Thursday, July 4, 2013
This August, It's Nothin' But Mid-Atlantic Memories!
Back in the eras that many fans would deem the "glory years" of pro wrestling, an idea like Fanfest would have been unheard of. Wrestlers may have occasionally given an autograph, posed for a photo, and gotten to know some of the more diehard fans, but an actual event designed for fans to meet the wrestlers? It would've broken the secrecy of the wrestling business that those in it held so dear. In this case, changes in the industry have become our gain.
If you've never previously heard of Fanfest, I encourage you to click the "label" below this entry and brush up. The event is a four day extravaganza celebrating wrestling's past. Fans can meet dozens of wrestling's greats, get autographs and photos, attend the Hall of Heroes dinner and ceremony, and even see some live wrestling action. Magnum T.A., Tully Blanchard, Barry Windham, Mr. Wrestling II, Ivan Koloff, The Rock & Roll Express, The Midnight Express, Baron Von Raschke, Ken Patera, and Manny Fernandez are just some of the names already announced to appear.
My personal highlight of the weekend is the aforementioned Hall of Heroes dinner. Following a spectacular meal, everyone is treated to a Hall of Fame-style ceremony that often surpasses other similar events. Inductees already announced for this year are both The Rock & Roll Express and Midnight Express with Jim Cornette, as well as wrestler, trainer, promoter, publisher, and announcer Les Thatcher and former Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Champion Danny Miller. Cornette, who has been on a self-imposed exile from wrestling as of late, says that this will be his only 2013 appearance related to the business. In addition to being a featured guest and Hall of Heroes inductee, Cornette will host one of his legendary late-night question and answer sessions. Definitely not one for all ages, but nothing less than you would expect from "The Louisville Lip."
The other new addition to Fanfest's lineup of events is the filming of a new documentary appropriately titled "Mid-Atlantic Memories." The movie will capture the memories, thoughts, and feelings of the wrestlers, promoters, and fans who lived Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling. If you've been to a previous Fanfest in Charlotte, you have met many of those individuals who were there for the glory days of MACW and know that they absolutely loved it. Even those of us who weren't fortunate enough to have lived it have been drawn in by the magic.
This year, perhaps more than ever, may be the Fanfest in which we remember those who have passed just as often as those who are sitting next to us at the Hall of Heroes banquet or signing an autograph. With all of the remembrances for the film project we'll think of names like Wahoo McDaniel and Gene Anderson, both of whom didn't live to attend a Fanfest. We'll also fondly recall virtual staples of the weekend, such as Sir Oliver Humperdink and Jack Brisco, who have sadly since passed. In the end, those recollections will help us appreciate the present all the more. It will also remind us to thank those who will be present in Charlotte for the memories, while we're still able to do so.
Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Legends Fanfest Weekend will take place August 1-4 in Charlotte, NC. For more information you can check out NWALegends.com and plan to make new memories!