Now that signs are becoming more elaborate ( I loved the electronic WHAT sign at the Royal Rumble) I was wondering when the practice of holding up signs in the audience of a wrestling show started. Was there any particular event that gave birth to this trend or did it just sort of happen? Is it unique to sports entertainment? Any info would be appreciated and read with great interest.
I think it's something that's just always been around. They have grown in quantity and creativity in the last four years or so, though. I remember going to WWF events back in the 80s and there was lots of them.
I don't think it was the first, but probably the most famous crowd sign was the guy that first did the John 3:16 sign. And we all know what *that* eventually led to.
"How about the power to kill a yak from a hundred yards...with MIND bullets?!! That's called tele-kenisis, Kyle."
I recall seeing them during the eighties too, in various promotions. They even had a few on the old NWA TV programs during the mid-eighties, and I remember Jim Ross encouraging fans to bring signs to Mid-south house shows around the same time.
However, the television shows definitely didn't focus on the signs [or on the fans at all] nearly as much as they do now.
Bill Savage went over to the (Stu Hart) house and one of the Hart kids was running around with his hair wet. Savage asked why his hair was wet. Stu said, "The little bastard broke a vase this morning, so I stuck his head in the toilet. Want me to show you again?" From the Ring Around the Northwest newsletter
From what I know, Hat Guy, Sign Guy, and Faith No More Guy were just fans that followed ECW around like the Grateful Dead. They must have had some money or pull to continually get those front row seats.