Art Vandelay's Pro Wrestling Ground Wrestler meetings - Who is the best?

21 days ago
6/19/12
Posts: 4698

I probably haven’t met as many wrestlers as some of you guys, so I was curious who is great in person and who is insufferable. 
 

Great - 

Nattie Neidhart - very gracious and willing to take pics with everyone.   A lot shorter in person than I expected 

Mick Foley - Super intelligent, engaging and friendly.  
 

Not so great - 

 

Jake Roberts - This was during his drug and alcohol days, so he gets a pass.  
 

Honky Tonk Man - Was a dick to me when I was like 12 or 13.  Fuck that guy.   
 

Anybody with any good stories about wrestler meetings?  

Edited: 21 days ago
4/22/07
Posts: 73119

Honky Tonk - faggot piece of shit

Frankie Kazarian - funniest and nicest guy you could meet

Daniel Bryan, Samoa Joe, AJ all polite but I didnt speak to them much honestly. 

Joey Ryan was really nice, didnt know he was a perv

I am sure there are a lot more you guys would know but this was all like 15 yrs ago. 

Edited: 20 days ago
1/8/04
Posts: 14348

RVD - cool as fuck...Jericho - biggest celebrity douchebag I have ever met in my life

20 days ago
2/4/05
Posts: 711
Siciliano di Brooklyn -

RVD - cool as fuck...Jericho - biggest celebrity douchebag I have ever met in my life

What's the Jericho story?

20 days ago
4/22/07
Posts: 73120

I am hoping after covid to hit an aew show. Shansky has got to meet Arn at some point. 

20 days ago
10/8/07
Posts: 14338
RobMcKenzie -
Siciliano di Brooklyn -

RVD - cool as fuck...Jericho - biggest celebrity douchebag I have ever met in my life

What's the Jericho story?

Went to a Jericho autograph session maybe 15 years ago, before a house show in St Louis. He was incredibly late, very offputting, almost like he didn't want to be there. Was also my first experience of having to pay for an autograph.

20 days ago
1/18/03
Posts: 3908
Nikolai Volkoff extremely polite.

Saw Honkey Tonk Man once at a comic book convention, he was on his phone and seemed pissed off.
20 days ago
5/4/04
Posts: 3929

I met Honky Tonk man at a small indy show about 2006.  I had on a Tapout shirt and he asked about it.  Was very friendly and engaging. He knew everyone was there just to see the Honky Tonk Man sing and dance.

20 days ago
1/1/01
Posts: 5160
New Jack at an ECW show was actually very nice to fans and mellow as hell. It was funny because there some guys who sounded slightly apprehensive about approaching him.

Yes we knew New Jack beating the shit out of Corino was a work, but it was also weird after the show seeing Steve Corino hand a baby (probably his, it was white) to New Jack to hold so Corino could open a door to a van.
20 days ago
11/11/11
Posts: 26196

Bret Hart has been around my neck of the woods for signings but the event was charging 100 bucks. I couldn't justify paying that much. Same thing with flair.

 

I think Hogan(id lose my shit with him) and bret are the only guys id go a bit gaga over if i met them. Ive been to conventions where they had lots of people that wohld be cool to take a photo with but couldnt justify paying all that money for a hand shake and photo.

20 days ago
9/24/18
Posts: 3754

Brock Lesnar - December of 2003 in Perth at a JB HiFi autograph session. I was 10 and asked him if he actually liked Kurt Angle. He told me to fuck off. 
 

At that time he was absolutely miserable and did not want to be there. You could tell pretty easily he was unhappy. 

20 days ago
12/30/03
Posts: 22604

I've only met wrestlers who there to coach us or train with us that day:

 

Nattie - Very nice. She got really excited when we were discussing match psychology in one-off matches without a story line. She basically creates entire story lines for one offs to make the match have a general theme to tell a story around. After she gave us a couple of examples, I went back and watched the matches and it was kind of awesome to see.

 

Alexa Bliss - she's crazy nice. She actually had me cut a promo and gave me some critiques which she definitely didn't have to do. 

 

Sami Callihan - Was very nice but he also graded one of my promos and was NOT a fan of the comedy route. lol. 

 

Ember Moon - She is my favorite because she comes from an athletic background and is very honest about where she is strong and where she is weaker. She also shared some pretty cool stories about what it was like coming up as a female wrestler in the indies. 

 

Veda Scott - She has been the most helpful on the character development side of wrestling for me. She understands creating a character and how to use that base for promos and in matches better than anyone I've met so far. She is also one of the few wrestlers that I know for sure would message me back right away if I had a question for her today.

 

Keith Lee - This dude is so different than I thought he would be. He's a giant book worm. So nice. He also told a story about the Royal Rumble match that was hilarious. I probably bothered him with meat head questions about his PR's and what type of split he's on for his workouts but he didn't show it. One of the other guys asked him a semi-markish question and he roasted him for the rest of the day about it. 

 

Drew Gulak - I would train with this guy every day if I could. He is like an walking-talking library on chain wrestling which is my favorite part of wrestling.  He put me on to so many matches I would have never thought to check out. He's also super self-deprecating and hilarious. 

 

There are other indy folks but I won't frat this to death with those. 

20 days ago
3/14/11
Posts: 1841

Mick foley- super nice and took time for every single person in line even though he had gone over his time for signing stuff, and when we saw him as he was leaving, my uncle said how nice that was of him to do (he was just starting his heel mankind run when he debuted) and he said that if wrestlers don’t interact, there’s no fans, and no fans means no wrestling. Super well spoken guy as well. 
 

road warrior hawk- intense but nice guy, he was doing pictures with fans and had the shoulder pads on, kept joking with the parents to put the kid on his shoulders. Cool cool guy and you could tell at that point he was actually enjoying how much everyone liked him. This was around the time of his last good wwe run that him and animal won the straps. 
 

bob and crash holly- in a total flip bob was super nice to everyone and crash acted like a total dick to everyone. “You wanna take a picture with me? I bet you do, I’m only signing autographs” it was almost as if bob was being nice because of how crash was acting haha 

20 days ago
6/19/12
Posts: 4699
TheBearStare -

Bret Hart has been around my neck of the woods for signings but the event was charging 100 bucks. I couldn't justify paying that much. Same thing with flair.

 

I think Hogan(id lose my shit with him) and bret are the only guys id go a bit gaga over if i met them. Ive been to conventions where they had lots of people that wohld be cool to take a photo with but couldnt justify paying all that money for a hand shake and photo.

Bret is my all time favorite.  Think I would pull the trigger and pay the 100 bucks.  

20 days ago
6/19/12
Posts: 4700
WrestlingSucks -

I've only met wrestlers who there to coach us or train with us that day:

 

Nattie - Very nice. She got really excited when we were discussing match psychology in one-off matches without a story line. She basically creates entire story lines for one offs to make the match have a general theme to tell a story around. After she gave us a couple of examples, I went back and watched the matches and it was kind of awesome to see.

 

Alexa Bliss - she's crazy nice. She actually had me cut a promo and gave me some critiques which she definitely didn't have to do. 

 

Sami Callihan - Was very nice but he also graded one of my promos and was NOT a fan of the comedy route. lol. 

 

Ember Moon - She is my favorite because she comes from an athletic background and is very honest about where she is strong and where she is weaker. She also shared some pretty cool stories about what it was like coming up as a female wrestler in the indies. 

 

Veda Scott - She has been the most helpful on the character development side of wrestling for me. She understands creating a character and how to use that base for promos and in matches better than anyone I've met so far. She is also one of the few wrestlers that I know for sure would message me back right away if I had a question for her today.

 

Keith Lee - This dude is so different than I thought he would be. He's a giant book worm. So nice. He also told a story about the Royal Rumble match that was hilarious. I probably bothered him with meat head questions about his PR's and what type of split he's on for his workouts but he didn't show it. One of the other guys asked him a semi-markish question and he roasted him for the rest of the day about it. 

 

Drew Gulak - I would train with this guy every day if I could. He is like an walking-talking library on chain wrestling which is my favorite part of wrestling.  He put me on to so many matches I would have never thought to check out. He's also super self-deprecating and hilarious. 

 

There are other indy folks but I won't frat this to death with those. 

Post the stories you have.  This is the time and place.  

20 days ago
1/1/01
Posts: 25989

I'm biased because he's a friend of mine now, but Stevie Richards is legit one of the nicest, coolest, sweetest, most humble guys you are EVER going to meet. Genuinely cares about & wants to help other people, and is never afraid to admit when he doesn't know something.

I actually "met" him when he sought me out on FB asking questions about strength & conditioning. His account is under his real name, and for the first few messages we traded, I didn't even know who he was. I ended up going to his profile and was like, "wait...is this who I think it is!?!"

Asked him, he confirmed, and I marked like like a little kid. lol. Had I not asked nor known who he was, I'd have never known he was a pro wrestler.

We've talked on the phone several times, traded emails, and so on. He still messages me a few times a year to wish me a Happy Birthday, Merry Christmas, etc.

I can't say enough good things about that guy.

He's got a pretty good youtube channel that centers mainly around fitness and some tech stuff - definitely recommend checking it out. Fun fact - he was the first one DDP "certified" to teach his yoga system (back when it was still called "YRG" - Yoga for Regular Guys).

20 days ago
11/11/11
Posts: 26204
Wiggy -

I'm biased because he's a friend of mine now, but Stevie Richards is legit one of the nicest, coolest, sweetest, most humble guys you are EVER going to meet. Genuinely cares about & wants to help other people, and is never afraid to admit when he doesn't know something.

I actually "met" him when he sought me out on FB asking questions about strength & conditioning. His account is under his real name, and for the first few messages we traded, I didn't even know who he was. I ended up going to his profile and was like, "wait...is this who I think it is!?!"

Asked him, he confirmed, and I marked like like a little kid. lol. Had I not asked nor known who he was, I'd have never known he was a pro wrestler.

We've talked on the phone several times, traded emails, and so on. He still messages me a few times a year to wish me a Happy Birthday, Merry Christmas, etc.

I can't say enough good things about that guy.

He's got a pretty good youtube channel that centers mainly around fitness and some tech stuff - definitely recommend checking it out. Fun fact - he was the first one DDP "certified" to teach his yoga system (back when it was still called "YRG" - Yoga for Regular Guys).

Have you played fire pro with him?

20 days ago
1/1/01
Posts: 34704

As a retired autograph dealer, Ive met hundreds. Generally nice people. Exceptions being Test and Bubba Ray. Among my favourite memories.....getting Melissa Santos to sign masks. She is even better in person. Pentagon because I handed him 10 photos to sign and he was like why, I said something in terrible spanish that confused him and he started writing. LOL. The Bucks in Tijuana at Crash. Such nice guys. Trish back in the day, and then Steph 2 minutes later......That was a great day. Both even better live. RVD prob my all time favourite. Ive seen him multiple times at wrestling events and at UFC events where almost nobody knew him. Always a good guy.Last thought was when Kane was still masked.....some jerks were just taking pic s of him to upset him. He'd had enough and said he was going to snap their camera if they took anymore. He was really nice to everyone not being tools.

20 days ago
7/12/12
Posts: 3669
First was Foley at a signing of his first book, he was cool, joking with me.

Met Chris Sabin at a big indy show fundraiser for Sabu when he was partially paralyzed or something like that from an unusual virus, which Chris missed due to injury and watched from a standing room area of the crowd. Very polite.

Met Jimmy Jacobs at an airport at 4:30am following ROH "The 100th Show" (April 2006, last of the "Milestone Series"). We were on the same plane back to Detroit, and I waited until boarding time to make my move, so he knew he wouldn't be subjected to me for too long, haha. Told him how much I loved "The Ballad of Lacey" song and video, and he smiled in an almost embarrassed looking manner, lol. I told him I should've spent my last night in Philly at the ROH show instead of unsuccessfully trying to win back my ex, haha, and probably also mentioned being glad he was alright after his terrifying fall a month prior with BJ Whitmer on a botched top-rope powerbomb (on YouTube). He was really cool.

My favorite story is from Wrestlemania 22, I'm walking in the concourse and this guy remarks to me that I look like a wrestler ready to go hit the ring. It was quite generous of him, really, haha, so I chat with him a bit, and then I ask to take a picture with him. He looks at me like I'm suddenly very suspect and says "What do you want a picture for?" to which I replied "Because you're Jay Briscoe." And he immediately grabs me and starts yelling "Oh shit!! Oh shit!!" laughing his ass off. So he's down for the pic and we only walk a few more steps until we come across his company for the show, Roderick Strong, Erick Stevens, and a couple women. I asked Roddy if he'd snap the pic with my phone, but he said he was too big of a star for that. One of the women snapped the pic of Jay and I. I thanked him, gave well-wishes for his brother well (bad fall from a slip on a star press to the floor two nights prior), and went on my way. Awesome.

Will do a few more later.
20 days ago
12/30/03
Posts: 22610
Wiggy -

I'm biased because he's a friend of mine now, but Stevie Richards is legit one of the nicest, coolest, sweetest, most humble guys you are EVER going to meet. Genuinely cares about & wants to help other people, and is never afraid to admit when he doesn't know something.

I actually "met" him when he sought me out on FB asking questions about strength & conditioning. His account is under his real name, and for the first few messages we traded, I didn't even know who he was. I ended up going to his profile and was like, "wait...is this who I think it is!?!"

Asked him, he confirmed, and I marked like like a little kid. lol. Had I not asked nor known who he was, I'd have never known he was a pro wrestler.

We've talked on the phone several times, traded emails, and so on. He still messages me a few times a year to wish me a Happy Birthday, Merry Christmas, etc.

I can't say enough good things about that guy.

He's got a pretty good youtube channel that centers mainly around fitness and some tech stuff - definitely recommend checking it out. Fun fact - he was the first one DDP "certified" to teach his yoga system (back when it was still called "YRG" - Yoga for Regular Guys).

That dude is in seriously good shape. You must be a monster if he's reaching out to you. Thats awesome. 

20 days ago
12/30/03
Posts: 22611

Lesser known guy: Dontae Smiley - He's been on the last couple AEW Dark episodes. He's from my area and we grew up in the same town. Just a few years ago, he was a rapper I used to book to open for larger acts as a talent buyer. He mentioned he was getting into wrestling and I remember thinking he was way too small (145 lbs soaking wet)

 

Fast forward a few years and the dude is jacked and has already had a couple of AEW Dark matches. 

 

He's super nice. I hope he makes it. 

20 days ago
5/4/04
Posts: 3930

I also wrapped Bobby Lashleys hands before an MMA fight

Edited: 20 days ago
7/12/12
Posts: 3671

I used to be with a girl that was a big Shimmer fan, and took her to a show one time. It was a lot of fun. I had no idea how accessible the wrestlers would be at intermission. My girl's favorite wrestler was Daizee Haze. When she got in close proximity to Daizee she damn near melted down, trembling uncontrollably, lol. I had to approach Daizee about them taking a pic together, and Daizee was super nice. We also got pics with MsChif and I got one with Daffney. All were great.

Staying behind her merch table was the ultimate heel, my all-time favorite female performer (tho at the time I probably favored MsChif), LACEY (not Von Erich or Evans). Lacey wasn't taking a pic without getting paid $5, which is absolutely reasonable, to say nothing of what a dedicated heel she was. I had no cash on hand because I didn't foresee the possibilities. At least I got to briefly speak her and express my fandom, haha. She was polite, perhaps a bit annoyed, understandably.

Not a wrestler, but I met former ROH owner Cary Silkin at least once. He would be posted up at the exit after every ROH show, shaking as many hands and getting as much show feedback from fans as possible, super gregarious guy.

I met Josh Barnett twice, at a Strikeforce show and a metalfest. Complimented my Dissection shirt at the Strikeforce show, didn't remember me the next time of course, haha. My friend told him we'd be streaming the fights later on a laptop at a certain merch booth if he'd like to watch, and Josh said words to the effect of "Thank you, but I'm good. I've seen a few in my day." Did pics both times, such a cool guy.

Lastly, at one of the ROH-NJPW War of the Worlds shows I attended, I was indulging in a hot dog as is my ROH tradition, and I got mustard on my shirt, lol. I'm hot about it, and storm off to the bathroom. At this venue, I had noticed before that there must not be a proper backstage area, not enough room at least, by how many wrestlers I've seen around outside the actual arena during shows. I go in the bathroom, clean the mustard off my shirt. I'm in there alone, or so it seems. I turn to leave, and standing before me in full regalia looking in the mirror is...Kazuchika Okada. I'm flabbergasted, and he looks at me out of the corner of his eye. The thought of greeting and/or asking for a pic flashes before my mind, but I conclude that since he's preparing for his match, it's better to go on my way. I guess this one is just me bragging since it does nothing to inform whether he's personable or a prick, haha.

20 days ago
11/13/14
Posts: 5851

The day I met Ox Baker was legendary. He put on a 5 Star match to commemorate the opening of a local gas station. After the match I got to meet him while he was scarfing down popcorn. It was all falling out of his mouth while he talked. What a gentleman! 

20 days ago
11/11/11
Posts: 26207

Miz is exactly who you think he would be except even louder.

I like to think by giving him the rub that it propelled him to beat cena at mania