Introduction to the Board as a wrestling fan
Posted 08 February 2013 - 06:56 AM
Posted 08 February 2013 - 07:31 AM
Posted 08 February 2013 - 11:36 AM
Posted 08 February 2013 - 12:46 PM
Posted 08 February 2013 - 02:12 PM
Posted 08 February 2013 - 03:29 PM
I didn't discover wrestling until I was 8 in 1990, but when I did was absolutely captivated by it. My parents did not have satellite TV so I mainly had to depend on WWF VHS tapes or catching shows at friends' houses. Around late 1991, I found they were showing WCW Worldwide at around 2 or 3am on Thursday nights so I'd set the VCR to tape them and sometimes even stay up to watch -- caught the whole Dangerous Alliance angle and Flair coming back in 93, but there was no way to get the PPVs.
I was always a heel fan through and through. I cheered heels and hated the faces. This possibly because heels were usually intelligent characters and faces were guys like Jim Duggan. Little Parv was never going to root for a guy like Jim Duggan, he meant nothing to me. "Look at the snot hanging out of his nose!" I know, Jesse, what are these idiots cheering for?
After a bit of a dip in 95, I more or less stayed on board through the Monday Night Wars which was made easier by the fact my parents got satellite AND, for whatever reason, we got all PPVs for free in the UK. Followed things pretty much until about 2005/6. By then most of the things that had got me into wrestling in the first place had been eroded to the point where the presentation was actively annoying me and I couldn't watch it anymore. This remains my view now -- I'm sure there are great wrestlers active today, but the presentation on WWE TV, scripted promos and all the rest of it, is something I can't tolerate.
I've been through spells of being a purely "ironic" fan, liking wrestling mainly for its kitsch value and collecting Coliseum Home Videos in order to watch dodgy Dino Bravo matches and be mildly amused by Sean Mooney skits. I discovered PWO through the Good Will Wrestling podcast when I got in touch with Will to buy the Mid-South Set and then discovered this place and through that a whole world of footage and a community that at one point I could never have even dreamed existed. I remain chiefly interested in the 80s and early 90s and, for the past couple of years, have been generally trying to see as much as I can from that period.
All time favorite matches:
1. Flair vs. Steamboat, Clash 6
2. Tully Blanchard vs. Magnum TA, Starrcade 85
3. Jumbo Tsuruta & Genichiro Tenryu vs. Riki Choshu Yoshiaki Yatsu (1/28/86)
All time favorite wrestlers:
1. Ric Flair
2. Ted DiBiase
3. Arn Anderson or
Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:20 PM
Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:42 PM
Posted 09 February 2013 - 03:43 AM
Posted 09 February 2013 - 05:22 AM
I'm Toby. Not Jason. I'm old, but I don't look it. I grew up in the same rich Minneapolis suburb Ric Flair did. Legit. Gordon Solie just name-dropped it on some 1985 Florida TV I was watching (not in reference to Flair - he was being coy). I'm pretty sure his parents lived like a mile away. I wasn't allowed to watch much TV other than the Dukes of Hazzard and live sports until 1985.
My first wrestling memory was this neighbor kid giving me this retrospective play-by-play of this amazing wrestling thing he'd seen where there was gonna be a giant "battle royal" (WHOA! THAT SOUNDS AWESOME!) and the last guy to arrive for it had pulled up in this limo and you just saw his giant hand at first as he got out and then it was this dude HULK HOGAN who was SUPER AWESOME. That's how the kid told it to me, anyway. Thinking about it now, I think it must have an AWA thing... I feel like I was sufficiently young when this happened that it would've been before he jumped back to WWF. I never really figured it out. Maybe he made it up. Kids do that.
But I spent MONTHS thinking about how cool the stuff the neighbor kid had told me was and wondering how I, too, could see this "pro wrestling" that sounded so magical.
Anyway, sometime in 1985 the barriers slipped enough and I'd occasionally be able to catch a WWF syndie. Snuka and Steamboat were my instant favorites. I mean, they were all fast and did cool stuff from the top rope, while a lot of these guys were sooooo slow. At first I liked Hogan, but then I kind of didn't. By the time they showed the highlights of Muraco/Bundy destroying him I thought that was cool, I remember. (And wondered what this "Saturday Night's Main Event" thing was.) I went mental for the British Bulldogs when they came in. But even as a 10 year old, I was like "wait, how can this Terry Funk guy be branding that dude if there's no heat source for his branding iron, and also, wouldn't they arrest him if he were burning the flesh of another man?" (On rewatch now I realized they don't actually sell that he's legit branding people, but they create a kind of gray area such that the kid-me thought BRANDING FOR REALZ was what they were selling, and I didn't buy it.)
I watched replays of Wrestlemania 2 ad nauseum. People shit on that PPV and I STILL love it. I can watch Randy Savage run in fear of George Steele all. day. long. I loved Steele at the time. Now I realize it was (mostly) Savage making that shit so entertaining (and it IS entertaining, no matter what people say), but I can still watch all the Steele/Savage stuff and be totally content.
By 1986, though, I'd found Crockett's TBS show and Mr. Flair and the four fucking horsemen. At some point I figured out he was from my 'burb and that sealed my fandom. I started to really hate Hogan. I had like 3 wrestling magazines that I read over and over and over and over and over and I cannot tell you how much they fueled my imagination. Florida!?!?!? Memphis!?!?!? Wha.....? My favorite toy was the pro wrestling USA he-man dudes. I had the freebirds, martel/flair, roadies, longriders, the high flyers... I think jim garvin. I feel like a couple more. I had the AWA ring. I had this blood make up stuff I would put on them when the "bled" and kept a notebook full of results and champions. I was a pretty good booker for age 11. I knew dude's couldn't bleed every match and I knew you sometimes had to give a little push to guys you didn't like to make it mean something when other dude's killed them. (Buddy Roberts and Greg Gagne jump out at me. I'd put my TV belt on them.)
By late 86/early 87 I could watch what I wanted and I consumed everything I possibly could. I watched WCCW and thought it was great. Crockett's syndicated programs was the stuff of dreams, but why did they always HAVE TO GO, TONY!?!??!?!
My dad knew a guy who occasionally did ring announcing, and the only times I got to go to matches was when that dude would hook my dad up with tickets. I saw a WWF Met Center card Dec 28, 1985 (I just figured this out thanks to historyofwwe) that had a wild Steamboat/Muraco brawl that led to a return match. The ring announcer announced the return match and the stips and said he had the signed contract "here in his hands". I got the "signed contract" from my dad's friend. Which was in fact a sheet of paper stating word-for-word what the ring announcer's announcement had said, with Steamboat and Muraco's signatures. Hmmm....
I got to go to a WWF card at the St. Paul Civic Center that had a Savage/Steamboat cage match on it. I made a sign for Savage that had some bikini-clad Elizabeth pictures on it from a non-WWF wrestling magazine. Risque, I know. I was pretty much a heel fan by that point. Thanks to my dad's friend I got to meet Savage and Elizabeth backstage before the card. It was funny, because they legit had their own dressing room, totally away from everything else (I assume, since there was no one around at all). In light of all the Savage-crazy-jealousy stories, it adds up. I remember the dude was cool to me and Elizabeth was super nice. They signed my sign.
Anyway, try as I might, I could never find my way to a Crockett show. They'd bring cards that were just STUPID loaded and all I'd ever get was a "we'll see". I became a *HUGE* UWF mark when that popped up in late 86 or early 87 and tried everything I could think of to beg my way to their '87 show at the Met Center (and I think a wrestlingclassics forum informs me we would have been 1st or 2nd row if we'd gone because NO ONE showed up), but I was skunked again.
I did get my parents to spring for the AWA Christmas 86 PPV with The Rockers vs. Rose/Summers, and that was incredible. I can tell you, they absolutely did not make it any clearer than mud that the belts were not on line. Verne, you magnificent bastard. I still have the DVD transfer off my original tape. As a giant Dusty mark I did manage to beg as a late XMas present the Bunkhouse Stampede PPV. I was so stoked. Besides Flair, I was probably the biggest mark for Jim Ross of all people. Dude could sell me ANYTHING in 1987 and 1988. By WM 3 I was barely interested in WWF stuff at all, although Savage/Steamboat captivated me. I wanted Andre to win but knew that wouldn't happen. I spent a LOT of time thinking about the "NWA"'s production values and hoping/wishing they'd improve, because even though I liked it fine as is, I knew the dark arenas and primitive graphics were why all the kids at school only cared about the WWF.
I drifted out a bit in late 88/89 as I got closer to high school but Flair/Steamboat sucked me back a little. I saw their Clash stuff, and then Flair v. Funk at the Clash was probably my last childhood hurrah before I stopped watching altogether, just before high school.
Greatest Wrestling Fan Moment: One day in 1991 I had just gotten my driver's license and went to this nerd store in Dinkytown by the U of MN to sell some nerd games. (D&D, wargames, etc.) I walked past a bar called Fowl Play. This was a jocks-get-drunk-and-fall-down-then-try-to-get-date-rapey kinda place that no one who's over 22 really had a reason to go to. So I'm walking past one of the open doorways (it was a fine summer-ish day) carrying my box of nerdery and I look up at the man on the pay phone in the door and keep walking and then stop dead as my brain catches up with my feet and I just kinda of slowly walk backwards and look up at the man on the pay phone in the door way and say "You're Ric Flair," because it was. He said "yes I am." I said "cool". Then I went and sold my nerd games. But that was kind of great, and in retrospect I can't imagine how it was in that bar that afternoon: 40 year old Flair, about to jump to WWF, knocking 'em down with 18 year olds with fake IDs. I wonder if nudity ensued? (I checked at the time and neither company was in town, so I think this was literally in the middle of The Jump.)
Renaissance/Smarky Period: In 1994 and 1995 I kept having conversations at punk rock shows about wrestling, and when I accidentally happened on some dude named The Crippler destroying some dude with a table on a TV show on Midwest Sports Channel that was definitely not WWF or WCW in 1995 I reached out to the dudes I'd talk about it with and within weeks we had a regular "date" for watching ECW. I jumped into the Monday Night Wars on like the 3rd week of Nitro and preferred WCW for the cruisers and Horsemen stuff until WWF started to get sneaky good. I stuck with it obsessively and accumulated way more tapes than I could afford via Lynch/Barnett/McAdams/Socha until the botched Invasion and went cold turkey until a 2007-ish binge, which resulted only in watching everything mid-south and the 1985 season of WWF All-Star Wrestling. I found this place because I decided to finally start watching the rest of the DVDs I splurged on in 2007-ish.
So anyway, I like everything, as long as it's well done. I've been watching Memphis lately and even though the stuff I have is heavy on the promos/angles, there's enough work for me to be super pumped on Dundee and Lawler.
I like the Fantastics more than most people. I LOVE Buddy Landell. LOVE. I enjoy watching Kobashi sweat.
There's an episode of Nitro from the Target Center where my buddy and I are in Lucha masks and I have him in the Torture Rack pretty much center screen right behind the ring for a good little while.
Anyway, I have no illusions that I'm going to become a regular contributor, but this board is fantastic and the debates/discussions I've pored over thus far are frigging marvelous.
Posted 12 February 2013 - 12:51 PM
Posted 14 February 2013 - 03:42 PM
Posted 16 February 2013 - 11:33 PM
Posted 24 February 2013 - 09:49 PM
Posted 13 March 2013 - 02:58 PM
Posted 14 March 2013 - 06:17 AM
Posted 02 June 2013 - 11:32 PM
Posted 04 June 2013 - 06:51 PM
Currently my main occupation has been finding footage of german/austrian wrestling from the 80s, first because I was simply curious about what was going on in my home territory at that time, but then I discovered some of that stuff is really, really good.
I know there's a DVDR 80's Europe set planned for sometime later this decade! I can't remember seeing German or Austrian wrestling from the period discussed much if at all. So it's definitely an untapped area. Any recommendations you could make in the 80's Project Forum over there would certainly be useful down the line.
Posted 23 June 2013 - 07:53 AM
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