Showing posts with label Wrestling. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wrestling. Show all posts

WCW Saturday Night and Fall Brawl 1995 at Grandma's House

Monday, September 19, 2022

One Saturday evening at the end of August in 1995, my parents were watching my brother play hockey on the other side of town.  Or at least that's how I remember it.  August seems a bit early for hockey, but we pretty much played around the calendar, so... who knows.

In any event, wherever they were, I somehow managed to beg off and stayed home with Grandma and Grandpa.  They lived next door, and as a kid, I frequently wandered back and forth from our house to theirs several times a day.  

Longtime readers here will already know, but I've been a pro wrestling fan since I was 5 when I caught a glimpse of the National Wrestling Alliance on TBS in 1990.  I'm pretty sure it was a Rock and Roll Express (Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson) match because I remember the blond hair and the brightly colored red and blue bandanas, but it may have been The Fabulous Freebirds for all I know.  Either way, it was classic Southern-style "rasslin" and set me on a lifelong fandom of NWA/WCW over the more flashy WWF presentation.

I drifted in and out of casual fandom during the next 5 years.  Mainly because it was forbidden in my house, for fear I may try a wrestling move on my brother or a friend at school.  In any event, I'd sneak some wrestling in when I thought nobody was watching.  Or, more often, I'd just walk next door and watch it at my Grandparent's house.  They didn't seem to mind and usually left me alone with a glass of Tang, a Snickers, and the TV in the kitchen.  

Eventually, my parents gave up policing the TV, and I began watching wrestling on a regular basis.

Years later, like The Simpsons, all it took was for my Dad to watch a few minutes and enjoy what he saw to get their final approval.  He just happened to sit down beside me one day during the infamous Ric Flair interview where he stripped down to his boxer shorts and handcuffed himself to the ring.  

What can I say?  Ric Flair is the best of all time, and wrestling in the 90s was amazingly fun.

Just days after this fateful August evening at my Grandparent's house, World Championship Wrestling launched a new show called Monday Nitro.  Nitro quickly became the focus of the promotion, causing WCW Saturday Night, what had long been the flag bearer for the promotion, to take a backseat to the new Monday show.  The pro wrestling Monday Night War of the 90s had begun, and the non-wrestling world was starting to take notice.  

But what I saw that night, while sitting at Grandma's kitchen table, turned my interest in pro wrestling into a lifelong love.

It's Wrestlemania Time!

Thursday, March 31, 2022

We've had a few weeks of wrestling-themed content here on YesterYear Retro.  With this weekend being the "Grandest Stage of Them All," Wrestlemania 38, why not keep the wrestling content flowing?  

Admittedly, I've stopped watching WWE these days.  I've switched over to AEW, which reminds me more of the old days than the modern WWE.  Like many fair-weather fans, I'll still be tuning in to check out the "Showcase of the Immortals" this weekend.

I'm looking forward to seeing "Stone Cold" Steve Austin return this year.  He's only billed as "appearing" on the show, but rumor has it he's been training for some in-ring action.   

Please click "Keep Reading" to read on...

Retro Scans: 1995 WCW Main Event Trading Cards

Monday, March 28, 2022

Unfortunately, I've been a little too busy with work and things at home this week to put out a thoroughly researched article for ya'll to enjoy and one I can be proud of.  

Since my last two posts were about professional wrestling, focused on Big Van Vader and Scott Hall (CLICK HERE FOR MY TRIBUTE TO SCOTT HALL), I figured it would be a good time to break out a pack of 1995 WCW Main Event trading cards for an old fashioned Retro Scan!  

This pack of trading cards from 1995 is probably from my favorite era of professional wrestling, or at least, the era I'm most nostalgic for.  This was when wrestling was still 'banned' in my house by my parents, and to be honest, I was probably still 95% convinced it was real.  So, I'd sneak in a half-hour or hour of WWF or WCW's Saturday morning syndicated recap shows.  Then that evening, I'd head over to Granny and Gramps' house where I'd watch WCW Saturday Night (at 6:05PM on TBS) while they were eating dinner in the other room in order to get my wrestling fix.  

I'd say when wrestling was on top of the world, between 1996 and 1998, was the best wrestling would and will ever get, but as far as personal memories are concerned, nothing beats WCW in 1995 for me.  

I'm sure you real wrestling fans are rolling your eyes and gagging because 1995 WCW was pretty darn bad.  But for a kid like me?  It was great!  This was when the larger-than-life characters were bright and colorful, with flashy gimmicks (like Scott Hall's Diamond Studd) or were real-life monsters (like Vader).  

This pack of cards from 1995 is pretty hard to find on eBay.  Like most trading cards lately, prices have skyrocketed, and just the other day, a complete, unopened box of these cards sold for over $750!  Just crazy, considering a few years ago, I pulled these packs for just a few bucks each.  I may regret opening this pack one day, as prices continue to climb... but I'm just as eager to look inside as any of you are!  What does having a stockpile of all trading cards mean if you never open them?  I guess that's another discussion for another day.

Immediately, I was excited to see a Vader card!  After writing about Vader and his time on Boy Meets World (CLICK HERE TO READ ALL ABOUT IT), I have been on a Vader kick.  I've spent time watching several youTube clips or firing up the WWE Network on Peacock to see some of his old matches and it's been a lot of fun reliving the early 90s.  

I was also delighted to see my favorite ever, Sting (sans face paint), in my preferred "surfer Sting" gimmick as he plays beach volleyball.  What a great photo of a great guy.

Besides the baby-faced Tony Schiavone card, one other card of note was the card featuring the promotional poster for WCW Fall Brawl 1994 on it!  I've mentioned a few times before that the 1995 Fall Brawl was my favorite match ever, just for the leadup and promos alone.  Vader was scheduled to be in that match as a member of the Hulkamaniacs alongside Hulk Hogan, Macho Man Randy Savage, and Sting... but he was fired shortly before the show and replaced by Lex Luger.

In the 1994 Fall Brawl, Vader would defeat Sting in a number one contender's match for the World Title, but the promotional poster makes it look like the two would appear in the caged War Games match.  

Ok, ok... on to the trading cards!  Click "Keep Reading" to check them out!

The Life and Career of Scott Hall

Monday, March 21, 2022

"Hey, Yo..."

One of the most popular wrestlers of the 1990s passed away last week.  Scott Hall, the former WWF Superstar "Razor Ramon" and founding member of WCW's 90s pop culture sensation "new World order," passed away following complications during hip replacement surgery.  He was 63.

His longtime friend and fellow wrestler, Kevin Nash, made it public that Hall was placed on life support after suffering three heart attacks during the surgery.  Hall's family took him off of life support on Monday, March 14th, where he passed on 5 hours later.

Hall had previous health issues stemming from many years of alcohol and drug abuse, the physical tolls all wrestlers experience in the ring, and a life spent on the road. 

In 2014, he was helped by fellow wrestler Diamond Dallas Page in cleaning up his life and entering sobriety.  He succeeded, and the WWE brought him back in a public role and inducted him into the Hall of Fame twice.  Once as Razor Ramon and the second for being a member of the nWo.  

Hall is often regarded as "the best wrestler never to hold the World Championship in a major promotion."

With the sobering news hitting us wrestling fans this week, I thought it would be fitting that I post a tribute to the life of a man who provided so much enjoyment and entertainment growing up.  

Please click "Keep Reading" to read about the life of "The Bad Guy" Scott Hall.

Boy Meets Wrestling: When WWF's Big Van Vader Invaded Boy Meets World

Monday, March 14, 2022

Professional wrestling was a large part of my childhood, as was the story for many kids growing up in the late 80s and early 90s.  Just as important to me back then was making sure I watched the kid-friendly sitcoms on ABC's TGIF on Friday evenings.   

With the WWE's announcement the other day that Vader (Leon White) would be posthumously inducted into the Hall of Fame, I spent time reflecting upon his career.  I was first introduced to Vader when he returned to the United States following his mega-star run in New Japan Pro Wrestling in 1990.  As a big fan of World Championship Wrestling (WCW), I first saw Vader sometime in 1990 but really remember him from his match with Stan Hansen at WrestleWar.  He'd then go on to a great run in WCW for a few years as the off-and-on World Champion.  During his time paired with the great former NWA Champion Harley Race, the big man had legendary feuds with my favorites growing up, Ric Flair and Sting.  Sting was already my favorite (still to this day), but his feud with Vader elevated him to new heights in many fans' eyes and cemented his status as World Champion material.

Leon White is often regarded as one of, if not THE, best "big man" in the business.  His high-flying moves from the top rope were unheard of from a man his size both back then and still today.  Standing 6 feet 5 inches and over 450 pounds, the former center for the Los Angeles Rams (1978-1980) moved around the ring like an agile cat but had the size, toughness, and ferocity of a bull.  

He was slated to participate in my favorite match of all time, the 1995 WCW War Games match, but backstage shenanigans got him fired before showing up in the WWF as "The Mastadon," Big Van Vader.  

It was during this time period that one Friday evening I switched the TV over to ABC for my usual TGIF lineup, and on one episode of Boy Meets World, there was the big man himself, Vader!  I remembered Vader having bit parts as the bully's father, but he was all over the place in this episode.  So was Jake "The Snake" Roberts and even "Brother Love" Bruce Prichard!  They had a real WWF show and in-ring action, too!  I was blown away at such a cool cross-over of two things I really enjoyed.

I had really gotten into watching reruns of The Wonder Years on Nick-at-Nite, and when Boy Meets World came along, it was a lighter, funnier, more modern version for kids my age.  As a fun connection between the shows, the star of The Wonder Years, Fred Savage, is the older real-life brother to the star of Boy Meets World, Ben Savage.  

Boy Meets World was a wildly successful family-friendly sitcom from 1993 to 2000.  Starring Ben Savage as Cory Matthews, Rider Strong as Shawn Hunter, William Daniels as Mr. Feeney, Will Friedle as Cory's older brother Eric, and (now famous wrestling fan herself) Danielle Fishel as Topanga.  The show told the story about Cory Matthews and his friends coming of age in the early to mid-90s in a comedic, kid-friendly sitcom.  The show would run until Cory and Topanga were married and in college before returning nearly 15 years later on The Disney Channel as Girl Meets World, centered around Cory and Topanga's daughter.  

At the time, wrestling was still some time away from the culture-changing popularity it would see in the late 90s, but most kids I knew were casual fans of wrestling.  At the time, wrestling and the WWF were full of colorful, larger-than-life comic book characters targeted at children and young teens.  Vader was the perfect comic book character.  An intimidating giant of a man with a gentle soul, he was the ideal fit for a sitcom made for the 16 and under crowd.  

Vader would depart the WWF in 1998 and enter semi-retirement.  After a few more big appearances in Japan and American independent shows, his in-ring career finally came to an end around 2017.  

After years of struggling with his weight, grueling travel schedules, and alcohol abuse, Vader cleaned up his act in 2007.  After becoming a born-again Christian, Vader reconnected with long-time rival (and backstage friend) Sting, another (at the time) recently born-again Christian.  When Vader announced in 2018 he was suffering congestive heart failure and went through multiple surgeries in March of 2018, his good friend Sting (Steve Borden) visited him frequently at the hospital.  

Sadly, Leon passed away on June 18, 2018, following a month-long stay in the hospital with pneumonia.  
When Vader and the WWF blended with Boy Meets World and my Friday night sitcom lineup, the result was a very memorable event!  Here's what happened when Big Van Vader, the storied pro wrestler, joined a made-for-kids sitcom in the mid-90s!

25 Years Ago: WWF's Summer Slam 1996!

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

When I began 9th grade in the fall of 1998, I was more than just nervous about starting high school.  I was extremely jealous of two of my friends.

If you read my recent feature about "Summer Wrestling Memories" (if you haven't yet, please CLICK HERE to do so), you'd have read about my time doing some backyard wrestling with my two good friends.  My parents didn't really like that I was into wrestling and wouldn't encourage it by buying shirts, posters, or tickets to live events. But these two?  They had it all.  

Everything, including tickets to SummerSlam 1998, with the main attraction featuring the two hottest acts in pro wrestling:  Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Undertaker.  

I was definitely a WCW fan, but I definitely wanted to be there to see it with a headline act like that.  To make matters worse, it was at The Garden!  Madison Square Garden was our "home" arena just 30 minutes down the Palisades Parkway and was the mecca of pro wrestling! 

I never even bothered to ask my parents for tickets because I knew the answer would be a resounding NO.  Come to think of it, Joe and Andrew never asked me if I wanted to go with them either because I'm sure they knew I wouldn't. 

So, I was definitely jealous when they both were wearing the t-shirts from the show on the first day of school.  They both had several great stories of their trip into the city, and I was green with envy.

That's how SummerSlam 1998 went for me, but for today let's take a look two years earlier in 1996 to make it a nice even 25 years ago.  Just as the Monday Night Wars were starting to heat up, WWF SummerSlam took place in Cleveland, Ohio, as Shawn Michaels took on Vader!  

If you'd like to read about WCW's summer tent pole event from that year, Bash at the Beach, CLICK HERE to read about the night Hulk Hogan changed wrestling and pop culture history in one night.

Join me on a road trip down memory lane into the summers of yesteryear as we look back on the 1996 WWF SummerSlam! 

Summer Wrestling Memories

Friday, July 23, 2021

With WWE's SummerSlam around the corner, I often reflect on how many of my memories of the summer revolve around pro wrestling.  

To be fair, I haven't watched WWE programming in quite some time now.  I'm a fan of AEW now, but I can barely find time to watch Dynamite on TNT, let alone their two YouTube shows and social media storylines.  While I still find AEW exciting, I still find myself going back and watching the "old stuff" from the early 90s that hooked me in the first place.  

Some excellent stuff happened in pro wrestling during the summer months.  The entire start to the nWo invasion angle in WCW took place during the summer.  Of course, you can also read my recent article about when Hulk Hogan turned against WCW and created the nWo at Bash at the Beach in 1996 by CLICKING HERE.

I always found the WCW tapings at Disney MGM studios fun and exciting, and those took place during the summer of 1996.  Who could forget the Rey Mysterio "lawn dart" segment during the groundbreaking backstage scene?  

I also have many fond memories of staying up late on summer nights using our old dial-up internet connection, reading the wrestling "BB's" on Prodigy, or writing up storylines for the Prodigy E-Wrestling Federation I created called the American Wrestling Federation (AWF).

After waiting for over a decade, we finally saw Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan's first real in-ring meeting at the summertime Bash at the Beach in 1994.

I have a "SummerSlam:  25 Years Ago" post coming soon, but wrestling in summertime always brings up some good stories from the old memory bank.  The following 5 memories are a fun way for me to document some of my own memories and maybe remind you of some stuff you haven't thought of in a long time.  

25 Years Ago: Hulk Hogan Makes Wrestling Cool with the nWo

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

This summer, I've reflected on how so many of my good summertime memories are connected to professional wrestling.  Later this month, I'll be posting an article about five of my own personal memories of summer-time wrestling that I really think you'll enjoy.  In August, there will be another post looking back 25 years at WWF's summer-time spectacular "Summer Slam" from 1996.  

But today, it's of absolute necessity that we look back 25 years from today at WCW's summer-time showcase event the "Bash at the Beach."  It was the catalyst that ignited the boom period of professional wrestling of the mid to late 1990s and it's a day that changed wrestling and American pop culture forever.  

25 years ago, on July 7, 1996, I would have just finished the sixth grade a few weeks earlier.  I was twelve years old.  I would have been dead set on spending my summer doing absolutely nothing but swimming in our backyard pool, watching American Gladiators, Saved by the Bell, and I Love Lucy reruns when the mid-morning heat set in.  Then, after probably a grilled cheese or peanut butter sandwich for lunch, I'd watch Salute Your Shorts reruns on Nickelodeon in the afternoon and then spend my evening hours watching professional wrestling.  If I wasn't watching wrestling, I was reading about it online or pretending to be a wrestler in Prodigy's e-federation system on the BBs.  

WCW was in the midst of an invasion, with newcomers from the rival promotion, WWF, coming out of the woodwork to overthrow the show.  As a diehard WCW fan, I was predisposed to think of these WWF guys as "the bad guys" anyway, but the actions of Scott Hall and Kevin Nash made me really hate them.  

Back then, not everyone had the internet, and knowing the behind-the-scenes details wasn't as readily available as it is now.  Even though my family had the internet, the real news was still hard to come by, and most of it was a lot of rumors and fan's best guesses.

I've mentioned a few times over the years on this blog that my parents never let me buy PPV events.  They didn't like wrestling, and they didn't like that I watched it, so surely they weren't going to spend 30 or 40 bucks a month on a 3-hour show.  So, on the Sunday night of the big event, I'd always be online clicking around in wrestling chat rooms or waiting for the slowly updated "newz" sites to post commentary.  It's hard to believe in this day and age of social media, where people post their most insane thoughts every few seconds, that it would take a good 20 or 30 minutes for someone to update a line or two on their website, but that's what it was in those days.

This PPV, the 1996 "Bash at the Beach," was different than the rest.  The fate of WCW rested on who the infamous "third man" would be.  They had promised someone big, and I was practically biting my nails, waiting for the "wrestling newz" websites to update their results page.  

When I finally read the news, I couldn't believe it.

Hulk Hogan, the ultimate hero of wrestling... had gone bad.

Retro RePost: Christmas Collides With Pro Wrestling

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Life has been busy so far this December, with work and studying for my annual training, so I haven’t been able to finish the content I’ve been trying to produce for Christmas.  Here it is, already December 10th, and I’ve yet to post anything this month celebrating the Holiday season...

It’s time to remedy that, so I’ve decided to air a rerun so to speak... A Retro RePost, if you wheeeel (Dusty Rhodes voice) in one of my favorite posts from last Christmas:

Click the above link if you missed this last year or want to relive some good old days or wrestling gone by!  

Elvira: Mistress of the... Wrestling Ring?

Friday, September 18, 2020

As Halloween approaches, I begin to think of Elvira more often than usual.  For my wife and I, Elvira's movies, "Mistress of the Dark" and "Haunted Hills," are considered 'must-watch' movies during the month of October. I'm also reminded of her many product promotions and appearances on television around the Halloweens of my childhood during the 80s and 90s.

Cassandra Peterson created the Elvira character in 1981 when a Los Angeles based weekend cable show, "Fright Nights," auditioned for new hosts to introduce B-rated horror movies.  She quickly caught on as Elvira, using a "Valley-Girl" accent and sarcastic and often risque commentary.  Her campy sense of humor was filled with double entendres and quickly made the Elvira character a household name.  

However, before her hit film "Mistress of the Dark" made it big in 1988, did you know she joined the world of professional wrestling?  In an appearance that longtime wrestling fans will remember, Elvira left her mark on Wrestlemania 2 in 1986.  She appeared alongside Jesse "The Body" Ventura and Lord Alfred Hayes to provide commentary for the Los Angeles portion of the event on April 7, 1986.  That year, you may remember, the main event was a steel cage match between Hulk Hogan and King Kong Bundy. 

Wrestling at the Arcade: 1991's WWF Wrestlefest

Monday, March 16, 2020

Every spring, I look forward to WWE's Wrestlemania with all of its pomp and circumstance.  Unfortunately this year, with recent CDC guidelines that restrict public gatherings to under 50 people, it looks like for the first time since 1985, we won't have a Wrestlemania to enjoy this year.  Thinking about a year without Wrestlemania, it's caused me to reflect on the WWE/F and the Wrestlemania's of years gone by, and it brought to mind my all-time favorite arcade game... Technos' 1991 classic WWF Wrestlefest!

Growing up, my older brother and I both played ice hockey for a handful of teams, and it seemed like we were always at the ice rink.  My parents would often drag me along for his games when all I wanted to do was stay home and watch TV or play with my action figures.  Looking back now, I had a lot of fun at that ice rink, both on and off the ice.  During my brother's game, I'd spend my time wandering around the central lobby of the ice rink.  The central area was pretty standard with a small snack bar and a big screen TV that was always set to the local FOX station.  In the early 90s, my parents had bought the hype that The Simpsons was causing the downfall of polite society and had banned it from our house, but at the ice rink, I would often catch an episode or two of the afternoon reruns on that lobby TV.  Just to the right of the snack bar was a bank of payphones (remember those?) and a small little game corner with a couple of older arcade games and a lone pinball machine.  If an episode of The Simpsons wasn't on, I'd happily take a handful of quarters over to the arcade corner and go from one game to the next.

Then, one day I wandered over to the game corner, and among the old games that I had played a hundred times was a new one standing front and center.  It was bright, colorful, and featured professional wrestling!  From then on, I saved up all of my quarters (and begged Mom and Dad for more) and looked forward to my brother's next hockey game.  WWF Wrestlefest quickly became my all-time favorite arcade game.

Retro Wrestlemania Moment: 2014's Wrestlemania 30

Monday, March 9, 2020

Long time readers of this site know my history with professional wrestling.  For those that aren't aware, here are the Cliffs Notes:  In 1990, at 5 years old, I became a fan when I found WCW Saturday Night on TBS.  I then became a HUGE fan during the Attitude Era but trailed off right around 2000 when I was wrapping up high school, and WCW became as enjoyable as a colonoscopy.  I had a resurgence in 2004, where I became a fan again after finding the Playstation game series "Raw vs. Smackdown," but by 2007, I had already stopped watching again.  In 2013, CM Punk's infamous Pipe Bomb promo brought me back into the fold with the initial intrigue of "Was that real?"

But, by the start of 2014, I was about ready to set fire to my TV and never watch WWE again.  The show was beyond repetitive, and seemingly every fan-favorite wrestler was losing every match. Daniel Bryan, who I remember watching back in his ROH days as The American Dragon, was on the rise and had overwhelming fan support but kept losing matches and being placed in low-level and unimportant feuds.  CM Punk still had a large fanbase from his Pipe Bomb, but like Bryan, it was clear to fans that he was being shoved aside.  The Shield, made of Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, and Seth Rollins, were fresh faces to the WWE and were young tough guys running rampant, but everyone felt it was a matter of time before Vince would "screw it up."  Then, at Royal Rumble 2014, it all fell apart.

Fans "Invade" RAW during the "Hijack RAW" movement

CM Punk walked out of the Royal Rumble and quit wrestling forever.  The fans had begun to revolt and booed anything the WWE did mercilessly.  Vince McMahon brought back the long-retired Dave Batista and placed him immediately in the top spot of the promotion.  The Road to Wrestlemania started to look a little bumpy.  After the way the year started, nobody would predict that WM30 would be one of the best Wrestlemania's in history.

Retro Wrestlemania Moment: 1994's Wrestlemania 10

Monday, March 2, 2020

Wrestlemania 10 has so much to offer when you go back and watch.  Brother vs. Brother.  The culmination of Lex Luger and Bret Hart vying for the WWF World Heavyweight Title.  The not-so-great Randy Savage "Falls Count Anywhere" match against Crush.  The end of Lex's run at the top... but it's the ladder match between Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon that will forever be first and foremost in the hearts and minds of wrestling fans when they consider Wrestlemania 10. 

In March of 1994, Wrestlemania returned to the home of the very first 'Mania for its 10th edition of the tent-pole event.  WM10 is notable for being the first Wrestlemania for the WWF without Hulk Hogan.  Hogan had since left for Hollywood and WCW, and the focus of the WWF and "The New Generation" fell on Bret Hart's shoulders.  Hart was featured heavily here at Wrestlemania 10, not just in the Main Event against Yokozuna for the World Heavyweight Title, but in a major month's long storyline that involved his younger brother Owen.  Wrestlemania 10 would also be the last match for Randy Savage in the WWF before his departure to WCW.

Retro Wrestlemania Moment: 1989's Wrestlemania 5

Monday, February 24, 2020

I often complain to my wife that storytelling doesn't exist in pro wrestling anymore.  I mean TRUE storytelling.  With hints and small gestures that "plant seeds" into the minds of fans that eventually blossom into something that lasts for months or even a year.  Watching wrestling today, I feel like there is just so much available content that they don't have time for storytelling. They just throw a pair of wrestlers together, after a brief scripted promo that basically reads "I don't like you, let's fight," and they'll have the blowoff match a week or so later at the monthly Pay-Per-View and then the two move on to some other feud.  Then, not even a year later, they run out of new matchups, and they return to the original dispute and often pretend it didn't happen in the first place using the same "your a meanie" trope.

But back in the late '80s, the WWF's storytelling was bar none.  Who as a fan, past or present, hasn't heard of what I consider one of if not the best storytelling... the Mega Powers exploding at WM 5, and that's our latest stop on the Retro Road to Wrestlemania here at YRM.

Retro Wrestlemania Moment: 2004's WrestleMania 20

Monday, February 17, 2020

2004's Wrestlemania 20 was the first Pay-Per-View event I ever paid for with my own money.  My parents had mostly refused to pay the $40 price tag during the Attitude Era but would occasionally graciously agree to pay for the most significant events of the year.  I don't mean for that to come off as ungrateful, I have ZERO complaints about my childhood, and I was happy to be able to pay in 2004 for a PPV such as Wrestlemania myself.

Between 2000 and 2004, I had largely given up on wrestling.  During the boom period of the 90s, there was no bigger fan than myself, but by the time WCW began to die, I had nearly stopped watching altogether.  Things like graduating high school and just regular teenage life got in the way of watching shows that had stopped being good anyway.  By the start of 2004, though, I had gotten back into wrestling in a big way.  For whatever reason, I had seen an advertisement for the new RAW vs. Smackdown Playstation game, and something told me I had to have it.  So, one day after class, I took a ride to go buy it with my best friend and a girl that I had pretty much just met.  That girl became my wife years later!  Anyway, as far as the game goes... the guys in my dorm and I suddenly became big fans.  We played that game for hours and we eventually started watching wrestling again.

Wrestlemania 20 is probably most memorable to most fans for seeing the underdog finally get its day.  For many fans, seeing Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit finally get their moment in the sun was almost like Vince McMahon and the company not only acknowledged these two and their amazing ability... but they were acknowledging US for supporting them.

Retro Wrestlemania Moment: 1993's Wrestlemania 9

Monday, February 10, 2020

On our first stop through our Retro Wrestlemania Moments series, I figured we'd take a look at Wrestlemania 9 from 1993!  WM9 is probably my all-time favorite Wrestlemania, as a kid or an adult.  This was one of the shows my parents wouldn't order on Pay-Per-View so I was forced to live and die through the video clips and pictures shown on the syndicated "WWF Week in Review" shows until finally, it was available on VHS.

What's not for a kid to love about Wrestlemania 9?  Hulk Hogan returned after a year's hiatus and defeated the evil Yokozuna in a surprise match.  (I bet Yoko and Bret Hart were REALLY surprised!)  Taking place at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, the WWF went all out with the theming, wardrobes, and graphics.  Legendary announcer Jim Ross' made his WWF debut here at WM9 and who could forget Hulk Hogan's mysterious black eye?!

Favorite Retro Royal Rumble Moments

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

The very first time I laid eyes on the Royal Rumble was in 1988.  I was 5 years old and was playing Nintendo over at my neighbor's house because he was THAT kid on the block that had every toy you could dream of.  His older brother was watching the USA Network when the very first Royal Rumble aired free for anyone who got basic cable at the time.  This annual Pay-Per-View event, one of the "Big Four," was originally aired for free to take away viewers from rival promotion NWA/WCW's Bunkhouse Stampede PPV.

With the Royal Rumble starting the "Road to Wrestlemania" every year, I thought it would be a good time to think back on some of my favorite Royal Rumble memories.  The Royal Rumble has always been a favorite of mine... most years I find it more exciting and enjoyable than Wrestlemania itself.  The constant count-down clock and the anticipation of "who's next?" is always so exciting!  Could it be a returning injured superstar or a legend getting one last shot in the spotlight?  Back in the day, it could even be a giant surprise debut from "the other company."  It's also always fun to see who can stay in the ring the longest and who has the fastest exit.

The Finger Poke of Doom and "Butts in Seats" 21st anniversary

Saturday, January 4, 2020

I'll admit that 21 is not a very special number when it comes to anniversaries and I'm a year late (and a dollar short) for the big 20th one.  Maybe I'm just a tad early for the 25th.  However, this past October when All Elite Wrestling began airing 'Dynamite' on WCW's old home TNT and went head to head with WWE I thought it'd be fun to take a look back at how one company tried to take on the WWF and wound up infamously shooting itself in the foot after a period of great success.  Hopefully, AEW has long term success and does not repeat history.

I've been a fan of pro wrestling since I was about 5 years old when I discovered the WCW/NWA programming one weekend while watching "The SuperStation TBS" at my Grandmother's house.  Later on, I was fortunate to be a rowdy teenager during the 1990s when the Attitude Era of the Monday Night War became one of the hottest and most exciting pop culture trends America had seen in a long time.

10 Times Christmas Collides with Pro Wrestling!

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Much like Thanksgiving... Pro Wrestling and Christmas go hand in hand.  Over the years, wrestling promotions and wrestlers have celebrated (and exploited) the holiday season in many ways.  From holding events on Christmas day to wrestlers dressed up as Santa Claus, Christmas themed gimmick matches, or even a handful of wrestlers appearing in Christmas movies, these festive events celebrate the holiday season for children and adults alike.

I've looked around the internet and compiled a list in no particular order of some examples of when Christmas and Pro Wrestling COLLIDE!

Pro Wrestling on Thanksgiving: Starrcade vs Survivor Series

Friday, November 15, 2019

When one thinks of Thanksgiving most people think of pumpkin pie, turkey, football, or maybe even parade balloons.  As unlikely as it seems, though, to me pro wrestling and Thanksgiving go together like mashed potatoes and gravy.

Pro wrestling has deep traditions tied to Thanksgiving, going back to the territory days of yesteryear. Mid-South Wrestling frequently held Thanksgiving events in the SuperDome in New Orleans during the territory glory years.  The big two major promotions we all know, WWF and WCW, also have historical ties to the holiday as well.