As an old school pro wrestling fan, what would you look forward to?

Discussion in 'Old School Wrestling' started by HeenanGorilla, Aug 3, 2018.

  1. HeenanGorilla

    HeenanGorilla Championship Contender

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    When I was a kid, I was a HUGE WWF fan. I would say from ages 6 or 7 through 11, I loved EVERYTHING about it and was still a pretty big fan up until around age 13 (WrestleMania VIII). After that, Hulkamania was gone and I lost that passion. Granted, I was never the biggest Hulk fan anyway, but that era had everything I loved. The New Generation didn't appeal to me and, though the Monday Night Wars brought me back for a bit of nostalgia and excitement, since then I've watched less often and, when I do, it's more out of habit than because I find it entertaining. But, man, when I loved it, I LOVED IT! That's probably what stops me from letting go of it completely.

    I was hoping to get some responses from you old school guys--whether you loved it back when I did, beforehand, since...or all of the above--about what you looked forward to as a fan.

    Recently, I was thinking back to the days when I was such a big fan and I realized that a lot of it had to do with constantly having something to look forward to. It's funny, it seems like there was WWF EVERYTHING back then, but at the same time, I liked it a lot more when it wasn't on everyday. I admit I'm not a fan anymore, so I won't say why I don't like monthly PPVs and so many hours of TV a week. I don't want this post to sound negative at all. So, I will just talk about how it was and why I loved the way it was back then. Here is what I looked forward to as a young WWF fan:

    1) WWF Magazine - I got my first WWF Magazine, with Miss Elizabeth on the cover, from my parents on my first ever sick day home from school. This was the October/November 1986 issue. Soon after, they would be monthly and I LOVED going to the convenience store or drug store and hoping to see the new issue in the magazine stand. When it was there, I still remember how excited I was. Who was on the cover? Who was featured in the articles? Who had new t-shirts in the catalog? I would often find it before it was shown on Saturday morning TV, so this was all a surprise to me. Later, I would get the subscription and having it delivered in the mail each month was pretty exciting itself; but, those trips to the store--and sometimes more than one store--looking for the new issue, that is a great memory.

    2) Saturday morning TV - I mentioned it and that brings a lot more memories to mind. My friends and I would sleepover each other's houses and wake up and watch Wrestling Challenge and Superstars of Wrestling. There were mostly squash matches, but it didn't matter. This is where you saw the wrestlers' move sets and learned about their storylines. They had interview segments like Piper's Pit, Brother Love, the Snake Pit, Barber Shop, Funeral Parlor, etc. where storylines were created/furthered. Mean Gene's Special Report often brought interesting news as well. I always looked forward to Saturday mornings. Cartoons, then wrestling...then American Gladiators. Haha. I remember one Saturday my Dad and I were going to the Mets game and I was excited--but a little bummed I would miss wrestling. We got to the stadium so early, the guys at the concession stand had wrestling on! I didn't miss it AND got to see the Mets game--what a day!

    3) LJN Wrestling Figures - These things were AWESOME! The 8" rubber wrestlers that looked so much like (and sometimes nothing like) my favorites on TV. I had tons of them, plus the ring and the steel cage accessory--the old blue cage. Looking forward to which guys had figures out each and every time I went to Toys R Us...another cherished memory. I would often find out who was available by seeing them in person; not on TV first.

    4) PPVs - The Big 4. WrestleMania existed already, but while I was getting to know the roster, the powers that be created Survivor Series, Royal Rumble and SummerSlam. Mega cards where names I knew fought each other, not the guys I didn't know on Saturday TV. Up until then, I would see some shows from the Garden on MSG Network, but I would only usually catch a match or two before bedtime--which meant I saw matches like post-Killer Bees Jim Brunzell vs. Curt Hennig (not even know as Mr. Perfect yet) instead of the superstars I really loved at the time. So, these PPVs were AWESOME and I loved how it took months to set up storylines and make you look forward to when these guys would finally get their hands on each other. Often, their next feuds would be set up on these shows as well.

    There were other things back then that I would look forward to seeing in the store like ice cream bars, coloring books, trading cards, etc. But those 4 were really my favorite things to look forward to enjoying as a fan. Like I said, I'm hoping to hear why other old school fans loved wrestling so much.
     
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  2. Really?

    Really? Pre-Show Stalwart

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    There were some great memories when I was growing up. I remember the first Mania I saw on the day of was Mania 6. The first PPV I watched live was Summerslam 1992 (I guess it was tape delayed though). Some stuff I remember looking forward to:

    1) Saturday Night's Main Event: I would get the TV guide each week and go straight to Saturday at 10:30 PM to see if it was one of the week it was on.

    2) Competitive matches on Superstars on Saturday morning: We didn't get Wrestling Challenge, so the only weekend program I got for WWF was Superstars. It was typically squashes all the time. From time to time, there would be a star vs star match, and that was awesome. I got to see Savage drop the bell on Steamboat, Steamboat drop the strap to HTM, and Hogan vs Cowboy Bob Orton, where the rope broke so Cowboy couldn't superplex Hogan before the Hulk-up.

    3) NWA wrestling on Sunday at 5:00: We would get one hour of NWA wrestling, and it was Sunday at 5:00. Later when we got TBS, we'd get WCW Saturday Night.
     
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  3. Lowdown

    Lowdown Ooh baby I like it roooaaaaw!

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    Have quite a few wrestling memories from way back in the day. I guess the standout was the first WrestleMania I watched (IV). Looking back, yeah it was a horrible show, but back in '93 I thought it was a treat.

    As far as what I'd normally look forward to, it was always Superstars after Soul Train on Saturdays and Challenge on Sundays. However, Challenge was usually a repeat of Superstars from a weekend before.I What sucked though was whenever baseball pre-empted either show. Absolutely hated it. Then there was the classic Saturday Night's Main Event. They usually had a schedule similar to the big 4 PPV's where they'd only be one once every three months or so. Late night wrestling at its best. And don't get me started on the promos...
     
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  4. Just an Old Guy

    Just an Old Guy New Member

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    Being a kid in the late 80's and early 90's, Hell yeah. Nothing but memories! the first thing I can really remember was SME, with the "two timing penny pinching ref" as being a fan.

    1. Pretending me and my best friend were the rockers on the playground. I was always Marty... in 1989. christ i'm old.
    2. Getting to go to a house show once a year.
    3. Watching a scrambled station just to hear what was happening at WM 5.
    4. Watching the 6 PPV, warrior beat hogan for the title, I literally ran around the house with shoestrings tied to my arms in my underwear.
    5. Waking my parents up to tell them that dusty's son was beat up and bleeding on another SME
    6. Being in the hoosier dome for WM 8 and watching warrior surprise return. On my 12th birthday, with my best friend. best surprise ever.

    Fandom completely lapsed for a few years, but as soon as the NWO angle started, Every monday night was sitting in my bedroom on the phone, changing channels every commercial. Before long tuesday study halls in HS were spent discussing what happened last night. This dude who always wore a TOOL shirt was my sparring partner in these discussions, but he would never talk to me outside of study hall.

    I haven't thought about many of these things forever. These are some good memberberries.
     
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  5. SmattyG

    SmattyG Pre-Show Stalwart

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    As a kid growing up in Sydney in the 1970s, Saturdays were always a buzz, just to see which overseas wrestlers would be on the show, to fight with our local heroes like Ron Miller, Larry O'Dea, and honorary Australian, Mario Milano. I remember Andre, Ox Baker and Brute Bernard managed by JJ Dillon, and the evil Butcher Brannigan. We got Wrestlemania about a week after it happened (from memory.) With no internet, and no spoilers, it was a treat. WM II was even better, and I really looked forward to Hulk V Bundy.

    During the Attitude Era, we always got RAW at 8:30 on a Wednesday night. I finished work at 8pm back then, and raced home with my friends to see what Stone Cold and The Rock would do next. Fun times...

    It sort of lapsed in the 2000s, but now I watch it with my kids, and they look forward to Matt Hardy's shenanigans. Wrestling will always be a part of my life. As Heenan Gorilla mentioned, if you ever really loved it, it's pretty hard to let go completely.

    Thanks for the thread - always nice to go down memory lane...
     
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  6. ComeOnVince

    ComeOnVince Pre-Show Stalwart

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    I grew up in the middle of nowhere in the 80s and did not have access to PPV, so I would wait impatiently for WEEKS until my local video rental shop got the newest WWF PPV tape. I got in the habit of asking them every week if it was in yet. They must have loved me. Even though I could ascertain from TV what had taken place at the PPV (though my folks didn't love the fact that I wanted to watch wrestling on TV), I always wanted to see them anyway, and of course the WM main events of the mid-80s always seemed so blockbuster that any kid wanted to see what was happening. I probably watched Hogan vs. Warrior 20 times back then. That's what I looked forward to: my local podunk video rental shop getting the latest PPV tape.
     
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  7. HeyYo

    HeyYo Occasional Pre-Show

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    The return of Ted Turner's WCW.
     
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  8. HeyYo

    HeyYo Occasional Pre-Show

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    I remember when I was 12 years old going to a WWWF card in my hometown. This was in a time when you could approach the wrestlers and speak with them. I spoke with Rick McGraw, The Samoans (they scared the crap out of me!), and Johnny Rodz. Now, forget it. You can't get access to wrestlers unless you're watching an indy card and that would be ok with me.
     
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  9. Jack-Hammer

    Jack-Hammer YOU WILL RESPECT MY AUTHORITAH!!!!
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    I especially loved watching Prime Time Wrestling on Monday nights when I was a little boy and watching stuff during the weekends like Wrestling Challenge, Superstars and JCP/WCW when it would air on Saturday nights. If I had to pick a favorite, I'd go with PTW as I loved the chemistry between Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan. Much of the time, the matches weren't all that much to write home about, which the same could be said really for a lot of episodes of any of those shows, but they were still fun. I could sit and watch Heenan and Monsoon for hours, still can really, but the passage of time has altered my perception of a lot of the old school matches as, for the most part, they just can't compete with a lot of what goes on today. That doesn't apply to all of them, of course, but I'd say a good 70% just don't cut the mustard today and would get either the "boring" chants or the cricket treatment, which could be even worse as fans are so bored they can't even muster the effort to chant boring. Twenty minutes of reverse armbars and side headlocks can't compete against stuff like Styles vs. Cena, Omega vs. Okada or Gargano vs. Ciampa and that's what made up a lot of the older matches; either that or a fist fest of right hand punch after right hand punch, especially if you were Jerry Lawler.
     
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  10. Psykohurricane55

    Psykohurricane55 Moderator
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    I've started watching wrestling way back in 1988. As a kid I was mostly watching WWF since that was the only wrestling that was playing on tv in Montreal so wrestling for me as always been more about the over the top characters and less about in ring workmate.

    What I loved back when I was young was that for big event like summerslam or mania, only the important matches we're given storyline on tv and more time on Ppv. You knew that Hogan would get 20 minutes and whoever was the ic champ or tag champ would get more time because they we're important matches on the card. The rest would get maximum 10 minutes and it was perfect for me. Sometimes you could have 12 to 14 matches on a card and the Ppv would still last 3 hours. I was so happy because for a moment, I could see my favorites wrestled and yet you knew who had a important match just because of the length of the match. It was all about the entertainment aspect and less about the wrestling.

    That's what I miss in today's wrestling, I miss the characters, I miss the short matches on PPV, i miss the fact that you could do a 14 matches PPV in under 3 hours and that you could tell which match was important because based on how much time the matches is getting. I miss also the fact that matches back then had time limit which help build drama for the more important matches. This is why we call this era the golden era because back then everybody was a star and they knew how to build A PPV card and that not every matches needed a story.

    Anyway, this was what I was looking in wrestling when I started watching it back in the day.
     
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  11. relentless1

    relentless1 G.O.A.T.

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    Oh man did I ever look forward to Nitro and Raw from 97-02; im from Canada so Mondays were Raw and I could either watch the 2 hour version of Nitro on Tuesdays or skip school and watch the 3 hour version on wednesday afternoons.... those two shows basically defined my teenage years lol
     
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  12. King Patrick Star

    King Patrick Star K. O. T. R. 2007 -€“ Team Undisputed

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    As an old school Professional Sports Wrestling Entertainment fan, I looked forward to “next week”. That feeling lasted from WrestleMania V to NXT Arrival. Before WrestleMania V, I was just a casual fan. I’d watch it whenever I would coincidentally catch it on TV. Between Spring 1989 to Winter 2014, I believed in “McMahonism”. I barely missed the weekly shows, but I only saw a handful of pay per views, due to cost. After NXT Arrival, I was more interested in watching every WWE, WCW, and ECW pay per view, in chronological order, than watching Raw and Smackdown.

    I basically looked forward to everything already mentioned. My one and only true obsession was the Championship Title Belts. I would watch the shows, flip through the magazines, play the video games, and browse the toy aisles, all searching for the Championship Title Belts. As a kid, I’d imagine how I would display my collection if I ever got my hands on all of the gold and leather.

    December 2001 was when I started my Expedition of Gold. I was at the Flagler Dog Track with a friend to watch Vengeance 2001. As soon as we walk in, I see a merchandise table and the first things to catch my eye was the plastic and foam Smoking Skull Belt and the Brahma Bull Belt. At $15 each, I thought that was a rip-off, but being that either Stone Cold Steve Austin or the Rock was about to become the first ever Undisputed WWF / WCW World Champion, I thought, “why not!?” So the show starts, and I’m waving my newly acquired Championship Title Belts around. Kids walking up to me to take pictures. Parents walking up to me asking where to buy them. It was a great experience. Stone Cold wins the first match, and I’m yelling, “One down, one to go!!” Then all of a sudden the Rock doesn’t hold up his end. Okay, all good, I guess they’re going with Austin. Then out of nowhere Booker T. shows up, and now I’m walking out of the Dog Track with the Championship Title Belts of the SuperStars who lost. I felt sick to my stomach, like I somehow jinxed both of my top two favorites, at the time, by buying their custom straps. What have I done!? “I quit watching WWF!!” 22 hours later, I decided to see what happens next, but vowed it would be the last time I tune in. Being that I’m sharing this story with you, you pretty much know how the rest of this went. I’m King Patrick Star, and I’m a Jerichoholic.

    After getting the Big Eagle, Oval IC, and a pair of Tags to go with my Smoking Skull and Brahma Bull Belts, I discovered that Jakks started making much better versions. I vividly remember getting the kids sized Jakks Undisputed WWE Championship Title Belt. The next week, I got the kids sized Jakks World Heavyweight Championship Title Belt. The following week, I got the kids sized Jakks WWE Cruiserweight Championship Title Belt. I thought to myself that I would only get these 3, since these were the only ones at the time that had nameplates. Yeah, that self-imposed limit didn’t last very long. At this time, I have 10 adult sized, 71 kids sized, and 100s of action figure sized Championship Title Belts. Every time I bought a Tag Team Championship Title Belt, I would also get one for my Brother. I also gave a few friends kids sized Championship Title Belts. To them, they were gag gifts. To me, it was sharing my passion. Even my Son would give his friends Championship Title Belts as Birthday gifts.

    Although it continues today, the feeling of attaining the prizes of this industry just isn’t the same as it once was for me. This thread sure brought back a lot of memories.
     
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  13. KonoSetsu

    KonoSetsu New Member

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    Started watching WWF in 88 but could only see the PPVs when my friend got the VHS. In about 91 i got to see WCW when it was on after my swimming lesson - Super Invader was there so i think it was 91.

    My first WWF magazine was in 93 with the Mania 9 results but did'nt get it every month until 96 - and still have every mag from 96 to about 2004 with a couple from 92 and WCW mags from 96-99.

    Weekly TV wise was when my parents got cable (UK version) and Cartoon Network changed to TNT at 9 each night i saw Nitro each Friday and watched Raw highlights on Sky One every Saturday lunchtime.

    What I miss is every personality had the chance to get over. Even the Oddities got over which probably would'nt happen today.
     
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  14. Dave

    Dave Administrator
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    What I always looked forward to was hearing JR's voice on a PPV night - especially when I was able to watch it live.

    Back when I started watching, which was in 2000, he always made it feel like that night was going to mean something. One thing that I think is missing in today's product is that there is a lack of urgency and the lack of a "big night feel" from the commentators.

    The PPV's always started very ominously and there was a drama and intrigue in the opening monologue. JR was a master at building the tension from the first word and, more often than not, would put the hairs on the back of my neck to attention within a few words.

    I miss that. Micheal Cole is a horrendous replacement. Mauro Ranallo is the closest that the WWE have come to replicating the magic and handled it horribly.
     
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  15. HeenanGorilla

    HeenanGorilla Championship Contender

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    Absolutely! At the time, I didn't appreciate JR and longed for the days of Gorilla, Jesse and Bobby. Now, I love to go back and listen to JR and Lawler or Heyman. Knowing that you often don't know what you got til it's gone, I tried to give Michael Cole chance after chance. The guy is probably (evidently) very good at what today's announcers need to be (or what Vince feels they need to be); someone who can talk through his microphone while listening through his headset. Someone who can promote twitter and apps and Network specials and reality TV nonsense. So, to be fair, he may very well be handcuffed by the requirements of the job. I don't THINK that is the case; I THINK he IS handcuffed by the demands, but would be awful in any era. That is the realist/businessman part of me that can see what he does and understand why he does it. The fan part of me HATES what has become of the announce position. Go watch the Golden Era, Attitude Era, whenever with the announcers taken out. You'll still have crowd pops. You'll still have entrance music. You'll still have backstage and in-ring interviews. And you will HATE what is being shown. The announce position, when done correctly, gets you excited for what you are about to see, keeps you excited during what you are seeing, and keeps you feeling great about what you saw. Jesse Ventura was amazing! He was able to make the match taking place seem important, he would be heel but fair. His logic for not liking Hogan made perfect sense. (Conversely, Gorilla's excuses for Hogan's behavior is cringe-worthy at times) But, Gorilla and Jesse and/or Bobby were a lot of fun to listen to. They showed emotion. They made us believe they were finding out when we were finding out. Nowadays, you have a "surprise run-in" and Michael Cole's voice barely changes and he starts spewing facts like he was waiting for this guy to come out. How about the Rumbles now? It used to be "3...2...1...IT'S THE HULKSTER!!!" Now it's "3...2...1...Alberto Del Rio is tied for 256th in career Rumble eliminations and is one of only 42 men to where white trunks and make the final four." (Not to mention Cole's ridiculous "it's all about the numbers" every freaking year. Oh good, I was wondering the total weight of every Rumble participant ever...thanks WWE!)
    Anyway, I am grateful for the Network because it allows me to ignore today's rubbish and still get my wrestling fix.
     
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