A quick and dirty recap of the event before I delve into my experience: I thought this was a solid show that was free of chaos – for me, anyway. I did think the attendance was slightly down by previous event standards. The biggest lines in the vendor room: Chuck Liddell, Summer Rae, Scott Hall, Mick Foley, and Bad News Barrett (who’s line died down towards the 11:30ish).Speaking of Hall and Foley — holy moly were their lines insane. Foley was in a corner and his line ran parallel with Hall’s line and that made for a gigantic mess. I know Outback Jack, Vader, and Ernest Miller were probably trapped from Foley’s line lol
Anyways, here’s my detailed experience at Big Event XIV:
Plus, we decided to have a drink or two at the LaGuardia Plaza bar where I spotted a number of names surrounded by a small army of vendors. I didn’t spot any moochers (Vanessa showed up last year, IIRC) and I don’t think they’d be very successful had they been there.
Next morning, I headed to the LaGuardia Plaza hotel at around 9:15ish. I saw Ira on the will call line so I joined him…and that’s when a security guard told me I wasn’t V.I.P. and instructed me to wait outside.
This was my only real gripe of the show: I’m a loyal customer who always pre-orders admission. I give them my moolah months in advance but I’m being admitted into the event with people purchasing tickets day-of? It’s not how I would do it, personally. Hell, I remember the time they had everyone line up inside the lobby and a B.E. employee distributed tickets to those who pre-ordered.
So we waited outside in the cold for about 20 minutes or so. It wasn’t really clear what a V.I.P. admission ticket was, by the way. There were people who pre-ordered the admission w/D-Lo autograph ticket that were instructed to wait outside. I guess it’s people who bought the Bret Hart or James Ellsworth V.I.P.?
Anyways, I picked up my ticket and headed inside the vendor room while my girlfriend ran to the Hampton Inn to check us out. It was just after 9:30 AM, so the vendor room was sparse and most of the talent wasn’t ready to start signing. When my girlfriend came back a few minutes later, it was time to bang-out my pre-orders.
Up first: Rachael Ellering. Rachael is the daughter of the great Paul Ellering and recently competed in the Mae Young Classic. I think she’ll be a star in the WWE someday, so getting a combo was an easy call. She was incredibly nice!
Next was a rare name: Ernest “the Cat” Miller. He was pretty damn cool, too. I thanked him for coming down and told him I was excited that he finally did one of these shows and he replied, “I’ve been meaning to do one of these for a while so I’m glad I’m here.” He also asked me if I was going to WrestleMania. Cool dude. He signed the WWE Encyclopedia.
Juventud Guerrera was next. Juvi’s been a big want of mine for a while as he’s a legendary luchador who had some killer matches in the 90s. He was really cool though I noticed that he was filming people who approached his table lol. He signed the Mexicools entry in the Encyclopedia.
Fellow Mexi-Cool member Super Crazy followed. He was a somewhat pricey $30 combo though he was incredibly nice and another person I wanted to meet for a long time. He signed the Mexi-Cools entry in the Encyclopedia (now all I need is Psychosis).
Suicide (Caleb Konley) was next – and he was in full gimmick! I had him sign a 8×10. Nice guy.
Next was my biggest want of this entire show: Ultimo Dragon with Sonny Onoo! I was worried that they would cancel and was so ecstatic when I saw them walk into the vendor room. I made a beeline towards their table before it got too hectic. I had Dragon sign the Encyclopedia and my WrestleMania XX program while Onno signed my WWE Encyclopedia, Vol. III. I also got a group shot with them.
Next was Allie who was part of Standalone Wrestling’s Superticket. She was a repeat name for me but I had a Bound for Glory program for her to sign. She was nice as could be!
My girlfriend noticed that Summer Rae‘s line was starting to grow so we decided to get her next. Her line took forever because she took time with everyone, which is always nice to see. She was really nice. I had her sign my WM 32 Program and she commented that she had never seen that program before and laughed at the pose she was making in the photo. She was really nice.
Brian Adidas was next and he couldn’t have been nicer. He told me that his old tag partner’s first name is Anthony and he calls him “Ant-knee” or “Tony” when he really wants to piss him off. He also introduced us to his lovely wife. Great guy. He signed an 8×10.
Darren Young was next and he (somewhat) surprisingly didn’t have a line. I pre-ordered the V.I.P. ticket and had him sign the Encyclopedia (his solo entry and the Nexus entry) and my WM 32 Program (autograph was smudged, sadly). He commented that he remembered taking that Nexus photo and laughed at how different everyone looks now. Cool dude.
Next was William Regal who had a very sizeable line all day. He couldn’t have been any nicer, man. He signed the WWE Ultimate Superstar Guide; before he did, though, he looked at the drawing and said, “I don’t quite look like this.” My girlfriend said she loved the robe he was wearing in the drawing and asked if he really had that (he did). I told him I loved when he would come out waving and smiling at the crowd, who would then boo him to hell. He said, ‘The more I waved the more they booed.’ Great guy. He also signed the Encyclopedia.
Next was the team of L.A.X (Santana and Ortiz). They brought the Impact Tag Team titles, which made for an even cooler photo op! They were great dudes who signed my Bound for Glory program.
Doug Gilbert was up next. Nice but quiet guy who signed my WWE Encyclopedia.
Josh Matthews followed and, like Gilbert, nice but quiet guy who signed the Encyclopedia.
Next was Madison Rayne (Standalone Wrestling Superticket) who was super friendly. She signed my TNA 2010 program.
Following her was Lacey Von Erich (Superticket) who was my 2nd repeat name. She was nice and signed my 2010 TNA Program as well.
Diamante (Superticket) was next. She was quiet but pretty nice. She signed an 8×10.
Next was Daffney, who was ultra-nice! She asked me if I wanted her to inscribe “Scream Queen” – which she did for no extra cost! She signed my TNA 2010 Program.
Outback Jack was next. He is nearly 100% blind and I read on the board that his wife helps him physically sign items; however, that was not the case in our experience. His wife did tell him what the item was and moved his hand to where he should sign but she did not physically help him sign his name. Anyway, they were both incredibly nice. He signed my Encyclopedia and I had him an 8×10 for a friend.
I was done with pre-orders and decided to get some other names. Tessa Blanchard was up first and she was pretty nice. The photo op looks bad because of the poor lighting in the hallway. She signed a large photo (almost like a poster) at no additional cost.
Next was Mercedes Martinez and Ava Storie. SHINE was offering a combined combo for $30, which was more than reasonable. They both were super nice and asked if I was coming to the show later on (couldn’t make it). They signed 8x10s.
I had Medusa sign my WM 32/HOF program (no photo). We were set to leave but I ran back and decided to get Molly Holly in my WM XX program (no photo).
And that was that. I started at 9:50 AM and was out the door by 11:30 AM. Nice and easy and I’m quite pleased that the vast majority of my meets were first timers, which is damn refreshing and hard to believe!
As always, it was good seeing all of the fellow board members there!