"Just want to say that I used to only read The John Report on NoDQ. But now, I'm not happy until I get my Jay's Ways fix too! Keep up the good AND entertaining work."
- Alan, wrestling fan
Well, MY Green Bay Packers weaseled out another victory Sunday afternoon. It was rough, but a win is a win in the NFL. Survivor Series has come and gone. Obviously, the entire wrestling world is buzzing about the ending sequence of te pay-per-view. Here is a quick tweet I received after the event on that very moment:
"Carl Harlton (@Harlt0n) @JustinWatry CM Punk is now WWE Champion for over a full year and Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins have finally debuted. If that didn't satisfy the Internet Wrestling Community, I don't know what will."
Give it time. Within 24 hours, the entire internet wrestling community will be back to "WWE creative is terrible" once again. By Monday night's Raw, a lot of folks will be whining and complaining about the new talent being "buried." It happens every time. Unless those internet darlings get title after title and go undefeated FOREVER, they will be misused based on their standards. Just the cycle of life...
As for today's topic, I will freshen the scenery up. Mostly everyone will be discussing a pay-per-view they likely stole online and illegally streamed. Not me - that won't happen here. A reader recently emailed me about meeting wrestlers and various moments he encountered. Here are a few of them!
Gregory via email:
"I met Flair and Ted Dibiase on the highway in Florida when I was really small. We stopped them, my aunt pulled over, and they hug me and took pictures with me. Also, my father owns a restaurant in New York. Last summer I met Virgil outside selling autographs. I did not have money to get his autograph, but because no one was around, we sat together for an hour talking about the business. He took a picture with me and gave me an autograph free of charge. I know it was Virgil, but it was still awesome. Also, when I was smaller, my dad would take me to the bar with him. One day, he introduced me to a friend of his. The guy thought I would not recognize him but right away when I saw him I knew who it was....THE Brooklyn Brawler!!! We sat down while he spoke to me about the locker room back in the day and how he loves what he does. I know it was the Brooklyn Brawler, but he was a great guy and a friend of the family."
Wow! Those are extremely cool stories. It is always nice to read different encounters like with younger children. Obviously, we all know about John Cena and his efforts out of the ring. However, it is a reminder that these guys (and gals) are human beings. We may look up to them and admire them, but they are still humans. Doing a good deed during their busy days may not seem like much, but it is. Major kudos there! On the flip side, everything is not always positive...
Gregory continues via email:
"I went to Comic Con last summer with a bunch of fans. We met a ton of wrestlers. DDP was there, but he blew off so many people. At one point, he turned his back on the fans to talk on the phone for an hour. Gail Kim was there, but she didn't speak to the fans, only her manager the whole time. I went over to say hey and say the WWE needs her. She blew me off and said she was busy, then spoke to her manager about what was for lunch. Paul Bearer was walking by. My friend Will loves him because he is a big fan of the Undertaker. He tried to speak to him and Paul Bearer said "leave me alone" and walked away. My friend was hurt. Also, I remember an autograph signing with Scotty Too Hotty and Rikishi by my neighborhood. They came there either drunk or high, and the signing ended early. When I got to them, I went to shake their hand. They put an autograph in it and said bye."
First, I must note that not all interactions are the same. Some fans may have had EXCELLENT times with DDP or Bearer on that day. Others may have loved seeing Rikishi sign an autograph and thought nothing about it. Everything is based off personal recollections. That being said, I believe you. A lot of "celebrities" love the fame, glitz, glamor and MONEY! Yet, the same folks will wear sunglasses out in public and avoid fans. It is a double edged sword that you have to tread lightly.
Gregory continue via email:
"Needless to say, I had some interactions with wrestlers. I have many more, good and bad, but I would be writing for ver if I put them all in this email. I know you had an interview with Winter, and I was curious of your other interactions with wrestlers at a house show, signing, etc. Also memories with them - I just think that would be a great article."
Yes, I did interview Winter (from TNA) recently. She was also known as Katie Lea Burchill in WWE. It was just a few weeks ago, so I encourage everybody to go and read that piece. That was a great "exclusive" and am proud of it to this day.
If you really want to dig through some Google searches, here is a piece of information some may not know! She was not the only wrestler I have interviewed. For that, I challenge my readers to crawl DEEP into my archives. That should be fun. As I teased a few days ago, another "exclusive" just may posted in the near future. The details are still being worked out...stay tuned!
As for "cool" stories like yours, I could tell a million. Some are "off the record," those won't be discussed. Sorry folks, that would be unfair to the talent. A few would be too "Rated R" for the younger audience. Thus, I can't go there. That is not going to happen during my columns - we all know that. However, I will tell one story that occurred back when I was 16 years old and did not know anybody in the business.
I was at a Smackdown show with a friend. We had pretty good seats, so the view was great! Being on the floor of the arena, it was VERY awesome to experience the event. Again, I was young, so a lot of things were still "new" to me. The inside side of the industry had not engulfed my thoughts just yet. Of course, I had internet and browsed wrestling sites. However, the entire "spoilers and dirt sheets" part was not fully exposed. Remember that folks - always good to try and simply be a fan...
Anyways, there was a break in the action. I had to use the restroom, so I told my buddy that I'd be right back. He made some joke, as I headed for the exit. Sure enough, the restroom was located right outside the tunnel. I remember walking past two big security guards standing by the door. I thought it was strange but walked in regardless. After all, I just had to use the restroom and go back to my seat. No harm, no foul...right?
Well, I walked in...and who was standing there?
None other that WWE Superstar Shannon Moore!
He was a mid-card act at the time for the Blue Brand, but I recognized him right away. I literally stopped and didn't know what to do. Should I talk to him? Do I wait for him to finish urinating at the stall? What then? Was I even supposed to be in there? Remember the security guards outside the door...
Well, I decided to just wash my hands. That would buy me a few seconds. We were the only ones in there, so it was pretty awkward. Again, I didn't even know if I was supposed to be in there. Moore finishes, washes his hands, as I walk over the stalls. Neither of us said a word, even though he knew that I knew who he was. Obviously! I was at a Smackdown taping (Tuesday night), so I would recognize him. Long story short, he leaned in front of the mirror and put on his face paint. This was during his "rocker" look.
I just stared at him for a few seconds, as he was putting on "makeup" in front of the mirror. Finally, he stops. I manage to find some courage and him to take a picture and sign my ticket. I had nothing else to be autographed, but my ticket was in my pocket, so that worked. He just laughed a little and said he was a little busy but would meet him in the hallway. Of course, I understood and quickly went outside the restroom door. A minute went by...nothing. Another minute went by...still nothing.
Do I go back in the restroom? Do I knock? Should I dare ask the security guards anything? What do I do? I was 16 and could barely drive a car. I had no idea what was going on here...
I could hear the action was back inside the ring. The entrance themes were being played, and you could hear the fans. Quickly, I made a move to run back to my seat. I told my buddy what was going on. He was stunned but wanted a picture as well. We ran back to the restroom to see that the security guards were gone! At that moment, I walked into the restroom to find NO Shannon Moore. In that very minute, they had all left. Either it was due to me waiting outside the door or just one wild coincidence and bad timing...you can decide for yourself on that one.
In ay event, I got his autograph later on in the night. He, long with others, signed my ticket. It was a fun night and a great taping. Smackdown may not be live, but it delivered an enjoyable show for the fans. I remember just walking into a restroom to see Shannon Moore standing there and then putting on his face paint! Just a shocking sight to see MANY years ago. I never did get that picture with him outside the door, but the story is almost better that way. It is just "one of those things" in life.
As mentioned above, I have had TONS more since then - both on the record and off. The story involving Shannon Moore was just one of MANY that are fun to reminisce about. Some are great, while others are disappointing. That is all a part of being a wrestling fan. Thus, I now turn it over to YOU (the readers). It is now YOUR turn to tell your stories. Just one, maybe two, perhaps even a few? My contact information is listed below. During the next week, I will post the most entertaining ones.
*What do you folks think? Any great story you wish to share? Let me know on Twitter @JustinWatry! The name is Justin Watry - search for it. Also, please feel free to email at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org - I read ALL feedback. Thank you very much!*
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