Re: 20 years Ago: Wrestling Observer
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.”
-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 (my note—Raschke did this around the circuit in disguise and actually got held back by security in Winnipeg when he tried to make the save)
-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. (my note—huh?) 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.
More area recaps to come including Montreal, Mid Atlantic, Toronto, Southeast, Florida, the Maritimes, and more.