As Yogi Berra once said, “It ain't over till it's over.”
Longtime Fanfest followers probably thought the same thing when promoter Greg Price announced that the 2014 Fanfest would be his last.
Price, however, relented to tremendous fan sentiment and scheduled one final swan song to be held July 30-Aug. 2 at the event's familiar Charlotte location.
While some fans remain skeptical of an actual finish to Fanfest, it's a fact that all good things must come to an end, and the popular annual gathering is no exception.
First of all, while it's a labor of love for Price, it's also an enormous year-round undertaking that requires significant resources in time and money. Price has been promoting the event since 2004, and not all of them have been financial successes.
But because of his lifelong love for the profession — particularly the past generations of performers who are honored as the highlight of the event — Price has been unwavering in his passion to keep the Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Legends Fanfest alive.
Price was firmly committed to last year's event being the last.
“I knew there was a couple chances that I'd do it again,” he joked after last year's edition. “One, if I hit the Powerball. Or two, if somebody just came up and wanted to give me some money. Realistically I knew neither one of those were going to happen.”
But the tremendous response from fans and talent alike, along with an opportunity to market his much-anticipated “Mid-Atlantic Memories” documentary, made him reconsider.
There's a time element for everything, though, and it's not exactly a secret that many of those legendary stars from the past have already been honored while others are no longer with us. One of the major reasons Price started Fanfest was to pay tribute to those legends, and he has done so in exemplary fashion over the past decade.
So for those who say they'll wait until next year to catch Fanfest, they might be waiting for a long time. Price says this will be it for the event, and there's reason to believe him this time, no matter how many fans might think otherwise.
That's not to say Price will disassociate himself from the profession he so dearly loves. He grew up a fan and spent most of his adult life as a promoter. It's in his blood. He won't go away quietly.
But don't be surprised if Price, somewhere down the line and possibly in another location, comes up with another concept like he did more than a decade ago.
Maybe he'll hit the Powerball. Or maybe someone will give him some money.
Or just maybe Yogi was right. Maybe it really “ain't over till it's over.”
WWE Hall of Fame announcer Jim Ross will narrate the fan-funded “Mid-Atlantic Memories” documentary and host the film's world premiere on opening night (July 30) at Fanfest.
The film is a feature-length documentary that aims to capture the sights, sounds and feel of one of wrestling's most revered territories and eras.
In addition to interviews with many of the legends, the film will spotlight some of the old venues that served as homes to the promotion's weekly wrestling shows, along with the announcers who added narration to the stories being told in the ring.
“Jim Ross' involvement in this project really puts our film over the top,” said producer John Andosca. “His expertise on the wrestling business is second to none, and the insight and perspective he has shared on film for us gives this documentary an incredible level of credibility.”
“If you're a fan of pro wrestling, you have to be a fan of the Mid-Atlantic territory,” said Ross. “Like so many other great territories, they laid the bedrock for the foundation of the genre as we know it today. This film is going to be so unique.”
Fanfest also will feature “Ringside with Jim Ross,” a two-hour stage show, following the film's premiere. The show marks Ross' first in the Southeast.
For more information on Fanfest Weekend activities, contact NWALegends@aol.com.
The Undertaker and Sting are scheduled to take part in WWE's Summer Slam pay-per-view on Aug. 23 in Brooklyn.
Neither have worked since Wrestlemania 31 in Santa Clara, Calif., where Taker defeated Bray Wyatt and Sting lost to Triple H in his WWE debut.
Taker will return to television Monday night on Raw in Kansas City to begin a build for Summer Slam.
His last Summer Slam appearance was in 2008.