As a kid around my way you did three things after school and on the weekends during the fall. You played pick up football, 21 (a basketball game for those who never played it) until the older dudes decided to run a full court and you wrestled. This was before that whole back yard shit where kids and teens jumped off the roof of a shed and shit, no this was you doing what you saw on TV. One of the first things you learn is all that shit really hurts. I’ve been put in the figure four, the torture chamber/back breaker, scorpion death lock/sharp shooter and the camel clutch. All that shit hurt!!!
Back then there may have been many wrestling companies but only two mattered, the then WWF and NWA. For me it was the NWA all day. To me back then WWF was fake and cartoonish. I mean Hulk Hogan could not lose a big match at all and when he spoke it was in after school cartoon moral lessons way. “kids take your vitamins.” What? The NWA was raw and down right under budget like a mother fucker. It never had the quality production of WWF until it started the WCW Nitro, yet still it attracted fans all over because of the stars.
I’d take the Four Horsemen over any group of heels (the bad guys) of any era of wrestling. Even that whole NWO shit really couldn’t measure up to what the Four Horsemen were about in their prime. Right now there probably isn’t anyone who could talk Ric Flair under the table in his prime. Yeah everyone seems to have jumped on the Steve Austin attitude side when Austin was at his best when it came to talking but Ric Flair made you believe everything he said in the 80’s and early 90’s. Then there was Dusty Rodes who while looking back at his matches on youtube was pretty quick for a big man. He had a way of holding your attention as well with his own brand of swag, God I just couldn’t figure another way to say it. I’d take any NWA tag team over anyone in WEE back then too. The Rock N Roll Express, Midnight Express, Road Warriors/L.O.D, The Stieners, Ivan and Nikita Kolof I could go on but you get my point.
I think what made it feel so real back in the days was the fact that some shows that aired were nothing more then recaps of house matches throughout the country that weren’t televised. Those matches had those TV type interference gang mob beat downs which again made it feel like the feuds were real as hell, and titles did change hands during those house matches. The in the street beat downs of stars were over the top but still made it feel real. The coolest shit unlike what WWE was doing at the time, the good guys did just as much dirt as the bad guys. Many times the The Four Horsemen members whether alone or in a group got ambushed. It fed that fire of revenge something WWE back then didn’t do much of.
I know by time people really started catching on to NWA/WCW it was during the Monday wars as Nitro aired opposite WWE Monday Night RAW on TNT but by that time the best years were gone minus the first NWO storyline pre Sting going all dark. Starcade, American Bash, Halloween Havoc, Clash Of Champions, War Games and Fall Brawl were major events that when you look at those matches on youtube you see what I mean. I can’t lie I’ve found a new chain watching attraction on youtube that taps into my nostalgia.