Tonight, I sit in my living room. Happy to be healthy, happy to be home with my cats. Yet, terribly sad…because I should be somewhere else tonight. If only we were in different times. You see, tonight is the night we were supposed to be attending Wrestlemania 36 in the amazing and wonderful city of Tampa, Florida. And because of the current Corona Virus epidemic and Covid-19 Pandemic, we are all home. Where we are happy, yet tonight it is not where we want to be.
I have been a die-hard and hardcore WWE fan for a very long time – over twenty-one years, to be exact. And while I know exactly what wrestling is, and having been bereated and laughed at over the years, let me say this – I DO NOT CARE. That night back in 1999 when I sat down with my children (spurred on by my oldest, who I am proud to say is STILL a fan) I never, ever thought that episode would shape my life and influence it like it has. I have enjoyed so many events, laughed at and have been inspired by the amazing performances I have been lucky enough to watch – I have been truly blessed.
I have attended so many live events that I can barely keep count. Yet, if I was challenged to – I am sure I could chronicle them all for the most part (give or take a few). I have made friends and made memories that I never, ever thought I would be lucky enough to have. I started attending the “Granddaddy of them All” which is WrestleMania in 2004. And, with a one year exception of 2005, I have attended EVERY one since then. I’m so very lucky to have achieved this streak.
My very best friend Christine and I have sat, stuck with large men next to us in Chicago. We have waited on long taxi lines with rude policemen and ridden in taxi cabs where we questioned our safety and if we would arrive where we wanted to go. We have laughed with friends we made from other countries. There were times we commuted to and from matches in what could be considered monsoons, wearing plastic garbage bags as garments. We have cheered things we never thought would happen and were thrilled when we watched what was anticipated. We have gone to events when we paid next to nothing in commuting costs and other events where what we paid was north of $500. We have been at events where we were treated rudely beyond belief, and we have been in areas where there were rodents greeting us from a distance in a grocery store. We have met people we never, ever would have otherwise. And we have memories that cannot be believed nor can they be equated in dimes and dollars.
And for this, I say thank you. Thank you to World Wrestling Entertainment, for they are my heroes tonight. This WrestleMania is different. Would I want it to be any other way? Hell yes, I would. I want to be sitting in our seats, cheering, yelling, crying, laughing and being happy – like I have been for the past sixteen years. Tonight, it is what it is. Next year, which will be WrestleMania 37 – in Los Angeles, in California – get ready, the WWE Universe is coming! Fifty one weeks from tonight – let the countdown begin!