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June 2022 Wrestling Discussion


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My fandom started shortly before Wrestlemania 1.  I remember seeing Hogan and Mr. T featured on the syndicated show that would become Wrestling Challenge.  It was on Saturdays at 4pm on the independent station in Baltimore (WBFF, channel 45) that would eventually become the Fox network affiliate.  I watched that a friend's house and I guess I was hooked.  I'd watch that show and Superstars, which aired Saturdays at 11:30pm on what was then the local CBS affiliate.  I'd always rent the videos and I remember waiting all day at my local store for Mania 2 to come back in.

My dad liked boxing and decried wrestling as phony bullshit.  My brother tolerated wrestling but wasn't super into it.  Our Christmas present in December of 85 was tickets to the January house show at the Civic Center, featuring Hogan vs Beefcake.  My sister and her boyfriend took us because no way were our parents going to.  I went to a few more shows after that, including that dreadfully boring TV taping where Adonis broke Piper's leg and then he came back for revenge, and then a friend got me into JCP.  NWA wrestling was on another independent station (channel 54) on Saturdays and Sundays at noon.  Eventually, we'd go to cards at the now Baltimore Arena by ourselves, taking the bus downtown at like 11-12 years old.  It was a different time.

I have a lot of cool memories of stuff I saw live in Baltimore, but probably the most historic thing was seeing Bruno's last match ever when he teamed with Hogan in August of 88 against Bundy and Gang.

I'm currently working through all the WWF's big shows of the 80s and commenting on it here.  Definitely some rose colored glasses stuff as a lot of those matches were bad, but that's nostalgia for ya.  Nothing ever tops the magic of the stuff you saw as a kid.

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For arena bucket lists, I definitely would have loved to have seen a PWG show in Reseda, of course!  Shit, that VFW was like a mile from my brother's house.  But I never got there and now the building is gone.  Their shows at The Globe in LA absolutely have a more professional look, but I'm nostalgic for the old VFW because pirated copies of shows from there were my first exposure to them, and higher quality indy wrestling in general, in a dark time when WWE was lame.

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4 minutes ago, Technico Support said:

Nothing ever tops the magic of the stuff you saw as a kid.

It's true, watching Jun Kasai versus Mitsuhiro Matsunaga in a fire deathmatch had 14 year old Casey in awe of what I was watching on a shitty Highspots VHS.

Was it good? No. But like you said, it brings back memories - like begging my parents to order my tapes from Highspots and them questioning what exactly a "Big Japan Deathmatch Bible" was. In that same batch of tapes, I also got the first volume of a comp called Best of Japan 2001 (which had a six way cage match from Toryumon with CIMA, Darkness Dragon, Dragon Kid, Magnum TOKYO and Masaaki Mochizuki) and New Japan's Osaka Dream Night PPV (Chono/Takayama in a cage!).

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On 6/19/2022 at 4:53 PM, zendragon said:

I think most people will look back at their childhood era that they got into wrestling with rose colored glasses

Yeah. Mick Foley and Terry Funk being thrown into dumpsters and STONE COLD STONE COLD STONE COLD and Rey vs. Eddy will be my favorite, but right now, we are going through one of the best eras of wrestling ever. It shouldn't be overlooked because it's current. AEW is a boom period and federation that we'll be talking about for a long time and has some of the best wrestlers and matches and angles ever. (I am not being paid by them, by the way -- if so, I'd be posting pictures of the brand new Marshall stack, BC Rich red Mockingbird, and Big Muff I just bought 😄).

EDIT: Shit, why just mention AEW? All the indies right now, even WWE with the right talent and right direction are awesome. That last one is rare but it happens. Same for New Japan or Mexico. It's rare, but it happens. 

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Similar question, what’s the worst arena you’ve been to for wrestling? 

I think my is the Target Center in Minneapolis. I went there for Summerslam 99 and that place, at least back then, just goes straight up. If you look down you’re practically looking at the top of the person in front of you. It’s the steepest arena I’ve ever been in so mid level seats wound up feeling like nosebleeds.

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4 hours ago, Craig H said:

Similar question, what’s the worst arena you’ve been to for wrestling? 

I think my is the Target Center in Minneapolis. I went there for Summerslam 99 and that place, at least back then, just goes straight up. If you look down you’re practically looking at the top of the person in front of you. It’s the steepest arena I’ve ever been in so mid level seats wound up feeling like nosebleeds.

For the exact same reason, my pick is The Capitol One Arena, which was maybe called the Verizon Center or MCI Center back then?  It's the arena in downtown DC where the Wizards and Capitals play.  I saw, OF COURSE, Starrcade 97 there.  Bad PPV with a terrible ending, compounded by the fact that we were four rows from the very top of the (very steep) building.  Bad show, bad seats, vertigo-inducing building.  Awful.

Coolest building?  Harry Grove Stadium, the minor league ballpark in Frederick, MD.  WWE ran shows there a few Summers in a row and seeing wrestling at an outdoor ballpark in July was *chef's kiss*   Except for the time the show got rained out.  We were two matches in and they brought out THE BOOGEYMAN for a test run of the character.  You couldn't have asked for better special effects as we were hit by thunder and lightning and they sky opened up for a downpour.  They did a make-up show in September and never ran another one.  I wonder if the storm and needing to do that make-up was the reason they didn't come back.  Here's a TRIPOD site dedicated apparently to Kane that is somehow still online, with shots from one of these shows.  Amazing.

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I never saw any wrestling there, but I announced plenty of roller derby at Dorton Arena in Raleigh, and that place is magical. As long as the sun isn't setting, anyway.

(I also announced at the DC Armory many times and never shook the thought of "wow, this was once where Robocop returned").

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On 6/19/2022 at 11:47 AM, Niners Fan in CT said:

What era of WWF/WWE do you prefer and why?  

Pre-1984

1985-1992

1993-1997

1997-2002 

2002-2007

Honestly Era Attitude Era WWF like probably a month before Survivor Series 97 to like When Smackdown started in fall 99 is the only WWF/WWE I have do desire to watch or rediscover again. 

I remember alot of internet fans around either stopped watching WWE or wrestling all together after the Benoit tragedies but me personally, I just recently discovered this board. Being around this board grew my fondness of WWE back that I hadn't had in years. I was back watching Smackdown and Raw every week in ' 07 till probably around ' 12 or '13 because of this board. The first half of '07 was really good I think especially for Raw. 

I Became a fan near the end of the New Generation Era. As bad as the gimmicks were most of the top guys gimmicks weren't so cartoony and the roster was small and the top guys were larger than life.

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Korakuen Hall is my favorite venue. Every seat is good excepting Row A of the North, East, and West sections. I was once able to be a ringside photographer  here which was of course memorable. It was when Manami Toyota became the 50th WWWA champion. I've been on the fourth floor press area while the post match interviews go on. I've sat on that interview bench during intermission. The drink vending machine there is cheaper than the one in the lobby for the fans. The best place for photography is on the rail in the balcony. I'm old now and no longer have the stamina to stand for the whole show.

ECW Arena was great in the beginning with 200 fans and when they had bleachers. It is prettied up now, but all floor seats, which suck. I also miss being able to go out of the side door to go to Anthony's bar down the street for a quick shot and beer when Raven or Shane Douglass came to the ring with the mic. Usually that was good timing to come back in about when they finished yapping.

MSG and Tokyo Sumo Hall are two of my favorites. However I've been there for way more NBA, NHL, and Sumo than wrestling. I was out of control screaming Iran number one bali bali the night that the Iron Sheik won the WWF championship.

Sumo Hall, Budoukan, and Mexican bullfighting stadiums are good for wrestling because they are round/square, not rectangular/oval like hockey or basketball arenas. All of the seats in a row are equal distance from the ring.

I took a picture in front of a sign for Kiel Auditorium Parking when I was there well after Kiel was torn down.

I wish that I went to the Olympic Auditorium.

I want to go to Arena Mexico and KBS Hall.

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Venues i still need to see live wrestling in:

Korakuen Hall - for the obvious reasons of its history because I think every important pre-2000's wrestler worked there at some point except for maybe Rock and Hunter. 

Kyoto KBS Hall - for the obvious reasons of beauty.

Center Stage Theater - have gotten to see concerts there but not wrestling yet but even seeing the seating and knowing immediately what every view for watching wrestling in that building was like still gave me chills when I walked in.

And the next two are primarily because they tie into the "when did you become a wrestling fan" conversation:

Mid-Hudson Civic Center - again, pretty much every major WWF name from 1984 (the year I started watching wrestling as a child) through 1995 wrestled in that building at some point and I love that Northeast Wrestling still runs some of their more loaded shows there.

Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium - same as above, but for every major JCP name between 1973 and 1990 and many moments for me watching Worldwide Wrestling in 1985 and 1986, and the acoustics still sound awesome when I watch live streams of modern indie shows there when the crowd is hot.

Nashville Fairgrounds - I didn't have the pleasure of getting to watch the Memphis stars as a kid but the classic footage became some of my favorite to seek out when I started tape trading and the fact that its the one classic "CWA/USWA/Championship Wrestling" venue where wrestling still runs fairly regularly is awesome.

Venues i have had the pleasure of watching wrestling in:

Reseda American Legion - got to attend plenty of shows between 2008 and 2012 and yeah the vibe in that room combined with cheap Legion Hall beer was fucking incredible. I have been to The Globe Theater a couple of times since the move. The shows are still great but the vibe will never match that tiny building in Reseda.

ECW Arena/Hammerstein Ballroom - got to cross both of these off during that first ECW One Night Stand weekend and experience arguably the most high-energy of the myriad of ECW reunion shows and FRONT ROW for Samoa Joe vs Necro Butcher holy fucking shit.

Madison Square Garden - I finally got to cross this off the list with the NJPW show in 2019, though it would have been much more satisfying to get there when they still had the old center entrance setup, there were still a lot of chills for me walking into that arena. 

P.S. when I went to Mania weekend 2016 in Dallas, I made sure to take a few minutes to walk around the vacant lot that used to the home to the Dallas Sportatorium and pay my respects.

P.P.S. I will also totally shout out the Ukrainian Cultural Center, current home to GCW's Los Angeles events which is as gorgeous of a room as it looks on the live streams and really way too nice of a room for that sort of skullduggery. 

P.P.P.S. oh yeah, I just remembered I got to cross off some old-school style STUDIO WRESTLING in 2003 when The Sheik's son was running his AWWL shows in Michigan at the ABC affiliate in Lansing. Getting to see Sabu, Jerry Lynn, and Kevin Sullivan tear it up in a traditional studio wrestling environment was a damn fine way to spend a Saturday morning. 

Wrestling's pretty awesome sometimes, you guys!

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I just saw a match where Jun Akiyama made a man submit by using a tube to make the guy eat his own farts.

So yeah...

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On 6/20/2022 at 8:43 PM, L_W_P said:

Against the grain the the initial brand split was really cool when I was a teenager.

The "Smackdown 6" was fucking amazing. Seeing guys like RVD and JBL (my guilty pleasure guy) get a shot on top, watching the evolution of... Evolution. The beginning of the start of the genesis of WWE's homegrown GOAT - John Cena

I know a lot of people hated it at the time but I loved how different RAW and SD felt back then and the variety of matches and stories we got. RAW was this Vince and Co were throwing a lot of shit at the wall and, as bad as some of it was, it was entertaining.

Modern WWE wishes it was that much fun. 

JBL was always a fun pick in video games because a brawling power wrestler should be fun to play.

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10 hours ago, Craig H said:

Similar question, what’s the worst arena you’ve been to for wrestling? 

I think my is the Target Center in Minneapolis. I went there for Summerslam 99 and that place, at least back then, just goes straight up. If you look down you’re practically looking at the top of the person in front of you. It’s the steepest arena I’ve ever been in so mid level seats wound up feeling like nosebleeds.

The Honda Center/Anaheim Pond. The acoustics there are atrocious.

 

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Municipal Auditorium in Nashville was a decrepit POS in 2001 when I was a kid and went to Superbrawl Revenge, so I can only imagine what it's like now if it hasn't had any work done.

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1 hour ago, Ramo2653 said:

JBL was always a fun pick in video games because a brawling power wrestler should be fun to play.

He was a guilty pleasure because all of my casual wrestling fan friends loved watching him just destroy people with the Clothesline from Hell.

JBL v Eddie (with THAT blade job) might be the most talked about match of that whole era in my circle.

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Think I've mentioned it before, but we really do underrate Jim Duggan as far as most selfish guys in the business go. 

Seemingly just went out of his way to make people look bad. Austin at Starrcade and Berlyn at Halloween Havoc 99 the biggest examples. There's a lumberjack match with Shawn on Raw in 93 where he just doesn't sell for him. I'm watching an early episode of Thunder where he barely sells for MENG of all people. Tongan Death Grip is treated as a death finisher at this time, and yet it barely keeps him down for a three count.

Can't think of a single match he had where he made anyone look good?

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1 hour ago, GuerrillaMonsoon said:

Think I've mentioned it before, but we really do underrate Jim Duggan as far as most selfish guys in the business go. 

Seemingly just went out of his way to make people look bad. Austin at Starrcade and Berlyn at Halloween Havoc 99 the biggest examples. There's a lumberjack match with Shawn on Raw in 93 where he just doesn't sell for him. I'm watching an early episode of Thunder where he barely sells for MENG of all people. Tongan Death Grip is treated as a death finisher at this time, and yet it barely keeps him down for a three count.

Can't think of a single match he had where he made anyone look good?

OSW has turned me into a Duggan hater.

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So my nostalgia tour of 80s WWF on Peacock ROLLS ON (tm Michael Cole) as I kicked off Wrestlemania 3!  Boy, is the Wikipedia "talk" page for this one a mess, with level headed people on one side and MAAAAAARKS on the other sniping eachother endlessly about the attendance!   Something obviously untrue being defended tooth and nail by regular people hoodwinked by carnies.  Some things never change!

Muraco and Orton vs The Can Am Connection: This was a good opener between two short lived teams.  Zenk quit due to a pay dispute (because he's Tom Zenk and didn't take carny bullshit) a few months later, Muraco and Orton (who were put together during the Piper/Adonis feud) split 5-6 months later on an angle I vaguely remember.  Shit I never knew about: Orton went on to team with his brother Barry in Japan as Billy and Barry Gaspar, two hockey mask wearing pirates.   Holy fuck I need to see that.  I also need to see Vince coaching Martel and Zenk up on their whitemeat babyface mannerisms.  GOD DAMMIT PAL RUN IN PLACE SLOWER, PUMP YOUR ARMS FASTER, AND LOOK PISSED!  Gorilla calls Orton "The Excellence of Execution" a year or so before Bret.  He also refers to the heels as "The Tank and the Technician" and that's cool.  Can Ams beat T & T on a Martel high cross assisted by Don tripping over Zenk and I love goofy-ass tag misdirection finishes.

Oh shit WWF's habit of putting highlight videos before every match started here.

Billy Jack Haynes vs Hercules Hernandez: Herc has gone from Blassie to Slick to Heenan by Mania 3.  I can still hear Slick saying "Hercules Hernandez is a FIIIIINE ATHALETE" during the promo where he sold his contract.  Dull clubbering match between two guys who would somehow both end up working under hoods for WCW years later.  That's the rasslin biz for ya.  One day you're working in front of 78,000 93,173 and millions worldwide, one day you're a worked French executioner under a hood in front of 450 people who don't care.  Ka is a wheel.  It goes to a double countout with both fighting over a full nelson, then Herc waffles Billy with the chain for a sweet bladejob as Billy Jack does his best to pull his massive curtain of hair from his forehead so the blood can flow and not get soaked up.  All this happens because, say it with me, we need to keep things going for the house shows.  Funny/scary moment where the guy driving the ring cart starts to drive away before Heenan expects it and while Herc is still getting on.  Heenan almost falls and looks freaked out, and then both of them start screaming at the dude.  It's the little things.

Bundy, Little Tokyo, & Lord LIttlebrook vs Hillbilly Jim, Little Beaver, and Haiti Kid: Is there a bigger fall from Mania to Maina than Bundy, who went from main eventing 2 to a little people comedy match in 3?   Don't count people who went from being on the card to off the card.  I mean people who went from a marquee match to some shit like this.  Useless, short match.  Little Beaver works in nude colored tights and it's disturbing.  He's probably only on the card because Vince thought his name was funny.  Did they not smarten up the announcers to finishes?  Ventura says "I wanna see Bundy put the kibosh on one of these midgets!"  Way to give that away.  Anyway, the big bald guy puts a pounding on the beaver for the DQ.   Jack Lanza is furiously yelling at dudes to get out of the ring and that's hilarious.

JYD vs Harley by god Race:  Fuck yes Harley Race is the most professional professional wrestler.  You have a multi time world champ, one of the best in the world for a long time, and he has no problem doing EXACTLY what is necessary here. He's just bumping and stooging, just sports entertainmenting all over the place to make this work and it's awesome.  Quick match where Race takes a beating and then cuts off JYD with the sweetest belly to belly for the quick win.  JYD goofiness after the match to get his heat back.  Did they also keep this going for house shows?  I wouldn't doubt it. 

That's all for now.  Rougeaus vs Dream Team, Piper vs Adonis, and more up next.  As a bonus, here's a pic of one of the GASPAR BROTHERS and you need more Jason Vorhees/Lord Humongous buccaneers in your life!

12xC3G4.jpeg

It's a puffy shirt!

Edited by Technico Support
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On 6/19/2022 at 11:47 AM, Niners Fan in CT said:

What era of WWF/WWE do you prefer and why?  

1985-1992

Answer would have been different when I was younger, but these days, the late 80's/early 90's is the only era I go back to.  Roster was loaded (Rude, Hennig, Hogan, Bulldog, Hart, etc.) and it was a fun period from start to finish.  I guess I'm not a ringwork guy.  i like my wrasslin' loud, silly, and over-the-top.

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4 hours ago, GuerrillaMonsoon said:

Think I've mentioned it before, but we really do underrate Jim Duggan as far as most selfish guys in the business go. 

Seemingly just went out of his way to make people look bad. Austin at Starrcade and Berlyn at Halloween Havoc 99 the biggest examples. There's a lumberjack match with Shawn on Raw in 93 where he just doesn't sell for him. I'm watching an early episode of Thunder where he barely sells for MENG of all people. Tongan Death Grip is treated as a death finisher at this time, and yet it barely keeps him down for a three count.

Can't think of a single match he had where he made anyone look good?

Have you ever seen his shoots? Just a miserable, bitter, delusional asshole. Still thinks he was a bigger deal than Steve fucking Austin. He's your classic Rock 'n' Wrestling midcarder who thinks everyone who came after him needs to bow down.

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2 hours ago, Technico Support said:

<snipped to this section>

Billy Jack Haynes vs Hercules Hernandez: Herc has gone from Blassie to Slick to Heenan by Mania 3.  I can still hear Slick saying "Hercules Hernandez is a FIIIIINE ATHALETE" during the promo where he sold his contract.  Dull clubbering match between two guys who would somehow both end up working under hoods for WCW years later.  That's the rasslin biz for ya.  One day you're working in front of 78,000 93,173 and millions worldwide, one day you're a worked French executioner under a hood in front of 450 people who don't care.  Ka is a wheel.  It goes to a double countout with both fighting over a full nelson, then Herc waffles Billy with the chain for a sweet bladejob as Billy Jack does his best to pull his massive curtain of hair from his forehead so the blood can flow and not get soaked up.  All this happens because, say it with me, we need to keep things going for the house shows.  Funny/scary moment where the guy driving the ring cart starts to drive away before Heenan expects it and while Herc is still getting on.  Heenan almost falls and looks freaked out, and then both of them start screaming at the dude.  It's the little things.

 

Young JLowe was a Billy Jack Haynes mark...

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