Detailed report for Shawn Michaels book signing in Tysons Corner, VA
Thanks to Lee Sanders of The RCWR Show for sending in this report for Shawn Michaels book signing in Tysons Corner, VA yesterday. You can catch The RCWR Show with Lee Sanders Mondays at 11:15pm ET after WWE RAW on YouTube.com/TheRCWRshow and Tuesday nights at 10pm ET on Spreaker.com.
It's 8:45am ET on what is usually a lazy Sunday this March 8th, 2015. The usual drill is kicking back in my recliner, bowl of chips and soda or water in hand watching basketball and shows on the DVR. Normally it's my last day to catch up on much needed rest especially after shoveling about eight inches of snow just a few days prior. My back is still reminding that I am not as young as I use to be and that I better ask for help next time. No time to worry about it as today is a special day I've waited two weeks for... getting to see WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels in the flesh as he comes to Virgina's Barnes & Noble at Tysons Corner to sign copies of his latest book "Wrestling For My Life.
I lived in Virginia for five years but never went to Tysons Corner and everyone I've spoke to has made a big deal about going down there. Talk about knocking out two birds with one stone as I got to see a new part in VA and meet a wrestling idol I grew up watching when I was 8 or 9 years old in the 1980's until he retired. Just two weeks prior I interviewed him for my show, but now I'm getting to see the man in the flesh! Talk about a surreal experience and a big deal for me as I never, I repeat NEVER got the chance to see him perform in person.
My girlfriend and I are on the road as of 9:30am ET. "Losing an hour with this spring forward crap is kicking my ass," I tell her as I'm grumpy while getting the directions together on the navigator. "Don't worry, you'll sleep better later tonight knowing it was all worth the effort," she tells me.
It took us about 28 minutes to get to the Barnes & Noble as nobody was really on the roads. I'm telling you it was a smooth drive with hardly any sight of snow unlike two days ago as many parts of the DC/MD/VA area were crippled by it so bad that a lot of schools and businesses shut down. We even had a state of emergency in some parts. Today however, no problems on the road although I did notice during the commute two cars without drivers parked in the emergency lanes. We got to Tysons Corner without any problems by 10:00am as we parked and proceeded to Barnes & Noble.
Once we got there I noticed signs saying for the Shawn Michaels book signing to head upstairs to the 2nd floor. There was already a sea of people there but not as bad as I thought it would be as at this point there was three lines. The lines were broken down by alphabets. You had line A, B, and C. At this point there must've been 50-75 people total, so a small but decent turnout so early as Shawn wasn't due for another three hours. His start time for signing autographs was 1:00pm ET and I had confidence it would start on time as just the night before he tweeted he was close to arriving in VA. We were part of group "C" as our group was in an awesome section with the comic books and graphic novels by Stephen King. It was interesting seeing the type of people that were there and I can't stress this enough as there were men and women of all ages there. Race knew no limit as I saw Hispanics, African-Americans, Japanese, you name it and it was represented. You had the young adults like me and my girl who grew up watching Shawn along with young folks around our age that started their own family and had their kids growing up on Shawn. There wasn't really that many young kids, maybe 5 years of age being the youngest, not including toddlers.
A little after 12:00pm I heard someone say they ran into Shawn in the restroom and people gasped and was asking him if he was telling the truth. I couldn't make out if he was ribbing them as he was in another section. By this point we now had a 4th line added. So we now have lines A, B, C, and D. By 12:15pm a Barnes & Noble representative informed us to remember who's in front and behind us as we needed to follow our group when it was time to move. She also informed us that they received conflicting reports from Shawn's people that he wasn't posing for pictures. She said that ultimately it was up for the talent (Shawn) to decide if he was going to pose for pictures and sign or just sign books. You'd be surprised how many people we came across that didn't want to buy Shawn's book and only meet him. A few of the Barnes & Noble supervisors and managers were nice to them and gave them and us these wristbands so we could get in line for the signing. I should stress we had our own copies of Shawn's book we wanted signed.
Eventually they informed everyone waiting in line that they needed to buy a book if they didn't already have one to be in the line to see Shawn. I overheard interesting conversations people were having about today's WWE product as some felt that it just hadn't been the same since guys like Shawn walked away from the company. Many conversations I heard was pretty much the same thing which was guys like Bray Wyatt, Dean Ambrose and Daniel Bryan are the saving grace for the company right now. Interesting to me at least that the many conversations I heard no one was really talking about Roman Reigns. I also heard people tell great Shawn Michaels stories including about his hunting show as you could genuinely tell the people here truly were invested in Shawn and his endeavors outside of wrestling.
By 12:45pm our lines started moving as of all the people to scream a grown man yelled "SHAWN"!!! It was officially showtime as now my heart started pounding. Four years and counting I've interviewed many people but I'm getting butterflies in my stomach and am rehearsing my lines like Ralph from "A Christmas Story" when he was trying to tell Santa what he wanted for Christmas. The lines moved very smoothly but one of the Barnes & Noble employees sounded kind of mean. Maybe mean is a strong word but I'm not sure what to call it as she was yelling that we present our book to Shawn opened to the first page where it read the title of the book on white paper with black/bold text above the publishers name. Remember how when you were in school and when you did something wrong the teacher would spank your hands a few times with a wooden ruler? That's how she made some of us feel as I wasn't the only one that was kind of like shesh loosen up a little. She stopped repeating herself after a while as eventually she just asked for folks copies and put it on the correct page for Shawn to sign.
"What's this line for?" That's what an older woman asked as my girlfriend who told her it was for WWE Superstar Shawn Michaels. The lady goes "Ohh.... RASSLIN.. well... enjoy," in a sarcastic tone. Folks that love their wrestling even if it's now called Sports Entertainment can read between those lines. I had my line smiling and laughing a little bit when I told my girl how she should've told her it was for WWE Hall of Famer and just this week named New York Times best selling author Shawn Michaels! I'm sure that would have put her in her place. It was a really good icebreaker with that comment I mentioned as it helped a lot of us shake whatever nerves we had off. The line continues to move around the corner, and to our left as BAM! Shawn Michaels is there sitting down, posing for pictures while signing copies of his book. TV doesn't do this man justice as he is still relatively a big man and I don't mean fat or sloppy. On TV he looks small compared to others but when you see him in person, even as he is sitting down he appears to be built well. My girl walks up to him and tells him how much of an honor it was to meet him and that she enjoyed his body of work.
Finally, the moment I've waited all my life for as I step up to the plate next. I tell Shawn how I interviewed him a few weeks ago and that I was the one that closed the interview with the story about the beard mention on Twitter. He was like I remember you, that was you huh? I said yep! He smiled and asked me how was I doing and I told him okay and that his book was a real great read. It wasn't as I imagined it as I've never been to a book signing before. I've heard of guys like Mick Foley (who I've met in person), Chris Jericho, Eddie Trunk of VH1 Classics "That Metal Show", and Nicholas Sparks being very interactive, energetic, willing to make that extra effort in connecting with fans. These people who you see on TV, hear on radio, or read in print, personality wise they match up to what you get in person. With Shawn it just seemed more like who's next and I'm not knocking the man or the experience as I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. To me it just seems like maybe and I need to stress MAYBE he wasn't that comfortable at this signing. He was good with little kids and the ladies from what I saw for the most part but it just felt so mechanical. In his defense this could have been from lack of sleep, the repetition of tours he's been thus far, how the Barnes & Noble staff instructed Shawn how everything was going to go down at this event as they were expecting a big crowd. I can't stress it enough as by the time Shawn was signing there was a least 250 people and counting. For sure it wasn't what I was expecting and it made me wonder how Shawn would be in a totally different environment like maybe on WWE turf or on just wrestling turf in general. Shortly after this encounter I went to a comic book shop in MD called Beyond Comics for the 1st time as I hadn't collected comics in years. The guy there was so nice to me as I told him how I'd been out the game for a minute and needed some recommendations and he was so sincere with choices and even gave me free comic book on the house once I told him the type of stuff I was into. He felt that it was something that I'd really, really enjoy. Gotta tell you that experience was really WOW as I shared a laugh with my girl asking how come Shawn couldn't be like that guy?
Like I said before I wouldn't trade the experience in the world of meeting Shawn and being around like-minded fans of his as I had an awesome time overall. For anyone that has never had the opportunity to see Shawn I suggest you see him if he's coming in your area. There's just no telling how many more of these type of public events Shawn is going to do as it's truly a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet such a great man that has contributed so much to the sport of professional wrestling. Buy the book as it is a great read and this is coming from someone that loves to read a lot. And for those curious about the overall experience with Tyson's Corner... Not impressed. Nothing for guys to there except stuff their face or read a book while the ladies go to these high priced stores and drain the bank accounts. Go for the food court, AMC and the FRIDAYS restaurant but that's about it folks. Really hope this review helps and if you went, let me know as I'd love to hear from you and know how your experience was at this event.
You can catch The RCWR Show< with Lee Sanders Mondays at 11:15pm ET after WWE RAW on YouTube.com/TheRCWRshow and Tuesday nights at 10pm ET on Spreaker.com.