Amazing Stories is one of those rare shows that I can remember both me and my Dad both liking. And let me tell, you, that was not an everyday thing. We never really had much common ground where TV was concerned in those days. Now, after I grew up, we had a lot in common, but back in ’85, this was it.
We’d watch this every Sunday night in the basement of the house I grew up in, and I can remember a lot of the time we’d have a nice cozy fire going in the fireplace. It’s memories like that that inspires this whole blog, so I’m happy to share this look at the show via the TV Guide Fall Preview issue from that year.
With this year’s Royal Rumble coming up this weekend, I thought it would be a good time to think back on some of my favorite Royal Rumble memories and share them with you. And what better way to do that than in this week’s Friday Five. Without further ado, here are five of my favorite Royal Rumble memories.
Royal Rumble ’88 – The First One
Back in late 1987 when the first Royal Rumble was announced as being broadcast on the USA Network, I was pumped. I had gotten to go to a friend’s house to watch Starrcade ’87, but had yet to be allowed to order a wrestling pay-per-view. So when I found out this event was going to be free and I would get to watch it, I was bouncing off the walls.
The first Royal Rumble didn’t disappoint either. One of my favorites at the time, Ricky Steamboat, had a match with Rick Rude, and there was the contract signing between Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant for their rematch at the upcoming Wrestlemania IV. But the big draw was their new concept in battle royals, the Royal Rumble itself. Just the concept was enough to get me to watch the show without all the other matches.
This first one was probably the hardest to peg who was going to win. Once they added the stipulation that the winner would get a title shot made it pretty easy to guess who was going to win each year. But this one lacked all the real big stars and was made up of mid-card guys, making it really hard to figure out. “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan came out on top, and I had a hell of a time watching my first “big event” live.
Man what a collection this is! Usually, I’m all about stickers, but if could have gotten my hands on these patches back in the day, I would have my Mom iron every one of them onto my faded jean jacket!
I’m really fond of all the Nintendo ones, especially that Punch Out patch. It would have been front and center on the left chest of my jacket. The Nintendo logo one would have probably been on the opposite chest, with the rest of the Nintendo ones running down one of the sleeves, and all the Turtles patches going down the other sleeve.
All I would have needed then would have been a big, kick-ass, Cobra Kai patch on the back of the jacket and I would have been all set.
This month, my buddy Chad is running Slam Fest over at his blog, HorrorMovieBBQ, and I thought I would jump on the train for this Friday Five and highlight five of my favorite wrestling toys from through the years. To begin with, I’ve got to start where it kind of began for a lot of people…LJN WWF Superstars figures!
LJN WWF Superstars
This was the wrestling action figure line that most folks would say was their first. It kind of was for me, but I never had a truly great experience with it. I first saw them when a neighbor kid at my grandmother’s house brought over his Hulk Hogan, Big John Studd, and Andre the Giant figures. I was mesmerized. I told my Mom about them, and that I wanted some. For Christmas, I got a Nikolai Volkoff figure, and a Mean Gene Okerlund. Now I love Mean Gene, but what the hell was I going to do with his figure? Have him interview Volkoff over and over again? This was not a good start. A while later, I got a Junkyard Dog figure, but by then, the bloom was off the rose for me as far as these figures went. In the meantime, I had played with them a couple of times at my cousin Tim’s house. He had the ring to go with the figures, so it was really cool. I still love these figures, but I never owned enough of them myself to put it really high on my all-time list of favorite toys.
WWF Thumb Wrestlers
Sticking with the WWF, these Thumb Wrestlers were my consolation to not having the LJN figures. I was actually able to pick up several packs of these with my weekly allowance, and that gave me enough variety to really enjoy having these. I had Hulk Hogan, JYD, Hillbilly Jim, Iron Sheik, Nikolai Volkoff, and Big John Studd. Like I said, enough variety to play around with and have some matches.
Now, these things weren’t great as what they were designed to be. They were too cumbersome to put on your thumb and have actual thumb-wrestling matches. I tried taking them to school to do that very thing with but failed miserably. They were great for just playing with and having them do moves to each other with though.
Oh man, I can remember when TNT fist launched back in 1988. I don’t why, but I was overly-excited about it coming to cable TV. At that point in time, I had no interest in old movies like Gone With the Wind, so it must have been the allure of the cartoons along with The Muppet Show and Fraggle Rock that had me amped up.
I know that once it launched, I was tuned into it every weekday evening. They showed a block of Looney Tunes cartoons from 6pm to 7pm I think, and then followed that with Fraggle Rock and The Muppet Show. I can’t remember which one of those were at 7, and which one was at 7:30. I just remember that two-hour block being my go-to every day.
Can any of you fill in that detail for me as to which one was on at which time? And how many of you remember when TNT launched, and what memories of it do you have?