October 16, 2004
Warrior & Sting headline NYC signing
By CHRIS SOKOL - SLAM! Wrestling
The Ultimate Warrior--wrestler turned inspirational speaker--has been through a lot in his lifetime. He is considered an enigma, unpredictable and in a sense, crazy. In reality, he is intelligent, thoughtful and very much together. October 30th will present an unique chance to see this man live. Not in a squared circle, not at a podium, but rather in an open environment.
Carolines on Broadway in New York City will be holding RingsideFest. Like a Fan Slam or Wrestling Reunion event, Ringside Fest will have autograph sessions, question and answer sessions and memorabilia for sale.
Jonathan Hall, owner of Ringside Collectibles, has arranged a mega line up, including The Ultimate Warrior, Sting, Ted DiBiase, and from the current generation, Smackdown's Number One announcer, Funaki. Prices for photos and autographs vary depending on the name.
This will be The Warrior's first appearance in New York in over 10 years. "I'll be doing a little singing, a little dancing," Warrior joked on the phone with SLAM! Wrestling. "We'll be doing an autograph session and then we will open it up for Q & A for about an hour."
He promised to deliver more than just a token appearance. "I am not going in at 10 and leaving right at 1, depending on the crowd, I'll stay as long as I have to."
Sting is looking forward to seeing his old tag team partner Jim Hellwig/The Ultimate Warrior again. "I haven't seen Jim in a long time. I'd like to see him," he told SLAM! Wrestling's Greg Oliver. "The truth of the matter is that unless we're out there and working together, we have our own lives and most everybody lives in different parts of the country so it's hard to kind of keep up."
Sting is getting out in the public eye, in part to promote his new movie, Sting: Moment of Truth and the book that goes along with it. "I've always been elusive over the years. I know that now I'm out there, partly because of this movie," he said. "The thing I'm doing in New York, I'm allowed to bring my movie and the book with me, so it's a platform possibly for me to get the movie out there. I'm trying to tell people what happened in my life and how Jesus Christ saved my life."
Hall, an avid figure collector since childhood, met the Warrior and they hit it off. "He went to school to learn how to expand a business. He was an entrepreneur. I like that in kids," Warrior said. The Ultimate Warrior will be available for autographs from 10 am to noon and will be doing the Q & A session for an hour afterwards.
"The first annual Ringside Fest promises to be one of the biggest events to hit NYC since Wrestlemania 20," predicted Hall.
"In all my years acting as an agent for autograph sessions and conventions, I must admit this one will go down in the record books," said agent Bobby Riedel, who represents DiBiase among others. "I believe this is just the beginning of new things to come from Ringside Collectibiles."
"I have been to autograph sessions as a fan when I was younger, and I have been a guest signer at others, what makes this event so special, is that these men coming together for a public event is unheard of," said Johnny Ova, protege of Dibiase. "Each one of them has contributed to this industry and has made a forever lasting dent."
"The Million Dollar Man" Ted Dibiase will be making a rare NYC appearance as well. Dibiase along with WWE Jakks Executives will be available for a Q & A, from 1 pm to 2 pm. WWE Jakks executives will be in the house to ask the fans what they would like to see in the future.
From 2 pm - 4 pm, Ted Dibiase will be joined by Funaki and the legendary Sting for a two-hour autograph session.
To cap off the day's festivites, from 4 pm - 5 pm, Sting will be doing a Q & A session.
An exclusive to the show will be a "Rowdy" Roddy Piper figure that comes complete with a kilt and Hotrod T-shirt.
All the Q & A sessions will be hosted by the Ringside Collectibles and Jakks Pacific Classic Superstar Online Video Hosts, Bobby Reidel and Indy phenom, Johnny Ova.
For more information, go to www.ringsidefest.com. Carolines on Broadway is located at 1626 Broadway, between 49th St. & 50th St.
Chris Sokol is based in Long Island, NY.