|02-28-2012, 10:59 AM||#41|
Nick De Cock
|03-02-2012, 08:06 PM||#42|
- Jim Cornette & Stan Lane send a $200 black wreath to WCW offices. The enclosed card read "Our deepest sympathies on the death of your promotion."
|03-03-2012, 08:37 AM||#43|
I friggen love these.
Anyways, you'll see Dave Meltzer rip on Herb Abrams alot. His promotion was a disaster. Well Herb Abrams got really pissed at Meltzer bashing his promotion. So..................
|03-03-2012, 02:11 PM||#44|
-- Verne Gagne is telling everyone in Las Vegas that the NWA is about to fold and that he's going to get their entire roster except Flair, Dusty, and Tully.
God love ya Verne. Seth, where are you finding these?
|03-04-2012, 09:54 PM||#45|
OLD SCHOOL FAN
Here's the March 4th 1985 Edition of Wrestling Observer
*Steamboat press-slamming Flair with the headline “The End of an Era.”
Pulling No Punches
*Dave comments on the 20/20 piece involving Eddy Mansfield and Jim Wilson. Also, John Stossell getting slapped around by David Schults.
*Mansfield demonstrated how wrestlers “fake it,” even blading himself. Dave doesn’t think it will negatively affect the business at all. Dave says Mansfield didn’t lose his job for going to the media, but because he often no-showed bookings.
*Apparently, Wilson claims he was kicked out of wrestling for refusing to do homosexual favors for a promoter. Dave says he wasn’t kicked out for this, but because he’s a horrible worker who refused to do jobs.
*Dave was contacted by Stossell a few days before the piece ran. He wasn’t impressed by Stossell because he only knew what Wilson, Mansfield and Hulk Hogan had told him. He didn’t do any other research.
*Dave thinks that if someone went up to 50 journalists and told each of them repeatedly that their profession was phony, one of the journalists would eventually smack you around like Schults did with Stossell.
*Dave says in many ways journalism is more fake than wrestling because reporters have to report on things they know nothing about (as a journalist myself, Dave has a good point here).
*Dave says the only part of the 20/20 piece that was sloppy instead of shallow was when McMahon was not challenged when he said he has never done anything to keep other promotions out of buildings. Overall, Dave was entertained by the report but not really informed.
Mr. Mike’s Mondo Wrestling
*Mike is upset that the AWA doesn’t know how to use its talent pool. Brody is also gone and Mike didn’t think he was ever really used right.
*Slaughter’s reception at the 1/13 St. Paul show was so-so. The show drew a disappointing 11,000.
*John Nord debuted and Mike sees big things for him if he’s able to talk.
*Mike commends the marketing skills of McMahon for the Hogan-Piper MTV match. He says wrestling is close to being a genuine fad and it will be cool to like.
*Mike says Vince struggles to convince people in local markets that his product is good. However, he convinces the “important people,” the TV and advertising execs, that his product is good because it’s popular in New York.
*The 2/1 Pro Wrestling USA tapings were held in St. Paul. Mike said they were ok with the highlight being a Terry Funk appearance.
*Mike thought the 20/20 piece was good fun and will help the wrestling business grow as a fad.
*Mike is disturbed by the fan reaction to Garvin’s valet, Precious. People have taken it beyond fun and it’s now a little disturbing (Precious got attacked by a fan and needed 18 stitches a few weeks back).
*There’s a story and obit piece about Eddie Graham’s suicide.
*There’s a puff-piece about McMahon from some trade magazine.
*There’s a piece from the Tulsa World about Mid-South and its use of wrestlers in country music videos.
Inside Japan Wrestling
*Business is way up for All Japan, way down for New Japan. New Japan sold out wherever it went in ’83 and ’84 but can’t draw 3,000 per night in ’85.
*Several All Japan wresters have started wrestling a faster pace to keep up w/ Choshu’s style.
*Tsuruta and Choshu met several times in tag matches, but they didn’t go over real well. Tsuruta is feuding w/ Yatsu instead.
*All Japan TV show will move to prime time once baseball season ends. This will severely damage Inoki, but Inoki still holds a prime time slot on Friday night.
*Road Warriors and Ellering will be in from 3/8-3/14 and will get $10,000 apiece.
*Rumors that the AWA offered to send talent to New Japan for $120,000 per year. The company is paying WWF $500,000 in ’85 for talent.
*Rumors that Inoki is planning a bout between himself and Larry Holmes in either Tokyo or Los Angeles.
*Super Tiger now appearing w/out a mask in UWF.
*UWF’s president is out of jail on bail, but the company’s future still looks bleak.
Letters from Readers
*One letter saying that Florida wrestling isn’t so bad. The usual WWF bashing. One anonymous writer talking about how WWF is finally getting things right and are selling out arenas throughout the country.
*Dave says the WWF is riding the crest of a wave that is the biggest in wrestling in more than a decade. Crowds are way up, except in areas like Dallas or St. Paul
*The wave will lead to a closed-circuit MSG card headlined by Hogan-T/Piper-Orndorff.
*Dave praised the MTV special leading up to the Hogan/Piper MSG bout. He said it went off w/out a hitch and the celebrity tie-ins made it feel that you’re with the “in” crowd by watching wrestling.
*He says Piper proved that he is the most valuable commodity in wrestling right now and summarized the Hogan/Piper match and ensuing angle w/ Mr. T.
*Dave says Hogan has become an awful wrestler. He used to be just OK, now he’s terrible. He says Hogan comes across well to first-time viewers, but he’s not sure how many first-timers are watching WWF compared to actual wrestling fans.
*Dave says McMahon needs to capitalize on the Mr. T angle and try to turn all the non-wrestling fans that will be interested in the angle into wrestling fans. Dave doesn’t think Mr. T being involved in wrestling will negatively impact the business long term.
*Jimmy Hart and Jim Neidhart due in 2/12. King Kong Bundy coming in March. Rumors that Steamboat is also coming in March. Gone are Schults, Mulligan, Briscos, Adonis and Murdoch. Schults was fired for trying to jump Mr. T. He was fined $3,000 for beating up Stossell.
*Bret Hart, who Dave says was once good, is being wasted in the WWF.
*Highlights how the WWF is going into the home video business. Also highlights other WWF merchandise coming out, including Hulk Hogan dolls. Dave wonders if the dolls will have spots to insert needles.
*Latest WWF TV ratings are up slightly.
*2/5 Philly show by Crocketts drew 3,770. Fan reports say it was good, but TV stations reported it the lowest attended card in a long time. Flair/Slaughter will headline 2/28.
*Crockett should be taking over most northern cities run by Ole soon.
*Billy Haynes returned 2/2.
*Buck Robley is now booking and Eric Embry has apparently bought the ownership of the company from Joe Blanchard.
*Von Erichs were on Los Angeles TV to announce they would run live shows there in the future.
*Dave thinks Chris Adams is the best heel in the country right now.
*Best matches on this circuit involve Dibiase/Duggan.
*Speculating that Kimala may be turned face.
*2/15 in Houston drew 5,600. Watts ran Houston again six days later, one day before the WWF came in for a show.
*Mid-South’s TV show won its time slot in 15 of 23 slots around the circuit, including up against college football in some cases.
*Duggan has done some recent music videos with country singers. Dave says Mid-South is going all out w/ the videos, which he doesn’t mind if it doesn’t get in the way of wrestling. He thinks it eventually will, however.
*Rumors that the AWA may soon give up on Martel as a champ that can draw. Dave isn’t sure who else to give the title to, however. Slaughter doesn’t need a belt, Bockwinkle is still good but fans perceive him as too old and Masked Superstar doesn’t really fit.
*Fans are getting worn out on Slaughter because he’s being pushed as the second coming.
*Drew 5,300 on 1/30 in San Fran, about triple what they had been drawing. Baron/Hennigs def. Roadies/Ellering when Baron pinned Ellering. Fans cheered the Roadies until they started to run away from the Baron’s claw. Fans started throwing plastic cups at the Roadies, which they caught, stuck down the crotch of their trunks, and threw back at the fans. They did the same thing in Puerto Rico, only w/ rocks.
*Main reason the Fabs left was because they were sick of the Roadies no-selling.
*Chicago and Salt Lake each drew 9,000.
*A snowstorm forced some shows to recently be cancelled.
*Rumors that Lawler will soon win NWA title from Flair.
*Word is that the territory will be reorganized w/ Mike Graham giving control to Dusty.
*Percy Pringle in the area as a manager.
*Dave says the Freebirds are the only good thing going in this territory.
*Several new workers in from Abdulla the Butcher’s training school.
*T-Bolt Patterson’s suit against the NWA was recently settled out of court. T-Bolt got $50,000 from Barnett and Crockett will pay him $2,000 per week to wrestle. T-Bolt signed to no longer stand w/ Mansfield and Wilson in their lawsuits.
*Magnum TA getting a big push.
*Speculation that Steamboat left because Dusty wanted to turn him heel.
*AWA on 2/20 in San Fran was awful and drew 1,981.
*NWA on 2/20 in Pittsburgh drew 750 and was also terrible.
*WWF sold out Indianapolis, but only drew about 800 in Oklahoma.
*Rumors that two groups may start running Calgary, one led by Cuban Assasin and one as a Stampede revival. Bad News Allan and Bruce Hart are battling over who will book the Stampede group. Brett, Davey Boy and Dynamite won’t work unless Bruce books.
*Lawler making arrangements to bring in Dynamite and Davey Boy.
*Steamboat definitely scheduled for 3/5 WWF taping in Poughkeepsie.
*Orndorff has dropped weight for his series w/ Hogan. They want to have Hogan do several power moves so it helps if Orndorff is lighter.
*Dave thinks it would be “interesting” if Piper and T “go against the grain” at Wrestlemania.
*Expect to see a falling out between Inoki/McMahon soon.
|03-05-2012, 06:53 AM||#46|
Don't believe the hype
I'm still stuck on the revelation that they were not Mae Youngs breasts at Royal Rumble 2000. Why go to that effort?
Might need to sleep on this one.
|03-05-2012, 02:22 PM||#47|
|03-05-2012, 03:52 PM||#49|
Doin' It Right
|03-06-2012, 11:01 AM||#51|
WRESTLING OBSERVER: 2.:24:1986
- William Perry was quoted as saying he would â€œabsolutely notâ€ť agree to appear on any wrestling show.
- Wrestlemania will take place in three locations. The main event for the NY arena is Mr. T vs. Roddy Piper in a boxing match; the LA main will be Hogan vs. Bundy for the title; the main in Chicago was originally scheduled to be a $100,000 winner-take-all battle royal with wrestlers and celebrities. Perry was supposed to be the main hook, but doesnâ€™t look like heâ€™ll be there now. Meltz speculates it may have been Perry messing with Vince to show that he canâ€™t be bought by wrestling promoters.
Other unconfirmed matches include Bruno vs. Ventura, Savage vs. Santana, and Bulldogs vs. Dream Team (with a title change expected).
- SNME for 3/1 was taped on 2/15 in Phoenix. Featured was Hogan vs. Muraco, Mr. T vs. Orton is a boxing match and Bulldogs vs. Dream Team for the titles. Muraco was managed by Heenan for some reason. Bundy interfered and gave Hogan five splashes after the match. Piper and Orton wound up double-teaming the œcretinous man with the Mohawk. Meltz notes T was recently fired from A-Team for being too obnoxious for the actors to handle. The KO in the match came in the second round because T was blown up midway through the first one (which lasted two minutes).
- Savage beat Santana for the IC title on 2/8 in Boston, but since it wonâ€™t air until 2/22, Santana will continue to defend the belt until then.
- Jake the Snake is in as a villain and brings a snake to ringside, that he lets slither over his fallen opponents.
- Other newcomers include Dory Funk (who did a run-in during a JYD/Terry Funk match), Trapper John (a guy who will make us all wish for more Uncle Elmer) and Alexis Smirnoff (useless since the injury to Volkoff wasnâ€™t as serious as first thought).
- WWF made front-page news in Northern California over an incident where the police were called about a disturbance near the arena in Fresno. As soon as the cops showed, Piper, Orton, and Muraco split. Piper had punched someone at the restaurant. The cops chased their car in a 100-MPH race around Fresno, resulting with the heels crashing. They then fled on foot and lost the police.
Later that evening, the cops got a call of another disturbance, this time, at the Holiday Inn. They got there to find Orton on the roof nude and Piper in the lobby causing a ruckus. They shot Orton twice with a taser gun, which didnt work since he was loaded. Once they calmed down, they were arrested and spent the night in jail. No charges were brought.
- Jesse Ventura got his wish: he'll be a secondary lead in an upcoming Schwarzeneggar movi
|03-06-2012, 11:20 AM||#52|
WRESTLING OBSERVER NEWSLETTER
DECEMBER 30, 1985
Dave starts by reminding everyone that this is the final issue of the current four-issue set, so it's almost time to renew. He says the response to the poll has been great and that the deadline is on 1/6, so people should have their answers in the mail by 12/30. Dave opts to not run down the categories here, since they've run in the past three issues.
Dave asks anyone who has a tape of the Martel/Hansen Comisky Park match to contact him to arrange a trade. ESPN keeps bouncing around Verne's time slot due to College Basketball (and also to purposely damage his ratings) so he doesn't see it very often, "and once in a blue moon, they even show something I'm interested in seeing."
The big news for this issue is that Bruiser Brody and Jimmy Snuka were fired from New Japan. They no-showed the final match of the IWGP Tag League on 12/12. Everyone assumes it was because they were supposed to lose, but Dave isn't 100% sure that's the case. The real reason was over money. Brody was supposed to make $14,000-$16,000 a week, but the houses were pretty bad since there wasn't much talent, and it was the annual tournament. Plus, Brody helped broker the deal between Inoki and Fritz and was supposed to get a hefty commission payment, but only got about 1/10 of what was promised to him. There were also problems between Brody and Inoki on the tour, stemming from the fact that neither wanted to put the other one over.
Brody wrestled Sakaguchi on 12/11, with the plan being that Brody would injure him. Dave thinks it was either to prevent Inoki and Sakaguchi from wrestling in the finals, so Inoki wouldn't have to lose, or to give them an excuse to lose and help Inoki save face. With the tension already building up between Brody and NJPW, things got out of hand and Brody hurt him really bad. Brody and Snuka demaded that their money be sent to their hotel that night before they'd go to the next show. They money never came, and they left the hotel and went back Stateside. Dave thinks that it was stupid on their part, more for Snuka than Brody, because in wrestling you often have to make demands to get what's promised to you. Dave thinks Inoki got cocky with his outlook for 1986, with the UWF boys were back in NJPW, and he didn't think he had to put up with Brody any longer.
Dave says it's ironic that Brody is considered the #1 wrestler in the world over in Japan, and between this and his walking out on Baba, he may never work in Japan again, unless it's for Vince McMahon. Satoru Sayama may also never wrestle again in Japan for different reasons, which Dave plans on getting to later.
The 12/12 card was to feature Brody and Snuka facing the winners of Inoki/Sakaguchi vs. Fujinami/Kimura to decide the tournament. Dave suspects that, if they'd shown up, the battle between the Japanese teams wouldn't have happened due to Sakaguchi's injuries. In the end, the two Japanese teams wrestled to decide the tournament and "in one of the few smart moves they've done in a while" Fujinami pinned Inoki to win the tournament for his team. The fact that Inoki was pinned for the first time in eight years, by his understudy, was enough to make everyone forget about Brody and Snuka.
All Japan also decided their tag team tournament on 12/12 at Budokan Hall in Tokyo, Stan Hansen and Ted DiBiase went to a thirty-minute draw with Chosyu and Yatsu, and because they were the top point getters Hansen and DiBiase were awarded the tournament. Dave is sure the action was outstanding, but reports from Japan said the tournament was disappointing due to the lack of finishes. While Hansen and DiBiase were in first place with seven points, there were four teams tied for second. Other matches that night were Tsuruta and Tenryu going to a draw with the Funks, and Harley Race and Jesse Barr going to a DCOR with the Bulldogs.
The lawsuit between Jim Crockett and Titan Sports has been settled and both companies will be booking shows in the Richmond Coliseum in 1986. But there are several other arenas that Crockett wants to get into that McMahon has an exclusive (and possible illegal) hold on, namely the Spectrum in Philly. The WWF runs Richmond on 1/8 with Hogan/Studd, Steamboat/Muraco, Bulldogs/Hart Foundation, and Savage and Funk also on the show. Crockett's next show on 12/27 with Flair/Rhodes, Tully/Magnum, Fernandez/Abby, and Rock and Rolls vs. Andersons. Crockett is trying to get a show in Richmond on 1/7. The lawsuit may also address Vince's practice of paying stations to take other shows off the air, like Vince has done with Crockett's TV.
In more Brody news, he showed up on 12/14 in San Antonio for Texas All Star wrestling and turned heel, saving Gary Hart from the babyface One Man Gang. Brody claimed Hart signed him to a $1 Million contract. Brody is going to be a regular there and will be the first test to see if this group can get out of the state they're currently in, drawing $4,000 gates in San Antonio. The first big test is 1/1 when Brody teams with Tim Brooks and Austin Idol to take on Gang, Big Terrible Bubba, and Wahoo. Dave says the date is stupid, since they have a show on 12/26 featuring the Von Erichs vs. Freebirds. Gary Hart is apparently handling all of Brody's bookings, which is why he's got a date in the AWA in Winnepeg (the only city Verne doesn't control).
In other surprising news, David Sammartino has joined the AWA. Dave figured he was done when he injured his leg (out of the ring), and was being booked to lose to Ron Shaw in the WWF. Dave thinks Verne is stupid enough to push David, just to run a David/Larry Zybyszko feud. Dave wonders if Verne learned nothing from the flop that Sgt Slaughter was, or if Verne doesn't even realize that Slaughter flopped.
The WWF ran Charlotte on 12/16, the Rick McGraw benefit show. They drew 2,400 fans, but the mood wasn't very good. They were chanting "Fake" during Hogan vs. Bundy. The only match to have any real heat was Steamboat vs. Piper, and the crowd was mostly pro Piper. They even sent out Andre for the show, so Dave thinks that the show has to be considered a failure and Titan may be doomed in trying to run Crockett Country. There was a lot of local media for the show, and it was Hogan's first time in Charlotte.
Basil DeVito claimed 60,000 homes for the Wrestling Classic PPV, which is about what Dave expected. Although the WWF was forecasting 250,000 homes for the show. Dave has also been given a figure of 43,000, there's been no work on the next PPV venture. Dave has heard it's been planned for January and coming from Bloomington, MN. DeVito said the show didn't meet projections because they were competing with Network TV during sweeps period. Dave wonders why they didn't figure that out ahead of time and schedule during a differnet time. He thinks PPV could do huge business, if it was a big show of WrestleMania or Starrcade like proportions. Dave says that expecting a 12.5 buyrate is unrealistic because the WWF has never gotten a 12.5 TV rating and now they want people to pay $12 for the show.
A few notes about the recent independent show in California featuring the Pakistani wrestlers. The show was cancelled when the promoter left the country. They had a show booked at the Olympic Auditorium that sold 72 tickets. The Americans showed up to wrestle and the Pakistanti's had already left. Eddie Mansfield wasn't there and will probably never wrestle again, for fear that if he gets in the ring, he's fair game, "probably the truth."
Dave attended the Polynesian Pro Wrestling show in San Jose, it was completely disorganized, but Dave enjoyed it. It was a chance to see wrestlers he'd never seen before (and would never want to see). The show drew 1,400 (compared with the 350 the WWF normally draws in San Jose), so the gate was healthy. But Dave figures they had to lose money, since they flew in everyone from Hawaii. Dave is told that it's Lars Anderson having fun with Mrs. Miavia's money. Dave is told that they've got bookings into the middle of next year, but will never survive that long. The only thing that drew the crowd was a Battle Royal, which is always a huge draw in the area.
Sam Anoai won a battle royal featuring all wrestlers on the card, save the Johnsons, Lars, Roop, Sullivan, and Badnews Allen. Chief Jay Strongbow (not Joe Scarpa) beat Don Stevenson. Fujinami and Kimura beat Joel and Dave Deaton. Sivi Afi and The Russian Exterminator (a former WWF stiff with a shaved head) went to a DCOR, and were both in the dressing room before the ref finished the count. Ricky and Rocky Johnson went to DCOR with Sullivan and Bob Roop to retain their tag titles. Rocky bladed 10 minutes in and it took one kick to the chest to open up a head wound. Ricky's dropkicks missed by almost three Ric Flair nose lengths (my note: LOL) but were still being sold. "You can say what you want about Sullivan gimmick, but his work is the shits." Midget Chilly Bo Diddy beat Midget Little Kevin, Dave missed most of it. Anoaro Atisanoe beat Leroy Brown. Budda Kahn got in the ring and waited for ten minutes for someone to quit partying and come wrestle, finally Sam Anoai came out and beat him in 90 seconds. Farmer Boy Ipo beat Pistol Pete. Power Team USA beat the Patterson Bros (Tim Patterson and Billy Anderson, who was Billy Patterson because Lars wouldn't let anyone else use the name Anderson). Lars Anderson DCOR with Badnews Allen, they beat each other senseless for about two minutes "Then Lars died and Allen had to revive him."
The only real excitement was hoping some stupid fan would get in the ring during the match. A fan did get in during the Fujinami match, but Fujinami protected him, not being familiar with American customs. No shows were Afa, Jerry Lawler, and Mike Graham. Dave has heard that this was supposed to be a united front between Crockett, Lars, and Inoki to take CA back from Vince, but now he's not so sure. The night before they drew $32,000 with Inoki/Andre vs. The Deatons, Fujinami/Kimura vs. Pogo/Nagasaki, Lawler vs. Wrestling II, and lots of other matches, 44 wrestlers total. The shows were taped for the Polynesian Pro Wrestling show on the Financial News Network.
The recent California tour drew 6,000 in San Francisco on 12/12 and 9,100 in LA the next night. They headlined with Andre/Hillbilly Jim vs. Studd/Bundy, and a bunch of no shows. Savage vs. Santana was underneath on both shows and was said to be average. Dave isn't sure when they'll be back, but says interest is waning, but a big Hogan or Piper match will probably spark interest. Vince's new power lifter, Ted Arcidi is legitimately the strongest man in the world. He holds the record for the bench press at 704. Dave says nobody else in the business could come close to that. Road Warrior Animal claims a lift of 530, but Dave says he couldn't do it under meet conditions. Dave is sure he's awful, but thinks he can be entertaining if he learns the tricks of the trade soon enough. The Bulldogs are booked all over the loop, the same dates as their Japanese tour, which makes Dave wonder if they'll be forced to make a choice soon. Titan has signed Big John Harris, as another Hillbilly, but Dave says he's so uncoordinated that he couldn't do a ho-down. "The Wrestling Album" is a top seller in NYC, and they expect a shortage of Roddy Piper dolls during the Christmas season. LJN has reported $20 Million in gross on the WWF dolls, which Dave says is an amazing total.
The Wrestling Album is up to 107 on the national charts. "The Slammys" which has been getting a lot of talk lately, is going to be a spoof award show on MTV. The last SNME special got a 3.8 rating, much lower than the last two specials. The 11/9 Saturday Night Live, which many expected to bomb, got a 9.5, and the 11/16 got an 8.8. The SNME taped this past Thursday is the last one they're under contract for, and it not a sure thing they'll be renewed. Zane Bresloff, a local rock promoter, is now in charge of promoting in the Midwest. Piper and Bruno drew about 7,000 to the Meadowlands for a DCOR, Dave has seen several of Bruno's comeback matches and says it's only moderately painful because he wasn't a fan of Bruno when he was young. Dave disagrees with everyone who says he's better than Hogan because Bruno is too limited by age and injuries, but Dave would rather watch him than Hogan.
WWF returns to MSG 12/28, with the NWA/AWA Meadowlands show the next night. Crowds in Montreal are way down since they took over from Bravo's group. Bravo's group runs a show 12/22 with Bravo, Martel, Jim Garvin, and the Rougeaus. 1/15 in Montreal is scheduled as Hogan vs. Bravo, which is strange because Bravo is a huge local favorite. The Rougeaus were orginally going up to the WWF, but wanted a $7,000 guarantee (which they made from the local group) and were mad that the first show they main evented drew a $200,000 + gate and they only got $2,500 apeice. WWF is danger of losing their TV in San Francisco, Vince had been paying $5,000 a week (which is what he paid to bump Verne) and now wants to do a more traditional barter deal. The GM is very upset since the WWF is doing $100,000 + gates thanks to the advertising on his station and wants Vince to stand by his word. Crockett, Verne, and Fritz are all ready to take the time slot from him. Ted Turner actually called the GM on behalf of Crockett, so he's definitely involved with the promotion. The recent show in Portland only drew about 1,500 but they're drawing 7,000 opposite Don Owen in Seattle while Owen draws under 1,000. Crowds in Cincinnati are down to under 1,500 after the WWF drew more than 10,000 for Hogan vs. Piper a few months back.
The wrestlers are all off from 12/15 to 12/24, except the few who have to work the 12/21 show in San Juan, PR. They ran double TV tapings to get them through the 12/28-29 TV air dates. The entire Greensboro card was taped for World Wide Wrestling, so there should be some good matches on TV over the next few weeks. Billy Jack Haynes quit, no showing all over the loop, because he was paid less than the Andersons and Wahoo for Starrcade. He'll probably go to FL or back to Portland. Robert Gibson is out with a back injury. Crockett is raising his prices for 1986. Most of the wrestlers made between $10,000 and $15,000 for Starrcade, with Flair and Dusty getting a lot more. Morton also got more, for falling (actually jumping) from the top of the cage. Flair, Magnum, Eaton, Landell, and Cornette have all bought expensive sports cars since Thanksgiving. Terry Taylor has given notice and is headed to Mid South. Taylor realized that as long as Dusty was booking, and Magnum was around, he'd be stuck in the lower card. Flair and Ronnie Garvin are wrestling on this weeks WTBS show.
Starrcade actually drew 14,000 fans, 1,000 shy of a sellout. The 1/1 show in St Louis has been moved to 2PM, featuring Flair vs. Race, Magnum vs. Tully, Dusty and the Road Warriors vs. The Andersons and Ivan Koloff, Jimmy Valiant vs. Mr Pogo, The Batten Twins vs. Saito and Abby, Crews vs. Higgins, and Tarzan Goto vs. Brett Sawyer. There was an angle planned for Baby Doll to leave Tully (who doesn't have a title) for Buddy Landell (who does have a title), but Buddy showed up too late to the taping and it was scrapped. Buddy is expected to get a big push in '86. 12/13 in Richmond drew 4,000, with prices raised due to a Bunkhouse Stampede, Krushchev beat Whatley, Koloffs drew Morton and Fernandez 30:00, Tully beat Ron Bass by count out, Dusty/Magnum beat Flair/Arn when Dusty pinned Arn, and Dusty won the Bunkhouse Stampede. Dusty wins every Bunkhouse Stampede, usually pinning Arn or Ole to do so. Dave thinks Bunkhouse Stampedes are a good idea, but is told that it's no different than any other battle royal, only that a few guys use their belts.
Crowds are down, which is expected after a huge show like Starrcade, but Road Warriors vs Koloffs is drawing, Bunkhouse Stampedes are drawing, and Flair is around a lot more since he has nowhere else to go. Dave puts out a request for someone to contact him if they have a tape of Starrcade, but says he may just get it himself. Dave also thinks that Crockett may be pricing themselves out of the market with their plans for 1986, cheapest seat in most houses will be $10. Although they're running a show in Charlotte which will have the whole house priced at $3 for Flair/Tully vs. Dusty/Magnum and the Rock and Rolls vs. Andersons. Dave doesn't like the idea of pairing up the teams, because even though Morton and Gibson are great babyfaces and Arn and Ole are great heels, they work very different styles. The best tag team in the world, the Midnight Express, is still being buried. 12/29 at the Meadowlands has Flair vs. Dusty, Martel vs. Hansen, Roadies and Billy Jack vs. Russians (Billy Jack won't be there), Magnum vs. Tully, Landell vs. Taylor, Rock and Rolls vs. Irwins, and Colon vs. Abby. There is also a women's match and a midget match. Dave is told Debbie Combs will be winning the AWA Girls Title, and that they have a lot of momentum heading into '86. Angelo Mosca will be fronting them for Ontario in '86.
Freebirds vs. Von Erichs has started back up, with the Freebirds not booked on 12/9 and showing up in Ft Worth to attack Kevin, Kerry, and Brian Adias. Kevin and Kerry are wrestling twice on 12/25 at Reunion. First teaming with Adias to take on the Freebirds, and then teaming up to challenge Gino and Chris for the American Tag Titles. "Do you realize that in one night they'll have two of the most overdone bouts in history?" The Freebirds vs. Von Erichs six man tags won't be anywhere near as good as the last run of them, because Lance is so bad. "Even with Mike, the 6-man bouts were all great, but Lance is one of the worst wrestlers I've ever seen." Dave also saw the recent Thanksgiving show and the only decent match was Rude vs. Parsons, and decent was all it was. The cage match between Gino/Chris and Kevin/Kerry wasn't the worst cage match Dave has ever seen, but it was the worst involving four guys who supposedly can work. Chris is still decent, but was great at this time last year, Kerry is below average and was also great last year, and Kevin and Gino are both useless. Also on 12/25 is Inoki vs. Steve Williams, Brody vs OMG in a chain match, Fujinami vs. Bob Sweetan, Tatum/Missy vs. Casey/Sunshine, and some other matches. Kevin and Kerry are going to be masked as "The Cosmic Cowboys" against Gino and Chris, and then be themselves against the Freebirds. Dave is told Gino and Chris are breaking up the next month, so they can bore everyone in singles matches. Dave expects the Freebirds to win the six man titles and then give the Von Erichs an excuse to cut Adias loose and team with Lance. Lance is getting over great as the new heartthrob. Jack Victory won the TV Title from Dave Peterson on 12/9, Peterson won it from John Tatum on 12/2 in an elimination match. The title was vacated when Parsons missed the 12/2 show after Rude piledrove him on the floor on Thanksgiving. Sunshine has been ripping her clothes each week with Missy. "Someone should tell her about the Grapefruit 45 plan."
Texas All Star:
Bruiser Brody is in as a heel, and there' s not much going on. The TV show is bad, even by the standards that the group has set. The American Force are a cheap imitation Rock and Roll Express, Bubba is horrible, and even Gary Hart has gone downhill as a manager. They have a plain looking girl in shorts as a referee, and a running a feud between valets because everyone there saw Precious vs. Sunshine in 1983, and this is tawdry by comparison. It's the Midnight Cowgirl (sister of Dave Peterson, who wrestles as Dave Patterson) and Fantasy "The trampy heel who gives good interviews." The gist is that Dave's brother Jimmy was engaged to Fantasy but was paralyzed in a car accident, and Fantasy is subtly hinting at what part of him was effected. She dumped Jimmy for Mike Golden, and the family is there for revenge. Al Madril is now the U.S. Champion after Chavo Guerrero left, Killer Tim Brooks is assisting Gary Hart with the booking. Brooks wanted Chavo to put him over, and Chavo walked instead. Jeff Gaylord, a huge USFL Player debuted a few weeks back. He's obviously green, but he's at least as good as Tom Magee, if you take away Magee's leaping and agility. Gaylord is super strong and looks the part. "Can you imagine the misfortune of first playing for the San Antonio Gunslingers and then working for Texas All Star Wrestling?"
Jerry Lawler and Austin Idol won the Southern Tag Titles from Bill Dundee and Dutch Mantell on 12/9 in Memphis. Dave isn't sure who the Southern Champion is right now. Lawler beat Bill Dundee in a match with Lawler's wife's hair at stake, but it wasn't clear if Dundee's title was at stake. A few years ago Dundee wrestled Lawler when Lawler was a heel and Dundee's wife's hair was at stake, and she was shaved bald. Eddie Marlin was the ref of the tag titles match, and he's feuding with Dundee, since Dundee keeps beating him up.
Rick Casey is getting a small push, the Fantastics are beating the Sheepherders every week, last week they made the Sheepherders say the Pledge of Allegiance. The Fabs may be on the way out, they're feuding with the Heavenly Bodies (Tom Prichard and Pat Rose, managed by Sherri Martel). Prichard and Rose are an OK team, but they don't come off well as heels. The Freedom Fighters turned heel, they were making fun of fat Phil Hickerson, and Hickerson beat on Jim Hellwig until Steve Borden made the save. "The sight of these two super-stiffs beating on Hickerson was hard to take." They're both huge guys, much bigger than the Road Warriors and Koloffs, but they're the least menacing looking team out there. They look harmless as models and when they try to beat on other people, super slowly and stiff, it looks even worse. They've been compared to Nikita when he started out, but Nikita was 1,000 times better. Lance Von Erich is a lot better than them. They beat Hickerson and Koko Ware on 12/9 and then lost to Lawler and Idol on 12/16 and may already be gone.
Tom Renesto and Tom Branch are gone, and Lawler beat Tony Falk in a match where the loser was diapered. Dave saw the 11/18 Flair vs. Koko match and it was really good. The six man bunkhouse match, Dusty/Magnum/Lawler vs. Tully/Andersons was OK, it was only six minutes long, but Lawler was working hard. Tully was OK, but everyone else considered it a night off. "Dusty considers every night a night off."
More Notes From Dallas:
Missing Link is turning face because he has a crush on Sunshine. On 12/2 in Ft Worth Missy held Sunshine so Tatum could hit her, and Link grabbed Tatum's arm. On 12/3 Sunshine got KO'd and Link beat up Tatum and Kabuki and carried her to the parking lot, the same thing with Duggan and his girlfriend in Mid South. "I hate reruns, even more so when the tapes play in most of the same markets." Leroy Brown and Kareem Muhammed will reunite as elephants in San Antonio. Kamala is on his way in.
Brett Sawyer won the Central States Title from Marty Janetty on 12/5 in KC before a crowd of 250. 12/12 drew 500 with Sawyer beating Jannetty in another babyface match. Dave hears Jannetty is leaving, but doesn't know where he's headed. Sawyer may also be leaving. Bulldog Bob Brown beat Rocky Johnson via blood, and also beat Mike George. It was supposed to be Johnson vs. Kamala, but Kamala no showed the third of his last four bookings in the area. Brody wrestles Brown on 12/26.
Barry Windham won the Southern Title from Lex Luger on 12/8. Dave says Luger looks just liike Hogan, with long blonde hair. He's about as good as Hogan was at this stage of his career (a month into it). Joe Savoldi is in, and Dave Sierra is there working as Cuban Assassin, he worked there earlier in the year as The Saint. Gordon Solie isn't happy about Savoldi being in because he worked for Savoldi's brother in the Northeast, feels like he was screwed over and has since sued them.
Badnews Allen is back, he returned a few weeks earlier during match between the Bulldogs and Ron Starr and Wayne Ferris, he helped the Bulldogs when Kerry Brown interfered for the heels. Allen is feuding with Brown. The crowds are pretty bad, except when the Bulldogs are booked. Magee has potential, but has to learn how to wrestle first. He's 6'4, weights 265, with a tiny waist and giant back. He looks like a taller Kerry Von Erich. He's a better athlete than Kerry and does great flips, but he can't wrestle. Dave isn't sure if Takato, Strong Machine, and Saito are still there, but Saito was being buried. He's better than anyone else who regularly appears on the circuit but isn't allowed to show it. Starr and Ferris are International Tag Team Champions, Smith is North American Champion, and Kid is World Middleweight Champion while Bruce Hart is Commonweath Middleweight Champion. Kid is up to 225, so Dave thinks it's ridiculous to bill him as a junior heavyweight.
The 12/12 match between Devil Masami and Jaguar Yakota was cancelled because Jag injured her ankle. A match between Devil and Dump Matsumoto was held in front of 4,500 fans, which Devil won in 19:17. Chigusa Nagayo is also out with a bad ankle, so Lioness Asuka teamed with Miki Komatsu. Jumbo Horri retired because she's getting married. Speaking of women's wrestling, Wendi Richter hasn't been seen since she lost to Moolah and is said to have left the business. The story is that her and Hugo are having a child, but it's not confirmed yet.
The next series starts 1/3 with Mad Max (Lord Humongous), Jim Duggan, Roger Smith, Mike Miller, Tony St. Clair, Black Tiger, Johnny Mantell, and Scorpio from Mexico. Kevin Von Erich is in from 1/26 to 2/6, with Kerry being on the last two shows. They will crown an IWGP Jr. Champion on 2/6 in a tournament featuring Cobra, Shiro Koshinaka, Don Arakawa, Keichi Yamada, Black Tiger, St Clair, Scorpio, Kazuo Yamazaki, and Nobuhiko Takada. The tourny should be good, although not as good as the one two years ago. Many of the NJPW wrestlers getting their first big push don't like the UWF boys being back. Their push will probably be stalled, while they remailed loyal. Satoru Sayama wants no part of wrestling and even published a good called Kay-Fabe. "If you know what that means, you'll know he burned his last bridge about ever returning to pro wrestling." Sayama explained everything about wrestling and says he'd only work for a promotion that features shooting.
A war has broke out between a Nick Gulas led group, with Austin Idol as the main star, against the Fuller/Armstrong group. They're using old Savoldi Northeast tapes, with Solie as the announcer, because Solie is the NWA announcer. Gordon went on TV, said they were using old tapes, and cut the group down for trying to confuse the fans. Then he said that Austin Idol's real name was Mike McCord (It's actually Dennis McCord, but he used to wrestle as Mike McCord). Jerry Stubbs is back as Mr Olypia, but only works sparingingly due to his health. Solie suggests that Idol is afraid of Adrian Street (who he was supposed to start a program with before he left for the Gulas group). Supposedly lots of other talent will be sent to the Gulas group by the NWA. The WWF drew about 800 in Birmingham on 12/8.
Robert Soto beat the Flame for the Continental Title on 12/2. the Flame was unmasked by the Bullet on 12/9, and they had a mask vs. mask match on 12/16. If Bullet is unmasked and it's Bob Armstrong (who lost a loser leaves town match a while back) he's suspended for life. Scott and Steve Armstrong are back. Johnny and Davey Rich beat the Nightmares on 11/28, on 12/2 they had a rematch where the losers get their hair died pink and the Richs won again. The Richs won a death match by DQ, and on 12/25 they have a double hair match. The main event on 12/9 was Brad Armstrong and the Bullet beating Robert Fuller and Boomer Lynch. The Nightmares are still tag champions and Street is the Southeast Champ.
Not much to report here. 12/25 in St Paul has Martel vs. Hansen, Bockwinkel vs. Zybyszko, and Blackwell/Hennig/Hall vs. Zhukov/Nord/Stomper. "Here's a brain buster, who is the worst of the three heels?" Zhukov is probaby the best of them. Nord has potential, but was a huge flop in Japan. Tom Magee will be the same in January, they have no business in the ring with Riki Chosyu. Dave hasn't seen the fed in months, and is told the Bockwinkel/Zybyszko thing makes no sense, although it gives Nick's character some life.
Dave finally saw the DiBiase face turn angle and it was the best thing he's seen in wrestling since the Freebirds got back together. He's sure Doc and Ted will be over huge as babyfaces. The entire show, aired 11/23, was one of the best TV shows Dave's ever seen. The Fabs and Lawler will be in on 12/27 in Houston, with the Fabs working Chavo and Hector Guerrero and Lawler wrestling Masked Superstar. Also, Duggan vs. Sawyer in a Dog Collar match, Doc vs. Taylor and prelims. There will probably be another show the same night with Gilbert and the Nightmare vs. The Bruise Brothers, DiBiase vs. Murdoch, and Slater vs. Reed.
|03-06-2012, 11:23 AM||#53|
WRESTLING OBSERVER NEWSLETTER APRIL 15, 1985
Cover: Bruiser Brody invades New Japan and confronts Inoki
"Yes folks, the Wrestling Observer will be no more after this issue." Before explaining why he's calling it quits, Dave thanks everyone who has helped him make the Observer the best wrestling publication in the world. Over the last year the number of subscribers jumped from 200 to 800, and things like bookkeeping and preparing mailings lists have become a second full time job. The actual writing of the Observer has been nothing but fun for Dave, but the negatives like bookkeeping and Dave's general lack of enthusiasm for the product have turned it into a task, instead of a joy.
The other reason why he's finishing up with the Observer is that Dave got a new job as an associate editor of a soccer magazine and now he's going to have to learn as much about soccer as he knows about wrestling. Dave is still going to follow wrestling and he'll be tape trading, he's recently moved and gotten a new phone number and asks to not be called on Tuesdays unless something major happens. To fulfill subscription commitments Dave will put out short newsletters every few weeks, two for each remaining issue of a subscription. Dave also plans to help out Bob Closson, and others who do similar newsletters, as time allows. Dave also hopes to contribute columns to Bob's newsletter. He hopes that Bob and Mr. Mike can work together because he'd hate for Mike's column to no longer exist.
"I've neglected in all of the above to mention the current state of wrestling as part of my decision." The WWF is so bad that it makes it hard for Dave to even enjoy the good promotions. After watching WrestleMania, even Mid South and Japan don't have Dave very excited.
Dave also says that he will be at the WFIA convention in Memphis and hopes to meet a lot of fans. He also got a program from Jim Ross (not the announcer) for the WFIA convention in Kansas City that looked very professional.
"Of course the biggest story since our last issue has been Titan Sports' Wrestlemania Extravaganza" which Dave credits as being the first wrestling show in his lifetime to have strong interest amongst non wrestling fans. Credit must given to the greatest hype job, not just in wrestling, but in anything since World War II (or at least presidential elections). WrestleMania was huge success filling up huge arenas all over the country, there were a few cases where the satellite feed didn't pick up, resulting in genuine riots. Dave says the important thing with all the hoopla is the effect that it has on the advertisers. The only tool of ratings is to determine ad rates, although Dave notes that the skyrocketing TV ratings of the WWF are as mythical as Hogan's wrestling ability. But Dave doesn't think that the advertisers realize that. Dave predicts that it'll last for a year because after things cool down and ratings start dropping the advertisers are going to be leaving too.
NBC will be running the first Saturday special on 5/11 at 11:30 EST. Dave hears that the format is going to be three main event quality matches (WWF quality main event matches, not to be confused with professional wrestling) interspersed with comedy. If it's anything like the MTV special then it'll be a hit and become a regular thing. If it's like All American Wrestling, then probably not.
The next few pages are dedicated to newspaper articles about the WWF, WrestleMania, and the John Stossel 20/20 piece.
Special Bonus Page:
"Because this issue is so late, more news has broken out." 4/13 in Los Angeles drew $115,000. Wells beat Goulet, Muraco beat Putski, JYD and Orndorff had a double countout, Steamboat over Jack Armstrong (Steamboat has no credibility amongst the fans in L.A.), Valentine over Santana, Bulldogs over Barry Orton and Matt Bourne, Bundy over Hansen (my note: I assume Swede Hansen), and Hogan over Piper by DQ. Dutch Mantell, Eddie Gilbert, and a masked man known as "The Nightmare" are all on Mid South TV, and the Nightmare isn't Ken Wayne or Danny Davis. Mid South TV is moving next month from the Irish McNeil boys club to the Shreveport Auditorium for an arena setting. Steve Casey is coming to WCCW to feud with Chris Adams, Chris Adams and Gino Hernandez are now "The Dynamic Duo." The Texas Stadium main event is no longer Flair vs. Kevin Von Erich, it's now a 12 man tag with the Freebirds and Von Erichs against Kamala, Gang, Gino, Chris, Flair, and Williams fought over two rings. "Not only does the winning team split all the money in a Monopoly set, but the man who scores the winning fall gets a Lincoln Continental." This actually intrigues Dave with the idea of Kerry having it won and Hayes not allowing him to score the pin. The Freebirds area headed into the AWA. Also on the card are Midnights vs. Fantastics, Gordy vs Kamala, Kerry vs. Gang, and probably Hayes and Roberts vs Chris and Gino. Kabuki is headed in and will be managed by Sunshine. The Von Erichs are also doing commercials and, unlike Paul Orndorff, are themsleves and not nameless faceless individuals. A local rock station had a poll for most popular wrestler and surprisingly enough Chris Adams is winning. Ordorff earned $7,500 for his commercial while his agent, Titan Sports, got $42,500 "Still, if he hadn't joined Titan he would have never had the shot at the $7,500 would he?" Dave had a chance to see two women's matches from Japan, The Crush Gals vs. Devil Masami and Jaguar Yokota, and they were the two best women's matches he'd seen, but not the two best matches he'd seen. Watching them is amazing because they have such good body control. One wouldn't get that idea watching women's matches in the U.S. but Hulk Hogan's style is closer to Dynamite Kid's than Wendi Richter's is to Jaguar Yokota.
More newspaper clips about Stossel/Schultz, and also about Terry Funk getting into acting.
Inside Japanese Wrestling:
All Japan has been cooperating with the Japan Pro Wrestling group to help Baba keep his advantage over Inoki. The Road Warriors made their Japanese debut in All Japan resulting in huge sellouts, while New Japan drew small crowds in most cities. "On 3/21, the savior arrived in Tokyo's Korakuen Hall." Brusier Brody appeared in New Japan to confront Inoki, who was in the ring waiting for his opponent, Hacksaw Higgins. Brody wore a suit with red tie, and a bouquet of flowers in one hand and his chain in the other. Fans began imitating his barking, and they started going nuts when he swung the chain. Brody extended his hand and Inoki wouldn't shake it. This all played the next night on TV and Brody vs. Inoki was announced for Sumo Hall.
Dave thinks stealing Brody was great revenge on Baba, for raiding Chosyu and his guys, as well as the Bulldogs. Brody was scheduled to work the next All Japan tour, but it was cancelled. Baba is going to be suing Brody since Brody had a valid contact with Baba. Dave points out that a lot of the guys Baba stole had valid contracts with Inoki, so he doesn't think Baba has any right to try to enforce the contract with Brody.
Since his jump there have been many reports as to why he did so. Sakaguchi's announcement was that Brody was another wrestler sent to them by Vince McMahon, and that it was the WWF, not NJPW, who lured Brody away from the NWA and AJPW. The real reason was over money (my note: no surprise there). Brody was making less than Hansen, which he was fine with, but made up his mind when he found out that the Road Warriors were getting $10,000 per week. Baba could have upped Brody's pay, but wasn't willing to since Brody had screwed over so many of Baba's fellow NWA promoters.
Brody's last All Japan tour was full of issues, he missed the cards on March 6th and 7th with a fever and then when he wrestled Chosyu on the 9th and wouldn't sell for him or allow Chosyu to put him in any of his holds. In an interview, Brody said Chosyu was too small to be any match for him. On the final card of the tour, 3/14, Brody teamed with Rusher Kimura and Goro Tsurumi against Baba, Jumbo Tsuruta, and Genichiro Tenryu. Tenryu tried to whip him into the ropes and Brody wouldn't go along, then he grabbed his chain and just left ringside, even while the match was still going on. Many didn't think this would air on TV, but it did. Brody recently did the same thing in the AWA.
Brody is usually very popular in Japan amongst reporters because he's calm and intelligent outside the ring, and uses easy English for them. But the last week, Brody was very rude to them. Brody held a press conference on 3/22 and apologized for himself. When asked why he needs the chain, he answered that he doesn't use it in matches, but swinging it around psyches him up for his matches.
Inoki signing Brody is like hitting a Home Run in the ninth inning. NJPW attendance is at its worst since 1972 when NJPW was formed. The new booker, Tokyo Joe brought in names like Higgins and King Kong Bundy, but they failed to draw. Baba isn't too worried about losing Brody, because Stan Hansen, Terry Funk, and the Road Warriors are bigger drawing cards. Dave says there is some truth to that, but that there's also sour grapes. Many consider Brody to be best in the world, who could even have a good match with Andre. NJPW fans are looking forward to Brody vs. Andre, like they were four years ago for Andre vs. Hansen. Inoki is great at making foes look impressive, so Brody will become the biggest box office star in New Japan. Brody will be making $14,000 per week and working 16 weeks per year, and got a big signing bonus.
Many are wondering who Inoki will steal next, or what Baba will do to even the odds. Many think Baba will lure Hogan or Andre from the WWF. There is talk that Inoki will try to get more All Japan wrestlers. Others think that Hansen, Dynamite, and Davey Boy Smith will go to New Japan. Ric Flair negotiated with Inoki when they both in Hawaii back in February. Some feel that, with the help of McMahon, that only Baba's real friends like Harley Race and the Funks will stick with All Japan.
Besides foreign stars, there is also talk of Japanese talent jumping to New Japan. Since Chosyu joined up, there are too many wrestlers on the AJPW roster. Shiro Koshinaka, currently in Mexico, recently left All Japan. He's unaffiliated right now, but it seems likely he'll go to New Japan, which has Baba very angry. There is also rumors that Yoshiaki Yatsu will be going back to Inoki, but Yatsu denies it. Gran Hamada also wants to go back with Inoki, first he left to go to the UWF and then went to Baba. Hamada is very unpopular with wrestlers, so many are against him joining. Hamada was too eager to outshine the new Tiger Mask in January, and made him look bad. NJPW is also eager to get King Tonga, who usually works for Baba, and has been working in the AWA and in Montreal lately.
The Road Warriors had a very successful debut in Japan. Channel 12 was showing their TV matches, which were against preliminary talent, on TV to build them up, so they were already very popular. They arrived at the airport on 3/7 and were greeted by many reporters and photographers, many of which were working for non-sports publications including a first-rate weekly news magazine. The magazines were filled with pictures of them, and they were huge draws in all the cities, even though they weren't impressive in the ring.
On 3/9, they challenged Tsuruta and Tenryu for the International Tag Titles and exposed their lack of experience. They had to follow Kuniaki Kobayashi vs. Tiger Mask and then Brody and Killer Tim Brooks against Chosyu and Yatsu, and Brody was upset at being billed under the Road Warriors so he refused to sell for Chosyu. Chosyu pinned Brooks to win the match, but all the fans saw Chosyu as being no match for big American wrestlers like Brody. Then it came time for the Roadies match, Tsuruta and Tenryu weren't as receptive to the big pre match attack, so the Roadies looked weak. Hawk pinned Tenryu with a lariat to win the first fall, but the timing was off on it. The second fall was a double pin where Jumbo raised his shoulder while Hawk didn't, to even the score. Paul Ellering protested the call and one of the Roadies hit the referee, which caused a DQ. Total time of all three falls was 9:00. This caused the fans to get upset, but Baba took every measure to prevent a riot, which kept Inoki out of Sumo Hall until recently.
The Roadies were better in other cities, although their matches were usually three to five minutes. They had a good 5:30 match against Chosyu and Killer Khan for the AWA Tag Titles. The gates were huge for the Roadies, with the 3/9 show making $280,000. The Roadies come back 5/31 to 6/13 and will surely be in the end of the year tag tournament.
Chosyu challenges Flair for the NWA Title on 4/23, and a press conference was called to announce it, but it was cancelled at the last minute. Chosyu didn't want to feud with Flair while he's still feuding with Tenryu. He's also not interested in winning any American Titles and objected to Baba's plans for him to wrestle the top American wrestlers all year. But, Chosyu was persuaded to take the Flair match. Dave thinks it's because Chosyu believes he'll be ineffective against Americans.
It was previously reported that Baba's cards will be shown in prime time, but Weekly Pro Magazine denies this. Weekly Pro have an editorial bias against Baba because Gong Magazine is very close to Baba and they often get the "scoops" as well as Gong's editor being the color man on All Japan's TV show.
Japan Pro Wrestling has a one week series from 5/10 to 5/16 featuring Hansen, Kid, Smith, and Canadian Lewis. Chosyu wrestles Hansen on 5/16 with Baba as the referee. The last time Japan Pro was in Osaka they drew 12,000 for Chosyu vs. Tenryu. Hansen, Kid, and Smith will remain in Japan and work Baba's series from 5/17 to 6/13 along with Terry Gordy, Tiger Jeet Singh, and Mario Milano. Baba is probably going to give Gordy a huge push.
During the last New Japan series David Schultz slapped a popular TV announcer. But it was just a plot to take attention away from the Road Warriors debut. It didn't anywhere near the media attention that Schultz slapping Stossel got.
The UWF crew went to Guam to train. They recently got a new sponsor, so they won't be going bankrupt. Their tough style means they only run six shows over the next three week tour. They'll be bringing in Coswell Martin, Omar Atlas, Ray Steel, and Dalibar Singh. The next series is from 5/18 to 5/31 and will have Pete Roberts, Joe Malenko (his brother Dean worked the last UWF series), Larry Hamilton, and Europeans Tom Tyron and Michael Schneider.
Akira Maeda hit a newspaper reporter who wrote negative things about the UWF Style. Maeda recently yelled at a fan, who was booing at a UWF show, to go see another company if he wanted to see fake wrestling.
"The big news, of course, is the WrestleMania Extravaganza which everyone has seen or read enough about. Tickets sales were slow in CA and the Northeast until the last week. Between the hard sell on TV, press conferences, and the Richard Belzer incident and Saturday Night Live show. Dave is surprised more of the country wasn't as hot for the show as they were in CA. The show was shown in 138 arenas and the gate was something like $4 Million, which Dave Translates into 400,000 fans in all. There were originally 200 locations, but 60 wound up being canned, including Kansas City, Amarillo, Ft Worth, Omaha, Las Vegas, and Richmond because advances were less than 100. A lot of the places that were sellouts were actually under capacity because they were circular buildings and seats had to be removed because they'd be behind the screen, or at an angle where the screen couldn't be seen. The LA Sports arena holds 17,000 but sold out with only 7,500. The show mostly went off well, but there were a few issues. In Pittsburgh, the show never came off because of transmission troubles. There were heavy refunds in Baltimore, Dallas, and San Francisco. Dave believes the show was a success, but even if they only broke even, the WWF opened a lot of doors as far as spreading their myth about yuppie acceptance and getting big advertising dollars.
Quickie results: Tito Santana beat the Executioner (Buddy Rose) with the figure four **1/2. King Kong Budy beat SD Jones in "nine seconds" (actually about 25) but the WWF wanted to invent a new record for quickest pinfall. Dave gives it a DUD, it'd have been worse if it went longer. Ricky Steamboat beat Matt Bourne ***1/4. David Sammartino DDQ Brutus Beefcake "considering the participants it really wasn't that bad" ** Sheik and Volkoff beat Windham and Rotundo to win the WWF Tag Titles ***. JYD over Valentine by countout, Valentine pinned Dog but then Santana told the ref he had his feet on the ropes and the ref restarted it and Valentine got counted out 1/2* Andre beat Studd in a body slam match -**. The feud isn't over and probably won't be over until death do them part. Wendi Richter over Lelani Kai to win the Women's Title with a messed up finish where Richter was supposed to roll through a flying body press, but Wendi didn't reverse it and Kai had to do it herself *. Hogan and Mr. T over Piper and Orndorff when Hogan pinned Orndorff when Orton hit him with the cast when Hulk moved. Orndorff is turning babyface. Dave is impressed that T got himself in shape and didn't embarrass himself. It helped that Orton and Snuka were also involved when T was in the ring, to detract attention. It was a horrible match, but an exciting one. No rating,because Dave doesn't consider it a match.
The show was better than Dave expected, and it was good entertainment for those who've never seen wrestling before. It's unfair to discuss things like workrate since the bulk of fans were brought in solely by hype, and WWF assumes that wrestling fans will accept anything wrestling anyway. Dave says that people can speculate on long term effects of that kind of thinking and how long it will take those new fans to give up on wrestling. But, it'll be a year before anyone can do anything but speculate.
The WWF runs two shows in Los Angeles on 4/13, headlined by Hogan vs. Piper in the Sports Arena and Snuka vs. Orton at the Anaheim Convention center, along with a tag titles rematch. The WWF is off of WTBS, Turned kicked Vince off the station, but then Vince sold the rights of the time slot to Crockett for $1 million. Dave credits Vince for making such a shrewd deal, because after one month he wouldn't have had the time to deal away.
Davey Boy and Dynamite worked some WWF shows as the British Bulldogs, against prelim opponents and have gotten over better than Dave expected. They're headed back to Japan though, and Dave thinks it'll be interesting to see how long they can work for both the WWF and AJPW.
Despite the rumors about Brody, there has been no talk between the WWF and Brody. Dave expects negotiations, but says nothing is imminent.
Dave will be keeping an eye on crowds for the near future. Crowds in March were way down due to WrestleMania hype and bad lineups. Philadelphia only drew 8,000 for Bruno and his son against Orndorff and Heenan. Bloomington,MN was down to 5,500 for Hogan vs. Ventura. Cleveland went from 17,000 in Feb to 2,000 in March. Los Angeles and Oakland both drew a little more than 4,000, but like crowds say it was more like 3,500 and 2,700. MSG on 3/17 drew 18,700. WrestleMania pay offs were 20,000 for Orndorff (far below what he was promised), T got $100,000 and Dave is sure Hogan and Piper were in between, reportedly Piper got $75,000. Orndorff is somewhat unhappy about this.
The big news is Brody's departure, which had already been covered, Brody left while being half of the tag champions along with Stan Hansen.
The new tour started on 3/29 with only three foreigners working the series opener in Korakuen Hall. Two of them, Hansen and Ron Bass, beat Tsuruta and Takashi Ishikawa, "when guess who used guess which move to guess who? Hansen lariated Ishikawa." That was one of three of the top matches to have a lariat finish. Chosyu also beat Bulldog Bob Brown, and Rusher Kimura and Go Tsurumi beat Baba and Great Kojika. The other top match was Khan and Yatsu beating Tenryu and Motoshi Okuma.
Ted Dibiase arrived on 4/5, Dick Slater two days later, and Ric Flair arrives on 4/19.
Tsuruta and Tenryu retaining the International Tag Titles against Hansen and Bass on 4/3. Other title matches scheduled are Tenryu vs. Khan, Baba vs. Hansen, and Tsuruta vs. Slater. Flair defends vs. Chosyu on 4/23 and Tsuruta on 4/24. The All Asia Tag Titles are decided on 4/12. They've been vacant since Ashura Hara's retirement.
"Speaking of Hara, he showed up on 4/3" while his former tag partner, Ishikawa, was getting slaughtered by Chosyu. Dave says he'll be a nice addition to the feud, since he's a quality wrestler (My note: I thought Dave just said he'd retired!).
Harley Race injured his knee during the March tour and went home on crutches. Chavo Guerrero was working prelims, despite the fact that there were plenty of good opponents for him. He had a DCOR with Kobayashi, and then get pinned by Might Inoue in a jr. title match. Dave thinks that he should have won the title and then lost it to Kobayashi, who would then feud with Tiger Mask for it.
Results of the Road Warriors matches: beat Kahn and Hamaguchi on 3/8, the DQ loss on 3/9 to Tenryu and Tsuruta, over Baba and Ishikawa on 3/10, over Kahn and Kurusu on 3/12, over Tenryu/Ishikawa on 3/13, and DCOR Chosyu/Khan on 3/14.
Universal Wrestling Federation:
Not much that wasn't covered already. Fujiwara beat Maeda at Korakuen Hall on 3/2, on the same card, Satoru Sayama beat Marty Jones. The final night of the tour was headlined by Kazuo Yamazaki and Osamu Kido beating Sayama and Mach Hayato.
New Japan Pro Wrestling:
The 4/18 Sumo Hall event with Brody vs. Inoki is already sold out. They also sold out their 3/21 card because Brody was announced. The last series drew very poorly "which is what happens when you try to main event with Larry "Hacksaw" Higgins and David Schultz." Sakaguchi is trying to make a deal with Jerry Lawler to help with booking.
The new tour started on 3/29 with Adonis and Murdoch beating Inoki and Sakaguchi, Billy Jack Haynes beat Shuji Takano, The Strong Machines beat Fujinami and Kimura by DQ, Mike Miller and David Taylor beat Kantaro Hoshino and Anoaro Antisano, The Masked Gestapo (Rip Oliver) beat Tatsutoshi Goto, and Hiro Saito beat Kim Sung Ho of Korea.
4/5 will have Inoki vs. Murdoch, Fujinami vs. Adonis, and Haynes vs. Sakaguchi.
The next tour is IWGP #3, which is the biggest tour of the year. It goes from 5/10 to 6/13. It's expected to be Inoki vs. Hogan on 6/13, and given their history together everyone is advised to get tickets early and wear protective clothing. But they'll probably do a DCOR and not risk anyone's safety.
The IWGP Tournament features Sakaguchi, Fujinami, Kimura, Andre, Bundy, Murdoch, Adonis, Masked Superstar, Mike Sharpe, El Canek, Ron Miller, and one more name that hasn't been given yet, although Dave suspects Brody. They're scheduled for all five weeks, and Dave thinks that the addition of Bundy and Andre should help the WWF cards. Jimmy Snuka will also be in the first week. It's a round robin tournament, so everyone wrestles everyone else. It's 5 points for a pin or submission, 4 for a COR, 3 for DQ, 2.5 for draw, and 0 for any sort of loss. Hogan is only in the last week, Snuka for the first week, and Backlund for the second week.
Bouts already announced are Inoki/Fujinami vs. Andre/Snuka on 5/10, Fujinami vs. Snuka on 5/13, Inoki/Fujinami vs. Backlund/Sharpe, Andre vs. Bundy, and Hiro Saito vs. Cobra on 5/18.
The TV results from the last series saw Inoki beat Higgins on 3/1 by DQ when Shultz interfered, Fujinami and Kimura beat Pat and Mike Kelly, Shultz beat Takano, and the three Machines were DQ'd against Sakaguchi, Antisano, and Hoshino. Shultz beat Inoki by DQ on 3/8 when Inoki wouldn't release an armbar, which Inoki said was revenge for Shultz slapping the TV reporter. Fujinami and Kimura beat Bad News Allen and Leroy Brown, Machines 1 and 2 beat Saito and Ueda. On 3/15 Inoki beat Schultz when Higgins interfered, Fujinami DCOR Higgins, and Machines beat Saito and Ueda when Ueda walked out on Saito. 3/21 was Inoki beating Higgins, Fujinami and Takano beat the Machines, Saito beat Ueda, and Kimura over Schultz, and Sakaguchi and Kimura over Badnews and Brown (My note: Kimura worked twice?). The best matches of the series were the two matches between Saito and Steve Wright.
Scott Casey has left for World Class, Bob Sweetan has been fired. The only people left are Buck Robely (the booker), Rick Casey, Pat Rose, Al Madril, Rick Gibson, The Maoris, and Paul Kelly. Casey is improving and Rose is the best wrestler on the circuit. They recently drew a sellout of more than 2,000 in Ohio, which is a lot more than they draw in Texas. Perro Aguyo was recently in, and Manny Villalobos is headed for Mexico.
"The scoop on the Eric Embry/Joe Blanchard deal wasn't that Eric couldn't come up with the purchase price to buy this group. What happened is that Eric used his brain and decided it wasn't a wise investment."
Dave goes over the Texas Stadium card, which he'd already given a rundown of earlier in the issue. Dave says the show won't draw anywhere near the 32,000 that it did last year, but figures they'll announce it at 30,000.
The American Tag Titles are held up after Cornette interfered in the Midnights vs. Fantastics match on 3/8. Tommy Rogers has injured his shoulder, which has postponed further matches to decide the champions. On 3/25 Kevin Von Erich teamed with Fulton against the Midnights in a 2/3 falls match without a clear cut winner.
Sunshine is managing Hercules Hernandez, who is working high on the card with all the top heels (Kamala, Gang, Gino, Chris, and Rip Oliver) "The Giant" Jim Harris (no relation to Kamala) is working as a manager as an antagonist to Cornette. He's billed at 7'7 but is more like 7'2, but still taller than Andre.
The Freebirds will be back on a regular basis, they're doing a series of loser leave town matches in Florida. Williams is looking good and will be a strong heel if he can improve his interviews, especially in Northern Texas where being an Oklahoma Sooner won't endear him to the fans.
Oliver smashed Mike Von Erich's hand before their 3/25 TV Title match and was suspended so that he could go to Japan, and has been stripped of the title. Scot Casey beat Condrey for the held up title on 4/1. Casey is mainly there to watch out for Harris "who some believe will be the next Andre. Others are saying he's going to be the next Plowboy Frasier. Neither appeals to me."
A new comer arrived on 4/8 as Sunshine's mystery man who will oppose Adams in Fort Worth. This circuit has some of the best action anywhere. Adams is a great heel and the Fantastics have become a great team, especially Rogers. Dave doesn't always care for the product, but he still loves watching them perform at levels he didn't think they could.
"I'm sure you've all seen this group's show on WTBS" and if the phone calls and feedback that Dave has heard are any indication then they have the best TV show in the country. The 2/13 TV tapings featured two great matches between the Rock and Roll Express and Chavo and Hector Guerrero. The 2/27 tapings saw Terry Taylor retain the TV Title over Tim Horner in the first hour and Jake Roberts in the second, both matches were very good. Other highlights were Buddy Landell losing to Kerry Von Erich and then later Brad Armstrong, also Brad and Terry Daniels beat Dibiase and Williams. Also, Kerry and Jim Duggan over Gino and Hercules Hernandez when Duggan hit Herc with a loaded glove.
3/30 in the Superdome drew 9,500 and near $100,000 gate. The main event was Duggan beating DiBiase in a loser leave town tuxedo street fight cage coal miner's glove match. The Barbarian beat Butch Reed in a ghetto street fight. The Rock and Roll Express beat the Road Warriors, Freebirds (Gordy and Roberts), and Dirty White Boys. Von Erich beat Adams by DQ, Taylor beat Kamala by DQ, and Williams beat King Parsons.
Dibiase is back in May, and Randy Culley and Eddie Gilbert are on their way in, with Dutch Mantell expected to come in too. They've been building up Kerry as the top challenger to Flair (but they don't call it the world title, just the NWA Title). Dave expects Flair vs. Kerry for the 6/1 Superdome show.
There are conflicting reports about their future on WTBS. Dave heard they have one year contract. But Bill Taffe of Sports Illustrated said they'll be gone in a few weeks. His source was Vince McMahon.
Not much new here either. Their Meadowlands card on 4/19 isn't very appealing to Dave. Slaughter vs. Kamala in a Ugandan Death Match, and Rick Martel defends against King Tonga. The Roadies defend against the Hennigs, Jim Garvin vs. Baron Von Raschke, Gagne/Brunzell/Tonga Kid vs. Freebirds (My note: wasn't this shown in Highlander?), Dusty vs. Kendo Nagasaki, Zybyszko vs. Backlund, and the Samoans vs. Jerry Olski and Steve O. "I've got seven good reasons in eight matches to not care about this card."
They drew 7,000 in New Haven with Martel over Garvin, Kid over Zybyszko, Slaughter over Kamala by DQ, Samoans DDQ Youngbloods, Kid winning battle royal, and Backlund over Nagasaki.
3/31 in Chicago drew 9,600 opposite WrestleMania. Steve Regal beat Buck Zumhofe, Backlund over Zybyszko DQ, Gagne/Brunzell over Saito/Nagasaki, Garvin over Baron, Martel over Bockwinkel, and Roadies over Hennigs for the tag titles. Dave says he was told it was the best live show in Chicago in five months. They return to MN and Chicago later in the month with 3-on-2 cage matches (Blackwell/Slaughter vs. Tonga/Superstar/Sheik).
3/24 in St Paul only drew 5,500 with Slaughter and Blackwell vs. Superstar/Saito/Tonga. "Verne Gagne risked his sweater getting involved in Greg's match with Bockwinkel earlier in the show." (My note: huh?). 3/4 in Vancouver drew 2,000, Martel pinned Garvin, Roadies over Saito and Moose Morowski, and Blackwell over Superstar. 3/8 in Winnepeg had Gagne/Brunzell over Saito/Bockwinkel with the winners facing the Roadies on 3/28. Dave saw a match from Las Vegas, Bockwinkel/Saito vs. Roadies where only one person sold a move. Bockwinkel. Saito played the Roadies' game.
3/29 drew 4,500 with Kerry beating Flair by DQ in 29:00. It was a good match, but the fans were burned out from WrestleMania hype. Harley and Brody were both no shows. Brody had already cancelled three weks before. There has been a falling out between Race and Geigel involving Harley's wife's ideas concerning Rock and Wrestling. Dave says they were ludicrous but won't give details. Harley was replaced by Super Destroyer and Brody by Dick the Bruiser. Bruiser wore street clothes and worked all of five minutes doing a DDQ with Wahoo.
Next show is 4/19 with Bruiser/Wahoo in a cage, Race vs. Reed, and a poor undercard. The WWF runs the next night with Piper vs. Snuka, Andre vs. Studd/Heenan, and a tag title rematch. NWA will draw another poor crowd and make Race and/or Geigel reconsider selling their stock in this group.
Tux Newman now manages all the heels, so there is no more Eddie Gilbert's army, Tommy Hart (a Jimmy Hart lookalike), or Playboy Frasier.
3/25 was main evented by Lawler vs. Savage with Savage getting DQ'd when Newman hit Lawler with his cane. Savage gave Lalwer a piledriver afterwards and he was carted out in an ambulance and hasn't been seen since. Savage is the #1 heel in the country right now. Newman has been great too, he says he's there to fufill Andy Kaufman's wish on his deathbed of destroying Lawler. He says Lawler's piledriver to Andy caused the cancer to spread throughout his body. Crowds are still down though.
Newman brought in Sweet Daddy Siki who praised Lawler, shook his hand, and has been a babyface ever since. Jimmy Valiant has left. The PYT's are feuding with Tim Ashley and Steve Constance. Their matches have been good, which shows improvement in the latter team because they're so green.
They held two big shows on 2/11 in Montreal and 2/12 in Quebec City, which both drew between ten and eleven thousand, which shows that McMahon hasn't conquered this area yet, even with using local favorite Edurado Carpentier. 2/11 saw Dino Bravo win the International Title from King Tonga, The Road Warriors beat Jos Leduc and Gino Brito, and Rick Martel beat Sailor Moondog White to retain the AWA Title. 2/12 had Martel DDQ Tonga for the AWA Title, Roadies over Rougeaus, and Bravo over Richard Charland, who subbed for the no show Ric Flair.
Blackjack Mulligan is back, so it probably won't be long before Windham and Rotundo join him. Mike Graham and Michael Hayes have had loser leave town matches in Tampa and Miami Beach. The Freebirds are the only heels in the area who bring fans into buildings. The Youngbloods were leaving for Memphis, but they're the tag champions right now, with no challengers on the horizon.
3/23 in St Petersburg saw Bugsy McGraw (who Dave says is even worse than he used to be) lose by DQ to Jesse Barr, Flair was DQ'd against Brian Blair, and Bugsy and Hector Guerrero won a tag team battle royal.
3/26 in Tampa had a sellout of 4,000 with Flair over Wahoo by using the ropes, Gordy over Graham in a lumberjack match, Hayes DCOR Bugsy, Barr over Guerrero, Youngbloods over The Assassin/Missing Link, and Mike Golden over Jack Hart.
Hart has a lot of heat right now, he's a prelim guy with a perfect record, and on TV they announce his record at 0-44 and subsequently add to it. He goes on TV every week and says he's going to win before he has every match. It works great, thanks to Hart.
Lots of title changes at the 3/16 show in Greensboro. Buzz Tyler won the Mid Atlantic Title from Ron Bass, Dusty won the TV Title in cage from Tully Blanchard. In other matches Slaughter/Kernodle/Magnum beat the Koloffs and Krushchev by DQ, and Flair beat Wahoo in a strap match.
The Koloffs won the NWA Tag Titles from Dusty and Manny Fernandez on 3/18, and Magnum won the U.S. Title from Wahoo a few days later in a cage.
Their big news is getting a WTBS timeslot on 4/6. They're on Saturday mornings at 9:35, Saturday nights at 6:05, and Sundays at 5:35. They've also taken over Ole's Georgia office, although Ole is still in charge of running Ohio "which doesn't bode well for Ohio I guess."
Ole turned heel on Thunderbolt Patterson on the first afternoon TV show. Dave says it actually come off really well, both Arn and Gene Anderson are figured into the angle and Ole still cuts a great promo. Dave expects a lot of the old Georgia regulars to hang around for now.
Buddy Landell is still doing his Flair impression and Dave hopes it'll lead to a program with them. The most heat from this group was when Dusty slapped Baby Doll.
They're still having trouble drawing in the Northeast, Pittsburgh drew 800 for Tully vs. Dusty, the show in Altoona drew only about 200. Rumor has it that Ted Turner will get involved in the promotion, but Dave isn't sure what effect that may have on the wrestling
|03-06-2012, 11:26 AM||#54|
-- The WWF will be returning from the Wrestlemania break, doing several TV tapings just prior to the weekend.
-- Major housecleaning is expected in May and June. Hillbilly Jim was expected to be among them, but likely won't be, since he's working some openers against Jim Neidhart.
-- Expect Brutus Beefcake to be IC champ soon. The WWF has already sent out publicity with Honky as a challenger. Dave says it could be a misprint, but he doubts it. Dave suspects a title change on the 4/30 SNME.
-- "The WWF magazine is scheduling a piece where they reveal Earl Hebner as Dave's twin brother which is a surprise because it seemed like they had pretended the angle never took place. Next month's issue is also scheduled to give the results of the August pay-per-view. Just kidding there."
-- There is talk of another huge outdoor show in Toronto over summer. Last time they promoted there, they drew 69,300 fans for Hogan vs Orndorff. Dave thinks they could pop another big house for Hogan vs Andre, because Ontario is pretty much the only place where Wrestlemania drew big crowds everywhere for closed circuit.
-- Bam Bam Bigelow should be back for the TV tapings.
-- The WWF has sent letters of warning to everyone that incidents like the David Sammartino one won't be tolerated and will result in immediate dismissal. David Sammartino was set to face the Iron Sheik in several independent shows in New York, but the commission suspended him. Linda McMahon even wrote him a very nasty personal letter. "It's an admirable policy not to tolerate wrestler attacking fans, but where were they all these years when similar incidents went on? Randy Savage went into the stands in Fresno and according to newspaper reports, the guy he tried to hit ducked and he KO'd a 14-year old girl, and there is talk of a suit being filed here in San Francisco when a Titan wrestler knocked down a security guard (the Savage incident was several years ago I don't mean to give you the idea it was something recent, although the incident in SF was in February) so even though they are giving the impression of cracking down, this policy smells of every bit as much a double-standard as Titan's drug policy (which the wrestlers joke, you get a suspension if they find any cocaine in your system, and you get a suspension if they don't find any steroids in your system) which seems more of a public relations move than a move based on addressing any real problems."
-- The Crockett Cup is set for Friday, 4/22, at the 5,000 seat Greenville Memorial Auditorium, and for Saturday, 4/23, at the 15,600-seat Greensboro Coliseum. Dave says this is the least hyped and least talked about tournament they've done so far. The first two rounds will take place in Greenville (about 14 matches). There will also be a Jimmy Garvin vs Kevin Sullivan Blindfold match. The second night will have the quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals, along with a "Midlife Rider" vs JJ Dillon Bullrope match and Ric Flair vs Nikita "The Incredible Shrinking Man" Koloff for the NWA title. Dave still doesn't know every team in the tournament. Dave says Luger and Windham and the Road Warriors are probably the co-favorites, with the Fantastics as longshots, and everyone else with zero chance.
-- The NWA is in danger of losing the Nassau Coliseum. Nassau wants to go back to the WWF, which pulled out when they started booking Crockett shows. The proposed 6/24 show is in jeopardy. If they are kicked out, they plan on running the Westchester County Center. It will be more accessible to New York fans than Nassau Coliseum, but won't draw well because it is considered a minor league arena.
-- The annual Boston Gardens show on 4/15 drew just 5,000 fans and a $62,000 gate, headlined by an 8-man cage match of Lex Luger, Sting, Barry Windham & Dusty Rhodes vs Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard & Ivan Koloff in what John McAdam called a *** match. The Midnight Express went to a 30-minute draw on the undercard in a **** match as well. When the card ended, the scoreboard said, "We hope you enjoyed tonight's WWF event!"
-- The top match on NWA Main Event was Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard vs Barry Windham & Steve Williams in what was called a *** match. Barry carried things for his side, as Doc just isn't impressing right now.
-- Early favorites to win the vacated US title on 5/13 in Houston are Al Perez or Tully Blanchard. Dave says they seem to be ready to push Perez, but that Tully always ends up with a belt.
-- "In case any of you missed any of the Crockett shows this past weekend, you missed absolutely nothing. The TV is back to its Fall '87 depths with nothing but commentary and interviews talking about nothing but the Midlife Rider and his alter ego, Dusty Rhodes. Considering it is a week before one of the promotions biggest events of the year (Crockett Cup), you would think that would be the priority, but it was barely acknowledged, with no first round pairings (of course, I'm sure if they listed the first round it would scare people away from Greenville), no listing of teams, basically a throwaway announcement of the Flair vs Nikita NWA title match (which is a throwaway event since nobody in the world believes Nikita has a chance) and one of the most pathetic looking skits I've ever seen involving JJ and Jim Crockett. I'll give JJ credit for saving it about as good as possible but a tree shows more personality than Jim Crockett."
-- Dave says considering they're putting all of their effort solely behind the Midnight Rider, they better hope Dusty can draw with it, but that four months of it seems really trying. "It appears whatever momentum may have been gained from 3/27 is just about completely down the tubes. I truly believe part of the success of the show was due to Dusty playing a minor role in comparison with the younger babyfaces (Sting, Windham, Luger, and the Fantastics). I'm not trying to say Dusty should retire like a lot of people have been saying, but he shouldn't be the top star. His role should be similar to the way they used Jimmy Valiant for so many years. Valiant had a following and probably sold tickets, and he was used low or middle of cards in short, bloody matches against guys managed by Paul Jones but never was put in with the top calibre heels (well, he had a short feud with Tully but that was probably punishment for Tully not having mentioned Dusty's name enough on interviews).
-- Last week's show in Philadelphia drew 6,512 paid and $96,412. Considering Baltimore did more than $100,000 the same night, it's pretty impressive.
-- The David and Mike Von Erich Memorial Parade of Champions takes place on 5/8 at Texas Stadium. There's a Texas Roundup match (a different name for the Royal Rumble), Kerry Von Erich vs Iceman Parsons for the title, Bill Irwin vs Angel of Death, and "a gimmick match which has never been held before which I'm not exactly clear on".
-- The gimmick match will be billed as something like a "Triple Tower of Doom", which will be three rings, put on top of one another with a cage around the top two rings, and a fireman's pole which allows wrestlers to slide down into the other rings if they want to. Dusty Rhodes is furious, because he wanted to use this same idea for the Bash, but Michael Hayes beat him to the punch.
-- 4/16 TV taping in Las Vegas drew 2,000 fans, and they did nothing to capitalize on the hot Midnight Rockers vs Bad Company feud. Diamond Dallas Page (still called "Dallas Diamond Page") debuted on the TV taping managing Diamond and Tanaka, and did all right, but he's 6'4" and thus towers over nearly everyone in the promotion, but especially Tanaka, who he manages. Page is the first ever manager to have a valet at ringside with him. The Rock & Roll Express debuted on the taping and got a tremendous reaction, facing the Nasty Boys in a surprisingly good match where Jerry Sags accidentally hit his nose and mouth on a chair and bled pretty badly, causing him to miss his other scheduled matches at that taping.
-- The Rock & Roll Express did interviews talking about facing Japanese tag teams, and Riki Choshu and Masa Saito are scheduled to appear on the 5/14 taping, but Dave doesn't think they'll have a match. Dave later says for sure it won't happen because of the conflicting All Japan series at that time, which the Rock & Rolls will be part of.
-- Rod Trongard actually said on TV the previous weekend that Wahoo McDaniel could run the 100 in less than ten seconds. "Rod is absolutely the worst announcer in the business, including Marc Lowrance."
-- Magnificent Mimi has been introduced as a new rival for Madusa Miceli. Dave is told Mimi is "of GLOW calibre, but then again, Madusa isn't all that much better."
-- Jerry Lawler is scheduled to come in and face Hennig at the 5/14 taping.
-- Mando Guerrero had three squashes on the taping, where it appears he may be pushed hard, and his new lucha offense was said to have gotten over strong. "By the way, I'm told Chavo Guerrero is teaming with his younger brother Eddy Guerrero (who is said to be really hot) in Mexico right now."
-- Rocky Mountain Thunder was pushed pretty hard again. He nearly killed a jobber at the last taping. He was trained by Toru Tanaka in Los Angeles. Greg Boyd was supposed to get the gimmick, but didn't show up, and the graphics had already been printed up, so they decided to let this guy use the gimmick at the last taping. He also wrestled as The Armored Saint for California independents.
-- Robert Gibson is said to have gained a lot of weight since leaving the NWA.
-- The AWA is using the Rock & Rolls to run shows in the Carolinas, where they will wrestle Diamond and Tanaka.
-- The CWA is gearing toward the big show on 5/9 at the Mid South Coliseum, headlined by Jerry Lawler challenging Curt Hennig for the AWA World title. "It's pretty rare for Memphis to start pushing a card several weeks in advance, especially since they are continuing to run live shows each Monday." A few stipulations have been added to build up the title match. If Lawler doesn't win the title, he's going to retire from wrestling. They also have a 900 number where fans can vote for the referee between Jackie Fargo and Larry Hennig. It's also Jerry Lawler Night at the Coliseum, and prices have been raised to $25.00 for ringside tickets. Ringside ticket holders get to attend a post-match party for Jerry Lawler. They are trying to top the current record for a Mid South Coliseum gate (Flair vs Lawler holds it, doing a $80,000 house in 1985).
-- 4/11 in Memphis drew 3,500 fans headlined by Jerry Lawler vs Dory Funk Jr in what was called a pretty good match. 4/16 in Jonesboro, AR drew 350 fans headlined by Jeff Jarrett & Billy Travis vs Max Pain & Gary Young in a **** Texas Death match.
-- Ron Fuller and Gordon Solie were backstage at TV tapings on 04/18. Solie has been flown in weekly to do voiceovers of Memphis matches for the new TV show that will have matches from promoters Mike Graham, Steve Keirn, and Jerry Jarrett.
-- The Jerry Lawler Show will either be syndicated nationally or picked up by a cable station, but they are working on getting exposure for the show.
-- Robert Fuller is headed in for at least one show in the upcoming weeks.
-- Jeff Jarrett is now the Arkansas state champion (My note: The what?), having won a tournament final on 03/19 in Jonesboro, AR after defeating Gary Young
-- On the 4/16 TV show, Ken Wayne and Jeff Jarrett were talking about their junior title match on Monday. Both are babyfaces. They argued a little bit and Wayne gave Jarrett a glass of water and made a sarcastic comment about him not being able to talk and Jarrett threw the water in his face and slapped him. Later in the show, they were teaming in a six-man with Billy Travis and they won the match, but had words after Jarrett "accidentally" dropkicked Wayne during the match. "Jarrett has a real problem here in his role as the hearthrob babyface for the little girls. He's got lots of heat with fans and it really isn't his fault, it's just that he's less than 200 pounds, it's well known his father and grandfather run the promotion, and the marketing of the Jarrett poster made the guy fans hate him similar to Crockett's attempt at marketing Ricky Morton as a rock star led to the guy fans booing Morton almost universally and ruined the Rock & Roll Express' drawing power in the long run (although inevitably the results would have been the same anyway). Most of the wrestling fans are male, and even though they are easily manipulated, male fans, especially in their early 20s and teenagers, which make up the bulk of the wrestling audience nowadays, don't want to cheer for a 'skinny' guy, especially a 'skinny' guy marketed as a sex symbol to girls."
-- Correction: Chris Adams didn't get a broken cheekbone. He returned to wrestling a few days after his injury and is wrestling wearing a baseball catcher's mask. He was injured when Mike George caught him with a dropkick in the face that broke his nose on 4/7 in Kansas City. They are saying Terry Taylor paid "another wrestler in another territory" to injure Adams.
-- On 4/8 in Dallas, Angel of Death & Iceman King Parsons tried to cut Michael Hayes' hair. Then on 4/10 in Fort Worth, they tried to use the famous Freebird hair removal cream on Hayes. "Hayes was furious because as the story goes, only three people, Hayes, Roberts, and Gordy, are supposed to know the secret formula of the Freebird cream and Hayes is made they gave the formula to an outsider to use on him."
-- Terry Taylor missed some shows because he had his bad knee scoped.
-- 4/15 in Dallas drew 700 fans for Kevin & Kerry Von Erich vs Terry Gordy & Buddy Roberts. 4/10 in Fort Worth drew about 550 fans.
-- Fabulous Lance is being billed everywhere, but has yet to arrive. It is believed he is still in South Africa, wrestling using the name Lance Von Erich.
-- Correction: It was Black Bart and Buddy Roberts putting flashlights in fans' eyes during the blackout in the Kerry/Iceman title change. "I'm sorry, but even though it was a creative ending, the idea of Iceman as a world champion is stupid. A title means something only if the fans believe it has value, which is why most titles in wrestling today are worthless. A world title only means something if a World class wrestler has it, and this title has already meant nothing for most of its existence, but for a title to be won in that manner and held by a prelim wrestler, even though it may put heat on certain things because fans are pissed about the change, simply doesn't help sell tickets. In a group like this, selling tickets and building up the calibre of wrestling should be the goal, not a bunch of hot-shotting creative gimmicks to take the place of mediocre wrestling. It just isn't working."
-- Ron Fuller is running the promotion. The top star is Buddy Landell, who Dave calls one of the best heels in the entire business. "Landel's talents are no secret but I'm still amazed at just how good a worker and how well he displays arrogance on interviews. He makes Doug Furnas look so good that I can see why people think Furnas has potential, although the more I see of Furnas, the less I'm impressed. He's a great athlete, but just doesn't seem to have the workings or interviews down at all. Landell is using a loaded forearm brace as his finishing move. He gets a lot of cheers, even though he's a heel."
-- Cousin Junior is a babyface who wants to dance with kids at ringside. On the TV show, no kids wanted to dance with him, and he struggled to even get fans to shake his hand. "Pretty embarrassing."
-- "Jobber Ron Sexton is a real talent and he even made a match with Junior look decent."
-- Ron Wright is managing the Mongolian Stomper and Moondog Spot. "He's an old wrestler who has a unique gimmick of claiming he's got a heart problem like Fred Sanford and complains when people boo him that he may only have a few days left and when he's accused of interfering brings up his bad heart as a excuse all the time. Aside from the gimmick, he's weak on interviews, but seems to get great heat." (My note: PLEASE, someone, rip off this gimmick.)
-- Terry Gordy is in and doesn't seem to know if he's a face or heel, but since heel Hector Guerrero is challenging him, he's likely a babyface.
-- Crowds continue to be at near capacity, although Dave suspects they will lose interest when Owen Hart tours Japan in mid-May, after which he'll go to the WWF in June. The speculation is that he'll team with Bret and they'll be the WWF's hottest babyface tag team.
-- 4/8 in Calgary drew a near sellout 1,600. 4/2 in Edmonton drew 1,100 and a $9,800 house.
-- TSN is now running shows only three weeks behind. When they first started, they were 11 weeks behind, but they have slowly caught up.
-- Steve DiSalvo will be returning from South Africa on the 4/15 show and will resume his feud with Jason The Terrible, who is leaving for Japan in May. Great Gama has also left for South Africa.
-- Stampede is headlining with 8 and 10-man elimination style cage matches pretty much everywhere and the matches are typically going close to an hour.
-- "Yoshiaki Yatsu, broken leg and all, wrestled Bruiser Brody in the main event on 4/4 in Nagoya in the match to determine who goes into the unification match with Genichiro Tenryu on 4/15 in Osaka." Yatsu took a heavy injection of painkillers which were supposed to last an hour at 7:30 that night. However, the undercard ended up going longer than expected, and the match didn't start until 8:54, when the painkillers were wearing off. Still, he went 15:04 against Brody before losing via countout, before 7,200 fans. Yatsu is now sidelined again.
-- 4/5 in Ihara drew 1,900 fans.
-- In May, All Japan will unify the PWF World tag team titles, the International tag team title, and the Asian tag team title in a tournament. In for the tournament will be the Rock & Roll Express, Jumbo & Yatsu, and Abdullah the Butcher & Tiger Jeet Singh.
-- There was a special Fan Appreciation card on 4/10 in Osaka before 2,452 fans with a bunch of gimmick matches.
-- The new series started on 4/11 in Tokyo before 1,950 fans at Korauken Hall. It was also the first TV taping for the new non-prime time television show which now airs on Saturday afternoons.
-- The formation of the UWF was announced at a press conference on 4/8 in Tokyo. The president of the promotion is Shiji Jin. Maeda said they have learned from past mistakes and claims that they will only be able to hold one show per month because of the physical style. The first card will be 5/12 at Korauken Hall, with all tickets for $40.00, probably headlined by Akira Maeda vs Nobuhiko Takada. There will be no foreign wrestlers on the first show, but there will be on the second show on 6/11 in Sapporo, booked by Karl Gotch and Masami Soronaka from Florida.
-- The Jumping Bomb Angels are scheduled to return to the WWF in May. Until then, they'll feud with the Glamour Girls in AJW.
-- Dave says FNN received many letters asking them to air New Japan, and hope to begin negotiations with New Japan shortly. Dave says a lot of specifics have to be worked out, such as commentary and cost, but there's a decent chance of it happening.
-- Recent WON reader polls showed the following: readers were against the state athletic commission being involved in pro wrestling 55% to 45%. The overwhelming majority felt blood should be used on occasion at 67%. A smaller portion, 20%, felt blood should be used very frequently, even several times per show. The New Japan style was voted the readers favorite style, getting 53% of the vote. The only other style to get more than 15% was Mid South style, which got 16%. Current NWA, CWA, and Stampede all received 7 to 10%. Many people who said New Japan said it was specifically because of their junior heavyweights.
|03-06-2012, 11:29 AM||#55|
-- Things are quiet from a news point of view, but crowds have been extremely impressive lately. Dave thinks because they're drawing so well right now, the schedule will have tons more dates added and managers will probably be back to work on house shows in no time.
-- The August PPV has been moved up to 8/28 and will take place at Madison Square Garden.
-- 4/29 in Utica, NY, drew 5,084 headlined by Andre vs Duggan. 4/30 at the Cow Palace drew 11,104 fans and $140,000, the second-largest gate in the history of the building headlined by Ted DiBiase vs Randy Savage. 5/7 in Boston drew 12,000 headlined by Honky Tonk Man vs Brutus Beefcake and Andre the Giant vs Hacksaw Duggan. On 5/1, Randy Savage vs Ted DiBiase drew a $168,000 gate.
-- Randy Savage is now being billed as the "undisputed WWF champion". The word heavyweight will no longer be used when talking about the title.
-- The WWF is working on several non-wrestling syndicated specials like the Slammys.
-- "The other day a few of us were joking about what would be the worst possible match of this generation -- and the best thing we came up with was the Anabolic Warrior against Andre. Then I find out a few weeks back they actually had that match in Switzerland on a European tour. What did the Swiss ever do to Vince McMahon?"
-- "The Midlife Rider has ridden off for the final time, after just a two week stay in the NWA, thus ending one of the quickest about-face angles in pro wrestling history. Four or five weeks of television, a baseball bat angle and the punching of Magnum T.A. were all flushed down the commode last weekend when the decision was made to pull the plug on the gimmick because it wasn't working. The official announcement on WTBS this past weekend was the (sic) Paul Boesch went to the NWA board and somehow convinced them to reinstate Dusty. With all the panic decision-making going on in the NWA, with angles changing so fast one TV show contradicts the next, things must be worse off than they appeared to be a few weeks ago. Of course, it is May, and the key contracts are due their balloon payment and let's just say I expect more of the same over the next few weeks."
-- Dave says the angle not working was a mild surprise to him, but that more than that, giving up that angle in just two weeks had to be hard on Dusty's ego. They have already set up a Barry Windham/Dusty Rhodes feud at a TV taping, but Dave doesn't understand, because the natural feud in TV buildup is Windham vs Luger. "It's hard to predict what's going to happen next with the NWA when those in charge don't seem to have any idea from one TV show to the next."
-- The next Clash of the Champions, billed as "Miami Mayhem", will take place on 6/8 at the Knight Center in Miami. Dave thinks based on the mood of the promotion and the disarray they're in, this show won't be as hot as the first one was. There's a belief they gave away too much at the first show and that's why they're hurting now, "... a view I both agree and disagree with. They did give a lot, but also failed to take advantage of a lot that they could have done. For instance, the barbed wire match was the blow-off of a feud, only they didn't know it. The heels got beat, quick and swift, and there was no point to any rematches with the two teams, but instead the two teams are still being booked with each other and the feud continues. The Flair-Sting rematches everywhere at least needed no time limit and no DQ stips to be meaningful, as just seeing another match between the two of them meant nothing when you've already seen everything they can do with each other for 45 minutes -- now the only lure is a definitive finish of the feud, but the inability to mix in new talent at the top makes them avoid blow-offs. My own opinion is the company had tremendous momentum coming off the first Clash, and retained it until they spent two hours on the Midlife Rider on TBS week after week and pushed everyone else back." Dave says they are afraid to put on a hot show, which becomes even more apparent when looking at the lineup for the next Clash. Dave has no idea why they're doing a show without Ric Flair, Lex Luger, or the Road Warriors.
-- Ted Turner is working on a new station called TNT with lots of MGM movies and sporting events. Dave expects to see wrestling there eventually. (My note: He was right.) They are waiting on the network to clear 30 million homes. He is actually trying some type of package deal with the Great American Bash PPV as a lure to get cable companies to sign up for TNT. Turner and Crockett are under fire with cable companies right now for running the Clash. The feeling is that they ruined Wrestlemania and cost the cable companies big money.
-- The NWA realizes the Great American Bash pay-per-view is pretty much do or die, considering the state they're in.
-- On TV, there was zero reaction to Jim Ross announcing Dusty's reinstatement. One woman in the audience finally cheered and was eventually drowned out by boos.
-- The gate for night two of the Crockett Cup was $115,000 and 6,200 paid. The combined gate for both nights was about the same as souvenir sales for Wrestlemania at Trump Plaza.
-- 5/5 in Johnstown, PA drew 680 fans headlined by Sting vs Larry Zbyszko. The same night in Raleigh, they drew 1,900 for a TV taping even doing Flair/Tully/Windham vs Luger/Dusty/Nikita as a main event. Windham bloodied up Dusty with his new clawhold in that match to set up their feud. 5/6 in Pittsburgh drew 3,800 fans headlined by Flair vs Doc in a disappointing match. Fans turned on Doc and sided with Flair, despite Flair's best efforts. 5/7 in Baltimore drew 5,500 fans headlined by Flair vs Sting with Barry Windham running interference. 5/8 in Roanoke drew 3,000 fans headlined by Flair vs Sting in a *** cage match. 4/24 in Charleston, WV drew 2,500 fans headlined by Luger & Sting vs Arn & Tully in a cage match. 4/30 in Laurinburg, NC drew 620 fans.
-- When the new Coliseum opens in Charlotte in August or September, the WWF will get the first two shows, forcing JCP to run all of their shows at the Charlotte Park Center, which has a maximum 2,500 seat capacity. The WWF has been trying to get into Charlotte and hasn't been able to for the same reasons JCP can't get into Madison Square Garden. But the owner of the new Charlotte Coliseum does not have the same ties to Crockett as the previous owners, and they're willing to give the WWF a chance.
-- Cable TV ratings for the first quarter of 1988 have the Saturday night show at a 3.5 rating, making it the fourth highest rated show on cable. It's higher than both Prime Time Wrestling (#9) and All American Wrestling (#12). NWA Main Event was in the #18 spot.
-- "Did you all catch that party that the Midnight Express threw on WTBS? What an original idea. At least that's what I thought the first 100 times i've seen cakes on a wrestling TV show and every single time it went into either a heel's face or the TV announcer's face. Even though it was the most predictable thing I've ever seen, it was still entertaining, especially the banter between Lane and Cornette about where are the girls and carbonated beverages being fuel for athletes in training."
-- Rumors are starting to fly that Crockett is trying to make a deal with Ted Turner, but as best as Dave can tell, no actual deal has been reached.
-- 5/1 in San Antonio drew 700 fans and $4,200.
-- The 5/8 Texas Stadium show drew 7,000 fans headlined by Kerry Von Erich regaining the title from Iceman Parsons. Other standouts were a Michael Hayes/Terry Gordy match where they repeated the finish from the old Alabama days where Gordy came to Hayes' rescue after the match, turning him babyface, and Terry Taylor vs Chris Adams in a match Dave gave ****
-- Ken Mantell has reached out to every single territory except the NWA and WWF, offering to do tie-in promotions and provide talent for their cards. Mantell is looking for ways to get dates for the wrestlers since they are not running a full schedule, but Dave says they only have one or two names that would matter anywhere else. Dave says Gordy, Hayes, Taylor, and Adams got involved with a local hero, that might work, but just taking Taylor vs Adams as a feud around the horn isn't going to do anything except offer a decent match. "Talent sharing can only help these other groups if the talent can shoot an angle on TV and work a series of shows, rather than just fly in for one date, unless it's something like Hayes in Atlanta or Gordy maybe on an independent card against a guy like Brody or Abdullah the Butcher."
-- The 5/2 card in Memphis drew a $15,000, more than double what they did the week before, headlined by Jerry Lawler vs Eddie Gilbert with Missy Hyatt's hair at stake. The finish saw Paul E. Dangerously show up and get decked by Lawler. Before that, Missy tried distracting Lawler but it didn't work. After all this, Kenny Dee, who was managing Lawler to keep Missy from interfering, ended up turning on Lawler by throwing powder in his eyes, leading to a Gilbert win. After the match, Dangerously hands Missy money, who uses it to pay Kenny Dee, who will be the new heel manager. There was said to be very little reaction to the World Class guys, and fans left after Lawler/Gilbert while Kerry/Iceman was still going on in the ring. Dave still doesn't understand the logic behind putting Iceman on and billing him as world champ the week before the Hennig match.
-- The 5/9 show will have tickets raised to $25, $10, $7, and $5 for the Hennig vs Lawler title match with Jackie Fargo as referee, Bill Dundee vs Eddie Gilbert, Jeff Jarrett vs Robert Fuller, Mike Graham & Steve Keirn vs Max Pain & Gary Young, the Cuban Choir Boys vs Ron & Don Harris, Bad Company vs Tom Brandi & Billy Travis, Doug & Tommy Gilbert vs Mark Starr & Scott Steiner, and Brickhouse Brown vs Kenny Wayne.
-- 5/9 has been declared Jerry Lawler Day in Memphis by mayor Dick Hackett.
-- "On TV if you recall they were telling fans to vote with a 900 number ($1 per phone call) on who will referee, either Fargo or Larry Hennig. All along Lawler kept saying on TV that Hennig was leading the voting and they kept saying how all the fans in Minnesota were voting for Hennig as referee and they needed the fans in Memphis to vote. When the show started at 11 a.m. (remember the show is still done live in Memphis) they went to the voting headquarters and said the voting would close at noon and that Hennig was still in the lead, but it was close, to get fans to keep calling the 900 number (so they could get money from the phone company, I guess to pay Curt enough to keep him happy). At 11:45 they did another segment with the same story. Then at noon Lawler shows up and tells the fans he has some bad news, acting real somber, and then said, 'Bad news for Curt Hennig that is,' and the place popped and they announced Fargo would referee. Anyway, this 900 number thing is a real novel way to make money."
-- Brother Ernest Angel is still around and the Harris Brothers said he was in the hospital with a dreaded disease.
-- Late news that Jerry Lawler won the AWA title before 9,500 fans on 5/9. The match was 21:12, described as "not great", and the crowd reaction was amazing.
-- Roddy Piper showed up at Don Owen's card in Portland on 04/30 and helped nearly sellout the Sports Arena. His appearance was to help Owen in his local promotional war with Billy Jack Haynes, debuting on 5/7 in Oregon City. Haynes' TV starts on 5/14 and they plan to televise matches that are taped the previous Saturday. Haynes insists the week delay has nothing to do with Piper appearing for Owen, and says it's because of late arrival of his ring lights. Piper was announced in advance, but his role was made unclear. He showed up and did an interview but never made it to the ring. Mike Golden came up to him and told him to scram. Piper was very passive in a subtle booking attempt to put over Golden. Gordon brought out a contract for the 5/7 show. Piper refused to do a match, saying he's lost too much weight and is no longer a fighter. Golden responded by spitting on him, and continued taunting him until they got into it. When it was over, Piper wasn't seen the rest of the night. No official announcement of a Piper/Golden match has been made, but that seems to be what the fans are expecting.
-- 4/28 in Kansas City drew 375 fans, much more than average. 4/29 in St. Joseph drew 349, the lowest crowd ever in that city.
-- Eddie Gilbert and Missy Hyatt cancelled their scheduled appearances on the KC show, and Todd Morton no-showed. "Rufus Jones missed both dates although I haven't heard that anybody missed him."
-- "The funniest thing I've seen in a while was the Kansas City program for the 4/28 show. It talked about The Freebirds coming and said they are managed by Michael Hayes and had quotes from manager Hayes. They also had a picture of Hayes in the program, which was taken from their original Georgia Days as heels (1980). Geigel does his own programs, and it's nice to see how up to date he is on the current wrestling scene, especially with the group he's supposed to be working so closely with."
WINDY CITY WRESTLING
-- "This group made a remarkable showing on 4/30 for the return of pro wrestling to the International Ampitheater in Chicago, drawing a $40,000 house, which is by far, the largest house I've heard of for an independent promotion." Paid attendance was 4,000+.
-- They are scheduled to have a 30 minute show on Channel 60 in Chicago before long.
-- The WWF took notice of the big gate and plans to run shows in the Ampitheater, feeling they can get a different crowd here than they do at the Horizon, and they can continue to run both shows.
-- Owen Hart's year-plus reign as North American champion ended on 5/6 when he dropped the title to Makhan Singh.
-- Owen's last match before New Japan's next tour is on 5/14, which may be his last match in Stampede. "There is no word new on that situation. Hart agreed to go to Titan as a masked wrestler (either a Tiger Mask gimmick or a Mighty Mouse gimmick) but is having second thoughts. Apparently there is a personal goal of having the greatest match of the year with Ric Flair, still, although politics still seem to make this impossible."
-- Jerry Lawler wants to come in and wrestle Owen Hart, but there is the political issue of Stu's connections to the WWF.
-- Both Bret Hart and Davey Boy Smith are pushing really hard for Owen to come into the WWF.
-- Steve Blackman, a WWF jobber, is headed in to team with Brick Bronsky.
-- Chris Benoit will be gone for the July New Japan tour.
-- Suni War Cloud is out of action with an injury.
-- Jonathan Holiday's playboy gimmick has been completely dropped, and his push has been stopped. He used to work as a TBS jobber named Dexter Wescott.
-- Expect Makhan Singh vs Steve DiSalvo to be the feud on top while Owen Hart and Jason are in New Japan.
-- Mitsuharu Misawa will be getting married in a major ceremony over summer.
-- 4/27 in Osaka drew 5,000 fans headlined by Vader vs Fujinami. 4/26 in Shimonoseki drew 2,490. 4/23 in Okinawa drew 1,780. 4/24 in Kumamoto drew 1,660.
-- Since Inoki is out with a broken foot, Fujinami is making a play for the top spot, but Dave thinks that may just be angle. He isn't certain. Inoki is going to miss the IWGP tournament.
-- Manny Fernandez is looking good in New Japan.
-- 4/24 in Tokyo saw JWP draw 1,800 fans headlined by Harley Saito & Miss A vs Witch Warrior & Eagle Sawai.
-- "5/15 in Tokyo has a triple headliner show with the Crush Girls wrestling the Jumping Bomb Angels on top, then Mika Suzuki wrestles Kaoru Maeda for the jr. championship (this refers to an age group, not a weight) and Erika Shishido & Nobuko Kimura defend the Japanese tag team title against Manami Toyota & Toshiyo Yamada, the latter of whom are the two leading grass of the class of '87 rookies from this promotion and are getting their first shot at stardom. Shishido, 17 years old, who began in late 1986 is half black and half Japanese and is highly thought of as a future major heel and tag team partner of Bull Nakano. In fact, she also appeared in the movie 'Tokyo Pop' in a brief scene."
-- Former NFL star Steve Courson is set to make his pro wrestling debut on a Dominic Denucci-promoted indy show in Pennsylvania over the weekend. He has had almost no training and is being rushed into the ring with the hopes they can draw off of his football name. Courson was an admitted heavy steroid user in the NFL, and his career was cut short due to health problems. He was cut about two seasons ago (at the time of this writing) from the Tampa Bay Bucs. He's also coming out with an anti-steroids book.
-- In a strange occurrence, every single pro wrestling show in syndication has dropped out of the top 15. "The actual story here is that the idea of adding cumulative network rating, as McMahon's WWF network (a combination of five shows), Crockett's Wrestling Network (four shows) and the All-Star Wrestling Network (at least half a dozen shows) has apparently been done away with by those who figured out the ratings. As has been mentioned here many times, it was unfair in favor of the wrestling shows for the companies to add up ratings of three and four shows together, and claim to be one of the top three or four syndicated shows on television, and ahead of something like Oprah Winfrey for example, which runs one show and gets a nine rating as opposed to Titan, which runs five shows, which added up together, get maybe a 10 rating. In reality, even Titan's Superstars show, which is certainly the most watched wrestling show in syndicated, doesn't come close to the top 15 in syndicated programming by itself." Dave doesn't think the story is a big deal, but says it will be harder to track TV ratings from week to week. Dave's sources in the TV industry think this is a major blow to pro wrestling, and one that will hurt Crockett far more than Vince, as Vince sold almost all of his complete inventory of ads for 1988. Wrestling will no longer seem quite as hot to advertisers as it would have a few weeks back, when two of the top eight shows were wrestling. Replacing wrestling has been shows like Love Connection, Star Search, and Hollywood Squares. "Even though a wrestling network package can still offer the same number of viewers to an advertiser, the fact is, the advertisers look at those ratings to determine what is hot, and wrestling no longer appears. And those big trade ads that Titan and Crockett buy in the trade pubs can no longer, as part of the ads, list either one as one of the highest rated networks in syndication. Basically what has happened is that the statistical con loophole that wrestling companies have been using has now been closed. It's back to when the wrestling promotions are going to have to chase down advertisers, rather than vice versa, and the difference in who is doing the chasing makes all the difference in the world in business."
-- A new promotion with women's wrestling is supposed to begin taping at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. Wendy Richter and Misty Blue are supposed to be there, Gordon Solie is planned to announce, and they supposedly have a lot of TV already lined up.
-- Continental is expected to be on FNN soon. The deal with New Japan has stalled because they couldn't come to a financial agreement. FNN also wants a national call-in pro wrestling talk show on their network. They are also being sued by the WWF for doing a "Hulkamania" package.
-- Larry Sharpe has sued Bam Bam Bigelow for breach of contract.
-- Steve DiSalvo was on a flight recently with a guy threatening to kill everyone on the plane. The flight attendant asked for his help, and he tackled the guy to the ground in a front facelock, and detained him until they reached their destination.
-- WCW announcer Scott Hudson actually wrote to Dave on the letters page to bash Dusty Rhodes.
|03-16-2012, 12:28 PM||#56|
OLD SCHOOL FAN
Here's the March 1984 recap
during this time Dave Meltzer was just doing monthly Observers
March 1984 Observer Recap
-On the Cover (yes, there was a cover): An “In Memoriam” picture of David Von Erich.
TOP STORY: David’s death recap. This was reported straight up as acute enteritis. The shock of this in both Japan and Texas was reflected on, with Dave noting it was not known how this would affect business in WCCW in the immediate future. Dave also mentions that David was the strongest contender to win the World heavyweight title at that time. There is also a rundown of David’s career highlights and his pro debut is noted as being June 28th, 1977, going to a draw with John Studd.
Notable quote: “He (David) had a flu-type condition for six weeks, but in our business if you can walk, you go out there. David was in no condition to wrestle. I feel very guilty about it. I’m very upset about it.”—Fritz Von Erich
OTHER LATE NOTES(included here in the front of the newsletter with the DVE news because the David piece was actually added after this issue was put to bed): Tito Santana should be IC Champ by the time this publication gets to it’s readers…Dynamite Kid over The Cobra in the tourney finals of the WWF Jr. heavy tournament in Japan. Davey Boy 3rd, Kuniaki Kobayashi 4th…1st WWF show in St. Louis drew 13,000 at the Kiel and 2500 on closed circuit to see John Studd win a Battleroyal where he eliminated Hogan and Andre together as they were fighting each other in a corner. The card was taped as the WWF wanted to emulate the way WCCW did their TV (big matches, classy production) and so it could air in markets the WWF was breaking into for the first time, like Chicago and Columbus…Bob Geigel ran a show in St. Louis the week before and drew 10,700 (my note--!!!)…..Bruiser and Crusher to team again in Chicago (my note—went to a double DQ vs. Stan Hansen and Nick Bockwinkel on March 4th)..
PULLING NO PUNCHES: Dave addresses the biggest, most talked about story in pro wrestling: the change/metamorphosis of Pro Wrestling itself.
-notes Vince going head to head with Geigel/Verne/Harley in St. Louis
-Vince possibly opening a third promotion in Japan as early as April
-Lists many wrestlers rumoured to be leaving their current area and and notes the devastating effect that going to the WWF would have on their home promotion. Wrestlers rumoured included Orton, Valentine, Butch Reed and Brody
-notes Sayama was supposed to return to MSG on 3/25 billed as “The Tiger” and how the plan was for him to be the WWF’s top draw overseas
-every major promoter except Eddie Graham was forming a NATO-type of alliance with one or more other promoters to help fight off WWF invasion. Even Baba and Inoki were planning a joint card for the middle of the year to counteract any potential McMahon forays into Japan
-Dave correctly noted that despite the thunder of the WWF, it remained to be seen if Vince could actually drive any other established promotions into the ground. He does note that the WWF would probably have a good shot at taking down the AWA due to the familiarity of the workers to the area (Schultz, Hogan, Okerlund, etc.), but that WCCW and Memphis would probably not have to worry right away
-Dave says he is not against what Vince is doing in principle because it would benefit everyone from the wrestlers to the fans paying to get in. The only ones not benefiting would be the promoters. He is against what McMahon is doing for many other reasons, though:
a) Vince isn’t playing a game based on who runs the best shows or has the best talent/booking, he’s banking on “political power plays” to aid his takeover bids. He notes how Eddie Einhorn never got a fair chance to run on the East Coast due to Vince Sr. blocking him out of all the arenas. Same thing happened in 1982 to a lesser extent to Bruno Sammartino’s IWF promotion
Vince was learning as he went with a gaffe in St. Louis when he tried to block out Geigel et al from having a tv outlet—he screwed up but is taking notes…
-Ole Anderson is splicing together clips from past shows putting current WWF stars like Iron Sheik, Tito and Piper in a bad light on their TV. Ole even dug up Lawler vs. Hogan footage to show that Hogan wasn’t so great. Ole would be noting at the end of the clips stuff like “well, Pat Rose beat Tito Santana here…” which Dave thinks would actually piss off the fans even more due to their being treated like idiots (i.e., nobody would believe Pat Rose ever beat Tito at any stage of his career)
-notes Ole and Verne Gagne set to work together and wishes Verne luck.
-Final Notes about McMahon: Working with him is no bargain (see George Cannon, Inoki and Altoona promoter gene Dargen), and Vince was heading for trouble trying to keep a room full of Superstars happy. Hogan’s contract was already apparently being pointed at by others and was becoming a sore spot.
Dave said he would use this column every month to track the latest on McMahon’s takeover bids in various areas.
DAVE'S PERSONAL WORSTS OF 1983:
Worst Wrestler: Ox Baker (honorable mention: the Crusher and Adrian Street (but notes Street is at least entertaining)
Worst Babyface: Tommy Rich.
Worst Feud: wants to pick Rich and Sawyer but his poll naming it third best feud makes that impossible…doesn’t seem to actually name one.
Worst Tag Team: Bob Brown and Buzz Tyler (apologies to The Strongbow Brothers and the Zambuie Express)
Worst Finishing Hold: Crusher’s Bolo Punch. Honorable mention: Bob Backlund’s Chicken Wing, despite Dave noting that it was basically a legit hold.
Least Agile: Plowboy Frazier
Worst Brawler: Jimmy Valiant
Weakest Wrestler: Baba and Mike Von Erich
Worst on Interviews: too many to pick just one but notes Bellomo, Backlund, Strongbow and Putski among others
Worst Circuit: Florida, “not because of the talent or the gimmicks, but how that promotion pretends that there is credibility around their horrible stunts.”
Worst Run Circuit: Ole’s Georgia with Southwest not far behind
Worst TV Show: Sheiks’ Big Time Wrestling. If only considering “larger’ promotions then Geigel’s Wrestling at the Chase shows wins
Worst Match Dave Saw All Year: Angelo Mosca Jr. (in his second week) vs. Ox Baker
Worst Announcer: Dave McClane from Bruiser’s Indiana promotion
Worst Manager: Don Carson, honorable mention to Skandor Akbar and Paul Ellering
Did you know that Dave gave his phone number in this issue in case any of his readers wanted to phone him?
He’s also shilling a three tape “Best of 1983” set. Each tape is 4 hours long and has most of the major bouts of the year on them.
Next is a reprint of a newspaper article on Lord Athol Layton. The paper it is from is not noted. It’s the actual article added into the newsletter.
An Article by Joe Soucheray is next, detailing a Minneapolis group called the USA Professional Wrestling Group that had a card scheduled for Minneapolis which was cancelled due to interference by unnamed parties. It is whispered that it’s Verne and Wally Karbo’s doing, but Karbo is interviewed about it and denies it and the columnist doesn’t believe they would bother given that the talent they were trying too bring in was lightweight (Amazing Zulu, Bruno Sammartino Jr) and the AWA had nothing to fear from such a fledgling group.
Next is another Article, this one from John Sherman. It details Hulk Hogan being upset with Verne and Wally for advertising him on the Christmas St. Paul card, knowing full well he had terminated his service to the AWA a full four weeks earlier. Hogan goes on to claim his problems stem from the fact that the powers-that-be screwed him out of the AWA title three separate times...and a whole bunch more kayfabe hyperbole about one champion, unification, and whatnot. The point of this article seems to be that Hogan wanted to come back to the Twin Cities with the WWF belt in tow. The article did a good job of making the AWA look poor and heightening anticipation for Hogan returning to the area as a champion in the future (which finally happened in June of 1984).
Both of these articles are noted on the next page as being from Twin Cities papers.
LETTERS: Mick Karch has a letter in about a previous Vince McMahon article and AWA implications. Mike Rosen writes a friggin NOVEL about the AWA and the idea of a fight with the WWF in the near future next.
March 1984 Observer Recap, Continued
Month-By-Month Best Bouts Dave saw in 1983
Jan 17, Memphis: Jerry Lawler and Koko Ware vs. Wild Sabu and Bobby Eaton
-brawl included Lawler slamming Eaton on the press table, Sabu being slammed onto Eaton on that table, the table breaking, and that table being thrown onto Jimmy Hart
-Ware hits perfect missile dropkick from the top rope on Sabu and Ware landing standing after a double backdrop to hit a double dropkick on the heels, one leg hitting each of them
-Ware and Lawler executing 4 piledrivers on Sabu and Eaton
-Lawler catching Hart, choking him and decking referee Jerry Calhoun when he tried to break it up for the DQ
Feb 18, Dallas: Freebirds vs. Von Erichs
-first 6-man meeting between the two teams, non-title, and it was a lumberjack match although the lumberjacks had little to do as the action stayed mostly in the ring
-12 minutes of back and forth brawling, ending with Kevin knocking Gordy back while he tried to piledrive david and David scoring the pin
-Dave notes that this was undoubtably the first of many sellouts this feud would garner in Texas rings
Mar 4, Tokyo: Khan/Saito/Chosu vs. Kimura/Hamaguchi/Teranishi
-ten minute bout with several sensational moves including Teranishi hitting a top rope dropkick and Hamaguchi’s blockbuster suplex
-endind was â€śincredibleâ€ť as Hamaguchi was trapped in the heels corner and took a suplex from Chosu, a Khan back suplex right on his head, a Saito front suplex, a vertical suplex from Chosu, a Chosu/Saito stuff piledriver, and topped off by a Khan kneedrop off the top rope into a Scorpion leglock by Chosu. Kimura seeing the end near tore the top rope off the turnbuckle and used it to choke Chosu who was on the opposite side of the ring. Kimura team was DQed as a result.
April 23, Tokyo: Dynamite Kid vs. Tiger Mask
-tons of action in the first three minutes and eventually ended in a double countout after a dive saw both men trapped on the other side of the guardrail and unable to get back into the ring. The crowd chanted â€śencoreâ€ť so loud that they decided to go at it again.
-Dynamite hit â€śthe most sensational diving headbutt I’ve ever seenâ€ť
-Ende dup being a battle of suplexs and piledrivers until Kid broke a beer bottle on the ringpost and brought it into the ring, where he proceeded to headbutt the referee. The Ref refused to DQ him and they kept battling. Tiger hit s suplex and piledriver on the floor, and somehow Dynamite got up and piledrove Tiger, at which point both men collapsed and were counted out of the ring.
May 9, Memphis: Moondogs vs. Stan Lane and Jackie Fargo
-four minute bout that saw Fargo and lane use everything not nailed down as a weapon and Keirn coming to the ring with a 2 x 4 to brain the Moondogs until the bout was just stopped (I assume a N/C).
June 2, Tokyo: Hulk Hogan vs. Antonio Inoki
-notes that although there was 20 minutes of solid action, the ending and aftermath were what made the bout memorable.
-recaps Hogan no-selling an inziguri but selling a poorly hit dropkick, and then the lariat on the apron to Inoki that ended up KOing him outside the ring.
-the bout was ruled a draw by the ref but another referee/official came into the ring and discussed how bad a draw verdict would look. After ten minutes the decision was changed to a win for Hogan and with it the IWGP Championship. It was later revealed that Inoki had a concussion and was subsequently out for several months
July 23, Landover: Jimmy Snuka vs. Don Muraco
-19,000 fan sell-out with no undercard of note at all
-peak of their feud and probably one of their best bouts of all.
-Muraco switched a vertical suplex in mid-air to a facebuster
-Don bled freely as Snuka pounded on him
-ending was Muraco pulling the ref in between him and a Snuka splash attempt and the ref DQing both wrestlers
Aug 4, Tokyo: Riki Chosu vs. Tatsumi Fujinami
-Fast paces scientific feud spotlighting Fujinami using Chosu’s best holds against him like the Scorpion Deathlock
-Fujinami also hit a superplex
-Fujinami hie Chosu with a back suplex on the floor and an Enziguri and then jumped back in the ring for a countout win to regain the International Title
Sept 5, Fort Worth: Von Erichs vs. Freebirds-typical 6-man between the two (read: highly entertaining) with Hayes getting a pin on Kerry for a shocking victory
Oct 17 New York: Don Muraco vs. Jimmy Snuka
-notes bout wasn’t the greatest but the tension in the arena and the ending were incredible
-noted that the sellout crowd (lists attendance at 26,300—felt forum overrun, I assume?) was shocked by the ending (Muraco getting out after a Snuka headbutt) as they had never seen a heel win a cage match before
-dive from Snuka onto Muraco was incredible
Nov 24, Greensboro: Harley Race vs. Ric Flair
-said that the bout could never have lived up to it’s hype but surprisingly, it did
-ending was messed up because Race never reacted well and Flair’s dive was poorly executed but those were minor blemishes on a classic match.
(my note—surprised that no commentary was given on how piss-poor Kiniski’s refereeing was in this bout).
Dec 8, Tokyo: Chosu/Yatsu/Hamaguchi vs. Fujinami/Kimura/Maeda-Dave never thought he would see a better match than the march 6-man bout, but he did here
-bout was suplex cityť
-Fujinami was the best wrestler in the match
-ending was a double countout when the teams hit the floor for the third time in the match
-Hogan’s title win recapped (26,300 attendance noted again..overflow to Felt Forum noted) with the unbelievable heat in such a short bout noted. 180 degree turn from the Sheik-Backlund bout the month previous
-biggest run on tickets and scalpers had a field day after Backlund was replaced in the title match with Hogan
-2/20 card has Hogan-Orndorff on top and Tito vs. Muraco which would either see Tito win the title or end his hopes, and Atlas/Johnson/Puski vs. Slaughter/Chung Lee/Fuji (Dave notes that this would likely see Slaughter get pearl harboured by the heels to set up his face turn)
Crowds good in core markets, noting 15,700 for Sheik-Santana title match in Philly on 1/21, 1/28 LA Battleroyal selling out the Olympic at 11,104
-Ohio was not successful so far—Cinci and Dayton only drawing 1000-1500, roughly the same as the competing Ole Anderson promotion
-notes disappointment with the Kiel TV show although Adonis and Murdoch are tremendous in their squashes. First Kiel card upcoming on 2/10
-Detroit was drawing 2000-2500. Vince brought in Cannon, Cannon gave up his TV time to him, and Cannon should really have known better…lol…
-Mangon Managoff (Jerry Graham Jr.) was brought in as the heel manager for the St. Louis tapings but was let go after Piper was signed.
-Bob Backlund’s status is a mystery. He was pulled from many major shows due to the shoulder injury but wrestled at several others. Speculates Bob might be gone from the WWF or out of the business completely in the next while and noted that Arnold Skaaland was out of the WWF as part of Vince’s centralization of power planť.
-WWF surprisingly pulled out of San Fran and San Jose, noted as a surprise because of how bad the AWA was doing. TV would be on in Sacramento in the spring
-other expansion plans include Indianapolis very soon and everyone was assuming the AWA was just around the corner at this point
-Greg Valentine would be coming in and this was seen as a huge blow to the Carolinas. Brian Blair had debuted in December but hurt his hand and would re-debut shortly once it was healed up
-Slaughter vs. Sheik were set to feud. Slaughter already receiving about 75% cheers against his face challengers in the arena and 90% on TV
-Piper would have a segment replacing a vapid Victory Corner
-Hindsight tells Dave that Sheik as interim champ was a tremendous mistake and it should have been Muraco. Sheik-Backlund rematches did not draw well and he asks if this was really the fans being sick of Backlund more than anything else
-Dave was disappointed that Hogan got the belt so quickly and notes there were rumours of a Hogan-Andre match at Shea that summer happening, with Andre getting jealous of Hogan as the scenario that would create that match-up
-12/12 Tag Tourney finals (Hansen/Brody vs.Tsuruta/Tenryu) best bout he saw in the tourney
-Flair vs. Kabuki was good if you consider that Kabuki was in it
-Mil Mascaras received poor reports from his tour of Japan and might not be back
-Lizmark being brought in as World Middleweight Champion to be their new Mexican superstar
-Baba/Dory vs. Tsuruta/Tenryu 45 minute draw on 11/29 in Sapporo was surprisingly good
-Terry Funk would likely wrestle a series in 1984 if he indeed did come out of retirement
-January tour included Steve Olsonowski, Kelly Kiniski, Gypsy Joe, Michael Hayes, Terry Gordy, Lizmark, and others. Tour did well but Hayes/Gordy vs. Baba/Tsuruta for the tag titles could not sell out Korakuen Hall (a relatively small venue). Freebirds controlled almost the whole match but a bloody Hayes was counted out at the 17:14 mark
-Most reports on the Freebirds quite good in their debut as a team in Japan
-Feb-March series had David Von Erich, Brody, Irwins (as Super Destroyers), Smirnoff, Chavo Guerrero, Jerry Morrow, and Koko Ware. Bockwinkel to be in 2/23-2/29.
-DVE appearance is to further expose him before his title victory, which Dave hopes doesn’t happen
-Hishashi Shimna now managing Sayama, notable because it was Shimna’s tyranny that Sayama said caused him to retire.
Sayama was the source of all the news stories about New Japan for the past several months (behind the scenes stuff), it was his source of income (getting paid for the stories he leaked out) and his Martial Arts school
-notable stories traced to Sayama include Fujinami being named as the primary force in getting Inoki out, then Fujinami betraying Sayama and retaining Inoki’s favor. Almost every wrestler was furious over Sayama being a leak to the press and that was why he couldn’t go back.
Inoki and Sakaguchi regaining power left Shimna on the outside and his looking to hook up with Vince McMahon was seen as a revenge type of ploy (as noted earlier that Vince wanted to go to Japan quickly in early 1984)
-Dave figures despite having access to guys like Hogan, Andre, Superstar and Adonis, Shimna would need one of the Japanese heavyweight superstars to come over to ultimately be successful.
-Baba and Inoki to co-promote card in August. Baba hates Shimna.
-Adonis and Murdoch were better than Dave thought they were
-Andre was generally poor in his last tour here with the exception of a couple of bouts
-other wrestlers in were Dusty Rhodes, Abdullah, Bad News Allen.
_Inoki vs. Dusty was reported on as bad matchmaking. Bad News broke it up before the fans fell asleep
-Chosu/Hamaguchi scored their biggest win beating Inoki/Fujinami in under 7 minutes
-coming in March were Murdoch, Adonis, Stomper, Grappler, Duncum, Sammy the Samoan and Jim Neidhart. Coming in April would be Masked Superstar, Don Muraco, Elijah Akeem and Kareem Muhammad, Hercules Ayala, Bruce hart, and Mike Sharpe.
-promoter Nicolai Selenkowitsch ran a 41 day tour from 11/10 to 12/20 that drew nearly 100,000 fans
Otto Wanz pinned John Studd on the final night to retain the CWA title in front of 9400.
-Klaus Wallas declared the tourney winner
SOUTHWEST-a few bright spots including a few dates that Brody came in and drew 3500 in Temple, Texas and 4700 in San Antonio on 1/28. Both were for bouts against Voodoo Malumba (Big Red Reese). The San Antonio crowd was the biggest in 14 months.
-other bouts from 1/28 included Dick Murdoch and Manny Fernandez over Sheepherders by countout in a match so bloody that when Butch Miller had to legit go the hospital after the bout they thought he had been in a car wreck upon his arrival there. Embry/Timbs won by DQ over Morton and Gibson, Al Perez over Killer Brooks by DQ and Adrian Street over Scott Casey via DQ
-the SA crowd is even more impressive when you consider that WCCW came in the very next night and drew 13,000.
-all Sheepherders bouts are absolute gorefests and Manny Fernandez’s bouts are just as bad blood-wise
-thinks Southwest group’s wrestlers work harder than WCCW ‘s guys on spot shows. Notes Embry/Timbs vs. Mexican Connection (Replamago Leon and Buddy Moreno) bouts as being really good.
-Gino Hernandez fired again for missing several bookings
-Southwest sent a four bout tour to the East Coast. They drw 800 in Fall River, Mass, and 200 in Providence. Some WWF promoters screwed by Vince Jr. were part of the venture to bring in the Southwest guys.
March 1984 Observer Recap, continued
-JYD in Ft. Worth on 1/30
-Star Wars card at Tarant County Convention Center drew an announced crowd of 15,000. The building holds 12,000 and there was probably an honest 13,000 there. Main event was Adams/Sunshine over Garvin/Precious in the cage, with Adams regaining the American title in that bout. Also Flair went ten minutes with Mike Von Erich with Mike almost having Flair out with the sleeper at the end. From this Flair is to defend against David Von Erich—David gets to pick the ref and any stipulations he chooses to include. This bout is set for April.
-As an aside, notes Flair and Harley set for a ten day tour of New Zealand, Malaysia and other areas from 3/19 through 3/28 with title matches every night. Thus the DVE-Flair hype won’t begin until after Flair returns from that tour.
-Freebirds vs. Von Erichs was another Main event at Star Wars. Angle was that Kevin got beat up in the dressing room before the bout by the Birds. “Anyway, the 170-pound Superman who was to beat up on the World Champ later that night subbed for his big brother.” The ending was Kevin coming out and going berserk on the Birds, causing the Von Erichs to lose by DQ and thus allowing the Freebirds to legally return to Texas rings.
-also on the card, Super Destroyers beat Parsons and Adidas in a clean cut best of three falls bout/ Parsons ended up with Akbar for five minutes after the bout but the effects of a superplex during the previous bout allowed Akbar to have control for 4 minutes and change. The final minute saw Parsons get in a few blows while Akbar ran. JYD downed Kamala when Missing Link interfered for the DQ. JYD moved and Link headbutted Kamala and they started to go at it.
-basically the same card sold out the Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio the previous night with the one difference being Flair vs. Kevin in the Main event
-2/3 in Dallas drew an overflow crowd with Flair pinning Adams, David winning the UN title from Michael Hayes, David beating Gordy by DQ, Mike beating Buddy Roberts, Pero Aguayo beating Fishman and some other prelims. IT was the second largest crowd ever in the Sportatorium
-SD 1 won the TV title from Adias on 1/9. Adias didn’t win a single match between Christmas and that title loss and this included a pinfall loss to Ken Mantell.
-Rick Rood came in on 1/6 for the sole purpose of studying Jimmy Garvin so he could imitate him in Memphis
-Kamala vs. Kerry is about the worst thing going in WCCW right now as Kerry slams him every night and Akbar refuses to pay him the $10,000
-Kamala and Link scored an upset in Dallas on 1/13 over Kevin and Kerry. Kevin and Kerry won a rematch by DQ two weeks later
- Magnum TA and Wrestling II won the tag titles on 12/25 from Reed and Neidhart. Reed and Neidhart split a few days later in a tag match with Neidhart becoming the babyface.
-II and TA will feud with Condrey and Eaton and will lose the belts to them. TA and II may also split up. Cornette had his team tar and feather II on a tv taping to get things going
-Watts established a connection to Memphis because he was paranoid of a McMahon invasion. Lawler, Terry Taylor, Koko Ware and Carl Fergie had all made appearances. Dundee is booking the circuit but not wrestling on it
-1/20 loser leaves town 6-man with Duggan/Santana/JYD vs. Reed/Darsow/Volkoff saw Duggan lose. He is now in Florida
-Oklahoma City is the best drawing city on the circuit right now with three straight 5000+ crowds. The headliner was the Garvin-Adams feud on those shows.
-Darsow as a Russian sympathizer has come a long way and Dave regrets that he didn’t get better recognition in the previous year’s rookie of the year voting
-Watts came out on TV and admitted he was the president of Mid South. Dick The Bruiser and Jerry Jarrett were in as visitors to TV tapings
“One last note: Lots of people say bad things about the USFL. I will never do such a thing. The reason is that any organization that keeps Steve Williams out of pro wrestling is fine with me…I wish Dr. Death the best of luck in his tryout with the Denver Gold, or at least enough luck to make the team.”
AWA-Harley Race in as a regular managed by Heenan. He would act as Nick’s policeman and eventually turn and feud with him. Notes Race apparently looks good in the AWA but says that considering the rest of the roster that isn’t surprising
-Larry Zbyszko and Bruno Sammartino Jr are expected to come in by late march
-1/15 in St. Paul was a disaster in some ways according to Dave, who then notes that “disaster” drew 11,000 people. “Considering it was the return of the Crusher, well, they will miss Hulk Hogan.”
-recaps Lanza coming down during the Mulligan/Bockwinkel brawl vs. Vachon/Crusher and convincing Mulligan to abandon his partner and reunite the Blackjacks. Crusher hit “a six decade old Bolo” for the win after that.
-other bouts saw Lanza beat Heenan in a Bunkhouse match, Saito/Ventura beat Robinson/Rheingans, Brunzell pinned Superstar Graham, and Steve Regal beat Buck Zumhofe but didn’t get the Jr. Title because he didn’t make weight.
-also notes it was supposed to be Greg Gagne vs. Sheik Kaissie but Kaissie came out and claimed a broken leg. Blackwell and Patera attacked Greg and Crusher got run into a ringpost when he tried to make the save, so “daddy Verne” made the save. “The answer to the next question is yes”, says Dave.
-notes that Ken Resnick’s ring announcing was met with “We want Mean Gene” chants, and that Gagne and Brunzel were both booed, presumably because of their connection to Verne who of course had just lost Gene and Hulk Hogan. Verne saving the day was not well received and apparently Jesse Ventura got lots of cheers.
-notes that 2/26 would have Raschke/Brunzell vs. Saito/Ventura, Regal vs. Zumhofe and Lanza vs. Race. “Should be a thrill a minute”…(my note: Wow, Dave really hated the AWA even though it seems pretty clear by how he writes this that he didn’t see much or any of it regularly. The Blackjack reunion I know was absolutely a killer moment and the fans ate it up. Nothing strange about it, just a very cool angle, especially with the hated Bockwinkel taking a terrible beating after Mulligan left.)
-1/3 in San Fran was a complete disaster drawing 1,000 for Bockwinkel-Rheingans and Vachon/Crusher vs. Saito/Ventura where Raschke interfered out of the crowd
-Annual Christmas skit saw Ventura and Saito break boards over Raschke’s head (sending Raschke to Charlotte) and “Greggie” saving the day
-Blanchard won Central States title on 1/26 in KC beating Buzz Tyler
-the promotions revolving door policy made things messy was Bobby Fulton left with the TV title so Buck Robley booked himself to win the tourney for the title in Des Moines.
-1/13 in KC saw Les Thornton regain his Jr. Title beating Ron Ritchie and Bob Brown/Buzz Tyler/King Cobra over Blanchard/Kirby/Luke Graham
-1/19 saw Robley/Brody lose to the Grapplers via DQ
-1/26 saw Flair in to retain his title over Harley Race in Race’s first rematch since losing the title back to Flair in Greensboro. Also Kamala vs. Brody for the fourth time was a no DQ bout that ended up with Brody, Kamala, Friday, and Robley all brawling back to the dressing room for a No Contest. Dave heard it was very bloody
-Youngbloods supposed to be in on 2/2
-“Even stranger is the booking of Tommy Rogers. Now the Rogers Wrestling here is not the third Sawyer brother who wrestles in Georgia.
Nevertheless TV announcer Rick Stewart bills him from Atlanta and says things like “I can’t believe how much he’s changes since Alabama.” The guy he saw in Alabama is the guy now in Georgia. “He’s bulked up and trimmed down and changed his looks completely”. How can one bulk up and trim down at the same time?”
-Dave eliminates Stewart from Announcer of the Year consideration…
-thinks that Tiger Mask, aka Ken Wayne, is the best guy on the circuit.
March 1984 Observer recap, continued
ST. LOUIS WRESTLING CLUB
-22-man battleroyal on 2/3 at Kiel was won by Barry Windham. He “won” $35,000 and a title shot against Ric Flair on 2/17 in a bout that would no doubt be excellent.
-“The Chrome Dome Connection” was bringing in talent from several areas for the 2/17 card. Bouts included Race defending the Missouri title against Wahoo McDaniel, Dusty Rhodes vs. Luke Graham (“honestly folks, if you’re in a promotional war, why put a match like this on?”), Patera and Blackwell vs. Ritchie and Robley, Dick Slater vs. King Cobra, Mulligan vs. Bob Brown and the Grapplers vs. Mark and Jay Youngblood.
-drew 9,372 for the 2/3 card, with three hours of TV helping that out
-The 1/11 card was accurately reported previously as being a sellout (11,000+). Main event for that card was Flair-Brody.
-On the AWA show that is broadcast into that market, Nick Bockwinkel has been interviewed and is asking for a title vs. title match against Flair later that year.
-Dave lists reasons why it would be better for Flair to win a title vs. title match against Bockwinkel: The bouts would be better as Nick had gotten boring, and there were AWA cities (St. Paul, Chicago) that drew more than 10,000 which would benefit from seeing Flair regularly. Dave says the AWA has no real contenders but Flair vs. Brunzell or Gagne would at least be different. Dave also expects any title vs. title match would need to have a conclusive finish as the St. Louis crowd was not used to double countouts.
- Dave also figured that this would be where the WWF would possibly slip up in the St. Louis market: lack of conclusive finishes in main events.
-ultimately Dave does not think this will happen because Gagne would have to admit his title was second best to the NWA title, at least to himself.
-crowds were up since the low of 2500 on 12/19 (Lawler/Idol W DQ Savage/Leduc)
-12/26 show (Lawler pinned Idol with Jimmy Hart’s help to earn a shot at Bockwinkel, Kiern W loser leaves town for a year match with Dundee) drew 6,450
-Jimmy Hart’s family had a major housecleaning happen with The A Team, Moondogs, Dennis Condrey, The grapplers and more all gone. New in were the Zambuie Express and King Konga. They were under the charge of JJ Dillon.
-Hart kept begging Lawler to help him run JJ Dillon and his family out of the area. Lawler kept refusing. Later Sabu (A Hart wrestler) was beating Lawler badly until Hart tripped Sabu and allowed Lawler to get the pin. Hart then claimed that Lawler owed him one.
-Dave expected King Konga to win the Southern title before that issue reached it’s subscribers
-Zambuies won the tag title by forefeit over the Fabulous Ones. The Fabs did not show up apparently because of the weather being treacherous. Dave heard that this was probably a legit excuse and the Zambuies would not hold the belt for long because they were booked for Japan soon
-Bockwinkel in for matches vs. Lawler. 1/1 saw Lawler win by DQ, and 1/9 is the $500 per-punch match with two refs (Paul Morton and Austin Idol). Stanley Blackburn in attendance so Lawler winning the title and having the decision reversed was not a surprise.
-Bock-Lawler drew 7800 in Memphis on 1/1, 5600 on 1/9 in Memphis, 4900 on 1/10 in Louisville and 4000 on 1/23 in Louisville (The Louisville bouts had similar endings to the two Memphis bouts.
-Rick Rood in doing a Jimmy Garvin impression complete with valet
-1/3 Louisville drew it’s largest gate in history (and about 6,000 fans) to see the Fabs vs. the debuting Road Warriors. Bout was a double DQ. LOD won on 1/4 in Evansville by Dq and had a double DQ against Lawler and Idol on 1/5 in Lexington. Lawler taking a beating in the LOD matches for most of those bouts
-1/7 Louisville saw Roadies back for a Lumberjack match with the Fabs (LOD counted out) before 4200. LOD was scheduled to be Memphis regulars after their Georgia commitments were done
-Idol defending his title against Leduc, Sabu, and Savage
-Mantel feuding with Savage as well
-Patera and Blackwell in on 1/16 and beat Morton and Gibson in an AWA tag title match
-Fabs won Loser Leaves Town bouts over Moondogs throughout the circuit
-1/23 in Louisville saw the Fabulous Ones beat the Rock and Roll Express in a scientific match. Fabs were cheered heavily but R and R’s were not booed, just cheered less.
-Flair pinned bob Armstrong on Jan 2 in Birmingham. Armstrong left for Georgia after that and was seriously injured in either a car accident or a bar brawl.
-Charlie Cook beat Jerry Stubbs for the State title on 1/9
-Leduc lost a Loser Leaves Town match to Robert Fuller so he went back to Memphis
-1/23 saw Jacques Rougeau beat Super O in a hair vs. mask match. O turned out to be Arn Anderson/Marty Lunde.
-also David Morgan beat Franklin Hayes (“billed as Michaels brother and really may be as he was so bad in Memphis that he was let go after one week”)
-tag belts haven’t been mentioned since Ron Starr, who holds the titles with Wayne Farris, disappeared from the circuit a few months ago
-“If anyone lives up to his nickname it’s Bad News Allen Coage.” Dave then lists some of his exploits:
* punching a fan while brawling with Davey Boy Smith outside the ring, knocking over a pregnant woman who had to be taken to the hospital, and failing to report for his pre-match physical. All this happened on the same night in Edmonton and Coage is suspended from wrestling there as a result.
*Breaking the collarbone of Jeff Gouldie (Archi’s son) apparently legitimately “Because it was brutal enough to where the Calgary Boxing and Wrestling Commission banned wrestling from TV and long-time announcer Ed Whalen quit over the brutality.”
*The following weekat a suburban Calgary show, Coage caused a riot with 4,000 fans that cau sed the show to have to be ended early
*Coage had been suspended several months earlier. He was gone from the area after losing the NA title on 12/23 to The Stomper.
*Coage’s actions also caused the Commission to have Stu Hart post a $10,000 bond insuring no more fighting outside of the ring
*Coage bloodied up Inoki on a 12/19 card in Vancouver where Inoki was fighting Kerry Brown. Brown was DQ’ed for this. The bout was shown in Japan. Several Japanese wrestlers appeared on that card including Nobuhiko Takada going to a draw with Hiroyuki Saito, Two Rivers (actually Japanese matman Junji Hirata, and Dave has no idea how they sold him as a native) pinning Cuban Assassin, and The Cobra and Tatsumi Fujinami going to a double countout with Davey Boy Smith and Bret Hart.
-Area is getting reputation for being heavy on the “no-shows” lately. Recent example was the 1/8 Piper-Buzz Sawyer Dog collar match turned into Piper vs. Kurt Von Hess Dog Collar match when Buzz didn’t show up. Piper beat Hess easily and without drama
-on 1/8 Slaughter lost to Mosca Sr by countout in a Canadian title match (Slaughter is Champion). Mistake on TV on 1/7 as the 1/22 promos were shown and the cage match on that card between Mosca and Slaughter was advertised “so Sgt. Can’t run”. This of course was the day before the 1/8 countout between the two…
-Piper set to wrestle Don Kernodle which could be interesting for a variety of reasons, if it comes off (my note—Not sure what the deal is with this item. Anyone?)
12/12 in Montreal saw Brito/Parisi win the tag titles from Lefebvre and Pat Patterson
12/26 in Montreal saw Bravo pin Bockwinkel (non title), Andre beat Mulligan, Leo Burke kept his NA title with a DQ win over Abdullah the Butcher, and Parisi/Brito beat Lefebvre/Frenchy Martin
12/28 in Quebec City saw Bravo win a battleroyal for another crack at Bockwinkel and Andre beat Mulligan
-There might be problems between promoter Frank Valois and the Mcmahons due to Bockwinkel being in with the AWA title.
-January cards were featuring Bravo vs. Martel in scientific matches with Bravo winning
Observer March 1984 Recap (Conclusion)
-promoter Al Zink’s International Wrestling promotion is returning in May after a 6 month absence with five confirmed shows a week and one “spot” show. There will be 10-14 wrestlers employed on a regular basis and Zinck expects to pay some of them 1200-2800 dollars per week to work there.
-wrestlers appearing during the season will include Andre the Giant, Cyclone Negro, JJ Dillon, Dory Funk, Blackjack Mulligan, Ric Flair, Harley Race, Dusty Rhodes, Kevin Sullivan, Barry Windham and Jake Roberts. Zinck will be affiliated with the NWA and plans to negotiate a world title match for the area.
-TV is being negotiated with the local ATV and a station out of Bangor, Maine
-Emil Dupre’s Atlantic promotion will also run cards for the summer. The Cormiers (Leo Burke, Rudy Kay and Tery Kay) will appear for Dupre.
-Zinck is working closely with Florida for his venture and will try to bringin wrestlers from Puerto Rico, Georgia and the Carolinas in an effort to invade McMahon-land. There is at least one card planned for Maine already.
-Dusty Rhodes announced he would retire unless Kevin Sullivan’s suspension from Florida is lifted.
-Sullivan has brought in Kharma (Gene Lewis from Dallas where he played The Mongol). He is billed as having been so deranged that he was given a lobotomy but Sullivan got ahold of him and rebuilt his thought process. “Don’t you love it?” opines Dave
-Kendo Nagasaki won the state title over Mike Rotondo on 1/22 in Orlando. Rotondo and Mike Davis won the tag belts on 1/11 when Yellow Dog stole Ron Bass’s saddle and Bass and One Man Gang chased him to get it back. They were counted out and the titles changed.
-2/8 in Miami had Bass vs. Yellow Dog with the saddle suspended above the ring
-Flair was in for three dates. He went 60:00 with Rotondo on 1/15 in Orlando, was DQed against Dusty on 1/21 in St. Augustine and was DQed against Dusty again on 1/21 in Sarasota.
-New in the area was Billy Jack as a face and getting well-received with a good push, and Jim Duggan as a villain.
-Kharma dressed as The Midnight rider on 1/14 and caused Dusty to lose the first Dusty-Sullivan match. Then on 1/24 in Tampa Rhodes wrestled Kharma and if he won he would get Sullivan in the ring for 5 minutes, but SUlivan interfered and Rhodes lost again.
-On the local TV show there was a story about Hogan winning the WWF title. Dave found this strange as almost every promotion was trying to ignore the win and not give Hogan any positive publicity.
-Barry Windham is being noted as doing well in the “All-Asian Tournament”. Meanwhile Yellow Dog is beating Bass in bunkhouse and dog collar matches and slamming One Man Gang, all the while being it is being speculated by the announcers that Dog is Robert Fuller.
-Black Bart not getting much of a build. Hector Guerrero working prelims but he is a hard worker and is wrestling very good
-The son of Tony Charles, Anthony Charles, is almost a twin of Scott Armstrong.
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING
-Ups and downs at the gate for this promotion. They drew 14,000 in Cleveland for a tag team tournament (Briscos beat Pez Whatley and Dusty Rhodes in the finals, with the Briscos wrestling in their Mid-Atlantic “Scientific Heels” role). The Briscos then appeared on TV the next morning as straight-up good guys.
-tag title confusion: The Sawyers beat the Road Warriors for the title on 1/27 in Cleveland. Sawyers missed TV the next day and the Warriors were announced as being champs again. Later in the show the Warriors were interviewed and said they were looking for the Sawyers to try and regain the belts. On 2/4 TV the Warriors appeared with the belts and it was announced that Buzz Sawyer was injured. Bret Sawyer and Tommy Rogers both appeared on TV and vowed revenge for their brother, which was strange because the TV had not acknowledged that Buzz and Bret were brothers yet.
-Buzz may have disappeared to join the WWF (likely according to Dave), in which case Ole announcing him as injured was “incredibly stupid”.
-Ole was almost out of money and it was reported that Jim Barnett, a McMahon ally, would be moving in.
-Despite all the WCW blunders, the WWF having local TV and Ole having to rely on cable for his TV, WCW still outdraws the WWF in most Ohio and West Virginia cities.
-12/25 in Atlanta (DiBiase vs. Rich, Rich retiring if he lost, Ellering vs.Sawyer Hair vs. hair) only drew 2500 to the Omni. Dave thinks that it drew so poorly because people are wise to Ole’s promotional tactics in retirement bouts or that people just didn’t care if Rich was gone or not. He expected this card to draw 10,000 given the rich tradition of Omni Christmas cards doing well at the gate.
-1/15 Omni drew 4500 which is better than anything since Thanksgiving. Dave says that it being the first card in Atlanta in forever without Tommy Rich probably brought the fans out.
Results were Tommy Rogers winning the Jr title from Les Thornton but Thornton got the title back next day because his foot was on the ropes. Live crowd thought it was a title change. Ron Garvin drew Pez Whatley (now not turning heel), Jake Roberts retained TV belt going to a double Countout with Jerry Lawler, Jerry Brisco/Bugsy McGraw/Brett Sawyer beat The Road Warriors/Killer Karl Krupp when Krupp was pinned. After the bout, The Road Warriors cleared the ring until Stan Hansen, not booked on the card, came in and clobbered the LOD with a 2 x 4. Johnny Rich pinned Ted Dibiase when Mr. R interfered and in the finale Buzz Sawyer and Jos Leduc went to a bloody double DQ in a four minute match.
-Dave is betting that the 2/5 Omni card drew less than 2000. Results were Garvin beating Bundy by forfeit (Garvin gets TV title match on 2/11 as a result), Mr. R beat the Spoiler, Roberts over Jerry Brisco to retain TV belt, Pez Whatley/Sweet Brown Sugar beat Road Warriors by DQ, and Dibiase retained Georgia title by beating Jack Brisco.
-wrestlers on TV but not at the Omni in the last month included Hansen, Jay Youngblood (looking really fatigued), Wahoo McDaniel, Jimmy Valiant, Ric Flair and Brad Armstrong. Dave is impressed with how much Brad has improved.
-Bob Armstrong was set to appear with Brad but is in the hospital. The promotion claimed Dibiase injured Bob but Dave believes the injuries were legit (given his speculation in the Southeast section combined with no buildup or angle around the injury happening). Bob received several broken bones in his face which also makes Dave believe he came out on the wrong side of a real fight.
-The Spoiler looks slow, which is understandable according to Dave because he has been wrestling “since before I was alive and has to be in his mid/late 40’s”. He was involved in a bad skit on 2/4 where he put the Claw on Greg Kosloff, billed as a protégé of Ole’s.
-Bundy turned good guy on that 2/4 show when Paul Ellering was making fat guy jokes about Bundy and Ellering did not realize that the comments were going out on air as he said them. Bundy jumped Ellering and The Road Warriors jumped on Bundy. Bundy looked very bad in the brawl. It is expected Bundy would replace Buzz against the LOD for the departing Buzz.
-others shown on tape on their TV include Dick Slater, Greg Gagne (apparently because of Ole’s supposed alliance with Verne), and Magnum TA (“which shows Ole doesn’t know something very important”)
-Dave thinks the Briscos looked good in their appearances and Sweet Brown Sugar looks out of shape since being out with an eye injury.
-Ole using an “interesting’ promotional tactic for Baltimore on 2/16. It’s billed as “Fan Appreciation night” and fans are encouraged to bring their cameras. This is a shot at the WWF as they had banned cameras at their shows for several months already. The lineup which Dave thinks won’t draw includes DiBiase vs. Mr. R, Road Warriors/Ellering vs. Hansen/Bundy/Brett Sawyer, and Bruno Jr. vs. Zbyszko before both leave for the Midwest.
-Dick Slater beat Greg Valentine for the US title on 12/22. End saw Orton interfere, Valentine go after him and get back suplexed for the pin. It was a 30 minute match and Dave said the action was really good. Valentine is still wrestling as a good guy.
-Slater pinned Ric Flair at TV on 1/20 when Orton held Flairs legs. Slater was given the belt even though it was announced as a non-title match before the bout began. The belt ended up getting taken away due to Orton’s interference. Slater is claming he is the uncrowned champ and to give credence to this he is beating Flair cleanly in several non-title matches around the area including 2/5 in Greenville with a Russian Leg Sweep in a pretty clean match.
-Slater gave the Mid Atlantic title to Ivan Koloff who was then upended by Angelo Mosca Jr on 1/26. Mosca Jr. has improved “but is still very bad”.
-TV title is still held up after Charlie Brown disappeared and Jimmy Valiant came back.
-TV title tourney started with Mark Youngblood beating Barry Orton (both are pretty good according to Dave). Michael Samuel Houston (Jake’s brother) is also in town.
-Bob Orton Jr. and Don Kernodle, who Dave thinks are the second best team in the US, are set to battle the Youngbloods after beating Valentine and Dory Funk and Angelo Mosca Sr and Wahoo McDaniel.
-Jay Youngblood legit sprained his ankle which would keep him on crutches for two weeks minimum
-Rick Steamboat wrestled several farewell matches, beating Ivan Koloff around the horn. The last one that Dave knew of was 1/22 in Roanoke. His Greensboro farewell, which most of his fans assumed was his real last bout, drew 6800.
-Ernie Ladd is winning most of the bouts in his feud with Angelo Mosca Sr. Dave has heard the bouts are pretty bad
-another feud is Jimmy Valiant/Dusty Rhodes/Dory Funk/Baron Von Raschke vs. The Assassins/Paul Jones with Raschke getting a pretty good response.
-Brody and Hansen were in Greensboro on 2/5 for a rare US appearance and apparently faced Dory Funk and Terry Gibbs
-Tully Blanchard in and winning a few prelims
-Kabuki is back
-shocker to Dave is the Grapplers (Len Denton and Tony Anthony) are appearing here without their maska and losing to the likes of Johnny Weaver and Vinnie Valentino
-Big news is this promotion teaming with Puerto Rico and Atlanta to run TV in New York on Spanish channel 41 and they are announcing that they are on their way to the Big Apple. Dave thinks the TV is weak because the interviews are given in English and then translated to Spanish which loses a lot of steam. Still, Dave thinks that they could not make a dent in the market yet still draw decently enough to make it a worthwhile venture.
OTHER LATE NOTES
-Killer Khan beat Stomper for NA title in Calgary on 1/30
-John Quinn and Ron Starr now working for Stampede as well
-12/26 MSG will be re-broadcast on USA Network in March
-Bruiser’s Indianapolis group drew two sellouts (3100) for Bruiser and Brody vs. tag champs Jerry Valiant and Abdullah the Great. Brody no-showed both dates although Dave was told he was really expected to be there. Bruiser teamed with Jeff Van Kamp instead to win the tag titles
-Mid South Correction: the three Oklahoma City cards featuring Garvin, Adams and their valets drew in the 8-10,000 range and the12,000 at the 1/29 show was the largest crowd ever to see wrestling in the state of Oklahoma.
-Reed and Neidhart’s split after they lost the Mid South tag titles on 12/25 occurred in the dressing room and the two were facing each other in football helmet matches now
-Kerry in at the last Mid South TV tapes. Terry Taylor getting big reception there for his bouts
-Hogan billed in Vegas on Jan 4 against Billy Robinson. Show drew 6,000. Hogan was replaced by Jesse Ventura
-1/24 in Vegas drew 8900 even without Hogan billed at all for Bockwinkel over Rheingans, Lanza over Heenan in a Bunkhouse match
-1/14 in Boston drew 14,800 (just under a sellout) for a Battleroyal won by Slaughter and Backlund over Iron Shiek by DQ
-2/18 in Philly not a cage bout between Hogan and Superstar. Also Snuka/Andre vs. Muraco/Slaughter
-JYD set to feud with Darsow in Mid South. Darsow to Siberia if he loses
-Sheepherders, Bobby Jaggers and Manny Fernandez all arrested on 2/1 during a match on the East Coast due to the match getting so out of hand that chairs. Tables and garbage cans were thrown into the crowd. All pleaded innocent to the charges
-Bass and Bart won US tag titles from Davis and Rotondo on 2/6 in West Palm Beach
-Geigel had a show set for Kemper Arena in KC featuring Road Warriors, Kamala, Brody, McDaniel, Flair, JYD, and more
-Matt Borne returned to the Northwest joining Oliver’s Clan to replace departing Dynamite Kid
-Borne then turned good by helping the good guys (Curt Hennig and Pat McGee) retain their tag titles over Oliver and The Assassin in a rematch. Heels then beat up Borne with a cowbell to set up Oliver vs. Borne on 1/28. Borne beat Oliver with a chair for the win in only a few minutes. Brett Sawyer returning in March and Piper set to return in May
-Curt Hennig won annual Salem battleroyal and one-night tournament
-Kid either returning to Portland or going to Calgary after Japan trip
-Ed Wiskoski bought a ranch and is semi-retired. Dave hears he is gaining weight and moving slower
-coming in for WCCW were Lars Anderson, Kelly Kiniski, JYD and Jim Neidhart
-Parsons over SD I for Texas TV title on 2/6 in Fort Worth
-Mid South newcomers due to Dundee’s booking include Rock and Roll Express, Masao Ito, and Buddy Landell
-Volkoff headed to Atlanta
-DiBiase vs. Mr. R in mask vs. National title on 2/18 in what will certainly end up being a title change
There is a picture of Carlos Colon escaping a cage against NWA World Champion Ric Flair on 12/18 in San Juan in a bout to determine the Undisputed World Title. Colon won but the NWA did not recognize the change because they don’t allow “first out of the cage” as an option for a win in NWA title matches contested in a cage.
That’s all for the March 1984 Observer.
|05-23-2012, 10:18 AM||#57|
OLD SCHOOL FAN
this is the May 23rd 1988 edition of Wrestling Observer
-- The WWF took out a full page ad in Electronic Media magazine, the trade publication for the TV industry, with the ad entitled "What A.C. Neilsen isn't tell you." The idea is that they're trying to stop some of the damage caused by Neilsen closing their loophole that skewed in wrestling's favor. The WWF has already sold most of its ads for the whole year, and they're really worried about what's going to happen now. The ad also said they were in the top five eery week since the syndication ratings debuted two weeks prior, which only Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune could claim. Dave says that's only a slight lie, because there was one week where they were #6.
-- "Hulk Hogan's wife Linda gave birth to a 10 pound, one ounce baby girl named Brooke on 5/5. It was the couple's first child."
-- Ricky Steamboat has retired, but Dave doubts it's permanent. He wants to spend more time with his son and look after his gym in Charlotte. "Just to let you know the type of people the Steamboats are, guess what I got in the mail last week. That's right, a couple of Steamboat gym T-shirts."
-- 5/8 in Binghamton, NY drew 3,500 fans headlined by Brutus Beefcake vs Honky Tonk Man. 5/12 in Erie, PA drew 1,000 fans headlined by Demolition vs Strike Force. 5/15 in Chicago drew 8,500 fans headlined by Randy Savage vs Ted DiBiase.
-- It's pretty much a lock that Owen Hart is coming in in July and will be called The Cheetah Kid, although the name could change. At this point, Hart will only reconsider if Inoki makes him a huge offer to work New Japan full time, and that's not happening realistically.
-- Wrestlers are now working 10 days on, 3 days off.
-- Four of the top 10 sports videos are Wrestlemanias.
-- There was a front page sports story in a St. Louis newspaper about Randy Savage's minor league baseball career. Fred Blassie is also doing local radio work in St. Louis to hype upcoming WWF shows.
-- Barry Windham captured the U.S. title on 5/13 in Houston in a tournament before 4,800 fans, which drew a $54,000 gate. Larry Zbyszko was dropped from the tournament because the line-up was made before the Windham turn, and they had to avoid having a heel versus heel match in the tournament. The show was headlined by Flair vs Sting in a cage match which Dave says was subpar.
-- Paul Boesch's "Houston Wrestling" show will be restarting in June. It will include footage from NWA syndicated shows, local interviews for just Houston conducted by Boesch, and tapes of house show matches from Houston in the same format of the old UWF Houston show. Because of this, the NWA plans to start running Houston regularly. World Class actually has plans of running shows in Houston also.
-- "I'd almost be remiss in not commenting on the rumors swirling through the wrestling world that Ted Turner is going to buy the NWA. All I know is no deal has been completed but the rumors are flying everywhere about what may or may not happen. If such a deal is completed, Jim Crockett will still run the wrestling operation however the rest of the family wouldn't be as involved as it would be their stock that Turner would buy out. There's been a ton of speculation, particularly about Dusty Rhodes, should this happen, but it's all premature."
-- 5/11 in Miami drew 2,943 fans headlined by Ric Flair vs Steve Williams. 5/12 in Tallahassee drew 5,500 fans for a TBS taping which include Kevin Sullivan kidnapping Precious. 5/14 in Chicago drew 2,800 fans headlined by Flair vs Sting with three judges at ringside, which Dave thinks they botched so bad at the Clash that it probably hurt the gate.
-- The Rock & Roll Express want to return. There's a decent shot it will happen, but Dave thinks if they do come in, they should turn heel and feud with The Fantastics.
-- Jerry Lawler is the new AWA champ. Dave says the word he got from those who attended the show was that it was one of the best overall live shows of the year, that it couldn't compete with the workrate of the Clash but was a better overall show. Crowd was estimated at between 9,000 and 10,000, but the $45,500 announced gate indicates less people than that. The title win was a major news item in Memphis. It was carried on the front page of the sports section the following day, and it was a lead news item on every single local news program in the market. The mayor of Memphis was at the event, and there was tons of local coverage. Word Dave gets is that the match itself was good, but not great, and that the best match on the show was Paul Diamond and Pat Tanaka over Billy Travis and Tom Brandi.
-- Jerry Lawler vs Bill Dundee headlines the 5/16 show as a babyface match. "They should call Dundee the human ping-pong ball as many times as he's bounced over the fence between heel and babyface here."
-- Phil Hickerson is expected to return to wrestling over summer and team with Don Bass.
-- Gary Young is asking girls to send in photos so he can pick a valet. To explain Missy Hyatt no longer being in his corner, he just said they had differences of opinion. Missy is not set for any future dates.
-- Brother Ernest Angel has been running into outside the ring problems and is no longer around. Brickhouse Brown is now the lead heel manager.
-- On TV, they announced the only way Hennig would get a rematch with Lawler is if he wins the CWA title. Hennig will be doing shows here managed by Brickhouse Brown.
-- The NWA has made a play for Nashville, and have a 6/23 show headlined by Barry Windham vs Lex Luger. They also took one of his key TV spots in Nashville.
-- Lawler got the title because Jarrett Promotions agreed to pay Curt Hennig's weekly guarantee of $1,500 as long as Lawler was champion. Verne Gagne is not responsible for Hennig's guarantee right now, and Hennig will be working more Memphis dates.
-- "I survived an AWA ESPN taping. Just barely. There is no question in my mind that the AWA is the worst promotion of any significant proportion after viewing 'The Night of Wrestling Hell', the 5/14 taping at the Showboat Training Center before 750 fans. A whole group of us decided to go at the last minute, I guess mainly to see Riki Choshu's first U.S. wrestling appearance in nearly six years. Actually Choshu's appearance was just an excuse to write off his honeymoon in Las Vegas, and he wrestled with about as much effort as you'd expect of someone on his honeymoon. And he was still better than just about everyone on the card." Dave goes on to say four of the five advertised matches didn't take place, and there were six no-shows. The absence of Michaels and Jannetty was key, because they're the only draws the AWA currently has in Las Vegas, but they quit once again unhappy about a contract offer made to them by Verne Gagne.
-- The Nasty Boys have been fired.
-- Dave complains about the AWA billing Choshu as "Shoshi", and calling Curt Hennig (Curt Henig). They also misspelled Marty Jannetty and Madusa Miceli. Dave expected Verne would misspell Choshu, but thought he was spell it as "Cho Shoe" ...
-- "The AWA jobber corps is pitiful for the most part, but it's always been that way, but now the winner corps is as bad as the jobber corps. Well, at least we got to see first-hand why the AWA is truly the major league of professional wrestling and why ESPN is the total sports network. This wasn't the worst card I've ever seen (though certainly the worst card I've ever travelled to see, but I was expecting that), but it was the worst collection of wrestlers I've ever seen gathered in one place (with notable exceptions like Curt Hennig, Bad Company, the Japanese, Jerry Lawler, the Guerreros, and Dennis Stamp)."
-- "I will say one thing positive about Miceli, she has a lot of charisma and gets a lot of reaction from almost everything she does, even though most of the time she doesn't have a clue as to what she is doing. At least she's got potential to be a great valet, but keep her out of the ring unless absolutely necessary."
--"Andre and the Anabolic Warrior are like Flair and Owen Hart compared to -- Handsome Harry, a transient from Los Angeles and Iron Man Miller, a 280-pound musclehead (Mark Miller is his real name, he started out with Sting and Dingo a few years back and has progressed to the point he's almost as far behind Dingo as Dingo is behind Sting)."
-- Reports on the 5/8 show at Texas Stadium weren't good. What was supposed to be the biggest show of the year drew a subpar gate, at $53,500 and 6,000 paid. They were hoping to build some momentum with a big crowd to see Terry Gordy turn babyface, and also put on a hot show that would sell well marketed as a VHS tape, but the show didn't achieve its goals. "If anything, it shows that World Class is in even more dire straits than previously indicated. In my mind, even more telling, is that the most recent Saturday Night's Main Event, which drew one of its lowest numbers of the season (but still a great rating for the time slot) actually beat out the World Class show head-to-head in the Dallas market gathering a 6.3 to World Class' 3.6 on 4/30. This marks the first time than (sic) an SNME has ever outrated the World Class show on Saturday Night (where World Class in its peak was drawing a 12 rating weekly), and it was more because of the fall of interest in World Class than due to any increase in interest in Titan's product."
-- Central States is expected to merge with World Class, but the official word is that it's just temporary. However, WCCW is supposed to be doing TV tapings out of Kansas City. Masa Chono turned babyface on their 5/5 card.
-- Masa Chono and the Samoan Swat Team are headed in soon.
-- Billy Jack Haynes' outlaw promotion (Washington Wrestling Federation!) ran its debut card on 5/7 in front of 2,000 fans, a surprisingly high number, especially with no local TV to promote. Dave has heard the show was awful. The facility was very nice, and Dave is told it attracted a higher class audience than you usually get at a Don Owen show, similar to a WWF show. There were problems with long delays between matches -- only 44 minutes of wrestling in a three-hour show. There were no music entrances, which really bummed out the crowd. At one point, someone came into the ring to apologize that things weren't going smoothly and requested that fans be patient and give them time to improve. Chavo Guerrero was said to be the only first-rate wrestler on the show, and he was stuck doing a job for J.T. Southern, including one spot where he pretty much superplexed himself.
-- Robert Fuller no-showed his loser leaves town series against Dutch Mantell, so he's out for now. Dutch is leaving for Puerto Rico soon, and Dave isn't sure if he'll be back.
-- Steve Armstrong is out recording an album. (???) In the meantime, Tracy Smothers is teaming with Shane Douglas.
-- Austin Idol is coming in as a babyface. Randy Rose and Dennis Condrey are also expected in.
-- Paul E. Dangerously is doing an angle offering $10,000 to anyone who can beat Eddie Gilbert.
-- 5/6 in Calgary drew 650 fans. 5/14 in Edmonton drew 800 fans.
-- They are setting up a Chris Benoit/Johnny Smith feud over the Commonwealth title.
-- The WWF is headed to Calgary on 7/1 with DiBiase vs Savage, Demolition vs Bulldogs, and Bret Hart vs Bad News Brown. Dave expects it will draw big.
-- Biff Wellington is out with an elbow injury.
-- People are really worried about the future of Stampede if Owen leaves, but Dave says they always do fine when he does New Japan tours. Dave says he was not an exceptoinal draw even though he was over huge with the live crowd, which Dave attributes to them taking him for granted.
-- New Japan held their first card at the Ariake Coliseum, an outdoor tennis stadium, on 5/7. The main event was changed twice. It was originally Vader vs Inoki, but Inoki broke his foot and they changed to Vader vs Choshu. Fujinami made some demands, so the main event was changed to Fujinami vs Vader. More confusion was caused when a rainstorm hit Tokyo on 5/7 and the card was canceled and rescheduled for the following day, but they still drew a sellout 10,250 and Fujinami captured the title with a DQ win in 16:02. Other key matches were Hiroshi Hase beating Shiro Koshinaka to keep the IWGP junior title in 18:10, and Don Nakaya Neilsen scoring a KO win over Keichi Yamada in a mixed match, the first time a wrestler has lost one of these since Shinma started the gimmick 15 years prior. Dave has heard the mixed match was outstanding, and that Neilsen deserves tons of credit, because he had probably the best mixed match of all time against Akira Maeda in 1986. The rumor is that Neilsen will eventually become a pro wrestler, he has a great aptitude for wrestling. Dave thinks this is to build to another mixed match in August where he will do a job to someone like Inoki, Fujinami, Choshu or Kengo Kimura. The gate was $400,000, which put it second only to Wrestlemania IV for a live gate this year. The show wasn't taped for television.
-- A recent Tokyo newspaper showed Antonio Inoki as the 9th highest paid athlete in Japan.
-- Futuhaguro, the sumo wrestler, was recently spotted at Larry Sharpe's Monster Factory. He is leaning toward getting into wrestling, which people in Japan think would be the biggest thing since Rikidozan. The problem is that he has a big head and is a lazy trainer, which means his transition may not be smooth. Also, he wants huge money to start, more than Jumbo, Tenryu, or Choshu make, and the top stars have already said they would quit if he made more than them, and that's his asking price. Dave suggests bringing him in for 10 weeks a year and paying him $10,000 a week. He'd still get his asking price and the top stars in either company wouldn't feel insulted.
-- 5/3 in Tsuruga drew 2,020 fans. 5/5 in Ogaki drew 3,710 fans, a sellout. 5/6 in Hamakita drew 1,560 fans.
-- "I got a tape of some of the best matches from Mexico City over the past six months and try as I do, I just can't get into the wrestling there. Some of the guys are really talented fliers, particularly Atlantis who does things Owen Hart couldn't even dream of doing, but they work so different from U.S. and Japanese style that it makes almost off (sic) of them appear to be bad workers. Still, I saw a 6-man from mid-March with Pirata Morgan & El Verdugo & Hombre Bala (The Buccaneers) against Atlantis & La Azteca & Ringo Mendoza which was four stars plus in anyone's book. I'm told the best workers are Morgan and Negro Casas (who I still haven't seen). La Fiera, who I thought was fantastic when he wrestled in Japan in 1984, seems pretty crippled up. These guys take enormous physical risks in their flying style, but the crowds seem like thousands of cardboard cut-outs of fans because unless guys do move so out of this world they are suicidal, the crowd doesn't react to anything. You really can't tell faces from heels by the crowd, although you can by watching the way it's done. The youngest Guerrero brother, Eddie, is pretty impressive. He does the best arm drags I've ever seen and a great dropkick off the top rope. I guess the best way to describe the wrestling and the wrestlers is either it's really good, or it's awful with little in between."
-- Interesting letter from Bruce Mitchell talking about the role of smart fans.
-- Dave is selling Missy Hyatt swimsuit posters for some reason.
Last edited by Seth82; 05-23-2012 at 10:56 AM.
|06-21-2012, 12:18 PM||#59|
Over Like Rover
somebody e-mailed me a .pdf of the 1983 Wrestling Observer Yearbook/Annual Review this morning that I've only just checked out, pretty interesting reading things from a "smark mark" p.o.v from nearly 30 years ago. Can't copy and paste it because it's a .pdf but I know there's a few people here that might be interested so if you send me or post your e-mail address, I'll forward it to you
|07-16-2012, 08:27 PM||#60|
OLD SCHOOL FAN
I'll shoot ya my email in a minute.
|07-16-2012, 08:28 PM||#61|
OLD SCHOOL FAN
Meltzer's Wrestling Observer from 7-11-88
-- The 7/31 show at the 55,000-seat Milwaukee County Stadium will be headlined by Hogan vs Andre in a cage. Dave thinks they're doing this match as a dry run for a possible house show series in the fall, which if it happens, will probably be the biggest money house show program they've done since Hogan/Orndorff.
-- Owen Hart is starting with the WWF. He will be under a mask as a C Team performer. He will probably debut on 7/13 in Lacrosse, WI, at the same taping as Terry Taylor. Dave also suspects Hogan will appear at either that taping or 7/14 in Cedar Rapids, IA. Regarding Owen's WWF run, Dave says the following: "There are a couple of ways at looking at this. First, it is simply impossible for Hart to have the calibre of matches with Titan that he did on his most recent Japan tour against the likes of Koshinaka, Hase and Yamada. The opponents aren't good enough, and he wouldn't be allowed to do the moves. Still, if marketed correctly, and Titan generally does a good job in this regard (and certainly a better job than any other promotion), a flying wrestler with the right gimmick, the right kind of push, and the right opponent can be a major thing for Titan. They don't have anyone like him. Jimmy Snuka was only 5-10 and was one of the three or four hottest babyfaces of the last decade in the Northeast simply for one move. Satoru Sayama, who weighed 60 pounds less than Hart, was one of the two or three biggest names in this entire business in the early part of the decade. At the same time, Sayama never would have been as big a star as he was if he didn't have the Dynamite Kid, Bret Hart, Black Tiger, Kobayashi and others of nearly the same size and of good calibre to feud with. Still, with all the big guys in Titan, Hart is a comparative midget (though in talent, the midgets are the big guys in most cases) and if the size difference is accentuated by putting him in with the wrong foe and having him sell size and fake strength moves, it will be very easy for Titan fans to simply see him as 'too small'."
-- All of the WWF's pay-per-view records were shattered by the Mike Tyson vs Michael Spinks boxing match drawing a 15 percent national PPV buy rate. It grossed $30 million in the PPV market. Dave says it will never happen, but Hogan vs Tyson on pay-per-view would draw more than Mike Tyson against any boxer, simply because there is little mystery to Tyson matches until a new contender is groomed. While Hogan is seen as a fake, his size might make people think he has a chance.
-- No Holds Barred finishes taping on 7/30, so 7/31 will be Hogan's first match back. Dave doesn't see anyone in a hurry to put the belt back on him, and there is no reason to if he can draw without it, at least until Wrestlemania.
-- "The Ted DiBiase vs. Randy Savage cage match from the last MSG show was the best match at MSG in years -- the last ****1/2 bout at the Garden I can recall was the Sgt. Slaughter vs. Iron Sheik boot camp match in the summer of 1984. This match wasn't quite up to that level, but was the best WWF match I've seen at least since the Savage vs. Steamboat match at the Silverdome. I'm not a big fan of WWF cage matches and they spent too much time trying to escape (and four times with Savage about to get out, Virgil punched him back in), however you can't deny that both guys went all out for 12 minutes climbing up and down, taking bumps and working at a pace about 10 times normal for WWF main eventers. You know, some of the matches these two have had of late have been so good that people are talking like the WWF is going to get back to traditional wrestling, whatever that may be since the style of wrestling in the 70s was difference in each circuit and they go nationwide. But people fail to watch the prelim matches on these MSG cards, which are awful from top-to-bottom, or forget that Titan's top matches besides Savage vs. DiBiase are Andre vs. Duggan and Honkeytonk vs. Beefcake, two of the poorest match-ups for wrestling and action of this decade."
-- Except for the cage match with Andre, Hogan's next series of matches will be with mid-level heels like Haku and Bad News Brown. His big feud in fall will probably be with Big Boss Man. Dave thought Boss Man was doing well until he saw a horrible match he had with Scott Casey.
-- 6/24 in Providence drew 3,000 headlined by Roberts/Duggan vs Rude/Andre. 6/25 in Baltimore drew 7,000 for Savage vs DiBiase on top. 6/19 in Elizabeth, NJ drew 1,157 and a $12,600 gate headlined by Honkeytonk Man vs. Brutus Beefcake. 7/1 in Calgary drew 12,500 and $160,000 Canadian headlined by Savage vs DiBiase in a *** match.
-- USA is planning a three-hour special on 07/18.
-- WWF has booked a second date in Greensboro on 10/28. They debut at the Greensboro Coliseum on 8/7 with Andre vs. Hogan on top.
-- The latest in the neverending Vince/Bruno Sammartino feud is that announcers have been instructed going forward to always call Superstar Billy Graham "The Living Legend".
-- The Great American Bash is on 07/10 and would have occurred by the time WON readers received this issue. Dave anticipates it being the biggest money non-WWF show in history and probably fourth of all time when it comes to dollars grossed for the show. "While the NWA has done a very good job of hyping this show, they've still got a long ways to go before they are polished at putting together a megashow. First off, this Price For Freedom tag is goofy, although that's such a minor point it probably wasn't worth bringing up. The fact they've never really announced the 10 participants in the triple tower and really have never simply gone over the card from top-to-bottom isn't a minor point. My own feeling is that even though I expect this to be a good show, and Clash of the Champions I proved that five matches are enough for a hot show provided they are hot matches, my own feeling is that fans do often look to quantity and want to see a 'complete' card for these specials and I think an eight match show with three hours to get it in would satisfy people that they are seeing 'all the stars' and since the NWA needs more time per match than a WWF show would because of the difference in product, I'd hate to see a repeat of Starrcade where it was evident that they were rushing the Flair match because they were coming against the clock."
-- Dave also points out that in the local cable guides, there is almost always a full page ads with photos and a full card rundown before a WWF PPV. For the Bash, he had to "scour" the guide to find a small ad on Page 30. All it said was "Each year, the National Wrestling Alliance streaks across the country holding grudge matches, settling old rivalries and initiating new ones. This year, you're invited to watch as the Bash presents for the first time ever the triple-cage 'Tower of Doom' matching Ric Flair and Lex Luger." On page 164, there was another paragraph that said this: "Gill Cable presents The Great American Bash from Baltimore on Sunday July 10 at 4:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. See Ric Flair, Lex Luger, The Midnight Rider, Tully Blanchard, 'Gorgeous' Jimmy Garvin and Precious, The Midnight Express, and other top stars from the NWA." Dave's response? "Jeez, we've known the line-up for months, and the NWA pretty well had planned a Flair vs. Luger main event for the Bash PPV dating back to January so couldn't we have some sort of hype for the match itself, something like the Old Master vs. Young Lion confrontation pitting the greatest wrestler of all-time against the man many expect to take his place (so much for truth in advertising, but let's face it, if Andre vs. Hogan can be the match of the century, Luger can be billed as a future wrestling great). Instead we get no mention of the title, and in fact, in one ad we get the two main matches confused and for those who don't know better, they actually won't be seeing what is advertised. The second ad lists seven names, one of whom (Midnight Rider) has long since rode into the sunset and the other names mean nothing except in the context of a great match situation. Seeing Tully Blanchard or Midnight Express or Garvin & Precious or even Ric Flair is not going to make anyone think twice about shelling out money. You've got to have specific matches. Besides, if you are just listing names, to the general public, while most NWA wrestlers are not particularly well-known (and in fact, aside from Hogan, no wrestlers have what I'd call cross-over popularity to the non-fan audience), Crockett's best-known guys are Flair and the Road Warriors, who weren't mentioned in either ad, and in fact, it's never been made all that clear except for those who listen attentively to the NWA interviews that the Warriors are even on this card."
-- There was speculation that since the Tyson PPV only went 91 seconds and cost $15.00 that people might not be willing to turn around and spend additional money on the NWA show. Dave calls whatever damage might happen "extremely minimal".
-- The Bash series is drawing well so far, as expected, but no $250,000 gates like in years past. The tour opened 6/26 in Orlando drawing 6,000 fans and an $87,000 gate, a record in Orlando. 6/27 in Greenville, SC drew 4,700 fans -- just shy of capacity. 6/28 in Columbia, SC, drew a turnaway house, 7/1 in Norfolk drew a $100,000 gate, 7/2 at the Charlotte baseball stadium drew 10,000 fans and a $98,000 gate, way down from previous Bash shows in Charlotte which have done over 20,000. 7/3 in Amarillo drew a near sellout of more than 6,000 fans. Baltimore is expected to do a live gate of $180,000.
-- "A lot has changed in the past week regarding the possible sale of the NWA to the Turner broadcasting empire. I really don't want to get into details because I'm not totally clear of all of them, other than the JCP stockholders (basically the Crockett family) are not united in wanting to sell the company right now. I'm not certain of who stands where other than Jim Crockett is behind the sale and David isn't, and Ole Anderson is trying to become a key player in this deal as well and is trying to sway the wrestlers into breaking away and either forming a new company (which could conceivably be headed by David Crockett provided Jim Crockett makes a deal with Turner) or actually manuevering a deal with Turner himself, which if Anderson could provide the wrestlers, in theory, then Turner wouldn't have to pay however many millions to the Crocketts to actually buy a company. Of course none of this takes into account that any new company would have to start from scratch when it comes to putting together a national syndication network so it could promote, and this network would have to be started at a time when TV programmers are no longer hot on wrestling not to mention all the disadvantages when it comes to booking the major arenas and building up an audience during these times when the wrestling economy is far from its healthiest point. It is expected that several more major breakthroughs will be taking place before this month is out in what inevitably will wind up being the most important news story in pro wrestling this year."
-- PPV clearances for the Bash is 10 million homes, roughly the same as Wrestlemania IV. Dave anticipates the Bash getting about half the number of PPV buys as WM IV.
-- There is unhappiness among the crew since word was given that payoffs for the Baltimore Bash won't be given until October 1.
-- George Michael Sports Machine is doing a lengthy piece on Ric Flair.
-- The Road Warriors in Weekly Pro Wrestling magazine in Japan: "That's right. We're going to work for the WWF. But we can't say when for sure. New York wants the Road Warriors really bad. It's not that we don't like their style. We don't give a damn about what they do in the ring or how they promote the card. The bottom line is what they can offer. Sure we can't come back to Japan, we won't go to the WWF. Nobody can tell us what to do. Nobody and we can nobody can boss us around. Right now, we are under contract with the NWA. This is the official commitment and we are not about to break it. Then again, anything is a gamble to a certain degree. You have to leave all your options open." (My note: This is really bizarre ...) The interview was done before the Powers of Pain jumped.
-- 7/4 in Dallas at Reunion Arena drew 5,000 fans headlined by Ric Flair & Barry Windham vs Lex Luger & Dusty Rhodes. WCCW drew 3,000 at the Sportatorium on the same night at $5.00 per ticket. 7/1 in Norfolk, VA drew 9,000 fans headlined by Luger/Sting/Road Warriors vs Flair/Windham/Arn/JJ in a cage match described as excellent.
-- Crockett had been plugging for weeks that tickets for the Seattle Bash show on 8/3 would go on sale on 7/5. Tons of fans showed up to buy tickets and there were none available. In fact, the date had not even been approved by the commission and no wrestlers had applied for licenses.
-- 7/1 at the Sportatorium drew 1,100 fans headlined by Kevin & Kerry Von Erich vs Terry Taylor & Iceman Parsons.
-- The Von Erich story is definitely set for the October issue of Penthouse. The Dallas Times Herald had a preview the previous Wednesday.
-- Since WCCW started appearing in Kansas City, crowds have improved to between 350 and 500 per show.
-- "Seems the thought that Ken Mantell wasn't going to run the promotion to preserve the Von Erich legacy has gone out the window. Kevin holds the Texas title, Kerry the World title, Kevin & Kerry hold the tag titles, and Kevin, Kerry & Hayes hold the six-man belts."
-- The CWA title changed hands on 6/27 in Memphis when Max Pain beat Brickhouse Brown in a cage match. Pain lost the title on 7/3 to Phil Hickerson. Scott Steiner & Billy Travis regained the Southern tag titles on 6/27 from Don Bass & Gary Young, also in a cage match.
-- 6/27, with the two title changes and Lawler vs Kerry Von Erich on top, drew 4,000 fans. The Lawler/Kerry match went 10 minutes before Robert Fuller & Jimmy Golden interfered and attacked Lawler. Kerry helped fight them off, but then said he didn't come all the way from Texas to end the match like that, so they re-started the match and it went 12 more minutes, and finally ended with a double countout finish. The match aired on FNN, was said to be really good, and both juiced. Antonio Inoki was in the crowd watching the match.
-- "Jeff Jarrett is over a tremendous amount now as a face, which is an unbelievable difference from his pre-broken arm days when lots of fans were booing him. The thing they did the week before on TV with his father was a really good and very effective skit."
-- 7/3 drew an impressive 5,000 fans mainly to see Jimmy Valiant return. "Valiant has always been a big drawing card in Memphis on a short-term basis and will be around for about a month I'm told, but I guess this means he's finally through with Crockett, which has seemed inevitable for a long time. Actually the only reason Valiant stuck around for as long as he did was because he was under contract and was waiting for the balloon payment on his contract and I guess he got tired of waiting."
-- Billy Jack Haynes' group appears to be on its last legs. Many shows have been canceled and several wrestlers have left. They held a card on 6/24 in Gresham, OR, that drew 60 fans. Coco Samoa is a referee.
-- Windy City has announced a card for 7/9 in Rockford with a tag team battle royal and Steve Regal vs Eddie Gilbert.
-- They have signed an exclusive deal with the Ampitheatre and will be running shows there every six weeks. Paul E. Dangerously, who is doing booking, will manage Condrey, Rose, Gilbert and Col. DeBeers.
-- Lawler vs. Idol on 7/2 in Dothan, AL, drew a $10,000 gate and "... had a very unique twist. Before the match started (and I understand this match was taped for television), Paul E. Dangerously showed up with an 'injunction' which stated that he could be at ringside for this match because of supposed terms in his previous contract with Austin Idol that if Idol ever got a World title match than Dangerously would be his manager. However Dangerously basically was working on behalf of Lawler in this match, although Lawler was acting like he didn't want him around either. The finish saw Idol catch Lawler in the figure four leglock when Dangerously pulled the referee out of the ring and Ko'd him with his phone. Eddie Gilbert then interfered and threw fire in Idol's face although the fire actually missed. Earlier in the show, Lawler had a non-title match against Ken Wayne and Gilbert tried to throw fire at Lawler once again, however Lawler ducked and the fire went into the eyes of referee John Keaton."
-- 6/24 in Calgary drew just 350 fans, which is the lowest crowd for a double TV taping in a really long time. This was the last Calgary card until 7/22, so they had to get more matches in so they could air TV. They also filmed a supplementary card on 6/22 in Red Deer, put together at the last minute.
-- Jason The Terrible is coming back to feud with Steve DiSalvo.
-- Brian Pillman is announced for the 7/9 card in Edmonton, which is good for Stampede because they had lost Owen Hart and Jason The Terrible. Pillman was sidelined with a tricep injury.
-- The group is touring British Columbia and drawing decent.
-- Mika Komatsu and Yumi Ogura are in for three weeks, but won't be seen on television because they are in during the time TV isn't being taped.
-- Kerry Brown has been turned face because of the lack of babyfaces, and is being geared to feud with Makhan Singh.
-- Steve Blackman was awarded the TV title in a tournament to crown a first champion that took place on 6/17 and 6/24.
-- Tokyo Sports reported a rumor that Antonio Inoki will be selling New Japan to Ted Turner to be part of an international NWA. "I certainly don't think there is anything to this story, but the funny thing is, it would make sense for someone to own a promotion in Japan and the U.S. because he could arrange injuries and tours for stale talent back and forth and fans wouldn't have a chance to see the departed wrestlers on another promotions' TV. Actually, there are numerous advantages to this, but it won't happen."
-- "I guess Inoki's trying to start rumors of his own. There is still talk of Inoki vs. Hulk Hogan on 8/8 in Yokohama but again I think they are just stirring up ink, since it is virtually impossible that this match will take place."
-- Tatsumi Fujinami is receiving a big push. He pinned Riki Choshu on 6/24 in Osaka to regain the held up IWGP title and handed Big Van Vader his first pinfall loss on 6/26 in Nagoya.
-- Shiro Koshinaka captured the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title on 6/24 in Osaka, pinning Owen Hart. Owen is scheduled to come back in October, but that probably won't happen since he's with the WWF now.
-- The highest crowd of the last series was 10,760 paid in Nagoya for Vader vs Fujinami on 06/26.
-- 6/22 in Omiya drew 2,110 fans. 6/19 TV taping at Korauken Hall drew 2,250 fans. 6/24 in Osaka drew 6,088. 6/23 in Yokohama drew 3,940.
-- Riki Choshu vs Yoshiaki Fujiwara at the last TV taping was a match Dave called "interesting". Choshu got the clean win, which wasn't surprising since Fujiwara is UWF bound when his contract expires. But the crowd was solidly behind Fujiwara and reacted huge to the submission holds, to a point where it made it obvious this was the match that sold out Korauken Hall. "Choshu was forced to wrestle and he's actually very good with the matwork when he's forced to actually do the stuff. While some would find the matwork boring, since it was moving matwork and the two are both solid and quick with their trading moves and sold for each other realistically, I thought it was a good match. However, when Choshu gained the pinfall with the lariat, the place went totally silent because the fans who were there 'believed' that Choshu couldn't legitimately beat Fujiwara and thus the pinfall was for the political reasons we spoke of earlier and the good match became a sham in their eyes."
-- "Adrian Adonis weighs more than Vader, which tells you how his diet is going, however he sold all the size and power moves and took excellent bumps, especially when you consider he looked to be in the 325 pound range. Vader has improved a lot and is probably a better all-around worker than Big Bubba Rogers at this point although he still has to be carried."
-- Hiroshi Hase should be back in by the end of the month. He suffered broken ribs in a match with Keichi Yamada in early June.
-- Bob Backlund was interviewed in a Japanese magazine and left his options open for returning to wrestling. He said he won't go to the NWA because he can't make the same level of money as the top guys. New Japan and the UWF both really want him to come in.
-- All the magazines in Japan have been articles and photos on Mitsuharu Misawa out of the mask. His identity has become public knowledge because of his recent wedding.
-- Shinichi Nakano, Shunji Takano, Tiger Mask, Akira Taue, and Isao Takagi have formed their own group in All Japan to feud with Tenryu's Revolution group.
-- 6/26 at Korauken Hall saw Bull Nakano earn a shot at Chigusa Nagayo's World title before a sellout 1,800 fans.
-- JWP is building up a match on 7/14 between Devil Masami and Shinobu Kandori. Masami has gained 40 pounds since she retired, "... and has the biggest thighs on any wrestler, male or female, that I think I've ever seen including Doug Furnas."
-- Yumiko Hotta and Mitsuko Nishiwaki are being groomed to be the next big tag team for AJW, and have been nicknamed The Fire Jets.
-- Scott Hall is wrestling in Austria.
LAST MINUTE NEWS FLASH
-- "Just as we were going to press we received the tragic news about the death of pro wrestlers Adrian Adonis, David McKigney and Pat Kelly in what was described as a gruesome van wreck in New Foundland on the night of 7/4. According to Canadian wire service reports, the three wrestlers along with Mike Kelly, another wrestler, were traveling in a mini-van en route to a match in Lewisporte, New Foundland (an island on Canada's Eastern coast) when the van crashed and went into a brook. Pat Kelly, whose real name was Victor Arko and McKigney, best known as The Bearman or Canadian Wildman, were pronounced dead at the scene while Adonis died hours later in a hospital in Gander, NF, about 60 miles from the scene of the accident. Mike Kelly, real name William Arko, was at last report listed in serious but stable condition in the Gander hospital. Adonis, 34, was one of the most talented wrestlers in the world in the early part of the decade and had been a tag team champion in the AWA (with Jesse Ventura) and WWF (with Dick Murdoch) and had just started back this past month in Japan where he had been a major star before his recent WWF stint. McKigney, who was the main character in the recently-published book 'Drawing Heat' by Jim Freedman, was a long-time promoter and wrestler mainly in the northern reaches of Ontario, Canada. He was known in the 60s as The Bearman because he trained several wrestling bears. The book 'Drawing Heat' brought out that McKigney had lived a tragic life, with the most publicized part of his life occurring many years back when one of the bears he trained escaped and killed his wife and ripped him up pretty good as well. We will have a lot more details on this next week as they become available."
|07-17-2012, 04:46 PM||#62|
OLD SCHOOL FAN
better get them while you can fellas
someone has posted a ton of old wrestling dirtsheets/newsletters on Google Docs in PDF Format
|07-18-2012, 12:51 AM||#63|
Wow, according to this newsletter: WWF wanted Tyson to either wrestle Mark Mero at WM14 or referee Mero vs Butterbean at WM 14. I see dirtsheets haven't changed much in 15 years. Imagine how different that whole WM build would have been if they wasted Mike Tyson on fucking Marc Mero.
|08-23-2012, 02:32 PM||#65|
OLD SCHOOL FAN
from Meltzer's Observer
-- The main feuds in fall are going to be Rick Rude vs Jake Roberts and Randy Savage vs Andre the Giant, along with Hogan vs DiBiase. Rude is supposed to be getting his "sister" in his corner, as they really want to do a "girls" feud without involving Elizabeth, who they want to remain untouched. Brutus Beefcake vs Ron Bass is also expected to be a big feud, and Dave doesn't understand why Bass is getting such a big push when they have so many great workers under contract.
-- Iron Sheik has been fired again for the same reasons as always. Dave says it's so sad to see what he has become, considering that he started in wrestling as a spartan athlete of sorts.
-- Savage vs Andre is drawing well. They did 10,500 paid in Oakland ($125,000 gate) and a $140,000 gate in Oakland. "Those figures are phenomenal when you consider all the competing sports events in both cities (Giants and Dodgers had a series in LA which was televised in the Bay Area which has lots of interest, plus the NFL opened up its exhibition games, and Crockett was in and did business in both cities the previous week, although in reality major league baseball, the NFL and Jim Crockett Promotions all draw from a very different audience than does the WWF."
-- Owen Hart stole the show on 8/13 in L.A. in a near-**** match against Barry Horowitz and was the most over guy on the show aside from Randy Savage.
-- The WWF is purposely planting stories of Liz in a bikini at Summerslam to sell PPV buys. The rumor that they're spreading themselves is that Liz will wear a robe, take it off at a key moment, and it will lead to a heel distraction and babyface win.
-- The WWF is also trying to encourage the Hogan/Tyson rumors because of the publicity potential. Dave says Vince is smart enough to never put Hogan in a situation where he doesn't have complete control, and that he doubts Tyson would agree to a worked finish. Dave says if Tyson KO'd Hogan, the WWF would go crumbling down and one payday isn't worth that.
-- 8/4 in Altoona, PA drew 3,000 fans. 8/5 in Springfield, MA drew 2,700 fans.
-- "This has been a great week for rumors, but a lousy week for news. At this point, I don't take rumors of wrestlers jumping very seriously, it's kind of, when they're there, they're there type of thing. And nobody has officially jumped from the NWA despite the rumors that every single wrestler from Ric Flair to the Italian Stallion is going to and that Vince McMahon and Pat Patterson's phone lines were buzzing all week (just remember an inquiring phone call and a change in jobs are two very different things). At this point, nothing major has happened, but nothing would be surprising either."
-- The sale of the NWA to Turner is close to happening. The hold-up right now is that Turner wants Crockett to clear his outstanding debt first. There are expected to be major organizational changes after the sale because something has to change, but no one knows what those changes are going to be.
-- The next Clash special is scheduled for 9/7 and will be headlined by Barry Windham vs Sting for the U.S. title. Dave expects an Ivan Koloff babyface turn in the chain match with Ricky Morton. "So once again, they are doing their big television special without Ric Flair, Lex Luger, the Road Warriors, or Jim Cornette on the bill. Actually I'm pretty sure Flair and Luger will be there in some fashion, but equally sure they won't approach (nor are they trying to approach) the first Clash in Greensboro."
-- The Bash ended on 8/7 in Kansas City before 6,800 fans on a pretty hot card. The main event was a six-man cage match with Dusty/Murdoch/Luger vs Flair/Tully/Windham.
-- Lots of worry about the status of Flair, Arn, and Tully. They have all said they're gone unless "a specific change is made" (My note: Hmmm, I wonder what that could be), and Crockett called their bluff.
-- 8/12 in Norfolk did a $90,000 house, and a TV taping in macon did around $20,000. They are off for a few days and are returning with cards this weekend in Raleigh, Richmond, and Philly.
-- Dusty wants to bring in some new faces. There are rumors of wrestlers being let go, but there are no notable names that are absent on cards booked through the end of September. They still want Karl Moffatt (Jason the Terrible in Stampede/Barry Gasper in New Japan), but probably won't get him, as Moffatt likes his Japanese commitments. He was going to be Russian Assassin #2 and team with Dave Sheldon.
-- The ESPN show is maintaining a 1.8 national rating in the late Saturday night time slot, which makes it the second highest rated show on the station. This is impressive considering the lack of respect ESPN gives the show.
-- Jimmy Snuka and Col. DeBeers are coming in to restart their feud, which will be on the November show if it happens.
-- Steve & Shaun Simpson captured the Texas tag titles from John Tatum & Jack Victory in late July in Temple, TX. (Later in the issue, Dave reports that they have quit.) The Texas title also changed hands on 8/5 with Iceman Parsons becoming the new champion. Kevin was the champion, but was injured, so Kerry defended on his behalf, since WCCW by-laws state allow a champion to pick a replacement for a title defense if needed. Dave has heard that Kevin's injury is both real and an angle, so he's not sure which is true, but the explanation at the arena was great. They said Kevin stepped on glass and had stitches in his feet and couldn't wrestle, and everyone believed it since Kevin doesn't wear shoes. Dave points out that Kevin never does jobs, and something like this always happens when he needs to drop a belt. The Samoan Swat Team also capture the tag titles from Kerry & Kevin on 8/12 in Dallas. Dave says Buddy Roberts is really great at their manager.
-- The Brody memorial on 7/29 drew 3,400 in Dallas. The best match on the card was said to be Michael Hayes & Steve Cox vs Samoan Swat Team.
-- 7/30 in Shreveport drew 2,000 fans.
-- About three dozen wrestling fans came in for a convention and saw the 7/29 and 7/30 shows. Another convention is set for next year in Denver, and Dave would also like to remind everyone of the UAWF convention from Oct 7 - Oct 11 in Memphis.
-- Savannah Jack has his heart problem fixed and wants to come in. It was thought he would need a heart transplant at one time, but he had a major recovery when he gave up steroids.
-- Fritz Von Erich is back in the office and they are becoming more of a family-run territory again.
-- The Penthouse article on the Von Erichs goes on the newsstands on 8/6.
-- 8/7 in Jackson, TN drew 2,300. 8/8 in Memphis drew a $20,000 for the restart of the Lawler/Idol feud. They had a ***3/4 match and Lawler gave a piledriver to ref Jerry Calhoun, which Dave calls a fine way to treat a brother-in-law and softball teammate.
-- Brickhouse Brown finally turned on the 8/13 TV. Robert Fuller came out in a wheelchair and said he had presents fro all of the Stud Stable. He gave Gary Young a robe, Bruno a rolex watch, and Sylvia a ring. He gave Brown a shower cap and cassette tape. Brown got mad and threw the stuff down, so the Stable held him down while Fuller whipped him with a belt. Dave says the angle didn't get over at all because fans just don't like Brown and the teases were dragged out too long. They tried to rectify this by pairing Brown with Jeff Jarrett and Bill Dundee, who both offered to team up with him.
-- Max Pain is back at home in Utah and won't be wrestling anywhere. Akio Sato and Tojo Yammamoto are also gone. Big Bubba (not Ray Traylor) is on his way back in after the Oregon group folded. The Mongolian Stomper is in and will be teaming with Jimmy Golden while Fuller is out of action.
-- 8/15 had Lawler vs Kerry in their fourth double title meeting, this time with a 90-minute time limit. Dave says they've gone overboard, because they can only book so many double title matches with no title change.
-- Lawler vs Idol drew a $10,000 gate on 8/9 in Louisville, the largest gate in that city in a long time. They wanted to do Lawler/Kerry vs Idol/Rich, but Idol refused to be a heel. While he's the heel in the Lawler feud, he's approaching it like he's got a grudge with Lawler, but isn't really a heel.
-- Lots of talent departures and a thinned down roster. Jerry Morrow was injured on 8/6 in Camrose and will be out of action for a few more weeks. Brian Pillman finished up on 8/13 and is going to Continental.
-- Makhan Singh may be on his way out. He has done three TV commercials to air in Calgary and has signed a one-year deal with a furniture store in Edmonton. Singh is apparently very funny in these commercials and is doing a character similar to Jacko in the Energizer battery commercials. He holds the North American title and will feud with Jason the Terrible, who just returned, but both will be leaving shortly for Japan. After Jason leaves, they are turning Steve DiSalvo, but Dave can't see him as a face, because he's so good as an arrogant and condescending heel. The last time they turned him face to feud with Badnews Allen, he was turned back quickly. Singh recently wore a Wayne Gretzky Oilers jersey into the ring for a match, and the Gretzky trade is the biggest news story in modern history in Edmonton.
-- 8/13 in Edmonton drew 320 fans.
-- Jason is nowhere near as over as he was in winter when he was the reason they were selling out.
-- They are pretending Owen Hart is still working Japan "defending the world title" to fans, since technically, Owen isn't with the WWF, the Blue Angel is. Although, Owen has wrestled in several cities without the mask using his real name.
-- Scott Peterson beat The Grappler (Len Denton) in 10 seconds on 8/5 in Eugene, ending a nine-month reign as Northwest champion.
-- A tournament for the TV title will be held on 8/16 in Portland. Dave Sierra was the last champion but left for Japan.
-- There is interest in bringing in Ric Flair and the Road Warriors for a major card in Portland.
-- According to the Torch, Mel Saraceno will be opening up a new promotion called the OWA that will compete with Don Owen. Billy Jack Haynes will not be affiliated in any way. The scheduled start is 8/13 and will have Rip Oliver and Mike Miller as co-bookers and top stars, plus Brian Adams, Joey Jackson, Moondog Moretti, Lex Luther, Cocoa Samoa, and Tiger Chung Lee.
-- They returned to the International Ampitheatre in Chicago on 8/12 and drew a $15,000 house, headlined by Bam Bam Bigelow winning a battle royal.
-- 7/29 in Columbus, MS drew 1,021 fans.
-- Dave just watched four weeks of TV, and said there is less fast-forwarding with Continental than any other group, but he thinks they run too many angles and do too many run-ins. He said Eddie Gilbert and Paul E. Dangerously attacking Pez Whatley's son was the best thing he has seen in a long time. Dave calls Paul E. the best heel in wrestling, and says you can hate him for a variety of reasons, and he's not a one-dimensional heel at all. Dave also says they've gone about as far as they can with beating up civilians, and adds that Gilbert and Ken Wayne are both great workers who are great at their roles, and Danny Davis is really good as well. Austin Idol's babyface promos are great, and Paul E. obviously picked up a lot from Idol if you watch him do local promos. Tom Pritchard and Tony Anthony are great workers, but both seem stuck in their feud, and the only interesting thing about it is Missy Hyatt's role. The matches are great from what Dave hears, but the feud needs something to freshen it up. The rest of the group Dave isn't as sold on, but says Pez Whatley is a surprisingly good and charismatic babyface.
-- There is talk of making Smothers, Armstrong, Pillman, and Shane Douglas into some type of fab four.
-- They want to expand into Knoxville and Chattanooga, plus Louisiana and Mississippi, but Dave hopes they proceed with caution, because trying to expand too quickly has done in a lot of territories.
-- NJPW had a live prime-time wrestling special taped from Yokohama before a sellout 6,070 fans. In the main event, Tatsumi Fujinami and Antonio Inoki went to a 60-minute draw. The match had a ton of interest because of behind-the-scenes politics. Inoki announced that if Fujinami beat him, he would retire from pro wrestling. Fujinami has not renewed his contract and has walked out twice recently, and he is trying to force NJ's hand to be the top star. Although Fujinami is regarded as the best worker in the company, Inoki is considered the bigger draw, but Fujinami is really forcing the issue to get his way. Fujinami is really tired of patiently waiting for Inoki to retire so he can be top star, and his fear is that Inoki's retirement may never happen. The draw was booked to appease Fujinami, who in his mind is still the top star because he has the title, and also, Inoki wasn't beaten, so he is still around. Only the first 25 minutes or so of the match aired, "... and you know how the first 25 minutes of most 60 minute matches are." Dave says the heat was actually tremendous even when they were exchanging holds on the mat, and the match was never boring at any point. "My guess is that overall it was an excellent match, and my one live report indicated that this was excellent for the entire 60 minutes."
-- Also, on the card, Bam Bam Bigelow returned and went to a double countout with Vader. The crowd was strongly on Vader's side early on, but Bigelow gained momentum as the match progressed, and won the fans over. Dave calls this a good big man match with some really good high spots, but the brawling wasn't that great. **3/4 ... "Actually, whenever I see Vader against anyone besides Fujinami, I realize just how good Fujinami is to carry the guy to good-to-great matches." Also, Shiro Koshinaka pinned Kuniaki Kobayashi in a **** match, and Choshu & Saito beat Manny Fernandez & Buzz Sawyer in the show opener. "I don't know the TV ratings for this special, but assume they won't be all that good because it appears New Japan simply no longer has the following to draw large TV ratings."
-- There is a tour scheduled starting 10/7 with Bam Bam Bigelow, Steve Williams, Owen Hart, and Biff Wellington all tentative. It will be interesting to see if Doc or Owen come, since neither the NWA nor the WWF allow their wrestlers to work Japan.
-- In a class act, the 7/29 show had a moment of silence for both Adrian Adonis and Bruiser Brody.
-- Baba is ready to give up on Hiroshi Wajima as a big name. The novelty has worn off.
-- The best TV match of the past month was Footloose vs Shunji Takano & Shinichi Nakano at ****+. "The Foot Loose are as good as any team in wrestling at making their foes look good and deserve more television exposure because their matches are always in the four star range against Japanese foes."
-- The arraignment for Jose Gonzales is scheduled for September 8. Gonzales is expected to plead not guilty and claim self defense.
-- There are two cable sports networks trying to get into the cable TV game. Mizzlou is launching an all sports network in April 1989. The network will mainly be betting odds and results, but they want a lot of boxing and pro wrestling, which Dave says in theory would give TV to a smaller promotion. NBC is debuting a cable station called CNBC, which is looking for a one-hour pro wrestling show for the weekends. No date has been set for when CNBC will debut.
-- Dave praises Wade Keller's Torch annual, and provides details on how to get it. It has lots of content from both Meltzer and Keller, drawings from Mr. Mike, interviews with Tom Zenk and Bruiser Brody. It's $7.50 and Dave says it's the best thing he's read on wrestling in a long time.
-- Central States drew 48 fans on 8/6 in DeSoto, KS. Carolina Championship Wrestling drew 100 fans on 8/6 in Roanoke. Bob Raskin's USWA drew 2,516 fans on 8/4 in Bloomington, IL with mostly people from Dick the Bruiser's crew, along with Sgt. Slaughter and Misty Blue.
-- The only U.S. wrestlers left in Puerto Rico are Bobby Jaggers, Dan Kroffat, Ron Starr, the Batten Twins, and Tony Falk. The rest left. "The wrestling grapevine indicates that there are no hard feelings towar the guys that were there and stayed, being that everyone understands you have to make money to feed your family. However in the case of the Battens, who left a U.S. promotion to go to Puerto Rico, they may have to stay there until this all blows over because there may be some hard feelings because of them going there. By the way several have written noting to me that Puerto Rico is not a foreign country, but a territory of the U.S. While that is certainly legally the case, this is a wrestling newsletter and in the wrestling world, Puerto Rico is a lot more of a foreign country than Canada or Japan."
-- Ron Fuller's final USA Pro card will be on 8/19 in Knoxville. Dave lists the card, which includes Jamie Dundee in a midget match.
-- Eddie Sharkey is promoting wrestling in Minnesota using Larry Cameron and Tommy Ferrera as his top stars, along with Sheik Adnan El-Kaissey.
-- A group called MCW Sports drew 2,423 at the county fair in Northwood, IA, using Rufus Jones, Roger Kirby, Sandy Partlow, Terry Hart, and Billy Howard. They also drew 1,650 in Harlan, IA using the same crew and Porkchop Cash.
-- Michael Hayes and Kevin Von Erich are being advertised for an independent show in Medina, OH, which will also feature a Madusa Miceli vs Fabulous Moolah match.
-- Larry Hamilton (Missouri Mauler) failed in his third attempt to win the Buchanan County sheriff election.
-- Dave is impressed with how the Japanese media is covering the UWF so seriously. He says he's not a fan of the style, which he calls "amateur wrestling mixed in with karate", but the guys do work hard, and it's amazing that they draw like they do with no TV, and that the UWF is wrestling's #1 success story of the year. They are the only promotion in the world whose audience believes they are real at this point.
|10-05-2012, 10:19 PM||#67|
OLD SCHOOL FAN
from 10-3-88 edition of Wrestling Observer
-- For the week ending 8/28, WWF's syndicated network drew a 9.6 rating in 258 markets covering 97% of the country.
-- Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson debut at the next TV tapings as The Brainbusters and will be managed by Bobby Heenan. They will face the Rockers and British Bulldogs in their arena debuts toward the end of October. They are mostly working arenas where the NWA is strongest. They are expected to get a big push, only because the WWF wants Ric Flair, and burying them would make it harder to get Flair.
-- One Man Gang is now known as "Akeem" and will be a white wrestler pretending to be black. Dave says this is not the first time this has been done, as Kevin Sullivan pretended to be Kareem Muhammad's cousin last year in Florida.
-- Harley Race is booked against DJ Peterson on some spot shows in California.
-- 9/24 at the Spectrum drew 3,952, their lowest crowd of all time, headlined by a Savage/DiBiase cage match. 9/23 in Cape Girardeau, MO drew 1,200 fans headlined by Duggan vs DiBiase. 9/12 in Peoria, IL drew 2,411 headlined by Duggan (subbing for Jake) vs Rude. 9/19 at the Cow Palace drew 6,000 headlined by Savage vs Andre. 9/17 in Los Angeles drew 12,500 headlined by Savage vs Andre. 9/18 in San Diego drew 5,000 headlined by Savage vs Andre. 9/2 in Canton, OH drew 500 headlined by Rockers vs Conquistadores. 9/3 in Kitanning, PA drew 369 fans and a $2,1000 gate headlined by Rockers vs Conquistadores. 9/18 in White Plains, NY drew 500 fans headlined by Rockers vs Conquistadores. 9/17 at the Capital Centre drew 7,500 fans headlined by Hogan vs DiBiase. 9/19 in Entfield, CT drew 350 fans headlined by Rockers vs Conquistadores. 9/19 in New Haven, CT drew 6,200 fans headlined by Hogan vs Big Boss Man.
-- "Hennig's Mr. Perfect character will be introduced on TV with clips of him being perfect at all sports (ie bowling and doing all strikes, horseshoes with all ringers, baseball with all home runs)."
-- Roddy Piper's movie "They Live" was originally planned to debut on 10/29, but has been pushed back to 11/4 to avoid competing with any new Halloween-themed movies.
-- Ted DiBiase was on Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, which Dave was told was hilarious. (My note: It was!) DiBiase gave his dog champagne and caviar and wouldn't let Robin Leach have any.
-- Negotiations between Jim Crockett and Fritz Von Erich broke off. Crockett wanted a deal where he would take over the WCCW TV network, take over the promotion, and keep the Von Erichs and a couple of others. Fritz was looking for a simple talent exchange, likely so he could do more Flair vs Kerry Von Erich matches in Dallas.
-- Crockett is still attempting to settle his outstanding debts before selling. "He's trying to settle at 40 cents on the dollar according to two different creditors. His largest creditor is Bill Watts, from the purchase of the old Universal Wrestling Federation last spring. Apparently Crockett's offer to settle the outstanding debt (rumored to be in the $3 million range) for less than $1 million didn't go over so well with Watts, who is not only trying to up the price, but also drop the 'no-compete' clause in his sale contract." TBS sources tell Dave they expect the sale to be finalized by the end of the week, but Dave doesn't think they can clear the debt in time.
-- Expect minor changes in TV format and some major roster additions by the end of the year, with major, fullscale changes coming in early 1989.
-- Bam Bam Bigelow will debut on the 9/27 TV tapings as a babyface and be managed by Oliver Humperdink. While it didn't work in Titan and Dave says it does seem like a more natural heel act, Bigelow is coming in as a babyface because the Road Warriors are about to turn heel. Dave doesn't understand why they're bringing him in now instead of waiting, since he'll have a Japan tour a week later and will be gone for a month. The idea is that Humperdink can do promos while he's gone to keep his momentum going.
-- 9/18 in Roanoke drew 3,200 headlined by Flair vs Luger with another two-referee finish with a Tommy Young/Teddy Long argument, which fans have stopped popping for because they've figured out what is about to happen. 9/3 in Baltimore drew 11,000 and a $125,000 gate headlined by Flair vs Luger. 9/25 at the Omni drew 6,700 fans headlined by Flair vs Luger.
-- There will be a U.S. tag team title tournament held on TV. This will be a weekly thing for November sweeps.
-- Clash II was the highest rated show on cable during its week.
-- Brad Armstrong has missed several shows, although it has yet to be confirmed that he's headed to Continental.
-- For the week ending 8/28, the NWA's network drew a 6.1 in 159 markets covering 91% of the country.
-- Jobber Agent Steele is Brad Anderson, son of Gene Anderson.
-- The show will be headlined by a "must be a winner" title unification match between Jerry Lawler and Kerry Von Erich. There will also be a "Beverly Hills Lingerie match" between POWW girls, where the object is to tear off clothing. " ... that's fine for the Playboy channel but I'm not sure it's appropriate for the general audience, then again, I suppose there isn't much general audience interest in this show either ..." Other matches include Sgt. Slaughter vs Col. DeBeers, Ron Garvin vs Greg Gagne, and Wahoo McDaniel vs Manny Fernandez in a strap match.
-- The hope is that the show can be cleared in three million homes, which Dave says will have hurdles because the NWA has a show on 12/26 and the WWF has one on Thanksgiving.
-- Dave expects Continental to try to join the show since Eddie Gilbert is no longer booking, as David Woods and Gilbert disagreed on whether or not to participate in this show.
-- The plan is for this group to run a second show in February between the Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania. Dave sees oversaturation coming between the WWF PPVs, NWA's hopes to expand PPVs in 1989, and this group running more PPVs, which could result in "as many as 10 or 11 PPV shows next year."
-- "We had one of those 'only in Texas' title changes this past Friday night at the Dallas Sportatorium. The Jerry Lawler-Kerry Von Erich title match ended with a double disqualification, and they emphasized before the match that it was to be held under World Class rules and it was announced in Dallas that because a title can change via DQ in World Class, that both wrestlers' lost their titles and both belts would be vacant pending a Texas Death Match (Falls don't count, No DQ, no time limit, no stopping for blood, match continues until one man can't answer the bell, you can use anything you want to bring into the ring except a gun or knife) at the Cotton Bowl on 10/15. However, the next morning at the TV studio in Memphis, Lawler appeared with the AWA title safely around his waist and promoting a title defense against Ron Garvin on 9/30." The show drew 3,500 fans on 9/24 at the Sportatorium, with Lawler apparently carrying Kerry to a ***+ match and working as a total heel.
-- John Tatum is gone.
-- Kevin Von Erich is tentatively scheduled to return for the Cotton Bowl show, but it isn't definite. He is having lots of problems from his concussions and the resulting headaches. A doctor told Kevin he should stop wrestling. His brain is jarred, and he is susceptible to more concussions. They are saying Kamala gave Kevin the concussion in a match in Cleveland, which is useless since Kamala is gone. "From all reports, if Kevin suffered a concussion in Cleveland, it wasn't in the ring."
-- Kerry Von Erich is officially in charge of the company, but Frank Dusek and Skandor Akbar handle the office work and Percy Pringle does publicity.
-- There is a Miss World Class beauty pageant coming up. (My note: Texas pageant hair in the 1980s in pro wrestling should be a sight to behold. Please tell me there is footage.)
-- The plan is to start giving away Ft. Worth tickets, since the shows are sponsored anyway, to build up excitement for television. The matches have been good, but they are only drawing 200 fans in an 8,000 seat arena, so they seem dead from lack of heat. They are also going to give out freebies to kids and non-profit groups so there is crowd enthusiasm that carries over to TV. (My note: This is an unusually progressive response to low ticket sales for pro wrestling, especially Fritz.)
-- Michael Hayes is in Nigeria.
-- They lost TV in San Antonio, which has been their most consistent drawing city.
-- The combined tapings in Louisville and Memphis drew disappointing numbers: between 2,000 and 3,500 for Louisville, and only about 5,000 in Memphis, despite all the big names on the card.
-- Dave is comparing the Frank Dusek/Eddie Marlin shoving match and Hayes/Cox vs Jarrett/Dundee confrontation to New Japan vs IWE, which drew huge in 1981-1982 with Inoki vs Rusher Kimura.
-- Hector Guerrero is now working as a full-time gymnastic instructor for kids in Maryville, Tennessee.
-- Cactus Jack is now carrying a whip. They did an angle where Brown said that since Fuller still owned his contract he didn't have any money. He brought out his aunt who said she has been having to support him and started crying, which was great. Sylvia then came out - also crying - and said they've give him back the contract until the Stud Stable jumped Brown and choked him with the whip. The other heels held the dressing room door shut so nobody could make the save for a few minutes.
-- "Todd Morton, the Ricky Morton look-alike and wrestle-alike debuted this past Saturday and he looks like a top candidate for rookie of the year."
-- There has been a "bitter falling out" in Continental, which has led to the departure of booker Eddie Gilbert, along with several other wrestlers. There were business disagreements that escalated out of control, and there was a "full-scale explosion" on Thursday. Dave expects this to put Continental back in the category of minor independent promotion. There were differences between Gilbert and David Woods. Woods felt Continental couldn't afford to expand to new areas and bring in name talent, which Gilbert was trying to do. They also felt they weren't ready for the Road to Birmingham on 10/3. The promotion started second guessing booking decisions and felt that Eddie Gilbert and Paul E. Dangerously focused too much on themselves. In addition, localized promos were getting mixed up or failed to arrive at the city in time for airing because they weren't being mailed for overnight delivery. They were just being sent first class mail. The final straw was when paychecks were given on Tuesday when paychecks were issued. Gilbert has been in charge of payroll, and Woods scaled back the payoffs Gilbert has issued, especially of those who are Gilbert's closest friends. Woods was also against Gilbert returning as a babyface, and was questioning the severity of his injuries. "Really, just about everything that there could be a dispute about, there was. There had been disenchantment because the crowds had been down the past two weeks, although that isn't unusual for this time of the year. Even Gilbert's detractors within the promotion admitted he was both a creative wrestler and great booker, but were leery of his attempts to expand too fast and certain personality conflicts had gotten out of control."
-- Because of this, the status of Road to Birmingham is up on the air. Gilbert, Bam Bam Bigelow, Bob Orton, and Chris Adams are definitely not coming in now (in Bigelow's case because he signed with the NWA, not because he's in the middle of this). Terry Gordy may still be on, but Continental may not be willing to fly in outside talent anymore. Nightmare Freddy, D.I. Bob Carter, The Samoans and Shane Douglas are all gone. Austin Idol and a few others are question marks.
-- The new booker will be Bob Armstrong, with the full crew cut to 14 wrestlers: Armstrong, Tracey Smothers, Steve Armstrong, Scott Armstrong, Willie B. Hurt, Lord Humongous, Danny Davis, Jerry Stubbs, Ken Wayne, Mongolian Stomper, Tony Anthony, Alan Martin, and two more heels. Dave expects Humongous to get a major push, as Gilbert not featuring him as the #1 wrestler in the promotion was another source of dispute.
-- Missy Hyatt will not be working TV anymore, and neither will Joe Pedicino. Brad Armstrong will probably come back in, and Dave expects Continental to be dropped by FNN as a result of all of this.
-- 9/23 in Knoxville drew 2,500 and a $20,000 gate.
-- Tom Pritchard was going to win the tournament, but probably won't now.
-- Eddie Gilbert had been wrestling in the earlier part of the week, and is currently working weekend shows in Puerto Rico.
-- 9/10 in Edmonton drew 700 fans. 9/17 drew 800 fans.
-- Dave is told the Chris Benoit & Lance Idol vs Cuban Commandos (Cuban Assassin & Jerry Morrow) matches are regularly around ****, including one that recently aired in full on television.
-- Makhan Singh was suspended for his attack on Ed Whalen so he would be free to tour South Africa. The Great Gama is also there, and Wellington starts for Inoki on 10/7.
-- Biff Wellington has a hair match against Johnny Smith before leaving for New Japan, much like Davey Boy Smith and Dynamite Kid used to lose hair matches so they could work New Japan tours bald.
-- Buddy Lane and Rip Rogers are coming in mid October.
-- Ric Flair only drew an average crowd on 9/20 in Portland, where he wrestled Top Gun (Dave Sierra) and was DQ'd for throwing him over the top rope.
-- "Lou Thesz was on Goerge Michael's local TV sportscast in Washington D.C. this past week and the two discussed whether or not Lou, who is now 72, could beat Hulk Hogan today. Michael gave you the impression he felt Thesz could have a few years ago but at 72 was pushing it, but Thesz came off confidently saying he'd win with little trouble since Hogan doesn't know how to wrestle. Just a few years back (1985) when Brody and Inoki were feuding in Japan, they had a photo shoot of Thesz training Brody for the match with Inoki teaching him wrestling holds. Anyway, at that point, Thesz was so quick with his moves that Brody probably couldn't have beaten him in an actual wrestling match so as silly as this sounds on the surface, ya never know. Thesz did compliment Randy Savage, calling him a great athlete and a good wrestler. About a week earlier, there was an article on Sam Muchnick's 83rd birthday in one of the St. Louis papers and Muchnick also said that he felt that today, Thesz could beat Hogan. The article only had one graph about wrestling, basically talking about the decline of the NWA and saying some negative things about what pro wrestling has turned into."
-- Sting backed off of doing an All Japan tour after NWA pressure to cancel, because they told him they can't afford to lose him in October. His debut has been postponed to January.
-- "I had a chance to see the Tenryu-Hara vs. Tsuruta-Yatsu tag matches from 8/29 in Tokyo and 8/30 in Osaka. Both matches went about 30 minutes and were in the four-star range. The first bout started slow but had all the excellent near falls in the final few minutes, but also some missed moves, but the heat was tremendous. Finish saw Tenryu reverse a small package and pin Jumbo. The second night they actually had a superior match pacing-wise and really if it wasn't for the weak finish would have been 4 1/2 stars. Finish saw Jumbo give Tenryu three back suplexes and every time Hara would break up the fall. Then he did it again and this time just simply got the pin and Tenryu was laid out. The crowd was surprised because it was an out of the ordinary ending and the fall came with no heat build-up but it was still a great match."
-- Dan Spivey and Johnny Ace will team up in mid-November for the tag tournament.
-- 9/12 in Fukuoka drew a near sellout 4,880 fans headlined by a 10-man elimination match of Choshu/H. Saito/Super Strong Machine/Kobayashi/M. Saito vs Fujinami/Kimura/Fujiwara/Koshinaka/Yamada.
-- 9/17 in Nagato drew a sellout 1,570 fans headlined by Choshu/Strong Machine/Kobayashi vs Fujinami/Koshinaka/Takano.
-- 9/15 in Kokuto drew a sellout 1,720 fans headlined by Fujinami/Kimura/Takano vs Starr/Hall/Vader and Choshu/Saito vs Kokina/Bigelow.
"If two 'real' wrestlers are ready to leave the top of the promotion and their best feud, both in the ring and in gate potential, that they've ever had as a team, in exchange for a pass into the land of corporate wrestling decisions, that says more about the state of Jim Crockett Promotions than any wild rumors. The fact that JCP survived and thrived while every other major promotion crumbled in the face of Vince McMahon was something I took personal pride in. JCP is the home team that I grew up with. I've had a lot of fun both watching them on the tube and at the live shows. I don't care how much money and marketing expertise the WWF has, their product is heavy-handed, too predictable, condescending to their audience and boring. If the Crockett family acts now and takes the TBS offer, a tradition of 50 years standing may not go down needlessly. If not, I'd like to thank the family for all the years of fun and for bringing me what was the greatest show on Earth. The family ultimately has the right to destroy their business for no reason besides the preservation of Dusty Rhodes, just as they have the right to sell it for several million dollars and watch it survive into the next century. Just as I know Arn & Tully will be misused in the WWF, I have to admit that they made the right career choice. My fervent wish is they make a boatload of money in New York. It is nothing less than what they deserve. When Ric Flair goes, so do I as a wrestling fan." - Bruce Mitchell
"You've now reached the point where you have almost no analytical credibility with me when it comes to the WWF. I'm not saying you have a personal hard-on and it effects your judgment, only that you can no longer evaluate all wrestling by the same criteria. Has it occurred to you that the direction the WWF is going is imply not to your taste? I spoke to an awful lot of people after Summerslam. I mean real people, not guys who stay up to 3 a.m. to call you on some sportstalk radio show or Observer readers, just mainstream people who enjoy wrestling. While nobody was confusing Summerslam with Wrestlemania III, they were also sophisticated enough to realize that this was the summer show and was deliberately low-key so as not to destroy the specialness of Wrestlemania but that it was tons better than any other MSG show this year. If you want to throw in the 25-30 folks on the computer wrestling board I frequent who are very hardcore fans, several of whom subscribe to the Observer, the general impression was pretty much favorable. Nobody was going crazy as they did for the first Clash or Wrestlemania IV (Yes, your fabled failure drew mostly excellent notices online) but people were happy, especially with the Hart Foundation-Demolition match. How can you give that 1 1/2 stars when in the same issue you rate a Phil Hickerson vs. Jeff Jarrett match with 3 1/2 stars? All I'm saying is that you don't like the current WWF style of matches and too many of your readers simply like what you like and don't like what you don't like. Maybe I'm wrong, but I'd think about it. I'd also look more at what a promotion is attempting to do and how well they succeed. It was my impression that Summerslam was supposed to be, basically, the year's best MSG show, and it was. I doubt many viewers were all that turned off and suspect most enjoyed it well enough that they'll buy the next WWF PPV show. When Wrestlemania V rolls around, it will still seem like a more important event and it will cost more and people will pay it unless the promotion turns them off. That is more important than how well they draw in Philadelphia the next month. Your comment that, ipso fact, the ridiculous Flair-Luger blood angle on the PPV Bash was a success because live gates were up immediately was the most naive thing I've ever read by you. Don't you think infuriating the PPV audience was more significant than live audience, a totally different and relatively microscopic portion of the potentially vast PPV audience. The NWA's biggest problem is they never take the long view. Like children, they live in the eternal here and now. People are turned out of the blue (Windham, Luger, Murdoch, Garvin) with no build up because they need heat at some shows. They good good notices on Clash and think they've won the wrestling war. They draw a few good live gates and suddenly Dusty and Jimbo are convinced they've been right all along and should continue to run the organization even after Turner spends good money on it. You can't criticize a cowboy movie because it doesn't have ray guns. The WWF style tends toward fewer holds with much more set-up for each. Criticizing it for not equalling the workrate of some other promotion is besides the point. Workrate is all well and good, but smart fans put too much emphasis on it. Five moves aren't necessarily better than one well-executed and well set-up move." -- Bill Kunkel, Woodhaven, NY
|10-06-2012, 03:16 AM||#68|
|10-06-2012, 04:02 AM||#71|
|10-06-2012, 04:05 AM||#72|
Yes, clearly someone with a bias fighting with a well respected journalist is clearly right.
Meltzer's newsletters at the time didn't have a strictly anti-WWF bias, in fact he didn't particular have a bias at all; he analyzed and gave all wrestling a review as if it was good or bad.
You want to read someone who'll agree with everything you say, go read Apter's scag-rag; all he does is jerk off anyone who'll talk to him.
|10-06-2012, 04:19 AM||#74|
You don't think there is a bias against the "WWE style" when ROH had more 5-star matches in 1-2 years than WWE had in 20 years? Not to mention all the fucking Japanese matches that got 5 stars. WWE's best matches are a combination of in-ring performance, build-up through storyline/promos/etc., and the "aura" of the wrestlers and/or the event itself.
|10-06-2012, 04:21 AM||#75|
World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment
* 3/20/94 Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon (Ladder Match, WrestleMania X)
WWF Intercontinental Championship
* 8/29/94 Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart (Cage Match, SummerSlam 1994) WWF
* 3/23/97 Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin (Submission Match, WrestleMania
* 10/5/97 Shawn Michaels vs. Undertaker (Hell in a Cell Match, In Your
House: Bad Blood) WWF Championship
* 7/17/11 John Cena vs. CM Punk (Money in the Bank) WWE Championship
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA)
* 9/11/05 AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe vs. Christopher Daniels (TNA
Ring of Honor
* 10/16/04 Samoa Joe vs. CM Punk (ROH Joe vs Punk 2)
* 10/1/05 Samoa Joe vs. Kenta Kobashi (ROH Joe vs Kobashi)
* 3/31/06 Dragon Kid & Genki Horiguchi & Ryo Saito vs. CIMA & Naruki
Doi & Masato Yoshino (ROH Supercard Of Honor)
* 3/31/12 Davey Richards vs. Michael Elgin (ROH Showdown in the Sun Day 2)
I also think it is laughable TNA only has 1 "5-star match". They are "sports entertainment" too and so they get the shaft some too. Punk/Cena was a great match, but it wasn't a 5-star technical masterpiece. Hell, Michaels/Taker from 97 isn't even the best Hell in a Cell match of all time.
|10-06-2012, 04:22 AM||#76|
JCP/Territories/World Championship Wrestling
* 4/19/86 Sheepherders vs. Fantastics (Bobby Fulton/Tommy Rogers)
* 4/11/87 Ric Flair vs. Barry Windham
* 2/20/89 Ricky Steamboat vs. Ric Flair (NWA Chi-Town Rumble)
* 4/2/89 Ricky Steamboat vs. Ric Flair (2/3 falls, NWA Clash of the
Champions VI: Ragin' Cajun)
* 5/7/89 Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat (NWA WrestleWar '89: Music City
* 11/15/89 Ric Flair vs. Terry Funk ("I Quit" Match, NWA Clash of the
Champions IX: New York Knockout)
* 2/24/91 Ric Flair, Larry Zbyszko, Barry Windham, & Sid Vicious vs.
Sting, Brian Pillman, Rick Steiner, & Scott Steiner (WarGames Match, WCW
* 5/17/92 Sting, Nikita Koloff, Ricky Steamboat, Barry Windham, &
Dustin Rhodes vs. Rick Rude, Steve Austin, Arn Anderson, Bobby Eaton, &
Larry Zbyszko (WarGames Match, WCW WrestleWar 1992)
World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment
* 3/20/94 Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon (Ladder Match, WrestleMania X)
WWF Intercontinental Championship
* 8/29/94 Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart (Cage Match, SummerSlam 1994) WWF
* 3/23/97 Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin (Submission Match, WrestleMania
* 10/5/97 Shawn Michaels vs. Undertaker (Hell in a Cell Match, In Your
House: Bad Blood) WWF Championship
* 7/17/11 John Cena vs. CM Punk (Money in the Bank) WWE Championship
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA)
* 9/11/05 AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe vs. Christopher Daniels (TNA
Ring of Honor
* 10/16/04 Samoa Joe vs. CM Punk (ROH Joe vs Punk 2)
* 10/1/05 Samoa Joe vs. Kenta Kobashi (ROH Joe vs Kobashi)
* 3/31/06 Dragon Kid & Genki Horiguchi & Ryo Saito vs. CIMA & Naruki
Doi & Masato Yoshino (ROH Supercard Of Honor)
* 3/31/12 Davey Richards vs. Michael Elgin (ROH Showdown in the Sun Day 2)
Pro Wrestling NOAH
* 3/1/03 Kenta Kobashi vs. Mitsuharu Misawa
* 7/10/04 Kenta Kobashi vs. Jun Akiyama
All Japan Pro Wrestling
* 12/08/84 Stan Hansen & Bruiser Brody vs. Dory Funk & Terry Funk
* 03/09/85 Tiger Mask II vs. Kuniaki Kobayashi
* 06/06/89 Jumbo Tsuruta vs Genichiro Tenryu
* 06/08/90 Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Jumbo Tsuruta
* 10/19/90 Jumbo Tsuruta & Akira Taue & Masanobu Fuchi vs. Mitsuharu
Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada & Kenta Kobashi
* 05/22/92 Jumbo Tsuruta & Masanobu Fuchi & Akira Taue vs. Mitsuharu
Misawa & Kenta Kobashi & Toshiaki Kawada
* 05/25/92 Dan Kroffat & Doug Furnas vs. Kenta Kobashi & Tsuyoshi
* 04/14/93 Toshiaki Kawada vs. Kenta Kobashi
* 07/02/93 Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue & Yoshinari Ogawa vs. Mitsuharu
Misawa & Kenta Kobashi & Jun Akiyama
* 07/29/93 Stan Hansen vs. Kenta Kobashi
* 08/31/93 Steve Williams vs. Kenta Kobashi
* 12/03/93 Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue vs. Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta
* 02/13/94 Mitsuharu Misawa, Kenta Kobashi, & Giant Baba vs. Masanobu
Fuchi, Toshiaki Kawada, & Akira Taue
* 05/21/94 Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi vs. Toshiaki Kawada & Akira
* 06/03/94 Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Toshiaki Kawada
* 01/19/95 Kenta Kobashi vs. Toshiaki Kawada
* 01/24/95 Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi vs. Toshiaki Kawada & Akira
* 03/04/95 Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi vs. Steve Williams & Johnny
* 04/15/95 Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Akira Taue
* 06/09/95 Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi vs. Toshiaki Kawada & Akira
* 05/23/96 Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama vs. Toshiaki Kawada & Akira
* 06/07/96 Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama vs. Steve Williams & Johnny
* 12/06/96 Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue vs. Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun
* 06/06/97 Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Toshiaki Kawada
* 10/31/98 Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Kenta Kobashi
* 6/11/99 Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Kenta Kobashi
* 10/23/99 Kenta Kobashi & Jun Akiyama vs. Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari
* 04/20/91 Mitsuharu Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada & Kenta Kobashi vs. Jumbo
Tsuruta & Akira Taue & Masanobu Fuchi
* 07/05/92 Masanobu Fuchi & Yoshinari Ogawa vs. Kenta Kobashi &
* 06/30/95 Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi & Satoru Asako vs. Toshiaki
Kawada & Akira Taue & Tamon Honda
* 12/05/97 Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue vs. Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun
New Japan Pro Wrestling
* 04/23/83 Tiger Mask I vs. The Dynamite Kid for the NWA Junior
* 04/16/94 "Wild Pegasus" Chris Benoit vs. Great Sasuke (Super J Cup
* 07/08/94 Jushin Liger vs. Great Sasuke
* 06/05/97 El Samurai vs. Koji Kanemoto (Best of the Super Jr. IV)
Asistencia AsesorĂ a y AdministraciĂłn
* 11/06/94 Los Gringos Locos vs. El Hijo del Santo & Octagon AAA When
Worlds Collide; (hair vs. masks)
All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling
* 08/15/92 Manami Toyota vs. Toshiyo Yamada
* 04/02/93 Akira Hokuto vs. Shinobu Kandori
* 04/02/93 Kyoko Inoue & Takako Inoue vs. Cutie Suzuki & Mayumi Ozaki
* 04/11/93 Dynamite Kansai & Mayumi Ozaki vs. Manami Toyota & Toshiyo
* 12/06/93 Manami Toyota & Toshiyo Yamada vs. Dynamite Kansai & Mayumi
* 08/24/94 Manami Toyota vs. Kyoko Inoue
* 11/20/94 Aja Kong vs. Manami Toyota
Universal Wrestling Federation
* 12/05/84 Kazuo Yamazaki vs. Nobuhiko Takada
Japan Women's Pro Wrestling
* 07/31/93 Dynami Kansai & Cutie Suzuki & Mayumi Ozaki & Hikari Fukuoka
vs. Aja Kong & Sakie Hasegawa & Kyoko Inoue & Takako Inoue
|10-06-2012, 04:25 AM||#77|
You disagree with everyone about what good wrestling is, that's fine. You're on your own island and god-bless you over there. You're absolutely entitled to your opinion. If you wanted to you could even write your own magazine and rank matches based on a non-star system. If you wanted to give Ryback vs. Three Jobbers two out of three Stetson's, or tell us about how Santino is a dark horse for WWE Champion then I'm sure someone on the internet will listen.
Hell, Rajah still exists.
|10-06-2012, 04:27 AM||#79|
Hell, even NWA/JCP/WCW got screwed. He clearly has a bias against the North American/"Sports Entertainment" style of wrestling and this has somehow turned into a religion for shitheads like you who balk at anything that isn't full of flips or full of stiff as fuck head drops and strikes. Even when he does give a major North American promotion a 5 star rating, it seems like he pulled out of his ass because of the names involved moreso than the actual content of the match (barring the Flair matches 89 and some others).