You don’t need to wait until April 7th, 2013 to witness a live WWE Pay Per View event here in New Jersey! Wrestlemania 28 doesn’t happen until next Sunday, but WWE is already priming for their big visit to New Jersey for Wrestlemania 29 with one of their smaller pay per views: No Way Out on June 17th, 2012. The event will take place at the IZOD Center which is right next to MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford NJ, home of Wrestlemania 29. There’s a pre-sale going on, but tickets go on sale to the public this Saturday March 24th at 10:00am.
Vince McMahon’s goal in bringing Wrestlemania to MetLife Stadium was to beat the NFL to the punch by a year. In 2014 The Super Bowl will be taking place at MetLife Stadium, though it’s still referred to by most people in the Tri-State area as GIANTS STADIUM. Tomorrow, Vince and his crew of superstars will join Governor Chris Christie in East Rutherford NJ for the official announcement that WWE’s grandest event will emanate from MetLife Stadium on April 7th, 2013.
Rumors about this have been surging the past couple of months, so this wasn’t a surprise. To say I can’t contain my excitement is an understatement. Pro Wrestling sites, Twitter, and even real live actual people are buzzing about this. Considering that the New York Giants just won the Super Bowl, that makes this announcement even more monumental. There’s no telling how the G-Men will do next year, but either way, WWE chose the right venue.
But wait! The infant MetLife Stadium has no roof! As you may know, the weather in Jersey is whacked out. The first week of April will either be freaky freezies weather, torrential downpours, or swamp-ass city 90 degree heat. We rarely enjoy a happy medium as far as weather goes. I’m not complaining, WWE obviously has a plan for inclement weather. Either way, it’s revenue and publicity for New Jersey and that’s positive.
Now if we can get WWE to stop saying Wrestlemania is coming to New York/New Jersey. If WWE was holding Wrestlemania in Madison Square Garden, that would be New York. Of course it’s still too early to tell, but the fact that Wrestlemania 30 won’t be held in MSG boggles my mind. Since the major turn to stadiums for Wrestlemania, it would seem more appropriate to have the 30th Wrestlemania at MetLife Stadium rather than the 29th, but who knows, I’m sure they have a secret master plan.
This could very well be a once in a lifetime opportunity. As a hardcore WWF/E fan since 1984, I never thought there would be a Wrestlemania held so close to where I live. Now that there finally will be, it may not happen again for a very long time so I’m definitely going to do everything in my power to be a part of it. I have the memory burned into my brain of watching Hulk vs. Andre at the Pontiac Silverdome live on pay per view with my friends and fast forward 25 years later and now it’s blowing my mind that I might be in the audience of an event of a similar scale just mere miles away from home. It’s all come full circle for me. Now if only we can assure that Steve Austin returns for one last match against C.M Punk!
It’s been a little over 3 years since it’s release and I am still as crazy about The Wrestler as I was the first time I saw it. It’s the combination of Mickey Rourke’s heart wrenching performance, the reminiscing about the glory days of professional wrestling, and its New Jersey setting that makes it hit so close to home for me. Darren Aronofsky’s masterpiece remains legendary, especially to fans of the pro-wrestling business, but we the fans need to keep it alive! One way to do that is through wearing The Ram’s t-shirt!
Even though there was a glimpse of a Randy “The Ram” Robinson action figure in the movie, it was merely a custom job. You may be able to find a few custom Ram figures in the outer reaches of the Internet, but that’s about it. Since The Wrestler wasn’t watered down by a marketing onslaught, fans took it upon themselves to create t-shirts for their broken down Jersey hero. I wore mine this past weekend, and I’ve also noticed WWE’s Curt Hawkins (Zack Ryder’s former tag partner) proudly wearing a black Randy “The Ram” T-shirt as well. You can purchase one via Zazzle at this link.
Have you ever passed by a barber shop or a dry cleaner and noticed a poster for a local independent wrestling event? Out of the nearly 20 wrestlers that appear on the poster, occasionally you’ve heard of at least a few. Events like this are usually much more reasonable than going to a WWE event, and a lot closer, there may even be one this weekend at your local VFW hall. OK, so you won’t see John Cena, CM Punk, or Zack Ryder, but it will still be a lot of fun. Even as a lifelong, hardcore wrestling fan, the dedication of indy promoters and wrestlers never ceases to amaze me. What keeps these guys performing at these events? It’s definitely NOT the wrestlers paltry payout at the end of the night, it’s the devotion for the business.
Since the hype started hitting the Internet a couple of years ago for the indy wrestling documentary Card Subject To Change: Pro Wrestling’s Underground, I wanted to see it desperately. I went so far as to email the addresses listed on their official site to find out more info on the film or if I could somehow review it. I never heard back from them. You’d think a mere mention of The Sexy Armpit would elicit some sort of response after the several moments of snickering and confusion clears the air. I forgave the filmmakers since the operation was headed by a fellow Kean University graduate, Tim Disbrow. He directed, produced, and edited Card which is now streaming on Netflix. George “The Animal” Steele had his plush creature “Mine,” and Tim has his documentary. Creating a documentary that’s actually entertaining and not boring is quite an accomplishment and I have to hand it to Tim for producing a film with such reverence for the business.
Lots of places around the U.S claim to be exclusive hotbeds for professional wrestling. Actually, the truth is that aside from Madison Square Garden, the state of New Jersey has cultivated so many superstars and continues to have tons of indy wrestling shows all throughout the state. This made it easy for Tim to capture scenes with promoter Johnny Falco who runs shows all over New Jersey.
While The Wrestler illustrated the end of Randy “The Ram” Robinson’s career, Card Subject to Change shines the spotlight on a broader look at the indy wrestling scene. From the outset, Tim Disbrow’s film establishes that there are literally thousands of active professional wrestlers in the country, but probably only around a hundred are signed to full time contracts with the large companies. So DVR the glitz of Smackdown for one night and power up your Netflix. Update your status as “watching a documentary” so they think you’re very cultured and intelligent. Meanwhile you’ll be seeing the local exploits of some of the most well known indy wrestlers.
Appearing in the film are NJ’s Rob Eckos (now Robbie E. in TNA), the late Trent Acid, Kamala, Kevin Sullivan, the late Sensational Sherri in her last interview, ROH’s Rhett Titus (Also from NJ),
In a strange twist, November’s Garden State Playmate was actually once known as Miss April early in her career. Some personalities in pro wrestling wind up changing their names more than they change their ring attire, but in AJ Lee’s case it has only signified her ascent to stardom. For those WWE fans out there you know her simply as A.J, the cute and energetic diva from Union City, New Jersey.
Unlike many of the WWE Divas who have won contests or were simply models plucked off a magazine page, AJ has worked hard to climb the pro wrestling ladder. As Miss April she started out in New Jersey’s female indy promotion, WSU. Not too long after that she signed with Florida Championship Wrestling, WWE’s developmental company. From there, now known as A.J, she made it to WWE’s NXT show and presently she can be seen on Friday Night Smackdown in tag team action as The Chickbusters with fellow Diva, Kaitlyn.
AJ, a Pisces, is constantly described as a comic book and video game lover. She was trained by her ex boyfriend, a Sexy Armpit favorite, New Jersey’s own Jay Lethal! Her fast, high flying style is “inspired by the likes of Rey Mysterio, Macho Man Randy Savage, and WWE Hall of Famer Ricky The Dragon Steamboat…” according to her bio on WWE.com. I’m sure you’ll be seeing and hearing a lot more from AJ as WWE seems to be working her into bigger storylines. On a recent episode of Smackdown it was hinted that her character may have a thing for another indy favorite who made it big, Daniel Bryan.
It doesn’t get more JERSEY than this classic WWF match-up! Asbury Park vs. Atlantic City! The Beast from the East vs. The Walking Condominium! Listen for Jesse “The Body” Ventura on commentary talking about how both of these guys hail from New Jersey early on in the match. It’s amazing that The Garden State is responsible for two of the most popular big men the business has ever seen. I remember watching this on TV when I was a kid and thinking it should’ve been on a Pay Per View. Even then I was a critic! I remember being excited for Bam Bam stealing the win even though it might have been the fastest count ever. Thanks to YouTube user VinceThePinch for posting the match!
A sub par, 2 year old pay per view event is by no means a classic, but that’s the name of the column so I’ll work within it’s confines. On the night of October 4th, 2009, WWE wrestlers also worked within confines, but not of a blog column, instead they were closed inside of a 20 foot high steel cell. It all went down at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. It was the first Hell in a Cell Pay Per View event and also the first WWE PPV to emanate from the home arena of the New Jersey Devils.
It’s amazing what a little bit of creativity and simplicity can do for the wrestling business. For the past couple of weeks CM Punk has lit up the pro wrestling world with his controversial segments on RAW. They are only controversial because he’s pointing out flaws of the state of the WWE when no one else had the balls to. Last night he walked out of WWE’s Money In The Bank Pay Per View in Chicago as the new WWE Champion on his supposed last day with the company, which is a no-no in traditional pro wrestling etiquette.
CM Punk has finally established himself as one of the biggest names in WWE history thanks to his mic work, and ring ability, but it was his overall frustration with the WWE that has already ascended him to legend status. However straight edge Punk fits into the future storyline, if the WWE screws it up, then that will deflate the gigantic fiery ball of heat Punk built for himself. In the past several years I’ve lost so much faith in the writing and creative teams in WWE that I have very little left, so I’m hoping they prove me wrong. They have put on excellent shows these last few weeks so I hope the momentum continues.
Chicago may be CM Punk’s hometown, but one of his favorite bands is from New Brunswick, New Jersey. Icons of the New Jersey punk scene, The Bouncing Souls have been together since 1987. CM Punk has made it known that he’s a huge fan, via his Twitter account, and going so far as to tattoo one of their logos on him. Punk has even used 2 Bouncing Souls tracks as his entrance themes “Night Train” and “Ole!”