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Old 04-04-2014, 12:53 AM   #261 (permalink)
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Default Re: 20 years Ago: Wrestling Observer

So the next edition will be about HBK losing his smile?
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Old 04-04-2014, 03:18 AM   #262 (permalink)
Vince gives me a comedy gimmick
 
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Default Re: 20 years Ago: Wrestling Observer

Dave Meltzer Reviews NWO Sould Out 1997

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You may call it the night that the NWO gimmick was fully exposed. Maybe it'll even go down as a turning point in an ever changing wrestling war at the very worst. At best, it was one real bad night, lucky if only for the fact that one bad show doesn't change the face of wrestling and that the majority of the television viewing wrestling fans don't order PPV and thus didn't see it. Problem is, most of the television viewing wrestling fans who actually spend money on pro wrestling, thus basically keep the wrestling economy going, do order PPV events.

NWO Souled Out, what came off to outsiders as the brainchild of someone intoxicated by his own success to the point of all perspective being lost, was the single worst PPV show in the history of pro wrestling. There have been shows where the quality of the matches were worse, although this would be a bad show by that criterion. There have been shows with less heat and worse atmosphere, although this would be a bad show by those criteria as well. But there has never been a show with such poor announcing and outside wrestling skits, and combined with the bad wrestling, lack of heat and bad atmosphere made it the night the Baltimore Bash and the Philadelphia Halloween Havoc were no longer thought of as the bottom of the PPV barrel. It was like WCW copied the worst aspects of the first two weeks of Shotgun Saturday Night, and then tried to go even farther to the point it looked like a bar show put on by a person whose brain was so fried by acid that only they knew what world they were in and it had only a semblance of resemblance to the pro wrestling show they were attempting to put together. It was even more amazing coming from a company that was on its biggest roll in its history and is loaded when it comes to talent depth, neither of which were apparent.

The only signs of the success of WCW were the sellout at the Five Seasons Center in Cedar Rapids, IA of 5,120 paying $68,209 who largely felt as ripped off as those at home did that spent $27.95 on this mess. And it will likely turn out to be a fairly significant buy rate for the show since NWO was the in thing in wrestling. This show, based on crowd reactions, in that an NWO show in a sea of NWO t-shirts saw the NWO wrestlers get booed, or in many cases, ignored in nearly every match sans Scott Hall & Kevin Nash's tag team match. While the name NWO is over, the NWO name can't get anyone over. The NWO's popularity is Hall & Nash. Hogan, trying to play heel and rogue babyface at the same time, is still both a big drawing card based on his past and an obnoxious bore based on his present. The rest of the guys are guys who weren't over, dressed up with the same cool t-shirts as those in the crowd, but still couldn't get over. While Hall & Nash can get away with the teenage lingo or just about anything else in their late 30s because when you're over you can almost do no wrong, both Eric Bischoff and especially Ted DiBiase come off as pitiful trying to act like teenagers in the parking lot during class breaks while in their 40s. Sweet? Not!

The less said about the NWO Beauty Pageant and the members of the washed-up band Jackal the better. If the Oak Ridge Boys, who are a real big name band, in Nashville, their home town, didn't sell ticket one or PPV one and ended up as the bathroom break for the live wrestling fans, the idea of trying it again with a worse band just shows that those who don't know anything about the past are doomed to repeat its stupidity. If that wasn't bad enough, the booking was horrible as well. The Nick Patrick gag went from being a heat seeking missile to a tired worn out screw-job by the climax of one of the worst world title PPV matches in history. A Mexican death match without any Mexicans and without an explanation as to why? A wrestler running another over in a motorcycle and the announcers selling it as a comedy spot rather than a heat spot? And that same wrestler after having been run down, appeared two nights later on a live television show not selling an injury nor did the announcers even acknowledge the incident. A PPV show without even one interview with a wrestler, despite having some of the best interviews in wrestling sitting about fourth rows deep in the audience? Suffice to say that if someone wanted to put on the worst show possible on purpose, they could have put on worse matches, but they'd be hard pressed to have a worse show.

1. Masahiro Chono pinned Chris Jericho (Chris Irvine) in 11:08 after a Yakuza kick. Bischoff made a remark that they didn't have to give tickets away at a 7-11 to get people to come to this PPV. That was in reference to the WWF which only could get 48,000 paid for its show last week. The match started slow. Jericho did a great plancha and then his knee hit the post and began selling the knee. Fans began chanting "USA" even though the only American in the ring was Nick Patrick. Chono brought a table from under the ring and set it up. Jericho mounted a comeback doing both a dropkick off the top rope and his Lionsault (quebrada), but still selling the knee. As Jericho went to the top, Chono kicked him off the top and he fell backwards through the table. As he got back in, Chono hit the Yakuza kick for the pin. **

The beauty contest started with Eric Bischoff's teenage protege, Jeff Katz, making his television debut in a basically impossible situation. The idea was to spoof beauty contests, but it was so lame the crowd began chanting for Debra McMichael.

2. Big Bubba Ray Traylor beat Hugh Big Dick Dudley Morrus (William DeMott)--hey, isn't McDevitt representing this guy in a Mexican death match. Morrus subbed for Konnan who was saved the embarrassment by being told not to come due to a scheduling conflict in Mexico. Rules were the match continued until one man couldn't answer the bell. Morrus was wearing a total Dudleys blue jeans and tie-died t-shirt gimmick, a gimmick he didn't wear on Nitro two nights later. You'd think they'd limit copying other offices to their good gimmicks. They traded using chains on each other, which the announcers tried to sell as comedy spots. Morrus finally delivered a hot moonsault, but Patrick wouldn't count to ten. They ended up on the floor and Morrus tried a twisting crossbody off steps and crashed onto the floor when Bubba moved. Bubba then ran him down with a motorcycle and Morrus was counted out of the ring in 9:03. 1/2*

3. Jeff Jarrett beat Michael Wallstreet (Lawrence Rotunda) in 9:22. Jarrett was introduced as "Double J." As if legal affairs aren't busy enough with depositions about ridiculous mistakes. The story of this match was that Debra McMichael looked worried as Jarrett would sell. Match was boring as neither guy is over, even though Jarrett has been really good in the ring during his WCW stint. The way the company has portrayed him in the booking makes him out to be the ultimate geek. Wallstreet had Jarrett in an abdominal stretch when Debra made Steve hit him with the briefcase, and McMichael intimidated Patrick into making the three count. DUD

4. Marcus "Buff" Bagwell pinned Scotty Riggs (Scott Antol) in 13:51. Riggs is so not over that he's under. Bagwell is a very good worker in his new role, but Riggs is a zero by himself. Finish saw the debut of the Buff blockbuster, which is basically coming off the top rope into a neckbreaker drop which was a really cool finisher. *1/4

The beauty contest travesty continued. The latest was Katz mentioning that Vince (the NWO Vince of course) wears a cheap hair piece and powder blue suits. If Jesse Ventura or Bobby Heenan would have said it on a good show it would be funny, but at this point in the show every joke fell flat.

5. Scott Norton beat Diamond Dallas Page via count out in 9:39. Page was taking puffs from a cigar early in the match. Sting showed up in the balcony but that was the extent of his involvement in the show. Right in the middle of the match, Bagwell, Bubba, Vince and Wallstreet came out and gave Page an NWO t-shirt. He ripped up the shirt, gave Norton a Diamond cutter, punched all the other guys and ran into the crowd. Patrick then announced Norton the winner via count out. 1/2*

6. The Steiners (Robert & Scott Rechsteiner) beat Scott Hall & Kevin Nash to supposedly win the WCW tag titles in 14:43. Better than you'd think. Steiners offense with the suplexes was real good. Most of the match saw them get heat on Rick, building to Scott's hot tag. It was your basic tag team match. Crowd booed Steiners heavily early on but seemed to cheer them more as the match went on. Finish saw Hall give Scott the Outsider edge after a ref bump. Rick then bulldogged Hall off the top rope and Scott covered him. Randy Anderson, who was in the fourth row, ran to the ring and hopped the rail while Rick knocked down Patrick once again and counted the fall and gave the Steiners the belts. **1/4

7. Eddie Guerrero beat Syxx (Sean Waltman) in a ladder match to gain possession of the U.S. title belt in 13:48. This was an excellent match, although one wouldn't have known it since the announcers absolutely killed the match. Bischoff spent more time trying to get over that he knows karate and Scott Hall invented ladder matches than build drama into a damn good match. Actually most people didn't even recognize this as anything more than an average match when it was a great effort by both. Guerrero did a great plancha off the top rope to the floor. Syxx suplexed Guerrero over the top rope to the floor and followed with a tope con hilo. Then they started doing ladder spots. Granted, this didn't hold a candle to the Razor Ramon vs. Shawn Michaels PPV matches, but it was at least the same calibre as their house show ladder matches. Highlight was both men on the next to the last step up the ladder and Syxx did basically a standing Rider kick and both took big bumps to the mat. Finish saw both at the top of the ladder and each came down holding the belt. Guerrero managed to hit Syxx with the belt and he took the bump to the floor while Guerrero climbed down with the belt. ****

Miss NWO finally ended with the sight of Bischoff french kissing an overweight mid-50s women to no cheers, even fewer laughs and a lot of gagging around the country. By this time the show was about as much fun to watch as three hours of somebody masturbating. In fact, I'm not sure that isn't what we were watching.

8. Hulk Hogan (Terry Bollea) and The Giant (Paul Wight) went to a no decision in 11:00. Hogan was accompanied to the ring by Nate Newton, Ray Donaldson and George Teague of the Dallas Cowboys who seemed not to have a clue what was going on. Hogan tried a few wrestling spots but they were done in slow-mo, about the speed if you throw punches while under water. Giant missed an elbow off the top rope which was impressive for a guy of his size. Bischoff kept saying how Giant outweighed Hogan by 80 to 90 pounds, which may be a legit figure, but the gimmick is Giant weighs more than 450 and God Knows Hogan couldn't be more than 260. Hogan for the first time since 1990 actually hit on his foot to the face spot. Finish saw Hogan do the legdrop, but Giant got back up and choke slammed him. Patrick counted to two and said Hogan kicked out even though he hadn't. He counted to two again with the same gimmick. He counted to two again, then injured his shoulder so he couldn't lift his arm for the third count. Giant choke slammed Patrick. At this point the jobber crew (Bagwell, Wallstreet, Bubba, Syxx, Norton and Vince) hit the ring and Giant was beating them all up (notice Hall, Nash and Chono had the sense not to involve themselves in this aspect of the angle). Bischoff ran to the ring and gave Hogan a guitar and he destroyed it over Giant's back. Giant survived a fall off Cobo Arena but couldn't stand up to a gimmicked guitar to the back. Hall & Nash then showed up and Hall pulled down Giant's pants showing everyone his enlarged butt and they spray painted NWO 4 life on his back. Well, it makes next year's awards easy enough. -*1/2
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Old 04-11-2014, 04:28 AM   #263 (permalink)
Vince gives me a comedy gimmick
 
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Default Re: 20 years Ago: Wrestling Observer

Story Of How Monday Night Raw Became A 2 Hour Show

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As of press time on 2/4, there was still no deal between the WWF and USA network regarding doing a weekly two-hour generally live Monday Night Raw show head-to-head with Nitro.

There has been much talk between the sides, and Raw was expanded to two hours on 2/3 and it is believed that will continue on 2/17 and 2/24 although even that hasn't been confirmed. It appears both WWF and USA network both want the two-hour live format, but the hold up appears to be what percentage each side is going to pay of the estimated $100,000 per week plus it would cost to do a weekly live shoot.

The WWF has been working toward the probability of a two-hour live show most weeks, and at one point last week USA network even told advertisers of the format change as a long-term deal, but has since shied away in being committed past the end of February. The first two-hour show, taped three nights earlier at Sky Dome in Toronto, was basically a last week deal as WWF didn't get the official word from USA as to whether the show would be one hour or two hours until the evening of 1/29, although there had been talks and it was well known by the previous weekend it was a strong possibility.

The impetus for the change is coming more from USA than WWF, because it's highly touted new series "Le Femme Nikita" is struggling in the ratings against TNT's "Robin Hood." The reason the changes are being rushed is because February are sweeps month where the basic advertising rates are determined based on overall prime time ratings so it's more important for all TV stations to hotshot this month, particularly USA and TNT because of their close battle to bragging rights of being the top rated prime time cable network. The belief at the USA network is that the one hour Raw is providing TNT was a tremendous lead-in for the second hour of Nitro, which did 4.4 ratings on both 1/20 and 1/27 while the USA 9 p.m. programming has gone down the tubes in competition. While Nitro beats Raw in the head-to-head hour every week, the margin of the victory is much closer than in the second hour with Nitro hour two against whatever USA puts in the 9 p.m. hour.

The original plan, due to February sweeps, is that USA wanted the WWF to air the entire Royal Rumble on the one-hour show on 2/3, which was pushed all week as "Royal Rumble Monday." The reason is that the highest rated pro wrestling show in the history of the USA network was the 1988 Royal Rumble, which did an 8.2 rating (broadcasted live one year before it became a PPV fixture), and that's the type of thing you copy during sweeps. However, after agreeing to air the Rumble, Request and Viewers Choice protested and apparently there is some kind of exclusivity protection in their PPV deals so instead what aired of the Rumble on the two-hour show ended up being three different 30 second clips rather than the entire 50 minute match. At the same time, USA now wanted a two-hour show so the decision was made to turn the 1/31 house show in Toronto, which had a huge advance, into a Raw television taping.

However, with all the pressure on both sides for the first two-hour head-to-head confrontation, both shows were major disappointments despite each drawing a large live crowd. From a ratings standpoint, the margin of WCW's victory, as expected, was cut noticeably from previous weeks as Nitro did a 3.04 rating and 4.6 share to Raw's 2.64 rating and 3.9 share which is the first sign of what the affects of a two hour show will be. Nitro rating has to be a disappointment since the teased but never outright announced that there would be a Hulk Hogan vs. Roddy Piper title match later in the show. The first hour was very close, with WCW with a 2.76 to 2.64 edge, but WCW was still the show that picked up steam and easily won the second hour 3.31 to 2.63. WWF opened with a sizable lead with Austin vs. Vader at 2.67 against Dragon vs. Mendoza and Kidman vs. Glacier at 2.34. That was the only point WCW trailed. Ice Train-Parka against Vega-Funk was a 2.55 tie. Steiners-Heat vs. the beginning of the tag title bout saw a huge 3.17 to 2.46 gap and Enos-Malenko vs. tag title finish was 2.99 to 2.87 (although trailing at this point, the tag title match was the WWF show's peak rating). Page-Renegade against Crush-Goldust was 2.99 to 2.74 edge for WCW. Wright-Calo vs. the Michaels-Hart interview segment was 3.24 to 2.74 WCW edge. Konnan-Benoit vs. Mero-Helmsley was 3.37 to 2.43 WCW edge, and the Jarrett deal and mainly Hogan-Piper confrontation against the Undertaker match was 3.64 to 2.61 WCW edge.

WCW drew the first real sellout to pro wrestling at the Mid South Coliseum in Memphis since a March 1986 match with Jerry Lawler & Dutch Mantel vs. Bill Dundee & Buddy Landel (hey, you should have seen the television show building up that match). The actual attendance was nowhere near record breaking since production killed several thousand seats with the total crowd at 8,173 (6,946 paying $77,128) while the aforementioned sellout was closer to 11,000. On television they announced thousands were turned away but it was more like a few hundred. The gate was the fourth largest for pro wrestling ever in Memphis. The WWF drew 25,628 (an estimated 22,000 paying $324,326) to Sky Dome, which they billed several times as the largest crowd in the history of Monday night television. Vince McMahon called it a capacity crowd even though the place holds more than 65,000. McMahon and Jim Ross threw frequent barbs through the two-hour live voice-over of the taped matches, making numerous references to bait-and-switch tactics, presumably on Nitro, saying they deliver what they advertise and will deliver the complete matches they say they will and aren't teasing with a match that may or may not take place (in reference to WCW opening the Nitro show teasing that there would be a Hogan-Piper match which ended up simply being a confrontation angle and no match). Of course, with USA plugging airing of the Rumble heavily for one week and it being only 30 second clips, one has to say this wasn't the week for WWF to be name-calling about those tactics.

Both shows were disappointments. The Sky Dome was poorly lit, the crowd wasn't well miced and most of the matches were disappointments. It came off as a dead show, reminiscent of one of those bad WWF house shows that used to be featured on the old "Prime Time Wrestling" two hour show in the 80s, leaving many to question whether the WWF has the talent depth to put on a weekly quality two-hour show. They do on paper, but this show wasn't a good argument supporting that case. WCW had a hotter crowd on television, but killed the crowd on a show where seven of the nine matches were very bad, and the finishes up and down were even worse, particularly a double-run-in finish during a Steiners vs. Harlem Heat match that killed the crowd dead in its tracks for the next several matches. The only high point of the show was a closing Hulk Hogan-Roddy Piper angle where Piper brought his son out, said he wasn't accepting the match with Hogan, got insulted for a while, and came back brawling and accepting the 2/23 Cow Palace match.

The current working ideas for the WWF, all subject to change, is if the two-hour live format goes into effect on 2/17, the road schedule would change completely. Shows that already have advertising out and international tours will go on as scheduled. They are attempting to book Monday night dates where none exists in buildings near to where the Sunday live event matches are being held, so the idea that most of the tapings will be done at the Manhattan Center isn't the case. The scheduled Tuesday Superstars tapings in cities where advertising is already out, such as 2/18 in Birmingham, AL, should the changes be made, would turn into regular house shows, although eventually the shows where there is no advertising out that have been planned as Superstars tapings would likely end up being canceled. Over the long run, the plan would be for all house show tours to last from Friday until Monday, with the wrestlers then off until the next Friday, although it will take some time under any circumstances where this will be fully implemented. The Monday show would be a live two-hour Raw taping followed by a one-hour Superstars taping for the show that airs six days later so everything on Superstars would become more current, and a dark main event match or two to keep the crowd from leaving during the Superstars taping. Superstars would contain fewer matches than in the past, maybe around four, and they'd last longer. The two-hour Raw would contain longer matches than Nitro and the attempt would be made because of that to have a better match quality, exemplified by the 2/3 show which had six matches as opposed to WCW which has anywhere from eight to 11 matches. Numbers aside, neither side succeeded that night when it came to match quality.

No final decisions have been made provided the switch to two hours live goes through, but it is believed it was also affect the weekly Shotgun Saturday Night tapings, that are done generally in New York. There has already been a lot of complaints from the wrestlers that work the Shotgun tapings, because the top stars are under downside guarantees that basically mean their price per show averages out to $1,300 to $1,700 per night minimum (even though payoffs in some cities may not reach that level, it averages out to that level if not quite a bit higher). Between appearing on shows that look shabby and minor league, payoffs of only a few hundred dollars, most of which is eaten up in road expenses of having to say overnight in expensive New York City, poor locker room facilities and having to work past night screwing up the already screwed up sleep patterns, you can see the complaints. The fact the shows have generally been poor doesn't help matters. Shotgun was done to give WWF a live weekly television show, but if Raw goes like weekly, the idea that the production staff would have to put together a midnight show on Saturday, a live Superstars taping the next Sunday morning and then go on the road for a live shoot every Monday is a killer in many ways and ups to the potential for Monday night live screw-ups caused by fatigue. Because of that, there is talk of taping several Shotgun shows at a time. But none of this is confirmed because the USA deal hasn't been completed.

If the deal is completed, Raw will be taped live on 2/17 in Nashville, 2/24 at the Manhattan Center, the 3/3 show will be taped from Berlin, Germany on 2/26 presumably headlined by the European title tournament championship match, 3/10 will be live from Worcester, MA, 3/17 will be live from Syracuse, NY and 3/24 will be live from Rockford, IL.
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All-NBA Second Team (1990)
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NBA Rookie of the Year (1980)
NBA All-Rookie First Team (1980)
NBA All-Star Game MVP (1982)
3 Three-point Shootout champion (19861988)
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Old 04-15-2014, 03:20 PM   #264 (permalink)
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Default Re: 20 years Ago: Wrestling Observer

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Originally Posted by The Corre View Post
Not exactly 20 years ago, but some interesting comments nontheless. This was during the time WWE was under heavy fire due to the Benoit tradegy and their shady wellness policy:

[WON issue on the drug scandal]

There's like 22 pages covering the whole case and it's filled with interesting stuff so if anyone wants me to post some more quotes from Vince/Linda/Steph/Dixie Carter or the commitee, let me know.
Hey guys, I posted this ^ a couple months ago. I wanted to read the full piece again, but I can't for the life of me remember what issue that came from. I didn't post a date in my original post, it sounds like something that came after 2009 because they talk about Test in there (who passed away in May 2009 I think).
I looked through all my 2009 WON but I can't seem to find it.. Anyone know what the date was on this newsletter? Thanks in advance!
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Old 04-23-2014, 11:51 AM   #265 (permalink)
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Default Re: 20 years Ago: Wrestling Observer

Febuary 24th 1997 Wrestling Observer: Shawn Looses His Smile

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Perhaps the strangest week in World Wrestling Federation history ended up with three WWF title changes, the tease of the end of Shawn Michaels' career, a strange twist in the working relationship with ECW, the beginning of the live Raw, a television special, a PPV event, a surprise IC title switch, numerous long-term plans switched, steroids appeared back to being somewhat in vogue, and perhaps not even limited to the male performers, and the beginning of Wrestlemania hype all crammed into five days.

When the dust settled, Sid was back with the WWF title--a belt that Shawn Michaels never lost and that Bret Hart never beat anyone for in becoming a one-day wonder, and probably wondering himself if he made the worst career move of his career as second guessers and many in the industry were saying by the end of the week. Undertaker vs. Sid will headline Wrestlemania on 3/23 in Chicago, at least as of this week. Michaels' career was teased as being over due to a knee injury portrayed on television Thursday as being so bad even reconstructive surgery may not to able to repair the damage as a teary-eyed Michaels, whose problem was clearly in the interview not a knee injury, said farewell to the WWF in a classic interview repeated to death on television and PPV about 100 times in the ensuing weekend. It wound up only to have noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. Jim Andrews say Michaels' knee injury wouldn't even require surgery at all, and that after four to six weeks of rehab, he may be able to return. And at press time, it appears the plan is for Michaels to now be put back into the Wrestlemania mix, although not as a wrestler, perhaps doing announcing or as a special referee, wrestle a few major shows during the summer and return full-time in the fall. We're not sure whether plans had been changed at the last minute where Michaels was scheduled to drop the title to Sid on the 2/13 special, but we do know that Michaels' short-term departure threw a total monkey wrench in all the house show and Wrestlemania plans. To the WWF's credit, they didn't pressure Michaels into staying at a time when it appeared emotionally he needed the break, but it was surprising they didn't do an angle to build heat on an opponent for his eventual return.

Rocky Maivia, the former Duane Johnson, with less than one year in the pros, was surprisingly given the IC title on 2/13 from Hunter Hearst Helmsley. There had been some question that Maivia's push was going to wind up in a Van Hammer/Erik Watts like situation, that fans wouldn't buy being a green wrestler being shoved down their throats and push back. If there was any doubt, during the match even before the title had changed were chants of "Rocky sux."

The before-the-camera working relationship with ECW (which has been going on behind-the-scenes to some extent for months now), which had a test run before planned angles were abruptly dropped a few months back, will pick up with a new twist on 2/24 at the Manhattan Center for the second live two hour Raw show. However, this time it appears ECW won't be the heels or the invaders but that ECW will become, like AAA, a babyface promotion working with the WWF. The exposure in that position pretty well guarantees that whatever chance there was that ECW would totally flop on PPV is now exceedingly slim, because the exposure on a wrestling show with actual large mainstream viewership should at least arouse enough curiosity to do a break-even buy rate.

But the biggest story was not the three WWF title changes, the Michaels vacancy on Thursday, the Hart win under Battle Royal rules on Sunday and the Sid win over Hart due to Steve Austin's outside interference on Monday; but the entire strange circumstances involving Michaels, the wrestler who carried the WWF in the ring throughout 1996, and appeared to be breaking down emotionally from pressure at the same time he was wowing crowds in the ring.

On the Raw special, it was announced at the beginning of the show that Michaels would be vacating his title. In a memorable, but now totally over played and emotional interview, Michaels talked about a knee injury so bad it may be beyond surgical repair, how he wouldn't return to wrestling if he was anything less than 100%, and then broke down talking about this past year as being the top man in the business being the happiest year of his life because he got to do everything he dreamed of, and saying it would be okay if it never happened again because at least he got to do it for one year, thanked Vince McMahon for letting it happen, broke down even worse, said he needed to go home to find his smile because he lost it somewhere, and ended it by saying that he needed to go home now as he hugged McMahon in the ring. This sent shock waves throughout the industry because it was all totally unexpected--apparently the WWF higher-ups received word at about 6 p.m. the previous night from Michaels that he was taking time off when Michaels informed WWF officials that his doctor in San Antonio had told him his knee injury could be career ending. WWF sources claim that they chose this tact rather than do an angle on Michaels' knee with a wrestler like Sid or Steve Austin to give him a grudge match upon his return, because they were afraid of doing any further damage to the knee. Perhaps the real-life situation involving Brian Pillman, where both he and the WWF wanted to use him so much when he should have been re-habbing that his ankle healed improperly and he wound up having to have everything redone and start from scratch in an ordeal that will end up keeping him out of the ring for more than one year when all is said and done. Of course, at that same point in time, even with all the damage to Pillman's ankle, they still did the in-ring angle for the storyline explanation and the grudge match built up for the eventual return.

It was announced with the title vacant, that the Final Four match on the Sunday PPV, which was to determine who would get the title shot at Wrestlemania, would instead be for the title, and that the original title contender, Sid, would get the winner the next day. One day before the match, the rules of the Final Four were amended to being Battle Royal rules, which meant eliminations would be by throwing someone over the top rope as well as pins or submissions, although as it turned out all eliminations were over the top, which allowed them to placate more delicate egos and saved all three from doing jobs in a match set up originally to where at least three key performers were going to have to do jobs. Bret Hart captured the title for the fourth time, clotheslining Undertaker over the top when Undertaker was distracted by Austin. The next night it was announced the Hart-Sid winner would face Undertaker at Wrestlemania for the title in the main event. After two re-starts due to Austin jumping both men before the match started, in a gimmick designed to get off to a ratings jump on the most important Monday night ratings war to date (well, at least until next Monday), the match, which started at the beginning of the show wound up as the final match on the show with Sid winning when Austin hit Hart over the head with a chair as Hart had the sharpshooter on Sid.

It appears the top matches at Wrestlemania will be Sid vs. Undertaker, Bret Hart vs. Austin, Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. Goldust and a Chicago Street fight with Ahmed Johnson vs. Faarooq. The original plan was for Owen Hart & Davey Boy Smith vs. Doug Furnas & Phil Lafon with the tag team title switch that occurs on nearly every Wrestlemania, but that may have already changed. It may be that Hart & Smith, who are more valuable than ever because they need people who can carry time every week with the two-hour live show, will be getting some perks in exchange for dropping the straps. With Michaels out of commission, house shows over the weekend, originally scheduled as Bret Hart & Sid vs. Austin & Michaels main events, changed first to triangle matches with Michaels removed, and then changed again with an injury to Ahmed Johnson, to double mains with Sid vs. Faarooq and the same Final Four with Bret, Undertaker, Vader and Austin that would be on the PPV show on Sunday, giving the wrestlers two try-out matches to get out the kinks. Major house show main events when the group returns from the European tour which starts this week are going to be triangles with Bret Hart, Sid and Austin. With most of the big names gone to Europe, there will be a skeleton crew for the live show at the Manhattan Center, and they are going all out for shocks and surprises for that show.

Exactly what is the true story involving Michaels is anyone's guess. There is no doubt there was a knee injury. Anyone who does what Michaels does is going to wind up with knee damage. Obviously there are serious problems that were a lot more important to address than any knee problems. Just because someone appears on the surface to outsiders to lead a charmed life, in that they have money, looks, ability and can entertain outsiders and are admired and even worshipped by people who don't know them, doesn't mean that on the inside they are any less immune to the same problems that face each of us. A broken heart and broken dreams don't hurt any less if you have a million dollars in the bank or nothing in the bank, or if you having people clamoring for your autograph or blowing smoke up your ass. In fact, if anything, in Michaels position, he's a lot more susceptible because he was put under a microscope and put in a pressure cooker position. You have the illogic from a professional standpoint in his mind that he may be unable to come to grips with. He rose to the top in his profession by doing things a certain way. All the people riding the bandwagon with them on the road up there, many suddenly turn against him and point out his flaws for doing exactly the same thing he did to make it to the top, once he's under the microscope. Despite performing in good matches most nights and great matches on the big shows, and more importantly from the top man position, house show business with him as the key draw and headliner being the best in years--everything he dreamed about being important on paper was going exactly according to plan, suddenly everyone focused on TV ratings and suddenly he was a failure as champion. He was the standard bearer, the quarterback of sorts, on a team that people wrote was on a 33-game losing streak, going downhill fast, despite it really being the most successful it had been in years. And being a perfectionist to his craft in an imperfect world where others make mistakes often, his immaturity showed, particularly when his big buddies left him. If anything, it made the injuries, and the injuries on the inside that are a lot more painful than back and knee hurts, hurt that much worse. And his starting QB position was going to be being taken away either by the former starter who walked out making it somewhat public he was waiting for his rival to self destruct, and came back in with the biggest money offer in company history looking like the wisest clairvoyant in the 20th century; or by someone who couldn't lace his boots but whom fans chanted for while he did the most important and closest to real interview of his life, a cry for help that some people may have understood, but that the fans for the most part thought and the promotion treated as being just business as usual. And maybe his problems had little or nothing to do with the profession that he called his entire life. Maybe it was the fact at 31, he stepped back and realized outside the profession he didn't have a life, which is awfully scary. Maybe it was simply he needed time off to get his house in order, and maybe simply because he was setting up a new home in San Antonio and there's stress moving and all this was to get time away from work to move everything in. Or all of the above. Or none of the above. Maybe his best friends know and are disappointed he isn't getting the help they think he needs. Maybe they don't. The last word appeared to be Michaels returning in a non-wrestling role at Mania, probably to do an angle to lead to his in-ring return, and then he'd work some major shows over the summer before going full-time in the fall, ironically not all that different than the original plans Bret Hart made after he had to drop the title. Rumors will flourish, most of which won't be true and some of which will. The fact WWF after the fact played it up for all it was worth turned it into just another fake-shoot wrestling angle. Michaels has been in them before. The irony was just last year, the last time they played this game and teased Michaels never wrestling again, set him up for the biggest run of his career. Perhaps he forgot, or hoped people wouldn't remember that when he talked in the interview about a doctor telling him he may not be able to wrestle again for the first time in his life, that it may have been the first time a doctor actually said that to him, but it wasn't the first time that story had been told about him. It was the third time Michaels hadn't lost a WWF belt in the ring. In September of 1993, he walked out as IC champion, only to return a short time later. In October of 1995, after being mugged, he wasn't able to return in time for a PPV show and gave back the IC title.
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Old 04-23-2014, 04:01 PM   #266 (permalink)
Little Poppa Pump
 
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Default Re: 20 years Ago: Wrestling Observer

Lovin' this thread, keep the posts coming.


Quote:
Originally Posted by The Corre View Post
Hey guys, I posted this ^ a couple months ago. I wanted to read the full piece again, but I can't for the life of me remember what issue that came from. I didn't post a date in my original post, it sounds like something that came after 2009 because they talk about Test in there (who passed away in May 2009 I think).
I looked through all my 2009 WON but I can't seem to find it.. Anyone know what the date was on this newsletter? Thanks in advance!
I recently posted about some of the stuff that Meltzer wrote after the Benoit incident. I remember him being really on the money about the WWE's steroid problems and the complete joke that is the Wellness Policy testing.

I was looking for WO issues that I know contained some of these writings. The dates should be the July 2, July 5, or July 10, 2007 editions of the Wrestling Observer.

I posted some quotes that reference these articles here.

If any of you have those Meltzer articles from those dates, please post.


ETA: Fixed the link.

Last edited by LilOlMe : 04-25-2014 at 12:05 AM.
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