Share your stories: The History of WWE.com celebrates 8 years with exclusive prize pack
For 8 years, The History of WWE.com has kept the memories alive for both new and longtime wrestling fans alike. Some have used it to recall the first shows they went to as kids. Others, to settle bets over what really happened so many years ago. And there are those who have cited it as a resource for their own work documenting the wrestling industry.
As February 2010 marks the 8th anniversary of The History of WWE, we're celebrating and we want you to be part of it!
Much of the website's success is thanks to the fans that have helped make it the most accurate and complete collection of ring results in existance. So now we're putting the spotlight on you as a way to say thanks.
We want to hear your personal stories. You can go any direction and be as long or short as you want. The only criteria is that they be your own personal experiences.
Examples of what subjects you could cover: Have you had a life-changing experience because of being a fan? How has The History of WWE.com benefitted you? Why are you a wrestling fan? What's your best memory of being a fan? Did meeting a wrestler leave a lasting impression? Did you break into the business? What's your favorite piece of memorabilia?
E-mail your stories - along with your name and where you're from - to firstname.lastname@example.org. From now until the end of the month, we will compile your entries and post them to the site. At the end of the month, the entry that stands out the most will win an exclusive prize package courtesy of The History of WWE.com.
Clocking in at a mere 17 years, I think I may be one of the youngest entrants into this contest, but thanks to your website, I feel I am much more knowledgeable about pro wrestling than your typical teenager.
This February marks the 8 year anniversary of your website, but it also marks the 10 year anniversary of when my affixation with pro wrestling began. I remember watching No Way Out 2000 around my grandparent's house. My nan, who mistakenly thought I was the grandson who like pro wrestling, put on the VHS of the show that was recorded the night before on. Being the good and shy kid, I just sat there and watched it. Oh, I never thought that would day would change me so much. I became obsessed. I collected all the video games and action figures and even started my own little backyard wrestling federation when I was 12. Oh, the nostalgia is coming back just typing about it. It was a major part of my childhood.
Where does your website come into all of this, you ask? Well, when I found this website about 6 years ago, I really only knew about the current superstars. I then read alot of the Madison Square Garden cards from the 1970's and the Hulkamania-fueled shows of the 1980's. I then became aware of the legends of yesteryear, such as Bruno Sammartino, Antonio Rocca and many more. I owe all off my WWE knowledge to you guys and your marvellous website.
Congrats on hitting 8 years, guys, and here's to another 8 more.
Sam Sluginton, UK
When I was a kid, wrestling was absolutely my life. From the age of eight until I graduated high school, it was all I thought about. I am still a huge fan, but my love of wrestling has evolved from an obsession to something that relaxes me or inspires me. I am inspired by the characters and the stories. I am thrilled by a good match. And I feel an overwhelming joy and anticipation when I get the rare chance to attend a live event.
I believe my first exposure to wrestling came from the cartoon series Hulk Hogan's Rock N' Wrestling in the 1980s and envying friends who owned the 8-inch, impossible to manipulate, rubber LJN figures. I was lucky to receive a two-pack of thumb-wrestlers (Roddy Piper and JYD) which became worn from playing and lost paint in the bath-tub, not to mention chewed by a dog. Those memories are very vague and my first true memory of watching actual wrestling came in about 1990. Wrestlemania VI was just around the corner. WWF All-American Wrestling became a Sunday morning routine and the first matches I saw were with Dusty Rhodes and Koko B. Ware defeating the men I learned to call "preliminary wrestlers" but who my father called "no-names." We watched wrestling together but he seemed skeptical of my interest in wrestling and tried to point out punches that didn't quite connect and the stomping of the mat. However, I don't remember being shocked by this. I just kept watching.
After a while, my family seemed to get a kick out of my new obsession and it became normal to watch WWF wrestling on Saturday and Sunday mornings, and then Prime Time Wrestling on Tuesday nights. I was a true fan in every sense, with boxes of magazines, trading cards, and figures. We would roll Iowan snow into huge snowballs on the playground to re-create ring posts and hold matches. I often played the part of the referee. I began to rent videos and became schooled on wrestling pre-1990, as I watched Wrestlemanias and SummerSlams from the previous years. I began to put pieces of storyline puzzles together as I learned that Macho Man and Hulk Hogan were once partners as well as Tito Santana and Rick Martel. There was so much I was yet to learn.
Once my sister told me about a Nintendo game she saw in the store featuring "Demolition and Jimmy Snuka." This excited me tremendously, but I was slightly disappointed when I saw the cover and it was not Demolition after all and Snuka was nowhere to be found. Instead, there were two face-painted men with football shoulder pads covered in spikes. There were names on the back like Michael P.S. Hayes and Ric Flair. This is when I learned of WCW. Not long after, I was exposed to WCW Saturday Night.
By 1992, I was a big WCW fan. We got a puppy and discussed possible names. I suggested Austin, to be named after "Stunning" Steve. I dreamed of going to a live event. I begged to go to Wrestlemania 8, thinking it was a possibility since we lived only two states over. Later that year, I moved to Kentucky and saw a live event for the first time. It was an independent show in Hopkinsville featuring wrestlers I had never heard of and would never hear from again. But I will never forget the first time I walked into the National Guard Armory and saw a real, empty ring standing before me. I rushed to sit in the front row. That night I attempted to toss a cup of ice in the direction of a slimey, suit-and-tie wearing manager. I simply made a mess and was somewhat embarrassed by my outburst but I wanted to participate. I wanted to be part of the show. I got an autographed photo of a very muscular "good guy" but the signature was smeared because it was raining after the show.
I can't remember if I ever really wanted to be a wrestler, but back then I used to tell people that I wanted to be a commentator when I grew up. I did however practice matches against imaginary opponents in the living room. I reinacted entire 20 minute bouts, even tag-team matches in which I had to tag myself in. I would crawl on the floor in agony (very much Ricky Morton-like) and get that hot tag, jump up and the next thing you knew I was Robert Gibson coming in swinging like a house-a-fire. I was The Great Mutah pretending to do moonsaults, though I barely left the ground. I was Axe and Smash sticking my tongue out. I was "oooohh yeeeeah" Randy Savage doing an interview. I was Ric Flair wooing. I still woo today, followed by a strut, but only in front of my wife when I'm in an extremely good mood.
I began watching USWA wrestling on Saturday mornings. I loved watching The Moondogs hit people with garbage cans. The USWA came to the Western Kentucky State Fair. I sat with my dad in boxed seats as the wrestling took place in strangely smaller ring set on a muddy demolition derby track. Afterwards, we walked down to the track to the table where wrestlers were selling autographed pictures. I remember being somewhat hurt when a couple of stars didn't want to sign my ticket unless I bought something, a concept that I didn't really understand at the time. However, I heard a voice and a hand was extended to me. I shook the sweaty, taped hand of Ricky Morton and he signed my ticket for free.
I learned of other promotions by reading Pro-Wrestling Illustrated. The PWI 500 was an encyclopedic tool. On paper, I began making matches. Tournaments, Battle Bowls, Royal Rumbles. It was something to keep me busy and it was fun.
In 1995, we got a satellite dish and I got to see my first episode of Extreme Championship Wrestling. Shane Douglas was in the ring with Woman, talking about leaving for the WWF. Either I would stay up very late or I would set the VCR to record as the show came on at various times and channels usually after 1:00AM.
It was also the first year that I had the opportunity to watch pay-per-views, which became a monthly important decision as I had to choose between the WWF or the WCW pay-per-view. Monday nights became exciting. I was sure WCW had made a mistake when I learned they planned to go head to head with the WWF. This was the year I learned of dirt sheets.
With the exception of the early days on the playground, the days friends and I would talk about The Undertaker beating Hulk Hogan, and sing the Wrestlemania theme, being a fan of wrestling was usually something that I kept a secret. That was until wrestling became hot in the late 90s. I loved going to school to discuss the NWO. It was always "Did you see what happened on Raw?" "Did you see what happend on Nitro?" I loved being the guy all of my friends would go to because I had a subscription to the Torch. My friends would hold pay-per-view parties where we all chipped in. We would hold garbage matches in the basement that got out of hand and usually furniture was damaged. By this time, I had a tape collection that filled several cardboard boxes. I taped shows off TV. I dubbed videos I rented (yes, I admit it). I traded for tapes. I bought videos at the store.
Starrcade 96 and Lockdown 07 are the only pay-per-view events I attended live, but over the years I was fortunate to attend episodes of RAW, TNA events in Nashville, and scored front row tickets to an episode of Smackdown. My then-girlfriend and now wife began to truly appreciate my love of wrestling. She was a fan as a kid growing up in Germany and got to see a live WWF event in 1993 (which I used TheHistoryofWWE.com to find the results to show her). She listened to me rant about the formation of the NWO, telling her the same stories I've written about here and much, much more. She was excited to attend live events and it became something we could share. She's sat next to me as we watched Kurt Angle, RVD, AJ Styles, and more battle it out right in front of us. We've seen ladder matches in Germany, we've driven 6 hours to Dayton to see Ring of Honor, and we bought tickets for the Hall of Fame ceremony at the last minute, drove to Orlando, put on formal wear to listen to Ric Flair as he talked about his career. Wrestling road-trips we call them.
A dream is to see a live event in Japan, to eat some steak and sushi and head to the matches. My love of wrestling has changed, but it's always there. Wrestling is a part of me. I still keep up with the on-goings, though I rarely get a chance to watch any current programming. Wrestling has changed. I prefer to watch matches from the 80s. I do get excited when I get a chance to see something new, well, new to me--- especially if it is from the 80s. TheHistoryofWWE.com is honestly the best site out there. I love looking at results of past tv shows, as I am still putting those puzzle pieces together. Wrestling was my first love, and though my dreams changed from wanting to be a referee, or a commentator, or even a writer (though I still wouldn't mind getting a chance to be involved in the business somehow) to focusing on other careers, I do love and respect and enjoy wrestling, as you never forget your first love. One time I did step into a ring for a training session. I am now content with being just a fan.
-Drew McNally (formerly from Cadiz, Kentucky, now living in Nuremberg, Germany)