Welcome to another segment of OTH Wrestling fans. We just had an exciting weekend of wrestling: PCO becomes ROH champion, Marty Scurll shows up at NWA and the old Daniel Bryan returned at TLC.
This week we meet up with Adam TB, a Communications/Media student from New Jersey who has been a wrestling fan since 1999.
It was the very first episode of SmackDown that did the job, and at that moment, he knew he would be hooked for years to come.
Adam is the former host of a wrestling podcast called the Funkmasters of Wrestling. Along with his friends Doc and Mario, they got to interview many great wrestling personalities like:
- Sizzling Stan Stylez
- Greywolf Raventhorn
- The Meadowlands Monster
- Kongo Kong
- Aaron Williams
“It’s an experience I will always carry with me for the rest of my life and I’m eternally grateful for these men and women taking the time to talk to us on our little show.”
Back in the 90s, wrestling was THE thing to be into.
However, even though Adam was familiar with it, he wasn’t a real fan at the time:
“I grew up without cable, so I didn’t have the means to watch Monday Night Raw then. I knew about The Rock and Stone Cold because everywhere you went, people had their shirt on!”
Then one day his older brother came yelling at the top of his lungs:
“WWF Is coming to channel 9! They are going to have a new show called SmackDown!”
It was April 29, 1999, Thursday night at 8 p.m. That is where it all began for Adam.
For the first time in his life, he finally got to witness the legendary wrestlers from the T-shirts: The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin!
The Rock was going against the Corporation, Stone Cold was going against the Undertaker in order to save Stephanie McMahon.
“It was unreal, they ended up teaming up with each other, I never saw two guys radiate with such attitude!”
“They were the personification of cool. We wanted to be them. I’ll never forget that feeling.”
After that day things would never be the same again, as Adam and his brother would tape every single SmackDown episode to re-watch time and time again.
Favorite Wrestling Matches and Moments
“Wrestling has graced us with some high-profile spots that have helped heighten the drama between superstars.”
Some of those moments are:
- WrestleMania 2000: Fatal four elimination for the title: The Rock, Triple H, Big Show and Mick Foley
- WrestleMania X-Seven: Rock VS Austin, in which the match ended with Austin doing the unthinkable, siding with Mr. McMahon.
- Royal Rumble 2000: Mick Foley VS Triple H in a street fight.
- Slammiversary XVI: LAX VS Homicide and Hernandez
- Pentagón Jr. VS Sami Callihan in a Mask/Hair match: What an insane match that was, truly an unforgiving grueling tale.
- 2017 U.S. title SmackDown match, AJ Styles VS Kevin Owens VS Chris Jericho:
“What a clinic that was. AJ Styles would walk out with the U.S. title that night.”
Adam also got to see Cody and Joey Janela wrestle live for WrestlePro.
However, nothing beats his favorite experience, which was in Brooklyn on 2017.
“I was at SummerSlam at Barclays and I got to see both Ambrose and Rollins win the tag titles against The Bar.”
As far as his worst memories, he mentions that he tries to avoid focusing on those events that boil his blood:
“I do remember plenty of times during the WCW/ECW invasion, getting me worried as a kid though!”
Memorabilia and collectibles
Adam claims to not be a big action figure collector, but to my opinion, it is a very good one.
His collection currently holds:
From the Smackdown Series 5 by Jakks Pacific:
- Chris Jericho
- American Badass Undertaker
- Kurt Angle
- Triple H
- Stephanie McMahon
- Big Show
“I know a lot of people hate on Jakks for some bad face molds, and some weren’t the best, but they did get better as time rolled on.”
- Chris Jericho Undisputed Champion
- Cm Punk
- Stone Cold Steve Austin
- The Rock
However, his favorite action figure is a Road Dogg from the Survivor Series Signature edition line.
“It was the first action figure that I ever received; I was 10 years old.
Adam is a big wrestling video game fan, and he tries to collect as many as he can get his hands on.
His favorite game ever is WWE Day of Reckoning for the GameCube.
“It had a cool story mode for the Raw brand, so strong it could have been great for TV,” he said.
“The customizations were almost endless, and the gameplay was so solid you could almost feel the action happening in the ring.”
Unfortunately, it is not in his collection at the moment.
(Maybe one of our readers can make a donation for the holidays!)
Two other games hold a special place in his heart: Power Move for PS1 and Rumble Roses.
“For one, they weren’t that popular, but they were incredibly unique.”
Power move was actually noted as one of the first fully 3D wrestling titles.
“It utilized the Yukes engine which WWE would license to use for the Smackdown games.”
Rumble Roses is an all-female wrestling game with solid gameplay and colorful characters.
“It was very hard to get those two games; prices online were incredibly high”
Luckily, he found them at two stores he visits frequently in Clifton and Springfield New Jersey, for $10 each.
Special mention goes out to Attitude and ECW Hardcore Resolution:
“Not really the best games, but as I got older, I learned to appreciate them for what they were!”
On the evolution of wrestling
“I think you could arguably say that now is the best time to be a wrestling fan.”
Some may disagree with Adam, but in a way he is right. There are so many options out there today.
“It’s crazy to think about it, because in the 90s, it was just WWE, WCW and ECW.”
WWE and WCW started out as family-oriented shows. A good way to bond with wrestlers. Then, came the Attitude Era and it began to get more edgy.
More emphasis was put on characters and stories, which started to impact the quality of matches. WCW and WWE were going head to head, with ECW not far behind.
Then came the downfall of WCW and ECW, all you could watch was WWE.
“You could watch Ring of Honor, but only if you had the channel!”
There were other indie promotions too, but you had to attend the shows, tape trade (VHS or DVD), or read about them in magazines like PWI.
It wasn’t until the early 2000s that Adam started learning about NJPW, especially when Brock Lesnar became IWGP Heavyweight Champion in 2005.
“That’s when it finally hit me that there was so much wrestling in the world!”
Fast forward to today, and we can watch WWE, AEW, Impact, NWA, NJWP, ROH and other indie promotions.
On streaming services, podcasts and social media
“Streaming networks have helped bring so many products to the fans with affordable rates.”
There are so many choices now, you could say it’s almost oversaturation.
“But it’s great, because you can basically watch what YOU want!”
Social media is also great, as it allows people like us to connect with wrestlers.
“That interaction goes a long way, sometimes a simple hello can make someone’s day! I remember when I was on my podcast, I never dreamed I’d be able to talk with up and coming stars!”
Wrestling podcasts are increasing by the day, and it allows more communication between fans and wrestlers.
However, not all is good with social media:
“It’s a good thing, but it kind of has destroyed Kayfabe.”
On Women’s wrestling
“Let’s also not forget the advent of female wrestlers headlining! With amazing talent like Tessa Blanchard, Becky Lynch, Asuka, Allie, Charlotte Flair … how could you not be excited!? “
“I’ll always be thankful for the friendships I’ve made as well thanks to the pro wrestling community. We really didn’t have that back in the day. It’s like I said. It’s arguably the best time to be a wrestling fan.”
Thanks for stopping by, hope you enjoyed our new segment!
You can follow Adam on Twitter @KingOfFuzzStyle
If you have a great wrestling story, and you want to share, reach out to me on Twitter at @Dre2124.
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