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I’ve been to a bunch of rasslin’ shows. It is almost always a good time, and sometimes it is transcendent, educational and/or visionary. I wanted to pick five really fun cards I attended, with a few comments on each. I noticed that a major part of my good memories was whom I went with - makes sense. 

 

(in no particular order)

CWF, Miami or Ft. Lauderdale, 1983/84 - I went with Mama RAF and “Uncle” Pepe. It was a gymnasium with bleachers and folding chairs, and a mixed FLA crowd of Hispanics, trailer trash, old folks, screaming kids & inner city youth - true believers, all of us, not a single hipster or smark to be seen.

Memorable match: Kevin Sullivan & Buzz Sawyer vs. Blackjack Mulligan & Dusty Rhodes, Lights Out Bar Room Brawl - The ring ropes were removed and sweet chaos reigned o’er all. The Prince of Darkness and The Mad Dog were defeated by thee cowboy heroes but afterwards Mulligan’s hair was set aflame by a fireball and Sullivan stabbed Rhodes with the Golden Spike right in the teat, and our heels had to dash through an enraged crowd. Youthful RAF stood on his chair and applauded and got to pat KS’s sweaty Bostonian shoulder as he scuttled by. Right after that life-changing event, a 9 year old Black Dusty fan jumped on Mr. Sullivan’s back and began to pummel him. Sullivan bleated out “SECURITY! SECURITY!!”, body slammed the child, onto the hardwood floor, hopped over his inert form and dashed the rest of the way to the lockerroom. I decided to try to get into the business tight then.

 

WWF, Madison Square Garden, NYC, 03/25/84 - My chum Arthur A. and I would go all the time and his mom was neighbors with a MSG family member who had access to great tickets but never used them so we did - always within the first 10 rows. Our pimply faces can be seen on several Coliseum Videos and MSG Network broadcasts. 

Memorable match: Roddy Piper & “Dr. D” David Schultz vs. Jimmy Snuka & Andre the Giant - As usual, Arthur and I were taunted by our neighboring fans for cheering the heels, but that worm turned right fast when Andre was carried out after being tied up in the ropes and bloodied by Piper and Schultz. Snuka continued on in a handicap match and was going down when The Giant did a lurch in, Spirit of 1776-style in bloody head bandages causing the DQ for his team and a win for “our” team. SWEET VINDICATION, YOU PENCILNECKS.

 

WCW, Superbrawl II, Milwaukee, 02/29/92 - A crew of us made the road trip from Chicago for this; I remember Mama Trauma, Tony T and 5 or 6 other miscreants that worked the nightclubs. We did a tour of Jeffery Dahmer’s favorite gay bars and had some cocktails. We had great seats for the PPV (remember waiting in line at Ticketmaster?) and many beers. Afterwards we went back to Chicago and frequented more water-holes w/libations. I almost picked Spring Stampede ‘94 instead (with a similar posse) which was a better card but the pre-game on SB2 was more festive.

Memorable Match: Jushin ”Thunder” Liger vs. Flyin’ Brian Pillman - The choice was obvious. My Meltzered-up self was super psyched for this. The cheeseheads in attendance were barely enthusiastic - well, it was the opener (after the dark match). Ignorant heathens, then and now. It was a great match, but seems almost quaint now upon rewatch. Sic transit gloria mundi.

 

AAA/ECW combo show, International Amphitheatre, Chicago, 10/21/95 - I promise to finish my write-up of this event, umm… soon? This was fun. Lance and John and Margaret and me at this unique undocumented show at a pivotal period for U.S. pro wrestling. One of two wrestling-related riots I have been in occurred at this card: thank you, Terry Funk. Come for the rasslin’, stay for the great concessions, and we had great seats for this as well.

Memorable match: 2 Cold Scorpio & The Eliminators vs. Tommy Dreamer & Public Enemy - This was the very first time I ever saw someone go through a flaming table live and in person, as did every damn other person in the place as they were dumbfounded. ¡Ay, caramba!

 

SFLL, San Francisco, 03/11/01 - Blurring the rules a bit here, as this was a card I worked. I only knew the promoter, but I got to smoke cigars at a jazz club with El Hijo Del Santo and Tinieblas Jr. (sadly, no Alushe). I also got to hang out with Rey Misterio (Sr., the uncle), watching the openers and dishing in spanglish, so this was a big deal to me. Plus, I got paid.

Memorable match: It goes without saying my match was not the best on the card, but it was memorable for me. I worked Chango Loco (for the third time, three different promotions). My promos for the radio spots were good and we did a pull-apart at a press event. Hijo later showed me how to rip a mask and gave me more respect and attention than he had to - a real class act. Color all around and I was shorn of my locks, and shaved my head completely to honor tradition the next day. 

 

Well, there you have it. These were the ones that came to mind but there are many more. Of course I tripped down memory lane and added much florid word-stuff, so thank you for indulging me. I trust it was worth reading. Please add your own personal bests with stories!

 

Your loving RAF

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International Showdown in Coventry was my first and probably favourite, although I don't know how well it holds up as a card. Being barely 18, with no car, we made more of an adventure of it than we needed to, so let's just leave it at that. 

Misawa, tho. 

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Great idea for a thread! Honestly hard to limit it to just five. Probably better that way, though. Also, I will definitely cheat my way into mentioning extra shows.

Can I bring up Backlash 2004 and the subsequent RAW, where (redacted) defended the World Heavyweight Championship in a rematch of the WMXX Main Event and then won the tag straps (with Edge) on Monday? I also got to see the Cactus Jack vs Randy Orton Hardcore Match and the development of the Jericho vs Christian/Stratus feud... but  like @thee Reverend Axl Futuresays, it's who you are with that really counts and I was there on an epic road trip with my old friend, SLAM Wrestling Hall of Famer and Canadian Indie mainstay "Vicious" Verne Siebert and his son Shaun. Also I got to be part of an Alberta crowd screaming "You screwed Bret!" at HBK. 

I also got to go to a bunch of ECCW and Vancouver All Star cards when American Dragon Bryan Danielson was still making frequent trips up to Vancouver to work the local indies. Enough people working those shows still remembered me (probably due to Verne reminding them of who I was), so I was generally allowed to hang out  behind the scenes and at the after parties. If I had to pick just one it would probably be Pacific Cup 2005 where guys like TJP (as Puma), Dave Richards, Chance Beckett, and Matt Borne shared the ring with my friends and friends-of-friends. 

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After moving to Japan, I became a regular at Osaka Pro Wrestling shows and made a whole new group of pro wrestling friends. There were a ton of great memories and a ton of memorable shows, but probably none more memorable than Osaka Pro Hurricane 2010 which featured the absolutely epic Billyken Kid vs Dick Togo title match and Abdullah the Butcher as a very special guest. I met up with a guy who used to post online as Jacques Rougeau (his actual trainer) at that show and we had a blast hanging out with my Osaka wrestling friends.

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80s and 90s All Japan will always be my favourite wrestling. I never got to see that live, though. The first time I visited Japan with my wife-to-be (in 2005), I saw a really good Taue vs Morishma title match in Yokohama. I also got to see Misawa live for the first time (high fives @DangerMark) When we came back two years later I got to live a dream by seeing a Misawa title defense in the Budokan (7th row floor seats)! but it was Misawa vs Samoa Joe, which didn't exactly live up to expectations. There was an epic Kobashi return announcement, at least, which was pretty great. I attended another Budokan show on the day we flew to Japan to stay, March 1st, 2009. That featured both Go Shiozaki & Takashi Sugiura vs Milano Collection AT & Shinsuke Nakamura and the epic and at-one-time divisive KENTA vs Katsuhiko Nakajima GHC Junior Heavyweight Title Match. The closest I have come to seeing live 90s AJPW, though, and one of my all-time wrestling fan moments, came seven months later, when the Holy Demon Army reunited for one last time to take on Kobashi and KENTA at NOAH's Mitsuharu Misawa Osaka Memorial show. Legit goosebumps for that one. I went there with a guy who used to post as Ragnar, whose real name is Ragnar. Again, blasts were had. It's basically always great to meet internet friends in real life.

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The best show I've seen recently was without a doubt NJPW's New Beginning in Osaka this year. Hiromu vs Lee, Mox vs MiSu, and Naito's epic title defense vs Kenta, with my brother-from-another-mother Chris. Also I got to say goodbye to a personal favourite, Manabu Nakanishi, in his last match in Osaka. I had been there live when he dropped the IWGP title to Takahashi in Osaka in June 2009 and it was great to cheer for him one last time.

Such good times.

I'm one lucky prick!

 

Edited by El Gran Gordi
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This: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sam_Muchnick_Memorial_Tournament was my first show I ever attended.  Look at the talent on that card!  Mostly, I was just excited to see Hogan.  When the match was declared a double-DQ, people started throwing full cups of beer at the ring.  It was a little scary (I was 8), but it was also exciting.

I was at IYH: Bad Blood in the sixth row.  Other than the obvious highlight of the night (the first Hell in a Cell), my favorite memory was my best friend Doug harassing The Rock while he was on the ring apron during the NOD tag. It would get a little quiet in the arena, and my buddy would yell, "Fuck you, Rocky!" and Rock would turn around and start cussing at him.

My sentimental favorite is an NXT house show here in Louisville a couple years ago.  I got my daughter and I second row seats right on the entrance way.  We got to see a really good Velveteen Dream/Kassius Ohno match and Adam Cole have the only match of his I've ever enjoyed against Raul Mendoza.  Before the show, the ring announcer gave my daughter some glow sticks.  At intermission, she was disappointed I wouldn't drop $300 on a nice replica NXT Women's belt for her.  The best part of the night, though, was after the opening match where the War Raiders beat TM61.  The Raiders were giving forearm bumps as they came down the aisle back to the locker room.  I got one, but they missed my daughter.  She gave out a little, "oh, man" and one of the Raiders heard her and came back and knelt down and gave her a forearm bump.  She was so happy and he was grinning ear-to-ear as he walked away.  She still talks about that show.

Edited by Log
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I went to so may great Crockett house shows at the Baltimore arena, and then the PPV Bashes there as well, including the excellent Bash '89 that everybody put over in another thread.  The Bashes were all great until 1991 came along and shit the bed.

Another favorite of mine was the second show in Kobashi's two-show ROH shot, where he tagged in Philly with Low Ki against Joe & Homicide (I may have the partners mixed up).  I went there with one of my best friends from childhood.  We're not close anymore and 85% chance the dude is a Proud Boy now but those were good times then.

Edited by Technico Support
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1 minute ago, Technico Support said:

I went to so may great Crockett house shows at the Baltimore arena, and then the PPV Bashes there as well, including the excellent Bash '89 that everybody put over in another thread.  The Bashes were all great until 1991 came along and shit the bed.

Another favorite of mine was the second show in Kobashi's two-show ROH shot, where he tagged in Philly with Low Ki against Joe & Homicide (I may have the partners mixed up).  I went there with one of my best friends from childhood.  We're not close anymore and 85% chance the dude is a Proud Boy now but those were good times then.

Another favorite of mine was a Bash '89 house show in Carbondale, IL.  My cousin and I had like second or third row seats.  This was the card:

NWA @ Carbondale, IL - SIU Arena - July 12, 1989 (1,058 paid)
Shane Douglas & Johnny Ace defeated the New Zealand Militia
Sid Vicious & Dan Spivey defeated Johnny & Davey Rich
Mike Rotunda pinned Dick Murdoch
The Great Muta defeated Eddie Gilbert via count-out in a Dragon Shi match
Rick Steiner won the 2-ring battle royal
Rick Steiner pinned Kevin Sullivan
The Road Warriors defeated Norman & Fatu
Sting defeated Terry Funk via disqualification
Terry Gordy, NWA Tag Team Champions Michael Hayes & Jimmy Garvin defeated Steve Williams, Bobby Eaton & Stan Lane when Gordy pinned Lane with a DDT

Before the Sting/Funk match, I ran over to the entrance aisle and waved my homemade Sting poster in Terry Funk's face.  He reared back like he was going to punch me.  I've never ran so fast in my life.  

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Good lord 1989 WCW was beautiful.

I need to find the full card but I went to a Bash in 87 in Baltimore, so this was before the annual PPV Baltimore Bash.  The main was a barbed wire match between Tully and Dusty that was hyped like crazy.  Well the show went long but the announcer (maybe it was Cappetta) made  a big deal of announcing that the athletic commission had WAIVED THE CURFEW~! and we'd definitely be getting the main event!  Well Dusty and Tully got in the ring, Dusty waffled him with his weight belt and pinned him right away.  It had to be like 10-20 seconds.  So no damn way they got the curfew lifted unless "lifted" means "we'll give you guys 5 minutes, so be quick about it!"  Carny as fuck.

Also, looking at the card, I wonder if this happened during the period where Flair had some sort of injury (can't remember what it was) where he worked hurt in six mans around the horn.

JCP @ Baltimore, MD - Arena - July 12, 1987 (13,500)
Misty Blue defeated Kat Leroux
Terry Gordy (sub. for Buddy Roberts) defeated Thunderfoot #1
Rick Steiner (sub. for Black Bart) defeated Sting
Jimmy Garvin defeated Manny Fernandez via disqualification
NWA US Tag Team Champions Bobby Eaton & Stan Lane defeated Michael Hayes & Buddy Roberts (sub. for Terry Gordy)
Barry Windham defeated Big Bubba
Ron Garvin defeated NWA US Tag Team Champion Bobby Eaton (sub. for an injured Jim Cornette); Cornette came out to the ring on crutches before the bout
UWF World Champion Steve Williams defeated Dick Murdoch
Nikita Koloff & the Road Warriors defeated NWA World Champion Ric Flair, NWA US Champion Lex Luger, & Arn Anderson in an elimination match
Dusty Rhodes defeated NWA TV Champion Tully Blanchard in a non-title barbed wire match

Edited by Technico Support
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In no order 

July 2000, Tijuana- first Lucha show. Police surround the ring moments during the third fall of the main event. I realize Santo is losing the fall.

dragon gate’s first LA show (before there was a DGUSA) stalker vs necro.

dec 91 Baltimore - WCW- getting to see Liger live vs Pillman

king of trios - the year with Demolition and The Gang. The dance off, 

MCW - beach show - elevated to time keeper for the day - spoken to sternly by Bundy for giving a shoot time for his sub 5:00 

There was no wrestling but the mid south fan fest would be on there no doubt, 
 

not qualifying: WM 8, Bash 86 in Philly

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2 hours ago, Log said:

The Great Muta defeated Eddie Gilbert via count-out in a Dragon Shi match

I have to ask what a Dragon Shi match is. 

EDIT: Also, I lived in neighboring Marion, IL for 12 years. Carbondale was a lot of fun growing up. Marion, to put it kindly, sucked a dick.

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Google turned this up

Quote

Essentially both wrestlers start on opposite turnbuckles and a kendo stick is placed in the middle. The wrestlers jump off the top and go for the kendo stick. The first wrestler to get it gets to use it. 

 

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Bear in mind that it's impossible to narrow this down after seeing dozens if not hundreds of shows dating to the Reagan Administration, but I gave it the ole college try.

March 1987: NWA at Chicago (UIC Pavilion): my first non-WWF show and it absolutely destroyed every show I'd seen live to that point in my life, even with a screwjob finish in all three main events. You also had two gargantuan blade-jobs from Flair and Ricky Morton which was something you almost never got at the Garden in those days.

Spoiler

JCP @ Chicago, IL - UIC Pavilion - March 21, 1987
Tim Horner defeated Ricky Lee Jones
Bobby Jaggers defeated Thunderfoot #1
Arn Anderson defeated Baron Von Raschke
Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson defeated Ivan Koloff & Vladimir Petrov
NWA TV Champion Tully Blanchard defeated Dusty Rhodes via disqualification
The Road Warriors defeated NWA Tag Team Champions Rick Rude & Manny Fernandez via disqualification
NWA World Champion Ric Flair fought NWA US Champion Nikita Koloff to a no contest at 35:00

April 1999: ECW Cyberslam '99: Just a super fun show where practically everything on the card was either really good or really important, with a bunch of surprise returns and probably the best match of Shane Douglas' ECW career.

Spoiler

Cyberslam 99 - Philadelphia, PA - ECW Arena - April 3, 1999 (1,200)
Featured an in-ring promo by Lance Storm, wearing a WCW Monday Night Jericho t-shirt and accompanied by Dawn Marie, in which he responded to claims by Tommy Dreamer that he was on steroids; Storm then pulled out a sealed cup of his own urine which he said he would be glad to have tested to prove he's clean but only if Dreamer did the same; moments later, Dreamer came out, with Cyrus distracting him and allowing Storm to jump Dreamer; Dreamer eventually hit the DDT on Storm and poured the urine on Storm's face before leaving the ring; when Storm came to, he ran backtsage in anger
ECW - 4/15/99: Jerry Lynn pinned Yoshihiro Tajiri at 8:51 with the cradle piledriver; after the bout, the two men shook hands and Tajiri bowed
Nova pinned Rod Price at 4:22 following a top rope splash / legdrop double team from he and Chris Chetti behind the referee's back; Skull Von Krus interfered on behalf of Price mid-way through the bout, which brought out Chetti; after the match, Skull and Price argued before coming to blows and Skull dropping Price with a jumping DDT
ECW - 4/15/99: Super Crazy pinned El Mosco at 9:50 with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and a frog splash
ECW - 4/22/99: Taka Michinoku pinned Papi Chulo at 6:42 by sitting on Chulo's chest after lifting him up in a reverse suplex and then dropping him with a modified Michinoku Driver (Taka's return match after a 2-year absence) (Chulo's debut)
ECW - 4/8/99: ECW TV Champion Rob Van Dam (w/ Bill Alphonso) pinned 2 Cold Scorpio at 16:42 with a Van Daminator off the top, as Alphonso held a steel chair, followed by the Five Star Frog Splash; prior to the match, Joey Styles conducted an in-ring interview with the champion, with Alphonso, during which Alphonso told RVD he got a former ECW TV and Tag Team Champion for him to face to help celebrate RVD's 1-year anniversary as TV champion, with Scorpio then appearing; before getting in the ring, Scorpio opened up a can of beer, drank it, and then spat it at the referee as the Sandman would do; late in the bout, Sabu - wearing a neckbrace - attacked Scorpio and hit a springboard legdrop on the challenger through a table set up outside the ring; after the match, Scorpio and RVD shook hands (Scorpio's surprise return after a 3-year absence)
ECW - 4/8/99: ECW World Champion Taz defeated Chris Candido (w/ Tammy Lynn Sytch) via referee's decision in an impromptu falls count anywhere match at 11:46 when the referee stopped the bout after Candido suffered an apparent neck injury following a Tazplex through a table leaned against the corner; prior to the bout, Steve Corino cut an in-ring promo until Taz interrupted and challenged him to a match; Corino faked having an injury and then introduced Candido as his stand-in; Candido, accompanied by Sytch, then came out to the ring and said he didn't tap out to wearing a diaper, he didn't tap out to doing jumping jacks "like an asshole," he didn't tap out to alcohol, he didn't tap out to somas, and he wasn't going to tap out to Taz; he then challenged Taz to an immediate falls count anywhere title match which was accepted; after the match, Sytch and medics atteneded to Candido in the ring, where he was fitted with a neckbrace and taken out of the ring on a stretcher; as the crowd began to chant "Fuck you, Taz," Taz went to the floor, threw Candido back in the ring, attacked the neck, and forced Candido to tap to the Tazmission; Taz then grabbed the mic and cut a promo saying that's what happens when people mess with him (Candido & Sytch's surprise return)
ECW - 4/15/99: Shane Douglas (w/ Francine) pinned Justin Credible (w/ Jason & Jazz) at 14:48 with the Pittsburgh Plunge; moments prior to the finish, Jason - who wore a neckbrace for the match - was taken backstage on a stretcher after Douglas hit a full nelson slam on him; after the match, Lance Storm helped double team Douglas until Tommy Dreamer ran out but Dreamer too was assaulted and repeatedly caned; after the match, Credible, Dreamer, Jazz, Dawn Marie, and Cyrus all left ringside together
ECW - 4/15/99: Mustafa, Buh Buh Ray & D-Von Dudley (w/ Joel Gertner & Sign Guy Dudley) defeated New Jack, Balls Mahoney, & Axl Rotten in a steel cage weapons match at 14:22 when Buh Buh pinned Balls following the 3D; prior to the bout, Buh Buh Ray cut a promo outside the cage saying New Jack walked out of the show 30 to 45 minutes before the match was scheduled to go on, but he appeared late in the match; order of entry: Balls and D-Von (0:00); Buh Buh (3:02); Axl (5:20); Mustafa (7:16); New Jack (10:00); New Jack's music played from his entrance until the end of the match; after the bout, Balls & Axl locked the cage and laid Mustafa across a table set up in the ring, allowing New Jack to come off with a splash onto Mustafa and through the table (WarGames: WCW's Most Notorious Matches Blu ray)

April 2019: DDT Is Coming to USA: I know, I know. "WHAT? Better than G1 Supercard?" Yep, hear me out. G1 was spectacular with one of the best matches I've ever seen live (Ibushi vs Naito) and a gloriously entertaining Rumble, plus how many of us can say they watched the IWGP title change hands live? Still, it was almost SIX HOURS from dark match to final curtain and I'd be hard pressed to remember half of it today. OTOH, DDT was timed perfectly- the good stuff got plenty of time, the less-good stuff never overstayed their welcome, and the entire show breezed by in like 2:30. I've heard American wrestlers say DDT had the best-run locker room they ever experienced, and I believe it after watching their show. Plus you had the full merch experience with all the boys and girls selling their stuff at intermission, and the best fan audience I can EVER remember. It was the full DDT experience, and I really hope they come back once COVID finally goes down for the three-count.

Spoiler

 

DDT is Coming to America
Thursday, 2019/04/04
La Boom in New York City, New York (United States of America)
Audience: 650

1. Ironman Heavymetalweight Title Match
Makoto Oishi defeated Saki Akai (c) - TITLE CHANGE!!!

2. DAMNATION (Soma Takao and Tetsuya Endo) defeated Shuten-doji (Yukio Sakaguchi and Masahiro Takanashi) (9:27 minutes)

3. Battle Royal - Ironman Heavymetalweight Title Match
Kazuki Hirata defeated Colt Cabana and Kikutaro and Makoto Oishi (c) and Mizuki Watase and Saki Akai and YOSHIHIKO and Yuu (11:36 minutes) - TITLE CHANGE!!!

4. Ironman Heavymetalweight Title Match
Saki Akai defeated Kazuki Hirata (c) - TITLE CHANGE!!!

5. 3-Way Match
HARASHIMA and Kazusada Higuchi defeated Akito and Ethan Page; Shigehiro Irie and Jason Kincaid (8:54 minutes)

6. Weapon Rumble Match
Sanshiro Takagi defeated MAO (12:26 minutes)

7. Miyu Yamashita defeated Maki Ito (6:49 minutes)

8. Joey Ryan and Royce Isaacs defeated Danshoku Dino and Antonio Honda (13:19 minutes)

9. KO-D Openweight Title Match
Daisuke Sasaki defeated Konosuke Takeshita (c) (19 minutes) - TITLE CHANGE!!!

10. KO-D Openweight Title Match
Tetsuya Endo defeated Daisuke Sasaki (c) (4:03 minutes) - TITLE CHANGE!!!

11. Ironman Heavymetalweight Title Match
Makoto Oishi defeated Saki Akai (c) - TITLE CHANGE!!!

12. Ironman Heavymetalweight Title Match
Kazuki Hirata defeated Makoto Oishi (c) - TITLE CHANGE!!!

13. Ironman Heavymetalweight Title Match
Maki Ito defeated Kazuki Hirata (c) - TITLE CHANGE!!!

14. Ironman Heavymetalweight Title Match
Danshoku Dino defeated Maki Ito (c) - TITLE CHANGE!!!

 

 

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The best Wrestling show I ever went to was promoted by [REDACTED]. The main event was Timothy Thatcher vs [REDACTED], and [REDACTED] faced A-Kid in the semi-final. This may be quite a common type of story amongst UK & Ireland based fans.

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WWF Superstars taping at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, NJ.

 

Spoiler

Prime Time Wrestling - 1/14/87: Billy Jack Haynes defeated King Harley Race (w/ Bobby Heenan) via disqualification at 9:40 when Heenan interfered as Haynes had the full nelson applied; after the bout, Haynes applied the hold to Heenan until Race made the save
Prime Time Wrestling - 1/14/87: Sivi Afi pinned Frenchy Martin at 6:50 with a sunset flip over the top rope
International Wrestling Challenge: WWF World Champion Hulk Hogan & Ricky Steamboat (sub. for Andre the Giant) defeated WWF IC Champion Randy Savage (w/ Miss Elizabeth) & the Honkytonk Man (w/ Jimmy Hart) via disqualification at around the 11-minute mark after Savage threw the referee out of the ring after bringing the timekeeper's bell into the ring; Steamboat then grabbed the bell away, forcing Savage & Elizabeth backstage; moments later, Hogan brought Hart into the ring, with Hogan & Steamboat then sending Honky & Hart to the floor (Randy Savage Unreleased: The Unseen Matches of the Macho Man)
1/17/87 - featured a Piper's Pit with WWF President Jack Tunney, WWF World Champion Hulk Hogan, and Andre the Giant in which Hogan was presented with a trophy for being world champion for 3 years:
Ricky Steamboat pinned Barry O with the flying bodypress at 2:37 (Steamboat�s return bout)
Kamala (w/ Kimchee) pinned Don Driggers with a splash off the top at the 33-second mark; Driggers was taken out on a stretcher after the match
Demolition (w/ Johnny V) defeated Salvatore Bellomo & Mario Mancini when Ax pinned Mancini after the Decapitation at 2:22 (Demolition's debut; Randy Culley aka Moondog Rex played the role of Smash until being replaced by Barry Darsow)
Hercules (w/ Bobby Heenan) defeated Jim Parks via submission with the full nelson at 1:27; after the bout, Heenan challenged Billy Jack Haynes to break out of the hold but, after coming to the ring, Haynes was attacked by Hercules and had the hold applied on him after pushing Heenan
B. Brian Blair & Jim Brunzell defeated Terry Gibbs & Iron Mike Sharpe when Blair pinned Gibbs after the dropkick from Brunzell at 5:32; referee Danny Davis showed favoritism to Sharpe & Gibbs and refused to count at one point when he thought the Bees illegally switched with their masks on, when they didn�t
1/24/87 - included a Piper's Pit with WWF President Jack Tunney, WWF World Champion Hogan and Andre in which Andre was presented with a trophy for being the only undefeated man in WWF history; after Hogan came to the set during the segment, Andre walked off:
Paul Orndorff (w/ Bobby Heenan) pinned Paul Roma with the piledriver at 2:29
Koko B. Ware pinned Steve Lombardi with a missle dropkick at 3:32; prior to the bout, Lombardi threw an injured Roma out of the ring after his bout with Orndorff
Rick Martel & Tom Zenk fought Don Muraco & Bob Orton Jr. (w/ Mr. Fuji) to a double disqualification at 3:57 when all four men began brawling in the ring
WWF IC Champion Randy Savage (w/ Miss Elizabeth) pinned Tom Sharpe with the flying elbowsmash at the 45-second mark; Savage wrestled the bout with his sunglasses on while Sharpe was not able to remove his shirt before the match began
Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart (w/ Jimmy Hart) defeated Scott McGhee & Tony Garea when Bret pinned McGhee after the Hart Attack at 2:43
Danny Spivey, Mike Rotundo, & Blackjack Mulligan defeated Ron Bass, Jimmy Jack Funk, & the Gladiator when Mulligan pinned the Gladiator with a flying back elbow at 3:33
1/31/87 - included a Piper's Pit segment in which Jesse Ventura said he would have Andre the Giant on the set the following week if Roddy Piper could produce Hulk Hogan:
Tito Santana & Pedro Morales defeated the Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff (w/ Slick) via disqualification when Slick interfered and hit Santana with his cane at 3:12; after the match, Santana chased Slick into the ring and bodyslammed him; Butch Reed then came to ringside and carried Slick backstage
King Harley Race (w/ Bobby Heenan) pinned Greg Vance with the cradle suplex at 1:23
Jacques & Raymond Rougeau defeated Al Navarro & Tiger Chung Lee when Raymond pinned Navarro after a double team move from the top at 3:01; during the bout, Dino Bravo came to ringside and walked around the ring before leaving to join the French commentary team
Adrian Adonis (w/ Jimmy Hart) defeated Jack Kruger via submission with the sleeper at 1:17
Greg Valentine (w/ Johnny V) defeated Haku via disqualification at 3:03 when Tama tripped up Valentine from the outside, even though Brutus Beefcake had done the same thing earlier to Haku which went unnoticed by referee Danny Davis; Beefcake & Tama joined their partners at ringside midway through the bout
Jake Roberts pinned Jerry Allen with the DDT; the bout began during the commercial break

WCW in January 1991 at the Meadowlands solely due to the next-to-last match ...

Spoiler

WCW TV Champion Tom Zenk pinned the Black Angel (Jose Luis Rivera) at 5:02 with a missile dropkick
Brad Armstrong pinned the Cuban Assassin at 5:45 with the side Russian legsweep
Michael Wallstreet pinned Terry Taylor at 8:48 with a roll over and grabbing both the ropes and tights for leverage; cameras were at ringside to film part of the match for a segment on Wallstreet for "Inside Edition"
Sid Vicious pinned Brian Pillman with the powerbomb at 4:29
El Gigante, Tommy Rich, & Ricky Morton defeated Bobby Eaton, Michael Hayes & Jimmy Garvin when Gigante pinned Garvin at the 12-minute mark with a boot to the face; during the contest, the crowd chanted "We want Stan" at Eaton; after the bout, Hayes & Garvin attacked Eaton, with Eaton fighting back and hitting a double clothesline
WCW US Champion Lex Luger (w/ Lawrence Taylor) defeated Curtis Hughes (w/ Paul E. Dangerously) in a football challenge match at 2:06; both men wore football gear and the goal was to knock the opponent over the top rope
WCW US Tag Team Champions Rick & Scott Steiner defeated the Master Blasters at 6:28 when Scott pinned Blade with the Frankensteiner
Ric Flair pinned WCW World Champion Sting at 20:38 to win the title with his feet on the ropes for leverage after knocking the champion's foot off the bottom rope, moments after the two men collided
Arn Anderson & Barry Windham defeated WCW Tag Team Champions Doom in a non-title steel cage match at 3:54 when Windham pinned Ron Simmons after Butch Reed accidentally hit his partner with a foreign object

WCW in August 1990 at the Meadowlands. I realized only recently this was a favorite because I got to see Stan Hansen and Vader (with the "smoking armor") live

Spoiler

Tom Zenk pinned Dutch Mantel with a backslide at 7:41
Brian Pillman pinned Buddy Landell with a crossbody off the top at 6:25
Big Van Vader pinned Dr. X (Randy Culley) with a splash at 1:23
Rick & Scott Steiner defeated NWA US Tag Team Champions Bobby Eaton & Stan Lane to win the titles at 15:41 when Rick pinned Eaton after Eaton sustained a simultaneous Steinerline from both challengers, one behind him and one in front
Stan Hansen pinned Terry Taylor (sub. for an injured Tommy Rich) at 4:43 with the lariat; after the bout, Hansen hit the referee and assaulted Taylor with the timekeeper's bell, the ring ropes, and threw him over some tables
Sid Vicious, Barry Windham, & Arn Anderson defeated El Gigante, Paul Orndorff, & the Junkyard Dog at 17:09 when Anderson pinned Orndorff when, as Orndorff had Anderson covered following the piledriver, Windham came off the top behind the referee's back and put Anderson on top for the win
NWA US Champion Lex Luger pinned Mark Callous with a roll up at 14:51 after Callous collided with Paul E. Dangerously on the apron; after the bout, Callous acted as though he was going to hit Dangerously with the heart punch until Dangerously paid him off
NWA Tag Team Champions Doom defeated Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson at 15:10 when Butch Reed pinned Morton when, as Morton had Reed covered, Simmons hit a clothesline behind the referee's back
NWA World Champion Sting pinned Ric Flair at 26:07 with an inside cradle, despite interference late in the bout by Arn Anderson and Barry Windham

Also have to mention by first ever show, an indie in northwest New Jersey in December 1986. Featured "Dr. D" David Schultz, Johnny Rodz, Ivan Putski and Rocco Rock (as "Cheetah Kid") 

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Double or Nothing was a ton of fun. It was cool to be at the first official AEW show. Wrestlemania 13 was really cool I was 13 and being at a Mania was unfathomable to me plus I got be in attendance for Stone Colds last match.

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05. WWE Smackdown (Kelowna): The show was bad, the bait-and-switch main event was awful and our seats were awful, but it was still fun and surreal to be at a televised WWE show after watching WWE/F since I was 10. The main was hyped as Vince McMahon vs. Brock Lesnar in a steel cage and ended up just being an angle for Kurt Angle to turn on Lesnar and the crowd was FURIOUS but it was still fun.

04. Invasion Wrestling (Kelowna): I can't remember if this was the show with Ted DiBiase or if it was a different oldtimer but I went with my brother and brother-in-law and we had lots of fun but the highlight was that our local Member of Parliament (Who had just lost in the election like three days prior) showed up wearing a blue wig and getting into it with the local heel manager (Who apparently was a manager from Costco) and my brother-in-law texted his wife (my sister) about it (She worked in a law office and had had some dealings with him) and she refused to believe it until we sent her a photo. The crowd was super into the show, the wrestling was fun and the opening thing with the politician was hilarious.

03. ECCW (Vancouver): A friend and I were big into wrestling and decided to travel out to Vancouver (A 3-4 hour drive) because Christopher Daniels was coming in.  We booked off time, bought bus tickets (Didn't want to drive the awful connector in mid-Jan.) and saved up money and the day before we were slated to leave Daniels showed up on Nitro and landed on his head on a moonsault attempt. I remember checking the internet to see if he had officially signed, was injured or anything with WCW and we were already booked so we went. Well, he showed up, did all kinds of crazy moonsaults and stuff (Even though we overheard him telling people at the merch tables that his neck was still sore from Nitro) and it was the perfect cap to a really fun week.

02. Nitro (Kelowna): This was terrible Russo-era WCW, featured no real main event (I think somebody getting beat up backstage was what ran in the main slot) and horrible shoot-y angles. But I got to see Rey Mysterio, Scott Steiner, Juventud Guerrera, The Great Muta, Lance Storm and so many other guys I love. Plus, as I've told many times before, it was the night my brother and cousin got comped tickets ("Compliments of Mr. Goldberg!" the security guy said) and ended up directly behind the announcers and were on TV all night (Tony Schiavone handed my brother a bottle of water that he kept for like ten years before finally getting rid of it). I don't think there was a single good match on the card, but I'll remember it forever.

01. ECCW (Kelowna): The first live wrestling show I ever attended. It was probably just a rather run of the mill show, but it was my first live wrestling and I took my 11/12 year old brother and Tornado Tony Kozina did an asai moonsault that landed him way into the crowd, hit my brother's seat and he slid about 10 feet back with a hilariously terrified but still thrilled look on his face. The head of the fed came by to check on him. 

Honourable Mention: The ECCW show where they had a "fans bring the weapons" battle royale and my brother and I took a pumpkin and a feather duster and the super un-PC gay-baiting Gorgeous Michelle Starr used the feather duster on an old lady in the front row, and at the end of the show we were chanting "Use the pumpkin!" and Juggernaut picked it up, took a bite out of it, then whipped it at a dude's back.  I don't think I've ever laughed harder at a wrestling show in my life.

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I want to have a cooler pick, but nothing was more formative for me than CZW Cage of Death 6.  I had been to enough WWE and WCW shows before, but that was my first trip as a barely-independent young man to Philly to see a bona-fide indy supercard as well as my first time in the ECW Arena.

I remember the first thing I saw when I walked in. There was this really big guy who had his ticket taken right before me. Upon finding his seat, he lifted his shirt up and triumphantly cracked open one of the two twenty-four ounce cans of high gravity lager he had hidden under his substantial man-tits. I've never seen anything more Philly in my life and I hope I never do. That arena (and memory) smells like fucking Ben-Gay.

Spoiler

Kid Kamikaze (w/Elsa Bangz) vs. Beef Wellington

Ghost Shadow, Heretic & Spyral vs. All Money Is Legal (Dizzie, K-Murda & K-Pusha)

Hallowicked, Jack Marciano & Larry Sweeney vs. Gran Akuma, Jigsaw & Mike Quackenbush

Alex Shelley & Jonny Storm vs. Erick Stevens & Roderick Strong

CZW Junior Heavyweight Title Falls Count Anywhere No Disqualification Loser Leaves CZW Match
Sonjay Dutt (c) vs. M-Dogg 20

Xtreme Strong Style Tournament Final Match
B-Boy vs. Dan Maff

CZW Iron Man Title Match
Chris Hero (c) vs. B-Boy

Tag Team Match
El Generico & Kevin Steen vs. S.B.S. (Excalibur & Super Dragon)

CZW World Heavyweight Title Ladder & Scaffold Three Way Dance
The Messiah (c) vs. Kaos vs. Adam Flash

CZW Tag Team Title Cage Of Death War Games Match
BLKOUT (Jack Evans, King, Ruckus & Sabian) (w/Maven Bentley & Robby Mireno) (c) vs. Team Cash (Chris Cash, JC Bailey, Nate Webb & Sexxxy Eddy)

Cage Of Death Fans Bring The Weapons Match
The H8 Club (Nate Hatred & Nick Gage) vs. The H8 Club (Justice Pain & Wifebeater)

I got to see one of those CHIKARA-as-off-brand-Michinoku-Pro tag matches they toured around the country, a way overachieving Sonjay Dutt/M-Dogg spotfest with a story, my favorite teenage backyarder influence in Chris Hero, the solidification of Steen & Generico's eventual takeover of the US indies (crazy to think Super Dragon wound up being the least historically important guy in that match), and the really good car-wreck Ca$h/BLKOUT match that saw Jack Evans die twice. I almost completely forgot that there was a tag match that pitted Alex Shelley and Roderick Strong against each other.

That card has to be seen as one of the high points of the post-ECW Philly scene.

Edited by John E. Dynamite
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Best live experience was easily my first ECW show. It was also the first (and only, I think) ECW show in Harrisburg, PA. 6/5/98. Dudleys whipped the crowd into a frenzy, of course. Not sure I’d call the result a “riot,” but it was in the neighborhood. This is after a fun Credible/Lynn match, a Candido/Snow match that I remember fondly and RVD vs. Mike Lozansky, which blew me away at the time. 

It was also the show where Sabu threatened to stab me with his spike. If I’ve never told that story here, he tried to jam it into the ring, but it bounced and rolled under my seat. I went to grab it and he apparently thought I was trying to take it. He snatched it, grabbed me by the head and reared back. Pretty clearly working the entire time, but being on the other end was something to remember!

I’ve mostly been to WWF shows that generally had one or two good matches and a lot of folks taking the night off. Wouldn’t trade those shows, though. Live wrestling is fucking great.

My first live show had a Piper/Perfect match that warrants mention. Two of my all time favorites and it was great to see them face off. 

Best match I’ve seen live was the Bret/Bulldog bloodbath from IYH. I was probably closer to the hog pen than the ring that night, but you know when you’re seeing a classic, even from a mile away...

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8 hours ago, AxB said:

The best Wrestling show I ever went to was promoted by [REDACTED]. The main event was Timothy Thatcher vs [REDACTED], and [REDACTED] faced A-Kid in the semi-final. This may be quite a common type of story amongst UK & Ireland based fans.

I think I was at that show too. To be honest I stopped keeping up with the redactions after two days and now I just assume that every one of them is a sleaze; which is why I played it safe with my contribution to this thread.

I remain constantly surprised that Yoshinari Ogawa hasn't been cancelled ever.

Edited by DangerMark
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8 hours ago, DangerMark said:

I remain constantly surprised that Yoshinari Ogawa hasn't been cancelled ever.

9p8sb4rrl5351-3.jpg

I gather Yoshinari Ogawa has been critically re-assessed by the younger generation of Western puroresu geeks. I think Zack Sabre Jr. talked him up in enough interviews and kids decided he's the last active master of pre-head drop technical Oudou.

Edited by John E. Dynamite
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