*NOTE: This story does not take place in Brazil, but rather in an undisclosed location, as WWE was headed for Brazil.*
This is the story of one of my more successful adventures in marking out. Not measured in numbers, but by quality of names vs. pressing item to be done. My good buddy Honest Dave, please pray for him as his cancer has returned, headed down to our nation’s capital for the Raw crew’s flight to Brazil. Dave called this a checkmark on his bucket list. We arrived in PLENTY of time, but it gave us an opportunity to scope the place out. Not the first time being here, but always want refamiliarize myself with the lay of the land. Once we did that, we took a seat and waited for first sign of life. It was a good hour and half in and we spotted our first sign. Charles Robinson. It took Charles quite awhile before he got his bag checked, as it wasnt as easy as you would think to figure out how to goto Brazil. 20mins later he was all set. He saw us sitting off to the side and came over to say hello. Nice to see Charles again and we wished him well on his trip.
It was soon after that one of the headliner’s was coming through…..John Cena. Oh boy! Recent reports, as recent as this past weekend, were Cena was in a foul mood. I’m never one to fear being told no. Asking someone for an autograph is just that…..what are they gonna do, club me over the head like a baby seal? Of course not. Once Cena was done checking in, I headed over to him with my WM 27 program and politely asked him for an autograph. He stopped….looked at me and looked at what I wanted signed. He reached for the Sharpie and signed it. Dave didnt need anything and really just wanted a photo, so he got my WM 28 program done and I took his photo. Cena spotted my…..um….cane and started the theme of the night of…..”Curt Hawkins’ Cane?” What I failed to mention that my #1 want was Curt Hawkins. Hawkins hooked me up with the person who sold him his cane and I was able to get the exact replica. I brought it in hopes of getting Hawkins to sign it, along with my 5 other items. LOL! But I digress. Cena spotted the cane and asked if I had had an accident and hurt myself? I told him no and then realized my cane was in my bag. I told him it was a Hawkin’s Replica cane. I told him I was a huge Hawkins fan. His eyes kind of got wide and he smiled…..”so you’re his 1 fan”? Wished him a safe flight and Cena was off. WOW! Cena and Punk were the 2 biggest names on the roster for today and we scored 1 right off the bat. 2 Cena’s….my top 2 items for him….done.
Not long after was R Truth and Mike Chioda. Had nothing for either and they too had trouble with checking in. While they were trying to figure out how to get on the plane, Epico and Primo were up next. I blundered when I spotted Epico and asked Dave “Is that Epico or Primo? I cant tell…..they all look alike”. And then Primo walked right by me. Dave thought it was rich coming from me.
Now all 4 were having trouble with check in….oh boy. Its really not their fault either. It was crazily set up. Finally they were done and all 4 looked like they were coming at once. Not sure what happened, but the Colons stopped and it was just Truth and Chioda coming now. Got a photo with Truth just for kicks, he too spotted the cane. “Hey man….dat Curt Hawkin’s cane?” Snapped the pic with me and the cane….and Truth was off.
Primo and Epico were coming over now. Had nothing for Epico, but wouldnt have minded for a group photo. Had 1 for Primo, but my auto sealed the fate on the group photo. Primo stopped, Epico left and I got a pic and auto. “nice cane.” Not long after, another big want of mine came up and it was Dolph Ziggler with Zack Ryder. They headed over to check in and once again had quite the issue. Now here is where our little tale begins to go south. They left the check in booth they were supposed to check in at….same one Cena, Charles Robinson, Truth, Primo and Epico all did and went to another. We fully expected them back, but they didnt come back. So we headed for the other booth, the one that actually made sense…..and NOW they were checking in. OH NO!! Now there are 2 places to check in where there was only 1 before. So we had to station ourselves at security. We waited for them, as they started to head over. But suddenly, they ducked down another corridor and were gone. I went over to see where they went and found them headed for security. I had to head back, get my stuff and…..it was too late. They were through. NOOOOOO!!!!!! Not Ziggler!!!!!!!!!
We were about to try and find more of a middle ground, when Kelly Kelly came up the elevator with what seemed to be luggage for 8. HOLY CRAP!! She headed for the same booth as Ziggler and Ryder. Oh no! We also spotted Alex Riley come in and he went to the original booth. 2 booths are handling check in….just depends which booth you goto.
After Riley left, I turned and started to head back but spotted Punk motoring towards security. OH NO!!!! Where’s my item?!?!?! By stroke of luck I actually had my WM 28 program in hand. I turned and headed for Punk, while Dave stood probably pissing himself. C’mon!!! I politely asked Punk for an autograph and he stopped, looked at me, looked at the item and signed my program. I turned to see if Dave had joined me….sadly, he was watching from afar and Punk was gone. No picture.
We did our best to keep an eye on both. Naomi and Cameron also were checking in with Kelly Kelly and then Mason Ryan strolled through. Riley started heading for security. Headed over towards Riley and he spotted me right away. He smiled and said “Man I see you everywhere. Tell me your secret….how do you know exactly when each time?” Ummmm… ”Is that Curt Hawkins’ cane?” Got a picture with Riley, wished him a safe flight and headed back to check on Kelly. She seemed to be no further complete then when she arrived. Normally, Kelly is not a big need. But WM 28 program is one of my major projects and I needed her in it. Tick, tick and here comes Mason Ryan, as we spotted Otunga and Laurinitas headed to other booth. Got a pic with Mason, as I havent gotten one with him before. Wished him a safe flight and off he went. Kelly was still checking in, as Laurinitas with full crutches comes hobbling to security. We started to approach him, but felt I would not make it there in time. Called out to him, about 10 feet away and he saw turned, looked at us. Abandoned the crutches and took off through security. really?! 2 of us and now you looked like you were blessed by Tim Tebow and were healed.
Joe Hennig came in and headed for check in. Checked on Kelly and she was still struggling away. Spotted Brodus as well headed for the original booth. Both his dancers were done and I was able to get Cameron in WM 28, as she was the only missing one I needed from that page. Checked on Kelly and she looked pooped tired and still wasnt moving. At this point, the stars seemed to have aligned, b/c low and behold Dolph Ziggler reappeared. He headed back to the booth and few minutes later he walked right over to us. I got him on both my pressing items, WM 27 and WM 28 programs. Thunderous success! Oh so lucky….. and a picture and a “Wait a minute….why do you have Curt Hawkins’ cane?” DAMN!!! Knew I forgot something. Wanted to get that in the picture and failed. Oh well. Safe flight and Dolph was gone.
By this time Brodus was headed for security and we missed him. Oh well. Spotted Jericho arriving. He saw us and said hello, as he headed for check in. Looked over and saw Kelly WAS STILL checking in. At this point, we are going on 40 freaking minutes. Kofi Kingston started to head towards security….so we hustled over and got Kofi….WM 28 and a picture and….”Does Curt Hawkins know you have his cane?” Kofi wanted to check it out….so he did. “Thats not the real cane. Curt’s head is loose.” ”The cane’s head is loose.” Kofi laughed and headed out.
Otunga, who seemed to have dissappeared,returned and headed our way. Got a picture with him and “whats with the cane?” I told him it was Curt Hawkins’ cane…which he promptly shook his head at. Yeah…..dude with a coffee mug is going to shake his head at a cane. Bye Otunga. Though strangely, he didnt head to security. Instead, someone tapped him on the shoulder and he went down the escalators to baggage claim. Never saw him at security.
Finally, it seemed like Kelly was finishing up. She started to gather herself and headed our way. Got Kelly on my WM 28 program and let her be on her way. No Hawkins cane comment. Jericho finished up and came right over to us. He was happy to sign and take pics, but insisted on a personalization. No problem for me, I prefer it, but dont always want to trouble someone for it…especially in a program. If it was an 8×10, poster or whatever….I would have asked. Got the picture and the auto. “That’s a sweet cane. Does Hawkins know you have it?” Jericho was off and that just leaved 3 AWOL. Beth Phoenix, JTG and……. Curt Hawkins. How could this be? We waited another half hour and then Punk tweeted and that they were waiting to board the plane and he was with Curt Hawkins. NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!
Got no explanation on how I missed him…none whatsoever. Best guess would be in the fiasco with Ziggler/Ryder. With the quality of names, gets and now being a measley 4 names (HHH, UT, Michelle McCool and Trish Stratus) away from completing WM 27 program and 7 names from completing WM 28…..it worked out really well. I love these trips when there are just a couple of marks there…..you just cant beat it.
Sadly, after we left and headed up the road…back in Maryland, we got wind that the flight was cancelled and all the talent headed right back up to where we were.
Even with the 3 misses, we struck gold. Like a leprechaun and the end of the rainbow. Autos, pictures and another successful mis adventure.