Corrigan’s Corner: Meeting Scott Steiner (& More ‘Mania Hijinks)

John Corrigan shares his experiences meeting several wrestling stars during WrestleMania weekend.

I’m at baggage claim, meeting up with friends and trying to unpop my ear, when out of the corner of my eye, I spot a man with a salt and pepper goatee. In 23 years on the planet, I’ve seen only one man with that goatee. But this man at the airport looked skinnier, deflated. No entourage, no fans seeking selfies. No chain on his head.

Just a few moments earlier, I had shaken Kevin Nash’s hand as he passed by, towering over my fellow WrestleMania attendees. He was cool, approachable, just as you’d imagine. But this other man dragging his enormous bags—he didn’t have the same reputation.

He was dangerous.

But after dealing with a cancelled flight from Spirit, losing two of my companions in the process, spending over $400 for a new, same-day flight, suffering another delay, all because of this childhood hobby that I should have outgrown but have become obsessed with, I had to say hi.

After all, Hulk Hogan blocked me on Twitter so now I’m officially Team Scott Steiner…

IMG_5393With all the frustration surrounding our voyage to Texas, I sympathized with the roid rageaholic. This trip was supposed to be the cheapest, most enjoyable WrestleMania excursion yet. With my ol’ college roomy living at Baylor University, our crew (originally nine jabronies) could bunker at his place for free and then make the two-hour drive to Dallas for wrasslin’ and shenanigans. Of course, due to Murray’s Law, which states that anything that can go wrong will go wrong and will subsequently be seen on Snapchat, plans changed.

As if the Spirit debacle wasn’t enough, a speeding ticket followed along with the officer asking where we were headed. “Waco, officer.”

“Waco? Why?”

Because it’s the hidden gem of the Lone Star State. Our tour guide, the hilariously philosophical , took us through lush Cameron Park and behind the scenes of the Mayborn Museum, stopping for Whataburger, tacos, BBQ, ice cream and 84 cent Dr. Peppers. We explored the spacious campus, sneaking a peek at actual Baylor bears Lady and Joy, and laughing at Cluck-U’s favorite bear failing to get honeys at the bars. And despite what you may read on the Facebook comments, I conquered 500 Rummy inside the Bare Arms Brewery.

Before driving to Dallas on Saturday, we partook in Waco tradition: tossing tortillas off Suspension Bridge. Did anyone else do it? No. Did Doyboy make it up? Probably. But my God, what a rush!


As soon as you entered downtown Dallas, WrestleMania banners engulfed the streets with flags of WWE Superstars waving from street light posts. A sea of wrestling shirts rumbled through restaurants and sidewalks, carrying “Woooos!” and “Yes!” chants in its tide. Even at John F. Kennedy’s memorial, on top of the grassy knoll, a man with a trombone ushered a New Day clap out of tourists.

It may seem disrespectful to the location, but that damage was already done when a gift shop opened mere feet away from where our 35th President was assassinated.

As per WrestleMania tradition, we found the hotel where WWE hunkered down for the week. So after rounds and rounds of drinks, all delicious and high in ABV %, we stumbled into the heart of the city and mobbed the front entrance, asking valets who was coming out next:

Bayley, who not only greeted and thanked us, but then rolled down her window to chat some more.

Cesaro, who hopped out of the driver’s seat and gave his signature pump, while shotgun passenger Seth Rollins limped along, acknowledging us with a grin.

Stone Cold totally blew us off.

Chris Jericho blew us off, too, but that’s just kayfabe, brother.

Kevin Owens arrived in a taxi, helping his family out and into the hotel. When asked how the zoo was, he replied, “I’m going to bed.”

Shawn Michaels, Big Show, AJ Styles, Ricky Steamboat, Pat Patterson, “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, Jacqueline, Slick, Eva, Paige and Stan Hansen all waved and did a “HOOOOOOO!”

Dean Ambrose, Gerald Brisco and Mean Gene didn’t react, but Miz and Maryse obliged to our chants.

Roman Reigns went so far as to acknowledge our screams while he was inside the hotel.

Absolutely ridiculous that in the midst of these tuxedos and gowns, Sin Cara and Kalisto wore their masks.

I screamed for one of the Ascension, but DUMB FUCKING ME, I yelled for Konnor when it was Viktor. Or the other way around, who gives a shit.

Larry Zbyszko skipped the hotel entrance, preferring to join the fans in the street as he puffed his cig.

As in past years, the three WWE Superstars who gave us the most reaction, truly appreciating our chants, were Sheamus, Alberto Del Rio and Lillian Garcia.

You’re probably not surprised by Lillian, but I don’t think most fans realize how cool and gracious the Celtic Warrior and the Pride of Mexico really are.

When the last bus finally pulled away, the night was still. Except for a muscular shadow, walking across the street with headphones on. Coming back from a late night workout, clutching a gallon of milk for his Booty Os, was Big E.

And then Rob Van Dam was accosted by a street beggar, who had no idea who he was asking money from. RVD actually gave him $10, too.


Those ten bucks would be priceless to anybody outside that hotel, to any of the 101,000 fans who made the pilgrimage to AT&T Stadium, to wrestling fans around the world…

Almost as priceless as this exchange between Steiner and me inside the airport elevator.

“Big Poppa Pump.”

(sigh) “Hey man.”

“What do you got planned this week?”

(grunt) “Convention.”

“Cool, good luck.”


For John Corrigan’s live report from WrestleMania 32, click here.

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