Credit: Tommy Baker and Pwinsider.com
I’m volunteering at this year’s AXXESS event and so I have already had to go to a training earlier on Wednesday afternoon.
With that being said, I thought it would be cool to give the readers a bit of a preview as to what to expect if you plan on attending the WWE fan axxess this year in the New York/ New Jersey Area. The Fan AXXESS is open to the public starting tonight at 6:00 PM and it will run in four hour shifts continuously until Sunday afternoon right before WrestleMania.
First things first, get ready to get excited as you approach the IZOD center as basically right as you get off the exit (at least on the New Jersey Turnpike) the entire area has been taken over by the WWE, it’s almost a bit of a wrestling paradise. Leading your way down the highway as you’re approaching the Izod center are WrestleMania banners hanging from each light post and each of the banners has a WWE Superstar engrained on it. Everyone from John Cena to AJ Lee is pictured on these banners.
Once you get to the actual Izod Center you will notice that every side of the arena has a main event featured on it in the form of giant pillars. On one side is Brock-HHH, Taker-Punk and of course Rock-Cena front and center. The WWE really spared no expense to let you know that they are taking over.
With WrestleMania this year, it’s important to realize that the usual set up for AXXESS has changed and it really had to, being that in year’s previous Axxess was held in a large spaced convention hall and its now taking place in an arena. Therefore you should be forewarned that AXXESS is a little disjointed.
Many of the exhibits are actually on the concierge level where you would normally purchase your drinks and snacks. Here you will find six different superstars signing autographs and three different legends. Even though there is a potential for nine different people signing at once, there will still most likely quite a crowded hallway as each line promises to be packed. They haven’t exactly figured out if they are going to extend the lines of each superstar into the stands of the arena or if they will set up lines in the hallway but I do know that some of the lines will extend into the stands so that it isn’t as packed in the hallways.
To the best of my knowledge each taleny or legend will be signing for two hour intervals and so if you are on line for an autograph of the Shield (for example) and their time is up, you’ll get to stay in your place on line but may have to settle for a Teddy Long autograph. A bit of an exclusive is that every volunteer has the schedule of each superstar appearing at each signing station so if it’s not listed just ask one of the volunteers and they’ll probably let you know. Obviously, those guests who have a disability will take priority and will get the opportunity to meet the superstars and legends on a separate line.
Also on the concierge level are a number of really cool items on display. There is a huge WrestleMania wall that goes through each WrestleMania individually featuring pictures and stories about each WrestleMania and in the front of several of these walls are the outfits actually worn at WrestleMania by many top performers through the years such as Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker and even Randy Savage.
There is also a Hall of Fame set up with a number of items presented profiling the 2013 class and also of rare artifacts such as the WrestleMania IV tournament board.
There is alsi an entire section dedicated to Andre the Giant and I would figure that this would be the section in which the Andre statue (featured on WWE’s YouTube channel) would be on display.
Concluding the concierge level are a few different photo ops such as A Money in the Bank set, a “Triple H’s Throne” set and also a magazine cover among others. Please be forewarned that when it comes to the money in the bank set or the Triple H’s Throne set you will not be able to climb the ladder or sit in the throne, you’ll have to pose in front of them.
There will also be opportunities to buy concessions as well as souvenirs throughout the arena, however, the biggest souvenir stand in the building is on the concierge level. Honestly, there is also going to be a WWE store set up all weekend so I wouldn’t waste my time looking for Souvenirs while at AXXESS unless you want the Wrestlemania event program to get signed by the Superstars and Divas.
From here, there is an entire section for AXXESS located on the floor level of the arena. You can get down there by taking the elevator or steps but I believe you will even be able to simply walk down the stands which I could imagine may get quite chaotic.
On the floor level will be where the ring is set up, a full entrance ramp is set up as well as the VIP autograph signings. Mostly all of the bigger matches and events that are taking place at AXXESS such as the video game tournament, the live Smackdown, etc., will take place on the floor level. if you do not have a VIP ticket for one of the VIP superstars or legends you will not even be able to get on line, so if you are hoping to sneak on a line for say, The Undertaker, it’s just not going to happen.
Also downstairs will be the action figure headquarters where you will be able to check out all of the latest figures that are coming out as well as arcades that you will be able to play WWE ’13, so long as they aren’t doing the annual Superstars tournament, I would assume.
I didn’t see any smaller stage for the “create your own entrance” so I don’t know if they will be allowing guests to use the ramp they use for Raw, they’ll be adding a smaller one or they will just be getting rid of the attraction.
Not far from the big ring where feature matches will be taking place, and where I assume they will be leaving the set up for Raw, is the Fruity Pebbles Foam Pit. This is a smaller sized ring for children and it’s basically a take on the old ball pits in McDonald’s or bouncy castles.
These are really all of the exhibits and attractions that I saw that were set up last night when I left. I’m sure there will be a few more set up as the crew is working through the night and all day tomorrow to make sure it’s a very good experience. Some of the other attractions I could confirm but I don’t know where they’ll be set up are “Air Brush Tattoos”, numerous forms of trivia contests including “Cenation Trivia”, and I believe there will also be an opportunity to take a picture with the belt.
Unfortunately, there are few things that I did not see listed on the itinerary or set up when I was at AXXESS today that are usually staples. Gone is the photo op in Mr. McMahon’s office and gone is the Undertaker’s Graveyard.
With all that being said, many of the events are already sold out due to the limited space so I’d suggest getting there early. I know they are going to allow guests to start lining up at least an hour prior to when the AXXESS starts.
My final tip is that if you aren’t huge on autographs go check out the photo ops and the memorabilia so that you can maximize your time and get the most out of your AXXESS experience. I’d also say that if you’re looking to avoid the big crowds go to the earlier AXXESS events that are set up at 8 am on Saturday or Sunday as I would guess there wouldn’t be as many people.
Thanks so much for reading and enjoy your time at WWE Fan Axxess…and remember to be nice to your volunteers!