Raucous IZOD Center crowd chants their way into Raw history
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The night after WrestleMania 29 may go down in history as one of the most exciting ones in WWE history. It may also be remembered as the most fun, thanks to the sold-out crowd, who gave every last drop of energy they had, chanting in and outside the arena for everyone from the commentators to Fandango. For three straight hours, they chanted loudly and proudly, leaving those not in attendance wishing they could take part.
More than 1 million members of the WWE Universe have passed through the turnstiles at the IZOD Center since 1984, all extremely passionate about the Superstars and the action that plays out in the squared circle. There may not have been a more passionate audience than the capacity crowd of 16,173 people that squeezed into the arena 24 hours removed from WrestleMania 29, though.
From the second Raw went on the air, it was clear that the WWE Universe was up for one thing: pure, unadulterated fun. Three hours later, many were asking if episode No. 1,037 of Raw was the best in the show’s 20-year history.
Wade Barrett was a surprising fan favorite during the post-WrestleMania Raw. The crowd roared in approval as the Brit cold-cocked The Miz with the Bull Hammer elbow to regain the Intercontinental Title. WWE.com caught up with the new champion to get his reactions to the great crowd. Barrett gave credit to the international flair of a post-WrestleMania crowd, with fans from all over the world taking part in Raw.
During World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio’s Handicap Match against Jack Swagger & Zeb Colter, Zack Ryder noticed the WWE Universe was clamoring for one thing — a Money in the Bank cash-in from Dolph Ziggler.
“You heard ‘We Want Ziggler!’ that whole match,” Zack Ryder said. “They got him.”
The roof nearly blew off the IZOD Center when The Showoff stalked to the ring purposefully and shoved his Money in the Bank briefcase into referee Scott Armstrong’s chest, signaling that he was taking his opportunity at Del Rio’s World Heavyweight Championship. When Armstrong’s arm hit the mat for the third time and the bell rang, proclaiming Ziggler the new World Heavyweight Champion, the roar was deafening. It was a true star-making moment for WWE’s newest champion.
By the end of the night, though, one chant reverberated throughout the IZOD Center into the evening, eventually spilling out to the arena parking lot, car horns honking along to the beat on Route 3 in New Jersey. It spread to public transit, with people saying they could hear it echoing out of Penn Station and trailing onto New York City’s subways, spreading into the five boroughs. What was this unusual chant?
Barrett, Ziggler and Fandango weren’t the only ones shown love by the passionate crowd in New Jersey. Announcers Michael Cole, Jerry “The King” Lawler and JBL all got their own individual chants during the three-hour telecast, as did Shawn Michaels, ECW and the late “Macho Man” Randy Savage.
The atmosphere had many Superstars wanting to leave the locker room and join the WWE Universe.
Hornswoggle didn’t have to think twice about it. “I will be watching the rest of #Raw live from the crowd!” he sent out over social media. “Most amazing crowd I have EVER heard!”
“That NY/NJ crowd has always been pretty darn special!” WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels tweeted while watching the show from home.
If there was any doubt about the crowd’s passion Monday night, all you had to do was ask them. They even had a chant for themselves, which was pretty hard to dispute.
“WE ARE AWESOME!”
Yes, WWE Universe, you are.