BEWARE: LONG POST!
Today, I attended the 5th annual Eternal Con right here on Long Island, New York (cheap pop for Mr. Mick Foley). It was my first time attending Eternal Con, and the first time they’ve held it at (the “newly renovated”) Nassau Coliseum.
Now I had heard that yesterday’s opening was not smooth at all, but today doors opened promptly at 10:00 and we were inside within ten minutes. The first thing I did was a walk around the perimeter of the show floor, checking out the various Funko Pop figures, comic books and sketches available.
In the middle of Artist’s Alley I met a local artist named Sheek who is an art teacher, gamer, comic book lover and is starting to make a name for herself with sketches and prints. I commissioned this sweet Deadpool color sketch card for just $8!
From there, I went to the autograph section of the floor. Edward James Olmos, Lee Meriweather and Helen Slater (the original Supergirl) were all there; but I was there to meet some of my favorite wrestlers.
At first, the only wrestlers I saw were Brian Knobbs of the Nasty Boys (without Jerry Sags, whom I never saw at the show today), Tommy Dreamer and Greg “The Hammer” Valentine — who looked like he’d rather be anywhere else but at his table. Figuring I’d give everyone a few more minutes to settle in, I walked around the show floor again and saw the Jurassic Park Jeep, the ’66 Batmobile, the ’89 Batmobile, and the Batmobile Tumbler from the Christopher Nolan trilogy.
Heading back to the wrestlers, I stopped by Tommy Dreamer’s table first. We talked for a few minutes about how everyone thinks they know him, and commiserated about the awful Mets season before I got my autograph and photo. Bubba Ray Dudley/Bully Ray was set up right next to him, so I was able to get my photo of the two of them together autographed. Bubba made fun of yesterday being Bobby Bonilla Day and we proceeded to tag-team telling the story of the Mets’ terrible Bobby Bonilla buyout (and possible Madoff implications) to Velvet Sky — does this make me an unofficial Dudley Boy now?
Now, of course, Velvet Sky (in full Wonder Woman cosplay) is one of my all-time favorite women’s wrestlers, Bubba’s girlfriend and someone that I had met for the first time just last weekend. I took advantage of her discounted combo and extra autograph prices to add three more photos to my collection.
After a conversation with Velvet about her future plans (she’s working on becoming a licensed personal trainer and her business degree at the same time), it was time to meet “The Big Guy” Ryback. We chatted about his NXT time as Skip Sheffield (“The Cornfed Meathead”), his podcast and his new line of supplements before I got my autograph and photo combo.
Ashley Massaro was next on the list — another Long Island based former WWE star, Massaro also was one of the WWE divas who posed for Playboy. She didn’t really make any chit-chat and her combo prices were kind of on the high side, so I opted for an autograph only with this Playboy cover print.
Next up was Mick Foley along with his daughter, Noelle, who has been on WWE as part of “Holey Foley” on the WWE Network and doing some pay-per-view kickoff panels. They had a mega combo deal, where you got an autograph from Mick, an autograph from Noelle, and three pictures (one with each of them, and then a group photo). They were both super nice and very funny.
Last, but certainly not least, was the chance to meet CM Punk. The man who had called himself “The Best in the World” in WWE before leaving to join UFC and write comic books for Marvel.
Three things really surprised me when I finally got to the table to meet Punk — first, his prices were lower than I had expected and extra autographs were extremely reasonable; second, the line moved at a really good pace yet everyone still got a minute or two of his time to chat, get an autograph and take a photo; and third, he was truly one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met at a con. He was quiet, humble, respectful and down to earth. For my extra autograph, I picked out a photo of him in a Blackhawks jersey; and we talked hockey for the couple of minutes that I got to spend at the front of the line.
I was truly shocked because I’d always heard horror stories about how he could be a jerk — but maybe people just need to learn their bounds with respecting celebrities during their own private time. Sure getting a free autograph is always great, but it’s a much more pleasant experience for everyone in a controlled setting like a con.
I made one final stop on the way out to buy a Funko Pop Protector for my Mick Foley figure, before leaving Eternal Con; wondering if Sags ever showed up this afternoon.