PCW and Comicon
December 05, 2014
I've had a lot of people ask me to write about my weekend in the UK, so I'm going to do that here. I'm not sure how entertaining this will be, because the weekend was almost a non-stop blur for me. This was a classic example of the old wrestling adage; I've been everywhere yet seen nothing. If it weren't for the hours I sat wide awake in the middle of the night due to jet lag, I wouldn't have had a second of free time.
My weekend started for me at 6 am Thursday morning. I drive my daughter to work so I'm up extremely early during the week. I usually go to the gym after I drop her off, but I had some writing I needed to do before I left so I took my laptop with me and stopped at a McDonalds between her work and SWA (it's too far to head back home). I grabbed a cup of coffee and a muffin and used their free wifi to write and post a commentary. From here I went to class for the last day of the Sept. Session. The last day is evaluations and advice about moving forward. This is always an emotional day because over the 3 months some good friendships are formers.
After class it was back home to pack and eat and get ready to head to the airport. Total travel time door to door was 17+ hrs. My first flight was Calgary to London. We boarded on time but ended up sitting on the tarmac for close to 90 minutes. Weather was just starting to turn bad in Calgary and we were told that some ice had formed in the engine. That didn't sound good, but they said if they turn the engine on for a while it would melt the ice and when they then start the engines and let them run for a bit the water will evaporate. I guess it all worked out because after about 90 minutes we were off and running.
I was hoping to sleep on the flight because it was after 9 pm at this point which is pretty close to my regular bed time (6 am comes early folks). I put my iPod on quietly hoping to sleep but sleep did not come, at least not in anything more than really short bursts. We did get 2 in flight meals that were decent enough, so Yay British Airways. We landed in London about an hour behind schedule but thankfully I was originally scheduled for a 3 hr lay over so I still had lots of time.
Border Control was relatively easy. When the lady asked me how long I was staying, I told her I was going home on Monday. This seemed to perplex her a little and she pointed out that with my visa I'm allowed to stay up to 2 weeks after my matches. I told her that was all well and good but my flight was booked for Monday. She still wasn't satisfied and reiterated, but you can stay for up to 2 weeks. I once again assured her that that was nice and all but my flight was scheduled for Monday and I intended to be on it. She seemed to finally accept my position but told me that she would put the 2 weeks down on my passport in case I changed my mind, I did not.
I still had a couple hrs to kill so I found a Starbucks (no Tim Hortons at Heathrow) got a hot sandwich and a coffee and once again used some free wifi. The flight to Manchester went well and I managed to sleep the majority of that 1 hr flight.
I was picked up at the airport by two guys, whose names escape me, but they were very nice and rather entertaining. No sightseeing along the way it was get in the car and drive straight to the building, which took an hour or 2. Doors had already opened by the time I got there so I didn't have much spare time. I said hi to as many people as I could and pretty much got dress right away. I was on fairly early in the show and worked with a guy named Martin Kirby. I had only seen 1 match of Kirby's on YouTube months earlier when I had agreed to work with him so by this point I had no idea as far as what he liked to do.
We laid out a fairly simple 2-3 minute finish and went to the ring with no plan what so ever. Thankfully I went to the ring first because it allowed me to watch his entrance video where I got to see a few of his trademark moves that I managed to later work into the match. I really enjoyed the match with Martin as did it seem the crowd.
After the match the promoter arranged a lift for me back to the hotel, knowing I would be both exhausted and hungry. While this didn't allow me to see any of the show it got me back to the hotel before the restaurant closed so I got a decent meal and in bed by about 10 pm Preston City time, approximately 33 hrs since I got out of bed back in Calgary. Thanks to Jetlag I was wide awake at 1:30 am and read until breakfast, which started at 8 am. After breakfast I managed an hour or 2 nap before the afternoon pick up to head to the second show.
There was a several hour, meet and greet deal that afternoon, which was odd but it gave me a chance to chat with Booker T and Road Warrior who were doing it with me. I also got to finally meet and talk with Brian Elliott from Fighting Spirit magazine. On the second show I wrestled Joey Hayes (Perhaps the long lost illegitimate son of Michael Hayes, although I doubt it) Again we put nothing but the finish together. I really enjoy just going to the ring and working now, and purposely don't plan much outside of the finish.
We were on later in the show (just after intermission) so I had time to sit down and watch some of the show. Unfortunately I fell asleep (due to jetlag not the caliber of the show), and didn't see much of anything. I shook myself awake and headed to the ring. Again I really enjoyed the match and can honestly say I was impressed with both guys from PCW. After the match it was back to the hotel for a quick bite to eat and to bed.
I had an 8 am pick up the next day because I had to be in Wales for a fairly early start at the Wales Comicon. Sadly the hot breakfast at the hotel started at 8 so I was not expecting to eat much in the morning. I was in bed by 11 pm and of course wide awake by 2 am, I love jetlag. I read till about 6 am, then showered and packed and headed to the lobby just a bit after 7. There were no phones in the room so I figured I best be downstairs early for pick up. There was an extremely drunk guy in the lobby who of course had to be a wrestling fan, and he recognised me right away. On the upside the guy from the hotel was getting the breakfast ready early so I told him if he could get the hot food up before 7:40 I'd order breakfast. He did and I did, which almost made up for the annoying drunk guy.
Picked up at 8 am to head to my Comicon appearance in Wales. The Wigan (home of the infamous Snake Pit) road sign was the extent of my site seeing along the way. This was my first ever trip to Wales and I didn't even see a sign on the side of the road that said Welcome to Wales. The Comicon was small by Comicon standards I think but quiet busy just the same with lots of crazy people wandering around dress up as characters from Star Wars and Comic books. Star Wars was the dominant theme.
Comicon was about a 7 hr day sitting behind a table signing autographs and taking pictures. Everyone was super nice and the time really flew by. I was sitting between Brodus Clay and Road Warrior Animal, which gave me someone to talk to during the slower times. I'm not sure if I'm too old or if this was just a lower end drawing Comicon because the only celebrity apart from the wrestlers that I recognized was James Cosmos from Game of Thrones.
The highlight of the day for me was an awkward fan interaction Cosmos had just in front of our table. They were close enough to our table to be heard and it was that classic uncomfortable interaction where you want to be polite but the fan keeps trying to drag out the meeting longer than need be. To make it better Brodus saw the meeting coming right as it started and did hushed Golf style commentary of the encounter that was hilarious. "The fan makes his approach...he moves in... he gets the handshake...okay say you like his work and let him move on... but no, he's gone and done it, he's over stayed his welcome. The poor guy is hooked now...he's looking for his escape, but the fan's having none of it..."
We wrapped up Comicon about 5 pm and then got dropped at out Hotel about 7 pm and are told we have a pick up at 5:45 am to take us to the Manchester airport. I had a noon flight but Animal and Brodus had earlier flights and it was a 2 hr drive to the airport. It would get me to the airport absurdly early but I'm heading home, what do I care? This hotel had a really nice restaurant so I got a great meal of Fish & Chips. That may sound weird but I love my English fish & chips and this place's was top notch.
I got to sleep by 8:30 and was woken up less than an hour later by a call telling me our pick up would be at 5:30 not 5:45. All well and good but now I had a hell of a time getting back to sleep. I eventually did and of course woke up just after 2 am. Jetlag rules. Pick up was on time and I dozed off and on during the drive to Manchester. There was a big line up at British Airways but it's not like I was in a rush. After standing in line for maybe 45 minutes I got to the front of the line and was told that my flight wasn't open for check in yet and I'd have to wait another 20 minutes before I could check in and get rid of my luggage, AWESOME! I found a coffee shop to kill time in and took advantage of some free wifi (Twitter Q and A).
I eventually got checked in and headed on my way. Flight to London was on time, I again hit Starbucks at Heathrow for the same coffee and sandwich. I didn't want to sleep on my London - Calgary flight, because I got home in the evening, so I stayed awake the whole flight, watching movies. I watched Guardians of the Galaxy (quiet good), Lucy (decent enough), and Damn of the Planet of the Apes (real good). I also caught an episode of Fawlty Towers, another bonus of flying British Airways.
Door to door my trip was 20+ hours so I arrived home pretty exhausted. I crashed about 10 pm and was up at 6 am to take my daughter to work. You know the expression "All work and no play, makes Jack and very dull boy"? I think they got it wrong. "All work and no play, makes Jack a pro wrestler on the road." Thanks to everyone involved in the weekend, I was taken care of and contrary to the tone of this commentary had a great time. The crowd at PCW was awesome, if you get a chance as a fan to attend one of their shows I highly recommend it, and if you are a wrestler offered a booking there, I recommend accepting it, you'll have a good time. Also thanks to everyone invovled in taking care of me at the Wales Comicon as well, I true pleasure.
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