Been a fan of professional wrestling since I was about 14 years old and still enjoy it to this day.
My earliest memories are of watching the AWA with Jerry Blackwell, Baron Van Raschke and Nick Bockwinkle. I also became a big fan of Rick Martel, Midnight Rockers, Madusa Miceli, Curt Hennig and Scott Hall. Some of the wrestlers I couldn’t stand were Diamond Dallas Page and the Nasty Boyz.
My relative Barry also got me into wrestling as well and we both still enjoy it. He always did a great imitation of Hulk Hogan.
I moved to Cincinnati in 1987 and was able to watch Georgeous Ladies of Wrestling (Glow), World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW), World Wrestling Federation (WWF) and World Class Wrestling (WCW).
I absolutely loved Glow and some of my favorites, especially being a teenager, were Mountain Fiji, Little Fiji, Babe, the Farmer’s Daughter and especially Tina Ferrari who I actually wrote a fan letter too.
WCCW was also really awesome. Some of my favorite wrestlers then were The Missing Link, Kevin Von Erich, Chris Adams, Dingo Warrior, Rick Rude and Gino Hernandez. Like most I despised The Freebirds Michael Hayes, Buddy Roberts and Terry Gordy.
WCW/NWA probably had the most shows and some of my favorites were Sting, The Varsity Club (Mike Rotunda, Kevin Sullivan, Rick Steiner and Steve Williams), Lex Lugar, Ricky Steamboat and Barry Windham.
Of course there was the WWF. I did get to see a live WWF house show in Cincinnati though I cannot remember what year, it was 1988 or 1989. Two friends I worked with at Burger King (so probably 1988) were also into wrestling and we had so much fun. I lost my voice that night from cheering, in particular for Hacksaw Jim Duggan, but also got to see some of my other favorites including Ultimate Warrior. I recall my favorite match of the night being between Bret Hart and Tim Horner.
I joined the Navy in 1990 and during my four years of active duty I accumulated quite a few wrestling magazines to keep up with my favorites. At one point I was at a Seattle Mariner’s game and saw Greg “The Hammer” Valentine and who I believe to be Alundra Blayze (Madusa Miceli) at the game. I didn’t want to disturb them and ask for their picture but it was pretty cool. I did got see a live WWE event in San Diego and got a few pictures though this was before cell phones so the quality isn’t great.
My biggest disappointment is that I didn’t realize the wrestling going on in Tijuana. I guess there were some future up and comers that were very active during my time in the area including Eddie Guerrero, Chris Jericho, Psicosis, Konnan, La Parka, Juventud Guerrera and Rey Mysterio, Jr.
Upon returning to Cincinnati from active duty I continued to keep up with WCW and WWF but Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) became one of my favorites. I was a huge fan of Rob Van Dam, Sabu, and Taz but one match in particular really caught my attention and that was Eddie Guerrero vs Dean Malenko. I think it was the best match I had seen to that point. I’d eventually learn more about those two wrestlers and became a huge fan of both but especially Eddie Guerrero.
I moved to San Antonio to live with my then girlfriend and eventual wife in 1998. I still kept up with my wrestling magazines and watching wrestling on television. I believe my wife did get to meet Shawn Michael’s at an event at the Alamo Dome at one point and I got my first picture with wrestlers ‘The Bushwhackers’ with my co-worker and friend Joey.
Of course, like most wrestling fans I was a big fan of the the New World Order(NWO)/WCW. In particular I really liked the NWO Wolfpac and Latino World Order (LWO) before it got so convoluted. Then of course you had ECW going strong and then the Attitude Era of WWF/WWE with Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock and DX. What a great time to be a wrestling fan.
Then I moved to Tampa, FL in 2003. I knew Tampa was a wrestling town, but what I knew was that a lot of former wrestlers lived there like Macho Man and Hulk Hogan. I went to a couple WWE shows when they came around but typically ended up in nose bleed seats and it wasn’t that much fun.
I think it was in September 2015 there was a showing of “The Resurrection of Jake the Snake Roberts” at a dinner theater that I attended and afterwards there was a Q&A with Jake and Diamond Dallas Page. I got a picture taken with them but little did I know 3 years later I would become a participant in DDP Yoga.
In November 2015 I attended the USMC Birthday Party with my friend Jeff who served with Todd Shane (Gymini) and I had the pleasure to talk wrestling and family with Todd. He’s such a cool dude and probably one of my favorite wrestlers to have met.
I don’t remember how or why but in the summer of 2017 I heard about WWE NXT wrestlers coming to Tampa. I went to my first show in July 17th in Tampa and absolutely fell in love with it. I took my son to the second NXT Tampa show and he enjoyed it too. Now it became a regular routine for me to go to each NXT Tampa show. Then I found out about the NXT Citrus Loop which is where NXT would do local house shows throughout Florida. I started going to shows not only in Tampa, but Largo, St. Pete, Lakeland and taped shows in Orlando. Here are a few pics I got with the NXT wrestlers during these events.
September 2018, through VetTix.org I found out about a show called Full Impact Pro (FIP) Accelerate 2018 that was happening at the Orpheum in Ybor City. I attended the show and had an amazing time and the action was unbelievable. I became an immediate fan. Some of the performers that night were Matt Delray, Markos Espada, Troy Hollywood, Leon Ruff, Francisco Ciatso, Darius Lockhart, Tracer X, Bryan Idol, Snoop Strikes, The End, The Ugly Ducklings, Anthony Henry and Austin Theory and many more. I would attend several more FIP shows and started bringing my wrestling friends along. They too became fans. Here are some pics from the FIP.
In December 2018 I made a trek up to Gainesville, FL to check out Fest Wrestling, mainly to see the Ugly Ducklings wrestle but I really enjoyed this show also. Here’s some pics from Fest Wrestling.
CWF Legends Fest
Also during this time I started attending after show events and made friends and hanging out with other wrestling fans.
Too be continued…
Below you will find several pictures from different live wrestling events that I’ve attended