Thursday, February 01, 2007

February 27, 2004


So, it's barely a secret that I am one of those " Wrasslin' " fans, it's also no secret that during most of my conscious watching days there really has been no local stuff to watch, no shows coming in no anything, except of course what was on TV. What does this all mean? Simply put, I've been a WWF'er (or more correctly no a WWE'er) for life. There are alternatives available now, that's for sure .. but when you grow up with something it's more sentimental.. at least for weekly watching.

PPV's have always been a big part of the show, originally in my time there was the big four; Royal Rumble (in January), WrestleMania (usually in March or extremely early April), SummerSlam (September), and Survivor Series (November). Then in I believe 1993 they introduced the King of the Ring (June), that made the big four turn into the bug five. These terms didn't come into play really until the Wrestling wars when pay per view shows ended up going to a once a month event. This of course watered down the playing field a bit so when the "big five" came around they are viewed as the name events and special and all of that. Ok enough of a history lesson... on to the story

Like most WWF/WWE fans my favorite PPV has always been the Royal Rumble, unfortunately I Was not born in January so this story doesn't really have anything to do with that.

This brings me to the big one, WrestleMania. They call it "The Grand Daddy of them all" the show that propelled the then WWF from wrestling as it was into the realm of Sports Entertainment. WrestleMania you see takes place in March, the month of my birth, the beginning of all as it were. This being the case growing up WrestleMania was my easiest bet when I begged to order a pay per view event.

This starts us at my spiral of pain and suffering at the hands of WM. My first attempt was WM VIII in 92' this was shot down by my parents and but I was lucky enough to get a tape from a friend of a friend (a pattern we used for PPV's we were unable to see).

Next step WM IX, They said YES!! Slightly disappointing that I would have to wait about a half a month seeing as this year WM was in April not March. Anyway, we made the order to the cable company early over the phone, everything seemed to be square. Come Sunday April 4 I go to tune in and much to my shock and dismay the signal is scrambled and shows no sign of clearing up. After about 15 minutes on the phone getting the run around we are eventually told that we will Not be able to view the show because we have a small outstanding balance on our cable bill. Of course there was a lot of upset talking and some adult language by my parents, after all we had ordered the event early and had been told there were no problems, if we had been informed of the balance earlier we could have gotten it paid no problem unfortunately there is no way to pay up on Sundays when the offices are closed. All hope is not lost though, my parents call some family friends and cut a deal, we try an get ready and head out but all of this trouble has eaten up time and we wouldn't make it in time for the replay. Bummed out but not quite dead yet we make the deal for the Tuesday replay. I get there early, we make the calls, make sure everything is cool and all of that good stuff and boom next thing you know the event starts. Five minutes into the show there are feed problems from the cable company WTF!!! it comes in and out during the entire first half of the show (mostly out) and clears up for the second half, I was pretty upset as we were not planning on staying for the replay. I ended up seeing the last half clearly that night and leaving a tape recording for the first part which I watched a couple days later.

WM X, happily not much drama here, I saw it with a friend at his house. We had fun, we had snacks, we had tons and tons of Pepsi. The show could have been better but I'm not going to whine, I mean I did see it live and I didn't even have to pay or anything.

WM XI, I didn't even actually beg to order this one, Me and my friend knew we would get a tape of it to watch with no problem. Saw it and got a copy of the tape and it was cool at the time. For some reason though the tape didn't last, it just basically disintegrated the video was unwatchable after a couple of playings. I ended up actually buying a commercial release cassette of this one.

WM XII, Almost had the parents convinced to let me order it, but that ended up falling through thanks to some shenanigans that did not involve me in any way, but it did involve my brothers and a broken window. At least I think it was a window, something along those lines. I ended up renting the tape, I don't even thing I have this one in my collections.

WM 13, I will try to ignore the initial unsettling bit about them abandoning roman numerals for this one. The main hurt from this one was not actually seeing WM but the state of the product that was being put out at this point. Again I didn't even attempt to order it, I figured I'd rent it or something. Last minute I got a chance to see it live and I took it. I was barely impressed, although there was some high points, I would say the two best things of the night were Bret Hart, and LOD.

WM XIV, Saw it with a friend, no huge gripes. product was on an upswing but still had some low points. I think I stubbed my toe while grabbing a soda... so the evening was not perfect.

WM XV, I got to order this one, it was cool. The cable company tried to give us a hassle though, as it turned out this time they had crossed some billing issues onto my parents cable account that were supposed to be on my brothers account (he didn't live with us but his address was very close to ours). They tried to put all of his bill on ours saying that we tried to change names to avoid a bill. Luckily we were ordering early, all of the BS was caught proof was given, and in the end we even ended up with a few vouchers for a couple free normal PPV movies.

WM 2000 - X-Seven - X8, not a whole lot of trouble, saw them all one way or another.

Now the bane of my existence, the pain of all wrestling related pains that I have. WrestleMania XIX.. Seattle Washington. Not only is it the first WWE PPV in the northwest, but it also happens very very near to both my birthday and my graduation from ITT Tech. So, I buy myself a graduation present, a ticket for a floor seat at "The Grand Daddy of them all". I ended up paying about $90 for my single seat, this may not sound like much but remember at the time I was an unemployed college student. I was more than excited, I had never been to a WWF/E PPV live before, I had seen Raw tapings of course, even a Smackdown taping and a few house shows, but the closes I'd come to a huge event was a WCW PPV that took place in Washington (by the way it was pretty lame).

Fast forward to Sunday, March, 30 2003. Under perfect circumstances we would have driven out to Seattle the day before, got settled into a hotel room for the night and rested up and all that good stuff, but 2 college students with pretty much zip in extra cash = driving up on the day of the event. No big deal right, we have done the Seattle drive many time for various reasons so we got up early, got some snacks and Pepsi's for the road and headed out. About halfway in between Portland and Seattle there in this nice area that as it turns out is nowhere near a cell tower the car made a noise... and not a good one. We pulled over to let it cool down a bit and see if we can spot a problem under the hood. We aren't mechanics so the fact that it looked fine to us was no surprise, it did seem really hot though so we grabbed our lunch we packed and had a quick bite to eat while the car cooled. Annoyingly enough when we settled back in to start the car up and head on the rest of the way it was discovered that the damn car would NOT start anymore. We stressed a lot, tried to make a few calls on my cell which was only functioning in analog mode where we were (which means poor quality, no messages, and no incoming calls). We could not get a hold of Anyone who's number we had. We were literally stranded for hours, no one even stopped, we decided not to go walking towards any towns while it was so damn hot out so we just continued to attempt calls and whatnot. About the exact time that the event would be starting a tow truck was seen to pull over about 100 yards in front of us, my friend ran up and had a talk and we ended up with a tow and a ride home at least.

About 2 hours later, I was home, I was tired, and I was pissed. Not only had I wasted a ton of money, but I wasn't even able to see the event on the day that it happened. I did end up getting a tape of the show through a different friend but it is such a sore subject for me that I have been unable to actually sit down and watch the thing. One time I played the tape just to check quality but I was doing a lot of other stuff and just could not make myself pay attention.

Now we have this year, WrestleMania is coming up in about 16 days and I am just about %99.8 sure that I will not be able to see it. I'm dirt broke poor which makes ordering it a difficult task. I might end up with a tape, but honestly seeing it live is a total different experience.

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