I love wrestling, and I’d never taken mushrooms. So if you’re going to attend your very first WrestleMania, I figured why not also try shrooms for first time while you’re at it?
I was in San Jose for WrestleMania 31 staying at a house with a dozen other sweaty, bearded dudes. I secretly took shrooms, hoping I wouldn’t turn into a large public spectacle. I didn’t want to be so high people thought I was really passionate about John Cena. That’s simply unacceptable. I wanted to play it cool.
For some reason I assumed it would take a while for them to kick in, so I ate both of them before we left. They tasted terrible. I scrambled for some gum to get that earthy taste out of my mouth. It was like open-mouth-kissing an anthill.
Within 20 minutes I was fascinated by how shoes work:
We had a driver, and I knew we would be watching from a suite at Levi Stadium, which is where the 49ers play. This was good. I knew I wouldn’t be surrounded by tens of thousands of strangers who may or may not send me into a vortex of nightmares. I was feeling giggly and light, but then I looked down at my phone, and when I started trying to text my friend the keys that I wanted to press started jumping up off the keyboard. So instead of just typing words I played some advanced Chuck E. Cheese/Pokemon game called “Catch the Levitating Letters.” I felt like Neo learning how to control the Matrix.
I dropped words of wisdom on my friends that seemed so profound at the time. Looking back, they were not as life-changing as I thought.
When I got to the parking lot everything looked like the ocean. I knew it wasn’t actually the ocean, but I kept thinking it was some sort of ocean simulator, which makes no sense whatsoever. I walked over to a car that I assumed was a virtual lifeguard stand. My friend and I posed in front of a fan’s Daniel Bryan sign, but I didn’t remember it until I saw the photo. I thought I was floating on the concrete in this amazing deep sea simulator that scientists had spent years creating and who figured the best way to introduce their accomplishment to the world was to stick it in the parking lot of WrestleMania.
Two of us walked up to our suite while the others drank in the parking lot. I had the room to myself for a little while.
All my thoughts, at this point, were in song, and they included smash hits like “Don’t record vertical videos/vertical videos/Don’t record vertical videos cause horizontal is the way to goooo.” This one is difficult to hear, but I did record a little number about the joys of charging your phone via USB.
Then I experienced a trip to the bathroom that I was not sure at the time lasted two minutes or two years. I think it turned out to be around 10 minutes of my sitting in a stall and doing this…
The only reason I left is because I could have sworn I saw the dog from that “Deal With It” gif, and I wanted to meet him.
In hindsight I realize it was unlikely that dog was there because he’s probably not even a wrestling fan and also he doesn’t exist.
By the time the others got up to the suite I was in a great mood. My relationship with the camera was flourishing, and when the crowd below us would cheer it looked like that old Windows screensaver where the lines would swirl around and change colors. I was having my WrestleMania moment, as Michael Cole likes to say 8,000 times during every event.
I started getting a little sad during the Intercontinental Ladder Match because the idea of all those guys working so hard then walking away empty-handed really hit me on an emotional level.
But then something bizarre happened that I didn’t remember. The only reason I know about it is because the next day all the guys were asking me why I hated Pat Patterson so much. If you aren’t familiar with Pat Patterson, he’s a Hall of Famer who everyone likes because he’s a sweet, old man. I had no idea what they were talking about, but it turns out every time Pat Patterson was mentioned or would come to the ring I would start yelling about how much I hated him and would flip him off. Why did I hate Pat Patterson so much? I have no opinion on Pat. Maybe I could see his aura and found out he’s really The Jinx? Apparently this was right after a Patterson rant…
I lost my shoes for a while and kept trying to figure out a good way to ask someone else if I could have their shoes. Thankfully I didn’t challenge anyone to a sneaker match. It turns out they were under my chair the entire time. Where’s the first place you would look? Under your chair, perhaps? I was looking in cabinets.
I felt like my friend Steven might have figured out I was on something when I conducted this interview with him about wrestling and friendship.
Through the next few matches I thought I was fine and that the shrooms had worn off. I remember everything about the Sting vs Triple H match, including the nWo and DX moments that would’ve caused 15-year-old me to soak his WCW: Where The Big Boys Play bed set. I was even fine for the Undertaker vs. Bray Wyatt match, but after it was over everything went to hell. I had the camera recording when this living nightmare happened.
The Undertaker’s fireworks went off, and I thought the stadium was imploding. I’ve never been so scared in my whole life. For some reason I thought bees were going to come up from the stage and this was my Blair Witch Project moment. My hands started sweating, and I was scared to eat because I thought bees would be in the food, too. I think my spirit animal is Thomas J from My Girl.
Thankfully I was able to come down enough to realize that bees weren’t in the food, but I wasn’t convinced they wouldn’t come out of the ring, so I kept talking about how thankful I was that I wasn’t sitting in the floor seats.
By the time Seth Rollins captured the belt I was actually coming down and felt confident enough to doubt the existence of wrestle bees. I don’t think I could say I recommend having your first psychedelic experience surrounded by nearly 80,000 screaming strangers, but if you do, make sure you keep your shoes nearby at all times. Also, check out the bathroom because rolling that toilet paper was more exciting than any match in the history of Jeff Jarrett’s career.