Nerd Culture

Clickjab's Summer Fest Brings Bret Hart, Other Wrestling Legends to Phoenix


Professional wrestling legend Bret “Hitman” Hart is what you might call a world warrior. The Canadian-born grappler — who's a multiple-time world champion for the both the WWE and its now-defunct competitor WCW — has traveled the globe a dozen times over and, during his heyday, performed on at least five continents.

And according to Hart, who retired in 2000 but still appears at year, dozens of different wrestling events around the world each year, he did it for his fans. In his 2009 autobiography, Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling, Hart recalled getting to meet and perform for his worldwide fanbase. 

"I’ve always been grateful to have been a world champion who actually did travel the world," Hart wrote. "People from all walks of life, from New York to Nuremberg, from Calgary to Kyoto, have told me that I inspired them in some way and that I represented everything that was decent about pro wrestling, the way it used to be, when there was still honor in it. It seems like all the world loves an honest battler."

Next month, Hart's travels bring him back to Phoenix when he'll headline Clickjab Wrestling's Summer Bash at the Celebrity Theatre on Saturday, July 11.

He'll be one of nine professional wrestling greats that are scheduled to appear and perform at the event, which is being put on by Tucson-based promoter Chris Click and will feature an afternoon autograph session at the venue followed by an evening of matches.

The Summer Bash will be similar in some respect's to Clickjab Wrestling's Fan Fest that took place last summer in Phoenix, as it will offer local fans of the squared circle the opportunity to get some face time, autographs, and photographs with various superstars from the wrestling world. This year's event, however, takes things a step further by allowing fans the chance to see said wrestling legends exchange headlocks and body slams in the ring afterwards during seven different matchups.

In addition to Hart (who will appear at the event but won't be competing in the ring) the Summer Bash's will feature former superstars from the WWE and performers from such wrestling companies as TNA and Ring of Honor. The lineup will include Ethan Carter III, James Storm, and Brooke Adams from TNA, as well as current Ring of Honor tag team champions Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian (a.k.a. The Addiction).

Independent wrestlers Shane and Shannon Ballard, onetime WWE diva Barbie Blank, and former WWE superstars David Heath (formerly known as the vampire-like character Gangrel) and Shawn Daivari are also scheduled to appear.

As with last summer's Clickjab Fan Fest, individual photo ops and autograph sessions, which run from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., will require separate purchases – ranging in price from $15 to $100 – for each wrestler. A separate ticket is required to watch the matches, which will start at 7:30 p.m. and cost $19 to $44. A special “VIP Super Ticket” package is also available for $130 that includes autographs, photos with wrestlers, and the chance to watch all the action.

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.