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MLD1083

PWO Appreciation Thread

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I know that I certainly wouldn't spend nearly as much time as I do comparing everything to Volk Han if it weren't for this board.

 

Seriously though, this place is awesome, and I've learned a ton just browsing old topics on this forum. Had a ton of fun fantasy booking in the Arm Chair booking forum, and enjoyed the occasional back and forth in the WWE and AEW forums. This is pretty much the only place I interact with wrestling fans on the internet, because...well...you know!

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I love this place. Don't post much because of life and work but I love coming here and reading when I have some free time. I enjoyed the heck out of the 1983 project before my job got in the way of everything. I have definitely met some cool people and enjoy several things that have come out of this place including podcasts. All the best to all of you. 

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I remember back when this place started back in 2005 (holy fuck, it's been 15 years) and I'm quite glad it's still around and doing well. It was nice to have a change of pace from the incredibly toxic environments that were seemingly everywhere back then. And now it's great to have a place where, regardless of our preferences/opinions, the people are generally knowledgeable about various areas of pro-wrestling history. It makes for some interesting and refreshing discussions that can't seem to be found much elsewhere.

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I've been a wrestling forum lurker for the better part of the last 17 years and lifelong fan for 25+ years. The laid back, interesting (French catch anyone?) and knowledgeable atmosphere has inspired me to write my first match reviews since everyone has lots of free time this days. I always tought reviewing would detract from my overall enjoyment, mainly from bad experiences somewhere else (I distincly remember explaining how I genrally didn't like The Briscoes right after their awesome match with Kotaro & Ricky Marvin, and a quickly escalating argument ensuing) but it's been the complete opposite. I can honestly say that this place refreshed my interest in pro wres in most of it's forms.

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I love this board for the simple reason that it made me re-evaluate what it was that made me fall in love with wrestling. Congrats to all, especially Loss and Goodhelmet, the latter of which hooked me up with ROH comps back in 2003 that really sent me down the indie path. 

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I'd be remiss in not chiming in on an appreciation thread for PWO. This place has been a tremendous resource for expanding my wrestling knowledge and tastes. And while that wealth of knowledge and discussion drew my attention, it’s really the people that drew me in and make me come back time and time again. My fondness for this place always stems from the openness of discussing the merits of the different aspects of pro wrestling in a respectful manner whenever possible (sure there may rarely be a heated discussion once in a while, but for the most part it remains respectful), trying to see the different styles and wrestlers on their merits.

As you know, I’m Puerto Rican. When I became a wrestling fan, I watched pretty much everything I had access to. So, I share the experience of growing up watching WWF, WCW, GWF and some odds and ends like many others online. But for this wrestling fan, one key difference is that I also grew up watching Puerto Rican wrestling. Obviously Capital Sports/WWC, but also AWF when it was around and IWA eventually when it started up. So my wrestling experience included watching wrestlers such as Carlos Colon, the Invaders, TNT, Chicky Starr, Ray Gonzalez, El Bronco and so many others.

When finally got only right at the tail end of the 90s it was an interesting experience. Peeks behind the curtain, finding other fans expressing their opinions on the goings on in the shows and then discovering the world of tape trading. It opened an avenue to learn about current wrestling across the different countries, while also providing sources for learning about the different territories from just before I became a fan. Windows into a wrestling world with familiar faces and some yet to be discovered ones in what at times seemed like a surreal alternate reality with wrestler sin different roles than what I was used to seeing them as. It was different parts discovery, wonder and head scratching at what one would find and learn, leading to one just wanting to watch it all but not having the means to do all that one wanted to. We truly do live in blessed times for wrestling access.

I would wander about different forums, enjoying the conversations but never really getting involved. I was reluctant to do so, and it was mainly due to one specific reason. At some point after getting online, I was curious to see what people thought about the wrestling I grew up with, the wrestling that featured those wrestlers from WWC. It wasn’t a pleasant experience. There wasn’t much discussion about that wrestling I grew up with. Well, there was, but it was basically a 90% a condemnation and insult train about the wrestlers, the territory and Puerto Rico itself. You all know why, it was due to what happened with Brody. It was impossible to start any discussion about Puerto Rican wrestling without it shortly devolving into outright dismissal and insults because of what happened to Brody. And anyone who tried to steer it away from that would get shouted down. I mean, when someone like Dick Steinborn basically was met with this when he tried to speak on his experience of working for Capital Sports and push back a bit on the rhetoric being thrown about, what chance would just a fan have. It was throwing the baby out with the bath water. So for the most part all you’d see was what felt like a constant stream of Brody hagiography and a contest to see who could come up with the most over the top insults about Puerto Rican wrestling and the island itself. “Lawless wilderness; They’re animals down there; Don’t drink the water; You’ll be gutted alive in the streets; No talent pieces of crap; Not worth pissing on.” You get the picture. To this day I feel that the opportunity to learn about the territory and possibly gain footage that is no longer around was lost due to this. So I just lurked, who needed the aggravation of being insulted and shouted down just for wanting to talk about Puerto Rican wrestling. That mindset still exists to this day if you know where to look (although I’ve gotten better at ignoring it though). It’s why the Brody stabbing and death remains a bit of a sore topic for me, because I can just feel myself bracing for some of the nonsense that will be spouted out.

 I lurked for many years. Eventually I would find myself lurking here at PWO and enjoying the topics of discussion and the podcasts that started springing out of the community. And then one day, something interesting happened. A thread popped up titled ‘Puerto Rico Wrestling’, started in January of 2013 by Dylan. With a title like that, the thread caught my interest. Within I saw something a bit unseal for me in my online experience. Here was someone deciding to watch and review matches from Puerto Rico and talking about them on their merits (whatever they may be). Not turning the discussion about condemning what happened to Brody, not a devolving into insults and violent outbursts about Puerto Rico, it was just talking about the wrestling. That was a change of pace from what I was used to. The thread went on for few pages, with others chiming in on the discussion and comments here and there trying to decipher some things that were happening or wondering what the context for certain things was. And I would read those comments and start thinking ‘no, they’ve got that wrong’ or ‘this tidbit of context would definitely help them understand this’. Eventually, it got to the point where I just had to say something. So, I created a profile with the name of that mysterious NWA tag title tournament representative El Boricua and, after jobbing to the captcha for a couple of days before finally registering (seriously, that captcha was/is? no joke), I made my first post. And off I went.

It’s been seven years since that first post and, looking back, it’s been a joy and privilege to see where it has taken me. I helped introduce and clarify certain aspect of Puerto Rican wrestling to fellow fans. I helped with the 80s Puerto Rico set. I’ve been on a few podcasts talking wrestling (and hoping each time I didn’t drag the show down). Most important, through this I have met and spoken with people that I honestly can say I consider my friends, even though we have never met in person. To the point I created a Twitter account just to be able to have a way to stay in touch with some of these friends that have moved on from active message board life.  

Times change, and it saddens me sometimes how things have slowed down a bit on PWO from those days when I was lurking and started posting. There are many reasons for this, be it people moving on to Twitter due to feeling there’s a more immediate response, priorities and circumstance in our lives changing, or just that after so many years there have been so many topics that have already been discussed thoroughly. But I feel there is still a need for a place and community such as this one. Twitter doesn’t allow for nuance and it just lends itself to disposable conversations. Here right now, gone in the next second.  I myself don’t post as much as I used to here. Hopefully I can change that a bit.

To the people that have made PWO what it has been and continues to be, wherever you are, my thanks and appreciation for what this community is. It’s meant a lot to my wrestling fandom, but also for me personally it’s been a safe haven.  I’ll try to do better in the future about posting.

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Thanks for sharing that brother. Your contributions to this board over the years detailing the history of Puerto Rican wrestling have been super valuable and much appreciated 

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This is seriously the only place I go to read opinions on wrestling, besides Sleeze’s blog posts, which of course I found from here.  Through my love for WCW I found Where the Big Boys Play which led me here (years ago now), led me to talking wrestling footage with Will & so many deep dives, reading my favorite reviews from Sleeze, Ricky Jackson restoring my faith that Savage truly is the GOAT ha (loved that podcast you did with Parv years ago) — speaking of podcasts ... so many great podcasts over the years from here (and the forever connected P2B & now NoSo Connection family).  Lists! — I’m a list guy. The projects here and lists here have always been a highlight for me.  Chad - I use your lists all the time ... I go through the YBs and love following along for all the history and opinions ... and as mentioned, the match rankings from Chad & Loss too.  I love how opinions can be so different, but the love for wrestling is the same.  Thanks everyone!  

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@JKWebb I haven't plugged this here, or really anywhere other than a couple tweets, but if you enjoyed that Savage pod from years ago (it was actually with Grimmas not Parv), and you have a copy of the Savage Unreleased dvd, you may be interested in me droning on as I watch all the matches. New ep every couple days

https://m.soundcloud.com/prowrestlingonly/sets/the-greatness-of-randy-savage

 

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Hey I’m already listening! And, I do have the set! Also, wasn’t there one where you went 1 on 1 with Parv — Flair vs. Savage for GWE? Maybe it was Grimmas — either way, great stuff!  ... I might just be thinking of his series about Flair that probably came out around the same time...

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Super nice thread. PWO has been my home for the longest time I've been a pro-wrestling fan. I did my best writing here (although it seems like in another life). Salute.

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