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   August 30, 2014



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Get yourself to Toronto's WrestleReunion
By TOMMY DREAMER - For SLAM! Wrestling


Stevie Richards and Tommy Dreamer at WrestleReunion on WrestleMania weekend in Miami. Photo by Christine Coons

In previous columns, I have written about my own experiences and the total enjoyment of the many wrestling conventions that I attend.

After having spent four days in Miami recently during WrestleMania weekend, I can truly say that my enjoyment only escalates with each passing event.

Fans can get that same kind of enjoyment at WrestleReunion this weekend in Toronto. Now, that may seem like a cheap plug for the event, but it isn't. (Go to WrestleReunion.com -- that is a cheap plug).

You see, the fans in Miami all came for WrestleMania, and they came from many different countries and walks of life. I personally discovered that even if they couldn't speak English, they all knew the three letters that made my career -- ECW. Unable to communicate in English, they would say and/or hold up their index fingers in an effort to tell me they thought I was No. 1. Others would press their hands to their hearts, showing their admiration for me or the product.

For others still, if it wasn't a picture or an autograph that they showed me, almost always something from my past, they would tell me a story that I truly enjoyed listening to, even if it was being told in broken English. Many simply wanted to say thanks.

As a person from within the industry, it truly left me feeling like my life's work hasn't gone unnoticed, that I have made an imprint on this business.

Sometimes I get down when I think about the fact that I am not currently wrestling for the only two companies on TV, but times like those in Miami remind me that no matter what happens, my fans will support me.

In fact, it is the unique bond that I have with my fans that keeps me going.

Even though I am a professional wrestler, I'm still a fan of this industry. As such, the fan in me sometimes gets the best of me and I get a little nervous seeing or meeting a wrestler I have never encountered before.

I may quickly morph into my cool Tommy Dreamer mode and introduce myself as fellow worker, but I always resort to being a kid and remind the wrestler I am talking to about how much I enjoyed their work and I thank them for opening a door for me.

WrestleReunion Toronto takes place from April 13 to 15 at the Doubletree Toronto Airport Hotel and features a wrestling show and brunch on Sunday, among other things. These events are typically very different from traditional wrestling shows and feature a large number of wrestling stars.

I will be at all the events and, as a fan, I feel you should be too, for a number of reasons.

First, the event is much cheaper than WWE Fan Axxess, not to mention the encounters are more personal. I am not knocking the WWE experience by any means, but the sheer volume of people who attend WWE's event make it impossible for WWE superstars to interact like many who I know would like to.

Second, you never know what happens in life. I myself am on a journey to attend a game at every Major League Baseball stadium. I will cross off the home of the Toronto Blue Jays during this trip. That will leave only five MLB parks to go.

I get tons of e-mails from fans telling me they would like to get a chance to see me live or watch me wrestle live. Well, you can do both. And I'm not the only big name who will be in attendance this weekend. Many great names will be at the show.

The recent passing of WWE Hall of Famer Chief Jay Strongbow made me realize that life is short. The Chief was the childhood hero of my arch-enemy, Raven. As many times as Raven and I would butt heads over the years, Raven would always mimmick the Chief's famous comeback war dance. It would make me laugh every single time.

When I heard about Chief's passing, I sent a text message to Raven offering my condolences. I had no idea if Raven even knew or got along with the Chief, but I knew he was his idol. Raven replied by telling me the Chief's death sucked, and that he was great. And he thanked me. We may have eternal hatred for each other, but we have a bond as wrestling fans that will never be broken.

This leads me to the final reason you should come to WrestleReunion. You can hang out with other wrestling fans and be a part of a unique fanbase and take in the atmosphere. For a brief moment in time, you can leave all your worries at home, forget about politics, the economy or anything else in your world.

You will get the opportunity to be surrounded by wrestling fans, the most loyal and passionate -- and greatest -- group of people I have ever met. Hope to see you this weekend.

Thanks for reading.

RELATED LINKS

  • Past SLAM! Wrestling WrestleReunion headlines and galleries
  • WrestleReunion website

    TOMMY DREAMER LINKS
  • Tommy Dreamer bio and story archive
  • Tommy Dreamer column archive
  • thetommydreamer.com

    Tommy Dreamer is a legendary and influential pro wrestler and a father and husband who has worked for World Wrestling Entertainment, Extreme Championship Wrestling and Total Nonstop Action. His column appears in the Kingston Whig-Standard and on SLAM! Wrestling. Follow him on Twitter @THETOMMYDREAMER and check out his website at thetommydreamer.com. He can be booked for live appearances through his website.