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post #121 of 275 (permalink) Old 08-28-2009, 06:21 PM
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Re: 20 years Ago: Wrestling Observer

Originally Posted by HBKBretHart View Post
Good read.
How boring.

Anymore of these to come?? They are fantastic. I like reading about the late 80's but have to say, reading the Bret Hart story made me yearn for the same type of deal during the later 90s WWE.
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post #122 of 275 (permalink) Old 11-29-2009, 11:02 PM Thread Starter
Asking JAMES ELLSWORTH for Wrestling Advice
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Re: 20 years Ago: Wrestling Observer

July 25th, 1988

-- This is the issue right after Brody was stabbed to death. Everything mentioned here has been covered in detail elsewhere, and the Tributes bio includes more things about his career than the write-up here does.

-- "The latest details we've heard in the death of Adrian Adonis two weeks ago when the mini-van he and three other wrestlers were traveling in went into a small lake in Newfoundland are that Pat Kelly was driving the van and swerved off the road to avoid hitting a moose while driving into a glaring sunset and coming up upon a bridge, the car struck a rock and two of the wrestlers, Mike Kelly and Adonis were thrown from the car while the car went into the lake and Canadian wildman (David McKigney) and Pat Kelly drowned in the vehicle. Mike Kelly suffered two badly crushed legs in the accident but was the lone survivor, as Adonis died hours later in a Gander, NF hospital. The blood alcohol level in the body of the driver was .06, which is under legal limits of .08 that is considered driving under the influence (.10 is legal limits in the United States) in Canada. Kelly underwent eight hours of surgery to repair his legs and it's doubtful he'll ever be able to wrestle again."

-- Bam Bam Bigelow is out of the promotion. He was unhappy about lower payoffs, and also the WWF's new transportation policy, which is that they can only fly to shows if the distance between shows is more than 600 miles. He also didn't like how he was being used, which Dave says is valid, since he was misused from the start, and never got over like expected as a result. It's expected he'll work Japan and also make some appearances in Continental since he has a good relationship with Paul E. Dangerously. The first national coverage Bigelow ever received was in Norm Keitzer's Wrestling News magazine, with articles by-lined by Paul Heyman.

-- Owen Hart re-injured his knee, and is expected to return without the mask.

-- 7/9 in Boston drew 5,000 headlined by Savage/DiBiase in a **** match. 7/11 in Modesto, CA drew a sellout 1,700 fans. 7/11 in San Francisco drew a $58,700 gate just under 5,000 paid headlined by Powers of Pain & Tito Santana vs Demolition & Mr. Fuji. 7/16 in Houston drew 7,500 headlined by Savage vs DiBiase. 7/15 in Tulane, CA drew a sellout 1,400. 7/15 in Los Angeles drew a near sellout of 15,000 headlined by Rude vs Roberts (!! -- Andre/Duggan was underneath). 7/17 in Denver drew 8,500 fans headlined by Andre/Duggan with Rude/Roberts underneath. 7/10 in Las Vegas drew 4,000 headlined by Andre/Duggan.

-- Dave credits Gorilla Monsoon with the funniest line of the year about Warrior: "What do you think it costs to maintain a body like that?"

-- Rick Rude has new tights that have Cheryl Roberts' face on his crotch.

-- Terry Taylor came in teamed with Sam Houston, where they lost to a heel team, and Taylor turned on him after the match. Prior to that, Taylor had been submitting to the Iron Sheik's camel clutch in opening matches around the horn, which Dave calls "the least logical result of a match this side of an AWA taping." He is now being billed as "Terrible" Terry Taylor and has a scorpion deathlock as a finisher. (My note: I have absolutely no recollection of that at all.)

-- The Z Channel in L.A. is now broadcasting Sports Arena shows, with Gorilla Monsoon, Sean Mooney, and Billy Graham doing commentary.

-- Dave has heard conflicting figures for the Bash, both a 1.9 buyrate, which would be terrible, and a 4.0, which would be about what was expected. He says the 4.0 figure came in a roundabout way from a TBS source, and the 1.9 came from a very accurate source, who tells him that buys were high in most places across the country except for on the West Coast. Dave says both could be correct because there are two ways to figure buyrate: percentage of homes from the total cable companies, and percentage of homes with addressable converters, which is how Dave normally gets buyrates. A 1.9 would mean a $3 million gate, which wouldn't be profitable, while a 4.0 would mean a $6 million gate, which would be very profitable.

-- No news on the sale to TBS, except for that whatever problems existed between the Crocketts that was preventing a sale have been resolved, and Jim is now able to fully negotiate with TBS.

-- 7/9 Bash show in Chicago drew 6,500 and a $100,000 gate headlined by Flair/Arn/Tully vs Road Warriors/Dusty in a cage for the held-up six-man titles, and Luger vs Windham in a Texas Death Match. 7/12 in Huntsville, AL drew 3,000 headlined by Horsemen & JJ vs Luger/Nikita/Dusty/Road Warriors in War Games. Dave credits that low number to Huntsville not having syndication, and only having TBS to hype shows. 7/15 in Richmond, VA drew a $109,000 gate, one of the highest in the history of the city headlined by another War Games match. 7/14 in Chattanooga drew 7,300 and a $83,000 gate (which makes for both a record attendance and gate in Chattanooga) headlined by another War Games. 7/16 in Greensboro drew 7,500 and a $100,000 gate again with War Games. Other Bash figures: 7/8 in Pittsburgh drew 5,039 fans and $79,392; Orlando drew 8,000; Miami drew 4,500; Tampa Stadium drew 4,400 fans when they were expecting 15,000. (My note: These numbers really prove that they could have still turned things around in '88.)

-- "Have you ever wondered how come in 19 War Games matches this year and three or so last year, that in each and every match, the heels win the coinflip to gain the man-advantage situation? If you did, you are incapable of being a first-rate wrestling fan. But they ought to investigate that coin."

-- The NWA considered canceling 8/1 in Milwaukee headlined by the War Games, since Hogan and Andre for the big outdoor show are there the day before. But advance sales have been good, so the show will go on. The WWF is expecting a $500,000+ gate for that show.

-- Crockett will get the first wrestling date on 8/27 at Charlotte Coliseum after all.

-- There's a new "council" angle being started where all heel managers are working toward the same common goal of getting rid of Dusty Rhodes.

-- They are teasing a MX vs Horsemen feud. Dave says the plan is for neither team to turn, unless the fans turn one of the teams. Dave says going on history, the team that gets the most cheers will end up staying heel.

-- "Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Mike Renfro has a horse named Dr. Death, named after pro wrestler Steve Williams, who is Renfro's favorite wrestler. The horse is winning more often than Doc is of late."

-- 7/11 in Salisbury, MD drew 2,000 fans for a TV taping.

-- Those in power realized how over Sting was after all the Bash shows, and he will be feuding with Barry Windham now, in a co-headlining position with Flair/Luger on all the house shows.

-- "For those of you interested in what was 'supposed' to be -- originally the PPV show was going to have Tully Blanchard as U.S. champion defending against the Midnight Rider with the mask at stake. Tully & Arn weren't originally supposed to be tag champs but when they turned Windham with no planning, they got the belts and it was decided that Windham, not Blanchard, would win the tournament in Houston."

-- 7/9 in Columbus, NE as part of the county fair was a huge success, drawing 2,180 fans. There were tons of no-shows though, including Curt Hennig. 7/14 in Anaheim, CA drew 200 fans headlined by Lawler vs Hennig in California. The AWA will be running more shows in Anaheim in the future promoted by Red Bastien.

-- Dave is amazed that when Jimmy Snuka had to cancel his scheduled appearance because of a Japan tour, the AWA actually announced that he wouldn't be there. The programs at the TV tapings have been saying Roddy Piper is coming in, which Dave finds really hard to believe.

-- Chavo Guerrero is in and looks to have gained 25 lbs.

-- They are building up a hair match between Buddy Landell and Wendell Cooley.

-- Bob Armstrong and Bill Dundee are now feuding.

-- Jerry Lawler is coming in as a heel with the AWA title.

-- Terry Gordy is headed in to feud with Doug Furnas.

-- Tommy Rich and Chavo Guerrero are out of the territory.

-- "Rookie Todd Morton has an amazing resemblance to Ricky."

-- 7/9 in Saga drew a sellout 3,200 fans. 7/8 in Hagi drew 2,350 for a TV taping.

-- Ashura Hara suffered a 13-stitch cut on 7/5 in Kohama and returned on 7/9, but must have returned too soon because he is off of the rest of the tour. Because of that, Tenryu and Hara have given up their tag title shots and will be replaced by Hansen and Gordy.

-- Inoki apparently looked pretty bad on his return, and admitted privately that he was not ready, but felt like he had to return to combat the publicity Maeda was getting.

-- Hiroshi Hase returns in mid-August from a knee injury.

-- "Over in Japan, the incredible cult popularity of the Universal Wrestling Federation is threatening to change the business and has put rival promotions All Japan and New Japan into a minor panic." The UWF sold out their 8/13 Ariake Coliseum show in six hours. They sold 12,000 tickets with prices between $25 and $80, which makes it the largest one-day gate sale in the history of pro wrestling, and one of the seven largest live gates for a wrestling show ever.

-- Dave goes on to say the popularity of the UWF has been covered by the Japanese press. Weekly Pro Wrestling and Weekly Fight have seen magazine sales surge since doing features on UWF wrestlers. Gong, which is written more for casual fans, has started to cover Maeda more to keep sales high, because they were dwindling focusing so much on All Japan wrestlers and American wrestlers. Daily sports newspapers still favor Baba and Inoki because they need content for daily papers and the UWF only runs monthly. As a result, Inoki has moved his planned comeback on 8/8 up to 7/16. For the 8/8 match, the stipulation will be that he will retire from wrestling if he doesn't beat Fujinami, which guarantees the end result, but also adds to the drama. Baba's counter is to run an all dream match show on 8/29 at Budokan Hall, where fans choose the matches and the matches with the most votes are the ones that end up taking place. They were expected Hansen vs Brody to be one of those matches before Brody died.

-- The NWA, Nagoya Wrestling Association, starts up on 7/23, and will be women wrestling the UWF style.

-- "A lot has been said about Flair's predictability and let's face it, his matches of late are predictable and he's generally not as impressive working tag matches when he doesn't have the spotlight all to himself and of late, he's worked tag matches almost every night. Overall, as far as the ability to carry a bum, and the ability to work hard night after night and stay injury free, Flair is No. 1. DiBiase is more versatile than Flair, however, I've seen seven or eight matches of DiBiase vs. Savage, a few of which were great, a few good and one or two that was just okay, but they were all basically the same spots in the same order, just as Flair often gets criticized for, the only difference if Flair's been doing the same routine for years, DiBiase and Savage just for the past few months and that Flair's pat match has aired on television so many times that any fan who watches closely has it down pat. No two of (Owen) Hart's matches that I've seen are the same, and I've seen him in dozens of matches with Makhan Singh, who is a totally wrong opponent for him, yet they were all 3 1/4 stars or better and most four stars plus, and all were different matches. A similar point I want to make involves Jake Roberts. Now I consider Jake Roberts a potentially great worker, and he's far better at almost everything when it comes to wrestling as guys I've rated ahead of him like Shinichi Nakano and Chris Benoit. However, from what I've seen, Benoit puts out every match and always gives you a good match. Jake, at his best, blows Benoit away simply because of his ability to work a crowd (which Benoit is green at), however Jake is often at (sic) far from his best and I've seen plenty of snorers with him in there ... Dick Murdoch is also a tough one. The Dick Murdoch who wrestles in Japan is one of the top 10 workers in the business. He's great, knows exactly what he's doing and gets the most out of everything. The Dick Murdoch who wrestles for Jim Crockett doesn't belong in the top 50, even though he's got top 10 ability. When he doesn't want to work, he can be as bad as they come."
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post #123 of 275 (permalink) Old 01-14-2010, 09:52 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 20 years Ago: Wrestling Observer

March 11th, 1991
-- Billy Jack Haynes returned as a heel on 2/23. Haynes still has a lot of fans but insults everyone who tries to cheer for him individually and unmercifully and rips up their signs and posters for him. They also held up the tag team titles since The Hood was unmasked as Ricky Santana, who lost a loser leaves town match and is now history. The other half of the title, Brad Anderson, wanted to pick a new partner but Barry Owen told him no way. Anderson appears to be on his way out as he's been doing clean jobs the last two weeks.

-- The Trooper never came in.

-- Beetlejuice (Art Barr) appears on television for interviews but can't work because of the commission and only works the spot shows in Washington, where there is no commission.

-- A new heel headed in is called Psycho Sam, who is apparently going to get a big push. They claim he's right out of jail where he served seven years for manslaughter.

-- The first head-to-head battle in Dallas between Jarrett's USWA and Gary Hart's Texas Wrestling Federation drew interesting results. The USWA drew its best crowd of the year, 650 fans (530 paid) on 3/1 at the Sportatorium with kids under-12 free but there weren't many kids in the building. TWF at the Metroplex Arena drew 375, its largest in a while as well, but about 190 of that was paid as all mothers got in free. Ironically the Metroplex was filled with kids.

-- On Herb Abrams television show that aired this past week, he had Lou Albano and Don Muraco out saying that the war shouldn't be exploited to sell wrestling tickets. Then Abrams did all the commercials for his merchandise saying the profits would go to Operation Desert Storm. Abrams is claiming now he'll have 125 television stations by April, but no television stations seem to know about it.

-- The ICW's move to Florida seems to be already dead as they're back running in the Northeast and doing their television show post-produced out of Rochester.

-- 2/28 in Athens, Greece saw the NWF do a show headlined by Abdullah the Butcher DDQ Jules Strongbow before 5,500 fans in a 17,000 seat building for a one-night tour. They had one local guy from Greece who had done some wrestling but basically didn't have a clue. Among those there were Wendi Richter, Larry Winters, Cheetah Kid (whose mask was lost by baggage claim so worked sans mask), and Cousin Luke.

-- Don Muraco is putting together a New Zealand tour from 3/30 to 4/14 with help from the WWF which is sending The Bushwhackers, Nasty Boys, Jim Powers, Brooklyn Brawler and Koko Ware. Even though the WWF doesn't have any TV in New Zealand anymore, the Bushwhackers will draw with the right publicity.

-- Terry Funk is filming a role in the TV series "Quantum Leap" this week.

-- Ricky Steamboat will debut his gimmick at Wrestlemania and start on the road after the break.

-- Expect some major changes in the Bodybuilding Lifestyles mag. Titan is recruiting through Howard Sloan and Associates, an executive search firm in New York, for a new editor for the magazine. According to newsstand sources, not only is the mag considered a flop within the bodybuilding world, but it's dying at the stands. They are attempting to recruit writers, photographers and editors from other magazines. Apparently they are having problems finding an editor as the group struck out in the bodybuilding world to find an editor and have been recruiting in the wrestling world (Craig Peters of PWI and Sandy Krebs from Main Event were both asked if they were interested but both turned down the offer). Krebs said he "has no desire to work for that particular person." The Weiders are putting the pressure on in that they are now saying anyone who goes to work for McMahon's magazine will not be allowed back which has scared a lot of people because nobody knows if McMahon is in it for the long haul. However, bodybuilding sources say that two names from Weider's mag have been negotiating. Tickets for the first bodybuilding show in Atlantic City went on sale this week.

There is either a backing down on the original position or they're playing the good cop/bad cop routine as Tom Platz' column insisted that nothing would be done to make bodybuilding into entertainment and they would keep it as sport and also said they would allow the WBF bodybuilders to have their photos in other magazines, which is a change from the company's original philosophy. There was more criticism of IFBB (Weider's group) in the mag, particularly the rule against bodybuilders posing in dirty mags.

They had only six pages of photos of Hogan's USO tour in the new WWF mag. From the mag: "The Immortal Hulk Hogan, who will bear the American flag into the ring against WWF champion Sgt. Slaughter at Wrestlemania VII, lent his support to those who carry the flag in the war against Iraq by his many visits to military bases and to most of the families of operation desert storm personnel."

-- The ratings for the second week of the new Prime Time Wrestling on 2/25 fell to a 2.7, about what the old show was averaging at the end. But it's really way to soon to make any judgements as far as ratings go until about two months in. All-American did a 2.8 on 2/24, its best showing in a while.

-- Paul Bearer is just incredible in his role with Undertaker.

-- There's a difference between doing away with a character and personal humiliation and if you saw the Brother Love burial, you'd know the difference.

-- They are preparing for a major Bash tour this summer including some outdoor shows (I know, when they can't draw 5,000 for indoor shows, what is the need to go outdoors) at RFK Stadium and in Charlotte. The Bash kicks off on 7/4 at the Meadowlands. . From television, it appears they'll build to Sid Vicious vs. El Gigante which should be a money match. I'd have said they should save it until Gigante is ready, but since they've already got him against Flair, it's fruitless to say they shouldn't rush the guy.

-- Robert Gibson was given his notice. From what I understand, Gibson has been kept on salary even though he didn't have a contract. Then again, his injury was suffered on the job. But they've decided to do away with The Rock & Roll Express, Midnight Express and Four Horsemen forever and create new things.

-- Barry Windham did an interview on World Wide Wrestling which sure sounded like he was turning face down the road. He said he was tired of travelling with Flair and Anderson and listening to them talk about their titles and said that anyone with a title isn't safe from him and specifically mentioned both Flair and Anderson.

-- Buddy Landel did an interview talking about the title situation as well and called Steiners the world tag champs, which they don't win on TV for another week. Landel's interview was incredible where he talked like he was the kid on the sidelines in the milk commercial begging the coach to put him in because he knows he can bust through that line.

-- Black Bart is coming in full-time in April.

-- It's been reported in gossip columns in a few newspapers and Entertainment television shows that Jason Hervey and Missy Hyatt are engaged. No confirmation from here although it is the single most talked about thing within the wrestling business.

-- WCW Main Event on 2/24 (same day as the PPV show) drew a 2.9, WCW the day before got a 2.6 and Power Hour a 1.4.

-- I hope they stop this canned crowd noise during the TBS shows. I've heard of the term sound sweetening, but this is sound souring. The noise makes it impossible to get excited even during the good matches because the tape track they use is a constant dull roar rather than the ups and downs that get you into the high and low spots of a match.

-- Still haven't seen the PPV version of Wrestle War but will have comments on it next week. An awful lot of people picked up on Sid Vicious and Rick Steiner calling set-ups for spots.

-- Keith Hart took the world's highest backdrop from Rick Steiner (off the top rope) on one of the weekend shows.

-- Kevin Nash (Master Blaster) will be changed into Black Blood and be managed by Kevin Sullivan.
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post #124 of 275 (permalink) Old 01-15-2010, 09:41 AM
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Re: 20 years Ago: Wrestling Observer

Good read.

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post #125 of 275 (permalink) Old 01-15-2010, 10:37 AM
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Re: 20 years Ago: Wrestling Observer

-- A new heel headed in is called Psycho Sam, who is apparently going to get a big push. They claim he's right out of jail where he served seven years for manslaughter.
lmao I marked. Wish they would try that in this era.

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post #126 of 275 (permalink) Old 01-17-2010, 06:30 PM Thread Starter
Asking JAMES ELLSWORTH for Wrestling Advice
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Re: 20 years Ago: Wrestling Observer

Nov. 4 1991

As the World Wrestling Federations's advertisement read, "For over a decade, millions have been waiting for this match.

And now it's here!"

The first, second, third and fourth meeting of Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair took place in Dayton, Oakland, Los Angeles and Tempe respectively this past week. [spoiler]The "historic first match" took place without any fanfare, in Dayton on 10/22. The Dayton match, the final bout on a 30 or so match television taping, was unannounced. Hogan replaced Roddy Piper, who was scheduled against Flair in the dark match main event. The Dayton match, which ended with Flair winning via count out, took place mainly because both men, the two biggest American wrestling names of this era, who had never worked with one another before, wanted to give it a go before taking the match on the road three nights later. As the last match of a long taping night, it was more get out there and feel out working together as there was neither the time nor the crowd energy for a classic match.

The first advertised encounter took place on 10/25 at the Oakland Coliseum Arena before approximately 14,900 fans (13,400 paying $157,842). It was not a sellout, nor did it set any kind of a record, but it was the largest wrestling crowd in the building in a couple of years, even with a pathetic undercard. While it wouldn't be confused with a match of the year, and may not have even been the match of the weekend, it was several levels above everything else on the show and didn't seem to leave anyone disappointed. It was only Hogan's second match back (the other being in Dayton) since taking two months off after the Summer Slam pay-per-view show and he seemed to work harder than usual, but not necessarily better than usual. While Flair has certainly had more memorable matches, he lived up to his reputation.

It was clear that the crowd was more "up" for this show, seeing it as something special, than for any regular house show in this area in recent memory. The main event, the battle between the three-time WWF champion and the seven (or is it eight or nine really?) time NWA/WCW champ was put on fourth, before intermission so they'd be able to do the match, and then make the announcement of the rematch before ending the show. The heat and intensity at the beginning of the match didn't equal that of a Wrestlemania main event, but it was a lot stronger than a normal world title match main event on a normal house show. As expected, Hogan clearly was the crowd favorite, but Flair had a core of supporters, estimated (depending on the part of the building you were in) at anywhere from five percent to 30 percent--I'd guess at 15 percent, although he had slightly more support from posters and banners.

Flair entered the ring, with manager Bobby Heenan (who hadn't accompanied him for his previous house show main events with Roddy Piper) to a lot of cheers and even more boos. Hogan entered to an ovation typically thunderous, which wasn't nearly the reaction he received at his peak of popularity but still more than enough to drown out the boos. The bell rang, and the first advertised encounter between arguably the most popular wrestler of all-time and perhaps the greatest wrestler of all-time was underway.

The match outline was predictable. Very good heat, generally solid moves, but certainly no surprises. Hogan shoved Flair down a few times on collar-and-elbow tie-ups. Flair came back with the stiff chops (which Hogan sold). Flair took his flip into the corner, landing on his feet on the apron, running across the apron and getting clotheslined to the floor from Hogan early. The first big break was a typical Hogan match spot. Heenan got on the apron, Hogan went after him, and Flair ambushed him with a knee to the back. Flair did his typical moves, the kneedrop to the forehead, the hard chops, and working over the legs. The battle went out of the ring when Flair smashed Hogan's left knee with a chair. Flair set up the figure four twice, but both times Hogan kicked him off before the hold was locked in. Hogan made a small comeback, but Flair cut him off with a back suplex and a near fall. Then it was time for the superman comeback. Hogan didn't sell the chops, punches, kicks and a flying forearm smash. He came back with a few punches, a foot to the face (that missed by a foot), a bodyslam and the legdrop. Just before the three count, Flair got his foot on the ropes. Hogan got up thinking he'd won. As he and the ref argued, Heenan gave Flair the dreaded foreign object. While the fans at ringside seemed to know that there were no television cameras, and thus, no chance of a title change, in the upper deck for that brief moment, the mood was different. Unlike previous challengers over the past few years, at that moment the fans saw the title change as a probability. Flair hit Hogan with the object and got the 1-2-3 at 11:35. The place erupted. There were a lot more cheers than boos. Flair was given the WWF belt and announced as the new champion.

At that point, agent Dave Hebner charged the ring doing the overdone pantomime to signal about the object. Hebner grabbed the belt and placed it on the chest of Hogan, who was still laid out as the ring announcer. Heenan grabbed Hebner while Flair put the figure four on Hogan for a few moments. Finally making the save were The Hammer and The British Bulldog. In their earlier lives, as Greg Valentine and Davey Boy Smith, they were two of the best wrestlers in the business. But now, they are simply bloated weightlifters going from town-to-town in search of a gym to work out by day, and showing up at work each night with no intention of ever breaking a sweat. As Flair and Heenan took off, they helped Hogan from the ring as he sold his leg big all the way to the back. There was no post-match posing routine on this night. I gave the match three-and-a-half stars. Opinions of others who were at the match live who have called in or spoken with me have varied from three stars (four people), three-and-a-half (four), three-and-three quarters (three) and four stars (two). Most reports are that the next night in Los Angeles, which drew 13,800 (12,400 paying $178,740) was just a shade below in quality. It went 13:28 with the same finish but a different body of the match. In Los Angeles, Hogan played Superman a lot more during the early part of the match, which I was told took the match down a tad (ratings ranged from two-and-a-half by two readers, three by two readers and three-and-a-half by three readers). Hogan, the self-proclaimed eliminator of blood in pro wrestling, then bladed at the end from the foreign object. On Sunday night in Tempe, Arizona, which drew about 5,600 paying $67,000, they went 12:30, ending with both men fighting outside the ring but Flair getting in to beat the count while Hogan is distracted by Heenan. Flair grabs the WWF title, but in this finish, Hogan runs both Flair and Hogan off, gets Flair's belt from Heenan and does the posing routine with both belts before kicking Flair's belt defiantly out of the ring to the floor. That match was rated two-and-a-half stars. The Oakland and Los Angeles matches built to rematches on 11/15 at the San Francisco Cow Palace and 11/16 at the Anaheim Convention Center. When they announced the rematch in Oakland for the Cow Palace, despite the fact the match itself drew a huge crowd and had a ton of heat, the reaction to the announcement of the rematch was mild.

When it was over backstage, one wonders what both men were thinking. The match, the subject of fantasy writers ideas and words in wrestling magazines and newsletters for years, that appeared would never happen, finally has, did and will continue to happen for some time to come. For both, it signals the beginning of a big run. Perhaps the beginning of each man's last big run. For one man, the thoughts just weeks earlier were that wrestling was still going to be a part of his life, but a much smaller part, only for occasional appearances. Like Arnold in bodybuilding. He'd stick around, but he's he wouldn't want to be known as just a wrestler, but instead an actor who rose from his junksport to superstardom. But reality hit hard and he's not going to be Arnold. He's bigger than his junksport but the best he'll ever be is the main man in his junksport.

For the other, there are no thoughts of any other business, and to him, it would never be thought of as a junksport. Being main man is good enough. In fact, it's all there is. It's just that anything less isn't acceptable. The ending of a 16-year association with a company, for a decade-plus as the main man, was stymied by a front office who decided that day was over because of the date on his birth certificate or because he made a handier scapegoat for problems with the company by those in charge than self-examination. But instead of it being the end, it turned out to be the springboard for a new beginning. This new career may bring him more notoriety than ever before, that some say he deserved but never quite achieved. But the kind of matches that made him what he is had to be checked at the door, only to be retrieved when he leaves the party. The time needed just won't be allotted. The opponents who could do it have become Bulldogs and Hammers who no longer break a sweat, Roosters and Blazers who since childhood dreamed and prepared to become the best they could ever be, only to find out that it didn't even matter, Dragons wearing a tail drinking kerosene each night, Hit Men who can do it, but don't very often and Tornados whose abilities have blown away. Yet, ironically, it is in this environment that he'll be finishing his career. But this isn't going to be any Requiem for a Heavyweight story. In fact, despite the previous paragraph, in this case, it going to turn out to be just the opposite.[/spoiler]

- There are several changes, due to injuries, in upcoming major cards. The angle on the WCW Halloween Havoc pay-per-view on Sunday night where Arn Anderson & Larry Zbyszko smashed the car door on Barry Windham's hand was a cover story because on 10/22 in Columbus, GA, in a squash match, Windham landed wrong doing a bulldog headlock and broke his wrist in four places. The injury is serious enough that he isn't expected to return for six months to a year, but he was willing to let them slam a car door on his hand to use the legit injury as part of an angle when he returns. Ron Simmons, who worked Havoc's main event with a bad wrist as well, is expected to be out a few weeks as well and the last word I had is he wasn't expected back for the Clash on 11/19. Simmons was in a cast until just before the show and became something of a folk hero for toughness for working the match without any protection for his wrist nor did he take any pain-pills or shots to kill the pain. Ironically, late in the week that was some concern that Simmons wasn't even going to be able to work on Sunday (or perhaps wasn't going to be allowed, as there was concern about him doing the finish). There is expected to be some revamping of the Clash line-up on 11/19 from Savannah, GA, with the top matches scheduled as Lex Luger vs. Rick Steiner for the WCW title and Sting vs. Rick Rude. The plan of pushing Barry Windham & Ron Simmons as the top babyface tag team had already been changed to giving a big push to Windham & Dustin Rhodes as a team, but that plan is out the window as well. The opponents of The Enforcers is unknown for that show, and I believe the Oz vs. Dustin Rhodes match is out the window, but I believe the rest of the card is staying as is.

- On the WWF side, Sid Justice had surgery to repair a torn bicep tendon on 10/24. He's expected to return around February or March, which is in enough time for Wrestlemania but he's out of the next three PPV shows. Randy Savage will continue to take his place on house shows for the time being, although Justice is still being advertised everywhere and will remain so until the weekend of 11/9, when the injury will be acknowledged on television, and all the house shows with him on top after that point will be changed to Savage. Savage will still technically be suspended and work as Mr. Madness, since he won't be reinstated until after Thanksgiving. The WWF has its reasons (mainly because Justice still had interviews and matches in the can that would air on television this coming weekend and their rationale is that acknowledging the injury on television before 11/9 would have exposed that the television shows were taped ahead of time) and they are consistent in their policy even if it still is advertising someone in a main event that they know won't be appearing. Anyway, as for the Survivor Series, Justice is out, as is The Dragon, and right now we've got no word on the replacements in either match although I was told Savage won't replace Justice at Survivors.

- Contrary to what has been printed elsewhere and just about everywhere, Justice was never scheduled to win the WWF title at the 12/3 PPV show in San Antonio. In fact, Justice was booked originally to appear on the show in a dark match against Jake Roberts, which obviously will no longer be taking place. The top matches on the San Antonio PPV show I believe will be Hogan vs. The Undertaker (that one is the definite main event) for the WWF title, Flair vs. Roddy Piper, Bret Hart vs. Skinner for the Intercontinental title and Ted DiBiase & IRS vs. Big Bossman & Virgil.

- Mike Tyson was injured as well, as you all know, and there was talk last week about the Tyson-Evander Holyfield fight being moved to either January 18 or January 20 (the Royal Rumble PPV is January 19), which would necessitate moving the Rumble PPV. Titan had some preliminary talks with TVKO (Time-Warner), the promoters of the fight about moving the Rumble date and were willing to do it if TVKO paid a fee, reported in the New York press as $500,000, but the deal fell through, having nothing to do with the fee the WWF was asking, but because all the various parties involved in making the boxing match were unable to come to any sort of an agreement and the fight is in grave jeopardy of ever taking place.

- The biggest surprise on the WCW PPV show was the return of Paul E. Dangerously, as the manager of Rick Rude and Madusa. A lot transpired over the past week in that situation, which was still touch-and-go until two hours before the show was scheduled to begin. Dangerously had announced a press conference on Friday at the China Club in New York to talk about his suspension. Two days before the press conference, at the WCW steering committee meeting, Jim Crockett brought up bringing Dangerously back as the lead manager (a position first offered to Jim Cornette, who turned it down much to everyone's expectations although they did make the offer). It's seems to be pretty much accepted by everyone that the company made a mistake in suspending Dangerously for something it seems he never did and there was no proof whatsoever that he ever did and that even if he did it, it wasn't an offense worthy of suspension to begin with. But anyway, rather than be stubborn about holding firm to their position just to prove they can (which they can), movement was made to bring Dangerously back, although they wanted him as a manager rather than a commentator to begin with. According to our sources, Jim Ross, Dusty Rhodes and Magnum T.A. all agreed with Crockett's proposal which constituted a majority of the six-person committee. I'm told Jim Herd wasn't hot about the idea at first, but didn't try and block it, either. Dangerously held his press conference two days later and made the statement that if WCW didn't at least schedule a review on his suspension within 72 hours (or by the end of the PPV show), that he'd take legal action. By the time he said that, the legit suspension was being worked into a pro wrestling angle. It was expected by that time he'd start back as a manager, although it wasn't a definite but since the plan was already made for him to be in Chattanooga, one had to assume he inevitably was being brought back. But there were still details of the angle to be worked out, and Dangerously wanted to create an angle from his suspension, which wasn't agreed upon until late Sunday afternoon. There were a few shoot remarks by Dangerously in the first interview, although in his "storyline" he wants his suspension to be because he was too controversial a television commentator and one by Ross as well.

- Just as we were going to press last week we received the details regarding the departure of Ricky Steamboat from the WWF. While the basic particulars of the story were correct, with the brunt of the WWF office on location for television tapings, there is another side. Apparently the WWF was scheduled to shoot its first angle with Steamboat (where he would blow fire at a bunch of money of Ted DiBiase's) at this past television taping. This would lead to matches between the two of them starting after the Survivor Series. Steamboat gave notice more than a week before the taping, more for personal reasons of wanting to spend more time at home, effective 12/16. Later, according to WWF sources, Steamboat asked if he could finish up on 11/28, which would eliminate already booked matches for the first two weeks of December with DiBiase. Steamboat, who agreed to do any jobs asked at arenas, was asked to do jobs for Undertaker and IRS for television at the tapings on 10/21 in Fort Wayne, refused, and was history. The WWF slant to it is that they had spent six months pushing The Dragon character on television and were finally in a position where it was ready to be put into an angle that could help draw money. But when Steamboat gave notice, since he claimed he would be getting out wrestling except for working independent shows near home, they wanted him to help others get over on his way out and help build ratings for the sweeps period.

At the TV tapings in Fort Wayne, the cobra did bite Randy Savage in the arm and he juiced from the arm which should make a horrifying television angle.

El Matador will be replacing The Dragon in the post-Survivor Series program with Ted DiBiase.

- They were a lot more successful on 10/22 in Fort Wayne, IN with Sgt. Slaughter. They set it up with both Nasty Boys doing a two-on-one on Jim Duggan and Slaughter coming out to make the save. They may put Duggan & Slaughter together as a team, but it's not definite.

- Expect Chris Chavis to be brought in as a regular at some point in the near future.

- Bret Hart and Undertaker had a match taped for Coliseum video in Dayton on Tuesday. It was said to have been a great match.

- Conan is expected to have a try-out with his robot suit possibly at the next television taping.

- Pat Tanaka is gone for now in an amicable split. They decided to drop the Orient Express as a tag team. At the same time, Tanaka wanted time off and gave notice since they didn't have a spot to really use him.

- All-American wrestling did a 2.4 rating on 10/20 while Prime Time did a 2.2 on 10/21.

- Ric Flair won't be working the 12/12 show at the Tokyo Dome.

- Playgirl Magazine has a photo spread in its December issue on WWF wrestlers, nothing more than wrestling shots of Tito Santana, Hulk Hogan, Kerry Von Erich and a few others.

- Savage appeared on CBS' World Series pre-game show on Tuesday. After WCW got a lot of national newspaper press with Jim Herd inviting Kent Hrbek for a try-out, WCW attempted to get Dusty Rhodes on the pre-game show however Tim McCarver is friends with Savage and he got on the show instead.

- Bret Hart is running a weekly pro wrestling column in the Calgary Sun newspaper.

- Correction from last week regarding Arachnaman, Spiderman is owned by Marvel Comics, the same company that owns the Hulk trademark, not DC Comics.

- On this past weekend's WCW during the Austin vs. Graham TV title match, Jim Ross made some comments regarding that "You wouldn't believe the big guys that don't want any part of Mike Graham. You'd never believe the names he's backed down." They used way too much of that tinny fake crowd noise during the show, which ruins the atmosphere, but I guess it was necessary because when Van Hammer does his three-clap routine, the audience at Center Stage breaks into a "We Want Flair" staccato chant and the chants at Kazmaeir were also audible, but drowned out enough by the fake crowd noise. They need a good job on television editing out the Kazmaeir run-in during the Eaton & Sting vs. Abdullah & Jack match which occurred too early.

- WCW received a reported $35,000 guarantee to run a card on Halloween night in Phoenix as part of the Arizona State Fair, so from a financial standpoint, that will be a successful show.

- World Championship Wrestling and Main Event both drew 2.4 ratings on 10/19 and 10/20 respectively, whichare okay compared to some of the poor ratings of the summer, but for this time of the year when the ratings traditionally kick back up, they're not that hot either. Power Hour did a 1.5.
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post #127 of 275 (permalink) Old 01-18-2010, 10:31 AM
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Re: 20 years Ago: Wrestling Observer

Good read.

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post #128 of 275 (permalink) Old 01-18-2010, 07:55 PM
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Re: 20 years Ago: Wrestling Observer

great post. thanks for taking the time to do this. and repped
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post #129 of 275 (permalink) Old 05-25-2011, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 20 years Ago: Wrestling Observer

August 1st, 1988

Most of this issue is an in-depth Bruiser Brody bio.

-- The WWF is negotiating to sign DJ Peterson and Curt Hennig. Curt Hennig is at a disadvantage and is already in the doghouse, for having twice agreed to terms and then backing out.

-- Hercules and Ultimate Warrior got in trouble for their brawling as part of an angle at a recent TV taping, because they ended up damaging a lot of TV monitors, and Hercules needed 76 stitches on his right arm for hitting a table.

-- 7/23 in Nashville drew a sellout 10,000 crowd headlined by Andre vs Duggan.

-- The Great American Bash drew 350,000-400,000 buys, making the profit about $5.5-$6 million, about what was expected. (My note: Interesting that an NWA show in 1988, when the company was in freefall, gets a PPV number that WWE would do handstands for on a typical B-show.) All of the cable companies have already agreed to carry Starrcade in December, which means that clearance shouldn't be as a big of a challenge for that show as it was for the Bash. After Wrestlemania III, IV, and Survivor Series, this was the most successful PPV in wrestling history up until that time. Most of the buyrates came, not surprisingly, from the Carolinas and the Southeast, where the show drew more than Wrestlemania IV. It did really poorly in the Los Angeles and New York markets, which are the key media markets.

-- Jack Petrik told a Tokyo newspaper he would run the NWA after the Turner buyout. TBS would set policy, he would enforce it, and Crockett and Dusty would handle the wrestling side of it all. This was the first published report to confirm that TBS was trying to buy the company.

-- 7/23 in Philly drew a $167,800 gate for War Games. By comparison, the WWF ran the same night and drew around a $116,035 gate. Dave has heard conflicting reports on the WWF's gate though, with some saying it was even less, in the $77,000 range.

-- Consensus on the Bash shows: the War Games matches are as good as any live matches you'll ever see, Fantastics-Midnights is great, and the rest of the card is terrible.

-- Verne Gagne is planning Wrestlerock III to air on PPV. The show will be in the 55,000-seat Metrodome in Bloomington, MN, and will have ZZ Top in concert. The show was originally going to happen on election night, but it was changed to two days earlier. Supposedly, wrestlers from five promotions will appear on the show, but the only confirmed match Dave knows about is Madusa Miceli vs Magnificent Mimi.

-- When Bob Geigel restarts Central States, Tommy Gilbert will be booker. Geigel is no longer working with World Class because travel costs of sending wrestlers to their shows were putting him in debt. Mike George, Vince Apollo, Solomon Grundy, Billy Travis and Mike Stone will work for the group.

-- Kerry Brown was fired by Stampede. Shows are now being headlined by Makhan Singh vs Steve Blackman. Dave says Blackman isn't bad for his experience level, but is also obviously not ready for the spot he's in.

-- Dick Slater has heat for working WWC in Puerto Rico, with lots of wrestlers wanting an unofficial boycott of Puerto Rico because of Brody's death.

-- Jerry Lawler, Bam Bam Bigelow, Bob Orton, and Curt Hennig will be headed to Continental when they do their CWF title tournament.

-- Dean Malenko has quit wrestling to work at the front counter for an airline.

-- Brother Ernest Angel has completely disappeared, and no one knows where he is.

-- Brickhouse Brown will be turned babyface in Memphis soon to feud with Robert Fuller. Dave says Fuller's heel act is really good, but he's overexposed from doing too many interviews per show. However, because of a thin talent pool, there isn't really anything that can be done about that.
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post #130 of 275 (permalink) Old 05-25-2011, 05:09 PM
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Re: 20 years Ago: Wrestling Observer

man, ty OP you made me feel very old
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