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How much wrestling was on TV when *you* were a kid?

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Inspired by a Dave post on Twitter where he mentioned he had 30 channels in the 70s and 5 carried wrestling, I thought it would be interesting to see what options there were for folks here growing up.

 

For me as a kid in Pittsburgh in the 80s we had:

WWE syndicated TV on local NBC station on Saturdays

USA had Prime Time Wrestling as well as (I think) All-American Wrestling on Sunday afternoons

TBS had World Championship Wrestling at 6:05 Saturday and Main event on Sunday nights. 

Local independent channel had World Wide on Saturday nights at 11pm, then GLOW on after at midnight

Different local independent channel had World Class on Saturdays at 10pm

If I wiggled the antenna enough I could get UWF TV on a UHF station (still don't know which one it was I was picking up)

Later of course we had AWA and World Class popping up on ESPN as well. 

 

Looking back, it's no wonder I ended up as locked into wrestling as I ended up becoming. 

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When I was a kid in Quebec, IIRC, we had:

-WWF on TVA on Sunday mornings (they even aired Saturday Night's Main Event at the same time slot it would air on NBC)

-The NWA would air on another local channel called TQS on Saturday nights - I believe it was Worldwide Wrestling but I can't be 100% sure.)

-And Lutte Internationale was airing in syndication.

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As a kid almost all of my wrestling viewing was of video tapes from Blockbuster, mostly WWF but some WCW/NWA. I grew up in suburban Detroit in the late 80's, early 90s, and I really don't remember everything that was on TV at the time. Definitely, WWF Superstar, SNME, and syndication; also, WCW on TBS. Other than that I would be interested in knowing what we had access to. 

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Started watching as a kid in 2006 here in the Philippines where WWE TV was primarily featured at the time on a channel called Jack TV. They had the PPVs on there for free as well. In 2007, they started instead airing the big 4 PPVs in local cinemas and I have great memories of seeing the major PPVs in theaters with friends. WWE TV would switch channels every other year or so and I lost cable in mid-2007. Before that though, I know that we also got Impact and Xplosion over on Star World which was my early introduction to guys like Abyss and Samoa Joe. 

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As a little kid in the Washington suburbs, it was just WWF and WCW.  However by 7th grade ECW was being shown in our area with MSG Network and later TNN. About a year later NWA Wildside was picked up by local cable access. Some old reruns of AWA would sometimes show on ESPN Classic. By 10th grade ECW and WCW were both done but I was able to get early TNA off of a buddy's hotbox and a couple of the local Spanish stations were airing CMLL and AAA.  

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One hour show a week : WWF Superstars. And Saturday Nights Main Event every other time, I don't remember how regular it was. (I do remember however than Canal + was programming its monthly porn (Canal was an encrypted channel you had to subscribe to) just after, at midnight, so when I started to watch pro-wrestling as a young teenager I had to tape that show as it was too late to watch it live and I was always hoping the tape would roll a little late and I could catch a little bit of porn that I could watch in hiding...)

First PPV showed was Survivor Series 90, so from that point on we got the big 4, until 1995 when we got the big 5.

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4 hours ago, joeg said:

As a little kid in the Washington suburbs, it was just WWF and WCW.  However by 7th grade ECW was being shown in our area with MSG Network and later TNN. About a year later NWA Wildside was picked up by local cable access. Some old reruns of AWA would sometimes show on ESPN Classic. By 10th grade ECW and WCW were both done but I was able to get early TNA off of a buddy's hotbox and a couple of the local Spanish stations were airing CMLL and AAA.  

 

That reminded me we got ECW pretty much from the start on those independent stations too, found out later it was because Shane Douglas wanted the show available in his hometown. It was also the reason so many ECW shows would take place in the Golden Dome (which was located in nearby Beaver County) as it was the largest arena around ECW could book.

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This would have all been roughly around 1987, give or take a year in either direction. (I'm 40 now, I forget!) I had started watching previous to this with my Dad, but this is when I lost my mind and started watching everything I could find (and was allowed to stay up for!)

WTBS had wrestling Saturday's at 9:05am, 6:05pm and Sundays at 10:05am and 6:05pm (I could possibly be making up the Sunday morning show, but I am pretty certain I remember it) We also had the occasional Clash of the Champions

WWF had Prime Time on Monday's on USA, All American on Sunday's at Noon on USA, and Superstar's aired on the local Fox affiliate on Saturday's at either 11am or Noon. Then there was of course the occasional Saturday Night's Main Event.

Every day at 4pm on ESPN there was some kind of wrestling. I remember AWA and World Class most vividly, and I think GLOW aired on Fridays. I'm not sure what else if anything was airing, but I know it was 5 days a week.

Those are all of the shows I can remember from when I was like 9 or 10. There could have been more, but I never found them.

 

Of course later on, all of the ESPN programming was taken over by Global before being dropped completely. Though for some reason I think they aired some Herb Abrams UWF for a while too. I also briefly remember that strange league with the rounds system that had like Sgt. Slaughter and Bob Orton and Tito Santana airing in my area for a little while. Then during my "angst ridden" teenage years I would stay up until 2am every Saturday to see if the sports channel out of Pittsburgh would bother playing ECW that week.

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Started about 1990-91 in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre market. We had the WWF syndicated shows, Prime Time Wrestling on USA. TBS had wrestling on Saturday nights of course, and WCW had a syndicated show. MSG Network had the house shows but since they weren't in TV Guide it was really difficult to keep track of when it was actually on. Sportschannel 48 would occasionally carry things like IWCCW and Herb Abrams' shows and they had ECW in its infancy. Oh yeah, ESPN had Global.

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Superstars and Challenge were back-to-back on our CBS affiliate opposite SNL.  Not sure if that was the case during the SNME days because I started in 92. There was USA of course, which looking back even then could have done a lot more as it seemed they had very little to offer besides reruns and old movies. We had TBS and ESPN so there was also WCW and Global too, so we had a healthy dose. I remember WCW Worldwide on our Fox affiliate, Saturday afternoon's originally and then late Saturday night/early Sunday morning-ish once Fox got the NFL. In 1994-5 our public access channel started getting ECW. They didn't really schedule it that solid so it was hard to keep a beat on what was going on. A bit later on they started getting Memphis, which is where I saw Dwayne Johnson for the first time as Flex Kavana. 

I'm quite envious of how in some places the previous generation to mine could watch several territories in a whole marathon block on Saturdays, specifically the northeast which is how Cena and Triple H got hooked into watching it as kids. 

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Growing up in Toronto, I was actually pretty lucky because we got quite a variety when it came to televised Pro Wrestling. 

Of course, the majority of the content we got was the WWF.  Jack Tunney was the on-air authority figure for the WWF, but in reality he was the co-owner and promoter of Maple Leaf Wrestling which was based out of Maple Leaf Gardens.  For years they had wrestling there one Sunday a month.  When I was a little kid, Maple Leaf Wrestling was actually part of Jim Crockett Promotions believe it or not, from 1978 - 1983. But after Jack Tunney's uncle Frank died, Jack switched allegiances to the WWF.  As a result, Maple Leaf Wrestling started hosting a ton of TV tapings for the WWF from the Brantford Civic Center.  A lot of the matches shown in the States on the USA Network by the WWF were taped in Brantford. Those were the TV tapings where Jesse Ventura hosted "The Body Shop."  Plus we got the WWF show that was taped from the Mid-Hudson Civic Arena in Poughkeepsie.  So the schedule was basically at noon every Saturday we got the WWF show from Poughkeepsie, then at 1:00 pm we got a second hour of WWF Wrestling from Brantford.  Later, that changed when the WWF took the tapings on the road and the Noon show became WWF Superstars and the 1:00 pm show became Wrestling Challenge. On top of that, every Saturday Night at 7:00 pm there was another hour of WWF content which featured exclusive matches from Maple Leaf Gardens, usually the preliminary matches from the monthly house shows.

Later in the afternoon, we got an odd little hour long magazine type show, hosted by Joe Pedicino. This show featured clips of matches and news from all over the NWA.  That was my initial exposure to Ric Flair and a lot of the smaller southern territories.  The problem was, it was hard to follow because the matches were always very dated and they never followed any particular feuds or angles, it was always like: "And now here's Ric Flair vs. Magnum TA" but then the next week they'd show you a match from Continental or something.  It was hard to follow. Later Joe Pedicino stopped hosting it and Angleo Mosca started hosting it and they called it Pro Wrestling Canada, but it was nothing but really old out of date NWA stuff.

After that at 4:00 pm we got the extremely lame weekly TV show produced by Al Tomko's Vancouver territory called "All Star Wrestling."  It was studio wrestling and the show was pretty awful.  The only thing of note I ever remember from that show is seeing John Tenta years before he became Earthquake.  Plus Mauro Ranallo was a mainstay on that show as an obnoxious teenager. *shudder*

Once Mid-South changed it's name to the UWF for a time we could get their weekly show using an antennae, from a UHF station in Buffalo.  Once the UWF merged with JCP, the show disappeared though. Later, we could get the NWA Power Hour Saturdays at Midnight.  I distinctly remember the UWF guys showing up there and that was the first time I heard Jim Ross as well.

On Sunday afternoons we got a show called "International Wrestling" hosted by Gino Brito and a guy named Milt Avruskin.  That was the weekly television for the Montreal territory, and I used to love that.  That was the first place I saw The Road Warriors, Steve Strong, The Great Samu, Rick Martel, Dino Bravo, the Rougeau Brothers and most importantly Bruiser Brody and Abdullah The Butcher.  That was a great show.

As soon as we got basic cable and The Sports Network and ESPN Canada launched, we also started getting Stampede Wrestling every Monday at 4:00 pm on TSN, and the AWA five afternoons a week. Then when TBS was made available in Canada, we started getting WCW Saturday Night at 6:05 pm, but that was quite a bit later.

So yeah, in short we got:

  • WWF Championship Wrestling (later "WWF Superstars"): Saturdays at Noon
  • WWF All-Star Wrestling (later "WWF Wrestling Challenge"): Saturdays at 1:00 pm
  • NWA Joe Pedicino's "Pro Wrestling This Week" (Later "Pro Wrestling Canada" with Angleo Mosca, Milt Avruskin and Danny Johnson): Saturdays at 2:00 pm
  • All-Star Wrestling from Vancouver: Saturdays at 4:00 pm
  • WWF Maple Leaf Wrestling: Saturdays at 7:00 pm
  • UWF (Later NWA Power Hour): Saturdays at Midnight
  • International Wrestling from Montreal: Sundays at 1:00 pm
  • AWA on ESPN: (Monday to Friday at 5:00 pm)
  • Stampede Wrestling: (Mondays at 4:00 pm)

You know, between the fact that I religiously collected every Apter Mag (Pro Wrestling Illustrated, The Wrestler and Inside Wrestling) from 1983 to 1987 or so and looking at this TV schedule now...I can kind of see why my parents thought I was too obsessed with Pro Wrestling.

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I grew up in New York and remember us getting most everything WWF carried.  Championship/All-Star Wrestling aired on WWOR and then Superstars/Challenge moved to I believe WNYW/FOX.  Spotlight used to air real late at night on MSG Network (like 2AM), and so did ECW for awhile!!  I remember watching the Tazz/Mike Awesome match at 2 in the morning via MSG.

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As a pre-teen kid (the 80ies) I suppose there was no regular wrestling show on German language TV at all (I think there was wrestling on TV starting in 1988 or 89; I remember CWA clips on Austrian TV to fill up sports programming earlier than that).

- When I started watching in 93, there were two 1-hour WWF shows (Superstars and Challenge) and I think two (or maybe three) 1-hour WCW shows (definitely Saturday Night, plus Worldwide or Pro).

- WWF stayed with two hours per week (replacing first Challenge with Action Zone and later (early 96) with Raw) basically until they lost TV (or cancelled their deal, however you want to phrase it) in early 98. When they returned in late 98 / early 99, we got a 1-hour version of Raw.

- WCW TV stayed on German TV (on the same station) until the end of WCW. For some time (early 96 till early 98) WWF was on the same station. The programming schedule was something like Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 9 or 10 PM WCW, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9 or 10 PM WWF. PPV shows were on Saturday night (all WCW shows and the big five WWF shows).

- The big five WWF PPVs were on free TV until Survivor Series 97 and from Survivor Series 98 to, I want to say, Survivor Series 2000.

- WCW PPVs (all of them) were on free TV until 98ish (I don't remember that precisely).

- You could also get Turner Classic Movies, which was airing Nitro and Thunder in a double block on Friday night (at least until some time in 99, I don't think it was on anymore during the Russo era). As these shows were from the same week as they aired in the US, I usually watched these versions (though I did not watch Thunder regularly, Nitro and Thunder in one sitting was more often than not too much).

- Eurosport was airing some older New Japan tapes for some time, though I barely ever watched that. I remember, that every time I watched a New Japan show, the show ended with a Jushin Liger singles match that he won, so I assumed that he was the Japanese Hogan.

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I mainly watched WWF Superstars on an American station, which I think was the Detroit CBS Affiliate. This would have been in the early 90's. It came on Saturday mornings at either 10 or 11 AM Eastern, which was an hour later in my local time.  However, on weekends that I really was into wrestling, I would also watch WWF Maple Leaf Wrestling and WWF Calvacade of Wrestling later in the afternnoon or evening on a Canadian station. I really don't remember the station since I didn't watch them much since they mostly rehashed angles from Superstars. I think this may have been after they stopped recording exclusive matches for Maple Leaf Wrestling. Thread Killer did you ever watch WWF Calvacade of Wrestling? I think they may have also had matches from WWF Wrestling Challenge on one or both of those shows. Also, sometimes I even saw another show that I forget the name of which was generally just the same Superstars and Challenge matches and angles that I had already seen on the other shows and came on at a weird time. When my parents started ordering the Canadian version of the Disney Channel (which was technically called the Family Channel even though it showed Disney channel programming) it included TBS for free so at some point I was able to watch WCW as well, but didn't really like it at the time so didn't watch it.

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In 85 with just a rooftop antenna and a set of rabbit ears hooked to the tv in my bedroom I got.

WCCW,Florida,Memphis,Mid South,3 WWF syndicated shows,WCW Worldwide(I think it was Worldwide),Continental,GLOW and GCCW

By late 87 all I got was WWF Wrestling Challenge and Continental.

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I grew up in Southern Illinois in the mid-late 80's.  

I know there was WWF Superstars on Saturday morning.  I think I watched it on KPLR 11 out of St. Louis.  There was also a Sunday morning show (All-American or Wrestling Challenge, probably).  I think it might've been on the local Fox affiliate.  I may be mixing up the days of those shows, though.

We had cable, so I'd watch Prime Time Wrestling every week on (I think) Tuesday evening.  

ESPN, at the time, showed some World Class and AWA.  I remember that being on after school, so probably 3 or 4 in the afternoon.  

TBS had NWA on Saturday evening, Main Event on Sunday evening and maybe a weekend morning show, but I don't recall. 

Most importantly, though, was that I could kinda watch and listen to pay per views on scramblevision!  That's how I found out Macho Man won the title at WMIV.  I flipped between that and the first Clash that afternoon.  Thankfully, my babysitter didn't know I was grounded from watching any wrestling.  Later, a friend of mine with a satellite dish got one of those black boxes that let us watch ppvs for free.

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I was actually forbidden from watching wrestling as a kid, so my only real exposure to wrestling on TV prior to Raw and Nitro was occasional glimpses of All American Wrestling on USA after Cartoon Express.

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AAA on Galavision, pretty much. CMLL and IWRG had TV shows too, but I never saw them and I'm not sure which channel they were on. I stopped watching around 2006 and a bit later Raw and Smackdown started being shown on some major channel. Also, TVC started doing Tercera Caída, which covered indie lucha and the two major companies. If anyone speaks spanish, look Tercera Caída up on youtube, they're interesting shows.

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As a child in Wales with satellite TV it was an obscene amount. I'll go from ages 4-16, 1989 to 2001.

S4C - Reslo

My ITV region until Christmas 95 - WCW

Sky - WWF, some WCW in 1991

Channel 5  after July 99- WCW Worldwide

Channel 4 2000-01- WWF Heat, 4 PPVs a year

TNT - WCW Nitro and Thunder

Eurosport - WWF pre 1992, NJPW, Flesh Gorden's promotion.

Screensport - USWA, AWA, GWF, more I've forgotten.

Lifestyle - GLOW , old WCCW tapes

Granada Men and Motors - LPWA

Bravo - ECW

DSF - as discussed above by Robert S

Galavision - AAA

 

There's probably a load I've missed too.

 

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6 hours ago, ButchReedMark said:

As a child in Wales with satellite TV it was an obscene amount. I'll go from ages 4-16, 1989 to 2001.

My ITV region until Christmas 95 - WCW

I was in the Central region and the only wrestling we used to get there was one hour a week late Monday night/early Tuesday morning.  For a couple of years it was the WWF International Challenge show, but they stopped showing that at some point in 1989 and then we got a random assortment of shows taking it's place for about another year.  Some old Georgia/Mid-Atlantic, ICW (Kevin Sullivan, Mark Lewin, Billy Graham, Blackjack Mulligan era), the Florida Global Wrestling show (Dr Red Roberts, Col. Kirchner, Death Row), Dusty's PWF and even some NWA (I clearly remember seeing highlights of Bash '89).

Summer of 1990 is when my parent's got Satellite and as Butch said there was a ridiculous amount of wrestling available.

Quote

There's probably a load I've missed too.

Screensport also aired All-Star Wrestling's 'Satellite Wrestling' that ran for about twelve episodes.

We got UWFI too, although I forget on what channel (Sky Sports?)

Finally, Roller Derby aired on Lifestyle in the hour prior to the 82/3 WCCW episodes.  That used to be a two hour Sunday afternoon ritual for me, Roller Derby then vintage World Class.

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As a kid-kid, we got AWA tv out of duluth which was mostly a Minneapolis feed as Verne didn't spend much time going to duluth in the 70s as I recall, at least later...very few localized duluth house show promos, it was mostly for Minny and the St. Paul civic center. That was saturfay evenings, although for a while there was a Sunday morning show too...not in the same time frame.

we got superstars of wrestling out of Montreal, but broadcast on a southern Ontario station on Saturday afternoons around 2, which our local CBC or CTV affiliate carried. 

We also got Lars Andersons world league wrestling on duluth tv for a while, and they actually came here in 1979 and 1980 for shows.

We have/had a weird market here for tv, so an hour outside of town in a 2000 person town they got the superstation but we did not, and no stampede here either which kind of surprises me now. 

It must also be remembered that 12 channels was all that were available in the 70s here since specialty stations weren't a thing yet. I was 15 when tsn and muchmusic started, and the movie channels where you needed a descrambler started up (we used to binge movie watch on their free preview weekends...lol)

That was it until the 80s boom hit, and even then it didn't up the different shows much here until we got the big satellite dish, at which point everything I could imagine was on, all week long. Too much to count, really. The WWF presence was of course huge but I had a sprinkling of everything...with the exception of Memphis, which in hindsight I find kind of weird given the abundance of footage out there.

 

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When I first got into it in 1990, the only wrestling in my market (New Hampshire) was Wrestling Challenge, ICW/IWCCW, and the occasional SNME special. When I got cable in 1993 I got most of the major stuff, as well as Superstars (since we also got the FOX afffiliate out of Boston along with the cable package). Prior to that I had to follow WCW and the other feds with PWI and visits to my Grandparent's house (who were early adopters of cable).

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Briefly watched WWF on Saturday mornings in the mid-90's (not sure which show). Never watched WCW. When I began to seriously get into wrestling in 2002, only WWE was around and in 2005 is when I also started watching TNA.

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14 hours ago, GSR said:

I was in the Central region and the only wrestling we used to get there was one hour a week late Monday night/early Tuesday morning.  For a couple of years it was the WWF International Challenge show, but they stopped showing that at some point in 1989 and then we got a random assortment of shows taking it's place for about another year.  Some old Georgia/Mid-Atlantic, ICW (Kevin Sullivan, Mark Lewin, Billy Graham, Blackjack Mulligan era), the Florida Global Wrestling show (Dr Red Roberts, Col. Kirchner, Death Row), Dusty's PWF and even some NWA (I clearly remember seeing highlights of Bash '89).

Summer of 1990 is when my parent's got Satellite and as Butch said there was a ridiculous amount of wrestling available.

Screensport also aired All-Star Wrestling's 'Satellite Wrestling' that ran for about twelve episodes.

We got UWFI too, although I forget on what channel (Sky Sports?)

Finally, Roller Derby aired on Lifestyle in the hour prior to the 82/3 WCCW episodes.  That used to be a two hour Sunday afternoon ritual for me, Roller Derby then vintage World Class.

 

UWFI ran the gamut of channels. Under the Bushido name it started on SKy Sports, went on Bravo before ECW when they were showing the late 1996 Hardcore TV tapes in 1998 (Monkey at 8 [Argh, Pigsy!], UWFI at 9, ECW at half 9, Red Shoe Diaries at 10. Ideal for a 13 year old), then Channel 5, and ended up on Eurosport. It's probably still being shown somewhere now on the Sky EPG.

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