Legends of the Ring 28 & Wrestling Universe Report!

Jenna and I stayed at a cheap motel about 10 minutes away from the Ramada Plaza. Unfortunately, the GPS completely screwed us as it told us to take a turn that ended up turning the 10 minute trip into nearly 30 minutes. We were pretty furious! We arrived at 9:10 AM and were able to score a prime parking spot right in front of the hotel.

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I picked up my tickets and decided to hit up the vendor room to knockout some pre-orders. Up first was the Disco Inferno, a first time meet. Disco’s had quite a resurgence with Impact Wrestling as a very good heel. He’s also the co-host of the Keepin’ it 100 Podcast w/Konnan where he drops some #HotTakes that I almost always disagree with. Anyway, Disco was fine. Quiet but polite. I had him sign my WCW Ultimate Guide.

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Next was a rare name in Princess Victoria. She was incredibly sweet as she introduced herself to myself and Jenna, thanked us for coming down, and for being fans. She jokingly asked Jenna if it were okay to cuddle up for our photo op! Incredibly nice. She signed my WWE Encyclopedia, Vol. II.

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WWE’s Aiden English arrived soon thereafter and I immediately hopped on his line. He was REALLY nice and laughed at the hat he was wearing in the WrestleMania 32 program. He commented that he still has the hat locked up in his closet and laughed when I suggested he break it out sometime. He signed the WM 32 Program.

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There was a brief period of mulling around before KENTA arrived. I had pre-ordered the V.I.P. ticket which included 3 autographs. KENTA got a big kick out of my NOAH program! He was really nice and it was great meeting a personal favorite of mine. He signed a NOAH program, my WM 32 Program, and my WWE Ultimate Superstar Guide. Great guy.

At this time, Jenna decided to get us a spot on the Superticket line while I banged out more pre-orders.

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Tye Dillinger was at the WrestlePro booth and was very nice. He gasped when he saw his entry in the Encyclopedia, Vol. II, and commented that he couldn’t sign as Gavin Spears (I don’t know why) but said he could sign it as Tye or Shawn Spears. I told him it was up to him and that I really enjoyed seeing him in AEW’s Battle Royal.

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Next was Chaz – dressed as Beaver Cleaver! This is now the third time that I’ve met him (previous two times as Headbanger Mosh). He signed the Beaver Cleavage and Lo Down entries in the Encyclopedia before taking one of my favorite photo ops. Nice guy as always and I’ve now completed all of his entries in the Encyclopedia.

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Despina Montagas was next and she was incredibly nice and extremely personable. She LOVED my Brisco Brothers t-shirt and actually took a picture of it so she could post it on her Facebook account! She signed a Women’s of Wrestling book I found on eBay and suggested that I hold it up for our photo op.

Jenna called me right after to tell me that they were letting in red Supertickets so I made a beeline for the S.T. room. Later on, Jenna told me that the staff member was annoyed that I was holding up the line. He even sarcastically asked me if I was ready when I entered the room which is whatever. I can understand his frustration.

My perspective (and a bit of frustration): I want to spend time in the vendor room instead of waiting, what, an hour (more or less) on the S.T. line? During their old numbered ticket system, they had Howard Finkel stationed in the vendor room and he communicated to everyone what # they were up to. They could do something similar with the color blocks. “Anyone with a red Superticket should start lining up. 5 minute warning for red Superttickets!” Still, I’m appreactive that the staff member allowed me into the room. He could’ve given me a harder time.

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Anyways, the first S.T. went by pretty smoothly. Up first was Billy Jack Haynes, who was a little quieter than the first time I met him. I had him sign an LJN poster I found on eBay (which he seemed to really like). We took the photo and he then asked if he could salute me. His reasoning was that his brother recently passed away (I believe his brother had some involvement with the military). I offered him my condolences for his loss. Poor guy. Later on, I believe someone pointed out on social media that his face was scratched up after he was involved in an accident where he hit a tree and he nearly cancelled. Ugh. I feel for him.

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Next was Brutus Beefcake, who was actually a first time meet for me. He was quiet but polite. I had him sign one of his many entries in the WWE Encyclopedia, Vol. II.

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Earl Hebner – donning an A.E.W referee t-shirt ! – was next. Hebner was really cool and we chatted about the Dustin/Cody match for a bit. He joked that he’s just as good of a referee but a little slower. I had him sign a TNA program. Later, I overheard Hebner telling a staff member that he was really happy to see how organized the show was. He said something to the affect of, “These type of shows are always a mad house but this is going really well.”

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Next was Ricky Steamboat and, shockingly, he didn’t seem to be his normal jovial self. He asked me what color I wanted him to sign my LJN poster with and I told him silver was fine. He paused, got a silver sharpie, started to sign, then suddenly said “I HATE SILVER!” The silver Sharpie had died out and he explained that he hates signing with silver because you can never initially tell if it’s out of ink or not. Okay. Anyways, I’m glad I got a photo with the WWF Intercontinental title. Later, Jenna told me that she thought she overheard one of the staff members tell Steamboat to keep things flowing.

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Finally, Mil Mascaras – my #1 want at this show – was next. He signed my WWE Encyclopedia, Vol. II as well as the 2012 HOF entry in my WM 32/HOF program. His handler seemed to really like the Hall of Fame program. Mascaras pointed to a photo of Abdullah the Butcher and told the handler he had recently seen him at a show and was surprised to see him in a wheelchair.

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I then made a beeline for Kurt Angle’s room, expecting a big line…and, surprisingly, there was hardly a line for him! I had seen a decent line outside of his room earlier in the day but it had pretty much cleared out by the time I got to him. Kurt seemed to be in good spirits and it was great to finally meet him.

I went back into the vendor room as Jenna retreated to the car to charge her phone.

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I had more pre-orders to knock out and Antonio Thomas was up first. He was really nice and it was good chatting with Jim from Lucky 13 for a bit.

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I saw Funaki and Shun Yamaguchi and asked the vendor how much for a dual op. He told me a dual combo was just $40, so I decided to jump on that offer. They both signed an 8×10 plus Funaki signed a solo 8×10. Funaki LOVED my Brisco Bros. t-shirt! It got a huge pop from him lol. It took awhile for me to get the dual photo op, though, as Barry Horrowitz and Reno Riggins asked for photos with them. It was honestly really cool to see and they both thanked me for waiting. Really cool guys.

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Next was Alex Pourteau, who was really nice. He signed my WWE Encyclopedia, Vol. II.

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I then cashed in on another pre-order in Candi Devine, who had (I believe) the AWA Women’s title. She was very nice and signed an 8×10.

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I chatted up with Reno Riggins – he couldn’t have been any nicer – and decided to get the $30 combo. He really seemed to be enjoying himself and he was ANOTHER person who commented on my Brisco Bros. shirt. Just an extremely nice dude (the vendor was too!)

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I couldn’t pass up on a dual photo op with Shane Douglas and Francine. Funny story: Francine was looking at an 8×10 of her and Shane and she realized that her butt was somehow in the corner of the shot (in other words: it looked like Shane and Francine were posing with someone else’s butt somehow in the frame). Francine was crying in laughter over this!

I then grabbed a bite to eat at F.K.A. Yogi’s with Jenna and Gene (with our pal Mark coming down from his room to catch up with us for a bit!). Funaki, Yamaguchi, and KENTA sat behind us. Jenna and I went back to the car to re-charge our phones and to wait for the next S.T. block to start.

12:30 came and passed and the line outside the S.T. room didn’t move. Crossfire shot me a message on F.B. to let me know that Mark Henry wouldn’t be there until 1:00 PM and that pushed everything back a half-hour. I probably killed about 45 minutes waiting in the car. I decided to go back to the vendor room and get Jerry Lynn’s autograph on my All In card. Nice guy as always.

I kinda bounced around from Jenna’s card to the lobby. I was chatting with Gene when Scott Hall walked by me and said, “Sweet shirt, man.” Absolute highlight of my day!

It was now 2:00 PM and I decided to just lineup outside the S.T. room. Terrance saw that I had a red ticket and told me to join the end of the red tickets, which was extremely helpful as I cut a bunch of people.

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It felt like an eternity before we made it to the first guest: Mark Henry. He was really nice, particularly to little kids, and seemed much more personable than when I first met him at Big Event. He signed my WM 33 Program; also, I noticed that he had custom HENRY Sexual Chocolate bars at his table and his handler said $5 for a signed one, so it was a no-brainer to purchase! What a cool item — and a good piece of desert?

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Next was Outback Jack, who was incredibly nice as always. He signed my WWE Encyclopedia, Vol. III.

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Molly Holly was up next and she was quiet but very polite, asking for my name and introducing herself as Nora. She signed my WWE Encyclopedia, Vol. III.

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Lillian Garcia was up next and she was nice as always. She had a sign on her table promoting the GoFundMe for Ashley Massaro’s daughter, which was nice. She commented that my Encyclopedia was falling part 😦

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Finally, the Midnight Express rounded out the S.T. They were my #1A biggest wants of the entire show and I was ecstatic that they made it to the show. I had Condrey sign my Midnight Express scrapbook which is now signed by Cornette, Eaton, Lane, and Condrey. He also signed the M.E. entry in the WWE Encyclopedia, Vol. III, as did Eaton. The tag photo came out great and, afterward, Condrey asked me how tall I was lol.

And that does it. Bill Irwin’s cancellation was definitely a bit of a blow but thankfully the rest of the S.T. stayed intact. David Sammartino also had flight issues, so he was forced to cancel but should be appearing at the September show. Dominic DeNucci and Kevin Matthews were two unannounced guests.

LOTR used the old Superticket room, Angle was in the room reserved for headliners, and Eva Marie was right outside the vendor room towards the back (the Chyna spot from a few years ago). They did not utilize the bigger S.T. room that they’ve used the past few shows nor the room across from it.

On Sunday, I made the trip to the Wrestling Universe for rare name Great Sasauke and not-so-rare name The Godfather. The signing was slated from 3:00 – 5:00 PM and I arrived around 3:30 PM. I went over to the Comicbook store where I spotted a couple of familiar faces, including Ira, who told me that I needed to go back to the Universe to pick up my tickets.

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I picked up my ticket and Ira was gracious enough to offer me a spot on line with him but I felt bad for the people behind me so I declined. Thankfully, I was immediately admitted inside for the Godfather. He was nice as usual and I managed to complete him in my WWE Encyclopedia, Vol. II. Slightly awkward moment as I asked him if he enjoyed playing the Goodfather in the Right to Censor and he simply answered with a hardened “no.” The vendor said I was the third person who asked him today. Interesting.

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Great Sasuke had not arrived yet, so I waited outside for about a half hour before he arrived. I got to him about 20 minutes later and he signed my WWE Encyclopedia and took a great picture.

And that was that! Another successful weekend in the books.

Autographs:
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Feel free to visit my blog concerning wrestling conventions, signings, and meet & greets!
https://squaredcirclecons.com/

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