Legends of the Ring 27 went exactly as I anticipated: stress-free and relatively easy with only one major cancellation in Scott Hall, who announced his cancellation on Twitter a day before the convention (it appears that his mother is ill). Hall’s cancellation was a bit of a blow for me as I really wanted the Outsiders dual photo op but hopefully I’ll be able to score one soon (though I highly doubt it’ll happen at the upcoming Big Event).
Jenna and I stayed overnight at the Ramada (super cheap deal on Expedia!) and checked in around 11:30 PM. We immediately spotted Billy Gunn, his son, and Bull Dempsey talking outside while Virgil was chilling in the lobby with a couple of people. I also spotted one of the Beverly Brothers at the front-desk. Jenna and I ended up riding the elevator with Gunn.
Onto the report…
I ventured down to the lobby at 8:30 AM to pick up my tickets while Jenna hung back and slept in our room for another half-hour. In the meantime, I killed time by wandering around the empty vendor room and the lobby. I chatted with a friend for a bit before Jenna came down to join me. I was waiting for her to come back from the car when Pbruno34 from Marked Out forums introduced himself to me. We chatted for a bit and I was glad to meet him!
We went back into the vendor room and I finally spotted one of my first wants at the RK Promotions table: Tony Garea. He couldn’t have been any nicer and friendlier! He signed my WWE Encyclopedia, Vol. II and took a picture. Really nice guy and a name I can pass on at the upcoming Big Event.
Renee Young came down to the NEW booth but quickly left (I believe she went to the Bullet Club room but could be wrong). We spent another 20 minutes just wandering around the vendor room before Drago appeared at the Mexican Dreams Enterprises booth. He was fully suited, too, which was awesome. I paid for the $30 combo (8×10 included) and love how the photo turned out!
I was basically hovering by NEW’s booth waiting for Young to come back but she was nowhere to be seen. SoCalUncensored arrived to the K&S booth and I decided to hop on their line when Renee Young returned. As I was right in front of the NEW booth, I decided to meet her first (and avoided a long line of people that formed behind me). Renee was fairly nice but quick. She signed my WrestleMania 32 Program.
I hopped back on the SoCal Uncensored line and cashed in on my pre-order. I had all three guys sign their All In trading car (super tight fit but they made it work) before taking the group pic. Great guys!
Next was Sinister Minister, who was quiet but polite. He signed an 8×10 and took a fun photo. I told him I loved his imitation of Sandman on the ECW Forever Hardcore dvd and he chuckled and said thanks.
It was time for the first-half of the Superticket. Up first were Jacques and Raymond Rougeau — The Fabulous Rougeaus. Jacques was dressed in his Mountie attire which I thought was pretty cool. Both were super nice guys. Jacques and Raymond igned the Fabulous Rogeaus entry in the Encyclopedia while I also had Jacques sign the Mountieand the Quebeccers entries. I also got a solo op with Jacques because he was in the Mountie outfit.
The Orient Express was next. I actually met them at the Big Event last year so I had them sign my WWE Encyclopedia, Vol. III. Nice guys.
Next were the Beverly Brothers and, just like the Orient Express, I met them last year at Big Event and had them sign the third Encyclopedia. Wayne Bloom was in great spirits while Mike Enos was not lol.
Bob Backlund was next and he is now officially Virgilized. I only had one more item for him to sign and it was a WWE program from 2016. Backlund was great as usual, especially with kids, and super friendly.
Finally, Harley Race was next and he had a MASSIVE line. Also, here’s a really weird/creepy story: so this older woman (probably in her 60s or 70s) who pushes around her wheelchair is up next. She hands Race a large envelope and explains that it’s her life story and she hopes he’ll consider reading it. She says that she knows his life story and she was really inspired by him and other wrestlers, so she hopes he can be inspired by hers. Harley nods and hands the envelope to his handler. The two of them get into this 5-10 minute conversation and the woman hugs Race and kisses him on the cheek; Harley, however, then points to his open mouth and she PLANTS one on him. FINALLY, one of the staff members came over and politely asked her to move along. I met Race and had him sign his book (I cleaned up on Race autos at last year’s Big Event). One of the strangest things I’ve ever witnessed in this hobby. Also while on line, we met Marked Out reader Travis, who was really nice!
I ventured back into the vendor room and headed over to Impact Wrestling’s booth to meet Moose, Eli Drake, and Eddie Edwards. Impact occupied the entire back wall with a long rack filled with merch (space that’s usually fill with tables with wrestlers…). All three were $30 combos and all 3 signed my Bound for Glory 2017 program and 8x10s. Nice guys.
So based off the timestamps on my phone, I met finished up with the Impact guys at 11:21 AM and wouldn’t meet my next wrestler until 2:03 PM. Yeesh. Jenna and I ended up grabbing lunch at the former Yogi’s with our friend Gene — they had a decent buffet and service was quick, which is a first. After that, we hung out in the car until we decided to lineup for the second-half of the Superticket.
Just an observation: the Impact guys were gone before 1:00 PM, which really shocked me…
After a long wait for the 2nd half of the Superticket, we finally were underway. Up first was Ted DiBiase and Virgil. DiBiase had an assistant with him, who announced that the duo photo ops would be happening in clusters, which slowed everything down considerably. DiBiase signed the Money Inc. entry in the Encyclopedia while Virgil signed his entry in the third Encyclopedia. Virgil slowed everything down because he was looking for his other spots in BOTH of my Encyclopedias.
Next was Sid who was actually in a really nice mode! I had him sign his page in the WCW Ultimate Guide.
Finally, Kevin Nash was last but certainly not least. Nash was also in good spirits. He signed my WrestleMania 32/HOF program and his page in the WWE Ultimate Superstars Guide.
And that’s that. Here’s a couple of post-show observations:
I thought the vendor room was a little too light and there were a significant number of notable vendors absent (Captain’s Corner, RDP Promotions, Fan City Sports, Damage365 Radio, and Wrestling Ink). In total, I met 7 vendor guests (three were SoCal Uncensored) and that’s way, way under the amount I usually get. I know this was an October show but still. 7? That’s incredibly light and I was disappointed that there wasn’t more talent.
I also think the vendor room felt emptier than usual because so many people were waiting on the Bullet Club and Superticket lines. I know vendors have complained about that in the past (as detailed on Damage365 Radio Show where he interviewed Terrence) and I’m not sure what the solution is.
I would’ve liked to have seen more talent from Impact added to the event. I have yet to meet Abyss, for example, and he would’ve been a perfect add considering his induction into the TNA Hall of Fame.
Also, I totally forgot about Flip Gordon until I saw him in Shane Helms’ Instagram post. I have no clue where his table was. I would’ve met him had I seen him. Slight bummer.
Finally, it was great to see everyone and meet new people who either read my blog or Marked Out. Meeting fellow fans is just as great as meeting the wrestlers (sometimes even better!). I also had a lot of people comment on my Cena report! I’m really blessed to have met some fine people along the way. Today actually marks my 4th year in this hobby! Crazy.