I woke up at 8:00 AM on Saturday morning. The sky was dark and gloomy. It’s been unseasonably chilly for May, which I welcome. Anything to stave off the 90 degree heat and humidity of a typical Jersey summer is good by me.
The weather reports were threatening an all-day torrential downpour for the area. Hearing that is like winning a jackpot in Atlantic City, music to my ears. Keep talkin’ Carl Erickson. See, Carl is a weather anchor on 1010 WINS, our local AM radio station that spews non-stop news. As a teenager I swore that, as long as I lived, I would never listen to news radio. I adored the ‘90s TV series, NewsRadio, but the actual concept of an AM news station made me feel crusty and nearing the end. The fact that I’m discussing weather and news at length on my own website right now is seriously making me wonder about myself. Stick with me for a few, I need to go do some Snapchatting and buy a fidget spinner to clear the cobwebs. BRB.
Actually, I was told at work by a girl 10 years younger than me that nobody types BRB anymore. But, whatever, it’s still effective and I’m not giving it up anytime soon.
Ok, I’m back.
This impending storm sounded like the perfect intro for a trip to a haunted attraction, but, sadly, that wasn’t in the cards. On the upside though, as with all my excursions, I try to cram in as many activities as possible. I’ll relay them to you here in incredibly superfluous detail.
Experiencing a WSU event had been on my list for a long time. After several missed opportunities, I was dead set on making it happen this time around. Their event, BATTLE TESTED, was to be my main event for this trip. Getting to the arena was a bit of a drive for me, so, naturally, I planned a couple of stops along the way.
After gassing up, I picked up 3 cans of Monster Rehab and 2 sugar free Red Bulls, ya know, just in case I got drowsy. I don’t actually consume all that caffeine, but when it comes to 3 cans for $5.50 at Speedway, how can you not partake? Once I was cruising at a comfortable speed on the Turnpike, and my iPod playlist was shuffling along, I cracked a Red Bull. I nursed that baby all the way down to my first stop:
THE NEW JERSEY STATE MUSEUM, Trenton NJ
Museums behold such an oddly mysterious aura to me that I really dig. If you’ve listened to me talk about my love of old libraries on the Purple Stuff Podcast, it’s very similar to that. How can you go wrong in a giant building housing ancient artifacts, maps, and dinosaur fossils? Being a Jersey fanatic, you’d think I’d have visited this place umpteen times, but no! (I’ve been saying umpteen facetiously and constantly lately because it’s so ridiculous, so you are not exempt from this) As a lifelong Jersey resident, I’ve never stepped foot in this museum, but I was looking forward to it.
One specific exhibit grabbed me. I don’t think I would’ve been as compelled to add this to my itinerary if it wasn’t for Toy World. This is an exhibit spotlighting the history of toy manufacturing and innovation in New Jersey, totally up my alley. At least judging from the description on their website, another exhibit “Written in the Rocks,” seemed to up the ante as well. Perusing the oldest rocks, fossils, and dinosaurs from New Jersey would be an added bonus.
Although the Toy World exhibit was fairly small, it was definitely cool. I learned about Remco’s New Jersey history. Among so many remote control toys, they also created the first ever toy version of Dick Tracy’s two-way wrist radios. These were the real deal! This was long before the one that I remember getting in 1990 when the Dick Tracy movie came out. That thing was lame because it just had a light in it and didn’t actually communicate with other Dick Tracy watches.
Then there was the first talking doll. That thing was creepy A F! Did you know that Thomas Edison actually had the first patent on that? In the simplest terms, he basically inserted a mini record player into the doll and it made for an eerie, screechy baby voice that was audible via the QR code on the display case. I have a feeling if James Wan gets a hold of that recording he might use it for this next Annabelle installment.
Thankfully, there was a lot of reverence to Kresge’s Department Store in Newark. They were known for their Santa’s Toy World theme during Christmas time. To get an idea of their store front window display, think no further than when Ralphie was drooling over the Red Ryder BB Gun outside of Higbee’s in, A Christmas Story.
From joy buzzers to toy trains, New Jersey has a rich toy history, but what about their rocks and fossils?
The fossil display was pretty decent, although I was hoping for more of concentration on Dinos. A highlight for me, was one of the first specimens you see when you walk into this area. Two rocks, but not just regular rocks. These happened to be the oldest rocks in New Jersey. The rock pictured above, a Gneiss, is from Back Beach Park, in Wanaque, NJ and it’s approximately 1.37 BILLION years old. Can you believe something this old still exists?!? This rock was formed before any living thing existed on the Earth’s land. A Ted Theodore Logan “WHOA!” is in order.
Before leaving, I also took a stroll through the 3rd floor. No, not where Fuller sleeps, but a floor with a concentration on big items from New Jersey’s history. Out of all the amazing and historical treasures on display up there, I was pretty entranced by one in particular. Possibly the most important map of New Jersey in history hung on the wall. This was the map crafted by William Faden in 1778 which illustrated the divide between the state split into East and West Jersey. This map was used by the armies during the Revolutionary War. Nowadays, it’s common to think of the state split into North and South, but back then, it was opposite, and in many ways, it’s still relevant. We’ll come back to this concept later in this post my young Padawan.
That was it for my time in the State Museum. It was worth the trip. Sad to say though, what we have here in Jersey in terms of museums, PALE in comparison to what you’ll find in Manhattan. It’s unfair to compare for various reasons, but I do feel that with such a rich history that we should be better represented in terms of showcasing all the amazing events and people who have shaped this state. Enough of the history lesson, it’s time for the fun stuff! Next up was an impromptu detour:
COLUMBUS FARMER’S MARKET, Columbus, NJ
Longtime readers may remember this post, when we ventured here and found that crazy, disheveled store full of random toys here. A portion of this market caught fire several years ago and has since been refurbished. It looks great, but now lacks that old vintage flea market feel in those new parts of the building. I didn’t leave with any toys or collectibles, but I did get sucked in by the bakery, as I always do. Their prices are literally bonkers. They had giant containers filled with homemade pumpkin rolls for $2 bucks and homemade cookies were 3 for $1. I think 3 pies are $5 bucks. So, I got a taste of the fall in mid-May. Considering everything is made by these guys right there by hand, and the prices are that good, it’s worthwhile. I had planned on bringing these to the family for Mother’s Day, but I wound up forgetting them at home. That worked in my favor since I ate most of the cookies on my own anyway.
To say that I got wet on the way back to my car was an understatement. I wound up forgetting where I parked and jetted to the complete opposite side of the parking lot, only to realize that I actually parked right near the exit I walked out of. All in the pouring rain, what a dope!
Washed down a chocolate chunk cookie with the remaining warmish Red Bull. Now, back on the road! Next stop:
TUNES, Voorhees NJ
Honestly, I had no idea this record store chain even existed until I needed to make a U-turn into a strip mall parking lot. When I passed by the store I saw “USED DVDs and VINYL” and almost jumped out of my car with it still running. Ultimately, I calmed myself down enough to park in a spot. I spent a good 40 minutes in this store thumbing through previously viewed DVDs and old records. Keep in mind, I’m spoiled by Vintage Vinyl, widely recognized as one of the greatest record stores in the country that never closed down during the downward trend for music stores. That didn’t deter me from enjoying a browse through Tunes. For an independent chain, their prices were damn good. Some of my pickups included the first season of In Living Color, like new condition, for $3.74 (marked down from the price tag in the picture) and a few records for about $3 bucks each (the Top Gun was $5, probably because Tom Cruise apparently still commands top dollar I guess!). If you’re near any of their other locations, it’s well worth a pop-in. They have 4 locations in New Jersey and one in Maryland. To think that TUNES started as a small tape shack on the Ocean City Boardwalk is incredible.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is now time for our MAIN EVENT of the evening!
WSU BATTLE TESTED, Voorhees, NJ
Before I get into the actual event, I need to preface the geography for you to get a frame of reference of where it took place.
I drove into the Flyers Skate Zone like I was Triple H standing on top of an army tank. Of course, I’m exaggerating a bit, but there’s an intense rivalry between the Flyers and the Devils. Even as a casual hockey fan, it’s an uncomfortable situation to be in a facility called the Philadelphia Flyers Skate Zone, where the team practices – obviously not actually in Philly. To contrast this with our NFL situation, the New York Giants play and practice in Jersey while New York gets all the credit for their organization. WrestleMania 29 was in New Jersey, clearly did not take place in New York whatsoever, yet they billed it as New York-New Jersey. To my knowledge, the only WWE event to take place in multiple states was WrestleMania 2. But that’s just a tangent to get you to see the oddball nature of our state. We’ll always be the 2nd rate state, which is BS. Travel too far south or west and you’re in Pennsylvania. Live where I live and people think you’re from New York. So weird. Remember that map I said I would refer back to? See, it actually did apply to my trip later that day! I’m from East Jersey. BOOM. Thank you for your brilliant cartography, William Faden!
My first experience at Women Superstars Uncensored was awesome. I knew I’d have a good time, but didn’t realize that I would leave saying that I couldn’t wait to go back! My friend Chrissy Rivera, the #1 heel in the promotion, is really the person who turned me on to going. I mentioned to her a couple of times that I wanted to get down to a show, but I kept missing them. This time, it was on!
Right off the bat, I was impressed by the production value of the show. It may be that it’s been such a long time since I’ve been to an independent wrestling event, but I was impressed! Last time I was at a show like this, they didn’t have fancy colored lights or slip covers on the barricade, and they sure as hell didn’t have a multicolored LED entranceway with a video screen à la the WWE TitanTron! This was bananas. I felt right at home.
Since I’ve already exceeded my 6 million word cutoff, I won’t go through each match, but I’ll give you some of the highlights of this loaded card.
Kiera Hogan vs. Lana Austin for the Spirit Championship
The alluring Lana Austin likes to show off her bum and use it to her advantage, an aspect that was welcomed with open arms by the crowd. Prior to the match, she pleaded with the ref to check butt cheeks to see if she had any foreign objects stuck inside her trunks. In case you were wondering, I approve of this gimmick. The Spirit champ, Kiera Hogan is tiny, but packed with speed, power, and charisma. At first, Lana had the upper hand, but in the end, Kiera overcame Lana’s posterior offense to retain her title.
The Fella Twins vs. Maria Manic (Handicap Match) for the Tag Team Championship
The Fella Twins were completely new to me, and what comes to mind is Adrian Adonis. This androgynous team was over the top and didn’t hold back on spewing insults and screaming at the top of their lungs, it was amazing. They lived their personas. The Fella Twins faced their former friends (I’m gathering) from a faction they had called The Fella Academy, Maria Manic and her partner Penelope Ford. Ford didn’t show up so it turned into a handicap match. With the odds stacked against her, Manic was able to subdue the Fella Twins to capture the title.
The Reckoning vs. Leva Bates, Xandra Bale, Veda Scott, Missy Sampson, and Mia Yim inside of a Steel Cage
A STEEL CAGE was erected for the main event! As a lifelong wrestling fan, and knowing there have been some stinkers through the years, seeing that steel cage still gets me excited. This was a War Games type match that pitted The Reckoning, the most badass group of heels in WSU vs. Leva Bates (Blue Pants from NXT), Xandra Bale, Veda Scott, Missy Sampson, and Mia Yim (Jade formerly of TNA).
This match was batshit crazy in the best ways possible. From the aggressive hard hitting power moves to Samantha Heights’ dive off the top of the cage, it was the perfect finale for the evening. Getting to see Chrissy Rivera in action and watch her expertly lead her Reckoning faction was a treat. The fiery and controlling Chrissy and the Undead Bride, Su Yung together are brilliant. Yung looks like she walked straight out of a grave with her bloody bridal gown and smeared kabuki makeup. She captures my heart every time she spits blood.
I couldn’t possibly pack more punch into this day, so I headed home. I capped off the night by burrowing into the couch and watching Beyond the Gates. Thank you for reading about my latest Sexy Armpit excursion!