My WrestleMania trip report is way overdue. I’ll break it down in binary style.
Good: The show itself was much better than most people expected. Obviously the Michaels/Flair match stole the show, but Finlay/JBL, Taker/Edge, and (especially) Big Show/Mayweather were way better than I expected.
Good: The Disney Swan is a lovely hotel with those wonderfully cushy Starwood beds.
Bad: The hotel was overbooked and I had to suddenly and randomly change rooms.
Good: I complained my way into 10,000 Starpoints for my inconvenience. I’m going to use them for a nice and free hotel when I pick up Noot.
Bad: It was really weird not having Justin around. There were a bunch of fun people (Jose, Joey, Enzo, Will, etc.) and some new kids, but it would have been much better if Justin were there.
Good: My left foot and ankle were finally pain free.
Bad: I hurt my right ankle jumping off the karaoke stage when I was drunk. I felt a twinge at the time, but the next morning I woke up and was like, “Ouch. Ouch! Ouch!!!”
Bad: One bad thing about being at an isolated resort is that the food was expensive. I had to pick up three meals on my own tab and they were at least $20. Since I have to be careful with money, I wasn’t pleased about paying $20 for a hamburger and a soda.
Good: The Hall of Fame ceremony was fantastic. I’m going to write a separate Ric Flair post, but his speech was amazing. He was cut short due to TV time and The Rock taking up too much time, but I would have listened to Flair until 2AM.
Bad: The Superstar Challenge shoot was pretty bad. I was working with a nice rookie that knew how to shoot, but he had a crap camera, no lights, and no external microphone. The results were dark, noisy, and not very usable. A few of the wrestlers were pissed about their outtakes being posted on YouTube, which was an idiotic decision made by the people at GR. It was stupid, disrespectful, and unprofessional of them to do that. They were lucky to be invited back.
Good: The developer interview was better, simply because I opted to shoot outside and have sunlight compensate for our lack of lighting. Normally, I prefer not to shoot outdoors because the lighting changes and it’s hard to control, but this was definitely better than shooting indoors with no lights.
Bad: GR made this annoyingly shortsighted decision to cancel my interview with Austin Aries. It was exclusive to them and could have been used multiple times (standalone, to coincide with the WWE game release, and to coincide with the TNA game release). The issue was that they didn’t want to cover his cab costs. This is an example of poor management. You need to maximize your time on the road. You’re losing one staff member’s office time and paying one freelancer. You should shoot as much as possible to maximize the cost. I was annoyed because Justin helped me arrange this and it was exclusive content.
Good: I wasn’t annoyed because I wasn’t going to bill them any less.
Good: Overall, it was just a lovely trip that was a little more expensive than I would have liked.