In 5 years from now, which
Shield member will be the biggest star, and why?
We’ll look into this tomorrow. In the meantime, jump right
into the discussion by scrolling to the end of this article, or clicking the
Comments. Otherwise, stick around for yesterday’s discussion.
We were reliving the moments that hooked you on as a
wrestling lifer. Lots of old school answers here, which are no surprises. Let’s
Extant1979: What got me hooked? Hulkamania all the way,
baby. He was a comic book character come to life, and he was fighting other
larger-than-life figures and beating them. Whatcha gonna do, brother? I’m gonna
watch Hulk Hogan win another match.
RosAlGhulScoe: For me, it was Savage chasing HTM for the IC
title and Jimmy Hart and the Hart Foundation doing anything to help HTM keep
the title. One of the first matches I watched that I still remember was that
great Savage vs Bret Hart SNME match where an injured Savage rolled him up for
the win. My memory is hazy, but this feud led to the friendship of Savage and
Hogan and Savage’s WM4 title win and HTM escaping this feud with the belt
eventually ended perfectly with Ultimate Warrior winning that title.
Mark Joseph: Start watching in the early 80’s, but I was
hooked when Savage attacked Steamboat. And, as a child, I was cheering for
Savage. Was hooked on NWA watching the first Clash of the Champions. Stopped
watching for a long time in the 90’s, only to return during the nWo/Attitude
era. It was actually ECW that got me to start watching again, it would air on
MSG Network at like 2am, and I found it by accident. Stopped again during the
Invasion angle (such a poor job by WWE that I just turned the product off 100%)
and only returned last year. Not sure how long I will last now, but
Ambrose/Rollins has my interest.
Chefazzy: I was already getting into wrestling a
little bit due to Hulkamania. But I vividly remember to this day, seeing that a
wrestling program was on TBS one Saturday night. I decided to tune in. When I
saw these two huge guys in facepaint with mohawks/reverse mohawks, wearing
leather with spikes on them, walking in to Iron Man, I was all in at that point.
dirtyearsbill: The first angle I vividly remember was
Earthquake squashing Hogan before Summerslam 90. I was terrified of the whole
ordeal but it hooked me. I was five years old and had my mom dictate a get well
soon letter to Hulk and everything. I know I’d watched before that because I
have pictures of my third birthday where I got a bunch of AWA toys and I went
to house shows prior, but Hogan/Quake is the first thing I clearly remember.
Scott Malec: I was watching the WWF for about a year (the
first major match I saw was the Savage IC title win over Santana in Boston on
my bday in 1986) but when I gave the NWA on TBS a chance…I was hooked for
life. The first major NWA angle I remember was Jim Cornette torching Ronnie
Garvin and Jimmy Garvin coming out to help his estranged “brother.”
This was right after Starrcade ’86 and I remember being awed by the Skywalker
video COMMERCIALS, let alone the event itself. The Road Warriors sealed the
deal and about 6 months later the first Wargames in 1987 became my favorite
match of all time to this day.
SRogo: I discovered WWF and Hogan leading up to the
first Wrestlemania. After, the Orndorff turn on Hogan had me tuning in more
often. But the Hogan/Andre and Piper/Adonis stuff leading up to WM3 is what
hooked me for life. By then, I was also watching the NWA on TBS, World
Class/AWA depending on what ESPN was carrying, and the local WWA show where a
young Scott Rechsteiner was getting his start. I’d also beg my parents to take
me to the video store and rent Coliseum Video tapes over and over every week.
Couldn’t get enough back then.
redman: Shawn michaels being attacked by somewhere
between 2 and 43 thugs and then collapsing during his match with Owen hart. Im
not sure if its what hooked me but its the first angle I remember. I was 7
years old and only been watching for a couple of months but shawn was my
favorite. I really thought he may die. Then he came back and won the 96 royal
rumble then beat bret at WM12 which was the first ppv my dad and I watched
together. We got nearly every single one until judgment day 2004.
thebraziliankid: Cena vs Umaga.As sad as it is John Cena is
the reason I became a wrestling fan.When saw the LMS match between these two I
just said”I don’t care if people think it’s fake,I’m a fan of
VoxPhantom: The Mankind/Cactus Jack feud with HHH
between Royal Rumble and No Way Out 2000. Had never seen wrestling before
watching the Street Fight, was a huge Foley mark by the time he was
“retired” after the Hell in the Cell.
PrimeTimeTen: I started watching just after Hogan’s first
retirement in 1992. The big angle at the time played out in a series of
interviews involving Randy Savage and the Ultimate Warrior where Mean Gene
would press them on if either had hired Mr. Perfect as their manager heading
into SummerSlam. I gravitated to the two “WWF-approved babyfaces” but
in retrospect it was really Ric Flair’s antagonizing presence that drew me in.
Going back and watching those interviews recently for the first time in 20+
years is illuminating, including some of Flair’s meta lines. “I’ve been
beating up guys with paint on their face my whole career. I specialize in
it.” Then a few months later I turn on Superstars one morning and learn
that Bret Hart – a fellow Canadian – had defeated Flair – the most hated
villain in the company – for the belt. I was all in. 22 years later, Bret and
Naitch are my two favourite wrestlers ever.
SodiePop: I wish I could remember a specific angle,
show or match that I watched as a little kid that got me hooked, but I can’t. I
can say my first wrestling memories as being around 6 or 7 years old and
watching the weekend WWF shows for all the classic characters we know and love
(the one on Sunday around noon that featured Bobby Heenan and Gene Okerlund
always come to mind first, second being the Todd Pentingale/Million Dollar Man
duo). That was my first instance of any regular viewing habit, and I really
looked forward to the weekends so I could watch my shows. I can also remember
growing up and frequenting my local video rental stores to rent out copies of
the WWF PPVs on weekends, usually the Wrestlemanias, Royal Rumbles, Summerslams
and the Coliseum Video releases (Bloopers, Bleeps and Bodyslams!). I did this
all the time, and funnily enough I remember WM9 being a favorite, marking out
like the little dumbshit I was for Hulk Hogan upsetting Yoko and walking out
with the belt. Fast forward a bit to Jan 1993 with the advent of RAW, and I
became a die-hard viewer all the way up until 2002 where I stopped being a fan
for the first time in my life. But that’s another topic.
Crikey Mate Down
Under Aussie: HBK coming out of
retirement and the Benoit title chase. My first experience with wrestling was
this legend coming out of retirement with a wrecked back and a guy just
pummelling him with a ladder for 30 minutes, and the bleeding! And then I
experience a Royal Rumble, Benoit beating Big Show, into Wrestlemania with everything
coming together, and this cool mysterious Undertaker guy, blown away as a kid.
Elmo Machete: Some random episode of Sunday Night Heat – I
was channel surfing & happened to tune in while they showed a replay from
Raw of Jackie ripping Sable’s dress off. I was 12, and not used to seeing
boobies on TV. I thought to myself, “I’m gonna keep watching this.”
Then the main event of the night was a tag match with D’Lo, Mankind, Shamrock
and X-Pac. That weird combination of personalities hooked me. A couple weeks
(months? IDK) later was Survivor Series ’98, and THAT hooked me for good.
Tournament for the world title? Introducing me to every important character in
the company all at once? “Real Man’s Man” William Regal? How could I
NOT get hooked?
Magoonie NOT Teddy
Belmont: The first time I watched
wrestling was at my older cousins house with him and his grandmother (who was a
huge fan) and I really liked it but it didn’t quite hook me yet. Also I got no
time to believe it was real as when I told my step dad about what I had just
watched he told me “it’s fake”. What hooked me was a few months later
I went over to my cousins house and his grandmother had taped The Main Event.
Watching Savage beat up the asshole Honky Tonk Man, seeing The Hart Foundation
wrestle and the Hogan/Andre match all combined to hook me for life.
TM Cooltrainer Bret:
IIRC it was the best 2 out of 3 falls
match between Edge/Mysterio and Angle/Benoit. I couldn’t afford PPV so I had to
watch the inferior version, and that made me a huge Edge mark for some time. I
can’t say I love or hate him now, but back in 2002 he was SO COOL. I marked at
Edge coming back to Raw in 2004 because half-mark half-smark me thought finally
he was gonna destroy Evolution, and then the crowd turned him heel. Bastards.
WILLYOUSTOP?!?: I’ve mentioned it before, but seeing my
first AWA show on TV, where the announcers were hyping the next show in Denver
headlines by The Road Warriors v. The Fabulous Freebirds. I had no idea who any
of these people were, why they were fighting, or why I cared…but for some
reason, hearing these guys on TV talk about it, I felt like I HAD to see it –
it was too important to miss. I didn’t get to go to that show, but weekly AWA
TV became required viewing for me. My dad finally took me to my first AWA show
sometime after that, and I never looked back.
Will1225: I saw Stone Cold Steve Austin raising hell
on a Monday night show called WWF Raw at a friend’s house in December 1998.
Became a fan of Austin that day and began watching the WWF every chance I could
Jared Bellow: I was a big VHS junkie as a kid and one day
my mom went to the Meijer store where they had a video club (as we called them
in those days) and rented me Wrestlemania VIII. I loved the stories and the
matches, especially Bret Hart vs. Roddy Piper (Bret was definitely my favorite)
and Ric Flair vs. Macho Man Randy Savage, and Sid who I was also crazy about. I
started watching Prime Time Wrestling and Superstars every week and my parents
took me to see a show sometime after Summerslam 92 which I was incredibly hyped
Jon Eks: I’ve told this story already on my personal
site, but I went to a house show when I was about 5 during the build to
WrestleMania 2. Hogan fought Bundy and Bundy was kicking his ass. I looked at
my dad and asked with genuine fear, “Is Hulk gonna win?” My dad
looked at the ring, looked back at me, and said with absolute certainty,
“Yes.” I wondered how he could be so sure, but after Hogan won, and
then continued to always win, I figured it out pretty fast. But then I was free
to watch it as performance art, and I enjoyed it always from that perspective.
So, WrestleMania 2. I LOVED the British Bulldogs, thought Beefcake looked so
cool, and loved Bret Hart’s sunglasses. That’s all it really took. I hated
Terry Funk so much at that event, I loved the way JYD pounded the crap out of
him. I was in from there.
joedust: Having something to talk to my dad about
something is what made me a lifelong fan. My dad and I had the worst possible
relationship when I was 10 — he was a drunk and I was the “adult
child” in the family. Anyway he was a fan before me (I actually told him
when I was six “that’s fake” when he turned his wrestling on and my
Saturday morning cartoons off). I started to watch it a little bit in the
summer of 88, and he went to rehab that fall, so I would watch and tell him
what was going on. And it became our thing. And my naturally obsessive nature
meant that I had to follow everything, including getting to college and finding
out that it was work, and who was really in charge and what a Booker was, and
reporting all that stuff back to my dad when he would pick me up at college to
drive me home from weekend breaks. Tonight he’s coming over to watch a shitty
ppv and eat dinner, and ten year old me could have never envisioned that
happening, and I thank wrestling for that. So that’s why I got hooked. Sure I remember
things like The Warrior killing the Honky Tonk Man, the Mega-Powers exploding,
Bret coming out with the World title in Saskatoon, Heenan showing up with
Flair’s world title on Wrestling Challenge, and a bunch of other holy shit
moments from 88-92 as the things that cemented my fandom for good, but I
wouldn’t have watched any of it if it didn’t become the only thing my dad and I
could share when I was a kid.
Joe, I’m closing on your story. The WWE marketing team would
kill to get their hands on a feel good ordeal like this. It’s the strangest of
things that bring us together sometimes. Wrestling as family therapy? Who would
have thought. It’s great to hear you were able to overcome, and turn an unfair
childhood into a healthy adult relationship.
Thanks to everyone for sharing today. I hope you have a
great Monday, as we kick off another week. Enjoy RAW, and I’ll be back again