The venue was the Coronet Theatre in London and doors would open at 6.30pm and the show would be on the roll at 7.30pm. We had just gotten into the Coronet theatre at about 7:45 and could here the booming voice of Kevin Nash on a microphone. We walked through the corridors taking a left and then a right as the voice got louder, we knew we were getting close. We had entered at the back of the theatre where the bar was located and we were just in time for this epic moment...
Be a part of a historic "Heyo" moment. Check. The timing was perfect! A lot of what actually happened on the night was down to timing, but we'll get to that. The first really noticeable thing was a really long queue on the right side of the theatre, going all the way to the back of the hall right to the bar which was at the back. Now this was the queue for anyone who wanted to get their picture taken by a professional photographer with the n.W.o. We had bumped into some guys at the bar who'd been queuing since 1 in the afternoon, now that's what you call commitment! But props to them because those pictures had come out looking too sweet. So we figure since everyone had been promised the opportunity for the photo, we'd get into the queue in a little bit because we still had a fair bit of time and a beer or two were about due.
Now the best part about the bar (apart from the reasonably overpriced beer) was that there was a moshpit full of the best fans in the world: Pro-Wrestling Fans! Fellow Marks! Amongst those fellow marks, Rihan and I found Sean. Sean had an interesting story for us, as you may or may not be aware, I'd posted earlier that an awesome way of collecting signatures would be on a championship belt. Remember that? If not you should probably go back and read my earlier posts /-) Sean is doing exactly that! The first thing we noticed about him was the unique white-strap on the classic (WCW) World Heavyweight championship.
|With Sean and his custom & signed WHC belt.|
Our friend Jeeban Ishaque, who had come along with us had bumped into Joel Ross, the presenter from WrestleTalk TV. I think at this point I was having a beard-off with a guy, who as it turned out was my senior by about 3 months. It was like a Wyatt Family reunion. Right after that, Rihan had introduced me to Joel Ross who seemed like a really nice guy, and we spoke briefly. I mentioned that we watch WrestleTalk TV regularly and I'd told him that we were doing this blog on our Road to WrestleMania 30 and that he should check it out - and he said he would. So If you're reading this, shout out to Joel Ross and the lovely ladies and gents from WrestleTalk TV. If you guys are in the UK and you don't know what WrestleTalk TV is you can watch the show every single Sunday at 11pm after TNA Impact Wrestling on Challenge. By the way I don't get paid for these plugs. Goodness of my own heart. /-)
|Our friend Jeeban with Joel Ross and the lovely Katherine Miller from WTTV|
|Classic Razon Ramon and Diesel action figures still mint in box|
So as time went on that original excitement was fading. Felt like it was nearing 20 minutes and the what started as buzz was now turning into a crowd of wrestless (get it, Wrestless? As in no wrestlers? We'll work it on, feel free to leave your comments below if you don't understand, or don't..) fans who were booing anyone who even remotely looked like they were in charge. Rihan's beers must have been flowing straight through his system because he popped down to the loo and booked the smart move to go one last time before it was showtime. Then suddenly, a slim little man in a suit comes out and starts cutting a promo (to an already booing crowd) on some guy called Chris Duke (I think that's the name), and the only thing I remember from his rant was, "Yeah you can boo me, because I'm turning heel.." or something along those lines and I didn't understand who this guy thought he was, because I knew who I was there to see and it wasn't this guy. Side note to those guys who aren't all there with the wrestling jargon. I will teach you young ones. The term 'heel' is used to define the bad guy in a wrestling situation, the wrestler who gets booed by the crowd. A 'face' or 'babyface' is the term used to describe the good guy, a wrestler who gets cheered. I'm pretty sure he was a promoter, which is really neither, because no one paid to see him - so it's pretty irrelevant. But props to him for cutting a promo and for putting in the hard work for setting up the event, even though it was organized a little bit like a piece of Ikea furniture with just enough guidance to get you through it. I'm pretty sure there are other places on the internet you can find out more about this particular situation of bad booking by the Ministry of Slam, but as I've said already, we were here to see the n.W.o... and they were finally about to make their into..
As you can probably see Scott Hall is looking real healthy - and if you can't see then you should take my word for it - so much so that he decides to throw that chair away and spent a lot of time just standing while addressing everyone. Absolute legend. In front of us were 3 of the most influential men, in the entire industry of professional wrestling throughout the better part of the '90s. Can you feel that? Wolfpac is most definitely in the house.
The first thing they wanted to clear up was the mess with the booking, and they'd said that the two promoters who were there had worked really hard to get everything organized, and I guess Nash wanted to clear their names from any heat. I mean, many of us were chanting for Nash to powerbomb ("Powerbomb! Powerbomb!") one of the guys through the table just prior to this.
The most AWESOME thing was just about to happen as Kevin Nash said something along the lines of, "We love coming over to the UK. Glasgow and Manchester were great but I was saving my orgasm for London! But before we get started, we heard that there were a couple of guys, about 20 odd who got fucked about with the photo opportunity. Where are you guys?"
My arm shot into the air along with Rihan, Ronal and our boys as well as some of the guys and girls around us. He turned his attention to the first 3 rows. He continued,
"We're gonna make sure that by the end of the night, you guys have your pictures taken with us, and we'll keep this place open, all fucking night, even if I've gotta dig into my own pocket to pay that bill." - Naturally, after hearing that the crowd was popping. I was happy /-) Great seats, Photo op, and the best spoken-word wrestling tour all year was about to kick off.
Q&A HighlightsFor this portion of the post, I spoke with Rihan and we went through some of the highlights of the Q&A session and we've decided to go through some of it on here. It's going to be as accurate as we can remember. There were a lot of questions asked and answers given, so don't quote anything you read on here like scripture. This is just what we took away from this session and shouldn't be interpreted as a report on the event. It's what we remembered most, and there was a lot said so I'll try and cover as much as I can on here to the best of our memories. It's also in no particular order, so we're going to call this on the fly so to speak. Let me just set the mental picture, so we've got Nash, Waltman and Hall sitting on stage at this long table. Pac and Nash have their drinks, Nash with bottles of wine. Pac had probably had a joint already which was made more obvious by Nash in a comedic manner a little later on, "Speaking of blazed looks in their eyes..." and then looks over to Waltman. It was all very humorous, like a live sketch! These guys had really good chemistry around each each other and I guess that's expected when you've been on the road with people as long as they have with each other. The atmosphere was very laid back also, and Scott had his water and cans of Pepsi and Coke. Cola, not the other coke. They had mentioned that there had been rumours that popped up about Scott Hall drinking while he'd been on the tour but as far as I could see he hadn't touched a drop of alcohol the whole night. I'm a firm believer that he's found the right path in life, and I could be wrong but his quick wit and energy on this night were a testament to his victory over those demons. It looks like the rumours of his demise were greatly exaggerated, because I'm an eye witness and I can say that the Bad Guy is alive and well.
A random bit of information that Waltman shared with us about Vince McMahon's office was that he had zebra skins along the walls.
When asked who was not worthy or least favourite person in the n.W.o. :
Nash responded by saying that it was Buff Bagwell. I don't remember there being a particular reason for why he'd said this, but I do remember JR telling a story of Bagwell once getting his mother to call into work sick on his behalf. I guess he was pussyfooting around. Pussyfooting is a real word. I learnt it from The Steve Austin Show podcast. Google it. It's a word.
When asked who they would want to face, in a potential match at WrestleMania 30:
X-pac said that he would be interested in working a match with CM Punk, and reckons that they could put on a good match if the conditions were right. Scott Hall joked about whether Vince would allow for him to accompany Pac at ringside.
Nash slowly responded saying that he would like to see the 3 of them, take on the 3 members of the Shield at WrestleMania. This got a loud pop reaction from the crowd, especially from me because I remember the night before I'd said I was going to play one match on WWE 2K14 and that would be the n.W.o. vs. The Shield. I guess Kevin Nash and I were on the same wave length. Either that or Big Daddy Cool is keeping a tab on my PSN account. Whatever the deal is, I would love to see the Wolfpac take on the Shield at WrestleMania 30. What do you guys think? There have been enough comparisons made between the two factions and if done right, I think it could be huge. Remember to leave a comment and let us know what you guys think of that.
The best answer by far was from Scott Hall. When asked the same question, he responded with,
"If I were to face an opponent at WrestleMania next year it would probably be Joe."
The crowd went silent briefly, I could hear murmurs behind us of people saying, "Samoa Joe?" and there was an air of general confusion at his response. At which point, X-Pac looks over to Scott and says, "Joe.. who?"
And Scott says, "Joe Momma!" - and starts laughing, and so does everyone else. Set up and served nicely XD.
|Scott gets Sean with a "Yo Momma" joke.|
He said something very much along the lines of, 'I'm 54 years old, grey hair coming out of my head, white beard and I could beat the shit out of anyone on that roster, just not you Mr. Lesnar..' and then started smiling and that elicited some laughter from the crowd.
When Scott Hall was asked if his ladder match with Shawn Michaels was the greatest match of his career, Hall responded by saying that to him, even the worst match that he had in his career was still pretty special to him and he was glad to have the opportunity but he also mentioned that he'd preferred the ladder matches on house shows that were before WrestleMania X, and enjoyed the fact that sometimes the ladder will do things of it's own accord. Like dropping and hitting people in the nuts.
When Kevin Nash was asked about whether or not there was a plan for The Undertaker's streak way back when he had had the match with him at WrestleMania XII:
Nash responded by saying, "I wasn't quite sure what number I was in the streak, but I remember going into that match against Mark.."
At this point there is silence for a brief moment and Waltman whispers into his microphone, "Shhh. Mark is The Undertaker's real name. Don't tell anyone." - his comment was met with laughter.
Nash continues his story stating that Mark had met him in the locker room two days before their match, and he looked down and depressed. At the time he was married to his first wife, Jodie. Nash then imitates Mark and says in a droning voice, "I haven't slept in 3 days. Jodie's served me with (divorce) papers.."
Nash proceeds to ask him about their upcoming match to which Taker's response was, "We'll call it on the fly."
Nash retorted, "Call it on the fly? We've got a WrestleMania match coming up and you want to call it on the fly? I might have lost that match but eh, big deal. I still banged him twice into the mat with a Jackknife powerbomb. That's what happens when I call things on the fly.." and he breaks into a cheeky laugh. The crowd was loving it.
There was one really emotional moment during the tour when the following question was asked to Scott Hall by a member of the audience, and it went a little something like this:
'How instrumental has DDP been in your recovery and how much has he helped you?'
Scott had mentioned how obnoxiously positive Dallas can be and how Dallas has been a great friend in his time of need and he felt that with Sean and Kevin he couldn't quite go to them because he didn't want to trouble them because they were busy with their own lives. As he was saying all this he got teary eyed and was choked up and it probably wasn't easy for him talking about this but everyone was chanting, "Razor! Razor! Razor!" and Nash and Pac got up and hugged their best friend. Truly emotional moment for everyone. He went on to say that one of the greatest feelings was knowing that there were so many people out there who cared for him, when he didn't care for himself and his well being, at times where he felt he was dying. Razor went on to say that he's learnt to use the internet and has been using the it the past 8 months and is all tech-ed out, and tweeting away. That put a smile on everyone's face.
Side note: Another reason for why I'm a firm believer in the fact that Scott Hall has found the straight and narrow is because 2 days after the tour I went back and watched "E60: The Scott Hall Story" by ESPN. Seeing the man on that, and realizing by comparison that he was nothing like the man we had the pleasure of meeting with this past Thursday - I am convinced that Hall has taken a better stance in life. Again, I could be wrong, but at this point in time, it doesn't seem that way.
|Scott Hall. a.k.a. 'The Bad Guy' Razor Ramon|
Nash made an interesting point about society, and society being one of violence. It's something that we need as a healthy society. Pro-wrestling is about wrestling. Wrestling can be violent. The male demographic now has so many options in terms of forms of entertainment that they are spoilt for choice. That demographic now is so busy with Call of Duty that it doesn't need to turn to wrestling as much, as back then. Nash also made a point about a fan's t-shirt who they'd met during the photo session who had an old X-Pac t-shirt. Nash asked the fan to stand up and show the back of his t-shirt to everybody and read what it says on it. It read, "You're Ass is Grass and I'm gonna smoke ya!". X-Pac went on to say, "See back then, they were selling this merchandise to 14 year olds without thinking twice.. what kid of a message was that sending? You really think that would happen right now?"
These comments were met with laughter as Nash continued to say that nowadays, he hears children saying, "Motherf*** this and that.." yet these fully grown men on TV in the PG era are saying, "I'm gonna kick your butt!" - Nash said, "Something doesn't make sense.." and took a swig of wine. These guys were hilarious, and at the same time making some valid points.
Speaking of hilarious, Razor was sharp and on point. One guy in the crowd must have started chanting, "One more match! One more match!" - and Razor said, "Yeah, with YOU! Out in the parking lot, and I get to bring Big Kev and Kid with me.."
Someone in the crowd asked for Razor's tie and he snapped back with a firm, "No!"
Nash also credited Scott Hall about being the first guy having the balls to go into Vince McMahon's office and ask for more, and Nash went on to say that if it wasn't for Scott Hall doing what he'd done, the n.W.o. and attitude era, DX and even the Monday Night Wars may not have been entirely the same.
Scott Hall had also talked about his son Cody Hall, who has been training in Atlanta. Hall said that they spend a lot of time together looking through older tapes, because from his perspective he says that the old tapes now are so old that they're new. He also said that Cody is about 6'8" and is guaranteed money.
In summary the Q&A was really open and the responses seemed very genuine coming from these 3 legends. Waltman got up at one point and said, "You guys have come here and spent your hard earned cash for a Q&A session with the Wolfpac and that's what we want to deliver! Nothing is off the table so ask whatever it is you want to ask us and I'm surprised no one has asked me any questions about Chyna yet.." XD
There were plenty more questions asked and responses given, but these are the ones that we remembered and stuck out the most. I'm sure that there may be many of you that attended one of these 3 Take Over Tour events and if you'd like to share anything you guys came across during the tour you can leave a message in the comments section below, and add your experience with ours!
|Hall (left), Waltman, Nash (right)|
Now as the spoken-word part of the tour was coming to an end, Pac says, "Where are those 20 odd guys that got fucked on the photos?.." Again we shot our arms in to they air and we were invited up to the front to get our pictures taken. We weren't the only ones that got up, a fair number of people in the crowd started to press forwards. The security guard at the steps was allowing about 4 people up at a time, and we were the 3rd group in that queue. Just as I get near those steps the guard looks straight at me and says, "You've already been up, I've seen you get a picture with them."
My heart dropped a little. My temper rose. But I had to keep it together for the next couple of minutes. "I remember your face, I'm sure you've already had your picture taken." he repeated. I don't know what it was about that Thursday but he was the third person who'd said he'd recognized or remembered my face from somewhere else. We explained that Rihan, Ronal and I were together and we HAD NOT had our pictures taken yet. He was giving us a funny look, and I was pretty sure he didn't believe me.
Ronal was permitted on up, and he got us past that little bump by saying, "We're all together!" Ronal giving us the proverbial nod we needed to proceed. Ronal was the first to get his picture snapped.
|Ronal with the 'Outsiders' and Pac|
Since we're on the topic, I tried to look up definitions for what 'Marking out' or 'mark out' meant across the internet and I wasn't too happy with the descriptions that were provided. I asked Anuj how he would explain it to anyone who wasn't already familiar with the term and he said he would describe it as, "probably something surprising that was highly unexpected to happen. E.g. Diesel returning at the Royal Rumble Rumble in 2011". I asked Rihan the same question and this is what he said that it meant to him.
"Marking out for me refers to those escapism moments where you experience a buzz that reminds you of why you became a wrestling fan in the first place.. whether it be watching a match that is worthy of the, "This is Awesome!" chant, witnessing a move of sheer athleticism or extremeness that makes you utter, "Holy Shit", those "never say never" events that still surprise you despite thinking you are in the know & finally those opportunities you get to interact with the larger than life characters who were a big part of your childhood.."
Waltman calls me over and I'm standing in the middle of the trio with mark-out syndrome. Pac says, "How's it going" and shakes my hand and gives me a hug. "Awesome, just awesome." was the response I mustered up. I shook hands with Scott Hall and the 'Bad guy' gave me a pat on the shoulder, and then I turned to Nash who was in the middle of the 3 and he shook my hand and I must said the stupidest thing at the time, I said something along the lines of, "Wow, damn. You guys are like huge.. Much huger than on TV."
That's a prime example of me when I'm in awe-mode of mark-out syndrome. Nash gave me a hug which will probably be the biggest hug I ever receive from a childhood idol of mine. It was picture time.
|Feeling like an Outsider with Hall, Nash and Waltman|
|WWF RAW for Sega Mega Drive from 1995|
Rihan was next in line to have his picture snapped with the Wolfpac. This wasn't the first time he'd met these guys. Prior to this there was a convention in Birmingham that Razor had appeared at and Rihan got some sweet pictures with Scott Hall doing some infamous n.W.o. style posing. Rihan and Ronal had met Nash before also, in Atlanta during their trip to WrestleMania 27. I recall seeing a picture of Ronal holding onto Nash's wine bottle in one of the pictures!
|Rihan in his custom kLiQ T-shirt|
MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! We were happy wrestling marks after this, and despite the organization we had arrived and received what it was we had come for. There was still the signing to come and after we'd had our pics taken, there would be a short interval before they would start signing items. Security were trying to get everyone established into a orderly queue, but it just was not happening. There's very few things that are more irritating than a bunch of marks that can't just do as they're asked so that everyone can have the best possible experience! I had hoped that there would be n.W.o. T-shirts on sale as part of their merchandise but to my surprise there weren't any. An n.W.o. t-shirt has to be like one of the most essential items of apparel for any fan. Whether it's the original black and white tee or the red and black wolfpac. Need to invest in one of those soon.
Unless I missed it, I'm pretty sure that the man who was standing beside the merch table was upset because nothing had been sold! It appeared that everyone already had what they had wanted to get signed. Which is a shame really because they had some pretty sweet 8x10s.
After a fair amount more waiting time, and some lack of control and direction from the stewards, they managed to squeeze everyone down to single or double file. Pac was the first to come out again to the table, shortly followed by Hall, and then Nash. Again, we were fairly close to the start of that queue. I start scrambling around inside my bag looking for the silver marker pen I'd brought with me as a contingency plan. Had to get these photo cards Anuj had made signed right. /-) The only concern I had was the announcement made by one of the stewards that we were only allowed to get one item signed. This night was just full of swerves. Earlier in this post I'd referred to the fact that timing played a major factor on this evening. Well this was one of those moments. Just as we start nearing the table, a situation arises where that steward has to leave for some reason and starts heading for the entrance. With him out of the picture.. was this a sign that we could try and get more than one signature? I mean, that was what was promised after all. This is how it went:
|Waiting to speak to Waltman|
I place the photo card and point to the empty black box for a signature.
Pac says, "I appreciate it, thanks for coming out"
He's been drinking and he's merry but he knows what he's doing. He looks down and tries to grab a working pen, but after a couple of tries I start scrambling around my back pocket looking for that posca marker I had on me. He'd beat me to the punch and signed the card. Inside my head, the mark out meter rises slightly.
"No problem man, safe travels to you, hope you guys get back safe!" I say. I pull out my copy of 'The Monday Night War' and ask if he could sign that also. He does, he signs the back of that cover. Awesome! The DVD was signed by a member of DX that was a part of that Monday Night War! I again wish him safe travels.
|The back of my signed 'Monday Night War' DVD|
Pac, looks up at me again and asks where I'd come from, and I say, "Wembley!"
Pac says, "That's cool. Hey is it still called Wembley or did they change the name of that place?"
I responded, "Nah, it's still Wembley man, they changed up the stadium though, since the last time." - I was referring to Summerslam 1992.
As Nash passes back the photo card after signing it, I hand over the DVD cover to him and let him know that I'd been following his career since like '97, the first time I started watched wrestling on a consistent basis and thank him for all the good memories.
Nash says sounding a little emotional after a few bottles of wine, "Thank you, appreciate it, throw 'em up.." - he makes the infamous wolfpac handshake gesture with his hand at me. Are you freakin' kidding me? Any true wrestling fan should know exactly what I'm talking about, straight away. Inner mark out meter is rising very high at this point. Kevin Nash just asked me to "throw 'em up" Wolfpac style. Invitation accepted. Even though it seems like such a small thing, I don't ever think I'll ever forget that moment. Lived a dream /-)
Nash begins to sign as I pass a photo card to Scott Hall, and share the same wolfpac handshake with him. Reached full mark out in my mind at this point. I start speaking with Hall, and it went something like this,
"Ayo, my 15 year old brother actually made these. Custom made these for you guys to sign.."
Scott Hall starts to look at it closer in his hands, starts nodding his head and says to himself, "Wow.. These are fucking sweet." as he signs it.
Nash continues, "I'm gonna sign right here over Eric Bischoff's face and I'll leave a spot over here for Scott to sign. Scott Hall takes the DVD cover that Nash passes to him.
"Ahh ok, are you gonna sign that spot that Kevin left for you? Right over Vince's face?" I ask, my eyes must have been lighting up at this point. There is no doubt. That's what usually happens when your mark out syndrome is reaching its limits. Was trying very hard to keep it together.
Scott Hall etches his signature on the cover of the DVD and passes it back to me. He picks up the his photo card and says to me, "Do me a favour..."
I lean in a little bit.
"...Tell your little brother, that Scott Hall says, these cards he's made for us, are too freakin' sweet!" - What a nice thing for him to say? Who knew that something that nice could come out of the mouth of the Bad guy. It's something so small yet something I doubt I will ever forget. My respect for him increased.
He passes me the photo card and I say, "Thank you guys for everything!"
As I'm about to walk away from their table, Scott Hall motions at me to come back. Then he asks me a question. It wasn't so much a survey, but it was close. He says, "Hey how about big Kev and I increase the value of your DVD right here?" and he begins to smile.
He taps Nash on the arm and gets his attention. Then he looks at me and asks, "Have you got a cell phone with a camera on it?"
"YEAH of course! That would be awesome!" I started fumbling around my pockets searching for my phone. I CAN'T FIND IT! It's not there! Then I remember I'd passed it to Rihan. He didn't have it either, because Ronal had it! Got my hands back on my phone and I captured this moment on camera of Scott Hall and Kevin Nash holding up my copy of 'The Monday Night War' DVD.
|Scott Hall and Kevin Nash increasing the value of my DVD. How nice of them!|
|Rihans eyes are wide open and lit up in the presence of the Outsiders|
|End of a memorable encounter - last 3 standing from the original 6.|
|Custom made photo cards by Anuj. Signed by the n.W.o.|
Mau (25/11/13) 02:10