Rob Schamberger didn’t know much about pro wrestling when he caught his first televised mat show nearly 16 years ago.
He was 18 years old, doing laundry at his parents’ house, and his stepfather was flipping through channels.
When he stumbled upon a station where “Nature Boy” Ric Flair was cutting a promo, Schamberger immediately ceased what he was doing.
“My stepfather had been a fan back in the ’60s and ’70s here in Kansas City. He would go to Memorial Hall every Thursday night and watch guys like Bob Geigel, Bulldog Bob Brown, Harley Race and Sonny Myers,” Schamberger explains.
But watching the flamboyant Flair (who won his first world title in Kansas City in 1981) do his thing was all it took for Schamberger.
“I was hooked from that point on. I was all about this,” he laughs.
Schamberger was a newbie, though, and admits he didn’t know the difference between WCW and WWE (then WWF). The following week, he tuned in to an episode of Monday Night Raw.
“What happened to this awesome guy that I saw last week?” Schamberger asked, not realizing Flair was a member of a rival organization and that he had been watching an episode of WCW’s Monday Nitro that previous week.
Still, he says, it was wrestling and he loved it.
“I’ve watched ever since.”
And, fortunately for Schamberger, he was tuning in at the peak of the Monday Night Wars, one of the hottest periods in the history of the wrestling business.
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