Return engagement: Starrcast back in Chicago area
By Mike Pankow
August 27, 2019
They had so much fun last year, so why not do it again?
Conrad Thompson and his crew are bringing Starrcast back to the Chicago area this weekend in conjunction with All Elite Wrestling’s biggest pay-per-view event of the year, All Out.
The convention was a rousing success last year after being tied in with the independent wrestling showcase, All In. While the convention runs independently of AEW, it definitely is a destination for wrestling fans who may or may not be attending Saturday night’s All Out.
Starrcast, run by wrestling’s Podfather Thompson, a native of Huntsville, Ala., begins Thursday afternoon and runs through early Sunday afternoon at the Hyatt Regency Schaumburg Chicago, adjacent to Woodfield Mall in Chicago’s Northwest suburbs.
The convention is a cavalcade of wrestler meet-and-greets, stage shows with wrestling talent, vendors and wrestling podcasters. Last year featured many special shows and panels, eat-and-greets with selected talent and a live broadcast of SiriusXM’s Busted Open radio show.
There are several highlights for this weekend’s Starrcast III, including Thursday night’s All Out press conference and weigh-in, where insight from top talent and pre-fight chaos certainly is expected.
Thursday also features a stage show called “From Undesirable to Undeniable,” which will follow the journey of second-generation star and one of AEW’s central figures in Cody Rhodes. Also, there will be a live “Being the Elite” mailbag.
Friday’s schedule includes stage shows with former WWE and WCW standout Dean Malenko, an interview with Jon Moxley (formerly the Shield’s Dean Ambrose in WWE) and a panel on stereotypes in wrestling with Chicago actor and die-hard wrestling fan Ron Funches, Fred Rosser (formerly Darren Young in WWE), AEW’s Scorpio Sky, Nyla Rose and Sonny Kiss among others. In addition, there’s a panel on the Women of AEW and a live Art of Wrestling with Chicago’s Colt Cabana.
Saturday will feature shows with Mick Foley and the much-anticipated CM Punk live interview where the Chicago native and former WWE Champion will have a live mic for the first time in five years in a wrestling environment. There’s also a DDPY All-Out Workshop on Saturday morning with former WCW Champion and WWE Hall of Famer Diamond Dallas Page.
There will be many chances for autographs and photo ops, some during set times in formal settings and others in the halls and Collector’s Corner. Platinum and Gold bracelets, which include access to 12 stage shows, are still available as of press time. Admissions, bracelets and some autographs and photo ops can be purchased in advance at www.starrcast.com.