I'd suggest looking into the official Mediawiki support channels. They probably have a forum, mailing list, etc.
I haven't used Mediawiki in quite a while, but my recollection is that if you delete pages through the web GUI, they just get marked as "deleted" in the database (and thus are not displayed), but the actual content still exists in the database. This allows for pages to be undeleted if they were deleted mistakenly.
You need to open up your wikipedia database in something like MySQL Administrator, Sequel Pro, or the like. That will give you the ability to see what all the content in the table is. Then you can look up the database schema to see what (if any) ramifications there would be to just deleting the rows directly from the database.