Roadtrippin for Final Battle

Over the last couple of years my road trips to watch wrestling, more specifically Ring of Honor, have dwindled. There are various reasons as to why, which I wont get into at the moment. So far this year I've been to Phoenix for Wrestlemania weekend and to Chicago in October. So with the big Final Battle weekend approaching I decided it was beyond time to head out to the East Coast and hang with buddies to watch grown men grapple each other.

A buddy from Michigan, let's call him Beatty, and myself decided to hop in the car and drive. We met up at our usual spot, some outlet malls by toll road. I've never had a problem leaving my vehicle here, even though I am always leery about it and nervous it will be towed when I returned.

We headed out on Thursday because of weather and wanted to get at least one decent night sleep on this trip, especially since I'd been battle a cold all week. We got a later start than we wanted and traveled until 2am, putting us about two hours outside of Boston. We had some slight hotel reservation issues. Beatty flipped out and then all was well. It was a sight to witness.

We contact our friend Paul, who live in Boston and graciously offered to but us up for the night as we come near. Change of plans. Instead of going to his house we are to go meet him and some other people we know, Jay and Tristen who flew in from Chicago, at a beer bar called The Lower Depths located near Fenway Park. This is not a problem for me. I do enjoy craft beers. After a delicious Mad Elf and S'muttanator we head over to another place called Boston Beer Works (), a local place who makes their own brews. I had a nice pumpkin ale complete with a sugar & cinnamon rim. The last stop before the wrestling show was Harpoon Brewery. This is the oldest brewery in Boston. We arrived just in time for the hour long tasting. I sampled about six different things which I never had before. The IPA, a hard cider, Raspberry Hefeweizen, Chocolate Stout, Oak Aged Dunkel, UFO White, and my favorite of the tasting Leviathan Barleywine. We took a growler of that one to go.

It was time to rendezvous at Paul's house. Our other friend from Boston, Larry, was going to meet us at the show. From various reasons we got a late start. The venue was actually about 30 minutes outside of Boston in Plymouth, MA. We got there about halfway through the first match. The venue was great. I really liked it. The card, not so much. I couldn't get into anything until the last match. Partly because of buffoons yelling out stupid ass comments trying to get themselves over. Nothing ruins a wrestling show quicker. The main event was great. American Wolves vs Kings of Wrestling. It was every bit as good as I expected.

We got to Paul's and sat around drinking barleywine and chatting until around 2:30am. It was time to get a few hours sleep before heading out in the morning.

We got up, around, and left for Manhattan by 11am. The easiest drive I've ever had into NYC. We got to our hotel, which was located right beside Ground Zero. None of us had never seen it before, so we strolled over. With all the construction being done the impact was slightly less emotional then I thought it would be. Still hard to imagine two giant towers being there ten years ago. We through our bags into the room and caught a subway over to the New Yorker Bar to meet "The H" for our tickets and pre-show drinks & eats. Everything there was great as usual. We slide over to the Manhattan Center's Grand Ballroom in time to say hello to many familiar faces and people before the bell.

Final Battle was amazing. It's been a long time since I was that emotionally invested into a show. It started out hot with a tag match pitting The All Night Express against Kyle O'Rielly & Adam Cole and kept it up to the dual main events. The RoH title match was spectacular. Champion Roderick Strong outlasted Davey Richards in an epic battle. Even though I really wanted Davey win, it was still a damn great match. The final match was a Fight Without Honor, a no holds barred "unsanctioned" match to settle a year long feud between former friends and tag champions Kevin Steen and El Generico. If Generico lost, he lost his mask while Steen put his career on the line. I have witnessed many matches in my day, but this was one of the most brutal and sickest I've seen. It was an instant classic.

The after party was at Irish Times Pub. After filling my belly with tasty shepherd's pie and many, many beers (Yuengling, Brooklyn Lager, & Sam Adams Winter Lager) it was time to say goodbye to those remaining and head back to the hotel. It was late. We crashed for a few hours.

In the morning we said later to the Boston guys, and started the drive home. A pretty uneventful drive home which was made easier by the ability of my iPhone to pick up most of the Colts vs Jags game. After a 12 hour drive, I found myself home once again.

A fun and great trip.

One thing of note. All these friends I spoke about are people I have met through watching Ring of Honor over the last 7 years. You go to enough shows, see the same faces, have a person to bring fans together like "The H", you are bound to build bonds.

Creative Commons License Digg! submit to reddit

No comments: