This weekend was bananas. Seriously, I’m very fortunate to live in a very close proximity to New York’s five major boroughs + Long Island because they’re loaded with conventions and autograph signings practically every weekend. From the Wrestling Universe in Queens to Steiner Sports in Long Island and every place/event in between, New York offers fans a chance to meet and greet with celebrities and athletes practically every week.
I knew this schedule was going to be jampacked going into this weekend and I was worried I wouldn’t be able to score all the autographs I wanted…but I made it happen! So, without further ado, here’s my report:
Saturday, June 13th:
The first stop of the day was a Wrestling Universe signing with Zima Ion, better known as DJ Z to TNA fans. I arrived at approximately 1:00 PM and was immediately ushered to the back room. DJ greeted me with a wide smile and handshake before quickly signing his entry in the TNA 2014 Program, Vol. 7. We then took this cool pic together:
We said our goodbyes and that was it! This was, undoubtedly, the quickest autograph signing I have ever attended. It gives whole new meaning to the world in and out. Very nice guy and I definitely recommend meeting him. The next day would prove to be MADDNESS:
Sunday, June 14th:
The day began with another trip to the Universe. This time, they were hosting the self-proclaimed “Greatest Intercontinental Champion of all-time” and one killer Elvis look-a-like: the Honky Tonk Man. I was very curious to meet him because, well, he seems to be a very polarizing figure with people who have met him. Hell, it seems like a lot of people haven’t had that great of an experience meeting him. How would he be this time?
I entered the Universe and two people were ahead of me. About 5 minutes later, I was brought to the back room and was immediately greeted by HTM. He noticed my Yankees attires (a Yankees hat and the controversial #FORG1V3 t-shirt) and said, “Hey there, big boy! Big ole Yankee fan!” We shook hands and he signed both of his entries in the WWE Encyclopedia.
While he was doing so I said, “You’re the greatest Intercontinental Champion of all-time. Absolute legend.” He looked at me with a smirk and said, “Not Pat Patterson?” Apparently he and the vendor were discussing WWE’s Countdown episode of greatest I.C. Champions and someone told him Patterson was ranked #1 (something I’m unsure of). I replied, “Oh no. He may be the first but your’e the best.” He laughed at that before getting up for this awesome pic:
He thanked me for being a “real fan” and thanked me for coming down. Nice guy in my book! Next, I was off to Long Island to attend ExternalCon.
One long Uber ride later, I arrived at the Aviation Cradle Museum in Garden City, NY. First off, the museum is absolutely incredible and well worth your time if you’re in the Long Island area and like aircrafts.
Anyways, I met my cousin (who Cosplayed for the event) and her parents before heading in. We waited about 2-minutes to pick up our tickets before we were allowed to roam the Con. The set-up was pretty massive (three floors worth of things to do) but I never once felt claustrophobic. Plenty of space to roam.
I saw a banner advertising the meet and greets taking place on the 2nd floor and I bolted up there. I was nervous I was going to miss my biggest want of the day: Chyna. She’s a rare signing and missing her would’ve flat out sucked. I showed up at nearly 2:00 PM and the convention started at 10:00 AM so there was a good chance she wouldn’t be there.
While I’m walking up the stairs, I spot Greg “the Hammer” Valentine and Andrew Anderson stationed practically in the corner of the room…with Mick Foley sitting a table or two away from them. Turns out, Foley’s table was there because his line was one of the biggest and it was easier to line people up outside the double doors he was stationed next to. But Anderson and Valentine looked so out of place. I don’t think many people knew who they were. It’s hilarious that these guys show up to every. Single. Con.
As I reached the top of the stairs, I noticed Jake “the Snake” Roberts stationed to my left and “The 9th Wonder of the World” stationed to my right! I immediately bolted for Chyna, half expecting a big line but…nope. There were two cosplayers in front of me and they were giving Chyna some calendar they were featured in.
After dealing with Chyna’s vendor, I asked her to sign her entry in the WWE Encyclopedia, Vol. 2. Chyna was very nice and I think she was even flirting with me, which was WEIRD. She asked me how tall I am (6’5) and replied, “Oooo I like that” before giving me a wink. She signed her entry as “Chyna xoxo” with a heart. Very nice and I definitely recommend meeting her if you have a chance.
Up next was Jake. Those two cosplayers approached him about their calendar but Jake really didn’t care what they had to say; he was too busy admiring their “costumes!” After they left Jake looked at me and said, “Man, sometimes it’s good being Jake ‘the Snake.” Jake was awesome and signed his entry in the WWE Encyclopedia, Vol. 2. before taking this pic with me:
*NOTE* So the website was offering pre-orders for only photo ops for the majority of their guests. Jake’s price was $35!!! $35 for just a picture?!?! Luckily, I didn’t pre-order and guess what? I got an autograph and pic for $30.
I also met Johnny Brennan (the voice of Mort from Family Guy) and Marina Sirtis (Deanna Troi from Star Trek: the Next Generation). Since this blog is dedicated to wrestling autograph signings, I won’t go into any detail about meeting them. I will say they were incredibly nice and it was an honor to meet them both.
Also, Ashley Massaro showed up. She wasn’t advertised and I didn’t even recognize her (she was cosplaying as someone). I had put my Encyclopedia in my uncle’s car and ran back to get it but by the time I came back, she was gone 😦 It’s okay, she does a bunch of cons and I’m confident I’ll get her again.
So this weekend was a roaring success! Lots of fun.