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Fight Memories

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From the very beginning I loved fighting. I have fond memories of watching the 18 rated films of Bruce Lee, Van Damme, Slyvester Stallone and schwarzenegger as a pre-teen. Bruce Lee stood out here not only because of his films but his character. I had a Van Damme boxset that I loved. It included Bloodsport, with it’s dangerous mortal kombat vibe and the Stan Bush classic rock soundtrack. The set also included Death Warrant and  Cyborg, for an early glimpse of side boob before the days of free internet access and hardcore porn. I idolized Schwarzenegger in his iconic role as Conan and fell in love with Stallone’s Rocky. My favourite gaming genre was fighting and I had addictions to the Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat and Tekken series of games over the years. I was always excited to catch the WWE when I could and even had an adrenaline iducing introduction to the UFC in an ultimate knockouts compilation. 

I moved on to boxing in the Lewis, Tyson and Holyfield 90’s boxing era, the Don King era. It brings back memories of staying up all night to catch a rare fight broadcast on TV in the UK or to listen to radio commentary. This ‘shady’ Don King era congers up visions to me of smokey bars and halls that boxing historians much romanticize that were no doubt the reality of a much earlier time than this. I bought the Knockout Kings games 99 then Knockout Kings 2000 for PS1 to get further acclimatized with the sport. Before this I was already a boxing historian I got fascinated by Ali and bought books and film to study the entire history of boxing from the foundation of the Queensbury rules.

Looking back I now realize that these influence have been my programming to want to achieve through competition and not be a ‘regular joe’. and I lost this path somewhere along the way. I think this is the main reason that I became so unhappy just hanging around town drinking. I saw this was what accepted as the norm but deep down inside I wanted more and still do. Joe Rogan thought that he was a loser growing up until he began to excel at martial arts, from this he got the confidence to start his stand-up comedy career, TV, his commentary career with the UFC and his famous JRE podcast.

Throughout these years I was fit and strong and had natural athleticism and although I dabbled in a variety of sports I still wasn’t yet mentally strong enough to go train regularly at a boxing gym and take my own fight journey seriously enough.. 

Pro Wrastling

By | Blog, Games, Images, UFC/MMA | No Comments

I recently started reminiscing back on catching glimpses of The Ultimate Warrior and the British Bulldog as a youth and how excited it made me at the time. Living in England I missed a great deal of the ‘pro’ wrestling action because of unfriendly time-zones but my dad tried to keep me updated as much as he could with news and highlights. He bought us the WWF Wrestlemania game for the Atari ST which I have only very recently sold on and I have great memories of playing that game back in the day. As I grew up and moved on to the Playstation I continued to love wrestling games. I had WWF Attitude and Smackdown on the Playstation 1 and I continued to occasionally catch highlights of the current pro wrestling story-lines as a guilty pleasure. I really do think the themes, gimmicks, the music and branding of pro wrestling all combine so well and translate to make hugely entertaining video games.

'WWF Attitude' Screenshot

WWF Attitude

WWF Smackdown 2

WWF Smackdown 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Because I missed a great deal of the story-lines as a child I’m in the process of binge watching this retro bygone age of classic wrestling in my free time, ie The Hogan era. I’m looking back on some of the awesome entrances and gimmicks which were most often far better than the actual wrestling itself, such as The Legion of Doom’s theme song which was so simple yet so powerful and would blow the roofs off stadiums. Stuff like that shows the true power of punk when combined with the personalities and appearance of Hawk and Animal. A good example of this is the Legion of Doom’s 1992 Summerslam entrance which can be easily found here on YouTube. Music and pro wrestling just go together so well..even Ozzy Osbourne recognized this and made guest appearances in the WWE a couple of times. Ronda Rousey with her love of ‘rowdy’ name provider Rody Piper has also been known to show up in the WWE.

Ozzy and The Bulldogs

Ozzy and The Bulldogs

Ronda Rousey appears at Wrestlemania

Rousey appears at Wrestlemania

 

 

 

 

 

Pro Wrestling of this classic time period is still very much watchable as an adult simply for the pure comedy value and it surely inspires and entertains young kids who are still willing to suspend their disbelief. These factors mean pro wrestling should be commended for what it is, and that is simply unadulterated entertainment in it’s purest and simplest form. The dark side to pro wrestling back then however was the alarming abuse of steroids that took place. The Ultimate Warrior and The British Bulldog, aka Davey Boy Smith where both famously ousted from the WWF due to steroid issues before later returning..drug addictions took the lives of many famous wrestlers within this time period.

The British Bulldog aka Davey Boy Smith

Speaking of Davey Boy Smith I recently signed a petition to get him in to the WWE Hall of Fame which pushed the tally to over 10,000 votes. The information and link to the petition can be found at www.daveyboysmith.com  so be sure to get on it!

The WWF became the WWE and things are well and truly PG and Politically Correct now (don’t dare call one of the female wrestlers a diva!) and in my mind can’t compare to the classic shows of yesteryear. It’s also the case now that there is simply too much of it. It maybe worth a watch for a laugh now and again but for me nothing can quite compare to watching the LOD riding out to the ring with the music blaring and the sun setting over a packed Wembley stadium.

SummerSlam 1992 - Wembley Stadium

SummerSlam 1992 at Wembley Stadium also hosted the famous Intercontinental Championship match between Brett Hart and The British Bulldog