it will always be the wwf to me
Something I really used to be into was "professional wrestling", which of course is properly called "sports entertainment", because it's acting. And yeah, everyone knows it's acting now, but back then it was passed off as an actual professional sport.
The two wrestling organizations I watched the most were WWF and WCW back in what's now called their "vintage" days. The World Wrestling Federation logo seen at right is the one used from 1984 through 1997 and that's the one I remember. Very 80s, very colorful, and yes, very tacky. That's how style was back then.
I can tell you the exact moment I stopped watching WWF pretty much altogether. It was right after Wrestlemania VI. The year was 1990. I was 15 years old then. At this time I had either just started playing guitar or did shortly afterward, and it was also right before I got heavily into computers.
I saw Wrestlemania VI on closed-circuit at some place in Massachusetts that I can't remember the name of. Some big auditorium. Basically it was just like watching a movie, and in '90 people still did this sort of thing before pay-per-view became the norm for watching special wrestling events.
People were bored at that showing. I could tell, because heck, I was bored too. I barely remember a thing about Wrestlemania VI, and thinking that I'd really rather be doing something else. And the venue didn't sell out either. Many empty seats where there.
Now Wrestlemania V on the other hand - that was awesome. I saw that one on closed-circuit also in a completely packed house. It was amazing. When Hogan won the title match at that event, the whole place erupted with cheering noise so loud that for a split-second it made my head rattle, and I've never experienced anything like it since. Everyone got their money's worth that day. Great show.
To touch back on Wrestlemania VI for a moment, it's generally agreed upon by wrestling fans that this particular one was "so-so", meaning not really great, but not really bad either. Just kinda.. there. And awkward. You'd have to watch it to know what I'm talking about.
In the 80s there were two WWF shows that I was absolutely glued to whenever they came on, and that was WWF Prime Time Wrestling and Saturday Night's Main Event.
PTW aired during the week (I don't remember which day exactly) and was 2 frickin' hours long, but I would watch the whole thing each time on the USA Network cable channel.
SNME is rather interesting because it wasn't on every Saturday during its original run from 1985-1992. It aired on NBC, was 90 minutes long, and when it did air, it actually replaced Saturday Night Live for that slot. Yeah, WWF actually had that much pull with NBC back then because the show as far as I'm aware drew in more viewers than SNL did at the time.
Every now and then I'll go on YouTube and watch some old matches from the late 80s and early 90s. I seriously can't believe now how much I was into it then. My father was also more than happy to take us to WWF wrestling events (usually at what was formerly known as the Worcester Centrum). The tickets were relatively cheap, the show was good, and it was kid-friendly. What more could a parent ask for? I was entertained and liked it. Even the souvenirs were reasonably priced for the most part. I usually got a t-shirt.
I absolutely had no idea that the WWF (now WWE) headquarters was in Stamford, Connecticut until much later in life. That absolutely blew my mind when I found out that little tidbit of info because it means that yes, WWF was (and still is) based in New England where I grew up. Cool. 🙂