Man Friday April 1 was packed wasn’t it? So packed that it made up the first two parts of my four part recap tale, so what was supposed to be a trilogy is now a quadrilogy? I’m pretty sure Fox made that word up for their Alien movies when their were only four.
Anyways I’m getting sidetracked, Day two of our trip down to Dallas was filled with a lot of activities. On the agenda was WWE Axxess at 1 PM to 5 PM then at 7 PM the WWE Hall of Fame headlined by Sting.
As mentioned in part one, when Shawn and I got to the hotel I noticed he did not have two of his WWE action figures and my iPad. Well low and behold I was awaken to our cabby from the day before calling me to let me know he was parked out front of the hotel with our stuff. It was awesome and super cool of him to return those and once again proves my theory that almost everyone out there will do good deeds because people are naturally good inside, so take that cynics.
After rushing down to the lobby (still in my pjs mind you) I woke Shawn up to show him our stuff had been returned and he breathed a sigh of relief that all was well. He had felt very guilty about losing my iPad. After we got ready it was off to breakfast. While walking downtown we found what looked to be a nice little mom and pop dinner, however it was like the only breakfast place in Downtown Dallas and it was packed and we were hungry so instead of waiting we headed to a McDonald’s down the block (one of the few times we didn’t eat locally). After breakfast instead of going back to the hotel I felt it was time for my son to learn about the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
We were only a few blocks away so it was a quick walk to the former Book Depository where Lee Harvey Oswald set up with his rifle and gunned down the President. My father is a huge history buff and one of the topics I’d call him an amateur expert on would be the JFK Assassination. Because of this my dad was never shy of sharing his knowledge with me. Where I’m no where near qualified to lead a college lecture about the subject I feel I was qualified enough to teach a 7 year old about a huge turning point in American history.
I walked him through the entire area showing him where the shot was fired from and walked him over (on the sidewalk mind you) over to the “X” on the (still in use) street where the car was when Kennedy was hit by the bullet. I explained to him in an elementary way about how Oswald was a communist sympathizer and wanted to start a revolution of sorts and killing Kennedy would do such a thing.
After seeing all that we walked over to the infamous Grassy Knoll where there were three men setting up to speak to everyone. I thought, “oh wow, this is cool, the Park Authority is setting up some sort of history lesson, can’t wait for Shawn to hear this.”
Boy was I wrong as these three men were nut job conspiracy men just rambling on about the CIA murdering Kennedy. It was at that point a Crow landed on the branch behind the guy speaking and started cawing at him which made me snicker to myself. Of course after I realized what we were listening to I leaned over and whispered to my son “let’s go” and he didn’t, he want to stay and learn something because for all he knew this guy was telling the truth and that’s exactly what I didn’t want him to get from that. So I told him that the guy was crazy and I’d explain to him. So as we were walking away I explained to him that there are crazy people out there who believe the most ridiculous things, like the President being an alien lizard. His reaction to that was priceless, he got wide eyed and said “WHAT!?” just as two other WWE fans walked by and they found it humorous.
A couple quick things about that area of Dallas, it’s quite eerie being in a spot where not only do you know someone died, but that someone was President of the United States, I’ve been to and walked by Ford’s Theater here in DC but never got the same vibe, maybe it’s because I’ve seen the video of Kennedy being assassinated tons of times, but with Lincoln there isn’t any film or photos of the assassination. Also the area of JFK’s assassination looks sprawling on film but the actual area isn’t really that large. Overall my son was highly interested in not only learning more about JFK but also other American Presidents.
After our trip through history we began our walk towards the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Center to check out the Super Store again as well as go to our Axxess event at 1 PM. On the walk down something cool happened, a fellow wrestling fan walking by told me he liked the Podcast. I was taken back by the comment because we’ve yet to really take off and only have 25 subscribers on YouTube (though the audio podcast does numbers in the thousands) so I wasn’t ready for anyone in Dallas to recognize me. Since the two of us were walking in opposite directions (with my son dragging me) I said a quick “thank you” to him in the midst of my surprise, so fellow wrestling fan if you’re reading this thank you very much to the compliment about the podcast and we’re glad you enjoy it.
At the Super Store and after the phenomenal NXT Takeover Dallas I was definitely caught up in the moment and it didn’t take much from my son to convince me to buy a Replica WWE Championship. We went to the kiosk in the middle of the Super Store and I asked one of the employees if we could look at it and once it was in my hands there was no way I was letting it go, so yeah, I bought one. However, though we walked around with it at Axxess (well my son did until it got heavy for him) I did not take it to Mania, and I’m glad I didn’t with how crowded it was, kudos to all of you who carried those around for all 6 hours plus of Mania.
As I mentioned above I broke down and bought the belt but also bought other souvenirs (very few for myself) and then it was off to a quick lunch where my son was caring around with plenty of people giving him ewes and awes about his belt making him feel like hot shit and after that it was off to Axxess.
Wow, what can I say about Axxess, it was just simply amazing. The moment we walked in we were greeted by the ominousness of the Elimination Chamber dead center of the area. Around it was a bevy of things, from activities for the kiddos (including a full sized ring filled with foam cubes for the kids to jump into), to signings, an entrance creator, photo ops, and even NXT matches (including newly crowned Women’s Champ Askua, and Samoa Joe).
We took in almost everything Axxess had to offer, with the exception of signings because my son did not want to wait in the long lines (which I wasn’t sour about), though we were at the Axxess to be at for signings including Dolph Ziggler, AJ Styles, Sasha Banks, Alberto Del Rio, Shaemus, Tyler Breeze, and my one true love Becky Lynch. I will say I’m a little disappointed he didn’t want to meet Dolph or Becky, but there was so much to do at Axxess I don’t feel we missed out at all.
Of course one of the first things we did was the entrances, and to my surprise Shawn didn’t pick John Cena but went with Dean Ambrose for his entrance. I would have liked say Dolph Ziggler or say Sammy Zahn, but those weren’t choices. Pretty much all the male wrestlers were stoic entrances like HHH and Taker and I didn’t want to do that, so I chose the Titantron of my love Becky and just kind of created my own. The WWE has a professional crew filming you and they give you a card with instructions on how to redeem it, but as of writing they weren’t up yet so you’ll have to stay tuned to our YouTube or Facebook page if you’d like to see me make an ass of myself. Shawn’s was cool and he did a great job mimicking the lunatic fringe.
Then it was off to the foam ring where Shawn got in there and dropped a few elbows and a very impressive spinning heel kick from the corner. Their were photo ops galore, we did some commentary, Money in Bank, Elimination Chamber, and the Undertaker’s Casket. 2K Games also had an area with WWE 2K16 playable and even though we own the game my son just had to take me on in it. He played as his new favorite The Demon Finn Balor and I as one of my all-time favorites Mr. Perfect, with Bobby the Brain Hennan accompanying him to the ring.
Everything about Axxess was great, from the live matches going on, to the signings to all of the different activities that went along with it, and the best part is it was all included in your ticket to the event. You could of course buy VIP passes for the signings but that amounted to a cut the line pass and was completely optional, there was no fee to get any autograph, and all of the photo ops where professionals were stationed were free as well. They either emailed the photos to you (instantly I might add) or gave you a card to look them up online. In my mind before entering Axxess I was budgeting what I would spend on memories, of course I’d pay any price for the entrance since that was what Shawn was most excited about doing, but what else would I spend my money on, the answer, nothing, none of the activities cost a cent, and in a world that seems to nickle and dime you at every turn (my hotel wanted $13 a day for wi-fi) I must say “thank you Vince McMahon for this event and all that is included with the ticket.”
The only thing left that day was the Hall of Fame, which we did not attend because frankly we were both dead tired. We simply walked back to the hotel grabbed some dinner and Shawn went nuts in the hotel pool before passing out for the night knowing that tomorrow was the day of days, WrestleMania 32.
Day Two in Dallas was filled with so much, from a history lesson, to me finally buying a WWE Title Belt, to my son having an absolute blast living out some of his WWE Fantasies (myself included in that), this might have been the most memorable day, probably because we weren’t watching things happen, we were making them happen. Also, shout out the YouTube channel What Culture from England, on our way back to the hotel we stumbled across one of their tapings and watched them live which was cool for both of us since my son is the one who introduced me to their channel.
Check back later for part four of WrestleMania weekend