As many of you may have seen - either via Twitter, Facebook or general activity in AMA - I arrived back in Brisbane Wednesday morning before-last. Over those ten-ish days I amassed ~37 hours of flying (my first ones ever) landed in two different states (California and Pennsylvania) and three cities (Los Angeles, San Francisco and Philadelphia). Not bad.
In San Francisco, I walked quite a bit around Fisherman's Wharf, then took a trip on what was usually a fishing boat to go under the Golden Gate Bridge and around Alcatraz. Photos are here. Took a walk up Columbus Avenue (where I was staying) to go to Lombard Street and got waylaid by a very persistent gentleman who wanted to have a threesome with me and my imaginary girlfriend who was back at the hotel. Can you tell I didn't tell that little tidbit to my parents? Killed my legs scaling the first hill of Lombard Street, so saw but didn't go up the famous part.
Landed in Philadelphia the night before King of Trios, and was mesmerized by American TV so didn't get out again until just before Friday night's event.
Night One was awesome. I won a signed poster in a raffle after buying a single ticket ^_^ . Bought an UltraMantis Black T-shirt off the man himself, who said I must be very devoted to travel all the way from Australia for the tourney. I said 'or crazy' and he didn't dispute that.
Afternoon two was the Fan Conclave. Would have been more awesome if I could have gotten over myself and actually been a bit more outgoing - there was a 'family picture' section where you could get goofy photos with the wrestlers and I watched for a good twenty minutes and didn't get the courage to get in one. Also a section to play board games with the wrestlers - out of the four options I'd only played Connect Four and Guess Who?, but also didn't attempt to play anyone in those. Whilst standing aimlessly Ophidian put his arm around my shoulders and gave me a hug after finding out I came from Australia. Also shook hands with Mike Quackenbush (the promoter and wrestler) who remembered my name after finding out where I came from - I was the only one from Australia (a few came over from Finland, and he said he thought there was someone from New Zealand as well). That was freakin' phenomenal.
In between I sat outside with a talkative group of five or six fans to my right and a handful to my left to wait for the show to begin. Just to have people talking about wrestling - in real life, talking about Bret Hart and Chikara and the Colony and the picture this icon is taken from - was just not something I've ever experienced. I know a handful of people (namely my brother and his friends) who watch any sort of wrestling, and it's always WWE. Quack said at the conclave there was about twenty people in the entirety of Australia who order stuff from the Chikara online store, so it's not exactly a common following around here.
Night Two was also awesome. Team Osaka Pro, despite few knowing them before the tournament, completely stole the shows. The Rey de Voladores qualifiers were fun, even if the favoured guy didn't win one of them. Hallowicked vs Christopher Daniels was awesome as hell (partially just for Daniel's music, Disposable Teens is wicked), despite my initial wishings that it be Daniels vs Quackenbush. The quarter finals with the big BDK guys vs Perros Mal (with a mini wrestler) had the crowd just calling for BDK blood, and then when Colony vs rest of BDK came on everyone just exploded.
Night Three was like the capper to and a sum-up of the entire holiday. There were some not-so-good bits (namely in who won) but some just amazing bits that made it worthwhile. The Tag Gauntlet, where Frightmare and Hallowicked got their points and opportunity to challenge the Big Bads of the BDK for the tag titles, was just...markout city. Dragon Dragon made an appearance. I got stickers from
Then hopped in a plane for five hours (sadly losing power on my portable DVD player most of the way through) and chilled in LAX for nearly seven hours (man, American Coke? Is like drinking straight syrup. But Burger King fries are so, so good - thicker than what we get here, with like no salt on them at all). Didn't find a power point to charge the DVD player, but I was on a QANTAS flight home with seat-back entertainment, so watched The Blind Side, a Great Debate (Money is the Root of all Evil) and a documentary on Tim Michin. Arrived home at 6:30 Wednesday morning and very closely averted crying when I first saw my mum and dad waiting to pick me up.
It was a very good trip. If there is a next time, I don't want to go alone - I didn't see any of Philadelphia from outside a taxi/not around The Arena, just because I didn't feel confident. Not to mention that I was stranded outside the Arena twice - once at midnight - and could have really done with someone to hold hands with. I came away with wrestling-wise: four DVDs (something Kaiju, Best of Northstar Express, a Best of Sara del Rey, best of TNA 2009 autographed by Christopher Daniels), four shirts that kinda all look like shite on me (a BDK one which doesn't fit, a LOST-inspired Chuck Taylor one which roughly fits, a grenade Chuck Taylor one that kinda almost fits, and an UltraMantis Black one which does fit), a bunch of Chikara 8x10s, a bunch of Kaiju stickers and a Kaiju book. Otherwise: a teddy bear keyring with LA on it, a solar powered keyring with Dad on it and four glass necklace pendants.
|comments: Promo time?|