Life on the Road
April 20, 2010
Originally posted February 27, 1999
With all of the WWE travel problems this past week, I thought it would be fun to dig back into my archives and find some old commentaries where I wrote about my own travel nightmares over the years. Enjoy!
I guess I should start by saying, yes the rumors are true, the Impact Players lost the World Tag Team Titles this past weekend in Ohio. I wonít get into any details, as it was a match taped for TV, so you will be able to see it for yourself this week.
I thought this week I would give everyone a little look into ďLife on the RoadĒ. I get a lot of people asking what being on the road is like. I even had a reporter of some kind ask if he could travel with us once to do a ďDay in the LifeĒ type story, so this is a look at this past weekend in Ohio.
We only had a 2-day loop this weekend, so it was a short easy trip, sort of. With there only being 2 shots, I understand itís hard to book the towns in a loop shape, but our beloved Greg Bag of Doughnuts strikes again. The 2 towns we ran this week were Toledo and Cincinnati. For those of you, like Greg, who arenít geography majors, Toledo and Cincinnati are about as far apart as any 2 cities in Ohio can be. Toledo is on the northern most edge, and Cincinnati is so far south that itsí airport is actually in Kentucky. With the shots being over 200 miles apart, we find ourselves, yet again, faced with a rental car drop charge. Another weekend off to an excellent start.
My weekend started later than usual, as my morning flight out wasnít until 9:40 am. At 6:30am I start my day, shower, have breakfast and head to the airport. After Park and Jet, check in, clearing customs, and boarding, I settle in to my inadequately sized seat. Due to the fact that I fly often, and Iím extremely sleep deprived, I lower my head and fall asleep well before the safety presentation, which by the way I now know far better than any flight attendant. After a bit of commotion I wake to realize we are still at the gate, I look at my watch to see that despite being asleep for over 30 minutes, we havenít moved. This doesnít surprise me much as Iím sitting on an American Airlines flight, which my experience as a frequent flier has taught me is one of the worst airlines for delays, either mechanical or otherwise. As the rest of the passengers complain about the inconvenience I go back to sleep.
Upon landing in Chicago I realize that our delay has left me, as well as many others, with a very tight connection. As other passengers panic and rush, I wander to my next gate secure in the knowledge that my connecting flight is also on American, so it probably wonít be on time either. I arrive pleasantly surprised to see them boarding on time. Please donít be fooled by the on time boarding, we were, yet again, delayed and I arrived in Toledo at 5:25 pm, 40 min. behind schedule. After claiming my bags and picking up the rental car, I have just enough time to grab some quick drive-thru and hit the building. What ďDrive-Thru?Ē you ask. Yes even on my strict diet, I must sometimes eat drive-thru. On these sad occasions I usually hit Wendyís for a couple grilled chicken sandwiches PLAIN, only the chicken and the bun. Itís nothing fancy, but since I havenít had anything, but protein bars, since 6:30 am they are a welcome sight.
At the show, I say hi to everyone, find my own little piece of the locker room, relax and eat my chicken sandwiches. Once the line up is up, I get dressed put some thought into my match and get ready to work. After my match I thank everyone involved. We exchange compliments and criticisms where appropriate, in an effort to improve for next time, and hit the showers.
After the show itís about 12:00 am and weíre (Justin and I) back in the car for another couple hours to the hotel. It ended up taking 3 Ĺ hours as we had the misfortune of stopping at, Jerry Lynnís least favorite restaurant, Dennyís. Iíve come up with a slogan for the miserable experience of eating at Dennyís. Iím forced to remind Jerry of it every time we eat there. ďCome on itís Dennyís, itís not like you expected to leave happy!Ē This place was bad, even by Dennyís standards. It took us 26 min. to get our drink order our sloth like bus boy took, literally, 1 min. to pass out straws. After an hour and a half we left Dennyís, if nothing else, a little fuller than when we went in. At 3:30 am we checked into our hotel and passed out.
Up at noon, check out and hit, my all time favorite restaurant, Cracker Barrel. I love this place so much I have a map of all their locations in my bag, so we can always find one. After breakfast, itís back in the car for another hour and a half. Once in Cincinnati we swing by the hotel to pick up Cyrus. Heís only in for Saturday, partly because he only does TV and partly because I canít stand him for more than 1 day a week. Cyrus is hungry so we hit, yet another, Cracker Barrel.
Since this show is TV, we arrive quite early, around 5:00 pm. We greet everyone again, find a spot for our stuff and go check out the building. Before the show I usually talk with Paul. He likes to hear my feed back on his ideas for the night, and I greatly appreciate the fact he values my opinion. Once we finalize what we are doing, itís time to get dressed and prepare for another hot night of TV. At least thatís the goal, we donít always achieve it, but we do more often than not. Once the show is over the fun is just getting started. After the show we tape promos, all the interviews and angles, anything that doesnít take place in the ring. This quite often runs us till 5:00 am, depending on how many we have to due and how many takes we do. Iím usually one of the last promos of the night. I think itís because Paul likes seeing Dawn Marie walk around in her little ring outfit all night. Not that I blame him, and if he doesnít, I do. Usually Justin and I are pretty good and donít take many takes. This night in Cincinnati, I hit one of the best promos of my life in 1 take, and we were off to the hotel by 2:30 am. After drive-thru at Steak and Shake, we were at the hotel and in bed by 3:30am.
Up at 8:30 am, return the rental car and check in for another eventful day with American Airlines. I wonít bore you with the details of my flight home, but rest assured both of my flights were delayed. I arrive in Calgary at 3:20 pm about 55 min. late and after customs and park and jet, I arrived home around 4:45 pm. Exhausted and limping, Iím greeted by my loving wife with instruction to go play in the snow with my daughter in the back yard till supper is ready. Despite wanting to put my foot down and being the heel, I do as Iím told. After all, I canít say no to my daughter and if I say no to my tired and pregnant wife, I will no doubt start a fight I will definitely do the job in.
Looking back, I think we should be called professional travelers instead of professional wrestlers. I spent over 25 hours in transit, to perform 2 matches totaling approximately 25 min. I hope you guys enjoyed them.
Till next week,