The 26th Legends of the Ring followed an all-too-familiar pattern:
· A breeze through the first block of the Superticket
· A breeze through the vendor room
· A soul-crushing wait through the second block of the Superticket
I’ll get to the terribly long wait – and everything else – later in the report.
I want to start off by giving my appreciation to the friends I have made, and continue to make, in this hobby. I chatted with Marked Out’s own Crossfire, who’s always fun to chat with it. I also spent most of the day with my friends Mark and Gene; Mark actually surprised me with the paperback edition of the WWE 50 book, which was beyond generous. I later ran into Kevin, who is kind of enough to tell me that he’s looking forward to reading my reports.
The coolest moment for me, though, was when someone tapped me on the shoulder and said, “You’re ICW right? From Marked Out!” As it turns out, this person, who’s also named Kevin, said he flew out all the way from Chicago to attend this show after reading my reports! That was truly something else to hear! It was truly awesome meeting you, Kev, and I was truly blessed to spend parts of my day with the other fellas.
It was also awesome running into Ron, who always reads my reports. Good seeing you, Ron!
And now…onto the report.
Jenna and I arrived at 8:30 AM and picked up our tickets and were given the bad news that Harley Race had cancelled. The news was disappointing but not entirely unexpected and I hope Race is doing okay. I managed to clean up on Race autographs at last year’s Big Event so his cancellation was less of a blow for me.
The vendor room was pretty dead for the first half-hour of the convention so Jenna, Mark, and I just talked by one of the vendor tables.
Finally, things started to pick up just after 9:00 AM. I first spotted a line forming as Tyson Kidd made his way to his table. I pre-ordered the V.I.P. Combo which included 2 autographs and a photo op. Kidd was pretty quiet but very polite. He signed the Hart Dynasty and Tyson Kidd entries in the Encyclopedia.
Dominic DeNucci was up next and he was also quiet but polite. He also looked great for being 86 (!!!) years old. I was thrilled to meet him because he really is such a legendary name in professional wrestling. He signed his entry in the Encyclopedia.
Next was Mario Mancini who was pretty nice. When he saw my Encyclopedia he said, “I’m right above Mark Henry!” before signing it. I did not see the cake, FWIW.
WWE Hall of Famer Johnny Rodz was up next. I pre-ordered a combo but decided to buy an additional autograph ticket. Again, quiet but polite. He signed his entry in the Encyclopedia and the 1996 HOF page in my WM 32/HOF program. Big time meet for me and I’m hoping to attend one of his shows soon.
The first block of the Superticket was up first though there wasn’t an announcement that the S.T. had begun (Finkel wasn’t there). Jenna and I just decided to see if it had started and, sure enough, it had.
One of the show workers had informed us that they were doing the group photo with the F.B.I. first and then re-lining everyone up for the rest of the Superticket. We’re standing on line for about 10 minutes when another worker says, “Anyone else need the group photo?” I raised my hand but he didn’t see me, so he told the F.B.I. to sit down and start signing. I ran into the room and told him that I needed the group photo and he sort of rolled his eyes at me but got all three guys to do the photo (they were all so cool about it, too). I lined back up for the autos and had them sign a 8×10. Amazingly, this is 4th F.B.I. photo op that I have (Guido/Mamaluke; Guido/Smothers; Guido/Big Sal/Mamaluke; Guido/Rich/Smothers)
Next was James Ellsworth who was really, really nice. He asked me where I thought Manny Machado might end up (he’s an Orioles fan). I told him the Phillies and he said he thought he’d end up with the Marlins. Great guy. He signed my WM 33 program.
Next was Mick Foley who I’ve met at least three times and I STILL have stuff for him to sign. Mick was in great spirits as usual! I decided to get two autographs instead of the combo, so he signed the Rock ‘n Sock Connection and Union entries in the Encyclopedia.
We were back in the vendor room before 10:30 AM and it was time to bang out my pre-orders. Up first was Damian 666 (who was in a lWo t-shit!) and Bestia 666. They each signed an 8×10 and were very nice guys.
Following them was Jose Luis Rivera. I pre-ordered the Encyclopedia special, so Rivera signed the Los Conquistadores/Jose Luis Rivera/Shadow entries in the Encyclopedia. Quiet but polite.
Next was Paul Ellering who was REALLY nice and asked me how the Yankees were doing this season. He signed his entry in the Encyclopedia.
Steven Regal was next and he was as nice as could be. He signed his profile in the AWA page of the third Encyclopedia.
Next was Scott Casey who also was very nice. He signed the Encyclopedia.
I was done with pre-orders but had $100 to spend as a belated birthday present from Jenna. Shopping spree!
Up first was Kelly Klein who was nice. She signed an 8×10.
Raven signed the Johnny Polo entry in the Encyclopedia and seemed to be in a good mood.
Nikolai Volkoff signed the Mongols entry in the Encyclopedia. He told us that his tag team partner was “nice but a bastard!” He also told us that he and his partner were the first tag team to sell out MSG. Great experience talking to Volkoff.
I then got autographs from the Headbangers, who signed the Flying Nuns entry in the Encyclopedia. Great guys. They said they often couldn’t recall which one of them was Mother Smucker and Sister Angelica.
Jenna and I then went to the car to chill in the A.C. and listen to the radio. After about 10 minutes, I decided to head back to the vendor room to browse around.
I decided to get the $20 photo op with Brandi and Bernard the Business Bear.
Jenna then met me at the bar where we spotted Ricky Morton and Raven having lunch with Teddy Hart joining them later.
About a half hour later, I went back to the vendor room and cashed in on one last pre-orders: a photo op with Jose Luis Rivera in his Shadow mask.
At this point, it was just after 12. I talked some more with my pals Mark and Gene and we decided to get on line for the 2nd block of the Superticket…
…and I didn’t get into the room until 2:20 PM! We waited about an hour and a half because the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express were “delayed” at Yogi’s. People were not happy.
They had us line up first for RVD but they were taking care of the G.A. ticket holders who only had RVD autograph/photo op tickets (which really pissed off a lot of people). Thankfully, one of the workers told us that we could head over to the tables with no lines while my friends held my place in the RVD line.
Up first was D’Lo Brown who brought the WWF European Championship with him. D’Lo’s a great guy and it was a thrill to pose with the belt. I had D’Lo sign the Aces and Eights section in my 2013 TNA Program.
Next were the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express. Robert was busy chatting with Tommy Rich while Ricky was talking to some woman who was trying to sell him something (or something like that). I had them sign my WM 33/HOF Program. Robert mentioned twice that they were selling their Hall of Fame t-shirts.
Summer Rae was next and she was nice. She commented that her calves looked so big in the Ultimate Guide cartoon, an inside joke as the Shield always ragged on her for having big calves. She signed the WWE Ultimate Guide.
Next was RVD – who was with his girlfriend Katie – and he was in a great mood. He signed the 2013 TNA program. He looked at the photo and said, “That is a confident mother fucker right there!”
Finally, I met Emma to close out the day. She was nice and signed my WM 32/HOF program.
That was it for LOTR 26. The wait for the 2nd half of the Superticket was b-r-u-t-a-l but all’s well that ends well. Once again, it was so great seeing everyone.