Saturday, 15 March 2014

Flashback Friday - Finding Fandango (05/03/14)


AYO! What's popping everybody? Just wanted to take a little time to jot down this story. So somehow, we'd found out that Fandango was going to be in town. It seemed pretty random since there aren't any WWE events on at the moment leading up to WrestleMania XXX in the UK that we know about. He'd just been on RAW 2 nights prior in a mixed tag team match against Santino Marella and Emma. Rihan's good friend Jeeban was the one who actually found out about the appearance. I'm telling you, sometimes it's just like catching Pokemon, and finding Fandango was no different!

Gallions Reach. I've lived in London my whole life and not once have I come across a name like that. I don't watch Game of Thrones but it sounded like a location out of that TV series. Gallions Reach. The Pokemon Fandango would appear in Gallions Reach for only a limited number of time, so we had to decide on whether or not to travel to catch this Superstar, and get a chance to ask him why on Earth of all the places that they could have brought him to in London, they brought him to Gallions Reach. Winter was coming.

But was it worth the trouble? I asked Anuj to do a little bit of recon (check TFL) and find out exactly where this place was. Turns out it would take an hour and a half to get there! That's quite some distance. Makes you think twice. I rang up the venue and asked them for more information, and they told me that it was first come, first served basis of tickets. There would be 200 tickets released, and nothing was guaranteed. Rihan said he would probably be there for about 5.40 p.m. - The signing was for 4 p.m. Anuj said he wouldn't be able to be back in time to go until 3 p.m.

Now just by doing some simple calculations, I figured out that this thing wasn't sounding too good or appealing already. A long distance to travel, which will take up a fair bit of time, to travel to some unknown land, with limited number of tickets and no one to really go with. Was it worth the trouble to go on a solo mission down this side story along the Road to WrestleMania XXX?

The Night Before Wednesday...

I was in the gym on Tuesday evening the night before, running and warming down with some cardio on the cross-trainer machine. Then I started thinking about something Rihan had said to me on Monday, "It's one less person to meet at Axxess.." So I started thinking. Even if I were to meet Fandango what would I ask him? Then it came to me, "Hey how's it going, I'm going to WrestleMania XXX and I was wondering how you're feeling going into WrestleMania with your undefeated streak?" - Then I could probably get "Johnny Curtis" signed in the WWE Encyclopedia. Then I just thought to myself, MIGHT ASWELL! /-D So before he went to bed, Anuj tells me that he can probably be back by 3 p.m. but I told him it'd be too late by then. Then after he falls asleep I'm thinking, we can probably get there if we leave here at 3. Probably. So I send him a text to read for when he wakes up saying something along the lines of, "If you can be back by 3, let me know" - So I decided to wait and I didn't get a response for a while...

Wednesday - The Day

It was 2:45 p.m. and I was all set to embark on this solo mission. Copies of Walking Dead stacked in my bag with the WWE Encyclopedia for reading material on this long ass journey. As I'm about to leave Anuj rings me and says he'll be home by 3:10, so I wait. Atleast now I didn't have to go by myself...

A little way down the road...

We get to Canning Town station, and I get a phone call from Rihan telling me that he's at the same station as us! What timing, and then there were 3! Rihan's good friend Jeeban was already at the place, and managed to secure some tickets for us, this thing was looking up again!

We arrive at Gallions Reach, and it felt like we were in another country. We couldn't see any housing areas and it just seemed like it was a little bit like being in the middle of nowhere. Where someone just thought, "HEY! Let's build a Shopping Park right here!" Smyths Toy store was the destination in this larger Shopping Park. After brisk walking to the location, we walk through the doors and I can hear "ChaChaLaLa" playing. For all the non-wrestling folk, that's Fandango's entrance music. Like JigglyPuffs song. We were close!

Jeeban turns up and hands up the tickets as we race down to the right part of the building. We were the last 3 there. Now check this nonsense out - We'd been told that we weren't allowed to take pictures...

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!

-said the inner Wrestling Fan in my mind. Apparently the WWE had ordered for this, and it wasn't a decision by anyone at the store. I'm still confused by it. Were they trying to keep the fact that he was in London a secret? Well then you probably shouldn't have been dancing around on Sky Sports:


But you were! So there, it's no secret - so I didn't get it, why was WWE not going to allow fans to have their picture taken with Fandango? Conspiracy.

Anyway, I did get a chance to get some words in and I asked him how he was doing, and told him that I was going to be in New Orleans in April, and as planned I asked him how he was feeling going into WrestleMania to defend his Undefeated Streak. "I'm feeling pretty confident about that man" - he said as he smiled. He seems like a good dude, and a nice guy - which I'm not sure I can say about the security that were around him. But at the end of the day, they're just doing their jobs I suppose! Another signature for the book..

The Artist Formerly Known as "Johnny Curtis" signed by Fandango
After coming out of the makeshift area created for the ballroom dancer, we unexpectedly bumped into... our buddy WWESuperman! Always a pleasure.


The Verdict:

Was it worth it? I guess it is one less signature to get at Axxess, but we're probably going to bump into Fandango again somewhere down the line, possibly when we meet Summer Rae! The guys at the actual store were super cool and gave us a load of free WWE merch such as 2K14 arm bands, caps and posters. As well as adding a handsomely discounted 'Elite Flashback Collection' Triple H collectible figure (£8 from a RRP of £22) to the action figure roster, it was a pretty good day /-)

It was Best for Business

The @RoadtoWM30 Post Show Vlog:

STAY TUNED!

Thanks for taking the time to read,
There's plenty more to come! /-) #Hope2EntertainU
Mau 11:34 (15/03/14) - The Morning I woke up and found that we'd made it to Lords of Pain & PWTorch

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