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Legends gather in New Jersey
By CHRIS SOKOL - SLAM! Wrestling


Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart signs for a fan.
-photo by Chris Sokol

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ -- A legends-filled week in the world of wrestling was capped off Saturday with Legends of the Ring: The Gathering. Fans traveled far and wide to meet and get an autograph from their favorite stars at East Brunswick, NJ's Ramada Inn.

The first session, which started in the morning, featured One Man Gang/Akeem, Koko B. Ware, Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart, and Tito Santana. Guests that came in on their own at this time included Chris Candido, Sunny, King Kong Bundy and Road Warrior Animal.

"It's a great event. I'm happy to be here signing some of these pictures, photos, and posters for the fans. They never get to see me, and this is a way to pay them back a bit for supporting me in wrestling," The One Man Gang told SLAM! Wrestling.

As you moved down the line of promoter Terence Brennan's event, fans were greeted by "The Birdman" Koko B. Ware, who was very excited to be a part of the event, "It's good to be here and to see all the legends I haven't seen in a long long time, and I'm just looking forward to meeting all of my fans."

As customers stood in line, waiting to make their way past each star, a very animated and entertaining voice was heard from across the room -- it was TNA star Chris Candido, who proceeded to explain how he was marking out at the event. "What's better than rolling out of bed, you drive a half hour away and you sit next to King Kong Bundy? You look across the room and you see the always handsome and talented One Man Gang, Koko B. Ware in his very nice white jacket with the championship belt I didn't know he held, Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart with sunglasses on on the inside, Tito Santana looking as only as the El Matador can look, Sabu just wanders in the room for the hell of it, his beautiful wife is here taking pictures. It just doesn't get any better than this."

Reaching the end of the line, fans came in contact with the lovely Tammy Sytch (Sunny), who was very excited to see some of co-workers from the old WWE. "I am just having a great time seeing all of my old my friends, Koko B. Ware, Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart ... who I haven't seen in years, and Road Warrior Animal. It's just a great time."

After the first autograph sessions, fans visted a host of vendors who were on hand selling videos, DVDs, posters, magazines and figures. After it was announced that the Q & A session would be starting, fans filed into a room where they were greeted by Jake "The Snake" Roberts, Marty Jannetty, Missing Link, Kamala, Koko B. Ware, Santana and One Man Gang, as well as the host for the Q & A, Eric Simms from ESS Promotions.

A fan asked the One Man Gang about his Akeem gimmick, and Gang responded with a laugh, "Give me a blue suit and I'll dance like a fool." The session ran very smoothly, and before anyone knew it, it was time for the second autograph session, featuring Roberts, The Link, Kamala, Sabu, and Jannetty. Balls Mahoney and The Soul Brothers were in the other room signing autographs as well.

The second session was even more packed than the first, with what seemed like the entire population of East Brunswick, NJ waiting in line to receive their chance to rub shoulders with the legends. Roberts, who was on WWE Raw this past Monday, was a bit under the weather, but he didn't let the fans down, making his appearance as scheduled. "I've got the flu, feel like crap, I still came, had a great time. All the folks that came here had a great time, and that's all that matters."

The last man the fans saw on the way out was one half of The Rockers, Marty Jannetty, who appeared in a Rockers reunion on Monday's Raw broadcast, then on Thursday's Smackdown! show. True to his rocking past, Marty turned it on for SLAM! Wrestling: "MJ in the house, rocking and rolling, strutting and strolling, from Austin to Boston, Maine to Spain, and all the places in between, taking care of business and having good times."

Around 4 p.m., the convention shut down. Fans were left with memories that would last a lifetime, while wrestlers re-united after being separated for years. All in all the convention was very well run and very organized. Unlike other conventions where lines are all over the place, this convention had one straight line, cut off by ropes to prevent any cutting in line or potential problems. Everything ran smoothly and it was a nice environment for wrestlers and fans alike.


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    Chris Sokol is from Long Island, NY, and has covered other conventions in the past. With a few more conventions lined up, check SLAM! Wrestling for more interviews with the stars of yesteryear.