A look back at New England Fan Fest 2
After a successful debut in 2010, New England Fan Fest returned in 2011 with it`s 2nd annual Fan Fest. The location remained the same in East Providence, Rhode Island at the Brotherhood of the Holy ghost charity hall also known as the Brightridge club.
Wrestling legends came together from all points of life for this event. We tripled the amount of vendors from the prior year and bumped the super ticket lineup from 5 guests to 10 guests. Vendor guests included Jay Lethal, Shane Douglas, Big Time Wrestling (BTW), The Iron Sheik, Millenium wrestling federation (MWF), Paul Bearer, Balls Mahoney, Ox Baker, Matt Borne "The Original Doink The Clown", Showcase pro wrestling (SPW), Dangerous Danny Davis, Brutus the barber Beefcake, Legends of the Ring, Tammy "Sunny" Sytch, Wrestling Ink, Rosita, Carlos` Collectibles, Renee`s Collectibles, Bert Centeno, Ivy Fit, Barbie, Amber, Mistress Belmont, Taeler Hendrix, The Lake Sisters among others!
Fans came out from all over New England to come and meet their favorite wrestling personalities. The best part about an event like this is the fact that it`s a reunion of sorts for the wrestlers and you get to see everyone reuniting. In some cases they haven`t seen each other in years and the stories alone you get to hear are fantastic.
Super Ticket guests included Headshrinker Samu, Armando Estrada, Antonio Thomas, Kenny Dykstra, John Cena Sr, Tito Santana and Rick "The Model" Martel (The Strike Force reunion), Howard Finkel, Chief Jay Strongbow and Jameson Winger.
It was a true honor to have WWE Hall of Famer Chief Jay Strongbow on hand for this event. His brother and best friend also attended the event and were able to be there in support of The Chief. Chief was able to reunite with his longtime friend Tim White when he arrived in East Providence.
This was Howard Finkel`s first New England Fan Fest appearance and what a pleasure to work with such a legend. Howard would go on to become a staple at New England Fan Fest. Having Howard Finkel apart of the event really adds a level of professionalism to the event as a whole.
When the meet and greet portion of the day concluded, Howard Finkel then hosted a Q&A session for the fans. The panel included such guests as Armando Estrada, Antonio Thomas, Jameson Winger, Tito Santana, Headshrinker Samu, Rick Martel, Ann Lake, John Cena Sr and Chief Jay Strongbow.
Another special part of this event was having the very talented Jameson Winger on hand. We searched high and low for John Digiacomo (who plays the Jameson Winger character) and finally found him! This was his very first wrestling related event / public signing since leaving the WWF in the early 90s.
Jameson was a character you would see pop up in the WWF starting in the late 80s as apart of the Bobby Heenan Show (Which only lasted 4 episodes). Jameson would then be seen on other programming with the WWF including Prime Time Wrestling. He also managed the Bushwhackers for a short period of time and did so on PPV as part of the Royal Rumble. Jameson sure didn`t skip a beat as he entertained the fans all day.
The event culminated with the New England pro wrestling Hall of Fame Induction ceremony. Inductees for the Class of 2011 included Joel Davis, The Lake Sisters, Tony Roy, Superstar Richard Byrne, John Callahan, Tom Burke, Headshrinker Samu, "The Model" Rick Martel, Tito Santana, Ebony Blade, TJ Richter, Matt Storm, Kyle Storm, Chief Jay Strongbow, "The Flying Frenchman" Gene Machain, The O` Reilly Brothers, Johnny Vegas, Tony Santos Jr, Tony Santos Sr, Irish Terry Gunn, Referee Dave Dwinell and Georgiann Makropoulos.
Mr. Bob Backlund was an unannounced surprise as he was a guest speaker to talk about Chief Jay Strongbow, Rick Martel and Tito Santana as they were inducted into the Hall of Fame.
New England Fan Fest would then take 2012 off and return even larger in 2013! Thank you again to all the fans.