Exposing first timers...

Hey all, new to the forum. Not 100% sure if this topic already exists on the site, but i was curious. what match/promotion do you show people who are either lapsed fans or have never watched wrestling before in order to properly convey why it is you love this world.

For me its kazuchika okada x katsuyori shibata at sakura genesis a few years back. I always pad the match before i show them with the whole story of both okadas and shibatas ascent to that match and fill them in afterwords of the repercussions caused by it. Its always so gripping every time i experience it again and i feel like it beautifully exemplifies what pro wrestling can really be at its full potential. The hard hitting style presented forces you to take the sport more seriously and is a great way for me to better stress the lengths of endurance and athleticism involved.

Anyhow, looking forward to hearing your responses.

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We did have a thread like this once, but it’s been dead for almost two years. So not a bad thing to have a reset. Welcome aboard!


From just the past 2 years:
Bucks vs Golden Lovers with a brief detour thru BTE (they were short episodes back then!) to get the base story.

Okada v Omega 3. It’s the shortest one, has the most urgency. Results in Kenny getting to the G1 final so the outcome is meaningful and the story of their first two matches is in the commentary.

Kofi v Bryan from Mania. Just a classic underdog moment.

Johnny Wrestling v Cole from TakeOver NY this past year - the crowd is electric and just listening to the crowd you understand the story.

And I’d be remiss if I left out Gargano v Almas :joy:

Welcome @brentwilliam123

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Thanks for the warm welcomes and suggestions! My fandom is honestly a weird thing to explain to someone because my actually wrestling viewing time and habits has decreased significantly over the last five years. I was a lapsed fan from the attitude era and was reintroduced in late 2012 early 2013 when the bryan stuff started really heating up. Through youtube i discovered new japan and old clips of pancrase and fell even deeper in love again as id become more of a fan of mma than pro wrestling. But now i listen to john and wai and cherry pick what ill watch based on there recommendations.

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Hogan vs Rock WM18 is the ultimate example of fan involvement. It’s a masterpiece in what pro wrestling is (not the in ring product but the art of having the fans into everything).

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I’ve been showing my girlfriend, who was never a fan, Orange Cassidy and Joey Ryan matches. Yes, wrestling is fake. Obviously. So let’s have fun with it. I think the next step might be some Young Bucks matches, because they are as fun as anything.

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Does your GF like this?

My wife will only watch Brock wrestle bc he looks the most realistic. Anything that looks overly fake she thinks is a waste of time and questions how I ever got through school if I find this entertaining lol

It seems to be. But, I’m not going for the realism of it. For example, I don’t watch movies to point out that it’s not real. I watch movies to be entertained. I don’t watch wrestling for realism, I watch wrestling to be entertained. That is my strategy

I need a Joey Ryan Poster in my room alongside my Josh Matthews poster.

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If you’re lucky enough to live near a high-quality indie promotion - bring them to that. Absolutely the best way to introduce a non-fan to wrestling in 2019 is by exposing them to the fun, live, indie experience.

And I stress - a high quality promotion.


I go to CWFH shows!
They rock.

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If you’re lucky enough to live near a high-quality indie promotion - bring them to that. Absolutely the best way to introduce a non-fan to wrestling in 2019 is by exposing them to the fun, live, indie experience.

This. I’ve taken my mate to PROGRESS a couple of times and he had a blast, though admittedly he hasn’t exactly been converted.

In terms of non-live, Okada v Shibata may be a bit too much for beginners (tbh even I can’t watch that match again knowing the consequences, at the time while I appreciated the story and the workrate I thought it was too much!). I think as hardcore fans we can sometimes be a bit too overly keen to get to the good stuff and are a bit ‘noseblind’ as to what a new fan would connect with. To that end Hogan v Rock is a good shout, 2 instantly recognisable stars to a layman showing how much of a spectacle and entertaining the whole thing can be. If you then want to get to the more nuanced side of the art it’s things like Shawn v Taker, Bret v Austin etc. Take them on a journey, don’t try to get to the destination straight away!


All good points. The only bummer on showing the rock/hogan match would be chasing the dragon to find another match with a similar reaction or stars as large.

I think what you shows then depends on one question.
1.) Do you just want to show them why you like it with no expectation at all that regardless of what you show them they will not get into wrestling?
2.) are you trying to get them into watching wrestling?

If the first just pick your favorite match and show it to them. If the second find a recent match you enjoyed.

Take them on a journey, don’t try to get to the destination straight away!

This. Something like the whole story leading to the first HiaC, if you manage to find that with the HiaC match itself for a blow off - such a perfect story.

Than, although the first Shawn vs Taker at Mania is the superior match, the video package for the second one is perhaps my all time favorite. Just play this and watch the story that leads to this match - perfection in like 5 minutes. Than the match itself. The good stuff in (old) WWE is more the story leading to the match that is the good stuff.

If you want just to watch matches - NJW and Tomohiro Ishii is your destination.

All in all, for a current product I would avoid WWE Main Roster like the plague.

NXT Black Vs Velveteen Dream “say my name” the ultimate in story telling match up

NXT takeover Tyler Bate Vs Pete Dunne - quality wrestling, perfect commentary from JR and Nigel

King of the Ring - Taker Vs Mandink Hell in a Cell. Just because it’s insane

Loved the “Say My Name” storyline but to anyone new I feel like it would be corny and confusing. “Wrestling is weird”.

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