So Summerslam is happening tomorrow at the Staples Center here in Los Angeles. As Summerslam is one of the bigger pay-per-views of the year, they ofter have a fan fest the weekend of the event to get the fans excited. Ray and I borrowed Rick’s superexpensive camera and took the Redline downtown for it!
Quick note – all the pictures here are available for viewing bigger and clearer on my Flickr site here:
Here’s the entrance to the event:
It wasn’t as packed as I expected. There were bunches of booths set up, but our main objective was to see Chris Jericho’s Q&A session in the ring. He’s my favorite wrestler and probably Ray’s. When we first showed up, WWE Legend and Hall of Famer Howard Finkel was asking trivia questions and giving away prizes. Then they asked for volunteers for another contest and I was chosen! I got to go in the ring with 7 other people (mostly kids). I’ll have you know, I’ve ALWAYS wanted to be in a WWE ring since for fucking EVER! It felt pretty darned cool lifting my right leg up and stepping through the top and middle rope as I entered the squared circle. And luckily I handed the camera to Ray who took this AMAZING photo of me achieving this lifetime goal!!:
I guess he hit a switch or something. Pretty frigging disappointing. ANYWAY (speaking of disappointing) back to the contest! The idea was that the cohost would go down the line and we would simply say the name of any WWE wrestler from the present or the past. If somebody couldn’t think of a name or a name was repeated you were out. This is very similar to Beastie Rap – a game we like to play in improv. So…Beastie Rap featuring WWE superstars? Forget about it, this is MY game to lose!!
Yeah, I lost. I started out great! In fact, I used this opportunity to try to impress Howard Finkel. Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake was my hero for several of my formative years, and I loved the way that Howard would introduce him so much that I pretty much perfected it. So just before the mic got to me I pointed at The Fink and said, “This is for you, Howard” then belted out my best impression. He nodded but didn’t really care. ANYWAY I was so busy thinking of names that I wasn’t listening as closely to the other players as I should have. I got the important ones out of the way… Brutus, Owen Hart and Brian Pillman were my first three. I got Tito Santana and Rick Martel out there. I was trying to go Old School and said Junkyard Dog but somebody had already said it. I was out, but got a consolation prize of a nifty WWE car sunscreen!
And the winner? Some seven year old girl who was pulling Old School names out of nowhere! She won tickets to Summerslam for her and her family.
Goddammit Kevin. I totally should have won that and Ray and I should totally be going to Summerslam for free.
After the contest and what seemed like HOURS of shilling for the pay-per-view, we got a match. This was pretty cool as Ray and I were literally at what would be second row. Very very close to the action. Ted Dibiase came out wearing his old man’s Million Dollar Belt with Maryse by his side. As Evan Bourne came out I got interested. First of all I think Evan has an incredible future ahead of him, but I also realized that he would be doing the Shooting Star Press which is a simply amazing move (of COURSE the good guy was going to win here – they’re getting the crowd excited!).
Ted addresses the crowd wearing the belt (I got the shitty angle):
Then Evan Bourne came out!
And here is Evan Bourne’s Shooting Star Press – one of the coolest wrestling moves around:
Very fun and very cool to see live. Probably even more fun if I wasn’t so focused on getting these pictures of it (and yes – I missed the point of impact which kinda sucks).
So Evan wins his match and everything is great, but the good news is that Jericho is up next being interviewed with the Bella Twins! The Bellas come out first, followed by the Ayatollah of Rock n Rolla!!
Jericho gets a hug from the Bella Twins:
The interview itself was interesting in that he wasn’t really in character. He was talking about “storylines” and things of that nature. There were a few questions – all provided by the fans – but my favorite was when somebody asked him who his ideal “last match” opponent would be. He basically said that it doesn’t matter who his last opponent is as long as the story building up to it is intriguing and exciting. He also said he’s not all that interested in getting a big farewell like Ric Flair or Shawn Michaels. He thinks it’d be more fun to leave kicking and screaming, being dragged away and making people think, “Man, that guy’s a jerk!” Funny and true (I’d want the same thing).
I follow Jericho on Twitter (like I say, I’m a huge fan of the guy). He and I both share a passion for heavy metal. We differ, however, on the new Megadeth album. I think it’s just awful, while Jericho praised it on Twitter and even Tweeted once how Dave Mustaine (leader of Megadeth) is a genius. I wanted to get a reaction from Jericho before he left so as he passed I yelled out, “Dave Mustaine is overrated!” to which he sharply looked in my direction and said “He is NOT” in the most direct way possible.
After Jericho left, that was pretty much it for us. We took a walk around the area and saw wrestlers leaving autograph areas. I’m pretty sure David Otunga hates me:
So that’s how our WWE Fan Experience ended. Now here’s the deal: We aren’t going to Summerslam but we ARE going to RAW Monday night. Ray has some contacts that can get us not only free second row seats to the event, but BACKSTAGE apparently. So here’s my dream photo list:
Chris Jericho (will he remember my Mustaine-bashing? My mustache is rather memorable)
Santino Marella (friggin’ hilarious – and we have matching mustaches!)
Bret Hart (Damn right)
… let’s just see who’s available, eh?
Looking forward to Monday,