Jump to content
Pro Wrestling Only
Sign in to follow this  
joeg

Best match you ever saw live in person?

Recommended Posts

I’ve never been to a PPV. I was at a house show the day before a ppv that featured a great Cena/Ziggler match. The Shield’s first match as a trio was on that card as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw Goldust vs Stardust at a house show in early 2015 and it died a serious death before the crowd. I was kinda hyped for it too, but I remember them just going through the motions. Pre-ironic New Day vs the Ascension was greeted with even more derision. Main was Roman vs slacks-wearing Kane and we left before the finish. Weird card in hindsight 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

HHH vs Bryan probably.

There is a Trevor Lee vs Chip Day match from CWF MA that was an absolute banger I saw live too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Weirdest match I ever saw was during the year 1999 at a casino. Road Dogg vs Viscera with Billy Kidman as the ref. Ended up being a double DQ because Road Dogg & Viscera ended up beating down Kidman. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, SirEdger said:

It's probably something that Harper did to pop the boys in the back. House shows are notoriously fun for stuff like that. I believe, my 2nd WWF house show I attended in 1997 featured a spot where Earl Hebner got into it with Hunter Hearst Helmsley and it ended with Earl chasing away Helmsley with a chair, all the way to the locker room and the crowd popped like crazy.

Earl/HHH will always be my house show highlight:

earlhebnerisbadass.gif

 

a66b9d23b85e7454da3b2b27bed2872e.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, Johnny Sorrow said:

Yeah. It was awesome live, but I was sandwiched between two giant smelly dudes. 

C'mon.  Don't talk about Joe and Kobashi like that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess I'll answer my own question...

In cronological order....

Austin vs Rock at a house show at MCI Center a month after Wrestlemania 15

Tajiri vs Psicosis at The ECW Arena in August 2000

American Dragon vs Low Ki vs Christopher Daniels vs Scoot Andrews ECWA September 2001

American Dragon vs Low Ki with Ken Shamrock as ref ROH's second show

Kurt Angle vs John Cena No Mercy 2003

Brian Danielson vs Nakajima ROH Glory by Honor VII

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, joeg said:

Austin vs Rock at a house show at MCI Center a month after Wrestlemania 15

This drew a complete blank for me, so if it did for you too, it's the Verizon Center/Capital One Arena in DC. Home of the Caps and Wizards.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah. Back then when if first opened it was the MCI Center, then it was the Verizon Center now it's the Capitol One Arena. Same arena on 7th and F in DC  just changed names 3 times in the past 22 years. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Rah said:

Earl/HHH will always be my house show highlight:

earlhebnerisbadass.gif

 

a66b9d23b85e7454da3b2b27bed2872e.gif

Yeop, as I remember it it precisely started the same way the first GIF showed. Pretty sure Chyna was also in his corner that night (Triple Threat vs Goldust and Marc Mero; that was also the night that Mero blew his knee and missed several months of action)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my 38 years as a Pro Wrestling fan, I've seen a fair amount of live shows...but sad to say there are a precious few that really stand out in my mind.  That can mostly be attributed to the fact that from around 1984-1990, the WWF pretty much had a total stranglehold on the live wrestling scene where I live.  The promoter was Jack Tunney (the kayfabe "President" of the WWF) and he was pretty notorious for going to great lengths to keep any other promotions off Toronto television and especially out of any of the major venues.  So we got pretty much all WWF, all the time.

The WWF ran house shows every three weeks at Maple Leaf Gardens from around 84-89 or so.  I went to the majority of those shows, but sadly not many of the matches really stand out in my mind after all this time.  That's pretty sad, when you think about it...but looking back most of those 80's WWF house shows were total crap. There was of course the record setting "Big Event" at the Canadian National Exhibition in 1986, where Hulk Hogan fought Paul Orndorff.  They managed to get 74,000 fans at that event...people really wanted to see Hogan get revenge on "Mr. Wonderful" after Orndorff turned on him.  But that is not the match I remember best from that show.

Here are my Top 10 picks.

Randy Savage vs. Tito Santana (Toronto, Maple Leaf Gardens - 06/15/86)

This was for Savage's IC Title, after he had screwed Santana out of the belt by using a foreign object at the Boston Garden. I was "smart" at this point, and knew the title wasn't going to change hands at a non-televised house show.  Also, I went into this match being pretty lukewarm on Tito Santana.  I didn't hate him, but I certainly wasn't a fan.  The heat for this match was so insane that I actually got caught up and thought for a moment Santana might win his title back.  This is the match that totally won me over as a Tito Santana fan. I got to see Savage/Steamboat live at one point as well...but for some reason I found the heat and crowd emotion stronger for this match.  At least that's how I remember it.

The British Bulldogs vs. The Hart Foundation (Toronto, Maple Leaf Gardens - 06/15/86)

These two teams fought each other a million times, but this was pretty early in their run.  This was before Dynamite Kid's injury so the Bulldogs were both at 100% and I still remember being blown away by their athleticism.

Ricky Steamboat vs. Jake "The Snake" Roberts ("The Big Event" Toronto, Canadian National Exhibition - 08/28/86)

The SPCA wouldn't let Jake bring his snake to the ring for this match.  To be honest, this match is the only one I have a vivid memory of from this show.  I remember Hogan vs. Orndorff, but I liked this match more. Aside from the massive crowd, the only other major memory I have is seeing Andre The Giant (excuse me..."Giant Machine") up close.  I was on the aisle and when he walked right past me I couldn't believe how big he was in person.

The Southern Boys vs. The Midnight Express (WCW House Show, Toronto, 06/27/90)

This was the first time WCW had run a show in Toronto since Jim Crockett used to run Maple Leaf Gardens in the early 80's.  Even though WCW had no TV coverage in Toronto (I found out about this show from an ad in the newspaper) they managed to draw 4000 fans to the CNE Coliseum (which in those days was pretty much a glorified livestock arena. It has since been renovated and is now the arena WWE runs, but back then it was a total dump. But that's the only arena WCW could get into...the WWF sure as hell wasn't going to let them into Maple Leaf Gardens.) I think if I was to see this match now, I'd think it was nothing special but at least I can say I got to see Cornette and The Midnight Express once.

Lex Luger vs. Ric Flair (WCW House Show, Toronto, 06/27/90)

This was a good match, which Luger won with the Torture Rack.  The fans went crazy.  Then they announced that the World Heavyweight Championship hadn't actually been on the line...because the show was held in Canada?!  Total "Dusty finish" (even though I don't think he was booking at that time.) But hell, just like with the match listed above...I got to see Ric Fair in his prime, live.  For a fan in Toronto, that was pretty much an impossibility since Toronto was WWF exclusive.  This show took place just a couple of months after Wrestlemania 6 had sold out the Skydome...and poor WCW only drew 4000 fans in a really crappy arena.

RVD vs. Bam Bam Bigelow (RVD wins the TV Title - ECW TV Taping, Buffalo New York - 04/04/98)

Me and my buddy used to drive down to Buffalo when ECW was in town because they didn't run Toronto at that time, and didn't have TV up here.  I'm pretty sure this was the first ECW show I ever went to live.  Noteworthy because RVD won the TV Title here, and went on to hold it for ages.

Sabu vs. Terry Funk (Independent Show, Toronto 6/6/99)

Once again, this match wasn't anything special...but it was Terry Funk, up close.  This was held in a Strip Joint and there couldn't have been more than a couple of hundred fans.  This was the last time Terry Funk ever wrestled in Toronto.  The highlight of this match was Sabu doing that spot where he balances on the top rope and dives into the crowd, because my friends and I had to flee in terror because he would have almost landed on top of us.

Sabu vs. 2 Cold Scorpio - Ladder Match (Independent Show at Medieval Times in Toronto, Summer of 99)

Don't remember the date of this show, I just remember it would have been the summer of 1999.  A local Independent Promotion called the "CWA" used to run shows at the Medieval Times on a fairly regular basis here in Toronto.  I always used to go, and I got to see some big names in a small venue.  I mainly remember this show because (as always) Sabu almost killed himself in front of a crowd that couldn't have been more than 1,500 people.

Masato Tanaka vs. Mike Awesome (ECW November to Remember 99, Buffalo - 11/07/99)

I loved N2R99.  There were a bunch of great matches on this show.  A highlight was when New Jack and Balls and Axl fought "Da Baldies."  New Jack smashed one of the guys over the head with a computer keyboard, and all the keys went flying in the air and landed on my friends and I.  But of all the matches on that show, Tanaka vs. Awesome was the best. Those two guys always used to kill each other, every time they fought.

Kevin Steen vs. Nigel McGuinness (ROH "Northern Navigation" -  07/25/08)

This was my first ROH show. This reminded me of the Santana/Savage match, because I went into it not being a big Kevin Steen fan, but I actually got caught up in it and found myself cheering for him to win the ROH Championship.  This was a really good match.

Hiroshi Tanahashi and Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Jado and Shinsuke Nakamura (ROH "Global Wars" 05/10/14)

To be honest, this match was nothing to write home about...but I got to see Tanahashi, Nakamura and especially Liger live, dammit.  Not many Canadian fans can say that.  Plus I got a high five from Jushin Thunder Liger!

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/13/2021 at 11:29 AM, The Thread Killer said:

Lex Luger vs. Ric Flair (WCW House Show, Toronto, 06/27/90)

This was a good match, which Luger won with the Torture Rack.  The fans went crazy.  Then they announced that the World Heavyweight Championship hadn't actually been on the line...because the show was held in Canada?! 

 

 

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA this is solid gold. Fucking WCW, everybody

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Strictly in terms of matches I was in live in the building for, it'd be Bryan/Lesnar from Survivor Series. However, I got really far away seats and was stuck watching on the big screen, so it was kind of disappointing and I enjoyed it a lot more when I watched the PPV broadcast at home.

In terms of matches I enjoyed a lot live, it'd be either Shiozaki/Miyahara vs. Akiyama/Omori for the AJPW tag titles from 8/2015 or Shiozaki/Miyahara vs. Akiyama/Kanemaru from a house show the next month, in what ended up Shiozaki's last AJPW match. I remember thinking the tag titles match was a little better overall, but the atmosphere in the building was incredible for the house show match and Akiyama/Shiozaki really went at it hard in their exchanges.

Most I ever marked out live was the finish of Akiyama/Akebono for the Triple Crown, again in 2015. I was living in Japan at the time and decided to travel to the other end of the country to see the match as I had a feeling Akiyama was gonna be winning the title and I didn't want to pass up the opportunity to see it live. I was not disappointed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Considering I've only been to two WWE shows, a smattering of random family friendly indy shows and a dozen or two Rev Pro events, my picks aren't as interesting as some of the other posters on here, but here's a few of mine.

Zack Sabre Jr. vs Fujita Hayato (4FW 3/9/13)

4FW are mainly a family friendly promotion that brought in all kinds of ex-WWE stars for the kids and some Japanese imports to lure in the older audience, After a decent evening of simple kid-friendly wrestling, this was the main event and ended up getting a standing ovation from the 200 or so fans in attendance. This was one of the stiffest matches I've seen in person and it felt like something out of Battlarts. Sabre hadn't quite established himself yet and Hayato wasn't known to anyone who wasn't a hardcore puro fan, but the crowd were instantly invested once a stiff Hayato kick echoed through the drab, Swindon leisure centre. 15 minutes or so of violent strikes and grappling, check this one out if you can.

Marty Scurll vs Will Ospreay (RPW 1/16/16)

This was from the time when I actually felt positive about the UK scene. Both guys were just on brink of blowing up and the York Hall crowd was buzzing for this. They started off with some exciting technical exchanges before bringing out the high spots. I don't really get involved when at a live show, but I jumped up from my chair once Scurll countered a Ospreay Cutter with a Chickenwing. This was a damn near perfect indy workrate classic. 

Tomohiro Ishii vs Keith Lee (RPW 5/11/18)

This was very similar to what you would see in any big Ishii match, but seeing one of them in the flesh when you're half-drunk and surrounded by a molten-hot crowd is something entirely different. I'm mostly done with Ishii matches nowadays, but he's always put on a hell of a show whenever he would show his face at a Rev Pro event.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/12/2021 at 11:46 AM, joeg said:

I guess I'll answer my own question...

In cronological order....

Austin vs Rock at a house show at MCI Center a month after Wrestlemania 15

Tajiri vs Psicosis at The ECW Arena in August 2000

American Dragon vs Low Ki vs Christopher Daniels vs Scoot Andrews ECWA September 2001

American Dragon vs Low Ki with Ken Shamrock as ref ROH's second show

Kurt Angle vs John Cena No Mercy 2003

Brian Danielson vs Nakajima ROH Glory by Honor VII

 

 

I am jealous of lots of these, but this is the one I am MOST jealous of I think.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Cap said:

I am jealous of lots of these, but this is the one I am MOST jealous of I think.

Yeah living in the D.C suburbs with family in Virginia, Jersey, Philly, Delaware, DC and Baltimore, I got to see a lot of good wrestling as a kid. I've talked about it here before, but I was wild as fuck as a teenage. So from like 7th grade to like 11th grade my mom was always more than willing to drive me and my friends to any wrestling show in driving distance. As a crazy teenage kid I couldn't get in trouble at the ECWA Super 8 or the Shane Shamrock Memorial Cup with my mom the way I could at the 9:30 Club or running around Woodmont Triangle or M Street with my degenerate pothead friends.

The best story was our first trip to the ECW Arena, my friends and I were 13 and had convinced our parents that an ECW show would be just like a family friendly Maryland Championship Wrestling shows we went to every month. We get to South Philly, and detour for some cheesesteaks. We are waiting in line outside the ECW Arena with our cheesesteaks and in line there is a guy selling acid. There is a group of college kids in front of us who have been tailgating for hours it seemed like. One offers us a beer and says to my mom "Ma'am no offense but this is no place to bring children". 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is awesome. I grew up in WV (other side of the state though) so all that stuff was juuuussssst a bit far. I was also a bit of a lapsed fan at that time, but by 2004/5 I was hitting up ROH shows in OH and even Chicago. I got to see a lot of cool stuff, but Danielson vs Ki is one of my favorite pairings in wrestling history, especially in 2001-2002

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cesaro vs. Neville from NXT

Briscoes vs. War Machine 

War Machine vs. Daniels/Kazarian in a street fight 

Dalton Castle vs. Kamaitachi

Worst match I ever saw live was either a Booker T vs Hardcore Holly match that wouldn't end or an Elgin/Dijak match during an RoH show that made me question my life choices. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Cap said:

That is awesome. I grew up in WV (other side of the state though) so all that stuff was juuuussssst a bit far. I was also a bit of a lapsed fan at that time, but by 2004/5 I was hitting up ROH shows in OH and even Chicago. I got to see a lot of cool stuff, but Danielson vs Ki is one of my favorite pairings in wrestling history, especially in 2001-2002

Ki vs Danielson is one of my favs too. And their feud happened at the height of my wrestling fandom. I was 9th grade 15 years old- right at that age and time where wrestling is cool and all my friends had yet to outgrow wrestling. I'd bet that between all the Mid Atlantic indies running at around that time, I probably saw them wrestle each other in singles 3 times, in 3 way dances or 4 ways 4 or 5 times and in tags or as tag partners another 2 or 3 times.

Looking back it feels like from 2000 to 2003 every local indie show from Charlotte to NYC had some combination of Danielson, Christopher Daniels, Low Ki, Red, The Briscoes (who were still in high school!), Haas Brothers (who had just wrestled at Seaton Hall and were yoked to the gills), Scoot Andrews, Reckless Youth, Steve Corino, Paul London, York and Mathews, Brian Kendrick, or AJ Styles as the main event. Not all of those guys made it to a national promotion, but most did.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, Phil Schneider said:

I was at all of the Ki vs. Dragon matches live for a while, both ECWA matches, the Shamrock match and even the King of the Indies APW match

Correctly me if I'm wrong but you're a DC/Baltimore guy too? And you made it out to Cali for King of the Indies?!? That's awesome!

And you were a regular at ECW, JAPW, and ECWA for decades I would love to hear what your list is like.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm actually super high on that King of Indies Final. I think it is just a half notch behind the RR Challenge match and the Tap Out Match from JAPW.  They just had instant chemistry. I think i heard they met each other the night of their first ECWA match (both matches there are indeed awesome). That is bonkers to me.  I was surprised by how few one on one matches they had listed on cagematch though. I think it was 7. It feels like they should have had more. I'm sure there are plenty that aren't recorded, but of what I could track down their hit rate was sort of insane.

I don't want to get too far off track. It is probably for a different thread, but I just think their matches hold up exceptionally well. I think most of what Danielson has done does, but especially these REALLY early career matches with Ki.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×