A Mark’s Eye View is a weekly look at some of the things that made me a huge fan of professional wrestling.
Growing up I was into reading, writing, professional wrestling, and Star Wars. I really didn’t care for sports and when I watched TV, it was usually Three’s Company reruns. In other words, I was a very popular child who had more friends than he knew what to do with. Instead of having to disappoint any of them, I spent most of my time consumed alone with my interests. Why else would I have spent so much time alone as a child?
As much as I loved my hobbies, they rarely crossed over into each other. I didn’t read much fantasy or science fiction (with the exception of Kurt Vonnegut when I got older) and wrote stories that were grounded in reality. Of course, I would buy the occasional wrestling book and I loved my Apter Mags, but I never wrote about the sport. Meanwhile, Star Wars was in a space of its own. It wasn’t until I was in high school that I would read Dark Empire.
I had no problems crossing wrestling with Star Wars, however. Actually, it all happened by accident. Like most kids of the 1980s, I could not get enough Star Wars action figures. I had various versions of Luke Skywalker and Han Solo. I had Darth Vader and Admiral Piet. I even had two Chewbaccas. One week, my mom took my sister and I to the swap market. She got us a little pool table. It was small, had red felt and instead of cue sticks used a weird pendulum thing to hit the balls. We were not impressed.
It wasn’t long before I realized how lucky I was: I already had a roster. Now I had my ring. It had four corners (I ignored the pockets in the middle), was square, and was bigger than any other toy wrestling ring. Besides, how much enjoyment were my sister and I going to get out of playing pseudo pool before we started losing the balls? If I promoted things properly, I could get years of excitement from my own wrestling promotion.
I began by supplementing my roster. G.I. Joes and He-Man Figures were added. I had some weird orange and blue figure named Adam Powerlord that I made a manager. (He went on to become a major player and is involved in one of the biggest moments in my promotion’s history.) I had some of the awesome LJN WWF figures, but they were too large and unwieldy. I did have cool Ric Flair, Larry Zybyszko, Greg Gagne, and Curt Hennig figures that became the original version of the Four Horsemen in my company, though.
Next was coming up with a name for my promotion. It was easier than I thought. I took the names of the two biggest companies in the world and merged them. Well before I had heard of the actual NWF, I named my promotion the National Wrestling Federation. Dividing the roster was easy. Rebels were faces and the Empire were the bad guys. I liked the idea of everyone fighting for a title, so even though there was a face/heel dynamic, there would still be matches between faces and heels. I did the commentary, cementing the NWF as the best wrestling promotion on the planet.
The NWF lasted for years. There were long term storylines, heel turns, and stories of redemption. The company had supercards and gimmick matches. The promotion had all time classic matches and some absolute stinkers. It was the home of some of the bloodiest brawls in wrestling history and some incredibly shocking moments.
Like all good things, it had to come to an end. As is often the case with professional wrestling, it just sort of fizzled out with no great fanfare. The final match did not blow off the years long Luke/Vader feud. The Moondogs (the two Chewies) did not go out winning their record-breaking fifth NWF Tag Team Championship. Han never broke through and win his first World Title. One day, the NWF simply closed its doors. With it, the greatest Star Wars-wrestling crossover came to an end.
Next week: World Class Wrestling Star Wars.
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