I'm trying to keep perspective on the current pro-wrestling state. I'm fairly easily entertained and pretty optimistic, which I suppose labels me a mark (and a minority on this board).
I don't mind what airs weekly on TV nowadays, but I don't know that I'm particulary wrapped up in it. I started thinking back to when I was really and truly excited to tune in each week.
I know that 'different strokes for different folks' applies to this situation more than most and I was curious as to the opinions of the readers of this board. What were the stretches of time that entertained you the most?
I guess that a lot goes into that question. For me it would have to be a show that had multiple storylines/feuds going that were well written and well-wrestled over a period of a few months. Now, I've only been watching on a weekly basis since around 91ish so I've only got a limited view of this. I can read about Flair/Steamboat, et al, but obviously never got to enjoy them in real time.
What are your thoughts about favorite stretches of time in wrestling that grabbed you the most, entertained you thoroughly and kept you excited about tuning in each week?
Its pretty much a tie, with World Class in the mid 80's (before everyone started dying and they broke away from the NWA) and Crockett in the late 80's (peaking in the magical summer/fall of '89).
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I'd have to say it's a close tie between Early 70s AWA (Bobo Brazil, Bruiser and Crusher, the Blackjacks and Wilbur Snyder rocked!), mid-80s WWF and Mid to late 90s WCW. I know one thing: I rarely missed a nitro from the first one until Russo came in. And I nevermidded Bob Luce's sunday show when I was a kid in Chicago. That was one good wrestling show. I guess the mid-80s WWF thing was all about Hulk and Macho, and, I think, a good bit of Liz. Oh, and Paul Orndorf, who was my man back in those days.
right now - eeeehhhh............. I'm not devastated if I miss.
For me, 98-2000 was the best time. The Nation vs DX fued ROCKED! When you saw The Rock/HHH rising out of the stables to was a great time. SummerSlam '98 HHH/Rock Ladder match was great and if you look at that match, Rock started as a heel and turned into a face by the end of the match. The MSG crowd went from chanting "Rocky Sucks" to Rocky Rocky Rocky" by the end of the match. During that time, I saw the best Starrcade matches I can remember. Kidman/Rey/Juvi and right after Kidman/Eddy. A total of about 40 minutes of action that ROCKED and showed exactly what WCW talent was all about. The Benoit/Book best of 7, the Bret Hart/Booker Fued, the Hart/Sting fued. That time was great for me.
I loved the early 80s with Houston Wrestling here every Friday. We had Tito Santana, Tiger Conway Jr., Flair used to come down, Jim Duggan, Kamala, Ted Debiase, every freaking Friday night intown. Until Satan (Vince) bought out the territory. I loved those times because I was young and it was my first taste of live wrestling. But the late 90s were my favorite time for wrestling. That is what makes the current state of wrestling that much harder to deal with.
(edited by dskillz on 22.4.03 1503) January 4th 1999 - The day WCW injected itself with 10 gallons of Liquid Anthrax...AKA...The day Hogan "Defeated" Nash to win the WCW title in front of 40,000.
For me, it was mid-80's WWF stuff. Hogan, Piper, Orndorff, Studd, Bundy, Jake the Snake, Macho Man, Kamala, British Bulldogs, Hart Foundation. It was all good stuff...
Unfortunately, I should be careful about what I say. If someone from the WWE is trolling through this board, who knows where it will lead?
``Hi, is this Dynamie Kid? My name is Jim, I'm with WWE talent relations... uh, WWE? You know.... we used to be the WWF? You used to report to my grandpa during your last stay here... anyways, I'm calling because Mr. McMahon wants YOU back on television!... uh, yes, to wrestle....Really? Oh, sorry, I had no idea...oh, okay, I see.... well, if you ever get out of your wheelchair, drop us a line... yeah.. and one other thing: would you happen to have the number of a (shuffles papers).... Junkyard Dog? Hello? Hello?!?''
"If I told Mooah to act her age, she'd die." -- Jerry Lawler, 1999
To me the best wrestling was early to mid 80s Mid South. Watts was a terrific promoter back then, and all the fueds made sense, and were always running long enough to build good heat, and to have a terrific pay off.
For me there's a couple of times when I loved everything going on in a promotion pretty much. ECW for basically the whole run of Raven on top until the Barely Legal first PPV. NWA 1988-1989 was the best run of wrestling ever. And for a few months this summer/fall Smackdown was just on the most amazing weekly wrestling tear I've ever seen.
"It is well that war is so terrible, lest we grow too fond of it." - Robert E. Lee
I'd have to say WWF from early '87 (Steamboat/Savage, Hogan/Andre, Piper, Bulldogs, Hart Foundation, Honky, The Snake, Saturday Night's Main Event) up until WrestleMania 6 was my favorite stretch. I was a kid then and I'm always on the old school/nostalgia tip.
But I was very entertained in the early '98 (Austin, Tyson, DX, Kane, Mankind, Vince, Rock, Monday Night War) Attitude birth up until mid 2000. Everything seemed new and exciting and unpredictable then (except the Mideon/Viscera/Sammythetransvestite/Terri's miscarriage crap).
I was also very into 1995-1996 (HBK, Vader, heel Diesel, nWo, the beginning of The War). Every little move either company made seemed so important. Who would have thought Lex Luger could create such a stir?
I guess all the doomsayers who thought Vince buying WCW would be the end of wrestling were pretty much right.
(edited by TellMeYouDidntJustSayThat on 22.4.03 1544)
(edited by TellMeYouDidntJustSayThat on 22.4.03 1545) Tell me I didn't just say that.
The beginning of the Invasion was a really exciting time. Even the infamous Booker/Buff match, already legendary in terms of its failure, was fun because of the unpredictability of the whole thing. Kurt Angle and Steven Austin, the company's biggest heels, came out, and got massive face pops. For about two months, there was so much promise of great television (alas, never more than a promise) that it was fun to watch. Then of course, Vince booked all the 'Alliance' wrestlers to lose every match every night and the whole thing went to hell.
97-99 was also fun, not because of the programming, but because of the hype. It was great fun to compare Nitro and Raw, see who put on the better show, argue about it, and know that HUGE spoils were at stake.
Originally posted by spf2119For me there's a couple of times when I loved everything going on in a promotion pretty much. ECW for basically the whole run of Raven on top until the Barely Legal first PPV. NWA 1988-1989 was the best run of wrestling ever. And for a few months this summer/fall Smackdown was just on the most amazing weekly wrestling tear I've ever seen.
Two of the three you mentioned had Paul Heyman booking. Ever wonder what would happen if he went to NWA-TNA?
Late 80's NWA was outstanding but recently, my favorite year in wrestling was 1997.
In 1997, the WWF began to rise from the shitter and hadn't gone full blown on the Russo-induced nonsense. You had Shawn Michaels literally ducking jobbing to Bret Hart at every turn. Bret/Austin at Mania and the subsequent double turn. The Hart Foundation versus Austin feud provided for some of the best television, IMO. SummerSlam had the memorable Austin neck injury. We had Hell In A Cell. Finally we had Survivor Series.
WCW was still in full stride in 1997 with the Sting storyline playing out over the year. Eddy, Rey, Jericho, Juvy, Malenko, Ultimo, Psicosis, and all the other Cruiserweights were dynamite all year long. Eddy/Rey at Halloween Havoc is probably one of my favorite matches ever. The nWo was still entertaining although growing too big. I even liked the Dennis Rodman stuff. Although by the year's end, WCW began to get depressing with the quick Hennig turn, Age In A Cage, the "slow count" at Starrcade and dropping the ball with Bret.
I'll say basically everything from the end of Bret Hart/rise of Stone Cold period in '97 all the way up to the end of the Invasion was the best time for me. It's a broad period, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
And since we're talking about specific things we miss too, rather than name wrestlers or events, I'll just say I miss the comedy.. specifically the good type. Yeah, there was stupid stuff like Mae Young stripping on PPV and giving birth to a hand, but there was so much good stuff to go with it. DX skits, Edge and Christian, the Rock, Kane and X-Pac (bet I'm the only one who misses that), Mick Foley, funny Big Show, Shane McMahon, heel Austin, and Kurt Angle. Out of all those things, only Christian, the Rock and Angle are left, Rock's leaving soon and Angle's a more serious character now.. still funny, but not as many laugh out loud moments as he used to have. Good wrestling is good, obviously, but for me the comedy is what holds things together.. you can't take wrestling too seriously, after all. Whether it's mid-match humour (seeing Shane spit out beer while being stunned), pre-match skits (Team ECK), it's sorely missing now.
Anyway, I don't like complaining and I'm still watching loyally, so I'll hush up now.
I remember loving almost everything going on in the Global Wrestling Federation during it's short time. The Cartel, Lightning Kid (X-Pac) feuding with Jerry Lynn, Rasta the Voodoo Man magically removing women's dresses, Patriot vs. Dark Patriot...
And look at some of the guys that came out of the GWF. Harlem Heat, Raven, Mick Foley... (and yeah, Bradshaw and Buff Bagwell, bite me. ;)
I didn't start watching till I got out of college and FINALLY got cable, and then I just watched WCW. The time I enjoyed it the most was 1999. From the point when Flair took over from Bischoff as "President" to Souled Out 2000 was pretty fun. Not always good, but fun. I think the highlight for me that year was Horsemen/Raven-Saturn/Kidman-Mysterio feud, ending with that awesome match at Slamboree. After that period, if I watched anything, it was WWF/E. Even then, I haven't sat down and watched a *whole* show in, probably, two years.
The WWF's Fall of '97 to early '98 ranks as my most favorite time in wrestling. The Austin/Rock fued over the IC title was gold. Well, I guess it was more like a lack of a fued since Austin refused to wrestle the Rock, and was stripped of the title ("The Rock says fire him, Vince"). That first bridge incident with Austin tossing the title into the river ruled. That was Austin's best period for raising hell. I mean he beat the crap out of Goldust with a port-a-potty! I loved the HBK heel turn at Summerslam '97, and subsequent fued with the Undertaker. And of course, that fued brought us the first Hell in the Cell- still my favorite cell match to date. Then there was the formation of DX. I have to admit I was GLUED to my set every Monday night to see what Michaels, HHH and Chyna (and Rick Rude, RIP) were going to do. My favorite highlight of that situation was the DX strip poker game in the ring where Michaels ended up CRUSHING a bottle of Jack Daniels on the head of one of the Headbangers. Classic moment.
After Wrestlemania XIV it all lost some of its magic for me. I was always a big Austin fan since the Stunning Steve days, but once he won the title I seemed to be less interested in him. The fued he had with Foley was good, but once he started fueding with Undertaker and Kane my heart wasn't into it any more. The new DX was cool, but didn't hold a candle to the original clan, inmo. I still watched all the time (and still do), but I can say that I was never as into any time period as late '97/early '98.
Runner up status has got to go to WWF 2000. So much good wrestling, and my favorite tag team of all time was born and running amok- Heel Edge and Christian! Also, 1988-1989 WWF will always hold a special place in my heart, as that is when I got really hooked on wrestling. The Hogan/Savage/Elizabeth love triangle got me addicted.
(edited by Eradicator on 23.4.03 0950) "The Universe is shaped exactly like the Earth. You go straight long enough you end up where you were."
Would like some comments on this venture: And part 2: I'm doing the main play-by-play for the first 3 episodes of UWC online...high school football takes me over after that...would like some input from the knowledgeable, and you guys too.