My WrestleMania Weekend Report, Part 1: Thursday

I’ve decided to post 3 separate reports chronicling my adventures throughout WrestleMania weekend. This first report will cover Thursday, April 4, where I attended three different events in three different boroughs of New York City.

This would be the first time I tackled something of this magnitude alone as Jenna, my lovey girlfriend of 6 years, was working Thursday and Friday and I decided to spare her the intensity of Saturday (and waking up early Sunday morning). I did have my pal Eric for the majority of the weekend and I just wanted to thank him for his friendship and the help he provided!

So, up first:

Evolve 125My WrestleMania weekend kicked off with Evolve 125 from their home base of La Boom in Queens, NY. Bell-time was scheduled for 12 PM though they advertised an 11 AM meet & greet with NXT stars Kyle O’Reilly & the Street Profits. I pre-ordered combos for both (and an extra item for O’Reilly) and was really hoping that Shane Strickland would be available as he’s headed to NXT imminently. I was also looking to get combos from Priscilla Kelly and any of the DDT guys though none of them were advertised for the M&G.Image
I arrived around 10:45 AM and stood on a small line of people outside of La Boom. They started letting people in just after 11 AM and, sure enough, I excitedly spotted Shane Strickland at his table. Strickland was $10 for a combo – an absolute steal. He signed an 8×10 and took an “over the table” photo with me. I wasn’t too happy with the photo but Strickland was pretty much stuck behind his table. Thankfully, I’d get a better photo with him a couple of days later.Next was Priscilla Kelly, who recently competed in the Mae Young Classic and went viral for wielding a used feminine product as a weapon during a match. She was scheduled to be at WrestleCon on Saturday but was a fairly price $30 combo. Here? $10! Nobody was around to take our picture, though, so I had to settle for a shitty selfie (I am so bad at those). I’m not going to post the selfie because it’s super unflattering but I would get a much better photo op later in the day.O’Reilly and the Profits were signing in the back corner to the left of the ring – and this is where things got a little rocky. They had someone sitting behind a table with a list of everyone who pre-ordered. I went to him and he checked my name off the list…but he didn’t hand me any sort of ticket. Hmmm.Image
I got up to Kyle O’Reilly and he asked me if I had a ticket and I told him no. He then told the guy “this is really disorganized” and “how are we supposed to know who paid already?” I showed O’Reilly my receipt and he said, “All good, I trust you man” and signed my Wrestle Kingdom 11 program and my BOLA 2016 trading card (which he seemed to like).Image
The Street Profits were up next and were really nice and engaging. I had them sign my WrestleMania 34 program and we took an over the table photo with bad lighting. Blah…Image
I went out to the lobby and spotted one of the DDT guys: Sanshiro Takagi. The best part? The DDT guys were also $10 combos with 8x10s included! Takagi was very nice!

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I looked over my Street Profits photo and realized I just wasn’t happy with it, so I approached the table and asked the guy if I could do a redo and he gave me the green light! This time, I went behind the table to score a much improved op! Montez Ford joked that he and Dawkins should recruit me to join the team because of my height!

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The show began and I was pretty underwhelmed with the first few matches. I glanced over to the hallway and noticed another DDT guy walking around: Konosuke Takesshita. He signed an 8×10 and was very nice.

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I went back to watch the show for a bit before spotting another DDT guy: Kazusada Higuchi, who just had an excellent match. He was really nice.

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Stokley Hathaway made a surprise appearance to say goodbye to the Evolve crowd. I spotted him watching the rest of the show and asked for a pic and he couldn’t have been nicer. I suck at selfies so it isn’t the best but it’ll do.

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I looked over my pics and realized that Higuchi had a big shadow over his face, so I asked for a redo. Their handler didn’t look too happy but he obliged my request and Higuchi did it no problem. Thank goodness I’ve decided to speak up ,eh?

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The show ended and I got the last DDT guy: Mao. Really nice guy (and had a hell of a tag match).

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I spotted Darby Allin at his table and finally decided to pull the trigger on a combo for $10. You know what’s even better? Priscilla Kelly got into the photo and she signed another 8×10 (that Darby had just signed). Incredible.

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Finally, Austin Theory was at his table and I managed to get a combo and his t-shirt for $20. He’s going to be a star in NXT, no question about it, so I was grateful to finally get him. He was really nice, too.

I attended Evolve with three friend and, after the show, we headed back to the city to grab a bite to eat. Two of them went their separate ways while me and my pal Eric headed to the Midtown Hilton for the WrestleCon Supershow M&G…

WrestleCon Supershow M&G

WrestleCon announced a special M&G prior to their Supershow from 5:00 – 6:30 PM. I didn’t have tickets to the Supershow but, thankfully, WrestleCon did not require you to have tickets in order to participate in this event. My main wants for this show were Bandido, Dragon Lee, Cavenario, and Puma King.

Eric and I arrived at the Hilton at 5 PM and tried to get the lay of the land. We went up to the third floor to receive our 2-day WrestleCon wristbands (that went seamlessly). The Supershow would be in the Grand Ballroom (which was BIG) and the meet & greet would be downstairs in a room called the Rhinelander.

We made our way downstairs and stood on a fairly long line that formed outside the Rhinelander. A staff member made the announcement that some talent were stuck in customs but were still on their way. Uh-oh. They then opened the doors. The Rhinelander was the smallest space utilized by WrestleCon but was still plenty spacious.

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I spotted Cavenario and decided to bite on the $30 combo. He signed my NJPW/CMLL Fantastica Mania 2018 program.

My friend Eric ended up getting the suited photo op with Jushin Thunder Liger while I settled for an autograph on my 2016 PWG BOLA trading card (I already have a suited op).

I was waiting for Bandido and crew to show up…and then the announcement came that they weren’t going to make it for the M&G. CRAP. I really wanted to meet Bandido and missing out on him was a bit of a blow.

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Eric and I were about to depart when we noticed that Will Ospreay didn’t have a line. Eric wanted the combo and I decided to get one, too, because I wasn’t too happy with my previous photo with him and had my WK 11 program for him to sign. Ospreay was very cool as usual and I was glad to meet him again.

It was now just after 6 PM and I still had to head down to Brooklyn for Axxess. Eric and I parted ways and I was on my way to Brooklyn.

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Axxess

I had a GA ticket for Axxess and the word I received from those in attendance: “it’s a mess.” I wasn’t expecting to score many names – especially after showing up an hour later – but I was going to try to get as many as possible.

The main Photo Op area had a line that stretched into forever while an autograph booth was pretty damn packed as well (I think Sami Zayn was signing in that session). I then found another Autograph station that didn’t look too terrible: the Outlaws, Abyss, and Primo & Epico. I already have the Outlaws, didn’t have my TNA program for Abyss to sign, and was pretty meh on Primo & Epico but I decided to get them.

The line moved incredibly slow but I was up next…but it just turned 8:00 PM and everyone got up from their tables and left. I knew they were going to switch them out at 8:00 PM and wasn’t terribly disappointed to see them go but I was really hoping that they’d be replaced with a better crew…and they were!

I spotted Liv Morgan and the Revival popping out from behind a curtain and headed our way with Sarah Logan and Teddy Long behind them.

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Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan were incredibly nice and I had a funny/awkward exchange w/Logan where I thought she was going for a handshake but was just going to sign my WrestleMania 35 program. The table op came out fine!

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Next were the Revival and they, too, were nice! They signed my WrestleMania 35 program and took a pic.

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Next was Teddy Long, who actually came around the table for pictures with everyone. He signed his little section in the HOF portion of my program.

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After that, I hopped on a small Photo Op line for EC3. I met him before but have a horribly “dual” op with him at Matt Striker so I was thrilled to get an updated shot (a pro photo op at that!).

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Next was DDP, who I’ve met a couple of times before. He was his nice, usual self!

And that was that as they started to cap the lines for the other guests. Day 1 was in the books.

Please stay tuned for the second report!

Autographs:
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