When did this all start?

herb (27) 2 days ago

Interesting reading some of these posts. So many different wrestling listings over the past 30 years. Some I knew about many have never heard of. I guess it all depended on the area of the world you lived in and the circle of wrestlers u traveled with. What a large underground setting of sorts we have established.

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ruinurabs (19 ) 3 days ago

I don't recall printed listing, but recall early electronic postings on message boards like Compuserv, stories and personals on a few other sites whose names immediately escape me, M4M wrestling/boxing groups on AOHell, and then some early fan e-zines like The Navel Destroyer.

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FightGames (28 ) 2 days ago

(In reply to this)

Compuserv
!!!!!!
even as a french i remember that
i had 6 floppy disk to have it working!!!

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diggeroh (54 ) 12 days ago

WOW .... it's been forever since I hear Bill Hughes' name. I met the guy. He was incredible.

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PopsBearBrawler (4) 11 days ago

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He was an incredibly nice guy despite his ring reputation.

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Taigun21 (2 ) 11 days ago

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he use to tell me he had a face only a blind mother could love. lol

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PopsBearBrawler (4) 11 days ago

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He looked like an old pro wrestler, which I believe he was.

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diggeroh (54 ) 10 days ago

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Just his cauliflower ears could tell you the whole story. Not sure how he could hear out of them.

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Taigun21 (2 ) 16 days ago

In the 70s and 80 guys into wrestling in Australia used to advertise in the "melbourne Truth" a weekly tabloid for opponents. I met several from there.
There was also the "global Wrestlers directory " which was a 3 monthly magazine mailed from the US I made friends with many of the old Guard who are no longer with us like the Legend Bill Hughes . Neil beach. Walt etc.
then came the Internet.

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PopsBearBrawler (4) 15 days ago

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I wrestled Bill in his Long Beach house and also met Bob Starr there for a match (he destroyed me). I remember Neil Beach's name; I think he was in Pennsylvania. If so, I met him once. I wrestled Joe Merola and John Handley, as well. I know Joe has passed. I don't know about John.

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hardonthemat (57) 12 days ago

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Hey PopsBear -
You brought up some wrestling names from the past. Neil Beach lived/wrestled in Gettysburg, PA. Many time I went down there to hit the mats with Neil. John Handley - founder of the New York Wrestling Club back in the 70's - 80"s. Wonder where he is now? Wrestled Joe Merola also.

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PopsBearBrawler (4) 12 days ago

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I met Neil once. I don't know what happened to John.

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herb (27) 12 days ago

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Wow. Neil beach. I recall his name and matches well. How are you doing Larry? It has been years ? How is John?

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Taigun21 (2 ) 15 days ago

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I never get to wrestle Bill He had an Aussie pal John English I wrestled John Many times . I have yet to wrestle Bob Starr I have been trying to get him to come down here for years . Def on my opponent list if I ever get up . i corresponded with Bob and Neil for years.

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BigMG (0) 19 days ago

I saw adds in Time Out mag in London

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BilBeaux (0) 7/02/2021 6:39 AM

I got into discovering our genre - maybe in the 90s with Vangar.
Never knew of the list times.
Vangar became GlobalFight, of course.
I belonged for a while but felt MF was a better group for old man me.
How I found MF - I now don’t remember.

When I lived in Alexandria, VA, there used to be a great downtown newsstand.
Full of locals + tourists. Magazines in every genre.
First started to see Ink as a magazine genre, in fact.

For a couple of months in the late 80s or early 90s - they had some slick gay male publication with a heavy vibe on nude wrestling then an issue on guys doing what we now call cosplay - but in fighting.
Guys in headgear, gloves but stuff like a catcher’s padded vest and in g-strings.
No - I don’t remember the name. Pretty slick b&w photography.

Furtive looks by me but often people that I knew would wonder in - killing time before a movie - a few doors down. Did not want them to learn about my quirkiness.

So I peeked but never bought. A few months later - it was gone from all of the boy toy magazines.

The old free DC CityPaper had mostly wrestling personal ads but some boxing.
I called guys but we never seemed to be right for each other. From answering ads - I learned there were a lot more guys with “quirks” for fighting, wrestling and boxing out there.

That and getting my first computer - started me down the rabbit hole to Vangar.
Backyard and apartment boxing was there from the 70s. Matches with friends and guys met around apartment complex swimming pools had been going on for years.

I never conceived of privately circulated lists of fighters - long ago.

It has ALWAYS been a bigger world out there...

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PopsBearBrawler (4) 7/01/2021 5:04 PM

NYWC run by John Handley was, to my knowledge, the original wrestling and fighting contact list. Mailed to members around the country. It was in existence in 1982, probably a few years before that, too. 40 years ago. Only about 60 members I think. I don't know what happened to John Handley. I know Joe Merola, who helped him, died of a heart attack many years ago.

There was also a hard-copy list called Knucklers, which featured more fighting. Both of these were long before the online world.

Having been in these groups for nearly 40 years I'm struck by how we've gone from wrestling to boxing to brawling to NHB/MMA and how segmented the interests have become. Not a bad thing, just interesting to me.

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exchhldsblws (0) 7/02/2021 2:43 AM

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Along with segmentation, the new terms and language have given us abilities of articulation that I didnt have back in the PO box days. Promission anyone? Id write a paragraph to convey what one word does today.

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Ironbull (100) 7/01/2021 5:10 PM

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everything seems to have subdivided and sub-categorised. Gay and Lesbian have become LGBTQ+.

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herb (27) 6/21/2021 12:44 PM

Wow these comments bring back so many memories. Great wrestling times.

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JerseyLuchador (9) 6/06/2021 3:49 PM

When Inwas a very young newbie YEARS AGO I discovered this mailing wrestling contacts called The NYC Wrestling Club. Those were the days. You would get newsletters with photos of member wrestling along with a contact list. Then there was BG Enterprise. I miss the days of a written LETTER OF A CHALLENGE! They usually contained a lot of trash talk and actual photos.

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exchhldsblws (0) 6/29/2021 12:26 AM

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Of course I know BG vids, got a few video news letters in the 90s. Didn't know about contact listings.

The Am-Fem i referenced was an annual pub going back to the 80s. A third of it was video distributors of specialty female wrestling with some mention of m/m. 2/3 of it, organized by state, were male listings with short descriptions of partner and action sought.

My first successful match was in 89. Many unsuccessful, weird and disappointing exchanges followed. Snail mail indeed. I wish I'd kept them but lost to periodic purges over 40 years.

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exchhldsblws (0) 6/08/2021 4:50 AM

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I remember the club. Talked to the guy who ran it, John Handley on the phone In '87. Open to all. Aids was a concern. I found the club thru Am-Fem, a $25, 100 page member listing organized by state with a section for wrestling video distributors. Contacts were snail mail. Lot of PO boxes. Kept those NYC Photo filled newsletters for years.

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Ironbull (100) 6/04/2021 4:13 PM

I was watching a documentary about LGBTQ+ history on Netflix and they referred to a magazine in the 60s in the UK called Films and Filming. This was a thinly-disguised gay soft porn mag with physique and wrestling figuring large. Does anyone have any information regarding that?

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celtwrestle (45) 6/02/2021 3:27 PM

My first tentative steps into the scene were the classified ads in the back pages of the NME. Those were the days of writing letters to a PO Box.

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exchhldsblws (0) 6/29/2021 1:18 AM

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Is NME New Music Express?

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celtwrestle (45) 7/01/2021 4:48 AM

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Yes, New Musical Express.

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Irishfighter (0) 6/01/2021 12:14 AM

Website called grunt n groan where you could post a profile and check out other guys who where into wrestling, went offline 6 or 7 yrs ago

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Irishfighter (0) 5/28/2021 5:45 PM

Does anybody remember grunts a groans?

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FightGames (28 ) 15 days ago

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yes i remember grunts and groan
after there had been allfighters
then meet

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scubawrestler (90 ) 6/20/2021 11:38 PM

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That one never really got off the ground.

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JerseyLuchador (9) 6/08/2021 3:36 PM

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Yeah. There was Grunt/Groans. Takedown. Wrestlemen (still around). Menwrestle (still around). Fightwww. (Sort of like Facebook for fighters). Bearhuggers. There were a lot of Pre-Contact Lists and Websites before the two major ones. (MeetFighters and Globalfight now MenWrestle).

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richhans (4) 5/29/2021 2:27 PM

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Saturday afternoon World Of Sport on ITV? Happy days... Or are you talking about a more recent sort of grunt n groan?

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friar155 (12) 8/26/2017 5:19 PM

You are all right in some respect re wrestling on the internet. However first recollections for me re gay wrestling promotion was a posted magazine with contact ads stories etc called alternative wrestler which the Grapevine took over from when it stopped publication. You need to talk to Ian Scott re that he runs or wrestling venue in London now. I started the Grapevine with another guy Bob Burchell it was a magazine with pic stories about gay wrestling and contact adds. It also lead to the Grapevine wresting days at Bedford and later Alveston. The grapevine started as a postal magazine ad was published for several year then ended as an emailed service. It stopped when I moved to Cyprus. A guy called Dave mattworker took over running the Grapevine wrestling days. Also long before that there was a London wrestling club the met in Phibeach gardens in earls court.

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Ironbull (100) 8/26/2017 6:37 PM

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Thanks Phil. That was the London Boxing and wrestling Club which fell apart in 92 after the murders of two members. That leaves a gap 92 to 97.

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luttefrance (23) 5/24/2021 6:57 PM

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Pretty sure takedown was towards the earlier end of this range.

Before that there was internet relay chat (IRC) which had rt chat rooms, including a wrestling one.

Btw - does anyone know what happened to tony scott from lbwc? We used to train together but lost touch after he moved to oz

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Wrstlr1 (16) 8/25/2017 11:08 AM

I think it was Takedown, I vaguely remember it being a magazine that people heard about through other non-wrestling internet sites (gaydar?) and ordered. Before then as I understand it people put adds in newspapers!

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scubawrestler (90 ) 6/20/2021 11:37 PM

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The original was GWA "Gay Wrestling Alliance" it was a paper newsletter. It became an online page called Gladiators World Alliance, because they wanted to attract the straight guys too. Then in the mid 90s it became Vangar, and eventually Globalfight There was a page called Wrestlemen which was a similar online format. Both of those pages became pay per view pages, and lost a lot of their following. Later on, Headrush/Takedown was run out of Boston and was quite popular but eventually died for financial reasons. Then there was Headlock wrestling, which was run out of Utah. It got bought out by globalfight and that put an end of the free use pages until "Allfighters" which became Meetfighters came along.

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celtwrestle (45) 6/21/2021 5:31 AM

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Quite a bit of heritage there guys!

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Ironbull (100) 6/21/2021 8:14 AM

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Heritage that should not be forgotten

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Ironbull (100) 8/25/2017 11:12 AM

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Can you recall when? What's your earliest photo?

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Wrstlr1 (16) 8/25/2017 11:18 AM

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I couldn't accurately date it as I started wrestling a bit after all that, but the guy who ran the magazine was the guy who introduced me to wrestling, he would know the History better

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dabbler1973 (17) 8/26/2017 11:00 AM

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Was it a guy called Rod Gilbert .. he had a kinda list of wrestlers that he would send to you... that was back in mid to late 90's .

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dabbler1973 (17) 8/22/2017 9:00 AM

Was Globalfight not another early one as well?
Vangar? I remember Takedown as well.
There was a site called Dutchboys Belly Fetish that had a forum section... I met my ex through talking about gut punching on there ... that was about 2001/2 ...

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exchhldsblws (0) 6/08/2021 4:56 AM

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I believe Takedown, circa '99, became Global Fight in '02ish.

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headscissorschgonwburbs (23 ) 6/02/2021 3:41 AM

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I remember globalfight had a newsletter before the website

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Ironbull (100) 8/22/2017 10:50 AM

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I'm not sure but wrestling heritage has always been preserved and this online world is so enduring that it is a part of it in its own right.

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Ironbull (100) 8/21/2017 2:35 PM

A question.

What was the very first online wrestling website? Was it Takedown? Whatever it was, when did it first appear on the internet? I vaguely think it was 1997 but I may be wrong.

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KOFistBoxer (1) 6/22/2021 10:50 PM

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The first I know of was when Globalfight was originally called Vangar, which I found in college. Very late 90s.

Also there used to be Wrestlingm4m and Boxingm4m in AOL chats and a few yahoo groups.

Some older guys told me about some mags that had classifieds at the back before that, but a little before my time.

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