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This week with Caliber Winfield...

This week, I thought I'd keep the theme in house and go with wrestling, and talk about my favorite moments from when I was a kid. 

Before we get to the main event, I thought I'd dip into the mailbag. Of course, there's only one letter in the mailbag, but I like sounding needed.

"Calibur. i was watching Goodfellas the other day and I happen to think the scene where we go through Henry's entire day of selling guns, coke, and cooking with his brother is one of if not the best scene in moive history. What do you think, and i thought the blog would want to pitch in on this as well"

Man, anytime I see Goodfellas on TV, no matter where it's at, I have to watch it from that point until it finishes. The scene in question is excellent, and definitely one of the greatest. For me, however, it has to be the scene where Todd, Dirk, and Reed head to the drug-dealers house to sell him baking soda. For those who don't know what I'm talking about, it's a scene from Boogie Nights. It's absolutely perfect. Alfred Molina is borderline psychotic from all the coke he's smoking, playing Russian Roulette with himself and screaming about song order on an album while his Chinese house-boy lets off fire crackers. The tension just keeps building, as the music makes a perfect bed for everything taking place. It's perfect. 

Anyone else who wants to be featured, hit me up at

Sure, as adults, as wrestling fans, we're as passionate for it as anything. Well, almost anything. When you're a kid and you're a wrestling fan, there's no half-in. You're OBSESSED. You don't miss a minute of the programming, you get all the action figures, you read all the magazines. Being a kid, and being
a wrestling fan is something I really hope my kid gets a chance to enjoy, if I ever have'em. He'll rarely have more fun in his life.

For me, it started the night after the inaugural In Your House. I was flipping through the channels, I had one of those cable boxes where it had a list of about 10-15 channels in three rows, you'd click the channel, then flip the switch to the row you wanted, and bam! So as I was flipping I found some guy with curly hair beating the  hell out of a guy dressed like a king. He was swearing, and just losing his mind. It was the coolest thing I'd ever seen. From that point on, there was nothing greater.  My parents would go to church, and I'd have a match against the sofa pillow while I watched Superstars. I'd leap off the sofa, dropping the big elbow, knowing full well the pillow couldn't continue.

I recall there was a time when Raw ended that I was so upset, I was in tears. You see, the upcoming PPV was going to be Nash vs Sid, lumberjack match. As Raw came to an end, Diesel was in the ring with his 'jacks, and Sid was headed to the ring with his. Just as Sid stepped into the ring, it ended! I was SO upset that I seriously almost cried. At 11 years old, there just wasn't anything worse. At 28 years old, that match, there just isn't anything worse.

That's something about being a kid that I miss. I didn't care about match quality, I just wanted to see my favorite wrestlers beat the bad-guys. Razor Ramon was my favorite, and no one was cooler. End of story. I broke my foot in the 6th grade, so my mom would go to Crazy Mike's Video every day and rent me a wrestling tape. She had explicit instructions to make sure the tape had a Razor Ramon match on it. If not, then something with Diesel. You can't imagine my joy when she came home one day with a purchased, PURCHASED copy of WrestleMania 10! Are you kidding me? Razor Ramon is in a ladder match and I get to own it?! There was no greater.

I use to watch the PPVs scrambled, as I'm sure a lot of you did. I remember running home from hanging out with my friends because I absolutely HAD to see, or hear, Bret Hart vs Yankem, and Diesel vs Mabel. This was a must. I also watched the IYH where Bret took on Jean Pierre Lifiet. Now, one of the happiest days of my life was when my parents finally let me order a PPV. I set up a blanket, I had pizza, chips, soda, the works. I had my action figures ready, along with my WCW toy ring, which was way too big for my figures, and I was set. 

Survivor Series 1995, baby. 

We called them...and holy hell. We needed to have some crap called a "cable box". A cable box?! What the hell is that? WHY? WHY?! But my mom, being the awesome mom that she is, risked many speeding tickets to get to the cable store in time to get a box. I don't know what your guys' looked like, but mine was about the size of a DVD player now. Or the size of a dreamcast, if you will. It had the red numbers for the channel, and when you'd order a PPV, the channels on the front of the box would flash. Was it awesome. I ended up having to get the replay at 8pm that night, but it didn't matter. I was in heaven. 

Now, at the time, the WWE was all there was. WCW was crap. It was full of old guys who couldn't cut it with the awesomeness of the 'E. I'd occasionally watch a replay, but only for a laugh. So, you could imagine my absolute horror when I was 7 minutes into a call on the Ross Hotline, and found out that my boy, Razor Ramon was headed South! This could not be. I was heart broken. I mean, I'd just bought myself a sure fire chick-magnet piece of jewelry, the golden razor blade that said Razor Ramon on it. I'd...I'd look a fool to wear it if he was in WCW now.  I tore down all the Razor pictures in my room, feeling betrayal speed through my veins. But at least I had Diesel, I tried to comfort myself wi---aaah, you gotta be kidding me! I didn't want to see my guys in WCW, losing to Hulk Hogan after getting hit with a woman's shoe. Nothing good could come of this. 

But then...

The most excited I'd ever been as a kid was when Razor debuted on WCW, starting a war. I raced out to the family TV to change the channel and show my mom just what was going down. I mean, why weren't they preempting all channels for this?! After a few months, it was like my dreams had come to fruition. Here they were, my guys, destroying WCW. Trying to burn it down to the ground. It did not get any better. Especially since I still believed that wrestling was real. My mom would never argue with me about that, but she'd ask me questions like

"How are Kevin & Scott making money if they aren't working for WCW?"

"Duh, mom. They have Billionaire Ted! He's a millionaire! He's footing the bills! And WCW won't call the cops because they know the nWo brings the ratings! They need them!"

As the years went by, my belief of it being real was dwindling. The last straw was when a friend of mine brought in a copy of the WON to the school, and I read about how Macho Man agreed to the 6-man match at Starrcade if he got the pin. The more I read, the more sense it made. Wrestling wasn't on the real, and I finally turned to the smark side. with Raja's old website as my homebase.

Of course, another pillar of one's childhood wrestling memories is the wrestling video games, perhaps we'll save that till next week. 

Thanks for reading, guys. Take it easy.

- Caliber
Str8 Gangster, No Chaser - Got an interview with Matt from Botchamania up, plus my thoughts on Extreme Rules, along with The Man Movie Encyclopedia, and 3 years worth of some alright. 


  1. Fun article, good job! 

    It's amazing what seeing wrestling through the eyes of a child will do for your appreciation for the most basic elements.  I mean, it is always utterly bizarre to hear someone say that something in 1995 WWF made them into a fan. 

    I suppose I wasn't much different though -- I started watching with Hogan/Warrior at WrestleMania VI, which was a great match, but obviously the bookmark to the glory days of the 80s.  1990 wasn't exactly a banner year in the WWF in terms of good shows but I was hooked nevertheless and enthralled by stuff like the Ted Dibiase/Sapphire angle, a three man Demolition team, and other crap like the WWF version of Dusty Rhodes.  I still enjoy it today.  I didn't discover WCW until just before Flair left in 1991, and yet similarly, I have soft spot for the post-Flair WCW -- a period that many fans would consider a total throwaway.

    Sometimes it is just nice to have no critical thinking skills haha

  2. Christopher HirschMay 17, 2012 at 11:56 AM

    Royal Rumble for Super Nintendo was the best video game I played as a kid.

    My favorite memory as a kid has to be wathcing Warrior/Hogan WM 6. Was the first PPV I ordered and I've been hooked ever since.

    Friends and I used to love to wrestle, have Royal Rumble's. My gimmick was usually being the 1-2-3 Kid and acting goofy as I came to the "ring" then immediately be thrown out in about 3 seconds, then acting happy and goofy.

    I probably took way more powerbombs than I ever should have and am lucky I never broke my neck. Also, pans make a great wrestling weapon, makes a great sound, but doesn't really hurt.

  3. Tatanka was my 'Razor Ramon'. Same story: my mum would rent me the videos but ONLY if they had Tatanka on them.

    As a WWF fan you really felt like it was your duty to stand up for wrestling. I don't know about you guys but I was desperate for more of my friends to get into it, so much so that I would argue that it was real even once I'd realised it wasn't. How keen is that? Haha. As you say though, as adults we are obviously far more critical but still watch in wait for those moments that can make us feel like super marks again.

  4. I put this up for nostalgia purposes -- this is what the WWF version of 'Scramblevision' looked like in my area until about 1993.  WCW was on the other PPV channel, which was the traditional garbled, squiggly line video with good sound kind of ScrambleVision.

    Well actually this was black and white and had no sound -- but we had this crazy VCR where you could manually fine-tune the reception for each channel individually and I was able to get it in color and with sound by messing with it.  I was quite the little scientist when it came to stealing PPV when I was 10 lol

  5. Tracking knobs FTW.

  6. It was a weird game among me and my friends.  I lived in a neighborhood with about 10 other kids my age and when I started with wrestling, pretty much all of them were already way into it.  We of course had our own 'wrestling league' and I was the Macho Man, with party streamers taped to plastic Safeway bags and such lol. 

    Some of the kids were older though and started to dislike wrestling once they came to the realization it was not 'real', so you'd have weeks where half of the group would be like 'wrestling is stupid now, ninja turtles are cooler' and then people would defect and come back over to the wrestling side lol  It's so funny to think about it now. 

  7. Yeah, I believe these were actually intended for antenna use -- so if you lived in an area where you might get bleed between two different channels, they would help you fine-tune it to get rid of the ghosted image. 

    Sometimes I would take it too far and suddenly the Ultimate Warrior would suddenly be giving a promo to the Senate on CSPAN (the next channel over).  Of course in 2003 this would happen again without the aid of analog tuning wheels....

  8. I guess I was lucky -- the power-bomb was not yet popularized when I was a kid, in the WWF at least, so the worst thing we had to deal with was the dreaded Tombstone Piledriver, of which I may have delivered a few.

    Geez the Attitude-era kids must still have scars and permanent injuries from their neighborhood wrestling league days.  "Johnny jumped off the roof again onto a pile of thumbtacks mom and just before he hit the ground Bobby and Steve game him the Con-chair-to!"

  9. Ah, scramble-vision. I remember listening in when Ahmed Johnson pinned Goldust to win the IC belt and was so excited, I ran outside to tell my mom, who was hanging out on the porch.

    And she sighed and was like, " please go read a book, son."

  10. Oh wow, you guys got it lucky. Our scramble-vision in the northwest was much harder to see through and came with no sound at all. Of course that wasn't going to stop eleven-year-old me from sticking through to the end of Flair/Savage at WM8.

    My whole wrestling fandom came from my grandfather building a cabin in the Cascade Mountains in Washington state and eventually investing in one of those old "Earth Stations" so he could get television out in the middle of nowhere. With that massive dish came access to every channel ever and every PPV for free because you could take the signal going out to the cable companies themselves.

  11. Caliber, 

    I'm interested in seeing your development as a wrestler, so this isn't meant to be negative. Can you please not align your text to the center? I can only speak for myself, but the center alignment makes reading your articles a bit of a chore. Thank you. 

  12. *snarls* leaders of the Senate, when you're on a plane home....kick the cockpit door down. Take the two pilots that have already made
    the sacrifice so that you can face the challenge. Dispose of them..assume the controls, senate leaders. SHOVE THAT CONTROL INTO A
    NOSEDIVE, as you are about to enter a world close to Parts
    Unknown. *snarls some more*

  13.  Lucky for me, my best friends were into it. But when I'd go to school, it was a different world, and I'd get flipped a ton of shit for liking wrestling.

    Then 2 years later, literally, the same people who made fun of me for liking it were running up to me saying "Did you see Stone Cold give Slaughter the stunner?!". Man, did that make me mad...

  14. Yeah, I guess I lucked out -- I lived in the NW too at the time, but we had a decidedly older and less sophisticated PPV system until we got national PPV channels in 1993 (no dedicated PPV channels, just certain events and then that event would take over that channel, mostly weather/real-estate listings).

    I always heard bout those awesome dishes -- those huge CBand ones, right?  I have a copy of the Tuesday in Texas PPV from one of those dish recordings.  I would have been in heaven haha

  15.  Oh man, the night I was able to powerbomb my little brother, I did it like 20 times. Of course, it was on the sofa, and I never dropped him, I set him down. Still felt cool. We'd also watch wrestling and pause on the submission moves to try them out. To this day, the Ankle Lock hurts the worse. I was also obsessed with giving people the Stunner...

  16. Didn't Cracked post a similar article a few years ago?

  17.  I'm looking forward to my development as a wrestler too, heh.

    As a writer, I always thought that center text made it easier to read. I assumed that's how most peeps did it. However, as of late there's been mention that this isn't a preferred way, so I'll try left alignment next time. Thanks for the suggestion.

  18. Christopher HirschMay 17, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    Haha totally can relate to this.

  19. Christopher HirschMay 17, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    As a kid I made my best friend at the time's old brother cry from applying the Camel Clutch. I wouldn't let go until he said I quit.

    I have pretty vivid memories of getting powerbombed in the snow, it was pretty fun. My friend was way bigger than me so he did all the power moves.

  20. Yeah if I remember right the dedicated channel they'd do PPV on at my houses cable system was on Channel 3, which was otherwise the local "news" channel. It would just be a computer screen and occasionally guys at the station would type in stuff like "School Closures Due to Snow" and crap like that. Then over the top of that they'd just run the local easy-listening station (looking back now I realize those two must have been inter-owned).

    Wow. That was a horrible run on sentence. Sorry.

    I'm not sure exactly what kind it was, I just know my grandpa always called it "The Earth Station" and it was this MASSIVE dish that operated on a huge diesel engine to move the gears because the damn thing had to be moved constantly depending on what channel you were looking for. I actually watched Tuesday in Texas there, I remember my grandpa marking for Savage/Roberts. His fandom came from the Blassie era and I think he saw alot of him in Savage for some reason.

    The other cool thing about those huge dishes is you never got commercial feeds either. Like when the nightly news would go to commercial on that dish you'd see the anchor getting his make-up redone and they'd be telling him the next story for after the break and stuff. Basketball games it would just go to a long shot of the arena, etc.

    Fuck I wish those still worked these days. It would absolutely be worth it to watch what happens between the commercial breaks on RAW.

  21. I heard about that, the satellite feeds. Like seeing the Christian evangelists stuffing their faces with food during commercial break and such. They use to sell VHS tapes of these things, and now I wonder if they're on youtube.

  22.  I imagine they'd have to be. Every once in awhile Botchamania has clips of Cole and King during the commercial breaks, so I assume there must still be a way of tapping into those feeds as surely Vince isn't releasing that stuff just for the hell of it.

  23.  That last sentence reminded me of a *MASSIVE* debate my brother and I had when Bad News Brown first showed up in a promo for "next week on WWF".  We lived in Edmonton AB so we were used to seeing Bad News Allen every week so for him to suddenly show up was a big surprise:
    Me: "Holy crap, that's Bad News Allen!!"
    My brother: "You're dumb - that's not Bad News Allen, they said his name was Bad News Brown!!"

  24. That's how I first saw the start of the nWo.

  25. Dude...this, lol.

    When I was like 12 my dad got me a windbreaker that had a pink stripe around the sides...INSTANT BRET HART RING JACKET.

    I'll never forget my friend Eric, we must have been like 10-ish, "Ok! Ok! Ok! Stop! The boston crab is REAAAAAALLL!!" when my brother leaned too far back.

    lol, Great times

  26. First Cracked and now your plagiarizing my wrestling memories? 

  27. "It's amazing what seeing wrestling through the eyes of a child will do for your appreciation for the most basic elements of it."

    If you don't have kids yet, just wait. Watching your own kids mark out like retards is FUCKING AWESOME.

  28. See, that's the brilliance. I invented this machine called The Box, and when you watch TV it sends the signal inside of your brain. But on the flip side, I take your memories. Thus, I'm able to plagiarize till my hearts content! Ah ha ha ha. Oh, and I also learned who Batman is. So, there's also that...

  29.  Yeah, I bet!  It is something I definitely look forward to haha

  30. Yeah there are a set of tapes available on the tape/dvd trading circuit with clips like that. 

  31.  Me too! I also had no idea what had happened in Montreal because I was just listening. And also, what actually happened in the UT/Foley HiaC was pretty amazing but in my 12 year old mind, not having been able to see it and only having heard the commentary, I thought it was like a murder.

  32.  I had quite a few of these same experiences, although I started watching just a few years earlier and I liked WCW also, even pre-Hogan. Another young wrestling memory that I loved was getting all the Bill Apter magazines. That's how I went from just being someone who loved watching wrestling on TV to being someone who loved wrestling as a whole, and I learned all of my wrestling history through there. Finding out that there was all this other pro-wrestling going on with characters I'd never heard of blew my mind as a young fan, because I just assumed that they were all as big of shows as WWF or WCW but they only aired in certain areas.

  33. Holy shit I just watched that movie with my wife two nights ago for the express purpose of laughing at how fucking horrible it was. 

  34. Fun article , lacking wise-ass remarks AND now left-alligned. More like this please.

    Anyway, where I'm at with Vampire Diaries is that Klaus has now been dessicated. Have to say - it was done well and I was quite surprised. Intrigued as to how the finale will play out (we're a week behind the States in the UK).

  35. I wish that's the way I saw it, considering how bad that "match" was. HITC I mean, not Montreal.

  36.  Oh. Yeah, you're in for a surprise, man. Honestly, I was very surprised, and did not see what's about to happen, happen.

    One thing that VD has in common with True Blood, is that all the females are razor thin, and good looking, and all the guys are ripped to shreds. Well, except for Andy Bellefleur.

    If you're a week behind, why don't you just hop onto a torrent and snag it? [not that I recommend such illegal activity, at all]

  37.  Hilarious you mention the Apter Mags. I have a ton of them actually from about 82-99, including all the PWIs. I just pulled a stack out and been rereading them, started in the beginning and currently in 88 now. It's amazing how much the business has changed in 25 years. I used to love going to the grocery store and sitting in the magazine area, with about ten other kids, while the parents shop and read all the magazines.

    BTW: This was a great article, well written and fun to read! :-)

  38. It's only a week, so I'm not too fussed - and watching it on Tuesday night has become part of our weekly routine.

    Interesting you mention TB. We watch that too, but have fallen out of love with it somewhat. 6 episodes of Season 4 are still sitting on the Sky box.


  39. God, me too. I remember people ripping on me for thinking it was real (I didn't, but that was the general insult at the time), and then all of a sudden it was like I was ahead of the curb and EVERY kid at school loved it.


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