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Mad Dog

What do you consider to be your promotion

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AWA for me. I was too young to really care about the booking and the angles, I will always remember going to shows at the Winnipeg Arena with my dad and grandpa, and how much grandpa hated Jerry Blackwell, until he turned babyface, and then he loved that fat man from Stone Mountain.

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WWF for me growing up in the 90's, my dad loved WCW but I preferred WWF. I didn't get to see ECW until they were almost gone except in magazines, so all my love for them was going back watching it years after the fact.

 

As a teen I was a diehard TNA fan when they came to Spike TV in 2005 until 2010 when Hogan came in and killed it for me. Also ROH from 2005-early 2009.

 

Internationally once I got to see it when I got online my first Japanese love was NOAH due to their ROH relationship but also loved Hayabusa from seeing him on the shitty Backyard Dogs movie. Then it was UWFi and their Bushido episodes that ran on the Fight Network in Canada that made me fall in love with shootstyle. Then as I began training I loved the World of Sport and Johnny Saint stuff heavily for a long while there.

 

As a fan now all these years later I'd consider my promotion ultimately to be Newborn UWF and the shootstyle stuff then NJPW and old AJPW(although I've started watching them recently with this year's champion carnival). I love bits and eras from tons of promotions though with my only blindspots being Mexico and Joshi which I know casually but not in depth at all.

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WWF was my promotion from when I started watching in 88. I kind of hate them recently, so... I don't know. If NXT can count as a promotion, then them?

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I'm shocked, I thought you'd say CMLL.

 

Interesting to have so many ECW guys. And an actual TNA fan.

ECW really captured a certain subculture of the mid 90s. It's kind of the wrestling equivalent to grunge hitting the music scene.

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I'm very aware (although the musical analogy always cracked me up because ECW was using Guns & Roses as the music theme for their major show deep into the 90's and grunge was already dead when the Raven character debuted, but for the pro-wrestling bubble, they were as current as you could be I guess). Hey, this is clearly my generation of slackers...

 

But I thought I'd be almost the only one on this board still proudly waving the flag of good ol' ECW, its sloppy spotfests, über sexist-catfights, grotesque bloodletting, inane balcony jumps and Joey Styles screaming out of his lungs, not to mention the most crass and obnoxious audience ever. ;)

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I'm very aware (although the musical analogy always cracked me up because ECW was using Guns & Roses as the music theme for their major show deep into the 90's and grunge was already dead when the Raven character debuted, but for the pro-wrestling bubble, they were as current as you could be I guess). Hey, this is clearly my generation of slackers...

 

But I thought I'd be almost the only one on this board still proudly waving the flag of good ol' ECW, its sloppy spotfests, über sexist-catfights, grotesque bloodletting, inane balcony jumps and Joey Styles screaming out of his lungs, not to mention the most crass and obnoxious audience ever. ;)

ECW may be my company too, even though I only followed it along live in 1999. Going back though, it's just so much fun.

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My life changed forever when I went to a friend's birthday party for Royal Rumble 1992. There were about 20 kids there and I had never seen much pro wrestling before but it was clear to me that Ric Flair was something special. I instantly made 19 enemies when I cheered for Flair throughout the night and amazingly he won the WWF Championship. After WM8 I begged and pleaded for my dad to take me to a TV taping at Rupp Arena. By then my tastes had devolved to align more with my 10 year old mind and I made an Ultimate Warrior sign and cheered for Macho Man to beat Flair. Little did my dad know it was a near 6 hour event with voodoo and green vomit. I became a WWF fan for life.

 

And then a few years later another light bulb went off at about 3am one morning when I stumbled on Joey Styles going through the history of ECW Champions and talking about a "Barbed-Wire Match" between a guy named "Raven" and a guy named "The Sandman". What the fuck is this? I ended up being able to see three of the best ECW PPVs and for a long time it felt like ECW was a big part of my life.

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The AWA for me when I started watching in 82 I would consider my home promotion. The issue is everything I started watching after I liked better. First World Class in 83, then WWF in 84, then JCP in 85, etc. I'll always consider myself an AWA fan, just ended up liking the presentation better in a lot of other territories as I progressed in my fandom.

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I initially thought that my answer to this question would be early to mid 2000s WWE considering it was the wrestling I grew up with as a kid. At my age, here in the Philippines, the love for wrestling at that time was still a visceral notable thing with people growing deeply connected to guys like Cena, Guerrero, Orton, and Batista. I came in late on that wave at the start of 2006 and of course, it changed my life. I have a fondness for the Ruthless Aggression era of 02-04 as well just for the names and quality of matches I could find when watching retroactively on DVD compilations and now the Network.

 

I think a better answer, however, would be 2000s ROH. I had to go out of my way to see ROH shows here in the Philippines and being my introduction to the American indie style with guys like Joe, Bryan, and others really changed the way I perceived wrestling. There was a sort of kinship I felt with those fans in the tiny, dimly lit armories and arenas. The chants were unique to me at the time and the fans' passion was so strong. It's the closest I could ever get to the ECW feel of the 90s.

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I'm going with ECW. I've been to a lot of wrestling shows, I've never had as much fun at a wrestling show as I did at an ECW show. I've also watched a lot of wrestling and I don't I've ever had as much fun watching wrestling as I did watching it back then. Also if it weren't for ECW I never would have gone out of my way to buy and trade for tapes of IWA Japan, Michinoku Pro, FMW, AAA, Memphis, or Mid South as a teenager. Had I not done that I probably never would have fallen in love with wrestling to level I did where I still follow it.

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Like many of us, I'll always be a WWF/WWE guy in terms of the promotion that acts as a gateway into wrestling in the first place, and from 2003-08 I was fully fledged fanboy for ROH, but for me, being in the UK it's the FWA all the way. I first got into them in 2002 around the time they did the Revival show that was on Bravo, which opened my eyes to the fact that there was actually British wrestling which a 17 year old me thought had died at the end of the 80s. I think my time really getting into them 2002-05 not coincidentally was the time I was at university and when I started to find out about indie wrestling in America and wrestling in Japan.

 

At the time I loved the look and feel of the FWA shows - and while some of it is very much 'of it's time' and hasn't aged perfectly - as I've been going through my rewatch (as I've been chronicling in the match reviews here on PWO) there's still so much to love. I loved the gritty feel of it, and the effort the company put into the story lines and everyone's characters. They were real trailblazers for what the booming UK scene of today has become and so much of what works now came from their direction.

 

Because of it I will always have soft spot for the holy trinity of the FWA - Doug Williams, Jody Fleisch and Jonny Storm - and still love to this day when they appear on UK shows and mix it up with the younger talent out there. I was at Rev Pro at the York Hall on Friday, and am all in on the domestic scene here, but so much of the legacy of the FWA runs through it, going right back to when they ran the York Hall for British Uprising back in 2002.

 

Towards the end 2005/06 - I haven't got there in my rewatch yet, I'm still on the rise at the moment - the shows started to suffer from creative burnout and a lack of funding and company infrastructure but for that short peak, I was all in, so engaged by what they were doing and fully behind them in their quest to get mainstream attention. I love BritishWres today, and I think like many others of my age that do, that is the legacy of the FWA.

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WWE is where it all started for me so they'll always be one of "my promotions". I'm not sure I would have ever gotten into wrestling without them. TNA was important in me seeing there was wrestling outside of WWE and Lucha Underground would act as a further gateway to other outside products like New Japan when my interest in WWE was waning. New Japan has been my favorite "current" promotion since then and that ultimately led me to discovering 90's All Japan, which is my all-time favorite of any wrestling.

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It's CHIKARA for me. I was a WWE guy from when I started watching (in 2003) but as we trekked into the 2010s my interest was really flagging. Ironically opposite to most, it was actually the infamous shutdown angle that attracted my attention, I was fascinated by the idea that a wrestling company would go so far to tell a multi-layered story. I checked out some older stuff and then immediately bought the return iPPV and never looked back, still watch pretty much everything to this day and get a big kick out of it, and I've been going through the older stuff ever since Chikaratopia opened up. I'll sit down for anything CHIKARA, at any point in their history, and just get a great feeling.

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WWF 88-92:What brought me into being a fan of this hobby

 

WCW/JCP: My bread and butter in real time from 94-00 and what I have kind of stalked to watching the most on in the post closure state

 

AJPW 90-00: Have no problem going right up to the separation with NOAH as even though the back half isn't near as consistent there is still some absolute gems like Misawa/Akiyama from 2/00 and you can see the rise of guys like Takayama.

 

IWA:MS 02-06: A sleazy promotion to be synonymous with but when I was watching indie footage for 90% of the time from this timeframe, IWA-MS was always the promotion I liked the best top to bottom.

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