Source: Poughkeepsie Journal
It all started at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie.
Well, some of it anyway.
The building in the heart of Poughkeepsie has quite a history in the business of professional wrestling and one that dates back to the days that World Wrestling Entertainment was called the World Wide Wrestling Federation and later, the World Wrestling Federation.
For a period in the 1980s, the WWF would tape Championship Wrestling every few weeks from Poughkeepsie and later it became a hot spot for Extreme Championship Wrestling.
Therefore, I bring you, in no particular order, the top 10 moments in Poughkeepsie’s wrestling history.
n Nov. 13, 1984. Andre the Giant is “raped of his dignity” as then-commentator Vince McMahon said. After teaming with S.D. Jones in a disqualification win over Big John Studd and Ken Patera, the WWE Hall of Famer has his trademark large hair cut short by Studd and Patera.
n June 17, 1985. The WWF tag team titles change hands as Barry Windham and Mike Rotundo recapture the gold from Nikolai Volkoff and the Iron Sheik. Also on the same card, “Macho Man” Randy Savage and Terry Funk make their WWF debuts. On July 30 of that year, Savage debuts his new manager, the lovely Elizabeth.
n Oct. 23, 1985. Starting the Rock ‘N’ Wrestling Connection, the WWF tapes the “Land of 1,000 Dances” video off their first record, “The Wrestling Album.” Hearing Mr. Fuji say, “You’ve got to know how to pony,” never sounded so good.
n June 24, 1986. Hulk Hogan is betrayed by an ally for the first time as “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff clotheslines and piledrives the wrestling icon.
n August 5, 1986. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper returns to the ring, defeating perennial preliminary wrestler A.J. Petruzzi with one hand tied behind his back.
n March 15, 1993. Televised wrestling returns to Poughkeepsie as Monday Night RAW emanates from the Civic Center.
n June 21, 1993. 1-2-3 Kid escapes out of the Civic Center and on to the streets of Poughkeepsie with the $10,000 that Razor Ramon put up for a rematch with him. RAW commentator Bobby Heenan says that they better get a room ready in “Poughkeepsie General Hospital” for the Kid. So much for accuracy.
n April 3, 1995. Shawn Michaels gives bodyguard Sid the night off, a day after Michaels loses at WrestleMania XI to Diesel. Sid attacks Michaels, power bombing him repeatedly, and setting the heelish Heartbreak Kid up to become a good guy, at least for a while.
n May 16, 1999. Poughkeepsie’s one and only pay-per-view wrestling event, Hardcore Heaven ’99 takes place. Rob Van Dam defeats Jerry Lynn in a fondly-remembered classic.
n Nov. 11, 2000. The last television taping in Poughkeepsie. At least for now. Scott Hall makes one of his only ECW appearances as ECW runs their last card in Poughkeepsie.