Sunday, August 11, 2019

Buying Wrestling Tickets

I love professional wrestling and I want to see it succeed, the only downfall to that is it makes it so much harder to buy wrestling tickets during those times when wrestling is popular.  We are in one of those times.  Except this boon is like no other boon that we have had before.

With my WrestleMania XXIV, Hall of Fame, and Midday Madness tickets, 2008
Thanks to the Internet and streaming we can consume wrestling from around the world live no matter where we are on many different devises and platforms.  Because of this we have companies from other countries coming and running shows in the United States, something that never would have happened 10 years ago.

New Japan talents has been appearing on joint shows with Ring of Honor for years, however in July 2017 they ran two solos shows in Long Beach, California.  In 2018 they ran six solo shows and now in 2019 almost a dozen.  AAA is running Madison Square Garden this September and in Los Angeles in October, Progress Wrestling from the UK has run tours in 2017 & 2018 and independent companies from around the world pack in the fans during WrestleMania weekend. I myself went to RevPro and NJPW in New York this past April.

All of this makes it very difficult to get the best seats when buying tickets. 

The first time I ever got wrestling tickets was with my Dad when I was nine years old in 1989.  We went to the Ticketron outlet at the back of the Sears and my Dad but us tickets to WWF.  That's how you did it back then at the box officer, by phone, or at an authorized ticket outlet.

My first wrestling ticket stub, this image is two tickets placed together to from one as they tore opposite ends, 1989
My next couple of wrestling shows my friends bought the tickets.  My first experience buy wrestling tickets was driving down to Boston and standing outside overnight for WCW Monday Nitro, you can read all about it here.
My first of many wrestling shows in Boston, WCW Monday Nitro, 1997
It wasn't too long after that when Ticketmaster exploded and online ticket sales became the way to buy tickets for most venues.  This meant to try and get the best tickets standing in line or ordering by phone became a thing of the past as you were competing with everyone that had a computer and the fastest Internet connection. Some venues tried to stagger the on-sale time so the box office could sell tickets for an hour before online sales launched but that didn't last long.  

In fact many venues have multiple pre-sales if you a member of a certain club or credit card.  Also Ticketmaster jacks up the prices of tickets with their platinum seating charging astronomical prices for tickets.  For instance the New Japan show at MSG advertised front row at $290 and yet Ticketmaster made those tickets platinum premium seating charging over $700 each.  I'm not going to even start with secondary ticket sellers.

New Japan at Madison Square Garden, April 6, 2019
The Augusta Civic Center handled their own ticket sales until switching to Ticketmaster in 2004.  Prior to that they had no online ticketing just by phone or at the box office so in April 2003 I stood in line overnight at the Civic Center for tickets for the July 29, 2003 Smackdown Brand house show.  I met my buddy Rood for the first time that night and in the last 16 years we have gone on many wrestling adventures.

I got the last two front row tickets and it was my first time getting front row for WWE.  It was well worth it as at that show Vince McMahon appeared on the Brother Love Show with Zack Gowen and the cared was main evented by Brock Lesnar & Kurt Angle vs. John Cena & Big Show.

Some smaller venues like The Colisee in Lewiston & The Lowell Memorial Auditorium handle their own ticket sales and have online ticketing.  I managed to get front row in Lowell for two ROH PPV's All Star Extravaganza VIII in 2016 & Best in the World in 2017 and front row for War of the Worlds.  Having front row for those PPV's were amazing!  

But no matter if it's Ticketmaster or a smaller venue the same thing always happens to me.  I get all excited because I want to get front row, so I sit down in front of my computer and start hitting the refresh button as the butterflies building in my stomach.  Then when tickets pop up I move as fast as I can and except for a few instances I'm always initially disappointed because I don't get what I want. 

I'll tell my friends and they are always happy and positive about it, but not me, not for a couple hours actually.  I don't know why I put myself through it but I do.  Every time!  For instance when New Japan Pro Wrestling Fighting Spirit went on sale on July 26th at 10am I was up in northern Maine at a campground, we were actually leaving that day.  After getting all pack up I went into the lounge area where I could get on the wi-fi.  The night before I had logged up and checked everything out and it was fine.

Ten am hits and I start to try and buy tickets and it's moving like sludge.  At first I think it's the ticket website because I knew these tickets would be a hot item.  Finally it comes back and it's fifth row in the parquet, not even floor seats.  I search again and it gives me balcony.  So I go to buy the parquet seats and the Internet crashes.  I can't get back on and I have no cell reception for data.  That's it we are not getting tickets.  

We head down the road and notifications on my phone start going crazy so I drive until I see a good place to pull over and I pull up the website and as it's now 25 past ten and I'm know I'm getting nosebleeds, but I want to be there.  So I check the sections because you can pick you seat and there's nothing on the floor.  I then selected four tickets best available and it gave me second row on the floor and I didn't hesitate.  Got super lucky.  New York and Philly sold out in a couple hours, maybe less, and currently there aren't many left for Lowell.

upcoming New Japan in Lowell, 9/27/2019
In the past for indy shows I never bought tickets in advance, just show up at the door and typically you can get front row or general admission isn't bad.  Now with Limitless Wrestling, I get that same pit in the stomach feeling.

For their fourth anniversary show on Sept 6th, VIP and Front sold out in under three minutes and over 250 sold within the first hour.  I was lucky and got a VIP.  Part of me is happy that Limitless is doing so well and packing in the fans, but another part of me wants to not stress about getting tickets.

My least stressful wrestling ticket buying experiences in the last three years are the WWE shows at the Augusta Civic Center because I have no interest in front row, I go to the box office where I can pick out my seats and I buy particular ones in the $25 section and they are a great view.  Also by going to the box office I save all the Ticketmaster fees and just pay the venue's $2 per ticket fee for the twenty five dollar ticket is $27 and not $38 each.

I also want to add that I have an album with every single ticket stub I have ever gotten from any event that I went to that was ticketed, other than the movie theater.  Wrestling, concerts, monster trucks, sporting events and more.  It's really fun to go back and look at them when I add the new ones to it. 

Thanks for reading, please leave a comment, read my other posts, and like my blogs Facebook page and while you're at it check out my weekly podcast The Wrestling Insomniac on the Nerdy Legion Podcast Network. 

Until next time!

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Signed Trading Cards: Anthony Greene, Wes Brisco, Teddy Hart, Caleb Konley, & More

This post looks at cards that I got signed at the recent Pro Wrestling Experience show on August 1st in Fairfield, Maine.  You can read all about that show here.


"Retro" Anthony Greene

These two cards make it 23 cards that I have signed by Greene, the most I have signed from one person.  The card on the left from the July 2019 4 Corners Cards platinum series trading cards set.  The center card was released  in 2019 by Go Fight Pow as part of their wrestling trading card game.  The card on the right is not a card at all but a sticker that AG was selling.  It just looks cool.

Check out 4 Corners Cards and Go Fight Pow for these and their other cards.  Also Greene has them for sale himself.


Caleb Konley

I bought these cards from Caleb at the show, he cut me deal because I bought a DVD as well of the this years Mark Hitchcock Supershow from New York as I was at that show.  The card on the left, I have no idea who released it.  The card on the right is Konley as Star Lord for the FSCW: Fantasy Supercosplay Wrestling promotion.


Wes Brisco

This card is from the 2013 Tristar TNA Impact Wrestling Live set.  The son of Jerry Brisco this card is his first every wrestling trading card.


Teddy Hart

This card was is part of the Joey Janela Spring Break 3 Part 2 card set that was released by GCW: Game Changer Wrestling in 2019 in conjunction with the event.


Cam Zagami

This card is part of the Limitless Wrestling series 1 trading cards released in 2018.

Thanks for reading, please leave a comment, read my other posts, and like my blogs Facebook page and while you're at it check out my weekly podcast The Wrestling Insomniac on the Nerdy Legion Podcast Network. 

Until next time!

Friday, August 2, 2019

Pro Wrestling Experience Live Report August 1, 2019


Pro Wrestling Experience returned to Maine for the first time since December 2012.  At least that's the last time I went and like that show, this one was held at the Community Center in Fairfield, Maine.  I knew Mikey and Phil were going to be there, but I was surprised to see Carolyn in the parking lot when I got there.  She had decided to go last minute and even though it wasn't her first wrestling show it was her first in many years.

I'm always excited for wrestling but for me I was most excited because this was Champ Mathews return to the ring for the first time in three years.  He's one off the best I've seen and for whatever his reason is, he stepped in 2012 cam back for one in 2016 and then tonight.  I hope his next match isn't so far off.


I first saw Mathews back in 2004 for New Wrestling Horizons in this same building against Hardware and didn't think much of him.  Two months later he wrestled Legion Cage in a loser leaves town match and I was blown away.  After that he had killer matches with Kenny Omega (yes that Kenny Omega, this was 2005) Marcus Hall, Steve Corino, Luke Robinson Scotty 2 Hotty, Sonjay Dutt, Chris Hamrick, Mark Moment, Bushwacker Luke, and if you can find it June 10, 2011 IWE & NWA On Fire joint show vs. Sebatian Cruz, it was outstanding.  There are a bunch of guys I would love to see him wrestle right now.

Great crowd tonight with 250 or better filling the arena, nice entrance way and lighting was great for pictures.  They used a standard tall ring, but no tag ropes and no ring bell.  They did get a sound file they played over the sound system.  The P.A. system was ok, couldn't really hear the entrance music that good, although you could hear the ring announcer and the wrestlers promo's just fine.   VIP doors opened promptly at 6:30, full entry at 7pm and main show started at 7:30.  I must say I love it when the show starts on time.  We got a pre-show match and I didn't catch their names but as soon as I have them I will update it.  The main card featured nine exciting matches.


Pre-Show:
Road Block & Justin Ryker vs. Jacob Drifter & "Bulldog" Dave Dyer went to a no contest when Caleb Konley attacked all four competitors

Mikey said that these were students and it showed at times.  You don't shoulder block a guy in your opponents corner with his partner standing right there.  You look dumb for doing it and the guys standing on the apron looks dumb because he has to stand there and watch you do it.

  



Caleb ran in attacking all four ending the contest.  He then cut a post match promo stating that this was step one of the revolution and we would see step 2 later tonight.

Main Card:
Flag Match: Marko Estrada defeated Channing Thomas retrieving his flag first

This match was really good which didn't surprise me. It was cool to see Estrada again for the first
time in 6.5 years. He's from Quebec and is very active in Canada with NSPW, UCW, and other
promotions.



Another guy it would be great to see in person more often. I don't think that this needed
the flag match stipulation, it didn't add to the contest, but it didn't take away from it either. Both
guys worked real hard and jelled together well. I was surprised to see Estrada win as he's the
"evil foreigner".



Post match Estrada offered his hand to Thomas then turned on him beating him down. Channing
was saved by the masked Suicide who beat down Estrada chasing him away.



Next up was a presentation for the Maine Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame, Champ's grandmother Gram
was given a plaque and flowers and the second inductee was "Mr. USA" Tony Atlas. He was in the
ring thanking fans when Cam Zigami came out. He rand down Atlas and brought out Mac Daniels &
Jeff James. Atlas then cut a promo on Cam and introduced the Maine State Posse using many of
"Superstar" Billy Grahams phrases.



Cam Zigami, Mac Daniels, & Jeff James defeated Maine State Posse: Alexander Lee, Danger Kid & Aiden Aggro when Cam pinned Kid with a school boy

Great match! Fast opening with everyone brawling outside the ring. My first time seeing Mac Daniels
live, if he keeps at it he's going to go far.



This match had the fast paced action that is all of MSP's
matches and I appreciate that. The Posse appeared to have everything well in hand when Lee turned
on Aggro and Kid because Lee felt he had everything well in hand when Kid tagged himself in. Cam
used this distraction to roll up Kid in a school boy for the pin.




This turn was well telegraphed as Lee was dressed in red and Kid & Aggro in blue.
And we all know in cartoons that the good guys have blue lasers and the bad guys red lasers.

“Iron Heart” Douglas James pinned Wes Brisco



Match started some chain wrestling and reversals. Brisco is a second generation wrestler the son of Jerry Brisco. Solid match that had a surprise ending with James squirming out of Brisco's fireman's carry into a sunset slip style pinning combination.


Post match Brisco cut a promo thanking everyone and imploring us all to be nice to each other.

Beau Douglas & Jimmy Capone defeated Alec Price & John Graber

It was awesome seeing Beau again! I first saw him wrestle live way back in 1998 for the EWA:
Eastern Wrestling Alliance in Lewiston, Maine. I haven't seen him since the Boston Pro Wrestling
Marathon debacle in 2015.



This was a good match, the stand out for me was Alec Price, he was excellent and worked his ass off!
He currently wrestles in Maine for Let's Wrestle! but I don't think it'll be too long before we see him
on the Limitless Wrestling shows. Finish came when Beau and Capone were dazed and Price and
Graber came off the top rope in opposite corners at the same time. I'm not sure what they were going
for but the both ate a hard punch in the face that was good for the double pin and three count.



Triple Threat: Teddy Hart defeated Champ Mathews & Ace Perry



I was super stoked for this match and it didn't let me down! It was first time seeing Ace Perry and he was fantastic. Not to broken record it, but I hope to see him back in the future. Mathews came out with Sting face paint and pants.




This match was exactly what I expected it to be, a lot of high flying and high impact moves. With in the first couple minutes we got a Canadian Destroyer from Hart on Perry. The action came to the floor and over to our side of the ring. Mikey said, "think we should move?" But before I could respond Mathews, basically, sat on my lap and then we were catching Ace on is dive.




After some scuffling, Ace and Hart were on the floor in front of us and Mathews went for a backflip dive over the top rope, Hart caught Mathews and tombstone piledrove him on the floor effectively taking Mathews out of the match.  Back in the ring Hart eventually hit is powerbomb lung blower combo for the three count.




Post match Hart cut a promo thanking the fans and praising professional wrestling



Intermission was short, but long enough for fans to meet some of the wrestlers.

Davienne pinned Sierra




My only other time seeing Sierra live was in the Let's Wrestle Rumble. She looked great here, Mikey
told me that she was young, like 18. She's wicked good and I look forward to seeing her progress in
the ring. Finish came with Sierra lying in the corner and Davienne drop kicking her into the ringpost
then dragging her back in the ring for the pin.





Tables Match: “Boston Bad Boy” Jason Rumble & Boris Darov destroyed The Guatemalan Prince & Lee Miller

Holy Fuck!! Miller and Prince jumped Rumble and Darov at the bell and that was the only offense
that they got in. Rumble and Darov took over and brought it to the floor, Rumble with Miller and
Boris with Prince.




Rumble and Boris got chairs and proceeded to beat the holy hell out of Miller and Prince with the
chairs. Boris even took out a few of the security guys. The shots were loud and stiff and I enjoyed
every moment of this beat down. Back in the ring the brought out the tables propping them up in
opposite corners. Moments later Miller and Prince where lying in heaps of broken table.





Probably relieved that they beating was over. But it wasn't Rumble grabbed another chair and
continued in on Miller and they ever took out a couple more security guards.

Maxwell Chicago pinned Retro Anthony Greene with his platinum hunnies

This was as fun match that was heavy on the comedic antics of Maxwell Chicago. I heard that this
was his first match in three years, I didn't see and ring rust. Near the beginning of the match Greene
for a kiss from Ava. Not to be outdone Maxwell demanded a kiss on the cheek from the newly
inducted member of the Maine Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame Gram who obliged him. Greene then
came to the floor and insisted that Mikey and I kiss him on his cheeks, we complied. What can I say,
it's professional wrestling.





Finish came when AG's new hunnie got in the ring and was kissed by Chicago, AG went to strike Chicago and almost his his hunnie. AG was then rolled up by Chicago and put his feet on the ropes for leverage to get the three count.

Post match AG said that Chicago cheated to win, but that he cheats on his hunnies every weekend and he gave his new hunnie to Chicago. Ava didn't seem pleased with this.

United States Champion: Carlito pinned Caleb Konley with Quentin Michaels

Michaels came out first and cut a promo but was interrupted by Carlito.  Michaels basically said that when he was working for the WWE Office Carlito was there as talent and disrespected him.  Carlito was going to spit his apple in Michaels face but Caleb jumped him from behind.




The match was terrific!  Carlito can still go and Caleb kills it in the ring where ever he appears.  The action spilled to the floor and into the crowd a bit.  Back in the ring it was fast paced for the majority of it.  More than once while the referee was distracted Michaels attacked a prone Carlito. 

The finish came when Konley was down and Carlito grabbed his apple, he took a big bite and spit it in Michaels face who had climbed up on the ring apron.  A backstabber to Konley later and Carlito retained his championship.





All in all it was a great show.  Of course any night I can go to wrestling is a good night.  I got few cards signed to add to my collection which I will post in a few days.


After the show I hung out chatting with Randy, Beau, Rumble, Cameron, Ace Perry and others.  It was nice to be able to take a few moments to hang out and talk to some people I haven't seen in a long, long time.  I had a DVD that Cam wanted of some EWA from 2002 that I finally brought him.  Well many others were interested once they found out about it.  I didn't realize the footage would be so coveted.


The ring announcer did say that there would be another show and to keep an eye on the facebook page for more information.  Hopefully it's not another 7 years.


Thanks for reading, please leave a comment, read my other posts, and like my blogs Facebook page and while you're at it check out my weekly podcast The Wrestling Insomniac on the Nerdy Legion Podcast Network.


Until next time!