Wow, not a good start to trying to make this article about the information Dan and I got from the Kevin Nash. I tried to take pictures with my phone but they continually came out dark. So I switched to my camera. The first picture was dark so I took a second picture. Just as I plugged my camera into my computer, the camera battery died so it’s being recharged as I type. I ended up getting a decent picture with too much glare. Deal with it.
I want to let everyone know that I have relinquished full creative control of this report to Kevin. I don’t know whether he will submit this as two seperate reports or as one combined report and I confident about his ability to edit this how he sees fit. I get long winded so Kevin should feel free to cut anything unnecessary on here. (Editor’s Note: I saw a couple of spelling mistakes but will leave this note for changes. I decided to go with two articles because this was really good and I have a bunch of other stuff. I will limit the overlap of information.)
I am submitting this report from the Delta Sky Club in the Memphis Airport which cost me $50 to join (I may try to write this off on my taxes as a professional expense!) but I made $400 in vouchers changing my flight back to Kansas City this morning. No sacrifice is too great for the Stunt Granny Universe.
I am just going to share some of my general thoughts on the Wrestlelution weekend that I did not mention in our audio and there is only one part of Kevin’s reporting on Twitter that I want to question. He said that I was so hung over on Sunday (true) that I had made a rookie mistake consuming too much of the excellent local Ohio brew (Editor’s Note: Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold. He didn’t like the darker Thirsty Dog Old Leghumper.) on Saturday night. I would argue that this was more like a retired hall of famer trying to recapture his glory days and failing miserably. Either way my slow moving Sunday morning is nothing to be proud of!
We showed up for the Kevin Nash meet and greet around 6:15 p.m. after getting checked into the Courtyard (where some potential Cleveland Browns were staying) at a nice sports bar in Harpo’s that had an unusually large bar area. Harpo’s was showing various highlights from WCW/WWE pay per views and mostly highlights of Nash’s matches which was a nice touch. Wait service at this place was also top notch.
There was a rather small area to host the fifty folks who had purchased VIP passes for the private meet and greet with Nash (I do suggest that PWO do a better job at the actual wrestling show of keeping the VIP area just for VIP’s) and at first I thought it was going to be rather difficult to actually get a place to sit. That was somewhat confirmed when some less than cool guys went out of their way to retake their “saved” seats that I don’t think they had sat in for an hour once we sat in “their” booth but we did meet a nice guy who shared his booth with us and while the VIP space was very tight it worked out pretty well. Justin LaBar was signing everyone in and if he was not a fan of Kevin, he did a nice job of hiding it when we checked in and got out VIP passes. As I mentioned in the audio, I had a quick chance to quickly visit with Justin at the bar later in the evening and he was a very pleasant guy to visit with.
When I walked up to Tito Santana, he and Nash were talking about their occasional frustrations of working with Ric Flair. Nothing too critical but they both mentioned that there are certain moves he isn’t as likely to sell for if it doesn’t lead to the Flair Flop. I have to say I thought it was a fair criticism and I’m a huge Flair fan. Tito was a nice guy and we enjoyed visiting with him but I can’t say enough about how Kevin Nash interacted with the fans.
I didn’t really know what to expect from this event. To be honest, I was much more excited about meeting guys like Danny Hodge, Jim Ross, Jim Duggan, Terry Funk etc. at the Hall of Fame a couple weeks ago than I was to meet Nash. That’s not a shot at Nash but when someone is a hero of your childhood you are going to be more excited about meeting them. Getting a chance to visit with Nash throughout the course of the evening was absolutely tremendous. He was having a good time enjoying a bit of wine and he was very pleasant to every one who visited with him. I know it’s not easy to make conversation for a fan in that situation but he was very nice to some folks that I have to say had some fairly weak questions to put it nicely.
While we were in line we had a good visit with Nash about a variety of topics but he really was engaged when I brought up his promo on Ricky Morton.
(Editor’s Note: Instead of the link, I inserted the video clip.) This is a match that I would love to go see and if Nash isn’t serious about kicking the crap out of Morton then he has me fooled. One other point he made in his conversation with us or in the Q and A was the fact that wrestlers used to get a lot of business done at the bar wasn’t a bad thing in his mind (he was very entertaining when he said this though).
After we sat down for a while they had a Q and A with Nash and by this point I had consumed enough adult beverages to figure out that I could ask a decent question. I was probably a bit long winded but basically asked him about his thoughts on the overly scripted promos that are the norm today. He said that no one ever told him how to act like Kevin Nash whether he was representing himself as Diesel or by his real name and that by being himself he developed a believable “character” because basically it was really him. I thought that was a great point and he went on to talk about how bad the overly scripted promos tend to be (AMEN!).
Like I said I sat down and thought, “you know, I was a little nervous and could have phrased that question better” and then I heard some of the simplest, worst questions I can imagine anyone asking during the rest of the Q and A. Some of them were just obvious but okay (favorite match, etc.) but some were not well thought out. Nash did start to entertain himself by answering “Learn Mandarin Chinese” to the ten or so questions about how to become a wrestler. I felt pretty good about my question after hearing a few other questions. At the end of the night Nash was still holding court with a few fans and LaBar so I went back and sat down and just listened and I did ask him who he would push in TNA (Angle and AJ in that order). Like I said, Nash was extremely gracious to anyone that wanted to spend some time with him and he certainly isn’t afraid to kick back, have a couple drinks and say what he really thinks. This event was an absolute blast and when Hobo Joe told us “this is the best thing PWO has ever done” I couldn’t disagree. Put me down as a big fan of Kevin Nash after this weekend and the way he worked in the main event just made things even more impressive because he did a great job selling and helping get everyone else in the match over.
One other note: I noticed that Bryan Castle was one of the guys listening to Kevin Nash after everyone else had cleared out which I thought was a good thing to see. That’s a tough line to navigate because I am sure that PWO management didn’t want the wrestlers interacting with Nash at the expense of the paying customers but by the time Castle was up there we were pretty much in the process of closing down the bar so I was impressed by that. This gets back to what Jim Duggan told Eric in his interview that he is happy to help younger wrestlers if they ask for help but he isn’t going to be pushy about giving advice if it is not asked for. I hope several of the PWO wrestlers took advantage of the opportunity to ask Nash and Santana questions because they both seemed very willing to share information and I think they have a lot of good advice to share.
It was also a real highlight getting the chance to talk with PWO wrestlers and they were all great to interact with. I had a very short chance to talk with (basically say, “hey I’m a big fan”) to Hobo Joe, Portia Perez, Joe Dombrowski and Johnny Gargano and I had longer conversations with Gregory Iron, Aaron McGuire and Bryan Castle that I really enjoyed. Of course Kevin and I had a longer visit with Veda Scott who in addition to being easy on the eyes told some really interesting stories about getting her start in wrestling and working for ROH. All the PWO wrestlers were really great to interact with and seem to be first class people and they seem to genuinely appreciate the coverage that Kevin (and myself to a very small degree) have provided PWO on Stunt Granny.
A couple extra notes from the show.
From talking to Kevin after we did the audio I think that I might not be clear about what I don’t like when I say a match is too “choreographed”. I don’t mind high flying moves at all (I thought the moves in the Cross/Gargano/Prohibition match were great) but I don’t like it when it appears that a wrestler is just waiting in a spot for no reason other than to catch someone else’s offensive move. I feel as though sometimes that happens too often with the Facade matches although he is very athletic.
Greg Iron took what appeared to be a vicious bump when he tried a move outside the ring on Amazing N8 Mattson. I didn’t see him move for a while after that one. The end of the night was a hilarious failed Diesel/HBK pose by Fontaine and Lee. I have to say that I came away from this show more impressed with Fontaine than I expected. He sold like a champ for Nash as I thought he might really be hurt there a couple of times (and he might have been).
I have some great pictures that I will send to Kevin ASAP so hopefully they can be added to the site (The McGuire pic is outstanding). I had a great weekend and hope to return to Wrestlelution next year. Anyone who is wondering about this group should purchase this DVD and see what you think of the 3-way full circle match. I don’t see how a serious wrestling fan would not enjoy that tremendously. Despite today being a slow trip home, I have no regrets about attending this event live.