The Mark in Me: A Traveler’s Blog in Detroit

Friday, March 30
(1:00 AM EST)
After finally packing my bags, I am on the road headed to Detroit. It looks to be about an 8 hour drive, which would put us there around 9am. Problem is that neither my friend or I slept at all through the day, so we are very sleepy (ya, we know it was a bad idea). I-80 is very clear through Pennsylvania, as most roads would be that early in the morning, and we are making amazing time.

(6:14 AM EST)
Just crossed into Ohio, and very shortly we are on the Ohio Turnpike. This is usually my favorite part of I-80 (I make frequent trips from Eastern PA to Chicago). The turnpike roads are very smooth, and the rest stops are always very clean, and welcoming. We will not be in Ohio nearly as long as Pennsylvania.

(8: 21 AM EST)
Just crossed into Michigan on I-280 just before entering Toledo, Ohio. This is my first time in the eastern part of the state, but it seems like my good old friend, I-94, will guide me right to my hotel, which is near the Detroit airport.

(9:36 AM EST)
Got to our hotel, and they let us check in over 5 hours early! Time to get a nap, WrestleMania festivities begin with The Condemned premier later on tonight.

(11:58 PM EST)
We arrived at the Fox Theater in Detroit, right across the street from Comercia Park (New home of the Tigers), at about 6pm. There are huge lines to get into the theater, and no red carpet. It appears that the wrestlers will not be walking past us to go in the front. I think they are either in the theater already or coming after we are seated, as our tickets firmly say that we are to be in seats by 7:30 for the 8:00 showing.

Since we have some time to waste, and there is no way I’m standing in a giant line if the wrestlers are not coming in the front, we decide to walk around a bit. On the other side of Comercia Park is Ford Field, where they are having their last stop of the Fan Axxess Tour. There were no wrestlers there for signing, but it does say that Hillbilly Jim will be there. All the tunnels to the field have black curtains up so that no one can see into the stadium, we still tried, but we got stopped by security. We do not stay long in there.

We head back to Fox Theater, and the lines are still there. So we go have a beer at the bar next door. The staff is all in WM23 shirts, and they are playing WWE DVD’s on the big screens to help the atmosphere. We watch HHH vs. Rock vs. Angle from SummerSlam 2000, and then Rock vs. Austin from WMX7.

When we see the lines going into Fox Theater, we finally get over there and make our way in. The theater itself was a work of art. Me describing the theater will not do it justice, and WWE.com has plenty of pictures up if you want to see what it looks like. The wrestlers start to file in with their families around 7:50pm. Plenty of fans cheer and boo accordingly. We were on the second level, and it was not very easy to see to see any of the guys.

As for the movie…it’s just as bad as anyone can hope for. I’m no movie critic, so I won’t even try to be. The action was decent, but the plot is just way too over the top, and Austin’s character, sans a few good one liners, is very weak. Vinnie Jones was the highlight of the movie, and it should be noted that former WWE wrestler Nathan Jones is in the movie as well. They got the wrestlers out of the theater pretty quickly, and they are on their charters to their hotel.

Big day tomorrow, as I will be attending my very first ROH show, as well as go to The Henry Ford museum.

Saturday, March 31
(5:21 PM EST)
We went to the Henry Ford museum today. Nothing really big. We did the factory tour, but since it’s Saturday, there are no actual assembly-line workers there working. Gonna take a nap before ROH tonight.

Sunday, April 1
(1:34 AM EST)
Just got back from an amazing ROH show at the Fairgrounds just outside of Detroit. This was my first ROH show, and I was not disappointed by the time the show was over. I was sitting with another friend (Jacob Ziegler from 411), who personally knew Jimmy Jacobs. He was honestly worried about Jimmy after the match. Strong & Aries put on a masterpiece, and the Dragon Gate match was much more then I expected it to be.

Here is the recap I typed up for the show.

(12:03 PM EST)
We woke up around 11 this morning, so we can watch the replay of the Hall of Fame. They seemed to cut everything way too short. I am looking forward to Dusty’s full speech on the DVD. The King really had a good speech, and I’m sure JR had some good stuff to say that didn’t make it on TV.

(3:09 PM EST)
After a trip to the local Little Caeser’s (which is no longer available in my area!), we sit back and watch some of our favorite matches of the past few WrestleMania’s. This is our 5th straight WrestleMania, so we started with Austin vs. Rock from our first at WrestleMania XIX. We then jumped to WrestleMania 21 to see Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels, probably my favorite WM match in the past 4 years. Jumping ahead again, we watched both Shawn Michaels vs. Vince McMahon & the Money in the Bank (Matt Hardy vs. Lashley vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Ric Flair vs. Finlay vs. Shelton Benjamin) from last year’s WrestleMania 22. Then I remembered how awesome Kane’s entrance at WrestleMania 21 was, and we jumped to see that Money in the Bank Match (Edge vs. Chris Jericho vs. Chris Benoit vs. Kane vs. Christian vs. Shelton Benjamin). We are currently watching Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Benoit vs. Triple H match from WrestleMania XX. The last match on the list is Kurt Angle vs. Brock Lesnar from WrestleMania XIX.

We are going to head over to Ford Field around 5:30-6pm, so that we do not need to deal with all the crowds trying to get in. We hoping that, since the doors open at 4:30, we avoid a lot of that.

This is my last check in before WrestleMania. I am sitting on the floor, 5th row from the ring. Just looking over at WWE.com, I am getting very excited, as they are showing plenty of pictures from inside the arena, including the souvenir chair that is going back to Pennsylvania with me on Tuesday. Here are my quick picks for the show, since I didn’t have time to participate in the Roundtable, hopefully Vinny sees this and allows it into the running rankings.

Cena over HBK
Taker over Batista
Lashley over Umaga
Edge wins Money in the Bank
Melina over Ashley
Khali over Kane
Benoit over MVP
New Breed over ECW Originals

We’ll see what condition I’m when we get back from Ford Field, hopefully I can check back in. We are leaving pretty early in the morning to head down to Dayton, Ohio to go to Raw tomorrow night. I also want to get there early enough to find a sports bar near the arena to watch the Cubs & Yankees openers (Carl Pavano is the Opening Day starter for the Yanks…really?).

(11:43pm EST)
Just got back from WrestleMania. The stadium is HUGE, and there were an enormous amount of people in there. The show opened with an odd Tag Team Lumberjack match, with Carlito & Ric Flair vs. Gregory Helms & Chavo Guerrero (who, I thought, were feuding?). Everyone else that did not have a match served as lumberjacks. Everyone from Nitro, Kendrick, & London to Vito, Sylvan, & Shannon Moore. Carlito scored the pin after reversing the third suplex in the Three Amigos.

Money in the Bank lead the PPV off. This was a good match, but I still think it was way too cluttered. The Jeff/Edge spot was sick, and I hope it turned out well on TV…as Jeff was really struggling whether or not to go for the briefcase or jumping on Edge. Hornswoggle’s spot was brilliant, and big ups to him for taking that Kenton Plunge off the ladder. I picked Edge to win, because I really thought he would. I was pulling for Kennedy (and Matt…I always want Matt to win), so I’m happy he won. I wish that they played up that Kennedy could use the title shot tonight.

Kane vs. Khali wasn’t as bad as I thought. Kept very short, which is good. I have no clue why they are pushing Khali…I don’t think they have any plans for him at all.

MVP vs. Benoit was much better then it should have been. MVP’s entrance was great, with him coming through the paper banner, and the cheerleaders was a very good idea. He looked good in the match, and anyone that thought that Benoit wouldn’t be able to have a good match with him is crazy.

The World Title match was very hot. It was a very good Big Man Brawl, and the running powerslam through the table spot was very cool. There was little doubt that UT was winning. This should’ve been the main event, since it’ll be UT’s last Title win at WM.

ECW match was pretty bad. This could’ve been the perfect spot for a Hardcore spotfest. And, stop me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the idea to advance the status of the New Breed as legitimate stars in ECW?

The Battle of the Billionaires match was horrendous…but that’s not was this was all about. It was a great scene to see Trump tackle Vince. Austin giving Umaga the Stunner, then following it with a Spear then pin was a pretty lame way for Umaga too lose…but his undefeated streak is over, so they don’t think about that. The real thing was Vince getting his head shaved, followed by Trump getting a stunner!

The Woman’s match was horrible. Atleast it was kept short, cuz Ashley can’t work.

The main event…well…everyone is praising it. I thought it was a pile of crap compared to WM main events the past few years (Remember, this is my 5th straight WM). I wasn’t expecting Brock/Angle, but seriously, I just did not feel the chemistry between these 2. My friend is downloading the torrent as we speak, so I expect to watch the match sometime on Monday. Maybe I’ll change my mind when I see it.

That’s all from me, I’m going to try and get sleep, early morning ride down to Dayton for Raw should be fun.

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