More Wrestling Memories
Back to the Krude archives for another round of Wrestling Memories. That's professional wrestling memories. Not jello or mud wrestling. Or high school boys' navy blue singlet memories. These are World Wrestling Federation happy thoughts. And at a show that was a precursor to the greatest WrestleMania of all time: WrestleMania 17. So let's go back to December 5, 2000 at Madison Square Garden for a Smackdown taping (on a Tuesday to be broadcast on a Thursday) for an awesome WWF sports entertainment show.
Sports Entertainment was the name of the game that evening. Not much for good wrestling matches. But for solid in ring and backstage promos,this was a great show. Myself,this was the first live wrestling show I had attended in 4 years. I was super stoked to see this show and had scored ringside seats. My life the previous 5 months was a living hell (illness,divorce,the usual shit).I HAD to go see WWF. And be up close. And to see what I saw was something I'll never forget. Good thing I had brought a disposable camera with me (remember those?). And took a few pics that night. Still have them. Enjoy.
It is weird to look at nearly 17 year old photos and see people as they were as compared to who they are now. Undertaker,Kurt Angle,Mick Foley,Vince McMahon are all still doing their thing in the wrestling biz. The Rock was still a year or so from becoming the most famous face on the planet. The old,original Smackdown stage set was kinda tame compared to the big fist stage set they brought out a year later. The crowd was super frenzied and hot all night. MSG really is the Mecca for pro wrestling. Call it The House That Bruno Sammartino Built.
This WWF Attitude Era show wasn't something anybody in the crowd was thinking they were never going to see the likes of again. The WWF purchase of WCW was a few months off. Just being able to see Stone Cold Steve Austin,Undertaker,Kurt Angle and the Rock in a fatal fourway was something special. Especially on a free tv show. I'm not sure the now WWE will ever capture the magic (with the quality of talent) that they did between 1997-2002. I enjoy the likes of current wrestlers such as Seth Rollins,Finn Balor,Kevin Owens, and Neville. And tag teams like The New Day and The Vaudevillians. But the era of the Monday Night Wars between WWF and WCW (and ECW at a lesser level) will never escape my memory for being the most entertaining must see tv viewing ever.
I'm sure this show is probably being offered for viewing on WWE Network at this moment. Maybe not. But any retro pro wrestling viewing is cool with Krude. It's WrestleMania time this week. That is cause to pour a few belts and praise the American (flashy capitalism) spirit that Vince McMahon has been exploiting for 35 years. Thank you Vince. And thank you to all the great wrestlers and wrestling personalities that entertain us all.Every week.Every month. Every year.
Double count outs suck