Blog: WWE Axxess 2013 at the Izod Center
For the very first time the WWE would host their annual extravaganza known as Wrestlemania in a cold weather city. The 29th in the brand’s storied history would take place on Sunday evening, capping off a week of exciting and interactive events for its loyal fanbase and bringing with it the highest grossing single event of all time for the company. With the grand event set for Sunday evening at MetLife Stadium and the Hall of Fame celebration on Saturday at Madison Square Garden, it was only fitting that the WWE also put East Rutherford, New Jersey’s Izod Center to use accordingly.
WWE Fan Axxess has become a tradition that celebrates the history of an organization that has grown to become one of the most recognizable brands in entertainment, bringing together the Superstars and their biggest supporters resulting in an interactive and fun fan experience unlike any other. With multiple sessions slated over the course of the weekend, thousands of fans flocked out to the Meadowlands for the festivities. Attendees had the opportunity to get autographs and take photos with the likes of John Cena, The Undertaker, Kane, and Triple H to name a few, in between walking around the arena and taking in the sights and sounds of the WWE.
We arrived for the Saturday morning session (8am-12pm) and found the place to be jack packed with avid and energetic fans. Entering the arena floor, we were shocked to find ourselves standing in front of a WWE ring with live matches taking place for the fans that were able to sneak as close as they wanted to. Our eyes were then drawn to the massive Monday Night Raw stage setup and nearby ramp which allowed VIP ticketholders to make their own entrances- WWE style. The floor was obviously crowded by youngsters and families, reflective of the company’s PG rating and image conscious presentation. This was no more obvious however than by the gigantic foam filled pit display for Fruity Pebbles cereal, for which Superstar John Cena is now a spokesperson. Mattel’s figure display and WWE ’13 the videogame, also made their respective presences known inside the main space.
Much of the fan interaction however was done in the arena’s first floor corridor, which featured WWE Legends like Diamond Dallas Page, JBL, and Sika signing autographs near the likes of current superstars Antonio Cesaro, Christian, and Brodus Clay. There were also fun photo opportunities in front of historic Wrestlemania memorabilia like Shawn Michaels’ white gear from Wrestlemania 12, The Undertaker’s black wardrobe from Wrestlemania 15, and even Triple H’s memorable ‘Conan’ style gear from Chicago’s Wrestlemania 22. Fans were also invited to pose for pictures alongside WWE Superstar standees all around the first floor space as well as having their picture taken on the cover of an oversized copy of WWE Magazine or climbing a ladder opposite Superstar Dolph Ziggler on a “Money in the Bank” display setup.
With such a long incredible history behind it and as one of the great growth stories of American business, the WWE has a way of marketing itself to best capitalize on the passion of its fans. It’s one part sport and one part entertainment and it brings together droves of people from every conceivable country year after year. And with a weekend chock-full of Wrestlemania related events, Fan Axxess is perhaps the icing on the cake for the brand’s fervent supporters, uniquely aligning the wrestlers themselves with those of us who wish we were talented enough to emulate them.
- Jane Van Arsdale