Friday, April 9, 2010

Orlando w/wife, anxiety, finishing a chapter.

I'm currently on an airplane seated in the middle of the row. I've got a bitter old man to my left and my wonderful wife to my right. The old man keeps accidentally touching me and stealing my arm rest. C'mon bro, I thought it was common knowledge that the person seated in the middle gets both arm rests? It's only fair. Usually I'm so amp'd to get home because I know Dana is waiting for me but today is just the opposite. I brought 'home' with me. Originally I had Monday off and was going to spend the whole day home with Dana to celebrate her birthday. Then, TNA called and asked if I could make it out to Orlando after all, and said that they would fly Dana in and pay for our hotel room because of the last minute changes. I thought that was extremely courteous of them. So, Dana came in Wednesday morning and we drove out to Daytona Beach. Btw, I now have a new "happy place." What's a happy place? Well, anytime I am in a stressful situation where I just about feel an anxiety attack coming (this has been occurring frequently lately), I close my eyes and take myself to a pleasant memory. Driving to Daytona Beach, with my beautiful wife next to me, the hot Florida sun beaming down on my skin, convertible top down and wind blowing in my hair is just about the happiest of places I can take myself. I remember peaking over at Dana as she napped with her head awkwardly leaned up against the door. My jet-lagged wife was out cold, despite the loud noise of blasting music and wind. Poor Dana, not being used to long red-eye flights and middle of the night connections, has probably found a new respect for Nick and I after this trip. I looked out at the open road and thought, "Right now, I am my happiest."

Today we spent most of our time taking it easy. We shopped a little, lounged by the pool for a minute (literally) and got a bite at a famous "Steak & Shake." Cary Siliken from ROH introduced me to this place and I still thank him for that periodically. Delicious yet affordable food. Dana and I have agreed that we need to make time for simple little trips like this. It makes such a difference. I finally got to discover Florida after four months of visiting - and got to do it with my favorite person in the world.

Anyhow, my brother and I have been extremely busy, coming off of probably the busiest month of our careers. The highlight of March of course was our pay per view debut at Destination X. The morning of the show was a scary one for me. Nick and I were in New Jersey as we had just wrestled for an Indy company named JAPW the night before. The days prior, we were on the road doing TNA house-shows so we had already completed 3 shows in 3 different states. We were both exhausted and at that point had only slept one night of proper sleep. My alarm went off after about 2 hrs of rest (we had an early flight to Orlando to catch), and as soon as I sat up I started freaking out. I looked around the room and everything was moving in fast forward. It was the most bizarre thing I'd ever seen. Then, I noticed all of my senses were enhanced. I could see and hear things more clear. I'd go to move my neck quick from left to right and could hear my muscles move and bones crack in my neck. The room started closing in. "What is happening to me?!" I thought. I looked at Nick and kayfabed him about what was going on - he didn't need to know his brother was going nuts. I hopped up from the bed to the sink and turned the water on. "WWWWHHHHOOOOOMMM!!" It sounded like a waterfall. I splashed my face repeatedly and started panicking. "I've got an Ultimate X Match tonight on live ppv, I'm not going to make it if I'm like this!" I then ripped open my backpack and found a few tablets of a natural vitamin called St John's Wart. My mom always told me that they helped calm your nerves. And like magic, I swallowed the pills and everything started slowing down. My senses were soon back to normal too. Maybe it was the "Placebo Effect?" We then raced to Newark airport, hopped on a plane to Orlando and went straight to the building. Why did this happen to me? Lack of sleep? Stress? I'm not sure exactly. My brain was cloudy all day but Nick really helped carry the work-load that night. I really don't know what we'd do without each other. There are days where Nick can't focus, so I'll work a little harder, or times when I'm so sore that I can hardly move, so he's there to take care of me. Sometimes he's nervous to talk so he'll have me do the promos. We're there for each other when it counts. This is why we are where we are. We're a team. The Ultimate X match turned out being even more than I expected. It was easily the biggest match of our careers. I'm also super psyched that they decided to use the four of us on the DVD cover. I'll look back years from now and remember that the morning of that day, I didn't even think I was going to make it to the show.

Ahh! This old man keeps bumping me. Really man? C'mon. And his wrist is owning this arm rest right now.

Also in March, Nick and I finished up with Dragon Gate. It was an emotional weekend for me personally for a few reasons. Obviously there was some controversy about this particular weekend (controversy that you aren't even aware of but it's now irrelevant) and we were wrapping up a 2 + year relationship with a company that I felt deeply about. Night 2 was especially fun as we wrestled two guys that I really respect: Mike Quackenbush and Jigsaw. We had a killer match with those dudes! I remember lying on my back and listening to the ref count to three for the last time in a Dragon Gate ring. 1......! This is it. All of those trips to Japan, we learned so much..... 2....! We really jelled as a team because of Dragon Gate.......3! And just like that, it was all over. Despite the sourness I felt because of everything that happened at the end of the run, I was proud. Proud of what we accomplished there, proud of what we learned and proud of the friendships we made because of Dragon Gate. It was an era in my career that I'll always cherish and look back on fondly.

While down in Phoenix we visited the ROH crew who drew a HUGE crowd. Adam Pearce, Dave Lagana, Jim Cornette and Cary Siliken were so excited to see us. They've got an awesome group of guys there. At one point, in his overly-excited, very animated way, El Generico screamed out, "It's a reunion!!!" The guys crowded around us and Bryan Danielson (who was also visiting). It was awesome to have the whole crew back together for a moment. It's hard to believe that a few months ago Nick and I were sharing a room with him and Jimmy Jacobs in Philadelphia after a set of ROH T.V tapings. I remember Jimmy getting on Bryan's case as we spoke about our futures in wrestling. All of us seemed uncertain but excited. "Bryan, if you don't call Shawn Michaels right now and tell him you'd like a job, I'm going to do it for you!" Bryan responded, "Jimmy, it's 3 am!" He yelled back, "So what! He won't mind!"

Okay, got about 2 hrs left on this plane. What's on the agenda? Pro Wrestling Guerrilla this weekend. The most fun place to work in the world. Period. I can't wait. And I've got a week off from any type of flying so that's something to be happy about!

The old man is now twitching in his sleep and elbowing me in the shoulder in the process. Is this guy for real?

Oh! Happy Easter! (sorry I'm late on that)!

Till next time.