I think I perform well under pressure. The SATs? Nailed ’em. Wedding vows? Remembered ’em. Kids? Raising ’em. Ring announcing? Introduced ’em (and didn’t fall down). Now I realize that before this trip to Atlanta I didn’t know the first thing about pressure. But after Axxess this past Thursday I am now a resident expert.
One photo. That’s what you get. One photo. You screw it up and there are no do-overs, no second chances. One shot. A few years ago I was hoping for the perfect picture with Beth and thankfully I kept my eyes open and it all worked out. But even if it didn’t I knew I would be OK (and just go buy Photoshop). But this one wasn’t about me. Oh no. This time I was the one holding the camera.
One photo. Two people. There’s a lot to consider. How to frame them in the lens? How much to zoom in? Should you use a flash? You have to process all of this, which is a lot especially when there is a long line of people behind you, and especially when your physical well-being (and perhaps your job at Diva Dirt) depends on the quality of this photo. You think Cryssi enjoys beating me up each Wednesday on Diva Dirt Live? Imagine if I blew this picture of her and ‘Randygod’?! I’m telling you, it’s been three days and my palms are still sweating and I KNOW the picture turned out perfectly.
Oh yeah it’s perfect. Cryssi and Randy. Randy and Cryssi. Both looking fabulous. Four eyes open. All in focus. Thank you sweet Jesus, I owe you one because at first the zoom was too close, the display was blurry, and I was running out of room to back-up. Good Glamazon almighty, I really DID start to panic!
But then everything worked out. The photo was great and my breathing returned to a somewhat normal pace. When I met Randy he thanked me for waiting in line all that time. I wished him the best but really I just wanted to thank him for keeping his eyes open and not blinking in Cryssi’s picture. I’m not sure I have enough sick leave at work to cover short-term disability. Thankfully I had made it through my most important WrestleMania moment intact.
It was a wonderful three days in Atlanta. I actually enjoyed the city more than I thought I would. When it was announced as the host city I reacted the same was you do when mom serves meatloaf for dinner…”Not again!” Nothing against Atlanta I’ve just been there many times for work. (You know, my “real” job, the one my wife won’t let me quit so I can cover more wrestling…) But Atlanta turned out to be a lot of fun because the logistics were MUCH (please repeat this word 32 times) better than Phoenix last year. All of the events are centrally located downtown so you can walk, cab, or drive fairly easily. Phoenix was much too spread out (as was Houston the year before that). Plus the nightlife in Atlanta was rocking. The city felt alive and I was happy to be a part of it.
It feels weird not to be going to the actual event tonight. I had to fly home Saturday morning for a wedding so I also missed the Hall of Fame inductions last night. I have mixed feelings because even though I don’t love the card tonight (I’m still bummed Beth vs. Nattie is just a dream) I wish I was there to share the experience with my friends. I mentioned it before but it is so true: spending time with the friends you see every year at ‘Mania is the best part of the entire trip. I feel even more strongly about that after meeting a lot of Diva Dirt readers at our party this past Friday night. What a great time! I hope we make it a yearly tradition. It was definitely a highlight for me.
But I knew I had to get on that plane Saturday morning. I knew I had to leave. This was an important wedding because a girl I used to babysit, a girl I have known basically her entire life, was getting married to her long-time boyfriend. It was a lovely wedding and my wife and I were honored to be there. She was a gorgeous bride and as I sat there watching them exchange their vows I was struck by how beautifully she had grown up. Strong. Confident. Mature. I actually got a few tears in my eyes because I want this so badly for my own children.
As most boys do, my son has a lot of role models to choose from (I guess I’d like to be somewhere on that list, but Troy Aikman and Sidney Crosby are also fine choices…) Sometimes it feels harder to find similar role models for young women. That is why the Divas, and particularly my beloved Beth, are so important to me and my wife. They are dynamic, beautiful, strong, confident, and successful. Everything we want our little Morgan to become. And everything my friend Danielle has become. I’m proud of her.
I always joke with Cryssi about wanting to go to a SummerSlam wedding but this WrestleMania wedding was a treasure.
A few final thoughts as I reflect on WrestleMania week in Atlanta.
You may love LayCool, you may hate Lay-Cool, but they were a standout at Axxess this week. The crowd standing in line to meet the Divas was rowdy and vocal. Michelle and Layla played along and it was really fun. Chants of “You are flawless!” kept breaking out and Lay-Cool would groove along. I enjoyed seeing Michelle and Layla again but more than anything I enjoyed seeing them interact with the crowd.
I had the privilege of meeting most of the Divas this week and although each was friendly and accommodating, the two I most wanted to meet were Melina and Gail Kim. I hadn’t met either girl before and I respect them a great deal. I’m glad I was able to tell each how I felt. The real surprise, though, was meeting the magnificent Wendi Richter. I didn’t know she would be at Axxess so I was excited to congratulate her on being inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame last year. We can debate the validity of the Hall of Fame, but seeing that beautiful ring on her finger made me smile. What a nice moment for her. What a lady. (PS – congratulations to Sunny on her WWE Hall of Fame induction last night!)
So if meeting Wendi was a “nice” surprise, meeting Snooki was… I don’t know. I really don’t. I’m a combination of “super giddy” and “couldn’t care less.” All I know is my friends and I bought her book, stood in line, and said a quick hello to her…and then we talked about her the rest of the night. It’s possible she is setting “celebrity” back 50 years. The crazy thing is that even at the wedding Saturday my table talked about Snooki for at least 20-30 minutes. I don’t know. I do give her credit for taking advantage of our America’s enterprise system. One thing is for sure, my wife was not real thrilled I actually bought Snooki’s book. “Is that going on our shelf?” “Ummm… .yes.” Looks like I’m buying dinner tonight… and tomorrow.
In closing I owe my favorite memory of the week to WWE legend and Hall of Famer Pat Patterson. I met Pat at an Axxess session and he remembered seeing me the previous night at a karaoke bar downtown. He said, “You sang that Grease song, right?” (Uh-oh) “God I hate that song… everybody hates that song. It’s too damn long!” I froze. How do you respond to that?! I started laughing — nervously — and then (thankfully) so did he. I said, “Trust me Pat, as bad as I sang it the other night, all my friends hate it now too!” More laughter. A really nice moment, all part of a trip filled with many nice moments. I can’t wait for Miami 2012!
Best wishes to all the WWE performers tonight! I hope you enjoy the show as much as we will watching it! Cheers!
– Mr. Glamazon
And Pat, I’ll start working on a new song for next year… unless Cryssi (or Melanie, or Erin, or Steven, or Eric) fires me before then.