Another solid Legends of the Ring with a pretty nice surprise at the very end. It was great to see a bunch of fellow board members as well. On a scale of 1-10, the stress level of this convention was about a 5. Yogi’s was a disaster but that’s not the fault of the convention. The 2nd half of the Superticket took an awfully long time but, hey, it’s understandable.
The day started bright and early with Jenna arriving around 8:45 AM. We went into the sparse vendor room and I spotted one pre-order target: Abdullah the Butcher. Abby was at the very first wrestling convention I attended (Big Event VIII) and I had passed on getting him then and had since regretted it. Abby was incredibly nice! I had him sign the WM32/HOF program and my AJPW ’91 Tag League Program. He insisted on two photo ops: one featuring his infamous fork (it keeps showing up as a broken image here) and the other in a headlock. He insisted on Jenna getting a photo, too, which she got a kick out of.
Up next was Wade Barrett, who is a big favorite of mine, and he couldn’t have been nice. In fact, he saw my AJPW program and was floored by it. He flipped through it, asked me where I had gotten it from, and actually thanked me for letting him go through it! He was incredibly nice. I had him sign the WWE Encyclopedia, Vol. II.
It was getting close to 9:30 AM so it was time to lineup for the Edge photo op. It was a numbered-ticket system and I was number…1! The only downside was the bullshit “tradition” of promoters getting a million things signed beforehand. After they finally were through, we were brought into the room and a staffer took our photo. Edge was nice enough to take a photo with my cell, which was awesome. He greeted everyone with a warm smile and was incredibly nice.
Next up: the first block of the Superticket. Up first was Rockin’ Robin, who was INCREDIBLY sweet! She even brought her WWF Women’s title for the photo ops, which was great. I got her in the Encyclopedia.
Up next was Nidia, who was also a sweetheart! She signed her entry in the Encyclopedia.
Tony Schiavone was next and he was quiet but very polite. He asked me what my name was and if I was a Yankees fan. Good guy. He, too, signed the Encyclopedia.
Next was Ronnie Garvin, who was nice as could be! I had him sign the third Encyclopedia.
Jerry “the King” Lawler was next and this was the whopping fourth time that I’ve met him. He was very nice, probably the nicest of our four encounters. Heck, he even complimented my Terry Funk t-shirt! He signed the WWE Ultimate Superstar Guide and the WM 32/HOF program.
Finally, Beth Phoenix. She was incredibly nice and took time to chat with everyone, which is always nice. She signed the Encyclopedia.
It was about 15 minutes before Edge’s signing time, so we headed back to his line…and I spotted people being brought into the room. I thought they were still doing photo ops but, nope, they were starting autographs early. A staffer approached me and I told them that the number on my Edge ticket was #1 and he told me they were no longer going by numbers but told me to talk to another staffer at the door. I did and, thankfully, he immediately let me in. Edge was awesome and was nice enough to sign the Edge & Christian and solo entries in the Encyclopedia. Great, awesome guy. Would meet again.
We went back into the vendor room with the aim of banging out a ton of pre-orders.
I saw a line forming for Rosa so I quickly hopped on and it went by quickly. She was incredibly sweet! I had her sign the Encyclopedia.
Up next was Black Bart, who showed up in a duster and cowboy hat! He was really, really nice. He, too, signed my Encyclopedia.
Next was Barry O. Funny story: so I approach his table and place the Encyclopedia down and he says, “I’m not signing that.” After a worrying few seconds, he laughed and said “Just kidding!” He signed his entry in the Encyclopedia and wanted to do two photo ops: one with me in a headlock and one normal. Great guy.
Lanny Poffo was next and was very nice. He signed his entry in the Encyclopedia before placing his HOF ring on my finger for the photo op! He also insisted on Jenna posing with the ring, too! Great guy and it’s really something that he still made this show despite the passing of his mother.
Up next were Los Boricuas, who hardly even looked at me. I pre-ordered the Encyclopedia deal, so they all signed their entries plus Savio signed his solo entry and as Kwang! I love the photo op.
Next was Johnny Valiant, who was VERY business like. Actually, he was cracking jokes with whomever was sitting next to him (I think Volkoff) and he was hysterical laughing…right until he had to stop to sign my stuff. Then the guy who couldn’t crack a smile. Whatever.
Next was Theodore Long, who I also passed on meeting at my first wrestling con. He was very nice and I loved that he dressed in gimmick. He signed the Encyclopedia.
I FINALLY got Deonna Purazzo, who has alluded me many times. She’s likely going to be in the Mae Young Classic, so I pre-ordered a combo. I had her sign an 8×10 and the photo was a lean-over, which I am not too thrilled about (obviously), but whatever. She was really nice.
Michael Tarver was next. He signed his entry and the Nexus entry in the Encyclopedia. Really great guy.
Next was Jake Roberts, who was as cool as could be. He insisted on two photo ops: one normal and one of us flipping the bird hahaha. He signed the WM32/HOF Program.
Nunzio was next. I had pre-ordered a combo with him and Tracy Smothers but the latter’s flight was delayed. Nunzio signed my WrestleMania XX program. It’s funny, Jenna and I had seen him at water park (I won’t say which) a few months ago. We mentioned it to him and he said he and his family go every year (as do me and Jenna!).
I spotted 2/3 of the Kingdom and decided to get a $20 photo op. I also had Matt sign my ROH Global Wars ’14 program. Funny story: he spotted Adam Page and was cracking up at how Page used to look. He also laughed at his own photo and showed Vinny Marseglia, who laughed and said “You were such a turd!” Awesome stuff.
At this point, Jenna and I decided to grab a bite at Yogi’s. They were closed but literally just opened the doors, so we were seated quickly…but, man, was the service God awful. It took so long for us to get our check, I decided to leave my card w/Jenna while I left to get a big pre-order out of the way.
The Wild Samoans were appearing and I really wanted them in the Encyclopedia. Everyone knows the vendor was asking for an arm and a leg but we worked out a small deal that was still way too much but this could be the very last opportunity I have to meet them. They were both incredibly nice and I love how the photo turned out.
I went back to Yogi’s to get Jenna and we went back into the vendor room. Tracy Smothers had just arrived, so I got him in the Encyclopedia. He signed in a crappy color but he literally didn’t have any other marker. Oh well. I got the tag photo with him and Little Guido/Nunzio, which is what I wanted more than anything and it came out great.
I spotted Pete Gas and decided to get the combo. He was a really nice guy! He signed the Encyclopedia.
It was time for the second block of the Superticket and it felt like we waited FOREVER. The holdup? Alberto Del Rio had brought Paige and they were being placed in their own room.
After what felt like an eternity of waiting, we were finally in. Up first was Boogeyman, who was typically great. He signed the 3rd Encyclopedia and I was able to get a better shot than I got at Big Event.
Next was Ivan Putski, who was incredibly nice. He complimented my Terry Funk t-shirt and he asked me if Funk was still around. I told him yes and he said he hadn’t seen Funk in many years and would love to see him again. He signed the WM 32/HOF program. Great guy.
The Islanders had a massive line that went slowly but both were great. They signed the Islanders entry in the Encyclopedia.
Next was Jack Swagger, who was really nice. I had a $20 voucher and decided to buy an extra auto, so he signed the Encyclopedia and the WM 32/HOF program.
We then went into the room to meet Alberto Del Rio and Paige. Del Rio was very cool! I had purchased an additional autograph ticket, so he signed the Encyclopedia and WM 32/HOF program.
Paige was next and she was really nice.
And that was that.
All in all, a very fun LOTR. It was great seeing everyone!
Here’s Wade Barrett admiring my AJPW Program