Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Wrestlers I Have Met Edition

If you haven't already, definitely check out Club Kayfabe, a great wrestling podcast.

I have been lucky to have met quite a few wrestlers over the years. I've met one Hall of Famer, and a few that will be in the Hall of Fame one day. So I guess I can't complain. For the most part they have been very nice people, with one glaring exception. But we will be getting to him in a minute.

Starting back in 1995 I went to a Wrestlemania Fan Fest at the Hartford Civic Center. The Fan Fests back then were much smaller then they are now. Autograph sessions were free and there was quite a bit going on. It was there that I met people like Doink, Dink, Kevin Nash, Kama the Supreme Fighting Machine, Hillbilly Jim and Paul Bearer. Only Kevin Nash and Paul Bearer were seated signing autographs. The rest were wandering around the floor meeting fans. My encounter with Kama was exceptionally awesome. There was a chance to call a famous WWE match with a wrestler, for a fee of course. You did get to take home a copy of the match with your commentary on it on VHS (tells you how long ago it was). I just had to do it! So myself and another fan called the Bret Hart Vs Yokozuna match with Rowdy Roddy Piper as the special referee from Wrestlemania X. And we got to record with Kama, later known as The Godfather. He was in character as Kama the entire time. I admit that I said some things that I shouldn't have said, especially with someone named the Supreme Fighting Machine next to me. I kept making jokes about Yokozuna's weight, which he took exception to. Obviously I made it out okay! But there were times I wasn't sure that would happen.

Flash forward many years later and I am now living in Orlando, Florida. For three different book signings I got a chance to meet Chris Jericho, Batista and Bret Hart. Not together, mind you, because that would all sorts of awesome. Chris Jericho entered Virgin MegaStore as only he could. It was before his flashing jacket, but it would be an awesome complement to his entrance that day. He grabbed the microphone and delivered a promo for his fans. He was very cordial to everyone when it was their turn to meet him. It definitely seemed to me that the Chris Jericho you see on TV is what he is really like. Which is a good thing.

Meeting him was not a let down... unlike Dave Batista. He was there for a book signing right before Wrestlemania 24 vs Umaga. The word douchebag comes to mind. He wouldn't pose for any pictures with the fans. In fact I even got yelled at for taking his picture after I had met him. When I wished him "Good Luck" in his match, I barely got a grunt in return. He never even took off his sunglasses. He was the one and only negative wrestler I have ever met. I was never a huge fan of his, but I lost what respect I had for him that day. Yes, I know everyone has bad days. But from everything I have read about him, this was more the norm.

Then I met Bret Hart in the same building. It was an amazing experience to meet him. He hadn't yet returned to the WWE at this point. We hadn't seen him on television in a WWE ring since the Montreal Screw Job. So it was very cool to have a few minutes to talk to him. He was very nice and posed for several pictures. He genuinely seemed like a nice guy.

And then this past weekend I added another name to the list. My fiancée and I got a chance to meet former Tag Team, United States, and Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston. He has been out with an injury for over a month. We were hoping something he said was said with a wink wink, nudge nudge and that that he would return at Money In The Bank. He did! At least during the pre-show any way. He was also very nice. The smiling person you see on television was the same man that was there.

Meanwhile last week I made my predictions for Money In The Bank. And I missed only one. The only one I missed was the World Heavyweight Money In The Bank Ladder Match. I was relatively close. A Damien Sandow win is as good as a Cody Rhodes win, because it will hopefully push both men into the Main Event.

Once again I would like to thank my wonderful fiancée who is also my editor.

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