SummerSlam season is the perfect time to get nostalgic, and Bud_LightHere’s photography is a weekly — and sometimes daily — wrestling nostalgia trip.
In recent weeks, the Rome, Italy-based photographer, whose real name is Andrew, has focused on several classic moments, from Miss Elizabeth distracting the Million Dollar Man and Andre the Giant at the 1988 SummerSlam to Randy Orton defeating Chris Benoit to become World Champion at the 2004 event to recreating the poster for Hulk Hogan’s first showdown with Shawn Michaels in 2005.
Andrew told Wrestling Figure News that his photography is inspired by his “passion for wrestling” and “love for action figures.”
“They just go hand in hand,” he said. “I have a ‘vision’ of how that classic moment or match would look like in figure form, and I just try to recreate it as close as possible to the real thing. Even more inspiring is the relationship I developed with other wrestling fans. As my page got bigger, I’ve had the chance to interact with hundreds of people, hear their memories about the live shows they attended or their teenage years watching Raw and Nitro at the bar or with their college buddies.”
The connection with other wrestling fans is something Andrew has sought out as he said it’s difficult to find fans outside of the U.S. who can relate. The Bud_LightHere Instagram page is helping bridge that gap though.
“Through this page I’m having the opportunity to shorten the distance between me and other fans,” he said. “Their stories are an incredible source of inspiration for my posts and sometimes I let them choose what’s going up next.”
Andrew got into wrestling in 1990, but he’s studied other eras to gain a better understanding of the territory era and wrestling’s boom period, as well as the logic of the business.
“The WWE Network, YouTube and a few wrestling podcasts are absolutely essential in this regard,” he said. “My IG page is mostly focused on the ‘80s and ‘90s — Golden Era, New Generation, Attitude Era, Monday Night Wars. Every now and then, I like to jump into the 2000s too and see how my audience reacts. They’re mostly expecting old school stuff from me though, and that’s what I like to share the most.”
Although Andrew doesn’t have a formal photography background, he’s gained a following for capturing iconic moments through his figure photography. He started his page after being encouraged by friends to join Instagram and discovered that the toys from his childhood had evolved beyond cartoony Hasbros. He also found a community of creative wrestling figure photographers, including “Darc Reign, VTriggerFigs, Figure Kingdom and Squared Circle Photography,” among others, he said.
“I realized how beautiful, articulated and poseable that Ultimate Warrior or Bret Hart had become, compared to my old Hasbros,” he said. “I was totally hooked and there was no turning back!
“I started shooting wrestling figures and other collectibles, and I got positive feedback,” he said. “A couple big wrestling pages noticed my Insta and started reposting my work and a pretty famous ESPN show talked about my page on their podcast. My wrestling fan base began to grow, so I finally decided my page would only be about wrestling. As they say, the rest is history.”
Andrew’s focus is on recreating matches, promos or episodes of major shows on the day they took place.
“I try to be as accurate as possible shooting between 10 and 30 pics, choosing the one that stands out the most for lighting, facial expressions, sharpness, crowd and sign visibility (if present),” he said. “I’m constantly looking for new ideas, and as I mentioned before, people’s opinions are always very important to choose what I’ll be posting next.
“I’d like to do my part in scratching that nostalgic itch and be a reference point for more and more wrestling fans, especially old school ones,” he continued. “They gotta know that, if something happened on that day, they’re gonna find it on my page. Of course, in figure form. 80% of my audience are not collectors, most of them probably don’t even care about figures, but they appreciate reliving their wrestling memories of their childhood or teenage years through my recreations.”
Andrew is hopeful of attending more events, cons and fan fests in the future. He’d like more opportunities to meet wrestlers, as well as members of the wrestling figure community. He’d possibly even like to organize a mini-convention.
“I think it’ll be a great chance to get to know each other better, strengthen this community and obviously talk about our favorite subjects: figures and wrestling!” he said.