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First "smart" thoughts


tiger_rick
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When were your first smarky thoughts on wrestling? What were they?

Although I read powerSlam from 1997, it wasn't until 1999 that I really started to think about wrestling like that. Through 1997 and 1998, I was just too busy enjoying it. By mid-late 1999, I was starting to think that I was fed up of Steve Austin being all over the shows, the WWF was wasting the Big Show by having him lose early in his run and flip-flop all over the place even that early. The arrival of Jericho and my excitement at this big acquisition of a guy who sounded so much fun in WCW turning into disdain that he was fannying about with Road Dogg, X-Pac and Chyna cemented me as a lifetime knobhead.

I discovered ECW on tape round that time too. A lot of the WWF talent looked pretty mundane compared to these guys like Taz, Rob Van Dam, Jerry Lynn, Tajiri, etc who had "great" matches and were so much cooler.

What about you?

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49 minutes ago, tiger_rick said:

I discovered ECW on tape round that time too. A lot of the WWF talent looked pretty mundane compared to these guys like Taz, Rob Van Dam, Jerry Lynn, Tajiri, etc who had "great" matches and were so much cooler.

This. Absolutely this. Showing my mates the rapid-fire stand-off sequences that Jerry Lynn and Super Crazy would get into, whilst pointing at the telly shouting "This is proper wrestling!". They weren't very impressed, then they opened the VHS case and mocked all the PPV names. "Living Danergously?!? Heatwave?!? It's hardly Backlash and SummerSlam, is it?".

Fuck'em. One of them thought that the reason the CH4/SKY feed froze on spots of people going through tables was because that's when they shoved a crash mat into the ring for them to fall onto. He was adamant about that, especially when they didn't show Trish getting Bubba bombed through a table.

But aye, ECW and Powerslam were my gateways into being a total internet twat. Forums, Limewire and SMV-UK soon followed for me and that was it.

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I think it was probably through the SmackDown video games. By Shut Your Mouth I was well into making and sharing CAWs on a GameFAQs forum, and little bits of smarky talk would creep through on there, ie they’ll never let Benoit win the title, big men are shit, Paul London should be champion, push the cruisers stuff. It must have been through there that I heard about the Wrestling Channel previews on Friendly TV. Once TWC started proper I got more and more into a smark mindset (it helped of course that JBL was WWE Champion which made SmackDown almost unwatchable for me; HHH was the antichrist by popular opinion on RAW but I never minded that so much because at least he was a big name). By the time I joined here in 2007 after a few years on the TWC forum I was full fledged. Luckily I’ve grown since then. Or regressed depending how you look at it.

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After getting into ECW in late '99, my first smarky thoughts were that The Rock couldn't wrestle. He was front and center of the WWE product at the time. Virgin me just thought he was all talk and not a real wrestler like Super Crazy was. 

Fuck me. What a bellend. 

Edited by Silky Kisser
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Thinking about it, it's almost certainly "Hogan is a cock" in the early 90s.

I liked him in 1990, when I first started watching, but doubts started when he needed to cheat to beat the Undertaker and then when he helped Flair win the Royal Rumble. The final straw was when he won the title at Wrestlemania 9, fucked off to Japan and shit on the belt. I was a big Bret fan at the time. I'd totally bought into the WWF Magazine spin that him defending against Skinner and Virgil was him "being a fighting Champion", "taking on all challengers" and "bringing credibility to the title". Hogan getting it back felt like a huge step backwards and was the start of me thinking "the big guys are lazy and can't work. The smaller guys are being held down!!"

I don't know if it's smarky or just completely idiotic but I also remember thinking Prince Iaukea was better than Rocky Maivia and that Steve Austin looked idiotic with a skinhead and would never be taken seriously as a tough guy.

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Mick Foley's first book for me I think. It was just as I was starting to become obsessed from around Armageddon 99 to mania 2000. That was when I became crazy into it and the book really was the first kayfabe breaking literature I ever consumed.

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I think sadly when I discovered FWA and thought it was the dogs bollocks. I mainly watched WCW, as I didn't have Sky Sports but shitty cable showing WCW, and I bought tapes of their monthly ppvs despite them being a bit shit. I tried to convince my friends to go, they went once and thought it was a bit shit. I look back and think what the hell was I thinking. They were impressed by Jody Fleisch and Doug Williams (a couple of others also I think) but there were so many small guys on the shows that they just couldn't take to it, and I'm not surprised. They watched WWE on big arenas on the tele, and Broxbourne just didn't cut it.

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For me it started to come to fruition in 2001 with the purchase of WCW, the eventual introduction of some of their superstars, and perhaps more prominently some of their superstars who were missing, i.e Goldberg, Steiner etc who didn't initially come over for the Invasion angle. That's when I began actively searching for news on when those stars would potentially appear, what the contract situations were, etc. At the same time The Rock went off to film The Mummy Returns, so I'd be searching for news on when he might come back etc. 

Think I first joined the AOL message boards around early 2002 when the rumours started to spread about Hogan, Hall and Nash signing, which was getting negative press amongst the industry at the time. That was probably the catalyst for discovering more wrestling-based sites, forums etc. 

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Wow, this is a tough one. In all honesty I've always considered myself as a fan of the mainstream stuff on the whole. 

While Bret, Razor, Shawn etc were having great matches at the top of the card during the mid 90's, I spent the whole period wishing that Hulk Hogan and the proper stars were still around. HATED the Guerrero and Benoit-led vanilla midget era of the early to mid 2000's.

Never been one to obsess over 5* matches and quite honestly, found interviews, promos and wrestler entrances as my favourite part of most shows I watched as a kid.

My most smarky period is probably now if I'm honest, I detest the WWE's presentation style and overall strangehold on the business. It looks like its taken me until my mid 30's.

 

Edited by garynysmon
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Can’t remember the specific thoughts, but they were spurred on by the Mick McManus columns in Satellite TV Europe magazine in the early nineties. Being shocked that Vince McMahon was the the man with the power and not just an employee commentator.

Learned a huge amount from the contacts I made in the nineties and early 2000s. Pleased to see this place is still going strong more than 20 years on.

 

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I never got into wrestling until I was 10, in 2000. A lad at school put me in a cross-face chickenwing because he'd seen Bob Backlund do it in a training video with Kurt Angle (or the other way around).
I had no idea what it was at all. I'd never heard of wrestling, never seen wrestling, but that weekend I went home and I remember watching Sunday Night Heat on Channel 4 and though my exact memories are vague I remember seeing Austin get ran over and Tiger Ali Singh, so I'm placing it around November 2000 as that's the Survivor Series isn't it?

A new family moved in across the street from my Granddad's and I remember going over and making friends with them and what do you know, they loved the wrestling. Their Dad would get the PPVs taped by a lad at work, and I remember us all watching Royal Rumble 2001 through his front room window from outside and going "fucking hell The Big Show came back!" even though I only knew him from my chipped copy of Smackdown 1 on the PS1 because he'd been injured the entire time I'd been watching at that point.

I remember watching a tape of Wrestlemania X7 and staying up late on a school night watching Rock vs Austin twice because I had to give the tape back the next day.

I did have the quite special honour of still thinking it was real when The Invasion was happening though so constant playground talk was about if this WCW lot would come in and end the WWF. I hated Kurt Angle joining The Alliance, the treacherous bastard. I caught some WCW Nitro round my Gran's on one of the old black and orange Comcast boxes on the TNT channel late on a weekend. I recall Scott Steiner coming out with a tiger and Kevin Nash hitting a powerbomb on (I think) David Flair. This timeline could be off though as I'm not sure when this happened.
I thought WCW was garbage other than Goldberg and DDP who my mate had figures of. Their arms would move when you squeezed their legs in. I thought Goldberg's finisher was a powerbomb. I was buzzing when Vince came out, chucks his jacket and WWF are triumphant. 

2002 rocks around and by this point I'm knees deep in any tapes I can find. I'm getting my Mum to buy me them for Birthdays or when I've saved enough pocket money. Wrestlemania 14 and Judgement Day 2000 being two of my favourites. I'd put a tape on, close the curtains and sit and play with the pile of figures I had, repeating all the moves I was watching. I had a ring and weapons, belts, the lot. 

I'm borrowing the likes of Royal Rumble 1990 and 1991 off my Brother's mate's older Brother and any time we're in the library at school I'm checking who the entrants for the Royal Rumble 2002 are. Mr Perfect was dead exciting for me because I'd seen tapes of him.

2003 is when it started going tits up. A lad in the year above me who we all hung out with has dozens of tapes and in them is ECW. It sounded amazing to a 13/14 year old so my memories of that year is sat in his bedroom watching ECW tapes and reading Powerslam Magazines he had. That's when it all came crumbling down. I went from "well WWE and WCW are fake, but ECW is real."

I don't know when I realised ECW wasn't real, but by the time Wrestlemania XX happens, I'm super into any wrestling I can find, but I know it's all bullshit.  I'd argue from Wrestlemania 22 onwards I only watched out of habit and now I barely watch at all.

I still enjoyed it after that. I have good memories of watching wrestling for years after that, but it will never be as good as when I was sat on the floor of my Granddad's living room watching Hogan win Royal Rumble 1990, or watching the buildup to Undertaker vs Kane at Wrestlemania 14 and recreating it with my figures. It'll never be as good as watching the "My Way" package for the first time and feeling those goosebumps, or cheering on Team WWF during The Invasion.

For me, nothing will ever be as good as 2000-2004, and not because it was better then (it was) but because it was real then. It was new, it was exciting, all my mates were into it. I watched Wrestlemania 17, The Invasion, Rock/Hogan, the NWO (without even seeing them in WCW), ECW in it's prime and it was all real. And then it wasn't.

 

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I think I was always slightly smarky. Well, my earliest memories of watching or being aware of wrestling was during Warrior's second (I think) WWF run, and at that time I was a run of the mill kid who thought it was all real. But when I properly got into watching, week-to-week, especially during the Monday Night Wars, I was getting my weekly Raw and Nitro recordings from my cousin, who was a Wrestling Observer subscriber, so pretty early on in my fandom I was real interested in the backstage machinations. To this day, in many ways, I find all the inside, backstage stuff - mainly historically - more interesting than the product.

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Definitely Lex ditching "the Narcissist" and donning the stars and stripes. 10 year old raid saw that and thought "They're trying to make him into Hogan. That's rubbish. Bret should still be champion. Going back to Hogan was a backwards step, this is worse."

Probably deserved bullied even worse than I was.

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