Re: 20 years Ago: Wrestling Observer
April 4th, 1988
TALK ABOUT THE TWO BIG SHOWS ON 3/27
-- "'This is horrible, Gorilla.' It sure was. I saw it and I still don't believe it. Was it a dream? Was it a nightmare? All I know is in every sense of the word, it was a bomb." -- Dave on Wrestlemania IV
-- Dave doesn't understand why the show was such a failure, as Wrestlemania III was probably the greatest overall wrestling production of all time. He says from a wrestling point of view, it couldn't compare to Starrcade '85 or Starrcade '86, but it was still an entertaining show, despite a terrible main event. He says the main event still did its job of satisfying fans who paid to see a slam and a pin and got both. "At this time last year Vince McMahon was the omnipotent king of the business. He's still the king, but Sunday he proved he was no longer omnipotent."
-- Dave says after bushwhacking Jim Crockett on Thanksgiving and putting on a better show to boot, then running a free show that was better than Crockett's PPV on January 24, the idea going into 3/27 was that Crockett was suicidal trying to compete with Wrestlemania, as it's the one show where the wrestlers usually go all out, it's a multi-million dollar production, and the hype contained two NBC network specials. The thought was that even if the Clash was a better wrestling show, the WWF would still "win" because of the superior production, glitz, celebrities, and atmosphere.
-- "Jim Crockett kicked Vince McMahon's ass Sunday afternoon, and on the single least likely day of the year for that to happen." Dave doesn't have anything yet in terms of economic figures, and some will simply argue that because WM was a bigger money show, that's the bottom line. But Dave says if that's your logic, Crockett made more money off the Bunkhouse Stampede than Vince did the Royal Rumble, and we all saw what happened there.
-- "I can't believe anyone who watched both shows, and fewer did than I had imagined, could do anything but laugh at the comparison." Preliminary figures state WM was down about 40 to 45 percent in terms of interest from WM III. The PPV buyrate appears to be around six percent, about half of what the WWF had predicted, and well below the 10.3 buyrate of the previous year. WM IV, however, still grossed $10.8 million, but they probably will only bank $3.5 million at most. Preliminary reports indicate a closed circuit audience of around 175,000 (compared to 375,000 last year) which accounts for an estimated $2.3 million more. The live gate was around $1 million, and Donald Trump did pay the WWF to run the show at Trump Plaza what's said to be a nice chunk of change, but the amount is being kept secret. The overall estimate, including Canadian markets, is that the show grossed just under $14 million, but because of PPV splits, the net will probably be around $6.5 million total. Just two weeks before, the WWF predicted an $18 million take. Dave says it's impossible to speculate how much of it had to do with overall interest in the show being down, and how much of it had to do with people deciding to watch the NWA's free show instead. Dave admits that Crockett hurt Wrestlemania far more than anyone anticipated, even more than McMahon hurt Crockett in January, although admittedly not as much as McMahon hurt Crockett at Starrcade.
-- Dave reiterates that the shows were like night and day. He says TBS deserves credit for the nice opening, and feels the show was a ***1/2 production overall. He says there were a few flaws with the Clash, namely that there were too many commercials early on, and that for the first 90 minutes of the show, only 30 minutes were in the ring, but that was to make up for them going 45 minutes with Flair/Sting without commercial breaks, which Dave says was a move he appreciated in hindsight. Dave says the announcing was great, superlative even, during the main event. All the matches were good except the barbed wire match, the crowds was hot, and two of the matches were excellent. Dave is convinced they should no longer allow Steve Williams to talk in public. He suggests giving him a manager and turning him into a monster. Dave likes Nikita Koloff's new look and says he did a good interview. The skit with Jim Cornette and Eddie Haskell was "priceless", which surprised Dave, because those celebrity spots are usually awful. Meltzer pointed out how silly the Bob Eucker/Gene Okerlund spots looked in comparison. "But the real story was the flow of the show and the production and getting the angles in tune with the audience, all of which were very weak on their two previous specials and made McMahon look major league." Dave says the thing at the end with the judges was horrible, and that you could call the draw with Flair and Sting from a mile away, but that no one was complaining when it was over.
-- "Wrestlemania on the other hand made Starrcade '87 look like Starrcade '85. Really, that's too nice. I don't want to fault individuals, but the general appraisal was that everyone on the JCP side gave not only a little extra, but a lot extra, while the Titan side figured that since it was Wrestlemania, everything would fit neatly into place since Vince is a genius and everyone else can coast along."
-- Dave says the announcing for WM IV wasn't bad, but it was the weakest of their PPV efforts thus far. "Particularly Jesse Ventura didn't seem prepared as he had no good lines and just coasted through. Gorilla Monsoon was so monotone and predictable that you could have replayed any Wrestling Challenge show's commentary on this and it would have sounded the same." Bob Eucker, who did a good job at WM III, didn't do so well this time. Dave's biggest problems with the show were as follows:
-- "Hulk Hogan -- The guy is so 'over' that he overshadows the entire promotion. The lack of success of this show was at least in part because Hogan wasn't the featured attraction, but was made 'one of the boys'. One cable TV operator I spoke with today termed the lack of success on PPV due to 'that idiot McMahon devaluing his only attraction.'" Dave says maybe it's time they tried Randy Savage night and putting Savage over, but instead they put Hogan and Elizabeth over, just as they've done on the NBC specials. "It's like Randy can't even order a taxi cab unless Liz tells Hulk to flag down the cab."
-- The location. Dave admits hindsight is 20/20 here, as no one would have dreamed that a Wrestlemania crowd would be dead for 3 1/2 hours. "The Trump Plaza should have been called the Trump Mauseleum. It wasn't a wrestling crowd and they reacted to almost nothing, which made those matches where the guys were really putting out still come off as flat and tedious. Vince made a major tactical error taking wrestling away from the wrestling fans with high prices. Sure, he got a huge live gate, but he could have gotten a good live gate anywhere and could have priced it so wrestling fans, and not Casino Hi-Rollers who thought they were watching burlesque, filled the stands. McMahon deserves credit for trying to make wrestling an upper-class entertainment, but on this night the Hi-Rollers ruined his show."
-- Steroids. "I joke about steroids all the time. I give guys funny nicknames and I suppose I'm the most hated person in the world among heavy steroid users in the wrestling business. However, I'm not trying to be funny here. It was totally embarrassing watching guys really try to work hard, which they aren't used to, and have every match but a few totally die within two minutes because one, and often both guys, couldn't keep up a decent pace for a five minute match. I don't even want to talk about health risks here, because nobody listens. I don't even want to blame the guys here, because the reality of what the promoter is trying to sell forces 82 percent of the Titan workers to become human guinea pigs. However, the tournament was embarrassing. I was embarrassed as someone who appreciates the talents and sacrifices wrestlers make to see this stuff. It wasn't ha-ha, let's watch Lex blow up like lots of fans do, this was a sad situation. Shoot, Luger kept up a pace in his match that put most of Titan's guys to shame."
-- The tournament idea. It was a flop and the key issue to the show not selling. There was no specific issue. "Like we've said, no belt in wrestling means much of anything anymore. It's the personalities themselves that are the drawing card nowadays. Wrestlemania proves that point. Nobody cared about the tournament matches unless they involved Hogan, or to a lesser degree Savage and DiBiase. The rest were like a waste of time."
-- Too many people knew the outcome. On ABC news the morning after the show, it said, "Randy Savage was the winner at Wrestlemania, but of course everyone knew it since the WWF magazine had printed the result three weeks ago. The WWF claims the magazine report was simply a typographical error." Dave says he was at the beach Saturday, and he talked to a few fans who aren't newsletter readers at all, but simply casual fans who he doesn't even "talk smart" to ("I don't insult their intelligence either"), and they all knew Savage was winning. "It was pathetic. I'm sorry to go on a tirade at this point, but I'm sick to death of narrow-minded folks blaming me because their promotions aren't interesting enough to draw fans at live gates. If everyone who read this newsletter quit watching matches tomorrow, pro wrestling interest would drop 0.002 percent. In reality, the fans who read newsletters support this business probably in 20 or 30 times greater the proportion than the so-called 'marks' and if this business was to die (which it won't, and I'm not predicting anything of the sort), they'd be the last ones killed off. Again, I'm sorry for the tirade but it's been building up lately. However, for Titan to give away the endings for two major shows in a row, and basically turn the business into a joke, and then not change the ending can't be beneficial in the long run."
-- Dave doesn't have a rating yet for the Clash, but if it did a 5.0, it reached two million homes. Wrestlemania reached 540,000 homes and got 195,000 more viewers through closed circuit and PPV in the US last year. This year, it only ran in 95 closed circuit sites in the US and 39 of them were less than 2,000-seat capacity buildings.
-- 20-Man Battle Royal. Says it started out hot, but the crowd only reacted to a few introductions. After 40 seconds, with a crowd in silence, it went into slow motion and became a dud. 1/2*, only for the angle with Bret Hart turning at the end, but the match was a DUD.
-- Ted DiBiase vs Hacksaw Duggan. Says it was slow paced. DiBiase did some good work to make it watchable, but that was about it. "Shockingly little heat for all of this", considering Andre was at ringside and played a part in the finish. *1/4
-- Don Muraco vs Dino Bravo. Muraco was drenched in sweat 2:30 into the match. Soon, but guys were puffing hard. 1/2*
-- Ricky Steamboat vs Greg Valentine. Started off good, but Valentine blew up four minutes in. Both guys worked hard, but Valentine's timing was off. "Steamboat brought his son Ricky Jr. to the ring before the match. I thought it was a tremendous sight with all the pressures and commotion around that Steamboat was oblivious to everything but his son. I guess they didn't want a babyface match later, but Steamboat deserves a lot better than this." **1/4
-- Randy Savage vs Butch Reed. Crowd popped for the finish but was dead throughout. Super-slow, with Reed in control most of the way. *
-- One Man Gang vs Bam Bam Bigelow. Give Bigelow credit for wrestling on such a bad knee. Still, it destroyed his agility, which is his gimmick. "In reality, this was a negative 1 1/2 star match, but I'll give it a dud considering Bigelow's condition."
-- Rick Rude vs Jake Roberts. "Rude's tights with lips on the back were an eye-catcher. Awful." Lots of rest holds, and very similar to the Nikita Koloff/Bobby Eaton match at the Bunkhouse Stampede, but maybe worse, because Eaton did a few great moves in that one. Crowd chanted boring. Dave calls it a worst match of the year candidate. -**
-- Hercules vs Ultimate Warrior. Warrior ran to the ring and blew up before the match started. The pre-match staredown got zero reaction. No reaction to the full nelson as a finishing move for Hercules. Dave says this was actually worse than Rude/Roberts, but he'll rank it higher because at least it was quick. -* 1/2
-- Andre the Giant vs Hulk Hogan. The only match on the show that seemed to have genuine interest. "After the match Hulk chased DiBiase, who threw Virgil to him (apparently a future babyface turn by Virgil -- Will we find out his father is a plumber?)". Match was terrible, but watchable. Posing wasn't watchable, but it's what the fans came to see. They didn't announce Hogan being eliminated from the tournament until after the posing. *1/4 for the match, but DUD if the posing is included. (My note: Weird ...)
-- Ted DiBiase vs Don Muraco. No heat because the crowd was drained after Hogan, but they worked hard and it was a decent, all action match. *1/2
-- Randy Savage vs Greg Valentine. Good match, with good pacing and action. **1/4
-- Brutus Beefcake vs Honky Tonk Man. Dave was most surprised by the lack of heat here, because both guys are usually very over, but the crowd was dead during Honky's pre-match routine. Dave says Peggy Sue made more noise at ringside than the other 18,165 folks watching. Dave says Beefcake looks amazingly like Davey Boy Smith with his new haircut. "You can tell the two apart by watching them wrestle of course." DUD
-- Islanders & Bobby Heenan vs Koko Ware & British Bulldogs. Started off decent, but got boring fast. *1/4
-- Randy Savage vs One Man Gang. Watchable, but terrible finish. 1/2*
-- Demolition vs Strike Force. Good match, but of those in the crowd who responded, they all cheered the heels. Dave says this would have been a strong match had the crowd gotten more into it. **1/2
-- Randy Savage vs Ted DiBiase. They tried, but the crowd was more focused on the dressing room and the possibility of Hogan coming back out. Not as good as the super SNME match a few weeks prior. Randy told Liz to get Hogan and the crowd again turned away from the match. The post-match was all focused on Hogan and Liz. **1/4
CLASH OF THE CHAMPIONS
-- Only 6,000 fans were in attendance, but they were rabid.
-- Jimmy Garvin vs Mike Rotunda. **1/4
-- Midnight Express vs Fantastics. Classic Memphis brawl. So much action that the cameramen could barely keep up, and they used tables, chairs and tennis racquets, and brawled a lot outside the ring. Eaton did a bulldog on the table on Rogers, which was laying on the floor. Rogers got an abrasion above his eye and actually had to be hospitalized. Fulton also got a swollen lip. ****1/4 (****1/2 for the match, minus 1/2* for the overused Dusty finish, plus 1/4* for the post-match) (My note: Complicated stuff ...)
-- Dusty Rhodes & Road Warriors vs Powers of Pain & Ivan Koloff. "Dusty, with face paint wearing a black T-shirt looks like a dead ringer for Dump Matsumoto, except Dump is better looking." *
-- Lex Luger & Barry Windham vs Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard. Dave says Tully actually didn't get much of a reaction, considering he decked Magnum on TBS the day before, and it seems the real heat from the angle is on JJ Dillon. Luger's red tights made him look "radioactive" on some screens apparently. ***1/2
-- Ric Flair vs Sting. Started slow, but the heat never died and it was never dull. Dave says no wrestler in the business could have put on the performance Flair did here. "He was so good I almost thought Sting was going to stand there in awe of him." Dave did say Sting held up his end, although it was obvious Flair was carrying the match. Jim Ross did an excellent job the whole show, but especially in the first 25 minutes of selling the importance and intensity of the holds. Lyle Alzado no-showed as a judge. ****3/4
Additional note: "After the first match there was an ad on TBS for the WWF 900 number for Wrestlemania which was hilarious that Titan could get an ad on during Crockett's opposition special. They also aired the first commercial for the new Four Horsemen vitamins. The commercial is hilarious, but unintentionally so, it's like a SCTV or Saturday Night Live spoof of the WWF but unfortunately they were serious. I don't think they are going to sell many vitamins, either."
-- Lanny Poffo has a new book coming out in late April called "Wrestling With Rhyme", a poetry book.
-- Correction to previous story: The WWF isn't trying to ban Bruno Sammartino from using his name in outside activities. They are trying to keep him from using the nickname "Living Legend".
-- 3/20 in Lafayette, LA drew 700 fans headlined by Demolition vs Rougeaus.
-- David Peschel of Washington, DC is suing Randy Savage for over $1 million from a 1986 incident where he claims Savage punched and bodyslammed him. He claims he got out of his car at a light to ask for an autograph, and that Savage, Liz, and a 6-foot bodyguard all got out of the car.
-- Angelo Poffo had a $1 wager on Ted DiBiase winning the title at Wrestlemania.
-- On the Bruno radio interview mentioned last week, he said the WWF is 100% show and all fake, that blading never happened in his day but probably does now, that he wouldn't touch any other promotion with a 50-foot pole, that George Steele has been a teacher for years and is nothing like they portray him, that Bobby Heenan is a dud and a disgrace, and that managers are only hired to portray themselves as managers. He said in the NWA, he likes Ric Flair, but there is still a lot of bizarre nonsense. Regarding David, he said he'll wrestle in Japan where they still appreciate good wrestling. Regarding Rick McGraw, he said he died from drug use, which is very widespread in pro wrestling. He concluded by saying he thought wrestling was real in his day.
-- A Newsday article (Long Island newspaper) quoted one of the WWF producers saying the NWA is "just a bunch of Neanderthals rolling around on the mats and slicing their heads with razors." David Crockett was also quoted, saying they have grown 1500% since going national. (My note: Um ...)
-- Crockett has been in heavy negotiations with Ken Mantell of World Class, which was the big story Dave was referring to in the last issue. Dave has heard several reports, but he knows Crockett was going in with the idea of taking over the local TV the way he did in Florida and Central States, as it would give him Ch. 11 in Dallas, which is a coveted spot. In order for this to happen, Fritz Von Erich will have to be okay with it, and Kevin and Kerry will be guaranteed jobs and strong pushes in the NWA. However, they don't want to travel, so they would only work limited shows in Texas, and maybe a few in St. Louis. Unfortunately for World Class, Mantell and Michael Hayes are doing some amazing booking, but it just isn't working, and the economic factor in Texas may make a turnaround something out of their hands. Dave doesn't expect a deal until May, mainly to give Mantell and Hayes an uninterrupted opportunity to build a Texas Stadium show on their own.
-- On the 3/26 TBS show, they showed clips of 3/18 in Cincinnati where Magnum hit Tully with his baseball bat and caused a DQ in a tag title match. Magnum was then doing an interview when Blanchard and JJ Dillon came out. Barry Windham came out and Tully popped him, and then he popped Magnum. JJ stood behind Magnum and helped him bump so he wouldn't get hurt. Dusty comes out with a baseball bat and goes crazy on Tully. David Crockett and Rob Garner went after Dusty and he shrugged them off. Jim Crockett came out and climbed on Dusty's back. Dusty didn't realize who it was and reared backwards to hit Crockett with the bat and ended up KOing Crockett. Finally, all the babyfaces come out and pull Dusty away from Tully. Later in the show, Jim Cornette did an awesome insincere promo in tears talking about "my good friend Jim Crockett." Magnum bladed himself, but that didn't air on TV. Dave says when he first heard about this, he thought it was great because Magnum really wants to be involved in the worst way and this gives him purpose. But, he says, the idea of beating up a cripple and the way the angle was worked was truly pathetic. It should still draw, and will allow Dusty, managed by Magnum, to push himself again as top star and feud with Tully again. Dave doesn't know how possible it is to revive that feud, considering the tepid response Tully Blanchard got at the Clash. The plan is that Dusty will be suspended for 120 days on television to take them all the way to the Bash, with possible Flair vs Midnight Rider matches at the Bash. Dusty will reappear masked as the Midnight Rider. He'll be stripped of the US title, and there will be a one-night tournament to crown a new champ on 5/13 in Houston. Dusty and Nikita will lose their spot in the Crockett Cup.
-- 3/26 in Richmond, VA drew 10,000 headlined by Ric Flair vs Sting. 3/19 in Chicago drew 7,000 headlined by Ric Flair vs Sting.
-- Rip Morgan is headed in.
-- TBS wants to do another Clash of the Champions in early summer.
-- Dave has Atlanta numbers for the Clash: In the local market, the show drew an 11.7 rating and Flair vs Sting drew a 14.5 rating.
-- The NWA is losing syndication on KCOP in Los Angeles, due to low ratings compared to the WWF.
-- JCP expects a $300,000+ gate on the second night of the Crockett Cup.
-- Pat Tanaka and Paul Diamond won the tag titles because Michaels and Jannetty wanted a $500 weekly guarantee to stay, although they haven't left yet.
-- Iceman Parsons won the WCCW title on 3/25 in Dallas. Black Bart, Buddy Roberts, and Hayes were at ringside. Terry Gordy was on his way down the aisle, and the lights turned out. Then, Black Bart and Buddy Roberts pulled out flash lights and started shining them in fans eyes so they couldn't see anything. 45 seconds later, the lights came back on. Hayes was juicing like crazy and on the floor, but no one knows who hit who. Kerry Von Erich was unconscious in the ring. Iceman pinned him, and Kerry did the first stretcher job of his career. Dave thinks Hayes is the best option to take the title next.
-- 3/25 in Dallas drew 1,700 headlined by Kerry vs Parsons.
-- Fabulous Lance still hasn't returned because he doesn't want to be a heel. The promotion wants him to feud with Kevin and Kerry.
-- They will begin running Fort Worth every 3-4 weeks instead of weekly, as has been the case for decades.
-- Production costs are being cut by having most of the material on the local show match what airs on the syndicated show.
-- WCCW ran three shows in Mississippi. The biggest gate was $783, "... which shows how bad business is even with the creative booking."
-- 3/21 in Memphis drew 6,000 fans and a $22,000 house headlined by Eddie Gilbert vs Jerry Lawler in a supposed **** match. Dave is told their match the week before was ****1/2.
-- On the 3/26 TV, Gilbert threatened to throw a fireball at Lance Russell and Lawler showed up and they brawled all through the studio and into the parking lot. They ended up fighting on the hood of a car windshield and shattered it.
-- Tom Brandi and Scott Steiner are new to Memphis, and Mike Graham and Steve Keirn are in as Florida tag team champions.
-- Brickhouse Brown is now managed by Ernest Angel and is getting a slight push.
-- Eddie Gilbert is leaving Memphis to start booking for Continental on 4/10. Continental has hit rock bottom, and the idea is to turn around Alabama the same way they turned around Tennessee.
-- Davey Boy Smith was supposed to work in the area after Wrestlemania, but Vince shot it down. Political pressure also ended the idea of having Stampede tag teams enter the Crockett Cup. Dave thinks it was no coincidence that Owen did a job for Hercules in the WWF just outside of Greensboro. (My note: I don't quite get his point ...)
-- The first show was on 3/19 in Knoxville and drew a $10,000 gate.
-- Terry Gordy was a no-show.
-- The Oregon State Athletic Commission had a hearing regarding pro wrestling. Don Owen, Barry Owen, Billy Jack Haynes, Matt Borne, Tony Borne, Art Crews, Mike Miller, Moondog Moretti, Rip Oliver, Coco Samoa, Sandy Barr, and Mark Kaplan were all in attendance. Most wrestlers took a negative stance toward Owen, with only Crews and Borne taking up for him. Crews testified that Owen was one of the few promoters to ever help him with medical expenses. Borne said he is against mats at ringside, saying they're more for looks than effectiveness, however the other wrestlers took exception to this type of questioning. Borne said the drug testing was a good idea, but they were taking it too far. They plan on testing for cocaine, marijuana, and pain pills. Borne asked if wrestlers would be fined or matches stopped if accidents happened resulting in a wrestler bleeding hardaway. He was told no, but there would be match stoppings or fines due to razor cuts. (My note: That's a really ass-backwards double standard.) They all viewed a Borne/Grappler match on 3/12 in Portland where they brawled around the ring and used chairs. They were told actions like those will be looked at in the future and fines could be given. Borne said they were just giving fans what they wanted. Dave says it's contradictory for them to allow hardaway blood, but ban blading, which is so much safer. Dave has mixed feelings on blood. "To the outsider, the practice of blading is barbaric, but in reality compared to steroid usage, other drug usage, and just plain nasty bumps and the natural dangers of the business, it is a very minor safety issue in comparison. At the same time I am not convinced that excessive blood draws fans. I think excessive blood turns away an important percentage of the audience (the casual crowd, which swells the most when a promotion is hot). I think blood in rare cases can't hurt the gate, however."
-- Dave then goes into talk about how wrestlers should be worried about AIDS and thinks bloodbaths shouldn't be performed without AIDS testing, but that scabies is a bigger risk. Several Portland wrestlers have scabies, and it has even spread to their families, in Mike Miller's case, his wife and two children. His wife was breastfeeding, and their newborn got it.
-- The commission passed a law that wrestlers with communicable diseases are not allowed to wrestle and must notify the promoter.
-- Buddy Rose is returning to help Don Owen out in the promotional war with Billy Jack Haynes.
-- On 3/27 at Budokan Hall, Brody beat Jumbo to regain the International title in front of 11,500 fans.
-- The Rock & Roll Express are booked for their first ever Japanese tour in May.
-- Roddy Piper will be starting production soon on a new movie directed by John Carpenter called "They Live". The movie will co-star Meg Foster.
-- A movie depicting the life of former pro wrestler and Olympic wrestler Chris Taylor called "Lean On Me" will begin production in May.
-- The Pro Wrestling This Week angle with Paul E. Dangerously firing Gordon Solie aired. "Just tremendous stuff and Dangerously has established himself as one of the two top managers in the business through it." The PWTW show this week will be the final show in the current format. The new format starting 4/9 will be a 30-minute format with Joe Pedicino hosting and Patrick Schaeffer as a heel commentator.
-- FNN is open to the idea of airing a Japanese show. Dave encourages a letter-writing campaign, and promises addresses next week.
-- The Kentucky Athletic Commission has put in rules that all wrestling matches should have guard rails that are at least four feet high and five feet from the ring. They have also ruled that throwing an opponent off the top rope is illegal and cause for fine and suspension. It's state law, and must be enforced at all times.
-- Dave's early awards picks:
Wrestler of the Year -- Chigusa Nagayo or Ted DiBiase
Best Babyface -- Hulk Hogan, then Chigusa Nagayo, then Randy Savage
Best Heel -- Eddie Gilbert, then Dump Matsumoto, then Ted DiBiase
Best Tag Team -- Midnight Express
Best Manager -- Jim Cornette, although Paul E. Dangerously is getting closer
Match of the Year -- Dave picks the 12-woman tag from 12/5 in Tokyo in AJW as the best match he saw or will see, but outside of that, he'd go with Flair vs Sting from the Clash
Rookie of the Year -- The only rookie Dave has seen is Akira Taue, who has shown him nothing
Most Charismatic -- Hulk Hogan
Best High Flyer -- Owen Hart
Most Outstanding -- Nobuhiko Takada
Best Brawler -- Bruiser Brody, then Terry Gordy
Best Technical Wrestler -- Hiroshi Hase
Feud of the Year -- Jerry Lawler vs Eddie Gilbert (which will be too short) followed by Hogan vs DiBiase
Best on Interviews -- Jim Cornette
Most Overrated -- Dusty Rhodes
Most Underrated -- Sam Houston
Best Promotion -- All Japan Women
Best TV show -- New Japan
Best Announcer -- Jim Ross
Worst TV Announcer -- Mark Lowrance or Rod Trongard