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Wrestlers and storylines that made you tune back in


Sexy Dad
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I'm sure we have all had a time when enough was enough and didn't feel compelled to keep up with WWE or any wrestling for a while. After a pretty eventful 2006 which included a DX Reunion, an ECW revival and Booker T becoming a king it was the sight of Bobby Lashley at the end of December to Dismember holding the title after an awful show which killed my interest outside of the odd big show for a year and a half.

 

However, in mid 2008 the reinvention of Jericho (drink it in, man) and the very personal feud with the HBK bought me right back in. I was a huge fan of Jericho and was gutted when he left in 2005 after finally getting the chance to get stuck in to something worthwhile with Cena. I was disappointed to Jericho seemingly spinning his wheels at Mania 24 with the MITB mid card and seeing the suit wearing character evolve and lead to bloody brawls, Jericho decking Mrs Hickenbottom and a great ladder match bought me right back in.

 

Mania 25 season then went on to be probably the dullest in the last 15 years outside of 2015 and the Orton stuff outside of the Vince punting led to a lot of fast forwarding but when Smackdown seemingly got the upper hand in 2009 draft, I had a new weekly must watch show.

 

Jericho, Punk, Jeff Hardy, Rey Mysterio, Edge and what felt like a John Morrison on the rise led to a really solid and enjoyable time to tune in. The Jericho vs Rey feud and Punk vs Hardy of course being the standouts. Since this point I've always at the least kept tabs on week to week and probably watched every pay per view. There's always something worthwhile amongst the shite and I think the Jericho-Michaels feud shown that if you're a fan of the WWE - there is probably something going on that you would really enjoy even if in the modern day you are greeted by a Stephanie promo.

 

Does anybody have a new specific memories of storylines or specific wrestlers bringing them back?

Edited by Sexy Dad
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After having an early interest in the glory days of Ultimate Warrior and Hasbros, I drifted well away from any interest in wrestling, but when a demo disc that came with one month's issue of the Playstation Magazine had a demo from WWF SmackDown where you could play as The Undertaker (hey, I remember him!), The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin (I've heard of them!) and Triple H. The game was bloody good fun, but each time you loaded the demo it played the opening video from the game, which made the WWF look like the maddest, most exciting thing going.

 

 

PRESS START? I couldn't wait to!

 

Soon after that, the local post office got the latest WWF sticker album in, and I loved a sticker album, so I got that and started looking through it (even without the stickers) to see who the rest of these wrestlers were. X-Pac looked so cool, British Bulldog was still about! Val Venis and Jeff Hardy jumping off the top rope!

 

Both these things were out in 2000, but in terms of roster were more accurately autumn 1999 (post-Jericho debut, pre-Angle, but no sign of Jeff Jarrett so I'd hazard late October/early November '99).

 

Anyway, by the early summer of 2000 I'd cottoned on to the fact that shows like Metal and SmackDown were shown on Sky One at the weekends, and I dove right in. By the time this game came out, with its opening video...

 

 

...I was completely tuned back in!

 

"Ready camera five… camera seven tilt up…"

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From being in my megafan mode as a kid, and going to Summerslam 92, I stopped watching around, I want to say 95/96 time when I discovered that being a wrestling fan was detrimental to the chances of me fingering Sally Tunnicliffe, who was the best looking lass at our school.

 

Then, early in 2000, I notice that Channel 4 were showing the Rumble. After getting in from the pub at about half 11(remember when they were only allowed to open until 10:30 on a Sunday?) I decided to order a couple of Kebabs and watch some of that "Crap Wrestling" while I ate them. I still weren't won over until the Triple H/Cactus Jack match came on. Firstly, I couldnt believe that these two guys were main eventers, as last time I watched, Triple H was a VERY midcard snob, and Mankind was, well, i'm not sure what he was supposed to be.

 

By the end of that match however, it was safe to say that I was hooked once again. Being older, and now not giving a fuck what people would think if I was a fan(Sally Tunnicliffe had got fat and had 2 kids by now anyway) I've watched regularly ever since.

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I lapse in and out. The main three I can remember being a specific event...Rumble 2000 with Triple H, The Rock, Hardys and Kurt Angle. Shawn Michaels' return against Trips and his Mania matches each year.

 

More recently Sami Zayn's match against Cesaro at the first takeover and the subsequent 'Sami can't win the big one' storyline got me hooked on NXT and wrestling again.

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The Rock coming back got me back in after drifting off it around the time I left school/started college. Yes, he foreshadowed the rise of the part timers. But it's my one of my lifelong heroes back in a WWE ring, how could I not watch? Counting the days until WrestleMania XXVIII made sure I didn't drift away since.

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As a littl'un, the first I heard of wrestling was the hype around Summerslam at Wembley. I got swept away in that, and started collecting all the stickers I could find. But oddly, the first wrestling I actually watched was some WCW that I'm sure was on some Saturday afternoon show with Pat Sharp. I remember Johnny B Badd being boss, and Rick Rude being funny when he'd taken too many atomic drops to do his hip swivel, but the match that hooked me was Sting vs Vader. Not only did they look like a superhero and a monster supervillain, but this was a match that went to Sudden Death where the guy whose knee touched the mat would lose. Sting went for a Stinger Splash but got thumped in midair, staggered to the opposite corner and just caught the top turnbuckle to stop himself crumpling to the mat, and little Cave leapt out of his seat.

 

I didn't get properly into it til a friend of my little brother started taping WWF and giving them to us every week in late 1998. At first, I wondered where all the characters were - compared to my rose-tinted memories of years before, everyone looked moody and in black. Stone Cold was fun, but it was the Survivor Series with the Rock's Corporate turn that hooked me in. The show-long angle and the way the storyline carried on and kept snowballing made me a regular viewer through til I went to uni in 2001.

 

Then, there was a looooong gap of taking a passing interest, the odd ECW tape, a few unwise early posts on here (I think my first ever post got me a been for spoiling the first draft!).

 

What got me properly back in was Dean Ambrose's FCW debut promo where he promised to "blow the doors off everything!" It was probably the grubbiness of FCW back then and the unhinged style he had that reminded me of the Attitude Era, but whatever it was, I started following him, looking for indies, and checking out the Japanese scene alongside Raw and WWE PPVs.

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Jericho's rubbish return in 2007/8 was the first bit of wrestling I bothered with since they scared me off after Goldberg lost that Elimination Chamber match. Thankfully, and luckily, 2008 was one of WWE's better years, so I stuck around for Cena, Orton, the rise of Jeff Hardy, Edge, even Triple H was no longer the chore he was in 2003. A few months in and WWE was part of my weekly routine again. A lot clicked that year and the show had a great mix of old faces (Triple H, HBK, Undertaker, Jeff Hardy, Flair, Big Show etc) and fresh ones, to me (Cena, Batista, Orton, MVP, Umaga, Punk). I also remember hearing/reading how awful Cena was prior to watching again, and being amazed at how off that opinion is.

 

In recent years, mainly due to the lack of star power, I've dipped in and out. However, when I get out the loop they'll bring back Sting or Goldberg, so I'm back watching it again. Goldberg was huge, because my goodwill for WWE was in negative points.

 

In fairness to WWE, it's only really been the past 2/3 years where I've thought their shows were mostly a bit rubbish. For most of the past 9 years, or so, they've had all manner of great ideas to keep my interest - Nexus, Cena in Nexus, the incredible build of Cena/Punk at MITB, Jericho/HBK, Batista's heel run, Triple H carrying Smackdown, Hall Of Pain, Rock/Cena, the rise of Daniel Bryan etc - all of the good stuff has been brilliant, at times.

Edited by ColinBollocks
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