WWE WrestleMania 33: A Live Report from the Weekend in Orlando

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For the uninitiated, AXXESS is the WWE’s big fan festival. Every WrestleMania weekend, WWE loads a bunch of stuff into a big convention center or ballroom and the WWE Universe gets to check everything out.

This year AXXESS was held in the Orange City Convention Center, and it was jam packed. The vast majority of events can be broken into three categories: matches, meet and greets, and interactive activities. Each individual’s enjoyment of AXXESS, in my opinion, depends on how into those things you are.

I was at AXXESS on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. Pro tip number one: if you plan on souvenir shopping while at AXXESS, go earlier in the weekend. There was still plenty of stuff to buy, but some of the more popular items (like almost every Kevin Owens piece of merch) were already sold out by the time I made it there.

I spent most of my time at AXXESS by the ring checking out the matches. Lots of PROGRESS matches, and NXT superstars who haven’t been on TV a lot (or at all). Tyler Breeze, Akira Tozawa, and the Ascension were the biggest names out there in my two sessions. Some of the matches were very good (especially Mark Andrews v. Travis Banks for PROGRESS), and others were just kind of there.

The meet and greets for most superstars are included in the price of admission (there are VIP and premium sessions for top superstars, though). However, it’s both a good thing and a bad thing. The good thing is you can meet as many superstars you want, and get a photo and autograph. The bad? You’ll spend so much time on line that it may end up being all you do. The superstars are all very personable and accommodating, though – I went up to Cedric Alexander and The Brian Kendrick. You get about a minute while they sign, pose for a quick photo, and make some awkward small talk.

For me, the highlight was the interactive parts. I’m really just a big kid at the end of the day, so if you tell me I can reenact a superstar’s entrance, or cut a promo, of course I’m going to get on those lines. WWE films those things and hosts them on a website you can easily access. Spoiler alert: 48+ hours later my voice is still shot from the promo.


All in all, AXXESS can be a blast, or a dud. If you don’t mind waiting on line to do stuff, you’ll have fun. But if waiting 45 minutes or longer to meet someone like Curtis Axel doesn’t sound like fun, you may find it to be a waste.