When you watched Wrestlemania for the 1st time

Discussion in 'Old School Wrestling' started by abhilash81, Mar 16, 2018.

  1. abhilash81

    abhilash81 Best in the World!

    Mar 6, 2010
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    I always wanted to share this story with fellow wrestling fans and finally decided to write it. I would love to know about your very first time watching a WrestleMania.

    24th April, 2002

    I was hanging out with my younger brother and a friend at my home, in a hot Summer afernoon in Central India. We're just flipping channels and couldn't find anything to watch, when we stumbled upon Ten Sports and stopped! An episode of Afterburn was being telecast and thus it began! We immediately loved the show and I got hooked to WWE.

    Several months passed and the Rumble arrived. Around this time, they started showing promos about an event named WrestleMania, dubbing it as the biggest show they produced, having a rich history and whatnot. I still remember a still from that promo with Booker T entering the ring, with flames coming up on the stage, making for a cool visual. But the most stunning visual was the setting- an arena which was way larger than what i had been seeing since the past few months. The arena size made me realize that this event was really something special. I started counting the days and finally the day arrived!

    Now it was 2003, so I had never touched the Internet or even a computer! Also, they used to telecast every show 2 weeks later here in India. So, no spoilers and nothing to distract me. The Summer break had begun by then so I was as relaxed as I could possibly be.

    I watched the complete show and was totally in awe. A few notable things I remember:

    1. As soon as the show began, I noticed the HUGE arena of Safeco Field, with the loooooong entrance way and I was IMPRESSED! The commentators greeted us and were wearing expensive looking suits/ties, and it made sense to me 'cause this was their biggest event of the year, so might as well look your absolute best.
    2. Rock- Austin was just so fast paced and kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. Didn't know at all that I was watching Austin's final match.
    3. I don't know what came over me but I suddeny began rooting for Vince in his match against Hogan, while my mother and brother were on Hogan's side. I always sided with faces but strangely, wanted Vince to win here, to my mom and bro's dismay.
    4. Finally, Brock-Angle closed the show, hugging it out in the middle of the ring with 54000 fans cheering and giving them a standing ovation. What a perfect ending in the eyes of a brand new fan like me.

    I was a full fledged fan by now and never missed a show for years. Now, I only watch a PPV if there's a special match in it, or if it's RR or WM. But the memory of experiencing the grandeur, the pageantry, the history that is WrestleMania, will always be one of my favourite moments as a lifelong fan.

    What was your first experience watching a WrestleMania?
  2. HeenanGorilla

    HeenanGorilla Championship Contender

    Apr 20, 2011
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    My first WrestleMania, at least the first one I watched live, was WrestleMania III. I say live, because I am not sure if I had seen WrestleMania 2 at that point; but, if I had, it would have been by renting the VHS from the local video store. (Man, I loved going to the video store and looking to see which Coliseum Video had been released since my last visit. In fact, one vivid memory was waiting and waiting for Survivor Series 1987 to come out. Finally, it did and while there waiting for my Dad to pay for it, I noticed that Piledriver: The Wrestling Album 2 had also come out--the music videos. I already had the vinyl record album at home(vinyl..record..album...that is quite repetitive haha). I was torn and hinted that I wanted both, but my Dad stood firm. We were here for Survivor Series 1987. Haha! Good for him, but that sticks out in my memory. Real quick, one time I went to the soon-to-be-closed Toys R Us with him to get a new LJN wrestling figure. I had most of them to that point and was shocked to see Bruno Sammartino. I didn't know they made him! But as I reached for it, I saw something else. The blue squared steel cage set to add to my wrestling ring! This time being torn between the two--we knew growing up, we got one toy when we went to Toys R Us; and sometimes none, we just liked to go and look around sometimes--but Dad got me both! Haha...sorry for the detour, but thanks for that trip down memory lane.) Anyway, I remember going to a house show at the Meadowlands in NJ on January 12th, 1986, I believe--a birthday present, which means I had begun watching in 1985 (but I definitely didn't see the original WrestleMania until years after it took place--also on VHS--and was still young enough to have a pit in my stomach when Iron Sheik and Volkoff won the tag belts by whacking Barry Windham with Blassie's cane)

    Back to the point (sorry again for going off topic there, but that is a cherished time in my life--1985-1992 WWF fan), I had really gotten into WWF at this point and could not believe Andre was "brainwashed" by Heenan to turn on Hogan. Talk about a pit in my stomach! (A Piper's Pit! ..bad joke haha) Even if I had seen Mania 2, that was held in 3 small arenas. I would watch wrestling on Saturday mornings (filmed in small arenas) and watch house shows from Madison Square Garden, or attend them at the Meadowlands. So, when I saw the Pontiac Silverdome, I was blown away. A huge stadium where the wrestlers had to be brought to the ring on forklifts designed to look like miniature wrestling rings. It was so cool! The Can-Am Connection kicked things off by beating Don Muraco and Bob Orton and the whole PPV was amazing to me--Hercules busting open Billy Jack, Bundy slamming Little Beaver, the Dream Team turning on Beefcake, Piper shaving Adonis' head, damn Danny Davis getting the win, Steamboat winning the IC belt, Honky cheating to beat Jake...all leading to when Hogan slammed Andre to close the night. It was AWESOME!!! And a welcome distraction, as my mom was in the hospital for back surgery and my aunt and uncle had invited us over to watch the PPV so that and my cousins could distract me and my sister. Mom being ok was the most important thing, of course, but what an event! Haha!

    I was already a huge WWF fan and that cemented it; however, I know I did not see Mania IV live. I got up for school and my dad was reading the sports page and showed me the big headline "Macho Man wins 4 matches to win WWF Championship" This was mind-blowing on 2 levels. 1) WWF results were prominently shown in the Star Ledger sports page haha! and 2) for my whole time being a fan, Hulk was champ. Now Macho was champ?? How did Hulk not win the tournament?? Now, I couldn't wait for Mania IV to come out on VHS--and was actually a double VHS because it was a 4-hour spectacular. So, now, technically I DID get to rent two videos at once! Haha

    I remember watching Mania V at a friend's house and was definitely watching when Warrior won at VI, so I guess by then I would watch live each year. But Mania III was my first love. My neighbor had also recorded it for me, so I watched it...oh, every day for what seemed like forever, after that--and still probably know every word of the commentary.

    Maybe a longer response than you had hoped for, but I really enjoyed writing about these memories. Thank you!
    Hollywood Naitch likes this.
  3. The Life Of Pablo Ren

    The Life Of Pablo Ren I know my name/avi/sig don't match.

    Jan 16, 2013
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    WrestleMania 22. (I may have seen 18 before that because my friend had it on VHS and I think I vaguely remember watching it but I'm not counting it because I wasn't a wrestling fan at that point).

    Sadly, I don't have much recollection about watching the event. Actually, that isn't really true, but I don't necessarily remember what I felt watching it. I know it was with my friend (a different one) and we were at my house. I have snapshots in my head of every match and I can remember sitting in my living room watching. We had pizza for dinner, lol. I remember his little brother came over mid-way through to watch a few matches with us, that's really it.

    BUT... for some reason I can remember that whole weekend leading up to WrestleMania 22. I don't think I'd ever been that excited in my life. I had slept over his house the night before and remember watching the Hall of Fame. We barely slept, we stayed up all night, he had like this strobe light disco ball thingy and we had that on all night while we "recreated" WrestleMania with our action figures. That morning I can remember vividly what we did, to a pretty creepy level... all the way down to what I had to drink with my breakfast that morning, there was so much excitement.

    It's a shame I can't remember much of the event itself (probably because I was sleep deprived the night prior) but I really wish I did, it was such a fun weekend for 10 year old me.
  4. abhilash81

    abhilash81 Best in the World!

    Mar 6, 2010
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    @Heenan Gorilla
    Great read! I love when people go all full blown nostalgic while talking about old memories. I wish I could be a fan at that time during Mania 3, but I hadn't even born at the time. I can imagine the fun you must have had being a fan during that era.
    HeenanGorilla likes this.
  5. abhilash81

    abhilash81 Best in the World!

    Mar 6, 2010
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    One of my favourite Manias even though critics don't like that one. Seeing Rey win the World title seemed like an impossible thing and that made it so much more cooler when it actually happened.
  6. StraightEdge

    StraightEdge Dark Match Winner

    Sep 28, 2009
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    I started to really get interested in WWE/F the night after WM 14. My first WM I watched was WM 15. I remember when I had all my friends over and we watched the event. When Bossman got hung I legit thought he was going to die. Austin beating the Rock the first time was epic. HHH and Chyna's double double turn was a thing of beauty as well. I was a huge Road Dogg fan and had a crush on Ryan Shamrock (I was 8 years old go figure.).
  7. KBeef

    KBeef Occasional Pre-Show

    Sep 24, 2009
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    The first one I watched was Wrestlemania X (10). I was a huge Bret hart fan and seeing him lose to Owen to start, but end it by winning the title was insane for me.

    Also to see that ladder match was a highlight and joy to watch. I watched WWF since about 91 but WMX was the first show that was ever ordered for me and I've been hooked ever since.

    Also I remember the live broadcast being at 4pm here in NYC, and that years rumble was on a Saturday.

    I miss those days.

    With the network being what it is, it would not shock me if they tried that again with earlier start times, because lets face it most people do not want to be up until almost midnight watching these shows.
  8. ComeOnVince

    ComeOnVince Pre-Show Stalwart

    Jul 26, 2013
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    WrestleMania VI.

    There's no telling how long after the event took place that I actually saw it, because in my little town, we had to rent from the local video store. But I was a little geek for the Ultimate Warrior, and this was the most incredible thing I had ever seen (as a ten-year-old). I didn't get to watch a lot of wrestling in our house, but I did manage to keep up with it and my dad let me rent WM6 when I was sick. He even watched it with me and let me ramble on and on and on about what was going on. I'll never forget it.
  9. The Samoan Heritage

    The Samoan Heritage Getting Noticed By Management

    Jul 10, 2014
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    Wrestlemania 20 was my first Wrestlemania experience. I had been watching wrestling for a few years but never could get my mom to buy a wwe ppv for me. One day my parents ended up going out of town and had my cousin, who equally loved wrestling, watch me. Sunday came and after a few hours of us talking about Wrestlemania, my cousin got up, grabbed the remote, and ordered it.
    I was screaming with joy until I realize how angry my mom would be, but once the ppv started, her anger was put in the back of my mind. (The next day, after a few hours of teasing me due to worrying about my mom's reaction, my cousin would eventually tell me that it was my mom's idea.)

    -I was a huge fan of Rikishi and Scotty 2 Hotty at this time. They may have been my favorite people on the entire card, so to watch them go in as champions and retain was a big deal.

    -I loved the Goldberg vs Lesnar match. They were THE most dominant people on the roster, and adding Austin to the mix...I don't think i've ever been more excited for a WM match since.

    -Eddie/Benoit celebration...The greatest WM moment of all time, imo. It sucks that this moment will never be given the recognition that it deserves. Not only is it in WM's top 5 moments, the triple threat match is in the top 3 greatest WM matches of all time.

    -Christian vs Jericho and Cena vs Big Show were also fun feuds/matches that I really enjoyed.
  10. OYDK

    OYDK King Of The Ring

    Feb 19, 2014
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    Wrestlemania 17 was the first one I watched live. I remember being super excited for like, a month about eventually renting it (because my parents would never even contemplate ordering a $60 PPV, or whatever the price was at that time) and couldn't wait to go on the website next morning to read about the matches and to find out who won the Austin/Rock match. I was at my uncle's house on Mania Sunday and I remember walking into the living room to greet everyone. A Wrestlemania preview was on the TV when I walked in and I just assumed that a random sports channel was on, but as we started getting closer to the start time, I realized that the preview had been playing for like 2 hours.

    Then everybody, including my mom, grandparents, and cousins sat around the TV and Wrestlemania started. I was pretty shocked that, one, my uncle ordered a wrestling PPV because I never had any recollection of anybody in my family being a wrestling fan besides my brother, and two, everybody actually seemed really into it. My excitement level was through the roof when I realized that I was going to watch Mania live for the first time ever. Even though I've since watched Mania with friends, been to Mania party's, etc. that was probably the funnest Mania experience I've had to this day. Everybody was screaming at the TV screen, cheering their asses off for the Canadians (Jericho, Benoit, Test), and my grandpa couldn't stop smiling and telling stories about his watching days throughout the Gimmick Battle Royal.

    Even though my family weren't necessarily wrestling fans, they were extremely invested in the Shane/Vince match and especially the Austin/Rock match. I guess they must have been very casual viewers at the time because although they didn't know many people that well, they knew a lot about Vince and the Austin/Rock rivalry. Almost everybody was cheering for Austin except the girls because the Rock was "hotter", and nobody really gave a shit that Stone Cold turned; we were just happy he won.

    Mania 17 will hands down always be my favorite PPV ever.
    HeenanGorilla likes this.
  11. Jonyboyuk2

    Jonyboyuk2 Getting Noticed By Management

    Feb 2, 2012
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    I was at a friends house in 1990 and he had WWF Summerslam 1988 on video tape. From then on I rented WWF video tapes from Blockbuster until my Dad got Sky TV. I watched Wrestlemania 4, 5, 6 and 7 and enjoyed them all. But my first Wrestlemania Experience came from watching Wrestlemania 9 in 1993. Watching the first Jim Ross boadcast, and my favourite Bret Hart wrestle Yoko. It is regarded by many as the worst WM ever, and the show was a bit dull, and Bret losing to Yoko and Hulk taking the belt was not needed and ended a poor show on a very bad note. However, a year later when Bret overcame Yoko, it was a proper Wrestlemania moment. Loved it.
  12. Goldie

    Goldie Getting Noticed By Management

    May 8, 2012
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    I first got watching WWE just after WM7- as SKY TV had started covering it in the UK, and there was a wave of wrestling popularity that swept the nation- culminating in Summerslam 92 being held at Wembley Stadium, London.
    The UK rampage tour they usually did just after Mania (April 1991) was actually the first show I watched, so needless to say WM7 (which had happened just a couple of weeks earlier) soon followed on VHS.

    As a young Kid at the time I was quite scared of Sgt Slaughter and his Iraqi henchmen (General Adnan with an uncanny resemblence to Saddam Hussain, and the Iron Sheik repackaged as Colonel Mustafa)… but justice prevailed and good old Hulk Hogan, the American hero beat Slaughter for the world title.

    Being a Brit I naturally rooted for Davey Boy Smith against the Warlord- now Smith had a huge physique – ready to burst out of his own skin! But his opponent the Warlord was even larger! So when Davey escaped the Full Nelson and powerslammed Warlord I did feel a sense of patriotic pride!

    Warrior and Savage had a classic loser must retire match- not that it made much sense first time I watched it… but soon enough I had seen all the big PPVs from 1989-90 so the backstory of Savage and Elizabeth reuniting (shots of the audience here showed some people so moved that they were shedding tears) all came together.

    Seeing the Mountie zap Tito Santana with his cattle prod and wondering how that heck the referee didn’t see the blatant cheating (Hey it was the kayfabe era)

    The WWE characters were all larger than life- ‘why do they all have to shout??’ my dad used to ask when I watching wrestler promos!
    I was soon hooked on the product- even when others kids in the playground acknowledged that it was all fake.
    I was buying all the wrestling magazines (PWI, Inside Wrestling, the Wrestler) and thirst for knowledge to find out about the other promotions, WCW, USWA… even though the WWE was the only company with easy access to videos.

    It all started with Wrestlemania 7 / UK Rampage 1991- 27 years later I’m still watching.
  13. Psykohurricane55

    Psykohurricane55 Moderator
    Staff Member Moderator

    May 13, 2011
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    My first wrestlemania i saw live was Wrestlemania 6. My dad got me tickets to go see it on closed circuit at the montreal Forum but didn't know i had vertigo so he bought me the cheapest tickets in the blue section of the forum which is pretty high up for a kid that's scared of heights.

    So i went with my Mom since my dad was working that night and i remember it like it was yesterday, i sat in my see for the whole event event, frozen in my seat, not able to move or react what's so ever, i was scared that i would fall and die watching if i just move a muscle. I was so bad that my mom took me outside to the lobby before the main event and i just fell of the stair going into the lobby. My mom asks me if i was o.k. and if i wanted to leave because she really was concern at the point, i told her i was o.k and we went back in to watch the main event which was the match i wanted to see anyway.

    So then, hulk hogan entrance started and i got into it a little bit, then my hero at the time, the ultimate warrior music played and i saw him running to the ring and i made me forget all about my fear. For the duration of that match, i completly forgot we're i was and just cheered my little heart out for warrior to win the title for hogan and when Warrior pin Hogan i was so excited that i just got up and cheer his victory. This was the best moment of my life in that moment and if i would have had the chance to meet warrior before he died, i would have love to tell him that story because in a weird way, he help me conquer my fear of height for that brief moment.
    tdmoon likes this.
  14. cjbom

    cjbom New Member

    Mar 19, 2018
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    First I saw live was 25, and I remember it like it was yesterday. My uncle had given me DVDs of a bunch of wrestling ppvs the months prior, and really got me hooked on watching it. I remember that my favrorite was Rey Mysterio, and seeing him beat JBL in 30 seconds for the IC strap was awesome at the time lol. My second favorite was Jeff, and I can remember being really upset that Matt beat him. I was also really pissed Punk won MITB, because my sister picked him on this guessing sheet we had made up using the ole eeny meany miny mo method. I also remember Cena lifting both Big Snow and Edge, and thinking that was an incredible testament of strength.

    What I remember most, however, was Taker-HBK. I was so lucky to get to see that on my first Wrestlemania Card. A match that to this day is still IMO the best of all time. Punk-Cena at MITB is a close second, but I had never been as awe as I was when HBK kicked out of that tombstone.
  15. THTRobtaylor

    THTRobtaylor Once & Future Wrestlezone Columnist

    Jun 2, 2006
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    Would have been late 80's and Wrestlemania V being the first one I got taped off BSB I think rather than Sky, but can't be sure. Saw it within a week of it happening, but they weren't showing them "live" or "as live" then, they often showed them the following day or maybe even a few days later like WM X.

    In those days it was a case of getting it taped by someone or borrowing it and copying it before returning it, when I could get it to work. WWF had first been shown a year or two earlier on ITV as part of the traditional World Of Sport/Saturday wrestling slot... every 4 weeks they'd have a WWF show instead and Harts v Bulldogs w/Winston was the first real exposure I remember really getting into it...but apparently (according to my mum) when we went to the US when I was about 5 I was fascinated by Hulk Hogan and always wanted to watch wrestling when it was on over there... that would be his AWA run.

    WM6 was the first wrestling video I bought, and quickly got a collection going and I always have a special place in my heart for 6 and 7 as they "felt" like long/big shows as you had so many matches... today you'd see them as glorified 5 minute squashes, but in an era of kick off shows and that BS, I'd rather see 14 shorter matches than 7 longer and a kickoff match.

    With 5 the standout moments that "hooked me" were The Blue Blazer v Perfect and Rick Rude winning the IC belt... from there we had another trip to the US and I devoured my relative's collection of tapes... so caught up with Mania 3 and 4, Summerslam 88 and saw Summerslam 89 on PPV while there.

    By the end of the tape era, I had over 200 of them from various places... bought WWF ones, copied WCW ones and traded ECW, SMW, Japan and older stuff. Sadly time moved on and my dad dumped my collection in a house move without my knowledge... spent a fortune on that lot...made him pay me for it!
  16. tdmoon

    tdmoon Pre-Show Stalwart

    Mar 6, 2014
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    Though I have been a wrestling fan for over thirty years, I've never actually seen a Wrestlemania live. I ordered one as an adult(pretty sure it was in 2001), but we were hit with some severe thunderstorms and the power went out shortly before it was to begin, which kind of sucked because I had invited a houseful of people over to watch. The only pay-per-view shows I've ever seen live were some of the Survivor Series cards because we'd go to my aunt's house for Thanksgiving and they had one of those boxes where they got ppv's for free. There wasn't a lot of disposable income around my house so pay per views were pretty far down the list when it came to luxuries.

    Of course, I watched Wrestlemania I after it came out on vhs but found it disappointing. I was one of those obnoxious brats who would always shit on anything that was popular(Hogan sux, Flair rulez! Cindi Lauper is for girls! etc., etc.) and had been exposed more to the AWA, NWA and CWA anyway. The anti-WWF bias of the Weston magazines probably played a pretty big role as well. The only wrestlers on the card I can recall being fans of were Steamboat, Windham and Rotunda, who all had meh matches.

    Now that I'm older, I'm better able to appreciate the eighties WWF at least a little bit more. I still prefer a lot of other promotions but recognize how important those early Wrestlemanias and the wrestlers in the WWF at the time were. Hell, I can even give credit to Hogan now, after decades of thinking he was lower than whale shit.

    Wrestlemania I may very well be the most important card in wrestling history(Wrestlemania III, maybe, but close), though it really did kind of suck wrestling-wise. And in hindsight, it really is a shame I wasn't able to watch that Wrestlemania in '01--consensus appears to be it was one helluva show.
  17. Vintage Punk

    Vintage Punk Pre-Show Stalwart

    Sep 23, 2014
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    Wrestlemania VI in 1990. A short backstory: The first time I ever saw WWF (yes I won't refer to it as WWE when I'm talking about back in the day) was in October of 1989 when I was 8 years old. My dad brought home a VHS copy of Summerslam 89 that his friend recorded off PPV that he thought I'd like. I loved it and thought all the characters were awesome and over the top. I loved the Hart Foundation, Demolition, Macho Man, the Rockers, Ultimate Warrior and of course, Hulk Hogan. I remember begging my parents to get Survivor Series on Thanksgiving, which of course they hyped on the Summerslam tape. Although I didn't get to order Wrestlemania live, I rented from the local video store when it came out. I remember being torn between Warrior and Hogan not sure who'd win. Warrior won and I remember being happy but amazed that Hogan lost as Hogan never lost back then, especially for the title! I also didn't know that would be Jesse Ventura's last main gig announcing. I always got a kick out of him and how he was a definite heel announcer (something I wish we had instead of guys flip flopping on wrestlers). Anyways, good times as a kid and am thankful I can show some to my son on the WWE network.

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