Jaxson Ryker attended WrestleMania for the first time this year not only as a wrestler but as a lifelong fan as well.
This year's WrestleMania was special for a multitude of reasons. It was the first show with a live audience since the start of the global pandemic and it would be the only show with a live audience present until July of this year.
One of the featured attractions at this year's WrestleMania was a Cage Match between Shane McMahon and Braun Strowman that also involved interference from Elias and Jaxson Ryker.
For Ryker, the former Gunner in TNA Wrestling and former United States Marine, this was the culmination of a lifelong dream. Growing up in North Carolina, a hotbed for all of pro wrestling, Ryker always wanted to attend WrestleMania and even though he had opportunities as a child, he would tell his father that he did not want to have the experience of being at WrestleMania until he was performing on one.
This year, Ryker got the opportunity to live that dream and he recalls the experience on The Best View in Town podcast.
“Not only my first WrestleMania, because I always said growing up -- we had the opportunities to go to wrestling shows here in the Carolinas and WrestleManias as a kid but I always told my dad, ‘I don't want to go to WrestleMania. If I am not part of it, I don't want to be there.’
“He’d go, ‘Okay. Whatever.’ He probably thought I was crazy. Anyway, this year, back in April, it was our first time having a live crowd back Knights. So each night was roughly 27,000 to 30,000 people. We're standing there on stage and you know, just like any WrestleMania tradition, it's America the Beautiful, the song they do every year for Wrestlemania. I'm standing there on stage, all of us, and they're singing America the Beautiful and you just look around in the crowd and, this is it. I'm here. So, I got a chance, I didn't have a match but I was part of a big cage match kind of extravaganza.”
For Ryker, this moment was one of great gratitude and faith for him.
“It was one of those nights where I got back to my hotel room and I just said, ‘Thank you, God. I'm a kid from Hickory, North Carolina and it's fair to say, if I didn't join the Marine Corps and get out of that, I might have never gotten out of there, but it was just so surreal. I was standing on the stage that night, too, and just kind of looked up and said, ‘Jesus, you’re the best. So, dude, it was incredible. I know this is not my last one, but if it were, I did it.”
Since that time, Jaxson Ryker has split from Elias and is currently making his way on the Monday Night Raw roster. This week, he will be competing on WWE Main Event. Fightful will have the results of WWE Main Event after it airs.
Also since that time, Braun Strowman has been released from WWE. Learn more about that here.
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