Sunday, August 7, 2011

NWA Legends Fanfest Recap

SAW contributor, Norko and myself went to our first wrestling convention on Saturday.  It was NWA Legends Fanfest: The Last Battle of Atlanta at the Airport Marriott.

Since it was local South Atlanta Wrestling had to make an appearance.  Norko may have more to add, but I know that I enjoyed it.  Here are some highlights.

First off, it was cool just being surrounded by all the legends there.  There were also a couple of current stars in attendance.  As we walked away from the table where we purchased our tickets, we passed a merchandise table and former NWA Champion, Colt Cabana was sitting there.  We walked into the main room and immediately to our left was DDP, Diamond Dallas Page with Ole Anderson and Stan "The Lariat" Hansen directly in front of us.  As we circulated the room we quickly ran into Haku/Meng, Al Snow (bigger in person than you would think), Paul Bearer, Mr. Wrestling II, Virgil/Vincent (Mike Jones), "Million Dollar Man" Ted Dibiase, "That Sonofabitch" Tully Blanchard (as Dusty Rhodes might say), Tatanka and Raven.  There were more and I will post a comprehensive list, but those were the ones I kind of remember seeing on our first pass through the room.

The merchandise that was available was absolutely incredible.  Top Rope Belts had some of their work on display and to say they made some beautiful belts was an understatement.  The University of Florida Gators National Title belt was classic looking.  Speaking of classic, there was a ton of old wrestling magazines, posters, DVDs, books, figures, photos, etc. on display as well.  We met Scott Teal at his Crowbar Press booth.  Mr. Teal came across as a really great guy and he spoke to us a bit about some of the books he has written or co-written such as Ole Anderson's and one on Bruiser Brody.  Dave Millican Belts had some replicas and I assume some actual belts and they were also absolutely beautiful.

Here's the list of individuals from the industry that we saw at the Fanfest:

  • "Dirty" Dick Slater
  • Austin Idol
  • Raven
  • DDP
  • Jim Neidhart
  • Jimmy "Mouth of the South" Hart
  • Ranger Ross
  • Manny Fernandez
  • Debra Marshall (ex-wife of Steve McMichael and Steve Austin)
  • Mr. Wrestling II
  • Nick Bockwinkel
  • JJ Dillon
  • Tully Blanchard
  • Tommy "Wildfire" Rich
  • Doug Somers
  • Barry Darsow (Demolition Smash among others)
  • Haku/Meng
  • "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff
  • RVD
  • Stan "The Lariat" Hansen
  • Ole Anderson
  • Baby Doll
  • Harley Race
  • Greg Valentine
  • Tony Atlas
  • Virgil/Vincent
  • Jerry "The King" Lawler
  • "Superstar" Bill Dundee
  • Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson, The Rock N Roll Express
There were a couple of other guys that are more active than the legends above:
  • Johnny Swinger
  • Colt cabana
  • ROH Heavyweight Champion, Davey Richards (really short)
  • Reid Flair
  • "Scrap Iron" Adam Pearce (who doesn't look like The Worst in street clothes, ring gear is awful though)
  • Luke Gallows
  • Shatter
  • Jimmy Rave
  • Manager Jeff G. Bailey (who immediately recognized Norko)
I have a couple more stories I will cover in posts later this week such as my run-in with Virgil and seeing Tommy Rich and Dick Slater. 

Head over to WrestlingFigs.com and Slam! Wrestling for some great pictures of the event.

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