"The Nature Boy" Ric Flair is one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time. Thanks to Days of the Dead, I have had the pleasure of meeting him several times and actually spending some time with him.
Days of the Dead main man Adolfo Dorta gets credit for putting together a fantastic con that first started in July of 2011 in Indianapolis. It currently also runs in Chicago, Atlanta, Louisville and Charlotte (which is Flair country, of course). Adolfo also get some backlash for having wrestlers at DotD.
I might not be totally objective, but any criticism for bringing in wrestlers is completely unfair. Despite my potential bias, I can also point to the huge lines that the wrestlers draw.
One of the great things about DotD is that they have remained true to their roots. Despite growing into a big series of yearly events, Adolfo always has room for me as part of the press, when he could just take the bigger media outlets.
So how does bringing in wrestlers to a horror con stay true to the roots? DotD is all about the fans. When we interviewed Adolfo for HeroTV, he talked about video recording the line when Shawn Michaels was at an event. The video lasted eight minutes. Adolfo wouldn't bring in wrestlers if the DotD crowd didn't want them. Unfortunately, a few grouches can be a vocal bunch. The bottom line is the wrestlers do not take away anything from the con for those who don't like them, but they add a lot for those of us who welcome them, including me.
Meeting GFlair at DotD was a great experience. I always arrive early, when the crowds are just forming. I was lucky enough to talk to Flair for several minutes before it got too crowded. The man is highly entertaining. He was larger than life, but he was also very personable. I can guarantee that the several hundred fans who met him were very satisfied.
The next DotD will be in Louisville and I am sure there will be several wrestlers on the celebrity list. There will also be a few among the fans, perhaps including Mike Bucci (aka Nova, Dimon Dean etc).
You can watch our interview with Adolfo at HeroTV 2018: Episode 8 Days of the Dead. Also, check out DaysoftheDead.com for all of the news, updates and more for this great convention.
Ric Flair and me in Schaumburg, IL-November 2016.