Thursday, February 4, 2010

"That was one of the times I actually questioned how fake it was"

 Kentucky Fried Wrestling on the Sammartino/Zbyszko feud:
Another fan at the time, ‘ZillaJoe, says, “You really felt the betrayal. I’ll tell ya, I can watch that whole thing unfold even today and get caught up in it. It played out very realistically. I was only 9 at the time and didn’t really have any idea to think it wasn’t gonna be a “scientific” match. As it progressed though and Larry became more and more frustrated, there was this little part of me that went ‘Uh-oh, this is gonna end badly.’” Joe cites a Zbyszko promo that sums up the emotion of the feud: “Bruno, you call me Judas? Well, we all know who you think YOU are now.”
That is one of the best lines I've ever heard. Check out the link for the whole story.

Sadly, I've never seen a Sammartino match. For as much as some shills talk up WWE Classics on Demand, their definition of classics is the Monday Night War and six month old PPVs. I'd love to see more of the truly old school stuff of the 60s and 70s. 

I've mostly seen Zbyszko as a commentator, but always loved the guy. WWE should really invest in assembling these old school feuds into individual contained package and throwing it on WWE On Demand.

This excerpt really hits home for me:
Although I hadn’t seen WWF TV at this point, at 9 years old I was stunned at the news, which was featured on the cover of the May 1980 issue of INSIDE WRESTLING, along with the dramatic headline: “Larry Zbyszko leaves Bruno … drowning in a pool of blood!” Bruno vs. Zbyszko was one of those feuds I could only follow through the Apter mags and other rasslin’ publications, making their battles larger than life to me.
I had the same relationship with ECW in the mid-90s. I was on the west coast and could only follow ECW in the Apter mags, and goddamn did I follow it. ECW was taking place in this weird foreign fantasy land and there was no internet or television to follow it on, all I got was monthly dispatches of Cactus Jack and Sabu's latest. And as undeniably great the internet is, there was something magical about words and black and white photos of bloody wrestling wars taking place a million miles away.

One of my most memorable childhood memories is my mom taking me to an indy wrestling event at a shitty casino in the bad part of town on a school/work night just so I could see Cactus Jack and Sabu in a steel cage match. It was like mythology come to life for me. Somehow I missed the previous event where Cactus piledrove Sabu into a live casino poker table, but we were there for this war (a card which inexplicably featured the Ultimate Warrior in a match during one of his many hiatuses.). They beat the shit out of each other in a steel cage and used a bunch of objects on each other. I don't remember a lot of the objects but I remember a few of them were glass and a few of them wouldn't break and they were both determined not to leave that ring until every object in that cage was destroyed on each other's bodies.

Just incredible.

In case you aren't convinced of Kentucky Fried Wrestling's awesomeness (a site I've only found in the past few months), here is a compliation of Andre the Giant being slammed:

I've followed pro wrestling for 19 years (!) and I never saw this crazy fucking spry Andre the Giant. I'm such a noob. Andre's always been an old, barely mobile man to me. Still impressive, no question, but very immobile. To see him like this is amazing.

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