I won’t sit here and pretend that I am the biggest pro wrestling fan, because I’m not. In fact, until this weekend, I had never watched a WrestleMania live, nor seen a complete one. That’s not to say I’ve never been a wrestling fan, though. In fact, one of my favorite blogs I’ve written has been about my favorite Attitude Era wrestlers.
But this weekend was special. It could easily be one of the best WrestleManias of all time. Again, that’s coming from someone who hasn’t watched pro wrestling in probably close to 20 years, if not more.
Let me preface the rest of this by saying that I am not going to give an in-depth review of the events. Between chasing a toddler, a mild interest in the sport, and other things taking a lot of my attention. While I “watched” all of Saturday night, I can recall like three matches.
The only thing that kept me even slightly attentive to the TV was the fact that Stone Cold Steve Austin was wrestling his first match in 19 years. Although we were led to believe that he wasn’t actually wrestling, but on something called the ‘Kevin Owens Show’, whatever that is. I probably wouldn’t know who Kevin Owens is if he punched me in the face.
I recollect Becky Lynch losing a match but accidentally landing one hell of a kick to her opponent’s face after a backflip off the top ropes. I also recollect Charlotte Flair and *checks notes* Rhonda Rousey? Weird. Anyways, this blog isn’t about those matches. It’s about the ones that I actually watched and remembered.
By far, the highlight of Saturday night was Stone Cold Steve Austin, even if he wasn’t “supposed” to wrestle. As the last match of the night, nobody seemed to mention the main event (even though it wasn’t the main event, it still drew in more viewership than any other match, I’m sure).
Hearing the glass break and that iconic song gave me chills. For a second, I was taken back to my childhood, where Pokemon & WWE reigned supreme and my only care in the world was getting another Lunchable.
So when some dude I have never heard of was talking shit to one of the greatest wrestlers of all time, I knew something bad was going to happen to him. And it did. What ensued was Stone Cold beating the hell out of the guy, although Kevin Owens did land a couple of good shots.
The two best parts of it were Stone Cold receiving a stunner on the concrete where the fans stand, and then returning the favor not once, but twice on the stage. I did not think an almost-60-year-old Stone Cold with dual knee braces could throw a stunner anymore, but dammit that was awesome.
Stone Cold inevitably (and obviously) won. I thought that would be the final goodbye of his career, showering himself in what seemed like no less than 20 of his new Broken Skull American Lagers.
Boy, was I wrong. I was looking forward to Sunday more than Saturday because both my idol, Pat McAfee, and Johnny Knoxville were wrestling. I didn’t know the storyline for either of their matches, but I knew they would both be electric in their matches.
Johnny Knoxville did not disappoint. About halfway through, I was crying tears of laughter. Everything ‘Jackass’ they could have done, they did. Chris Pontius came out and distracted using his party boy outfit, Wee Man came out as a prop and ended up fireman carrying and bodyslamming the guy, and there were tasers and mousetraps galore. The match was finished by Johnny Knoxville using a massive mousetrap to hold the guy down, jump on him, and pin him.
With Pat McAfee commentating that match, it was absolutely hilarious. Pat did not shy away from the fact that we have seen Chris Pontius’ ass more than we care to see most other humans’. Having Knoxville wrestle and Pat on the call was an awesome duo.
And then came yet again the ‘main event’ of the night, even though it wasn’t the true main event. Pat McAfee vs. Austin Theory. Some young kid who is the protégé of Vince McMahon. Vince even announced him as the future something champion of the WWE, adding more to the storyline of Pat being the underdog.
It did not start off well for Pat, I will admit. But it soon turned around. At one point, Pat put the commentator’s headset on and announced he was the first person to announce his own match. Pat landed some good moves, even jumping from the mat to the top rope and throwing a superplex on Theory. He eventually won and sent Theory packing.
That *should* be the end of the story. But it’s not. Pat ran his mouth at Vince McMahon, enticed him into a match, and subsequently lost after essentially being McMahon’s punching bag for a few minutes. Again, the story should end here.
Then the infamous sound of the glass break and the 90s rock came on. In walked the Texas Rattlesnake himself, Stone Cold Steve Austin, to save the day. My favorite wrestler of all time saving my favorite sportsperson of all time in a WrestleMania match. As he has done many times before, Steve Austin threw McMahon a Stone Cold Stunner, to which McMahon sold horribly.
I hate to break it to you, but the story still doesn’t stop there, as it should. Austin then invited McAfee into the ring where they crushed a bunch of beers Stone Cold-style. Everything was going great until Stone Cold threw yet another Stunner on Pat, with Pat having one of the best sells in history, spewing beer like a fountain. Eventually, the camera showed Pat laying on the mat still chugging beers.
This was a fun, nostalgic weekend for a 90s kid. Obviously, it wasn’t the full-blown Attitude Era, but it was close enough that I was happy. My idol and favorite person in sports got to wrestle, and my life sort of came full circle. I can’t promise I’ll ever watch wrestling again, aside from Stone Cold highlights or Pat’s next big match, but this weekend, I was a kid again, watching wrestling.