A Weekend at Wrestlemania 40: Jason Kelce, Terrible Parking Lot T-Shirts, and More at Night 1 | Features | LIVING LIFE FEARLESS

A Weekend at Wrestlemania 40: Jason Kelce, Terrible Parking Lot T-Shirts, and More at Night 1

Following a week of tons of events around Philadelphia, both officially sanctioned and not, the actual Wrestlemania XL got underway Saturday night at Lincoln Financial Field.

I won’t write a pure show recap or review since there are plenty of places around the Internet to find that—instead, my thoughts on my experience attending Wrestlemania in person.

The parking lot was a pretty great atmosphere, at least on the way in (more on that later), with many fantastic costumes, and so many people carrying around those huge championship belts. Plus, I saw maybe the worst thing ever:

Also, maybe Vince McMahon was at the show after all…

I watched the entire show from the press box at the Linc, which was reportedly expanded for last summer’s Taylor Swift concert, so they had room for a couple of hundred people.

Much like college basketball, wrestling wasn’t meant for stadiums, in part because it’s really hard to see the ring unless you’re sitting close. I sort of alternated between watching the ring and the overhead TVs — complete with the Peacock broadcast, with a two-second delay and the vocal stylings of Pat McAfee — but I did move to the other side of the press box to watch most of the main event, especially after they opened the windows.

Triple-H came out at the beginning and declared a “new era,” different from the “old era,” although he did not elaborate on why the old era was over and what role his father-in-law played in its end.

And, of course, Jason Kelce and longtime teammate Lane Johnson appeared as the two arrived dressed in Eagles-themed Mexican luchador masks. I’m not exactly sure at what point we were supposed to notice it was the two Eagles, but still, a great moment. I just know, though, that Jason wanted to do the old Stone Cold Steve Austin thing with the beer cans.

I enjoyed both women’s matches; Rhea Ripley is the real deal, and Jade Cargill is the future.

My favorite match of the night was Sami Zayn winning the Intercontinental title, while the ladder match was also lots of fun. The Usos’ match was not good; it reminded me of those tennis matches Venus and Serena Williams used to have against each other, when the siblings for some reason wouldn’t go all out with each other.

As for the main event, it was great as a spectacle but also way too long, with long stretches of nothing happening. The Rock yelling at the ref that he better not count him out, or else you’re fired, was a good, Hollywood-style way to close a plot hole with one line of dialogue. But eventually, the match just had no rules at all.

One thing I learned? The “no cheering in the press box” rule is not particularly sacrosanct at pro wrestling events. There was a lot of cheering, clapping, and people wearing t-shirts and other memorabilia for WWE and specific wrestlers.

I could not attend the post-show press conference, but I was fascinated by how it worked. Some of the people there are legit journalists who are going to ask questions about Vince McMahon and the status of Brock Lesnar and other uncomfortable subjects. While others were more akin to influencers, who are going to ask more storyline-based questions or other softballs. Meanwhile, Triple-H is an officer of a public company, so he has to approach it that way.

Meanwhile, it took so long to get out of the parking lot that I felt like there were a lot of first-time Philly drivers who weren’t prepared. I could barely navigate a post-game parking lot when I first came to Philadelphia either – it’s a skill that must be honed and acquired over time.

Onto Night #2… You can check out our recap of WWE World here.

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