Monday, May 4, 2015

A WWE motherload in April

It's been a long spell since I had a major wrestling haul. So not even 24h after my Lou Gramm success, I chose to embark at a motherload WWE flight. 

Lots of people expected to be there. Namely: 

Curtis axel 
Brie Bella
Prime Time Players 
Dean ambrose 
Heath slater 
Sin Cara (Hunico) 
The Ascension 
Luke harper
Randy orton
Seth rollins
Joey Mercury 
Jamie noble 
Eden stiles 

Cody Rhodes

Most of these people I didn't even need. But let's see who I DID in fact need

Needed upgrade shots with 


Needed first time shots with


So at the spot I play the waiting game. Wait for signs of life, and finally signs begin to trickle in. The Ascension were super nice. I got a Viktor upgrade, I got a Conner update (he has red hair) and they both signed my Ascension photo. Sadly most of the others I either didn't need or were dick. When I saw Rusev and Lana came I presented Rusev his new figure and asked for a photo op. He says he'll sign but no photos  Kane of course is always the friendliest. I got a figure signed and the Brothers of Destruction entry on the WWE_E V2. Tried to get autographs from Seth and Dean but Seth shrugged it off and Dean pulled the fake cell phone trick. Even Joey Mercury was being a dick for a photo op (could have used a bald headed Joey photo op). He goes "no no no". A maskless Kalisto shoots me down for a photo op and Hunico goes "no photos" 

I am hoping a Ryback upgrade can salvage this. But he goes "gotta get to the plane" then he was just standing there for like 20 minutes  

As a last ditch effort to salvage things, I try to beg Lana but only manage to score an autograph. I then try to beg Ryback some more while he's standing in line he goes "I'm getting on the plane" 

One thing did happen that was absolutely shocking. Randy Orton of all people actually posed for photo ops! Not just with me but with other random people there. Wow, Randy Orton who is usually a dick posed while others like Naomi and Joey Mercury were assholes. While this photo update was not high on my priority list it was still cool to get it as this is my first Randy Orton photo op in about 5 years.  

To further illustrate how unpredictable combo hunting can be, not two hours later at the destination city Randy Orton actually lectured fans not to bother the stars for combos after a long trip. And another motherload that landed in NJ they had more success. All but 2 or 3 on that motherload did multi combos with all fans. Even though bothering people after an 8-9 hour trip may seem like a bad idea, results are in fact possible. 

While technically this was not a bust, I do consider this WWE trek a failure, as I failed to get almost all my top wants.  

Randy Orton

Full list of photo ops

Autographs (for some reason the Kane auto does not show up)

The first wave of April meets

April starts off very stress free event. 
In fact, for an evening I lived a day in the life of 

How did I life a day in his life? Rather than focusing on simply combos, I chose a social event with lower tier music names. The band is called Seabound, and this is my favorite song of theirs (and probably their best known song). 

The setting was a medium sized club and there was a merch table. I asked if the band would come out after the show and was told they would. 

After the show I got a photo op with tour drummer Daniel Wehmeier. Then I got a photo op with keyboardist Martin Vorbrodt and finally the singer Frank M. Spinath came out and I got a photo op. Wow I can see the appeal of all those music names Joresky goes for. At least they are happy and willing to do combos. 

Two days later I chose to hit up a film set and a Russel Crow event later that evening. On that set was Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Shailene Woodley. Needed a better shot with Shailene plus some autographs, and also needed a Joseph photo op. Didn't bother to bring stuff for him to sign as I know he's not nice. 

I arrive and manage to find the base of operations. I find metered parking close by, I scout it out, and I see them both minutes later! I ask Joseph and he shoots me down 

I wait some more. They go back in their trailers. I ask Joseph again and says he does not do photo ops when working. I ask Shailene she says she can't sign. I wait for Shailene to exit and get harassed by security saying "I don't harass you at your job don't harass me in mine". Really? It's a public sidewalk! I keep my distance but when she exists I run up to ask her and she ignores me

I then find out where they are actually filming. I go there and see the actors along with Oliver Stone. Wow it sure was painful to see Joseph and Shailene at such close proximity knowing I couldn't ask as I would have no doubt been stopped by movie personnel and possibly the cops on site. 

I then go to a spot where Russel Crow was supposed to be because there would be less people than in the evening spot. But he garages it. Wow what a day of busts. 

I go back to the filming location and see that it is done. I run and see that Oliver Stone is leaving while a movie crew tries to stop me. But I ignore him and ask Stone for autographs and get two out of him. YES something salvaged out of this ordeal. He also marked out over the photo I had him sign, HCIT.

As a last ditch effort for Joseph and Shailene , I am now harassed by another security guard and told to stay away from Shailene. Since Joseph was there I chose to sacrifice Shailene. After she left Joseph is about to leave I quickly run up and ask and he gives me his routine "I don't take photos when working". I tried to say he was done filming for the day but to no avail. 

Next up was the Russel Crow event. Going in we are like 10 people. His guy comes out and says one per. I got two but sadly failed to upgrade my photo op. 

Leaving I tried again, as he got in the car I tried for a photo op he goes "go ahead and take it" in doing so I apparently bumped into a child and he goes "don't knock out children" and the mom gives me lip. The funny thing is by the child's mother's admission her kids don't even know who Russel Crow even is so here she is with her kids taking something away from fans  

And thus another failure for this day. Thankfully I do have a Russel Crow photo op already, but his would have been a shot with less facial hair. Although even if I had gotten the shot it would have been a car shot, so maybe it would not have been an upgrade anyway. 

While I did not leave completely empty handed, I've definitely seen better days. Despite the sub par day, I was the essentially the best combo hunter one could possibly be that day. I got out of bed, I scouted out all the locations, found all the spots, and got close to every celebrity I was targeting. Not my fault they shot me down one on one. 

Autographs for the day

About a week later I decided to try an event that featured legendary singer Emmylou Harris. There were other names, but she was my main want. We start at a spot where we think they are staying. Turns out we were very wrong, but a Master pap managed to find out where they were really staying. Unfortunately by the time I got there my main want Emmylou Harris was already inside So now I had to salvage the evening. I got a photo ops with Rhiannon Giddens and Lyle Lovett. Then I get a photo op and two autographs from T Bone Burnett as he left. After that it seems like it's dead, but I notice Darlene Love eating in the restaurant/bar. She was also in the Lethal Weapon movies. So me and another grapher decide to go inside and wait for her to be done. At that point I decided I wanted to come back in the morning to try for Emmylou again, so I questioned why I was even bothering to wait. More on that later. 

But anyhow, as we were waiting the other grapher noticed studio musician Nathan East who was more than happy to pose with us. FINALLY she is done eating. She is reluctant to do combos saying she is tiered but the other grapher breaks her down and we each get one full combo! SUCCESS! 

On to the next morning where I want to score Emmylou. First I get gospel singer Shirley Caesar and I had to go IN HER VAN to get that shot! This marks my first "in the van" shot. Then got a combo with Rodney Crowell. During all these 2 or 3 people blow us all off, don't remember who though. Lyle Lovett also remembers me from the night before. HCIT. Then all of a sudden Emmylou comes out. I couldn't believe it. Another grapher began making small talk and I firmly yelled out his name to get him to stop as I wanted my photo op! 
As he stopped, I FINALLY got the shot, my reaction was this face 

She also signed one for me! SUCCESS! After that we see Darlene Love, She was wearing shades and a bandanna. WOW what a difference in her look. So glad I waited till 2AM at the bar the night before as this photo op would have been garbage. Didn't even bother asking for anything I just said hi and she remembered us from the night before. HCIT. 

One person that was MIA was singer Michelle Williams. It's a mystery whether or not she was still there or she had gone, but we all quit. 

Emmylou Harris

My first ever "in the van" shot

Full list of photo ops

Full list of autographs

Couple of days later I decided to go for Lou Gramm, the original lead singer for Foreigner. 

I go into the event and find out he had already performed. It seemed like there was no way to get to him. I then browse about and see a small room with some sort of VIP reception. I hung around and heard them say that Lou Gramm will be doing photo ops. WTF! I have a shot. I mooched in the room, I blended in, lined up. I didn't try to mooch food as I didn't want to blow my cover. Now they had somebody taking pro ops. But since I wasn't in the event I had no way of getting that shot. So as I got up to him and I got a selfie. They then asked "don't you want a pro shot" I said sure and took a shot. 

After this I waited for an autograph and they got wind that I didn't belong there. I was asked to leave or be escorted out so I left the room and just waited outside the room for Lou Gramm to finish. As he got out I asked for an autograph which he was happy to do. Now here's where we have an HCIT moment coupled with a punch in the face. He asked to look at the CD booklet and I said sure. He looked it over with his handler and they were discussing it. Sadly I didn't do my research apparently it's an album that he tried to file a suit to stop. It is a "best of" and while some of the songs in the album are from the original line up, it's the CURRENT singer that sings themthus his signature completely invalidates my item. Damn I guess that's what I get for not doing proper research. But the reason I chose that CD was because it was only $5 at walmart and if I didn't see him I could return it. I saw "best of" and I saw his songs on the track list and immediately assumed it was something correct for him to sign. I suppose I will sell it now. 

After this HCIT moment and punch in the face, I got another photo op with him. I also talked to someone who attended the event and sent him an email from my phone so he can email me the pro op link when he gets it. But I have two photo ops with him so I'm not bothered about it.