The Ultimate Thrill Ride

By: @henn_griffey

I’m here. I’m finally here. I made it back to my favorite theme park in the world. Word Wrestling Entertainment. Better known as WWE. See, I’ve been visiting this park my whole life. I was here during the 90’s and witnessed the Monday Night Wars with WCW. In the 2000’s I paid a visit to watch The Rock, Stone Cold, The Undertaker, and countless others during the Attitude Era. And now I’m back again during the New Era where Roman Reigns, Bray Wyatt and Seth Rollins are now the faces of the park. And yes all the stars are nice. But WWE’s main attraction is its monstrous roller coaster.

The Grandest Stage of Them All.

The Showcase of The Immortals.

The Greatest Spectacle In Sports Entertainment.

Wrestlemania 33: The Ultimate Thrill Ride.

As many times as I visited WWE, and as much as I loved coming here, I could never do it. I could never gather up the strength and courage to tackle Wrestlemania. We’ve all been there before right. Tell yourself year after year that this time will be different. Ballooning with confidence, you look in the mirror and tell yourself…

“I’M GETTING ON THAT COASTER THIS YEAR”

So you get in line. Hyped. Crunk. Lit. All your friends are with you. You start discussing who’s doing what pose and whose throwing up what gang sign for the picture. Then you hear a high-pitched scream.

“AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!”

And that balloon of confidence pops with a quickness. You make up an excuse to get out of line. A thousand “Excuse me. Pardon Me” ‘s later, and you’re back where you started. On the outside looking in. Don’t feel bad. I was that person too. But not anymore. This year was different. I was getting on that ride. Pause.

I decided to walk around the park before I got in line. You know. Take in the sights. Get the full experience. The energy in the park was crazy. Fans from all over the world traveled for the chance to experience Wrestlemania. One of the most popular attractions in the park would have to be the various Meet & Greets with the WWE Superstars. Everyone from WWE Hall of Famer Rik Flair, to current stars The New Day, was out and about. I was even fortunate to run into Hot 97’s own Peter Rosenberg, who was releasing his collection with WWE and Puma.

As the sun began to set, I knew what time was slowly approaching. The gates for Wrestlemania were about to open. It was time to put up or shut up. I, along with 70,000 other people made our descent to the gigacoaster known as Wrestlemania.

I was in awe of the massive coaster. The five million dollar structure was straight out of a movie. You truly had to be there to see it.

Thank God the lines weren’t long. Not having to wait didn’t allow any last minute nerves to creep in. I walked up to the platform, gave the attendant my ticket, took my seat, secured the lap bar, and let out a big ass sigh of relief.

There was no turning back. The Ultimate Thrill Ride was about to begin.

The chain lift latched onto the rail car and we were off. All 60,000 of us. During our initial ascent, we were treated to some great matches. First was AJ Styles versus Shane McMahon. Complete with all the usual Shane McMahon stunts, this match was a great opener. Ultimately, AJ Styles came out victorious. Next up was Kevin Owens taking on his former best friend Chris Jericho. This match was a series of Jericho and Owens reversing each other’s moves over and over before Owens finally pinned Jericho to become the new United States Champion. As we approached the end of the climb, we watched Bayley defeat Sasha Banks, Nia Jax, and Charlotte Flair to retain her Raw Woman’s Title.

Now this is the part of the coaster everyone hates. When you’re at the very top, and you know that drop is coming, you just don’t know when. Wrestlemania wasn’t any different. We’re at the top of the coaster, watching Enzo and Big Cass’ “How You Doin” intro. As the rest of the teams approached the ring we just sat there. Hundreds of feet in the air.

We took a slight turn as the New Day appeared to make a special announcement. Then…

BOOM!!!

It happened.

The biggest first drop in roller coaster history.

THE HARDY BOYZ RETURNED.

Instantly we were speeding down of the steepest drops in the world as we witnessed Jeff Hardy hit a Swanton Bomb off of a twenty-foot ladder to secure a victory and be crowned the new Raw Tag Team Champions.

After the drop came everyone’s favorite part of any roller coaster—The Double Loops. This year’s loops consisted of John Cena and his girlfriend Nikki Bella facing off against The Miz and his wife Maryse. During the first loop we watched Cena and Bella walk out with the victory. Immediately after the first loop, we were launched into the second loop as Cena then proposed to Bella. She said yes.

Honeymoon Over.

Up next was a series of violent high-speed turns and corkscrews. This was arguably one of the most exciting portions of the ride. First was an Unsanctioned Match between Seth Rollins and his former mentor Triple H. Complete with chairs and a sledgehammer, this match got pretty intense. The best part though was watching Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon go through a table. An RKO Outta Nowhere sent the car over a series of camel back hills as he defeated Bray Wyatt for the WWE Championship. More barrel rolls ensued as Brock Lesnar and Goldberg engaged in an all out brawl. I felt my head hit the headrest with each Suplex Lesnar hit. The trip through Suplex City was a painful one. One last turn allowed us to watch Naomi defeat Alexa Bliss to become the new Smackdown Woman’s Champion in her hometown.

At this point, I was amped. That balloon of confidence began to fill up again. I did it. I conquered Wrestlemania. It was a long fight but look momma I made it.

Or so I had thought…

The car was catapulted through a long tunnel. Who knows how fast we were going. The only thing I remember seeing was Roman Reigns make his way to the ring. The light at the end of the tunnel became brighter as we approached it. “Now its over”, I thought.

Wrong again.

Upon exiting the tunnel, darkness fell all around us. And we began another slow climb. Then it hit me. Every Wrestlemania has to go through one of the darkest places known to man. The Undertaker’s Graveyard. How could I forget about this part. It’s the main reason I would never ride Wrestlemania all these years. Growing up, The Undertaker scared the shit outta me. Now here I am, on the Ultimate Thrill Ride, taking a journey through his graveyard. Rumor had it that this was the last year this section of Wrestlemania would be included, so I was glad I was here. On the left and the right of the car were headstones with the names of all his victims. I’m getting spooked all over again just thinking about it.

We reached the peak of the climb and witnessed The Undertaker wrestle his last match. He put up a valiant effort as he choke-slammed, and pile drove Reigns all over the ring. Even as Roman delivered his finishing move, the spear, over and over again, Undertaker kept getting up until he couldn’t anymore. Reigns won. Wrestlemania was over.

We began to descend back to the loading platform. This descent was completely different from the first one. This one was slow and nostalgic. We watched our childhood disappear before our eyes as The Undertaker left his signature gloves, coat, and hat in the middle of the ring. He then walked up the ramp for the final time, and said goodbye to the millions of fans who watched him his whole career. It was truly an honor.

THANK YOU TAKER!

the-undertaker-retirement

 

 

 

Posted in WWE

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