HomeInterviewsWrestlecon 2024: An Inside Look at Wrestling's Biggest Fan Convention

Wrestlecon 2024: An Inside Look at Wrestling’s Biggest Fan Convention

Wrestlemania week is one of the great weeks for fans of professional wrestling. It’s not just because WWE is bringing their tentpole show to town. No, it’s because this is a literal international gathering of wrestlers and fans alike. This is the week when promotions across the world come together in a city (this year, Philadelphia) to put on dream cards featuring some of the most exciting and most outside the box matches you can imagine.

It’s also the week when you can experience Wrestlecon. In 2013, when WWE held their first Wrestlemania at MetLife Stadium, my good friend (and good brother) Kenny Pete and I made the sojourn to the Meadowlands Expo Center in Secaucus, NJ to attend WrestleCon. Now, in truth we were there to watch Chikara because Jushin “The Thunder” Liger was going to be wrestling against the team of Johnny Gargano and Chuck Taylor.

However, what we didn’t realize was that when we walked in were surrounded by a literal sea of pro wrestling stars of today and yesterday. Oh hey, no biggie that’s Hulk Hogan who just walked by. Oh excuse me Francine, Tommy Dreamer and The Blue Meanie didn’t mean to bump your table. Oh, is that Aces & Eights brothering it up over there? Oh man, did some dude just say something stupid to Kevin Nash? Don’t worry he shut that down real quick.

WrestleCon is back in the Northeast this year. It will take place at April 4-7 at the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown located 201 N 17th St, Philadelphia. This year’s event will feature Ronda Rousey, a live Q&A with Sting, and so much more. This will also be the first media has been allowed on premise at Wrestlecon, which is a pretty historic (and we’re biased) rad thing to be happening. Check out this handy cheatsheet for the entire weekend. Tickets for Wrestlecon can be purchased here.

To give us the inside scoop on not only what’s happening at WrestleCon this year we turned to one of our own — Senior Wrestling Writer Kimmy Sokol. Besides writing about all things wrestling for us, Kimmy is a staple in the wrestling convention scene — working with some of the biggest names to ever step into the ring. So, we figure, much like we have spoken with staff members about their bands, supported their shows/events, we wanted to shine a light on the unique world that one of our own is in — a world very few of us know little about.

Besides being the senior wrestling writer over here on Pop Break, you work in the world of wrestling conventions and promotions. Talk about how you got involved in this world.

I have been going to conventions for over 11 years. The first one I ever went to was October of 2011 and because I didn’t watch WWE at that time I didn’t know a lot of the wrestlers I was meeting like Lita, X-Pac, George Steele and others.

After that we kept going to two cons a year, Big Event (March and November) and Legends of the Ring (June and October). Once you go to conventions consecutively you start to become friends with certain promoters. I quickly became friends with Richie Degregorio (RDP Promotions) and Joe Bellini (Warriors of Wrestling).

In June of 2018, right before my senior year of college Richie asked me if I would be interested in working Wrestlecon with him in 2019 when it was coming to New York. I quickly said yes, but to work the biggest convention of the year you need practice. So I worked smaller indie shows and conventions that led up to Wrestlecon in 2019. I worked with RDP Promotions until 2021 and I also worked a little with Damage 365 Promotions (Kevin Nasta) right before the pandemic. By the beginning of 2022 I had a lot of offers from different vendors and promoters and I knew I had to take that jump to see what that world lead to.

In 2022-2023 I was the Forbidden Door of the convention world working with anyone and everyone. At Wrestlecon last year I got the opportunity to work with Gilbert Boyas (Prime Time Appearances) which was life changing because now I was given the opportunity to be an agent representative at these conventions rather than a handler. He took me a lot more seriously then a lot of other people did in the convention world and every convention I’ve worked this year so far has been under the Prime Time Appearances banner.

Talk about what goes into what you do at these shows — most of us have been to a con or a meet and greet, but most of us don’t really know how things run. Tell us about your job, and the day of a convention.

This honestly has changed so much over the last two years. When I first started in 2018 it was just showing up taking pictures and collecting money. Now it is much more than that. It’s making sure my talent gets from the airport to the hotel to the convention safely, making sure that certain deals are upheld, making sure I have photos, markers, hand sanitizer, and everything I need to make sure the experience runs smoothly.

At times it’s stressful and thankfully because of Gilbert, Louis Illas (Ultimate Starz Promotions), Norman Alvarado (Ultimate Starz Promotions) and Steve Kaye (Paragon Talent) they help make reassure me I’m doing everything right and are always there when I need it. I often get pulled to do things at the last second whether it’s a private signing or helping someone break down their equipment, or talent just wanting to talk to me after a busy day. It’s truly never a dull at the office.

One of the reasons we’re talking about this, and not the latest episode of Dynamite or RAW is because Wrestlemania season is here. And every year, Wrestlecon, a massive non-WWE convention featuring stars from today and yesteryear, happens in the same city as Mania. For those new to WrestleCon — can you give us a low down of what WrestleCon is and why it’s so special?

Wrestlecon is the biggest convention of the year during the biggest week of the wrestling year. The crazy part about it is that I went to the first one as a fan back in 2013 and now I’m working my fourth one. For starters compared to 2013 the show is now three days instead of two.

There is a record setting amount of talent at this year’s show from WWE Hall of Famers, to AEW wrestlers, Joshi Talent, ECW Legends and more! For the first time ever Wrestlecon is allowing media into the convention and there was also a record number of ticket sales for this show as well. Wrestlecon is a staple of Wrestlemania week and it has been for over a decade there are so many opportunities to meet so many different talent and interact with so many different fans, it’s one of those things where it’s like how do you not go to Wrestlecon?

You are currently working with Prime Time Appearances — who are you guys bringing to Wrestlecon this year?

Who are we not bringing to Wrestlecon (laughs). First off we have Sting who is the Friday headliner at Wrestlecon right after his retirement match earlier in the month. We also have Trish Stratus, Deonna Purrazzo, Lita, DDP (who is celebrating his birthday at Wrestlecon Friday), Anna Jay, Nic Nemeth who is making his Wrestlecon debut and Emmy Award-winning actor Paul Walter Hauser.

Besides stopping by your tables at WrestleCon, what are some cool things fans can participate in? I know this year is way more fan-driven.

If you bought the SuperFan there are exclusive fan interactions just for you. All Super Fan ticket holders are able to chose two exclusive experiences which includes:

  • Thursday Night: Q&A with Sting [Exclusive Event. Click here for Tickets].
  • Friday Afternoon: Extreme Buffet Luncheon with ECW legends
  • Saturday Morning: A Mania Moments Breakfast where wrestlers share their favorite Wrestlemania moments.
  • Exclusive Watch Parties: On both nights of Wrestlemania.
  • Sunday Morning: Breakfast buffet with wrestlers who have held championship gold.

If you want the SuperFan experience, you need to purchase tickets here.

Besides the SuperFan experience Wrestlecon this year also had a contest where you can design a Wrestlecon logo and the two winners will have their logo featured in the Wrestlecon Merch Store on a turnbuckle and a shirt. Besides all of that a lot of my friends went all out in booking talent this year and being able to help my friends with that and be a little bit more behind the scenes was really cool. The fans are in for a great show this year.

Wrestlecon also has a full wrestling show as well dubbed The Mark Hitchock Memoral Supershow. This will take place at The 2300 Arena (fka The ECW Arena).

One of my favorite things about the Super Show is the amount of talent from all different companies coming together to put on a great show. Some would say it can be considered a Forbidden Door. The CMLL vs Dragon Gate 10 man tag should be phenomenal as well as RVD vs Speedball Mike Bailey plus the Philadelphia Street Fight between Paul Walter Hauser and Sami Callihan.

Tickets for the Supershow can be purchased here.

This is not your first Mania Weekend rodeo at WrestleCon — can you tell us some of your favorite moments from WC’s you’ve been to?

There are so many. The Wrestlecon in 2019 will always have a special place in my heart because that was the first big convention I ever worked and it led me to the success I have now.

When I was younger I always looked at the WWE Travel Packages hoping one day I would be able to travel to the biggest show of the year and luckily the last two years I was able to do that. I loved 2022 Wrestlecon it was one of the first big conventions after the pandemic and seeing all of us together doing what we love was awesome.

Last year I got to work with Britt Baker and it’s crazy to see that when I first worked with her in 2018 that five years later we were in California working together again and she was so happy to have me there. Every Wrestlecon is so special for me because I honestly look at it as our own version of Wrestlemania and being able to be apart of the madness and stress of it all it’s crazy but I honestly wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Finally, what does Prime Time Appearances have on the horizon, for post-Wrestlecon.

Prime Time Appearances is all over the place. We just don’t have wrestlers as our clients we have actors and actresses as well. Keep looking on our socials to see where we are going to be every weekend. I personally have nothing booked yet after Wrestlecon, but I know that is quickly going to change. Stay tuned!

Wrestlecon is April 4-7, click here for tickets.

Bill Bodkin
Bill Bodkinhttps://thepopbreak.com
Bill Bodkin is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break, and most importantly a husband, and father. Ol' Graybeard writes way too much about wrestling, jam bands, Asbury Park music, HBO shows, and can often be seen under his season DJ alias, DJ Father Christmas. He is the co-host of the Socially Distanced Podcast (w/Al Mannarino) which drops weekly on Apple, Google, Anchor & Spotify. He is the co-host of the monthly podcasts -- Anchored in Asbury, TV Break and Bill vs. The MCU.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Recent

Stay Connected