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Watching wrestling for the first time


RoryFice
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I was talking with a friend tonight and found out she only started to watch wrestling (at least regularly) ten years ago. She's 30 and is a pretty serious fan.

I've been a wrestling fan since I was 6 years old back in 1993 and my interest, at least in WWE, has probably never been lower. The first match I can vaguely remember watching was a Damien Demento squash but I was still hooked.There were lots of kids I knew growing up that were wrestling fans but the vast majority stopped watching at the end of the attitude era.To me, the thought of starting to watch wrestling as an adult seems like an alien concept. I subscribe to the WWE Network mainly to watch old PPV's I've seen many times before and to see some old rarer stuff. 

Questions for the UKFFers:

How old were you when you first started watching wrestling?

What's your first wrestling memory?

For the younger fans, how much 80's and early 90's stuff have you seen?

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I'll have been 4 or 5 when I first watched it on WOS. I remember the experience of sitting on my Grandad's knee more than any specific moment and our Saturday ritual of building the train set, visiting the little model shop, getting fish and chips for lunch and then watching the wrestling. 

My first memory of WWF was a friend at school telling me all about the mega powers and we'd play wrestling on the hill at play times. He was Hogan, I was Savage. 

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I can't remember not being a wrestling fan as it has been that long!

My earliest memory is of Mal Sanders defeating Mick McManus for his European Middleweight title in a real shocker because McManus never lost on TV and Sanders was a rookie at the time.

I have an earlier memory of running to the top of my street to check out a poster for our local promotion that promoted at a swimming baths. The Main Event had a wrestler called "The Viking" pictured in full viking gear. Even with youthful ignorance, i realised he was not a real viking, but that did not stop me seriously wanting to attend the show to see what would happen.

I think my earliest memories must have been the mid-1970's, which would have made me 8 or 9 years old.

I have zero interest in the WWE and have not since it went PG. I still enjoy attending live wrestling and love YouTube for all the vintage stuff and a little bit of the more physical Independant wrestling of today.

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I was twelve when I started watching wrestling, which at the time felt like I was a late starter compared to the Sam Sprakes' and John Bowles' of the playground who'd been watching it for years at that point.

I always remember the first match I ever watched was a hardcore match between Test and Big Boss Man where one of them lowered a metal shutter on to the other. I've never heard mention of what would be quite a unique spot since, so I think my memory may be manufactured somewhat.

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How old were you when you first started watching wrestling? 

When I got properly hooked I was just turning 13, but I’d been aware of it for several years prior to that. 

What's your first wrestling memory?

Nothing to do with actual wrestling. It’s either playing with a Hogan Hasbro while waiting for a pair of shoes in Clinkards or getting the Ultimate Warrior colouring book from Toys R Us.

For the younger fans, how much 80's and early 90's stuff have you seen?

Up until a few years ago, not really that much. The Network has had me go back and watch full shows from that era when beforehand I’d only really seen the big or famous matches.

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First experience of watching I remember is Survivor Series 1990, which my old man got our Avon lady to tape for us. It was a feast for the eyes to the young Bigfoote and from there on, until about 1995ish, every month, the Monday evening after, a well-worn VHS would appear, supplemented by rentals from Video Solent (I remember watching WM5 I think at least a dozen times in a few days)

Missed most of the Attitude era, unless Woolies had a sale on and the old man would indulge me. Watched regularly from 2000 on, drifted a bit, but haven't missed a PPV since 2003.

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First memory of ever watching is still clear as day. 

2006. 7 years old. Flicking through during the football adverts and Smackdown was playing. Instantly, I'm drawn in by some chap in a mask flying around the ring at 100mph, performing a plethora of wild, flipping moves that I'd never even been able to envision before within my knowledge of Year 3 gymnastic lessons. Obviously, this turned out to be Rey Mysterio, in an I Quit match, again, a concept that seemed completely alien to me, against Chavo Guerrero.

Hooked at once. Rey looked like a superhero with his mask and outfit, and even though I knew sod all regarding the story coming into the match, I automatically found myself rooting for him. How could you not? How could Chavo, a guy who couldn't do anything that Rey did, stand a chance? Apparently, by wrapping him up around a part of the set, dangling poor Rey upside down and then smacking him in the leg over and over until he got the verbal submission. I was horrified! My boy had lost, to a complete maniac no less, and now I'm being informed he's out injured for a fucking age! Cracking!

After that, my interest in WWE wasn't massive. RAW and Smackdown were aired on school nights, and in a low income house, our financial priorities didn't seem to include forking out for my newfound interest of fake fighting, so I'd keep up with whenever Heat/Velocity was on, as well as the WWE website. That was until Rey Mysterio was coming back! He was coming back for revenge, and I was so excited. Live PPV was out of the question of course, but a man from the care home in which my mum worked was told about my interest and subsequently bought/recorded Summerslam 2007 for me, as well as a copy of the Bret/Shawn iron-man on DVD, the lovely bastard

It's a match I need to give a rewatch soon. It's the reason Rey is still one of my all-time favourites, as well as the reason I'll always have a soft spot for Chavo.

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Had to actually google to check which memory came first, but I was 6 when I started watching wrestling.

First memory was from Undertaker's black wedding to Stephanie, I stayed up late while my Grandad was babysitting, his golf on the TV had been rained out so he let me watch the wrestling instead while he read the paper.

Only other memory I had from that time was the Owen Hart "Raw is Owen" memorial show a month or so later. Hadn't got into watching PPV's yet and at the time Hart was doing the Blue Blazer gimmick so I didn't really know what was happening. 

As for younger fan, I probably still fit into that area as I was 7 in 2000 and only really getting into it all then, but as for 80s and 90s stuff, absolutely tons, much in part thanks to the Network the last few years, but for a while I'd pick up VHS from Car Boot Sales and markets and watch a ton of the older stuff, as well as WWF Classics on the TV (forget the name of the actual show) that would show stuff from like 1987 onwards in chronological order, and much the same for old school WCW on TV as well. I think I was in at the right time to really learn the history of it all. I mean from 1999 to 2003, my favourite wrestler was Brian Pillman from stuff I'd seen from the vaults and videos.

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I'm not sure of the first exact show I ever saw. Fairly certain a family friend had given us a tape and said it was good and it went from there. My parents owned a shop on the same high street as a Woolworths and a toy shop so my time was spent between them looking at the VHS and the WWF figures. 

I have fond memories of the Wrestlemania 4 release being two tapes, the vivid yellow Survivor Series ones with the teams on and just loving the video catalogues in general. They were always fun to look at. Same with picking up the old WWF magazines.

I even remember my dad printing out an extra set of Summerslam 92 photos (from a customer) to give to me. And some where someone had met a lot of the roster at the airport. And how id written a lot about wrestling and my collection for a project at school. It's weird how these things stick with you.

Like many it's almost as if wrestling has been around my entire life. I'll never have such a lengthy connection with anything else. It's probably why I put up with so much shit output from Vince over the years. If I was pushed to choose one then wrestling would probably be my favourite thing even after all these years. It changes and adapts but it has never left me. And I've never given up on it.

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Aged 5 in 1990. My first memories of wrestling were Hasbros. I'd started playing with the figures in a mates garden long before I saw my first match. I had a Hulk Hogan picture on my bedroom wall without ever seeing him wrestle as he was always winning the Hasbro Royal Rumbles we were putting on. Typical Hogan.

First match I remember was something featuring Dusty Rhodes for the sole reason that we share a surname and somebody pointed it out to me. I'd seen some bits and pieces after that and was taken to a holiday camp show but nothing that really stuck out. Christmas 1992 was the start of the addiction though. My own batch of Hasbros, a WCW ring and Summerslam 1992 on VHS. That tape was watched and rewatched within an inch of it's life. I forced my parents to watch it, I'd take it to my grandparents when I stopped over. I still love the 6 man opener. It's campy and over the top but everybody in that match and Jimmy Hart managing the Nastys has their own unique, instantly recognisable character. That's the sort of stuff that hits you in the face as a 7 year old and sticks with you.

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I was 8 when I started watching in 1991.

My official first memory is Wrestlemania 7 as I remember watching it and not really knowing what it was.

But I also have a memory of kids at school having the trading cards and not knowing what they were, so when I saw Mania 7 I must have at least known that this is that trading cards thing.

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How old were you when you first started watching wrestling? 

Around 5 or 6. It was approx 89-90 when my dad got a sketchy satellite dish from a bloke down the club. The first show being either Wrestling Challenge, or All American Wrestling. Found it accidentally. In 1991 I got Hasbro and Best of Saturday Nights Main Event.

What's your first wrestling memory?

I remember the very first time I came across it on TV as mentioned above. From that point onwards it was a mix of WWF, DJ Kat and Fun Factory.

For anyone that watches cartoons on late 80’s/early 90’s satellite, can you remember this:

 

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I'm 36, and remember the British glory days of the WOS on Saturday afternoons. I used to sit and watch it with my Grandad(along with any other sport that was on a Saturday. As for the American style that is now ubiquitous, I was taken to Summerslam '92 at Wembley by a lad who used to babysit me a few years earlier. He was massively into wrestling and had a spare kids ticket, so we went down in the train. To a 10 year old me, it started an almost life long fascination with the WWF/E. We also had a very early incarnation of Sky, and I was over the moon when I found that Cartoon Network became TNT, complete with WCW at 7pm and meat that I could keep up to date with both major promotions! 

 

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I would have been 4 and it was watching a build up show for Summerslam 92. My sister really liked the Bulldog and had posters of him in her room. The next time was around my mates house about a year or so later and loving Bret Hart. From then it was in and out until we got Cable in 97 and then I got into it big time.

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