Wrestlemania weekend officially began Thursday morning at 11:45 with an official ribbon cutting ceremony outside of Fan Axxess in Toronto’s Exhibition Grounds. Mayor Mel Lastman, Edge, and Lita were on hand for the ceremony.
Thursday’s sessions were not sold out, but it is not known how many tickets were actually left. Displays, such as replica body parts and wrestler’s cars, were never crowded. The second level of the building was solely dedicated to wrestler’s autograph sessions. With three separate booths for signatures, lines were still well over an hour at points, especially when “Stone Cold” Steve Austin sat down to sign autographs. Wrestlers signed for hours at a time. Besides Austin, wrestlers spotted signing included: X-Pac, Ric Flair, Bob Holly, and dozens more.
In-ring demonstrations were highlights for fans, as they got an up close view of some B-card wrestlers like Tommy Dreamer and Lance Storm. Tracy Murray and Jerome Williams of the Toronto Raptors made guest appearances during one match. The cast of “Tough Enough,” including Maven, Al Snow and Ivory, entertained crowds for 30 minutes.
The day almost went past without a hitch, before there were reports of heat exhaustion. The fire bell rang at 4:00, causing everyone in the building to leave, cutting the first session short by 30 minutes and leaving fans upset.