Icons Of Wrestling: December 18, 2021

Gail Kim taking a selfie of us at the end of the day.

Yesterday, I attended the Icons of Wrestling convention here in Philadelphia at the ECW Arena (now the 2300 Arena), followed by Battleground Championship Wrestling at night. Both events were a blast! Read on for my thoughts on this fun day and who I met.

Back in September, I went to Icons of Wrestling, mainly to meet Jeff Jarrett and catch up with my friend Diamond Dallas Page. This time, I primarily went to meet Gail Kim for the first time.

I interviewed Gail Kim for the book I’m writing about the history of TNA/IMPACT Wrestling. She was a fabulous interview and extremely generous with her time, talking to me over the span of two days. At Icons of Wrestling, Gail was just as generous with her time.

I introduced myself to Gail, she gave me a hug, and we chatted for a bit. We also took a few photos. Then she told me to come back around later on so we could talk for a while. That’s what I did. When I returned, she got me a chair, and I sat next to her for probably an hour or so. We talked and laughed in between Gail signing autographs and taking photos with fans. We discussed my book, IMPACT Wrestling, and life in general. At the end, when Gail was about to leave, she took a selfie of us, gave me a hug, and we wished each other a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. It was wonderful getting so much quality time with Gail, especially considering this is the first time we ever met in real life.

With Kevin Nash.

Of the 300+ people I interviewed for my IMPACT Wrestling book, Kevin Nash is one of my favorites! It was a pleasure to finally meet him, and Big Kev lit up when I told him who I was. We had a nice little chat, took some photos, and I wished him happy holidays.

Meeting James Storm.

James Storm is one of the greatest wrestlers of the modern era. He’s had a long career, won numerous championships, and entertained millions worldwide. He’s also a down-to-Earth dude who happily spent a significant amount of time taking to me, providing me with his thoughts to include in my book about IMPACT Wrestling. “The Cowboy” James Storm will always remain a top-tier talent, as far as I’m concerned.

Finally meeting Jerry “The King” Lawler.

I grew up watching the WWF and WWE in the 1990s and 2000s. Jerry Lawler’s voice was a signature sound of those eras of pro wrestling. Having the opportunity to finally meet him in real life was a real treat. Long live The King!

Maria Kanellis, Mike (me), & Mike (Bennett)

Maria Kanellis and Mike Bennett are two of the nicest people I had the pleasure of interviewing for my book. They are a really sweet couple. I love their dynamic, and I know their next step following the demise of Ring of Honor will be a successful one.

With Vampiro.

Last year, I interviewed Vampiro about his documentary and impressive career. He was a really nice guy — a true survivor in an industry with innumerable casualties. I told him just as much, wished Vamp continued success and well-being, and thanked him for his time.

Meeting MLW’s Alicia Atout.

It was a joy meeting the sweet and talented Alicia Atout, who is now a fixture of MLW. She was very kind, we chatted about her time at IMPACT Wrestling, and I wished her well.

Battleground Championship Wrestling.

After the convention, I left the arena, got some food to refuel, and came back at night for Battleground Championship Wrestling.

The main draw for me was seeing Jerry “The King” Lawler vs. Bully Ray. I didn’t expect a technical clinic. But these guys definitely exceeded my expectations as far as entertainment value. It was well worth the price of admission.

I also had the chance to see Raven interviewed by Dave LaGreca of Busted Open Radio, which featured an appearance by Kevin Sullivan.

Gangrel battled it out with Kevin Thorn, featuring an army of demonic minions.

Former IMPACT Wrestling star Acey Romero had a match that went way too long, but had its moments. He recently left IMPACT and is looking bigger than ever. I hope he takes care of himself because he’s very talented.

Between Icons of Wrestling and Battleground Championship Wrestling, yesterday was a fun one, filled with memories and moments that I’ll treasure. Definitely, something to be thankful for during the most wonderful time of the year. Speaking of which, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all!

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