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25 years ago this month: 'Fanboree' wrestling convention


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So it's now the anniversary of what I think may have been the first formal wrestling convention in the UK (though the people who used to exchange programs and results by post in the 60s used to have a meetup at the last Royal Albert Hall show of the season.) Here's what I remember, though I'd love to know if anyone else went. Checking back, @bobby dazzler was there.

I first heard about it in Wrestling Big Shots, which was a magazine with about 80 percent full-page photos and then a few pages of news, results and letters. I'm pretty sure editor 'Tony Flow' was actually Colin Bowman, the WCW photographer and later behind-the-scenes man at PowerSlam.

It turned out the convention was being run by Toni Sutton, who was one of about four women in the entire British hardcore wrestling community. I knew her from a brief spell she had writing for Spiked Piledriver, which was the first fanzine I ever wrote for (sold mainly in Stevenage newsagents, with about six mail order subscribers.)

Fanboree (a play on WCW's Slamboree) was somewhere in London. I think there were somewhere between 50 and 100 people. There was a main hall with a bunch of chairs where you could talk to people, and then a series of merchandise stands, one of which was perennial conman Nic Higton and another just sold Fabulous Freebirds t-shirts along with a (hopefully) converted VHS tape that I think cost ÂŁ20.

There was also a separate room for watching videos (which was the bulk of the day), chosen by a vote. The selections were the first WCW/New Japan Supershow in the Tokyo Dome and Beach Blast 1993. It's hard to explain how amazing this was: while I'd just discovered tape trading via Higton (and his ads in magazines), I didn't have enough tapes to actually trade, so could only afford a few shows. 

The other main event was a costume contest which I entered as Jim Cornette wearing my Avanti jacket (ie C&A own brand), vaguely matching trousers, a red bow tie and my sister's tennis racket (though I have no recollection whatsoever of her ever playing tennis.) I didn't win, but I did get congratulated by a guy called Dean Ayass who turned out to be a much more reliable tape trader and later persuaded me to start going to All Star shows in Croydon and introduced me to the early Hammerlock crew. 

I think the contest was won by somebody dressed as the Ultimate Warrior. I'm also guessing Johnny Storm may have been there as Jeff Jarrett, though I may be confusing that with him going to the hotel lobbies before WWF shows (where he ended up being mates with Scott Hall.) [Edit: Phil Jones recalls Storm was there as Razor Ramon on this occasion.]



Edited by JNLister
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I was indeed there. Although my memories are very hazy. I remember the room upstairs showing videos and I watched most of that WCW/New Japan show up there. As far as Merch goes I picked up a copy of UWF Beach Brawl (no idea why) and a 7inch vinyl of Badstreet by Michael PS Hayes! I still have a number of those Wrestling Bigshots magazines in the garage. Terrible magazine, not a patch on Superstars of wrestling/Powerslam.

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I attended this and recall Mr Lister in his Cornette garb.

I recall a Lanny Poffo book being on sale and remember watching the WCW/New Japan show along with Beach Blast 93.

If I recall, Nic Higton resided in Wallington and ran some form of "Fantasy Wrestling" league which ceased after he got money off people, including the person I went with. Did anyone ever find out what happened to him?

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