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ONLINE ONSLAUGHT
The 10th Anniversary Extravaganza!
December 9, 2002

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com

 

As fans, we've kind of got Tenth Anniversary on the brains...  what with WWE putting together what promises to be a big fat hairy deal in January to celebrate 10 years of RAW.

But I'm actually celebrating my own 10th Anniversary today.  It was December 9, 1992, when I discovered and infiltrated the newsgroup rec.sport.pro-wrestling!  [Well, actually, it was like 2:30am on December 10, 1992, according to the headers, but I don't count a new day as starting until I've gone to bed and woken up!]

It was not easy: I had to dial-up the University of Dayton's VAX through a friend's accout, and use it to connect to the Cleveland FreeNet.  From there, I had to search the seemingly endless stream of -- oh, it had to have been -- at least 4000 newsgroups before I found one dedicated to wrestling.  The 'net was a different place in those days, my friends:  the "Web" as we know it was still a year or two away from being popular even in its Lynx form, and it was possible to use the 'net for days at a time without being reminded that the information superhighway was basically an excuse to download porn.  I mean, porn on a 2400 baud modem?  That just doesn't work...

Right here, right now, let me tell you that finding RSPW probably saved my wrestling fandom...  my high school friends who were fans with me were powdering out as the product got increasingly silly, so finding other adults enjoying wrestling on the same level I did (accepting it's "fake"-ness) was about the only way I was able to sustain my interest.

In time, I got hooked on the "insider" aspect of the business, too; all the neat little news and backstage rumors and stuff.  And before too long, there was a group called ECW out of Philly that was worth getting on tape and driving 8 hours to see in person.  And finally, WCW and the WWF started getting things right in 1995, and there were tons of wrestling fans everywhere.  Not just limited to a little enclave of the internet.

With the mainstream rise of pro wrestling's popularity (and with my own circumstances, which owe much to guys like Alex Marvez and Mike Samuda), I was able to start writing about wrestling for an audience, reaching the dizzying heights of working for CBS SportsLine for years before crashing back to near-obscurity here on my own little website.

But for now, let's put aside whatever mild notoriety I may have gained, and go back to The Rick's very first public appearance on RSPW.  For the most part, I think I was just being naively curious... ultimately harmless.  But then in the last paragraph... well, I've never been one to consider "mark" a derogatory term, but you could apply it to my December 9, 1992, debut, and I'd probably bow my head in shame.  And don't even get me started on how hilariously pointless those .sig files are!  

For the sake of posterity, in good natured fun (at my own expense), and with all due thanks to everybody who made RSPW a fun place to be those first few years (and also to Google for their massive Usenet archive), here's The Rick's first bumbling public appearance:

From: cm775@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Rick Scaia) 
Newsgroups: rec.sport.pro-wrestling 
Subject: A new face on the net 
Date: 10 Dec 1992 07:36:14 GMT 
Greetings, fellow wrestling fans.
It's good to finally have found people who actually discuss
the sport for what it is:  scripted entertainment that can 
(if done right) still be a hell of alot of fun to watch.
Like I said, I'm new here, and would like a couple of 
inconsistencies ironed out.

1)  Two separate posts have two different people pegged as the
    WWF's clown (one was Big Josh, and the other I've already
    forgotten).  Which, if either, is correct?

2)  Also, different post-Royal Rumble departures have been 
    mentioned... like Earthquake, Papa Shango, and Tito Santana.
    Different arrivals include the Steiners (though this seems
    all but confirmed) and Big Van Vader.  Which of these
    transactions will be occurring?

In addition, I'd appreciate it if someone could get me caught
up on some of the things you all take for granted... namely,
wrestlers real names and some of the abbreviations you use.
I've figured some of them out.... but like I said, I am new at
this.  After I get up to speed, I'd really like to become an
active participant on the net.  (I think I'll do alright...
after less than a day, that Stromer guy is already getting
on my nerves.)

BTW, did anyone else see the most recent issue of PWI...
"The Immortal" Hulk Hogan (tm) seems to have made a not-
so-subtle hint as to his return.  He told a reporter that 
he had unfinished business with Ric Flair in the WWF.  This 
would (along with the blatant push Hogan's been getting, like 
being all over the WM IX ad and so forth) to hint that the 
come back will be very soon, and that Ric Flair is going to 
get another chance to prove to the world that he really is 
THE MAN.

Later.....

-- 
Rick Scaia                               "If I die before I wake,
University of Dayton                      Hope I don't
scaiarij@udavxb.oca.udayton.edu           Come back a steak."
"Future WWF World Champion"                    - Kurt Cobain

 

E-MAIL RICK SCAIA
BROWSE THE OO ARCHIVES

Rick Scaia is a wrestling fan from Dayton, OH.  He's been doing this since 1995, but enjoyed it best when the suckers from SportsLine were actually PAYING him to be a fan.


  
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