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Old 06-22-2009, 12:25 AM   #111 (permalink)
Asking SCOTT STEINER for Wrestling Advice
 
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Default Re: 20 years Ago: Wrestling Observer

Wrestling Observer Recap -- December 3rd, 1984

Cover
*Head shot of Riki Choshu.

Pulling No Punches
*Dave stresses that the promotions struggling to survive the McMahon invasion need to look in the mirror and blame themselves for a good portion of their problems. Dave says he’s as frustrated as anyone with the current state of wrestling and McMahon and that if it wasn’t for the Observer and his ability to get tapes from Japan, Mid-south and Memphis, he would’ve spent the winter watching the NBA instead.

*He says if McMahon didn’t start the invasion, someone else would’ve. Satellite technology makes it impossible to continue the old way of home-town promotions. Originally, Dave thought this would be a good thing, but he says he’s wrong now.

*Dave thought having most of the talent in one promotion would result in tremendous cards, good match-ups, and quality entertainment. He says that has been anything but the case w/ WWF so far. He also blames other promotions for building up untalented new workers over established veterans with more talent and experience. He concedes talent has never been the most important thing in wrestling, but it used to at least mean something.

*He also says the WWF’s primary lure for wrestlers is money and that other promotions are going to have to dig deeper to pay their stars more to prevent further defections. The only other alternative is finding better workers, booking better TV shows, and coming up with better angles. He’s not seeing that happening so far.

*Dave has completely given up on watching the WWF unless he’s eating dinner in front of the TV.

Editor’s Notes
*Dave says he’s burned out on pro wrestling. Because he’s committed to printing one more issue and a massive yearbook, he will do that. After that, he’ll keep doing the Observer, but only report on regions he’s interested in. He’ll also stay on top of defections and attendance figures in war torn areas. (Dave talked about quitting a couple of issues ago as well.)

*Another call for awards ballots.

Behind the Scenes in Japanese Wrestling
*UWF President Nobuo Urata was arrested, along w/ gangster Hiroshi Takizawa, for threatening Tiger Mask’s former manager Shoji Sogawa. The threat on Sogawa’s life was made in August before Mask signed with the UWF. UWF wanted complete control over Mask’s affairs. Mask had been running Tiger’s Gym w/ Sogawa’s financial backing. Earlier, Mask insisted him and Sogawa parted as friends at a press conference announcing his signing w/ UWF.

*The arrest was made during the middle of a UWF series. The wrestlers tried to remain calm and Yoshiaki Fujiwara was named acting president. Reportedly, the UWF had a TV contract lined up, but this scandal will probably kill that. The UWF may be in jeopardy because arenas won’t want to book an organization tied with organized crime and TV won’t touch it.

*Mask sued Sogawa, claiming he took too large a cut from some UWF shows. Many doubt Mask will win his suit. Mask claims he wanted to quit his gym gig and join UWF but said Sogawa threatened to kill him if he did. Sogawa himself was once a member of the same group of gangsters he’s fighting with now, causing trouble for Inoki and New Japan when Mask was there.

*UWF will likely have to ask New Japan or All Japan for help. New Japan is the leading candidate, but several UWF workers are scared to work for Inoki again.

*New Japan is hanging on despite several defections. Inoki had many of his wrestlers stay on Saipan Island after a series to prevent them from being lured away to Baba or someone else.

*Dynamite Kid and Davey Boy Smith back in Japan w/ Baba. They were unhappy in the WWF and Baba promised to also get them booked on the NWA circuit. They said New Japan didn’t have any opponents for them so they went w/ Baba.

*On 10/22, Baba had a show scheduled in Nagasaki. When they got into town, they discovered no tix were sold and the local promotion group had disappeared. They put on the show anyway with last minute tix going for $6-$12. 200 attended.

Letters
*More WWF bashing and some bashing of World Class. One letter writer thinks Dave is too hard on Crockett. Another writer has no problems with racial slurs in wrestling because, well, it’s wrestling.

*There was a newspaper story reprinted that highlights Buddy Rose’s arrest for failing to pay taxes. He failed to report gross incomes of $28,591, $36,113, and $47,187 from 1978-80. (Whoops. Rose would’ve qualified to serve in President Obama’s cabinet).

WWF
*Gone are Brian Blair, Dynamite Kid, Davey Boy, and Kimala. They all left and weren’t fired. Tony Atlas is back. He left all pissed off a few months ago for the AWA. The AWA failed to come through on several promises so Atlas made up with McMahon.

*Dave said he’s heard the 11/10 Spectrum card was actually good so he might break his own rules about watching WWF and check it out.

*McMahon debuts on 11/29 in Oklahoma City w/ JYD/Orndorff. Watts is running a free show that same night featuring Kerry Von Erich. McMahon may invade New Orleans by late December.

*The Crocketts booked three shows in gyms in the Bronx, Queens and Long Island for NWA shows. A mysterious party claiming he was working for David Crockett called each venue, cancelled the dates, and arranged new ones. All the new dates coincided w/ WWF shows and Crockett wasn’t able to get the original dates back.

*Snuka is back. Buddy Rose and Billy Jack are in. Bret Hart and Bad News Allan will appear too.

Pro Wrestling USA
*Dave says this venture is getting worse. He says that as bad of moves that Vince makes, you can always count on his competitors to make even worse moves. The TV show continues to get worse with no build-ups, no angles, and endless Dusty Rhodes promos.

*Butch Reed won’t do any more tapings because Watts wants nothing to do with this disaster. First live show might be in four months in the Meadowlands.

All Japan
*This was mostly results. All the news was in the Japan update. Dave does say the new version of Tiger Mask is amazing.

UWF
*See above.

New Japan
*Rumors that Inoki will once again lose control of this group by early ’85. If Fujinami leaves, expect New Japan to close its doors.

*Bob Orton was recently in, but looked terrible. Brian Blair looked great and Brett Hart looked good.

Mexico
*Dave says there is a lot more talent sharing going on between Savadore Lutteroth and Francisco Flores.

*Dave says he’s not a big fan of Mexican wrestling, but says they have tremendous wrestlers who do some of the most dangerous and impressive moves in the world.

*Kimala was in and it turns out he speaks perfect Spanish (this I would LOVE to see. Don’t ask me why, but I’ve always loved Kamala. I can’t look away).

Southwest
*Eric Embry and Dan Greer won the tag belts in a pole match from Brett Sawyer and Chicky Starr. Whoever set up the pole did not do a good job because Starr climbed the pole at the beginning of the match and the pole broke in half, sending Starr crashing to the floor on his back. Dave called it the worst bump he’s ever seen. Starr tried to wrestle the rest of the match but was useless (If Starr got seriously hurt, I wonder if he would’ve had any success suing the promotion for damages? Doubtful.).

*Sawyer has left the area after buying 49 percent of a promotion in the Dakotas.

*A recent show drew 76 people (ouch).

World Class
*10/27 at the Cotton Bowl drew 12,000. The Cotton Bowl holds 70,000, but this was still a turn away crowd because of a mix up with the ticketing company. The good crowd surprised Dave given the recent downturn in the region.

*On the show, Chris Adams beat up Kevin Von Erich with a chair and they really played up the injury by calling for an ambulance and delaying the show 40 minutes. Dave didn’t know what to think of this angle, however it was done so well that several people in the audience were crying.

*Weekly crowds are still low. No word if Hayes will follow Gordy back to World Class. Dave says Hayes may have to sit home for a while because he’s burned a lot of bridges. Gordy isn’t viewed as negatively as Hayes. People think Gordy was just following whatever his friend Hayes asked him to do.

Mid-South
*Butch Reed turning baby face.

*Dave talks about an upcoming scaffold match with the Midnight and R&R Express. He says these types of matches are too dangerous to be any good.

*Crowds are down in Oklahoma City and McMahon will be debuting soon. Watts is running a free show to counter McMahon’s efforts and is running a show in the same arena a week later. Dave thinks this will be three red ink shows in a row for Watts and his pockets aren’t deep enough to fight McMahon this way. He also cites how Watts has been ripping the WWF more and more on TV and thinks Watts may be “obsessive” with McMahon.

AWA
*Dave says Verne “McGagne” is now his No. 1 person to blast this month, taking over from McMahon. Apparently, Gagne billed a tag team battle royal in Salt Lake and the three top guys no-showed – Brody and the Road Warriors. Verne pulled them weeks before to help on a show in St. Louis and never bothered to tell the fans. Not sure what happened with Brody. Show drew 9,203.

*Dave says there’s nothing worse than promoting main eventers when you know they won’t attend. He says Vince may have started the trend, but anyone who follows is just as guilty. He has yet to hear of a card where McMahon had his three top-billed stars no show.

*11/11 San Fran drew 6,800 for a tag team battle royal. The last San Fran show drew 600. Dave says nobody knows how to put together a battle royal like Roy Shires did.

*Says Jim Garvin is one of the most overrated wrestlers in the business.

*11/3 in Chicago drew a sellout 18,301. The Fabs and Roadies are working together, but neither team wants to sell for the other. Champ Rick Martell is finally involved in a conflict. He’ll feud w/ Jim Garvin.

Central States
*To fight the WWF invasion, the promotion on TV is saying they would rather have Ron Garvin than Andre the Giant because Garvin has pinned Andre.

*This group is very thin and people keep leaving.

St. Louis
*11/16 drew a disappointing 5,400 for Flair/Brody. The problem may be that the AWA show, which is shown in St. Louis, has Brody as a heel and St. Louis portrays him as a face.

Jarrett Promotions
*Atlanta and Memphis promotions will be covered together because Jarrett appears to be running both. Dave is afraid Ole may contaminate the Memphis product.

*Solie has joined Russell on broadcasts. Of course Dave hates that, but he says Jimmy Hart is so good he cancels out Solie. Dave thinks the Memphis show will become the local show in all of the cities in the old Atlanta circuit.

*The Atlanta show will be special to WTBS and Dave thinks the station should give it a good time slot. McMahon is drawing a 4.3 rating on Saturday and 4.5 on Sunday. This compares with 4.6 and 3.3 pre-McMahon when Ole “did nothing” with his time slot.

*At its peak, the show drew close to a 7 every week. Currently, McMahon has four of the top 10 cable shows in the country. Masterpiece Theater is No. 1, drawing a 5.2. NBA basketball games typically get below a 1.5.

*Flair/Garvin set to headline 12/4 in Baltimore. Dave hates Garvin and thinks WWF will blow them out of the water with its stable of charismatic stars while Ole trots out Ron Garvin.

Florida
*Dave saw some recent Florida tapes and actually liked it. He couldn’t believe it. Says a Flair/Youngblood bout was good thanks mainly to Flair.

Mid-Atlantic
*Dave wants someone who tapes Starrcade ’84 to contact him about a trade. He says he’s a “glutton” for punishment. He says local advertising has been hot and nobody notices how bad the card is. Between the actual arena and closed-circuit sites, it may actually approach last year’s crowd. Closed circuit tix are $20 a pop.

*Dave warns that crowds will be way down after Starrcade.

Weekend Update
*Mid-South crowds are down despite the return of R&R Express. R&R’s hearing a lot of boos. Dave also thinks an upcoming Superdome show will not draw that well because there’s been too much televised blood recently.

*11/1 AWA show had five no-shows.

*Kerry Von Erich had a final screen test for his possible role as Stallone’s Russian opponent in Rocky IV. If Kerry gets the part he will have to 1) cut his hair; 2) learn to box; 3) learn Russian. Dave says he can handle 1 and 2, but might struggle w/ 3 because Kerry took 24 years to learn the English language.

*Patera/Saito pleaded innocent to inciting a police brawl several months ago. AWA has given up Indianapolis TV slot and WWF has moved in.

*According to a source, World Class has no plans to promote in the Twin Cities or Chicago. Dave thinks the AWA has no plans to promote in Texas either and that both sides are bluffing.

*Billy Jack already gone from WWF. Dave hopes the NWA didn’t promise him too much because “there’s already one Rick Martel.” Apparently, Jack left because the WWF didn’t come through on a promised Canadian announcing gig for his friend Stan Stasiak.

*Dave heard that Starrcade was a disappointment in every way besides financially. Said Flair wrestled heel against Rhodes but got cheered anyway.

*Kimala didn’t show at the most recent WWF Spectrum show and refunds were offered. (Refunds for Kimala?! I thought I was the only one who enjoyed Kimala. Seriously, can you imagine anyone saying, “Gee, I see Kimala is wrestling in town next week. Let’s buy tix and go!”)

*Wrestlers Eddie Mansfield and Jim Wilson have testified before the Georgia State Legislature to try and get the state to enact a wrestling commission. The wrestlers compared life on the wresting circuit to the life of plantation workers. They claimed wrestling is a “totally controlled monopoly.” Mansfield said he was paid $40 for his last match in ’83 and had to cover all expenses.

*Dave doubts whether it could be legally proven that wrestling is a monopoly, but says the wrestlers all raise very valid points. Thunderbolt Patterson has been involved in these issues as well. Dave also says he has little doubt that blackballing in wrestling exists, but some wrestlers get blackballed for the right reasons such as no showing, causing problems and being bad workers.

*Rose and Borne were asked to leave by Owens in Portland. Owens got wind of the pair’s plan to build themselves up and then jump to the WWF.

*Muraco back in WWF.

*Dave thinks WWF may have won last head-to-head battle w/ NWA in Miami. NWA now running monthly in Miami. They used to be weekly.

*New book out about Lawler in Memphis.

*Rumors that Race approached Verne about having Verne buy out Race-O’Connor-Geigel in St. Louis. Verne-Bockwinkle-Lanza are thinking about it.

*WWF drew 3,000 in Twin Cities on 11/25 w/ a Turkey Battle Royal. Dave says w/out Hogan the WWF can’t draw in the Twin Cities.

*AWA drew 16,000 at their most recent Twin Cities show as LOD beat Blackwell-Bundy.
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Old 06-22-2009, 12:36 AM   #112 (permalink)
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Default Re: 20 years Ago: Wrestling Observer

Quote:
Originally Posted by tlk23 View Post
Wrestling Observer Recap -- December 3rd, 1984

Cover
*Head shot of Riki Choshu.

Pulling No Punches
*Dave stresses that the promotions struggling to survive the McMahon invasion need to look in the mirror and blame themselves for a good portion of their problems. Dave says he’s as frustrated as anyone with the current state of wrestling and McMahon and that if it wasn’t for the Observer and his ability to get tapes from Japan, Mid-south and Memphis, he would’ve spent the winter watching the NBA instead.

*He says if McMahon didn’t start the invasion, someone else would’ve. Satellite technology makes it impossible to continue the old way of home-town promotions. Originally, Dave thought this would be a good thing, but he says he’s wrong now.

*Dave thought having most of the talent in one promotion would result in tremendous cards, good match-ups, and quality entertainment. He says that has been anything but the case w/ WWF so far. He also blames other promotions for building up untalented new workers over established veterans with more talent and experience. He concedes talent has never been the most important thing in wrestling, but it used to at least mean something.

*He also says the WWF’s primary lure for wrestlers is money and that other promotions are going to have to dig deeper to pay their stars more to prevent further defections. The only other alternative is finding better workers, booking better TV shows, and coming up with better angles. He’s not seeing that happening so far.

*Dave has completely given up on watching the WWF unless he’s eating dinner in front of the TV.

Editor’s Notes
*Dave says he’s burned out on pro wrestling. Because he’s committed to printing one more issue and a massive yearbook, he will do that. After that, he’ll keep doing the Observer, but only report on regions he’s interested in. He’ll also stay on top of defections and attendance figures in war torn areas. (Dave talked about quitting a couple of issues ago as well.)

*Another call for awards ballots.

Behind the Scenes in Japanese Wrestling
*UWF President Nobuo Urata was arrested, along w/ gangster Hiroshi Takizawa, for threatening Tiger Mask’s former manager Shoji Sogawa. The threat on Sogawa’s life was made in August before Mask signed with the UWF. UWF wanted complete control over Mask’s affairs. Mask had been running Tiger’s Gym w/ Sogawa’s financial backing. Earlier, Mask insisted him and Sogawa parted as friends at a press conference announcing his signing w/ UWF.

*The arrest was made during the middle of a UWF series. The wrestlers tried to remain calm and Yoshiaki Fujiwara was named acting president. Reportedly, the UWF had a TV contract lined up, but this scandal will probably kill that. The UWF may be in jeopardy because arenas won’t want to book an organization tied with organized crime and TV won’t touch it.

*Mask sued Sogawa, claiming he took too large a cut from some UWF shows. Many doubt Mask will win his suit. Mask claims he wanted to quit his gym gig and join UWF but said Sogawa threatened to kill him if he did. Sogawa himself was once a member of the same group of gangsters he’s fighting with now, causing trouble for Inoki and New Japan when Mask was there.

*UWF will likely have to ask New Japan or All Japan for help. New Japan is the leading candidate, but several UWF workers are scared to work for Inoki again.

*New Japan is hanging on despite several defections. Inoki had many of his wrestlers stay on Saipan Island after a series to prevent them from being lured away to Baba or someone else.

*Dynamite Kid and Davey Boy Smith back in Japan w/ Baba. They were unhappy in the WWF and Baba promised to also get them booked on the NWA circuit. They said New Japan didn’t have any opponents for them so they went w/ Baba.

*On 10/22, Baba had a show scheduled in Nagasaki. When they got into town, they discovered no tix were sold and the local promotion group had disappeared. They put on the show anyway with last minute tix going for $6-$12. 200 attended.

Letters
*More WWF bashing and some bashing of World Class. One letter writer thinks Dave is too hard on Crockett. Another writer has no problems with racial slurs in wrestling because, well, it’s wrestling.

*There was a newspaper story reprinted that highlights Buddy Rose’s arrest for failing to pay taxes. He failed to report gross incomes of $28,591, $36,113, and $47,187 from 1978-80. (Whoops. Rose would’ve qualified to serve in President Obama’s cabinet).

WWF
*Gone are Brian Blair, Dynamite Kid, Davey Boy, and Kimala. They all left and weren’t fired. Tony Atlas is back. He left all pissed off a few months ago for the AWA. The AWA failed to come through on several promises so Atlas made up with McMahon.

*Dave said he’s heard the 11/10 Spectrum card was actually good so he might break his own rules about watching WWF and check it out.

*McMahon debuts on 11/29 in Oklahoma City w/ JYD/Orndorff. Watts is running a free show that same night featuring Kerry Von Erich. McMahon may invade New Orleans by late December.

*The Crocketts booked three shows in gyms in the Bronx, Queens and Long Island for NWA shows. A mysterious party claiming he was working for David Crockett called each venue, cancelled the dates, and arranged new ones. All the new dates coincided w/ WWF shows and Crockett wasn’t able to get the original dates back.

*Snuka is back. Buddy Rose and Billy Jack are in. Bret Hart and Bad News Allan will appear too.

Pro Wrestling USA
*Dave says this venture is getting worse. He says that as bad of moves that Vince makes, you can always count on his competitors to make even worse moves. The TV show continues to get worse with no build-ups, no angles, and endless Dusty Rhodes promos.

*Butch Reed won’t do any more tapings because Watts wants nothing to do with this disaster. First live show might be in four months in the Meadowlands.

All Japan
*This was mostly results. All the news was in the Japan update. Dave does say the new version of Tiger Mask is amazing.

UWF
*See above.

New Japan
*Rumors that Inoki will once again lose control of this group by early ’85. If Fujinami leaves, expect New Japan to close its doors.

*Bob Orton was recently in, but looked terrible. Brian Blair looked great and Brett Hart looked good.

Mexico
*Dave says there is a lot more talent sharing going on between Savadore Lutteroth and Francisco Flores.

*Dave says he’s not a big fan of Mexican wrestling, but says they have tremendous wrestlers who do some of the most dangerous and impressive moves in the world.

*Kimala was in and it turns out he speaks perfect Spanish (this I would LOVE to see. Don’t ask me why, but I’ve always loved Kamala. I can’t look away).

Southwest
*Eric Embry and Dan Greer won the tag belts in a pole match from Brett Sawyer and Chicky Starr. Whoever set up the pole did not do a good job because Starr climbed the pole at the beginning of the match and the pole broke in half, sending Starr crashing to the floor on his back. Dave called it the worst bump he’s ever seen. Starr tried to wrestle the rest of the match but was useless (If Starr got seriously hurt, I wonder if he would’ve had any success suing the promotion for damages? Doubtful.).

*Sawyer has left the area after buying 49 percent of a promotion in the Dakotas.

*A recent show drew 76 people (ouch).

World Class
*10/27 at the Cotton Bowl drew 12,000. The Cotton Bowl holds 70,000, but this was still a turn away crowd because of a mix up with the ticketing company. The good crowd surprised Dave given the recent downturn in the region.

*On the show, Chris Adams beat up Kevin Von Erich with a chair and they really played up the injury by calling for an ambulance and delaying the show 40 minutes. Dave didn’t know what to think of this angle, however it was done so well that several people in the audience were crying.

*Weekly crowds are still low. No word if Hayes will follow Gordy back to World Class. Dave says Hayes may have to sit home for a while because he’s burned a lot of bridges. Gordy isn’t viewed as negatively as Hayes. People think Gordy was just following whatever his friend Hayes asked him to do.

Mid-South
*Butch Reed turning baby face.

*Dave talks about an upcoming scaffold match with the Midnight and R&R Express. He says these types of matches are too dangerous to be any good.

*Crowds are down in Oklahoma City and McMahon will be debuting soon. Watts is running a free show to counter McMahon’s efforts and is running a show in the same arena a week later. Dave thinks this will be three red ink shows in a row for Watts and his pockets aren’t deep enough to fight McMahon this way. He also cites how Watts has been ripping the WWF more and more on TV and thinks Watts may be “obsessive” with McMahon.

AWA
*Dave says Verne “McGagne” is now his No. 1 person to blast this month, taking over from McMahon. Apparently, Gagne billed a tag team battle royal in Salt Lake and the three top guys no-showed – Brody and the Road Warriors. Verne pulled them weeks before to help on a show in St. Louis and never bothered to tell the fans. Not sure what happened with Brody. Show drew 9,203.

*Dave says there’s nothing worse than promoting main eventers when you know they won’t attend. He says Vince may have started the trend, but anyone who follows is just as guilty. He has yet to hear of a card where McMahon had his three top-billed stars no show.

*11/11 San Fran drew 6,800 for a tag team battle royal. The last San Fran show drew 600. Dave says nobody knows how to put together a battle royal like Roy Shires did.

*Says Jim Garvin is one of the most overrated wrestlers in the business.

*11/3 in Chicago drew a sellout 18,301. The Fabs and Roadies are working together, but neither team wants to sell for the other. Champ Rick Martell is finally involved in a conflict. He’ll feud w/ Jim Garvin.

Central States
*To fight the WWF invasion, the promotion on TV is saying they would rather have Ron Garvin than Andre the Giant because Garvin has pinned Andre.

*This group is very thin and people keep leaving.

St. Louis
*11/16 drew a disappointing 5,400 for Flair/Brody. The problem may be that the AWA show, which is shown in St. Louis, has Brody as a heel and St. Louis portrays him as a face.

Jarrett Promotions
*Atlanta and Memphis promotions will be covered together because Jarrett appears to be running both. Dave is afraid Ole may contaminate the Memphis product.

*Solie has joined Russell on broadcasts. Of course Dave hates that, but he says Jimmy Hart is so good he cancels out Solie. Dave thinks the Memphis show will become the local show in all of the cities in the old Atlanta circuit.

*The Atlanta show will be special to WTBS and Dave thinks the station should give it a good time slot. McMahon is drawing a 4.3 rating on Saturday and 4.5 on Sunday. This compares with 4.6 and 3.3 pre-McMahon when Ole “did nothing” with his time slot.

*At its peak, the show drew close to a 7 every week. Currently, McMahon has four of the top 10 cable shows in the country. Masterpiece Theater is No. 1, drawing a 5.2. NBA basketball games typically get below a 1.5.

*Flair/Garvin set to headline 12/4 in Baltimore. Dave hates Garvin and thinks WWF will blow them out of the water with its stable of charismatic stars while Ole trots out Ron Garvin.

Florida
*Dave saw some recent Florida tapes and actually liked it. He couldn’t believe it. Says a Flair/Youngblood bout was good thanks mainly to Flair.

Mid-Atlantic
*Dave wants someone who tapes Starrcade ’84 to contact him about a trade. He says he’s a “glutton” for punishment. He says local advertising has been hot and nobody notices how bad the card is. Between the actual arena and closed-circuit sites, it may actually approach last year’s crowd. Closed circuit tix are $20 a pop.

*Dave warns that crowds will be way down after Starrcade.

Weekend Update
*Mid-South crowds are down despite the return of R&R Express. R&R’s hearing a lot of boos. Dave also thinks an upcoming Superdome show will not draw that well because there’s been too much televised blood recently.

*11/1 AWA show had five no-shows.

*Kerry Von Erich had a final screen test for his possible role as Stallone’s Russian opponent in Rocky IV. If Kerry gets the part he will have to 1) cut his hair; 2) learn to box; 3) learn Russian. Dave says he can handle 1 and 2, but might struggle w/ 3 because Kerry took 24 years to learn the English language.

*Patera/Saito pleaded innocent to inciting a police brawl several months ago. AWA has given up Indianapolis TV slot and WWF has moved in.

*According to a source, World Class has no plans to promote in the Twin Cities or Chicago. Dave thinks the AWA has no plans to promote in Texas either and that both sides are bluffing.

*Billy Jack already gone from WWF. Dave hopes the NWA didn’t promise him too much because “there’s already one Rick Martel.” Apparently, Jack left because the WWF didn’t come through on a promised Canadian announcing gig for his friend Stan Stasiak.

*Dave heard that Starrcade was a disappointment in every way besides financially. Said Flair wrestled heel against Rhodes but got cheered anyway.

*Kimala didn’t show at the most recent WWF Spectrum show and refunds were offered. (Refunds for Kimala?! I thought I was the only one who enjoyed Kimala. Seriously, can you imagine anyone saying, “Gee, I see Kimala is wrestling in town next week. Let’s buy tix and go!”)

*Wrestlers Eddie Mansfield and Jim Wilson have testified before the Georgia State Legislature to try and get the state to enact a wrestling commission. The wrestlers compared life on the wresting circuit to the life of plantation workers. They claimed wrestling is a “totally controlled monopoly.” Mansfield said he was paid $40 for his last match in ’83 and had to cover all expenses.

*Dave doubts whether it could be legally proven that wrestling is a monopoly, but says the wrestlers all raise very valid points. Thunderbolt Patterson has been involved in these issues as well. Dave also says he has little doubt that blackballing in wrestling exists, but some wrestlers get blackballed for the right reasons such as no showing, causing problems and being bad workers.

*Rose and Borne were asked to leave by Owens in Portland. Owens got wind of the pair’s plan to build themselves up and then jump to the WWF.

*Muraco back in WWF.

*Dave thinks WWF may have won last head-to-head battle w/ NWA in Miami. NWA now running monthly in Miami. They used to be weekly.

*New book out about Lawler in Memphis.

*Rumors that Race approached Verne about having Verne buy out Race-O’Connor-Geigel in St. Louis. Verne-Bockwinkle-Lanza are thinking about it.

*WWF drew 3,000 in Twin Cities on 11/25 w/ a Turkey Battle Royal. Dave says w/out Hogan the WWF can’t draw in the Twin Cities.

*AWA drew 16,000 at their most recent Twin Cities show as LOD beat Blackwell-Bundy.
Little did he know that it would only be after he'd lose the mask that he would not only become even better, but a real wrestling God.
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Old 07-02-2009, 08:14 PM   #113 (permalink)
Asking SCOTT STEINER for Wrestling Advice
 
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tlk23 needs to take rep more serioustlk23 needs to take rep more serioustlk23 needs to take rep more serioustlk23 needs to take rep more serioustlk23 needs to take rep more serioustlk23 needs to take rep more serioustlk23 needs to take rep more serious
Default Re: 20 years Ago: Wrestling Observer

Wrestling Observer
November 17th, 1997


It will go down in history as the single most famous finish of a pro wrestling match in the modern era. Twenty or thirty years from now this story, more than any famous wrestler jumping promotions, more than any prominent death, and more than any record setting house, will be remembered vividly by all who watched it live, and remembered as legendary from all who hear about it later. Through the magic of video tape, the last minute of this match will live forever and be replayed literally millions of times. But the story of what led to those few seconds starts more than one year ago, far more reminiscent of the dirty con man past of the industry than the current attempted facade of a multi-million dollar corporate above board image those in the industry like to portray outwardly that it has evolved into

October 20, 1996:
Bret Hart was in a hotel room in San Jose, Ca, hours from making the biggest decision of his life - who would win the biggest bidding war in the history of pro wrestling. He had pretty well leaned toward staying with the World Wrestling Federation despite a much larger offer from World Championship Wrestling, but had changed his mind a few times over the previous two weeks as each side presented new offers. In the waning hours, Eric Bishoff and Kevin Nash were trying to convince him to change his mind and how great life was with an easier schedule. Bischoff was offering big money and a shot at becoming a movie star, a goal Hart had been pursuing while in semi-retirement. McMahon was offering him, in the now immortal words of Arn Anderson, not just a spot but the top spot in the company, and almost literally to be WWF 4-life.

Many close advisers of Hart's tried to tell him going to WCW was the best move for his present, and more importantly his future after wrestling. But largely out of loyalty, and that obviously wasn't the only factor involved, he declined the offer. McMahon, not to lose a very public fight, offered him the famous 20-year contract where he'd, after retirement in about three years, become almost a first lieutenant when it came to the booking process. Hart would earn somewhere in the neighborhood of $1.5 million per year as an active wrestler, and a healthy but far lesser figure working in the front office for the 17 years after retirement as an active wrestler. As part of McMahon's offer, he also was going to allow Hart to explain live on television his decision making process, should he sign with WCW.

Hart flew to Fort Wayne, Indiana, where the WWF was holding it's live Raw taping after having already verbally agreed to the deal, signed the contract, and gave the interview saying basically that he would be in the WWF forever, figuring to be positioned as the top babyface and perennial champion until he finished his active career riding off into the sunset in a blaze of glory, like Hogan and Savage and the rest of the Superstars before him didn't. As is the case in wrestling, not all the promised scenarios that everyone believed were going to happen transpire as originally planned. And just over one year later, the feelings between McMahon and Bret Hart had taken a 180 degree turn, to the degree nobody would have ever believed.

March 10, 1997:

Top babyface didn't last long as McMahon asked him to turn heel. At first Hart balked at the idea but after three days, McMahon presented him with two lists. One list was his prospective opponents as a babyface - Vader, Mankind, and Steve Austin. the other list was his prospective opponents as a heel, Undertaker, Michaels, and Austin. Hart agreed for drawing money his opponents as a heel made up a better list and he and McMahon agreed that he would turn back babyface over the last few months of his contract and end his career on a positive note.

He and Steve Austin did the double-turn at Wrestlemania. Hart himself then came up with the Anti-American angle, where he would remain a babyface in Canada and Europe and do interviews that would for the most part speak the truth, so he could, when the time came to turn back in the U.S., have a reasonable explanation.September 8, 1997: Vince McMahon and Bret Hart had their first meeting where McMahon seriously approached Hart about his contract. About three months earlier, McMahon had told Hart that the company was in bad financial straights and that they might have to defer some of the money until later in the contract. This time his approach was more than point blank. He wanted to cut Hart's regular salary, around $30,000 per week, more than in half and defer the rest of the money until later in the contract period when hopefully the company would be in better shape financially. Hart declined the suggestion, because he didn't want to risk not getting the money in the future after he was through taking all the bumps.

More to come............
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Old 07-03-2009, 08:00 AM   #114 (permalink)
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Default Re: 20 years Ago: Wrestling Observer

Good read.
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Old 07-03-2009, 08:24 AM   #115 (permalink)
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Default Re: 20 years Ago: Wrestling Observer

That part about Bret in 1997 is very intriguing.
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Old 07-14-2009, 08:54 PM   #116 (permalink)
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Default Re: 20 years Ago: Wrestling Observer

September 20th, 1997

About one hour before the beginning of the PPV show in Birmingham, England, McMahon approached Davey Boy Smith and asked him to put over Shawn Michaels that night for the European title. Smith was apparently shocked, having been told all along in the build-up of the show, that Michaels was going to do a job for him, since Europe was promised to be his territory. The explanation, which made and still makes logical business sense, is that they wanted to build for a bigger show - a second PPV show from Manchester, England, Smith's former home town, where Smith would regain the title - the same scenario the WWF did to draw 60,000 fans in San Antonio with Michaels in the other role working a program with Sycho Sid. So while it all made sense, it was rather strange he wasn't approached with this idea until just before the start of the show. At around this same time period, McMahon approached Hart about working with Michaels. Hart said that he had a problem with that since Michaels had still never really apologized to him for the Sunny days comment and said it would be hard to trust somebody like that in the ring and due to their past, and told McMahon that he would figure that Michaels would have the same concerns, since a few weeks earlier, after first making it clear he would never work with anyone in the Hart Foundation, Michaels had finally agreed to work with only Smith, saying he still couldn't trust Bret or Owen.

September 22, 1997: On the day of the Raw taping at Madison Square Garden, McMahon told Bret Hart flat out that they were going to intentionally breach his contract because they couldn't afford the deal. He told a shocked Hart that he should go to World Championship Wrestling and make whatever deal he could with that group. I didn't feel comfortable doing it," Hart said of the suggestion. I feel like an old prisoner in a prison where I know all the guards and all the inmates and I have the best cell. Why would I want to move to a new prison where I don't know the guards and the inmates and I no longer have the best cell? I felt really bad after all the years of working for the WWF. Hart had an escape clause in his contract since he had so much negotiating leverage when making his WWF deal 11 months earlier, in that he could leave the company giving 30 days notice and that he would have what the contract called reasonable creative control of his character during that lame duck period so that he couldn't be unreasonably buried on the way out. There was a window period for giving that notice and negotiating elsewhere that hadn't begun yet, so McMahon, showing he was serious, gave Hart written permission to begin negotiating with WCW and Hart contacted Eric Bischoff.

The same day, during a meeting with Hart, Michaels and McMahon - Michaels told both of them point blank that he wouldn't do any jobs for anyone in the territory, word that when it got out made most of the other top wrestlers feel even more warmly than usual toward Michaels. Michaels later reiterated that statement to Hart on 10/4, in St. Paul, when the two agreed that for the good of the business that they'd work together. At a meeting, McMahon proposed a scenario where the two would have their first singles match in Montreal, where Undertaker would interfere causing a non-finish. This would lead to Hart wrestling Undertaker on the 12/7 PPV in Springfield, Ma., where Michaels would interfere causing Bret to win the title, which was poetic justice since it was his interference that caused Bret to win the title in the first place, and that Royal Rumble on 1/8, in San Jose, would be headlined by Undertaker vs. Michaels. During the meeting, Hart told Michaels that he'd be happy to put him over at the end of the run, but Michaels told Hart flat out that he wouldn't return the favor to him. Michaels and Hart spoke again on the subject on 10/12 in San Jose, when once again Michaels told Hart that he wasn't going to do a job for him.
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Old 07-15-2009, 01:57 PM   #117 (permalink)
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Default Re: 20 years Ago: Wrestling Observer

Good read.
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Old 08-19-2009, 07:36 PM   #118 (permalink)
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Default Re: 20 years Ago: Wrestling Observer

October 21, 1997: McMahon approached Hart with the idea of losing the title to Michaels in Montreal but promised that he would win it back on 12/7. Hart, remembering his conversations where Michaels was adamant about not doing any more jobs in the territory, was reluctant, saying after the way the angle had been done with him representing Canada and it becoming a big patriotic deal, that he didn't want to lose the title in Canada. He was then asked to lose to Michaels on 12/7 in Springfield, Ma. Hart told McMahon that since Michaels had told both of them that he wasn't doing any more jobs in the territory, that he had a problem doing a job for somebody who wouldn't do a job back. He told McMahon that he didn't want to drop the title in Montreal. Later, McMahon, Pat Patterson, Michaels, and Hart had another meeting where Michaels, teary eyed, said that he was looking forward to returning the favor to Bret and once again talked about his mouth saying the stupidest things. Hart still refused to lose the title in Montreal. The night before, he had been asked to put Hunter Heart Helmseley over in Oklahoma City via pin fall due to Michaels' interference, but changed the finish to a count out. On this night he was asked to tap out to Ken Shamrock, before the DQ ending involving Michaels, which he had no problem doing because he liked and respected Shamrock and wanted to help elevate him. The personal problems with himself and Michaels, which had become legendary in the business, resurfaced once again when the two and McMahon made an agreement to work together but to leave their respective families out of their interviews. It took just one week before Michaels did the interview talking about Stu Hart being dead but walking around Calgary because his body and brain hadn't figured it out yet. By this point, Hart had already stopped watching Raw because he had problems with the content of the show because he has four children that were wrestling fans that he didn't want seeing the direction it was going, so he was reacting to the remark based on the fact that his father and brother Owen heard the remarks and were upset about them.

October 24, 1997: McMahon, before the show at Nassau Coliseum, told Hart that the money situation in the company had changed and they would have no problems paying him everything promised in his contract. Hart told McMahon that WCW really hadn't made him a serious offer and that he really didn't want to leave but that he was still uncomfortable doing the job for Michaels in that situation. He left the country for the tour of Oman with the idea that he was staying with the WWF, but knowing due to his window in his contract, he had to make the decision to give notice by midnight on 11/1.

October 31: Never one to work without a flair for the dramatics, Bischoff finally caught up with Hart who was basically incommunicado in a foreign land most of the week. Just one day before Hart had to either give notice or stay for another year, Bischoff made a huge concrete offer. We don't know the exact terms of the offer, only that Hart said of the $3 million per year. figure that both Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler talked about on the 11/10 Raw, that they don't have any idea what I was offered, but other sources close to the situation say that figure is close enough that you couldn't call it wrong. Hart neither agreed nor turned down the deal, but gave the impression to WCW that they had a great shot at getting him.

November 1: Hart had until midnight to make up his mind. He called McMahon and told him about the WCW offer and said that he wasn't asking for any more money to stay, but that he wanted to know what his future in the WWF would be over the next two years as an active wrestler and that at this point he was leaning toward accepting the WCW offer. McMahon said he'd think about it and call him back in an hour with some scenarios. Before McMahon called back, Bischoff called again trying to solidify the deal. McMahon ended up calling back four hours later from his barber shop and told Hart he didn't know what he was going to do with him but that he should trust his judgment because of their past relationship. That he had made him into a superstar and he wanted him to stay and that he should trust him and asked Hart to give him ideas of where he wanted to go. During the conversation, McMahon still brought up the scenario of wanting Hart to drop the title in Montreal, but promised that he would get it back in Springfield. I realized he had given the top heel spot to Shawn, but to turn back babyface it was too soon, Hart said. Like in the negotiations one year earlier, it was going down to the wire and he had until midnight to make up his mind. When he was talking to McMahon, McMahon told him he could extend the deadline for giving notice. Hart asked for the permission in writing but McMahon told him that he was going out to a movie that night with his wife and said he was verbally giving permission to extend it and get written permission from the chief financial officer of the company. When Hart called to get the written notice he wasn't given it because he was told he couldn't get it in writing in such short notice. At 7pm Bischoff called again and presented a deal that, according to Hart, would have been insane not to be taken.
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Old 08-20-2009, 08:41 AM   #119 (permalink)
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Default Re: 20 years Ago: Wrestling Observer

Good read.
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Old 08-20-2009, 04:21 PM   #120 (permalink)
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Default Re: 20 years Ago: Wrestling Observer

Anyone who thinks Bret screwed Bret needs to read these.
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