WWE: WrestleMania fans from European lockdown share their stories

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 21: Road to WrestleMania board game by Rachael Lowe Games and Puzzles on display during the Toy Fair at Olympia London on January 21, 2020 in London, England. The Toy Fair is the UK’s largest dedicated toy, game and hobby trade show welcoming more than 270 companies exhibiting thousands of products. (Photo by John Keeble/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 21: Road to WrestleMania board game by Rachael Lowe Games and Puzzles on display during the Toy Fair at Olympia London on January 21, 2020 in London, England. The Toy Fair is the UK’s largest dedicated toy, game and hobby trade show welcoming more than 270 companies exhibiting thousands of products. (Photo by John Keeble/Getty Images) /

WrestleMania is up in the air at the moment, with even the wrestlers on the card seemingly unsure as to what is going to happen with the show of shows.

At the time of writing this, the spread of Coronavirus has not affected planning for WrestleMania, but this is still an ever evolving situation with local and state governments and the White House constantly developing and updating their response to the thread based on its evolution.

As part of this, the United States has closed its borders to the schengen zone of Europe and, recently, added the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland to that list.

As a result of this decision, many fans are now unable to travel to the biggest wrestling show of the year if they are travelling from those countries. I reached out to and connected with three fans who have tickets to a WrestleMania that is still planned, but will not be able to travel there.

They are Seb (@TheDude_83 on Twitter) from France, Samuel (@Spider_Sam_LEGO) from Denmark and a wrestling fan from Ireland who wished not to be named. (Irish for the purpose of this list).

To start with, can I ask when you started to watch wrestling?

Seb: So I’m 20yo and a Wrestling Fan since 2008, 12 years now. My first Mania was 24.

Sam: Wrestlemania 2000 was the first PPV I watched. We recorded it on VHS and watched it the day after.

And what’s the first match you can remember seeing?

Seb: The first I really remember is John Cena vs Chris Jericho. I looked out of curiosity and I still look now.

Sam: The first one I really remember is The Rock vs William Regal on a U.K. PPV… Rebellion maybe? We had a sleepover to stay up and watch it.

Irish: No Way Out 2000 Kane vs X-Pac would have been an early one but it wasn’t actively watching at the time. I got into wrestling via a friend who had the Smackdown game that was out in 2005. I didn’t have the channels so was dependent on DVDs or my friend at that time.

How many shows have you been to?

Seb: WM 35 last year in NY. This year was special. Since 15 years, my dream is going to Florida.

Irish: this would have been my first WrestleMania. Have an awful fear of travelling but it’s alleviated somewhat in recent years so I went to SummerSlam in 2019. That would have been my only major PPV event outside of Europe.

To the meat of the conversation, if you don’t mind me asking. How much have you spent on a WrestleMania trip that you’re not not going to be able to go on and how much are you expecting to have refunded?

Seb: For the fly it’s 850 for my sister and I. 400 for 2 for the Mania tickets. 600 for 2 for Raw, SD and NXT Tickets. 200 for the rental car. So 2000 For the hotels we have free cancellation with Booking.

Sam: Tickets were about $250 each. Looks like we won’t get that back right now. In all it’s about £2000 each we’ve spent so far.

Irish: Had it organised a while back and I’ve lots of friends stateside I’ll only get to see at things like this so that’s one of the worst parts. It’s completely outside of my control so that softens the blow a bit, and not being the only one affected means at least there’s a mutual understanding among the fanbase about how sad it is.

Between flights, accommodation and tickets for shows, m&gs and spending money you’re really looking at the bones of £2000.

As a side note, refunds are very up in the air at the moment. If WrestleMania goes ahead, European fans won’t be automatically entitled to refunds but should be able to get their money back from airlines. If it’s postponed, fans would have to rebook flights potentially at the last minute and if postponed and then broadcast in an empty arena nobody is entirely sure.

What were you looking forward to the most?

Seb: As a big fan of Alexa Bliss, I wanted to meet her so bad at WM Axxess. Last year, they closed the waiting Line just in front of me. AJ Styles vs Taker, and Fiend vs Cena were my top matches and, of course, Takeover Tampa.

Sam: To be honest, I just get sucked into that feeling of togetherness. 100,000 people there to have their voice heard. I love it. Characters are my thing. And I just wanna see the Fiend’s entrance for real.

Irish: Probably the experience of it to be honest, being around others who enjoy it and are just all happy to be there is the biggest thing for me. Shows are obviously a focal point and seeing the wrestlers I love to support, but there’s just a good energy at these things for me that I don’t really get anywhere else. Everyone is there for the same reason and it’s a niche interest as it is so people are generally always good to each other

One last question. If you’re in the WWE’s position right now, with the flights cancelled and Coronavirus still unfortunately spreading, what would you do about WrestleMania?

Seb: Cancel no, but postponed yes, so the European fans can come and I don’t think it’s a good idea to do the show right now.

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Sam: I think they should postpone it. Even if they skip a year tbh. I’ve always thought that WWE is a bit blind to their global audience, even though they bang on about them all the time. But most often than not, someone outside of the US has no idea who their special guests are. But I feel a bit overlooked as a fan.

Irish: I’d say postpone at this point, if it was just something affecting me personally that would be a different story but there are a lot of people in Europe that will want to go to this and have been looking forward to it. If it goes ahead, many people that can still go may feel obliged to given the amount of money they’ve spent regardless of the health implications. Tough decision to make and was something I was dreading myself prior to the inclusion of Ireland and the UK in the travel ban. But in terms of overall health I think postponing would work to the benefit of everyone, there’s no reason to risk making the issue worse.

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Wrestling fans by and large are a tight knit community that can be almost familiar. This includes both the support and the pointless fights with your siblings about whose superkick would do the most damage in a sport designed to look good without making any actual contact.

Around the world, decisions are being made to protect people. Unfortunately these moments also come with unforeseen consequences. What do you believe that the WWE should do with WrestleMania? Answer in the comments or tweet @FansidedDDT to join the conversation.

And address any and all concerns for Coronavirus in your area by checking out the Centers for Disease Control’s official website.