Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Wrestlemania FanAxxess and Wrestlecon
Friday morning I packed my bag and waited for A&J to arrive and then we were off on a 3.5 hour drive to fabulous New Jersey for Wrestlemania weekend! I was looking forward to the trip, despite the fact that I'm not a huge wrestling fan. I've watched it on and off over the years, my brother used to watch it back in the day as well as an old bf a long time ago so I know who many of the guys are. Plus I just started DDP Yoga so I was really looking forward to seeing DDP. I heard he was charging a pretty penny for a photo op at Wrestlecon so I figured I'd see him from afar, but I also heard there was going to be a DDP Yoga session for free on Saturday afternoon so I was excited to try and attend.
When we arrived in NJ and met up with B at the hotel (he was already there for work) the banner above was in the lobby. We did not have tickets for the actual Wrestlemania event but we planned to go to a restaurant that was showing it to have some drinks and watch it on Sunday night. But Friday we had planned to just check in, relax and get a nice dinner. The hotel gave us a list of local restaurants and after some yelping and google mapping we decided on Wee Willie's Sports Bar & Grill. The directions from the hotel took us to a residential neighborhood but we eventually found it around the corner and quickly realized that this was not the place for us. We were looking for good food and conversation, this place was for drinking, and maybe pool, and there may have been a few leather jackets involved. Don't get me wrong, I can hang at a dive bar with the best of them, but this is not what we had in mind for a nice dinner.
So we drove around aimlessly and as we stopped at a stop light, we noticed Michael's Riverside restaurant right next to us. We quickly yelped it and read that the services is not great but the food is delicious so we decided to go for it.
Reisling? Yes, please!
I was excited to see a few gluten free options on the menu. I ended up getting the seabass/crabmeat special (not gluten or dairy free... sigh, I know) and it was so delicious. I didn't even take a picture of it because I felt so guilty about eating it.. I figured I wouldn't share it here. But might as well go for full disclosure, right?
Anyway, the salad that came prior to the dinner was awesome. It had a homemade olive oil based dressing that was very subtle but sooooo fresh and delicious. I practically licked the plate.
Saturday morning we got up bright and early to get to the Izod Center for Wrestlemania Fan Axxess. The plan was to meet as many personalities as possible. B is more a fan of the old school guys so we stuck to the Legends whereas A&J are fans of old and new WWE so they met the current Superstars. From 8-10 was the first round of signings where we got to meet Billy Gunn, Jim Ross, Tamera and Pat Patterson. At 10 there was a shift change so we started another lap around the arena to see who was on deck. They were keeping it a secret so we had no idea who we'd find. The first meeting was Sika and then we moved on to the next Legends table. As we rounded the corner we could see a long line and all of a sudden I heard Bill say... "It's DDP..." and I was like WHAT?!!! OHHHH YEAH!!! We raced ahead to get in line. While we waited, DDP would stop every now and then to talk to the crowd and was really nice and engaging, just like in his yoga videos. It wasn't too long before we were next for photos and signatures.
Since this weekend was mostly B's thing, and I was just along for the ride, he did most of the meeting and greeting, but he knew this was a big one for me so he said it was up to me to do the talking. Of course I immediately told DDP that we just started doing the yoga and he jumped up to take a picture with both of us, he had been staying behind the table and doing the lean over for single photos, but we got this gem:
Then he gave us a signature:
Jen & Bill, Do your DDP Yoga, Or Else... BANG! Diamond Dallas Page
I was so pumped!!!
After that it was time to head over to Wrestlecon to meet more legends of wrestling. This was the part B was most looking forward to since he is such a big fan of the old school wrestling. The one he really wanted to meet was Bobby "The Brain" Heenan. When we arrived, Bobby's flag was up to mark his spot but he hadn't arrived yet. They said he was supposed to be there at 2pm and it was getting close, a line was starting to form so we got in line and waited. Shortly after, Bobby and his wife appeared and got setup. Unfortunately, Bobby has had some major health setbacks and is not looking like his old self, but it was still so awesome for B to get to meet him and he got a signed copy of his new book. We both got a little choked up, it was very bittersweet, but I was so happy that B got to meet one of his wrestling heroes.
After that we wandered around and had a bunch more photo ops. DDP was there with Jake "The Snake" Robert and I was lucky enough to get this...
You know it's a party when you're grabbing Jake The Snake's ass..
and I was super excited to meet the one and only ROB VAN DAM complete with thumb moves and holding the championship belt (it's heavy!!)
We also met Kevin Nash. B had planned to talk to him about some wrestling thing but I quickly jumped in and told him how much I enjoyed his performance in Magic Mike.
Unfortunately by 3pm I was EXHAUSTED from being on my feet all day and didn't want to wait until 4:30 for DDP Yoga. I regret that now, but what can you do? I'm still pumped that I got to meet DDP. I expected to have fun this weekend, but I didn't expect it to be such an amazing time. My friend J got to meet her #1 - Christian and it was probably one of the best moments of her life, it was pretty great.