Thursday, March 10, 2016

How it all began: My life as a wrestling junkie

Nick here! We are proud to introduce Dave Little to The Wrestling Weekday to discuss a few new topics on professional wrestling, both modern and as in today's case, old school! Take it away, Dave! 

Hey, fans! Thanks to Nicholas for the invitation to contribute to the Wrestling Weekday. I have been a fan of this wacky sport for over 30 years now, and there's nothing better than talking wrestling with other fans across the country and around the world.

My wrestling journey began on a Saturday afternoon in the summer of 1983.  I was a bored college student taking a study break and doing some channel surfing when I discovered this piece of Georgia Championship Wrestling magic:


I remember it clearly- BUZZ SAWYER had a big unbeaten streak on TV, and PEZ WHATLEY was unknown, but the popular JUNKYARD DOG came out to give Whatley a pep talk and slapped him across the face!  Whatley went nuts, but JYD told him to take his aggression to the ring.  The little known Whatley beat Sawyer and ended the win streak.  Sawyer went berserk, and about 10 minutes later stormed out to the ring, and Whatley pinned him again.

The action in the ring, the chaos of the events, and the fascination of listening to Gordon Solie hooked me from the first moment.  The cameo by Ole Anderson, the ranting of Larry Zbyszko, and the celebration of Junkyard Dog, Tommy Rich, and other wrestlers from backstage made this little angle an epic treat.  Before long, I was tuning in to WTBS at 6:05 pm every Saturday night!

Gordon Solie was the master of the microphone.  Known as "the Walter Cronkite of Wrestling", Gordon had the serious demeanor and the educated vocabulary of a college professor.  He took the broadcast role seriously, deadpanning the detailed anatomical references ("he's chopping away at that pre-frontal cortex"), and throwing in his own inimitable references:
"He's all man and a yard wide.""The name on the marquee is WRESTLING.""He asks for no quarter, and he gives none."
Watch here as Solie works another angle, probing the mystery of the masked man accompanying Ernie Ladd.

What about you, readers?  What was your first experience with wrestling?  What got you hooked?  Post your comments below.

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