Friday, July 28, 2023

Counting Wrestling Shows


Wrestling podcasts are all the rage these days. My personal favorite is Stories with Brisco and Bradshaw hosted by WWE Hall of Famers Jerry Brisco and John Bradshaw Layfield aka JBL. It's a good, clean show with great guests who tell great stories. There is no trashing the business, no trashing other people in the business, and there is very little mudslinging, unless it is in jest. It is highly recommended.

A few months ago, Brisco and Bradshaw talked with Rich Achberger, aka WWE Sign Guy. Acheberger is a famous fan of WWE. He has been written about on, supported by wrestlers while on Deal or No Deal, gets twitter praise from people in wrestling, and has amassed a prominent twitter following of over 40,000.

No doubting his incredible fandom.

During his interview with Brisco and Bradshaw, Achberger said he has attended over 1,200 wrestling shows. That's a lot of wrestling shows. As a fellow fan of wrestling shows, his count got me thinking how many I have been to.

Overall, I think I have been to roughly 270 wrestling events. Which to be honest, seems really small compared to Sign Guy. Here is my math:

WWE: 9

I've been six WWE RAW or Smackdown shows in Tampa at Amalie Arena as well as WrestleMania at Raymond James Stadium. That's seven. I went to one Smackdown in Tallahassee and one closed circuit broadcast of WrestleMania 3 at Nassau Coliseum when I was a kid in New York.

NXT: 2

I have been to two NXT events. One in Tampa and one in Cocoa, Florida.

FCW: 50

Here is where the estimating starts. From 2008 to 2010, I went to a lot Florida Championship Wrestling shows in Tampa. This was the Afro-Squad days, where we were acknowledged by Steve Keirn and the legendary Dusty Rhodes. I might be a little low, but I am going with 50 total.

ASW: 40

In 2010, the Afro-Squad stopped going to FCW as often and started going to All-Star Wrestling Florida. ASW was run by local friends as well as part of our FCW fan group. We had to support. It was fun, it was local, it was very indy. From 2010 to 2012, I would estimate I went to 40 ASW shows.

wXw: 70

This number seems low, but I think it might be correct. Since 2009, I have been going to Afa The Wild Samoan's wXw monthly promotion in Minneola, Florida. For 10 of those years, my brother Bryan Maddox wrestled there. During that time, I would go every month. Since he stopped wrestling in 2018, I have gone every other month or every third month, depending on my schedule. I also missed two years because I lived overseas. This might be on the conservative side, but I am going with 70 wXw shows.

Miscellaneous: 100

I would guess I have been to 100 other wrestling events, mostly independent shows. From flea markets to fairs, civic centers to storage units, I have paid to see men and women battle in the squared circle. I can't count how many different promotions I've seen. Many of them might not be around any more. I've seen people dressed as Japanese monsters and barbwire Christmas tree matches. I've seen future superstars and people in it for the joy of entertaining the fans. 

But like my FCW and ASW numbers, my visits to independent wrestling shows has dropped dramatically in recent years. I might be a little conservative, but I think 100 is a fair number.

A total of 270 shows is not even 20% of Rick Achberger's 1,200. Whereas I have spent nine months total at wrestling shows, Rick has spent almost 3 and half years. That's mind blowing.

A big tip of the red hat and doff of the afro wig to fellow super fan WWE Sign Guy. May his seat always be warm and his beer (or soda) always be cold.