Mike Johnson of PWInsider.com typed up the following off air report from last night's WWE WrestleMania 23 in Detroit, Michigan:
-The lumberjacks in the dark match were Cryme Time, Paul London, Brian Kendrick, Val Venis, Snitsky, Johnny Nitro, The Highlanders, Eugene, Hacksaw Duggan, Vito, Daivari, Little Guido, Shelton Benjamin, Charlie Haas, Chris Masters, Lance Cade, Trevor Murdoch, Kenny Dykstra, Super Crazy, Viscera, Deuce, Domino, Funaki, Jimmy Wang Yang, Jamie Noble, Shannon Moore and Scotty Too Hotty. Believe it or not, I may be missing a name or two and believe it or not, the lumberjacks didn't brawl at ringside.
-Aretha Franklin's introduction was audio of Vince McMahon introducing her at Wrestlemania 3.
-Live the atmosphere was mostly quiet, reacting to big spots and kickouts in the WWE World and WWE championship matches. It was hard to get a feel for many of the matches but the audience reacted for all the big moments in a major way. It was a departure from the last few years with smaller venues and hotter crowds, partially because there's so much space to absorb the crowd noise.
-The star of the show in many ways was the WWE production team as the pyro, staging, and lighting was amazing. In many ways, the spectacle of the event overshadowed the substance of it live. It absolutely reads like a show that was likely more impressive on TV then it was live, at least from my vantage point.
-The ECW match was met with indifference after the ring introductions with a lot of fans heading for the concession stands. With the exception of Rob Van Dam, it was a Wrestlemania debut for everyone in the match.
-A fan hit the ring during the opening moments of John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels. It wasn't clear who he was trying to challenge but it appeared he was trying to remove his clothes. Referee Mike Cioda and security quickly pushed him against the ropes and removed him from the building.
-There was nothing additional that took place live after the PPV ended.
-The local Detroit media was out in full force and many of the evening telecasts featured stories on Wrestlemania, including footage of Donald Trump and Vince McMahon.
-Among the merchandise items sold were autographed copies of John Cena's the Marine, Wrestlemania 23 glow sticks, a bevy of Mania 23 T-shirts, a jacket, a teddy bear, a key chain, and a shot glass. Merchandise for all of the major Raw and Smackdown stars were sold, as were ECW Originals shirts.