Jun 19, 2006

In The City

We had a little extra time to walk around on Saturday night while we were in the city to see the Ring Of Honor show at the New Yorker Hotel.

Jun 18, 2006

A Night Of Wrestling In A Historic Building

ROH: June 17, 2006
New Yorker Hotel - New York, NY
This was one hell of a good show, but before I even start talking about the matches, I need to take a minute to talk about the venue because it's one of the coolest places that I've ever been to for a show of any kind.

The New Yorker Hotel was built in Hell's Kitchen in 1929.  It's a beautiful Art Deco 43 story building with 2,500 rooms which cost over $22 million to build in 1929 dollars.  When it was built, the hotel had its own coal-fired steam boilers to provide electricity to the building, which held the distinction of being the largest private power plant in the United States.  Nikola Tesla lived in seclusion in room 3327 of the hotel for the last ten years of his life until his death in 1943.  A hotel maid discovered the 86 year old inventor had passed away after she ignored the "do not disturb" sign that was on his door for two days.

This is a gorgeous building with a lot of history that the above paragraph barely scratches the surface.  Last night, it was the home to an excellent night of pro wrestling.

Homicide was scheduled to face a mystery opponent last night, and that mystery was solved after the second match of the night.  After Ricky Reyes made Dave Crist tap out in under a minute, Chris Hero jumped out of the crowd to knock out Julius Smokes.  Since Smokes is manager of both Reyes and Homicide, this attack made it pretty obvious who Homicide would challenge with his open contract later that night.

Prior to Homicide vs. Chris Hero, there was an inter-promotional match between Adam Pearce and Claudio Castagnoli which ended in a disqualification due to Chris Hero's interference.  Ring Of Honor matches rarely end in a DQ, but it makes perfect sense for the lawless rival promotion to cause a non-finish.  This was followed up by Homicide taking on Hero in a 20+ minute brawl that ended with a lariat and a 2-0 night for Ring Of Honor in their ongoing war with CZW.  After the match, Homicide grabbed the mic and threatened to quit ROH if he didn't receive an ROH World Title shot at Final Battle.

The main event was a triple threat match between three of the best professional wrestlers in the world, and it was intense from start to finish.  It ended with Kenta pinning the champ after hitting him twice with his go-to-sleep finisher, so I'm guessing that a title match between Danielson and Kenta will be taking place in the not too distant future.


"Classic" Colt Cabana
Nigel McGuinness
The Briscoe Brothers: Mark Briscoe (left) and Jay Briscoe (right)
Davey Richards (Jimmy Rave must not have pulled one of his punches)
Jimmy Rave (he always does this thumbs down in every photo I've ever seen him take with fans, so I gave a thumbs up to my favorite villain in the company)
Jimmy Jacobs
Irish Airborne: Jake Crist (left) and Dave Crist (right)

I fully realize how nerdy it is to collect photos with wrestlers after the show, but I figured what the hell.  I would never bug anyone while they're out with their families, or trying to eat dinner, or traveling or anything like that.  The only place that I ever even ask is at the venue where the show is taking place, and they're hanging out at the merch table to meet fans most of the time anyway.  Everyone I've met so far have seemed happy take a photo, but if someone ever tells me that they're not in the mood, that's cool too.

Update: This show was released on DVD under the name "In Your Face".  It's available for sale on ROHWrestling.com.

Update #2: Sterling James Keenan, who wrestled in the third match of this show, would go on to sign with World Wrestling Entertainment.  He currently works as Corey Graves in NXT.  Also, Mitch Franklin would go onto adopt the name Grizzly Redwood and continues to wrestle for ROH and across the independent circuit using this name.

Jun 14, 2006

New Jersey Is Hardcore

Spotted this sign in Red Bank, New Jersey when we were in town to visit Jay & Silent Bob's Secret Stash.  I think I might stick to the right lane when I come back to town.

Jun 13, 2006

Hitting Up The Secret Stash

Jay & Silent Bob's Secret Stash
Red Bank, NJ
We got a good night's sleep at the Red Roof Inn after averting a disastrous night at the Motel From Hell and woke up bright and early on Sunday morning to pay a visit to Jay & Silent Bob's Secret Stash.  The place is loaded from stem to stern with comic books, movies, books, stickers, t-shirts and tons of other nerdy merchandise, as well as displays of costumes and other props that were used in the filming of Kevin Smith's movies.  Here are some photos of our visit.

This is the back of the store.  I tried to lighten the image as best I could, but it's still pretty dark.  There are clearer and closer photos of most of the props below, but this will give you an idea of their location in the store.  On the top left, you can see the sign for Brodie's comic book store from the beginning of Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back.  There's a statue of Jay and Silent Bob (as Bluntman and Chronic) holding lightsabers in the Bluntmobile at the bottom center.  Off in the distance to the upper left of the statues are the costumes worn by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck in Dogma, and to the upper right of the statues in the far corner of the store is the Buddy Christ statue from Dogma.

This photo was taken while I was standing at the back of the store and facing toward the front.  To give you perspective of where it's at, the purple rod and white helmet that you can see in the bottom left corner of this photo are part of the Bluntman and Chronic statues from the picture above.  At the left hand side of the photo is a statue of Mooby the Golden Calf from Dogma.  Above Angie's head near the middle right of the photo are a few championship banners for the New Jersey Devils that are hanging at the front of the store near the front windows and the register.

This is a much closer photo of the clothes that were worn by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck that they wore for the filming of Dogma

Angie is standing in front of the Buddy Christ statue from Dogma in the photo on the left.  She's holding a DVD that she bought from the Secret Stash.  It's the Clerks 10th Anniversary Edition which was autographed by Kevin Smith

Here is a better look at the signed Clerks 10th Anniversary Edition DVD.

In the photo on the left, you can see a massive Quick Stop Groceries sign that's above the register at the front of the store.  The photo on the right is one of the merchandise cases. It's loaded with statues, busts, bobble heads, snow globes and other similar materials that are available for sale at the store.

These are two tall glass cases that were loaded with props from Kevin Smith movies.  These weren't available to purchase, but what you see here is just a fraction of the props that were on display.  I couldn't fit all of the shelves in a single photo, so I tried to arrange the four pictures to show two of the cases (one on the left and one on the right).  There's too much here to list all of it, but my favorite piece is the "Help The Starving Babies" collection tin that Betty Amberlin used when she was collecting money at the airport at the beginning of Dogma.  She is best known for playing Lady Amberlin on Mister Rogers Neighborhood - a role that she played for 33 years, so it was especially funny to see her as a nun who was talked out of her service to the church by a fallen angelClick here to enlarge these photos.

The photo on the left is Kevin Smith's overcoat and hat that he wore when he played Silent Bob in Clerks.  He wears the hat backwards in the movie, so I never knew until this weekend that it has Felix The Cat on the front.  On the right is the hat worn by Jason Lee when he played Azrael in Dogma.

Closer photo of the Bluntman and Chronic statues inside the Bluntmobile.  I kept off and did not touch.

I'm thinking that this is either a prop from Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back when our two heroes visit a Mooby's restaurant, or  a sign that we'll see in Clerks 2.  The teaser trailer for the Clerks sequel shows Dante and Randall working at Mooby's.  I can't wait to see it!

This is the Mooby's Internet Terminal statue from Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back.  You can see it in the scene where Jay and Bob visit a Mooby's restaurant and use their computer to visit the Movie Poop Shoot message board, where Jay dictates a response for Silent Bob to type.  The hole in Mooby's stomach is where the computer monitor was attached.

"You are the ones who are the ball lickers!"

This photo of the View Askew Productions sign came out pretty blurry, but it's too damn cool not to share.  You can also see the Brodie Bolts newspaper sign on the wall in the background, but there's a better photo of that below.

The photo on the left is the oversized cover of Variety to announce Brodie's departure from The Tonight Show (a job he gets in one of the final scenes in Mallrats) that was used in the filming of Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back.  The photo on the right shows the front register with the framed Soviet hockey jersey hanging on the wall above.  This is either the one that Randall wore when they played hockey on the roof in Clerks, or a screen accurate replica.

This is the bag that Angie got with her DVD.  They also gave us this printout that they keep on hand with directions to Quick Stop and RST Video.  We had already visited the stores the day before, but it's pretty cool that they have these available to help nerdy fans like me on their pilgrimage to New Jersey.

Jun 12, 2006

Like Sands Through The Hourglass...

Sands Motor Lodge
Route 35 - Eatontown, NJ
We decided to wing it and not book a hotel room ahead of time for our New Jersey adventure this past weekend.  While we were driving around looking for a place to eat, we passed this motel that looks like it hadn't been remodeled since the 1950's and decided that it might be an interesting place to stay.

Man, they have color television and phones?  I don't know if I can stand this level of luxury!  And, lucky us, the motel is open 24 hours, as opposed to all of those places that close at 9 pm and lock everyone inside for the night.  Alright, Sands Motor Lodge, you sold me.  I'd like a room, please.

The first warning sign that this motel might not be all that I hoped it would be was taped to the window to the office where you check in.  I'm not talking about the fact that it looks like a ransom note; I'm talking about the second item on this list.  You know, the one that says that they won't grant anyone a refund after five minutes of the check-in time.

Hmmm... that's peculiar.  What kind of motel would have received so many refund requests that they had to put a five minute time limit on it?  I suppose they could be a few men who, um, finished their business quickly and decided they could hit the road without having to pay for the room, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it's not clean, right?  Right?!

Let's see what we have here.  There's a dresser and a pull-out cot in case you need an extra bed.  Ok, not fancy, but it's a cheap motel, so it's fine.  There's a stack of plastic cups - no problems there.  And hey, there's the promised phone and color television!  It's a small Zenith set from the late 70's or early 80's.  Not exactly something I'd choose to promote with a neon sign, but it works.

So far, so good.  Might as well get undressed and put my clothes in the dresser.

Um... maybe not.

I'm not quite sure what could be responsible for these disturbing stains and textures, but I don't think I want to know.  But hey, it's just a dirty drawer, right?  I can just fold up my shirt and pants and set them on the chair.

On second thought, that might not be the best idea either.

I may not know what caused the disgusting discoloration in the drawer, but it doesn't take a detective to make a good guess on what caused the one on the drawer.  Alright, clearly this room has some concerns, and I only have five minutes to decide if we're going to stay before I can no longer get my money back.  I better turn on the lights and get a better look.

Seriously?  Come on!  What could have possibly caused this kind of stain on a lampshade?  Was there a murder here where the body was propped up on the lamp?

Perhaps it's water damage from the air conditioner.  I can't say that I've ever heard of Fedders before.  Maybe they make a great air conditioner, but this woodgrain model looks to be older than I am, and the black stains aren't really filling me with confidence.  What they might be filling the air with is anybody's guess.

Strangely enough, the toilet was in reasonably good shape.  In fact, the bathroom was by far the cleanest part of the hotel.  Don't get me wrong - they're not winning any housekeeping prizes in here either, but compared to the rest of the room, the bathroom is a palace.

Thankfully, we were within our five minute window, so we were able to leave with a full refund and stay at a nearby Red Roof Inn that didn't look quite so much like a murder had taken place in the room.