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Live wrestling - your “one that got away?”


air_raid
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So, I went to live wrestling for nearly 25 years between March 94 and Feb 19. In that time, I was lucky enough to see virtually everyone I’d give a shit about. Not all of them in the characters that they’d become huge as, some of them only in short dark or comedy matches, some of them near the end of their run (in one of the biggest names case, his last match), some past their prime, but some at their absolute peak. Point is, I saw them wrestle.

I saw nearly every name I’d want to from mid 90s WWF and WCW fame, into the Attitude Era. Hogan, Perfect, Sid, LOD, Bret, Shawn, Kev, Kid, Bam Bam, Bulldog, Owen, Vader, Foley, Taker, Austin, Rocky, Hunter, Angle, Show, Hardys, Dudleys, Benoit, Eddy, Sting, Luger, Steiners, Baz Windham, Dustin, big Ron. I saw everyone I wanted to from later WWE years too - Lesnar, Cena, Orton, Reigns, Rollins, Drew, Lashley, Balor, RVD, Rey, Becky Sasha Bayley and Charlotte, Paige, Asuka, Alexa, you name them.

When I got into indies I got to see everyone I wanted, mostly at the peak of their Indy darling stage - AJ, Joe, Bryan, Daniels, Punk, Aries, the Machine Guns, anyone of note that toured with TNA. Between BritWres, indies and actually going to Japan I managed to see plenty of the 90s names from New Japan I’d loved - Liger, Ohtani, Kanemoto - and everyone that made early Noah great - Musawa, Kobashi, Akiyama, Marufuji, Kenta - and everyone you’d want from the Tana/Nakamura/Naito/Okada/Shibata generation. Finally, a whole new wave of Indy or NXT products - Alpha, Revival, Matt Riddle, and anyone worth seeing in BritWres.

Two that took me forever to tick off finally rolled around in 2018 - Chris Jericho and Randy Orton. One in the Tokyo Dome, one in a dark match in Manchester. But it got me thinking today about who I missed out on, not including guys who’s retirement I just overlapped with, or guys that didn’t tour Britain while I was still financially dependent on my parents for going to shows.

Top of my list, no doubt, would be Scott Hall. I never got to see Chico wrestle. The night I went to my first show, the Razor man was in Germany. If I’d been able to pester my way into going to the Hart Attack tour later in the year, I’d have seen him, and Yokozuna who’s in the same boat. They’re my top two. In later years it would be nice to say I’d seen Dave Batista and Edge, but that’s it, and if you pushed me to look at Japan… Kawada and Sasuke, otherwise I’ve done OK. Oh and…. sure would have been nice to watch Trish Stratus. I know that’s 7 rather than “one” but hey, it’s been a long time.

What about the rest of you? Anyone been fanatical about going to shows but missed out on seeing anyone special within your specific interests that you feel is a big absence on your list?

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I’m far from fanatical when it comes to live shows, but the one thing I’d have loved to see live was Undertaker - just his entrance would have done. I got tickets to the SmackDown tours a few times in the 00s because he was advertised to appear, but they inevitably took him off the lineup at short notice.  

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Hulk Hogan, in a match for me.    I saw him appear live many times, for WWE and TNA, but never saw him wrestle.   There was that one time at TNA when he was scheduled for a 6 man tag, but got taken out backstage and removed from the match!   What was worse was that on the house shows on that tour that 6 man tag did happen and ended up being his last ever match.   Luckily I got to see Steve Austin wrestle once, in about his 10th to last ever match.   Never got to see Bret Hart wrestle either, although as with Hogan, saw him appear many times in various promotions.

Generally though, as I only started going to live shows in 2001, I never went to a WCW show live, which is a regret.   Same with ECW although that wasn't as possible, so not so much of a regret.   Naturally I wish I'd gone to Summerslam 92, any attitude era WWE show and any other WWE shows from when I was a fan but not going to live shows, so anything from 1991-2001.  I also wish I'd gone to some British Wrestling shows in 90s  (I actually did go to one in about 1994, but other than being there, I have no memory of it).   I really want to see a Royal Rumble live one day, but thank shit I didn't decide to do that this year.

Edited by The Dart
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WCW came to Blackburn Ice Arena in October 94 to do a show that featured Flair Vs Rude and Sting & Steamboat Vs the Hollywood Blondes.It was a school night, and I'd already been to see WCW at the GMEX in March where I got to see Sting as world Champion so I doubt we'd have been able to afford to go to this one, which was a shame. 

Having said that, when I went to the GMEX show Dustin was attacked by Barry Windham before their tag match and couldn't compete, so I missed out on seeing them both properly wrestle, which I wasn't happy with. 

It would have been great to have been able to see Bret wrestle live. 

Edited by jazzygeofferz
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I've never been to a WWE show, and not sure I'd particularly want to - maybe a house show, but I wouldn't go out of my way for it.

As a result, I haven't seen that many "big stars", and only started going to indie shows regularly in the last ten years or so - and living in Jersey for most of that time meant that I had to be pretty selective about when I could afford to.

So for me the big one is Manami Toyota. She was booked for EVE on a show right before I started going to their shows; she was announced with maybe a couple of weeks' notice, and I just couldn't afford the flights, hotel, and time off work that it all would have required. She announced her retirement maybe a month or two later, so that was the only chance I could have seen her.

Another is that I had tickets for one night of a Fight Club Pro weekender, and the night before I went ended up having Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks vs. British Strong Style, in that time post-WWE UK Title Tournament but pre-NXT UK when there were fewer restrictions on where the WWE-contracted UK lads could work, so getting them in a match with a NJPW-contracted team felt pretty huge at the time. Kenny and the Bucks weren't on the rest of the weekend, so I've still not seen them live, and to make matters worse, on the show that I went to the match was British Strong Style against the Very Problematic team of Jimmy Havoc, Marty Scurll and Sami Callihan.

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31 minutes ago, The Dart said:

 What was worse was that on the house shows on that tour that 6 man tag did happen and ended up being his last ever match.

 

1 hour ago, air_raid said:

(in one of the biggest names case, his last match)

This was that, I saw Hogans last match.

25 minutes ago, jazzygeofferz said:

It would have been great to have been able to see Bret wrestle live. 

I lucked out with Bret, I saw him at his best, in 94, 96 and at One Night Only with the Undertaker. On the same night it’s arguable I saw prime HBK first… at least his first prime.

Didn’t touch on Joshi in my first post but I saw most of the big names over there and Manami Toyota over here but Akira Hokuto stands out as missing.

@BomberPatYeah, I went out of my way to see both the Toyota show for Eve, and Kenny and the Bucks vs British Strong Style. It was a wild couple of years for imports.

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My fandom started in 1998, but I didn't get to attend a live show until 2005, so I missed seeing Austin and Rock in person. Being in Australia, I could have ticked off Rock if I'd managed to get to Global Warning Tour, but my family didn't have that kind of money back then. When I became an adult, I ponied up the cash to go to WrestleMania, and of course WM33 was the first event in years that neither Austin or Rock were at.

I've also never seen Hogan, but I'm not fussed about that. Could have virtually crossed the road to meet him at his Beach Shop when I was in Orlando, but chose not to. Almost saw the Hulkster as he was set to act as GM for a Sydney house show I was going to in 2015, but he was replaced last minute with Shawn Michaels, so I got to tick him off my list. Massive upgrade IMO.

Between the impressive 2005 roster on my first Raw house show, and the ridiculous amount of talent on WM33, I've seen a ton of wrestlers spanning generations now. Main event of my first show was Triple H & Ric Flair vs. Batista & Chris Benoit, with the likes of Chris Jericho, Kane, Edge & Christian on the undercard. And with AEW becoming a big thing now, I've seen several of the All Elite guys on various tours- The Bucks, Cody, Omega, Orange Cassidy, SCU, Lance Archer, Brian Cage.

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1 hour ago, Snitsky's back acne said:

I missed out on SummerSlam 1992 because my parents insisted we go on a caravan holiday to Weymouth that weekend so I ended up seeing Robbie Brookside wrestle in the sites showroom/bar instead.

Not quite the same. 

Off topic but this reminds me of missing the last (to date) time my club won the FA Cup because I had to go to Cub camp.

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28 minutes ago, rollthedice said:

I missed out on Summerslam 1992 but I was 6 and no chance were my parents taking me to Wembley.

I never got to see Bret Hart wrestle live. He appeared at the WCW house show in Manchester March 2000 but just spoke as I think he was still injured. 

Same! I begged to go to One Night Only but for some reason mam wouldn’t let a teenage girl visit London on her own! 

By mayhem in Manchester in 98, he was gone and I never got to see him wrestle. 

Don’t think I ever saw Hogan but I’m glad about that to be honest. 

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52 minutes ago, Sonny Mustang said:

Same! I begged to go to One Night Only but for some reason mam wouldn’t let a teenage girl visit London on her own! 

To be fair, if you’d visited London you’d have missed it anyway!

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Never got to see Bret, Hogan, Warrior and Savage wrestle live, I was close to seeing Taker when he was advertised to face Kane for the World Title on the November 2010 tour but was replaced by Big Show 

I did get to see Steamboat, not in match but a post match run in after a Jericho/Punk match and also Flair and HBK live, the latter in one of his last ever UK matches

 

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So so many, the main ones being Bret, Muta, Davey Boy and Warrior. But I'm glad I've gotten to see Sting and Liger, as they are two of my all time faves. Some will think it's weird that I don't care that I didn't see Austin or The Rock Live, but it doesn't really fuss me much. I've had some really strange joy watching a geriatric Vader at in Bethnal Green and an off his tits Jake Roberts in Hanley. 

 

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