WWE.com's guide to WrestleMania tailgating

WWE.com's guide to WrestleMania tailgating

Listen up, WWE Universe: WrestleMania 29 is coming up, and there are important preparations to discuss. No, not Rock-Cena II, epic as that is. We’re talking brats. Burgers. Hot grills, cold beverages, good friends and expressions of fandom that some might refer to as “excessive,” but you know in your heart of hearts are just the WWE Universe showing its stripes. That’s right, people. It’s time to talk tailgating.

As anyone who’s been to MetLife Stadium — or any stadium, for that matter — can attest, the tailgate is the party before the party, the benchmark for the event to follow, and the only true time you’ll have to mess around with friends and family before the main event steals your attention like Dolph Ziggler steals the show. More importantly, the quality of a cookout can alter the course of a fan’s entire evening. It’s imperative the night begins with the right food, and for an epic showcase like WrestleMania, anything less than legendary is unacceptable.

With that in mind, here are a few WWE.com-approved party tips for your WrestleMania tailgate — plus a few recommended recipes — to make sure your own showcase reigns supreme.

Party tip: Make sure your setup steals the show

WWE.com's guide to WrestleMania tailgating

The first thing to know about tailgates is that they attract all manners of fans. Some of these folks are already more, well, extreme (#ECDUB) than others, but add the excitable nature of the WWE Universe to the mix and you can bet your roody poo that some A-list revelry is about to go down. If you’re to be taken seriously among the passion and pageantry of a WrestleMania tailgate, frying up some dogs on a rinky-dink grill out of the back of a pickup truck simply won’t do. You need to show your comrades that you mean business in your tailgating, so stake out a spot early with as much WWE-outfitted gear as you can get your hands on. Wearing your favorite Superstar’s T-shirt is a must, but any other decorations you have on hand (let’s be real here: JBL carried a WWE flag up a mountain. You can bring one to the Meadowlands) can be used to great effect as well. Don’t be afraid to customize your camp — the more unique, the better. Tout it out while you’re at it to showcase your creativity online.

One final note: We know The Rock isn’t nuts about those WWE garden gnomes you’re secretly hiding, but you’re not here to be shy. You’re here to tailgate like a boss, and do you really want that Jack Swagger superfan in the custom “We the People” RV who’s rattling the parking chains like Ultimate Warrior showing you up? 

Suggested recipe: Death by chocolate cake

WWE.com's guide to WrestleMania tailgating

The Undertaker would approve of this classic chocolaty dish, overflowing with such rich, velvety goodness that its very moniker suggests no less a side effect than the sleep that does not end. While it stands to reason anyone who eats this treat won’t suffer “death” per se, let’s be honest here in saying that there are plenty of worse ways to shuffle off the mortal coil. Plus, it has a practical use as well: If you’re looking to catch some shuteye before the grandest show but can’t tune out the noise, hop in the backseat, chow down on this baby and let the endorphins take you away. Guaranteed to let you rest in peace, if only (hopefully) temporarily. 

Party tip: Bring a game

WWE.com's guide to WrestleMania tailgating

Like Tom Petty once said, the waiting is the hardest part, so it’s best to have some extra knick-knacks on hand between tailgate time and the opening bell. Our personal recommendation is cornhole (aka Baggo), the deceptively difficult, time-honored tailgate staple where players try to toss a beanbag through a wooden plank with a hole drilled through it. New York Giants and Jets fans who partake in this contest at football games like to deck their Baggo sets out in the home team’s respective colors. Given that it’s WrestleMania, there are plenty of unique, customizable options for you to explore. Bonus points for a 10-plank Baggo game in the color of every existing John Cena T-shirt. It’s not a true tailgate if the color combos can’t be seen from space.

Suggested recipe: Grilled American cheese on white bread

WWE.com's guide to WrestleMania tailgating

If you fancy yourself a nationalist like Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter, there’ll be no foreign tampering with your tailgate snacks, thank you very much. In lieu of exotic spices, recipes, and experiments to expand your palate, stick to what the Founding Fathers gave us by tossing some American cheese on white bread and grilling that sucker up for a tasty, pre-Mania munch clothed in immense power. Ideal for those of you, the people, who prefer things the simple and old-fashioned way.

Party tip: Make sure your area is well lit

WWE.com's guide to WrestleMania tailgating

Among the more underrated aspects of the tailgate is that it can also be the party after the party. It’s not uncommon for fans to return to their grills and cook up a midnight snack or two and wait out the mass exodus from the parking lot at the end of the night. With so many fans scrambling for the exits in their cars, it’s important you bring lots of lights to keep your setup visible to the rest of the WWE Universe.

Besides that, it’s a simple matter of making sure your post goes untouched by any errant Superstars looking for nourishment after the show. Wrestling a match works up a hellacious appetite, and do you really think that Superstars who attack best under cover of darkness — The Shield, for instance — could resist the temptation to pilfer the grub from unsuspecting tailgaters? As Dean Ambrose himself might say: “Nope.”

Suggested recipe: Big E Burgers

WWE.com's guide to WrestleMania tailgating

Big E Langston is — as his name suggests — big. But he wasn’t born that way, not by a long shot. Rather, Dolph Ziggler’s mountainous lieutenant built himself up through nonstop work in the gym and a steady supply of enough protein to choke a fully grown bull elephant. It’s unlikely that the mere mortal members of the WWE Universe will match Langston’s physique anytime soon, but a “Big E Burger” would be a good start.

What exactly makes a “Big E Burger” as opposed to a cheeseburger, bacon burger, Bronto Burger or a Mondo Burger? Lots and lots and lots of meat, preferably bookended by Herculean workouts to get your appetite and metabolism running hot. Big E himself might have a few other tips, but as the WWE Universe well knows, he isn’t exactly the chatty type. It’s a fair bet, however, that this is a good jumping-off point.

Suggested recipe: Shepherd's pie

WWE.com's guide to WrestleMania tailgating

If you’re the kind of tailgater who likes your party a bit on the rowdy side, it’s highly likely you’ll be cheering Sheamus when he steps through the curtain at The Showcase of the Immortals. And what better way to support The Celtic Warrior than with this dish straight from the bosom of Erin’s isle? This Irish delicacy is easy to make (good news for any tailgater) and a guaranteed mood-setter for your parking-lot shindig. In other words, it’s perfect for the hooligan inside every lovely lass and feisty fella who pilgrims their way to the Garden State. Brogue not included.

Party tip: Make friends you didn't think you'd make

WWE.com's guide to WrestleMania tailgating

WrestleMania is so much more than a pay-per-view event; it’s a destination for fans, friends and family from all over the world. Combined with the general melting-pot atmosphere of New York and New Jersey, there’s literally no telling who you might meet with the right bit of luck. Who’s to say a beefy Rock fan in a “Boots 2 Asses” shirt won’t meet his future wife in the skinny (but not crazy) chick in the “Knees 2 Faces” tee? Nobody, that’s who.

And if you think this is an optimistic prediction of the social benefits of a WrestleMania tailgate, remember this: Last year, a couple dressed as CM Punk and Layla were married by a gentleman in the guise of the “Macho Man” Randy Savage. As the man himself once said, “The beat goes on,” and it’s not in New Yorkers’ nature (to say nothing of New Jerseyans) to let other states one-up them. And if you are tailgating in MetLife Stadium, you are officially an honorary New Yorker.

In other words: Suck it up, remember the Dr. Shelby mantra and go hug that guy in the cut-off Corre shirt. You’re all New Yorkers, if only for a day.

Suggested recipe: 'Pride of Mexico' enchiladas

WWE.com's guide to WrestleMania tailgating

Damas y caballeros, there aren’t many things better for a cookout than a good enchilada. And for those of the WWE Universe flying the green, white and red in support of World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio, there’s no better way to show your culinary support than with a dish straight from the shores of the champion’s native homeland. It’s cheesy, meaty and guaranteed to make even the stingiest of palates go “SI! SI! SI!” in approval.

Final tip: Cook more than you'll eat

WWE.com's guide to WrestleMania tailgating

Because, let’s face it: You never know when someone will show up to the grill, plate in hand, demanding that you feed them more. Happy tailgating.

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