Hey, I'm Stacey, 22 years old, from Sydney, Australia. To add a layer of confusion I am actually a girl, even though I obviously have a male kayfabe name. I began watching WWE in very late 2003, my first memories are basically Steve Austin assembling his Survivor Series team, John Cena rapping at Vince in the ring, Kane giving Biker Taker his eulogy, that kind of thing. I found my way to the internet about 12 months later, and I've been a wrestling tragic ever since. I'm someone who watches WWE religiously and am a WWE fan, and predominantly a modern WWE fan at that. I think that kind of puts me at odds with a lot of hardcore fans, particularly a lot of people on here who have the childhood background and/or extensive viewing in other eras and styles that I simply do not. My good ol' days are 2004. Having said that, I dabble in loads of non-WWE stuff as well. Last year, for example, I went on what I liked to think of as a sort of severely condensed 80s Project where I binged on any and all pimped 80s matches I could find, basically everything that I missed out on not being 20 years older, and introduced myself to loads of cool stuff like PR, World of Sport, Demolition, and my new favourite wrestler Stan Hansen. My favourite wrestler is John Cena. I was a teenage girl in the 00s, what can I say. Other favourites are Trish Stratus, Shawn Michaels, Rey Mysterio, Mark Henry. And now, increasingly, Stan Hansen. My two favourite matches are Cena vs Umaga LMS and Team Austin vs Team Bischoff at Survivor Series 2003. I've been reading this board for quite a long time because I really love the general way that wrestling is viewed, dissected and discussed on here, and I feel I have a similar outlook even though I come from a much more modern perspective.
Pretty cool that you love to go back and watch everything that you missed out on before watching, even before you were born! Never would have expected that from a girl that's younger than I am...
My name's Kevin, and I'm 28 years old (going on 29 in a few days). My earliest memories of wrestling were in the early 90s (my grandma was actually a fan and we always saw the WWF and WCW weekend shows), though my first memories that I actually remember in detail were during the late 90s boom, specifically during the NWO era (I remember Hogan's heel turn and a month later in late August they attacked the Horsemen and Sting and spraypainted them, and being the 8 year old I was, I asked if they'd have "NWO" on their backs forever and thankfully I got a "no" answer"). While following WCW (they had many of the names I remembered from the early 90s like Hogan, Savage, Sting, Flair, Luger, Piper, etc., some great wrestlers in the midcard, and the cruiserweights), I still followed WWF as well because they still had Bret, Undertaker, and Michaels who I also remembered from the early 90s, though the product was clearly inferior (their transition period between the cartoonish gimmicks and the Attitude era, this was before Bret/Austin and all that). A couple years later, WCW started to decline (I knew something was up when Hogan got the belt back so soon after Starrcade 1997, which is when the NWO should have been broken up or at least breaking up), and while entering my preteens, the edgy characters of Austin, The Rock, and DX caught my attention, as well as the hardcore matches. I still followed WCW for a while (Goldberg was on fire at this time, and they had him win the title on Hogan cleanly like Sting should have, and the likes of the cruisers, Benoit, Jericho, Finlay, and Booker were still there putting on good matches) though the WWF was getting very good. Goldberg's streak was ended by Nash at Starrcade, and shortly after was the Fingerpoke of Doom as well as WCW spoiling Raw's main event that same night, and that made me realize something was REALLY wrong, especially when some of my favorites started leaving afterward (Jericho and the Radicals) and the cruisers got less and less emphasis put on them (they were often destroyed during their matches by Sid and Savage in the summer of 99). They all went to WWF, and as a result the good wrestling went there as well (WCW's summer of 99 and Russo and Sullivan eras were bad, even when I was a mark, and when it got REALLY bad in the summer and fall of 2000 during Russo's second era, which is when I found out it was all scripted, I was purely in the WWF camp). When Vince bought WCW, I was looking forward to all the dream matches that would take place, though when the Invasion started, the biggest names to come over were DDP and Booker T, so I looked at the internet and found out that the big names were sitting out their million dollar contracts, which is what made me learn of Hogan and Nash's backstage politics. This isn't what made me an IWC member yet but the seeds were planted. As for the Invasion angle, that was the first hint of WWF starting to become like WCW, as Austin was still a heel and DDP was not booked like a main eventer, being dominated by Undertaker and Kane at every turn and even losing to Sara. Then there were a lot of swerves, like Angle and Regal joining the Alliance and Torrie joining the WWF, which also set off the alarm bells, but that didn't lead me to the IWC...
Until 2002. The brand split happened, and almost immediately I could tell that Smackdown was way better than Raw, as Raw was featuring older wrestlers in the main event while delivering an inferior in-ring product to Smackdown, which featured the Smackdown Six. Then HHH was handed the WHC and went over every face in the company, while the in-ring product was still way below average, and that is what brought me to the IWC. HHH's reign of terror is what brought me there, to see if other people were as alienated as I was, and I realized that others shared my views as well. Raw was bad throughout the brand split until around Royal Rumble 2004, when Benoit jumped ship, and after WM 20 the opposite occurred as Raw became VERY good while Smackdown became the show that had the inferior in-ring product and poor structure. Raw stayed good throughout Benoit's reign with the occasional bad show (this occurred more during the Diva Search than the early part of his reign), until Benoit lost the title and Orton turned face and losing the belt back to HHH at Unforgiven 2004, once again turning Raw into the entertainment show, though it still remained slightly better than Smackdown, until the WM 21 build, which was very good with the HHH/Batista feud and Batista's face turn, as well as Cena/JBL and HBK/Angle. At WM, they had Batista and Cena winning cleanly, though shortly after WM both shows lost momentum fast and went back to their late 2004 form. After a very bad summer for both brands, good wrestling finally came back to TV in the fall with Impact debuting on Spike. I watched during the FSN era and was impressed by the X Division and the tag teams like AMW, though Jeff Jarrett DOMINATED the main event then and was having main events with guys way past their primes and the undercard was filled with the likes of the Harris Boys and Trytan. Jarrett was still in the main event, but put over Christian in the main event at AAO 2006 and took two clean pins to Samoa Joe, which I was worried he wouldn't because of his FSN era reign of doom. The X Division was still amazing with the AJ/Joe/Daniels feud and the tag division was still solid with AMW's heel run and later LAX. Raw remained bad throughout this time but Smackdown started to become the wrestling show again like it was in 2002-2003 after Eddie's death. TNA was consistently awesome during this time (many of the X Division matches on Impact from this time are on YouTube as are their classic PPV matches), until Jarrett won the belt at Slammiversary. The shows were still good after Slammiversary so I gave them a chance, and then a few months later I read that they signed VINCE RUSSO, and I nearly had a heart attack. No real mistakes were made though until Genesis 2006 when Joe lost clean to Kurt Angle, thus ending his streak... by SUBMISSION. That was the real start of TNA's decline, while Smackdown was awesome and Raw became decent again after the Royal Rumble in 2007 (ECW was still bad at this time and only got consistently good after the Benoit tragedy, while Raw and Smackdown took a massive nosedive in quality at the same time). TNA didn't recover until the last 5 months of 2009, when they went back to focusing on wrestling and pushing young talent like AJ, Joe, Daniels, Beer Money, World Elite, Hernandez, and Desmond Wolfe, while WWE had a very good year all around in 2008 (Raw was solid, especially during Jericho's heel run, and ECW was very good the second half of the year with the likes of Matt Hardy, Finlay, and Jack Swagger main eventing, though Smackdown was full of squashes all year) and two out of the three brands were good in 2009 (ECW's best all around year with Christian as their top face, Smackdown's best all around year until Punk got squashed by Undertaker, but Raw's worst year in the first split by far with the guest hosts, stale Orton/HHH feud dominating, Hornswoggle/Chavo feud, and DX reunion). TNA being good to close out 2009 while Raw being bad throughout 2009 led to me actually watching Impact over Raw during the 2nd "MNWs", and once again, TNA lost all momentum and was bad for the next two years, with WWE not doing much better as Raw still had the guest hosts, Smackdown had terrible main event feuds, and NXT was NXT... not one good brand in 2010, while only Smackdown was good in 2011 (its last good year until the next split). 2012, TNA was quite good with Aries, Roode, and Bully Ray in the main event scene providing some great television, as well as a revival of the KO division (their best booked division by far in 2007-2009) with Gail Kim's long title reign and the debut of Bad Influence, while both Raw and Smackdown were dull all year. 2013 was more of the same until around June when Raw became decent again with Henry turning on Cena and Daniel Bryan gaining huge momentum, earning a title shot at Summerslam. He lost, and after the next PPV, Night Of Champions, Raw went back to what it was from January-May, and TNA started to decline again with the Aces and Eights angle progressing too slowly (I gave it a chance for the longest time because of how good 2012 was, and then they gave Sabin the title for two weeks in the summer, made Dixie a heel, and the wrestling on the show started to decrease, which is likely when they secretly rehired Russo, and then they didn't resign AJ, which is like WWE not resigning the Undertaker, WCW not resigning Sting, or ECW not resigning Tommy Dreamer), and eventually got kicked off Spike and then Destination America. With many of the people from the 05-06 period back like Dutch and D'Amore, hopefully they'll become a good alternative again (I still keep up with Raw and Smackdown as well, mainly through the Network, as 2014 was that bad).
Last year around this time, I signed up for the WWE Network out of wanting to relive my childhood and teen years (I waited for enough classic content to be there, as the current product and non-wrestling shows wouldn't draw me in). I saw stuff like Savage/Steamboat, both Warrior/Savage matches, War Games 1992, and Sting/Vader from Starrcade 1992 and was just amazed with what I saw. Some of my favorite wrestlers:
Male: Benoit (I know, but he had brain damage and likely roid rage as well), Eddie, Bryan, Jericho, Angle (yes, I think he's a good worker, as he didn't start using the fast paced style he had in his later years until he got the "wrestling machine" gimmick, and had a great match with a green Cena in his first match), HBK (one of the best big match wrestlers ever and gave Khali one of his best matches ever in 2007), Rey, AJ, Daniels, Joe, Roode, Austin Aries, Christian, Kevin Owens (his style fits his character well), Nakamura, Undertaker (VERY good big man worker)
Female: Trish, Gail Kim, Awesome/Amazing Kong, all of the four horsewomen, Asuka
I'm obviously more of a "moves" fan than most here, though I do appreciate psychology as well (still watching stuff from the 80s and early 90s on the Network to get more of an opinion on the old school wrestlers). Cool to know that there are other "millennials" here who have this much knowledge about pro wrestling like I do.