Update on thedailyspotlight.com- I’m Engaged!

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So it’s been a long time.  Ok it’s been a really really long time but alas here we are, back on thedailyspotlight.com. You look great by the way, have you lost weight or is that just the angle? Regardless I’m going to get into a lot of stuff over the next few weeks as we get into a variety of topics but I felt I would take this time to catch everyone up to speed on where the heck I’ve been for the past three months or so.  I felt it would be in poor taste to hop on here and talk about Bryce Harper’s incredible walk off winner on Easter Sunday or my trip to the Magic Kingdom a few weeks ago without getting everyone up to speed.

Ch-ch-changes– First and foremost, I’m engaged! That’s right just one day after the 2017 Royal Rumble, which we were counting down to when we last left off, Eri and I took off for Iceland and on that very trip I popped the question and thankfully Eri said YES! This was by far the most nerve wracking thing I’ve ever done in my life but it’s a moment I’ll never forget.  Truth be told I wanted to propose for quite some time and was all set to do it in October of last year.  We had an idea to go to Thailand right after my birthday and I thought what better way than to take something about me and flip it to make it all about her. Unfortunately, Eri had just started a new job and couldn’t get off for over a week (I should point out that while it probably would have been frowned upon for me to do the same, I would have been able to make it work because meh I always find a way to make it work) so we couldn’t justify the trip to Thailand with the two days of travel that are required for the trip so we settled on Mexico and my plans to put a ring on it were shelved.
Shelved only because I knew that we had already booked a trip to Iceland in February.  Eri booked the trip about a year ago on a whim when seeing an unbeatable deal pop up on Groupon so I knew this trip was on the horizon and thought, what better place to do it then under the Northern Lights.  After all, I had seen all of these amazing one of a kind photos online of the Lights and proposals that took place right then and there. So that idea was set for a few months out and now came the planning process of how I was going to get the ring without Eri noticing what the heck was going on.  This was the hardest part because we are usually together and I’m not good at keeping anything hidden so it was really tough.  The entire designing process and then the resizing process was so much fun and had so many adventures that I honestly wanted to fill Eri in on everything because shit, this is what I usually do with the ups and downs of everyday life.  I have to give a shoutout to OKG Jewlery over here in Queens, New York.  They are some of the most passionate and incredible people that I found to work with.  They were able to take a vision I had and work with me, often coming in on the weekends and after hours to show me updates and communicate with me while Eri wasn’t around.  They made a stressful process completely manageable and I cannot recommend them enough.
The hardest part of this entire ordeal was getting the ring overseas and then freaking out that Eri would discover the ring at some point before I was able to ask.  The first part came to figuring out how to get the ring through the metal detectors at the airport.  Talk about a hold your breath moment as I sat there with my bag going through the medal detector, especially as I saw the TSA fella’s eye open super wide as my bag passed.  We made eye contact as I’m sure he read my expression that read “Please don’t blow this up for me bro!”…I had put the ring on the bottom of my bookbag in a glove with a little sign that said “Engagement Ring Enclosed”, please if you don’t get anything else from this entire post always remember…ALWAYS CARRY THE ENGAGEMENT RING ON YOUR PERSON!!!! Engagement rings are not cheap and even if you have it insured (which you absolutely should, that’s point number 2 to take away from this), the last thing you want to do is lose the ring because you checked your bag or left it in the hotel when you went for a hot dog over at Baejarins. From the moment the ring made it through security, it was in my pocket the rest of the trip until I gave it to Eri.
I thought this was going to be easier said than done because our Nothern Lights Tour was the first part of our trip.  On the way to the Lights, I couldn’t wait what an unbeliuevable moment this was going to be, the skies lit up with beaming green lights naturally occuring for us to see.  It was going to be magical!  But then it wasn’t….we got there and sure we saw a few faint lights but nothing like you see in the pictures.  I had no idea where those fellas who proposed got it done but there was no clear shot of the lights unless you had a super high tech camera lens, which I did, but there was no way to pose in front of the lights for a proposal.  Not to mention everyone who is there to see the lights does not want you to ruin their experience.  Any sign of a flash elicited grunts and groans from the folks on the tour and didn’t do much for the photo you were taking.  I imagined a beautiful photo of me on one knee prosign to an unexpected Eri with the backdrop of a variety of tour buses, angry tourists and a black sky…no bueno! So I returned to the hotel defeated and with a ring in my pocket trying to figure out what was next.
I had decided, with the help of my mother a couple of close friends I was texting with who threatened that I better not return home with a ring in my pocket looking forward to propose live at Wrestlemania 33 from our limited view seats, that I was ismploy going to wait the week out.  I figured that with all of the excursions we had planned, and brother do we love our excursions, I was going to find some moment where it felt right.  The enxt morning was our Ice Climbing excursions so ring in pocket we went Ice climbing up the Glaciers of Seljalandsfoss.  I have the coordinator of a 6 foot 4 white guy, so not very good, but I went swinging and climbing up the glaciers the best I could praying I wouldn’t fall to my doom.  Ok I didn’t care about my doom I just worried about the ring.  About five minutes into the trip I asked our tour guide where the highest peak we were going was and he pointed up to where I could barely see. I knew that was it, it was perfect.  I spent the rest of the excursion planning out how I was going to do this I was going to have someone film it and have someone take pictures, I was going to make a big speech, it was going to be marvelous and over the top…but almost none of that happened.  Instead, when we reached our peak I asked a photographer on the trip, from Shanghai to take a few pictures of us, I removed Eri’s glove and managed to get out just one question…”Will you marry me?”…time stood still for what felt like 3 hours until she said Yes!
What Else?- Well if you’re still reading this far down we are now on the road to weddingville.  Over the next 11 months there will likely be more wedding updates that you can stomach including many a video over on our youtube page https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy_gVqjuaWDp2QW6go6e0Xw... but don’t worry now that we’re back in the swing of things there will be plenty on the world of sports, wrestling and travel that you’ve come to expect here on the site.  After all, we were down in Orlando for Wrestlemania week and did all of the parks so you can expect to see all of that come out over the next few weeks, this was just my way of letting you guys know what’s been going on and from this moment forward…I’m back!

The Wrestling Drive- Previewing Summerslam Week

Hello everyone, hope everyone is doing well and welcome to the continued coverage of Summerslam week here on thedailyspotlight.com.  I have to throw out our youtube page as there will be a number of videos throughout the week including one of right now looking at how Summerslam has already started to take over the city of Brooklyn.  Click right here to subscribe to our youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy_gVqjuaWDp2QW6go6e0Xw!   the above video was uploaded on Monday morning really really gives a nice look not only into all of the happenings in WWE throughout the week but also touches on a few UFC tidbits and also talks about the television coverage on both the WWE network as well at network TV.  Below is a comprehensive list of all wrestling events going on throughout the week here in New York City.  There are also a number of really cool community outreach events that the WWE superstars are taking part in throughout the week, which you can read about here http://www.wwe.com/shows/summerslam/2016/article/wwe-takes-over-new-york-city-summerslam-week!   We are seeking live reports from all of the different shows so if you’re heading to the shows send an email to thedailyspotlight2@gmail.com and make sure to include your name and twitter handle so we can give credit.  Without any further ado check out the list of events takign place in New York City below.  Credit for contributions to the list: pwinsider.com.

WEDNESDAY 8/17

The Dudley Boyz signing
2-4 p.m.
Toys“R”Us Staten Island
2845 Richmond Ave.
Staten Island, N.Y. 10314

Eva Marie signing
5-7 p.m.
Toys“R”Us Flatbush
2875 Flatbush Ave.
Brooklyn, N.Y. 11234

THURSDAY 8/18

The Miz & Maryse signing
10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Toys“R”Us Bay Parkway
8973-95 Bay Parkway
Brooklyn, N.Y. 11214

Cesaro signing
2-4 p.m.
Toys“R”Us Middle Village
66-26 Metropolitan Ave.
Queens, N.Y. 11379

FREE- Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast- 2PM- 5PM at Carolines Broadway

Live simulcast of the Sam Roberts Wrestling podcast and the Sam Roberts show with guests Today Show’s Katie Linendoll, NXT Ring Announcer Kathy Kelly, Raw Superstars The Club & Kevin Owens and more to be announced

FRIDAY 8/19

FREE SIGNING:

Titus O’Neil signing
10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Toys“R”Us Long Island City
3540 48th St.
Long Island City, N.Y. 11101

Finn Bálor signing
2-4 p.m.
Toys“R”Us Bronx
350 Baychester Ave.
Bronx, N.Y. 10475

WWE MEET & GREETS AT BARCLAYS’ CENTER:

AJ Styles – 1 PM

Kevin Owens – 1 PM

WWE Tag Team champions The New Day – 3:30 PM

Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady – 3:30 PM

7 PM – The Amazing Red and Brian XL’s House of Glory promotion in Jamaica, Queens at Club Amazura with their biggest show of their calendar year “High Intensity” featuring:

*House of Glory Tag Team champions Private Party vs. The Hardy Boyz

*House of Glory champion EC3 vs. TBA.

*Drew Galloway vs Chris Dickinson

*Mickie James vs Sonya Strong

*EA James vs Big Daddy Cruz
For more details, visit www.HOGWrestling.net

7PM- Jake “The Snake” Roberts- The Unspoken Word Tour- Grammercy Theatre

Tickets available at Ticketmaster.com

SATURDAY 8/20

FREE SIGNING:

Becky Lynch signing
10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Toys“R”Us Rego Park
61-35 Junction Blvd.
Rego Park, N.Y. 11374

WWE MEET AND GREETS AT BARCLAYS CENTER:

Randy Orton at 10 AM

WWE Women’s champion Charlotte at 10 AM

WWE champion Dean Ambrose at 12:30 PM

Sasha Banks at 12 PM

Roman Reigns at 3 PM

Seth Rollins at 3 PM

3 PM EVOLVE in Brooklyn, NY at St. Finbar’s featuring:

*EVOLVE champion Timothy Thatcher defends vs. Drew Gulak.

*Cody Rhodes vs. Chris Hero.

*Tommy End vs. Matt Riddle.

*WWE Cruiserweight Classic Spotlight Match: Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Cedric Alexander.

*Tommy End vs. Matt Riddle.

*Tony Nese vs. Peter Kaasa.

*Also appearing are Ethan Page and more.

Tickets are now on sale this link.

8 PM – WWE NXT Takeover: Brooklyn at the Barclays Center featuring:

*WWE NXT champion Samoa Joe vs. Shinsuke Nakamura.

*WWE NXT Women’s champion Asuka vs. Bayley.

*WWE NXT Tag Team champions The Revival vs. Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa.

*No Way Jose vs. Austin Aries.

*Bobby Roode vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas.

*The debut of Ember Moon.

SUNDAY 8/21

10AM- Talk Is Jericho Live Podcast at Croline’s Broadway

Live 4 hour podcast at Caroline’s with Chris Jericho and Christain which includes a Q & A, photo ops and signings. VIP Breakfast available.

6 PM – WWE Summerslam PPV at Barclays Center

*WWE World champion Dean Ambrose vs. Dolph Ziggler.

*Brock Lesnar vs. Randy Orton.

*Finn Balor vs. Seth Rollins to crown the first WWE Universal champion.

*WWE United States champion Rusev vs. Roman Reigns.

*WWE Women’s champion Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte.

*AJ Styles vs. John Cena.

*WWE Intercontinental champion The Miz vs. Apollo Crews.

*WWE Tag Team champions New Day vs. Doc Gallows & Karl Anderson.

*Kevin Owens & Chris Jericho vs. Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady.

MONDAY 8/22

7:30 PM Monday Night Raw at Barclays Center

I’ve done my best to denote all of the different free events taking place throughout the week including some meet and greets.  My suggestion would be that if you’re going to attend any of the free events, arrive early!  Free events are few and far between so you know people with be out in droves for these.

I’d also like to point out that I did not include ring Of Honor. They’re having a very big pay per view tomorrow night that should be great.  You can check out Death Before Dishonor 14 live from Las Vegas, Nevada tomorrow night at 9:00PM EST and also on pay per view.  For more information, check them out right here  http://www.rohwrestling.com/news/jay-lethal-defend-world-title-against-adam-cole-dbd

The Spotlight On Long Island City

It’s the premier edition of Travel Tuesdays here on thedailyspotlight.com and the official daily spotlight youtube page. Every Tuesday, Thursday and Weekends, Tommy On The spot will present another video from his expansive library of travel videos that he’s taken over the last 3 years or so. Whether it be a local restaurant here in New York or a trip around the world, you never know where TOTS (and Eri) will end up next. Make sure to subscribe to the daily spotlight youtube page so that you can get these videos, along with the wrestling drive vlog delivered to your email address as soon as they are uploaded. 

This video took place just last Friday, August 12th, 2016 and spotlights Long Island City. After finishing up a great meal at Shi, Eri and Tom take a walk on the boardwalk and take in the New York Skyline right before sundown. There’s not much like a Summer evening in LIC. Check it out and let us know what you think!

The Spotlight On The Sights and Sounds Of Wrestlemania Week

The Sights and Sounds of Wrestlemania! 

Nothing like seeing a Wrestlemania Banner at Baggage Claim!

This is the first time over the past three years in which I’ve been flying to Wrestlemania that I was able to get down to Wrestlemania on a Thursday and I can honestly say that this is the day to come down if you’re going to do it.  For one, most fans arrive on Thursday and so you really feel like you’re all heading to Wrestling Haven together.  Everywhere you look fans are wearing wrestling t shirts and carrying memorabilia for the show.  My girlfriend made me a really cool Chad Gable towel that I carried around with me at the airport and was a big hit with the other fans attending the show.  Unfortunately, the security checkpoint was horrendous at Laguardia Airport.  Seriously people need to learn how to take off their shoes, belts and have their laptops ready for stowing prior to getting up to the checkpoint.  I realise that when you travel as much as I do you become Geroge Clooney (In Up in the air) esque in being able to fly through the airport but really some people really slowed us down.  We were so delayed that we almost ended up missing our flight altogether and had to jet to our gate once we finally got through. When I finally got there I let out a big sigh of relief and I heard a familiar voice greet me by saying “That’s ok let it out, you made the flight and now it’s officially Wrestlemania, nothing else matters!”.  It was WWE hall of famer Howard Finkel who happened to be on our flight (You can go back and read my post about meeting Howard at a Dean Ambrose signing to get an idea how big a fan of his I am).

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Nothing Says Wrestlemania more than the sight of the Wrestlemania City Banners! 

Once you arrive in the city, it’s all about Wrestlemania! In the past the airports have been decked out in WWE decoration.  It literally feels lke if you’ve ever flown into Orlando and taken the Magical Express back to Disneyworld except instead of the world of magic, this is the world of wrestling.   I’ll never forget when we landed in New Orleans a couple of years ago and were greeted by a brass band playing John Cena’s theme song.  Or last year when we were greeted at the airport by Dean Malenko.  This year, we ended up flying into a smaller airport in Dallas so there wasn’t as many Wrestlemania signs at our airport but enough to let you know that you arrived and it was Wrestlemania.

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My girlfriend Eri, excited to see the boss get her own Wrestlemania city banner

What we do each year is start our week off at the  with a trip to the Wrestlemania store.  We did this on Friday morning and it was a lot of fun.  If you have time to set aside for the store, I suggest doing it as a separate time then axxess.  If you’re like me, you’re pretty tired after Axxess and the store is so big that there is more than enough to do there to spend an hour of time there on it’s own.  As we walked up into the Wrestlemania store, every nearby street post had a different superstar banner hanging proudly.  Everyone from the Rock to The New Day to Charlotte were represented proudly.  By the entrance of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Center, there were a number of larger banners with every superstar you can think of taking up their spot on the walls of the building.  These are always great for some photo ops and to go and see all of the different decorations.  The KBH center was the home for all things WWE this weekend and there were just loads of fans everywhere.

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Fans from all over the world take to the WWE Superstore

As we made our way upstairs into the actual store, there was a large WWE painting booth featuring the great work of WWE artist Rob Schamburger.  Rob is always on hand at Axxess working hard creating his next masterpiece.  Even though he’s hard at work, Rob is always very gracious and down to earth.  He’ll always stop to talk to you and is glad to sign any painting that you purchase of his.  Rob started out as a fan and has been embraced by WWE for his talent but is still a fan at heart and just an all around great person.

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WWE Artist Rob Schamberger paints for the fans outside of the WWE Superstore

The store itself is a sight in an of itself and a reminder to us long time fans of what the old WWF New York Store used to be like back in the day.  There are different types of shirts everywhere you look, whether it be related to the members of this year’s hall of fame, the NXT Roster, the premier matches on the wrestlemania card or Wrestlemania event specific shirts they have everything you can think of.  The people working the store are also generally pretty cool about letting you pose for photos in the different masks (who woudn’t want to take a photo as Asuka or a couple photo as Gold and Stardust?)  or hats.  Decked on the walls of the store are different images of the WWE superstars and divas wearing all of the different memorabilia for sale, which always reminds me of the old superstar catalogs in the old WWF magazines.  The store also has some rare pieces of merch that you won’t find anywhere else like the new Sting Defining Moments figure that won’t be released for months or the new John Cena coffee table book(my favorite are always the replica Slammy and replica Undertaker’s Urn).  Lastly in the center of the store is your high end pieces of merch that can go from anywhere from $90 to $3500.  These range from signed figures to plaques featuring event used mats or even a replica winged eagle scale belt.  While it’s not realistic to expect everyone to have the dispsobable income to afford such pieces, they are great to look at.

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Eri channeling her inner boss

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Checking out the NXT section of memorabilia, surprised they didn’t have one of these Chad Gable towels on sale, which my girlfriend was nice enough to surprise me with before going.

When in Texas…

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Two great couples, eh?  The Authority & Tom/Eri…by the way you all know what a huge fan of Shane McMahon I am but could he look more awkward on the wall of the superstore here?

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Eri is a proud resident of Suplex City! By the way, I can’t believe Brock agreed to pose in his T shirt for the store.  Pretty cool!

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The Black and White Wyatt masks are two of the more popular items available for sale at the Superstore!

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It doesn’t get much cooler than these high end plaques which will run you $1500!  That said, such a badass replica belt and Wrestlemania 12 Tribute! 

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If you noticed that we look a little different, good job this was taken last year but nothing beats a Dust couple photo and the Rhodes masks join the Wyatts and Kalisto as the most popular this year.

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At some point I will justify dropping the $40 for one of these urns and yes this photo is here because my girlfriend can do picture perfect Undertaker Eyes and I think that’s pretty cool!  

One frustrating piece was that the wristbands for the free superstar signings were given out randomly 2-3 hours prior to the signing but there was no way of knowing that ahead of time.  Thus we showed up at 11:30 hoping for a chance to see Sheamus or Kane (one of my girlfriend’s favorites) and were told we needed a wristband to wait on their line and the bands were all given out before 10AM.  That said, it was still cool to see both Sheamus and Kane on hand in the store, who were in years past VIP only signings at Axxess.

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“The Celtic Warrior” Sheamus awaits the fans at the Wrestlemania Superstore 

That’s going to do it for me for right now but I want to take a minute to thank WWE and the folks running the superstore for letting us run around the store like kids and try on a number of the pieces for sale.  Tomorrow, we’ll take a look at WWE NXT Takeover, one of the best events of the entire weekend.

 

Site Relaunch, Back From Wrestlemania & More- The Daily Spotlight for 4/10/2016

Coming to you live here from a virgin airlines flight, I am officially on my way back from a very fun weekend in the state of Texas.  My plan for the rest of this week is to breakdown all of the wrestling happenings from this weekend and then once I’m caught up on all of the programming I missed while I was away, I am going to break down everything as this is the official relaunch of the daily spotlight.

Let’s start with a little housecleaning as to what I plan to give you from this site.  My plan is for some WWE news each and every day. I’m going to breakdown each week’s Raw, NXT and smackdown as well as some of the bigger stories as they unfold throughout the week.  Then every Sunday morning I’m going to present you with the Spotlight Small Package which will be your one stop source for all of the week’s news and wrestling breakdowns on the site.  That said, I don’t want this to solely be a wrestling website.  Thus I’m going to also be breaking down a variety of sports, travel and reviews.  The reviews themselves will come out every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and focus on my experiences with a particular product, restaurant and/or travel destination (This week’s will focus on Wrestlemania week in Dallas!).  As for the spotlight videos, those are going to be reserved for Tuesdays, Thursdays and the weekend and my plan is to really try to be a bit more consistent with those.  The problem with some of the videos is the quality but my hope is that as we go through the videos, the quality will only continue to improve.  As far as the new schedule, I’d look for that to really begin tomorrow morning, April 11th!  I appreciate all of you being so patient with me over the last couple of months.  It’s been a hard time personally with the death of my father as well as trying to really hit the ground running with a new job that I literally started the day my father passed away.  It’s been crazy but I’m at a point now where I think I can really get things back up and running on a more consistent basis.  We hit one year on the daily spotlight this part week and I couldn’t have been happier to hit that resubscribe button on the site when it came time to do that just last week.  The first year of the daily spotlight has been a lot of fun, I’ve gotten to interact with a ton of people and do a lot of things that I normally wouldn’t have been able to do without the site and for that I couldn’t be more grateful.  I plan of taking the daily spotlight to much greater heights as we take on year two of the blog!  Now let’s get onto this weekend.

I do things for Wrestlemania week a lot different then most fans that come in front out of town for the big show. This is mostly because my girlfriend comes with me for the show and she does so for her birthday.  My job is generous with time off but not generous enough to where I can take a vacation without her, nor would I want to.  My girlfriend has become a pretty big fan of WWE ( so much so that if she hears you say that she only watches because of me, it’ll be sure to tick her off) and I couldn’t imagine going to Wrestlemania without her.  Watching her marvel at the spectacle of Wrestlemania and jump up out of her seat for every big return or nearfall is half of the fun of it for me.  That said, I pick and choose my spots when it comes to going to shows with her.  We always attend Wrestlemania, Axxess and usually one other wrestling show of the weekend (which has become NXT, it was Raw two years ago and NXT has taken over that slot the last two years).  One thing I learned three years ago was that the hall of fame isn’t for her.  We went in 2013, and got dressed up for that matter, and after thoroughly enjoying Mick Foley, Trish Stratus and Booker T, my girlfriend looked at me and said, “ this is cool and all but when are the matches going to start.”  She couldn’t believe a show was dedicated simply to speeches and really struggled through those last few hours of, what was a great hall of fame class.  Thus, we skip the hall and it is a shame for a historian like myself who loves seeing the legends honored.  We also don’t go to any shows that are non WWE related which includes wrestlecon.  At some point I’m going to have to attend some of these shows as some of the lineups that Ring of Honor and Evolve, to name a few, put out seem to be really good and I’ve also been dying to check out one of JR’s shows .  With that said the WWE events we attend tend to get a little pricey so we agree to skip the other shows.  What we also do though is really engulf ourselves into the city that plays host to Wrestlemania and were finally able to do so with plenty of time this time around as we arrived Thursday and stayed until last Wednesday after Wrestlemania.  Thus over the next several posts I’m going to break down each one of the different wrestling events that we attended this past weekend and I encourage you to also do so in our comment section below or interact with us over on twitter @daily_spotlight or on my personal twitter @TommyOnTheSpot!  As always we can also be reached by Email at thedailysptolight2@gmail.com! Don’t worry I have spent the last few days really catchng up on the rest of the WWE content that rolled out during Wrestlemania weekend on the Network and I will get to all of those as the week rolls on!