Pro wrestling/sports entertainment made its mark at Florida Supercon June 25-28 at the Miami Beach Convention Center.
An eclectic mix of talent canvased the hall.
Old school fans gladly met WWE Hall of Famers Jerry Lawler, Tito Santana and Ron Simmons, eliciting fold memories. New schoolers excited to see WWE superstars Daniel Bryan and Kane, WWE Diva Paige and TNA Knockout Mickie James. Like Lawler, WWE announcer John Bradshaw Layfield resonated with all ages as a pro wrestler and color commentator.
Interview with Tito Santana
Some of the superstars, divas. wrestlers conducted special photo opts, autograph and/or VIP sessions. Daniel Bryan, Mickie James, Jerry Lawler, Paige and Kane participated in Q&As. Michael Kingston, the creator of the “Headlocked” pro wrestling comic book series, moderated some of those Q&As.
Paige, who is co-starring on “Total Divas” which premieres season four at 9 p.m. EST Tuesday, July 7 on E!, covered a lot of ground in her Q&A, including her remembrance of the late, great American Dream Dusty Rhodes.
WWE Diva Paige Q&A at Florida Supercon
Speaking of “Headlocked,” Jerry Lawler, an exceptional artist, displayed some of his artwork at his booth, which included the cover of “Headlocked.”
A stellar comic con tag team, Kingston and Lawler were guests on the “It’s Erik Nagel” Sirius XM Radio show on day two, June 26. They hosted their own “Headlocked” panel on day three, June 27.
Jerry Lawler and Michael Kingston at Florida Supercon
JBL and Simmons, a reunion of the APA, shared a booth and some great stories. Simmons, also a Florida State University Football Hall of Famer, placed some of his FSU photos on the table. A trip down college football and pro wrestling memory lanes for sure.
JBL and Simmons joined “It’s Erik Nagel” on Sirius XM Radio on day three, June 27.
In a backstage interview with Kane, he discussed Dr. Isaac Yankem DDS, Jerry Lawler and the American Dream Dusty Rhodes
Remembering Dusty Rhodes
at Miami Beach Convention Center
The Miami Beach Convention Center, the host venue, is where the American Dream Dusty Rhodes became a Wednesday night tradition during the heyday of Championship Wrestling from Florida. Fans flocked to the Miami Beach Convention Center each Wednesday to cheer their American Dream against the likes of notorious villains Masked Assassin, Abdullah the Butcher, King Curtis, Ric Flair, Superstar Billy Graham, Ernie Ladd, Pak Song Nam with Gary Hart, Harley Race, Kevin Sullivan, Terry Funk.
Rhodes died on June 11, but his memory lives, and Mickie James, Tito Santana and Ron Simmons also conveyed some of their memories of the late, great American Dream Dusty Rhodes, while sitting in the house that Dusty helped build.
Ricky The Dragon Steamboat at Ronin
Ronin Pro Wrestling, a South Florida’s newest indie wrestling group, manned a booth at Florida Supercon. The group’s next show is Saturday, July 25 at the Broward College Gym in Pembroke Pines. WWE Hall of Famer Ricky The Dragon Steamboat will be featured at the event.
Ronin wrestler Alex Chamberlain and former WWE Tough Enough competitor Daniel Puder were spotted facing off at Florida Supercon.
Corrao Comedy Stylings
South Florida's own Lisa Corrao -- a comedian, actress, commercial spokesperson, podcaster, producer, radio show host, writer -- leads, organizes and runs The Revenge of the Nerd Comics show during Florida Supercon. This all-around talent and former (South Florida) Broward County teacher gave some insight on the show and her latest endeavors.
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About Florida Supercon
Now in its 10th year, Florida Supercon, one of the country’s largest comic convention and pop culture events, returned to Miami Beach to fill fans’ love for comic books, anime, animation, video game, fantasy, Sci-Fi and pop culture genres. The four-day event had something for everyone, from celebrity guests, comic book, creators, voice actors, industry guests, panels, Q&A’s, film screenings, cosplay and costume contests, vendors, parties, workshops, video gaming, children’s events and more.
Under the direction of Florida Supercon Founder Mike Broder, the extravaganza drew more than 50,000 people in four days. That’s coming a long way from the inaugural outing in November 2006 with 1,500 attendees.
Florida Supercon 2015
By The Numbers
- 51,000 participated in Florida Supercon (June 25-28) at the Miami Beach Convention Center
- 3,500 attended Day Three’s costume contest, which is the largest in the state
- 3,000 attended the Super Geek Film Festival screenings and panels
- 2,500 attended Kevin Smith's talk on Day Four
- 750 exhibitor booths and artist tables
The organizers of Florida Supercon said in a release: “We are thrilled to see so many people embracing geek culture in South Florida. Among the 51,000 attendees, we saw impressive creativity with costumes and high enthusiasm for the entertainment provided by our celebrities, artists and panelists. What a great show! We can't wait to do it again 4th of July weekend next year in Miami Beach.”
William D. Talbert, III, CDME, President & CEO of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, added: “We are delighted that Florida Supercon has experienced tremendous growth and success with its annual event in Greater Miami. Now in its 10th year, the convention has grown to one of our larger annual community events enjoyed by locals and visitors from around the world.”
Seeing a need for more geek culture events in South Florida, Broder launched several other festivals, including Animate! Miami (formally Anime Supercon) and Magic City Comic Con.
- For information on Florida Supercon,
- For Animate! Miami, which is Oct. 23-25,
- For Magic City Comic Con, which is Jan. 15-17,
- Pro Wrestling On the Web