AND YOU SHINE MY SHOES IF I WANT YOU TO
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Wrestling Observer Newsletter POBox1228,Campbell,CA95009-1228July11,1994 One key point to remember for any of you who have made up your minds about the Titan Sports/Vince McMahon steroid case's final results ahead of time. You can never predict what a jury will do. Every time there is a major legal case in the public eye, as there is now more than ever, experienced lawyers go on "Nightline" "20/20" and their ilk and those words are always repeated. You can never predict what a jury will do once it gets the case. After jury selections on 7/5, the trial of Titan Sports and steroid distribution and conspiracy to distribute charges got under way on 7/6. The trial is expected to last three weeks, down from the original five weeks and several witnesses originally subpoenaed for the May trial were not subpoenaed for this trial because it's being held down on time. The trial opened with Sean O'Shea making opening statements for the prosecution. He opened saying that Anita Scales, who still works for Titan Sports and was in charge of handling athletic commissions, would testify that when she learned about Dr. George Zahorian distributing steroids to wrestlers after the Pennsylvania state athletic commission was closed down, she wanted to no longer use him as the physician for the shows in Hershey. When she attempted to do so, Pat Patterson (Pierre Clermont) allegedly told her they had to keep Zahorian because the boys wanted him there. Chief Jay Strongbow (Joe Scarpa) also told her the boys needed their candy (drugs) and they needed him there. Zahorian himself called her up vehement claiming that Hershey was "his town." She then went to Linda McMahon who told her that she had to listen to what Patterson said. The government claimed that when she tried to stop the WWF from using Zahorian as a doctor and was rebuffed, that she was working against the conspiracy. O'Shea said that Titan later learned about the investigation into Zahorian and cut all ties with him and conspired to cover its tracks. He said if they hadn't, the government would have caught both red-handed back in 1991. He mentioned that Zahorian set up shop in the locker room in Hershey and Allentown. He said McMahon many times distributed steroids to wrestlers but that they were only going to focus on two occasions in 1989 when he claimed McMahon distributed steroids to Hulk Hogan (Terry Bollea). He said that McMahon bought the steroids for Hogan and that they took money out of the corporation, but had bank checks written up for Zahorian so the funds couldn't be traced back to the company or any individual. He said McMahon urged and cajoled the wrestlers to use steroids. When they learned of the investigation into Zahorian, Vince, Linda and Patterson got together to cover their tracks. Patterson, who O'Shea claimed he would prove did so under Vince's urging, always phoned Zahorian on pay phones because they were afraid of calls being bugged or traced and they also shredded documents to cover their tracks, and told Zahorian to destroy all records regarding WWF personnel. O'Shea said that during the trial Richard Rood (Rick Rude) would testify that at one time when he was getting small (this is believed to be during his run on top feuding with Ultimate Warrior for the WWF title in late 1990 when he and his wife wanted to have a baby and steroids make it harder to impregnate because it can lower sperm count, usually a temporary side effect, so Rude got off steroids and shrunk to 210) that McMahon told him specifically to "Get back on the juice." They said there would be testimony that WWF agents would give wrestlers advance money (draws) on the road and see the wrestlers take the money and then use it to buy drugs from Zahorian. That after the steroid law changed the WWF continued to promote use and never took any measures until 1991 to get the guys to stop using and even suggested in a memo that wrestlers get prescriptions for steroids from their doctor for injuries and carry the prescriptions with them at all times. O'Shea said that Zahorian lied in testimony at his trial but would be telling the truth at this trial. He said that Patterson warned Hogan to stay away from Zahorian because he was hot. And he also said that Emily Feinberg, McMahon's former secretary, got the bank checks under advice on how to make the funds untraceable from company chief financial officer Doug Sages, that steroids were a way of life in the company, that she was forced to destroy records and that Patterson had full knowledge of her destroying records and they claimed in the trial they would force Patterson to say he was doing so under orders from McMahon. O'Shea apparently did a tremendous job with the opening statements. destroy records and that Patterson had full knowledge of her destroying records and they claimed in the trial they would force Patterson to say he was doing so under orders from McMahon. O'Shea apparently did a tremendous job with the opening statements. *Jerry McDevitt, one of the Titan lawyers, came next, mainly to rebut O'Shea. While McDevitt was good, he was clearly out of his league according to our reports in comparison with Laura Brevetti (the other Titan attorney) and O'Shea. He mainly tried to impugn the credibility of the witnesses, claiming there was no conspiracy because McMahon and Zahorian never talked and that McMahon had to pay full price for his steroids so they weren't in business together. Naturally he tried to impugn Zahorian saying that they've already admitting he lied in his own trial so how can people believe he's telling the truth here and in which case would he be charged with perjuring himself. He also noted that Hogan lied on national TV, although McDevitt was defensive of Hogan's lie claiming he did so because the media didn't understand the steroid story and Hogan lied to avoid a media frenzy (by defending his lie, this may give credence to the theory the company was behind the lie after all which, if true, makes Randy Savage's radio comments pathetic). Brevetti later echoed these comments blaming the media for Hogan having to lie because he was afraid of the negative stigma of using steroids and how it would affect his future career. McDevitt said that the Grand Jury spent three summers investigating McMahon and this is all they got. He admitted to steroid use in the company but said that use was legal (a confusing issue we've gone through a million in that use wasn't illegal per se but possession without a medical prescription was illegal and in many cases wrestlers didn't have prescriptions so that possession would be illegal). He said McMahon and Zahorian hadn't spent five minutes talking together their entire lives (a statement contradicted later in the day by Randy Culley). He said wrestlers used steroids to enhance their athletic performance and that there was no need to conspire for distribution at that time because they were easy to obtain. (This is a valid point in that there were other outlets to obtain steroids but Zahorian was the major source because the wrestlers knew they were getting the real thing from him, which was something they couldn't be sure of from the black market. There was no direct economic conspiracy per se but it was well-known at the time the guys needed steroids to have the look necessary in most cases to work on top and the company was making tons of money merchandising those chemically enhanced physiques, so the ultimate question is the indirect conspiracy strong enough for a conviction on a conspiracy charge). He said that McMahon had asked Zahorian if he was distributing steroids to wrestlers and Zahorian told Vince that he was, but Vince felt since a doctor was doing it that it was safer than having the wrestlers go to the black market. This was the defense Zahorian tried to use unsuccessfully in his own trial that he was doing the wrestlers a favor and protecting their health by giving them steroids rather then them going to the black market and getting steroids that were more questionable and perhaps more dangerous. He claimed Titan Sports never made money off steroid distribution (a statement that could be heavily argued as far as indirect money, but as far as direct money, no doubt true which will be a key point to how the jury views this as far as the ultimate verdict, and probably will be the key point as the trial goes on). He called the distribution to Hogan as two friends sharing steroids and claimed all the government witnesses had axes to grind or were disgruntled ex- employees and some worked currently for Titan's main competition (hey, wait a minute, I thought Titan had no competition?) and mentioned Hogan just signing a multi-million dollar contract for Titan's leading competitor (an invalid point because when Hogan gave his grand jury testimony last summer, he was still with Titan and negotiations hadn't even begun with WCW). He also pointed out that these wrestlers all used steroids when they weren't in the WWF as well. An interesting tactic was that McDevitt tried to portray McMahon as a singular individual saying that the jury's decision would be the biggest thing ever in his life, although in the judge's ruling where the two counts against Titan distributing to McMahon were dropped, the judge ruled that as 100% owner of Titan Sports, that Vince and Titan legally when it comes to this case are one and the same citing legal precedent which may be a key point as well. *Laura Brevetti, whose performance as a lawyer was said to be worthy of an academy award if this was a movie, said that the wrestlers all had to train hard and eat right to obtain the look (true to a point, but the vast majority could eat perfect and train like crazy and still not look like most of the headliners of the day without steroids so the fact many of them were disciplined eating and training really isn't valid or germane when it comes to this case). She then said that wrestling wasn't a competitive sport, called wrestling fake and gave the most detailed expose of pro wrestling ever given in history of how matches are set up and worked. She claimed steroid use among the wrestlers was a personal choice and painted McMahon as an honest man since he was the first promoter to admit wrestling wasn't real and that Hogan will tell you how wrestling was going nowhere with the beer drinking redneck crowd before they changed the sport. She said that McMahon made the personal choice to use steroids because he didn't know of the potential harm, and that today he'd have never made that same choice (a bogus point as has been made before here since the potential harm of steroids was well known to the average layperson in the gym in the 70s, although later Randy Culley also testified when he started using steroids in 1979, he had no idea of potential side effects, although Randy Culley's knowledge of steroids in 1979 and Vince McMahon's of steroids in 1989 are two different stories). She also blamed the athletic commission of Pennsylvania, which also knew of its own doctor distributing steroids and did nothing to stop him, for the problem (which is a valid point that needed to be brought up because there were governmental officials who knew of Zahorian distributing steroids to wrestlers and they continued to license him as their own ringside doctor and state commission representative anyway). She claimed that Scales has the type of personality where she can't take being overruled well and that she has now developed 20/20 hindsight. Brevetti complained that McMahon is charged with being involved in a conspiracy with Zahorian but Zahorian isn't being charged and is being used as a government witness and his testimony will help him get out earlier. She claimed that Feinberg was earning $64,000 a year as McMahon's secretary and got one year severance pay when she was let go, and as soon as the severance pay ran out, she became an FBI informant and Brevetti claimed she'd show that nothing illegal happened. She claimed McMahon didn't know Zahorian wasn't acting as a doctor during this period and that if it was so obvious that McMahon should have known, why did the government have to call an expert witness (Wadler) who is paid for testifying at trials to say that Zahorian wasn't acting in a medical capacity when he distributed steroids? that McMahon made the personal choice to use steroids because he didn't know of the potential harm, and that today he'd have never made that same choice (a bogus point as has been made before here since the potential harm of steroids was well known to the average layperson in the gym in the 70s, although later Randy Culley also testified when he started using steroids in 1979, he had no idea of potential side effects, although Randy Culley's knowledge of steroids in 1979 and Vince McMahon's of steroids in 1989 are two different stories). She also blamed the athletic commission of Pennsylvania, which also knew of its own doctor distributing steroids and did nothing to stop him, for the problem (which is a valid point that needed to be brought up because there were governmental officials who knew of Zahorian distributing steroids to wrestlers and they continued to license him as their own ringside doctor and state commission representative anyway). She claimed that Scales has the type of personality where she can't take being overruled well and that she has now developed 20/20 hindsight. Brevetti complained that McMahon is charged with being involved in a conspiracy with Zahorian but Zahorian isn't being charged and is being used as a government witness and his testimony will help him get out earlier. She claimed that Feinberg was earning $64,000 a year as McMahon's secretary and got one year severance pay when she was let go, and as soon as the severance pay ran out, she became an FBI informant and Brevetti claimed she'd show that nothing illegal happened. She claimed McMahon didn't know Zahorian wasn't acting as a doctor during this period and that if it was so obvious that McMahon should have known, why did the government have to call an expert witness (Wadler) who is paid for testifying at trials to say that Zahorian wasn't acting in a medical capacity when he distributed steroids? *Culley (Moondog Rex) was the first government witness, largely saying that when the WWF taped television in Allentown that he'd get his three week supply from Zahorian, and that after they stopped taping in Allentown, he'd get larger supplies from Zahorian. McDevitt tried to establish that Zahorian, who was a doctor at ringside for Titan events from 1977 to 1989, was his doctor since he saw him 16 times a year which Culley laughed off saying if he had a medical problem he'd never go to Zahorian. That was later contradicted when it was brought up that in 1987 when Culley was suffering from depression or steroid mood swings, he went to Zahorian who gave him valium. Apparently McDevitt took an aggressive stance against Culley, immediately pointing out that he had never finished high school, which may have backfired early since it appeared he came off as bullying a simple country boy type. Culley said that he thought he was given more of a chance in the WWF because he took steroids although admitted to using steroids when he wasn't with the WWF as well. McDevitt argued that it wasn't the steroid look which gave him whatever spot he got (both valid and invalid, in that Culley didn't get a spot as a Moondog based on having a ripped bodybuilder physique that one associates with steroid use but it's actually atypical that steroid users can attain it because of genetic limitations, but big size was a benefit in the Moondog role and the steroids gave him added size. Unlike a Jim Hellwig or a Terry Bollea, he very well may have been big enough without steroids to play the same role). He said he'd get in line to get steroids from Zahorian at the tapings, get his steroids and leave, with the point being he was never given a medical check-up for possible side-effects while he was being distributed the steroids. McDevitt asked if McMahon ever told him to lose weight, he responded yes, he did for the Demolition role (Culley was the original Smash for a short period before Barry Darsow), apparently trying to imply that he actually wanted him smaller, however Culley in cross-examination by O'Shea said that he used anavar (a steroid used to harden up the body) to lose the weight and get more muscular. Brevetti established that wrestlers receive draws on the road at every show of $100 to $200, not just when Zahorian was there, and the money was used to pay hotels, meals, etc. *Tom Zenk was next, who said he started using steroids in 1981, getting them from a doctor in Minnesota. Zenk came off far more eloquent and articulate than Culley, which at the beginning made every most interested in what he had to say. His key testimony was saying that Jack Lanza, a WWF agent, told him, referring to Zahorian, that if you want anything, he's got it. Zenk said he left the WWF after six months in 1987 because he wasn't happy with his money and had a problem with Patterson and Terry Garvin but wasn't specific as to what it was. He said after he left he got a deal with All Japan and Titan sued him wanting a percentage of his All Japan income and he, on the phone to Linda McMahon, told her something to the effect of, How would you like it if I call the New York times you're selling a product of men on steroids s family entertainment and said Linda responded, I don't think that would be a good idea, and he said he took that as a threat. O'Shea made it clear Zenk was subpoenaed and didn't want to be there. McDevitt established that Zenk called the McMahon house just three weeks ago and asked him if he was on drugs when he called and Zenk said he wasn't. Zenk said he called and apologized to them and said his heat was with Rick Martel and not them. He said he left because he was angry at Martel, Patterson and Garvin. McDevitt brought up Zenk's steroid arrest in Atlanta a few years ago and Zenk admitted to being a first-time offender. Zenk said McMahon never told him to use steroids and said he never got any steroids from Zahorian. He said after leaving the WWF he purchased steroids at a Gold's Gym in Atlanta and admitted risk in buying black market steroids. He said he didn't even have to work out when he was on steroids because he had good genetics and compared steroids to putting fertilizer on a lawn. Zenk said the last time he used steroids was three weeks ago. Garvin. McDevitt brought up Zenk's steroid arrest in Atlanta a few years ago and Zenk admitted to being a first-time offender. Zenk said McMahon never told him to use steroids and said he never got any steroids from Zahorian. He said after leaving the WWF he purchased steroids at a Gold's Gym in Atlanta and admitted risk in buying black market steroids. He said he didn't even have to work out when he was on steroids because he had good genetics and compared steroids to putting fertilizer on a lawn. Zenk said the last time he used steroids was three weeks ago. *Terry Szopinski (Warlord) was next, admitting injecting other wrestlers and regularly flushing needles down toilets. It was brought up that Bret Hart did a drawing of a guy bent over with a bullseye drawn on his butt with a needle. He said when he got to the WWF that Dave Hebner told him he could get steroids and pills from Zahorian and that he went into a room with Zahorian who had pills and syringes but he thought the prices were too high so he got his steroids from other sources and specifically brought up a source he met in a gym in Europe and believed what he was getting was real since it was sent from Europe. He said before the Zahorian trial Vince told the wrestlers and if they were using steroids, to leave them at home and not to take them on the road. Szopinski admitted he weighed 195 pounds when he graduated high school, and started using them in college in 1984 and gained 55 pounds in four months, weighs 305 now and weighed 320 to 340 in the WWF. He said McMahon told him to get off steroids after the Zahorian trial and he stopped using them at that point. He started using them after leaving and was arrested and is on 18 months probation and claimed to have not used steroids since his arrest, which many people openly laughed at. Warlord admitted writing a letter to McMahon asking for his job back recently. *The final first day witness was Tully Blanchard, who tried to bring up the Sid Justice/Harvey Whippleman story was the judge struck it from the record as hearsay. Blanchard said he had a conversation at a swimming pool with McMahon before joining the WWF and McMahon told him they were concerned about cocaine but didn't care about pot or steroids, but in later cross examination he changed his story and said McMahon never mentioned steroids. Blanchard admitted he started using steroids in 1977, that before he ever went to the WWF he knew of Zahorian as the drug supplier, that he saw injections on occasion and also saw needles. He said he usually got his steroids from gyms and when asked if steroid use was worse in the NWA than the WWF during his heyday and he said it was pretty close. Most of the arguments at this point seemed centered around the conspiracy charge, which is only one of the three charges but the one that would appear to be the most difficult of the three to get a conviction on. By conceding McMahon shared steroids with his friend Hogan, the defense euphemism for distribution, it is a basic admission of the charge but an attempt to say it wasn't or shouldn't be illegal because they were friends. This seems on the surface to be a shaky premise because in school we were all taught that if you give your friends your own prescription drugs that you are violating the law and can be charged with distribution. However, the defense did a great job in establishing that all wrestlers used steroids before and in some cases after working in the WWF and to this point nobody was ever specifically told to use steroids. The prosecution failed to even attempt to establish the point that if the physiques helped them get the job in the first place, then almost inherently they'd be most often hiring people who had used steroids before. Although the case has been totally overshadowed in the media because of the O.J. Simpson case, there were several television shows and major newspapers in the New York market largely and a few national shows in attendance at the opening day of the trial. ESPN did the same seven-minute segment for SportsCenter shows that aired both 7/4 and 7/5, which were factually strong stories but didn't break any new ground, using interviews with Bruno Sammartino, Billy Graham and steroid expert Dr. Charles Yesalis of Penn State University. The stories were exceedingly negative from a Titan and McMahon standpoint. Among the other witnesses expected to testify in upcoming days include Hellwig (Ultimate Warrior), Terry Bollea, Roy Wayne Farris (Honkytonk Man), Rood, Sages, Dr. Gary Wadler (a steroid expert who was part of the Zahorian case), Zahorian, John Minton (John Studd), and Tony Garea. Special thanks to Wade Keller of Pro Wrestling Torch for his help in putting this story together. *********************************************************** CLASH OF THE CHAMPIONS FINAL POLL RESULTS Thumbs up 136 (47.7%) Thumbs down 107 (37.5%) In the middle 42 (14.7%) BEST MATCH POLL Ric Flair vs. Sting 158 Nasty Boys vs. Jack & Sullivan 30 Steve Austin vs. Johnny B. Badd 19 Larry Zbyszko vs. Steve Regal 9 WORST MATCH POLL Guardian Angel vs. Tex Slashinger 108 Steve Austin vs. Johnny B. Badd 31 Larry Zbyszko vs. Steve Regal 16 Ric Flair vs. Sting 13 Based on phone calls, letters and fax messages to the Observer as of 7/5. Statistical margin of error: +100% For whatever this means, the letters we received regarding the Clash were decidedly more negative than phone calls that came the first few days. *********************************************************** Long-time WWF referee Joey Marella passed away in the early morning on 7/4, continuing pro wrestling's so-called "Fourth of July curse." Marella, 30, a sandlot baseball standout in his teens and son of Gorilla Monsoon (Robert Marella), had been a referee with the WWF for most of the past ten years. Marella had finished the lengthy television taping the previous night in Ocean City, MD where he worked several matches including the final match of the night between Bret Hart and Owen Hart. He then left and was driving with Harvey Whippleman (Bruno Lauer) to the Newark Jetport, a hotel near the Newark Airport on the Jersey Turnpike, where both would be staying until taking an early flight home in the morning. At about 2:55 a.m., he apparently fell asleep at the wheel and the car crashed into a guard rail. Whippleman, who was wearing his seat belt, escaped with minor cuts and bruises while Marella, who wasn't, was thrown from the car and killed, believed to have been instantaneously. The accident took place at the Southern end of the Jersey Turnpike in Burlington County, near Philadelphia and Camden, NJ. It was a sad and tragic irony, because a few years earlier, Marella was involved in a serious auto accident on a July 4th in which he suffered an injured spleen. Among the other wrestling tragedies in recent years on July 4th have included the 1988 death of Adrian Adonis in an auto accident in Newfoundland and the 1990 parasailing accident involving Brutus Beefcake which required 11 hours of reconstructive facial surgery. Marella was considered the WWF's No. 2 referee behind Earl Hebner at the time of his death. In recent years, Marella had been suspended because of a substance problem, but had returned to work and was a very popular figure among most of the wrestlers. Both Brian Lee (Evil Undertaker) and Bryan Clark (Adam Bomb) were apparently originally going to make the road trip with Marella and Whippleman but for whatever reason, fate was working in both men's favor and they caught other transportation. A native of Willingboro, NJ, Marella was living in Tampa in recent years. The funeral was scheduled for 7/8 at the Jose Funeral Home in Willingboro at 10 a.m. Marella's final television appearances will air on the various syndicated shows over the next few weeks, as he refereed several matches all three nights of the weekend tapings. *********************************************************** Bret Hart was back on FAN in Toronto, the same station a few months ago where Hart caused a lot of controversy and changed many people in wrestling's opinion of him with his comments on Ric Flair and the drug situation in WCW. Hart must have liked the reaction, since he was back for more, talking about Hulk Hogan, Flair and their WCW match. When one of the hosts asked him his opinion on Hogan signing with WCW, the conversation went like this: "To me, it's a sad pathetic ending for a guy who was a legend who had a legacy with the WWF. I don't care what anybody says, to me, the WCW is a step down." The host then said, "So he's going to AAA (the baseball term for top minor league group, not the wrestling promotion obviously) basically is what you're saying." Hart responded, "I would say so. I really think so and it's kind of sad. I think his whole legacy was with the WWF. He couldn't seem to pass the torch down to the up-and-coming stars, which were all younger guys." The host responded, "He's got lots of bucks, why wouldn't he just retire." Hart then said, "Well, let's face it, his movie career was a complete dud, disaster," at which point the host interrupted him and said, "But you've got one going." Hart responded, "That's a possibility but that's so remote still at this point. I wouldn't want to try to come across as a movie person until I at least saw myself on film. But going back to Hulk Hogan, when you're out of sight, you're out of mind. When you're off television, you need to be on that television and it becomes a very egotistical thing. He couldn't be on the WWF television anymore as the superstar that he used to be so went down to the AAA, as they say, or WCW. There's a lot of talk of Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair, this great match. The greatest match-up of all-time kind of stuff. It might have been the greatest match-up in some people's minds 15 years ago, but it's a little bit like that old Sheik wrestling in Detroit. It's like Bobo Brazil wrestling The Sheik. That doesn't do anything. I think you're really going to see that Ric Flair is very limited in the ring. In my opinion, his best days were over long before he ever lost to me. And Hulk Hogan, I don't know if anyone's seen him now. I'm embarrassed for him. The guy used to be a hero to me. I'm embarrassed to see what's he's become. It's like flogging a dead horse. The WCW thing, there will be some interest initially but it'll wane fast." The only other key thing out of the interview was when the host brought up Hart was being a part-owner of a Calgary hockey team as was reported in numerous newspapers throughout Canada, Hart said that it wasn't a done deal, but it looks like it's going to happen. *********************************************************** World Championship Wrestling's one-hour live show on 7/9 will feature the debut of a gimmick where fans, through the 900 line, get to pick a match. The WWF has done similar gimmicks beforehand, although not for a live show. The show, which will include live appearances by Hogan and Mr. T, will have a face dressing room with Johnny B. Badd, Dustin Rhodes, Arn Anderson, Guardian Angel, Jim Steele, Sting and Kevin Sullivan, and a heel dressing room with Ric Flair, Vader, Terry Funk, Bunkhouse Buck, Steve Austin and Jean-Paul Leveque. Fans are supposed to vote for one wrestler from each dressing room, and with them pushing the idea that Sensuous Sherri is barred, makes one think that unless they run a live angle to lead the audience into picking, that the match will be Flair vs. Sting which will almost certainly lead to an angle involving Hogan, and probably T. In 1985, Mr. T, coming off a starring role in Rocky III (in which Hogan had a cameo) and at the time being one of the biggest television stars in the country on the highly-rated "A Team" show, got involved in a wrestling angle which aired live on MTV involving Hogan and Roddy Piper from Madison Square Garden and was the catalyst for much of mainstream explosion of wrestling. Mr. T may have been the most popular fad star on television at the time, but even one year later, his fame was running to a screeching halt. He was brought back for the second Wrestlemania to face Piper in a boxing farce, and by this time T's mainstream popularity had changed to people growing not only tired of his act, but hating his act to the point that Piper, at the time the group's No. 1 heel, was cheered both live and in virtually every closed-circuit. Nine years later, Mr. T is a non-entity, a nostalgia figure who will be a reminder of just how easily people can embrace and discard fad personalities. Unless they have a creative way of using him, his name will mean nothing. act to the point that Piper, at the time the group's No. 1 heel, was cheered both live and in virtually every closed-circuit. Nine years later, Mr. T is a non-entity, a nostalgia figure who will be a reminder of just how easily people can embrace and discard fad personalities. Unless they have a creative way of using him, his name will mean nothing. WCW officials came out of the Clash telling one another they had produced a perfect-10 show, which was something of a self-delusion to begin with. Even though the ratings didn't come back strong, that was dismissed because the ratings did grow well and the since the numbers of the past two June Clashes were so poor, they used the past two years as a measuring stick to say the ratings were good when they really weren't. However, reality hit when the numbers came back for the 6/25 Saturday Night show at a 2.1 on a week with no Sunday show (which traditionally adds about .3 to the ratings). In other words, if we are to believe television ratings, which are probably relied on too heavily, but since we don't have a better system, they are what they are, the Clash angle, and more importantly, the significant involvement of Hulk Hogan in the main focused feud in the promotion, didn't add any measurable number of new viewers. More importantly, all the excuses as to why Hogan hadn't added viewers to that point had to finally be thrown out the window. Hogan was involved in a major program, and they had promised the contract signing of the Hogan-Flair match with the celebrated Ted Turner appearing on a wrestling show, but the ratings were basically the same as they would have been had none of this been going on. While holding numbers steady these days is hardly a negative, the company is paying too much added expense because of the Hogan contract to justify just holding steady. Those numbers created a lot of long faces and sudden skepticism about the PPV drawing power of the Bash at the Beach, the show the company is spending a record amount of advertising for, not to mention the huge guarantee Hogan is receiving. Because that kind of mindset usually leads to major angles, hence the very term desperation angles, I'd expect, without being told, one of the biggest ever on the live show. Whether that's a positive or a negative will be determined when the buy rate comes out. But this is certainly a more interesting period to follow WCW than in many years. ************************************************************ An unexpected title change took place at the Smoky Mountain Wrestling Summer Blast tour. Jake Roberts no-showed the first three shows of the tour, which he was scheduled to headline in cage matches against Dirty White Boy. On 7/1 in Knoxville, which drew a disappointing crowd of 700 considering they had a cage match and the Funks were brought in to work underneath, Roberts apparently left word that he'd arrive at around 9:30 p.m., so they stalled the show and he never arrived. They ended up substituting Bruiser Bedlam, who had earlier in the show lost a Dock fight to Tracy Smothers, in the cage against White Boy with White Boy going over. Roberts left no word and missed Barbourville, KY on 7/2, which drew 850 fans which is SMW's second biggest house ever in the city, trailing only the show that the Steiners appeared on. With Roberts not there, White Boy faced in a cage whomever the audience would pick, and Jim Cornette cut a promo to make sure the fans picked him. Bedlam then came into the cage with Cornette and the Funks locked the door to make it a two-on-one. Eventually White Boy still pinned Cornette to win the match and the Funks ran in to make it 4-on-1 until the other faces came in for the save. On 7/3 in Marietta before 445 fans, only 20 minutes from Roberts' home in Stone Mountain, Roberts left word that if they wanted him, he'd be there and word was left on his answering machine that they wanted him there and he wasn't there again. Once again Bedlam, who lost to Smothers in about 5:00 earlier in the show, lost again to White Boy in a 5:00 cage match. Roberts finally contacted the promotion on 7/4 saying that his wife had difficulty with her pregnancy. Cornette said that if Roberts' story was true, it was a very legitimate excuse for not being there and would have been no problem, but he was more upset about Roberts never giving them a reason until four days later and never leaving word that he wouldn't be at the shows or returning the numerous phone calls made to him to find out what was going on. At the 7/5 television tapings, White Boy came out with the SMW title, doing an interview saying how he had beaten Roberts for the title "this past week" in a fictitious match and gained revenge for his wife (whom Roberts DDT'd) and that was all that was mentioned about Roberts. Terry Gordy is being brought in for the 8/5 Knoxville show to challenge White Boy for the title and Roberts after that interview was never referred to again at the tapings, basically meaning he's been written out of the script. The original plan apparently was going to have White Boy taking the title on 8/5 in Knoxville. to again at the tapings, basically meaning he's been written out of the script. The original plan apparently was going to have White Boy taking the title on 8/5 in Knoxville. *********************************************************** This is the final issue of the current four-issue set. If you've got a (1) on your address label it means your Observer subscription expires with this issue. Starting with next week's issue we'll be expanding to 12 pages, which means we'll have a lot more space for letters from readers and for want ads. Even with the added news coming from the McMahon trial, I suspect that we'll have more space allotted to letters than anytime before, so the odds of getting letters printed will be greatly increased starting next week. We haven't run want ads for several weeks due to space limitations, but starting next week we'll devote a half- page to them each issue until we're caught up. Renewal rates within the United States, Canada and Mexico remain $8 for four issues, $15 for eight, $22 for 12, $28 for 16, $42 for 24, $56 for 32 up through $70 for 40. Rates for the rest of the world are $11 for four, $21 for eight, $30 for 12, $40 for 16, $60 for 24, $80 for 32 up through $100 for 40 issues for weekly airmail delivery. All subscription renewals, letters to the editor, reports from live shows and any other correspondence related to this publication should be sent to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228. Fax messages can be sent to the Observer after Noon Eastern time (9 a.m. Pacific) on a daily basis at 408378- 6562. Phone messages can be left 24 hours a day at 408-379-8067. For the most up-to-the-minute news, I'm on the Real Wrestling Hotline (900-903-9030/99 cents per minute) every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. RESULTS 6/12 El Toreo in Naucalpan (UWA/AAA Double Power): Nuevo Audaz & The King & Gama b Tony Arce & Vulcano & Rocco Valente, Negro Navarro & El Signo & Rocky Santana b Latin Lover & Volador & Fantasma-DQ, Los Villanos III & IV & V d Fuerza Guerrera & Mascara Ano 2000 & Universo 2000, Canek & Dos Caras & Gran Hamada b Perro Aguayo & Fishman & Cien Caras 6/12 Arena Coliseo in Mexico City (EMLL): La Diabolica & Reina Jubuki (Akira Hokuto) b La Sirenita & Cynthia Moreno, Panico & Guerrero de la Muerte & Archangel de la Muerte b Trueno & Justiciero & Javier Valaguez, Bestia Salvaje & Mocho Cota & Sangre Chicana b Ringo Mendoza & Ciclon Ramirez & Pantera II, Ultimo Dragon & La Fiera & Vampiro Canadiense b Negro Casas & Samson Fuyuki & Black Magic, Hair vs. hair: El Cafre b Javier Rocca 6/14 Arena Coliseo in Mexico City (EMLL -1,500): Cicloncito Ramirez & Aguilita Solitaria b Guerrerito Maya & Jaque Matito, Legendario & Mestizo & Olimpus b Kundra & Astro Jr. & Rey Bucanero, Kung Fu & Guerrero del Futuro & Cadaver de Ultratumba b Trueno & Aguila Solitaria & Americo Rocca, Jaque Mate & Halcon Negro Jr. & Espectro Jr. b La Sombra & Apolo Dantes & El Hijo del Solitario, El Texano & Silver King & Ultimo Dragon b Negro Casas & Mano Negra & Black Magic 6/14 Pachuca (UWA/AAA Double Power -2,400): Falcon & Tiger Man & Aguila de Acera b Bull Power & Famoso & Tigre Astro, Rudy Reyna & My Flowers & Pimpinela Escarlata d Casandro & Adrian El Exotico & Sexi Pisces, Non-title: Octagon & Solar I & Super Amigo b El Signo & Negro Navarro & Rocky Santana, UWA jr. lt hwt title: Gran Hamada b Fuerza Guerrera 6/16 La Pista Arena Revolucion Mexico City (EMLL -100): Los Kid Guerreros I & II b Thor & Fuego Salvaje, Hector Garza & Bronce & Valiente b Javier Cruz & Kraeno & Tornado Negro I, El Texano & El Brazo & Brazo de Oro b Angel Blanco Jr. & Emilio Charles Jr. & Cruz, Silver King b Pierroth Jr. 6/16 Manuels, NF (Newfoundland Wrestling Federation -68): Vince Austin b Out of the Blue, Jack Ryder & John Henrikson b Drakar & Maj. Holocaust, Rob Victory b Venom-DQ, Iceberg b Epitat, Dean Gunn & Blackjack Davidson, Deaddie Freddie b Chi Chi Dillus, Gunn won Royal Rumble 6/17 Arena Mexico in Mexico City (EMLL): Reyna Jubuki & La Diabolica b Lady Apache & Cynthia Moreno, Panico & Archangel de la Muerte & Guerrero de la Muerte b Trueno & Mascara Magica & Metalico, Ciclon Ramirez & El Hijo del Solitario & Hayabusa b Javier Cruz & Mogur & Espectro Jr., Mocho Cota & Bestia Salvaje & Emilio Charles Jr. b Ringo Mendoza & La Fiera & Brazo de Plata, Vampiro Canadiense & Atlantis & Rayo de Jalisco Jr. b Dr. Wagner Jr. & Samson Fuyuki & Black Magic Ciclon Ramirez & El Hijo del Solitario & Hayabusa b Javier Cruz & Mogur & Espectro Jr., Mocho Cota & Bestia Salvaje & Emilio Charles Jr. b Ringo Mendoza & La Fiera & Brazo de Plata, Vampiro Canadiense & Atlantis & Rayo de Jalisco Jr. b Dr. Wagner Jr. & Samson Fuyuki & Black Magic 6/17 Netzahualcoyotl (UWA/AAA Double Power -3,000): Mohawk & Kraken b Blackbirds I & II, Elvis & Marabunta & Canalla I b Seminarista & Nuevo Audaz & Rayo Tapatio II, Adrian El Exotico & Sexy Pisces & Spartaco b Santa Esmerelda & La Beba & Baby Sharon, Los Payasos b Transformer & The King I & Black Power II, Canek & Villano III & Gran Hamada b Perro Aguayo & Fishman & Tinieblas Jr. 6/18 Los Angeles (GAME): Vandal Drummond b Terry Iwakura, Makoto Muraoka b Benson Lee, Chamaco Torres (Super Boy) b Renegado Estrada, Greg Regalado b Magneto, Iwakura & Muraoka b Drummond & Lee, Doug Williams b Al Burke, Kit Thorne b Golden Boy, Torres b Regalado 6/19 El Toreo in Naucalpan (UWA/AAA Double Power -6,000): Gallego & Angel Mortal & Mr. Condor b Aguila Negra & Gran Apaches I & II, The King I & Black Power II & Seminarista b Picudo & Maremoto & Terremoto, El Signo & Negro Navarro & Rocky Santana b Solar I & Super Muneco & Rey Misterio Jr., Octagon & Lizmark & Mascara Sagrada b Los Villanos III & IV & V-DQ, Double Power Cup: Perro Aguayo b Canek 6/24 Sunrise, FL (Hardcore Pro Wrestling): Soulman Alex G b Pat Price, Painting Contractors b Bobby Wales & Les Adams, Dr. Ric Montana b Darryl D, Miser Moore b T.J. Jackson, Johnny Evans & Preston Plum b J.R. James & Mr. Right 6/25 Alma, GA (All-Star Wrestling): Scott Studd b Luscious Lonnie, Bambi b Peggy Lee Leather, Rob Van Dam b The Punisher (Ray Lloyd), Dick Slater b Too Cold Scorpio 6/26 Philadelphia (ECW TV taping -400): Cage match: Shane Douglas & Mr. Hughes b Bruise Brothers, Axl & Ian Rotten b Don E. Allen & Joel Hartgood, J.T. Smith b Dino Sanoff, Public Enemy b Phi Delta Slam, ECW TV title: Mikey Whippreck b Pit Bull #2-DQ, Dory & Terry Funk b Steve Richards & Hack Myers, Sabu b Chad Austin, ECW title: Tommy Dreamer b Shane Douglas-DQ, Bruise Brothers b Hartgood & Sanoff, Bad Breed b Spiders, ECW TV title: Whippreck b Sandman-DQ, Rockin Rebel b Austin, Funks & Dreamer b Public Enemy & Myers, Pit Bulls b Phi Delta Slam, Tazmaniac b Jimmy Snuka 6/27 Kyoto (FMW -2,867): Masato Tanaka b Tetsuhiro Kuroda, Miwa Sato b Yoshika Ishikura, Mitsuhiro Matsunaga & Mr. Gannosuke b Big Titan & Ricky Fuji, Megumi Kudo & Yukie Nabeno & Nurse Nakamura b Crusher Maedomari & Shark Tsuchiya & Tsuppari Mack, Dr. Luther b Damian, Hisakatsu Oya & Goro Tsurumi b Tarzan Goto & Gosaku Goshogawara, Street fight: Atsushi Onita & Sambo Asako & Katsutoshi Niiyama b Mr. Pogo & The Gladiator & Hideki Hosaka 6/28 Osaka (FMW -2,200 sellout): Hideki Hosaka b Tetsuhiro Kuroda, Nurse Nakamura b Yoshika Ishikura, Gosaku Goshogawara b Mr. Chin, Goro Tsurumi b Masato Tanaka, Big Titan & Dr. Luther & Ricky Fuji b Damian & Katsutoshi Niiyama & Koji Nakagawa, Captains fall match: Megumi Kudo & Miwa Sato & Yukie Nabeno b Crusher Maedomari & Shark Tsuchiya & Tsuppari Mack, Tarzan Goto b Mr. Gannsouke, Captains fall street fight: Hisakatsu Oya & The Gladiator & Mr. Pogo b Mitsuhiro Matsunaga & Atsushi Onita & Sambo Asako 6/30 Peterborough, ONT (WWF -2,000): 1-2-3 Kid b Kwang **1/2, Bushwhackers b Executioners (Duane Gill & Barry Hardy) -*****, Yokozuna b Typhoon -*****, Jeff Jarrett b Doink the Clown *, WWF womens title: Alundra Blayze b Luna Vachon *1/2, Lex Luger b Crush DUD, WWF title: Bret Hart b Owen Hart * 6/30 Sendai (WAR -4,100 sellout): Nobukazu Hirai b Yuji Yasuraoka, World six man tag title one-night tournament: Gedo & Jado & Hiromichi Fuyuki b Hideo Takayama & Hiroshi Itakura & Yagushi, Bret Como & Lion Heart (Chris Jericho) & Dos Caras b Arashi & Ashura Hara & Super Strong Machine (30:00 draw, Como team advances via judges decision), Shiryu & Great Sasuke & Masao Orihara b Masanobu Kurisu & Koji Ishinirki & Takashi Ishikawa, Animal Hamaguchi & Koki Kitahara & Genichiro Tenryu b Ryo Myake & Kishin Kawabata & Kendo Nagasaki, Gedo & Jado & Fuyuki b Como & Lion Heart & Caras, Tenryu & Hamaguchi & Kitahara b Shiryu & Sasuke & Orihara, Rumi Kazama & Shinobu Kandori b Harley Saito & Eagle Sawai, Third place match: Sasuke & Shiryu & Orihara b Como & Lion Heart & Caras, Championship match: Gedo & Jado & Fuyuki b Tenryu & Hamaguchi & Kitahara Kitahara b Shiryu & Sasuke & Orihara, Rumi Kazama & Shinobu Kandori b Harley Saito & Eagle Sawai, Third place match: Sasuke & Shiryu & Orihara b Como & Lion Heart & Caras, Championship match: Gedo & Jado & Fuyuki b Tenryu & Hamaguchi & Kitahara 6/30 Tokyo Korakuen Hall (All Japan -2,100 sellout): Mitsuo Momota b Masao Inoue, Yoshinari Ogawa b Kentaro Shiga, The Eagle & Johnny Smith b Kurt Beyer & Richard Slinger, Giant Baba & Rusher Kimura b Mighty Inoue & Haruka Eigen, Abdullah the Butcher & Giant Kimala II b Satoru Asako & Ryakaku Izumida, Dan Kroffat & Doug Furnas b Johnny Ace & Tom Zenk, Stan Hansen & Takao Omori b Kenta Kobashi & Tamon Honda, Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue & Masa Fuchi b Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi 25:07 6/30 Nagano (New Japan -2,450 sellout): Tatsuhito Takaiwa & Tadao Yasuda b Tokimitsu Ishizawa & Yuji Nagata, Hiroshi Hase b Michiyoshi Ohara, Power Warrior b Akitoshi Saito, Keiji Muto b Kengo Kimura- DQ, Masa Chono b Tatsutoshi Goto, American Love Machine & Black Tiger & Max Moon b Shinjiro Ohtani & El Samurai & Jushin Liger, Too Cold Scorpio & Steve Regal b Tatsumi Fujinami & Osamu Kido, Nasty Boys b Masa Saito & Shinya Hashimoto, Kuniaki Kobayashi & Great Kabuki & Shiro Koshinaka b Riki Choshu & Akira Nogami & Takayuki Iizuka 7/1 Bushkill, PA (WWF Monday Night Raw tapings -1,600 sellout): Non-squash results: WWF title: Bret Hart b 1-2-3 Kid 25:00 ****1/2, Lex Luger DDQ Diesel, Yokozuna b Adam Bomb-COR, Tatanka b Nikolai Volkoff, WWF title: Bret Hart b Owen Hart 7/1 Tokyo Korakuen Hall (New Japan -2,000 sellout): Tatsuhito Takaiwa & Yuji Nagata b Tokimitsu Ishizawa & Shinjiro Ohtani, Akira Nogami & Takayuki Iizuka b Hiro Saito & Norio Honaga, Black Cat & American Love Machine & Black Tiger b Too Cold Scorpio & Jushin Liger & El Samurai, Osamu Kido b Kengo Kimura, Yoshiaki Fujiwara b Akitoshi Saito, Power Warrior b Tatsutoshi Goto, Keiji Muto & Masa Chono b Max Moon & Steve Regal, Kuniaki Kobayashi & Great Kabuki & Shiro Koshinaka b Tadao Yasuda & Riki Choshu & Tatsumi Fujinami, Nasty Boys b Shinya Hashimoto & Hiroshi Hase 7/1 Katsuta (All Japan -1,800): Masao Inoue b Kentaro Shiga, Yoshinari Ogawa b Satoru Asako, Dan Kroffat & Doug Furnas b Kurt Beyer & Richard Slinger, Mighty Inoue & Haruka Eigen b Mitsuo Momota & Rusher Kimura, Johnny Ace & Johnny Smith b Masa Fuchi & Ryukaku Izumida, Giant Baba & Takao Omori b Abdullah the Butcher & Giant Kimala II, Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue b Jun Akiyama & Tamon Honda, Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi b Stan Hansen & Tom Zenk & The Eagle 7/1 Knoxville (SMW -700): Penalty box match: Thrillseekers b Well Dunn, Rock & Roll Express & Bambi b Brian Lee & Chris Candido & Tammy Fytch, Dory & Terry Funk b Scott & Steve Armstrong, Dock fight: Tracy Smothers b Bruiser Bedlam, Cage match: Dirty White Boy b Bedlam 7/1 Honjyo (All Japan women -1,260): Chapparita Asari b Kumiko Maekawa, Tomoko Watanabe b Rie Tamada, Suzuka Minami b Kaoru Ito, Kyoko Inoue & Toshiyo Yamada b Bull Nakano & Mima Shimoda, Yumiko Hotta d Takako Inoue 30:00, Manami Toyota & Sakie Hasegawa b Aja Kong & Etsuko Mita 7/1 Dallas Sportatorium (GWF -1,150): Devon Michaels b Alex Porteau, Francis Buxton b Rick Garren, GWF tag title: Michael Hayes & Jimmy Garvin b Black Bart & Bill Irwin, Scott Putski b Marc Valiant, Irwin & Bart b Michaels & Garren, Terry Gordy b Moadib-DQ, GWF title: Chris Adams b Rod Price to win title, Cage match: Action Jackson b Iceman King Parsons 7/1 Kumagaya (JWP): Prelim results unavailable, Commando Boirshoi b Hiroumi Yagi, Cutie Suzuki & Devil Masami b Hikari Fukuoka & Dynamite Kansai, Mayumi Ozaki b Plum Mariko 7/1 Indianapolis (Championship Wrestling America): P.C. Austin b Flash Flannagan, Mike Samples b Gary Jones, Kevin Haste b The Comet (Derek Stone), Samples b Dan Childers, Danny Davis & Haste b The Phantoms (Troy Haste & Jerry Faith) 7/1 Winnipeg (Rough House Rasslin): Gene Swan b Robbie Royce-DQ, Stan Saxon b Paul Marcoux, Chi Chi Cruz b Bruiser Bastien, Marcoux won boot camp Battle Royal 7/2 Bethlehem, PA (WWF Challenge tapings -3,000/? paid): Non-squash results: Tatanka b IRS **1/2, Nikolai Volkoff b Virgil *1/2, IC title: Razor Ramon b Diesel-DQ **3/4, Lex Luger b Crush DUD, WWF title: Bret Hart b Owen Hart DUD 7/2 Akita (New Japan -4,000 sellout): Tadao Yasuda & Yuji Nagata b Tatsuhito Takaiwa & Tokimitsu Ishizawa, Too Cold Scorpio & Max Moon b Hiro Saito & Norio Honaga, Shinjiro Ohtani & Jushin Liger & El Samurai b Black Cat & American Love Machine & Black Tiger, Nasty Boys & Steve Regal b Takayuki Iizuka & Akira Nogami & Power Warrior, Riki Choshu b Tatsutoshi Goto, Tatsumi Fujinami b Kengo Kimura, Shinya Hashimoto b Akitoshi Saito, Kuniaki Kobayashi & Great Kabuki & Shiro Koshinaka b Keiji Muto & Masa Chono & Hiroshi Hase 7/2 Barbourville, KY (SMW -850): Penalty box match: Thrillseekers b Well Dunn, Rock & Roll Express & Bambi b Brian Lee & Chris Candido & Tammy Fytch, Scott & Steve Armstrong b Dory & Terry Funk-DQ, Dock fight: Tracy Smothers b Bruiser Bedlam, Cage match: Dirty White Boy b Jim Cornette 7/2 Nashville (USWA -250): Doug Basham b Tony Falk *1/2, Spellbinder b Jeff Gaylord *1/4, Bert Prentice b Colorado Kid DUD, W*ING tag title: PG-13 b Nobutaka Araya & Takashi Okano ***1/4, Brian Christopher & Moondog Spot NC Tommy Rich & Doug Gilbert *** 7/2 Isezaki (All Japan women -1,600): Rie Tamada b Kumiko Maekawa, Tomoko Watanabe b Chapparita Asari, Etsuko Mita b Kaoru Ito, Bull Nakano & Toshiyo Yamada b Takako Inoue & Manami Toyota, Suzuka Minami b Sakie Hasegawa, Yumiko Hotta & Kyoko Inoue b Aja Kong & Mima Shimoda 7/2 Los Angeles (GAME -70): Benson Lee b Kid Pepe, Terry Iwakura b Vandal Drummond, Kit Throne b Kimera, Golden Boy b Makoto Muraoka, Al Burke b Doug Williams, Iwakura & Muraoka b Throne & Golden Boy, Chamaco Torres b El Capitan (Capitan Oro) 7/2 Warsaw, IN (Championship Wrestling America -1,800 festival show): Troy Haste b Kevin Haste, P.C.Austin b The Comet, Flash Flannagan b Mike Samples, Danny Davis & Kevin Haste b Phantoms 7/2 Centre, AL (Bama Pro Wrestling): Widow Maker b Jason Valentine, Rock Regal b Al Horn, Ken Arden b Big Bubba, Mr. Vain b Hit Man Michaels-DQ, Sam Colt & Cameron Colt b Bubba & Mike Mercedes 7/3 Ocean City, MD (WWF Superstars taping): Non-squash results: Tatanka b Yokozuna-DQ, Jeff Jarrett DCOR 1-2-3 Kid, Jarrett b Kid, Bret Hart b Bob Backlund, IC title: Razor Ramon b Diesel-DQ, Lex Luger b Bam Bam Bigelow, WWF title: Bret Hart b Owen Hart 7/3 Tokyo Korakuen Hall (All Japan -2,100 sellout): Tsuyoshi Kikuchi b Kentaro Shiga, The Eagle b Ryakaku Izumida, Tamon Honda & Yoshinari Ogawa b Richard Slinger & Johnny Smith, Giant Baba & Rusher Kimura & Mitsuo Momota b Mighty Inoue & Haruka Eigen & Masa Fuchi, Abdullah the Butcher & Giant Kimala II b Johnny Ace & Kurt Beyer, Kenta Kobashi & Satoru Asako b Masao Inoue & Akira Taue, Stan Hansen & Tom Zenk b Dan Kroffat & Doug Furnas, Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama b Toshiaki Kawada & Takao Omori 23:37 7/3 Aomori (New Japan -3,550 sellout): Michiyoshi Ohara b Takayuki Iizuka, Akitoshi Saito b Akira Nogami, Tatsutoshi Goto b Osamu Kido, Black Tiger & American Love Machine & Too Cold Scorpio & Black Cat b Tatsuhito Takaiwa & Tokimitsu Ishizawa & Shinjiro Ohtani & Yuji Nagata, Ohtani won Battle Royal, Power Warrior b Max Moon, Hiro Saito & Norio Honaga b Jushin Liger & El Samurai, Nasty Boys & Steve Regal b Tadao Yasuda & Riki Choshu & Tatsumi Fujinami, Hiroshi Hase & Masa Chono & Keiji Muto & Shinya Hashimoto b Kuniaki Kobayashi & Shiro Koshinaka & Kengo Kimura & Great Kabuki 7/3 Marietta, GA (SMW -445): New Jack & Sheik Mustapha b Scott Studd & Lee Thomas to win North Georgia tag titles, Penalty box match: Thrillseekers b Well Dunn, Ricky Morton & Bambi b Chris Candido & Tammy Fytch, Dock fight: Tracy Smothers b Bruiser Bedlam, Steve & Scott Armstrong b Dory & Terry Funk- DQ, Cage match: Dirty White Boy b Bedlam 7/3 Kanagawa (All Japan women -1,990): Chapparita Asari b Kumiko Maekawa, Yumiko Hotta & Etsuko Mita b Bull Nakano & Tomoko Watanabe, Aja Kong & Rie Tamada b Mima Shimoda & Sakie Hasegawa, Kyoko Inoue b Suzuka Minami, Manami Toyota & Takako Inoue b Toshiyo Yamada & Kaoru Ito Etsuko Mita b Bull Nakano & Tomoko Watanabe, Aja Kong & Rie Tamada b Mima Shimoda & Sakie Hasegawa, Kyoko Inoue b Suzuka Minami, Manami Toyota & Takako Inoue b Toshiyo Yamada & Kaoru Ito 7/3 Palmetto, FL (Florida Wrestling Alliance): Bill Payne b Billy Mack, Chaos b Butch Long, Randy Fuller & Jimmy Watts b Rick Thames & Sonny T to win FWA tag title, Mr. Electricity b Lebanese Assassin, Haystacks Calhoun Jr. b Warlord-DQ to become first FWA champion 7/3 Studio City, CA (Slammers): Hombre de Oro b Dynamite D, Verne Langdon & de Oro b Jeff Lindberg & Malicious Mike, Langdon b Mike-DQ 7/4 Memphis (USWA): Jeff Gaylord b Bull Pain, Colorado Kid b Tony Falk, Doug Basham b Spellbinder, Reggie B. Fine b Koko Ware-DQ, USWA womens title: Debbie Combs b Susan Sapphire, Brian Christopher b Doug Gilbert-DQ, Tournament for so-called W*ING tag title (first team to win two matches in a row wins tournament): Eliminators b PG-13, PG-13 b Nobutaka Araya & Takashi Okano, Araya & Okano b Eliminators, PG-13 b Eliminators-DQ, PG-13 b Araya & Okano to win "titles," USWA title: Dream Machine b Moondog Spot, Unified title: Jerry Lawler b Tommy Rich-DQ, Elimination match: Rich & Gilbert & Machine b Lawler & Christopher & Spot 7/4 Paintsville, KY (SMW -450): Dirty White Boy b Kendo the Samurai (Bobby Blaze), Penalty box match: Thrillseekers b Well Dunn, Dock fight: Tracy Smothers b Bruiser Bedlam, Rock & Roll Express & Bambi b Brian Lee & Chris Candido & Tammy Fytch Special thanks to: Dan Parris, Scott Wallask, Greg Greenland, Steve "Dr. Lucha" Sims, Pete Botts, Gregg John, Shannon Rose, Gary Langevin, B.W. Brent, Steve Prazak, Luca Fino, Dan Goose, Bob Koenig, Frank Munguia, Dan Moreland, Steve Gerber, Bob Kindred, Kurt Brown, Dan Farren, Lou Pickney, Brian Hildebrand, Jesse Money, Grant Zwarych UWA The major break-up of the UWA/AAA promotional combine took place this past week. The signs had been obvious for weeks, since Canek's creating the Double Power cup gimmick for the 6/19 show seemed like a way for him to keep his UWA heavyweight title, which was one of the things promised to AAA in order to get Double Power off the ground. While there were numerous other reasons for the break-up, the straw that broke the camel's back was at the 6/26 El Toreo show where the main event was Canek defending against Perro Aguayo. It was apparently well known among the parties involved that Canek was going to put Aguayo over clean in a 2/3 fall match on 6/19 for the Double Power Cup, and in exchange, Aguayo would return the favor in the title match. Originally UWA promoter Carlos Maynes had promised Antonio Pena, in order to get cooperation for the Double Power cards which picked up attendance at the weekly UWA arenas, that in return for help that El Signo and Gran Hamada's hair would be given up to an AAA wrestler as would Canek's strap, but Canek then created the Double Power Cup so he could go over in the title match. As it turned out, on 6/26, Aguayo showed up at El Toreo claiming cracked ribs suffered four days earlier in Vancouver, WA on the show Tonya Harding was at, and said he couldn't wrestle, and that Mascara Ano 2000 would take his place and put Canek over. Canek was furious, since he had juiced heavily one week, done a stretcher job another, and finally put Aguayo over clean, and this was to be his turn to win and save face in his home arena. Obviously he was skeptical of Aguayo really being injured, since that's the nature of wrestlers, even though Aguayo came with X-rays. Canek wanted Aguayo to do an angle in the ring so Canek could at least claim the credit for injuring him in a pre-match angle to explain why the match wouldn't take place, but Aguayo refused to agree claiming he didn't want to risk further injury. So Aguayo came out live and told fans about his injury, and Mascara Ano 2000 worked the title match with Canek and of course lost. The AAA wrestlers all along were having problems working with UWA since they were working for less money on a per-match basis as they made on AAA shows, and of late they were also mad that when it came time for the UWA wrestlers to lose in front of their hometown fans, they continually wanted to do DQ finishes instead of pins or submissions. In addition, the AAA wrestlers wanted a larger percentage of the houses to make up for the fact they weren't getting paid their usual guarantees. After the 6/26 show, it was officially announced Double Power was over. Right after this announcement came the "En La Jugada" (equivalent to an ESPN Sports Look show in the U.S.) show on 6/28 which included wrestlers from all three promotions. The way the guests were broken up, Canek and Aguayo were on first with Canek calling Aguayo a coward for not wrestling at El Toreo on Sunday and Aguayo tried to defend himself talking about cracking his ribs in the U.S. four days before the match although apparently Canek got the better of the argument. Next up were Fuerza Guerrera (AAA union head besides being one of the group's top heels) and Rayo de Jalisco Jr. (one of EMLL's top faces). Guerrera verbally went after both Canek and Rayo, with his main points being that the AAA wrestlers were the best paid, had the best boss and was working in the best promotion, and ran down EMLL. Rayo said Guerrera was ungrateful since he got his start and push with EMLL. Both Konnan and Vampiro were out later, with the hosts asking Vampiro is he was going to jump to AAA and Vampiro said that he was only going to work AAA shows in Los Angeles (although there have been serious negotiations in recent weeks for Vampiro and Black Magic to jump, but the status seems to change almost daily on what will eventually happen). Konnan came out and mainly ran down Canek and defended Aguayo, saying that Canek was like a top quality Black & White television set, that he was great during his time but this is the era of color television, big screen television and we're in another era. Konnan also brought up that Aguayo beat Canek cleanly once, bloodied him once and beat him so badly he was carried out on a stretcher once, while Canek had done nothing to Aguayo, and given that, why would Aguayo be afraid to fight Canek. U.S.) show on 6/28 which included wrestlers from all three promotions. The way the guests were broken up, Canek and Aguayo were on first with Canek calling Aguayo a coward for not wrestling at El Toreo on Sunday and Aguayo tried to defend himself talking about cracking his ribs in the U.S. four days before the match although apparently Canek got the better of the argument. Next up were Fuerza Guerrera (AAA union head besides being one of the group's top heels) and Rayo de Jalisco Jr. (one of EMLL's top faces). Guerrera verbally went after both Canek and Rayo, with his main points being that the AAA wrestlers were the best paid, had the best boss and was working in the best promotion, and ran down EMLL. Rayo said Guerrera was ungrateful since he got his start and push with EMLL. Both Konnan and Vampiro were out later, with the hosts asking Vampiro is he was going to jump to AAA and Vampiro said that he was only going to work AAA shows in Los Angeles (although there have been serious negotiations in recent weeks for Vampiro and Black Magic to jump, but the status seems to change almost daily on what will eventually happen). Konnan came out and mainly ran down Canek and defended Aguayo, saying that Canek was like a top quality Black & White television set, that he was great during his time but this is the era of color television, big screen television and we're in another era. Konnan also brought up that Aguayo beat Canek cleanly once, bloodied him once and beat him so badly he was carried out on a stretcher once, while Canek had done nothing to Aguayo, and given that, why would Aguayo be afraid to fight Canek. The Killer, Enrique Vera and Andy Barrow are returning and negotiations are going on for Silver King & El Texano to jump back from EMLL. The Death Missionaries, El Signo & Rocky Santana & Negro Navarro captured the UWA trios belts from El Engendro & Shu El Guerrero & Scorpio Jr. on 6/6 in Puebla, while Casandro lost the UWA lightweight title to Seminarista on 6/14 in Queretearo. On the same card, the Death Missionaries lost a non-title match to Octagon & Super Amigo & Solar I, which was surprising only because on paper Super Amigo isn't even a pushed AAA wrestler and he was put over the UWA trios champs on their home court. In an interpromotional match which was reported in the papers as a classic, Gran Hamada retained the UWA jr. light heavyweight title beating Fuerza Guerrera on 6/14 in Pachuca. With the AAA vs. UWA feud dead, UWA is bringing in two green bodybuilders called Mr. Atlas (said to be a former Mr. Mexico) and Mr. Cybergenics who are going to get main event pushes, since unlike the U.S., the bodybuilding craze hasn't hit and been done to death here and obviously they are attempting to copy Konnan just like it was in the United States about nine years ago when every wrestler starting out it seemed filled themselves with juice and painted their face to copy the phenomenal success of the Road Warriors gimmick. Scorpio Jr. is out of action with a broken collarbone. EMLL Bobby Bonales, 77, one of the pioneers of Lucha Libre, passed away on 6/26 and they held a moment of silence in his honor on television over the weekend. Bonales, whose real name was Roberto Aceves, is thought of as one of the all-time great shooters of the 50s. In that era, the American wrestlers, who at the time were the dominant force in wrestling, used to consider Mexican wrestlers as second-rate (some still do today but in a lot of ways that's an example of living ones life with blinders on), but even the Americans were said to all respect Bonales, who in his prime feuded with the likes of Gory Guerrero and El Santo. His son Daniel was a silver medalist at 132 pounds in the 1984 Olympic Games, who at that time was the only Mexican ever to win an Olympic medal in wrestling. Bonales was a powerful figure in the EMLL office and in the Mexico City wrestling commission for decades. 7/9 in Los Angeles at the Olympic Auditorium is Negro Casas vs. Ultimo Dragon, Blue Demon Jr. & El Hijo del Solitario vs. Enigma de Oro & Kayam (locals), Los Brazos vs. Mercenarios (Louie Spicolli & Billy Anderson & Tim Patterson) and Piloto Suicida & Mercurio vs. Bobby Bradley Jr. & Lover Boy. They've lowered G.A. prices to $10 for this show, but except for a great main event, the line-up has no depth at all and isn't going to draw. Pegasus Kid (Chris Benoit) returns 7/8 at Arena Mexico as part of a trios tournament. The tourney will include Silver King & Texano & Dandy, The White Wave (Angel Blanco Jr. & Gran Markus Jr. & El Hijo del Gladiador), Negro Casas & Mano Negra & Black Magic and Pegasus & Vampiro & Rayo. include Silver King & Texano & Dandy, The White Wave (Angel Blanco Jr. & Gran Markus Jr. & El Hijo del Gladiador), Negro Casas & Mano Negra & Black Magic and Pegasus & Vampiro & Rayo. Super Astro also returns on that show. EMLL officially stripped Canek & Wagner of the CMLL world tag team titles for lack of defenses, since UWA/EMLL relations evaporated a long time ago so Canek wasn't going to return and defend the straps, so they'll be holding a tournament soon. Biggest feud right now is Rayo & Atlantis vs. Miguel Perez & Ricky Santana. With the World Cup killing attendance, EMLL announced kids under 10 free at all arenas. The 10-year old son of Mascarita Magica, who was missing, was found alive in Tijuana, and has been returned home. EMLL announced its biggest show of the year will be on 9/23 at Arena Mexico, the 61st anniversary spectacular. Guerrero Negro (Hector Picaso) was temporarily paralyzed after missing a tope. He's no longer paralyzed, but his career is believed to be over. ALL JAPAN The new tour opened 6/30 at Korakuen Hall with Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue & Masa Fuchi beating Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi in the main event. Maunakia Mussmal (?, will try and get correct spelling next week) was introduced to the crowd at this show as the newest wrestler this group is training. He's actually a Japanese-American, just 18 years old, and last year was the Hawaiian state high school heavyweight champion in amateur. Misawa debuted a new finishing hold which was described to me as being a reverse of the Tiger driver, on the 7/3 Korakuen Hall show and used it to pin Takao Omori in a tag match where Omori teamed with Kawada against Misawa & Akiyama. Tom Zenk seemed to be receiving a medium level push on his return to this group after a four year absence. Zenk had to fly back in mid-tour for the trial and is expected to return once his testimony is completed. 6/25 television show did a 2.1 rating. NEW JAPAN New tour here also started 6/30 in Nagano. This tour is being headlined by New Japan vs. Ishingun (ex- Skinheads) feud. During the tour there will be 85 matches between the two sides and whichever group has the most wins when it is over is the winning group. They had five matches on the first night, with Hiroshi Hase pinning Michiyoshi Ohara, Power Warrior pinning Akitoshi Saito, Keiji Muto beating Kengo Kimura via DQ when Ohara interfered and Masa Chono making Tatsutoshi Goto submit to the STF in singles. However, Ishingun won the main event when Shiro Koshinaka & Great Kabuki & Kuniaki Kobayashi beat Riki Choshu & Takayuki Iizuka & Akira Nogami. The highlight of the opening night was the debut of American Machine (Love Machine), who got over strong as expected, teaming with Black Tiger & Max Moon to beat Shinjiro Ohtani & El Samurai & Jushin Liger when Machine pinned Ohtani. Nasty Boys are unbeaten thus far on this tour working mainly semifinals, with the biggest win over Shinya Hashimoto & Hase. On opening night they beat Hashimoto & Masa Saito, and Saito was injured and forfeited his matches against Ishingun for the next several days. Steve Regal is also being given a strong push working tag matches with Nasty Boys, Max Moon and Too Cold Scorpio. New Japan is pushing that Antonio Inoki is going to the United States to the Bash and will meet with Ted Turner and George Foreman. It has been Inoki's dream going back to the mid-70s to have a match with Foreman, and with his retirement months away, this is his last chance to put the deal together. Satoshi Kojima's bad neck won't allow him to return to stage one of the G-1 climax tournament on 7/8 and 7/9 in Sapporo, so he'll be replaced in that elimination phase by Manabu Nakanishi. It looks as though with the AAA/IWA combine out the window, that AAA and New Japan are going to work together and in December many of the AAA big names like Konnan, Cien Caras, Machine, Psicosis, etc. will be brought in. 6/25 television show headlined by Hashimoto vs. Choshu for the title did a 2.2 rating. 7/2 TV had the Michinoku Pro vs. New Japan eight-man as the headliner. OTHER JAPAN NOTES The biggest show of the past week in Japan was the WAR world six man tag team title one-night tournament on 6/30 in Sendai. The finals came down to Genichiro Tenryu & Animal Hamaguchi & Koki Kitahara vs. Gedo & Jado & Hiromichi Fuyuki. In an upset, Fuyuki's team won when Fuyuki pinned Kitahara, after Kendo Nagasaki had attacked Tenryu with a fire extinguisher blast to the eyes rendering him blind and giving Fuyuki's team a 3-on-2 edge. In the third place match, Great Sasuke & Shiryu & Masao Orihara beat Dos Caras & Brett Como & Lion Heart (Chris Jericho). Another six-man tourney takes place on 7/17, although no belts are at stake. The deal behind this is that in the late 1980s, Tenryu & Road Warriors held the NWA six-man belts are defended them both in Japan and NWA before the NWA/All Japan relations hit the skids when All Japan didn't want to work with the NWA group any longer when they did a Clash where they were supposed to defend the title against Sting & Junkyard Dog and a third guy (Michael Hayes?) and they did an angle where Kevin Sullivan locked the latter team up in the dressing room and conservative Baba felt any group that would run an angle like that was embarrassing the sport of wrestling and that was the end of a relationship that went back to the 50s. The latest FMW tour ended on 6/28 in Osaka with a captains fall street fight match (rules are each team picks a captain and the match can only end when one team captain pins the other team captain) where captain Hisakatsu Oya teamed with The Gladiator & Mr. Pogo to beat captain Mitsuhiro Matsunaga who teamed with Atsushi Onita & Sambo Asako. Next major show is 7/31 in Yokohama with Pogo & Oya defending the street fight tag titles in a barbed wire match against Onita & Matsunaga, an elimination street fight with Tarzan Goto & Asako & Mr. Gannosuke vs. Goro Tsurumi & Hideki Hosaka & Dark Ranger, a womens street fight eight-woman match plus the first singles meeting of Big Titan vs. The Gladiator, and Damian vs. Ginsei Shinzaki. The biggest FMW show of the summer will be on 8/28 in Osaka. LLPW announced this past week that the Shinobu Kandori vs. Bull Nakano main event on the 7/14 card, which is the group's biggest show in its history, will not be for the LLPW title as originally announced, but be a falls count anywhere chain match. Pancrase on 7/26 at Tokyo Komazawa Gym has Masakatsu Funaki vs. Scott Salbin (billed as the U.S. heavyweight champion in shoot kick boxing), Minoru Suzuki vs. Renco Parduel (who made it to the semifinals of Ultimate Fight II before losing to Royce Gracie), Wayne Shamrock vs. Bas Ruton and Yusuke Fuke vs. Jason DeLuca (who was in Ultimate Fight II and also lost to Gracie). Rings held a press conference on 7/4 announcing the signing of Tony Halme (Ludvig Borga). Halme was billed as the first pro wrestler to join Rings besides Akira Maeda. His first match will be 8/20 in Yokohama. Halme left the WWF when he broke his ankle, and must have been other problems which led to him not returning other than simply the gimmick wasn't nearly as successful as the spot it was given. IWA has a show at Korakuen Hall on 7/14 headlined by an Undertaker death match (loser must be stuffed into a coffin) with Jason the Terrible vs. Tracy Smothers plus the beginnings of its world title tournament. 7/15 on an IWA show will be Canek vs. Jason for the UWA heavyweight strap and a barbed wire barricade match (a large slab of plywood is filled with barbed wire and the board can be used as a weapon) with Yukihiro Kanemura vs. Shoji Nakamaki and Smothers vs. Dick Slater. into a coffin) with Jason the Terrible vs. Tracy Smothers plus the beginnings of its world title tournament. 7/15 on an IWA show will be Canek vs. Jason for the UWA heavyweight strap and a barbed wire barricade match (a large slab of plywood is filled with barbed wire and the board can be used as a weapon) with Yukihiro Kanemura vs. Shoji Nakamaki and Smothers vs. Dick Slater. NOW has a show on 8/11 headlined by Kendo Nagasaki vs. Yoshiaki Fujiwara. JWP will be doing an eight-woman singles tournament with the first round matches (Candy Okutsu vs. Hikari Fukuoka, Commando Boirshoi vs. Plum Mariko, Mayumi Ozaki vs. Cutie Suzuki and Dynamite Kansai vs. Devil Masami) taking place 8/8 at Tokyo Ota Ward Gym, semis on 8/20 in Omiya and finals on 8/21 at Korakuen Hall. Super Boy, Piloto Suicida and Ultra Taro are headed to Michinoku Pro starting 7/23. USWA Sid Vicious made his first appearance for a regular promotion on 7/4 in Memphis doing a run-in as Tommy Rich and Jerry Lawler were the final two wrestlers in an elimination tag match which started as Lawler & Brian Christopher & Moondog Spot vs. Rich & Doug Gilbert & Dream Machine. Vicious attacked Lawler, causing him to be pinned, which should no doubt set up a match on 7/11. Attendance has been surprisingly strong as a weak on paper line-up on 6/27 drew more than 1,300 fans. On television 7/3, Doug Basham came in and was announced as the nephew of Danny Davis, which is the case, and he looked good. Eddie Marlin then told the referees they needed to enforce the rules more closely. He called out all three USWA refs (Joe Wheeler of Louisville, Kevin Christian Lawler and Frank Morrell) and told them if they couldn't get the job done, he was hiring new referees and they all said they'd get the job done. Then they aired a clip from 6/27 of PG-13 retaining the USWA tag belts beating The Eliminators when they threw powder after Bert Prentice distracted the referee. After the match all three "injured" J.C. Ice so Wolfie D had to go on and wrestle Nobutaka Araya & Takashi Okano, known as the Masters of the Orient, by himself and he ended up losing. PG-13 then had a television rematch with Eliminators ending with Eliminators being disqualified. They then aired a clip from 6/27 of the main event with Lawler & Christopher teaming with a mystery partner, who turned out to be Phil Hickerson against Dream & Rich & Gilbert. Lawler wound up being handcuffed to the ropes by Rich and was pretty well destroyed. Lawler & Christopher then had a tag match against Masters of the Orient, ending when Gilbert, Rich & Dream attacked them and hung Lawler over the ropes. They announced that the bird Reggie B. Fine ate on television last week wasn't really Frankie and Fine is supposed to bring Frankie back to Koko Ware, but hasn't done so yet so they are still feuding. On the 7/4 card they had a three-way tag feud with Eliminators, PG-13 and Masters of the Orient for the supposed W*ING belts, with the first team to win two straight bouts getting the belts. It took five matches before PG-13 beat both the other teams in succession. Masters of the Orient return to Japan since IWA starts its new tour on 7/14. Nathaniel Whitlock, 35, who used to manage here as Nate the Rat, got a front page story about him in the 6/30 Memphis Commercial Appeal. Whitlock ran after a woman who had stabbed a neighbor of his. Apparently the woman used a meatcleaver on the neck of his neighbor, who wasn't hurt seriously, then ran. Two years ago Whitlock was awarded a commendation from the city when he talked a man from jumping off a seventh floor of a parking garage. Whitlock, who called the police when the neighbor, covered in blood, ran to his doorstep. He then left the house and stalled the woman, who was running off, long enough by talking with her until police arrived. Apparently the woman using the Lady Satan name that had wrestled Debbie Combs a few weeks back wasn't Cora Combs. Cora has worked as Lady Satan before against Debbie but the women working this past week as Lady Satan have been Kitty Adams and Sara Lee. wasn't Cora Combs. Cora has worked as Lady Satan before against Debbie but the women working this past week as Lady Satan have been Kitty Adams and Sara Lee. SMW New Jack & Sheik Mustapha from North Georgia wrestling debuted at the 7/5 tapings as a heel tag team called The Gangsters and are going to get a strong push. Chris LePuma, who plays for the Atlanta Knights hockey team, was the guard of the penalty box for the Thrillseekers-Well Dunn match in Marietta. On that same show in the Scott & Steve Armstrong vs. Funk Brothers match, after the DQ finish, the Funks and Jim Cornette beat up Bob Armstrong, and then local wrestling personality Sam Kent ran in and they beat him up as well. This was to set up the return on 8/16 where Sam Kent will manage The American Patriot (local wrestler T.A. Golden) against Bruiser Bedlam managed by Cornette. On television this weekend they aired a FITE union video with Bruiser Bedlam and Killer Kyle, showing Kyle having a tug-of-war with four guys who couldn't move him, and Bedlam bracing himself against a wall with his legs locked holding the front of the car by the legs and them starting the car and having the wheels burn rubber (an old Ivan Putski gimmick from the 70s that was later done in the mid-80s on WWF TV by Ken Patera although in the case of Patera, it was a gimmicked scene). In the Legends update, they announced Nelson Royal, Doug Furnas and Dick Slater as being at the 8/5 show. Tracy Smothers was scheduled to defend the TV title against James Atkins and Cornette came out and told Atkins he needed to go on strike because he wasn't getting enough benefits and vacation days and Kyle intimidated him and took the title match. The match was really bad, with Smothers winning, but after their was the big brawl where Bob Armstrong was bloodied and left the brawl, and then came back with a baseball bat and cleaned house, which is similar to what he did last summer. Bob then did an interview and said that Jim Cornette's mother would rue the day she was with the jackal who produced Jim. Jim Ross will be guest announcer for the 8/5 show. Apparently the interviews cut by Cornette and the Funks leading to that card are excellent, and they'd better be since Cornette is hoping for his first ever sellout in Knoxville. HERE AND THERE The Alexandria, LA Daily Town Talk had a story on Ernie Ladd on 6/22, talking about him being elected to the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame. Ladd, who played in three all-star games in the old AFL before going into wrestling, was talked about as being a two sport star. Ladd walked away from football when he was still one of the most feared lineman in the game and into pro wrestling in the late 1960s and he was a main eventer until he knees gave out finally in the mid-80s. Ladd noted, "I'm very satisfied with my wrestling career. I enjoyed it much more than football." What was interesting was the story gave Ladd's wrestling career equal respect to his football exploits. Jim Crockett is planning on opening up his new promotion, which will be called Jim Crockett Promotions presents the NWA, in the Carolinas, Alabama and Georgia, with the first television taping on 7/26 tentatively scheduled for Rainsville, AL. There are plenty of rumors over who will be involved in this group which will run in that area, but Paul E. Dangerously and the ECW crew that made up the bulk of the first Crockett tapings in New York won't be involved for a number of reasons, the main one being they had different ideas of the direction to take pro wrestling and how it should be presented. We really don't know any of the talent other than it is expected although not confirmed that some SMW talent may help with the first television taping and that Jim Cornette will likely appear. Ron West is getting the towns and Crockett is apparently going to be his own booker. The idea is to run a taping and one weekend a month of spot shows until the end of the year, when in theory they'll have television in a number of cities and run a circuit. Chris Adams captured the GWF title on 7/1 in Dallas from Rod Price before 1,150 fans. Michael Hayes worked his first match that night since back surgery, teaming with Jimmy Garvin to beat Black Bart & Bill Irwin. Terry Gordy did a big stretcher job after being attacked by Bart, Irwin and Moadib after a singles match with Moadib, with the angle being they blew out his knee. All-Star Wrestling has shows 7/16 in Brunswick, GA with Jim Duggan and Dory Funk appearing, and 7/23 in Calhoun Falls, SC with Wahoo McDaniel vs. Greg Valentine in a strap match on top. A correction from the 6/27 issue, the 6/19 San Jose show drew 325 paid and not 250 as reported. AAA Probably the biggest news involves attempts at raiding going on back-and-forth although at this point nobody has moved. As is well known, AAA has had serious negotiations with Vampiro and Black Magic in recent weeks and Vampiro is confirmed for the Los Angeles card, and over the past week really picked up the steam in trying to lure Negro Casas in to form a tag team with Heavy Metal (who is actually his younger brother Eric Casas). Casas is generally considered by wrestlers in Mexico as the best wrestler in North America and has a great rep also as a trainer and for booking ideas and in elevating workrates of others. In addition, they're making a play to bring in Dandy. Casas at press time had told those with AAA that he was 90% sure he'd be coming in and some have pegged that he could be in as soon as the next two months. Juan Herrera, a former AAA front office worker who was the long-time payoff man for EMLL and who returned to a power position after splitting with AAA early in the year, contacted Mascarita Sagrada and made a major offer to get him to convince all the minis to jump back. Mascarita then contacted Fuercita Guerrera, Octagoncito, Jerrito Estrada and Espectrito. Octagoncito was the only one who turned him down immediately and the rest pretty well agreed to jump. Pena and Jerry Estrada had talks with Jerrito and Espectrito and believe they've got them convinced to stay after all. Pena threatened all of them saying that if they jumped, they wouldn't be welcomed back. They seem to believe that Mascarita won't jump if it's only Fuercita who will jump with him, although amidst all this comes word of a Mascarita Sagrada vs. Espectrito mask vs. mask match for 8/6 in Los Angeles. Mexican magazines have also reported Lizmark, a long-time big-name who is kind of lost in the shuffle in AAA, and Lizmark Jr., who is one of the best young wrestlers in the world, as being approached to join EMLL 8/6 show at press time (and you know what that means), the line-up has Konnan & Jake Roberts vs. Perro Aguayo & Vampiro in a Parejas Increibles match (face + heel vs. face + heel which I guess casts Vampiro as a heel), minis mask vs. mask match which is probably the single most important midget match in the recent history of wrestling, El Hijo del Santo & Octagon & Rey Misterio Jr. vs. Los Payasos, Volador & Heavy Metal & Winners vs. La Parka & Psicosis & Misterioso, Lola Gonzales & Martha Villalobos vs. Magnificent Mimi & La Monster and prelims including Too Cold Scorpio and Tito Santana. It's a solid show but no Love Machine or Cien Caras, who are the top two heels in the promotion. Vampiro is on television in Los Angeles since EMLL is on Ch. 22 Sundays, but it's largely dead television in comparison. It's real interesting to see if he means anything since he was on top on the two EMLL shows in Los Angeles which didn't draw well. Sports Illustrated ran a scorecard item this past week about Tonya Harding being involved in the wrestling show in Vancouver, pretty well making fun of her involvement in a group which included the description of the dreaded midget in a green mask and orange wig (Espectrito) that made numerous newspapers around the country via AP. It's pretty much a definite that Harding won't be working the Los Angeles show since her agent asked for $7,500 and the offer made was $5,000. IWC promoter Ron Skoler tried to defend the New York ticket prices ($25 to $50) because of the cost of promoting a show in New York and that Mexican concerts with major bands sell tickets anywhere from $40 to $100 in New York and draw big houses. The fact is, virtually all the tickets sold the first few days were the $50 seats, so if people are willing to buy the tickets, they aren't overpriced. Actually my problem at most big shows isn't the high price for ringside, it's when the low price is too high which often keeps the cheap seats from being sold and can discourage return business. Ringside at a major show is a sign of status and people will pay anything provided they believe the show is something special. When they don't and you find ringside empty and the cheap seats sold ala the EMLL shows in Los Angeles, then you know ringside is overpriced. and you find ringside empty and the cheap seats sold ala the EMLL shows in Los Angeles, then you know ringside is overpriced. Because of the World Cup shutdown, the weekend television was all old tapes. Galavision on Saturday aired three matches from the 3/12 Los Angeles show, including the Mascarita Sagrada-Espectrito title match which was the best minis match I've ever seen, and the Konnan-Jake cage match which wasn't the best anything although Mascarita did the Snuka dive off the cage. They also aired on U.S. television for the first time, the six-man from Los Angeles where Love Machine broke-up with La Parka & Psicosis after Lizmark put the La Parka mask on and attacked Machine with it, and Machine then attacked La Parka. The Sunday show in Mexico just aired prelim matches from prior tapings that hadn't aired previously. Because of not taping because of the World Cup and airing old tapes, it turned into a WCW-like television situation. The week after Mascarita Sagrada and Micro Konnan settled their feud, the television show aired a match taped one week earlier where Micro Konnan once again turned on Mascarita. New shows should start airing this weekend in Mexico and the weekend after in the United States, since they taped 7/1 in Veracruz (drawing a non-sellout 6,000 for a show with Konnan's team against Cien Caras and his brothers, ending when Los Payasos attacked both teams to continue a three-way feud), and were scheduled for tapings 7/6 in Aguascalientes and 7/8 in Tijuana, largely to give a new push to the newest version of the Infernales (Pirata Morgan & Espectro & El Satanico) who are heels on top of both shows. Originally Psicosis was a member of that trio instead of Morgan, but the change was made because it was felt Psicosis was just too good to be put in that grouping and that Morgan was an original Infernale (before he and Satanico broke up and feuded last year in a dud feud) and had no spot in the promotion without being part of a regular grouping. They are going back to running weekly Friday night shows at Juan de la Barrera Gym in Mexico City on 7/15. WCW Hulk Hogan is scheduled to appear on Jay Leno on 7/12. Hopefully he'll have learned from 1991 and not repeat. Another employee defecting of late from the WWF, Tom Hunt, who handled a lot of the stage production for the recent Wrestlemania revenge tour, has joined WCW and will run the hotline. Speaking of the hotline, it is widely rumored that Mark Madden will be on the hotline in place of Bobby Heenan on Sundays, since Heenan's segment, despite all the publicity, pretty well has bombed when it comes to getting people to call. In nearly every case, wrestling heels or people acting like heels bomb on hotlines. On WCW, with the exception of Gene Okerlund on Saturdays who has the advantage of doing the teases on television, the only day that does strong business is Thursdays with Mike Tenay, who isn't a television personality, but has more news than anyone else. Okerlund only does roughly half the average business each week that Jim Ross did with far less promotion, because the teases can only sustain business for so long before people want info for their dollar which Ross delivered. Madden has been campaigning for the spot since December. A correction from last week. At the Clash, Tony Schiavone didn't call Shaquille O'Neal an "old pro" as reported here, it was "All-Pro," which is technically a football term but why quibble. The story about the fan going after Terry Funk with a gun in Columbus, GA at the TV taping was apparently blown out of proportion. There was a drunk biker who had a gun and it happened to be during the Terry Funk match when the police saw him and escorted him to the back, but it wasn't as if he charged the ring or anything. TV ratings for the weekend of 6/18 saw Saturday Night do a 1.8, Main Event a 1.9 and Pro a 1.5. For the weekend of 6/25, Saturday Night did a 2.1 and Pro another 1.5. Even though Hulk Hogan has been announced for the tours, the advance for WCW in Germany in September has been weak. WWF advance for Germany at the same time is also flat but reportedly their dates have more interest. The 8/25 Clash has been moved from the St. Paul Civic Center, the building Hulk Hogan used to sellout in the AWA in the early 80s. The show would have gone head-to-head with the opening of the state fair. No new site or card is known at press time, although the 9/18 PPV looks to be from Roanoke and Halloween Havoc is penciled in for Detroit. On WCW on 7/2, they aired a very brief clip of Hulk Hogan working out with George Foreman which was totally ineffective. Hogan then did an interview where Hulk told Jimmy Hart basically to punch Sherri Martel if she interfered, which is probably the worst timing in the world right now to say something like that. I'm sure TBS got complaints about that because we even received several complaints immediately after the interview. The Hogan-Flair build-up had been strong up to this past weekend, although probably not strong enough to justify the expense, but this week's television saw the hype fall flat. WCW officials are still predicting a 1.0 buy rate for the show, which would be a major success. Most of the post-PPV house shows will be Flair vs. Sting, Guardian Angel vs. Vader, Ricky Steamboat vs. Steve Austin, Marcus Bagwell & The Patriot vs. Paul Roma & Paul Orndorff, Dustin Rhodes vs. Arn Anderson, Johnny B. Badd vs. Steve Regal and Brian Pillman vs. Bobby Eaton. 7/8 in Augusta, GA was canceled, so the next actual house shows are guaranteed shows on 7/14 and 7/15 in El Paso and Albuquerque. WCW also has shows on 8/27 in Fort Worth at Will Rogers Coliseum and 8/28 in Lancaster, CA as part of the county fair before a 9/1 to 9/14 tour of Germany. Stupid line of the week: On the hotline, Gene Okerlund claimed the trial was "a hatchet job by the feds on Vince McMahon because he ruffled the feathers of the Weider Brothers." Although this isn't the first time the line that the Weider Brothers are behind it has been espoused, but it is totally ludicrous on a number of points. The ridiculous Billy Graham to Weider Brothers going to Arnold going to George Bush conspiracy theory McMahon tried to advocate in 1992 when all the bad pub hit to attempt to deflect defending itself against the issues at hand has no basis in fact. The Weider Brothers have more to fear if the government goes after the real profiteers of steroids use then anyone, not to mention Bush isn't president anymore and it's ridiculous to believe he'd give one second of caring over an issue that petty. Besides, the Weider Brothers' feathers would hardly be ruffled by Vince McMahon since they scored a shutout victory over him on their field, and Vince was out of the bodybuilding business before the Grand Jury even started meeting. Yes, granted everything said in that venue and probably anything said by Gene Okerlund on just about any subject should probably be dismissed as all being a work, but he should at least leave the working storylines to involving the workers in the business instead of trying to explain real-life situations by creating works. Arn Anderson was on the Wrestling Insiders radio show and talked of forming a new Four Horseman group with Ric Flair and Curt Hennig, once Hennig's WWF contract runs out and he can join WCW. On both syndication and cable this past week they aired the previously taped and latest disjointed angle with Sensational Sherri scouting Brian Pillman and pretty much being in a babyface position, after she's already turned at the Clash. The announcers, put in a no-win position, tried to explain this faux pas by saying Flair is her business interest and she's looking at Pillman as a romantic interest. WWF Highlights of the recent television tapings. The Raw taping on 7/1 in Bushkill, PA opened with a Bob Backlund squash win where Backlund used the chicken wing and wouldn't let the hold go for a long time after the match and they rang the bell four or five times before he broke it, and he then ignored fans after the match. I'm told this wasn't taped, but was strictly a try-out, but after ten years, they finally got Backlund to do what they wanted him to do. Bret Hart vs. 1-2-3 Kid followed and they had a 25:00 super match. Owen Hart and Jim Neidhart caused a ruckus early but left. At 10:00, Hart scored a pin but Kid's foot was on the ropes and they built it from there ending when Kid missed a dropkick and submitted to the sharpshooter. Another Raw match was Lex Luger vs. Diesel ending in a DDQ when Razor Ramon and Shawn Michaels interfered. Alundra Blayze did an interview saying how she had finished off Luna, which will lead to Luna returning as the manager of Bull Nakano, who debuts at the 8/1 Raw taping in Youngstown, OH. They did promos on the third show building to Bull Nakano being on TV "next week." Jim Ross did the announcing for all three shows. Harvey Whippleman did a dark interview talking about Adam Bomb turning, so fans would know Bomb was a babyface but the fans really didn't get behind Bomb. Yokozuna beat Bomb via count out when Kwang tripped up Bomb. Ted DiBiase then promised he'd give Tatanka $10,000 if he could pin Nikolai Volkoff, and Tatanka scored the pin. Before DiBiase gave Tatanka the money he said that Tatanka could never beat Lex Luger, and Tatanka said he could beat Luger any day of the week, which brought out Luger. DiBiase was claiming he'd bought Luger's contract before Luger came out and Tatanka was agreeing, but Luger was noncommittal and when he was out, DiBiase changed his tune, but this all set up the Tatanka vs. Luger match at SummerSlam. OH. They did promos on the third show building to Bull Nakano being on TV "next week." Jim Ross did the announcing for all three shows. Harvey Whippleman did a dark interview talking about Adam Bomb turning, so fans would know Bomb was a babyface but the fans really didn't get behind Bomb. Yokozuna beat Bomb via count out when Kwang tripped up Bomb. Ted DiBiase then promised he'd give Tatanka $10,000 if he could pin Nikolai Volkoff, and Tatanka scored the pin. Before DiBiase gave Tatanka the money he said that Tatanka could never beat Lex Luger, and Tatanka said he could beat Luger any day of the week, which brought out Luger. DiBiase was claiming he'd bought Luger's contract before Luger came out and Tatanka was agreeing, but Luger was noncommittal and when he was out, DiBiase changed his tune, but this all set up the Tatanka vs. Luger match at SummerSlam. Speaking of SS, two other matches are Undertaker vs. Undertaker, which they did nothing to build-up at any of the three nights surprisingly, and Brian Lee only worked the third night since he worked SMW the other two nights, however the WWF Mag which hit the subscribers last week already had that match listed, and Bret vs. Owen in a cage. Remember when cages used to mean a clean finish in the ring with nobody running away and no outside interference? Today a cage guarantees running away and outside interference, which may explain why the cage doesn't draw anything like it used to. From the 7/2 Challenge tapings in Bethlehem, PA, after a Diesel win, Shawn Michaels came into the ring and pinned the fallen jobber. Volkoff beat Virgil when DiBiase distracted Virgil in a poor match. Yokozuna won a squash and tried to continue beating on the guy when Mabel, Oscar and Typhoon came out and Oscar rapped and Mabel and Typhoon danced. This is to set up Mabel & Typhoon as a regular tag team (thank god, we are really short this year on legitimate tag team of the year contenders) to feud with Crush & Yokozuna. Ray Rougeau & Jim Powers won a squash as a tag team. During this match several fans were heckling Powers on his physique and he flipped them off. Bam Bam Bigelow was managed by Ted DiBiase but no Luna. Yokozuna & Crush beat Mabel & Typhoon. Jim Neidhart, with Owen in the corner, came out for a squash win to the same Hart Foundation music that Bret uses. Owen then did an interview and said at SummerSlam he'd get back at his older brother for picking on him when they were kids and Bret came out and told Owen that he was being brainwashed by Neidhart and that his win at Wrestlemania was a fluke and said his sister was stupid for ever marrying Neidhart. Lots of complaints about the dark main event where Bret beat Owen with the sharpshooter in just a few minutes of a dud match. At the Superstars taping on 7/3 in Ocean City, MD, they started a Jeff Jarrett-Kid feud. First they had a double count out and Jarrett destroyed Kid similar to King of the Ring afterwards. Later in the taping they had a rematch which Jarrett won with his feet on the ropes. They continued the Lex turn tease with Luger saying he had no deal with DiBiase and Lex and Tatanka having another confrontation because Tatanka claimed he sold out to DiBiase. Since Luger is working face for September dates in Europe, this looks like a fake turn. They also did a Bob Backlund turn, although again we're told this may not air. Backlund got a small package but Hart kicked out, but Backlund thought he'd won. Hart then got a small package for the pin. After the match when they went to shake hands, Backlund slapped Hart and put him in the chicken wing and wouldn't break the hold. Although many TV Guides are listing a WWF special for 7/30 on Showtime, it won't be happening. There were negotiations several weeks back and somebody apparently jumped the gun, because no deal was completed nor is one expected to be. Upcoming tapings are 8/1 in Youngstown, OH, 8/2 in Wheeling, WV and 8/3 in Cincinnati, and then 8/15 and 8/16 in Lowell, MA and 8/17 in Portland, ME. It is pretty well confirmed that the state athletic commission that Howard Finkel took the HIV test for Hogan was for his license in Oregon. Bruce Hart is coming in to be in Bret's corner for house show matches starting the end of the month against Owen, who will have Neidhart in the corner. They are actually doing a Jerry Lawler vs. Duke Droese feud at the arenas. For the weekend of 6/20, Raw did a 3.0, All-American a 2.0 (for the live show day of KOTR) and Mania a 1.4. 6/27 saw Raw do a 3.3 for Mabel vs. Bigelow, All-American 1.9 and Mania 1.3. Both Raw shows actually were viewed by more people than the Clash on 6/23. DiBiase has replaced Johnny Polo on All-American. Davey Boy Smith is booked for England shows in September teaming with Bret against Owen & Neidhart on top, plus Undertaker vs. Yokozuna casket matches and Blayze vs. Nakano and Ramon vs. Diesel or Ramon & Luger vs. Michaels & Diesel. However on the Germany dates, it'll be Hart teaming with Randy Savage. There is serious talk of Smith returning full-time in the fall. John Fillipelli, who is now working in baseball production but was head of production with Titan for several years, in his baseball bio, the years he worked for Titan are left blank as if he just disappeared off the face of the Earth for several years. Apparently in Shawn Mooney's bio, it's the same situation. Early week house show business was largely very weak, in the $11,000 to $25,000 range except a decent house in Fresno and a strong house in Rancho Cucamonga ($54,000) promoted hard off the Los Angeles television. The 7/30 Oakland date for "Summer Sizzler" will be at the Kaiser Convention Center rather than the regular Coliseum Arena. Monster Madman, who didn't appear at any of the three shows, is apparently a relative of former wrestler Johnny Rodz.
Wrestling Observer Newsletter POBox1228,Campbell,CA95009-1228July18,1994 This should be a defining week in the history of American pro wrestling with the two largest U.S. promotions looking straight into the eyes of either potential disasters or potential major victories, the end results of which will largely tell the tale of the two biggest promotions in the United States and two biggest mat news stories in this country of 1994. The most powerful promoter and largest wrestling company in the country and in some ways, the world, is on trial and facing a potential lengthy prison term. In addition, World Championship Wrestling, with the Hulk Hogan vs. Ric Flair Bash at the Beach PPV match on 7/17, is facing a trial of its own, a financial one. The negative ramifications aren't in the ballpark as McMahon's, but as of the weekend, it's odds of success at the end appeared smaller. ************************************************************ The trial of Vince McMahon and Titan Sports on charges of possession with intent to distribute and conspiracy to distribute anabolic steroids continued on Thursday and Friday in Uniondale, NY. The main witness both days was Dr. George Zahorian, the steroid doctor who has been in prison for his distribution of steroids and barbiturates to four pro wrestlers and a college strength coach for the past two-and-a-half years following a much-publicized 1991 trial that in many ways changed both the face and indirectly the level of popularity of American pro wrestling. Because the trial is expected to heat up early in the week with many prominent wrestling names testifying. This issue is being done a few days earlier and I want to thank all our regular correspondents for doing such a great job in helping me get the info in time to put out a complete issue early. I'll be traveling to New York after this issue goes to press early. For subscribers of Pro Wrestling Torch, which has been an invaluable help to our own coverage of this case, if this week's issue arrives late or if a week is skipped, it is because its two leading writers are in New York for the trial but they will be attempting to do an issue from the road if at all possible. All plans of this nature for both this publication and the Torch are subject to change, but next week's issue of the Observer could be several days late if the trial doesn't end by Friday. As of the end of testimony on Friday, several of the attorneys involved were confident the trial would conclude by the end of this week, which would mean no delay in next week's issue. Thus far the trial has gone at a snail's pace. Many of you probably will be able to ascertain the timing of the trial because with the O.J. Simpson hearings over, the New York media and wire service which haven't covered this case after the first day, are expected to pick back up coverage, particularly when Hogan takes the stand. Media coverage of this trial has mainly been limited to New York, and a few national television spots. Many in the New York media, focusing so heavily on the Simpson case, didn't have the time in their newscasts nor did they believe the public would be interested in a trial at the same time as the Simpson hearings. Several of the reporters who had been following this case from its early stages were transferred to covering the Simpson case. My expectation is that national coverage will be en masse the day that Hogan appears, and there will be limited coverage in the New York area of the rest of the proceedings. The spectators in the courtroom were largely autograph-seeking wrestling fans, giving their support and looking for autographs from McMahon, clad in a neck brace courtesy of his recent operation for a herniated disc and reporters. The crowd ooed and aahed when, for example, Nailz accidentally wandered into the courtroom, or someone like Afa the Samoan showed up to give McMahon well wishes. Most were largely bored by the proceedings, and complained that not enough wrestlers were there. Key points after the first three days of testimony: *Up to this point, the two distribution charges, which technically are possession with intent to distribute, of McMahon to Hulk Hogan have barely been addressed so almost all testimony relevant to the case (and much of the questioning and testimony at this point doesn't appear to even be relevant) regards the conspiracy charge. *In no way has the government presented a strong case of a conspiracy. There was definitely no traditional conspiracy when you think of the word, which was people getting together and plotting to get something accomplished. Titan Sports was not involved in any profit-sharing of the steroid revenue derived from its wrestlers, which may be a key point, although virtually all this was well-known by anyone who has been following the story from the beginning. The argument that it profited from the drug use at the other end, through ticket sales, merchandise sales or whatever, needs to be a strong convincing argument to get a conviction on this point. Even if there is a strong and convincing argument to that point, that still doesn't guarantee a jury will be able to take it in its proper context if that is its proper context with no understandings of the industry or even that if it could understand it in its proper context that it would consider conspiracy an applicable term. Up to this point, no argument has been presented to educate the jury toward the machinations of the wrestling industry. One would have thought Zahorian needed to be a key prosecution witness for get a conspiracy conviction but nothing he's said appears to have implicated anyone in anything more than many officials at Titan Sports allegedly knew what was going on and did nothing to stop it. Quite frankly, after three days of testimony, nothing has come out that could be considered as either a major unknown point or surprising on either side other than those in the jury probably believe, based on the testimony and witnesses presented, that wrestlers as a whole are a bunch of druggies, that Zahorian was a hardcore drug dealer and that the wrestling industry was filled with drugs and Titan was aware of it and did nothing to stop it but that nobody from Titan told anybody to do anything, thus the wrestlers and the doctor were largely acting on their own. The ties to McMahon being a puppeteer orchestrating this, which has to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, haven't even been more than barely touched upon, let alone had any significant points made pointing in that direction. It has been testified by Dr. Zahorian that McMahon and several Titan agents of executives, including Pat Patterson, Jay Strongbow and Arnold Skaaland were well aware of Zahorian selling steroids to wrestlers and that McMahon himself at one point was asked directly by Zahorian if he wanted him to stop and McMahon, according to Zahorian's testimony, told him to continue, although Zahorian plead his case in order to continue by warning McMahon about possible dangers if the wrestlers went the black market route for their steroids. In fact, Zahorian sold steroids not only to McMahon, as McMahon has admitted from the start, but also to Strongbow, for his son Mark, who wrestled briefly in WWF, WCW and Alabama as Mark Young and Vince Young, and to Skaaland for his son George, a WWF jobber in the early 80s. Another key point is that both McMahon and Titan Sports are on trial. With the two charges of distribution from Titan to McMahon dropped on account of McMahon being 100% owner of Titan, it may mean that legally a strong case could be made for a conspiracy if it the jury believed what the agents did constituted conspiracy since they were employees and officers in a supervisorial role with the company. What happened during that period, when the laws on steroids differed, could very well be considered a felony under today's laws, but those aren't applicable to the period in question. Today, aiding and abetting use of steroids, which there is a stronger case here for than conspiracy, would be a felony. *Most courtroom observers who have been in-and-out believe the defense (Titan's side) is killing the prosecution, although none have witnessed all the testimony *The only person we know of besides those involved in the case that has seen all three days from start-tofinish, Wade Keller, the editor of the Torch, said that his feelings at this point are that Zahorian has come off as a credible witness and that the Titan attorneys, Jerry McDevitt in particular, attempts to impugn his credibility have largely cost them points with the jury. He said it has come across in his testimony that Zahorian has at all times attempted to tell the truth. He believes the jury at this point probably has no idea what's going on and said that the prosecution doesn't appear to be phased by anything that has come out. The burden of proof, of course, is on the prosecution and at this point they've proven nothing. Keller says it appears this is part of a game plan and that their case to this point has been to simply lay groundwork and that who appears to be winning day-to-day is irrelevant until all the evidence is in and the trial is completed. He believes the defense is not even attempting to argue this case based on logic or facts but is emphasizing points that are actually irrelevant or as he termed it, "intellectually dishonest." However, the defense isn't attempting to win a debate, they're attempting to get a man acquitted by a jury with no background of the situation. He believes though it isn't either relevant or prudent to judge the case at this point, but if pressed, he would have the prosecution slightly ahead when it comes to relevant points made in arguments but not ahead enough to prove anything beyond a reasonable doubt and feels that the jury at this point has no evidence McMahon is guilty of anything. emphasizing points that are actually irrelevant or as he termed it, "intellectually dishonest." However, the defense isn't attempting to win a debate, they're attempting to get a man acquitted by a jury with no background of the situation. He believes though it isn't either relevant or prudent to judge the case at this point, but if pressed, he would have the prosecution slightly ahead when it comes to relevant points made in arguments but not ahead enough to prove anything beyond a reasonable doubt and feels that the jury at this point has no evidence McMahon is guilty of anything. *Without being there, but being aware of much of the testimony, my feeling is that the key points we expected going in when it comes to guilt or innocence in a courtroom, as opposed to real life, will be the key. The government has not presented much of a compelling case when it comes to the points they need to get across for a conviction. Titan Sports was not involved in a direct economic conspiracy to sell steroids, did not share in any profits, did not order Zahorian to sell steroids to its wrestlers and in the case of every wrestler testifying so far, although Rick Rude may be an exception, did not tell wrestlers directly to get on steroids. The company was aware of it going on and did nothing to deter it, either. Realistically use was encouraged, and even if you aren't willing to accept that, it has to be accepted that in no way was use discouraged nor can a valid argument be made that those in charge didn't know there were a lot of wrestlers using steroids. During that time period, the same can be said for every wrestling promotion in the world, with the only difference being Titan had Zahorian in its dressing room, but he was not assigned by Titan, but by the athletic commission. But the manner of encouragement was subtle enough that from the start I believed it would be extremely difficult to convince anyone except a group of people who follow the business closely understanding both wrestling and steroids and the psychology of each and impact of steroids on the industry and the impact of pushing wrestlers on steroids as to encouragement without saying so to younger wrestlers looking for a break to take the same route. That encouragement to younger wrestlers looking for work is still a part of the business today since both size and a muscular physique are still a strong advantage in getting a job with major offices both in this country and Japan. The prosecution has not even begun to bring up the points it needs to win the case, while the defense has proven beyond any doubt that no traditional conspiracy took place. The distribution has not even been addressed except in a key question when Zahorian was asked if he sent steroids to McMahon on October 24, 1989 (one of the two steroid shipments in question) and Zahorian answered that he was not certain. The prosecution had records of a bank check on 10/28 for $538 to Zahorian. Even if Emily Feinberg testifies she ordered steroids from Zahorian for McMahon to distribute to Hogan, it may be difficult for Feinberg to say for certain there actually were steroids in the package even though she believes it to be so, and even though a package may have been delivered to Hogan who believed it was steroids, with Zahorian not being certain. It makes the case for that particular charge of distribution weaker. In addition, on the two distribution counts, the key is whether the jury will buy the sharing steroids with a friend defense, or if they'll consider a few hundred dollars worth of drugs to be insignificant and somehow not worthy of putting someone in jail over, which, quite frankly, if that's all there is without proof there is more in the big picture, that's a reasonable conclusion to come to. The government has to be able to prove that the few hundred dollars worth of steroids was indicative of a larger, more major problem. Thus far it has proven there was a major problem with steroids rampant among wrestlers, but hasn't tied the company well enough into being responsible legally for that problem. *It appears the defense is building its case for defending the point that so many key personnel at Titan (and quite frankly, everyone close to the wrestling industry) were aware that Zahorian was supplying steroids to WWF wrestlers and was considered "the" supplier (although many individuals had their own connections because Zahorian's prices were routinely much higher than black market with the excuse being with Zahorian, you were guaranteed you were getting what was being advertised which is never the case on the black market) by the fact that Zahorian, an award-winning doctor, told Vince that by keeping the guys away from the black market since they were going to use steroids anyway, that he was protecting their health because there are more dangers from injecting unknown quantities into ones systems than from steroids and since McMahon, a layperson, heard this from a doctor, he unknowingly believed it to be so. Of course this is flawed logic because any cocaine dealer could argue that by selling uncontaminated cocaine, he was keeping his customers, who are going to get high whether he's there or not, from buying more dangerous drugs like impure cocaine, heroin or crack which are more addictive and could be worse for their health. In addition, the idea that the potential dangers of steroids were unknown to the average intelligent user of steroids (which is not a complete oxymoron) by the mid-80s has been used as a defense in the media, but in reality it is pure b.s. as any experienced lifter who spent anytime in a gym or power sports environment could give countless examples of people who have had side effects from steroids and the fact the medical community has warned against their use is has been known and ignored in gyms going back to the late 60s. sports environment could give countless examples of people who have had side effects from steroids and the fact the medical community has warned against their use is has been known and ignored in gyms going back to the late 60s. Zahorian was the only witness on Thursday. On Friday, Zahorian once again took up almost the entire day except for a far-too-long segment with a federal express employee who stated the obvious, that packages are rounded up to the next pound (in other words, a package weighing 2.1 pounds would have shown up in the documentation as a three pound package), that any employee of the company could use its Fed-ex number (thus packages to Titan Sports weren't necessarily for McMahon even if they used his fed-ex number to pay for them) and that even though it can be proven Zahorian made numerous shipments to Titan and even to McMahon, signed for by Feinberg, etc., that just from the fed-ex receipts and nothing else, nothing can be proven that there necessarily were steroids in the packages although I suspect all concerned will admit to the point that Zahorian did send steroids to McMahon, and that at some point at least some of those steroids wound up in the bloodstream of Terry Bollea. *The schedule was that on Monday, 7/11, Jim "Ultimate Warrior" Hellwig, Patterson, Doug Sages (Titan Sports Chief Financial Officer), Rood and Kevin "Nailz" Wacholz were scheduled to testify. Of the names mentioned last week as witnesses, John "Studd" Minton and Roy Wayne "Honkytonk Man" Farris are questionable as whether or not they'll appear, but Farris is another who sent Titan a request for employment recently, as it appeared did other government witnesses in the trial. Funny world we live in, but so as to not avoid any confusion, in all cases that I'm aware of, it was the wrestler initiating the contact so this isn't implying any funny business from Titan's side. There was a lot of talk that Hogan's testimony would come on Tuesday and no word on when Feinberg, considered the key to the government's case, would testify. In Zahorian's testimony, a great deal of time was spent by the defense attempting to show that Zahorian received improved treatment in prison in exchange for giving the government the information they wanted to receive. Zahorian testified that no promises were made, and in fact his requests to transfer to a work stockyard have been continually denied as have been his attempts to be released early. Apparently since Zahorian is considered a high-profile prisoner because of all the publicity stemming from his original case, the government doesn't want to release him early because it would come out publicly and make them appear to be weak on crime. Titan's attorneys, Jerry McDevitt and Laura Brevetti did show that Zahorian did get somewhat improved conditions in jail after testifying before the Grand Jury twice in April. They also made attempt after attempt to get Zahorian to slip up and say he had been led what to say or that prosecutors broke standard procedure, which ultimately went nowhere since they couldn't get him to crack. They also tried to imply that an $80,000 profit on the sale of his office/condo complex that the government seized in the 1991 trial, of which half the profits went to his wife since she owned half the property, constituted a payoff for giving them the info they wanted, which was a ludicrous argument since the wife owned half the complex and she committed no crime nor, according to testimony, was even aware of her husband's "side business" as he tried to keep it from her. Zahorian admitted to being a fan of pro wrestling as a teenager and in the days when WWF taped every third week at the Allentown Agricultural Hall in the early 80s, he was the ringside physician. Zahorian said he distributed steroids, valium, Tylenol III & IV and Halcions to wrestlers at shows starting in 1981 or 1982 through 1989 although numerous wrestlers insist it dated back farther than that. At first, the only steroid he distributed was decadurabolin, but he expanded to other steroids. He said his steroid business picked up from 1985-87 because more wrestlers started taking steroids at that time. He said his business decreased and dropped largely in 1989 when the word got out that he was being investigated. Zahorian testified that 98 to 99 percent of his steroid business was distribution to wrestlers and officers of the WWF. In cross- examination by McDevitt, it was brought up Zahorian distributed to many wrestlers who had worked for the WWF after they had left, such as David Shults, Eddie Gilbert, Steve Muslin (Steve Travis) and Brian Blair, by which McDevitt, who had established a relevant point about the percentage, then tried to overstate it by using it to paint Zahorian as a liar and with a credibility problem with the 98 to 99 percent figure when it was clearly an understandable mistake, another overdramatization that appeared in some eyes to backfire. Zahorian then lowered it to 80 to 90 percent not including the former WWF wrestlers, with the other eight to 18 or percent being the wrestlers who had left the WWF that he had originally considered as WWF wrestlers and the remaining one or two percent were to Bill Dunn, the college strength coach who testified at his trial, Kevin Sheehan, allegedly a police officer friend of Shults' and Brian Sochia, an NFL football player with the Dolphins and Oilers who had a connection with Dunn. at his trial, Kevin Sheehan, allegedly a police officer friend of Shults' and Brian Sochia, an NFL football player with the Dolphins and Oilers who had a connection with Dunn. Zahorian said he would set up shop in Allentown in an artificial locker room and wrestlers would come in, and he'd give them steroids in brown paper bags. He'd give the wrestlers whatever drugs they wanted. Commission officials were often there as he was distributing steroids but WWF officials were not in the room as he was doing so. The situation was similar in Hershey. When asked if he was acting properly as a physician by doing this, Zahorian responded, "No I was not." Zahorian only followed up on the health of the wrestlers after using the drugs if the same wrestler appeared on the next show and brought it up. When asked if it was medically proper to give steroids to wrestlers for bodybuilding purposes, Zahorian responded, "It is against my ethical standards and I was wrong." When asked if it was proper for the patients to decide what drug they received, he said that it wasn't. Zahorian remembered distributing steroids to Skaaland around 1983-84 for his son George, then a jobber. Later McDevitt tried to make the point that George, as a jobber, wasn't a ticket seller, implying the government's case that Titan conspired to get the wrestlers on steroids to sell tickets somehow weakened because a wrestler who wasn't a ticket seller was being sold steroids. He'd give steroids to Arnold for George if George wasn't present. He also said he gave steroids to Strongbow on multiple occasions after 1985 for his son. He said that in 1985, when Patterson was an agent, before he became McMahon's Vice President in charge of talent, that Patterson asked him if he was giving cocaine or heroin to the wrestlers and he said he was only giving them steroids and Tylenol III & IV. He said in Hershey, PA in early 1988 (McDevitt attempted to make a big deal out of a contradiction because in Grand Jury testimony his dates were contradictory, but Zahorian said after thinking about it he believed it was early 1988), he was summoned by Patterson who said that Vince wanted to see him. McMahon allegedly asked him if he was giving wrestlers steroids and Zahorian said yes, that he was giving them steroids and other drugs. Zahorian said he told McMahon that if they weren't buying the steroids from him that they would be buying them on the black market from people they didn't know and the drugs could be tainted. Zahorian told McMahon they could get sick from them but with him they knew they were getting the real thing. Zahorian said he told McMahon at that point that if he wanted him to stop, he would. Vince at that point allegedly told him not to stop. The defense has already tried to make the point that Zahorian, a doctor, told McMahon, without a medical background, that the situation the way it was was better for the health of his wrestlers. Zahorian said he had another conversation with McMahon three to five months later and had four or five conversations with Feinberg who told him to send steroids to the office. He said he had no doctor/patient relationship with McMahon. He said the first amount he sent to McMahon was for one cycle (in other words, not enough for distribution), consisting of 12 vials of decadurabolin, two or three bottles of testosterone and a few bottles of HCG (not a steroid but a drug used coming off steroid cycles to kick ones testicles, which often slow down production of male hormone while on steroids, back into gear). In other conversations, Feinberg would call him and ask for a certain amount of steroids and mention that it was either for Mr. McMahon or Mr. Bollea. At one point he sent a package with seven or eight cycles to the Titan office (which would be enough theoretically for distribution--generally a cycle lasts six to 12 weeks so if one doesn't cycle off, it could also be at the least a nearly one year supply for one hardcore steroid freak). In early 1989, the Pennsylvania state government disbanded commission regulation of wrestling so the commission no longer appointed Zahorian to shows. At that point he claimed Patterson called him and said he could still see the wrestlers and would like to see him at the events. He also got a call from Skaaland who wanted him there, with the point being made that these conversations took place after the November 1988 steroid law changed making a doctor distributing steroids for something other than the treatment of disease in humans a felony. Several months later he got another call from Patterson, which he said he returned, and was asked by Patterson to call him back from a pay phone. Patterson then told him when he called that an investigation is going on that concerned Titan Sports. Because of the investigation he said that Patterson said that Vince told him it was necessary to destroy all documentation on the wrestlers. He said the investigation was probably minor but to please be careful and said that after the investigation was completed they could meet again and continue their relationship. At that point Zahorian removed his records regarding Titan wrestlers using steroids from his office, but instead of destroying them, moved them to a storage area and later moved them to his attorneys office at the time the government made the raid on his office which is why when the raid came there were no medical records of the wrestlers. At the time the raid was made, Zahorian was in the process of mailing out packages to Roddy Piper (who at the time was between stints in the WWF and working in Hollywood) and Mike Rotunda (who was with WCW at the time). The package to Piper contained steroids and possibly anti-inflammatory drugs which why Piper was required to testify in the first trial. time was between stints in the WWF and working in Hollywood) and Mike Rotunda (who was with WCW at the time). The package to Piper contained steroids and possibly anti-inflammatory drugs which why Piper was required to testify in the first trial. McDevitt then started questioning Zahorian and asked if he had knowingly perjured himself in his testimony at his own trial and Zahorian replied, "To a certain extent, yes." When asked if he perjured himself in front of the Grand Jury (Zahorian was called to the grand jury investigation of Titan and McMahon on 4/8 and 4/15), he said that at the first Grand Jury hearing since he had been in prison, he wasn't clear about everything and didn't know why he was there, but after a week of thinking about it, the events became clearer in his head, which explained the haziness the first session as compared with the second. The defense attempted to make a point his treatment in prison was better during that week in between hearings, and then brought up the $40,000 his wife made as her share of the government auction sale of his office/condo complex. McDevitt brought up that on March 4, 1993, Zahorian was granted immunity from being prosecuted on charges that he perjured himself at the first trial in exchange for his testimony. McDevitt brought up that Zahorian wrote a letter to O'Shea last month in a request for them to assist him in getting into a Philadelphia halfway house and be furloughed on weekends while in a prison work program during the week. O'Shea wrote a letter saying they believed Zahorian was truthful and cooperative but before this line of questioning got any farther, the Judge interrupted McDevitt and scolded him saying that all this information was immaterial and inappropriate. Zahorian said his total contact with Tony Valenti (the justice department investigator who was largely responsible for this case) was one 30 minute conversation eight to ten months ago and two or three phone calls since. Much of what McDevitt was doing appeared to be an attempt to get Zahorian to slip up, even trying to push Zahorian to somehow indicate he was told by Valenti what answers to give but Zahorian never slipped up, which seemed to frustrate McDevitt who seemed unprepared for courtroom battle and would almost freeze when answers didn't go the way he expected. Apparently where Zahorian perjured himself in the first trial was when he testified that he never started anyone out on steroids, that everyone he sold to had previously used them when he knowingly knew that wasn't the case. They tried to make a point that in the Grand Jury, Zahorian didn't know anything when the name Emily Feinberg was brought up, but did remember sending steroids requested by Bollea, said to be for Tiny Lister (Zeus), mailed to McMahon in Atlanta at the time "No Holds Barred" was being filmed. Zahorian recalled a call from Bollea saying that "Zeus" needed three or four bottles of testosterone and Bollea told him to send it to Vince in Atlanta. The defense seemed to be trying to make the point that in this case it was Bollea distributing to McMahon, but this point wasn't clear. Zahorian said that in his few other conversations with McMahon besides the one in Hershey, that they were brief and they never talked about steroids, and that he never met Feinberg but had talked to her on the phone. McDevitt continued to try to push the point that Zahorian was in horrible conditions in prison and claimed he was later given preferential treatment. Zahorian admitted that Titan Sports never paid him anything extra for selling steroids nor did he split profits with Titan on his steroid sales, nor was an offer ever made offering to split profits for letting him sell steroids to the wrestlers. When asked if there was a legitimate medical need for some of the drugs (not necessarily steroids) he dispensed, Zahorian responded, "Sometimes." McDevitt established that when Zahorian gave guys drugs in the brown paper bags and that sometimes there weren't any steroids in the bags but other drugs. When the guys came out of where he set up shop carrying around the bags, nobody could tell from the bags whether there were steroids or other drugs or a combination of both in their bags. McDevitt also brought up that nobody from the state athletic commission or the staff at the arenas he was dealing in ever reported or even questioned him about what he was doing, nor did any physician ever report his activities publicly as being wrong. Zahorian was asked that in 1977, when he first became affiliated with the WWWF, was anyone on steroids, and he said yes, and then when McDevitt brought up the names Ken Patera, Billy Graham and Ivan Putski, Zahorian said they were all on steroids. When McDevitt asked if dianabol was used predominately in those days (this line of questioning obviously coming from reading the Billy Graham interview in the Observer in January, 1992), Zahorian said No. McDevitt then brought up the labeling that the government put in every steroid package, which has largely been laughed at by athletes for years and even used as an illogical defense for using them by athletes because the illogic goes that since the government lied in labeling so therefore the claimed dangers and side effects must also be a lie. The actual label in every steroid bottle during that period stated "steroids do not enhance athletic performance." Zahorian said he wasn't aware of that labeling. When McDevitt showed him the labeling, Zahorian said, "The effect on wrestlers was inconsistent with the statement I'm reading." McDevitt said the government alleged the conspiracy began in 1985 and Zahorian said that date was being used because it was the earliest evidence used in his trial. Zahorian said that McMahon, Lanza, Skaaland and the other agents were never in the room when he was giving the wrestlers steroids and that Phil Zacko, Vince McMahon Sr. and Gorilla Monsoon (the three co-owners of Capital Sports aka WWF before McMahon Jr. took over, the predecessor to Titan Sports) never encouraged him to sell steroids to the wrestlers. When McDevitt asked if a specific federal express package was brought up to him, could he remember what was in it and Zahorian said, "It would be very difficult," which could be a strong point in favor of the defense when the distribution charges start being argued. When McDevitt said that no agents had ever called and asked him to bring steroids he said that Skaaland once called and asked him if he was coming to a show and bringing his medication with him. Zahorian said that nobody from Titan ever encouraged him to make the wrestlers bigger or larger than life and nobody ever told him to sell steroids to wrestlers to enhance ticket sales. When McDevitt brought up that during the trial he reported that the wrestlers were his patients, Zahorian responded that after two years of incarceration, he realizes the wrestlers were not his patients. Zahorian, when asked if he gave wrestlers directions on how to use steroids, said, "Sometimes yes and sometimes no." McDevitt brought up George Skaaland, making the point that he was a jobber and thus didn't sell any tickets, but was using steroids, and brought up Strongbow's son as well. Then he brought up Kevin Sheehan, the police officer friend of Shults' who he sold steroids to along with Dunn and Sochia and ex-WWF wrestlers like Shults and Blair trying to say Zahorian's 98 to 99 percent figure was a lie, when Zahorian basically said that if you take away the ex-WWF wrestlers the figure was 80 percent, tried to make a major production as if it proved Zahorian was lying, but it seemed nobody was buying it. At one point while McDevitt was carrying on about a minor wording inconsistency and using the word perjury, Judge Mishler sternly told the jury that perjury only exists when someone knowingly lies, which reflected poorly on McDevitt. At another point McDevitt tried to berate Zahorian when he brought up the name Randy Poffo and Zahorian said he remembered him and described The Genius gimmick, which was of course Lanny Poffo, which apparently was used for a brief moment as an attempt to impugn Zahorian's brain when it also was an understandable mistake for someone who mainly knew the guys by their working names. McDevitt then asked if McMahon had anything to do with his selling steroids to Sheehan, Patera or Shults, which he obviously didn't. Zahorian testified that he never told his wife about his steroid sales and that he kept the money for himself. Zahorian testified he talked with Skaaland, Patterson and Feinberg after Pennsylvania deregulated wrestling about continuing to work at the shows. When asked about Anita Scales, who worked with Titan in relations with commissions and who is expected to testify to warning Titan early in the game about Zahorian, and her decision to drop Zahorian being overruled by Patterson and Linda McMahon siding with Patterson on the issue, Zahorian said he didn't recall who she was. After a few more questions, he did recall talking to a woman. The defense tried to make the point that Zahorian didn't go to McMahon about continuing to work at the shows which if there had been a conspiracy between the two, he would have gone right to the top and it would have been a done deal. Zahorian said that he wasn't aware of the steroid law changing on November 18, 1988 making a doctors distributing for non-medical purposes illegal, thus when asked if he told anyone in Titan Sports about the law change, obviously he couldn't have if he didn't know it himself. McDevitt then read off a bunch of names, trying to get Zahorian to say they didn't use steroids trying to make the point that you didn't need steroids to be a star in the WWF. When asked if he had sold steroids to the following, Zahorian's responded--Nikolai Volkoff--"I believe so"; Raymond Rougeau--"I'm not certain"; Butch Miller--"Possibly;" King Kong Bundy--"I don't believe so. He was extremely large and had diabetes." Sgt. Slaughter--"No;" George Steele--"No;" Bob Backlund--"No;" A few more names were mentioned with McDevitt pointing to Slaughter as being a popular wrestler who didn't use steroids to the jury, although that was something of a bogus point to the case since Slaughter was a superstar in the business with major name recognition before the steroid craze hit the business. He was also fired by the WWF (having nothing to do with his physique) prior to the beginning of the indictment in 1985 and didn't return until well after Zahorian had been told to stay away from the arenas. He did return and was headliner and champion during the early 1991 period while the steroid craze was still at its heights. Bundy had unusually freakish size, Steele was in his 50s and had a gimmick that didn't require a physique and the same name recognition and star status before the craze and Backlund was a champion for six years before the craze and also was long gone from the company during the period in question so whether he was a steroid guy or not isn't applicable to the trial. The other names mentioned in reality were just guys on the card as opposed to being big money draws. The prosecution never pointed this out so McDevitt may have swayed the jury with what was a point with little or no merit. Zahorian said he had never talked to the WWF agents about FDA regulations regarding steroids (which preceded the 1988 law and made dispensing without a prescription illegal) and said they did not work together to defraud the FDA. Zahorian admitted that even after his late 1989 phone conversation with Patterson that he continued to sell steroids to people like Dunn, Blair, Sheehan and Eddie Gilbert among others. When asked if the phone call from Patterson deterred him from selling steroids, he said, "Not to a large degree. I was concerned but continued to sell steroids." He also mentioned that Randy Savage purchased steroids from him. card as opposed to being big money draws. The prosecution never pointed this out so McDevitt may have swayed the jury with what was a point with little or no merit. Zahorian said he had never talked to the WWF agents about FDA regulations regarding steroids (which preceded the 1988 law and made dispensing without a prescription illegal) and said they did not work together to defraud the FDA. Zahorian admitted that even after his late 1989 phone conversation with Patterson that he continued to sell steroids to people like Dunn, Blair, Sheehan and Eddie Gilbert among others. When asked if the phone call from Patterson deterred him from selling steroids, he said, "Not to a large degree. I was concerned but continued to sell steroids." He also mentioned that Randy Savage purchased steroids from him. *********************************************************** While officials from WCW were celebrating after the live WCW Saturday Night show on 7/9, it ended a week filled with finger pointing and the celebration ignored all available numbers indicating how the Hogan signing has worked. The group was put into a panic when just two weeks before the most important and most expensive show in its history, Bash at the Beach, the Saturday show on 7/2 did a 1.8 rating and the Sunday show did a horrible 1.4. In addition, an attempt to track PPV buys as of nine days before the show indicated the number of advance buys was virtually identical to its previous shows, despite the hoped-for match of the century bonanza on top, Hogan's presence and the major celebrity involvement. Since most PPV buys are done in the last three days, that isn't necessarily an indication of a disaster, as one week out the first Wrestlemania looked to be one of wrestling's biggest disasters but turned into its biggest success in history up to that point, but by no means can any of this be taken as good news. WCW officials were still hoping for and predicting a 1.0, which would be a definite success and believing there is a probability of a full house (the 16,000-seat Orlando Arena is being heavily papered but our reports are as of one week ahead of time there are only about 6,000 seats left) which would be the company's largest live gate since the Ric Flair-Terry Funk match at the 1989 Baltimore Bash. However, no matter what the live gate, if the show does a .55 or .60, given the expenses and Hogan's price tag, that would be a total disaster since it would mean the company is on the road to a six month period where it will spend an additional $2 million and derive little return on that investment, because if Hogan doesn't draw well the first time out, it isn't going to get better as time goes on. Even a .9 on the first show would still mean Hogan and Flair would have to retain the entire audience for two more PPV shows, probably without as much celebrity help since Hogan called in all his markers for this show, for the Hogan deal to be successful over the short-run. If it does well, Hogan is expected to have more power in bringing people in. Considering the weak TV numbers going in (which are not always but usually are a strong barometer of a PPV buy rate), there is more chance of the beginnings of the much-predicted multi-million dollar disaster than of success at this point. Before the Saturday show, the week was filled with blame for one person or another for the bad numbers. While they've done a great job of creating the illusion that Hogan's popularity has never been stronger, thus far it only appears to be an illusion. Illusions spread long enough and well enough often turn into reality in this business. While this is not a valid reason for if the match draws or not, they have diluted the Flair-Hogan issue badly with too much emphasis on Jimmy Hart and Sherri Martel. Many have also blamed the snafu on Main Event giving away the Clash results a few weeks back for ruining interest (a view that I don't buy for a second). WCW did a high-energy live show on 7/9, but the show was rushed and the needed killer live angle with Flair and Hogan didn't appear to be killer enough. They spent the entire show pushing the 900 line telling people to call and vote for two wrestlers that would appear in the main event. Reportedly there were about 6,000 calls grossing $12,000 (about half of which goes to the phone company), which the company was thrilled out of its mind with although I'd consider those numbers disappointing with the constant hard-sell throughout the show since Jim Ross used to gross that much revenue when he did the hotline on an average Saturday. Latest word is that the company wants to do this gimmick regularly on television now where fans pick participants. If 45 minutes of television promotion time is only worth a few thousand dollars, somebody needs an economics lesson. Everyone knew in advance they were running Flair-Sting on top of course, and the show largely led the audience to pick Flair and Sting so in reality it was a scam, but supposedly the numbers represented on the screen picking Flair and Sting were legit. The free live show for Hogan's first appearance at Center Stage not only drew a full house of 785 but turned away about 2,000. Our reports are that it was seeing Hogan for free and not the fact the show was airing live that was largely responsible for the crowd. Of those in the building, as many as half were a combination of families of employees, plants and paid models to make sure the audience "looked good" and "reacted right," since the building was said to be half-full before fans were allowed in. This may explain part of the strong face reaction for Hogan and particularly the surprising reaction to Mr. T. Those who arrived even two hours early were turned away because the lines were so long and so few seats were available to fans. They taped two more Saturday shows after the live taping ended, although at press time we don't have news on those shows. They only left about 7:00 of air time for the Flair-Sting match, post-match angle and interviews with Flair & Sherri and Hogan & Mr. T to close the show. While Flair took one bump after another for the brief time he gave himself in the ring, the thing was way too rushed and Sting once again came out of the show as the odd man out. Sting put the scorpion on at 4:20 when Sherri Martel, dressed up like Charlie Chaplin in a suit, ran in and manhandled a male ref throwing him out of the ring and face-raked and incapacitated Sting. Earlier in the show, Sherri, barred from the arena, tried to "sneak in" dressed as Fifi in a funny and creative skit (which didn't air live, and in actuality took five re-takes to get it right) though only a blind-man couldn't see the "man" interfering was Sherri. Hogan ran in and atomic dropped Sherri, which she barely sold (a Hogan atomic drop should have at least knocked a woman down for a lengthy period of time) and the whole idea of this is questionable at this point in time anyway. He then pulled off her wig revealing who she was. Flair clipped Hogan's knee and got a few seconds of advantage before Mr. T (who got a surprisingly big pop) and Jimmy Hart made the save. Although I'm sure Mr. T is a tough guy and has that great scowling face to people believe it, it does nothing for your product when your world champion and top heel one week before the match of the century runs away from a 160-pound manager and a has-been actor. I guess T must have threatened him by forcing him to watch old "A Team" episodes and that would scare anyone. Earlier in the live show, Dustin Rhodes & Arn Anderson beat Steve "George Washington" Keirn & Bobby Eaton in 3:22 when Rhodes pinned Eaton with a bulldog in a typical squash with good action but too short to mean anything, Rick Steamboat pinned Tex Slazenger in 1:46 and a match with Marcus Bagwell & The Patriot vs. Paul Roma & Paul Orndorff went a scant 1:59 before the Sullivan Brothers came out, distracting Roma who was pinned from behind by Bagwell. This appears to be setting up Bagwell & Patriot as title contenders if/when Roma & Orndorff take the straps. The show also featured a Hogan interview, bringing up the celebs (Shaquille O'Neal, George Foreman, Mr. T and Hank Aaron; so the attempts for Mike Tyson, Sly Stallone and Wesley Snipes fell by the wayside but it is still by far the most impressive celeb list at a wrestling show in several years) that will be in Orlando. Hogan live more than made up for his poor interview the week before when he focused more on Jimmy Hart and Sherri than on a so-called match of the century being two weeks away. On television Hogan appeared to be loudly cheered, although from live reports there were noticeable boos and "We Want Flair" chants during his first interview. Probably 80% of the phone calls here after the show were negative, while our reports from the company were that they were thrilled. That may do more to explain the status of the company than anything else. Hogan has appearances this week of Regis & Kathy Lee on 7/11 and Jay Leno on 7/12, and the trial, in a busy week leading to the match. WCW's more than double the usual ad budget was reflected in buying spots in syndication for Bash at the Beach on many WWF Superstars shows, which must have thrilled those in Titan. Our reports are that it was seeing Hogan for free and not the fact the show was airing live that was largely responsible for the crowd. Of those in the building, as many as half were a combination of families of employees, plants and paid models to make sure the audience "looked good" and "reacted right," since the building was said to be half-full before fans were allowed in. This may explain part of the strong face reaction for Hogan and particularly the surprising reaction to Mr. T. Those who arrived even two hours early were turned away because the lines were so long and so few seats were available to fans. They taped two more Saturday shows after the live taping ended, although at press time we don't have news on those shows. They only left about 7:00 of air time for the Flair-Sting match, post-match angle and interviews with Flair & Sherri and Hogan & Mr. T to close the show. While Flair took one bump after another for the brief time he gave himself in the ring, the thing was way too rushed and Sting once again came out of the show as the odd man out. Sting put the scorpion on at 4:20 when Sherri Martel, dressed up like Charlie Chaplin in a suit, ran in and manhandled a male ref throwing him out of the ring and face-raked and incapacitated Sting. Earlier in the show, Sherri, barred from the arena, tried to "sneak in" dressed as Fifi in a funny and creative skit (which didn't air live, and in actuality took five re-takes to get it right) though only a blind-man couldn't see the "man" interfering was Sherri. Hogan ran in and atomic dropped Sherri, which she barely sold (a Hogan atomic drop should have at least knocked a woman down for a lengthy period of time) and the whole idea of this is questionable at this point in time anyway. He then pulled off her wig revealing who she was. Flair clipped Hogan's knee and got a few seconds of advantage before Mr. T (who got a surprisingly big pop) and Jimmy Hart made the save. Although I'm sure Mr. T is a tough guy and has that great scowling face to people believe it, it does nothing for your product when your world champion and top heel one week before the match of the century runs away from a 160-pound manager and a has-been actor. I guess T must have threatened him by forcing him to watch old "A Team" episodes and that would scare anyone. Earlier in the live show, Dustin Rhodes & Arn Anderson beat Steve "George Washington" Keirn & Bobby Eaton in 3:22 when Rhodes pinned Eaton with a bulldog in a typical squash with good action but too short to mean anything, Rick Steamboat pinned Tex Slazenger in 1:46 and a match with Marcus Bagwell & The Patriot vs. Paul Roma & Paul Orndorff went a scant 1:59 before the Sullivan Brothers came out, distracting Roma who was pinned from behind by Bagwell. This appears to be setting up Bagwell & Patriot as title contenders if/when Roma & Orndorff take the straps. The show also featured a Hogan interview, bringing up the celebs (Shaquille O'Neal, George Foreman, Mr. T and Hank Aaron; so the attempts for Mike Tyson, Sly Stallone and Wesley Snipes fell by the wayside but it is still by far the most impressive celeb list at a wrestling show in several years) that will be in Orlando. Hogan live more than made up for his poor interview the week before when he focused more on Jimmy Hart and Sherri than on a so-called match of the century being two weeks away. On television Hogan appeared to be loudly cheered, although from live reports there were noticeable boos and "We Want Flair" chants during his first interview. Probably 80% of the phone calls here after the show were negative, while our reports from the company were that they were thrilled. That may do more to explain the status of the company than anything else. Hogan has appearances this week of Regis & Kathy Lee on 7/11 and Jay Leno on 7/12, and the trial, in a busy week leading to the match. WCW's more than double the usual ad budget was reflected in buying spots in syndication for Bash at the Beach on many WWF Superstars shows, which must have thrilled those in Titan. *********************************************************** This is the first of the 12-page Observers. In future issues we should have a lot more news content but it's just as well as we haven't had the needed space for letters and want ads so this issue will start to catch things up. After a long talk with post office officials this past week about delivery problems in certain parts of the United States, I've been told that the problem is that on the back page we had copy going too far down the page with the label and the sorting machines were reading the return address or numbers on that half of the back page and misdirecting issues. The idea has always been to get as much material into each weekly issue as possible, so we've crammed as much copy onto the back page as possible each week but I guess while the idea of it was good, the results weren't. Why the delays seemed to be more prevalent in New York and Kentucky than other states is beyond me, but we will try it their way. After a few weeks, if those of you in those states that have had delivery problems don't see things improving (which should mean delivery consistently by Mondays and usually on Saturdays in most of the country), please contact me and we'll try another method. As the first issue of the new set, this means if you've got a (1) on your address that your current Observer subscription will expire in three weeks. Renewal rates within the United States, Canada and Mexico remain $8 for four issues, $15 for eight, $22 for 12, $28 for 16, $42 for 24, $56 for 32 and $70 for 40 issues. Rates for the rest of the world for weekly airmail delivery start at $11 for four, $21 for eight, $30 for 12, $50 for 20, $70 for 28, $90 for 36 up through $100 for 40. All subscription renewals along with reports from live shows, letters to the editor, news items and any other correspondence related to this publication should be sent to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228. subscription will expire in three weeks. Renewal rates within the United States, Canada and Mexico remain $8 for four issues, $15 for eight, $22 for 12, $28 for 16, $42 for 24, $56 for 32 and $70 for 40 issues. Rates for the rest of the world for weekly airmail delivery start at $11 for four, $21 for eight, $30 for 12, $50 for 20, $70 for 28, $90 for 36 up through $100 for 40. All subscription renewals along with reports from live shows, letters to the editor, news items and any other correspondence related to this publication should be sent to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228. Fax messages can be sent to the Observer after Noon Eastern time (9 a.m. Pacific) on a daily basis at 408378- 6562. Phone messages can be left 24 hours a day at 408-379-8067. For the most up to date headlines on wrestling, I can be called on the Real Wrestling Hotline at 900-903-9030 (99 cents per minute) every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. RESULTS 6/21 Savannah, GA (WCW -1,500): Arn Anderson d Brian Pillman, Bullrope match: Dustin Rhodes b Bunkhouse Buck, Cactus Jack & Kevin Sullivan b Nasty Boys-DQ, U.S. title: Sting b Steve Austin-DQ, WCW title: Ric Flair b Rick Steamboat **** 6/21 Cuernavaca (EMLL): Onita Jr. (Akihito Ichihara) & Mestizo b Rey Bucanero & Babe Richard, Los Hijos de Huracan Ramirez I & II b Archangel de la Muerte & Guerrero de la Muerte, La Fiera & Hayabusa & Ultimo Dragon b Angel Blanco Jr. & Los Hijos de Angel Blanco I & II, CMLL welterweight title: Pantera II b Felino to win title 6/23 Mexico City Pista Arena Revolucion (EMLL): Turako b Durango Kid, Los Hijos de Angel Blanco I & II b Celestial & Solar II, Hector Garza & Bronco & Valiente b Javier Cruz & Tornado Negro & Kraneo, Emilio Charles Jr. & Pierroth Jr. & Angel Blanco Jr. b Los Brazos 6/24 Arena Mexico in Mexico City (EMLL): Legendario & Ultimatum b Supremo II (Mary Welles) & Rey Bucanero, Javier Cruz & Espectro Jr. & Cadaver de Ultratumba b Hayabusa & Americo Rocca & Chicago Express, Black Magic & Negro Casas & Mano Negra b Los Brazos, Atlantis & Ultimo Dragon & Rayo de Jalisco Jr. b Bestia Salvaje & Mocho Cota & Dr. Wagner Jr., Vampiro Canadiense b Samson Fuyuki 6/25 Apatlaco (UWA): Chola & La Indomable b Lady Star & Miguli, Casandro & Adrian El Exotico & Sexi Pisces b Ruben Juarez Jr. & Seminarista & Gamma, El Engendro & Scorpio Jr. & Shu El Guerrero b Karloff Lagarde Jr. & Principe Maya & Perro Silva-DQ, UWA trios title: El Signo & Negro Navarro & Rocky Santana b Los Villanos III & IV & V, Canek b The Killer-DQ 6/26 El Toreo in Naucalpan (UWA/AAA Double Power -6,500): Mercenario & Black Jack & Spartaco b Falcon & Apolo & Kick Boxer, Solar & Winners & El Mexicano b Negro Navarro & El Signo & Rocky Santana, Los Villanos III & IV & V DDQ Rambo & Jerry Estrada & Fishman, Dos Caras & Transformer & Gran Hamada b El Satanico & Blue Panther & Solar-DQ, UWA hwt title: Canek b Mascara Ano 2000 7/1 Portland, OR (Oregon Pro Wrestling Federation -175): John Rambo b The Bodyguard, Little Nasty Boy d Little Savage, Kat d Sabrina, Ole Olson b Sumito, Mike Miller & Lou Andrews & Ole Olson b Buddy Rose & Moondog Moretti & Buddy Wayne 7/1 Kings Mountain, NC (Southern Championship Wrestling -57): Emilio Ulacia b Kevin Kirby, Flaming Youth b John Sullivan-DQ, Bad Dog (David Lynch) b Executioner (Mark Henderson), Scotty Hotbody & Scotty McKeever b Jay Eagle & Johnny Red Cloud, American G.I. & Dozer (Richie & J.R. Scruggs) b Jeff Viktory & Rick Starr-DQ 7/4 Osaka (All Japan -2,050 sellout): Masao Inoue b Kentaro Shiga, Tsuyoshi Kikuchi b Tom Zenk, Abdullah the Butcher & Giant Kimala II b Ryukaku Izumida & Yoshinari Ogawa, Mighty Inoue & Haruka Eigen & Masa Fuchi b Giant Baba & Rusher Kimura & Mitsuo Momota, The Eagle & Johnny Ace b Kurt Beyer & Richard Slinger, Jun Akiyama b Johnny Smith, Stan Hansen & Takao Omori b Dan Kroffat & Doug Furnas, Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue & Tamon Honda b Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi & Satoru Asako 23:29 7/4 Aomori (New Japan -3,260 sellout): Tokimitsu Ishizawa b Yuji Nagata, Hiro Saito b Michiyoshi Ohara, Kengo Kimura b Norio Honaga, Super Strong Machine b Akitoshi Saito, Jushin Liger & El Samurai & Shinjiro Ohtani b Max Moon & American Love Machine & Black Tiger, Akira Nogami & Takayuki Iizuka b Power Warrior & Tadao Yasuda, Shinya Hashimoto & Hiroshi Hase b Steve Regal & Too Cold Scorpio, Keiji Muto & Masa Chono b Nasty Boys, Osamu Kido & Riki Choshu & Tatsumi Fujinami b Tatsutoshi Goto & Shiro Koshinaka & Great Kabuki Ohara, Kengo Kimura b Norio Honaga, Super Strong Machine b Akitoshi Saito, Jushin Liger & El Samurai & Shinjiro Ohtani b Max Moon & American Love Machine & Black Tiger, Akira Nogami & Takayuki Iizuka b Power Warrior & Tadao Yasuda, Shinya Hashimoto & Hiroshi Hase b Steve Regal & Too Cold Scorpio, Keiji Muto & Masa Chono b Nasty Boys, Osamu Kido & Riki Choshu & Tatsumi Fujinami b Tatsutoshi Goto & Shiro Koshinaka & Great Kabuki 7/5 Hachinohe (New Japan -3,350): Hiro Saito & Norio Honaga b Tokimitsu Ishizawa & Yuji Nagata, Akitoshi Saito b Takayuki Iizuka, Black Cat & American Love Machine & Black Tiger b Jushin Liger & El Samurai & Shinjiro Ohtani, Power Warrior & Osamu Kido b Max Moon & Steve Regal, Hiroshi Hase & Tadao Yasuda & Shinya Hashimoto b Nasty Boys & Too Cold Scorpio, Tatsumi Fujinami b Michiyoshi Ohara, Riki Choshu b Kengo Kimura, Kuniaki Kobayashi & Great Kabuki & Shiro Koshinaka b Akira Nogami & Keiji Muto & Masa Chono 7/5 Warrensville, NC (SMW TV taping -500): Scott Studd b Bruiser Bedlam-DQ, Scott & Steve Armstrong b Steve Skyfire & Chris Hamrick, Rock & Roll Express b Infernos (Brian Logan & Anthony Michaels), Tracy Smothers b Brian Lee, SMW TV title: Chris Candido b Studd to win vacant title, New Jack & Sheik Mustapha b Michaels & Hamrick, Thrillseekers b Logan & Skyfire, Dirty White Boy b Logan, Thrillseekers b Michaels & Hamrick, Jack & Mustapha b Studd & Skyfire, SMW tag title: Lee & Candido b Armstrongs-DQ, Dock fight: Smothers b Bedlam, Rock & Roll & Bambi b Lee & Candido & Tammy Fytch 7/6 Amagaseki (Pancrase -4,910 sellout): Renco Parduel b Vernon White, Manabu Yamada b Utra, Wayne Shamrock b Matt Hume, Yusuke Fuke b Gregory Smitt, Bas Ruton b Minoru Suzuki, Jason DeLucca b Masakatsu Funaki 7/6 Towada (New Japan -2,120): Tadao Yasuda & Shinjiro Ohtani & Tokimitsu Ishizawa b Tatsuhito Takaiwa & Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi, Tatsutoshi Goto b Norio Honaga, Kengo Kimura b Hiro Saito, Black Tiger & Too Cold Scorpio & Max Moon b Jushin Liger & El Samurai & Akira Nogami, Riki Choshu b Akitoshi Saito, Steve Regal & Nasty Boys b Takayuki Iizuka & Keiji Muto & Masa Chono, Tatsumi Fujinami & Power Warrior b American Love Machine & Black Cat, Kuniaki Kobayashi & Great Kabuki & Shiro Koshinaka b Osamu Kido & Hiroshi Hase & Shinya Hashimoto 7/6 Tokushima (All Japan -1,800): Masao Inoue b Ryukaku Izumida, Yoshinari Ogawa b Richard Slinger, Abdullah the Butcher & Giant Kimala II b Kurt Beyer & The Eagle, Rusher Kimura & Mitsuo Momota b Mighty Inoue & Haruka Eigen, Masa Fuchi b Satoru Asako, Kenta Kobashi b Takao Omori, Giant Baba & Stan Hansen b Johnny Ace & Johnny Smith, All-Asian tag titles: Dan Kroffat & Doug Furnas b Jun Akiyama & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi, Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue b Mitsuharu Misawa & Tamon Honda 7/6 Aguascalientes (AAA): Prelim results unavailable, Jerrito Estrada & Espectrito & Fuercita Guerrera b Micro Konnan & Mascarita Sagrada & Octagoncito, Tony Arce & Vulcano & Rocco Valente b Rey Misterio Jr. & Volador & Lizmark, Perro Aguayo & Octagon & Tinieblas Jr. b Pirata Morgan & El Satanico & Espectro-DQ 7/6 Tampa (Ind -275): Merc the Cruiser b The Menace, Billy Mack b Haystacks Calhoun Jr., Jeff James d Randy Fuller, Nuclear Assassin b G-Man-DQ, Motor City Bad Boys DDQ Mohammad Studd & Jeff Bradley, Horace Boulder b Hercules-DQ 7/7 Landover, MD (WWF -1,800): 1-2-3 Kid b Kwang ***1/4, Duke Droese b Rick Martel DUD, WWF tag title: Head Shrinkers b Double Trouble DUD, Randy Savage b Jerry Lawler DUD, Nikolai Volkoff b Virgil DUD, IRS b Tatanka-DQ 1/2*, Yokozuna b Typhoon -*****, WWF title: Bret Hart b Owen Hart **1/2 7/7 Valley Forge, PA (WWF -200): Jim Powers b Damien Demento, Mighty Doom b Little Leopard, Sgt. Slaughter b Pierre, Mike Sharpe b Glenn Osbourne, Heidi Lee Morgan b Rustee Thomas, Bob Backlund b Greg Valentine 7/7 Marukame (All Japan -1,800): Masao Inoue b Kurt Beyer, Richard Slinger & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi b Kentaro Shiga & Yoshinari Ogawa, Abdullah the Butcher & Giant Kimala II b Tamon Honda & Takao Omori, Giant Baba & Rusher Kimura & Mitsuo Momota d Haruka Eigen & Mighty Inoue & Masa Fuchi 30:00, Dan Kroffat & Doug Furnas b Jun Akiyama & Satoru Asako, Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi b The Eagle (Jackie Fulton) & Johnny Ace, Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue b Stan Hansen & Johnny Smith (Jackie Fulton) & Johnny Ace, Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue b Stan Hansen & Johnny Smith 7/7 Harlan, KY (SMW -250): Dirty White Boy b Kendo the Samurai (Brian Logan), Penalty box match: Thrillseekers b Well Dunn, SMW tag title: Brian Lee & Chris Candido b Steve & Scott Armstrong, Dock fight: Tracy Smothers b Bruiser Bedlam 7/7 Tokyo Korakuen Hall (Social Pro Wrestling Federation): Kamikaze b Fukumentaro, Isao Takagi & Hirofumi Miura b Hiroshi Shimada & Yoshiaki Yatsu, Masayoshi Motegi b Shinichi Nakano, Yatsu b Takagi 7/7 Maryville, TN (All State Wrestling): Shogun b Lone Star, Chic White b Bam Bam Christian, Regulator Stone & Steel DDQ Deke & Jody Ray Rivers, Rick Connors & Lone Star b Bobby B & Dennis Coats, Rick Cannon b Tony Prichard 7/8 Meadowlands in East Rutherford, NJ (WWF -4,000): 1-2-3 Kid b Kwang **, Duke Droese b Rick Martel DUD, WWF tag title: Head Shrinkers b Double Trouble *, Randy Savage b Jerry Lawler **, Nikolai Volkoff b Virgil 1/2*, IRS b Tatanka-DQ **, Yokozuna b Typhoon DUD, 60:00 marathon match: Bret Hart b Owen Hart 3-2 **1/2 7/8 Sapporo (New Japan -6,000 sellout): Tokimitsu Ishizawa & Yuji Nagata b Tatsuhito Takaiwa & Tadao Yasuda, Black Cat & American Love Machine & Black Tiger (Eddy Guerrero) b El Samurai & Too Cold Scorpio & Shinjiro Ohtani, Nasty Boys b Max Moon (Tom Boric aka Paul Diamond aka Haito aka Kato) & Steve Regal, G1 climax tournament elimination: Hiro Saito b Akira Nogami, Takayuki Iizuka b Great Kabuki- DQ, Osamu Kido b Michiyoshi Ohara, Yoshiaki Yatsu b Kengo Kimura, Non-tournament main events: Jushin Liger b Great Sasuke, Rick & Scott Steiner b Hiroshi Hase & Keiji Muto 20:55, Shinya Hashimoto & Masa Chono & Power Warrior b Yoshiaki Fujiwara & Riki Choshu & Tatsumi Fujinami 7/8 Kochi (All Japan -2,200 sellout): Mighty Inoue b Masao Inoue, Tamon Honda b Kurt Beyer, Jun Akiyama & Satoru Asako b Richard Slinger & Johnny Smith, Giant Baba & Rusher Kimura & Mitsuo Momota b Ryukaku Izumida & Masa Fuchi & Haruka Eigen, Abdullah the Butcher & Giant Kimala II b Dan Kroffat & Doug Furnas, Stan Hansen & Takao Omori b The Eagle & Johnny Ace, Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi b Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue & Yoshinari Ogawa 7/8 Beckley, WV (SMW -350): Dirty White Boy b Kendo the Samurai, Penalty box match: Thrillseekers b Well Dunn, SMW tag title: Scott & Steve Armstrong b Brian Lee & Chris Candido-DQ, Dock fight: Tracy Smothers b Bruiser Bedlam 7/8 Montgomeryville, PA (ECW -175): Rockin Rebel b Steve Richards, Handicap match: Tazmaniac b Dino Sanna & Joel Hartgood, ECW tag title: Public Enemy b Mikey Whippreck & Jim Lano, Sabu b Mr. Hughes ***1/2, ECW title: Shane Douglas b Tommy Dreamer **1/4 7/8 Tijuana, Baja California (AAA -5,500 sellout): Rey Misterio Jr. & Torero & Latin Lover b Tony Arce & Vulcano & Psicosis ***1/2, Cien Caras & Mascara Ano 2000 & Universo 2000 b Los Payasos **3/4, Rey Misterio b Jerry Estrada-DQ ****1/4, Pirata Morgan & El Satanico & Espectro b Konnan El Barbaro & Perro Aguayo & Mascara Sagrada-DQ *3/4 7/8 Arena Mexico in Mexico City (EMLL): Prelim results unavailable, Americo Rocca & Pantera II & Apolo Dantes b Felino & Cachorro Mendoza & Javier Cruz, One night trios tourney: Silver King & El Texano & Dandy b Dr. Wagner Jr. & Gran Markus Jr. & El Hijo del Gladiador, Pegasus Kid & Vampiro Canadiense & Rayo de Jalisco Jr. b Negro Casas & Mano Negra & Pierroth Jr., King & Texano & Dandy b Pegasus & Vampiro & Jalisco to win tournament 7/8 Matsuda (All Japan women): Chapparita Asari b Rie Tamada, Infernal Kaoru & Etsuko Mita b Tomoko Watanabe & Kaoru Ito, Aja Kong & Suzuka Minami b Toshiyo Yamada & Takako Inoue, Yumiko Hotta b Mima Shimoda, Kyoko Inoue & Manami Toyota b Sakie Hasegawa & Bull Nakano 7/8 Dallas Sportatorium (GWF -250): Mike Davis b Dapper Dan, Marc Valiant b Alex Porteau, Moadib b Mr. X, Al Jackson b Ebony Prince, Scott Putski b Black Bart, Moadib won Battle Royal 7/9 Nassau Coliseum (WWF -3,100): Kwang b 1-2-3 Kid, Duke Droese b Rick Martel, Yokozuna b Typhoon, Randy Savage b Jerry Lawler, WWF tag title: Head Shrinkers b Double Trouble, IRS b Tatanka- DQ, Marathon match for WWF title: Bret Hart b Owen Hart 3-2 (tied, Bret won in sudden death after 60:00 expired) 7/9 Sapporo (New Japan -6,000 sellout): Black Cat & American Love Machine b Yuji Nagata & Shinjiro Ohtani, Jushin Liger b Black Tiger, Power Warrior b Max Moon, G1 tournament final elimination matches: Yoshiaki Yatsu b Manabu Nakanishi, Takayuki Iizuka b Shinichi Nakano, Osamu Kido b Tatsutoshi Goto, Shiro Koshinaka b Hiro Saito, Non-tournament main events: Steve Regal b Masa Chono, Rick & Scott Steiner b Nasty Boys, Tatsumi Fujinami & Riki Choshu & Yoshiaki Fujiwara b Hiroshi Hase & Keiji Muto & Shinya Hashimoto 7/9 Matsue (All Japan): Satoru Asako b Kentaro Shiga, Richard Slinger b Masao Inoue, Kurt Beyer b Ryukaku Izumida, Dan Kroffat & Doug Furnas b Tom Zenk & Johnny Smith, Giant Baba & Rusher Kimura & Mitsuo Momota b Mighty Inoue & Haruka Eigen & Masa Fuchi, Johnny Ace & The Eagle b Giant Kimala II & Abdullah the Butcher, Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue & Yoshinari Ogawa b Tamon Honda & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi & Kenta Kobashi, Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama b Stan Hansen & Takao Omori 7/9 Johnson City, TN (SMW -600): Anthony Michaels b Steve Skyfire 3/4*, Penalty box match: Thrillseekers b Well Dunn **1/4, SMW tag title: Brian Lee & Chris Candido b Scott & Steve Armstrong ***, Dock fight: Tracy Smothers b Bruiser Bedlam ****, Cage match for SMW title: Dirty White Boy b Candido ***3/4 7/9 Los Angeles Olympic Auditorium (EMLL/Mexican Wrestling Federation -1,650): Torito Sr. & Tercera Dimension & ? b Renegado Estrada & The Clown & Frankenstein DUD, Lady Victoria b Barbara Blaze -**, Super Boy & Capitan Oro & Principe Indu b Volcano Kid (James Aiono) & Metalico & Cosmos *1/2, Piloto Suicida & Mercurio b Lover Boy & Bobby Bradley Jr.-COR ***, Enigma de Oro & Kayam b Blue Demon Jr. & El Hijo del Solitario *, Los Brazos DCOR Los Mercenarios (Bill Anderson & Tim Patterson & Louie Spicolli) **3/4, UWA middleweight title: Ultimo Dragon b Negro Casas ***3/4 7/9 Nashville (USWA -300): Jeff Gaylord b Tony Falk **, Doug Basham b Spellbinder ***, USWA womens title: Debbie Combs b Robbie Rage *1/4, Moondog Spot DCOR Tommy Rich *3/4, Doug Gilbert b Brian Christopher-DQ **3/4, First team to win twice wins W*ING tag title: Eliminators b PG-13 **1/2, PG13 b Nobutaka Araya & Takashi Okano **1/4, Araya & Okano b Eliminators ***1/4, PG-13 b Eliminators-DQ **1/2, PG-13 b Araya & Okano **3/4, Christopher & Spot b Rich & Gilbert *** 7/9 Tokyo Theater (All Japan women): Chapparita Asari b Rie Tamada, Suzuka Minami b Tomoko Watanabe, Sakie Hasegawa & Kaoru Ito b Infernal Kaoru & Yumiko Hotta, Etsuko Mita b Toshiyo Yamada, Manami Toyota d Mima Shimoda 30:00, Aja Kong & Takako Inoue b Kyoko Inoue & Bull Nakano 7/9 Caguas, Puerto Rico (WWC): La Ley b Sabu (not original), Bob Rozallo b El Exotico, Doomsday (Glen Jacobs) b Invader #1 (Jose Gonzales), Carlitos Colon DCOR Fidel Sierra (David Cannell), Universal title: Hurricane Castillo b Dutch Mantel-DQ, Rey Gonzalez b Eddie Gilbert-DQ, Tahitian Warrior (Lloyd Anoia) & Mohammad Hussein (Lou Fabbiano) b Pulgarcito & El Bronco 7/10 Maniko (All Japan women): Chapparita Asari b Rie Tamada, Little Buddha Man b Tsunokake, Infernal Kaoru b Tomoko Watanabe, Kyoko Inoue & Sakie Hasegawa b Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda, Takako Inoue b Kaoru Ito, Aja Kong & Toshiyo Yamada b Yumiko Hotta & Manami Toyota 7/10 Kahnawake, QUE (Ind -200): Rock & Roll b Sailor Smith, Darkman b Pete McCoy, Kevin Martel b Dollar Smith, Sunny War Cloud & Dynamite Dan b Bob Crawford & Jeff Jefferson, Bob Dellasserra b Vic Tessier, Tito Santana b Richard Charland-DQ, Rick Martel b Greg Valentine 7/11 Chino (LLPW -500): Michiko Nagashima b Jen Yamashita, Miki Handa b Michiko Ohmukai, Yasha Kurenai b Mikiko Futagami, Jen Yukari & Eagle Sawai b Carol Midori & Noriyo Tateno, Kurenai won Battle Royal, Rumi Kazama & Shinobu Kandori b Harley Saito & Mizuki Endo Special thanks to: John Clark, Aresh Hamouyan, Chuck Langerman, Rob Feinstein, Jesse Money, Steve "Dr. Lucha" Sims, Brian Hildebrand, Tim Whitehead, Ric Davies, Bill Needham, Mike Omansky, Matt May, John Williams, James Hoback, Dan Parris, Lou Pickney, Peter Paulsen JUNE BUSINESS COMPARISONS WORLD WRESTLING FEDERATION Estimated average attendance 6/93 2,610* Estimated average attendance 6/94 2,940** (+11.2%) May 1994 3,570** Estimated average gate 6/93 $33,930 Estimated average gate 6/94 $37,860** (+10.4%) May 1994 $57,520** Percentage of house shows sold out 6/93 0.0 Percentage of house shows sold out 6/94 7.1** May 1994 5.0** Average cable television rating 6/93 2.1 Average cable television rating 6/94 2.0 (-5.0%) May 1994 2.0 Major show 6/93 -- King of the Ring (est. 1.1 buy rate/est. $2.6 million gross/6,500 sellout/$78,000 live gate) Major show 6/94 -- King of the Ring (est. 0.73 buy rate/est. $1.85 million/12,000 sellout) Est. Buy rate -33.6%/ Overall PPV show est. revenue -25.4% *Denotes all-time record low monthly attendance in recent years **Foreign dates not included in average WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING Estimated average attendance 6/93 825 Estimated average attendance 6/94 1,150 (+28.3%) May 1994 1,460 Estimated average gate 6/93 $7,500 Estimated average gate 6/94 $10,200 (+26.5%) May 1994 $13,300 Percentage of house shows sold out 6/93 0.0 Percentage of house shows sold out 6/94 0.0 May 1994 0.0 Average cable television rating 6/93 2.0 Average cable television rating 6/94 2.0 May 1994 1.9 Major show 6/93: Clash of Champions -- 6,000 fans/2,000 paid/$20,000/2.6 rating) Major show 6/94: Clash of Champions -- 6,700 fans/4,044 paid/$42,000/3.0 rating) Rating +13.3% Percentage of house shows sold out 6/94 0.0 May 1994 0.0 Average cable television rating 6/93 2.0 Average cable television rating 6/94 2.0 May 1994 1.9 Major show 6/93: Clash of Champions -- 6,000 fans/2,000 paid/$20,000/2.6 rating) Major show 6/94: Clash of Champions -- 6,700 fans/4,044 paid/$42,000/3.0 rating) Rating +13.3% ALL JAPAN PRO WRESTLING Estimated average attendance 6/93 3,400 Estimated average attendance 6/94 1,950* (-42.6%) May 1994 3,230 Estimated average gate 6/93 $115,600 Estimated average gate 6/94 $68,250* (-41.0%) May 1994 $118,520 Percentage of house shows sold out 6/93 100.0 Percentage of house shows sold out 6/94 50.0 May 1994 61.5 Average television rating 6/93 2.9 Average television rating 6/94 1.8** (-37.9%) May 1994 1.2** Major show 6/93 -- Budokan Hall (16,300 sellout/est. $840,000) Major show 6/94 -- Budokan Hall (16,300 sellout/est. $850,000) *All Japan only ran two regular house shows in June so comparisons are misleading **Because of time slot change, comparisons are misleading NEW JAPAN PRO WRESTLING Estimated average attendance 6/93 4,650 Estimated average attendance 6/94 4,070 (-12.5%) May 1994 2,950 Estimated average gate 6/93 $198,520 Estimated average gate 6/94 $177,180 (-10.7%) May 1994 $103,180 Percentage of house shows sold out 6/93 50.0 Percentage of house shows sold out 6/94 76.9 May 1994 40.0 Average television rating 6/93 6.0 Average television rating 6/94 1.9* (-68.3%) May 1994 1.7* *Because of time slot changes, comparisons are misleading EMLL The 7/9 return to the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles headlined by Ultimo Dragon retaining the UWA middleweight title beating Negro Casas drew an estimated 1,650 fans. Ticket prices were lowered from $32 to $18 from the previous show to $18 to $10 on this show, so even though the crowd was up about 200 paid from the last card six weeks earlier, the gate was down. They only flew in seven EMLL wrestlers and filled the card out with locals. Reports were the show was okay with the main event of Dragon-Casas hitting ***3/4 because the third fall was too short. Los Brazos worked with The Mercenaries in the semifinal which was a bloody double count out with Brazo de Plata doing his fake heart attack for the second straight show. No return date was announced. EMLL and the American-based Mexican Wrestling Federation ran a successful show on 7/10 in Fresno, CA drawing 2,000, which is great for a show without the wrestlers having any local television exposure, particularly when you consider that it was appealing to a Mexican audience using a Japanese wrestler as the main event babyface and had no top drawing Mexican faces underneath. Dragon again retaining his title beating Casas in a ****1/4 match. The fact that EMLL could draw that well without television is a pretty strong indication that it would be an even stronger market for AAA. WWF was in Fresno about a week earlier and drew 3,000. Pegasus Kid (Chris Benoit) returned on 7/8 to Arena Mexico teaming with Vampiro & Rayo de Jalisco Jr. in a four-team trios tournament. The tourney came down to The Cowboys (Silver King & El Texano & Dandy) beating Pegasus & Vampiro & Rayo de Jalisco Jr. when Vampiro was pinned in the third fall after a foul and post-match saw the two face teams brawl all over the place for several minutes. Earlier in the tournament, The Cowboys had won a non-title match over CMLL trios champs The White Wave (Dr. Wagner Jr. & Gran Markus Jr. & El Hijo del Gladiador), and after the win challenged for a title match, while the Pegasus team had beaten Mano Negra & Negro Casas & Pierroth Jr. in an okay match, with Pegasus and Casas only in against one another for a short period so it was kind of disappointing. Pantera II captured the CMLL welterweight title from Felino on 6/21 in Cuernavaca. Numacchi (Saemi Numata), the All Japan woman wrestler who retired in February, will come out of retirement here to team with Reina Jubuki (Akira Hokuto). ALL JAPAN Pretty uneventful week with mainly weak crowds as well. The only title match of the week had Dan Kroffat & Doug Furnas retain the All-Asian tag titles beating Tsuyoshi Kikuchi & Jun Akiyama on 7/6 in Tokushima. Tom Zenk returned after testifying on 7/9. Television on 7/2 did a 1.2 rating. NEW JAPAN The two consecutive nights in Sapporo on 7/8 and 7/9 both sold out the 6,000-seat Nakajima Sports Center for major shows. The four survivors of a two-night tournament which would determine the final slots for the G-1 climax tournament that will be held 8/3 to 8/7 at Tokyo Sumo Hall were Yoshiaki Yatsu, Takayuki Iizuka, Osamu Kido and Shiro Koshinaka. In the key matches on 7/8, Black Tiger & American Machine & Black Cat beat Shinjiro Ohtani & Too Cold Scorpio & El Samurai when Tiger pinned Ohtani; Jushin Liger pinned Great Sasuke in 15:15 with a super fishermanbuster, Rick & Scott Steiner beat Hiroshi Hase & Keiji Muto in 20:55 when Scott pinned Muto with a DDT off the top rope and Power Warrior & Masa Chono & Shinya Hashimoto beat Yoshiaki Fujiwara & Riki Choshu & Tatsumi Fujinami when Warrior pinned Fujiwara. The next night saw Liger pin Tiger with the super fishermanbuster (This was built up on 7/6 when in a six-man, Tiger pinned Liger with his swinging DDT off the middle rope), Steve Regal (who is getting a strong push) upset Masa Chono, Steiners over Nasty Boys and Fujinami & Choshu & Fujiwara beat Hase & Muto & Hashimoto when Fujinami made Hase submit to the figure four leglock. Already rumors that the 1/4 Tokyo Dome main event will be Antonio Inoki's final match vs. Hogan. Nasty Boys only other loss this tour was to Muto & Chono. Television on 7/2 did a 1.5 rating featuring the eight-man Michinoku Pro vs. New Japan match from 6/15 at Budokan Hall. After losing to Liger, Great Sasuke issued a challenge for Liger to appear on a major Michinoku Pro card putting his IWGP jr. title against Sasuke's independent jr. title. They are negotiating to bring back Gran Hamada in August for a match with Liger. OTHER JAPAN NOTES Pancrase held a show on 7/6 in Amagaseki with a lot of surprises. First off, Renco Parduel, who made it to the semifinals of the Ultimate Fight II before losing to Royce Gracie, debuted in the opener and took more than 14:00 before he could make Vernon White submit in the opener. Parduel was supposed to score an easy squash win to set up a match with Minoru Suzuki on 7/26. The second surprise was that Suzuki was knocked out in 3:00 by a knee to the chin as he was going for a takedown by Bas Ruton, a kick boxer who has pretty well destroyed everyone he's faced thus far but was considered not to be able to beat Suzuki because of the latters' wrestling and submission ability. Then in the main event, Jason DeLucca, who made it to the second round of Ultimate Fight II before losing to Gracie, absolutely demolished this group's top star, Masakatsu Funaki in 1:01 with a kneelock submission. Speaking of the Ultimate Fight, UF III, originally scheduled for Tokyo, will instead be on 9/9 in Charlotte and Wayne Shamrock will be appearing with Funaki as his corner man. Michinoku Pro announced a major show for 7/30 in Iwate with help from WAR and All Japan women, headlined by Ultimo Dragon & Great Sasuke vs. Ginsei Shizaki & Gedo and Sato & Piloto Suicida & Ultra Taro vs. Super Delfin & Super Boy & Gran Naniwa. Pancrase announced 9/1 in Osaka with Shamrock vs. Funaki on top, and 10/15 at Tokyo Sumo Hall with the winner of that match against Suzuki, although the upsets at the show this past week take the edges off those matches which were announced a few days before the Amagaseki card. Rings confirmed a show on 8/27 in Russia with Akira Maeda vs. Andre Kopilov, Volk Han vs. Sotir Gotchev and Nikolai Zouev vs. Mitsuya Nagai as the headliners. The magazines this past week featured as their main stories that Seiji Sakaguchi of New Japan and Antonio Pena have reached an agreement and that AAA will send a whole crew for a New Japan tour by the end of the year, probably starting by sending in a tag team in October for the tag team tournament. Speaking of magazines, WCW officials explained the Clash finish so well to the press that every magazine in Japan reported that Johnny B. Badd beat Steve Austin to win the U.S. title. Pena have reached an agreement and that AAA will send a whole crew for a New Japan tour by the end of the year, probably starting by sending in a tag team in October for the tag team tournament. Speaking of magazines, WCW officials explained the Clash finish so well to the press that every magazine in Japan reported that Johnny B. Badd beat Steve Austin to win the U.S. title. Magazines were also speculating on which shoot group will sign Royce Gracie. It appears his older brother Rixon Gracie, 35, will work for Pancrase. NOW has a tour from 7/10 to 7/14 with Chris Adams, Rod Price, Pat Tanaka and Dusty Wolfe. IWA changed all its cards so the line-ups listed last time are out. 7/14 will have Canek & Crash the Terminator vs. Head Hunters on top. 7/16 has Nobutaka Araya vs. Dick Slater, Yukihiro Kanemura vs. Tracy Smothers and Head Hunters vs. Crash & Takashi Okano. 7/17 is Hunters & Johnny Gomez vs. Araya & Crash & Slater. As of 7/4, standings in the All Japan women Grand Prix tournament are Yumiko Hotta with nine points, Sakie Hasegawa with eight, Takako Inoue with seven, Suzuka Minami with six and Toshiyo Yamada with five. 7/16 is a TV taping in Omiya with Aja Kong & Bull Nakano & Minami vs. Hotta & Kyoko Inoue & Manami Toyota, Yamada vs. Hasegawa and Takako vs. Mima Shimoda. 7/17 back at Korakuen Hall has Kyoko Inoue defending the All-Pacific strap against Takako Inoue, Yamada & Hasegawa vs. Toyota & Kaoru Ito, Nakano & Etsuko Mita & Shimoda vs. Kong & Hotta & Rie Tamada. Mariko Yoshida, who has been out of action for more than one year with a broken neck,will return on these shows in five minute exhibition matches leading to her full-fledged return on 8/24 at Budokan Hall. Reggie Bennett starts as a full-timer next month. Nakano is out of action with an injury, which may or may not be an angle for 7/14. On 7/11 at the LLPW show, Shinobu Kandori, who faces Bull in a chain match, "accidentally" was kicked in the eye by tag partner Rumi Kazama, went berserk and destroyed Mizuki Endo with the armbar, and sold the eye huge which was an angle to work an injury for the big match. Combat Toyoda of FMW appeared at the show and did a stare-down in the aisle with Eagle Sawai and the two were held apart by the other women after Eagle's match after issuing challenges over the p.a. to build-up their meeting on 7/14. USWA Although Sid Vicious debuted on the 7/4 show in Memphis doing a run-in, he wasn't at television now billed for this week's card, although they pushed the fact he was there hard enough to make it appear that he'll be back. He looked to be about the same size as when last seen on a national basis in October. The 7/4 show drew about 1,250 fans and $5,000 (all tickets were $4). Television on 7/9 opened with PG-13 defending the so-called W*ING tag team trophy against Masters of the Orient (Takashi Okano & Nobutaka Araya), who were in their last USWA match before returning for the IWA tour that starts 7/14. PG-13 won the match. After the match, The Eliminators came out and challenged them and they got into a brawl which saw the Eliminators bust the W*ING trophy. Speaking of Eliminators, they shot some publicity photos with Harvey Whippleman as their manager, which apparently means they'll be getting a shot with WWF, which is a surprise given that one of the two (the one who isn't Perry Saturn) has only been wrestling for a few months and is still really green. They aired a clip from 7/4 with Jerry Lawler defending the Unified title against Tommy Rich. After a ref bump, Dream Machine came down and hit Lawler with a chain and Rich had him pinned, but Frank Morrell saw what happened and instead disqualified Rich. They also aired a clip of the six-man handcuff match from 7/4 with Lawler & Brian Christopher & Moondog Spot vs. Rich & Doug Gilbert & Machine. Everyone was handcuffed to their corners except Lawler and Rich when Vicious came out and choke-slammed Lawler, who sold the move great, like he was dead. Vicious said that he was in to stay, which certainly doesn't constitute truth in advertising. They aired an interview from WWF where Jim Ross interviewed Lawler, who was a face, talking about his barbed wire match with Rich. Christopher than challenged Machine which ended with Doug Gilbert interfering, followed by Moondog Spot with garbage cans and boards, Rich and finally the return of manager Scott Bowden, who gave Gilbert a bottle which he broke on Christopher's head. with garbage cans and boards, Rich and finally the return of manager Scott Bowden, who gave Gilbert a bottle which he broke on Christopher's head. Another match from 7/4 aired with Koko Ware vs. Reggie B. Fine ending when Koko hit the ref and was suspended (ironic since he's was advertised on all the spot shows). Christopher & Spot did an interview where Christopher said they were bringing a second Moondog back for a match with Dream & Rich & Gilbert. Finally PG-13 did an interview with J.C. Ice talking about being the son of Bill Dundee and said he'd be just like his father, smaller than all the other wrestlers but willing to take a beating and come out the winner. 7/11 line-up has Spellbinder vs. Jeff Gaylord, Fine vs. Colorado Kid, Bart Sawyer (who returned this week from Portland) vs. Tony Falk, Spellbinder vs. Doug Basham, PG-13 vs. Eliminators, Dream vs. Christopher for USWA title, Lawler vs. Rich barbed wire and Dream & Rich & Gilbert vs. Christopher & Moondogs. Bert Prentice missed all his weekend shots and may or may not come back. SMW Jim Cornette must be pulling out his hair over the happenings of this past week which have wreaked havoc on his plans for the fall. First off, Jake Roberts departed without warning last week leaving him without a top singles feud and having to change the title back to Dirty White Boy before he was planning to do so. He then had arranged a "surprise" angle for 7/9 in Johnson City where Chris Walker (the Tom Prichard lookalike that was in the WWF until the crackdown on guys with that kind of physique got serious) would debut and attack White Boy to set up a feud, which in itself was a gamble because Walker has no proven track record to carry a top singles feud. But Walker didn't show up, so who knows the status of that. The biggest angle of the fall was scheduled to be a feud where Steve & Scott Armstrong would turn heel and feud with their father, but that looks to be either in danger or out the window because Steve Armstrong has gotten a regular job with All Japan as The Masked Falcon (a role originally designated for Curtis Thompson), to be new tag team partner for The Eagle and will work the last three All Japan tours of 1994 so he'll have extremely limited availability after mid-August. There was still hope Roberts would show up on 7/9 in Johnson City for a cage match with White Boy, but he no-showed once again and that pretty well looks to be it for him here. Johnson City was a pretty hot show, partially due to Roberts no-showing because they had a great main event. At the show they announced that White Boy had won the title earlier in the week and that Roberts no-showed, "either for transportation problems or out of fear." They brought out all the heels and had the fans pick who White Boy was to face. The promotion didn't do anything to lead the fans in any direction, so the crowd response was a legit barometer over who was over and Candido was picked. White Boy pinned him in a hot cage match. Brian Lee threw in a glove, but White Boy backdropped Candido before he could use it, then pulled out a chain and hit Candido for the pin. After the match Candido & Lee argued for several minutes before Fytch calmed them down, but the two didn't want to shake hands when it was over. During the match, Candido missed a splash off the top of the cage. Candido captured the TV title. Tracy Smothers had retained it five weeks so on the first television show taped 7/5 in Warrensville, NC, Candido beat Scott Studd to determine the new champion. On the first television show, they aired a Cornette interview from the FITE boardroom saying that Bob Armstrong wanted a Coward Waves the Flag match and he wanted a Texas death match, so those matches would take place 8/5 in Knoxville and "Night of the Legends" and 8/6 in Johnson City for "Fire on the Mountain III" respectively with Bob & mystery partner (Road Warrior Hawk) & Smothers vs. Bedlam & Funk Brothers with Ron Wright and Cornette in the respective corners. Bob & Smothers did an interview, bringing Wright out as their surprise manager and showing a video from Starrcade '86 where Hawk threw Jim Cornette off the scaffold and of course Cornette freaked out finding out Hawk was the partner. On TV this past weekend, Bob talked about having a partner to team with him and Smothers, and Scott Armstrong said either he or Steve wanted to be his partner but Bob said he couldn't choose between his two sons so he was picking someone else. They also announced that on 8/5, Brian Lee & Chris Candido would defend the tag belts against Rock & Roll Express and that Rick Gibson (Robert's older brother) would be handcuffed to Tammy Fytch and Rock & Rolls all but swore to God that they would win the belts that weekend, and with Lee's departure imminent, that would seem to be no surprise. The next night will be the second title match with Ricky Morton's hair vs. Fytch's hair. They aired a film of two masked men attacking The Thrillseekers. They said that Chris Jericho needed 18-stitches in the back of his head and aired an interview with Lance Storm with a bruised up face. The Seekers did an interview asking for the loser leave town on the Heavenly Bodies to be waived and they announced that the WWF would be sending the Bodies back for ten days in August for street fight matches. It actually wasn't the Bodies in the angle, but the guys in the filming did make it seem to be the case. he was picking someone else. They also announced that on 8/5, Brian Lee & Chris Candido would defend the tag belts against Rock & Roll Express and that Rick Gibson (Robert's older brother) would be handcuffed to Tammy Fytch and Rock & Rolls all but swore to God that they would win the belts that weekend, and with Lee's departure imminent, that would seem to be no surprise. The next night will be the second title match with Ricky Morton's hair vs. Fytch's hair. They aired a film of two masked men attacking The Thrillseekers. They said that Chris Jericho needed 18-stitches in the back of his head and aired an interview with Lance Storm with a bruised up face. The Seekers did an interview asking for the loser leave town on the Heavenly Bodies to be waived and they announced that the WWF would be sending the Bodies back for ten days in August for street fight matches. It actually wasn't the Bodies in the angle, but the guys in the filming did make it seem to be the case. Lee and Smothers had a singles match. Before the match Fytch did an interview saying that she's been trying to get out of the hair stipulation but is running out of money. She said she wants the fans to send money for her legal defense fund and wanted Bob Caudle to put the address on the screen, but Caudle refused. Once the match began, they did a ref bump, Candido ran in and that brought out Rock & Roll, who hit Lee with the double dropkick and Smothers scored the pin. On the next show, Cornette & Bedlam started the show walking around with picket signs saying they were on strike from SMW. They were "on strike" for three segments until Bob Armstrong, Smothers and Ron Wright ran them off. "The Gangstas" debuted, Sheik Mustapha Saed & New Jack, billed from South Central Los Angeles but actually from North Georgia wrestling, doing a heavy black racist angle. They went about as far as they could go with it and then farther than that, to the point of saying congratulations to O.J. because now there are two less to get rid of and talking about putting the Reginald Denny on those white boys. Let's just say the reaction has ranged from one end of the spectrum to the other. If a major promotion attempted to do this in a city of any size, they'd either be apologizing for it within a few weeks or be off television. The two needed a police escort out of town after the tapings. The two had a great ring entrance and New Jack is strong on interviews and the two have improved to being so-so in the ring. Expect Cornette, who has been looking for a long time to push black heels to his virtually all-white and he believes borderline KKK-like audience, to give these guys a major push. The only reason it hasn't happened yet is because he hasn't found a black heel who would do it. The final television show (the weekend of 7/30 will be a one hour in studio show with no matches building up Night of the Legends) airs 8/6. Steve & Scott Armstrong opened the show talking about how they've been waiting for a tag title match and they'd be getting a chance on the TV show. Rock & Roll did an interview and they did a photo of what Fytch would look like bald. They started building up the King of the Mountain tournament on 8/13 in Morristown, TN. The tag title match saw a ref bump, Fytch interfered, Rock & Roll ran in and got the purse from them but the ref saw R&R in the ring and DQ'd the Armstrongs who were very subtle about being unhappy about not winning the belts. Bobby Blaze has left the promotion, perhaps temporarily, so Brian Logan (Brian Keyes) worked as Kendo over the weekend. On television this weekend they announced that the original Heavenly Bodies (Don & Al Greene) would be brought in for Night of the Legends. HERE AND THERE The debut taping for Jim Crockett Promotions, as mentioned last week, will be on 7/26, but it has already been moved to Chattanooga rather than Rainesville, AL as reported last week. Joe Pedicino will be handling the play-by-play with Tully Blanchard doing color. Because of Blanchard's religious work, he's going to play a babyface announcer role. Boni Blackstone will do interviews. No word on talent other than it is expected that Rock & Roll Express and Jim Cornette will be there from SMW and that Crockett is going to use Tommy Rich and Junkyard Dog as his top babyfaces, which doesn't exactly sound promising on the surface. The name Ole Anderson continues to surface as being part of this, but Anderson is still on contract with WCW working at the training school. The group will be called NWA, and they may run a tournament that night to determine NWA world tag team champions. They want to have an NWA champion for the first taping. Shane Douglas was offered the role but supposedly the money (reportedly $150 per shot) may not be enough to get him to come in. determine NWA world tag team champions. They want to have an NWA champion for the first taping. Shane Douglas was offered the role but supposedly the money (reportedly $150 per shot) may not be enough to get him to come in. George "Crybaby" Cannon, a long-time wrestler, manager, booker and promoter, passed away on 7/1 from throat cancer. Cannon, believed to be in his late 50s, weighed more than 400 pounds during his wrestling days. He had a more-than-two-year horrible battle with the cancer which saw him weighing about 165 pounds at the time of his death. Cannon, who was the first "Beat the Champ" television champion for the old Los Angeles promotion on KCOP-TV in late 1968, was mainly a prelim wrestler based out of Windsor, ONT. His biggest career break came in late 1971 when he managed The Fabulous Kangaroos (Al Costello and the late Don Kent) to the Michigan-Ohio version of the NWA world tag team titles. He was later the booker for Pedro Martinez and Eddie Einhorn's International Wrestling Association promotion in 1975 that challenged many of the established NWA and WWWF promoters in a failed attempt to become a national promotion. Cannon also managed The Mongols (Newton Tattrie aka Geeto & Bill "Demolition Ax" Eadie aka Bolo) and the late Eric the Red in that promotion. Cannon later promoted independent shows under the name Superstars of Wrestling, largely in Ontario and Newfoundland, and for a short while was a promoter for the WWF during the early stages of the expansion. The shoot-style GAME promotion in Los Angeles continues to run at Yoahan Plaza in Los Angeles in Japan- town with bi-weekly shows, next one being 7/16. From our reports, some of the matches are definitely shoots with the guys getting busted and bruised up, and some of them are worked shoots. Those who attend have been extremely complimentary. Caught several weeks worth of ECW tapes. Boy do I miss Joey Styles as an announcer. They had a ****+ match on television with Sabu and Too Cold Scorpio on TV a few weeks back taped from Montgomeryville, PA. The show that was scheduled to air on 7/5 was pre-empted because of the O.J. Simpson hearings and follow-up news coverage. Paul E. Dangerously did an interview going nuts about O.J. when the show aired two days later. This group also has the most interesting names for its jobbers, many of whom are named after local indie promoters that they have heat with like Joel Hartgood (after Joel Goodhart, the former Philadelphia promoter) and even cult hero jobber and TV champ Mikey Whippreck was named after Dennis Whiprecht, another local promoter. Rey Gonzalez & El Bronco captured the WWC tag titles from Tahitian Warrior & Mohammad Hussein on 7/6 at the television tapings in Tola Alta, Puerto Rico. On 7/9 in Caguas, after Eddie Gilbert was disqualified against Gonzalez, Hurricane Castillo did a run in and Gilbert threw a fireball at him. They are building up for a ring surrounded by fire War Games type match with Dutch Mantel's team against Carlitos Colon's team. Doomsday (Glen Jacobs) is getting a renewed push using the heart punch gimmick, and used it to beat Invader #1 in Caguas. The Inside Pro Wrestling radio show on Talk America Radio Network airs Saturdays at 9 p.m. Eastern on stations in Chicago, Boston, St. Louis, Denver, Portland, Fort Wayne and Providence. For satellite dish owners, you can pick the show up on wide band S3, Ch. 9, 6.8 audio. Dennis Coraluzzo has shows 8/6 in Jackson, MI headlined by a Texas death match with Sabu vs. Chris Benoit, Jim Duggan vs. Ludvig Borga, Black Hearts vs. Osamu Nishimura & Jonnie Stewart plus Johnny Gunn, Al Snow and Skinner (Steve Keirn). Tom Ramirez, who promoted the AAA show in Las Vegas on 5/28, booked the Silver Nugget for a return show on 7/23. With AAA already booked in Chicago, he went after EMLL, but apparently was talked out of that and will instead run, with a $25 top price, a show headlined by Papa Shango vs. Virgil and using Southern California wrestlers underneath. AAA Antonio Pena and Juan Francisco Cortez, who run the wrestling end of AAA, were in the United States over the weekend meeting with Ron Skoler (who promotes the U.S. shows under the IWC banner) in New York and Skoler also has meetings with the Televisa (which owns the company) board in California. It appears everything is straightened out regarding the minis and they'll all be staying. Los Angeles tickets go on sale 7/18. No definitive word one way or another if there will be a show in San Jose on 8/5. The television show that aired on 7/9 was done from the studio airing matches from the TripleMania shows that didn't air previously in the United States (except for Los Angeles), the Konnan-Jake Roberts hair match, the eight man tag from Zapopan with Jushin Liger, the match where Los Payasos beat Los Hermanos Dinamita to win the trios belts and the return match between those two teams in a cage. The show included six commercial spots for upcoming U.S. shows, three for Chicago and three for New York. They go back with up-to-date shows this coming weekend which should be the show taped 7/1 in Veracruz, and the card taped 7/8 in Tijuana should air the following week. Tijuana drew yet another sellout of 5,500 for what was described as a very entertaining live show with a weak main event. On top, Konnan & Perro Aguayo & Mascara Sagrada were disqualified against The New Infernales. Konnan looked as big or bigger than the last time he was in Los Angeles. Konnan was either off the juice or way down during the last few months, and it was reflected since his wrestling was starting to get better. Like many others, he appears to have less stamina and has less agility carrying the added muscle. The funny thing is, even at a muscular 205 as opposed to 245, he's still got a better physique than anyone else in the promotion so his gimmick works and he's every bit as over at the lighter weight. The highlight in Tijuana was a ****1/4 match with local hero Rey Misterio beating Jerry Estrada via DQ, and there was another hot match with Tony Arce & Vulcano of the Destructores teaming with Psicosis to lose to Latin Lover & Torero & Rey Misterio Jr. Arce, Vulcano and Psicosis also started up a feud with the Dinamita, attacking them after their match with Los Payasos. WCW The next Clash is pretty well set for 8/24 in Cedar Rapids, IA. It appears that one of the matches will be Antonio Inoki vs. Steve Regal, and for political reason Inoki will almost have to go over. There will be numerous changes on the wrestling hotline as Mike Tenay was asked to do a second date and Mark Madden was added, although we're not certain who will be replaced. We've heard conflicting reports on the status of Bobby Heenan, although it appears he'll remain on Sundays. Madden will now be put on Wednesday rather than Sunday, which is Jesse Ventura's spot. Tenay was asked to do Monday, which was Gordon Solie's spot. Apparently Madden, whose move to being a WCW hotline employee spells the end of his newsletter column, was told he'd have to submit either a complete script or an outline of a script of what he would be saying ahead of time before going on the air. Besides the 1.8 on Saturday and 1.4 on Sunday last week, the Pro show did a 1.3 and the Clash replay did a 1.4. The actual gate in Philadelphia for Slamboree was $33,426, which is a much lower figure than was originally reported here. Vader was featured in an interview on the "E Network" with the other stars of the movie he did two weeks back in Japan. The "Thunder in Paradise" episode where Terry Funk has a starring role airs this week. Supposedly the word has come directly from the top that the heavy blood violent matches, such as the two Cactus Jack matches from the PPV's and the Dustin Rhodes-Bunkhouse Buck first match are no longer to be tolerated, even on PPV. The fear is with the national and congressional mood against violence on television, Ted Turner, a major public figure who has to be in step with the times, doesn't want to be caught with an achilles heel. Since Vince McMahon has also come down hard on the same subject, McMahon must be afraid that unless wrestling is toned down, a spotlight will shine on him as well. WCW's television is already edited to death in Europe, where the standards on television violence are already stricter. As someone who enjoyed those three matches, I don't like this direction, but I also realize that to survive in business in 1994, you can't ignore the outside world. All the complaining about how it used to be doesn't mean diddly if it's going to end up costing exposure in a business in which exposure is the foundation. enjoyed those three matches, I don't like this direction, but I also realize that to survive in business in 1994, you can't ignore the outside world. All the complaining about how it used to be doesn't mean diddly if it's going to end up costing exposure in a business in which exposure is the foundation. WWF No real updates regarding the Joey Marella death. Apparently Harvey Whippleman has told the other wrestlers that reports Marella wasn't wearing his seat belt were incorrect. Marella's death wasn't acknowledged on any of the television shows or the radio show. Whippleman had also fallen asleep in the car, and awoke when the car hit a tree after Marella had fallen asleep at the wheel. Business was poor as largely was match quality on the weekend house shows. Meadowlands drew about 4,000, Nassau Coliseum about 3,100 and Landover, MD about 1,800. Both New York shows were headlined by marathon matches with Bret vs. Owen. In both cases, Bret won 3-2, with Owen taking a 2-1 lead and Bret coming back. At the Meadowlands, Bret got the sharpshooter on with five seconds left to win the fifth fall. In Nassau, they were tied at the end of 60:00 with Bret winning in a sudden death period (around 1975, WWF booker Pat Patterson, when he was U.S. champion, had a classic Cow Palace main event against Don Muraco in a marathon match with the same sudden death finish). Nobody was raving about the matches even though the 60:00 was legit. Bret submitted twice both nights. Really, as far as reports from house shows go, Bret vs. Owen has to be considered the major disappointment of the year as far as match quality goes. Also over the weekend, The Head Shrinkers title defenses against Heavenly Bodies matches were switched to Shrinkers defending against Double Trouble, since Jimmy Del Rey is still injured. There's been serious discussion of bringing Chris Benoit in full-time as part of a pushed babyface tag team. Apparently there has already been mentions on television, not to mention in the magazine and on pizza boxes of Undertaker vs. Undertaker even though as the storyline had advanced on television, fans aren't supposed to know there are two of them. Usually this kind of television not being caught up with every other form of publicity doesn't happen here. There may be some question as to whether Bruce Hart will be appearing at shows in Bret's corner for matches with Owen who will have Jim Neidhart in the corner. On last week's promos for the California shows, they mentioned Bruce being in the corner. This week it was just said that Bret may have a family member in the corner with a graphic shown of Bruce. Television the weekend of 7/4 saw Raw do a 2.4, which is understandable for a show at 9 p.m. that evening, All-American a 1.8 and Mania a 1.1. For those who listen to the WWF radio show, the regular caller who goes by the name Disco Inferno is Glen Gilburnetti, the Georgia indie wrestler who used the Disco Inferno name in Memphis. He's friends with Johnny Polo. "Summer Sizzler tour" will be in Madison Square Garden, Nassau Coliseum and Meadowlands from 8/25 to 8/27 with the same three headliners--Bret & Razor vs. Owen & Neidhart, Tatanka vs. IRS strap match and Head Shrinkers vs. Michaels & Diesel. For all the positives of adding the special effects and creating a more major league entertainment atmosphere at the shows, I think it's more than offset by running three nights in succession in the same market with the same line-up as the crowds this weekend indicated. THE READERS PAGES MISAWA-KAWADA Whomever reported to you that the 6/3 Budokan Hall match between Mitsuharu Misawa and Toshiaki Kawada was only a **** match must have only watched the first half of the match. The match aired in two parts. The entrances, ring introductions and first 18:00 aired on 6/4, while the 6/11 show carried the last 18:00 along with a significant amount of post-match coverage. Taken out of context, the first 18:00 of the match was in the **** range. It was smartly worked, as they established the storyline of the match in that the two had faced each other so many times that they "knew" each other's spots. When one wrestler would try their signature spot, the other would counter to block it, and often have the counter countered as well. The spots fit into the recent history of the feud with Misawa working on Kawada's bad knee, while Kawada worked on Misawa's injured upper back. It was all solid, with the highlight being Kawada selling his knee. Misawa juiced from the left inner ear at 7:00 after a series of elbows and kicks. The down side was that All Japan fans have been trained that these important matches always go so long, so they don't start popping big until after they've heard the 15:00 call. Sure enough, the place started popping at 15:00 and shortly thereafter, Misawa hit an elbow smash out of nowhere to elicit the first screaming call of "Kawada down! Kawada turned the tables in short order, with a Fuchi-style dropkick to Misawa's upper back followed by a enzui kneedrop off the second rope. The crowd and announcer were starting to get borderline out of control when the television show ended. The second show picked up at the Fuchi dropkick, some overlap to bring the match into context. It was one great spot after another. Kawada kept trying for the power bomb while Misawa kept trying for the Tiger driver. The match and crowd built toward what everyone expected to be the finish, with Kawada hitting a dangerous backdrop followed by a power bomb at the 25:00 mark to win the Triple Crown, except Misawa kicked out at two-and-seven-eights in one of the greatest near falls I've ever seen. The pop was unbelievable. Had Misawa been pinned, this would have been a strong match of the year candidate. Instead, they worked another 11:00 of tremendous spots back-and-forth with the crowd and announcer going bonkers the entire time since it constantly looked like it might be the finish. The finish was the same as in all Misawa-Kawada matches, Kawada being knocked out at the end. The method was a new one. Misawa hit a dangerous Tiger driver that looked to be a very risky bump for a wrestler as valuable as Kawada to take. Kawada sold the move for what seemed to be 5:00 after the match, while Misawa was in the ring selling the effects of being in an epic war. I'll give this match the highest compliment possible. I don't ever recall a Flair-Steamboat match this good. It was so good that even though the "wrong" guy won for the maximum reaction, it was still an all-time classic. The crowd heat was unreal for the last 20:00, while it was the greatest called match I've ever heard. The finish was beyond clean and decisive. All Japan has created an organization and style where a wrestler as over as Kawada can be completely destroyed in a main event, yet gain from it because it was such a good match. The psychology allows the promotion to put on constant perfect World title matches, where there is always a clear cut winner and loser, but the challenger can lose and come out stronger than before. Kawada has been losing these Triple Crown matches since 1989, but he's still over bigger than ever. Let's face it, there isn't a wrestler in the United States anywhere near as over as Kawada. At this point he is a clear cut choice for Wrestler of the year, and he's probably pushed past Kenta Kobashi as the best male worker in the world. My top ten matches of the year thus far: 1) Misawa & Kobashi vs. Kawada & Taue 12/3/93; 2) Misawa vs. Kawada 6/3; 3) Misawa & Kobashi vs. Kawada & Taue 5/21; 4) Kawada vs. Williams 4/16; 5) Pegasus vs. Sasuke 4/16; 6) Toyota & Yamada vs. Kansai & Ozaki 12/6; 7) Mascarita Sagrada vs. Espectrito 3/12; 8) Michaels vs. Ramon 3/20; 9) Kawada & Omori vs. Kobashi & Asako 2/19; 10) Kawada vs. Williams 3/29. To paraphrase Karl Marx, Ric Flair is the opiate of hardcores. In the past ten years, there have been many great workers that lost it due to age, apathy or injury. When the likes of Dynamite Kid, Barry Windham, Randy Savage, Riki Choshu, Tatsumi Fujinami, Yoshiaki Yatsu or Keiji Muto started slipping, they were hammered. But for some reason, the same standard hasn't applied to Flair. While admitting that Flair is the reason I became a serious fan, I have to say it's time to shake off the stupor and face reality. None of Flair's big matches this year have been very good, let alone approaching a match of the year. The most overrated was the 4/17 match with Steamboat. The previous night in Tokyo saw some of the best wrestling produced all year. While it would be unrealistic to compare Flair and Steamboat with the Super J Cup matches, to compare it was Kawada vs. Williams Champion Carnival final is more than fair. Kawada vs. Williams had better psychology, contained more advanced moves, it was better executed, more brutal, had better selling, more credibility, had a clean and satisfying finish, drew more heat, had a better storyline and was more emotional and did a better job of making both wrestlers look strong and did a better job of advancing the promotion to the next big match. The reality is Kawada vs. Williams was vastly superior in all the items listed above with execution being the only item even remotely close. Flair-Steamboat had a noticeable lack of heat, a dreadful finish, antiquated maneuvers and a muddled storyline. It was a *** match at best. They shouldn't get bonus stars because they are supposed to have a classic match every time out. the items listed above with execution being the only item even remotely close. Flair-Steamboat had a noticeable lack of heat, a dreadful finish, antiquated maneuvers and a muddled storyline. It was a *** match at best. They shouldn't get bonus stars because they are supposed to have a classic match every time out. Near the end of 1994, the hottest promotion in the world was Pancrase. It was speculated that the success of real shooting would likely spell the end for worked shooting. While the new group probably accelerated the inevitable drop of Rings, and nobody cared about PWFG to begin with, something strange happened to Pancrase and UWFI. Pancrase appeared to peak after a half-dozen shows and lost its fire. Contrast this with the phenomenal success of UWFI and growth of Takada into a major superstar. I have some thoughts, but am at a loss to identify the key reason. I think you'll enjoy the Vader-Tamura match. Smartly worked and good heat. Tamura is one of the more underrated workers around. Vader let him look good before beating him. Takada-Albright was similar to their previous matches, or perhaps a notch or two down. Other matches had better give-and-take, but the heat in the last 5:00 of this one may have been better. Takada is over like hell and he knows it. John Williams Arcadia, California JAMES DUDLEY Hall-of-Famer James Dudley Was always at Vince McMahon Sr's right hand He drove the limo every day And did more work than Arnold Skaaland But if he came 20 years later I'm really sorry to report That Dudley wouldn't be driving anymore He'd be testifying in court Scott Wallask Billerica, Massachusetts FLAIR/HOGAN Being a major Ric Flair fan that had to put up with the constant abuse of Hulk Hogan is better than Ric Flair, especially in the mid-to-late 80s, it infuriates me that it looks like Flair will be putting Hogan over without the reciprocal happening. I would have thought Flair would have had more pride to prevent this from happening. Jeff Zinger Woodstock, Ontario Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair will draw and make money. It will do well enough that they'll extend Hogan's contract. Also, Vince McMahon will not spend a day in jail. Jim Burgett Memphis, Tennessee STEROID TRIAL Just out of visceral concern for the future of my beleaguered favorite sport, I was almost ready to with Vince McMahon the best of luck as he heads to court. When he gave the nod to Bret Hart as his standard- bearer at the direct expense of Lex Luger, I wanted to believe the man had seen the light. Now after the mystifying return of Jim Powers, my faith in him has been severely shaken. Granted Curt Block's disclaimer, but Powers is a Popeye who looks like he's eating some very suspicious spinach. One minute the WWF comports itself as a paradigm and the next minute the company mirrors a defiant syndicate. I have enjoyed the WWF for 20 years and pray for the sake of the wrestlers and the honest employees that the federation weathers this storm, but frankly, I don't think a mere slap on the wrist will suffice. What's more, the real shame is that professional wrestling can't survive another savage media blitz. Edie Bailey Aberdeen, Maryland