A look back at New England Fan Fest 4
New England Fan Fest 4 took Warwick, Rhode Island by storm as it invaded the beautiful Crowne plaza Hotel. This was the next location for our event and what a beautiful location and layout for this event.
Fans packed the hotel from all over the united states and even our super fan Shu from Japan! Shuhei Aoki was our Super Fan who flew in from Japan each and every year. His first year was 2010 as he was so very excited to meet the legendary Savoldi Family. He had such a great time that he came back in 2011. He became a great friend and a regular here at New England Fan Fest. He returned in 2013 for Fan Fest 3 and again in 2014 for Fan Fest 4. Sadly that would be his final Fan Fest as he passed away unexpectedly on the way home from Fan Fest 4. He had a heart attack on route home and had a heart condition that wasn`t even known until after the fact. We miss our friend Shu here at New England Fan Fest but certainly have the great memories forever.
(Above photo: New England Fan Fest founder Joseph Bruen with Super Fan Shuhei Aoki)
This is one of Shu`s final photos ever taken moments after the Hall of Fame ceremony let out.
The Fan Fest ran through out the day Saturday and featured pro wrestling stars from all different generations as always. Clutch City Productions out of Texas were on hand representing Scott Hall, Bobby "The Brain" Heenan and X Pac. Local talents were on hand such as Bert Centeno, Slyk Wagner Brown, Ramona Romano, Robbie the Giant, JT Dunn, "The Devil`s Reject" Brandon Webb, Scotty Slade, "The Sure Thing" Mark Shurman, Alex Payne, The stars of CHIKARA WRESTLING, Mike Bennett, Cam Zagami among many others. It was a great opportunity to not only meet the legends of pro wrestling but those who are up and coming as well!
Other vendor companies were on hand such as K&S Wrestle Fest, Fan for Life Wrestling, Off the Mark show, M&J Collectibles featuring such talents as Tugboat / Typhoon, The Demolition Ax and Smash, Sharkboy, Zach Gowen, The Legendary Ox Baker, Tony Garea and Pete Gas (Mean Street Posse).
Several talents were also on hand representing themselves such as Chris Hero, The Nasty Boys (Jerry Saggs & Brian Knobbs), "The Duke of Dorchester" Pete Doherty, Daffney, Eddie Edwards, Matt Taven, Former ECW star Jason Knight, Justin Credible, JJ Dillon, Virgil, Referee Billy Silverman, Joel Gertner, Referee Paul Richard, The ECW Super Destroyers, "Pretty" Paul Roma, Wrestling Historian Sheldon Goldberg and Howard Finkel.
Rivalry Championship Wrestling was on hand with Nicole Bass, Superfly Jimmy Snuka, Evan Ginzburg and Big Poppa Pump Scott Steiner. Lucky 13 promotions was on hand with Simon Dean / Nova, Kenny Dykstra and The Hurricane. Sinners & Saints Tattoo were on hand with Dangerous Danny Davis.
Other great vendors on hand included KNS Collectibles, Center Ring Talk show, UFO Wrestling, Carlos` Collectibles, Showcase Pro Wrestling among many others. Erik Boulay represented the Legendary Dory Funk Jr. and Hollywood Heather.
Dave Cole ART was also on hand for this event as was AMMO Fight League along with their models Alena Corrao and Dana Maxim.
CES was also on hand with some of their top MMA stars and even former New England Patriots Cheerleaders were there.
Super Ticket guests at the event included The Lovely Maria Kanellis, The Godwinns (Dennis Knight & Mark Canterbury), The Heart Throbs (Antonio Thomas & Romeo Roselli), Scott "Flash" Norton, Shelly Martinez, Taeler Hendrix, Kristal Marshall, Referee Jimmy Korderas, Mario Mancini, Maxine, Clarence Mason, 2004 Tough Enough Winner Daniel Puder, Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart, Diana Hart Smith, Greg "The Hammer" Valentine, John Cena Sr, Big Bully Busick, Jose Luis Rivera, Matt Striker, Joey Styles, Debra Marshall, Bushwhacker Luke, "The Living Legend" Larry Zbyszko,Tito Santana and Harley Race!!
With one of the largest Super Ticket lineups around, fans were certainly excited to meet some of their favorite stars. There were also multiple Q&A sessions through out the day including a panel of Referees known as "REFlection" which featured Paul Richard, Jimmy Korderas, Billy Silverman and Dangerous Danny Davis, hosted by announcer Rich Palladino.
The 2nd Q&A session was hosted by Howard Finkel and featured several of the Super Ticket guests including Maria Kanellis, Mario Mancini, Daniel Puder, Harley Race, Tito Santana, Diana Hart Smith, Greg Valentine and Matt Striker.
This was unfortunately the final Fan Fest for the legendary Ox Baker. He was a staple each and every year at New England Fan Fest but fell ill and passed away shortly after this event. Ox will always be remembered for bringing a special light to the event with that huge voice and personality of his.
The whole weekend kicked off with a V.I.P. dinner open to a very limited amount of fans. The dinner located in a private room at the Crowne plaza was catered buffet style and had quite the selection. Fans had the opportunity to have dinner with some of their favorite wrestling stars who sat at each table with them!
Guests at the V.I.P. dinner included Clarence Mason, Daniel Puder, Maria Kanellis & Mike Bennett, Mario Mancini, Jose Luis Rivera, Big Bully Busick, Scott Norton, Larry Zbyszko, Greg Valentine, Bushwhacker Luke, Jim Niedhart, Diana Hart Smith, Announcer Rich Palladino, Wrestling Historian Sheldon Goldberg, Maxine, Kristal Marshall, The Godwinns, Hollywood Heather, Jimmy Korderas, Debra Marshall and Matt Striker. The dinner also included some surprise appearances by Dory Funk Jr. and Scott Hall!
Friday evening was a who`s who at the hotel bar and a great reunion for many. It was nice to see everyone together having a great time.
We then had some current WWE Superstars show up which was a great surprise for the fans. Curtis Axel, Fandango, Alicia Fox and Bad News Barrett took photos with the fans in the hotel lobby to cap off a great Friday evening.
There were special deluxe photo ops through out the weekend including one with John Cena Sr. along with his son`s original US Championship title. Maria Kanellis and Kristal Marshall took part in the Bikini photo ops.
The weekend culminated with the Class of 2014 New England pro wrestling Hall of Fame Induction ceremony. Inductees included Luis Ortiz, Studly Steve Stallion, Kevin Karizma, Ron Zombie, The Mercenary, Referee Billy Silverman, Mario Mancini, Jose Luis Rivera, Curtis Slamdawg, The late British Bulldog Davey boy Smith, The late Matt "Doink the Clown" Borne, Pat Piper, Draven, Stacey Lopes, Jason Rumble, Greg "The Hammer" Valentine and Harley Race.
Truly a weekend that won`t be forgotten!!