Welcome to the 2nd edition of the new weekly series at Voices of Wrestling – VOW Q&A. Each Friday, a panel of VOW writers will gather to answer a reader-submitted question on any topic under the sun.
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Today: What is your biggest wrestling-related regret?
Joe Gagne (@joegagne)
I ended up not attending the February 14, 1997, ECW house show in Webster, MA (which was one town over from where I was attending college). Not a big deal, right? Well, this was one of the shows where they brought in Michinoku Pro talent for a run-through before Barely Legal. So I missed seeing Dick Togo, Men’s Teioh & Taka Michinoku vs Gran Hamada, the Great Sasuke & Gran Naniwa. I didn’t really know the talent at the time, but I would become huge fans of all 6 guys, especially Togo, who would become one of my favorite 10 wrestlers ever. I’ve seen the match on tape and it rules, which just makes it worse. Damn it all.
Garrett Kidney (@garrettkidney)
January 5th, 2014 – I was standing right outside Korakuen Hall a couple of hours before New Japan’s annual post-Tokyo Dome show was set to begin. And I didn’t go in. It’s not that I was on the other side of the city or had other plans to do something else that day, I just didn’t go. I had the chance to attend an event in Korakuen Hall and I neglected to do so. In my defense I had planned to go to a NOAH show there that day but failed to realise that was an afternoon show so I missed that (a NOAH show that happened to have Takeshi Morishima beating KENTA for the GHC Heavyweight title). It’s not that the particular show was a loaded, can’t miss card (it was predominantly a bunch of forgettable tags) but I really regret having the opportunity to attend Korakuen Hall and deciding against it. It is something I’ll have to rectify in the future.
Andrew Rich (@AndrewTRich)
My biggest wrestling-related regret was also my first. When my fandom was ramping up in the summer of 2003, I sought out (meaning: nagged my parents to buy me) my first wrestling video game. My choice? WrestleMania X8 for the Nintendo GameCube. Boy, was that a letdown. Subpar gameplay. Subpar graphics. Plus it was over a year old, which meant the in-game roster didn’t feature a lot of the wrestlers that I watched on TV. Where was Rey Mysterio? Where was John Cena? In my haste to buy a game, I neglected to realize that X8’s successor, the far-superior WrestleMania XIX, was only a few weeks away from being released. That was the game I was supposed to buy, and it’s an error I regret to this day. To put a little extra sting on the wound, WrestleMania X8 was sandwiched in between two of the greatest wrestling games ever: No Mercy and SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain. If my fandom had started just a few years earlier, or if I had pestered my parents to buy me a PlayStation 2 instead of a GameCube, either one of those games could have been my first. But as the Macho Man says, the beat goes on, the beat goes on.
Jeff Hawkins (@Crapgame13)
Not going to more live events, either due to age and not having someone to take me, or circumstance, as in being a broke college student and also not having someone willing to go. I grew up near Hampton and Norfolk, two hotbeds of Jim Crockett tours, but my dad hated wrestling and most events were on school nights. I got to go to some, but missed peak Horsemen, etc. By the time I had my own wheels, the great Flair/Funk/Steamboat programs were almost over and paying for wrestling lost its luster after I graduated a couple years later. In college, I took singular roadtrips to ECW and SMW events, but still wish I had been able to attend more.
Bryan Rose (@br26)
My biggest regret is never really broadening my wrestling horizons until recently. I got into New Japan big time in 2012 when the iPPVs on Ustream started. But before that, aside from maybe one or two Tokyo Dome shows, I couldn’t get into Japan, Mexico, or anywhere else. I do spend time watching old matches, but it’s kind of tough to watch everything awesome with the kind of time I have. My one thing when watching wrestling for so many years was WWE, and occasionally TNA and WCW when they were still alive. Part of that was my terrible internet, another part was being completely unaware of the tape trading scene that was going on. I wish I got into the tape trading scene in the early 2000s as there are so many great matches I’ve never watched, including Kobashi’s historic run as GHC champion, the rise and fall of NOAH, Inoki being so crazy he finally got ousted from New Japan, pretty much anything that happened in Mexico…there’s probably so much amazing stuff out there, and instead I spent my time watching Katie Vick, Jillian Hall’s mole and Deuce Shade. Not exactly the best use of my existence, looking back…
Rich Kraetsch (@VoicesWrestling)
I had every chance in the world to attend WrestleMania 22 in Chicago and chose not to. Tickets literally handed to me and I passed them up because I was only somewhat following the WWE product at the time and didn’t want the inconvenience of going to the show, sitting in bad seats, blah blah blah. Looking back, what a dummy I was. Not only was that a fantastic show (one of the best Manias ever, in my opinion) but the atmosphere was like nothing else. To this day, if a show looks even remotely worth my time — whether independent wrestling or WWE — I go. I always told myself, there will be another WrestleMania, another chance to go, don’t worry. Yet, here we are in 2016 and I still have not been to a WrestleMania. Worse yet, I opted to not head to Ring of Honor that weekend thinking once again “Eh, it doesn’t look that good.” Of course, this was me before I knew much about Dragon Gate, so I missed the opportunity to see one of the best matches of all-time (Blood Generation vs. Do Fixer) and a really awesome main event between Bryan Danielson and Roderick Strong. 20 year old me was dumb.
John Carroll (@toshanshuinla)
My biggest regret? Easily – it’s not going to Japan before Shinsuke Nakamura left New Japan Pro Wrestling. There were several times in the past few years when I almost went, but at the end when it came down to really cement my plans I got cold feet and didn’t go. This year I am finally going (on the great Alan4L’s wrestling trip!) but obviously it will be too late to see Shinsuke on a NJPW show; he will be in Dallas for NXT TakeOver during my trip, in fact. While I did get to see him live a few times in America, I heavily regret that I was never there to see him swagger out into Korakuen Hall in person. Maybe it’s still possible if he flames out in the fed, but right now it stands out as a huge missed opportunity.