Took a couple of days to recover, but now back to share my thoughts and experiences on the weekend.
I will first say that my experience over the weekend was different as to previous years due to the fact that I spent the majority of my time at the shows backstage, rather than as a normal fan watching from their seat.
I say that because it gives you a whole different perspective of the show, particularly in knowing just how much these guys and gals bust their ass to bring us as entertaining of a show as possible.
We got to Orlando late Thursday night....checked into the hotel and went straight over to the Orlando Events Center as Evolve was finishing up.
We were there for the Janela Spring Break Show, and before the show started, I was able to meet some really great folks such as Cedric Alexander, Tyler Bate, Jaxon Stone, Americos, Bryce Remsburg and Austin Theory.
The Janela show was nuts. Definitely a great time. Not your normal show, so it was pretty cool with all the gimmicky things they had mixed in....The Clusterf*ck battle royal was nuts. Crazy spots with bumps through unhinged doors was unique for sure.
The Janela show brought in the WWE/NXT crowd as well. Within an arms length from me was Kevin Owens, Jimmy Jacobs, Oney Lorcan, as well as all the Progress guys (Pete Dunne, Trent Seven, Tyler Bate). They were all having fun as well.
The following day started with PROGRESS and Rev Pro, followed up by a unique chance to be in the High Spots hotel room as they filmed a Bull James interview with Mike Bucci (Simon Dean) and Kevin Fertig (Mordecai), then we went to the Hall of Fame.
PROGRESS and RevPro I would recommend to anyone. They were both VERY entertaining. Marty Scurll and Ricochet was off the charts good. These are both shows you should go out of your way to see live if you haven't had the opportunity yet.
I was then able to hang out in one of the High Spots hotel suites with Bull James, Mike Bucci, and Kevin Fertig as they taped a panel interview for High Spots. All 3 were great guys. Pretty cool atmosphere to see them "shooting the shit"...was really fun.
Hall of Fame was great, as most of you probably saw, so no need to expand there.
Slept in on Saturday from a LONG fun night out with some folks I will keep nameless, because they will not want to see their names on here as I post this...lol. You guys that are on here reading it....was a fun night out hitting up the bars near the Arena....few too many drinks, but lots of fun nonetheless.
All we did Saturday was ROH. Had to get to the venue early since I was with talent who were asked to be there should they be needed. It was a cool vibe backstage. The talent was amped to put together a kick ass show, and they didn't disappoint.
These guys and gals were really on top of their game. I thought Cole/Scurll was a great opener. People will be quick to point the Cole botch towards the end, but the match up to that point was really strong, I liked it.
The tag match with Lee/Ospreay against White/Volador Jr was nuts. All of those guys can really go. The crowd was jacked for this match, seemed as if the talent fed off the crowd for this one. Another match I really liked, more than I thought I would going in.
Daniels/Castle was good as well. I didn't really like the way it was booked, but they both gave a great effort and delivered.
I thought the Cody/Lethal match had a great old school feel to it. It really made me think 80's Crockett as I watched it. I think Cody would have made Dusty proud that night. Him and Lethal both did a great job.
The Hardy's/Bucks was absolutely nuts. Great blow off to that program.
After a late night in Lakeland, we were eating our faces off at 2 am at Perkins. Here is a cheap plug for Perkins. If you haven't eaten there, check it out. It's like a Denny's or Shoney's, but damn is it good at 2 am when you are starving...lol
Front row fan "Streamer Guy" came over to our table as he was there with his family when we walked in. He was very respectful saying hello to the folks he recognized. That guy loves his ROH...
Sunday, we slept in, then made our way over for the JR show in the afternoon. Not a dry eye in the house for that show. Panel included JR, Cornette, Bruce Pritchard, and surprise guest Mick Foley.
This was a great show as these guys shared stories, all while trying to console JR in his tough time dealing with the loss of his wife Jan. Prayers go out to Jim Ross.
Mania Sunday night was meh. I'm just really starting to lose my interest in the product. I thought AJ/Shane wasn't bad. Owens/Jericho was solid as well. We didn't get to stay for the whole show, we had to leave before Lesnar/Goldberg to get over to get ready for Midnight after Mania.
As for Midnight after Mania, wow what a show that was. It was in the same venue as JR's show, but the event took place in the lobby. You should check that show out if possible, man it really good. Packed card including ACH, Cage, AR Fox, Dave Crist, Sami Callahan, Joey Ryan, Candace LaRae, Moose, Extra Talent-ed, "Dirty" Andy Dalton, Kaleb Conley, Tessa Blanchard, Zachary Wentz, Desmond Xavier, and many others....
Weekend was a blast. I was able to land some solid leads to try to get back into some announcing opportunities. I look forward to being able to share some of that news soon. We will see.
Got to meet dhads from the forum during the ROH show as well....good guy, hope you had a great weekend.
Hope more from the forum will plan to meet in New Orleans next year. We should do a forum event if that is the case...