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   Wed, August 20, 2003

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Freebirds, Von Erich meet again at convention

At the buffet dinner Saturday night, the headline guests and former World Class referee David Manning regaled the crowd with tales of behind-the-scenes shenanigans and favourite ribs, most of them instigated by the Freebirds - like the time Buddy Roberts arrived for a show and found a dead possum placed in his bag by his teammates then got his revenge by putting the stinking costume on anyway and making them smell it all through the match. Or the time Kevin Von Erich got bitten on the arm by a monkey during a tour of Africa and the monkey dropped dead several minutes later. Manning also revealed that Vince McMahon Sr. and Jr. had approached WCCW promoter Fritz Von Erich in 1982 about forming a partnership, "and unfortunately for us, Fritz said no."

Wrestlecon was organized by Britt Britton, owner of Autographs Ink, a movie, sports and music collector's store in Colleyville TX. Britton has been involved in collector and memorabilia shows for over 20 years, and Wrestlecon is the first show he's done that's been strictly pro wrestling-oriented. Attendance was lower than Britton had been hoping for, but he's confident that word-of-mouth will get out about the event and attendance will be higher for the next Wrestlecon in February 2004. "I'm a little disappointed by the turnout, but I don't think I did anything wrong," Britton said. "I decided if I was going to do one [wrestling convention] I'd do two, so the one for February is definitely a go."

Meredith Renwick is a Toronto-based writer.