It was the best of times….it was the not so best of times. Bottom line….it was an AWESOME TIME! I had a trip filled with adventure, fun, sports, fear, pain, profit, mystery, excitement….a full array of emotions. Many read my reports for the vivid descriptions and colorful anecdotes. You wont be disappointed. Strap in, hang on tight…cuz the roller coaster (even though I wont ride them) begins…..NOW!
DJKnightRida and I planned this trip just a month or so after we returned from Wrestlemania and The Impact Zone in March/April. We had so much fun in Orlando for the one tv taping we attended and love TNA anyway, we decided to book this trip. It certainly did not hurt that my favorite show on television, The Vampire Diaries, was having a convention that same weekend with 2 of the 3 main stars….Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley. :smirk: Not to mention, I was hoping for NXT to be running near Orlando in order to attend a show there to see Seth Rollins, Kassius Ohno, Corey Graves, Luke Harper and more!
We planned our trip so well in advance, we got ourselves a hell of a deal on flights and booked ourselves a week’s worth of stay right by Universal Studio’s main gate at a reasonable rate. My convention started around 10am the same morning we were flying down…right around the same time our flight was landing. No biggie. The schedule worked out that I wasnt going to miss any photos or autograph signings. So we flew out of BWI and began the adventure. I was up at 3am, getting exactly ZERO hours of sleep. Ended up by the time I left work and came home from the gym and THEN ate dinner, it was almost midnight. I was behind. I still had not packed my bag. I spent the next 2 hours packing and the last hour trying to make sure I didnt forget anything. Thus…..3am rolled around and I found myself with not getting any winks in. :facepalm2: It was gonna be Monster Energy Zero Calorie kind of day….cheap plug.
DJ was there promptly at 4am to pick me up and head to the airport. We found the flights out of BWI to be a few hundred cheaper. We had a 6:55am flight and made it there with plenty of time to spare. 2 downed Monsters and I was through security and awaiting our boarding. Anyone who knows me, knows that I do not like take off on a plane. I am fine with flying and once we are in the air. But I am very anxious and unnerved the moment the front end begins to lift off the ground and the ascent. After several minutes of harassment by DJ, we were airborne and on our way to Orlando.
We arrived on time and headed for baggage claim. My bag came off fairly quickly, followed by one of DJ’s. Then the conveyor belt stopped and DJ began to worry. Did the airline lose one of his bags?! Several minutes later….all was calm, as the belt restarted and a few more bags came up. I called the rental place, U Save Rental, for the shuttle and we headed down to wait for it. You are probably wondering what the fuck is U Save Rental? Simply put…..cheap. The cost of the car was $10 a day. Our total bill was $100 with taxes and fees for a week long rental. To rent from Enterprise for the same type of car and number of days…….$276. No brainer. Then again….sometimes you get what you pay for.
We waited nearly 40 minutes for the shuttle to arrive, which was nothing more than a van with a cardboard sign on the dash….U Save. :smh: U Save Money…..U Lose Time. The driver was a bit of an ass. He seemed like he was high as a kite. We got in and headed to the rental agency, located outside the airport about 2.5miles away. We arrived at the rental location, which had no sign posted on the outside and was merely a desk inside a tour bus business. We went inside and had to wait another 30 minutes, before we could get our car. Once it was my turn, I filled out the paper work and was handed a picture of a car and was told which one was mine. I needed to go outside, by myself, and inspect the vehicle and mark any damage done to the outside. Strange. Usually, the worker comes out with me and does it. Ok. I got outside and mark several dings and dents on this 2013 Hyundai Elantra. I come back inside and hand it over. She gives me the keys and I head outside. We load our bags in and goto get inside. STOP!!!!! The inside of this vehicle looks a crime scene!!!! :cop: Stains of grease, blood and what I can only imagine as semen were on the seats. There was no smell, thank God….but the upholstery was a mess. U Save Money….U Lose Dignity.
We headed to the con. It was but a mere 30 minute drive. I had to make a quick drop in to get my photo with Todd Williams and then I would not be returning to later in the evening for the autographs. Not a big fan of Q and As….and there were no other photos I wanted from Day 1. So I went inside and met Todd Williams. I was the first person in and got my photo with him. He was super nice. I told him I was a fan of him when he was Clark from Tilt and he marked out! He talked to me for a minute about the show and then I got my photo and I was off. The Con advertised a special parking rate of $10. But when I got there, we found it was only $6. Cool! However, we had to exit through the main gate and not the one we came in from and did not know that. So when I inserted my ticket into the side gate, it ate it and would not return it. I hit the call button and asked for assistance. I explained what happened. The man said he would come out to assist….and then the gate opened. Hmmmm…….do I go through? Do I wait for the man who was coming out? Well…..using my stellar math skills……I put 2 and 2 together and……drove on through. Figuring by “coming out to assist” he meant open the gate…..I decided to just leave. He assisted and I scored the points. Perfect combination!
Now we were enroute to our hotel. Here comes the horror part of our adventure, if the Mobile Crime Scene wasnt scary for ya…..The Rape Me In will be. A mere 15 minutes away, we headed in to check in. The front desk clerk was very nice and got us checked in early. We drove around back to our room and went up the stairs. 2 trips to bring the bags and we opened the door and inside we went. WHOAH!! What the fucking is going on?!??!?! The smell was AWFUL!!! The room was freaking hot. So I hunted for my bottle of Febreeze and turned the AC on. After Febreezing the room, I noticed the air wasnt working. You have got to be kidding me. Its damn near 90 here. No way in hell am I gonna deal with this. I call down to the main desk and explain the situation. They assure me they will get me a repair man. I waited a few minutes and no repair man. I call back down and ask to be moved to another room. I dont want to wait. They kindly moved us 5 rooms down and this room had a slight smell, but the AC worked. Once again, I Febreezed. We unpacked and relaxed for a couple of hours. Surprisingly, after no sleep, a flight, driving and this hotel ordeal…..I wasnt exhausted. Tired….but still had a little left.
My hopes to attend NXT were gonna soon be realized. I got front row seats to a show that was a mere 20 minutes away. It conflicted with my VD autograph time, but I had a workaround. I would goto NXT, get my autos there and then head back to the con…get my autos there and turn right around and head back to catch the end of NXT. Sometimes the best made plans dont workout. The doors opened at 6:30, so we left around 4:30pm. We started the car up and DJ punched in the address. We started driving and DJ wanted to take a look at the way it was taking us……and then shock would overcome us. The GPS was telling us it was gonna take 3 hours to get there. WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON?!!!?!? I pull over to the side. We began to google, mapquest, reload the GPS. This cannot be right. I mapquested this twice now. We cant be 3 hours away. Sadly….we were. The only comforting thought for me was Rollins was not gonna be there anyway….so one of my top wants I had no shot at here. Overcome with disappointment, we perservered.
To Mini Golf We Go! Being that we had a few hours to kill before VD autos, we hit the mini golf lynx right by the con. There were 2 courses…a hard and easy. There was a nice discount for playing both, so we did. DJ led early, but I battled back. Through heart and determination…..I would not be denied. I took the lead on 7 and going into the back 9….I had a 2 stroke lead. And on 12……the game unraveled for Mr. Knightrida…..stroking a 16 on a par 2. To his credit, he would battle back, as I would begin to choke it away on 17 and 18……getting himself within 2 strokes. So now it was the hard course. We carried our scores over to crown 1 champion. There can be only one and we teed off on 1. In an amazing fashion, DJ would tie the game up and we headed for hole 2. I would birdie the hole, as he would fall prey to the trap and hit an 8 on this par 3. I would never look back, as I finished him off in true Putt Putt fashion, winning by 18 strokes. As we left, we read the back of the card and it said there was a 6 stroke max. LOL!!
Time came for the con and we headed over. The main room had just started calling up rows. I had 3rd row, so I walked in with a few minutes to spare. It was quite disorganized, poorly prepared and annoying. But it worked out. I first got Nathaniel Buzolic, Michael Trevino and Todd Williams. I got Todd to sign my Tilt cast photo and everyone to sign my VD Poster I have been working on. Nathaniel, a minor character decided to sign very largely on my poster cuz he liked the color of the paint marker. Ugh. Steven R. McQueen was on the other side of the room, and he was the last of today’s autos. I got into that line and when I got to him….he was listening to music in one ear. Annoying. He seemed like he was high and was dressed like he just rolled out of bed, wearing a white basketball jersey and jeans. His hair was a mess and his eyes were glossy. He insisted on signing Paul Wesley’s crotch, as he said he “liked it”. Oooooook. So day 1 was complete.
We were off to Steak & Shake for dinner. And this is where there happened to be some “after hours” activity or perhaps the lack there of activity. The place was crowded, causing the service to be painfully slow. By the time we received and finished dinner, an hour had gone by. At this point, I began to fall asleep in the booth. The proverbial wall had been hit. The lack of sleep, travel and activity had caught up with my newly turned 34 year old ass. In a near coma, DJ had to help me to the car where he decided to become the worse designated driver in the history of designated drivers, by placing my sleeping ass at the steering wheel. DJ does like roller coasters. In what he would later describe as the most fearful 15 minutes of his life, I evidently proceeded to drive away. Now this is all second hand accord. As I said, I was asleep. I dont recall any of this minus one thing. That thing…..during the drive back to the hotel, there was a truck that had written on the back Salidas Diarrheas…which I have translated into Diarrhea Salad. DJ would tell me that I somehow angered the diarrhea driver and he glared at me, which prompted me to glare at him….which prompted DJ to drive the vehicle from the passenger seat. U Sleep Rental must be proud. LOL! I was told I totally crashed when we got back to the hotel.
Day 2 began not as early as I had wanted due to my inability to wake up. I had info. on Ian Somerhalder’s arrival. Sadly, the time was just too early and I had no energy to get my ass there. The extra 2 hours actually meant the world to me and we were up and out the door in time for Jeff Hardy. So we packed our gear and headed to the port. My biggest want and desire was a picture with the Legacy Noir Title. I failed to get a picture with the Immortal Title as the belt never seemed to have come my way. The closest was when Jeff lost the belt to Anderson and Anderson had it at a house show that Jeff was not on and I had an issue with some leaky pipes at the house and ended up bailing on the show. I was hoping to correct this on this trip. I spotted Jeff coming down and greeted him. We sat and chatted for a few minutes. He was telling us about the new Jeff Hardy clothing line and his new EP. He also talked about being in Nashville just the other week, as they were recording some new music and full CD that is supposed to hit next year sometime. Jeff was kind of enough to sign a couple of photos and my new TNA replica belt. A young fan came up to Jeff and of course Jeff took care of him too, posing for a photo. I told Jeff about the Immortal Title and he asked if I wanted a picture with the Legacy Noir. He reached into his case and pulled out the bad boy and handed it over to me. He said the lights wont turn on, as the first night it got tossed around the ring a bit and lights havent worked since. This belt weighs as much as the TNA World Title. Its very heavy, but very cool. The photo turned out great and I was very lucky that Jeff was so cool about it. He made sure we were all set for the PPV and Impact tapings and promised we would have a great time. We were psyched. Jeff was off and so were we….UNTIL!!! Brooke Hogan walked right by us. WHAT!??!!?!? I grabbed my camera and threw the rest of my stuff in my bag. She was down a few doors at this point. We went out the closest door to us, hoping to spot her. We did not. The next 15 mins. would serve as a mystery to where she went off too until we spotted an escalator between the doors and went down that. We then found where drivers were parked waiting for their clients. She was gone. All was not lost, as I had spotted Willie Urbina, dressed to the nines and waiting for his bags. I needed him in my TNA program and figured why not. I headed on over and said “Excuse me Willie, may I please have an autograph?” He turned to me and looked at the page and said “Why?” I’ve never quite heard this response before. I then explained that I was trying to finish the program. He looked at me with a puzzling look. I asked him if he was Willie Urbina and he told me no, before grabbing his bags and leaving. :jagwtfb: Was I turned down by Willie Urbina or was that NOT Willie Urbina?! The mystery remains unsolved.
The time had come to head to the VD Con for the last day of the con. Today was the main event, Paul Wesley and Ian Somerhalder….Stefan and Damon Salvatore. I had Gold Tickets, 2 of them cuz I scored a hell of a deal on each, and a Duo Photo Op with both Damon and Stefan. When I got there, I went inside and there must have been twice as many people there then the day before. The Q and A was supposed to be over, but evidently ran over as we caught the last 10 minutes of it. They began to call people up……Ian was on one side and Paul on the other. For Paul I was getting an 8×10 done for a friend and for myself, one of his screen worn shirts. Once my row was called, I headed up with DJ in tow. It was great to have DJ there to help juggle items and paint. It was a big help. The autograph on the shirt turned out amazing, not just for an autograph on a shirt….but an autograph period. Once we were done with Paul, we moved onto Ian’s line. I had 3 total autos for Ian. I had a screen worn shirt for Ian, an 8×10 and my VD Poster. I first presented my shirt, which he signed and turned out really well. I then presented my VD poster and did a marker change. He signed that and it turned out so well, even Ian was impressed. He asked questions about the Deco and asked if he could take a picture of it as he wanted to get some for himself. I thanked him for the time he took a picture with me in DC after having a 6 hour delay on his flight. I told him I put the photo to good use, when I had it put on my Capital One credit card. LOL!! Ian got a huge kick out of it and took a close look at it. Hopefully, not memorizing the numbers…LOL! He thanked us from coming out and braving the estrogen filled room. I cant confirm for sure….but I seriously believe DJ and I were the only 2 heterosexual males in the con.
Picture time had come. I left the autograph room and promptly wanted to get into line for my photo. I figured since 75% of the con was still inside getting autos, I could be one of the first photos done and be out of there. WRONG! I went outside to find a line of about 150 or so people. DAMN! Well, got into line and began to wait. Scheduled time of this photo was 4:30. At 5pm, we were told they were still inside signing autographs. At 5:30 with well over 300 people in line….we were told that they were gonna have to move fast as they had 6:30 flights and had to be gone in a half hour. What the fuck is going on here?! This is not humanly possible. I was only concerned for me and figured it was possible to get done if it took no more than 10 seconds per photo. They said there would be no retakes and not to cry cuz if you cry then that will be your photo. They would be shuffling people in and out VERY quickly. I made it up to them in almost record time. I went up, shook their hands, posed and was done. One thing I LOVED about my photo was Ian was dressed just like Damon. He normally sports his trademark fedora, even at the cons. Instead, he had no fedora and a leather jacket on…very Damon like. The photo turned out awesome and I cant wait to try and get this signed.
The con was done and it was time for Final Resolution. We headed over to Universal. When we arrived, we found over 800 people lined up outside. I know the number because of the max capacity of this sound stage and the seperate lines. There were 2 stand by lines and then I found out that inside the park was another standby line. We were on the Friends And Family list, so we got in pretty quickly. Instead of taking us through the park, like normal, they took us around back where you see a lot of backstage segments filmed by the trailers. We got inside and found our “seats” or perhaps spots reserved up front on camera. ABSOLUTELY PERFECT! This was gonna be so damn awesome.
In all honesty, the PPV could have been better. RVD/Kenny King was really good. AJ/Daniels was fun. Hardy/Roode had its moments, but kind of dragged otherwise. I was expecting a better match, but they seemed to have little chemistry with one another. On paper, this is a fantastic clash of personalities. In ring, its a clash of styles. Roode dominated most of the match and then Hardy began to fight back. A lot of the action took place right in front of me, including one of the sickest sounds I have heard. Hardy had Roode up against the rail in front of me. He instructed everyone to move back. Hardy then placed the steps in front of Roode, got a head of steam and tried a poetry in motion. But instead of connecting, he sailed over the rail and SPLATTED right in front of me. Security was no where to be found, which I found to be very odd. Something was wrong. Jeff laid there grimacing. I bent down to check on him. I asked him if he was ok. He looked right at me and told me no. His back was hurting bad. He looked in SERIOUS PAIN. Roode climbed over the rail and dragged Hardy to the ring, where Jeff would finish the match. He was never the same this trip and was in serious pain. After the attack by Aces and Eights, Jeff promptly rolled to the floor right in front of me. He laid there trying to get his bearings. I once again checked on him. He said he needed help. Security finally came over, after prompting by several ringside fans. They tried to help Jeff up, but Jeff asked them to lay him back down that he couldnt get up. After a few minutes, they were able to get him vertical. He was assisted to the back and looked to be in some REAL pain.
Once the PPV was over, my feet were absolutely KILLING me. All the standing, walking around, hustling, etc. had taken its toll. It took me forever to walk out of the Impact Zone and to the car. We were invited to go out with some of the boys after the show for dinner. But I needed to stop at the hotel and soak my feet in ice first. A half hour later, we went out for a good ol time. Great conversation and amazing food! I had myself a TASTY Ribeye and some chicken nachos that were so damn mountainous, I couldnt even put a dent into them. We spent a few hours hanging out before we decided to pack it up and turn in for the night. Our first set of Impact tapings were taking place tomorrow.
The morning came and we werent really in a rush. This was a gloomy rainy day. We went out to do a little tourist shopping in Orlando, grab some lunch and pickup my Duo Photo op with the Salvatore Brothers. B/c of what time the photos were done printing conflicting with the TNA PPV, I had a friend pick mine up and met up with her for lunch to retrieve it. I also stopped over at Walgreens to get some of my photos from Final Resolution printed. Walgreens screwed up one print, cutting half of Matt Morgan’s head off. Not sure how or why they would do it. On top of that, the photos which are normally glossy and have a nice sheen to them were very matted. Since I had already left, the weather was bad and I was feeling lazy….I did not return to raise a stink. Once we were back at the hotel, we got packed up for Impact. Tonight, I wanted to sit to rest my feet since we were planning on hitting Disney tomorrow. So we headed on over to the Impact zone. The line was definitely smaller, but there were still several hundred waiting. Before we could go inside, a TNA film crew stopped us and asked if we would like to film a segment for Wrestling Matters promo. They said they have seen us on so many shows and we would be the perfect guys to film for it. So we obliged. I ended up going first. Words cannot describe how wild and crazy my promo got. They said they loved it and DJ with a look of disappointment had to follow my 5 star performance. LOL!
Once inside, we found our seats…first row on hard cam, a perfect spot and lighting for photos. They taped an episode and a half the first night. So it will be cool to see myself on only a half an episode on tv for the middle show. I was able to score some nice photos and tonight was a much more relaxing evening. At the end of the show, TNA had a little autograph party with Robbie E, Robbie T and Tessmacher walking around the ring and gave everyone a tshirt on the way out the door all for Christmas. Nice treat. There would be no hanging out with anyone tonight, as it was the night for the TNA Christmas party. So we were on our own. We decided to eat cheap and greasy and headed for Checkers. This would rage destruction on one another. We got to the drive thru and they messed up my 2 for $5 order, so we went back through. They gave me 2 more sandwiches and some free fries. The amount of food we took back to the hotel could have fed the Impact Zone. It was unreal the amount of Checkers. We sat and watched the game on tv, munching on Checkers. Poor DJ couldnt even finish his food before round 1 with the toilet began. 12 rounds later, he was a beaten man and the bathroom ravaged a crime scene. :ehh:
Tuesday came and the weather was better. They were calling for an afternoon shower, but we prayed we would avoid it while at Disney. Up early and out the door. We got to Disney and were given a 1st timers pin. I thought this was a nice touch. We rode the tran over to the island/Magic Kingdom and began our adventure. Due to an unfortunate roller coaster incident when I was young, I do not ride roller coasters. I ride water rides….just not coasters. Our first stop was the giant Swiss Family Robinson tree house. It was meh. I wish we hadnt stopped. Never read the book or watched the show, so all I saw was a giant tree house. Next was the Pirates of The Carribbean ride. This was fun. We rode around in a boat and saw these animated robots that looked like the characters from the movies. VERY cool. At the end, you could do some shopping. We left this ride for Splash Mountain. Now this…..was gonna be fun! We got over there and there was virtually no line. We were on and it was all BS till the last drop. Sadly tragedy struck when the ride would cause DJ’s hat to fly off and sink into the water. We were unable to retrieve it and the next day, lost and found said they did not find it. Since our photo turned out really funny, I elected to purchase it. DJ was dying to get his picture taken with Goofy, so we found where Goofy would be and headed over. While there, we also got pics with Donald Duck. It wasnt super exciting or anything, still fun though. Then it was the main event for DJ. He was dying to ride Space Mountain. All the years I have known him, when he said he wanted to “ride Space Mountain”, I thought he had a secret man crush on Ric Flair. Evidently, that was not the case. WHOOOOOO!!! So he headed for the ride and I went inside at the exit and was able to sit in a massage chair. Figuring he would be good for at least 20 or so minutes. I sat down and paid for the 15 min. massage. In no more than 14 mins, DJ emerged as he had completed his ride. THAT WAS FAST! I finished my massage and we spent 20 minutes playing in the arcade like teenagers. I whooped his ass in the basketball shooting game and he finished me off in air hockey, which is usually one of my better games.
The time had come to the end of our Disney World trip. We took the ferry boat back and I tried to reenact the Titanic…KING OF THE WORLD! DJ would not cooperate and the other passengers seemed to be distraught. I sat back down and waited till the end of the ride before speaking again. LOL! It was time to head back to the hotel, rest for a minute before heading right back out for the last night of Impact tapings.
Out the door we went and headed for Impact. Tonight there was but a 100 or so people outside and they took us right in almost immediately following our arrival. Our spots were once again reserved in the same area as Final Resolution. We once again enjoyed ourselves beyond belief. It was awesome! At the end of the show, they did another Christmas autograph party. This time it was Kenny King and Wes Briscoe. And once again, they gave out Impact Wrestling shirts to everyone. Our last night with the boys had come, so we headed over to the restaurant. We got ragged on for showing up later than everyone else, so this time we made sure we got there earlier and found we were the first to arrive. :exasperated: Not too long after, others began to file in. We got ourselves some tables and I again enjoyed a ribeye steak. YUM! At one of the other tables, we noticed AJ Pierzynski sitting with a few of the guys. Eventhough others were marking out and doing it WRONG by bothering people while they were eating, we passed. Was hoping we might catch AJ outside for photo, but it was not to be. We said our goodbyes and headed back to the hotel. We would need to be up early to head to Tampa to catch the WWE coming in.
A short rest and Wed. morning came. We packed up and hit the road for Tampa, FL. Tampa was less than an hour and half and I was hoping to get Seth Rollins, who had finally made his WWE main roster debut. A slight fear of a “Nexus” response, did not deter me. I made sure to wear my Tyler Black tshirt for some extra fire power. LOL! We made it down in plenty of time and took our seats at the spot. The time had come. But before anyone even came down, we noticed the bags coming up first. WHAT?!! When do the bags beat the passengers?! We then saw Ricardo, an Uso, and Aksana come down. I went up to Ricardo to say hello. He was beat tired and looked like he shit his pants when he saw me, considering I was no where near my neck of the woods. I talked to him for a few minutes, as people were grabbing their bags and leaving. I needed Kofi, but did not make it over in time. DJ got him. Kaitlyn and AJ arrived, along with Justin Gabriel and Sandow. People were coming and going like lightning. I spotted Rollins coming, said my goodbyes and took off. Wasnt going to miss Rollins too. I grabbed my NXT program and photo with him and headed over. I politely asked him for an autograph and he said “anyone one wearing that shirt can have as many as he would like”. SCORE! I got to chit chat with him for a few minutes, eventhough he had his bags. I told him I play him on Words With Friends and Scramble With Friends, which he immediately said…”You’re CM Showstopper”. He was happy to put a face to the player. He told me he has played a lot of fans, but I am the only one he keeps playing cuz he likes a challenge and I kick his ass in Scramble With Friends. Words….he is an excellent player and we continually exchange wins back and forth and each game goes to the wire. We got to talk about him finally being called up and The Shield. I told him I found it strange watching him and Ambrose together after their feud in FCW. He said he had been enjoying himself, but was exhausted from this tour. During my chat, I missed Wade Barrett, Alicia Fox, Dean Ambrose (who was a top want for my NXT program) and a few others. I almost missed Roman Reigns, as I said goodbye to Rollins. I was able to catch him before he left and he signed my program. So far so good on “The Shield” not going the Nexus route.
Eventhough I only got 3 autos and a photo, it was satisfactory. I’m a big Rollins fan, so it worked out. It would have been nice to at least gotten Ambrose, but wasnt the end of the world. We packed our stuff up and hit the road. But we werent headed for Orlando….oh no. We were headed for Clearwater, FL……HOGAN’s BEACH SHOP! A mere 20 minutes down the road, we couldnt pass the chance up. When we arrived, we found the place closed. They did not open till 12. No biggie, less than an hour away. We sat outside and waited and it wasnt till 12:30 that this cute chick finally arrived to open the door. It wasnt anything special. It was sad at best. There was a little bit of memorobillia, but not much. There were a few TNA Hogan items, but mostly there were WWE replica masks, belts, John Cena shit, etc. It was more a wrestling store than a Hogan store. There were a few Hogan Beach Shop shirts, cups, mugs, lanyards, wallets and stuff…but nothing exciting. Its small and I doubt this thing is gonna stay in business very long. We spent about 20 minutes inside, before we decided to leave. We got back in the car and decided to look for food. Where we would stop would be PURE HELL! A place I will never eat at again and will lead a coalition for its demise.
So down the road a bit, DJ spots a Jimmy John’s. Yes, the same sponsor that supports Brock Lesnar. Never had it and wanted to see why Lesnar loved it so much. So we head inside to the devil’s den. Its a sandwich shop. Ok, cool. I love me a nice turkey sub. I love Quiznos….despise Subway. Mostly because Quiznos uses a higher quality bread and meat, while Subway uses fucking garbage. Welcome to a place that uses a worse quality meat than Subway. I looked over the menu and couldnt decide between the turkey and roast beef. I originally wanted turkey, but they made the roast beef sound really good and pictures also were making it look nice. I asked the sandwich maker and he suggested turkey, explaining that their turkey was high quality. I asked if I could sample a piece of the turkey and a piece of the roast beef to make my final decision. I was rebuffed! WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON?!!?! Quiznos and Subway let you sample. Taken a back, but not deterred, I order the turkey. Not knowing how juicy the meat would be and hating dry turkey…I ask for the mayo on the side. I am rebuffed again. They say they cannot put mayo on the side, as they dont have little cups for it. I must make my decision now. The sandwich maker says the turkey is juicy, so I pass. I ask for extra meat and find they put one VERY thinly slice piece of turkey on top of the sub. WHAT?!?!!? I pay for my order and sit down. I notice there is no salt and pepper on at the tables and begin to look for the condiment bar. There is none. I go back to the counter and ask for some salt and pepper packets. They have none. They explain Jimmy John’s doesnt believe in salt and pepper. :saswhat: WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON!?!?! Thats IT!!!! I put up with the no sampling. I understood the no mayo on the side. But no salt and pepper?!?!?!?!!? To add insult to injury, they offer to sprinkle the demon seed known as oregano on my sandwich. Why in the blue hell would I want oregano?! How the hell is that like salt?! This is UNREAL! To top it off, it was one of the worst sandwiches I have ever tasted and it cost $8. The meat was dry. The bread was stale. The veggies were wilted. The sub was small and had barely any meat on it. This was a crime against humanity. I highly suggest to every man, woman and child reading this….DO NOT…I repeat…DO NOT EAT JIMMY JOHNS! ITS THE DEVIL!!!!!!
After leaving the hellacious hole of dread, we continued back to Orlando. Perhaps it was the awful garbage of Jimmy Johns or perhaps it was just the trip catching up with me……but my eyes were getting very heavy about half way to Orlando. I was constantly nodding off, while DJ would try and keep me awake. The worst designated driver in the history of designated driving tried any and all tactics to keep me from falling asleep. Sadly, it was just a mile out from the hotel that it finally hit and I finally went down for the count. My eyes closed and I was down. I began to snore, as my hands remained locked on the wheel. In what I believe to be no more than 5 seconds, DJ freaked causing me to snap back awake and gather my wits. I exited off the highway and headed back to the hotel. Whatever tiredness I was feeling…..shaken from me. I was out like a light and I knew it.
Once we arrived back safely to the hotel, the trip was winding down to the end. This was our last night in Orlando. We went out exploring Orlando and finished our last meal at an amazing restaurant called Pollo Tropical. A cross between Taco Bell and Boston Market…the food was OUTSTANDING! I had the trio sampler that came with a mexican chicken grilled to perfection, a small rack of ribs and 4 spicy wings. I washed it down with a Mango Iced tea that was amazing. Pollo Tropical was fucking heaven. Words cannot describe just how good the food was here. I highly recommend it to everyone.
I enjoyed myself so much on this trip. I had so much fun, was thoroughly entertained, got to spend time with some cool ass people and really felt like TNA put the red carpet out for us. Autographs, photo ops, wrestling, good food and stories with memories that will last a lifetime. It was sad to leave Orlando, but at the same time…..I was happy to get home. Thank you for reading this extremely long diatribe. I hope it has entertained you as much as the adventure entertained me. And as always, enjoy the pics!