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SummerSlam Diary: Day 2
SummerSlam Diary: ECW Champion Christian - Day Two
By Craig Tello with photos by Eric Johnson & Scott Brinegar
Aug. 22, 2009
Ironing bored, 11:21 a.m.
In a few hours, Christian will head to the plaza just outside the STAPLES Center for SummerSlam Axxess, an event where thousands of WWE fans will congregate, many just to meet Captain Charisma. But for now, the Extreme titleholder has time to kill -- a rare commodity -- before a lunch meeting in Hollywood.
As the ECW Champion attests, living out of a suitcase the majority of the week means a lot of wrinkles. Using this time well, Christian unfolds an ironing board and presses two of his favorite t-shirts. He irons both because, at the moment, he is indecisive about which of the heavy print tees he'd prefer to wear -- a surprising quirk, to which he adds further context.
"I'm like a really bad over-packer," Christian explains. "I'm always afraid I'm not going to have enough, or enough variety. You think I'd have figured this out by now. I don't think you ever fully get used to living out of a suitcase."
No burn marks, of course, as The Captain smoothes out any creases that may have settled in transit.
Con man, 11:55 a.m.
On his feet and around his hotel room floor rest several Converse sneakers, which Captain Charisma explains are his personal favorite footwear.
"I love ‘Chucks,'" he vehemently states while proudly displaying limited edition Chuck Taylors fashioned by designer John Varvatos. These sneakers, featuring a distressed, vintage look, were a pick-up during WrestleMania week in Houston several months ago. Christian's visit to the L.A. Varvatos store to snag a second pair turned out unsuccessful, which he vows will be the only defeat he will endure this weekend.
Captain Charis-Mac, 4:29 p.m.
Beside a lined up succession of emptied water bottles, on his hotel suite desk rests a sleek MacBook laptop, a Christmas gift, as he explains. Given this and his constantly blown-up iPhone, it's quite clear that the Extreme Superstar is not a PC … and this reflects a lot of the cool, casual ECW Champion. Now moments before his scheduled WWE appearance downtown, the competitor boots up to send off a quick email.
Christian reveals that he isn't a tech savvy computer user, but makes good use of Apple's applications. Among iPhone apps like AroundMe, Scrabble, Yellow Pages and Avis (car rentals), Captain Charisma cites WikiPanion as his most frequently used especially when disputing facts while traveling between cities with Tommy Dreamer.
Christian explains, "I'll say I'm right, and Tommy will say he's right. And I'll say, ‘Let's ask WikiPanion.'"
Guess who's right most of the time.
"Me," the champion laughs, "it's not even close."
A little fun, 5:40 p.m.
Hours after his ironing session, Christian, who has changed his shirt twice before finally settling on the ashen tee, rolls toward WWE's weekend-long event, SummerSlam Axxess. The ride over to the location of his autograph session leads to horseplay between Captain Charisma and his former fellow ECW Superstar, Hornswoggle. Seeing 'Swoggle rest his sullied head on the plush seat, the champion leaps into action, playfully mushing the face of his diminutive companion.
Their shared laughter subsides as the bus rolls into the lot beside SummerSlam Axxess and the Superstars riding in quickly find awe in the number of enthusiastic WWE Universe members crowding the outdoor event.
Peering over the peeps, 6:07 p.m.
It wouldn't be a complete day for Christian without his peeps. And at Axxess, they are aplenty.
The ECW Champion peers out from his autograph session stage to view the throng of WWE fans anxiously waiting meet Captain Charisma and his partner for the evening, WWE Legend Sgt. Slaughter.
A wish to build a dream on, 6:47 p.m.
Among a multitude of Christian minions stands out one particularly energetic and passionate peep, Brigitte Patel of Orange County, Calif. After sharing a squeeze and quick snapshot with her uncontested favorite WWE competitor, the WWE Universe member giddily describes this unbelievable experience.
"This is the first time I've ever gone to meet any Superstars and I'm [Christian's] No. 1 peep fan. I have peeps at home," she laughs.
"He's hot!" Patel exclaims, bringing her huddled family and friends to a roar. "He's going to win at SummerSlam … because he's Christian."
Child's play, 6:54 p.m.
Young and old come out in downtown Los Angeles to see the globally recognized faces of the squared circle. As the sun begins to descend, the atmosphere is still radiant in the busy alley of SummerSlam Axxess.
Propped up on the table before Christian is perhaps his youngest peep, 7-month-old baby Julian Adams, drawing a delighted smile to the face of the ECW Champion.
There's an app for that, 7:33 p.m.
Many WWE fans wait a lifetime to see their most cherished Superstars compete at live events around the world. Few get an up-close view of the ring warriors; even fewer have the opportunity to shake hands with their idols and take their photo beside them.
Want to capture your friend meeting a WWE Superstar? There's an app for that.
One resourceful WWE fan clicks the camera on his iPhone panel and takes a tight shot of his buddy and Christian -- a memory captured on one of Captain Charisma's own personal favorite devices.
Two way street, 8:08 p.m.
The final session of Saturday's SummerSlam Axxess is complete and though Christian took pleasure in introducing himself to droves of WWE fans, his thoughts become preoccupied.
His recess from signings lead the ECW Champion mere yards away to the mouth of the STAPLES Center, where in less than 24 hours, he will defend his gold against a significant threat in William Regal.
Marching down the rear entrance of the arena to secure a glimpse at what lies ahead, the Extreme Superstar follows the arrow marked pathway. Much like these paved ways, the outcome of the ECW Title Match at SummerSlam, can also go in either direction.
Sneak peep, 8:54 p.m.
An evening of SummerSlam Axxess is exactly that for Captain Charisma. On the eve of the greatest WWE event of the summer, Christian finds a cornered position beyond WWE production crew to glance into his most immediate future.
The peep chief has danced at WrestleMania and other huge events since returning, but this is his first SummerSlam once again competing in a WWE ring -- as the ECW Champion. It doesn't get much bigger than this, and as Christian's eyes narrow to a focus on the squared circle, it becomes apparent that he's arrived at this very realization.
NEXT DAY >