Saturday, May 7, 2011

At Legends of the Ring

I have featured Josh Watko several times on this site.  Josh is a fan of wrestling and runs his own site, JW's Wrestling Memorabilia, which is full of all sorts of wrestling fun.  Josh is my kind of wrestling fan.  He is knowledgeable and respectful, without being over-the-top.  He enjoys it and he likes writing and talking about it...and he knows his stuff.
This weekend, Josh is attending the Legends of the Ring event in Monroe, NJ.  As the East Coast Director of Wrestling for Johngy's Beat, Josh will be sending a report on this year's event.  At the top of Jason's 'want list" are Dusty Rhodes and Chyna (Joanie Laurer).  I look forward to his report, but for now I have a short Q and A with Josh.

Q-Why do you like wrestling?
JW-I guess it's just in my blood to be a wrestling fan. Growing up in Pittsburgh, my parents both watched Studio Wrestling with Bruno Sammartino and announcer Bill Cardille. I was learning to talk just as the "Rock n Wrestling" era was taking off and there is audio tape of me saying "Junkyard Dog" and "King Kong Bundy" at a young age. The marketing machine of that era gave me great items to collect and it took off from there.

Q-Which (active or retired) wrestler haven't you met but would most like to meet?
JW-I'd have to say Hulk Hogan. He's eluded me so far and it just feels like he's the one left that I really need to meet at least once. Other than him, I'd have to go with women's star Leilani Kai who is finally starting to hit the convention scene. I'm a big fan of classic women's wrestling and my fandom is something that developed after meeting some of the ladies. It seems to me that most of them adjust better to "life after wrestling" than their male counterparts. When they realize that fans are out there wanting to meet them and still enjoying their career work, it's a big surprise for them.

Q-Which wrestler whom you have met was the most pleasant surprise?
JW-This one, without a doubt, goes to Ole Anderson. Ole has quite the reputation out there but has been nothing but fan friendly every time I've met him. He has become a staple of the NWA Fanfests by holding court in the lobby telling stories, posing for photos, and signing autographs. He's like a gruff old uncle that, deep down, really cares about his family. He's not even in the best of health but continues to come in for Fanfest. When he's gone, a huge void will be left just like that left by the death of Oliver Humperdink earlier this year.

Below is a picture of Josh meeting two wrestling legends, Terry Funk and Mick Foley at Legends of the Ring IX.  I wonder if Josh was trying to talk them into reforming a tag team, with himself as their manager.
Josh is a great guy with a cool site.  Meeting people like Josh is one of the real pleasures of running this site.
Terry Funk, Josh and Mick Foley in Monroe, NJ-May 2008.

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