Brian Damage, Lowlife Louie Ramos and Amerigo Diehl
There have have been many memorable cards and moments in the history of professional wrestling. Are there five wrestling events or moments you wish you were able to be a part of live and in attendance for?
A good overall card, but to witness perhaps the greatest I quit match in wrestling history between two bitter rivals in Tully Blanchard and Magnum TA. It was violent, bloody and told an excellent story inside the ring. To be there live to witness this one match alone, I am sure would be worth the price of admission.
I know Vince and the so called WWE historians will bloat the attendance numbers, but this was such a memorable event for me as a kid. It was the first time I ever saw a wrestling event be so huge in scale. As a kid, I thought it was breathtaking. I saw the event via closed circuit television at a local high school, but I would’ve loved to be there in person and experience it that way.
Monday Night Raw (Mankind wins WWF title)
I’ve been to many Monday Night Raw’s in my lifetime. Some more memorable than others. The one I really wish I was in attendance for took place of January 4th, 1999. One of my all time favorite wrestlers….Mick ‘Mankind’ Foley won the WWF title in the middle of a heated Monday Night War with WCW. Just hearing the thunderous reaction to when Foley pinned the Rock to capture his first world championship still gives me goosebumps as a fan.
Kenta Kobashi Vs. Mitsuharu Misawa (Any event)
There was a time that I was totally burned out from the wrestling product I was watching here in the States. A good friend of mine…who was a tape trader…lent me a videotape of the best of All Japan. Seeing Kobashi and Misawa beat the living hell out of each other reignited my passion for pro wrestling. To this day, I still say that those two put on some of the all time greatest matches in history. Oh how I would’ve loved to witness one of these classic encounters.
The Jerry Lawler Vs. Andy Kaufman Feud
I really can’t explain it, but I would have loved to be present at the old Mid South Coliseum in Memphis, Tennessee to watch this feud get played out. The heat that comedian Andy Kaufman generated from that Memphis crowd was insane. All in all, Kaufman’s matches with Lawler weren’t exactly five stars, but the emotions it conveyed to the fans was well worth it.
5) Abdullah the Butcher vs Bruiser Brody.
Would not matter what territory it was, these 2 guys put on quality, hard hitting believable matches every time out. Blood, crowd brawling madness. 2 of the forefathers of hardcore wrestling, it would have been a privilege to have sit..or run during one of their many epic encounters. Still some of my favorite stuff to sit back and watch.
4) Hulk Hogan vs Ric FlairBash at the Beach 94. 7/17/94
While the dream match had already happened various times in the WWF. It always felt like Hogan Flair was never given the proper importance it deserved. Relegated to house shows and never given the PPV treatment. WCW pulled out all the stops,glitz and glamour for Hogan’s company debut and their first PPV battle which saw Hogan defeat Flair in an underrated classic
3) Ian Rotten vs Axl Rotten 2/14/95 ECW
was just beginning to forge their hardcore reputation nationally. And this was the match that made them national headlines and created such a buzz, that it made ECW one of the top 3 wrestling companies in the world. The match, a continuation of a bloody feud between 2 brothers, this match was the 1st time something like this was seen on American soil. A wooden baseball bat was wrapped in barbed wire , and was fair play . Ian and Axl beat the ever living stuffing out of each other. Scarring themselves forever but earning a place in deathmatch wrestling history. Thank you both..as i have mentioned many times this is the match that made up my mind for me to pursue the wrestling dream. R.I.P Axl
2) IWA King of the Deathmatch 8/20/95 Kawasaki stadium, Tokyo Japan.
The granddaddy of deathmatch wrestling. 8 warriors step into the ring surrounded by insane stipulations. Thumb tacks, barbed wire and eventually exploding boards would make thier way into the wrestling conscience. In the end, 2 living legends ..Cactus Jack and Terry Funk would fight it out for the right to be called king. Cactus would prevail, at the end there was no visible skin on Cactus’ face..just blood..and Funk was rushed into an ambulance and Jack yelled…Tewwwy…Tewwwy…an amazing moment and for a deathmatch fan..the naming of our genre.
1) Hulk Hogan vs Andre the Giant Wrestlemania 3 3/29/87
93,172. The attendance figure. The Silverdome in Pontiac Michigan filled with humanity. A great lineup of wrestling main evented by the world champion Hulk Hogan and the largest athlete in the world. Andre the Giant. Although they had met before. .the build up, the moment made this different. This was wrestling as a whole coming into the forefront and into the mainstream. In a moment that is still spoken about today and what it undeniably one of the most famous moments in a sport full of them…Hogan picked up and slammed the 525 pound Andre and defeated him in the middle of the ring. A moment that has truly stood the test of time…and to an 11 yr old boy at the time…showed that dreams come true and anything is possible. Truly one of the greatest things I have ever seen….
Honorable mention : Any royal rumble event. I have always wanted to attend one, maybe someday.
5. 1996 Bash at the Beach:
When this happened I was in grad school, spending the summer at my mom’s house and we did not have cable so my only wrestling news came from the guys I worked with. I remember the buildup to this event, wondering who the mystery 3rd partner was. When I got to work the next day, and asked my coworkers I was shocked that it was Hogan. I would have loved to have been there to see it live, to see the formation of the N.W.O. as it happened.
4. Any live event where the feud between Jerry Lawler and Andy Kaufman was happening-
As I have said many times living in Pennsylvania, the only wrestling we could see was WWF, so my information on other territories came strictly from magazines. I was so enthralled by this feud, and even though by that age, I knew outcomes were predetermined, the hatred these two seemed to have for each other seemed as real as the magazine in front of me. Then the David Letterman incident made me think that Kaufman hated Lawler for sure. Would have been great to have gotten to see a live show.
3. Wrestlemania III- Good overall card, but Hogan/Andre and the great build up to that would have been amazing. I saw Andre wrestle a few house shows live when I was a kid, and I never saw a heel turn in his future. It would have been great to say that I got to see Andre live one more time on the “grandest stage of them all”.
2. Larry Zybysko/Sammartino heel turn
This one happened on the Allentown TV taping that I used to watch every Saturday. Larry was Bruno’s protégé and Bruno refused to wrestle him, and only agreed when Larry threatened to quit the business. Even though Bruno was 3 year removed from his last WWWF Title reign, he was still immensely popular and loved especially in the Northeast. Larry was brutal in his heel turn, repeatedly hitting Bruno with a chair. Bruno bladed really well (or bad not sure) resulting in a ton of blood loss (for a TV taping). Larry became instantly hated and the crowd was in shock when it happened. Of course had I been there I would have probably cheered Larry just for spite and gotten a beat down myself lol.
1. Hogan/Iron Sheik 1984.-
Yes, it was a typical Hogan match. Hogan offense, Sheik offense, Hogan hulks up, leg drop, pin, same formula he always uses. However, this was the beginning, this was Vince having brought Hogan back to the WWF after he had been fired a few years earlier. This was the start of Hulkamania, and the spread of the promotion over the country thus ending the territory days which had lasted since the 1920’s. Just watch the match, the energy as Hogan enters the arena, and the pop from the crowd when he pinned Sheik was deafening. Wow, it’s still a moment that gives me chills 37 years later.
You can read all previous Top Five pieces here.