Wrestling MediaCon 2018: My experience of the UK's biggest and first wrestling convention
I think it's clear to most people around the world that professional wrestling in the UK is in a good place right now. The WWE have just started a UK branch of NXT, World of Sport Wrestling has just been revived, Impact Wrestling have a new UK broadcaster and several top independent promotions like Progress and Rev Pro have just secured television deals.
But nothing has ever happened in the UK like Wrestling MediaCon 2018, which is why I jumped at the opportunity to attend the event that was both a celebration of wrestling, and a celebration of the, often reviled, but nevertheless important, wrestling media. In fact the first ever MediaCon Hall of Fame entrants were inducted for their contribution to wrestling media!
The convention, the first of its kind in the UK, and in turn, the biggest, was billed as two days of panel shows, incredible live wrestling and a weekend's worth of opportunity to meet and greet several of professional wrestling's top stars and influential figures and it certainly didn't disappoint on all of those fronts! So let's start from the beginning.
#1. The Convention Hall
I arrived fairly early on the Saturday morning and, I'll admit it, I was a little worried. The place had been open an hour or so and there weren't many people there. The booths set up in the main hall were made up of several incredible contributors to the wrestling industry, like Wrestling Travel, WrestleTalk, Fight Forever and so much more, but no-one was there to interact with them.
I needn't have worried though as it didn't take long for the hall to fill up with excited but hesitant wrestling fans who didn't know what to expect. And then shortly after that the whole thing kicked off with Dave Meltzer interviewing Pat Patterson, A group cosplaying as the Undertaker, Carmella and others were walking round and Jeff Jarrett was running round looking incredibly busy. It was great!
I missed most of the first half of Saturday as I was doing interviews with some of the stars in attendance. I was lucky enough to talk to Nick Aldis, Colt Cabana, Trevor Lee, Moose, Sonjay Dutt and Eli Drake. The kicker for this was that the interviews took place in a Star Wars themed Cantina Bar because, of course they did.
A few hours in, and for the rest of the weekend, the convention hall was a place full of buzz and excitement and brimming with positivity whether it be the expected hiccups occurring at a first time event, So Cal Val introducing the next event, Rich Swann stealing the band's guitar and taking selfies with everyone or Jushin 'Thunder' Liger popping to WrestleTalk doing a ridiculous dance as one of the panels.
Essentially, the main part of the convention was great. It did look a little empty at times, but I'm sure that next time they'll be able to get a few more interesting stalls to fill it out a little bit. It was definitely a bit sad at the end when it was completely empty and the weekend was over!