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Doug Centers
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Posted: 02 April 2018 at 3:39pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

My brother and I were talking childhood memories the other day and one of our favorite Saturday tv watches came up. Wrestling.

The angles, good guys, bad guys, physical play, what more could preteen boys want?

This was the early to mid seventies the promotion was "Big Time Wrestling", part of NWA (Detroit). Things were regional so we would see some wrestlers weekly while some others would be "borrowed" from other regions. Of course we didn't know any of this at the time, just show us some of our favorites so we can mimic them on the living room floor and we'll be fine.

Some of those wrestlers we remembered;
Dick The Bruiser
Chief Jay Strongbow
The Sheik (original), this guy was the ultimate baddie, taking foreign objects out of his trunks while we screamed at the tv.
Abdullah The Butcher, with his Genie shoes.
Mark Lewin
Bulldog Don Kent, who wore a dog collar.
My brother and I both agreed our all time favorite was Bobo Brazil with his finishing move the Coco Butt.

Great memories!
So what are your first Pro Wrestling memories ?
Who or what got you hooked?
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Tim Cousar
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Posted: 02 April 2018 at 5:49pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I grew up with Memphis wrestling. Jerry Lawler's feud with the Stomper got me hooked at first. Then Lawler's long quest for the NWA World Championship kept me in for a long time.
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Paul Kimball
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Posted: 02 April 2018 at 9:31pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

I grew up on Mid-south and World class(Texas) wrestling
Ted Dibiase
the von Eric's
the freebirds
The midnight express, Mr. Wrestling II, Jake the Snake.
Good times.
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Doug Centers
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Posted: 02 April 2018 at 9:49pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Funny how the regional thing kept all these legends from me in their early days.

Tim,I remember seeing Lawler for the first time on Letterman with that Andy Kaufman thing. But didn't see him actually wrestle until he went to the WWF.

Same with your guys Paul, not till the WWF. Man you had some great competition their in Texas.

When I was young Andre The Giant was the biggest name in wrestling, I used to see him in the wrestling mags, but didn't get to see him wrestle until he was passed his prime. Bummer.
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Tim Cousar
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Posted: 03 April 2018 at 7:11am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Doug, you missed some great stuff. Lawler and Hart at their peaks were awesome to see.
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John Popa
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Posted: 03 April 2018 at 7:43am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

I started watching Georgia Championship Wrestling on the Super Station in the early 80's. I came in on the tail end of the Masked Supertar/Mr. Wrestling II feuds and then it was Tommy Rich and Buzz Sawyer before new guys The Road Warriors came in along with the rest of Paul Ellering's Legion of Doom, Jake Roberts and The Spoiler. The hapless babyfaces were Brad Armstrong, Tim Horner, Ronnie Garvin, Sweet Brown Sugar and eventually King Kong Bundy and King Konga (The Barbarian) who tried to even the odds a bit.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 03 April 2018 at 8:02am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

As a kid, I enjoyed British wrestling (which sure looks dated now!) involving the likes of Catweazle, Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks. British wrestling was kicked off the air in 1988.

In 1987, I started watching US wrestling, specifically WWF. Hulk Hogan got me hooked on it.

I read about NWA/WCW in publications, and some TV regions showed it, but it wasn't until 1989 that I could watch WCW on a regular basis. A company called First Independent were the VHS licensees for WCW events in the UK.

The rest, as they say, is history...
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Charles Valderrama
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Posted: 03 April 2018 at 11:58am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Ricky Steamboat vs. "Macho Man" Randy Savage at WrestleMania III got me hooked... then I followed the "Dragon" to NWA/WCW and watched him wrestle Ric Flair - beginning at  Chi-Town Rumble (1989) and was even more hooked!! Watching Flair make stars out of Sting & Luger plus the rise of the Steiner Brothers were also highlights as I gained more interest in the industry.

-C!
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Phil Kreisel
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Posted: 04 April 2018 at 2:53pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

I grew up with Stampede Wrestling (based in Calgary AB).  We were treated to the evolution of Bret (Hitman) Hart, The Dynamite Kid, Archie (the Stomper) Gouldie, Dan Kroffat (the original  my favorite), and territorial visits from Abdullah the Butcher, the Sheephearders (later aka the Bushwackers), Mark Lewin, and Killer Tim Woods among others.

I did see Andre the Giant in his prime once.  Unforgettable.
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Gregory Harshman
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Posted: 04 April 2018 at 5:28pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

My brother and I started watching wresting in the early eighties. His favorite was Mil Máscaras and mine was George “the Animal” Steele. We were lucky enough to go to a few live matches, and I remember one time Gorilla Monsoon was supposed to be wresting ling and right before his match they announced that he would not be wrestling tonight and substituting for him was someone named Tony Animal. Mr. Animal looked like someone from the bowery. Needless to say he lost the match.

My favorite tag team was Fuji and Saito.

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Doug Centers
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Posted: 04 April 2018 at 7:11pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

"I did see Andre the Giant in his prime once.  Unforgettable."

...

Damn Phil, I'm jealous!

Gregory, George "the Animal" Steele was a local guy so I got to see him when he was a little younger. Still had that great hair sweater though.


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Jim Lynch
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Posted: 06 April 2018 at 8:39pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

I grew up on wrestling in Kansas City, home of umpteen time heavyweight champion Handsome Harley Race. We also had some local 'stars' Bulldog Bob Brown and Rufus R. Jones. One night there was a card whose man event was Ric Flair vs. Bruiser Brody. Probably the best match I ever saw. 

I also watched Georgia Championship on Saturdays, with the Freebirds Ted Dibiase when he was a good guy (if memory serves, the Freebirds nearly 'crippled' him), Wildfire Tommy Rich, and American Dream Dusty Rhodes... my god, when I watch what passes for wrestling now, I really miss those days.


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Michael Hogan
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Posted: 07 April 2018 at 1:19pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

My favorite wrestling memory:

Around 30 years ago, two friends and I went to a live WWF event in
Maryland. One match of the night was to be Hulk Hogan vs. Paul "Mr.
Wonderful" Orndorff. Due to bad traffic, we were late arriving. When
we entered the arena, it was the middle of the Hogan march; he was on
his knees before Orndorff, and the packed house was cheering him
back from the brink.

I have to admit it was a bit of a rush for me to enter the Capital Centre
and hear 19,000 people cheering "Hogan! Hogan!..."
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Jonathan A. Dowdell
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Posted: 07 April 2018 at 3:37pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

My childhood wrestling memories go back to the early 70's and the regional WWF. My brother and I watched every Saturday afternoon. We loved Ivan Putski, Chief Jay Strongbow, Andre the Giant. I remember when Superstar Billy Graham showed up and was the first true "body builder" wrestler (that I ever saw). I still remember when Billy White Wolf "betrayed" Chief Jay Strongbow in a tag team match.

My brother and I were recently talking about those WWF days. In that conversation he mentioned that he figured out that when Ivan Putski (kind of a round wrestler) "left" the WWF for a while and came back muscular/cut that was probably the beginning of steroids in the WWF? I don't know if that's true, but it made sense.
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Doug Centers
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Posted: 07 April 2018 at 4:11pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

Jonathan, we didn't get to see him much but Chief Jay Strongbow was a treat whenever he came thru. A crowd favorite with that war dance in the middle of the ring.
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John Popa
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Posted: 07 April 2018 at 7:25pm | IP Logged | 16 post reply

Strongbow did a pretty good war dance for an old Italian guy :) 
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Karl Wiebe
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Posted: 07 July 2018 at 9:16pm | IP Logged | 17 post reply

I grew up in Calgary so I went to Stampede Wrestling a few times as a kid.  It was on TV a lot too.  I thought every town had their own version of it... It was only as an adult, years later, that I truly appreciated how amazing it was to have Stampede Wrestling down the street!

There was a tag team called the Oriental Express that were awesome, and also Bret Hart.  I think when WWF was massive in the 1980s, watching the British Bulldogs fight the Hart Foundation was the best!!
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Shawn Kane
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Posted: 09 July 2018 at 5:17am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

Ricky Steamboat was my favorite wrestler when I was a kid so Wrestlemania III was a must-see for me when I was in 8th grade. Throw in the Roddy Piper Retirement match and I was happy. I've always assumed that since we would visit my cousins in Hampton, Virginia (I live in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia) in the summer that I must have watched some Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling on TV since I was more drawn to Steamboat, Piper, and the US Express in the WWF. I was a fan but still not hardcore until the Steamboat/Flair feud a few years later locked me in pretty much for good. 
I appreciated WCW/NWA as a sport while WWF was entertainment. While a lot of my fans were locked in around 84-85, I was just a casual fan. I wasn't a Hulkamaniac even though I cheered for the babyfaces. Of course, as much as people would say wrestling was "fake", I would always say that I was pretty sure Flair and the Horseman were more or less on the level. I especially was "almost" positive that he and Steamboat hated one another! I continue to love wrestling but I wish kayfabe still existed.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 09 July 2018 at 11:54am | IP Logged | 19 post reply

Hang on, wrestling is fake?!!!
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Karl Wiebe
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Posted: 09 July 2018 at 6:44pm | IP Logged | 20 post reply

That reminds me of a funny story: my dad was a lawyer for many years.  So I'm around 8 years old watching WWF.  Paul Orndorff betrays Hulk Hogan, the trio of Orndorff, King Kong Bundy and Big John Studd are kicking the crap out of my beloved Hulkster.  I am literally crying, tears streaming down my face.  My dad had enough.  "You MUST know this is fake!" He exclaims. "If this was real, Hulk Hogan would talk to his legal team and sue The villains for assault, attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon...".  I was like "oh yeah."  Teachable moment for 8 year old gullable me!!
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Jim Lynch
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Posted: 09 July 2018 at 9:09pm | IP Logged | 21 post reply

here's how my dad proved it to me:
Watching a wrestler having his head pounded into the 'iron' post, I said "that can't be fake." Dad proceeded to slap me in the forehead with a bare hand, knocking me down. "Now how hard do you think an iron post is?"
there ended the lesson.
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Shawn Kane
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Posted: 10 July 2018 at 5:26am | IP Logged | 22 post reply

A friend's wife was teasing me about wrestling the other night (I had a Kenny Omega shirt on) and said "Shawn, you know that it's fake, right?" I told her that I was involved in a match in 2000 (a fund raiser with a local wrestling promotion that was supposed to be an annual event until our school board decided that it promoted violence). I was chopped, took a leg drop, was body slammed and clotheslined. While those moves were scripted, my body the next day could tell you that they weren't fake!

Edited by Shawn Kane on 10 July 2018 at 5:28am
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 10 July 2018 at 5:10pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

And here was me thinking the Undertaker really took power from that urn many moons ago...
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Shawn Kane
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Posted: 11 July 2018 at 6:04am | IP Logged | 24 post reply

Probably the reason I preferred NWA/WCW, I could never get into the Undertaker. Also, it didn't help that just a few months prior he was Mean Mark Callas. At that age (16/17) I was getting tired of how the WWF acted like their characters never existed elsewhere. I remember being a bit annoyed when Vince referred to the Widowmaker as "a relative newcomer to the WWF". Even Steamboat, who almost was exclusively called The Dragon, had his previous period kind of glossed over. That bubble that existed in the WWF was cool as long as you didn't watch anything else. It's a bit different now at least.

Bear in mind, I respect the Undertaker's career but I just was never a fan of the character.


Edited by Shawn Kane on 11 July 2018 at 6:06am
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 11 July 2018 at 7:11am | IP Logged | 25 post reply

The bubble that existed irked me.

The Legion of Doom showed up in the WWF, circa summer 1990. And yet no reference could be made to their AWA and NWA championships. Or anything pertaining to their pre-WWF careers.

One thing Vince Russo did right, when he edited RAW MAGAZINE, was highlighting the fact that WCW existed and stars had prior careers. An article on Vader, around 1997, made reference to his WWF/E career.

Of course, WWE is less insular now (mainly for financial reasons). If things had been different years ago, imagine the Legion of Doom debuting - and a commentator mentioning their AWA and NWA tenures.
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