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Pro Wrestling Magazine Memories(NOT from WWF Magazine)


Johnny Sorrow
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I posted this at DVDVR and I wanted to see some memories from folks here who don't frequent the place as much.

 

I was thinking about the days when the "Apter Mags"

 

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and the "Wrestling All Stars" group

 

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were at their peak. I LOVED the mags back then and they introduced me to so many guys and promotions that I couldn't see at the time. What are some of your favorite memories from the mags glory days? Who was the guy who you couldn't wait to see based solely on pics or stories? Who was your favorite fake reporter? What wrestlers were you super psyched to see based on the mags but were disappointed with when you did see them? What was your favorite storyline that only existed in the magazine world?

 

I remember getting a "Wrestling All Stars" mag when I was 13 and they always listed Carlos Colon as one of the World Champions. I saw those pics of him all bloody and then him posing with that cool one strap white singlet and thinking, "This guy is AWESOME."

 

I wanted to see World Class so bad from the mags, and when we got it on Philly 57 in 1985 I went nuts, and it didn't disappoint.

 

I remember reading about rookie Bam Bam Bigelow and being totally sold on him.

 

Matt Brock, crusty old rasslin' reporter who didn't exist but I thought he did was killer. I remember the mags trying to create a story about a secret alliance between all the heels in every promotion, led by Skandor Akbar and Sheik Adnan El Kaissey called something like "Operation 2000" or something like that where they had some sinister plan to take over wrestling and the Road Warriors were their first targets, as they were the strongest line of defense for America.

 

I also became the biggest Hacksaw Duggan fan in the world without ever having seen him thanks to the mags. I also always thought that Rick Martel was a total equal to Flair and Hogan because he was AWA Champ and the mags told me he was. I sorta remembered him from his WWF days tagging with my hero Tony Garea when I was really young, and he looked like a World Champ to me. (I also got to be there live when Hansen beat him for the AWA Belt, but that's another story.)

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My longest lasting memory was in the letters section of (I think) PWI during Brother Love's run in the WWF. The person writing the letter was SO ANGRY at Brother Love's antics that he wrote "That preacher will be the downfall of the Federation if he keeps his garbage up!" Now long after I figured out about wrestling, I still thought the Apter mags were on the up and up. That letter was when I realized perhaps some of them were "enhanced" a little.

 

Funny enough, I listened to an interview with Apter on WOL or some similar outlet where someone asked him about the letters, and he said for the most part about 75% were actual fan letters and the rest were plants to get someone over as a heel or face to the readers.

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I loved the Apter Mags for the news and columns. Apter's news reports were a big deal in a pre-internet world when you lived in a smaller area with limited wrestling on your tv. Before we got the big C-band satellite in 85-86-ish, I relied on those mags to know what was going on.

 

The articles I usually didn't pay too much attention to.

 

Favourite catch-all phrase the Apter mags used to use: "It was a _________ display of wrestling ______."

 

That came up probably in every one of their mags before 1990. "It was a savage display of wrestling fury.", "It was a magnificent display of wrestling science", etc. Shit, I bet when they audtioned writers this was a test question, to see how they would fill the blanks in.

 

The Letter pages I would read, but I always wondered if some of the names that seemed to be in the letter section each month were the real people or the made-up ones. The name "Stephen Caruso" rings a bell as one of those always-got-their-letters-in-the-mag guys.

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Trying to remember if it was The Wrester or Inside Wrestling that ran the section on up and coming indy guys in the early 90's? That was a cool feature at the time for someone who was inbetween being a habitual Apter Mag fan and an Internet Wrestling Geek

 

I'm not going to lie though. I always flipped straight to the rankings and the arena reports then read the rest cover to cover.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Goddamn I loved those things. I would buy a whole stack at Walden Books as often as I could, and all the little digest mags because they often reprinted articles I had missed. I think I really grew to love the Apter mags because as a young boy I was really sick of the Ultimate Warrior and Hulk Hogan and they were often very negative towards both.

 

I remember from about the summer of 1994 to when the NWO thing finally happened they were running a series of articles pushing that Sting was going to turn on WCW because of their protection of Hogan. There was also a spring 1995 story of Jimmy Hart giving Apter a floppy disk full of Hogan's journals and it revealed that Hogan pretty much thought everyone in WCW sucked and he didn't want to be associated with them. He called Renegade a "parasite", I remember.

 

One 1995 issue of The Wrestler had a professional wrestling rulebook bound inside the magazine. I remembered cherishing this for some stupid reason.

 

Also, I had two letters printed in PWI.

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I remember buying a Wrestling magazine in Spring 1998 in our largest magazine shop. It didnt seem to have been distributed elsewhere and I recall it only lasting a couple of issues. Too the very best of my knowledge it wasnt apart of the PWI family but it was American. It had an extensive news section covering WWF, WCW etc to Memphis to CWA in Germany to even some African promotions. The news section was very dirtsheety however from what I remember the rest of the magazine was kayfabe. All I remember about the rest of the magazine was that it was primarily in black and white, a full page photograph of Kevin Lawler (still odd to me) and a big ad advertising the original WWF action figure line.

 

Ring any bells?

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I had a letter printed in the "You Asked Us" column of "The Wrestler" when I was fifteen. I'd asked JJ Dillon why Hall and Giant weren't stripped of the WCW Tag Titles for failure to defend them, when Flair had been stripped of the U.S. Title for that reason (hey, I was still a total mark). "JJ Dillon" replied that he didn't recall the particulars of the Flair situation, but that Scott Hall hadn't exactly been in condition to perform (this was late '98 when he came out on Nitro drunk every week) and it was unfair to the Giant.

 

My favorite of those mags is still the Wrestling 83, Wrestling 84, Wrestling 85, etc. quaterly mags. My uncle had given me a couple of them in the early '90s and I'd gotten a few more back issues of them from the forms in other mags.

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I remember buying a Wrestling magazine in Spring 1998 in our largest magazine shop. It didnt seem to have been distributed elsewhere and I recall it only lasting a couple of issues. Too the very best of my knowledge it wasnt apart of the PWI family but it was American. It had an extensive news section covering WWF, WCW etc to Memphis to CWA in Germany to even some African promotions. The news section was very dirtsheety however from what I remember the rest of the magazine was kayfabe. All I remember about the rest of the magazine was that it was primarily in black and white, a full page photograph of Kevin Lawler (still odd to me) and a big ad advertising the original WWF action figure line.

 

Ring any bells?

I bought a magazine that sounds similar around the same time called "New Wave Wrestling" from WHSmiths. It'd publish the "real name" of the Wrestler after their gimmicked name. Henceforth I thought The Rock was really called Duane Glasteau for about 2 years. It had a large write up on Danie Brits in it as well.

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My favorite of those mags is still the Wrestling 83, Wrestling 84, Wrestling 85, etc. quaterly mags. My uncle had given me a couple of them in the early '90s and I'd gotten a few more back issues of them from the forms in other mags.

These are my favorite. I wish I could get some more of these. They are quite underrated.
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The wackiest letters I remember being written to Apter:

 

- The one that proclaimed Typhoon as the greatest wrestler at the time.

 

- The one where someone said Stan Hansen's Triple Crown meant less than the U.S. title because he beat "a bunch of nobodies like Mitsuhara Misawa"

 

- Anything Harry Simon wrote, knowing his intentions now.

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At least when I read New Wave, all of their ads were for stuff they sold: Old merchandise & VHS releases, etc. I dunno if they ever took outside ads but it struck me as odd and I don't remember much else about the magazine.

 

Where they hell did the "Dwayne Glastieu" rumors come from, anyway? That wasn't even Rocky Johnson's real name before he and Ata became U.S. citizens.

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I remember Luger beating Misawa in their 900 number tournament, 88% to 12%, with comments from some guy in Cedar Rapids, IA about how Luger would destroy Misawa. I wasn't really watching Japanese wrestling at that point in my life, so it didn't bug me like it would have a few years later.

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My parents would sporadically buy me PWI or something similar right around the time when I started to think that girls were hot instead of full of cooties. I remember many of these magazines advertising nude womens wrestling videos in the back, complete with descriptions and pictures (albeit with a black bar across the naughty parts).

 

These mags really heped me grow into the male chauvinist pig that I am today.

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PWI, Wrestler, and Inside Wrestling were all monthly for sure...I think Sports Review Wrestling might have been as well. The rest were all quarterlies or short runs, IIRC.

Exactly. Those were the big four. Sports Review Wrestling was always the "red headed step child" of the line, but I remember it being my favorite one.

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Someone in the States satisfy my curiousness what issue of PWI is on US newstands currently? Over here it is the post Mania issue. Are we behind or is that just the production schedule.

 

I also saw the Wrestler and Inside Wrestling as a double magazine this morning.

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