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 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.

Jun 11, 2006

Man, I Hate It When I Can't Rent Videos!

RST Video
Leonardo Ave - Leonardo, NJ
Sadly, RST Video was closed when we got here.  It doesn't look like it's out of business though.  A peek through the windows shows shelves of movies and cash registers at the front counter.  There was also quite a large selection of previously viewed VHS tapes for sale.  Had they been open, I definitely would have added a few of them to my home video library.

These photos were taken from the front window.  You can see a copy of Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back on DVD sitting on the windowsill.  There's also a sign by the register warning of a $3.50 charge if you are late returning a new release.
This is the view from the window on the front door showing the wall of previously viewed tapes that were for sale.  I would have searched through for Navy Seals for as long as it took to find it.  Those copies of Dick Tracy, Die Hard and Rocky & Bullwinkle would have come home with me too.

Jun 10, 2006

I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today

Quick Stop Groceries
Leonardo Ave - Leonardo, NJ
Took a road trip through New Jersey this weekend.  The first stop was Quick Stop and RST Video where Kevin Smith filmed Clerks.  If you didn't see the film, Quick Stop wouldn't seem different from any other small convenience store that you've been to.  Thankfully, they were not out of Gatorade.

The clerk took my ridiculous overreaction to his workplace in good stride, no doubt used to nerds like me showing up to take photos.  There was no merchandise or signs that referenced the movie, but if you have seen it, you will recognize each of these locations.

The Quick Stop sign just under the roof where Dante and Randal play hockey.
There's a mysterious door between Quick Stop and RST Video that is labeled 58A.
The shutters were up.  They must have gotten out the gum that was jammed in the locks.
The coffee station is on the right hand size when you walk in. There is a sign warning you to not scratch lottery tickets here.
They sell Archie comics!  Now I can see if the Mr. Weatherbee rumors are true.
The birthplace of Salsa Shark.
The search for the perfect dozen continues.
If you look above the register, you'll see a Jay and Silent Bob bumper sticker.  It's the only Askewniverse ephemera here.
The fine must have gone up.  Dante only got a $500 fine for selling cigarettes to a four year old.