• 04/13/2013 (6:31:03 pm)
  • Bob Mulrenin

Hello, my name is Frank from Joliette, Qu├ębec, and I had the chance to go to Axxess all day on sunday April 7th. So here are my impressions.
I went with my son, as it was a rare chance for him to meet current stars, a change from the old-timers we saw the day before at WrestleCon.I bought general admission tickets for both the AM & PM sessions, and I'm glad I did since with so many people attending, you're lucky to meet more than 2 wrestlers per session.
I was told on saturday that people were complaining about a lack of organization since it was in a large venue instead of the usual convention centers. So we went in a little apprehensive.
The doors were scheduled to open at 8:00, and we arrived at the Izod center at around 7:30. They opened right on time, the line wasn't that long, and they had 3 sets of doors, so we were in without a hitch.
We were given a map at the entrance, and we went upstairs right away to attend the signing. The first board we saw was for Daniel Bryan, so we decided to go right away, as the line wasn't long at all. But the surprise was, once you went through the curtain, there were already about a hundred people seated in that section of the arena. The staff would then lead you to the next empty row to have a seat. They would then proceed to move people along for the signing, starting with the upper section. The nice thing about this set-up was, instead of standing in line, you were comfortably sitting and watching matches from the NXT wrestlers, or Q&A sessions. We could also watch as VIP's Rey Mysterio & Big Show did their signings across the arena. VIP ticket holders also had their picture taken on the RAW entrance set. During our wait we saw 3 matches along with a Q&A with Sheamus before getting to our signing.
Now when I looked at the instructions on wwe.com, it said wrestlers would only sign autographs at those stations, no photos. Well fortunately, Bryan and the staff authorized photos to be taken with us fans. The only negative was with so many fans in the building, we felt a little rushed through the process. And keep in mind that Daniel Bryan was not one of the announced names for this session. In fact, of all the current stars that were meeting fans, only Cody Rhodes was advertised. The others were Vicky Guerrero along with Brad Maddox, the Bella Twins, R-Truth and Damien Sandow. They were there for 2 hours, than a switch would take place with all new wrestlers. But the thing was, nobody had a clue as who it would be next. Wrestlers would also frequently leave the signing area to meet with make-a-wish kids.
After exiting the Bryan signing, we came accross the various displays on hand, like the WrestleMania Timeline wall, the costume displays and the Andre the Giant statue & Museum. Those were enjoyable features. We stopped at the photo opp station, which featured Rosa Mendez and the Colons. For some reasons, that line was very short and took us less than 10 minutes. The staff took the photo, and then gave us a chip to redeem the picture in a ATM machine. That was quite easy and convenient, and there was no line at all for this. You could also have your picture taken in a money in the bank ladder, with a Ziggler cardboard climbing the other side. Nice touch.
We then decided to get in line for the next session, as it was already ten o'clock. The thing was, the board was blank and we didn't know who it would turn out to be. As we were approaching the curtain, a lady told us it was Brodus Clay, and that we still could leave the line! Well, we sure did, as well as other fans who left that line in drove. Poor Brodus.
We ended up at the next station, still not knowing who we were waiting for. I asked the staff lady, but she obviously wasn't a wrestling fan, and couldn't remember the name... So we went anyway, and once inside we learned it would be the trio of Dolph Ziggler, Big E Langston and A.J ! Good news, as they were the biggest stars of the second bloc.
We were in again for NXT matches, some of which were good, and a Q&A with Mark Henry. There was also a contest between 2 fans in a sumo suit, who was entertaing, going 5-4 in ''overtime''. At that point there was a mistake by the volunteer working our section, as he mixed up the lines, and told us we would be entering last. After a few discussion with upset fans, it was of no consequences, as we got to meet them before the session ended. Because the way it worked, if the wrestlers time was up before you could meet them, you would meet the following wrestlers, but not necessarily someone you cared about. But we were lucky enough that it didn't happen to us. All 3 were nice enough, with Ziggler the friendliest of the bunch. But with the end of the session approaching fast, and still many fans waiting, they refused photos that time, so we ended up with autographs only.
After getting out of that signing, we had to exit the building. Even with our afternoon tickets in hand, we had to get in line outside and have them scanned again.
PM session report to be continued on part 2 !

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