While fans were excited at seeing many of their wrestling heroes at Big Time Wrestling's Jaffa Shrine show on Saturday, there was a somber feeling as well following the death of Reid Flair, whose father, Ric, was scheduled to be part of the event.
"Ric Flair and I have had huge differences in our professional career. But, to lose a son, that's a big hit," said Shane Douglas, who drove in on short notice to take Flair's spot at the event. "Growing up, I was a Ric Flair fan. To hear what happened to him and his family is a horrible thing."
Reid Flair was a late addition to the card in Altoona.
Kevin Nash met Ric Flair when he started in the business and wrestled tag team matches with the younger Flair on an independent show.
"Having a 16-year-old son, I sat and tried to imagine what [Ric] was going through. It's rough," Nash said.
Several fans said they came primarily to meet Flair.
"It's a big disappointment, but it's understandable [that he didn't come]," said Altoona's Kenny Westover, who attended with his mother, Trish Carman.
Wrestler Axl Rotten has seen both the men who trained him and several other friends in the business pass before their time.
"I've seen far too many of these. We are too young to be burying our brothers under the age of 40," Rotten said. "My condolences go out to the Flair family and everyone that knew Reid. It's a tremendous loss."