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Meet-and-greet highlight of Hart’s trip to Jaffa

November 16, 2012
By Michael Boytim ( , The Altoona Mirror

One of the biggest names in professional wrestling history will be making an appearance at the Jaffa Shrine in December.

Bret Hart, a World Wrestling Entertainment Hall of Famer and multiple-time world, intercontinental and tag team champion, will be a part of Big Time Wrestling's Dec. 7 show set to begin at 8 p.m. in Altoona.

Hart's former tag partner, Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart, former ECW champions Shane Douglas and Tommy Dreamer, fellow WWE Hall of Famer Greg "The Hammer" Valentine, The Patriot and Carlito Colon are also slated to appear.

"The most intriguing and special part of the night besides the wrestling will be the fan fest from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. during which you can get in line and meet Bret Hart and Tommy Dreamer," BTW co-owner Steve Perkins said. "You can shake their hand, have a meet-and-greet autograph session and you'll get to meet heroes and people you've seen on TV for years."

Other personalities on the card include Jimmy Hart, the one-time manager of Hulk Hogan who is considered by some as the greatest manager in pro wrestling history, and diva Jessie Belle Smothers.

"Central Pa. has a long storied wrestling history going back as far as Bruno Sammartino in Pittsburgh up until today," Perkins said. "The Jaffa Mosque has hosted many tours, but the WWE is no longer touring the venue and we can put on a good show at a reasonable price."

Tickets start as low as $15 and range up to $50 and can be purchased at Hooters in Altoona or the Altoona Spine and Injury Center in the Walmart Plaza.

The turnout will help decide the future of Big Time Wrestling appearances in the city.

"We'd like to see 2,500 to 3,000 fans, send everyone home happy and announce that we'll be back in March," Perkins said. "Whether we'll come back twice a year or once a year depends on the response we get."

Many of BTW's shows are along the Canadian border. This is the farthest southwest the organization has traveled so far.

The night's main event is being billed as an "Extreme Altoona Street Fight" featuring current BTW champion Douglas and Dreamer.

The event will also include a fundraiser for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation which works toward a cure, better treatment and prevention for type 1 diabetes.

"I would like to thank Big Time Wrestling for fundraising for our Walk for the Cure held in Altoona," JDRF executive director Susan Harral said. "All funds raised by Big Time Wrestling will go directly to JDRF and funding for type 1 diabetes research."

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