Harness the positive and block out the negative. That was the theme for the day.
My trip really began Sunday evening, when a good friend of mine tipped me off that since Raw was not in NJ, Smackdown guys were replacing them for Raw. WWE put 95% of the Smackdown guys in the tv hotel, a rarity. So what did this mean? In a word…….EDGE. The excitement overcame me, as it has been years since I had had a chance to have a good conversation with my all time favorite wrestler due to one thing or another. I was unable to sleep, as I needed to be up at 5am and by 3:30am, I gave up and prepared for the trip.
In what was supposed to be a simple 3hr. trip straight up 78 into East Rutherford, turned into a traffic nightmare. 4 hours later, sitting in traffic multiple times, we made it to the hotel. As we pulled in and got out of the car, we saw a few NXT guys walking out to their car. Justin Gabriel, David Otunga, Darren Young, and Wade Barrett. I quickly snapped a picture with Gabriel, as I admire his work since he was in FCW as Justin Angel. One of my buddies chatted it up with Darren Young, who was also in great spirits. Barrett was in his car before I could a picture with him and Otunga, clearly did not seem to want to be posing.
Inside, we found the normal cast of characters, ebay sellers and friends already waiting. We took a seat amongst the crowd of about 20 total guys. All was good. We spotted R Truth first, as he was headed into the gift shop. We waited until he was done and he was MORE than happy to pose for photos and sign graphs. I have never seen Truth in a bad mood and loves to interact with fans. Out of the entire roster of people I have met, Truth and Pat Patterson are two of the guys who love to roam around the hotel meeting people. Both super cool!
Gail Kim and Rosa were seen next, but they dashed down a hallway and I wasnt about to chase after them, considering I heard them turn a few folks down. Other people though…..well…..they do what they do I guess.
Next down was Kane. WHOAH! KANE! One of the harder guys to meet, Kane came down into the lobby and was immediately swarmed. But he turned no man away. Taking pics, signing graphs and doing his thing. My first time meeting him, got a pic. and graph and he was a quiet guy.
Unfortunately, this is when things turned sour. Not sure what prompted it, but either hotel guests or people from outside began to come inside and were out of control. A group of 20 turned into a crowd of 50. Kids upon kids, running through the hotel lobby, screaming and acting out of control and their parents standing idly by and getting pics with Kane. Unreal. Immediately, hotel security and management were on the scene and kicked everyone out of the lobby. He informed all those who were not guests had to leave the hotel and all those were guests were going to be confined to their rooms. WHAT?!?!?!? Confined to my room? What am I in prison? Not being a guest, I didnt really have any room to argue and vacated the hotel.
All was not lost though. A side exit to the hotel into the parking lot provided ample opportunity. We waited outside in the parking lot, as there was no valet parking here. Gail Kim came out and said hello and I asked for an autograph and she said no problem. She loaded her bags in the car and Rosa came out from Starbucks and did the same. Both signed autos and seemed ok, but rush. Neither would take pics as they said “we look ugly. we have no makeup on. and these are gonna be on the internet and i dont want to be ugly.” Hey….whatever. I was happy with the graphs.
Once again hotel management was out and informed us that we were not allowed to harrass the hotel guests. I said I absolutely agree and that anyone who does that should be arressted. I informed him, we were not harassing and the wrestlers seemed to not have issue with it. He insisted that we leave and goto our car.
Harness the positive and block the negative. So we did just that…..we went to our cars and promised to not harass. At this point we saw NJ Police arrived. Evidently, others were not playing as nice and NJ police came in and began to talk to some of those guys from inside, ejecting them from the property with threats of arrest, including hotel guests. Real great PR move there. From ebay guys, to middle aged men, to a family of 4…..all were threatened, guest or no guest. All were ejected from the property.
Hiding out in the car, we pressed on. But with the cops in the picture, we had to be a little more selective. Luke Gallows was next. Luke is cool when Punk is not around. So we saw the coast was clear, approached Luke and got some graphs. We wished him a good show and ran before Punk spotted us. CM Punk and Beth Phoenix, holding hands might I add, come out next, as Gallows heads inside to get coffee. Before Gallows did that, he moved the car closer to the hotel. Punk and Beth are one row from us and start looking around, like they are lost. We can clearly hear Punk yelling about how the car is missing. Trying to be the <gulp>”nice” guy that I am…..I shout out to Punk that Gallows moved the car and pointed to how it was just 2 down from us. Punk snarled, looking right at me. He called Gallows and began yelling at him. Luke comes running out and points to the car….just like I had. Punk and Beth have words, as they load their bags. Oh Punk…..you silly, silly man.
As much as I would love to have gotten Punk, I knew not to ask b/c of the issues with the cops. I had heard at Fan Axxess in Phoenix, he told some 7yr. old to “fuck off”, before being admonished by Beth who then prompty apologized to the kid’s father. So no chance for Punk.
Saw DH and Natty next, who are always nice. But hotel security was in the lot at that moment and we were holding out Edge. We couldnt take the chance that cops would say anything to us. So we had to pass on them. Dean Malenko went inside, but once again did not want to take a chance, as Dean can a jerk at times.
Harnessing the positive and blocking the negative was about to get REALLY tough. It was around 12:30pm and hotel security approached us, sitting in the car. They asked us if we were guests. I explained to him and honestly, we were waiting for one of their guests to come down and he should be out shortly. We were gonna give him a ride. He asked me who was the guest? Adam Copeland, I responded. He went inside to check the reservation. Now what? Would he buzz Edge’s room and tell him 3 guys are waiting on him and to hurry it up? Or would he see that this was a WWE room and just kick us out? We figured it was time for a new plan. So we left the parking lot and and drove around the corner to an adjacent hotel.
Noticing a trail that leads right into the parking lot of the former hotel, we had a decent view of the lot. Most cars had cleared out, so it shouldnt be too hard to spot anyone. We noticed a limo close by. My buddy went down and talked to the driver and he explained he was waiting for Chris Jericho, who was doing a signing about an hour away. He said that he had to pickup Chris at the front door at 1pm. Damn! Clearly, we would not be able to seek out an autograph, right?
We stayed off the property and waited. Spotted Jerry Lawler and a buddy of mine wanted a pic. We went over and in typical Jerry fashion, he was super nice. He posed for the photo and I had a chance to ask him if he was coming to Hershey, PA next week, as he promised to ride the rides with us last time. He said he would not be , but wanted to know if the park was even open yet. I told him I wasnt sure and he said that the next time that he most definitely would. Walking away, I felt dumb, as its Smackdown thats in Hershey next week. :-/
Next out was a trio and it was Mickie James, Serena and Yoshi Tatsu. First, let me start by saying……WOW! Mickie James was looking FINE! My one friend was a little zealous in meeting Mickie and I think it annoyed her. Being the charismatic sweet talker I am, I quickly resolved the situation by commenting on how her mustang was sexy like her. LOL!! She smiled and immediately started chatting about how it was a rental, but it was nice and so on and so forth. My other friend got a pic. with Serena, but I missed out as I was chatting it up with Mickie. When I turned around, Serena was already in the car so I got another pic. with Yoshi and snagged a graph from Mickie, but could tell she was in a hurry so I did not want to bother her for a photo. Though seeing as hot as she was, I think I took the wrong one.
Almost immediately following their departure, which Mickie did honk at us, as she drove past, we spotted Khali standing by Jericho’s limo. Strange, cuz we thought he was India. Then Jericho came out was talking to Khali. Khali was grunting at Jericho….or maybe he was talking. :-/ I didnt want to take a chance at heading to front of the hotel, but my friend DJKnightRida iniated it and took the ball and ran. He headed to the front, determined to get Jericho, so I followed in toe. Jericho was in a hurry, but said he would sign for us, just no pics. He was nice, but jumped into the limo right after. Khali also signed and took pics. We scurried away and back into the parking lot. It was becoming very empty out there and Natty/DH’s car was still there. So we sat down in that area and waited. Tyson Kidd came out, who we had no seen yet and went to Natty/DH’s car. In typical Hart Dynasty fashion, he couldnt have been nicer. Signing autos and taking pics. He said Bret was stuck in Europe and was hoping for him to be in NJ. He also mentioned how they were probably going to hold off on the whole Bret proclaiming “Miz Show” the best tag team storyline for a few weeks. Interesting tidbit.
Harness the positive and block out the negative was gonna pay off. Faith, my friends. Faith. The moment had come alive, as Edge made his grand entrance. He headed for his car with his traveling companion, who is going to remain nameless, but is someone who works for WWE. I approached him and was hoping, after 11 years or so, he might remember me. Alas, he apologized and said I looked familiar but he was not sure. I gave him some more details and then he said things were starting to come back. He apologized again and said its been too many chair shots. Pics, autos, the whole nine yards……Edge continues to be the nicest guy I have ever met in wrestling.
Standing outside his car, he asked what I had been up to in the past 11 years and told us a story about this guy and how bad his memory is. He said that after he got off the plane in NJ, some guy came up to him and told him his wife was in the hospital and was very sick. He asked Edge for a ride to the hospital or $11.50 for cab money. Edge gave him a $20 and wished him the best. The guy left. Then when he woke up yesterday, Edge remembered the last time he flew into NJ……that had happened to him……AND IT WAS THE SAME GUY! He couldnt believe it. This guy has 40 of Edge’s dollars! And he said the next time he flies in NJ, he suspects he will then have 60 of Edge’s dollars. Edge asked if we were coming down to Baltimore for the PPV and we said we were. He told us to look him up when we get there and he promised he wont forget. LOL!! We told him we were doing the whole loop and he said we would catch up then and he had to head to the arena, as it was almost 2pm by this time. We said our goodbyes and off we went, as excited and as excited can be. Looking at my photo, there was clear evidence of just how much I was acting like a 5 year old mark. I could not contain my excitement.
And that was our adventure at the hotel. A lot of work, but a lot of quality stuff. Always a good time. But the day was not over. No, no. B/c Chris Jericho’s signing was next on our to do list.
We headed over to Vintage Vinyl for Jericho and went around back to the line. We got there about an hour before the signing and there were maybe 15 people in line. So it was all good. I had bought 3 cds to ensure I got a few items done, as it was supposed to be 1 extra for each cd and a photo. Jericho ended up running a little late and had to goto RAW, so they said no photos. Big dissapointment, as that was most important for me. They did make up for it when they said that we could each get 2 autos per cd bought and it didnt have to be the cd. OH WOW! Finally someone with common sense. Why should I get the cd signed? I paid for it. I dont want it signed. I’m fine with opening it so I cant return it, but I still dont want it signed. So I was able to get my 8X10, my Bragging Rights chair, WM 25 program, 2009 program and 2009 Summer Slam all done. I neglected to get 1 cd signed, which turned out to be my loss. Oh well. Jericho was nice, but clearly in a rush.
Another success for us! And this time, we had to earn it. LOL!!! But almost all the wrestlers were in great spirits, very glad to be home.
P.S……our trip closed out as we had dinner at Sonic in Harrisburg, PA. And the streak of weird shit happening to us continued. As we pulled in, one of the Sonic staff members was seated outside. He took off his shoe and then proceeded to SET IT ON FIRE!!!! I dont mean a small flame, I mean an inferno engulfing the entire shoe. He leaped to his feet and started jumping up and down on the shoe in an attempt to put it out. Several seconds later, he was finally able to put it out…….but we could not stop laughing and it reminded me of Tim Robbins in Nothing To Lose. WOW!