Football season’s over, right?
Tell that to the members of the St. Louis Rams who attended Tuesday night’s screening of the film Draft Day. Starring Kevin Costner, Jennifer Garner, and Denis Leary, the film is scheduled for release Friday.
Hoping to stir up some excitement for the actual NFL draft (May 8-10) as well as the upcoming season, several players on the Rams roster (and some cheerleaders, much to the delight of the males in the audience) came out to the Chesterfield Galaxy theater and mingled with season ticket holders, signing autographs and taking pictures with the fans.
This shocking news comes just one day after Warrior, born Jim Brian Hellwig, was seen on WWE TV’s Monday Night Raw. Warrior had been inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame on Saturday night. The Warrior speech at the Hall of Fame was seen as vindication by many wrestling fans, as Warrior had a tumultuous relationship with the WWE following his departure from the company in the 1996. Warrior and the company spent years embroiled in lawsuits following a DVD titled “Self-Destruction” portrayed the Warrior as an ego-maniac. Hellwig legally adopted the name Warrior in the late 90s, and spoke of embodying a warrior-like lifestyle of pushing his body to the limit. Warrior frequently spoke out against drug usage, referring to several past wrestler as weak-minded due to their abuse of substances.
WrestleMania weekend was everything I thought it would be. Fun, entertaining, and one hell of a long drive!
I embarked on the journey to New Orleans with three friends. We left Thursday night, stopped in Tunica, which was not a good idea. The slot machines did not treat me well, however, the rest of the weekend would prove to be much better. After a night in Tunica, we finished the drive to New Orleans on Friday. Once we arrived, we checked into our hotel, a La Quinta Inn, about 3 miles from downtown New Orleans. Once we got situated, we took a cab to the French Quarter. Having never been to New Orleans before, I was quite shocked at how big of a party Bourbon Street actually was. Bars lined the street for blocks, along with strip clubs and souvenir shops. Chants of “Yes, Yes, Yes” were heard frequently throughout the evening. It was pretty cool to see so many wrestling fans from literally all over the world. I spoke with people from all over the world, ranging from Houston, Texas to Scotland. The WWE is really a global phenomenon.After drinking the night away, Saturday morning came way to early. I got up early that morning to go the meet and greet of my childhood hero, Hulk Hogan. He was signing autographs and posing for pictures at the WrestleMania Axxess event at the very large New Orleans Convention Center. Due to begin at 8 A.M., Hogan actually arrived about 15 minutes early. After about a 20 minute wait, I got the chance I have been waiting 25 years for.
Hogan greeted me with a handshake and of course “Brother!” He signed my WWE title belt and we posed for a picture. Yes, I do believe we had a moment. After that brief, but most important encounter, I was off to find my friends and head for Wrestlecon.
With WrestleMania 30 less than a week away, it’s time to look at the state of the WWE heading into the SuperBowl of wrestling.
If Monday night’s Raw was any indication, WWE has done a fine job hyping 3 of the 8 scheduled matches. Unfortunately, that leaves 5 that may bore viewers.
The biggest disappointment this Mania season has to be the Undertake and Brock Lesnar feud. Quite frankly, it’s boring. Lesnar has no momentum behind him, and the Undertake looks old and brittle. To think that 2 or 3 years ago, this match could have been a hot ticket, is a shame. There isn’t anyone on the planet who thinks Lesnar will beat Taker. Why should they? Lesnar hasn’t shown himself as a legit threat to the streak. The only way he could get anything over on the Dead Man was by a sneak attack. I’m holding out hope that this is a brutal and physical match, but I will not be surprised if it’s a stinker.
Does anyone really care about the 30-man Battle Royal? It seems like it’s just filler to get guys into WrestleMania and earn a pay day. Stale characters like Big E and Alberto Del Rio can try as hard as they want to put on a solid match on Raw, but nothing matters unless their characters change. I look for a few surprises in the Battle Royal, but it will ultimately be a snooze-fest.
Hundreds of fans and a dozen members of the media descended on Chesterfield Mall Saturday afternoon to attend the first public autograph appearance of former Mizzou standout, defensive end Michael Sam.
Sam made national headlines on February 9th when he publicly announced he was gay, likely making him the first openly gay NFL player after this May’s draft. Since Sam made his announcement, he has received an outpouring of support. In a 24-hour period, he saw the number of twitter followers he had go from 14 to over 50 thousand (to date he is nearing 100 thousand followers). This perspective was shared on Saturday as many fans stated they were proud of Sam. One woman commented, “I don’t really follow football, but I wanted to be here to support him.” The spectators, reporters, and security will likely follow Sam through the foreseeable future. It however, did not seem to faze him on Saturday as he took time to shake hands and take pictures with fans throughout the autograph session and simply stated, “It is what it is.”