It’s Monday morning, my area is under a winter weather advisory in April, and I’m typing this on a busted laptop. There is a stack of my books that I ordered last week sitting in a dumpster or landfill somewhere in Dallas. My head is still spinning in nausea thanks to my flight from Philadelphia to Buffalo on a shaky propeller plane. I’ve had the same socks on since Friday. All of the preceding is worth it, because I had an absolute blast this past weekend at WrestleCon.
It was a strange situation, officially meeting Vince for the first time (for the third time). We’ve been face-to-face on podcasts almost daily for a year while speaking on the phone several times a day during that span, but have never met in person since we started on The RELM Network until three days ago. It was like meeting a long lost relative, or seeing your best friend from high school for the first time in years. I truly cherish the friendship we have, beyond the scope of everything he has done for me professionally. I can’t wait ’til we get to hang again, because the laughs never stopped (and according to him, neither did my snoring – which I’m sure I’ll get ripped about). Putting RELM Network/PodcastOne/RussosBrand.com aside, I’m proud to have Vince as one of my true and best friends.
After meeting up at the airport, Mr. Randy Helms (the true star of The Andre Corbeil Show) was kind enough to give Vince, myself, and Jasmin St. Claire a ride to our respective destinations. We may have driven in circles only to find ourselves back at the airport and adding an additional 45 minutes or so to the journey (we’ll blame it on the GPS), but I’ll let Vince detail all that in a hilarious fashion on an upcoming Chicken Necks.
Ed Ferrara. I don’t know the proper words to describe how awesome this man is. I have to admit that part of me was worried about being a “fifth-wheel” since the purpose of this WrestleCon trip was Vince and Ed’s first Q&A and appearance together in many years (this was also the first time they have even hung out together in years) and I kind of tagged along. The worries disappeared quickly, because from the moment I met Ed, he treated me like I belonged there with them. I didn’t feel like a “fifth-wheel”, but instead, I was hanging out with two friends. (I’m still laughing from the Mike Awesome 70’s Guy bus story.) From the adventures of crossing a busy street (with Vince yelling at a car) to a final hug goodbye on Saturday, I already miss Ed. I’m glad to have gained a new friendship.
If you have been a regular viewer of Anything But Freakin’ Rasslin’, you know that Vince was allowing me to bring copies of my book to sell at the convention. I had no idea if I would sell any (honestly, one would have been awesome), but I brought a bunch just in case. When I opened my suitcase at the hotel, disaster had struck. I had packed a bottle of SmartMouth mouthwash. I double wrapped it in plastic bags to be safe, but it didn’t matter. Its entire contents leaked throughout my bag and ruined my books. The majority of my clothes were also drenched in mouthwash (hence wearing the same socks for three days, although I could probably change them since I’m home now). Luckily, a few shirts and draws were safe from the minty explosion. I also managed to salvage a book for Brand member Der from Germany, thankfully, because I would have felt bad if he didn’t get one as requested.
It was really cool meeting a bunch of Brand members at the convention. I never take anyone’s support for granted, and hearing their nice comments in person made me appreciate it that much more. I was honored to meet all of you, because without The Brand, my words mean nothing. I can’t wait to have the opportunity to meet more of you in the future.
Unfortunately, the main purpose of the trip ended up getting sidelined. I was there to promote The Brand and get people signed up on the spot at our booth. That never happened. I had my laptop out, ready to go, and the staff informed our hosts that the hotel’s wifi was apparently not working. I then tried using my phone as a hotspot thanks to Ed’s suggestion, but the signal was so bad inside that I couldn’t even load up the website page. This absolutely sucked. Luckily, Vince was able to promote The Brand during the Q&A, and we had nice laminated info pages about us laid out on the booth. Sorry to anyone that was planning to sign-up there, but hopefully you were able to use the info I gave you!
Perhaps the greatest moment of the convention was walking to the Q&A area and seeing Scott Casey Gale. I popped huge. There were rumors he was going to be there, but we didn’t know for sure. Vince’s face lit up and he brought Scott in for a huge hug that was absolutely awesome. He even called Scott up to the stage during the Q&A to take a bow for the crowd, and later introduced him to his number one crush Brooke Adams. (Both of those moments were caught on video, and will be posted in the future for the VIPs.)
The entire Q&A with Vince and Ed was tremendous, and we also have that on video. The crowd asked great questions, and there was even a run-in by Melissa Santos who planted a nice kiss on Vince (he hasn’t been the same since).
Like all great weekends, this went way too fast, and Vince and Ed had to go straight to the airport from the convention. I had to leave early the next morning for a long day of travel, but I made sure to have a quick beer with Blake Mitchamore and Justin LaBar before crashing for the evening.
The travel home sucked, including the massive turbulence over Philadelphia (which was reportedly caused by boos directed towards Roman Reigns). I dropped my laptop, which busted the whole screen. I’ve had to hook up a television to my computer to make it usable. Someone around me on my second flight was silently releasing nasty farts the whole flight. But the worst part about the long travel day was being bummed that the weekend was over. I cannot wait to do it again.
Vince will be telling his stories from the convention this week on video for our RELM Network subscribers and starting on Tuesday as we debut our free audio on PodcastOne. You will not want to miss it.
By the way, Amanda Rodriguez is a total babe.
(Special thanks to Frank Kersh and Steve Cully who made this trip possible, and to Gimmick Tree Entertainment for the hospitality.)
Follow Jeff on Twitter: @JeffLane22