Media P-WRESTLE-vation

Game preservation has recently become a hot topic despite being an issue for decades. Understandably, it’s at the front of the public consciousness since the Wii U and 3DS eShops are now extinct, causing numerous digital-only games to become unavailable and unplayable to any newcomers who weren’t lucky enough to purchase the games ahead of time. I personally didn’t go back to either console because I own the games I’m interested in already or–more importantly–I know I’ll never get around to playing them if I did. After all, I have a large enough backlog on my Switch and Steamdeck.

The threat of digital games disappearing and being inaccessible brought the idea of game preservation to the forefront of gaming consciousness. As the DidYouKnowGaming YouTube channel will tell us, it has been an ongoing struggle since gaming’s inception. Seriously, go check out some of their videos and learn about efforts to preserve old gaming cabinets and mobile games. While I find game preservation fascinating, I’m certainly no expert on the topic! So, please seek out people who research the topic if you’re interested in gaming history. 

Anyway, I told you that story to tell you another story.

DOA Grand Championship History (post-unification)

Spurred on by my impending (at the time of writing) match for the DOA Pro Wrestling Grand Championship, I recently posted a championship history, which traced it back through its years. First, as the DOA Heavyweight Championship, and even further back through the history of the Pacific Northwest Heavyweight Championship. The two titles are intrinsically tied, as they were unified into what we know as the DOA Grand Championship when Ethan HD won both titles in a 4-Way Match involving both champions. This project helped highlight how hard it can be to gather reliable accounts of local professional wrestling cards, results, and general history. This research was fascinating, as it allowed me to trace the lineage back decades, with one of the first (if not the first, it’s hard to tell if the title goes back further) PNW Champions being Luther Lindsay, an African American pro wrestler in 1955!

That said, this research was time-consuming, because there’s no one reliable source for true accounts of the history, so I had to take best guesses from information on Wikipedia and CageMatch, along with the information I keep on my own pro wrestling matches, to determine an accurate lineage. Fortunately, I was able to grab show dates and names from my personal match spreadsheet, which allowed me to pull up old Facebook or Twitter posts regarding those shows and determine (or at least take the best guess) when a title change took place.

DOA Heavyweight Championship History

Similar to the effort that game historians put forth to preserve gaming history, folks who take the time to catalog wrestling information on sites like CageMatch and Wikipedia are doing the Lord’s work. Sadly, if it’s not properly cataloged, some older information could soon go the way of the eShop and WrestlingData as those who were there to witness it start to die off. I will always treasure the time Buddy Wayne would take out of his day to tell us stories about “the old days.” I’m especially fortunate that one of my final memories of him is exactly that—but I will always wish I’d had more time to listen to him tell me about the history of wrestling in the PNW. Sadly, most people from that era–those who were there to live through actual Portland Wrestling, the kind of stuff my mom used to go see when she was a kid–are gone or getting pretty old so it’s lost to memory.

I know it sounds like I’m building to a call-to-action here at the end, but I’m really not. It’s entirely unreasonable to ask people to seek out wrestlers from yesteryear to learn about the rich history of PNW (or any area’s) professional wrestling scene/territory. It’s also unrealistic to expect someone to always think to catalog cards and match results for every show they attend. We’re fortunate now that websites like IWTV exist to store many indie shows for future fans to experience, but that luxury doesn’t exist for those who want to go back and watch Buddy Rose, Colonel DeBeers, Roddy Piper, or the great Buddy Wayne wrestling in Portland. Those clips exist–and, please go watch them on youtube–but the majority of the footage is much less accessible than a few clicks of the mouse that IWTV offers. 

I guess what I’m trying to say, is thank you to those who respect wrestling history enough to cover it in a video essay, update CageMatch with results, or convert their old VHS to digital and upload them. It’s important stuff, and once it’s gone, it’s very hard to recover.

The Academy teaches you about the history of the DOA Grand Championship



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