Growing Up With WWE: My Top 10 Moments
While it isn't called the WWF anymore, some things never change.
From memories on television to memories in person, the WWE has been a huge part of my life for a long, long time.
I think my parents deserve a huge "Thank You!", for all of the pay-per-views they ordered me when I was growing up. I don't think I missed one from 1994-2000.
That's a lot of money.
Something about the WWE always made me feel right at home.
In this article, I would like to look back at some key moments from my perspective, some on television, some in person. These are the moments that I will never forget.
No. 10 Bret Hart Defeats Mr. Perfect (Summerslam 1991)
At Summerslam 1991, Bret Hart defeated Mr. Perfect to become the Intercontinental Champion.
This was Hart's first major title victory in the WWE.
I was never a big fan of Hulk Hogan. I think due to my age, I missed that boat.
Instead my guys in the early 90's were Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Razor Ramon, Crush, and even Tatanka.
When Hart won this title, I believe it was one of the first Coliseum Videos I ever owned. Man, I loved those things. Getting one in the mail was like Christmas morning when you opened it, no matter what time of the year it was.
No. 9 Shawn Michaels
Back in December of 1991, I can remember clearly when my favorite member of The Rockers, Shawn Michaels, kicked Marty Jannetty in the kisser to jump start his solo career.
While I was shocked, like most fans were, I wasn't upset. I knew that this was the beginning of something very special.
"The Boy Toy" Shawn Michaels, was the guy girls wanted to be with and the one that guys wanted to be like.
I had no idea his career would be as big as it was, but I had a feeling that I would remember this moment for a long, long time.
No. 8 Shawn Michaels Wins 1995 Royal Rumble
In January of 1995, Shawn Michaels won his first of two Royal Rumble matches.
I didn't know what "marking out" was at that age, but I think I woke the entire neighborhood up that night.
It was so awesome how he hung on the top rope to prevent both feet from touching the floor. Easy to do when you aren't tired, but Michaels was the first entrant in the event.
No. 7 Austin 3:16 Is Born
In June of 1996, Stone Cold Steve Austin won the King of the Ring tournament and Austin 3:16 was born.
I remember how funny it was when Austin started speaking that night, saying whatever he wanted to about Jake Roberts and winning the tournament.
When he said he was going to be the next WWF Champion when he got the shot at it, he looked straight into the camera. He made you believe it.
No. 6 Steve Austin Wins 1997 Royal Rumble
I was always a big fan of the Royal Rumble, so whenever it came around, I always got excited.
While Bret Hart's run in the WWE was about to come to an end, another career was just getting started.
Though this Royal Rumble victory didn't lead to a title victory for Austin, his fame skyrocketed to the next level after this performance.
I remember the look on Austin's face when Bret Hart's music hit as he was the only one in the ring at the time Hart came out.
I had mixed emotions, because I loved Hart, but had a feeling that his days in the WWE were numbered.
Hearing McMahon's voice say "No...no", when Hart was eliminated, still sounds sarcastic to this day.
No. 5 The Boyhood Dream Comes True
WrestleMania XII in 1996 told a lot of stories in one night.
Shawn Michaels defeated Bret "Hitman" Hart in a 60-minute Iron Man match that had to be extended into sudden death overtime to determine a winner.
I don't think I was alone in the fact that I liked both wrestlers at the time and had mixed emotions.
Watching Bret Hart walk away without his title was hard to watch, and watching Shawn Michaels win the title was emotional in its on right.
I'll never forget this night. Shawn's entrance from the rafters still gives me chills.
I only wish I could of been there.
No. 4 Royal Rumble 2002: My First PPV In Person
The 2002 Royal Rumble was held in my hometown of Atlanta, GA.
I remember spending $135 dollars on my lower level seat, which was like an entire paycheck of mine back then.
I was on camera most of the night. I pulled the above image off of the DVD of the Royal Rumble. I am so glad I have contacts now, I hated glasses.
I remember Maven eliminating the Undertaker that night from the Rumble and the near silence in the crowd, "Oh...crap". We kinda knew Maven was in some hot water, but we didn't know he was going to get the crap kicked out of him across the entire arena.
I also got to see a returning Triple H win the Royal Rumble. I think this would of been better if it wasn't an advertised return. It should of been a surprise.
What a night it was. It was worth all of the money I spent on the ticket.
No. 3 Raw (10/11/99): My First WWE Event
It is a shame I grew up in "WCW Country" here in Atlanta, GA. Due to that fact, I didn't go to my first live event until October 11, 1999.
Raw was held in the Georgia Dome for the first time ever and it was the hottest ticket in town.
I didn't sit that close, but it didn't matter to me. It was so surreal. I remember all day that day, thinking something was going to happen and I wouldn't make it to the event in time.
I remember seeing the ring for the first time and thinking about how small it actually looked in person. Ten years of watching it on the TV and seeing it for the first time will do that to you I guess.
I remember Jim Ross competed in the main event this night with Steve Austin. They took on Triple H, then WWF Champion, and his partner, Chyna.
No. 2 Royal Rumble 2010
Ok, so I am grown up now, but I will never grow out of wrestling.
Earlier this year, I sat ringside at the Royal Rumble and took home my chair.
Just eight years after the Royal Rumble was in the same building and Triple H won, it was back again.
This time, the returning Edge won the Royal Rumble. I remember how pissed I was after Randy Orton lost to Sheamus, as shown in the picture above.
No. 1 WrestleMania XXIV: My First WrestleMania
Two years ago, I traveled down to Orlando for WrestleMania 24. This was the very first WrestleMania in the south.
I got inside the Citrus Bowl early that day and met Jerry Lawler and took a picture with him. An awesome moment to say the least. I remember him saying, "I better get going before I am bum-rushed by fans."
This night was everything I dreamed of and more.
It felt like it was never going to end. Seeing Ric Flair's last match in the WWE was pretty special. I am just upset it wasn't his last match is wrestling.
The pyrotechnics and lighting was amazing that night. It rivaled the fireworks that were displayed at Safeco Field five years prior at WrestleMania 19.
More memories to come...
So those are my WWF (now WWE) memories in a nutshell.
I am sure that there are plenty more to come before all is said and done.
It has been an amazing ride, and I am not about to get off of it anytime soon.
After all, WrestleMania 27 in the Georgia Dome is right around the corner.