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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Confessions by Brad Dykens
Why Did You Start Watching Wrestling?


I was thinking.. What originally attracts wrestling fans to wrestling? Not what keeps them interested, but what was their initial memory of wrestling, the moment they knew they were hooked.. So I did a little survey amung my OWW friends.. I posed the question, "Why did you start watching wrestling?"..

Feel free to send in your first memories (oww@onlineworldofwrestling.com) and I'll post them here..


Brad Dykens:

My very first experience with wrestling was back when I was 6 years old. I was sitting in the den, watching my father flip channels, and he stopped on a channel that showcased a very hairy bald man who appeared unable to talk or communicate. My dad pointed and said "look at his toung!" As if being a hairy bald man who couldn't talk was bad enough, I discovered he had a green toung too! I loved it!! It was the funniest thing to me.. A few days later my father brought home a rented video and showed me the case.. He bent over and put it in my face, for me to read the title.. "Wrestle".. I struggled.. "Mania...Eye?".. The "Eye" was actually an "I" which stood for ONE in the roman numerals.. So we sat down and watched Wrestlemania I together and I was addicted from that day forward..

Larry Watson:

The year is 1983. I woke up at 9 am on a Saturday morning. I got my juice and went to wait for my mom to make me breakfast *hey I was 9 at the time* and then it became 10am which on KTTV, channel 11 in Los Angeles, it came on. WWF Superstars and mind you this is when Superstars was THE main show for the WWF. Vince McMahon was interviewing this huge half bald bleach blonde guy that was yelling at the top of his lungs about how he was gonna get the Iron Sheik and take the WWF Title from him. My first thought was this guy is an idiot. My second thought was, I gotta find out if he beats him and who in the world is this Iron Sheik guy. So I guess you could say that the first time that I watched it was when I became hooked.

The reason that this story sticks out so prevently in my mind is because it was the first, and only, thing that my father and I did together. It soon became a staple that no matter what we would always watch wrestling together on Saturday morning. We never agreed on much but wrestling was the one common thread that held us together.


Ryan Robson:

I remember for the longest time really hating wrestling. My father and brother ate it up like nobody's business. Hockey was my sport. Every weekend, Superstars was on, and my father and brother watched it while I was sitting around playing, waiting for Hockey Night in Canada.

Well, I guess it was just shortly after Wrestlemania IV, I somehow got the idea to watch wrestling. I don't know if it was to be closer to my family, or because it was remotely interesting, but I decided to watch it. Actually I decided to tape it, and watch it over and over again so that I could find out who these people were. I remember knowing the sequence of each match, the jobber's names, the finishers, everything. And then I tuned in the following week to see more of it. And that's when I knew I was obsessed with wrestling.

I can still remember parts of the first three matches of that first show too - Randy Savage vs. Virgil, for the title, Savage winning with the top rope elbow drop. Greg "The Hammer" Valentine against some jobber, Hammer finishes the match with a figure-four leglock, with the added bonus of a leg brace, and Bret "Hitman" Hart scoring a victory over a jobber with a piledriver.

Darryl Craven:

My first memory of wrestling, well it's quite a funny one actually I can remeber when I was about nine I saw an edition of WWF Superstars and I saw the sarge anyway a magazine for the cable came to our house not long after that (I wasn't a real fan of it at this time) and I saw a picture of The Warrior on there and for some reaon I thought, "oh that's what he looks like without his army gear on thinking it was Sarge haha..

Wrestlemania 7 - I absolutely loved it and I actually started to watch by accident. I was watching TV and the ad for it came on and it said the greatest show on earth and I thought "wow it must be good", so I watched it and LOVED it and havent missed much by MY CHOICE since that day.

Charles Bickford:

I think the first thing that comes to mind was being able to stay awake to watch Saturday Night Main Event in the 80's especially since it was way past my bedtime. To elaborate further on the Main Event I can remember watching one match in particular. The match was Paul Orndorff vs Hulk Hogan in the steel cage. What made that so memorable to me was the false finish of the match. Hogan and Orndorff were both trying to climb out of the cage at the same time. They both hit the ground at about the same time. Since the refs couldn't decided who touched the ground first the match was restarted.

I knew I was hooked awhen I was 9-10. On a typical Saturday morning a child will watch all the cartoons that were available. We're talking about stuff like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turltle. I on the other hand was not watching cartoons. I was watching wrestling. At the time TBS had a show at 9:05 EST. Then at 10:00 I could turn to USA and watch WWF Mania. For years this was my Saturday morning routine. When I gave up cartoons so easily to watch wrestling I knew at that point I was hooked..

Eric Jenkins:

In the Summer of 1974, when I was about 8 1/2, I remember that every Saturday, I would look forward to watching Boxing and Roller Derby, both eminating from the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles, on channel 52 (a local independant at the time) at 2:00 and 4:00 respectively. Each show ran 1-hour in length, so for the hour in between, I would usually go outside to play. One Saturday, while I was watching Boxing, I happened to fall asleep in my mom's easy chair, and when I woke up, I still saw a ring and fans, so I thought that I was still watching boxing. What I saw was some pretty elaborate costumes and no gloves. I knew that this wasn't boxing, but I was really curious as to what I was watching.

Two guys came to the ring together, which confused me more. Then two other guys came to the ring, carrying championship belts. The announcer introduced the two champions as "The Twin Devils", and since the two men were in fact twins, the name made sense. When the bell rung, one man from each team came into the ring, and the men began doing something very similar to what I thought that wrestling looked like. The announcer kept using the phrase "professional wrestling", so that helped to clear up what I was looking at.

At the high point in the match, the "wrestling" stopped and fists started flying. One of the Twin Devils was laying seemingly unconscience in the ring, but the referee was occupied with his opponent. While the ref's back was turned, the healthy Devil switched places with the injured Devil, and when the opponent went in for the kill, the Devil arose from his prone position to defeat his opponent, and score the win for his team. I was impressed and intrigued, so I continued watching.

Other matches like this one took place this day, and I discovered that next week, the show would return. I was so happy that finally, there was something else that I could watch between boxing & Roller Derby. After watching the show in its entirity the following Saturday, I was hooked, and I have been watching professional wrestling as often as I could ever since.

Steve
Douglas
:

I kind of inherited my love of wrestling from my late Grandmother, who before I was born used to go to a lot of local wrestling shows, and be there at ringside hitting the heels with her handbag and screaming at them. It's kind of an old adage about British wrestling, but to find out that this kind of thing actuallly used to go on, and that my Gran was in the thick of it, brings a smile to my face.

My first actual memories of wrestling come from Saturday afternoons in front of the TV, when I was about 4 or 5 watching wrestling with my Gran. First off you would get the British wrestling, followed by the 'American' stuff, which was one of the WWF's syndicated shows at the time Superstars, Challenge or something of that ilk. This was always touted as being 'fake' and over the top, but in retrospect, how wrong were the people. Of course back then wrestling was percieved to be real, and in a way I think that made it all the more enjoyable.

I used to love tuning in to see all the 'great' British wrestlers like Big Daddy, Giant Haystacks, Kendo Nagasaki,Mick Mcmanus and Jackie Pollo. Back then bouts would be contested more like a boxing match with separate rounds, and the 3 public warnings and your out from the ref, usuallly reserved for the heel or the desperate babyface. This all came to an end in the mid 80's after wrestling as it stood then was waning in public interest, the nail in the coffin being when Shirley ' Big Daddy ' Crabtree, big splashed and killed a young opponent. Wrestling was pulled from the air, and nobody wanted to pick it up.

Enter the NWA, my next phase of wrestling adoration came from the late night showings of NWA programming. I hadn't seen any wrestling in 2 or 3 years, and this really opened my eyes. I was in awe of superstars such as the Wild Samoans, The Steiners, The Road Warriors, Ric Flair, Eddie Gilbert, Brian Pillman, Terry Funk, Tom Zenk, The Great Muta, the list is endless. This kept me in stead for a few years, and is still my fondest era of wrestling, if only for my profound adoration of jobber Ranger Ross, in my naive young markish way. It was round about this point, I was starting to get well and truly hooked as the NWA made way for WCW, and then we got satellite TV which was the beginning of my true obsession with wrestling.

For a while, I had been watching tapes of WWF ppv's at a friends house which he was borrowing from a local shopkeeper, and I was getting heavily into the character led glitzy world of the WWF. This led to me pestering my parents into us getting satelite TV so I could see them on a regular basis. After a bit of caving in, we got it, and not only was there the world of the WWF but other shows like the USWA, the short lived but classic GWF, Old World Class Shows, WCW, GLOW and much later on ECW, which really opened my eyes to the plethora of styles and wrestlers out there.

I devoted my life to finding out everything there was about wrestling, buying magazines, tapes of old shows, our local video shop was a great help because they had tons and tons of wrestling cassettes to rent. I was finally hooked, annoying the hell out of everyone with my obsession. I saw my first live WWF show in 1991, and after that I knew there could be no turning back. During the rocky mid 90's I still carried on dutifully tuning in to the big two, but also found myself branching out into getting japanese and ECW stuff from tape traders which saw me throught those perilous times.

Fast forward a few years now, to me first getting on the internet about 1999. This was the last big turning point in wrestling obsession for me, because of the sheer wealth of informstion out there. On an average day I spend at least 1 to 2 hours surfing through my fave sites and scouring the web for features and interviews. It's a curse and a blessing being a wrestling obsessive, a curse in that it's a full time job, and a blessing in that there's nothing I love more. So there you have it, my own potted short history of wrestling obsession.

Amy McHargue:

I remember when I was in Junior High School, and when I would stay all night with a good friend of mine, Kristina, her dad watched wrestling on Saturday mornings....I thought it was the stupist thing I had ever seen. Leter, when I was 22, I had a boyfriend who was into it, and i would watch with him, but still didn't like it at all. About a year later, one Saturday night, I was sitting at home watching tv, there was nothing on. I passed through a few channels and flipped back, and saw for the first time, yep, you guesed it! GOLDBERG.....right after GOLDBERG there was a Billy Kidman/Rey Mysterio fight....I was hooked for that moment on.....

Rob Gillespie:

I beleive I started watching back in 1987 right before WrestleMania III. It was the show on Sunday, onthe USA network. I was flipping through the channels when I came across the big blond guy, Hulk Hogan, going to the ring. It must have been around the time that The Hart Foundation won the tag titles. They did a interveiw with them. I have watched this sport change a lot over the years. Oh, it was also around the time when Lex Luger through JJ Dillon out of the ring to win some battle royal. I think.Been a long time since then. I just wish they would get back to the good story lines like they used to have, and just slow down a bit and give a good show like in the 80's.

Chris Jester:

Some people don't like this angle but I thought it was one of the best. The first time I really started to get into wrestling was when I saw the huge I-C title feud between Razor Ramon and Shawn Michaels. I had seen wrestling, but then when I saw Jack Tunney announce HBK was stripped of the title, I started paying attention. The crowd reaction to the battle royal when Razor and Rick Martel got me going. Then there was the whole "two belts" controversy, culminating in the first ladder match at WrestleMania X. To me, no angle since then has been as exciting and creative as that was, and Shawn Michaels remains my favorite wrestler.

Emer Prevost:

Well, this might sound a little strange, but my first wrestling memory was a traumatazing one.

I was channel surfing, and I came across a wrestling show (I later found out it was an episode of WCW Worldwide circa 1989) and the match in question was a battle royal (more research discovered that it was part of the series of battle royals that led to a final at the Great American Bash: Glory Days). Anyway, I saw Sid Vicious throw somebody I didn't know over the top rope and to the floor.

A little later, while the match was still going on, paramedics came out to help the wrestler because he cracked open his head when he landed. I saw that blood, and swore off of wrestling forever (mind you, I was young. I didn't know how long forever was).

About a year later, someone asked me if I wanted to watch WrestleMania VI. I was a little hesitant, but found myself watching something I swore off of. Well, the rest is history. I loved WMVI, and have watched all the wrestling I can stomach since..

Brian Bertrand:

I have been watching wrestling since I can remember. My first match to my recollection was Hulk Hogan taking on Big Boss Man on WWF's Saturday Night Main Event. I was a Hulkamaniac back in the day. I watched all the guys back then from WWF and WCW. I saw guys like Sting in his sufer dude look, Lex Luger in the same black trunks that he's worn throughout his career (eeeewwwwww), Ted DiBiase with that awesome diamond and gold Million Dollar belt, and Jake Roberts just showing everyone what '80's style wrestling was all about. Everyone was on top of their game as far as I was concerned. My dad was the one responsible for getting me into it. He always bought me wrestling stuff and my mom got really pissed at him for doing so. He glamoured me with Demolition, Hogan, Jim Duggan, and Dusty Rhodes action figures that I never left as collector's items (except for the Dusty Rhodes one that I gave to my mom since that was her favorite). My cousin has his toy ring and we always made our own little matches and when 1994 came around, not only did I find out the truth about wrestling, but I also came to liking Bret Hart and the technical side of wrestling. The Undertaker was rolling strong in those days too so he was as big a player as ever. Today, I have some different views of wrestling as I have in my childhood. Triple H finally loses his BS title. Brock Lesnar is taking on Undertaker in a better match than Hell In A Cell. And NWA-TNA is getting some very major players in their ranks with the likes of Danny Doring, Roadkill, and the immortal Hulk Hogan. Wrestling, IMO, is a look upon life. The hardships and debates are laid out in the ring and thats the way it should be. Sure we know the truth but as long as the people still watch, that's what matters when you get down to it.

Chris Peacock:

My first wrestling memory is about as classic as it gets for people in our generation. The first thing I remember is the famous baber shop window inncident with Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannette. Most people look at that and say man poor Marty, But when I seen that I went Shawn Michaels is so cool. I was about the age of 7 I think. I watched for a while until I grew up some and got bored off the matches but there are alot of Micheals matches that stand out in my head and always will. After I stopped watching I wasn't drawn back until I was like 15 and I remember seeing another wrestler that I will never forget. His name was Raven. I had seen him before as Johnny Polo but I didn't make the connection for a long while. At the stage I was going through in my life I related to him and seen where he was coming from. That is when I became obessed. I looked at everything of Ravens past and present at the time. It ran me into two of my other favorite wrestlers and hardcore wrestling and ECW. I will never forget it. But Shawn Michaels and Raven and Sabu got me hooked and I have never given up on it since.

Brendan Falconer:

I'd watched wrestling on and off for years. Like many I loved the Undertaker for just being the coolest character on TV at the time. This'd be about '93.

But the point where it became my all-consuming T.V habit and obsession... Has to be blamed on the Playstation game 'Smackdown!' and its chain of sequals. I love fighting games and realised I'd never played a wrestling one so I bought 1 and 2 swiftly after. Loved them to death. Then I noticed that Heat was on Channel4 here in the UK, really got into that and the rest just grew on me.

So why did YOU start watching wrestling? Send us your stories and we might print them on this page! Hope you've enjoyed reading out stories..
George Pickering wrote:
What actually brought me onto wrestling was Wrestlemania 2000 for the N64. I thought I had too many Mario games, so I decided to go off a different track. So I played the game, got addicted, then found out Heat/RAW was on Channel 4, so I watched that...and it all started from there. Although the Brood nearly scared me out of my wits (I was only 7) I carried on. My fave wrestler back then was the Big Show, but soon enough I thought Jeff Hardy was cooler. At least those were when WWF had unpredictable storylines. Nowadays you could guess what happens from a mile away.
Tyler Keef wrote:
One Saturday night in April 2002 my family and I went to eat pizza and I brought my issue of DragonballZ (I was only 10) magazine. In the back there was a bonus section which contained World Wrestling Federation trading cards. Coincidentally when we got home my dad was flipping through channels and WWF Excess came on showing some type of ladder match. I never found out what match it was but I remember someone, I think it was Jeff Hardy, getting pushed off the ladder and through a table. I was amazed so I tuned in every Saturday night to watch Excess. One night they showed highlights from the April 25 episode where the Kurt Angle-Edge fued started. From then on I became hooked to wrestling. Then one day I went over to my friend's house. In this time the WWF had changed to WWE He had mentioned wrestling many times before so we went and watched Smackdown. The episode we watched was the 20 man battle royal on June 6 to see who would challenge Undertaker for the title. This is where I found out when everything WWE came on.
shannon rogers wrote:
my first memory of wrestling was when i first saw the Ultimate Warrior come runnin out to the ring and runnin around it and actin all crazy. i thought he was the coolest thing to happen to qrestling, so i have watched it ever since. i'd booo the bad guys and jump up and down in my chair when they cheated their victory and cheered on the good guys when they was down and when they was winning..( fairly or unfairly ) ever since me and my friend heather started watching wrestling i was hooked. i then seen my all time favorite wrestler ( the warrior was gone for a good while at this time ) GOLDBERG !!!! need i say more. he was soo awesome..not to mention the only man i have found to look fine with a bald head ( him and stone cold ) stone cold is another favorite wrestler of mine. i wish they both would return to wwe.
wrote:

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If your email is intelligently written, they will be posted underneath this messege..
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