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June 2021 Wrestling Discussion


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8 hours ago, SirSmellingtonofCascadia said:

I'm a bit envious of those of you who were around early enough to get into it because of your regional territories. I was born late enough that by the time I was paying attention at about four years old, Portland was not at all a thing I knew about. It would have been cool to get into it on late '70s Portland. People my age in Texas or Louisiana had the chance to get into Gary Hart-booked Dallas or Bill Watts-booked Mid-South if they were watching early in their lives, which is way cooler than basically the way most people my age got into wrestling, which was WWF.

I honestly don't have memories of not watching wrestling, and WWF are my earliest memories, but luckily I had a grandma who was into JCP and so I would watch that too. ESPN also had the AWA when I was young, which is actually how I originally got into The Rockers (my household had cable as did my grandparents' household, so I was a lucky kid). 

As a spinoff, what were everyone's first wrestling figures? My first ones that I remember, which I think I've said before, were AWA figures: Bock, Zbyszko, Michaels, and Jannetty. Had some great tag matches with those teams. 

My first figures! They brought me so much joy and then growing up I continued to collect them. A few of them were chewed up by the dogs but I still would battle with them. 

My first two, I don’t remember the occasion or even if there was one. But it was Farooq and Vader. The day I got them, I probably spent hours of them just beating the hell out of each other. I remember they started on one side of the room near the treadmill and bashed their way all the way to on top of the speakers. I’m pretty sure Farooq threw Vader off for the win, but history is disputed.

My next two were Big Boss Man and All Snow. Snow was no match for Bossman’s one handed press slam. But you just couldn’t put down Al.

That Christmas was all wrestling toys (and clothes, yuck!). Andre the Giant, Mankind, Kane, Stone Cold, Shawn Michaels, and possibly X-Pac and a few others. I had a roster and they were all going to murder each other.

I could be way off on the order of which came first, but that’s how I remember my childhood glee.

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On 6/19/2021 at 11:52 PM, Octopus said:

Fun question while I make Hamburger Helper: Who were your favorite wrestlers as a kid? The people that got you all into wrestling.

Bret Hart, The Undertaker, Randy Savage, Ric Flair and Sting. Early 1990s.

Edited by The Natural
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Without cable for the monthly NYC WWF shows on the pre-USA MSG Network, if the scalpers weren't selling MSG or Felt Forum tix at a loss after the opening bell, Crazy Bob and I (14 y.o.) would go to The Blarney Stone on 33td St & 8th Ave, buy a beer, nurse it the whole time and watch the card (commentary barely audible over the chatter and singing of Irish folk songs) on the TV over the bar. The ever-attendant gentlemen of leisure philosophizing upon the grappling action taught me all I needed to know about life, love and thee squared circle. Marine Drill Sgt. Robert Slaughter, Lou Albano and Don Muraco could really rile up these barflies, so they were my faves. Crazy Bob could befriend anyone, as well as start an argument on a dime by kay fabe supporting any of our boys.  "I've been a wild rover for many a year..."

- RAF

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5 hours ago, christopher.annino said:

Shit, @caleyreminded me of something while we're all getting nostalgic... Who else used to listen in on scrambled PPVs to find out what happened? My folks thought wrestling was stupid as hell and would've laughed at the idea of shelling out good money for a show, so I spent many a Sunday night listening in on scramblevision...

I'd generally wait until George Michael Sports Machine was broadcast at 11:30 pm Sunday nights. They'd generally give results of the PPV. In the late 90s, I found out that if switch back and forth between the PPV and a previous channel enough, the PPV would broadcast.

My intro, BTW was the rebroadcast of WM2 on Showtime. I was all about Steamboat initially.

 

Edited by Ace
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I became "aware" of pro wrestling in 1980 when I was 5/6 years old, I grew up in Pittsburgh so the Bruno-Zbyszko feud was a big deal that seemed on par with the big sports news of the day. I didn't start watching weekly until the spring of 1982 when the Strongbow's chase for the tag belts started and heel Jimmy Snuka showed up, I dug all three and was deemed old enough to goto the Civic Arena in June to see Snuka vs. SD Jones and the Strongbow's vs. Fuji and Saito for the tag belts. Backlund was a goof to me and my hate for white bread babyfaces started at that card, poor Blackjack Mulligan had to not only battle Bob Backlund but special guest ref Gorilla Moonson, it was a borderline handicapped match. Over the next year I became a fan of the heels mainly Don Muraco who was an amazing back then and Bob Orton due to the superplex.

Edited by Mister TV
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14 hours ago, christopher.annino said:

Shit, @caleyreminded me of something while we're all getting nostalgic... Who else used to listen in on scrambled PPVs to find out what happened? My folks thought wrestling was stupid as hell and would've laughed at the idea of shelling out good money for a show, so I spent many a Sunday night listening in on scramblevision...

I had done something and got grounded from watching wrestling (That's how into it I was. My parents knew that taking it away would hurt.) around March of 88. Luckily for me, on March 27, I had a babysitter who my parent's had forgotten to tell that I was grounded. I flipped between the first Clash on TBS and WMIV on scramblevision. That evening we went to someone's house, and a lot of my cousins were there. I was so excited to tell them that Savage was finally the champ. 

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Though I’d been watching for a little bit by that point, I don’t remember having a favorite wrestler until I saw the Road Warriors for the first time. They blew my 7 year old mind! Those squashes where they’d have the match won before Iron Man was even cut off were formative for sure. Soon after, I discovered World Class and UWF and I was all about the Von Erichs and Williams/DiBiase. 

I’ve always found it interesting that I’m (in most cases) drawn to tag wrestling more than singles matches…

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4 hours ago, Mister TV said:

I became "aware" of pro wrestling in 1980 the I was 5/6 years old, I grew up in Pittsburgh so the Bruno-Zbyszko feud was a big deal that seemed on par with the big sports news of the day. I didn't start watching weekly until the spring of 1982 when the Strongbow's chase for the tag belts started and heel Jimmy Snuka showed up, I dug all three and was deemed old enough to goto the Civic Arena in June to see Snuka vs. SD Jones and the Strongbow's vs. Fuji and Saito for the tag belts. Backlund was a goof to me and my hate for white bread babyfaces started at that card, poor Blackjack Mulligan had to not only battle Bob Backlund but special guest ref Gorilla Moonson, it was a borderline handicapped match. Over the next year I became a fan of the heels mainly Don Muraco who was amazing back then, ass kicking heel Sgt. Slaughter and Bob Orton due to the superplex.

 

Edited by Mister TV
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The first wrestling I remember watching as a kid was the Hogan/Boss Man cage match from SNME in 89 and I was immediately way, way into Boss Man.  I was also way, way into Liger since my parents wouldn't buy me regular PPVs but I managed to talk them into getting the cheaper NJPW/WCW Supershow and Liger/Akira blew my tiny mind.  That primed me to love any wrestler in a mask who did anything remotely resembling high-flying.

My first figures were the Hasbro Big Boss Man and Rick Rude.

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Hope it's not too late to add my intro to wrestling.  But I flipped on a Savage squash match and was immediately hooked.  Soon after I was into Hogan then around '89 I really got into Jake and Warrior.  Something about colorful characters plus the cool factor of the snake was enough to keep me begging to get the magazines and watch whatever TV I could.  I also remember being into Sting and would slowly start to become more familiar with WCW.

As for figures my first few were Savage (which is currently on the shelf above my work computer) Hogan, Warrior and the Rockers.  Man were those Hasbros incredible and I'm still itching to complete the set.

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35 minutes ago, NikoBaltimore said:

As for figures my first few were Savage (which is currently on the shelf above my work computer) Hogan, Warrior and the Rockers.  Man were those Hasbros incredible and I'm still itching to complete the set.

I love the way the Hasbro figures looked, but I will never understand why it took so long for someone to get the idea to make wrestling figures that had actual articulation.  My GI Joes spent way more time in the ring than any of my WWF or WCW guys did.

E: This dude was a multi-time action figure wrestling champion, even if he was a bit of a Johnny Kickpads:

s-l300.jpg

Edited by Zimbra
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What was everyone's most traumatizing wrestling moment as a kid?

Mine was Earthquake sitting on Jake's snake and killing it. I remembering so excited for Main Event because we never got the PPVs but this was like getting one and it was free and I wasn't allowed to stay up but got my mom to tape it. And there was this really great but really terrible Battle Royale that was so exciting as a kid because there were so many guys in it. But then Earthquake crushed Damien and I was soooo upset. I didn't cry because I was warned that everything was fake and that if I started to practice the moves I wouldn't be allowed to watch anymore and I figured this extended to getting upset over one wrestler killing another's pet and I was fairly certain it wasn't real. But Jake's crying and carrying on afterwards almost had me fairly convinced that it WAS real and so it took me a long time to not hate Earthquake after what he'd done.

Cactus Jack getting power-bombed on cement also somewhat traumatized me even though I was old enough to know better. We had a free preview of TBS that weekened which meant that I got to watch this and I had no idea who Cactus was but had seen Vader once or twice. But that ending with Jack being wheeled out on the stretcher while people in the crowd looked upset and the ambulance waiting had me way into "Ok I know this isn't real but THIS feels real." Plus we lost TBS that Monday so I never did find out what happened to Cactus until he showed up as Mankind in WWF!

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That's easy.  Warrior's feud with Undertaker was weird enough and at the time 'Taker was scary enough as it was for my 9-year-old self.  Then came the Funeral Parlor segment where he not only comes from the coffin but then locks Warrior in the one casket made for him.  That freaked me the fuck out and I had nightmares for some time that he was chasing me.  It's kind of silly to think about now but that was some intense stuff back then.  But fast forward to where he turned face against Jake and I was immediately on board.

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Just now, NikoBaltimore said:

That's easy.  Warrior's feud with Undertaker was weird enough and at the time 'Taker was scary enough as it was for my 9-year-old self.  Then came the Funeral Parlor segment where he not only comes from the coffin but then locks Warrior in the one casket made for him.  That freaked me the fuck out and I had nightmares for some time that he was chasing me.  It's kind of silly to think about now but that was some intense stuff back then.  But fast forward to where he turned face against Jake and I was immediately on board.

Yes, Jesus wept, that was terrifying.  The look on Paul Bearer's face as they left after locking him in horrified me as a child.  Early Undertaker's whole deal scared me quote a bit as a kid.

Vader also scared me as a kid, partly because he was terrifying and partly because I read about him breaking that jobber's neck in an Apter mag and while I knew by that point that wrestling wasn't real, what if it was?

Earthquake putting Hogan out freaked me out until my smarter friend explained about him going to shoot a movie.

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To hype Abdullah The Butcher coming to Montreal, they showed a match where be brutalized Dino Bravo into a bloody mess with his trusty fork in New Japan. I was probably 6 or 7 years old and I was legit scared of Abby after that...

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I can't remember exactly how I got into wrestling, but I know for sure my very first WWF LJN "action" figure was Ricky Steamboat and he was immediately my favorite wrestler. Not long after that my dad took me to Wrestlemania 3. A quick check says the Steamboat figure came out in 86, I'm almost sure I was watching wrestling before that. I was born in 80 so my memory only goes back so far, but I would imagine I started watching in 84 or 85. Steamboat though, he's the first guy I remember as being my absolute favorite. I loved everything about that guy and his entrance music, Sirius, was the fucking best. And then some years later it became the Chicago Bulls starting lineup music.

I also remember loving Piper a lot because he talked a lot shit and just fought dudes. My favorite tag team was probably Demolition, but I do remember liking Strike Force a whole lot too.

The Steamboat/Savage match turned me into a Savage fan and those two guys were probably my #1 and #2 favorites. Was never a fan of Hogan as a kid. Wanted Savage to beat him until Savage turned heel, wanted Warrior to beat Hogan, thought Big Boss Man was fucking awesome the first time I saw him and wanted him to beat Hogan, etc.

Watched Prime Time every Monday. In fact, I probably watched every Prime Time and every Raw on Mondays until, geez, around the time Johnny Ace ruined the roster. Actually, maybe sooner than that. I'll never forget waking up the morning Eddy died and Hollinger sending me a message over AOL IM. I think his exact words were, "Dude, Eddy, WTF." After that I stopped watching wrestling on Mondays regularly. That was too hard to take and not long after was the Benoit thing. The thing that got me back into wrestling more was everything with CM Punk.

Also, count me in for using my Hasbro WWF ring for GI Joes more than the actual Hasbro WWF figures. I never did get the LJN WWF ring, but a friend had the ring AND the cage for it, which was fucking awesome.

Oh, and I had a bunch of the thumb wrestlers. Piper is the thumb wrestler that sticks out the most to me.

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Oh, didn't even mention WCW. I watched WWF first, but the first time I watched WCW, Sting was instantly the man and became one of my favorites. Still is to this day.

And as for traumatizing events, I was convinced no one would beat Sting and Vader just fucking murdered him. That's #2. #1 is Jake having the cobra bite Randy Savage. Based on my knowledge of cobras at the time, which exclusively came from cartoons, I thought Savage was a dead man. As a kid, I thought Jake just killed Savage.

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I first became aware of wrestling seeing the run-up to Mania 1 at a friend's house, watching WWF's Saturday, 4pm syndicated show on Baltimore's channel 45.  This would have been a few years before the Fox network was formed, so it was just an independent station.

First figures?  The big-ass, non-posable WWF LJN figures, purchases at Kay-Bee or Spencer Gifts at the mall.  Probably Hogan, Sheik, Studd, and Snuka were my firsts.

I am old.

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Trying to think of my other LJN figures now. Steamboat was definitely the first. I know for sure I had the shorter hair Andre with the...blue singlet? Also had JYD, Piper, King Kong Bundy, Beefcake, Tito Santana, and that might be it. Never got any of the tag team packs. As a kid, knowing you could only do so much with these figures that were as hard as hockey pucks wasn't much fun and GI Joes and Legos were more my thing. Plus, I think from a cost perspective, the LJN figures were more expensive than GI Joes, which were $3.88 each at Toys R Us. 

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