Another year, another Summerslam meet & greet weekend for yours truly. I overindulged myself in 2015 but had fairly easy experiences in 2016, 2017, and now 2018. In total, I attended only 2 WWE meet & greets and 1 signing at the Wrestling Universe.
I decided to attend the free Carmella meet & greet signing at the StubHub store in NYC. I attended their free Jinder Mahal signing last year and was very pleased with how efficiently it was run; however, I was getting a little nervous that Carmella would be more of a draw than Jinder (despite him being WWE champ at the time!). There was even a rumor that a couple of people had camped out outside the store the night before (a rumor which I think ended up being false) and other people were pointing out how quickly wristbands went for their Sasha Banks signing back in January.
I received a text message from my friend Eric that morning and he told me that 30-50 people were already in line. I showed up about 15 minutes later and the line was probably about 80 people deep. I met a cool fan, Rob, and we chatted for a while which helped kill the time.
Finally, we received our wristbands and instructions prior to the signing: each wristband was numbered (I was #84) and you had to show up between 6:15-6:30 PM in order to be placed in line by your number. They couldn’t guarantee you meeting Carmella even with a wristband if you showed up after 7:00 PM because she had a “hard out” at 9 PM. Also, she mentioned photo ops were not guaranteed (“at the discretion of her manager”).
Fast-forward to 6:15 PM: I show up and I’m lined up by number. They brought people into the store around 6:45 PM and I was relieved to be one of the first people brought all the way down to the room where the signing was being held. Carmella showed up right before 7 PM and the staff announced that photo ops WOULD be happening.
It was about a 30 minute wait before I got to meet Carmella and she was very, very nice. I had her sign my WM 32 Program and we took a solid pic. I was out the door by 7:35. Easy peasy.
I made my way to the Wrestling Universe for the Hakushi signing. Hakushi is an ultra-rare name and there was no way in hell I was going to miss this. I got there just before 12:00 PM and there was only a small line of people waiting outside the store (which really surprised me). Hakushi showed up just after 12 and the signing immediately started. I ended up buying this cool print from the previous night’s Joey Janela’s show.
Hakushi was very nice. He signed my Encyclopedia, my ECW Heatwave ’98 DVD, and the print. Sadly, my print would eventually rip in multiple spots as I didn’t expect to travel with it. Oh well.
I then made my way to the Barclays Center for my Miz and Maryse signing just before 2 PM. I saw Ira on line and we said our hellos (he was way ahead of me). It started to pour just before doors opened but, thankfully, I brought my umbrella.
I had a very decent spot in line and Miz and Maryse showed up right before 3. They had TV’s playing the WWE Network and the Miz & Maryse arrived during an old Daniel Bryan vs. John Cena match. The Miz saw this and watched the match with disgusted glances. I waited on line for about 30 minutes before it was my turn. They had a handler take your bags and another who held your item for them to sign. I like the pic but it’s a little off-centered. Oh well. Miz and Maryse were nice and signed my Encyclopedia. Th
I attended the NXT show and I noticed that Mike Rome was doing a spot on the floor with fans surrounding him. After he was done, I walked over and asked if he’d sign my new Summerslam program and he said, “Of course man, I got you.” Very nice guy.
That was that! It was an enjoyable time.