Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Cock a Doodle of a Good Time


The Heenan Family has arrived


Another Wrestlemania weekend is in the books. Another fun weekend has been had. Going to take this time to reflect on Wrestlemania Sunday and everything that surrounded it.

After a late Saturday night, we awoke at 7am to prepare for what promised to be a long day. Our first stop of the day was the fan Axxess event. But before we could head out of the hotel, we had to prepare by getting into costume. As I mentioned in the Wrestlemania Experience blog, each year we come up with different wrestlers to dress up as as a way to provide some extra entertainment to the fans in attendance. Either that or we’re attention seekers who figure standing out from the crowd will help get us noticed. This year we decided to pay tribute to Wrestlemania 5 by becoming Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, The Brooklyn Brawler and the Red Rooster. Figured the more obscured the character the less chance of running into someone else with the same idea.

Our new favorite Diva, Natalya
So we donned outfits and headed off to Axxess. In addition to Wrestlemania happening over the weekend, a state volleyball tournament was held in the same building as Axxess so we got to walk past several hundreds of people who were probably there just to watch some volleyball and didn’t expect to see thousands of wrestling fans. We got a lot of curious looks from those people. Once inside Axxess we walked around and looked at all the displays. Pretty much everything this year was the same as last year with a few props from this year’s Hall of Fame class added to the memorabilia display. We didn’t want to stand in line for any lengthy amount of time so we didn’t get any autographs from WWE Superstars. We did however go to the side of the stages and take photos of Superstars. Natalya saw us and told us she loved the outfits. That boosted our egos enough to encourage another round of dress up for next year.

After about 3 hours at Axxess we decided we’d seen enough and it was time to eat. Decided to hit up the food court at CNN center even though it was a mad house due to all the wrestling and volleyball fans.  Have to say that every employee at the various restaurants was underpaid for their work on Sunday. I doubt there were any slow periods from 10am to 8pm. Once lunch was finished it was time to head over to the Marriott and the Wrestle Reunion convention.

While standing in line to get in to Wrestle Reunion we discussed amongst ourselves if there was a fee to get into the ballroom. A short time later the organizer of the event walked by so we asked him what the cost was. I don’t remember his exact wording but it was something like, there is no cost to get in but once you’re in if you want anything you have to pay for it. I knew photos or autographs cost so that’s what I assumed he meant. I know, never assume. I thought well, if there’s no fee to get in lets bypass the line and walk inside, as I didn’t really care about a picture or autograph.  As soon as we stepped past the ticket table and into the foyer, the organizer, who was right in front of us, turned around and asked if we’d bought a ticket. I told him; no you said there was no entrance fee. He seemed to get all flustered and said there was no fee but you had to buy a ticket to get into the convention. So, while Wrestle Reunion wasn’t charging an entrance fee you did actually have to spend money on something in order to be granted admittance. Confusing to say the least. We went back to the ticket table to buy something. There was no list of attendees or prices posted for anything. They did have a flyer with some of the wrestlers listed on it so we quickly glanced and decided to get a photo with TNA Knockout, Winter.

Winter and the Rooster
This turned out to be a good decision as she had the shortest line. While we were walking around trying to find her table we passed by a table with New Jack and Terri Runnels. Terri saw Kevin aka The Brain and had him come take a picture with her. Brawler and myself kept walking without realizing Brain wasn’t with us. When we got stopped by the sea of humanity and noticed he was gone, we went back to find him. Brain told us what had happened so naturally we went back to Terri’s table to see if she wanted a picture with the full Heenan Family. She did. We made some small talk then proceeded to continue on the quest to find Winter. Winter was in the back of the room between Tatanka and Christy Hemme. While we were waiting to get up to Winter, Tatanka tried to talk to us. We just nodded our heads and said hi. Finally got to Winter and let’s just say, I hope she was freaked out by the outfits because I’ve seen snowmen with more personality than she exhibited.

Once we were free from her hypnotizing spell, we roamed around the ballroom some more. Talked briefly with El Generico and Colt Cabana before moving over and standing a few feet from Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas. We were talking trying to decide if we wanted to leave or not when a handful of fans walked up and asked for photos with us.  Wrestlemania.

CM Punk, Bret Hart, & Roddy Piper
Around five o’clock we headed over to the Georgia Dome.  Walked around the arena and met some other fans in costume. Mostly the standard fare of Roddy Piper, Bret Hart and Randy Savage. Finally it was time to head inside and prepare for the most electrifying show of the year. When we got to our seats, in the two rows ahead of us were two families with teenage kids. All the kids were wearing John Cena shirts. Naturally we made fun of them. Actually we talked to them apologizing in advance if we got to be too obnoxious. Both families were cool and we ended up having a conversation with the dad in the row in front of us about how wrestling has changed over the last 20 years.

Ten minutes before the show started, the row behind us filled up. Being the considerate people we are, we again apologized in advance for our behavior. The woman sitting behind me said that was okay and after a few beers she’d probably be obnoxious as well. Then the guy two seats down made a comment that told me I was in for a long night. He said he hoped we didn’t mind obsessive swearing and that he had been kicked out of the Hall of Fame ceremony the night before. Yep, the guy behind us was one of the disrespectful fans I wrote about in the Hall of Shame blog. Great.

I won’t go into detail about Wrestlemania as you can read results elsewhere. I will say one of my fears of the show was my low expectation of the card. I’ve written before how this didn’t feel like a big enough event like past Wrestlemanias and I was hoping I could overlook those feelings and enjoy the show. For the most part, I did. Sure there were some things I wasn’t thrilled with, but overall I had a good time and was pleasantly surprised by several of the matches.

I thought Edge and Alberto Del Rio put on a better match than I expected. Cody Rhodes and Rey Mysterio had a really good match. CM Punk and Randy Orton was as good as I anticipated, even though Randy Orton doesn’t know how to sell an injury.  The tag match with Snooki was pretty much spot on with what I thought it would be, but Snooki hit the back handspring elbow better than some other Divas in WWE. Of course there were some disappointments as well.

Sheamus and Daniel Bryan being bumped off the main show to be the bonus match was irritating. Then the match was turned into a lumberjack match that got out of control and turned into a battle royale, which was won by the Great Khali. Why? Vladamir Kozlov was attacked during an appearance at Axxess by the Corre leading to Kofi Kingston taking his place in the 8-man tag match. A match that lasted a little over 90 seconds, by the way. So what was the point of adding Kofi? Jerry Lawler and Michael Cole should have been a 5-minute beat down. Instead we get nearly 15 minutes and Cole “winning” by disqualification. After last year’s Vince McMahon/Bret Hart match it’s clear whoever is booking matches doesn’t understand how a revenge match should work. A lot of people are praising Undertaker/HHH as a great match. I missed the first ten minutes of the match so I missed all the brawling and destruction of tables. What I saw was a 5-minute match stretched out over 20 minutes. This followed the same formula of Taker/Shawn Michaels with both guys kicking out of finishing moves over and over. Maybe I didn’t understand the story they were telling, or maybe my apathetic attitude towards both guys got in the way. Whatever the case, I found the match to be boring and have no desire to see a rematch.

The Rock vs. the GM
The big attraction of this year’s Wrestlemania was The Rock. Due to his hosting duties the show kicked off with a 20 minute “Best Of” with the Rock hitting all his catchphrases. While the crowd cheered and enjoyed his shtick, I was wondering when was the wrestling going to start. I was surprised there were only two backstage segments with the Rock during the show. Neither was that original, but seeing Pee Wee Herman was a surprise. When the main event of John Cena vs. The Miz started it seemed the crowd was simply waiting for the Rock to show up. After a lame double count out to end the match, fans got what they wanted as Rock came out and restarted the match saying there had to be a winner. Of course, for some reason, Rock had to hit Rock Bottom on Cena costing him the match. Then after the match, Rock gave The Miz the People’s Elbow. While the crowd enjoyed it, the Heenan Family sat there trying to understand the logic of sacrificing your champion and biggest star to a guy who doesn’t wrestle anymore.

Even with the personally unsatisfying ending, well satisfying in the fact Miz is still champ unsatisfying with all the shenanigans, it was a good show. Even with the things I didn’t like, I still had a great weekend and we’re already planning for Miami next year where finally we’ll get to see The Rock wrestle John Cena. Who’s coming along for the trip? 

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