First of all, yes, they were selling those shirts at Axxess. I’m pretty sure they were only selling them at Axxess. Yes, finding out I could by one was the best thing that happened to me all weekend.
Well, one of the best.
Best: WWE Fan Axxess
At the risk of immediately making the biggest column of the year too personal (“Blargh, I’m a vegan! Blargh, I have a girlfriend!” et al.), regular readers may be aware of the two things that make me happiest in life:
1. Taking mark photos with sports mascots, because I had a really traumatizing introduction to “regret” during a Smurfs stage show at King’s Dominion when I was like six.
2a. Pro Wrestling
2b. Taking mark photos with pro wrestlers
It’s not the aspect of my wrestling random I’m most proud of, but if, I don’t know, Abyss is standing ten feet away from me I’m not gonna NOT say “hey Abyss, stand beside me while I make a fist at my camera”. It’s weird. I’m like George Costanza — when he stops thinking about sex, he becomes a beloved genius. If I liked math as much as I like pro wrestling I probably would’ve grown up to be the millionaire scientist who cured algebra.
Anyway, what I’m getting at is that WWE’s Fan Axxess event was right up my alley and allowed me to pose for pictures with all sorts of people you might barely care about (Layla! Johnny Curtis!). To make it even better, I put my Wrestling Hipster thing into overdrive by going to Axxess on Saturday night during the Hall Of Fame induction ceremony, meaning all the main-event level guys were off wearing tuxedos and I was left to mingle with the lower-level guys I love, like Drew McIntyre and Sin Cara.
If you get a chance to go to a Mania, go to Axxess, too. Even if you don’t want to stand next to Hornswoggle for 5-second meet-and-pose you can look at Bret Hart’s jacket and touch Mr. McMahon’s exploded limousine tomb.
Worst: No Funkasaurus As Advertised
When I explained my plan to go to Axxess during the Hall Of Fame, the first guy I mentioned was always The Funkasaurus. Not only was Brodus Clay advertised, but Naomi and Cameron (the “Funkettes”), too. “Okay, we’ll stand in this line until we find out who’s signing next, and if it’s R-Truth or whoever we’ll run around and try to find the Funkasaurus.” I think I said that sentence more than I said “hello”.
As you may have gathered from the emboldened header, no, the Funkasaurus wasn’t there. He wasn’t at the afternoon event either, I was told. I thought maybe he’d missed a flight or had been deemed “suddenly too dangerous” again and taken off TV. At some point near the end of WrestleMania I figured out why. We’ll get to that later. Spoiler alert: IT IS SUPER RACIST.
Best: Me Destroying The Impersonation Contest
Best Announcer In WWE History Scott Stanford was in the “watch Antonio Cesaro wrestle even though you don’t know who he is” Axxess ring and asked for anyone who could do an impersonation of a WWE Superstar. My hand shot up.
“Who are you gonna do?”
“GET IN HERE.”
So I got in there. There were a few of us, and the guys around me were doing terrible impressions of Stone Cold, Triple H and The Rock because I guess I’m the only one who watches the shows every week and doesn’t pretend we’re still playing Smackdown: Shut Your Mouth. The production guy started playing duck quack noises because we were doing so terribly.
Then, it was my turn.
I’m sad the video cuts out before the YES chants get going. Stanford described the impression best: “A little pitchy in parts, but he made it his own”. I was trying to do the “voice fading out before you can hear what he’s trying to say” thing and it ended up sounding like Peter Brady. Regardless, I won in a landslide and did a second, unsolicited Great Khali impression to celebrate. My prize was this amazing photo with Scott Stanford. If you look at the bottom right you can tell he put his leg up on my butt to hump me.
Best: Derrick Bateman’s Autograph
He gave it a worst, but he’s wrong.
Best: An Awkward Chickbusters Thumbs Up
And in case you were wondering exactly why this was the Axxess to attend, please enjoy this picture of me doing my best patented Chickbusters-taking-pictures awkward thumbs up with AJ and Kaitlyn.
There will be no more wrestling coverage on With Leather. This is the end. I have reached the mountaintop. Goodbye forever!