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QOTD 16: I'd go a little later, I'd go a little later, and when I got there, he was gone.

Mornin' Blog Otters, today's question is actually about wrestling! I know, I'm shocked too. In fact, not only is it about wrestling, it's about wrestlers! And seeing them in person with your own eyeballs! The question comes from Mr. McLoone, who asks:

What was your best experience meeting a wrestler? If you've never met a wrestler, what was your best experience at a live event?


I love indie gigs but never get to go because none of my buddies are wrestling fans - and the video production on most of them tend to be icky - I'll have to see if I can bug my videographer friend for an interview to explain what makes good wrestling TV. That said, I went to the Smackdown where they "Got the old Stone Cold" back years ago, and attended two indie wrestling shows in Fall River, Ma.- both of which were totally wild, and I wrote about on this very blog.

But I'm actually going to make this about a wrestler I've *avoided* meeting, for kind of silly reasons. To explain I think I need to write at length at about something I've been meaning to for awhile now, so bear with me.

My dream in life is to make my way as a writer, or some other creative-y person. While I always was a creative kid, playing with Legos, using my imagination, and so on, It wasn't until Christmas of 99', at the age of 12, that I realized how much I loved it, and 7 years later until I acted on it.

This is entirely the fault of Mrs. Foley's baby boy.


1999 was a time of increasing vulgarity in pop culture. 1999 brought kids Eminem, Korn, Limp Bizkit, Marilyn Manson, The South Park Movie, Britney Spears, Sable, and a whole bunch of other material that probably wasn't appropriate for young eyes, but we ate up anyway - though the most objectionable content sailed right over our heads. Couple that with the emergence of the Internet, and, well, it was real easy for a kid to feel 'mature' and needlessly angsty beyond their years. But it thankfully was lost on me. Marilyn Manson scared the fuck out of me, I thought Korn was noise, Limp Bizkit was cool when not screaming, Eminem was brilliant but kind of embarrassed me, and I thought it was abhorrent that Britney Spears had to get breast implants to be 'popular'.

Perhaps to be 'popular' themselves, some kids I grew up with started wearing black clothing, spiking their hair, sporting chains and leather jackets, calling their parents by their first names and referring to them via 4 letter colorful metaphors. I didn't think these kids were assholes, or dicks, or 'populars', just different and kind of weird. I didn't feel like an outcast, but I didn't feel particularly 'accepted', either, just that there weren't a lot of kids my age I could relate too. I was into Tom Clancy and John Grisham. Anything targeted toward kids, even discreetly, I tended to avoid simply because I figured it would be watered down or inadvertently condescending - So I guess I was rebelling in my own little way. But still, a part of me wondered why I wasn't into same culture as my friends. Was there something wrong with me? Was I the immature one? Uncool? Weird? It wasn't a big deal, but it needled at me.

All the stuff that my friends and peers liked seemed so abrasive. I was happy watching Star Trek reruns, Roseanne, playing video-games, discovering the incredible world of PC abandonware, drawing badly, and being nice to my parents because I thought that's sort of what you're supposed to do. It didn't make sense to be angry all the time, especially if I wasn't, so there was a lack of common ground.

The common ground we all seemed to have in common though was wrestling - caught up in the attitude era like millions of other kids in thousands of other schools, in hundreds of other places. Some bought into Kayfabe, thinking everything but the finish of a match was staged, or saying that the Stone Cold v. Vinny Mac stuff was obviously real. Kids wore DX shirts with the the S*ck It covered in black tape, and others were simply obsessed with the Nitro Girls. I was ravenous for insider info on my new found passion, learned as much about 'the business' as I could, yahoo searching (no Google) everything I could find, reading columns on wrestlezone.com by guys like Tom Zenk, and stumbling across Extreme Warfare 9000 - which is a story for another day, and became a guru as quickly as I could. I introduced terms like "Face" and "Heel" to my friends who didn't know what they were. 

The memories of the wrestling I watched during this time is foggy. Crystal Clear images exist, but their timeline is jumbled up in the nebulous cloud of nostalgia. I remember Lions Den matches. I remember Mick Foley winning the World Title. I remember Sting's habit of being 'woozy' then dropping a head-butt to the nads of an opponent in one of the funniest spots I can remember.

But I don't remember if Mick Foley was my favorite wrestler at the time. I do remember that when he won his first World Championship one fateful night in Boston, all my friends were talking about how cool DX was, while I was joyful that the kind of scruffy, uncool, underdog, was on top of the proverbial heap - even if needed help from a 'cool' kid to do it. From that point forward, I was hooked.

My parents must have seen that proverbial hook jutting out of my cheek, and I received Mr. Foley's "Have a Nice Day" that Christmas, probably figuring if I'm going to like this crap, I might as well get a hint of scholastic merit out of the endeavor. At the risk of sound melodramatic, I was never the same again.

This tome was so up my alley it could balance bowling pins on my nose. It was accessible but smart. Sophomoric but sweet. Honest but humble. Unabashedly dorky, and it was living proof that if you work hard enough, and apply yourself, regardless of what people tell you, or what you tell yourself on nights when you question your place in the world, you can absolutely do anything you set your mind too - and most importantly you can be polite and nice to people while doing it. So much of my sense of humor, writing style, delivery, and world view came from it.

I read it fully by the time Christmas Vacation was over - choosing it over the smattering of video-games and other toys I received. God, I've probably read it more than a dozen times in 15 years since it was given to me, and skimmed through it dozens more, and it holds a place of honor in my bathroom reading rotation to this very day.  When I moved to Chicago I refused to take it with me because I couldn't risk losing it. I'm not a nostalgic guy, but if my house caught on fire I know what I'd save first.

"Have a Nice Day" was inspirational during a time where inspiration wasn't a thing you actively sought out. As I waddled awkwardly into adult hood, every time I've thought about blowing up this whole 'being creative for a living' thing, I think back to how Mr. Foley slept in his fucking car, and ate peanut butter sandwiches for his dreams. Every time I lament the fact I'm not paid for writing, I think about how Mr. Foley would happily fall on his head over and over and over again for something like 15 dollars a night. Every time I'm rejected by a pretty girl, or told I'm soooo sweet but not their type, I think about how Mr. Foley landed a 'smoking hot wife' with his dorky charm, a Neil Diamond song ("Forever in Blue Jeans"), and not much else - which is actually the line from the book if I recall correctly. When something goes wrong for me, I remember Mick Foley broke Johnny Ace's arm, got an ear chopped off, lost two teeth, and broke bones on his way to becoming a legend.


It grew with me, too. As I aged, some of the jokes made more sense, more of the themes came out, the struggles of purpose and self doubt became all the more relevent. The names grew more familiar, too. Johnny Ace, Ric Flair, Dennis Knight, Terry Gordy, Kevin Sullivan, Ole Anderson, and so many other people I barely knew when I was 12, suddenly became people I could seek out, and enjoy, and have reverence for.

But not as much reverence as I had for the book itself, which is seared into my psyche. The story of the time Mr. Foley and Steve Austin putting cookies in DDP's bed, how Mr. Foley found himself a bit lost in the shuffle as audiences started to cheer the 'cool' bad guys and boo the guys who were 'doing the right thing', how it's written in this stream-of-consciousness style that was easy to read and hard to forget. How it ends in such a way that the entire dang book is essentially a true-life fairytale.

Thanks in part to that fairytale inspiration "Have a Nice Day" gave me at a most impressionable age, I've been blessed to meet many of the people who have inspired me since: Roger Ebert, who was the first fat guy I ever saw on television being respected for his opinion, was my boss for awhile. Ed Ferrara who wrote Raw during the Attitude Era was a teacher. Aaron Sorkin whose words I listened to over and over and over so I could write snappy dialog, and whose West Wing taught me so much about the way our world works, was interviewed by me.The Barenaked Ladies signed a hat at a free show that I was literally front and center for. Morgan Spurlock, who makes documentaries that are about entertaining and informing, let me make a joke about his iconic facial hair. David Chappelle, who directed some of the best episodes of "The Wire" dropped in on a class I took with his wife.

But "Have A Nice Day" is more important to me than the lot of em' combined. In a round-a-bout way it showed me that the man I wanted to be was a viable option. I didn't need to be angry, or brutal, or handsome, or disrespect people in order to achieve my dreams and goals. It showed me please and thank you are virtuous even if you're a guy who hits other guys in the head for a living. It showed me that being tough isn't about muscle mass and tear away muscle shirts - it comes from the heart, and the only way to bulk up is to keep at your given dream forever.

Now it's not like this book was the ONLY thing that inspired me to follow my dreams, I've had wonderful parents and mentors and friends that have encouraged me and let me march to the beat of my own song - even if they didn't quite hear the rhythm themselves. But that damn book showed me it was possible for a guy like me to do it. If you want to be special, you can be - no matter who you are.

Even now, as I'm as far removed from my past creative glories as I ever have been, I take solace in the fact Foley, too, had this high points in WCW before having to go over to Japan and take barbed wire shots to the back and face to make a living. Hell, he was...31 before he truly hit the big-time in WWE. Being 27 now, it's comforting to know there is hope yet.

I guess I feel like the I owe em' something? I think for people to have...balance, or purpose, or drive they need to believe in something. Some have religion, have music, some have military service or a dedication to their career, whatever it is, you find your proverbial personal Jesus and you believe in it forever. I'm not saying this book is my Jesus.  My Jesus is the pride I take in optimism that this book validates. My optimism, my dedication to believing people are fundamentally...well meaning, and while there are bad apples and bad days and things that piss us off to no end and cause us to lash out in ways we shouldn't, I try as hard as I can to see every side of the coin, and push forward in my own shoes completely aware everyone's pair is different. "Have a Nice Day" validates my particular brand of loafers.

Most creatively minded people, as they grow older, become more cynical or weary for the world. Mark Twain and Kurt Vonnegut. Mick Foley, of whom I read far more pages then either of those two, is taking videos of his kids doing wrestling moves on trampolines, supporting RAINN, which is a charity probably NO one wants to talk about at parties, and is pushing to fund a documentary about Santa Claus.  I could hope to be so lucky.

I also understand I probably sound like a whack job, and it's something I kind of think about whenever I skim through 'Have a Nice Day' for the umpteeth time, or cite his somewhat anecdotal research into steroids and PEPs, or post on this very blog singing the guy's praises like he paid me. But I'm not obsessed as much as I am enthusiastic.

But getting back to the question, now that Mr. Foley is doing these nationwide comedy tours, and comes around my area pretty often, I've avoided going. First because I'd be going by myself and there's nothing like buying a single ticket to a wrestling event to ding the ole self confidence, and two, I wouldn't know what to say. I mean, I could easily say "Hey, thanks," shake his hand, pay my money, get my battle worn first edition copy of "Have a Nice Day" - juice, coffee, smooshed bug stains and all, signed, and bounce, leaving the importance of the artist's art between the art and myself, and that's probably the most sane choice, and what I'd most likely do.

But I also never got the chance to tell Roger Ebert how big of an influence he was on me either, and it's something I really regret. How do you articulate to a man with no voice how much his words meant to you? I do have an e-mail from him where he said I had a gift for editing, but I never communicated how many of his reviews I read, or how often I'd mine them for concepts, ideas, or quotes I could use to illustrate my own in countless essays, papers, or posts - and the opportunity was right there.


But at the same time - I'd rather wait. Wait for what? I don't know. Greatness? Job Security? Self fulfillment? An Emmy? I have no clue. With wrestlers you never know how long they'll be around, and what you'll get when you meet them. My only other interactions with these guys have been getting a death stare from Spike Dudley when I tripped and almost pulled down a curtain - almost ruining a show, and saluting Sargent Slaughter at an indie gig.

Still, I think I'll wait on meeting Mr. Foley, at least a little longer, reading "Have a Nice Day" every now and then when my soul needs a boost, making the occasional twitter quip, or Facebook comment in the guy's direction, subtly letting on, but never properly communicating what his book and world-view meant to my development as a mostly well adjusted human being that's completely aware he's maybe just a bit too obsessed with a book about an awkward kid who chased after his dreams and caught them with both hands, for his own good.

Then again, the book has done quite a lot good for my own good, so who knows.

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Blog Otter Award: Mister_E_Mah for getting some quality post-slumber sex in the other day...picsorit didnthappen




1. Darn it, I went and over shared again. Ah well, honestly I always wanted to get 'on record' how much the thing had meant to me, and I figure the only place I could do it and not be laughed out of the state would be this here blog. Also, selfishly I'm in the whole "QOTD" thing to 1) interact with you cool cat-otters, and 2) force myself to write something every day. Hopefully you enjoyed, but if you skimmed, or ignored, that's cool too.

2. PS if any New Englanders are up for hitting up some Beyond Wrestling shows or tackling the next Raw or Smackdown that comes through town, lemme know in the comments!

3. I would like to apologize again for the above post, in which I spent thousands of words setting up the answer to an opened ended question I managed to answered incorrectly.

Comments

  1. Don't worry about the inevitable Internet Tidal Wave that will overwhelm this thread Ant: Message received and appreciated on this end.

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  2. The only time I remember meeting a wrestler was a Ric Flair book signing at a Borders in New Hampshire. I had a terrible cold, so I just did my best to not sneeze or breathe on the beat-up old man with the bandaged head. He barely noticed I was there, because he was flirting in a really over-the-top way with the (shall we say, rather large) girl in line in front of me, much to everyone's amusement.


    Also: the best stand-up shows I've been to, I was always by myself. Because I want to listen to the guy on stage, not to whoever's sitting next to me; it's like, "Yeah, you're a pretty funny guy, but I can listen to what you have to say tomorrow. So shut the fuck up so I can hear the professional."

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  3. davidbonzaisaldanamontgomerySeptember 24, 2013 at 2:47 AM

    Roger Ebert is the reason I wanted to become a writer.


    Although I've met plenty of really nice wrestlers (Victoria, maVen, Rico), none of them compare to being in the crowd for MITB 1, Angle/Michaels, Punk/Brock, or Bryan/Cena. Also, as an admitted fan of the WHAT chant, I finally got to participate in a well-synched one at SS during Sandow's promo, so I can cross that off my bucket list. But I don't think anything tops YESing all night with the crowd at Staples last month.

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  4. Just thinking about it makes me laugh.


    In 2005, Im hustling to the airport because me and the missus wanna have some pre-departure sex.


    Right as I get out the car in a wheelchair is Sheiky Baby... The Iron Sheik, to which I reply.


    "Holy shit its the Iron Sheik!"


    My girl snaps a picture of us (i have used it as my av for a while) and I proceed to get checked in.


    I sit down and put on my tunes and Sheik is getting wheeled down to my gate. Let me tell you, he is "on"


    Sank You, Sank You. quick head-bowing and all that. Now mind you I am freshly "smart" by this point but theres a wrestler not 15 ft from me. So Im still marking out in my head. SHould I go, Should I just chill out?


    Fuck it.


    I give Sheik a bro-space and start chatting. I ask him about losing the title to that jabroni Hulk Hogan and he goes into a mini-rant, calling him a fag and I try to hold it in. Then I ask about Brian Blair, He goes into another rant, and I lose it.


    Then it turns sour, Sheik pulls out like 3 8x10s of him with Freddie Blassie and the title and tells me 20 bucks all three. I wanted to say "Sheik, you trying to work me" but I didn't cuz I remember hearing how wrestlers hate when they use insider terms, so I just said "I aint even got no money on me Sheik" He gave me 2 of the pix for free. I lied about having money though.


    So yes, I worked the Iron Sheik!

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  5. Something about Foley.... something about Ebert.... Wow man I'm parked in the middle of nowhere with a broken down car waiting for a tow with literally nothing but time and I can't bring myself to read all that.

    I met Bret Hart once. He had his WWF World title. I said "Nice belt." He said "Thanks."

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  6. tl;dr

    http://themetapicture.com/things-are-somehow-different-in-canada/

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  7. I haven't been to a live show in years, but back in the day (93-95) I'd meet wrestlers all the time at the Hammerstein Raw tapings. Most of the experiences were probably too brief to consider remembering. I do remember sneaking into one of the old Hall Of Fame dinners (pre-arena days) and joking around with George The Animal Steel (AYYYY) and alos running into Marty Janetty in the men's room.

    My favorite experience, however was attending the very first Shotgun Saturday Night in '97. I heard about it that same day, so I went to the show straight from work with my work clothes still on. Back then I worked at Planet Hollywood... Right after a GREAT show (Marlena!!!) I met Rocky Maivia just walking through the crowd. Dude started snapping on my clothes.. so I snapped on his "Jherri Curl" hairdo.. he laughed and we had a good 5 minute conversation on Black people's hairstyles, Coming To America and New Edition songs. He was a really cool and down to Earth.. I had no clue he'd be a mega-star a few years later.

    The pic: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=56357052246&set=a.56353137246.92307.539582246&type=3&theater

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  8. Meeting the Ultimate Warrior was my coolest meeting experience. Some others who were also pretty cool were Hulk, Lawler, Jericho, Flair, Steiner Brothers, Terry Funk, Ron Simmons and Lex.

    Some who were more in the Ahole category were Foley, HBK, Bret and DiBiase.

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  9. Meeting Stone Cold backstage at the UK version of MTV TRL (my best mates sister so happened to be the head producer for the show at the time) in Jan 2004 just before the Rumble. We spoke for about 20 mins without actually talking about wrestling (other than I knew Benoit would win the Rumble for sure, which he agreed with). Topics of discussion were what his favourite non American beer was,and a rather heated but fun football/soccer debate... the absolute highlight though was when I asked him to hit me with the Stone Cold stunner and how it was some sort of giddy fans dream... he didn't hit me with it but he mimicked it in slow motion (I remember even a loose headlock for the stunner hurting!)... I was like a kid in a candy store, I just (sorta) got stunned by Stone Cold Steve Austin. Also got some signed copies of his new book at the time and sold them on ebay, so a really good day all round!

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  10. Would it kill you to just write a question with a paragraph or two of reasoning? You're long winded as fuck and its really off putting seeing a thesis written on some stupid subject as the one time you almost got into a fight or when you got friend-zoned in the 10th grade.

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  11. You were such a precocious child! You should write a book about it! It would be original!

    I'd love to offer input but I forgot what the question was. I'm a bad Otter.

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  12. Heyyy, I got comment of the day way back when there was such a thing, and now an honest to goodness Blog Otter award. I'm somebody, damnit!

    Went to a TNA show and met James Storm and Billy Gunn briefly in the bar. They both stopped for pics but Billy was kind of a douche about it. That was my only wrestler meeting.

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  13. Dude the question is always in big bold print at the top. You dont have to read the entire thing. Hes done a good job with QOTD.

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  14. I know I've mentioned this before, but this is the perfect place to repeat it:

    Growing up, my grandmother was friends with a woman that ran sports-memorabilia shows; there would usually be a celebrity or two at these shows signing autographs, and when that celebrity happened to be a wrestler, I was allowed to spend the day with them. This included all of the pre- and post-appearance time, when the wrestler was just chilling in the green room. I also acted as a gopher for them, running off and getting them whatever food they wanted.

    Off the top of my head, I got to basically spend the day with Bam Bam Bigelow, Doink (Ray Apollo), Dink (Tiger Jackson), Ted Dibiase, King Kong Bundy, and The Metal Maniac; I also got to spend some time with Ax, Razor Ramon, and Jimmy Snuka, and I'm pretty sure there are one or two others that I'm forgetting.

    Bigelow, Apollo, Jackson, Dibiase, and Bundy were all incredible; I spent hours with them, asking them a million questions at a time when I was still teeter-tottering on just how "real" wrestling was. I understood that the matches themselves were fixed, but I still thought that a lot of the guys were basically "playing themselves" on TV - I figured the big scary bullies on TV would be big scary bullies in real life. Turned out to be quite the opposite, as it was the heels that seemed to most enjoy talking to kids. Nothing against the faces, but the heels seemed to revel in having young kids like me tell them how Bret Hart was going to make them pay. I remember spending hours and hours just asking them a million questions, and blowing some of their minds by knowing so many of their real names (I subscribed to "New Wave Wrestling" at the time); the five guys I mentioned above all had so much patience and obviously loved speaking with fans. Doink even let me wear his big clown jacket, and showed me how he applied his face paint. And I'll never forget Bundy asking me for a huge assortment of snacks (nachos, pretzels, hot dogs), only to top-off his order by saying "and a Diet Coke".

    Maniac was really cool to me, too, but was being a dick to security. I don't know if he was trying to stay in character, but I felt special that he seemed to like me and no one else. Ax and Snuka were nice, as well, but I didn't get to spend much time with them.

    The only guy that I didn't like was Razor - he was a dick to all of the employees, rushed the kids through the autograph process, insulted the adults in line, and just seemed like he wanted to be anywhere else at the moment. My uncle and I were huge fans of his going in, and were so disappointed when we finally got to meet him. Just the total opposite of Bigelow, who he happened to be scheduled with that day; Bam Bam was even professional enough to tell us not to let it bother us, that Razor was just "having a bad day".

    So, those are my experiences. Glad to share them again with all of you.

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  15. My only real experience meeting a wrestler was at a FCW show. I was using a urinal and went to wash my hands when done. Trent Barretta was washing his hands and we said hello to each other, umm that's about it.

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  16. I only had two wrestler interactions and neither are that interesting...I live in Clearwater and went to the January Raw in Tampa, the one with the first Rock/Punk face to face promo, with my girlfriend. After the Show we went to get some food. Sitting in the back of the restaurant was Punk, Brodus, and some other dude I didnt know. Punks hoodie was over his head, I'm sure it was his way of telling people not to bother him...it was like 12:30 am and there were like 6 patrons in the place. I wait until theyre about to pay and go over to try and just try to get a quick pic. Punk never even looks up and declines the pic until he sees my girlfriend. He proceeds to then ask her if "shes a CM Punk girl and if she liked the show." I can only chuckle inside...what a dick. Brodus was fucking cool as shit, I asked him about his days working for Snoop, how much pot he really smoked, etc. Real cool dude.

    Went to Hogans new restaurant in Clearwater. Its like a fucking shrine to the Hulkster brother. At the bar was fucking Jimmy Hart, pounding a big blue drink out of a fish bowl. Had a quick exchange and left. Pretty boring

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  17. midcarder at best.

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  18. OR....


    not clicking the link

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  19. Charismatic e-Negro Jef VinsonSeptember 24, 2013 at 6:49 AM

    I've had a lot, mostly with TNA and indy wrestlers.
    When TNA taped out of Orlando a good percentage of them flew Jet Blue. I would see quite a few of them in the airports, but two that I was on the same plane with was Mr. Anderson and Bully Ray. Anderson was cool and signed my friends autograph. Didn't have time to talk to Bully, but a lot of people knew who he was.
    TNA allows you to interact with their wrestlers a lot with the signings. Winter was extremely nice, as was Jesse Neal. The most professional one that I've met was Brian Kendrick, who saw that a little girl wanted Shannon Moore's autograph took her picture and ran all the way to the back to get it for her and came back. Classy.
    Also, met the Wall, Bam Bam Bigelow, Candido, Sunny in a gym in Jersey.
    Lastly, Balls Mahoney and Robbie E are/were teachers in Jersey. When TNA was in Edison, a large group of Robbie E's students showed up and they asked him if he was coming back. He said (at the time) he didn't know because they liked the gimmick.

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  20. Charismatic e-Negro Jef VinsonSeptember 24, 2013 at 6:50 AM

    My friend said he sold coke to the Iron Sheik at an indy show (no lie)

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  21. I remember going to an independent show when I was eleven and the main event was Tito Santana vs. The Warlord. After the show, there were autograph signings and I remember the Warlord being the nicest guy, which was shocking to me at the time. The dude was fucking huge

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  22. Solid pic. Damn Rock looks young

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  23. TGI Fridays at 1am with 12 luchadores and the heavyweight champ.

    At least my favorite.

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  24. Met Scott Hall in London about 12 years ago, he had an arm wrestle with my dad and beat him. Still got the photo!

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  25. I'm not trying to sound like a jerk, but you really ought to try going to an indie show by yourself some day. I frequently go by myself since I don't know any other wrestling fans and I've always had a great time. I've found a lot of very friendly people are everywhere at wrestling shows.


    My most memorable meetings with wrestlers were at my first ROH show. Jay Briscoe was walking around asking people how they enjoyed the show and what they liked best and what they didn't like. It wasn't just empty glad-handing, he was really sincere about trying to make the show better.


    The other person at the same show was Brian Danielson. He couldn't have been nicer or more humble. I've met him a few times since and he's always been super nice.

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  26. Stranger in the AlpsSeptember 24, 2013 at 7:38 AM

    Back in '96, I took my 9 year old brother to a house show. Before the show, the local Blockbuster had The British Bulldog and Owen Hart signing autographs. I took my little brother over there, we waited in line, and then realized that we had nothing for the wrestlers to sign. So we get to the table, and I proceeded to just say hello to the two. Bulldog already turned to the next fan, and Owen asked "Where do you want it?". My little brother meekly said, "I don't have anything." Owen looked at him, laughed and said "yes, you do. Give me your hat.". My brother was wearing a Toronto Maple Leafs baseball cap. Owen took it off his head, and signed on the underside of the bill, then handed it to Bulldog, who followed suit. Some guy behind us yelled "Owen, picture!" Owen turns to the guy, holds up the cap, gives the #1 point, and the guy snaps a photo. So somewhere, there is someone with a photo of Owen Hart claiming that the Toronto Maple Leafs are the best hockey team going. My brother still has the cap to this day.

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  27. The only Indy show I've been to was about 20 years ago in New Jersey, and I got my picture taken with Dan Severn and the NWA title and also with Doink the Clown (no idea which one). That was a lot of fun. Before the show, there was a meet and greet where I watched a couple of the Indy guys gimmick a table. They weren't very subtle about it.


    Around the same time, maybe a year before, I was at a convention in a hotel ballroom in Wayne, NJ, where I got the chance to meet Tito Santana and Road Warrior Animal, Missy Hyatt was a complete bitch to everyone and Virgil was throwing rubber bands at people to get them to come to his table.


    The best part of that show was when I walked outside of the ballroom for some air. I was adjusting the camera case on my belt, on a rampway, as Hacksaw Jim Duggan passed by me and slapped me on the back, nearly hurling me over the railing. As I recovered, my buddy asked Hacksaw if we could get a photo with him. He said sure, but one of the convention workers told him he couldn't, because they were charging for photos inside.


    Duggan looked at her, said "Screw that, c'mere tough guys!" and posed for a photo with us free of charge. Hacksaw was awesome. I've been a huge fan ever since.

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  28. Keep policticking Fuj, I'll just sock away my midcard salary and retire early and in comfort while you and the other top guys hang around well past your best before date just to pay your bar tab, and alimony.

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  29. The South Park movie was 1999, and Britney Spears and Eminem were more 1999 as well. That's when the albums came out.

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  30. I'm a part-timer.


    Only come out for the big threads and topics that mean something.

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  31. damn your right. I guess that whole sharp memories but foggy timeline thing applies to more than wrestling. Such is memory I suppose.

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  32. I can understand why a long winded and likely uninteresting story wouldn't appeal to everyone, and I guess I can understand how long blocks of text can be annoying in our sort of "get to the point" kind of world, and if I somehow managed to offend you, I apologize - but I I've done the very thing you mentioned in your first sentence more than I have the long-winded-confessional-ranty-this-is-my-life thing, I think.

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  33. I've got a couple that I'll sure, though I feel like I've done this before.


    Locally... I can consider myself pretty lucky to be growing up as a wrestling fan in Louisville, thanks to OVW. With the right friends and networking, you can meet just about anybody. I've met everyone from Mickie James to Melina to John Morrison at autograph signings, all of whom were really cool, and I've even gotten to have dinner with Nigel McGuinness and his wife, along with a couple of the promoters. Nigel was amazing, btw. Just a really cool, standup dude. My favorite OVW memory, by far, is going there in... 2010, I believe it was, for an RoH house show and finally getting to meet Jim Cornette while wearing my "F**K VINCE" shirt that I got back in TNA's Asylum days. It was a perfect double entendre, especially for Cornette, who hates Russo with a passion. I did get a picture of him pointing to and endorsing said shirt, which was amazing, but unfortunately, that picture got lost when I decided to be a genius and leave my phone in my pants for a trip through the washer. Such a shame.


    For broader horizons... in early 2004, I spotted RVD during a layover in Cincinnati after coming back from Florida on a trip with my family. I asked my mom to watch my bag, ran over, introduced myself, got a picture, said good luck at the house show, and moved in. Very cool guy, of course. It was actually retconned a little over half a year later in Indianapolis at GenCon (gaming convention) where RVD was in attendance. At the time, I was playing the WWE Raw Deal TCG, which I know some people on this forum have heard of, and he made a surprise appearance in the gaming hall, and the place went nuts. Applause, "RVD" chants, you name it. Total markout moment, for sure. I finished my match, went up, reintroduced myself, showed him the picture from the year previous, which got an "Awesome" from Rob (though I doubt he REALLY remembers, it was still cool), and got another picture.


    Even these days, I still feel like more are yet to come, since everybody on our podcast(aside from me), Frakkin Nerds (cheap plug, we're on Spreaker and iTunes) has worked with OVW in the past and has tons of stories about the workers, and some of them still interact with guys like Al Snow, Mike Mondo (Mikey from the Spirit Squad), Jim Cornette, Stevie Richards... hopefully one day, there will be more.

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  34. The actual question, and a direct link to the comments is available at the very top of the post. Let him say what he wants.

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  35. davidbonzaisaldanamontgomerySeptember 24, 2013 at 10:57 AM

    " but a lot of people knew who [Bully] was."


    *imagines this is because he went around yelling at random people DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?!*

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  36. That time I met Trish Stratus was really cool... I mean the hours of sex afterwards was great, but her autograph on my WWE magazine was even better!

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  37. My only gripe, and it is minor, is that sometimes there is more to the question than what is in the bold text, which has led to me being confused by some peoples responses and have to go reread. Only happened a few times though, overall this has been a HUGE improvement over the previous QOTD since, like others suggested, when you do get long winded I just skip over it all.

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  38. Wow Punk really is as big of a dick as advertised... funny that he eats with Brodus... I think he likes to add his friends into his quasi shoot promos "An absolute killer like Brodus Clay"

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  39. I met Bret Hart backstage once. He walked right past me the first time, but I yelled "BREEEEEET!!!" and he turned around, walked away from the entrance curtain and came right back to me where I said "Go get 'em, champ." He gave me his shades as his music played (without saying a word) and went straight to the ring. All I could say was "wowwwww."

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  40. Yo, I'm a New Englander too (Providence) with friends who only make fun of wrestling, save for one. I'd be down for some shows, even the TRP stuff in the area.

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  41. Also, Foley won the title in Worcester, not Boston. And his book also came out in 1999, not 1998,

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  42. Was this the same "Trish Stratus" that used to chat with Chris Hyatte?

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  43. Ah! So I'm not nuts! Hold on!

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  44. Wow I'd forgotten all about that... and Hyatte for that matter...

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  45. Just a note everyone for the four people that read this: Change everything that says 1998 to 1999, and the timeline stuff makes a bit more sense. I knew I wasn't crazy in thinking all the TRL / Eminem / Limp bizkit / Korn stuff came before I read the book.

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  46. Charismatic e-Negro Jef VinsonSeptember 24, 2013 at 12:53 PM

    Let that man name his hand whatever he wants.

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  47. Charismatic e-Negro Jef VinsonSeptember 24, 2013 at 12:55 PM

    This was actually before the "Bully Ray" push.
    Kendrick was cool. Jay Lethal was a fucking asshole.

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  48. See, this is why I kind of dislike Punk - I mean he's talented as all get out but he's one of these guys that wants his glory and celebrity on HIS terms, which is fair, but you have to understand you're in a niche product where every.single.fan.counts. If you're eating and want to be left alone that's cool, you're tired, that's cool, but don't suddenly turn a lightbulb on when you see a pair of boobies that very obviously belong to another fellah.

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  49. BELONG TO?!?!?! WOMEN ARE NOT OBJECTS!!!!!


    ...is what I'd be saying if women weren't indeed objects.

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  50. Stranger in the AlpsSeptember 24, 2013 at 1:16 PM

    Fuckin'.......A.

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  51. Hyatte was duped by a Sunny impersonator into publishing columns under "her" name. He also got duped by someone on AIM pretending to be Trish after a fake interview with Trish "revealed" that she was a fan of his and would chat with him from time to time.

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  52. A long while ago, I decided that for autograph signings I would draw a cartoon of the wrestler in question instead of paying five bucks for a glossy 8x10. I figured if I'm already paying some guy $20 to write a fake name, I may as well have a personalized piece of memorabilia (plus it gives me an excuse to draw cartoons). It took several WWF wrestler signings (RVD was stoned, Farrooq had to wake up a hungover Bradshaw several times) to realize that these guys may want copies of these cartoons.

    Once I started going to RoH shows regukarly in '06, I noticed that most of those guys would sign shit for free if you caught 'em walking around or at the merch table. I approached Nigel McGuinness at said table and asked if he wouldn't mind putting his John Bull on the picture for me. His reply was "Oh man, that's great! Is that for me?

    I told him no, but by the next show I went to I could have a copy made for him. Nigel immediately reaches for a cash box on the table and asks "How much do you want for it?" Flabbergasted, I told him he didn't have to pay me. If he really wanted to give me something (other than the autograph), I said he could gimme a t-shirt... and he did, right then & there, without me having anything in return for him.

    I DID make a copy, and gave it to him at the next show. Nigel McGuinness may not have been the biggest name, but goddamnit that was cool.

    Honorary mention goes to Ted Dibiase, whose agent took down my e-mail in case they wanted to use my cartoon in a documentary they said they were making. Plus, under his signature Dibiase wrote some verse of scripture.

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  53. Shame you didn't get that on video.

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  54. I miss Hyatte.

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  55. Thanks it means a lot. Yeah I dunno, it's just one of those things where you just kinda do it for yourself and hope people either like it, appreciate it, or at the least don't hate it.

    I mean how many of us go around every day with immense gratitude for something silly or otherwise disposable to other people? A song, a movie, a quote, something someone said to them, pretty much anything can drastically affect our world view, and I guess this here book did, and has, and I wanted to tell folks for some reason.

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  56. Nice! Yeah I had similar problems in grade school where I simply couldn't read the thing around folks. That cookie story man, every damn time.

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  57. No man, I've been reading your posts for years and I can't see you as gay.
    Willingly fooled by a drag queen? Yeah, maybe. But full gay? Not a chance.

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  58. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfWGdN-BX0Q

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  59. Elmo do you draw for a living? Would you like to get in on a wrestling-related project some friends and I are working on?

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  60. Bigelow was my favorite out of the list - huge, scary motherfucker, and just an absolute teddy-bear to every kid that approached him. So gracious to the parents, as well; every time that they thanked him for signing an autograph or something, he'd turn it around and thank the family for coming.

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  61. Paul, you really should try to go to one or two by yourself. Most Indy shows I've been to, not only was the wrestling good but the other fans were great too. It's not like this with ALL Indy shows, I've been to a couple that had basically kids and parents. But most of them have some cool people and it's easy to just jump into a conversation as you all share the same intrest obviously. When FIP was doing shows all the time in Florida, a community of fans quickly started. Seeing each other at shows, talking, going out for dinner afterwards was a normal thing. Not many of us knew each other before going to those shows but we all became fast friends. After a couple of shows, I have a feeling you won't look at it as going alone but going there to meet up with people.

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