PRESS RELEASE – 

WWE® Superstar Batista™ (Dave Bautista ), who stars as “Dax the Destroyer” in the blockbuster Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, and WWE® Superstar Finn Bálor™ will attend the 2017 Wizard World Comic Con New Orleans.

untitled-2Bautista will appear on Saturday, January 7, while Balor will visit on Sunday, January 8. They will join a star-studded roster of top celebrities, including Bautista’s fellow GOTG standouts Michael Rooker and Sean Gunn, scheduled to attend the pop culture extravaganza at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

Both hugely popular guests at previous Wizard World appearances, Bautista and Bálor will separately greet fans, pose for photo ops and sign autographs. Bautista will also conduct an interactive Guardians-themed Q&A panel on Saturday alongside Rooker and Gunn at the first Wizard World Comic Con of the year. Bálor will participate in a Q&A panel on Sunday.

Batista’s other credits include supporting roles in the James Bond film Spectre (2015) and Marauders (2016) and the lead in House of the Rising Sun (2011). Prior to his role as “Dax” in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (due out in theaters in May), Bautista left his mark in the ring as one of the WWE’s top Superstars.

Taming wild animals is best left to trained professionals. Taming “The Animal” is another matter entirely. If Batista always appeared in control of his meteoric rise through the ranks of WWE, that’s because you’re not counting his tempestuous formative years. That what would ultimately bring the six-foot-six, 290-pound brute to the top was his ability to avoid the perils and violence all around him in his troubled youth.

Batista departed WWE in 2010, but returned in January 2014 and immediately won the 30-Man Royal Rumble Match to earn a WWE World Heavyweight Title opportunity at WrestleMania 30. The Animal tapped out to Daniel Bryan in the Triple Threat main event, but the loss did little to curb his ego. In the weeks that followed, the arrogant Batista realigned himself with Triple H and The Viper in a reformation of their Evolution grouping. Together, the trio looked to take out The Shield.

Later, frustrated that he never got the one-on-one WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match he earned by winning the 2014 Royal Rumble Match, Batista abandoned his Evolution associates and quit WWE.

Athletic, charismatic, occasionally demonic, Bálor has become a bona fide worldwide sensation. The WWE Universe may know Bálor for his exploits in NXT or his first-round status in the 2016 WWE Brand Extension Draft, but the mysterious Irishman’s legend spanned across countries and continents long before he ever stepped onto the WWE stage. After competing in his first match at 18 and achieving success in his homeland, Bálor relocated to Japan to hone his skills in the notorious dojo system of the Far East. Unsurprisingly, he thrived, winning multiple championships and marshalling several foot soldiers to support him (some even called him a prince). With The Land of the Rising Sun annexed to the Bálor Club, he relocated to America to ply his trade in NXT.

Choosing to honor his heritage by taking the names of two Irish myths — the warrior Finn MacCumhail and the Fomorian king Bálor — the dynamic Superstar quickly rose in the ranks of NXT, achieving a record-setting run with the NXT Championship as well as becoming one of the first winners of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic along with Samoa Joe.

The duo join an all-star lineup at Wizard World Comic Con New Orleans which already includes Carrie Fisher (Star Wars), Tom Felton (Harry Potter franchise), Christopher Lloyd (Back To The Future ), Stephen Amell (“Arrow”), Michael Cudlitz (“The Walking Dead”), Nichelle Nichols (“Star Trek”), David Ramsey (“Arrow”) and others.

New Orleans (January 6-8) will also launch an exciting array of activities at Wizard World Comic Con shows in 2017. Fans will experience non-stop live entertainment throughout extended evening hours, Kick off the Con and After Parties, gaming, exclusive Q&A sessions with top celebrities, movie screenings hosted by stars and directors and more. Details to follow soon.

Wizard World comic and gaming con events bring together thousands of fans of all ages to celebrate the best in pop culture, movies, graphic novels, comics, television, sci-fi, toys, video gaming, original art, collectibles, contests and more.

Wizard World is also the place for cosplay, with fans young and old showing off their best costumes throughout the event. Fans dressed as every imaginable character – and some never before dreamed –  will roam the convention floor. The famed Wizard World Comic Con New Orleans Costume Contest will take place on Saturday night.

For more on the 2017 Wizard World Comic Con New Orleans, visit http://wizd.me/NewOrleansPR .

About Wizard World (OTCBB: WIZD)

Wizard World, Inc. (www.wizardworld.com ) produces comic, gaming and pop culture conventions across North America that celebrate the best in pop culture, movies, television, cosplay, comics, gaming, graphic novels, toys, sci-fi, original art, collectibles, contests and more. A first-class lineup of topical programming takes place at each event, with celebrity Q&A’s, comics-themed sessions, costume contests, movie screenings, evening parties and more. Wizard World has also launched ComicConBox™ ( www.comicconbox.com), a premium subscription-based monthly box service and Wizard World Rewards among its initiatives. Fans can interact with Wizard World on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and other social media services.

The Wizard World 2017 schedule is available at: http://wizardworld.com/searchby/city/ .

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