Reid Fliehr Memorial Scholarship announced

May 13, 2013 - by Steve Gerweck

filed to GERWECK.NET:

An added attraction at Fanfest will be a special training camp. The 4-day Future Wrestling Legends Training Camp, a four-day talent search for two dozen young male and female wrestling hopefuls, will be conducted by former pro star and WWE trainer Dr. Tom Prichard.

Prichard, a 30-year mat veteran and, since 1996, one of the most respected trainers in wrestling, will be joined by a host of guest coaches including Tully Blanchard, Les Thatcher, Jerry Brisco and Leilani Kai. More coaches are expected to be added in the coming weeks. This all-star lineup, notes Price, “isn’t your group of sour, jaded old-timers who don’t watch today’s product.”

“Even though some of them may have that same sentiment,” adds Price, “they are guys who know not just what it takes to be successful the way they were, but also how to get a leg up on getting into WWE. They know what they’re looking for now. Hopefully this is something that will look good on somebody’s resume.”

Price says the main purpose of the camp, which will include more than 30 hours of in-ring training and locker room study, is to provide an opportunity for mat hopefuls to soak up an incredible amount of knowledge over a four-day period. “It’s a great opportunity for young guys and girls to learn their craft from some of the best that are out there. To be able to talk to someone who has been madly successful in the profession that you’re trying to get in … that’s very rare. We have that opportunity at Fanfest.”

The reason for the camp, says Price, is simple. “We want to give something back. Wrestling isn’t the same as it used to be. You don’t have the Anderson Brothers trying out guys at the Coliseum every week. There are all kinds of wrestling schools around, but there are not a lot of opportunities for young guys to learn out there now.” The business, he notes, has dramatically changed. For many aspiring professionals, their only learning experience is watching TV on Monday nights and mimicking what they see.

At the Legends training camp, Price says those hopefuls will be able to have one-on-one contact with legends in the business. “These guys all want the opportunity to sit down and tell some of these guys what they have to do and what will make them successful and connect with their audience. It’s not something you can learn in the gym. When you have an opportunity to work with those guys, you need to take it.”

Although the training camp is intended for experienced young wrestlers and referees, beginners and those with aspirations of possibly becoming a wrestler will have a chance to observe as well.

The camp will be opened up to Fanfest VIPs for one hour each day for live exhibition matches. Fanfest VIPs also will play a part in the selection process, voting each day to see which talents may be selected to participate in the live wrestling cards on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.

One of the highlights of the camp will be the Reid Fliehr Memorial Scholarship. The $2,500 scholarship, says Price, is a way to reward the best in the camp to further their wrestling education.

“Whether they choose to do seminars or try a camp for a month or so, their scholarship is going toward their future wrestling training. We’re doing that in Reid’s name because Reid was a young man who was still training in several different places – going to Harley’s (Race), training here in Charlotte, going to Japan. He was in that long training process. He’s also a friend to a lot of people at Fanfest. Hopefully this will bring something positive and help a young man or young woman in their future training.”

The 2013 edition of Fanfest is an event not to be missed, Price promises, especially if you remember just how good the good old days really were.

“We’ve been doing this for nine years, and every year I get to create new memories. It’s unfortunate that we had to miss last year, but if anything, that’s made me anticipate this year even more.”

Mike Mooneyham, a writer and editor with Charleston’s The Post and Courier since 1979, is one of the nation’s foremost authorities on professional wrestling, and his weekly wrestling column has been in continuous publication longer than any other in the country.

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