The biggest weekend of professional wrestling is here.
WWE’s “WrestleMania” will be broadcast all over the world.
The 39th edition of WWE’s largest annual event is going Hollywood, taking place today and Sunday at SoFi Stadium, home of the NFL’s Los Angeles Chargers and Los Angeles Rams. The two-night premium live event will start at 8 p.m. each day, streaming on Peacock in the United States and on WWE Network elsewhere.
Bryan Asbury of Seymour will be right in the middle of the action.
Recently being approved for media credentials, he will have access to the wrestlers and others attending the event for interviews and promotion.
This is the perfect opportunity for a guy who grew up with an interest in wrestling, has been to WrestleMania twice and now does a wrestling podcast with professional wrestler and fellow Seymour resident Matthew Robinson, aka Mortimer Blankenship.
“The whole roster is usually there. It’s everybody,” Asbury said. “There are people coming from all different countries and all over the U.S. It’s the Super Bowl of professional wrestling is the best way to describe it.”
Through the Developmentally Speaking podcast, Asbury and Robinson have interviewed a lot of former WWE talent.
That led to Asbury deciding to try to secure credentials to do interviews at “WrestleMania.”
“They had a form online for press to apply, but it is a worldwide event, so I didn’t think I had a shot,” he said. “I had a shot, I took it, I filled it out and they said, ‘We’ll let you know by March 3.’”
That day at 5 p.m., Asbury hadn’t received an email, but he knew he still wanted to go.
“Then at 7:20, I got an email that said, ‘Congratulations! Your credentials are approved for ‘WrestleMania’ in Los Angeles, California,’” he said. “It was just like a rush of emotion because it just shows that someone there saw my product and thought it was professional enough to invite me. They are putting me in a press box and I’ll be there with ESPN and every major outlet that’s covering this, and some kid from Seymour, Indiana, is right there.”
With the press pass, Asbury had access to the WWE Hall of Fame induction Friday night, and he will be able to attend the press conference and “WrestleMania” and interview talent this weekend.
“You never know who I’m going to bump into,” he said, noting Logan Paul is wrestling this year and rapper Snoop Dogg, pro wrestler Ronda Rousey and other celebrities will be there. “This is an amazing opportunity that could turn into something so much bigger without me even knowing it.”
Along with helping promote the event while there, Asbury has plans to share the interviews through his podcast channel.
“I started this journey 16 months ago with just doing a simple podcast, and 16 months later, the biggest wrestling company in the world, one of the biggest companies in the world, is inviting me out to be a media outlet,” he said. “It’s validation that I’m chasing my dream and I’m on the right path.”
That dream? Working for the WWE.
“Now, my foot is in the door, they know who I am and this just gets me further to where I’m chasing my dream is being a reality now,” Asbury said. “I’m probably the most less-known person there, but it’s just an honor to be able to represent my brand. … It’s just a big step for my brand.”
Asbury said his goal has been to expand his podcast channel to cover events, so going to “WrestleMania” is a step in the right direction.
“It started off as something small, and it’s really turning into something big,” he said. “My recent interviews I’ve released, other media websites are picking it up and promoting it, and I’m gaining more followers, more traction. It’s just continuing to grow and grow and grow. Now, I’ve got a good relationship with other media outlets, and they cover the episodes as they come out.”
More people are trusting him to tell their story, Asbury said.
“Now with the WWE allowing me to come out, it’s just going to validate it even more that the podcast is legitimate,” he said. “It will open different doors, different avenues to grow this and to further my career.”
Asbury grew up a fan of wrestling and went to Ohio Valley Wrestling wrestling events. That evolved into going to WWE events, and he became friends with Tyson Kidd, who is now the producer, and went to the 28th and 30th “WrestleMania” as a guest.
“I used to do production work for a company called Dragon Gate and Evolve, and a lot of people before they were signed wrestled there making $50. Now, they have made it in wrestling,” Asbury said. “Those relationships that I’ve kept, I’m looking forward to seeing old friends and catching up (this weekend) because when they found out I was going, I got text messages saying how proud they were of me.”
They always told him when the time was right, there was a place for him in the wrestling world.
“Now, it’s sooner than later. It’s coming,” he said. “I’ve always taken a long time to bet on myself, and these last 16 months, I did it, and it’s just an amazing feeling knowing that hard work paid off in such a short amount of time. Now, it’s up to me to continue to make this a success.”
He also has applied to cover the WWE’s “SummerSlam” on Aug. 5 in Detroit, Michigan, and hopes to hear about that opportunity in the coming months.