Every year, I head to Charlotte, North Carolina to attend the Mid-Atlantic Legends Fanfest. Today, I received an email from a longtime Elite subscriber who asked me why I still go after all these years - there are tons of conventions, after all, and I've been there before, a lot of times. Why is it still important?
It was an interesting question and for a second, It caught my attention and made me think. Then, it made me smile.
The reality is that that weekend allows me, someone who writes about pro wrestling for a living full-time, to take a step backwards and recharge the batteries and provide myself with a reminder of what I first loved about this crazy genre and what is it that made it so unique and what, on it's best days, pro wrestling still can represent.
Charlotte, North Carolina is known for its rich wrestling history and the centerpiece of that history was The Crockett family as much as it was Ric Flair and The Four Horsement. There are entire generations of not just fans, but families who knew that when 6:05 PM arrived on Saturdays, the weekly tradition was to begin anew.
While nothing withstands Father Time forever, not even great pro wrestling companies, fans who lived through the highs and lows of the Carolina wrestling scene will always have their memories of an era they hold near and dear to their heart. Those memories will rejuvenate back to forefront and make them smile, as they made me smile today, when next month's NWA Legends Fanfest promoted by Greg Price, returns yet again to the Queen City.
While many baseball and entertainment conventions charge $10-$100 a signature based upon the level of celebrity, the NWA Legends Fanest provides you with a weekend of hobnobbing with your old favorites with a VIP price of $109, which gets you into the convention for the weekend, plus a ridiculous, mind-blowing amount of special events including Jim Ross' One Man Show, a live Jim Cornette Experience podcast, Q&As with Jimmy Garvin, Austin Idol, Road Warrior Animal and more.
There are tons of stars appearing over the course of the weekend. There is no hype needed when the likes of Magnum TA, Ole Anderson, Jimmy Valiant, The Midnight Express, Jim Cornette, Bob Caudle and other stars from the 1970s and 1980s are assembled in one place. For a complete lineup of those appearing, visit www.NWALegends.com.
The highlight of the weekend for me (for an additional $75 price) will be the latest "Hall of Heroes" induction banquet dinner featuring Shane Helms as the host with Magnum TA inducting the late Dusty Rhodes, plus The Road Warriors and Paul Ellering, Baby Doll, Jimmy Valiant, and the Mid-Atlantic Gateway's Dick Bourne and David Chappell all being inducted.
There will also be a Sunday morning Roast of Ole Anderson hosted by Jim Ross as well as two live events, including a women's wrestling event promoted by Queens of Combat. All of that stuff is great, plus there are autograph and photo sessions for tons of the talents appearing.
But to me, the best part of the weekend is getting the chance to immerse yourself in a world that will only exist for a few days - one where fans still wish the NWA champion meant that the best wrestler in the world was in town and that Saturday nights meant the Charlotte Coliseum was booming with the best fighters in the world going against each other. It's a community that only exists, these days, one a year and it's one that celebrates what was once great about the good old days....because for a few days, while none of these grizzled veterans are taking chairshots, the good old days to exist again, sort of, for a weekend.
What's gone is gone and that's sad. Some still wish for the old days to return, but the truth is, that time is never coming back. Every now and then, however, you do get a chance to turn the clock back for a little bit, reflect, and enjoy a taste of what first made you become enamored with this unique business, rejuvenating your love in the process. Next month's NWA Legends convention is probably the best shining example of that chance....because each year it exists, the community that has grown from the Fanfest reunions gets a little stronger and feels even more like home.
Just like 6:05 Saturday nights used to...and that's why I'm heading back to Charlotte, yet again....and why you should really think about going, too. Because it feels like home.
For more on the NWA Legends Fanfest in Charlotte, NC, visit www.NWALegends.com.
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