The Outside Influence WrestleMania XVIII
“OH OH Wrestlemania, fighting to survive….” You know that you have matured when that song no longer sounds cool. In fact it is down right annoying.
The column you have all been waiting for you but yet you all still refuse to write me and give me feedback. This is the Outside Influence Wrestlemania XVIII.
have you ever notice that I like to write out the Roman numerals instead
of use “X” and then the number. Call me a traditionalist but I like the Roman numerals much
Friday March 15, 2002 at approximately 4:30 p.m., five people who didn’t
have anything better to do on Saint Patrick’s Day weekend piled in my
piece of crap 1987 Chevrolet Celebrity and drove off to Toronto, Ontario,
throughout most of the ride I was getting reamed about arriving later
than I planned or asking “Are we there yet?”
In my defense, I had to meet with a teacher on Friday morning,
which is why I did not return to Cleveland on Thursday night as planned.
What was I supposed to say “Sorry, I can’t meet with you on Friday,
Mr. Distinguished Professor, I have to go to Wrestlemania XVIII.”
was excited about Wrestlemania XVIII including the people working at customs
getting into Canada. The booth attendant was practically hitting on me asking
about Wrestlemania and who was in the big match, etc. The booth attendant was a she by the way.
after letting Lou navigate (BIG MISTAKE!!!), we ended up at our hotel
at about 10:30 p.m. Now
this wasn’t just an ordinary hotel, it was a Days Hotel.
Now I know you’ve heard of Days Inn.
Well this was a Days Hotel.
There is a big difference between the two.
Of course, it had Les’ major requirement for a hotel…a hot tub
and nice size swimming pool.
you know that you are not expected to tip in Canada?
This would probably account for the fact that the bartender at
the hotel bar acted like a total bitch.
She hardly paid attention to us at all.
Now I am not saying that we were supposed to be the center of her
world but there wasn’t that many people at the bar.
In fact it was the five of us and another guy.
What’s up with that, eh?
the next day we took Toronto’s great subway system to Downtown Toronto.
Now we didn’t have to pay to park, which was good, but our subway
broke down so we had to walk farther than we planned.
Oh that wasn’t a problem for the five of us though, I mean we are
all in great physical shape (who am I kidding?).
we walked around Downtown Toronto, specifically around the Skydome and
CN Tower. The line
for the CN Tower was huge and I was going to go up in it but my bladder
had other plans. There wasn’t
an available restroom for at least two blocks.
Lou and Bill went to get their Wrestlemania XVIII merchandise early and
I eventually ran into them at the Skydome gift shop.
I decided that I should pick up a shirt as well and instead of
getting the “Icon Vs. Icon” t-shirt, I choose the other one because I
don’t follow fashion trends, I set them. I was surprised that more people were in line for merchandise.
The wait wasn’t long at all.
So here is where the fun begins. Actually Hooters was kind of fun, I really enjoyed their wings. I really mean it too; “wings” isn’t code for women’s breasts. Hooters really does have great wings. But the waitresses were not bad either. Our waitress happen to be going out with an NBA superstar who shall remain nameless. I will say that he plays for the Minnesota Timberwolves. The waitress who’s name was Maria just felt like she had to brag to us about this. I mean none of us even asked to know about her social life. Nobody probably cared, well maybe Lou did.
So you’ve got an NBA player dating a Hooters waitress from Toronto and he doesn’t even play for the Toronto Raptors. It’s nice to see a committed relationship like that in this day and age. Oh look in spite of the cold weather; I just saw some pigs fly passed my window.
group was determined to see an actual wrestler this weekend.
I know we were going to Wrestlemania XVIII but I mean actual wrestlers
up close. There were plenty
of wrestlers out and about. But
the first group we saw gave us the highlight of the weekend.
Tazz, Michael Cole, and Budda Ray Dudley are walking towards the parking garage beneath the Crowne Point hotel where they are staying. Well Lou gets this bright (or not) idea to yell something out to Michael Cole. Lou yells out “Michael Cole is a bum!” So in response “the human chip on his shoulder” Tazz replies “Yeah and your mother is a whore!”
Lou is never going to hear the end of that one folks. That had to have been the funniest part of our weekend. I apologize if I bring it up in future columns but that will be one of the highlights of my Wrestlemania XVIII for years to come.
Now soon after that, we spotted Chris Jericho with a hot looking blonde walking away from the Crowne Point hotel-parking garage. The blonde was nobody that I recognized but there were other people who could have sworn that it was Debra. Think about it, why would Debra be hanging out with Jericho while he could be hanging out with her husband, Stonecold Steve Austin. The only think I can think of is that the woman with Jericho was his wife. If that is your wife Chris, then props to you sir.
I actually ran around the other side of the block to see where Jericho was headed. Chris went into a local bar and grille with his “wife”. I got a picture of him as he was holding the door for her. What a gentleman he is. A couple of people said hello to Chris but other than that he really wasn’t harassed as he walked in the bar and grille.
As Lou and Les went looking for Chris Jericho, of course I didn’t tell them the name of the bar and grille that Jericho went into so they must have been looking in every restaurant on the block. Snacks (Dan), Bill, and I were waiting on the corner with cameras clutched to our hands waiting for other wrestlers to appear. Then all of a sudden, Steve Lombardi (aka Brooklyn Brawler) and Harvey Wippleman walk out of an Italian restaurant. Now some kids thought they would be funny and asked Harvey how did it feel to be the women’s champion and then harass the Brooklyn Brawler. Now I really don’t care about Harvey but I’m telling those kids right now (yeah like they read my column) that the Brooklyn Brawler could kiss all of your asses.
So we met up as a group once more and Bill, Les, and Lou decided to stand in front of the bar and grille that Jericho entered and wait for him. Dan and I had to use the bathroom. You know what I am sorry that I have to go to the bathroom all of the time. Christian pulled around in a white van with another attractive blond. I guess blonds do have more fun.
We ended up going through the lobby of the Crowne Point hotel and we happened to see a nice crowd gathering. That could only mean one thing…more wrestlers.
Now to make a long story short because hell I’m not even on Sunday yet. There were wrestlers walking in and out of the lobby like nobodies business. Here is who I saw Arn Anderson, Michael Hayes, DDP, Lillian Garcia, Test, Bradshaw, Mae Young, the Fabulous Moolah, Val Venis, Triple H, Jim Ross, Chris Beniot with his wife Nancy (aka Woman aka Mrs. Kevin Sullivan), and Tony Garrea.
The bastards at the Crowne Royal hotel dimmed the lights as more and more fans showed up to take pictures. I’m almost positive they did it on purpose. Someone should write a letter to them about that. Since I don’t feel like, I think you should.
Then the police officers or whatever they are called in Canada asked everyone to leave very nicely. On the way out the door we almost ran literally into Jazz. None of the other guys recognized her expect me. I will tell you what Jazz is a beast. She was with a guy too and he was huge as in muscular huge as well.
As we stood around outside for no apparent reason, Bradshaw comes walking out of the hotel and he looked pissed, so that hindered any attempt to talk, say hello, take a picture of, buy him a beer, or take him to a strip club.
Now totally unrelated to wrestling but across the street we witnessed (I mean no we didn’t) an accident involving two cabs. Some real mental genius decided to exit his stopped cab from the left. Now for those of you who are as bit slow that mean that he tried to exit the taxi via the street. Well as the door opened another cab hit the door and did some major damage to the side of the parked cab. The moving cab only had some minor fender damage but the parked cab looked pretty beat up on the side. Now the group that was in the parked cab stuck around for a few minutes but then they left. Who is responsible for that accident anyway and aren’t the people involved supposed to stick around until law enforcement arrive on the scene?
Now since our sense of direction was a bit off. We took the long way to get to a subway station that was very close by. Lou having been stripped of all navigational privileges was not responsible. It was my fault.
Now the next day, we paid about twenty dollars to park I’d say five blocks or so away from the Skydome. Not bad in my book.
So we have lunch in an Irish pub. Now this pub was full of drunk wrestling fans and every so often, you’d hear a WOOOO!!!
Now we kind of walked around the Skydome for a little while then finally walked over to where we were supposed to enter the Skydome. Now we got in line and were second in line. We got there about 2:30 p.m. and the doors were supposed to open at about 5:30 p.m.. Now I am not saying that it was a bad idea but it was a bad idea.
We waited to get into Wrestlemania XVIII for almost 4 hours. We were second in line for the door but that didn’t matter at all. Fans were just pushing their way up to the entrance anyway and when they finally opened the doors everyone rushed and pushed their way in. The security people at the Skydome must have thought that we were a bunch of bitches because professional wrestling fans waiting to get into an event always harass them. There was even an “asshole” chant when the security people did not let us into the building until about 6:00 p.m. They never let people in when the ticket says that the doors open.
Now we didn’t get the best seats for Wrestlemania XVIII, I think I paid $55 for my ticket, but hell with where we were sitting, we were at Wrestlemania XVIII. I’ve got pictures of us at the event from our seats.
All and all a good event. Here are some random thoughts I had from the event:
I have finally figured out why there are so many promos during PPV events on television. Its so the people at the arena can get up and go to the bathroom, concession stand, or the merchandise booth. I took advantage of the long Rock and Hogan promo before their match and went to use…yeah you guessed it…the bathroom.
To the family that looked like they all needed a couple of hours on the Stairmaster. Hey I mean it the entire family was fat, even the kids. They kept getting out of their seats during the entire show. Show some goddamn courtesy and waiting until there is a break in the action. That’s why I refuse to sit on the floor because nobody has any respect for anyone else down there. They hold up their sign and stand up in front of you and block you.
I can’t describe the feeling that was going through the Skydome during the Rock vs. Hulk Hogan match. The place just glowed with excitement (whatever that means). The best match of the night…period. The Canada’s hatred of the Rock was unreal. Everyone was behind Hogan including our group. It was great being able to chant “Rocky Sucks” along with 68,000 plus. The end of the match was great too. It was obvious that Hogan was passing the torch onto the Rock and until the last Wrestlemania in Canada; he passed the torch to the right man.
The Women’s Title match absolutely killed the crowd though. They had it right after the Hogan vs. Rock match. The crowd was absolutely spent from the last match and having a boring Women’s title match was a horrible idea. The only thing good about that match was Trish’s outfit. I was really loving the Canadian Mapleleaf flag that night.
The running joke (no pun intended) of our group was wondering how long it would take Kevin Nash to do a run in during the Scott Hall vs. Steve Austin match. Luckily for him, he came down with Scott right in the beginning. I thought that Scott Hall was going to make it a horrible match but I was impressed by his performance. Steve Austin must be pissed though because he went from wrestling for the WWF Champion, the year before to wrestling Scott Hall the next year.
The Hardcore Title skits were great. Especially when Al Snow was driving the golf cart with Teddy Long. It was also nice to see the Hurricane at Wrestlemania XVIII as well. I knew that Maven and Goldust weren’t going to walk away the winners of the match. Nice to see Crash again too. I would love to see a Crash vs. Goldust feud over the hardcore title.
The Wrestlemania XVIII programs were horrible. I can pick one up at my local grocery and even now I probably could. How about you sac up and make a program that you can only get at the event Vince? I’m sick of getting articles from RAW or WWF Magazine when I buy a program at a houseshow too. And the inserts with the matches on them don’t count. I bought a program that for some reason, did not have the insert in it. When I asked another vendor for one, he or she told that they couldn’t give me one. What is up with that eh? I bought the fucking program and I expect to get a stupid insert.
There was a whole bunch of traffic coming back the US that night. I had everyone’s Ids ready so that we could go through the booth quickly. Before I could do anything the lady at the booth said “Wrestlemania?” and I said “yes”. She waved us on through. Now granted it was nice to not have to wait but what the hell. I know that it is a pain in the ass dealing with people coming into the country but do your job. I don’t mind waiting as long as you are keeping me safe. If I had the time I would write another letter too. Oh well.
See you again on Monday night.
The Outside Influence
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