Friday, March 31, 2017

First WWE endeavor of 2017

When I do WWE I like to make it count, even if it means a little extra suffering. In the past I've used fishing as an analogy for combo hunting. You are going into the ocean and hoping to catch "fish". Now with WWE I normally can do it one of two ways. I can go on a convenient fishing boat, set sail, and hope to catch some. I would spend hours upon hours and get maybe 5-10 fish with a lot of time and struggle while on a fishing boat. 

The other way is to climb a very inconveniently located mountain and and put in the time and suffering to climb that mountain. But on the top of that mountain is a barrel with every fish that is available. And from then on it's effortlessly shooting fish in a barrel. This method yields like 30 fish with minimal time put in compared to the previous method. 

The latter is the method I normally choose. 

Before hitting the main spot, I try for another spot just to check it out. I also met up with Scorpion faced Tony who I hadn't seen in person for 10 years! Unfortunately it seems only crew are staying there. I got a photo op with Jimmy Jacobs of ROH fame and had Ranjin Singh be the first ever auto on my WWE_E V3. 

Called it a night, drove to the main spot, slept for like 3 hours in the car, got up, and readied myself. A few notes, for a lot of these people I didn't bother with a photo op as I didn't need it or it would have been a downgrade (hat/shades) or I had to skip entirely as I had to prioritize due to multiple people coming through. And unless otherwise stated the item I got signed would be the WWE_E V3. 

It started relatively slow and calm, but I knew the time frame when people would really begin to show up. At first we were 5 people but then the couple left early missing most everything. So throughout most of the time we were only 3 people! It was sooo beautiful!  

Got Apollo Crews combo (update photo op) who loved a selfie with my camera (as you can tell by his smile). Baron Corbin arrives and I get a combo (upgrade). Bray Wyatt signed two entries for me (his own and the family entry). I had no need for a Bray shades shot. Alicia Foxx came through with full sun hat and shades but thankfully didn't need to get that. Got her to sign.

Some 205 Live people began to show up which made me happy as I needed them. In one sweep I got photo ops with TJ Perkins, Mustafa Ali, Ariya Daivari, Akira Tozawa, Jack Gallagher, and Noam Dar. The second sweep i got photo ops with Tony Nese and Drew Gulak. Drew had a hoodie when I got my first shot but then I got a retake when he took the hoodie off. Sadly I found out Cedric Alexander and a couple of other 205 Live guys walked by us. PUNCH.

Neville who used to be the nicest guy nastily blew off an autograph. When I saw that I didn't bother asking him. Wow what happened to him?  

More autos in Natalya, Tony Chimel, and Jamie Noble. Saw the Road Dog Jesse James and got him on the New Age Outlaws entry and his Mattel figure. Missed Michael Hayes because I didn't get to his entry in time (I didn't have it listed on my spreadsheet as I thought he was no longer on the road). 

The Vaudevillains come through. First Aiden English and he is as nice as can be. I get the combo. Now I heard lots and lots of horror stories about Simon Gotch. So I braced for the worst. I ask him for the photo op and he does it no issue. When I asked for the auto he turns around and tells me "sorry I don't sign" and I go "ok". Wow sure not what I expected. He did the photo op and politely declined the auto. That's a lot more than many. 

Pick up Daniel Bryan combo (update photo op) who is nice as can be. Even asked to burrow my blue sharpie to sign someone's figure saying this would look best in blue. Photo op with Adam Pearce of ROH fame and combo with the super nice Mojo Rawley (upgrade photo op). 

Viktor completely rejects and ignores (again, used to be so nice). Konnor I got to sign. Dolph Ziggler and Tyler Breeze both signed. Now comes a motherload. Ryhno, Heath Slater, James Ellsworth, Jason Jordan, and one or two more I'm probably forgetting. They all see us and shout out "ohh noo" Well now I have to prioritize. First I score my photo op Jason Jordan. Someone goes "tag champ right there, Gable also coming through" I ask where Gable is they say he's coming. Another guy I need is Ellsworth as we trap him he yells "guys, help" to the rest as they all walk away. Ellsworth does photo ops no problem. 

I then get combos with Becky Lynch, Chad Gable, and Mickie James. All nice as can be. Then Miz and Maryse came through. Rather than shoot for autos I decide to shoot for the dual op. I ask Miz if I could have a shot in between both of them and he goes "oh you sure can" in a semi sarcastic tone. We all get the dual op! While this is happening both Carmella and Alexa Bliss pass by and Miz points them out saying "here's Carmella and Alexa Bliss" and they wave at us and continue to dash away. I tell Miz that I got them before and then Miz yells "what, you don't want the autographs of Carmella and Alexa Bliss". 

Usos were both dicks. But I did get Naomi to sign. Arn Anderson also a total dick. Erick Rowan signed for me and Luke Harper a total dick (another nice one that was soured up)

Got autographs from David Otunga and JBL. Got combos from Brian Kendrick, Curt Hawkins, and Dean Ambrose (all three update photo ops). After this the other two fans decide to call it (one of them ended up being late for work due to WWE combos). I waited a bit more, then used the bathroom. As I was leaving I notice Rich Swann and one other guy. As they're checking in they notice me waiting with my camera. After they're done they both look at me as they wait for me to make a move. I then asked for selfies. I get the other guy (who I believe is one of the masked 205 live guys as he covered his face) and I get a Swann update. 

While I'm sadly missing Wrestlemania and a little jealous seeing photos from Orlando on Facebook, I'm very happy with this wrestling haul. 4-5 hours well spent. Plus I have other combo endeavors around the time of Wrestlemania so it's not a big deal. 

Jack Gallagher

Maryse and The Miz

Full list of photo ops part 1

Full list of photo ops part 2

A figure of the D-O-Double G

Autographs added to the WWE_E V3

Aiden English
Alicia Fox
Apollo Crews
Baron Corbin
Becky Lynch
Bray Wyatt (solo and family entries)
Bryan Kendrick
Chad Gable
Daniel Bryan
David Otunga
Dean Ambrose
Dolph Ziggler
Erick Rowan
Jame Noble
Micke James
Mojo Rawley
Ranjin Singh
Road Dogg Jesse James (Outlaws entry)
Tony Chimel
Tyler Breeze

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Monstermania, Big Apple Comic Con, and More

The week before Monstermania I was living in fear. For fear that one of my two top wants at MM (Cusack and Brimley) would cancel. Especially Cusack since he cancelled NYCC. Indeed people did cancel, including someone I wanted, but thankfully Thursday came and went and no news of either one of those cancelling surfaced. In fact I even saw an airport photo op with Brimley which was a sigh of relief right there. 

Me and  planned to attend MM Friday through Saturday morning (Joresky wanted the Stranger Things kids) then attend Big Apple Comic Con in NYC and possibly do more stuff in NYC. 

Before I would meet up with Joresky I had a flight for singer and actress Vanessa Williams. Not a fan of her music but the main reason I wanted her was because she co starred with Arnold in the movie Eraser. 

Get up early and get to the airport. She is one of the first people out. She takes a picture and signs but doesn't want to do multiples. 

I then pick up Joresky, and we head to NJ about an hour past Cherry Hill to try for the original lead singer of Styx, Dennis Deyoung. 

We wait at the venue. Since it is our first time at this venue we consult some combo hunters who we thought would have experience there. Luckily for us one person that got back to us is a Master from Philly and he advised us on the place where most people at this venue stay. Upon this tip I scout out the area and indeed see the place in question. So we kept an eye out at both the hotel and the venue. In the process we also get one of the scrubs in the band. As time passed Joresky spots Dennis DeYoung entering the spot. We approach him and ask he says it's arctic weather and to follow him inside. He does photo ops no issue and says to pick our favorite two items to get signed. 

Pre Monstermania combos: 

Vanessa Williams

Dennis DeYoung


After this success it was off to MM. And I knew someone who couldn't make it so I picked up their John Cusack photo op at a reduced price. 

We get to MM and Cusack is our first stop. We split the shot sadly he is wearing a cap but considering what I paid and considering he wore hat and shades the next day, I am ecstatic with what I got. 

Then I go to my second biggest want Wilford Brimley. Thankfully a combo hunter gave me money to get his vinyl done. And the money he gave me covered the combo price. So free photo op for me! Wilford couldn't believe I had that vinyl and he marked out for it. 

Went to CJ Graham and got a free table op. Sucks I would have to miss his Jason suited photo op the next day but at least this is free. So I'll be happy with that. 

Then I picked up free photo ops with Richard Masur and Thomas G Waites. I had more names to get but I thought I'd wait and see if I could mooch them or split them the next day since we were staying for the Stranger Things kids anyway. Me and Joresky feasted at the Chinese buffet then came back to the hotel. 

We tried to mooch but sadly 1) most names I wanted I didn't see and 2) most people were not allowing themselves to be mooched. I did however mooch both composer Alan Howarth and cinematographer Dean Cundey who I wanted to get. We saw the Stranger Kids come in but they were unmoochable. 

Now it was so freezing cold that hell froze over. Joresky paid for a room and I gave him $20 for the room. Due to his snoring I slept in the bathtub as there was no way we could have slept in the same room. His snoring was the equivalent of a bulldozer. Not even exaggerating to make a point. When I got up to piss I wanted to record it but sadly my movements woke him up. It truly amazes me how he has managed to sleep in NYC hostels with other people present. It truly defies all comprehension. 

The next day we eat some hotel breakfast then go back to Monstermania. I split actor DB Sweeney with James Wong, Ashley Bell with, and get Rex Brown from Pantera. At first he had shades but removed them slightly for my shot. Then later I saw he had them all the way up so I asked the vendors for another shot and got that. 

Got all those names while waiting in line for the Stranger Things kids. Then when it was finally time for those I split those with Greg. 

Finally we head to NYC. I found a free parking spot like two blocks from Big Apple Comic Con, which in that cold was a blessing. 

Sadly with Joresky having no desire to split and no mooching possibilities I had to bite the bullet for this con. We enter and first guest is Spencer Wilding who played Darth Vader in Rogue One. Got a photo op. 

Needed both Geoffrey Cantor and Peter Shinkoda photo ops but sadly no photo op price so had to buy the autograph for the full combo. Got a photo op with Gideon Emery who voiced Krampus, then got voice actor Neil Kaplan for free. Saw Ashley Massaro and figured I'd pick up an upgrade. My best shot with her was at a free WWE signing that's over the table and taken with an old digital camera from a distance. I have airport shots with her but she has shades in all of them. So I figured what the hell. Got a great shot with her holding the women's title. She had a cap on but I asked her to remove the cap and she did whilst complaining about her messy her. 

Next up voice actor Marty Grabstein who played Courage the Cowardly Dog, a cartoon I enjoyed. His combo price was $5 more than the photo op price so I opted for the full combo. Jackson Bostwick who played Captain Marvel is next. He didn't have a photo op price but had a small photo you could buy for $5 and get the full combo. So I jumped on that deal. 

Ended my time at BACC with a couple of artists then headed out. Since it was arctic level cold we decided to simply head out of NYC. 

I would like to add, coming Friday was a fantastic decision. First off it landed me Dennis DeYoung, and second off I got Cusack no shades. Cusack hat and shades would have pretty much devastated my whole weekend especially since he was my top want for the whole weekend. 

John Cusack

Wilford Brimley

Spencer Wilding

Full list of Monstermania photo ops

Full list of Big Apple Comic Con photo ops

Big Apple Comic Con autographs

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

First convention of 2017: The Big Event

Not only my first con of 2017, but my first wrestling con in ages. To me this con was more of a social event than a combo event, especially since I needed very little from here. Some lower names, some "you never know" names, and a couple of upgrades.

As I woke up in the freezing cold, Vanessa the Jersey Shore Stalker decided to sleep more in the car. More power to her. Met up with Greg and Lanza as we stood outside in the freezing cold waiting to get in. Got in and had to wait in another line to buy wristbands. But was good to be inside. 

Throughout I saw markedout members Ira, Woodmo, HeelOrton, former members Lucas and Tiscione (who also brought his girl), among others. Met ICW for the first time. Also saw promoters K&S, James of LOTR who lost a lot of weight, Bill Paley, Blaustein, and others. Notorious combo hunter Matt Calicchio was a vendor who brought in Alberto Del Rio and Paige. Damn it really has been ages since I've been at a wrestling cons thankfully I got both Alberto and Paige on the street several times so didn't have to bother with them. 

While walking around a few of my fans recognized me saying things like "oh it's markedout in the house" and "I wanna stalk you for a selfie"

On the valid side, Rosita was at her table and saw me and told me hi and waved me hello, remembering me from the railing at the Summer Slam hotel last year. I also went up to So Cal Val and she told me hello (she always recognizes me). 

First get was Mike Bennett. Then upgraded my Ryback shot (my only other shot is over the table as Skip Sheffield). Got a Kingdom group shot which turned out pretty nice but was painful to see HeelOrton and others mooch it after the show. PUNCH. Then got Melissa Santos and former Rosebud Mandy Rose as "you never know" names. 

Spit with Lanza both a first time Tito Ortiz and an upgrade with Steve McMichael. Rounded up Big Event with a "you never know" name in Donovan Dijak. 

Vanessa and others opted to stay till after the show and mooch. But with the arctic weather out there I chose to simply cut my stay and head out of NYC. 


Tito Ortiz

Full list of photo ops

First NYC endeavor of 2017

With the announcement that the 89 year old William Daniels AKA Mr Feeny and KITT would do guaranteed photo ops and extras at a NYC book signing I decided to go to NYC for the first time in 2017. Unfortunately the book signing would be flourished with PUNCHES.

So me and drove and parked a few blocks away where we hoped to find randoms coming out of the spot. Sadly there were none. But we find out earlier in the day Tom Holland did multi combos here. The first PUNCH. So we walked to the Strand bookstore. While waiting I get another photo op with Danny McNulty from Boy Meets World.

As the signing started, the fist PUNCH would ensue. Apparently due to the large number of people attending he doesn't want to so photo ops and extras. I attached myself to a group that former markedout members Lucas and Michelle seemingly started to cause a stink on the false advertising. A woman says she will help. We go in, when it's my turn I go for the photo op first. The woman snaps a posed shot! It's not the best shot but it's valid and it's in focus After this I get both my 8x10s and the book signed! Wow success. Sadly I was in for another PUNCH as I misplaced my signed book and lost that wow just wow but thankfully I got the valid photo op and extras which was more important. Waited till the end of the signing to improve my shot but he did nothing leaving. I did however get his wife Bonnie Bartlett who is an actress that was in Twins starring Arnold and Danny DeVito. So that made up for some punches. But apparently his handler was Loren Lester who voiced Robin in Batman the Animated series and didn't find that out till later. PUNCH. 

Wow that signing which was supposed to be stress free sure was a struggle and tainted by so many punches, but at least two valid photo ops from older actors plus Mr Feeny extras definitely puts me on the plus side. 

Next up was a spot for actor Lucas Hedges. I wouldn't consider myself a big fan of his but it was a close to where I was and practically a guarantee. He is young so he probably will likely end up being big or at least significant. Also there was Stefania LaVie Owen from Krampus. When we arrive Joresky spots Andy Buckley from Jurassic World. Hey for a random I'll take it. Kevin Spacey and Ansel Elgort went to a car real quick, but at least I have them both. Got everyone at that spot plus a couple of other randoms. Lucas himself was cool and signed by photos. So this spot was a success. We then spot a car that likely had a celeb. We follow that car to a restaurant and Jake Gyllenhaal comes out. But he had a beard and since I have a beard shot with him I didn't pursue. 

This ended our evening, or so we thought. It was late and while feasting on $1 pizza slices Joresky looks on FB and apparently Danny DeVito and Mark Ruffalo are still at their spots! We go there and wait. Mark Ruffalo comes out and I get an updated photo op and have him sign my Bruce Banner 8x10. Yes Bruce, not the CGI Hulk. It is more correct for him to sign Bruce Banner stuff since Hulk is basically a CGI creature. Then Danny comes out. Since he had a hat and facial hair my priority was the autograph as the photo op would be a downgrade. I had a dark Ruthless People cover I asked him to switch pens which he did. Wouldn't do more than one though. 

After an overall successful evening I found my free parking spot and slept. 

William Daniels

Bonnie Bartlett

Full list of photo ops


Woke up and with that cold I chose to limit my endeavors to spots where the times are more or less known (and indoors whenever possible)

First spot is a spot where my main goal is Carl Weathers from Rocky and the first Predator movie starring Arnold. It is incredible how even someone like Carl Weathers draws so many people in the freezing NYC cold. Whereas in other cities you can go for A listers and there would be a handful of people if that. While waiting at that spot I get photo op with actors Freddie Stroma (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1&2) and Josh Bowman. Then Carl comes in wearing shades and does nothing for no one. Me and a semi master happen to have tickets to go inside, so we both decide to go inside and try our luck there. When inside I also see a Master that I rarely ever see. But the few times I see him I'm always successful. So that gave me some hope. In conversing with him we talked about Chiller and he told me that Chad Channing will want to take a photo op with him after he puts down Bleach albums he got signed by Kurt Cobain. 

Event progressed and I'm sitting down miserable wondering if anything will happen. Also at the same event is actor Philip Winchester who I could use a better shot with. 

After the event concluded both of them did photo ops with EVERYONE! of course this success is slightly tainted by the fact that Carl does cons, but if nothing else it's one less pro op to deal with at a future con (and money saved). Went outside after the event and it was a wonderful feeling seeing Carl with shades blow everyone off and go right to his car. I also watched in delight as a couple of combo hunters then ran after his car. At the light he did a roll down and someone got a car and shades photo op. Philip Winchester then came out and I got another shot with him just because I could. There were more people coming to this spot but I decided no one was worth standing out in the cold for. I then went to a hotel and found a relatively secluded spot in the bar area and took a nap. 

After a nice nap I readied myself for the next spot which was indoors. In this cold lots of combo hunters chose this spot including a Master and his minion. My main goals here are Abigail Breslin and a clean shaven upgrade with Alex Wolff. Sadly was never able to get Abigail as a child which sucks since it would have been cool to have her as a child and adult. First photo op is a random in AnnaSophia Robb but I had her. Then got Isabelle Fuhrman and Abigail Breslin. Abigail was taking care of people but would try to run away at every chance. I managed to get the combo plus extra. Got my Alex Wolff upgrade plus some more names. When Matthew Broderick came out he said two per person. I got my 8x10 signed and he went off on combo hunters including Master/minion on getting all the pop funkos signed saying this is a show and to stop bringing these, but he signed them anyway. I have so many photo ops with him I didn't need another. Ended this spot with yet another photo op with Wallace Shawn. Wish I had items for him to sign.

Ventured into the freezing cold. I decided I would give Kate Walsh a shot. Also got Jeremy Shamos. Kate Walsh comes out and is as nice as can be. I then got the photo op. Kate Walsh comes out and is as nice as can be. Got the photo op. 

I then secure a railing spot for someone I am cursed with photo op wise, Cate Blanchett. While waiting I see Samuel L Jackson come out. I could have chased him down but had no reason to put that effort for a hat and facial hair photo op. Waited and she finally came out. Across from me I saw her do a photo op, even doing a repeat shot with the same person. That was truly pain defined. When she got to me I tried begging but she goes "I'm just signing these" at that point I needed to cut my losses and asked for the autograph. The Cate curse continues, sadly. 

I then drove to Queens for the Big Event. Met up with Vanessa the Jersey Shore Stalker and we both crashed in my car. 

Abigail Breslin

Philip Winchester and Carl Weathers

Carl Weathers

Full list of photo ops


Behind the scenes

Sitting down miserable not knowing if Carl Weathers would do photo op

A combo hunter gets a Carl Weathers car shot

Matthew Broderick signing Funkos

Freezing in the cold waiting for Cate Blanchett