5:00pm After a long day at the office I decide to hit the bar and have a few drinks before getting in line for Axxess.
6:30pm Well, now I'm drunk. This should be fun.
6:40pm Wow, the line sure seems long. I hunker down for a long wait and meet a few of my line mates. Most are locals, and most frighten me. These people take it really serious. I mean, sure I frequent a wrestling message board and own an extensive tape collection and paid $40.00 to be here, but still…ah who am I kidding, I have found my personal lost tribe of Israel. Rejoice in wrestling geekdom.
6:41pm I see three-year-old kid walk by in a full Goldust costume. Hold me, I'm scared.
6:45pm Earlier I had decided to keep a journal, for some reason my linemates think I am writing an article. Hey, I'm an out of work actor, why not play the part? So I decide to lie to my brethren and state that "yes, I do write for a local paper and I am writing about the Wrestlemania weekend experience from a fan's perspective. I never drop this character for the rest of the night.
6:50pm There is a group behind me of gents who have traveled all the way from London to be a part of Wrestlemania weekend. But I think they really flew here to try and score with the 1-800-CALL-ATT girls. I say this because every time the 1-800-CALL-ATT girls walk by, the Londoners all loudly proclaim how bad they want to "bugger the 1-800-CALL-ATT girls!"
6:55pm Damn I have to pee, why did I drink so much?
6:58pm Far and away at the front of the line I can here the sounds of WWE fans chanting "HBK." Now this leads me to believe that either a) Shawn Michaels has made an appearance, or b) For some reason there has been a groundswell of support for the Heartbreak Kid or c) Maybe the Confidential camera crew is prompting them to chant "HBK." I never get an answer.
7:03pm Hello? The line should be moving. Why aren't we moving? Still have to pee.
7:10pm I'm in. I decide to bypass everything else and head straight for my favorite exhibit, the bathroom.
7:15pm As I ponder where to start, I experience my first mark out moment. Matt and Jeff Hardy are about to enter "The Cage" (an autograph station, inside a steel cage) where I get Matt's attention by yelling, "I don't know how to do the V.1 sign!" He then takes a second to show me, I get it right and he smiles at me. Myself and every 12-year-old girl in the room swoon.
7:20pm I head straight for the Fantasy Play by Play booth. As I am a party of one, I get teamed with another loner. A nice gentleman by the name of "Lee" (I think, he spoke quite softly and our surroundings were quite loud). We decide to call the Hogan/Rock rematch at No Way Out. It's at this time I experience mark out moment #2 of the night. As the match is about to start, Michael Cole decided to join us. Yes, I am calling a match with Michael Cole! Oh and also Lee. I manage to make Michael Cole laugh with a few of my calls, including the several times I accidentally call Hogan; Rock and vice versa (did I mention I was drunk?) But, I play it off my once again referencing the fact I am writing an article and don't really know much about wrestling. Cole sounds excited by this and I think if I had pressed the issue I could have scored an interview…but then I realize it's only Michael Cole. After we are done Cole shakes our hands; I tell him I am a big fan of his work.
7:30pm As I walk away from Cole I stop and ask myself "why did I just tell Michael Cole I am a big fan? Lies hurt Baby Jesus' ears Cory…"
7:31pm I stumble upon the ring stage they have erected at the North end of the building, The Fink is center ring and he introduces none other than… RIC FLAIR!!!!!!! Ric Flair gives a short speech and then takes questions from the audience. As I try and think up the perfect question, others get some good ones in. A brief rundown of his answers:
- Toughest opponent? Harley Race. - Greatest Title victory? Rick Steamboat at WrestleWar '89. - Who would win between Flair in his prime and HHH of today? HHH (we of course boo this answer, he gives a wink.) - Will he make a run for another title? Never say never. - How did he get the name "Nature Boy?" Ask you mother fatboy.
7:45pm Finally I get to ask a question, by then every good one I could think to ask has already been asked, so I mutter into the microphone: "If you and Dusty had one more match, who would win?" ("stupid, stupid, stupid cory" my brain says) His answer? "Dusty wouldn't show up!" He seemed somewhat amused by my question, so I count my blessings and scurry to the back of the crowd. Flair thanks the fans for making the last thirty years so special (no, thank you Mr. Flair).
8:00pm At one of the $10 photo stages (All funds raised go to the American Diabetes Association) is none other than Theodore R. Long and Rodney Mack. There is no line.
8:02pm I get in line to get Eric Bischoff's autograph.
8:10pm I finally make it to the autograph table, and exclaim with great joy "thank you for all you did to make wrestling exciting over the years!" He replies "well, I'm having a blast" with as little sincerity as possible. I then realize the truth; this man is defeated and is only here to collect a paycheck.
8:12pm I see at another photo stage none other than Nunzio, Palumbo and Stamboli: the FBI! Wow, Nunzio is short. But they really do look the part of Mafia tough guys. If Mafia tough guys were posing with little children at a convention center.
8:15pm Brock is at an autograph table, he says "come let me sign your photographs!" I say "Your line is too long, I'm going to try and win free stuff at the THQ station!"
8:16pm The Hurricane is now available for photos at the American Diabetes stage.
8:17pm Two men are picked from the audience for the chance to challenge Trish Stratus at "Smackdown:SYM!" One is Canadian and the other American. Trish enters the stage to great cheers. Wow, she seems so…tiny. She picks the Canadian (naturally) and wrestles as herself while the guy plays as RVD. Despite having a full smackdown meter Trish still can't defeat RVD. She falls to the 5 Star Frogsplash.
8:18 pm I notice that Maven is in the ring stage taking questions, Chris Nowinski intrudes and it becomes a duel question and answer session. I say "eh?" And decide to visit the lovely ladies at the Silver Dollar Casino booth (Silver Dollar Casino, the official local sponsor of Wrestlemania XIX)
8:19pm I win fake money at the blackjack table!
8:20pm I lose fake money at the blackjack table!
8:23pm I win two tickets to an import auto show. Now, I don't like cars, I don't like people who like cars, I don't even like people who like people who like cars. Am I going? Hell yeah, they were free!
8:25pm Eddie and Chavo are now available for photos at the American Diabetes stage. Of course before I realize it's Chavo I ask myself "Why is Coach posing with Eddie?"
8:26pm A woman with the American Diabetes Association sees me taking notes, I give her my "reporter" spiel. She seems interested, is she flirting with me? If I were a real man I would stay and find out…sigh.
8:30pm I get very excited to learn that Booker T is now available for autographs, until I realize how long the line is. I love Booker T to death but I just don't have another long wait inside of me.
8:35pm Jerry Lawler and JR are inside "The Cage."
8:45pm The Fink is asking the audience trivia questions, winners get copies of the WWE Trivia Book. I get picked to answer a question, my question: "What current WWE superstar made his Wrestlemania debut at Wrestlemania VII? Without any hesitation I answer "The Undertaker" I win a book! I tells ya' this day is just paying for itself!
9:00pm The Y2J countdown begins as Jericho enters the ring and starts to take questions. He regales us with stories of training in the dungeon, explains how the whole Ralphus gimmick was started and gives a quick update on Brett Hart (Jericho hopes that Brett makes it back to the WWE so he can get the proper send off he deserves.
9:15pm I'm beat, I'm sick of walking around and it seems that no other big name stars are coming out tonight, so I call it a night.
Well it was an interesting night. There weren't any of the exciting exhibits that I had heard about at past Axxess events, but you certainly do get to be close to the WWE superstars. So if that is your thing, then I guess that is cool. Next up? Sunday at Safeco Field.
(edited by krakken2000 on 28.3.03 0930) Flaming Box of Stuff, blah, blah, blah...
Wow, Cory! Thanks for the detailed report. I had almost forgotten about Axxess. Don't fret about your question to Flair being stupid. When I met HBK at a signing last year, all I could get out was "Hey! I was at the Pond when you won your first title!" He said...nothing, actually.
Great stuff, thanks! Seems Axxess is alot better than it was when it was here in Houston. Alot more axxess to the stars. When I was there I saw Billy Gunn and K-Kwick answering questions in the ring. I met the injured Mark Henry and flirted with Ivory.
January 4th 1999 - The day WCW injected itself with 10 gallons of Liquid Anthrax...AKA...The day Hogan "Defeated" Nash to win the WCW title in front of 40,000.
I had THE WORST experience at Axxess last year. My brother and I arrived just as it was opening.... got TWO stinking autographs (Billy and Chuck), when of course we were waiting in line for Stacy Kiebler. Every exhibit had HUGE lineups. At around 9 p.m., we head for the commentary booth where Chris Leary, one of the Jakked hosts (talk about celebrities!) was working one of the booths. The line is moving along slooooooooooowly. At 10 p.m., we're told only one more round (4 tables, two at each table) are going to be allowed in. My brother and I are third in line, so we're thinking its cool. RIGHT before we're able to step up, the organizers says that Axxess is closed and we couldn't do the commentary. What a ripoff! Oh well, glad to hear YOU enjoyed your time there this year.
"Triple H, The Rock says they didn't keep you at the bottom of the barrel just because you wanted to say goodbye to your roody poo friends in Madison Square Garden. No! The Rock says, they kept you at the bottom of the barrel because you absolutely suck."
Originally posted by SchippeWreckWow, Cory! Thanks for the detailed report. I had almost forgotten about Axxess. Don't fret about your question to Flair being stupid. When I met HBK at a signing last year, all I could get out was "Hey! I was at the Pond when you won your first title!" He said...nothing, actually.
At least it's better than saying you thought his street fight with HHH at Summerslam was "pretty good". Yep. I called that great ****+ star match "pretty good". And HBK replied with, "I'm glad you thought it was...'pretty good'". Heh. I felt like an ass afterwards, but now I take pride in that moment. I even got the moment on video to cherish forever.
Great report, great stuff. Thanks for the firsthand account. I especially laughed at the Michael Cole experience, because I always knew that I would try to get to do commentary if I was ever at Axxess.
But I also know that even if Marc Lloyd was doing commentary with me, I would still lie to him afterwards, telling him how much I enjoy his work on TV every week.
The Hurricane main eventing a Raw show? See, the WWE is listening to the 'Net. Well, they're listening to me anyways. Look for the next push to go to Molly.
That is one hell of a report over and beyond (eg 7:10-7:12 lol) a normal in-person report... 8:17 That guy squashes Trish in that video game in one minute, what an idiot. I'd stall and go the full time limit if it meant standing next to Trish Stratus
(edited by Net Hack Slasher on 29.3.03 0401) cause there's limits to our liberties. 'Least I hope and pray that there are, cause those liberal freaks go too far.
I'll crush all opposition to me And I'll make Ted Kennedy pay If he fights back, I'll say that he's gay
Originally posted by krakken20008:26pm A woman with the American Diabetes Association sees me taking notes, I give her my "reporter" spiel. She seems interested, is she flirting with me? If I were a real man I would stay and find out…sigh.
It's not your fault dude. Being in a group of other wrestling fans makes the smoothest among us go dumb and geeky and confused by the presence of women (no offense to the wonderful ladies of Wienerville of course). Or at least that's how it seems at every wrestling related thing I've ever been to.
or maybe i'm just a dork.
"It is well that war is so terrible, lest we grow too fond of it." - Robert E. Lee
Man, that makes me think about my one and only Axxess experience. Before Wrestlemania X7 in Houston. My buddy and I get there and it's crowded (hmmm...a pattern here). We look around, we want to do the play by play, get a few autographs, the usual. We stand in an autograph line, I believe for Edge and Christian, and we stand there...longer...longer. My friend decides to go get a drink. I wait...and wait...the line still hasn't moved...I decide screw the autographs, I'll find my friend and do the play by play. Dumb idea. I don't find him. I spend my time walking around the crowded area looking for my friend and trying to enjoy Axxess. I stop to snap some random photos of Lita, the Hardys, Chyna, and Bob Backlund along with all the wrecked vehicles the WWE has used. I watch an Essa Rios/Funaki match and a Q&A with Val Venis in full RTC regailia. Well, it's 9:55 and it ends at 10:00 so I make for the door, hoping to find my friend. Well, some idiot took down all the signs leading out of the parking lot. I've got to make the exit before 10:00 to catch the shuttle back to the hotel. After wandering around for around 15 minutes, I finally find my way out. I missed the shuttle, so I decide to hoof it. Fortunately, my hotel is on the same street as the Astrodome...but it's 2 MILES AWAY!!! Ok, after 10pm, in Houston, a foreign city to me, a 21 year old kid in a wrestling t-shirt, walking by himself, in Houston...IN HOUSTON the one of the nation's biggest cities...I know, bad idea, but I walked. I didn't call a cab. I'm not used to that. I'm from small town USA. After an hour walk, I get to the hotel, tired and dirty, only to find out that my friend has gone out looking for me. I get a call in the hotel from him, he just passed a sign that says "Houston - 15 miles." He got lost. He even had problems coming back after Axxess too. He caught a cab, not the shuttle. The cab took him to the wrong hotel...on the other side of town. Fortunately, the hotel manager felt pity on him and drove him to the right hotel.
To say the least, Axxess sucked for us.
All the ladies want me. All the guys want to be me, especially you, the fat kid in sitting at the computer. Yeah, you. I see you.
COMING SOON...CSWF! THE LEGEND IS BACK! ARE YOU READY?
NHS, I don't know if this is your thing or not, but I can vouch for Cory's comment about Trish being all creepy-small. I was about 3-4 feet away from her on the aisle at a house show recently, and she is disturbingly tiny and imp-like. If you're a fellow of normal height, you could just about rest your hands on top of her head while you played SD:SYM with her.
It's weird, you always hear stuff in house show reports about how big everybody seems, but I didn't get that vibe at all. Kane was about the biggest guy there, and he didn't even seem that huge. HHH and Steiner also looked way smaller and much less gross than they do on tv.
As a follow-up, the folks at Giant Bomb have an audio interview with Warrior up right now. http://www.giantbomb.com/podcasts/alex-tried-to-interview-the-ultimate-warrior/1600-532/ Interesting stuff here.