutely stellar card that left fans in awe. I dare say, it was one of the best WrestleMania events ever.

Now, let’s talk about the main event – it was pure creative genius at its finest. I’ve seen my fair share of wrestling in my life, but I can honestly say this match might just go down in history as the greatest of all time. The storytelling was masterful, weaving a narrative that kept fans on the edge of their seats from start to finish.

One of my favorite moments? When Roman Reigns had the chance to put Cody away for good, but instead decided to deliver a devastating chair shot to The Shield’s Seth. It was a powerful callback to Seth’s betrayal of The Shield, and it added a whole new layer of depth to the match. It felt like WWE’s way of saying, even if Roman doesn’t win, he’s still come full circle in his quest for revenge.

And let me tell you, the emotion in the arena after that match was palpable. I saw tears streaming down the faces of fans – including my own son – something you don’t often see at a wrestling event. It was a testament to the raw emotion and investment fans had in the story unfolding before them.

OVERALL…

Overall, I truly believe this WrestleMania will go down in history as the greatest of all time. And hey, that’s not just me being biased because it happened in my hometown. The proof is in the pudding, and Night 2 delivered in spades.

Joey Wood
Joey Wood

Joe Wood was born and raised in the Mayfair section of Philadelphia. A dedicated father of 2, a boy and a girl. Who is a lifelong Philadelphia 4 for 4-er. Joe found a passion for Professional wrestling from a young age thanks to his father, who took him to live events. Currently, Joe is studying at Full Sail University to achieve his bachelor’s degree in sports marketing and media. Once completed, he hopes to be able to cover sports full-time.

Previous

Next