Last night with a rare Sunday off, me and a couple of friends got the annual WWE Pay-Per-View, The Royal Rumble. I’m not as big of a wrestling fan as I once was, but I do still like it. I record RAW every week, attempt to watch the major WWE pay-per-views and the occassional RAW PPV. I ignore Smackdown and their pay-per-views and usually when they are on the dual PPVs, I have no clue who some of their guys are.
I used to be so into it where I read the sheets and the websites looking for what was going to happen etc. Not any more as I take it more like a male soap opera and actually like to be surprised at what is going on.
I know most people on this board aren’t wrestling fans or those that somewhat like wrestling, were former fans back when Hogan was king and the superstars larger-than-life.
As for me, personally, I like the new stuff. I like that there is more emphasis on good, solid promos, interviews, acts, etc. I like to laugh, I like the drama and I like that they don’t force it down your throat that it is indeed real.
But of the WWE “majors,” The Royal Rumble was always one of my favorites. I saw it live in 1992 when “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair (Woooooooooooo) won the Rumble and the WWE title. I remember the original on USA (the one the WWE doesn’t count) when “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan (Hoooooooooooo!) won it.
Last night, however, was irritating. Seeing someone like Rey Misterio, who weighs like 175 soaking wet, win the damn thing was frustrating. The word is they’ll end up putting one of the heavyweight titles on him, which is outright stupid.
The Rumble itself was solid, I thought. Decent other matches, a couple good endings (including Cena winning the WWE title back) and it wasn’t a bad watch. Still annoys me with Misterio, however.
But while I was talking to one friend about the Rumble, I realize I’ve seen, over time, some pretty cool things in regard to wrestling (live that is). As well as had some pretty cool experiences. I don’t see wrestling as much live as we used to (we used to travel to Binghamton, Albany, Utica and all to watch it when it came around). When we went to the WWE PPV in Albany three weeks ago, it was the first time I’ve been in probably three years.
So I decided I was going to put together a list of 10 or so cool things I remember off the top of my head from being at a live wrestling event. These are in no particular order.
— WWE Superstars taping in Delhi, 1993: The whole day was sweet. I was a student at the college, knew the guy bringing them, so got to watch. On that day, I chatted with Shawn Michaels, chatted in depth with Ray Rougeau and Bob Backlund, was suplexed in the ring by a friend, and got to shake hands and meet Vince McMahon. Pretty solid overall day. We also had front-row seats and got on TV a bunch. And made Tatanka nearly stop his dance when we chanting against him.
— At the first WWE event in Delhi (I think 87 or so), we got to see Owen Hart’s second match in the WWF (then the Blue Angel before Blue Blazer) and also got a flag from one of the Rougeau’s during their “All-American Boys” persona.
— One TV taping in Binghamton, I grabbed one of those frisbees “Leaping” Lanny Poffo used to fire out into the crowd. Also in Binghamton when I was a senior in high school, we took the foreign exchange student from Denmark to see Hogan. That was a trip.
— At one RAW taping in Albany, we noticed they didn’t have the ramp set up. Didn’t know why. Eventually we found out. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin drove a beer truck out and sprayed McMahon. Good times.
— Another RAW in Albany, X-Pac shockingly returned to the WWE (day after Wrestlemania) and had some pretty candid comments for the WCW people he just left. Crowd was going nuts.
— Royal Rumble ’92. Flair wins the Rumble and belt, Sid crosses Hogan and Roddy Piper wins the intercontinental title. Good times. And got stuck drinking PBR on the way home. Blech.
— At several ECW shows I attended, we saw some cool things. We saw the tag belts change hands once or twice, saw Tommy Dreamer take a fall down a large set of bleachers and witnessed an anything goes match that spilled OUTSIDE the arena and then back in. With most of the crowd following them.
— At A RAW we went to in State College when I went to school in Pennsylvania, we saw the first RAW/Smackdown draft, which was pretty cool.
That’s all I can remember right now. I’m sure there’s one or two more decent items. And for most of you, I doubt you care if you’re not a wrestling fans. But still some pretty neat times. If I think of anything else, I may add them.