WWE crowns Biggest Fan
Our fans showed up by the thousands for WWE's Biggest Fan Party Red Carpet Event at Spotlight Live in New York City's Times Square, an event that wrapped up WWE and Ziddio.com's "Are you WWE's Biggest Fan?" contest. By the end of the night, the grand prize winner of the contest, Mike Timpson of Los Angeles, found himself $25,000 richer, thanks in part to the three Superstar judges, WWE Champion John Cena, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and Batista.
The judges weren't shy in their opinions either throughout the night, offering their candid opinions on each video entry. After narrowing the list down to three finalists, Cena, The Animal and Stone Cold retreated to a private area to make their final decision. The raucous crowd waited in anticipation along with the three finalists to hear the results, and that is when Timpson was announced as the grand prize winner. Timpson's video wowed the crowd in attendance mixing its creativity with humor and originality. As judge, John Cena told Timpson, "you really put your whole heart into this and it shows." Timpson celebrated his victory on stage with WWE Superstars and his check for the $25,000.
Following his celebration, Timpson discussed his money-making moment. "Doing the video was really a labor of love for a WWE product I have been watching for more than thirty years," he said. "It was a real pleasure to get the thumbs up from Cena, Batista and Stone Cold. There were so many great videos from the 14 others, and to win was just one of those 'wow' moments." Timpson continued, "I really want to say thank you to everyone in WWE for everything they do for us fans."
Before the event began, our passionate fans lined the streets of Times Square, hoping to find their way into the event. Optimism could be found even at the end of the huge line, where Robert & Alex Ehrlich withstood the heat just for a glimpse of their favorite Superstars.
"It's hot," smiled Alex. "But, I have never seen any wrestlers before, so this is pretty cool." Alex's father shared the sentiment. "I have always been a fan and it is fun for us to do this together," Robert said. "Alex is getting really into WWE, so it is something we can share."
While the Ehrlich's afternoon may have seemed like an eternity, some of WWE's fans waited nearly two days outside of Spotlight Live to be part of the occasion. Daniel Yaloz, Jon & Andres Mora and Epelk Rosenschein traveled together just to see John Cena. "We decided to come here and wait because we love WWE," said Yaloz. "To be here is awesome."
Longtime WWE fans Jon Donald & Joe Schwenk were the last people to make it in before the festivities began, and the cousins from New York shared their happiness. "I have been a fan since I was a little kid," said Schwenk. "I remember our mothers used to dress us in identical Hulk Hogan sweatsuits, and for WWE to celebrate us as fans is one of the greatest things any organization can do."
After our fans made their way inside, the Superstars, 15 finalists and celebrities arrived. Joining Cena, Batista and Stone Cold were The Miz, Kristal, Lilian, WWE Hall of Famer Jimmy Hart, Jonathan Coachman and Bobby Lashley. Also, "Sign Guy" Rick Achberger was in attendance to introduce The Hyenas, a rock group led by Chris Pontius of Jackass fame. Achberger pumped the crowd up, The Hyenas rocked our fans with their music and then the video entries of the 15 finalists were shown.
Admittedly, Achberger is not used to being the center of attention. "I don't want to be star-struck, but seeing these guys walking around and being able to talk them without shouting at them is something different. I really don't deserve to be here. It's just amazing to be on the other side of everything and for WWE to ask me to come out is really humbling. When WWE comes to New York City, it is always a great show and tonight is no exception."
The night's emcee, Jonathan Coachman, didn't seem too concerned with the prize money, but rather with the creativity of our fans. "You can't help but get excited over an event like this," he said. "We will be looking for creativity and persuasiveness from the winner. You have to show us you are a bigger fan than anyone in the world, and on top of that, present your case in a unique way."