Post by TheChamp617 on Jun 16, 2018 21:09:59 GMT -5
Thanks again to everyone who reads my reports. Here's another quick one..
MVP and Ricky Steamboat were in Toronto today for Greektown Wrestling.
This was the same company that had Mick Foley back in March. They offer VIP Meet and Greet packages along with admission to the show itself. I didn't have much of a need for Steamboat as I've met him twice before, but needed MVP because I haven't met him yet. I decided to do the $40 ticket, which included admission to the show, as well as a photo and autograph with MVP. I like the fact that this promotion does this because $25 is the norm for admission alone, so $15 more gets you an MVP combo. Additional autographs, however, were $20. Some might say this is a little steep for MVP, but I was a big fan of his so I had no problem with that.
The meet and greet was to start at 4:30, so I get there about 20 minutes beforehand. As I arrive, josecalderon does so as well with only 6-7 people in front of us. The line for the meet and greet didn't grow too much longer. I would say there was maybe 25ish people there. At 4:35, a staff member updates us saying that they are waiting for Steamboat's arrival, which would be another 15-20 minutes. The wait wasn't terrible because josecalderon and I were talking for the most part; however, standing in the near 30-degree celsius heat wasn't fun. Finally at 5:15, the doors open. They begin to let people into the venue of the signing (separate from the venue of the show), which was a small restaurant. They let a few people in at the time and once you got in, you would go to a table where they would ask if you wanted extra autographs. I needed three extra MVPs, and paid the $60. Once you pay, you would go to another table where the wrestlers are. Here's my gripe with this promotion: they don't check what for kind of ticket you have nor do they check how many extra autographs you actually paid for. I could have easily gotten my extras signed for free and met Ricky Steamboat because they simply don't check. I'd rather not risk things, so even if it is ran the same way next time, I'll still pay whatever they are asking so as to not risk getting on the promotion's bad side if they do happen to check. Anyways.. a few minutes later, I get to meet MVP. We start off with a handshake and he asks me how I am. I tell him that I'm good and that it is finally nice to meet him. I first open the encyclopedia and have him sign it with the blue sharpie I brought:
Once he signs the book, I flip open to a magazine and two programs. Before the signs them, he asks if I want anything personalized. I say sure, and tell him my name. He signs the April 2010 magazine:
As he signs, I tell him that I started watching wrestling back in 2006, and one of my earliest memories (some of you might be laughing at me saying "earliest".. I was 9 at the time lol) was his inferno match with Kane at Armageddon. He smiled at that, as I asked: "how do you prepare for something like that?!". He says that "well, it was uncomfortable!"
Once he finishes signing, we pose for a picture. I thank him, and in response he replies with a firm and sincere "thank YOU!". MVP was quiet, but definitely polite and friendly. With the way he spoke, I got the vibe that he was humble and grateful for the fans.
Anyways, that's my experience with MVP. I had previously mentioned in this report that I didn't have much of a need for Steamboat, and that's true. However, last week, I found a random old magazine with Steamboat on the cover. While I'm not too crazy about these random magazine titles (I prefer the official WWF ones, as well as PWI), I do like the way they look signed. Because my ticket only included meeting MVP, I asked josecalderon to get the magazine signed for me if I were to pay him. Being the nice guy that he is, he gets it signed for me among his stuff. I won't go into too much detail about his experience, but when Steamboat saw my magazine, he commented: "oh, look at that!", and took a good look at the magazine before signing in blue. After josecalderon was done meeting Steamboat, I quickly thank Steamboat and shake his hand (I was taking josecalderon's pictures, which is why I was still at the meet and greet tables). Just like my two previous meets with Steamboat, he was definitely friendly.
And that's the report. It seems as if this may be the last report for a month or so as there aren't any signings coming up that I'm interested in. Thanks for reading, and thanks once again to josecalderon for taking pictures for me and helping me out with getting the magazine signed!
Post by josecalderon on Jun 17, 2018 1:19:48 GMT -5
Great report as always Champ!
To further expand on the events. After Champ had his meet and greet with MVP, I proceed over to Ricky Steamboat’s table and I pass my cell-phone over to Champ so he could take some pictures for me. To my surprise, Ricky says to me as I approach, “we’ve met before”. I then remind him that I attended his storytelling show in Toronto this past December and took a picture with him at the meet and greet after the show. I then tell him I mailed him that picture we took together, and he sent it back to me personalized, inscribed and autographed. I thank him for taking the time out of his day to write me back with a personal note and signing our photo together. I had only met Ricky once before, so I was impressed that he remembered me, given the amount of people he sees all of the time.
I first hand Ricky Champ’s wrestling magazine with him and Rick Rude on the cover. As Champ stated, he takes a long look at the front of the magazine and says “oh, look at that!” He proceeds to sign the magazine with a blue sharpie he had on hand. Now, at this point I don’t know how he is going to sign it. I have read reports and I have seen photos of Ricky’s last signing appearance at Nickel City Con (Buffalo) which took place last month. It appeared as though he was just signing his name without “The Dragon” or “HOF 2009” inscriptions. Without request, he ended up signing Champ’s magazine with his full signature, which turned out really nice.
I then hand Ricky my Mattel Legends figure for him to sign with a yellow and black paint pen. I ask him if he could sign his name in yellow and “The Dragon” in black. He takes the time to check to make sure my yellow paint marker is working properly before he starts signing. He actually tested it on the table cloth. Thought that was nice of him to make sure that the paint pen was in working order. He then signs the figure in his large signature, which turns out really nice. He then grabs a ringbell I brought for him to sign which he personalizes. He tells me that Macho Man came up with the idea of striking his throat with the ringbell which led up to their WM3 match. Ricky said that the WWF at the time received bags full of complaint letters about the actions of Macho Man. He also added that he actually did get hit on the throat pretty stiff and it hurt. After signing my ringbell he proceeds to finish adding “THE DRAGON” inscription in black paint marker on my Mattel figure.
After taking the time to chat with me, he tells me that we should take a pic with the ringbell and action figure together to prove that he signed them. Champ then takes a few photos of me and Ricky (Thanks Champ!) with the 2 items I got signed. As I am about to leave, Ricky says, “I’m going to put my HOF inscription on the figure”. I then pass him the yellow paint pen for him to inscribe “HOF 2009”. I shake his hand one last time and thank him for everything.
Ricky was AMAZING tonight!!! So friendly and such a gentleman. It was super awesome meeting him tonight. It was also great that he was signing with his full signature.
Good stuff again man. I met MVP once but didnt really have anything for him to sign so I got him to sign my hat that I was wearing but he was nice and great to meet I was always a big fan of his and I hope I can meet him again so I can get something good signed.
Post by TheChamp617 on Jul 7, 2018 23:33:35 GMT -5
Lex Luger was in West Seneca, NY today at the Christ Church Buffalo to tell his story about God in his life, with a free pancake breakfast.
My dad and I normally don’t drive this far (about two hours) for a signing, let alone in a different country, so I didn’t think I’d make this one. We decided to go to this last minute. With the event scheduled to start at 8:30am, we thought it might be easier to book a motel Friday night rather than waking up extra early Saturday morning to make it for the event. This also implied more figure hunting, of course. Come Saturday morning, we wake up at 6:15, get ready, check out of our hotel by 7:45. Within half an hour, we were at the venue whose parking lot had these homemade Lex Luger signs.
We walk in and are warmly greeted by the pastor of the church. He shakes our hands and we tell him we can from Toronto for this event, to which he said he appreciated. We also mentioned that we want to meet Lex. We then go into the hall itself, which holds 200 people, but only 10 in attendance so far with some trickling in. About 25 people ended up showing up. Other members of the church greet us and let us know there is coffee in the back. The pancakes were to be served soon.
After about 10 minutes later, Lex comes in with his wheelchair and stays off to the side. Some of the people in attendance were Lex’s old friends as he grew up in Buffalo. He gets approached by them and they take turns talking to him. One or two wrestling fans also came up to talk to him. With it already being past 8:30, I figured I’d wait until after to meet him, however, the pastor came to me and said “now would be a good time to meet him, I know you said you wanted to”, and so my dad and I approached Lex, who was talking to another fan. The fan asked Lex to sign two of the event information pamphlet, but didn’t have a sharpie, so I loan my blue sharpie to them. Lex signs the pamphlets for free, which got me excited. Once this particular fan was done with Lex, Lex asks: “do you want me to sign something? I’ll hang on to the marker.” I tell him that I have a bunch of items and that I came from Toronto to meet him. He begins signing my items, starting off with the encyclopedia. I open up to the Allied Powers entry and he asks me where I want the signature. I point to the entry and he signs it with the book on his lap. I then flip over to his individual entry and he signs it.
Next, I bring out the magazines. I tell him that I appreciate him coming out and that I have a huge collection. He smiles and continues signing. I would have loved to say more to him as there was the opportunity to literally sit with him and engage in conversation, but it’s too early in the morning for me and I’m not a morning person lol.
After, I had him sign vhs tapes. At this point, he wheels himself over to one of the dining tables to give him better support to sign.
Next, I open up my Roos poster, which he signs. The pastor we spoke to saw Lex signing my stuff and commented as to how much stuff I brought. Not negatively though; he could tell that I’m a big fan.
I then asked if we can switch markers, and he was more than happy to do so. I have him switch to a light blue to sign his E30 with. I ask him to personalize it, but he doesn’t hear me properly, and asks me to repeat. As I repeat myself, I also point to the post-it note that had “To Alex” on it. He excitedly says “sure!” and signs the figure. We then switch over to purple paint to sign his E45 with.
After he signs them all, I ask for a picture, and in response he asks my dad to step in closer with the camera so that the picture turns out better. We take the picture, and I thank him and shake his hand before packing my stuff and going back to our seats.
Minutes later, pancakes are served and at about 9:05, Lex is introduced. Before he speaks, a video package produced by one of the church people was shown that featured highlights of Lex’s career. Lex then begins speaking. Some of what I remember he said: - He started by bringing up the idea of foundation - would you rather build a house on rocks or on sand? The idea is that what’s the use of having something great if there’s no foundation to support it. This was the prelude to the brief talk about his wrestling career. In reference to the career highlights shown, despite all the fame and glory, he felt like something was missing. - After his wrestling career, he tried to get into acting and looked at the real estate in Malibu. Lex asked a real estate agent as to what the “regular” people do, and she said that they work at rehabs. The rehab market is huge there because of the celebrities doing drugs and alcohol. Again is the idea of having something big/great, but not having a good foundation. - He was very open about his demons and his attitude towards life back then. He did a lot of drugs and alcohol after his career and addressed Miss Elizabeth’s overdose. He referred to her, as an ex-girlfriend, however. Lex didn’t mention her by name. He explained the death and how she died at dinner. He gave her her food, then went back to the kitchen to get his own food. When he returned to the couch, she was dead. Emergency personnel came within a minute but couldn’t do anything to save her. - Despite this, he still had an arrogant attitude when it came to drugs and alcohol. He admitted to being an atheist and even said that he was so hooked up on material things like drugs, alcohol, and money, he would want physical proof of God’s existence. - Getting arrested was the best thing to ever happen to him. Officers knocked on his door and found so much drugs that he had 17 felonies. He had so much because he had the money to buy a large supply for himself and the people he partied with. He was in and out of jail several times because of his poor attitude. - During one of his stints in jail, the jail chaplain makes several attempts to talk to him, but Lex kept brushing him off. He finally gave in and decided to talk and hangout with the jail chaplain. This is when he realized that talking to his guy would give him time out of his cell.. but more importantly, the jail chaplain would sneak peanut butter to him. Lex brought this up because he was used to eating 8000 calories a day and so being in jail was different in that terms. Still, Lex was not a changed person - After he gets out of jail, Lex meets up with one of his drug dealers at a gym. By sheer coincidence, as they were leaving the gym, they run into the very same jail chaplain. Lex later concludes this as being God in the flesh considering that of all places for this guy to show up, it was at that gym. - The chaplain then asks Lex if he can train him. Lex agrees but because he doesn’t believe the chaplain would be up for it and would give up right away. They agree to meet up the next morning and to Lex’s surprise, the chaplain doesn’t give up and doesn’t get sore (and still is trained by Lex to this day). They end up becoming good friends - One day in 2006 (he remembers the exact dates of these events), the chaplain asks Lex to go to church with him. Lex is annoyed at the request, but appeased because the chaplain was his friend. When he attends church that day, the pastor was talking about the Sermon on the Mount teachings. Lex says that despite there being many in attendance, he felt like that the pastor was preaching to him, and only him. He felt like he had a calling. - After this incident, Lex couldn’t sleep, couldn’t eat, couldn’t properly function, etc. and so he asked his chaplain friend for advice. That’s when Lex realized what was missing. He was missing God in his life. Once he realized that, he had an instant feeling of completeness, unlike what he has ever felt before. He admits that it is miraculous that his is still alive. - He addressed his spinal injury that left him in a wheelchair. He said that he doctors don’t exactly know the cause of the injury and that Lex would need 24/7 care, which he actually does not. He imagines as to what would have happened if the spinal injury had occurred during the period of time his demons were controlling him. Lex believes that he would not be here today if that were the case. - He also briefly mentioned as to why he moved back to Buffalo. Not too long ago, his dad had died after suffering a massive stroke. When Lex came to Buffalo for the funeral, he decided that he missed living there and moved back. He now regularly hangs out with his mom. He said he feels stronger than he has ever been before. - To end, he reads a couple of verses, including one from Psalms 18. I quickly google this for this report, and it reads: “ The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”. This is to come full circle as to his rock and sand foundation analogy. Lex says that people need God in their life, but we need to take the initiative to bring God in. Lex’s three steps to doing so is to 1. Love God, 2. Love others, and 3. Share your story.
That’s what I remember and that’s actually most of what he said. I’m surprised I remembered that much. Lex was very very open about his demons, which was really interesting to hear. Once Lex is finished, the crowd applauses. The pastor comes on the mic to say thank you and to say a prayer. It was 10am at this point. I felt like the event was of good length. It wasn’t too short, wasn’t too long, and had a nice message. The pastor then said that Lex will sign autographs and take photos. Meeting Lex was definitely great. Such a nice guy and his story was interesting to listen to. Before we leave, the pastor personally thanks my dad and I for coming, and asks if I got everything I wanted signed. We thank him back and talk for a minute before leaving and doing more figure hunting.
Post by hbkbigdaddycool on Jul 8, 2018 16:36:41 GMT -5
I always loved Luger! So awesome that you got to meet him, and you can just tell that he loves the wrestling fans now.
I remember he said in a shoot interview, that during his wrestling days he didn't treat the fans too well. That he took it all for granted. But now he loves doing the wrestling conventions and meeting the fans, and you can just tell by the smile on his face.
Post by TheEvilDoink1987 on Jul 8, 2018 18:10:15 GMT -5
Lex was one of my first favorite wrestlers growing up. I'd love to meet him one day.
Definitely a guy who could have ended up on the endless list of wrestlers who died from drugs and alcohol. It is so refreshing to have an old school guy like him find his way out of that madness and find contention after their wrestling career ended.
Is WWE aware of what he has overcome? Lex Luger is an all-time name in pro wrestling history. He deserves to tell his amazing story for himself at the HOF. I'm done with these posthumous inductions