’80s Wrestling Zone: What I Miss Most About Wrestling’s Greatest Era

It was a time where everyone was larger than life. Where you cheered on your favorites to defeat the evil villain. It was cool. It was hip. It was pop culture. It was Rock N’ Wrestling. There were figures, posters, pictures, a cartoon, magazines, coloring books, school notebooks and folders. Don’t forget ice cream bars, shirts, thumb wrestlers, pencils, pajamas, wrestling buddies, board games, and monthly events in a town near you. It could have been in an arena, a high school, or a rec center. One thing was for sure though- it was everywhere. It was 80‘s Wrestling.

It was a cold Saturday morning in the winter of 1985 when I first discovered it. I was at my grandparents and my “Papa” was watching WWF Wrestling. The second my eyes connected with the TV, I was hooked. I couldn’t get enough. My parents would take me to the Brendan Byrne Arena in East Rutherford, NJ every month to see it. Back then, you didn’t have to wait six months for them to come back to your area. It was monthly back then- and they would set up angles for return matches to get you down to the box office before you went home to purchase your tickets for the next one.

As a child, I would always look forward to right before the main event. That’s when Howard Finkel would give us the return date and let us know what the main event would be. It was always so exciting. George Steele was going to get his revenge on Mr. Fuji for hitting him with his cane tonight. Because next month, they will collide one on one in a…..TUXEDO MATCH!

I also have memories of walking in the concession areas with WWF music videos playing. Standing there with my soda and popcorn watching Koko B. Ware singing “Piledriver” on the little TV’s hanging up throughout the arena hallways is something I still remember from my childhood. If you went as a child, chances are you do too. I would love to look at all the shirts and posters they were selling. As a child, the entire experience was just the greatest thing ever! Heck, even as an adult it was.

While I missed the first WrestleMania due to the fact that I wasn’t watching yet, I did get to see WrestleManias 2 through 5 on Closed Circuit TV at William Paterson College in Wayne, NJ. Anyone that got the chance to see a WrestleMania like that knows what a cool experience it was. It still sticks with me from my childhood. I remember crying when The British Bulldogs defeated Greg Valentine and Brutus Beefcake for the Tag Team Titles at WrestleMania 2. Obviously, it was tears of joy.

I remember going to sleep at 9pm on Saturday Night and my mother waking me up at 11:30 to watch Saturday Night‘s Main Event. I still remember where I was when Paul Orndorff turned on Hulk Hogan. I still remember what stores I would get my WWF LJN figures in as a child. I still remember eating cold pizza on Saturday mornings watching Hulk Hogan’s Rock N’ Wrestling. I can still hear Roddy Piper’s voice saying “You’re bleeding” to Hulk Hogan like he just said it ten seconds ago. I remember all of it. It was special. It was magic.

If you grew up on 80’s wrestling, chances are everything I’m writing right now is hitting home with you. It almost sounds like you wrote it, right? It’s because it was such a special time of all our lives. I feel bad for today’s wrestling fans that never got to experience living through that era. They have no idea that for three dollars we would get a full-color program with a line-up insert and see who they would have featured in “Keep an Eye On” that month!!!

I know how many of you out there still hold onto these memories like I do. I thought it would be awesome if we could all share these memories together and relive our childhood one more time. If we could all celebrate the greatest time period in the history of professional wrestling, the 80’s. I decided to do just that and created 80’s Wrestling Con for April 27th in Freehold, NJ at iPlay America.

Jake “The Snake” Roberts, Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, Bruce “Brother Love” Prichard, Wendi Richter, Ken Patera, King Kong Bundy, The Nasty Boys, Greg “The Hammer” Valentine, “Cowboy” Bob Orton, “The Doctor of Style” Slick, The Powers of Pain, “Mr. USA” Tony Atlas, Rocky Johnson, “The Genius” Lanny Poffo, Koko B. Ware, The Wild Samoans, and The Young Stallions will all be on hand at 80’s Wrestling Con to celebrate the unbelievable history of 80’s Wrestling.

It’s more than just a signing though; it’s an experience. Tons of different attractions and events are taking place at 80’s Wrestling Con. You will have a chance to win lunch with Bruce Prichard. Pro Wrestling Illustrated will reveal their three Greatest 80’s Covers live. From an Ultimate 80’s Wrestling Auction to Koko B. Ware performing Piledriver live on stage. Yes, you read that last sentence correct. You can learn more about the event at http://80sWrestlingCon.com.

I look forward to returning here every Monday to talk 80’s Wrestling with you all! Some weeks I will write about a certain topic or wrestler. I will also have exclusive quotes about that topic or wrestler from tons of people within the wrestling industry. So be sure to come back here every Monday for 80’s Wrestling ZONE!

80’S WRESTLING RADIO: Tonight live after RAW, 11PM EST tune in and listen to our 80’s Wrestling Radio show at http://BlogTalkRadio.com/80sWrestlingRadio. We will be taking your calls live and talking about 80’s Wrestling Managers. We are live every Monday night following RAW.

Column FEEDBACK: [email protected]

Thanks guys for reading my debut column and I hope you come back next week right here inside the 80’s Wrestling ZONE!

Tommy Fierro