When the first Starrcast took place in 2018 it was still a novelty convention and no one really knew what to expect. Now it's become almost as big as the AEW event that's held in conjunction with it and the fourth edition will take place later this week.
Starrcast promoter Conrad Thompson talked about finding his groove with the Starrcast events when he spoke to Wrestling Inc. on our WINCLY podcast.
"We had a great time in Chicago as the first one was a learning experience. Then I learned a whole new set of lessons at Starrcast II in Vegas. I felt Starrcast III was the easiest and smoothest and I feel this one will be the same," Thompson said while adding that this Starrcast takes place at a place called the Power Plant that has a stage, Rams Head Live, so it's different than a hotel setup.
"The wrestling hub of Baltimore is Jimmy's Famous Seafood and we're gonna kick things off with Tony Schiavone's birthday bash and we'll have karaoke. Then we have Halloween Hangover brunch and cosplay contest on Sunday."
The previous Starrcast was best known for having a panel with CM Punk, who Thompson had never met before. He talked about his takeaways from working with Punk and the lasting impression he had.
"I don't think I've met a guy that there were more misconceptions about. I had read online and heard other people and you think you have an idea of how someone is gonna be and then in real life it's nothing like that at all. Punk couldn't have been cooler to me or my staff and it was the easiest, most professional relationship we've ever had at Starrcast," revealed Thompson. "He couldn't be more accommodating, gave fans a lot of time and was very patient with everyone. The diva tag will never be thrown around for CM Punk. He was a delight to work with and I hope we can do something together in the future."
He added that he hopes Punk is open to doing more and recalls his feud with Raven grabbing his attention. Thompson also put over his classics with Samoa Joe and notes his pipe bomb promo is what got him back into wrestling.
"I do think there is this charm about a guy like Barry Sanders who went out on top," Thompson said before comparing him with Emmitt Smith who had times you'd rather forget as a fan. "…If [Punk] is worried that that may be the perception of him and he wants to protect it, good for him because so few in wrestling do that."
"I don't think there's any real finality with AEW. They didn't cut a deal right away but for that matter neither did Tony Schiavone and other talents," noted Thompson. "A lot of times we as fans speak with finality and this is a never say never type of deal. I don't think it's a 'no' but rather a 'not yet.'
"I haven't really talked to him about it and I don't care; I want him to be happy and do what he wants to do. But at one point we said, 'CM Punk will never be back in WWE.' But now it's a conversation again.
"Maybe when all of these movie premieres are done and behind him and he's looking around for his next project and the right offer comes along, I think he will do it. We've got enough hints that he's not totally opposed to the idea. It's just got to be the right deal and I don't think he's been offered the right deal at the right time yet. And timing is everything."
At Starrcast IV Jim Crockett will make a rare appearance as he hasn't done much of anything wrestling-related over the last few decades. Thompson talked about having Crockett there and also some wrestling historians to help re-tell the story of WCW.
"Realistically, this is the only opportunity wrestling fans have to hear from Jim Crockett," Thompson said. "We're not going to do a typical panel as we'll do Q&As as well. This is our once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get some stuff on the record from Jim Crockett."
Thompson then talked about the heyday of late 80s wrestling with Jim Crockett Promotions. He says the only things Jim has done in pro wrestling in the last 30 years were teasing a return in 1993 and a sit-down with WWE about 10 years later that was used in documentaries.
"I think this is maybe the most historically important panel we have ever done at Starrcast," stated Thompson.
He joked about how he doesn't know why Jim is doing it, he also doesn't know why Tony Schiavone agreed to work with him either.
"David Crockett [Jim's brother] was with us in Vegas and he had a blast…He had a good time and saw what type of event we were putting together and was comfortable with it. Through David we were able to land Jim," said Thompson. "Jim is this big, white whale just because he's never done something like this before. He is getting a little bit older so this is realistically probably the last time he'll participate in something like this."
Starrcast IV is underway through this Sunday in Baltimore, MD. For more information and tickets please visit Starrcast.com. Conrad's full interview with Wrestling Inc aired as part a recent episode of our WINCLY podcast. It can be heard via the embedded audio player at the bottom of this post. In the full interview Conrad discusses finding his groove producing Starrcast events, Starrcast IV's WCW theme, which panel he thinks is most historically significant, Eric Bischoff's WWE firing, what role he thinks Eric would be best for in pro wrestling, working with CM Punk at Starrcast III and more.