Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Summerslam Axxess Sunday - Session 3

Sorry for the delay, I've been crazy busy at work! I'm at Ft. Lauderdale waiting a connection to another flight that is going to take 3 hours, so I thought it was the perfect opportunity to finally attach the pics to this post that was supposed to go up 3 months ago:

Last session for fans to meet fans. WWE had announced a list of Superstars/Divas that were scheduled to appear, but didn't specify if they would sign autographs, make an appearance in the NXT ring or otherwise.

This time as I entered I went straight to the National Guard stage, which had like 15 fans in it already . . . . but when I heard that Kofi Kingston was going to be the Superstar signing I decided to go to another one (no disrespect to Kofi, but I was looking for a bigger name).

I went over to the Doritos Jacked stage, which was the only one without anybody in line, waited there for around 10 minutes without nobody getting onto the stage. I was freaked out about the possibility of a tag team to go there because there was 3 markers with 3 different autograph pages set up there.

But I was lucky enough that Damien Sandow (current WHC Money In The Bank holder - NOT ANYMORE) was the designated superstar to sign there. I was the very first one to get his autograph & a picture with him, he was kind of serious . . . but I was just happy for hitting a homerun in that opportunity.




 Sandow attracted a lot of fans to his lines, which left the other ones not that big for the rest of the fans.

Saw that the Zack Ryder line was like a 20 minute line and took advantage of it. Got his autograph, which he inscribed with his WWWYTHI (Woo Woo Woo, You Know It) inscription and a photo with him too.





Right next to him were 2 superstars in the same stage: Justin Gabriel & Tensai/Sweet T, which had a very short line. So with the intention of getting the most amount of autographs in the session I went in it.




Gabriel signed an article from the April 2013 WWE Magazine he was featured in and Tensai this picture that was also from another WWE Magazine issue.




The WWE person that was up there taking pictures for the fan cut off Justin Gabriel from the pic, so I only got a photo with Tensai.






 There was 1 hour left before the Superstars/Divas switch from the ones that were there to the new ones. I saw that Kofi (line I was first in and then bailed) was signing with Rosa Mendes, like I mentioned in the previous post . . . . I have a huge crush on Rosa.

While I was in line, I was carrying 2 foam 30x20's that were protecting my Shawn Michaels 30x20 photo I was going to get signed. I thought that a cool way to attract Rosa was to do a "I love Rosa" sign in Spanish.

Line was easily going to take 1 hour, so while I was in it I made that sign and sure enough while she was going on stage after signing for handicap fans, she noticed it, waived at me and blew a kiss to me.

That was good, but the line was pretty slow and surely enough 3 people before me the line was stopped because R-Truth had arrived to do his autograph session, I was looking to Rosa and she told me: "I got you".

Sure enough, Rosa told the WWE personell to let me walk up, they also allowed the 2 guys that I was talking to in line to get their autographs and a picture taken with Kofi and Rosa.

 Rosa & Kofi both signed an autograph for me.





Afterwards Rosa let me take a picture with her standing next to me (but Kofi kind of blocked part of her face). 


Rosa also asked me to take a picture with her for her twitter account that she later uploaded on instagram and twitter. Now that was awesome!




When the switch for other superstars happened I started walking around to see who was there. No doubt that I wanted to get Jim Ross' autograph (WWE HOF announcer). While I was in line for J.R. a huge crowd started roaring, Rob Van Dam was on his way to the stage that was next to ours. Some fans left J.R. line, but I stayed because I had already met RVD when he was with TNA last year.


Line wasn't too bad, got to the stage like 40 minutes later. Jim Ross is a huge Oklahoma Sooners Football supporter that travels with the team to most of the games they play, OU played their season opener last year in El Paso against UTEP . . . . but I wasn't able to meet him because I was up at the press box calling the game and he was on the field. Talked to him for a minute about college football, it was great meeting a legend of wrestling broadcasting ..... never thought that his 'retirement' would be announced a month later.




 After getting JR's autograph I went back to the Shawn Michaels VIP signing, fortunately one of the guys that I met at the Rosa & Kofi line was kind of in the middle of the pack and told me to get in line with him, that easily saved me around 20-30 minutes.


Like I mentioned earlier, I had a 30x20 from Shawn Michaels' entrance in his final match ever (Wrestlemania 28) ..... a lot of people in line thought it was pretty awesome when I took it out. And that's what I was thinking about when I paid that kind of money for these autograph's (Cena, Punk & HBK), better get something very cool signed by them if I'm paying that much.

When I saw Michaels I noticed his beard, no doubt the picture didn't come out like I expected it ..... that facial hair makes him really hard to distinguish as the 'Heartbreak Kid'.



As he signed my picture, I asked him if he could please inscribe 'Mr. Wrestlemania' ..... the WWE assistant immediately said "No personalization", I replied that it wasn't a personalization .... Shawn simply said "Sorry man, there's a lot of people in line and if I inscribe for everyone it'll take me forever". I understood it, still think it came out pretty sweet.




All in all I think that session 3 was my favorite session of the weekend, got lucky with the Sandow line .... got 5 more 'superstars' to sign in the first group and then got a pair of HOF'ers in the last couple of hours.

There's rumors that Summerslam might be heading out of LA for next year. Hope that doesn't happen because I enjoyed building my vacation around it and had a blast at the show that was a really good card from start to finish.

Hope you enjoyed the post!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Summerslam AXXESS Saturday - Session 2

Well, after having my tacos I went back in line for Session 2 (scheduled to start @ 4 pm).

Did the same drill, walked around to see which superstars would be signing to find which one was better. Didn't risk it on getting in a line without knowing who would sign there.

Big mistake, 'The Bella Twins' Nikki and Brie were signing at the National Guard stage (right next to the entrance) and I got at the end of the line that was by far the biggest one of the day.



It was a 2 hour wait, and even though I met them 2 years ago, I wanted to get their autograph in a poster of them that was published in the July edition of WWE Magazine.

Girls are smoking hot! Everybody's jaw dropped every single time that they went down to sign and take pics with fans at the designated area for handicap people.



10 minutes before 6 pm (time when the superstar switch happened) I finally made it to the stage for my autograph. When I said hi to them Brie said: "Hola papi, how are you?", that was definitely one of the highlights of my vacation. Got Nikki to sign in red & Brie to sign in blue (color of the blouses they wore in that shoot), I think it came out awesome!


Also got my picture with these 2 beauties (again)!


Did a little bit of time walking around before the next pool of superstars came out and bumped into the 'Brock Lesnar' guy (Mike) and Frank The Clown, 2 guys that are at a lot of WWE Events around all the country. Great dudes!


Noticed that Fandango & Summer Rae were finishing their autograph session, totally bummed I didn't get their autographs this year, but I don't regret on getting the Bella Twins autograph & picture again.


Natalya and Alicia Fox came out to replace The Bella Twins, Natalya is a real sweetheart (she even follows me on twitter), but I wanted to try my chances to get a bigger superstar's autograph (No disrespect to Natty). BTW, I heard that the Bella Twins were asked down the stage so that Natalya & Alicia could start signing, but The Bella's said that they would sign 15 more minutes for the fans that were there for them, that's just great!


A.J. Lee (Divas Champ) and Big E. Langston were walking out, so I stood right next to her and started taking some pictures. In one she noticed me taking them and in the second she even smiled! Thanks A.J.!





 Line was very big, but for A.J. it was worth it! She started around 6:10 pm, I had a CM Punk VIP ticket for which he was scheduled to sign from 6 to 8, so I thought I had a shot at getting both.



At 7 I went to check how the C.M. Punk line was and it was moving really quick and I had heard that the VIP superstars left the moment when there was no more fans in line, so I didn't want to risk missing out on Punk and asked one of the guys in line if he could save my spot for 15 minutes, he was cool enough to help me out.

I went to the CM Punk line and there was only like 15 people left, so it didn't take long. Unlike Cena, Punk was just signing only 1 item for most fans (he has a bad reputation, so I didn't want to push it). I asked him to sign my WWE October 2011 magazine cover with a silver marker, bad decision . . . didn't come out great. But the experience of having (even though it was short) a one on one interaction with him was well worth it, he's my favorite wrestler.






Went back to the A.J. Lee line and Jose (guy who saved my spot in line) recognized me and called me in. Can't thank him enough. WWE personnel didn't allow fans to take pictures with the A.J. anymore because the line was moving very slow, and that actually sped things up. I hooked up Jose with a purple marker for A.J. to sign his trading card with and the guy behind me with a sweet picture from a WWE Magazine article she was featured on, gotta help out the people who help you out.

I got this picture of A.J. looking at John Cena from a feud that featured Dolph Ziggler, A.J.& Big E. Langston not that long ago. Got her to sign it with a purple marker and I love how it came out!



Big E. Langston signed a WWE Magazine picture from 3 months ago, he didn't grab the silver marker I had for him . . . . but I didn't really care because I was in that line for A.J. and not Big E.


No doubt it was a great day, had a lot of fun meeting WWE Superstars & Divas, but the best was yet to come!

5 autographs from 3 Divas & 2 superstars, wish I could've done better . . . but lines were huge!

Summerslam Axxess Saturday - Session 1

Like many of you know, I'm a huge wrestling fan. Summerslam was held in L.A. once again, so I planned my vacation considering that.

WWE usually has a 2 day Fan Fest before Summerslam where fans get to meet superstars (wrestlers) & Divas (female wrestlers).


I bought tickets for 3 VIP sessions: John Cena, CM Punk & Shawn Michaels.  Buying VIP tickets allows you to enter before the general admission ticketed fans, plus a guaranteed autograph and photo with the VIP Superstar you paid for.

I arrived for the 11 am session @ 9:30 and there was already 100 fans in front of me. 30 minutes later there was already like 400. For general admission there was easily 1,000.


VIP ticketed fans were allowed in 10 minutes before 11 am. So, being inside with less than 150 fans would be a great chance to get an autograph with no line ..... the issue was that WWE didn't let you know where, which and when superstars would be signing. So I had 2 choices, get in a line without knowing who would sign there or wait until the superstar/diva came out.


Daniel Bryan was walking around with Larry King before signing his V.I.P. session, ignored every fan that even said hi to him.


I wandered around until I saw the 'Primetime Players' come out, got into their line (I was like the 6th). Got their autograph quickly, unfortunately the WWE employee that was there didn't want to take a picture of me with O'Neil & Young.




Afterwards I noticed that Eva Marie was signing autographs,  she's a new Diva featured in the E! Entertainment show "Total Divas".


 She had like a 15-20 minute line , so I decided to give it a shot. Plus I had the Maxim Magazine issue she had a feature in, so it would be great to get it signed.



When it was my turn I asked her to sign with a red marker I had. She taught that was really cool because it combined with her red hair.



She was cool enough to take a picture with me.






John Cena was signing from 11 to 1, so I decided to go get my guaranteed autograph and photo op. Met this cool guy Kash from Washington,  who we later helped each other out with telling each other which superstars were where.

Cena was supposed to only sign 1 item, but he was signing whatever you put in front of him. So I decided to get my July 2013 WWE Magazine cover & the matted 8×10 picture that was included in the VIP premium price.

 

Even thought CM Punk is my favorite wrestler, I told Cena I respected the heck out of him for what he does for the company.


While walking to see which were the superstars that were signing, I noticed Sam Roberts, he has a show on Sirius XM and uploads great wrestling interviews on YouTube. Asked him for a picture, dude is great! What's the haps'?


One of the Divas that was signing was Rosa Mendes with Sin Cara, I've had a huge crush on Rosa since she was Primo & Epico's manager, that dance she did in her entrance was amazing!


But her line was like a 30 minute line with only 5-10 minutes before the superstar change at 1 pm, so I headed towards the place where the superstars were walking out of. Mick Foley walked by me and I snapped this pic with my iPhone.

Current IC champ Curtis Axel walked out, so I went to his line (like 45 minute line). I was kind of bummed that Paul Heyman (his 'manager') didn't sign autographs with him, because Curtis said on twitter that both of them would be there.


Line went down smooth, got Curtis Axel (Curt Henning's son) to sign a picture of him with the Vince McMahon trophy (WWE Fantasy Football League) when he won it in the 2010 season. Asked him who he drafted as QB this season, he said he went with Peyton Manning. I think that's a very solid choice.


By the way, a guy that was standing on the outside told him that he had met his dad when he was still alive to what Curtis replied with a "I'm going to be better". We shall see!


I had 2 options, get in Wade Barrett's line with around 45 minutes before AXXESS Session 1 was finished or go to eat somewhere (I didn't have breakfast before leaving home), so I went for something to eat. Pretty bummed that the ESPN Zone was closed, so I walked around and found a taco truck where I bought 3 tacos, a coke and a Gatorade for $7. Cheap and a good fix to get ready for session 2.

6 autographs from 4 superstars & 1 diva, solid result from Axxess session 1.

Friday, August 16, 2013

L.A. Vacation (DODGERS!)

It's been great being back in L.A. for a 12 day vacation.

Got here on Friday night (August 9th) at 7pm, I wanted to go to the game . . . . but I was just too tired after the 11 hour drive, so I stayed home and watched the great comeback for the W.

Saturday, August  10th:

Woke up early because we had a 1:10 pm game against the Rays on Saturday, it was a bobblehead day (Hideo Nomo) and I didn't want to miss out.

Early games mean no Batting Practice, but I was just excited of being back at Dodger Stadium for a game (I was there 3 weeks before for the tour, which I hope I can post about soon).

Saying hi and chatting with all my STH neighbors at the Top Deck is great, no doubt it's like a big family of die-hard Dodgers fans.

I didn't even try to go downstairs to get some autographs, and I kind of regret it because a friend of mine said that the Rays players were great with L.A. fans and some of the signed autographs (including David Price).

Nomo had a TON of media there for his first pitch, Roberto Baly from the great "Vin Scully Is My Homeboy" blog says that this was his first Dodger Stadium appearance since retiring in 2008.



This was my first time watching Greinke pitch at Dodger Stadium, dude was money tossing 6 and a third scoreless innings for the W.

Sunday, August 11th:

This was a nationally broadcasted game on ESPN, so the start time was 5:05. The team didn't have BP on Friday (flew in from St Louis @ 3:30 am) or Saturday (1:10 pm start), so I thought it might be a great day for getting some autographs.

Picked up some pics I printed out of most of the players, wishing I could get some of them signed.

Arrived at 1:45 pm (STH with MVP cards get allowed in the Stadium 3 hours before game time), we were allowed inside the premises at 2:05 pm and into the Stadium around 2:20 pm.

Quickly got into the first row of the 'Prime-Ticket Club' seats, but then I saw Hyun-Jin Ryu signing by the bullpen . . . so I rushed over there. I didn't print a picture of him because I heard he doesn't sign oftenly, so I decided to get my team-ball signed and he was extremely friendly with everybody.




Went back to the "Prime-Ticket" Club seats and a couple of minutes later Ricky Nolasco starts signing by the bullpen, so there I go running again and it was kind of crowded, but fortunately Ricky noticed my picture and grabbed it and signed it.




I walked back to the seat where I left my backpack and Juan Uribe tossed a ball to a fan nearby me, so I asked him in Spanish if he could toss one to me (of course with a 'please' included) and he was cool enough to do so.




When the gates open (2 hours before game time), fans are allowed down 'aisle 27' and this time Andre Ethier stopped by, dude is a class act with fans . . . ALWAYS SIGNS! Things have changed since I've left, now Dodgers personnell grab the fans memorabilia and take it up to the player to sign it, before you could walk up to him. I'm ok with that, got another pic signed by Andre for my collection.


When it was our turn to leave that area, I walked over to the Rays bullpen to try my luck with them. The day before I tried to 'graph' some of the players after the game and didn't start a ball because none of their 'big caliber' players stopped by. The closest I was to do so was with Fernando Rodney, but he told me in Spanish 'I'll do it tomorrow', which with most of the players means they won't. But he was extremely cool with fans and threw some baseballs at us, walked up and signed autographs and was very friendly. Thanks Fernando!



 The Rays are a very friendly team with fans, gotta give them props for that. They were throwing baseballs to fans in the Field Level, Loge Level and even the Reserve Level!

Monday, August 12th

The Mets came into town for a 3 game series after beating the D-Backs 2 out of 3 in Arizona.

Security let us walk up @ 4:00 pm and wait at the gates until 4:10, when I was pleasently surprised that they let us into batting practice at 4:10 pm.

By letting us in at time, we were able to catch B.P. since the beginning, I noticed that Matt Kemp was tossing a ball with one of the trainers and I walked straight next to him. I set up my 'The Real MVP' jersey I got personalized right after the 2011 season when Matt clearly deserved to win the MVP award but he got screwed by the award voters and a guy who used PED's to have an edge.



Kemp has been my favorite player since coming back to the U.S. and I've been fortunate enough that he's a really great guy and having a favorite player that's as great with fans like him is awesome. Since I left, there's some grapher's that I didn't recognize at first but fortunately some of my friends introduced me to them, one of them is David (AKA: The 'Fro'). David started joking around with Matt, Kemp laughed a little bit and the 'Fro' asked him if he could sign a card for him to which Kemp said yes. Guess what? The 'Fro' was right next to me. Lucky!



After finishing his routine with the trainer, Matt walked to the 'Fro' and signed his card, saw my jersey and signed it with a deco marker that I hadn't used in over one year . . . worked just fine!




Matt signed for some of the fans that were there, but then he rejected to sign for one fan that is usually there and started walking away, he saw a kid asking for his autograph but on a pair of cleats, at first Matt told him to walk over but then he said he would sign something else but not that (that's something premium that the boy obviously didn't take there by himself).

B.P. went down and nobody else came over to sign, so at 5:10 pm the Stadium Gates opened and fans were allowed to aisle 27. I bought a ticket for the 'PrimeTicket Club' to that game, so I was able to stay in the baseline. But security kept going at me thinking that my ticket was fake, 1 of the ladies went on me like for 2 minutes checking my ticket from top to bottom. I wasn't able to ask the bullpen pitchers for their autographs because that lady had me there waiting for her to 'authenticate' my ticket. So I got pissed and a minute later I went to her and asked her why she did that only to me and not the rest of the people, like if I weren't able to afford a ticket for that area.

Hanley Ramirez was doing a interview with Telemundo between aisle 27 and the area where we were cut off, when he finished the interview we tried to call him over but he didn't do so, instead he signed for some of the fans that were down at aisle 27. If you're supposed to get an autograph, you'll get it. If you're not supposed to get the autograph, even if you pay for expensive seats . . . . you won't get it.




I went for some food at the Prime Ticket Club, it's unlimited when you buy seats for that area, picked up a pair of Dodger Dogs and some drinks. On the way back I noticed that Jaime Jarrin was being interviewed by Telemundo in the same spot that Hanley was being interviewed earlier. I patiently waited until his interview was over and me & another group of fans asked him over, I appreciated him answering a tweet I sent him last week and told them that he's an inspiration for the young people that are starting in the business of broadcasting. Asked him for advice in to last that long and told him that I call college football & basketball games, he told me I should do some baseball too, to which I replied that I hope to get the opportunity to call the baseball games of the AAA team that El Paso is going to get starting next year.





Mets B.P. had started, so with my baseline ticket I moved over to the 1st base side to try and get some Mets autographs. During B.P. I helped a kid that's a Mets fan get a baseball from one of the coaches, but nobody else walked by. Until the end of BP guess who was the only guy to walk towards us? Matt Harvey, pitching stud that started the 2013 All Star Game. He signed a baseball for me & I asked him to personalize it, like you guys know EVERY autograph I get is for my personal collection, I don't trade or sell any of my stuff, and we all know this kid is going to be BIG, So I wanted to make that auto even more special.



I heard my buddy Josh (Dodgerbobble) calling me over to try and get his ASG 2013 ball signed, I asked him to throw it to me and lucky enough Matt also signed it.

It was 40 minutes before game time, so I went back to my seat and tried to get in good position to get some autographs before the game. I was hoping for Puig & A-Gon, who are really big names that are hard autographs to get.

Kemp, Ethier, Dee Gordon and some other players were really good signers in that area pre-game for the fans in the last couple of years, but this time only one guy came over . . . . YASIEL PUIG! Yasiel walked straight at me, signed 2 autographs before mine and went down the line right after his name got announced.




This was my view of the game, I'm going to be honest . . . . I prefer the Top Deck of the Stadium because I get a bigger perspective and I'm able to see the ball better, plus down there I was the only guy screaming, supporting my team, the rest of the fans seemed like they were there for an opera.



It was a nice experience being down there, but the lights hitting me right at the face gave me a headache.

But hey, my Dodgers got the W!

Tuesday, August 13th

It's great that security allows STH to start walking up to the gates @ 4:00 pm, that way when gates are open 3 hours before game time fans with MvP passes are able to be there since the beginning.

Matt Kemp was checking out some of his rehab drills on a iPad with 2 of the team trainers. Some kids started asking for autographs, but he said he was busy. I had already gotten his autograph a day before, so I was ok.





Clayton Kershaw walked out with Ricky Nolasco to warmup. I've heard that it has been really rare for Kershaw to sign during B.P., fortunately I already got a couple of things signed last year, including a personalized jersey.

 

Kershaw pitched a bullpen session 2 days after starting against the Rays on a nationally televised game. I always enjoy watching him pitch up close & personal right next to the bullpen railing.




 J.P. Howell approached some fans to sign autographs, I took advantage to get my team ball signed by him. Guy was great interacting with Dodger fans while he was taking pictures and signing for everybody who requseted an autograph.



When 5:10 struck, I tried my luck at the kiddie corral down aisle 27 and Tim Federowicz saw the 8 x 10 I had of him and Skip and asked the security lady to pass it over to him to sign it. Thanks Fed-Ex!
 

 I bought 4 tickets from my little sister's Track & Field team for a fundraiser they were doing, so I invited my dad, mom, sister & little nephew (who was there for his second game).




Another W for my boys in blue! No doubt I enjoyed it more for having my family with me!

My nephew Alex loves baseballs, so I bought this one to him. My sister says he didn't go to sleep until 2 am because of the big baseball.




Wednesday, August 13th

My last regular season BP of 2013.



Was able to meet Dodgerfilms great Bobby Crosby. Give him a follow on instagram (instagram.com/bobbycrosby) and suscribe to his YouTube channel. What he does is great for Dodgers fans who live out of town and aren't able to be at the Stadium, makes you feel you're there!



It was the first time I saw Puig on Left Field with the bullpen guys, he joked around a lot with Carlos Marmol.




Ricky Nolasco pitched a bullpen session 2 days after his start.





The LA native signed autographs to fans right afterwards, he went straight to a couple of pictures of my friend Kenny and kept on going to his left. I was right next to Kenny with my team ball, but on the other side. I didn't get his auto, but I wasn't going to chase him down because I had already gotten him on a 8x10.



Funny pic of all our bullpen guys throwing baseballs to Juan Uribe at 3rd.





 Ryu fielding some balls at 3rd base.



I was seeing double! Double Gordon!


Thanks to the 'Fro' for the pic on the field, hope I get to step it in October!




When it all seemed like I was going to strike out with autographs on my last day at Dodger Stadium, Don Mattingly stopped to sign some autographs. I was looking for my picture for like 2 minutes and when I was able to find it 'Donnie Baseball' was still signing, so Joseph (great security guard with the fans) passed it over to Don who signed it for me. This is barely the second time I get his autograph.

 
Dodgers legends Maury Wills & Steve Garvey were at the Stadium and some fans called them over to sign autographs, I took advantage of the opportunity for both of them to sign my former Dodgers players ball. Should've brought my infield 8x10 project that I left in El Paso. I'm only missing Mr. Garvey on it.




During the game there were 2 beautiful girls that sat 4 rows beneath my seat, they were gorgeous!! I rarely get distracted at Dodger Stadium, well . . . this time I got distracted!
 Here's a pic of one of them taking a 'selfie', actually she was recording a video for instagram.


Being the reporter I am, I found out that the blonde one is a model. So I asked them for a picture, girls were awesome! Follow them on Instagram (Claudia & Adrienne).



There's people who like them, there's people who hate them . . . . but there's always beach balls at Dodger Stadium!


8th inning, some fans started leaving . . . . I told them that they were going to miss the comeback! We were down 4-2.


And yes sir, Andre Ethier tied it up in the 9th! Way to go Captain Clutch! It's good to be a die-hard Dodgers fan and never leave a game until it's over!



We ended up getting the W with an A-Gon hit to LF and the game winning run being scored by Puig!

It was great being back at Dodger Stadium, it was great seeing old & new friends and I really hope I'm able to be back in October for the playoffs and be part of history!