In front of a record-setting crowd of 101,763 screaming fans at AT&T Stadium, Wrestlemania 32 took the Dallas region by storm.
I have been to an NFL playoff game, several NBA arenas, and some college football bowl games just to name a few events, but none have matched the buzz, excitement and pageantry that the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) displayed on its grandest stage.
The event broke their previous attendance record of 93,173, set in 1987 at the Pontiac Silverdome in Detroit, Michigan.
The event’s first match, a six-man ladder match for the Intercontinental Championship set the tone, featuring defending champion, Kevin Owens, The Miz, Dolph Ziggler, Sami Zayn, Zack Ryder, Stardust and El Pasoan, Sin Cara.
Ryder would snatch the belt from the rest of the competition to become the new champion.
No Wrestlemania is complete without an appearance from Texas’ own, Stone Cold Steve Austin, who joined other WWE legends Shawn Michaels and Mick Foley as the crowd erupted.
The feeling of excitement in the arena was amplified as the signature glass shattering sound of Austin’s music entrance hit.
Austin, Michaels and Foley came to the aid of The New Day who battled the League of Nations. As New Day tried to get Austin to dance along with the rest of them, However Austin did what he’s best known for, kick to the gut and dropped a stunner followed by celebratory beer showers along with Michaels and Foley.
The WWE went through a rebranding of its “Diva’s” championship belt to a more traditional look and name now known as simply the Women’s championship belt.
Such title was up for grabs in a triple-threat match involving contenders Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks and reigning “Diva’s” champion – and Ric Flair’s daughter – Charlotte.
Charlotte would prevail in the action-filled contest to remain the champion and lead the women’s division into a new era.
The main event, the WWE World Heavyweight Championship between Triple H and Roman Reigns, could have been slotted prior to the ‘Hell in a Cell’ match, saw the expected happen after Reigns defeated Triple H to win the title, but the way that it happened disappointed some.
Fans hoped to see a dramatic ending to the event with the likes of either Sting or Seth Rollins interfering in the match, but it never happened. Both Sting and Rollins suffered injuries last year and have not been able to perform since, including Sting retiring.
A performance by the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders was immediately followed by The Rock appearing to the cheers of the raucous crowd, who informed the attendees of the attendance record being set.
It was then that the Rock was interrupted by Bray Wyatt and his two brothers who challenged him. Rock answered by calling on a referee to officiate the spontaneous match, which saw the outnumbered Rock aided by John Cena – who made his first in-ring appearance since undergoing shoulder surgery in January.
Cena’s return garnered a mixture of cheers and boos from the fans.
The most anticipated match of the night was Shane McMahon versus the Undertaker in the “Hell in a Cell” match that delivered risky and acrobatic feats by both, especially that of McMahon – who launched himself from one turnbuckle to another traveling nearly 20 feet dropkicking Undertaker in the chest.
That was followed by Undertaker spearing McMahon through the cage onto the announcer’s table.
As both competitors found themselves outside of the cage, the possibility for something more extreme presented itself and McMahon delivered another Wrestlemania moment that will be talked about for years to come.
As Undertaker lay on one of the three announcer’s tables, McMahon climbed to the top of the 20-foot cage, seemingly dropping onto Undertaker – who moved a split-second before being hit.
Fans looked on in amazement and disbelief, but it was something wrestling fans have come to expect from McMahon who’s known for pushing the limits in competition.
The Undertaker wound up victorious in the match leaving McMahon beat and in need of a stretcher to leave the ring.
The event that had a Texas-sized crowd lasted over five hours, disappointed in moments, but delivered an overall entertaining experience to wrestling aficionados and first-timers alike.