Thursday, April 18, 2013
WrestleMania XXIX Weekend: The Memorabilia
For the past several years it seems that every independent wrestling promoter wants to "piggyback" on the success of WrestleMania. You can't put them at fault, as nowhere during the year will you find a bigger collection of wrestling fans in one metropolitan area. As scary as that may be to some, it can also mean big bucks. Still, with all that New York City has to offer, I'd venture to say that those promoters had more competition than ever before.
Many autograph and photo opportunities took place under the WrestleCon banner. Wrestlers from the past and present were booked into the convention, meeting many fans for the first time. While regular conventions draw a few fans from other countries, WrestleMania attracts hundreds of thousands of fans from all over the world. These fans seemed to take advantage of the opportunities presented and met dozens of stars that they have admired for years.
Hulk Hogan, The Ultimate Warrior, Bret Hart, Kurt Angle, Rob Van Dam, and Jushin Liger are just a sampling of some of the major names that met with fans during the weekend. WWE even permitted William Regal to make a rare appearance due to the company pulling Bruno Sammartino from the event in order for "The Living Legend" to do media. As thrilling as of the above names are to meet, my money is still on stars like Butch Reed, Heidi Lee Morgan, Barry Horowitz, and Tony "T.L. Hopper" Anthony as far as the true highlights of the show. The above four are among names that simply do not do many appearances on the circuit and are always the ones that bring forth the true "wows" when reflecting upon the event.
That isn't to say that the store was completely devoid of bargains. In the previous entry I showed my own personal favorite item, the WrestleMania pullback taxicab toy. At only $10 it was a unique and inexpensive collectible that looks great as a paperweight for your WrestleMania tickets or just to recall memories of the weekend. Much of the apparel offered at $35 and up has already starting appearing at reduced prices through WWE's online shop. If you ever wanted that WrestleMania ballcap or beanie bear, there hasn't been a better time to stock up.
The WrestleMania side features a profile on each match from the event
(including the cut 8-person tag team match) as well as new "capsule" profiles on each of the previous twenty-eight WrestleMania events. Also featured is a photo of nearly each and every person currently under contract with WWE. This includes all of the NXT stars, many making their first appearance on official WWE merchandise. Next to each photo is a space where, in theory, you could obtain an autograph.
So now that the 29th edition of WrestleMania is over, surely the marketing must be as well. Wrong! I'm sure that in the coming months there will be a Toys "R" Us exclusive figure series commemorating the stars, moments, and ring gear from WrestleMania XXIX complete with the NY/NJ logo right on the package. Will I be all over them? You bet! Anything that reminds me of "The MetLife Miracle" and the weekend that was has a home in my collection.