For those of you who don’t know me well or at all, my name is Charles and I’ve been a wrestling fan all of my life. I founded the ProWrestlingOnly.com message board back in 2007 for fellow obsessives, and as message boards have slowly started to fade, while I will always be around at PWO, I find myself spending more and more time on Twitter.
I first became a fan at some point I believe late in 1983, around the time I was three or four years old. I have really vague memories of seeing on cable TV that Ric Flair had just regained the world title from Harley Race, so probably shortly after Starrcade. (Going through footage for this project almost definitely confirms that it was the 11/26/83 episode of Georgia Championship Wrestling on WTBS that was my entry point as a fan. The more you know!)
I faded in and out for a few years. I grew up in Little Rock, AR, which was a hotbed for Mid South Wrestling and was only two hours away from Mid South Coliseum, the center of the Memphis wrestling universe. I apparently went to house shows from both companies with older cousins, although I don’t really have any real memories of them because I was so young at the time.
Over time, I became obsessed with wrestling footage. My first foray came in the summer of 1997, when I gained access to a computer and saw John McAdam’s old webpage. It absolutely blew my mind and I was obsessed with the listings. I had no idea most of this stuff had ever happened, much less that someone had recorded it and that it was possible to watch it. What intrigued me about McAdam’s list was not just that he had so much stuff, but that his list was thoughtfully curated -- he had clearly tossed some stuff he deemed as not worthy of keeping overboard and tried to focus on things that were notable for whatever reason. This has influenced how I track wrestling now.
I’ve always had an interest in watching footage chronologically. However, as we all know, footage doesn’t typically make itself available chronologically. WWE will still throw an unearthed MSG card on Peacock from time to time or something will pop up on YouTube that no one expected. I ended up coming up with a system to make room for the ever-growing footage universe while still allowing for chronological viewing. With physical media, if someone put out a 40-disc Four Horsemen set (not to name any names!) and then a few years later, WWE released a random NWA card, the Horsemen set would just not include that new addition. Advanced technology makes it more possible to create a living, breathing wrestling library and wrestling compilations. We can add footage as it’s unearthed and put it in its rightful chronological place, making it easier to watch wrestling in a way that we can understand time, place and context.
About my collection
I’ve been cultivating footage for about seven or so years at this point. My collection goes back to 1899 (for now) and includes matches all the way to the present day. My goal is to collect all matches of note in wrestling history, which would include title matches and otherwise competitive matches, interesting pieces of trivia and squashes featuring the biggest stars in wrestling at the time. At this time, I do not collect promos and angles, not because I see them as less important to wrestling or anything like that, but because I had to prioritize just getting something DONE! As we walk through this, you’ll find some extracurricular stuff included when it precedes or follows a match on the same show. My first goal is to get all of the matches up and then I will layer in with other things that make wrestling great. Hang with me, we’re going to make it all the way to the present day or die trying!
When I say “all of the matches”, I refer to my ultimate goal, which is to capture every competitive match and every squash involving big stars that exists, so that someone could conceivably follow the history of wrestling in the proper order. I’ve already amassed way more footage than I could ever hope to watch in a lifetime and I can’t imagine ever sitting and watching all of this straight through as much as I can seeking constant pursuit of the perfect playlist, but if someone wants to make the long trek, wow do they ever have my full support! Share your viewing story with me and I’ll share with other readers!
What this is
I plan to use this as a mostly chronological and carefully curated journey through the history of recorded pro wrestling footage. We’ll continue all the way to the present day. I think people will be surprised at some of the things that even exist. I know I have been. This will be clunky and maybe even sloppy at times. Technology isn’t my strong suit, and I do this as a hobby, not a business venture. Still, I promise to do my best!
A few things to keep in mind:
I do not know everything there is to know! If you know about something being available that I don’t, please point me to it! Along those lines, if I fail to credit someone for something they unearthed, I assure you it’s because I don’t know about their role in it, not because I’m trying to steal their glory or downplay anything. If you have any stories of how certain things listed here were actually unearthed, I encourage you to share them, and I will pass that information along.
This site is updated on a monthly basis. If you would like more frequent updates, you can email me, DM me on Twitter or PM me here at Pro Wrestling Only to subscribe to the daily Wrestling Playlists Newsletter. Seeing reviews and comments about the matches I share is one of the things that motivates me to keep going.
Enjoy the footage and the journey!
This site and project is not affiliated with any wrestling company. I do not own the rights to this footage and do not reproduce or distribute the footage. This site is for informational purposes only.