Wrestlemania is supposed to be overstuffed, over-the-top, and even at times ridiculous. But with The Rock taking a break from show business to wrestle again, and CM Punk's countercultural roots front and center in his match with Chris Jericho, this year's Wrestlemania will up the ante in strange, unexpected ways.
On a night where most everyone was glued to the warm glowing warming glow of the Oscars or the NBA All-Star tilt, Tom Breihan tuned out and dropped in on Impact's house show, a touring carnival of hucksterism, $20 autographs, and even some wrestling.
Once a month, Ring of Honor rolls up on the Burns Arena and tapes all of that month’s TV shows in one night—four kinda-grueling hours of wrestling, with extended breaks for the TV crew to keep everything rolling. When you show up to these tapings, you’re essentially watching the future. Wrestlers will storm to the ring to rant about what such-and-such did to them last week, when it really just happened 20 minutes before. It’s weird.
Reliably ridiculous and reliably great, the Royal Rumble is empty calories even by the WWE's usual standards. But just because nachos aren't prime rib doesn't mean they aren't also delicious. This year's model was no exception, in terms of ridiculousness and goofy greatness.
Professional wrestling doesn’t have many actual physical landmarks, unless you count the wrestlers themselves. But it had the ECW Arena, a dingy building in a scuzzy South Philly neighborhood—at least until last Saturday.