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If you could've attended one show....


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So the option was Hogan vs. Savage or Andre vs. Warrior for one minute and Warrior wins? I would have been pissed if I got the Warrior show, and I was a Little Waryah growing up. I'm pretty sure if I saw him squash Andre in a minute I would have turned on him immediately. Andre was one of my heroes.

IIRC from reading some old Observer's, there were a lot of people pissed about those matches only going a minute as they (rightfully) felt they weren't getting their money's worth.

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Easy answer: The Last Battle of Atlanta. Because if you weren't at The Omni, you didn't see it.

 

For the same reason, I might go with the Final Conflict supercard from 1983 (Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling).  So far as I know, the semi-main event - US Champ Greg Valentine vs. NWA World Champ Ric Flair in a 60 min broadway - never made tape.  I've seen the rest of the show, but not that match. 

 

If I had to pick one show, though, I'd probably go with either Starrcade 83 or '85.

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Sorry Matt, I can't condone going to a show where Andre gets pinned in under a minute.

 

Eh, I saw them do that in Baton Rouge on my 7th birthday. It pretty much cemented in my young mind how bad ass the Warrior was. And now older me shudders to think of how the match would of been if it would of been longer.

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I'm going to flood this thread with shows that I wish I would've seen live, but one that comes to mind immediately....actually it was an entire weekend of wrestling shows. Hardcore Homecoming, the IWA MS/CZW doubleheader, Ring Of Honor the next day and ECW One Night Stand that night. An entire weekend of wrestling that I missed because I was in Iraq, around a bunch of guys that made fun of me for liking wrestling and kept trying to shove MMA down my throat.

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Would have loved to of gone to Summerslam 91 in person. As much as I loved Bret/Perfect, I would have wanted to see Bossman vs. Mountie. God I hated The Mountie so much back then so seeing him get what was coming to him and then hauled off by the cops would have been the best.

 

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I really wanted to go to One Night Stand. Economically just couldn't do it between having gone to the ROH show in May and going to an ROH doubleshot in July, I had to sit out that day/weekend.

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Spring Stampede 99 at the Tacoma Dome. i wasnt watching back then my dad and younger brother were HUGE WCW fans and I dont remember being asked if I wanted to go but apparently I was and said no. I do remember seeing my dad and brother getting ready the day of the event and putting on my jacket only to be told I wasnt going because I had stated 100 times before hand I didnt want to go and so a ticket was not bought for me. I ran to my room crying. I was 9. I'm over it now we  still laugh about it though. My dad laughed that day and has been laughing the 15 years since.

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Memphis 3/24/86...

 

 

Frank Morrell beat Keith Eric.
Jos LeDuc beat Davey Haskins & David Jamieson in a "handicap" match.
Paul Diamond & Michael Lee beat Tony Falk & Pat Rose when Diamond pinned Falk.
Billy Joe Travis beat Abdul Gaddafi to win the CWA International Title.
Billy Joe Travis & Frank Morrell beat The MOD Squad via DQ.
Jerry Lawler & Dutch Mantell beat Bill Dundee & Buddy Landel (48:57) in 26 falls of a "Texas death" match.
 
 
The undercard looks like shit but holy flying fucks what i wouldn't give to have that Texas Death Match complete. A bitter, crying shame they never aired it in full. 
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  • On the "never again seen" tip, the show with (what I think was a 60 minute draw between) Murdoch vs. Flair that Joel Watts called the greatest match he'd ever seen, only to destroy the tape by leaving it in his car parked in the sun.
  • Going to one of the first New Japan dome shows on 1/4 would be cool: '93, '94, and '96 were all intriguing.

Memphis wasn't much for supercards, but there was an insane run where Lawler and Dutch had three of the best matches ever within the span of a week, and there are likely fans who saw two or even all three of these within seven days:

  • Jerry Lawler vs. Dutch Mantell (No DQ) (3/22/82)
  • Jerry Lawler vs. Dutch Mantell (Loser Leaves Town) (3/27/82)
  • Jerry Lawler vs. Dutch Mantell (Barbed Wire Match) (3/29/82)

Any of the four top ranked UWF cards from the 80s set would be incredible for match quality and atmosphere:

 

NUMBER ONE: 7/24/89 UWF

#6 Masakatsu Funaki vs Tatsuo Nakano (7/24/89 UWF)

#11 Yoshiaki Fujiwara vs Kazuo Yamazaki (7/24/89 UWF)

NUMBER TWO: 9/11/85 UWF

#9 Yoshiaki Fujiwara vs Super Tiger (9/11/85 UWF)

#15 Kazuo Yamazaki vs Nobuhiko Takada (9/11/85 UWF)

NUMBER THREE: 12/5/84 UWF

#2 Yoshiaki Fujiwara vs Super Tiger (12/5/84 UWF)

#28 Kazuo Yamazaki vs Nobuhiko Takada (12/5/84 UWF)

#56 Pete Roberts/Akira Maeda vs Keith Hayward/Osamu Kido (12/5/84 UWF)

#59 Masami Soronaka vs Scott McGhee (12/5/84 UWF)

NUMBER FOUR: 5/21/89 UWF

#22 Akira Maeda vs Kazuo Yamazaki (5/21/89 UWF)

#24 Bob Backlund vs Masakatsu Funaki (5/21/89 UWF)

#54 Yoshiaki Fujiwara vs Yoji Anjoh (5/21/89 UWF)

 

These two from the NJ set in 1989 have to be in the conversation for greatest single cards ever. These are the kind of thing Meltzer probably attended constantly and now has little to say about beyond, "It was frickin' great."

 

Tatsumi Fujinami vs. Vader (4/24/89)

Shinya Hashimoto vs. Victor Zangiev (4/24/89)

Shinya Hashimoto vs. Vader (4/24/89)

Jushin Liger vs. Naoki Sano (7/13/89)

Big Van Vader vs. Salman Hashimikov (7/13/89)

Riki Choshu & Takayuki Iizuka vs. Super Strong Machine & George Takano (7/13/89)

 

Two amazing shows from the Mid-South set:

 

The Fabulous Ones vs. Chavo & Hector Guerrero (12/27/85)

Ted Dibiase vs. Dick Murdoch (12/27/85)

Buzz Sawyer vs. Jim Duggan (Dog Collar Match) (12/27/85)

 

Koko B. Ware vs. Eddie Gilbert (2/28/86)

Ted DiBiase, Dr. Death, Terry Taylor & Hacksaw Duggan vs. Dick Murdoch, Buzz Sawyer & The Masked Superstars (2/28/86)

Chavo & Hector Guerrero vs. The Fabulous Ones (Texas Tornado Cage Match) (2/28/86)

Dick Slater vs. Jake Roberts (No DQ, Dark Journey In A Cage) (2/28/86)

 

Otherwise, this would be awesome. Andre-Hogan in 1980 is fourth from the top:

 

Superdome Extravaganza 8/80

August 2, 1980 in New Orleans, LA

The Superdome drawing 31,000 ($183,000)

  1. Terry Latham beat Tommy Wright (9:15).
  2. Terry Orndorff & Mike Miller beat Johnny Mantell & Ron Cheatham (12:00).
  3. King Cobra beat Frank Dusek (10:15).
  4. The Assassin beat Steven Little Bear (12:00).
  5. Ray Candy beat Killer Khan (9:47).
  6. The Grappler beat Wahoo McDaniel (11:00) via DQ.
  7. Paul Orndorff beat Ken Mantell (14:00).
  8. Andre the Giant DCO Hulk Hogan (13:00).
  9. Mid-South North American Champ Ted DiBiase beat Mr. Wrestling II (14:00).
  10. Dusty Rhodes & Buck Robley beat Buddy Roberts & Terry Gordy (5:00) in a "double bullrope" match.
  11. Junkyard Dog beat Michael Hayes (11:20) in a "steel cage dog collar" match.
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For me, my magic-wand pick would be Misawa/Kobashi vs. Kawada/Taue 6/9/95. I have no idea what the rest of the card was (aside from "six old men chop each other and do comedy spots" in the curtain jerker and then "Stan Hansen briefly sells for some chump before lariating the fuck out of them" somewhere in the midcard, which were pretty inevitable on any AJPW show at that point) and I don't even care. I just wish I coulda seen THAT match live.

If we're speaking in terms of attending a show in the form we were when it first aired, I would probably say Backlash 2000. 2000 was the height of my wrestling fandom, or at least, my WWF fandom, and that show wound up being so amazing that I think 12 year old me would have loved it.

That was a damn fine show, wasn't it? For the first couple of years it ran, Backlash was actually a better show than Wrestlemania. Same feuds, less pressure, better results. I still remember Jim Ross's perfect call from the end of the Jericho/Benoit match; he was ONE OF US with his righteous indignation that this beautiful match had ended with a bullshit DQ outta nowhere, until the replay showed a blink-and-you'll-miss-it beltshot and he immediately turned around and harrumphed "well, I could've watched this match all night, but the referee made the correct decision". Wonderfully put over both men's tremendous shoot effort while still maintaining a babyface announcer's kayfabe belief in law and order.

This maybe a tangential topic, but if we include "shows i should have gone to but didnt"

Oooh yeah, that's a whore of a different color altogether. My big regret show is the ECW On TNN tv taping in Nashville from December of '99, which every indy worker in town will still rave about as being the greatest show they ever saw. (Stupid crazy girlfriend having a stupid fainting fit on the night, and stupid me being a stupid pussy-whipped chump nursing her back to stupid health... sigh.) Masato Tanaka won the title from Mike Awesome that night in one of their best matches. The rest of the card is mostly made up of weird mismatches that sounded just plain fun, like "hey, didya ever wanna see W*ing Kanemura versus Tracy Smothers? No? Well, here it is anyway."

So the option was Hogan vs. Savage or Andre vs. Warrior for one minute and Warrior wins? I would have been pissed if I got the Warrior show, and I was a Little Waryah growing up. I'm pretty sure if I saw him squash Andre in a minute I would have turned on him immediately. Andre was one of my heroes.

IIRC from reading some old Observer's, there were a lot of people pissed about those matches only going a minute as they (rightfully) felt they weren't getting their money's worth.
By all accounts, Andre fucking hated working with Warrior (to be fair, most guys hated working with Warrior) and the two of them didn't get along at all. And really, I can't imagine them having any chemistry together anyway, Warrior's one of the few guys who Andre can't just slide into his standard match formula. Mr. Shakey-Ropes was never a great seller, you had to beat on that guy all night long to make him stay down; and the entire gimmick with Andre was that he only had to hit you one time to make you stay down for at least a little while. There's still not much you can say to defend a sixty-second "main event", they could've at least stretched it out to like three minutes, but I understand why it might've happened.
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I'm probably showing exactly what my age is with these picks:

 

10/23/1999 ECW Arena show for Sandman's return

8/26/1999 Raven return at the Madhouse

Halloween Havoc 1997

Starrcade 1997

SuperBrawl 8

Foley's first title win in Worcester, December 1998

Foley goes off the Cell in Pittsburgh at KOTR

Manias XII - XIX

HeatWave 1999

 

 

 

There are 20,000 more if I really think about it, but these immediately came to mind and reminded me of being a yout

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For me, my magic-wand pick would be Misawa/Kobashi vs. Kawada/Taue 6/9/95. I have no idea what the rest of the card was (aside from "six old men chop each other and do comedy spots" in the curtain jerker and then "Stan Hansen briefly sells for some chump before lariating the fuck out of them" somewhere in the midcard, which were pretty inevitable on any AJPW show at that point) and I don't even care. I just wish I coulda seen THAT match live.

 

 

June 9, 1995 in Tokyo, Japan

Budokan Hall drawing 16,300 ($1,000,000)

  1. Masao & Mighty Inoue beat Maunukea Mossman & Mitsuo Momota (8:56) when Masao pinned ???.
  2. Satoru Asako pinned Mike Anthony (6:58).
  3. Kentaro Shiga, Tsuyoshi Kikuchi, & Yoshinori Ogawa beat Tamon Honda, Takao Omori, & Jun Akiyama (10:26) when Kikuchi pinned Omori.
  4. Johnny Ace & The Patriot beat Doug Furnas & Bobby Duncum, Jr. (9:59) when Ace pinned Furnas.
  5. Abdullah the Butcher, Giant Baba, & Rusher Kimura beat Ryukaku Izumida, Haruka Eigan, & Masa Fuchi (13:43) when Abdullah pinned Fuchi.
  6. PWF Junior Heavyweight Champ Dan Kroffat pinned Rob Van Dam (17:10).
  7. Stan Hansen pinned Giant Kimala II (5:09).
  8. Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue beat Mitsu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi (42:37) to win the All Japan World Tag Title when Kawada pinned Misawa.

Giant Kimala II was Ben Peacock, better known as the Botswana Beast on southern indies and Uganda in ECW. The Kroffat-Van Dam match gets praise online for who was in it: I just watched it for the first time in years and found it a flawed spectacle in hindsight, knowing who Van Dam became. But yes, the main event is the main event.

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As far as matches go, I would have loved to have seen Eddie win the title at No Way Out. I also would like to have seen any Kobashi and Misawa match in person.

 

For an entire show, I would probably go with NOAH Destiny in 2005, or the 1994 Super J Cup.

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Would have loved to see this one live:

 

WWF/AJPW Wrestling Summit

4/13/1990

Tokyo Dome

Attendance 57,732 (I’ve also seen 44,000 given as the actual attendance)

 

Dan Kroffat, Doug Furnas & Joe Malenko vs. Samson Fuyuki, Tatsumi Kitahara & Toshiaki Kawada

Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Akira Nogami

Jimmy Snuka & Tito Santana vs. Kenta Kobashi & Masanobu Fuchi

Bret Hart vs. Tiger Mask

The Great Kabuki vs. Greg Valentine

Jake Roberts vs. The Big Boss Man

IWGP Tag Team Title Match: Masa Saito & Shinya Hashimoto © vs. Masahiro Chono & Riki Choshu

Jumbo Tsuruta & King Haku vs. Mr. Perfect & Rick Martel

Genichiro Tenryu vs. Randy Savage (w/Sensational Sherri)

WWF World Heavyweight Title Match: The Ultimate Warrior © vs. Ted DiBiase

Andre The Giant & Giant Baba vs.  Demolition (Ax & Smash)

Hulk Hogan vs. Stan Hansen

 

The Hansen match is one of Hogan's best matches.  Originally, he was supposed to face Terry Gordy, but Gordy wouldn't put over Hogan.  Hansen is probably an improvement over 1990 Gordy, but I still would have liked to see Hogan-Gordy.  Honestly, I would love to see a Hogan/Hansen feud in 1990 WWF.  Hansen's redneck heel character (crazy promos, tobacco spitting, bellowing, cowbells) was so much fun.

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Probably a Tokyo Dome show with Misawa, Kawada, Hansen, Williams or Kobashi. I've never attended a wrestling event where it felt like a sport before but that's a big part of why I love 90's AJPW. It felt like athletic competition & I never knew who was going to win each match because most of the guys at the top seemed equal.

 

ECW One Night Stand at Hammerstein would have been cool too.

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