It can’t be easy for a wrestler to win the Royal Rumble. To endure the grueling battle, to survive the onslaught of 29 other superstars, and to walk out of it with his arm raised in victory. The only thing harder might be for a SLAM! Wrestling columnist to live through a whirlwind weekend, traveling from Toronto to San Antonio and back again, to attend the event in person. This is one such tale.
Saturday, January 27, 2007
5:00a.m. – Alarm clock wakes me up. So very tired. Shouldn’t have stayed up to watch ECW last night before sleeping. Not because it ended too late, just that it was really, really bad. Hit the snooze button.
5:49a.m. – Wake up. Realize that there is no snooze button on a wind-up alarm clock and that I had actually turned it off. Have to be at the airport at 6:30. I live 35 minutes away. Not good.
6:03a.m. – Good thing I packed last night. Plenty of time to get to the airpo … oh, crap. Freezing rain. Radio says to stay home because of the icy roads.
7:08a.m. – Finally arrive at airport, see long line of people. Need to be at the gate in 20 minutes. Time to get creative. Walk to the first class line, tell the guy at the counter that I witnessed an accident right in front of the terminal, that the cops made me stay to make a statement, and that airport security told me to get into this line so that I wouldn’t be late. He bought it! Heh heh … sucker. Everybody’s stupid but me.
7:12a.m. – Smooth sailing into past customs. Still chuckling to myself about my brilliant lie, leaving all those losers in line. I rule. Time for a coffee and a bagel and wait until we take off at 8 a.m. Nothing can stop me now.
9:40a.m. – Stupid karma. Due to weather, we’re just taking off now. By the time we get to Chicago, I will already have missed my connection to San Antonio.
4:05p.m. – After wandering around O’Hare airport for the past four hours killing time, I finally board the next flight out to San Antonio — 6 hours after the one I was supposed to be on. Stupid karma.
4:52p.m. – Lady sitting next to me spills her Bloody Mary all over my leg. Stupid karma.
8:35p.m. – Check in to hotel, change jeans, go to hotel bar, watch HBO boxing and drink multiple beers.
Sunday, January 28, 2007
9:23a.m. (San Antonio local time)- Wake up. World looks better with Rumble only hours away.
11:09a.m. – Go to the Alamo. Pretty awe-inspiring. Buy my mother a spoon at the souvenir shop (yes, ladies, I’m ultra-cool and wicked sexy, but still sweet enough to buy my mother a present… tell your friends).
1:17p.m. – Go to the record store at the River Centre Mall. Sale on wrestling DVDs costs me $100. Hear some kids say the WWE divas are at the Alamo. Leave mall, try to find them. Apparently, I just missed them. Stupid karma. I was going to show them the spoon I got my mother and have them fall in love with me.
3:29p.m. – Walk around downtown. Witness an accident for real. Motorcycle plows into the side of a taxi, rider goes flying. Urge to yell “He’s hardcore!” fades when the guy doesn’t move. Paramedics come and take him away, hope he’s okay. Now, irony of ironies, I actually do have to give a witness statement. I’m a witch.
5:30p.m. – Arrive to the arena for the optional pre-show Texas buffet. Eat with some people I met in line. So much food. Portions are freaking huge in Texas. Six kinds of sausage, beef brisket, pulled pork, BBQ ribs and spicy chicken wings… with all this meat, I’m worried I may get the gout.
6:40p.m. – Miss dark match as I’m in line to get a T-shirt. Tempted to buy a Boogieman mask — just kidding.
10p.m. – What a great show. Felt like I was a kid again, cheering and chanting throughout. Marked out for Cena-Umaga. And even got caught up in the counting down for each entrant — for some reason, you just get caught up in it. Fun night.
10:15p.m. – Try to hail a cab out front of the arena to no avail. Have to get back to the hotel soon, as I will be meeting Dusty Wolfe after the show for an interview.
10:35p.m. – Call up the cab company for the third time, blasting the dispatcher for not sending more cars when there’s about a hundred people waiting. Everyone else seems satisfied to wait; San Antonians are pretty laid back, I guess. Me, I’m ready to fight for a cab, Alamo-style. Finally, I leave in frustration and storm off to a different driveway off the road to try to head off cars at the pass.
10:49p.m. – The driveway I’m at is the one where the wrestlers are driving out of. Three kids are there, screaming every time a car comes around, begging for an autograph. I see a cab coming and run into the middle of the road to flag him down. As I do, I nearly get hit by a car driven by Kane. That would have been a good story — next time, maybe.
11:21p.m. – Get to the hotel, meet Dusty. Hotel bar is closed, so we go back to my suite and do the interview there over a few beers. Great guy.
1:41a.m. – Dusty leaves, I finish my bottle, and hit the hay.
Monday, January 29, 2007
10:55a.m. – Arrive at airport and head through security. Security guard sees my British Bulldog t-shirt, figures I’m a wrestling fan, and mentions that Ric Flair is at the shoeshine stand beside the bookstore, and that he’s taking pictures with fans and signing autographs and such. I go down this long terminal hallway to look for him, but don’t find him. I double back and the security guard tells me that he was down the other hallway at the other bookstore. As I’m going down that hallway, I see a man with a head of white hair walking through the doorway to board the plane. As he leaves, I feel not unlike Captain Ahab. Disappointed, I head to my gate for my flight back home.
9:25p.m. (Toronto time)- After a long day of flying saw me head west out of San Antonio to Denver, and then back and further east out of Denver to Toronto, I finally arrive at Pearson Airport. Apparently, we are the last plane that will ever land at Terminal 2. I figured for that honour we would at least get a free meal, but it’s not to be.
10:01p.m. – Get home in time to watch Raw … and start planning for my next big road trip. Anyone want to join me?