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Rx Muscle at Wrestlemania XXV!

April 10th, 2009 · No Comments

WWE world champion Hunter Hearst Helmsly, aka “Triple H,” has been a very good friend of ours. In spite of his mega-stardom, he’s been a regular guest on Heavy Muscle Radio where he lent his insights on the Arnold Classic, wrestling and life in general. He even dropped in our Arnold wrap-up video backstage at the show to show his support and faith in what we’re doing. During that same Arnold weekend he also appeared (for free) at the Species booth where he signed autographs and boldly wore a Species t-shirt.

He was wearing the shirt because for the last several months both Triple H and his wife Stephanie have been following Dave’s low carb/moderate fat/ high protein ketogenic diet, and using Species products. Now, they’re both in the shape of their lives. 6 months after Stephanie gave birth to their second daughter, she walked down the aisle at the WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony looking like she was getting onstage at a professional figure competition. The next night, when Triple H successfully defended his WWE World Championship belt against Randy Orton, it was evident by his 250lb shredded physique that Dave’s keto diet did the trick.

It was really cool when Triple H supported our start-up effort over here at Rx Muscle; however, when he gave Dave four ultra-expensive floor seats to Wrestlemania 25, 4 tickets to the Hall of Fame Ceremony, and a full boat first class experience to go along with the weekend, we were blown away. There was a limo waiting for us at our hotel when we got there. It took us to all the events on both nights and even waited for us while we ate dinner. We got to experience a gigantic event– attended by over 74,000 people– in grand style.

While the greatness of the event was blood boiling for my nine-year old son; for us, as it turned out, the magnanimous giving was not yet complete. On top of the gratitude extended by our world champion friend, it appeared that the WWE followed Triple H’s lead. They left, for us to discover, a symbol of their support for our new website. And of all places, we found it in a grave yard.

Every time I go anywhere with Dave we’re always in a mad rush. Maybe he’s not, but I seem to be. And, for me, the whole experience of traveling to another city on a connecting flight was flavored with an overactive 9 year-old boy miserably short on food and enough to do.

The second we pulled up to the hotel we were already 15 minutes late for the limo. We ran inside, checked in, threw our stuff in the room, briskly freshened up and went back downstairs dressed in jeans and tee-shirts– Colette’s had no sleeves.

LimoHave you ever arrived someplace and realized you were totally underdressed? We did when we jumped into the limo and met Stephanie’s best friend, her brother, and their uncle– wearing a cocktail dress and suits and ties respectively. They were all formal and we were all guns and veins. We both epitomized the polar opposite interpretations of acceptable dress for a wrestling hall of fame induction ceremony. Well it was a good ice breaker anyway. Stephanie’s group was a lot of fun and we had some good laughs on the way to the arena.

This was no “normal” induction ceremony. This was a WWE induction ceremony complete with a live audience of 16,000 people. While our seats were very good, it turned out we were dressed just fine.

The class of 2009 WWE hall of fame inductees composed an impressive list.

•(1)High flying Ricky Steamboat (inducted by Ric Flair)

•(2)Terry Funk and Dory Funk Jr. (inducted by Dusty Rhodes)

•(3)Bill Watts (inducted by Jim Ross)

•(4)Koko B. Ware – with Frankie – (inducted by Honky-Tonk Man)

•(5)The Von Erich family (inducted by Michael Hayes)

•(6)Announcer Howard Finkel (inducted by MC “Mean Gene” Okerlund)

•(7) Stone Cold Steve Austin (inducted by WWE Chairman Vince McMahon himself)

Listening to Steve Austin deliver a humbling speech where he thanked those responsible for his success– the fans – was a great moment. It was capped off by Austin’s trademark “clapping” together of two beer cans and guzzling them down. And a lot of it spilled on his brand new Tuxedo (with the missing button) that he got from the Men’s Warehouse. Austin claims he’ll be visiting them very soon to see George Zimmerman about his guarantee. Because the button popped off Austin’s suit coat, he wasn’t able to button it. He didn’t really like the way he looked so I guess he didn’t mind spilling beer all over himself afterall.

TripleHDaveColAfter that, we jumped back in the limo and went straight to Pappas steak house where we had, by far, the best steak of our lives. It was amazing. It was made all the better by the fact that up until that point of the day I had subsisted on beef jerky and almonds, Max was eating beef jerky, peanut M&Ms and Starburst fruit chews, and Dave and Colette were living on Isolyze RTDs, nuts, and a few sandwich wraps from home. We were starving, tired, and Max was way over done. We all desperately needed to eat and get to bed.

We got back to the hotel and as soon as we got to the room Triple H called Dave and said he wanted to come down and say hi. Max perked right up and got to do what every nine year-old boy dreams of doing–TripJohnMax meeting Triple H in person. And he’s got a few good pics to prove it to his friends at school. Then it was off to bed. I slept like I was dead.

I was totally disoriented when the alarm rattled me awake at 9:00. Then Dave called… Rush…. Rush….. rush…. we gotta eat breakfast and get to the Expo. When Max and I got downstairs 20 minutes after the alarm went off, Dave was already walking around the breakfast area with a plate full of “Dave Palumbo Diet” food. Triple H met us and invited us to eat with his family in the private dining room off to the side. That’s where I got to meet Triple H’s adorable daughters, their grandmother Linda McMahon (yes, Vince’s wife), and Stephanie up close. Stephanie was wearing something with no sleeves and her arms looked crazy, with veins running up her biceps and everything. If there was ever a better post partum transformation, I’d like to see it. How could anyone possibly say Dave’s diet doesn’t work?

DigWe hung out for a while then set off to the expo. A $45.00 cab ride later we arrived to find not too much there. If you were willing to wait on lines there were plenty of opportunities to meet pro wrestlers and have your picture taken with them. There were also other events– Dave and Collette got spray-on tattoos. (I always find it funny when people with real tattoos get fake ones. This was even funnier because Dave and Colette waited in line for 45 minutes to get them).

On our way out, we came upon a large area that was carpeted with real sod and thick ominous fog, with 17 scattered tombstones. We were in The Undertaker’s grave yard! The names on those tombstones signified all the wrestlers he had defeated in the last 16 consecutive Wrestlemania events. The 17th tombstone had an open grave in front of it. On the tombstone was the year, 2009, and the name of the Undertaker’s opponent for this year, Shawn Michaels. There was a shovel in a pile of dirt next to the tombstone so I grabbed it and started shoveling the dirt into the grave while Dave took my pic. Then off to the side one of the tombstones caught our eye. Just then, the smoke machine blasted another jet of thick fog across the lawn. MUSCULARDEVLOPMENT RIP When it dissipated enough to see the writing on the tombstone, Dave and I couldn’t believe what we read! Written on that tombstone was “Muscular Development” with the date Dave and I were fired– February 2nd. Apparently loyal Palumbo/Romano fans in the WWE were quick to side with Triple H when he voiced his opinion regarding our firing on HMR. It was one of those moments that awes you and freaks you out at the same time.

BeltOn our way out, we met this dude carrying a very elaborate championship wrestling belt. He had brought the $400.00 repli-belt with him from St. Louis and was happy as hell to have the thing autographed by Classy Freddie Blassie and a couple of other guys. A 400.00 belt? Isn’t that just a bit much for a souvenir– for a grown man? God bless everyone involved. This was one of the few cases where the buyer was just as happy paying the price as the seller was to get it. Whether the transaction makes sense to anyone else is irrelevant. The two parties involved were happy and that’s all that counts.

As soon as we got outside, Big Momma (who just happens to live in Houston) pulls up in her Jeep Cherokee, picks us all up, and takes us to a killer sushi bar. Big Momma is a trip; an outspoken woman with BigMommavery strong opinions that are delivered in a very strong way. We had a great lunch and she saved us a $45.00 cab ride back to the hotel. We had just enough time for a short nap before the limo to the show would arrive for us….. Rush… Rush….. Rush……

At the precise time we were supposed to meet the limo downstairs I banged on Dave’s door. Collette answered. Beyond her I could see Palumbo sitting at the desk in his shorts fiddling with his computer muttering something about having the wrong permissions set to log onto the internet. That is not a Mac issue so I didn’t know how bad it was. What I did know was that we would be late again and holding up Stephanie’s friends who were already waiting in the limo. Eventually Dave got the permission he was looking for and put on his pants. We got downstairs only 15 minutes late. We shaved 50% off of the night before!

We got to Reliant Stadium along with 74,000 other wrestling fans. Three of them hailed from Japan; carrying three very crude signs made from large sheets of white paper and magic marker. They ended up standing on the three chairs immediately in front of me, holding up the signs so I couldn’t see. Who holds up signs? Why do they do that? For the infinitesimal chance that their sloppy little message appears on TV for .4 seconds? That’s really important? I have to have my view blocked for that reason? Overall, the crowed was very….. ummmmm…… interesting.

As far as the show went, it was a testament to the extreme degree that Vince McMahon has turned wrestling into entrainment. And there were no shortage of A-list celebrities there either.

The very beautiful Nicole Scherzinger from the Pussycat Dolls sang America The Beautiful like an angel. Then Kid Rock did a little opening number with his entire band. Mickey Rourke was there too. He settled his little skirmish with Chris Jericho after Jericho dispensed of a crew of old time Hall Of Famers– Jimmy (Super fly) Snuka, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Ricky Steamboat and Ric Flair. Jericho called out Rourke and told him if he didn’t come up and get in the ring he was going to go down to his seat and bitch slap him. Rourke got up and took off his sport coat. Under it he was wearing a black leather vest, jeans and cowboy boots. He loosens up for second then climbed into the ring. As soon as Rourke and Jericho square off Jericho realizes he was in trouble. Mickey went after him and three swings later he connected with the back of Jericho’s neck and Jericho went down for the count. Not only had Rourke played a convincing bad-ass in The Wrestler, he also proved it in the ring against Jericho in front of 74,000 screaming fans and million and a half Pay-Per-View viewers.

UndertakerThe match of the night would have to go to Shawn Michaels and the Undertaker. After a gruesome battle and several attempts to pin each other that were thwarted just before being counted out, Michaels found himself locked into his second pile driver. He couldn’t survive another and that was it. Undertaker is 17 and 0 at Wrestlemania!

Naturally, the highlight of the evening for us was watching Triple H defend his title against Randy Orton. The build-up to this match included Orton nearly breaking the necks of both Vince McMahon and his daughter Stephanie-Triple H’s wife. And ….. something about a sledge hammer. I’m not sure, but it was obvious that Orton and Triple H were not on good terms. In the end– after a brutal match fought as much out of the ring as in it-Triple H pinned Orton and kept the belt. And he looked menacing as hell doing it!

At one point just before Triple H’s match, the Hall of Famers were called out on stage. After they all walked back off the stage, Stone Cold Steve Austin blasts out from behind the curtain and down the ramp, all the way to the ring, on a camouflage-colored quad. He took two laps around the ring, parked the quad and got into the ring. Once inside he climbed the ropes in each of the four corners and slammed two Buds together and guzzled them. Then he threw the cooler into the ring and walked around and slammed two more pairs of cans. Austin had Guzzled 12 beers in about four minutes and then got back on his quad and drove backstage! I wonder why no one complains about the message that sends to kids. Drinking and driving is okay if you’re a millionaire driving a quad?

Limo2We made it back to the Limo and to another sushi bar that happened to be open late. We were at Wrestlemania for over 4 ½ hours, and we were starving for a change. $250.00 worth of sushi later, we quenched our hunger and headed back to the hotel for bed. We had early flights the next day. The WWE spent Monday night in Houston and did their Monday Night Raw show to a sold out crowd once again.

What a weekend– guests of Triple H for Wrestlemania 25 with all the trimmings. Making memories like that is what life’s all about. Thanks Triple H!triparnold

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