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By Mike Johnson on 2020-03-22 19:13:00


While some people might think I went to New Orleans last week, the reality is that I traveled to a mystical place that like Atlantis, only surfaces once a year: Wrestlemania city. It doesn't matter what the host city is, because Wrestlemania City isn't defined by it's geographic location but by its population.

I spent six days in New Orleans, hitting eight different wrestling events and meeting hundreds of wrestling fans, many of whom I am proud to say, are PWInsider Elite subscribers. The last six days were extremely exhausting, with not a lot of sleep but a lot of great moments personally and professionally. as I write this, I feel like I am underwater, having been completely wiped out by flight delays, talked out by many conversations and emotionally wiped out by sheer osmosis as I watched fans weep and fans storm out of Wrestlemania after seeing the unthinkable happen with The Undertaker.

It was an amazing, industry re-defining weekend, topped by the best Wrestlemania since Shawn Michaels retired, the return of The Ultimate Warrior, a new generation taking their stand, an old generation celebrating their legacy, and a hell of a lot of great wrestling.

Here are some thoughts and observations on the events of the last week. Journey with me to Wrestlemania City.


I start my journey with a 7:00 AM Jetblue flight to New Orleans out of JFK. That means I am out the door at 5 AM in a taxi to Terminal 5, which truth be known, is probably the best Airline terminal in the United States with a ton of shops, an awesome food court and one of the most relaxing atmospheres anywhere in any airport, if you can get past TSA.

So of course, I have an issue at TSA. My backpack gets flagged and I am asked if, of all things, I have a Tazer with me. Of course I say no, so of course, they have to rummage through my bag. As it turned out, my recording equipment set off their X-Ray machine and they decide they have to take the microphones out of the casing. They then swab said mics, then take the microphone shields off and swab the inside of the mics. Why? I have no idea. I ask why. They just look at me and tell me everything is fine. Well, that was surreal.

The flight is perfect and I arrive at my hotel by 11 AM New Orleans time. Within ten minutes of checking in, an Elite subscriber says hello to me in the lobby. This would be an ongoing, humbling experience for the next several days, ranging from running into an Elite from Montreal who had just arrived on Bourbon Street within minutes of running into me to running into Elites in the airport leaving to the three guys who screamed out PWInsider as they drunkenly ran down the street at 3 AM in the morning as I was returning to my hotel.

Usually the most feedback you receive when you work online is somewhat negative - it's always about what you didn't do or how your opinion is insane or what sucked about Raw, but to a person, everyone I met was so high on the site and what we do here that it really ended up being one of my favorite weeks ever, where I was reminded of everything we've gotten to accomplish here over the last decade.

Wednesday was my only real "down time" - if you can call it that - as I went right up to the room to record two audio shows.

When those were done, we explored the French Quarter, hit the casino, got to see the Mississippi River for the first time (hey, I'm from NYC and have never been to the Statue of Liberty either, go figure), looked at Bourbon Street in the daytime, met up with some local friends and had some of the best BBQ shrimp I'd ever tasted.

There are wrestling fans everywhere. There are WWE promotional banners and posters and digital signs pushing AXXESS and Wrestlemania everywhere. I am most amazed that the local free paper (Sheamus on the cover) not only has articles about the WWE events but a full listing of all the independent events as well. Wrestlemania City in full effect.

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