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post #131 of 274 (permalink) Old 05-25-2011, 05:13 PM
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Re: 20 years Ago: Wrestling Observer

"Shawn Michaels makes an awesome heel but it's not an act"

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post #132 of 274 (permalink) Old 05-25-2011, 05:13 PM
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Re: 20 years Ago: Wrestling Observer

Ah, those times!
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post #133 of 274 (permalink) Old 05-27-2011, 11:01 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 20 years Ago: Wrestling Observer

August 8th, 1988

-- Dave says no explanation has been provided for his murder, and if anyone other than Jose Gonzales knows anything, they aren't talking. Wrestlers are starting to talk of boycotting Puerto Rico, either out of fear, or out of respect to Brody. "I'm not here to make any suggestions to anyone about how to run their business, but a few things need to be said. To the best of my knowledge, there is no evidence that there was any kind of conspiracy in this death. If you examine the situation, any conspiracy theory doesn't make the slightest bit of sense. I didn't want to get into this, but I'm pretty much forced to now. With the exception of the family and friends of Bruiser Brody, and I guess the family and friends of Jose Gonzales as well, nobody has suffered more from this recent tragedy than the Capital Sports promotion. They have been raked over the coals in the media. They have lost several wrestlers. They have had their image tainted terribly in their country. Fans have been turned off to wrestling in that area. And they have lost two of their biggest drawing cards. Now, please explain any conspiracy theories. If any evidence comes up to the contrary, then I think this group should become the wrestling equivalent of South Africa and be boycotted, but that doesn't seem to be the case. What the promotion is guilty of, if anything, is simply bad judgment in how it handled the night of the stabbing and the next night, particularly in allowing Gonzales to work. But it is pretty well established that there was no indication that Brody wasn't going to make it on Saturday night. Still, allowing Gonzales to work did raise a lot of questions. Let's face it they were under an incredible amount of stress, as many of us were, and plenty of us, myself included, were guilty of some bad judgment in the days after Brody's death. Running Carlos Colon out of business isn't going to bring Bruiser Brody back. Perhaps, if anything, this death should make the promotions realize that allowing things like knives and guns in a locker room is insane policy. This is not terribly unusual in a few U.S. promotions right now, and there is no reason for it, and this death should serve as a warning to promotions to ban dangerous weapons from their locker rooms I'm not telling anyone to go to Puerto Rico or not to go, but what I am saying is, if a guy does go there, let him make his own decision and don't pressure him not to by invoking the name of Bruiser Brody."

-- "First off, the line-up for the Summer Slam PPV show from 8/29 at Madison Square Garden is pretty much a dud." Dave says they are really counting on the main event to carry the show. Also, Demolition vs Hart Foundation and HTM vs Beefcake is being billed as the last time they will ever wrestle, which makes Dave smell a title change. There is also going to be a Brother Love show with a wrestler who has never appeared in MSG before. (My note: There were very strong rumors at this point in time that it would be Ric Flair jumping ship.) The WWF wants a 6.0 buyrate. Dave says it has been proven that a show with a strong main event and a weak undercard draws better than a show with bunch of good matches and no real clear main event, but that a national PPV show should be stronger top to bottom than this card.

-- Curt Hennig started as a heel.

-- Gene Okerlund is back. He and Vince apparently have huge blowups about twice a year. This year, Gene quit after the Slammys and came back the next day. His contract is too lucrative to stay away too long, but Vince wants to tone down his role to just doing PPV updates and NBC. No more on-the-road interviews, and no more hosting All American Wrestling.

-- 7/25 in MSG drew 11,500 fans headlined by Andre/Duggan in a lumberjack match with tons of heat. 7/16 at Capital Centre drew 9,000 fans headlined by Savage/Beefcake vs DiBiase/HTM.

-- 7/23 in Philly drew 9,115 fans and $116,035 headlined by Savage vs DiBiase. 7/23 in Nashville drew 10,000 headlined by Andre vs Duggan.

-- Prime Time Wrestling was the number four show on cable for the previous quarter, with a 3.0 rating in 1,328,000 homes. All American is #9.

-- No Holds Barred is scheduled for a May release. "Could it be that Hogan will win the title just before the movie's release?"

-- 7/26 in Lubbock, TX drew 350 headlined by Tito Santana vs Ron Bass. 7/16 in Santa Paula, CA drew 648 fans headlined by Ken Patera vs Hercules. 7/17 in Hershey, PA drew 3,500 fans headlined by Savage/Beefcake vs HTM/DiBiase. 7/22 in New Haven, CT drew 6,000 headlined by Andre vs Duggan in a lumberjack match. 7/22 in Las Cruces, NM drew 1,002 headlined by Santana vs Bass.

-- Things are at their shakiest point ever in the NWA. There is a major cash flow problem and they had to take out one (or two, depending on the source) loans of over $300,000 to pay some overdue bills. Balloon payments on contracts were due in May, and have not yet been paid, and none of this money will be used for that. Sources say TBS floated the loan(s), because they were about to start losing television in markets. The money will be considered a down payment if/when a TBS sell takes place. They also borrowed money from a Charlotte bank, putting up an entire month's ad revenue as collateral. "Unless this promotion suddenly hits a home run in the bottom of the ninth, they are history unless a sale is made." Dave says there is no evidence a turnaround is coming.

-- Dave says the originally reported Bash buyrate is an example of "McMath". Originally reported as 3.5-4.0, the buyrate was closer to 2.0. The show was not a money loser, but it is not enough profit to save the company, and not nearly as much as they were hoping for. Dave talks about why the buyrate was lower than expected, and says the top reason has to be that the talent is so stale, and that the matches didn't really capture the public's attention like Crockett thought they would. Dave thinks they have also cried wolf too many times with bogus finishes at house shows. But the bigger reason, Dave thinks, is that TV ratings have plummeted in the last quarter. The Saturday evening TBS show has dropped to #11 on cable, when it used to always be in the top three, and for the first time ever, they are behind the WWF's television ratings on the USA network. TV viewership dropped 23% in three months. (My note: !) "No matter how good a job the promotion does in selling the event on television, they are not going to convince those who aren't watching the show in the first place that the PPV is something they should see." Dave has heard arguments that low TV ratings are due to good weather and people not being home, but Dave says this argument doesn't hold water, because All American Wrestling on USA has been unaffected, and it airs Sunday at noon. Dave says TV ratings are the most reliable barometer of fan interest. Houses may not draw because of bad local economy or a variety of factors outside of a promoter's control. But even if you do great angles and live shows, it makes no difference if fans aren't watching TV. The Bash is doing well, as expected, but if TV ratings haven't gone up, it's just hot-shotting. Dave says later in the issue that Main Event is #18 on cable. Clash II was the fourth highest rated cable show of the quarter, trailing three NBA playoffs games on TBS.

-- Dave says several key NWA players may leave before the sale is completed, which would make it far harder to start the ball rolling back in a positive direction. He expects several main event regulars to start leaving in the next few weeks. Every NWA wrestler is now a free agent because their contracts have been violated, so anyone can jump anytime they want. The WWF's plan is to wait for wrestlers to come to them, because they may be economically forced to jump, which gives the WWF the advantage in negotiations over the wrestlers. Many wrestlers are talking about working Japan regularly, but Dave says it's tough to get over at a level in Japan where you can just work tours and not need any other dates. "A few guys have done it and maybe a few more guys could do it, but not too many can, and it doesn't seem to be a viable alternative for more than two or three of the NWA guys."

-- "A few things are necessary, but I don't expect them to take place. First, wrestlers have to be pushed by their marketability today not their marketability in 1986. An influx of three or four talented guys given a major push is needed badly. The television shows have to be completely reformatted. This business of 90 second squashes and trying to get every key guy to do one interview per show has been a failure. The idea of trying to sell a package deal to fans at live shows of "see the NWA" rather than pushing hard a few certain stars has not worked either. You need two or three guys who are pushed heads and shoulders above the rest, not 15 main eventers all of whom get the same general push. Ric Flair desperately needs a new role, as do the Road Warriors, and I'm not certain they are the right people to build around anymore."

-- Robert Gibson quit this past week after getting paid $1,100 for a week's worth of Bashes. Gibson never wanted to come back in the first place, but Ricky Morton really wanted to return. Morton is still around, but is going to have to decide soon if he wants to stay in the NWA or keep the team together.

-- 7/18 in Columbus, GA drew 4,200, the largest crowd in three years, for a 5 1/2 hour card which included a TV taping and a David Allan Coe concert. All the TV matches were squashes, but the highlight was the Midnight Express/Horsemen confrontation. The MX are going babyface and are starting to get cheered in several cities already. Dave says Jim Cornette is in a tough spot because babyface managers wear out their welcome awfully fast. Non-squash matches on the card were Sting vs Mike Rotunda in a ***1/2 match, Fantastics vs MX & Cornette in a **** bunkhouse match, Dusty/Nikita/Doc vs Flair/Windham/Tully in a double countout, and Road Warriors vs Ivan Koloff & Russian Assassin in a scaffold match. It took a half hour to put up the scaffold for what was an 8 minute match.

-- 7/21 in Cincinnati drew 4,000 headlined by a ***** War Games match with Sting/Luger/LOD/Nikita vs Horsemen & JJ.

-- 7/17 in Charleston, WV drew 6,500 headlined by Sting/Luger/Nikita/Doc vs Horsemen in a cage. Cornette missed the show due to problems with plane connections, so Stan Lane told the audience he was in Louisville getting an outstanding citizen plaque.

-- 7/23 in Philly drew 7,520 and a $167,800 gate headlined by War Games.

-- 7/22 in St. Louis drew 6,000 and an $81,000 gate headlined by Dustin/Nikita/Luger/Doc vs Horsemen in a cage.

-- 7/28 in Daytona Beach drew 5,500 headlined by War Games and Luger/Windham in a Texas Death match. It was said the guys were starting to show fatigue from all the long matches at this show.

-- 7/31 in Detroit drew 7,000 fans to see The Sheik. The main event was Dusty/Sheik vs Murdoch/Sullivan going four minutes and everyone bleeding at the very beginning of the match. Dusty pinned Sullivan for the win. After it was over, Sheik turned on Dusty by going after him with some type of object, but Murdoch turned babyface and saved Dusty. "So we've got the return of the Texas Outlaws in Dusty's never ending search of a gimmick that will get him over as the top babyface in somebody's eyes other than his own." This show charged $50 for ringside tickets that would allow you to meet the wrestlers. Only Brad Armstrong and Jimmy Garvin showed up, which left 150 very angry fans.

-- There are cards scheduled for 9/30 in Winnipeg and 10/1 in Brandon, Manitoba.

-- Learning The Ropes has been cleared in 22 of the top 25 markets and is scheduled for a 9/26 start. It will be shown on 77 stations, which is impressive for syndication.

-- 7/30 at Capital Centre drew 8,500 headlined by a Horsemen/JJ/Sullivan vs Road Warriors/Ellering/Dusty/Sting/Luger Tower of Doom. 7/29 in Houston drew around 6,000 headlined by an 8-man cage match.

-- 7/25 in Memphis drew a $20,000 gate headlined by Lawler vs Kerry Von Erich in a **** 60-minute draw.

-- They keep hinting at turning Brickhouse Brown, as Robert Fuller will make racist comments then apologize. There was a Stud Stable party on TV and Fuller gave Brown a watermelon. "They also had a cake and for the first time in the modern history of pro wrestling, a cake appeared on TV and never made it into anybody's face."

-- 8/1 has Lawler defending the AWA title against Buddy Landell

-- Curt Hennig has been "suspended for life". He actually started with the WWF.

-- Jimmy Valiant is headed in.

-- They are claiming the Rock & Roll Express will be back. They are also planning for a show at the 55,000-seat Metrodome on 11/4 or 11/5 with ZZ Top doing a concert, which Dave says not to believe until you see.

-- Willie B. Hurt had his 14-year old son come out for an interview. Paul E. Dangerously came out and started questioning his parenthood and the kid punched him. Eddie Gilbert then came out and attacked the kid to start a Gilbert/Hurt feud. (My note: I am stunned that this didn't cause more controversy. Is this on tape?)

-- Bob Orton is coming in for a few dates.

-- Bam Bam Bigelow is coming in for a few dates, and is expected to challenge Lawler for the AWA title in the main event of the Road to Birmingham show, which will also have a Ken Wayne vs Danny Davis hair vs hair match.

-- The past week had a few sellout crowds and was the most successful week since Eddie Gilbert started booking.

-- Buddy Landell and Hector Guerrero are gone from this group.

-- 7/17 was a TV taping in Knoxville. In the first hour, they announced Terry Gordy is reinstated. The RPMs came out with a cake to celebrate one year as tag champs, which Dave thought was hilarious since USA Pro started in February. The Rich cousins came out and you can guess the rest. There was also a $1,000 vs the mask match with Dundee vs The Bullet. Bullet had Dundee in the sleeper but Gumby hit Bullet with a bag of silver dollars. The ref noticed the silver dollars in the ring and awarded the match to Bullet. They announced that Dundee was fined $10,000. Later in the taping, Dundee was badmouthing Bullet in an interview. Bullet went after Dundee and Gumby, but Dundee got Bullet from behind and painted his back yellow. There was also a 45-minute draw between the RPMs and Rich cousins, and Lawler vs Wendell Cooley, with Lawler stalling and using foreign objects and playing total heel, yet still being cheered.

-- The final co-promoted with WCCW card was 7/16 in Kansas City. They actually charged $50 for ringside seats on a show where Lawler, Kamala, Embry, Jeff Jarrett, the Simpsons, Steve Cox, and Jeff Gaylord all no-showed. They advertised a Lawler-Kerry match they knew would never take place since Lawler was booked in Las Vegas that night all along. The top matches were Kerry Von Erich vs Mike George, and Michael Hayes vs Buddy Roberts in a DUD cage match.

-- Vince Apollo vs Mike George will be the big feud when they restart, since DJ Peterson left for the WWF. Peterson was already going to leave for Stampede anyway, then the WWF showed interest.

-- "Cactus Jack Foley, who is one of the top Northeastern independent workers, may show up in the Central States."

-- Billy Jack Haynes' startup appears to have folded. THey drew 65 in Gresham on 7/8.

-- A new team is headed in called The Beach Boys.

-- 7/31 in Marietta drew 450 fans headlined by Tommy, Johnny & Davey Rich vs The RPMs & Bill Dundee in what was called a phenomenal match and Buck Robley & Larry Latham vs Bob Armstrong & Mr. Wrestling II.

-- Stan Hansen is getting the megapush. He leads fans every night in a Brody chant, which has gotten him way over.

-- The 8/29 Budokan Hall show is now being billed as the Brody Memorial.

-- The next series is from 8/20 to 9/9 and has Abdullah, Tom Zenk, Jimmy Snuka, Jerry Oates, Johnny Ace, Rocky Iaukea, and a newcomer called The V.

-- 7/29 at Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo drew 5,000 fans for an outdoor show where it rained all day, headlined by Inoki vs Vader, with Vader submitting to Inoki's armbar. Inoki will now face Fujinami on 8/8 in Yokohama.

-- The next series is from 8/26 to 9/22 with Vader, Bob Orton, Karl Moffatt, Scott Hall, Ron Starr, Great Kokina, Luis Mariscal, and Black Tiger.

-- 7/15 saw a series open with a sellout 2,050 at Korauken Hall.

-- Inoki returned before a sellout 2,760 in Nagano on 7/16. The shocker of his return was that on 7/21, Choshu scored a clean pin over him. This was such a big deal that it took the entire front page of Nikkon Sports the next day. Dave says the match was really good with both guys looking much better than normal. Inoki was out to prove he isn't washed up and did a German suplex on Choshu.

-- "From recent tapes, I'd rate Fujinami No. 2 in the world behind Owen Hart. The guy is just fantastic in carrying Vader and selling for him. He also makes Choshu look fantastic as well. The Hart-Koshinaka title change was a match of the year candidate as well."

-- Pennsylvania Gov. Robert Casey vetoed a House bill to deregulate pro wrestling. His veto message: "While the bill does continue certain limited restrictions on wrestling promoters and contestants, the activity would become largely de-regulated. I note that this fact is contrary to the recommendations of the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee auditors in their review of the Athletic Commission under the Sunset Law of 1981. The audit report found that 'continued state regulation of professional wrestling appears necessary to protect the safety and welfare of both participants and members of the audience.' Information compiled by the Department of State indicates that approximately 30 other states currently regulate wrestling and several others plan to begin regulation in the future ... Finally, I must object to the reduction of the gross receipts tax on wrestling exhibitions in the absence of some additional source of revenue to support the other duties of the Athletic Commission which would remain after deregulation of professional wrestling. The Department of State has undertaken a long overdue program to reform the Commission's operations. This includes substantial improvements in the training of the Commission's regional personnel and various other steps to improve the safety of events held under the Commission's jurisdiction. House Bill 1729 would result in a revenue shortfall of approximately $80,000 this fiscal year, seriously inhibiting the Department and the Commission in their efforts at reform."

-- The Saturday night TV wrestling block on WATL Ch. 36 in Atlanta has been dropped. Joe Pedicino is moving the block to Ch. 69 starting Labor Day Weekend and will have wrestling from 8pm to 3am every Saturday night. (My note: Interesting how weekend wrestling is now a thing of the past.) The block will include WCCW, Pro Wrestling This Week, CWA, Southern, CWF, "Learning The Ropes", USA, Carribean, and the new FLAIR women's wrestling group. Pedicino signed a one year contract and has 100% creative control of the wrestling block.

-- "Paul Orndorff is still alive. No matter how many denials get printed in the wrestling magazines and bulletins, I still average at least a half-dozen letters weekly telling me that Orndorff died from any one of a half dozen different causes ranging from getting hit with a bowling ball to AIDS."

-- Maeda's opponent for the 8/13 UWF show is Gerard Gordeau, a karate fighter from Holland. Japanese magazines are hinting that Maeda will wrestle Bob Backlund in December. The UWF is expected to sell out every single show for the remainder of the year.

-- Larry Hamilton, brother of Jody Hamilton (The Assassin) is running for Buchanan County sheriff in Missouri as a Democrat.

-- John Foley, better known as manager J.R. Foley, died of lung cancer on 7/24 in Calgary.

-- Iceman Parsons was asked to tour South Africa and turned it down.

-- Johnny Ace showed up for FCW. (My note: Ha!)

-- 7/14 JWP match between Devil Masami and Shinobu Kandori went nearly 33 minutes and both bled. Dave said from the photos of the match, it looked great.

The Jobber
I was at home with my wife watching TV,
When the telephone rang and the call was for me.
That very next night in Nashville, Tennessee
They wanted me to do a job on national TV.

I'd make $65, the going rate for chumps,
It was clearly understood that I'd be taking all the bumps,
So I told their stooge that I would be there,
He said "thanks very much," but I knew he didn't care.

Got all of my gear and packed my bag,
That ride the next day would be such a drag,
Left my house at four so I wouldn't be late,
Then started hauling ass up the interstate.

Stopped at a store to hear, "which one are you?"
Those idiot marks just didn't have a clue,
If I was Hogan or Savage, they wouldn't have to ask,
But I'm only a jobber, with a lowly wrestling task.

Arrived at the building and walked to the stage door,
And got cussed out by a rat, such a pitiful whore,
As I headed to the heels dressing room,
My ego felt shattered, for a faced certain doom.

Strut into the room and forced a fake smile,
"How ya been doing brother, haven't seen you in a while,"
Found me a spot and started getting ready
I was sweating like hell but my nerves held steady.

Up walked the booker to give me the finish,
As I felt my pride so painfully diminish,
He wanted us to do the "old Pearl Harbor,"
The face would make the comeback, I'd end up the jobber.

Then the bell rang, my match was up first,
I was suddenly stricken with a bad case of thirst,
"First match get out there," the bookers' voice did hiss
I was busy taking my third nervous piss.

So I stomped to the ring to the sound of jeers,
Then out waltzed the baby to a round of rousing cheers,
I'm a pretty tough dude who can kick some bass,
Too bad I don't fit in with the front office brass.

I'd take decs and D-Bol and some Winstrol V,
If only the pencil would do something with me,
My name was announced to the deafening boos,
As I envied my opponent, cause he wasn't gonna lose.

All went as planned, and well, "that was that,"
My shoulders got pinned in the middle of the mat,
TV matches are short, and this was no exception,
I stormed back to the room feeling total dejection.

Took a hot shower and washed off the seat,
I'd be back on the road, they'd be taking a jet,
Said bye to the boys and then to the booker,
I had turned my trick like a 300 pound hooker.

Oh how I wanted that booker to clobber,
But had to keep my cool, I was only a jobber,
Don't get me wrong, no apology was needed,
I made the babyface look good, so I totally succeeded.

Drove back down the interstate guzzling a beer,
Would I always be a jobber, what an agonizing fear?
But deep down I know all that really matters, you see,
Is that I play my role well, and am very proud of me.
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post #134 of 274 (permalink) Old 06-06-2011, 01:31 AM Thread Starter
Asking SCOTT STEINER for Wrestling Advice
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Re: 20 years Ago: Wrestling Observer

August 15th, 1988

-- At press time, Dave was still waiting on details of the card, but the WWF show on 7/31 at Milwaukee County Stadium drew the largest crowd for a pro wrestling show since Wrestlemania III with the same main event. The crowd was announced at 35,000, but Dave is being told somewhere between 27,000 and 30,000, with a gate between $350,000 and $400,000 for a 15-match card headlined by Hogan vs Andre. Dave makes the point that the lineup for the card would have worked better for Summerslam, which seems like a weak show. Hennig vs Taylor was supposedly the best match on the show. Hogan was down about 20 pounds from his wrestling weight, as he had just finished filming No Holds Barred. The next night, the NWA ran a show which drew 3,800 ans and a $50,000 gate, which Dave says is an impressive house considering this show was the day before.

-- No Holds Barred is apparently not as bad as you'd think, with Hogan doing a pretty decent job of playing himself, much better than the "Goldie Locks and the Bears" pilot. (My note: What is this?) The movie is scheduled to have a May release and was supposed to have a $15 million budget and went way over. Dave thinks it will do better in home rental than in the movie theater.

-- Lots of speculation over who Brother Love will be interviewing at Summerslam. It is being billed as someone who has never been in the WWF before, which limits it to Owen Hart, Terry Taylor and Curt Hennig. Dave predicts Curt Hennig because whoever it is will get a big push and he seems in a better position to be pushed than the other two. Dave acknowledges Hennig has been in the WWF before, but anything before 1984 doesn't count. Dave says based on TV tapings, there will not be an IC title change, even though he thought otherwise, as they seemed to be building toward Honky Tonk Man/Ultimate Warrior at TV tapings. "Just when you think you've seen wrestling matches as bad as they can be, the WWF springs a new feud on you like this."

-- Dave says Summerslam should be called "How Little Can You Give The Fans On A Major PPV Event And Still Draw An Audience?" (My note: That's a little long.) They are doing a good job hyping the main event, teasing all sorts of subtleties, from Hogan teasing a heel turn calling Liz his manager (which will never happen in a billion years), Jesse will double cross either the faces or heels, and now they are hyping that Elizabeth will wear a string bikini.

-- Superstars was taped on 8/3 in Wheeling, WV before a sellout 7,200 fans. John Ziegler, the guy who is credited with developing anabolic steroids for usage by weightlifters, worked as a jobber at the TV taping.

-- The WWF's venture into Greensboro was a flop, much to the surprise of everyone, drawing only 3,670 fans for a show headlined by Hogan vs Andre.

-- Hulk Hogan wants a shoot match with Mike Tyson at Wrestlemania V and thinks he can win, which gets Dave going on maybe his first Wrestling Classics "Who would win in a shootfight?"-type discussion in the WON ever.

-- The Bash did a 2.2 buyrate and was in 190,000 homes (My note: That's a surprisingly high number, considering WWE shows don't do much higher than that these days.) While the show grossed $3 million, the take home will be between $300,000 and $500,000, which is a disappointment. There is another PPV scheduled for December, but it apparently will not be Starrcade, although things can change.

-- "I don't think there was anything wrong with the way the NWA folks promoted the show on their television, and I also don't think there should be any second-guessing of the line-up itself, as whatever changes wouldn't have made any real difference in the buy rate. The problem is, as with an major NWA event, is that there is no outside media publicity. So there is nobody but the NWA folks on TV reinforcing to a fan that this is really an important event, which is one of Titan's biggest advantages in producing a PPV event. The other problem is that with TV ratings nosediving for the NWA the way they have, all the great hype was missed by a lot of potential customers and with no outside media hype, a lot of people who may have been mildly curious enough to buy the thing, but weren't curious enough to tune into their often-boring TV shows, may not have even known about the show, or wasn't getting the hype for the show to convince them to buy at the last minute."

-- Dave went to two Bash shows -- one in Las Vegas on 8/4 and one in Oakland on 8/6. Both shows were good, but Vegas was considerably better. The biggest difference between the two shows was not the workrate, but the crowd. The Las Vegas crowd was only about 3,200 in the Thomas & Mack Center, but they reacted to everything and the heat was strong. Oakland drew around 6,000, just barely shy of a sellout in a bad part of town, which Dave would call a minor miracle. Dave counted 1 in 20 women at the Vegas show (My note: Why would he do such a thing?) and said Sting and the Road Warriors were very over. The crowd was very similar to a WWF crowd in that the big spots got a huge reaction, but there was also a lot of silence. There were almost no kids, which was no surprise since TV airs so late in that market. Highlights were MX & Cornette vs Fans in a ****1/2 bunkhouse match and the main event of Dusty/Luger vs Flair/Windham was ***. In Oakland, the Fantastics were booed hard and the match was still ***1/2, but the crowd reaction to the babyfaces hurt it. The War Games was ****. Dave says Flair is not at his best in matches like this, that he's much better in straight wrestling matches, and Luger threw a terrible dropkick, but the match was still great thanks to Hawk, Arn and Tully.

-- The Bash tour ended on 8/7 and there are no shows at all until the next TV taping. There are major shows coming at the end of the month at the Omni and Charlotte Coliseum. Flair vs Luger, Windham vs Sting, Garvin vs Dusty, MX vs Horsemen, and Road Warriors vs Varsity Club is expected to headline the upcoming run of house shows. MX vs Horsemen is the hottest feud right now, although Flair/Luger should be given all the hype. Fans seem to realize if Luger is ever going to win the title, it's not going to take place on a house show.

-- The Fantastics were going to turn heel and feud with the Rock & Roll Express until Gibson left, which Dave says is a shame, because that would give the NWA a really deep line-up for their next house show run.

-- 7/30 at the Capital Centre drew 10,000 and a $157,000 gate headlined by a **** Tower of Doom match of Horsemen/Sullivan vs Rhodes/Luger/Sting/Road Warriors. 8/2 in Sioux City, IA drew 1,784 fans and a $30,000 gate Flair/Arn/Tully vs Sting/Doc/Nikita.

-- In a "WCW Before WCW" story: 8/3 in Seattle drew a sellout of 7,500 fans sold out days in advance. They turned away 2,500 at the gate. They intended to book the 16,000-seat arena but booked the wrong arena because the names were so similar (Seattle Center Arena, Seattle Center Coliseum). The gate was still $110,000. The show was headlined by an 8-man cage match, and was said to be a great match, even with Don Owen's crew filling out the undercard. Crockett used Owen's guys to show he was working with them and not against them.

-- 8/5 in Los Angeles drew 4,700 fans and a $78,000 gate headlined by a ****1/2 War Games match.

-- Ivan Koloff and Paul Jones are about to split. There is talk of bringing in Jason the Terrible from Stampede as the Russian Assassin. "Do you realize that if/when Ted Turner buys the thing that they may actually give Nikita another push?"

-- The TBS show had a skeleton crew because half the roster missed the show, so they ran jobber matches on TV, which Dave thought made for great TV because you didn't know what would happen. He said Jim Ross and Tony Schiavone did a great job getting over the matches.

-- An Observer reader complained about not getting to meet any wrestlers except Brad Armstrong and Jimmy Garvin at the recent Detroit show where fans were very upset, and Gary Juster provided free tickets and made arrangements for him to meet all the wrestlers on the next show.

-- "WCW Before WCW", Part 2: Only 30-40 fans showed up for the pre-match party with every major babyface on the roster where fans were given a chance to meet them in person. The NWA didn't advertise this in advance. "I was originally going to attend the thing, but was hungry and went out to dinner with friends instead." During the meet and greet, they aired the Adrian Adonis piece on Entertainment Tonight where Dave Meltzer was interviewed. A few of the babyfaces started freaking out, and Dave says had he showed up, someone would be reporting on another reporter getting stiff clotheslines in a dressing room.

-- Morale is way up because wrestlers are starting to get their back pay.

-- There are rumors that Ken Mantell has walked out, leaving Kevin Von Erich and Doris Adkisson in charge. "I don't need to tell anyone what happened the last time Kevin was in charge. Dave has heard nothing about why this happened, as Mantell had a lot of money invested in WCCW and business has slowly been improving all year. The only thing Dave has heard is problems with the Von Erichs. Most expect him back in a couple of weeks, as part of his deal is that he can't run Wild West in competition.

-- Terry Gordy is back and will feud with Kamala.

-- Eric Embry is on vacation and will be back in a few weeks.

-- 8/2 in Lubbock drew 825 fans headlined by Kerry vs Iceman. The Brody memorial show on 7/29 drew a near-sellout 3,400 fans.

-- Bam Bam Bigelow, Eddie Gilbert and Paul E. Dangerously are all negotiating, which would likely mean Gilbert would win the title. They would only need to work TV anyway since the AWA doesn't tour, and no way are Gilbert and Paul E. leaving Continental since they run the place.

-- Lawler vs Landell drew 6,000 at MSC on 8/1. Bigelow/Jarrett vs Fuller/Golden co-headlined the show.

-- "You can often tell what's going to happen here by watching CWF a few weeks earlier."

-- Dave thinks they're dragging out Brickhouse Brown's babyface turn too long.

-- Ringside ticket prices on spot shows are going from $5 to $9, which hasn't hurt the gates at all.

-- They are building up a feud between Eddie Gilbert and Missy Hyatt, even acknowledging their marriage on television. It started with Alan Martin, in a "playboy nerd" gimmick, kissing Missy. Announcer Charlie Platt was interviewing Gilbert and told the crowd he is married to Missy and the crowd was pretty stunned, except for those who read the Apter mags. Platt asked Gilbert what he was going to do about it and Gilbert said nothing. Later in the show, Gilbert and Hyatt had a domestic squabble. Paul E. later told Missy Gilbert is upset because she's too nice to the idiot fans and is in Tom Prichard's corner instead of his.

-- They have added TV in Biloxi, MS, and Monroe, LA, and will start running these towns soon. They want to also expand into Tallahassee, FL, and Little Rock, AR.

-- Two recent fan near-riots in Dothan, AL. A fan pulled out a gun and 8 fans ended up being arrested in a melee.

-- Brian Pillman has a tricep injury and is doing no flying moves.

-- Jose Gonzales' arraignment will take place on 8/8. There are rumors that Gonzales will be tried in Raleigh, NC (My note: What??) but Brody's family knows nothing about this. Both Texas Monthly and Rolling Stone are expected to do features on Brody. Irv Muchnick will write the Texas Monthly piece, and Scott Ostler will write the Rolling Stone piece. Ostler has been voted California's best sportswriter for several years. Ostler is interested in writing a book about Brody, and there is talk of doing a movie. (My note: ...) Because of the nature of the crime and why it happened, more information will come out about this that may expose the business. Dave expects the focus to be more on his life than his death, although his death can't be ignored. Dave says anyone who wants to send well wishes to the Goodish family can send them to him, and he'll pass them along. Brody wouldn't want flowers, and Brody worked with the Patrician Movement, a charity focused on helping teens overcome drug and alcohol addiction.

-- Billy Jack Haynes' Oregon Wrestling Federation closed on 7/17. Haynes is claiming they will restart in September, but most people say that will not be the case. They will probably not make it even if they do since it flopped so badly the first time. Haynes will probably not end up back with Owen, but Mike Miller and Rip Oliver will probably try. Rip Oliver was fired by Don Owen a few weeks back, and Mike Miller insulted Don Owen in a local newspaper, which probably closes the door for him.

-- Ron Fuller's USA Pro is leaving Knoxville. They have been drawing poorly since starting in February and will be closing up on 8/20, with Continental taking over their TV slots and running live events in Knoxville and Chattanooga. No word on what will happen to the wrestlers, but Dundee and the RPMs are expected to head to Memphis. Doug Furnas and Scott Armstrong will probably go to Continental, and Memphis is interested in Wendell Cooley. However, Cooley walked out on Continental when Eddie Gilbert was booking, so Gilbert probably doesn't want him. Terry Gordy only worked a few dates for them, and no word on what happens to The Bullet, Moondog Spot, Todd Morton, Mongolian Stomper, or Johnny & Davey Rich.
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post #135 of 274 (permalink) Old 06-06-2011, 02:59 AM
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Re: 20 years Ago: Wrestling Observer

Well this sure killed a lot of time, i needed it, but meh.
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post #136 of 274 (permalink) Old 06-06-2011, 10:30 AM
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Re: 20 years Ago: Wrestling Observer

Epic post. Thank you, and keep them coming. /Repped.
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post #137 of 274 (permalink) Old 06-10-2011, 12:10 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 20 years Ago: Wrestling Observer

August 22nd, 1988

-- The main feuds in fall are going to be Rick Rude vs Jake Roberts and Randy Savage vs Andre the Giant, along with Hogan vs DiBiase. Rude is supposed to be getting his "sister" in his corner, as they really want to do a "girls" feud without involving Elizabeth, who they want to remain untouched. Brutus Beefcake vs Ron Bass is also expected to be a big feud, and Dave doesn't understand why Bass is getting such a big push when they have so many great workers under contract.

-- Iron Sheik has been fired again for the same reasons as always. Dave says it's so sad to see what he has become, considering that he started in wrestling as a spartan athlete of sorts.

-- Savage vs Andre is drawing well. They did 10,500 paid in Oakland ($125,000 gate) and a $140,000 gate in Oakland. "Those figures are phenomenal when you consider all the competing sports events in both cities (Giants and Dodgers had a series in LA which was televised in the Bay Area which has lots of interest, plus the NFL opened up its exhibition games, and Crockett was in and did business in both cities the previous week, although in reality major league baseball, the NFL and Jim Crockett Promotions all draw from a very different audience than does the WWF."

-- Owen Hart stole the show on 8/13 in L.A. in a near-**** match against Barry Horowitz and was the most over guy on the show aside from Randy Savage.

-- The WWF is purposely planting stories of Liz in a bikini at Summerslam to sell PPV buys. The rumor that they're spreading themselves is that Liz will wear a robe, take it off at a key moment, and it will lead to a heel distraction and babyface win.

-- The WWF is also trying to encourage the Hogan/Tyson rumors because of the publicity potential. Dave says Vince is smart enough to never put Hogan in a situation where he doesn't have complete control, and that he doubts Tyson would agree to a worked finish. Dave says if Tyson KO'd Hogan, the WWF would go crumbling down and one payday isn't worth that.

-- 8/4 in Altoona, PA drew 3,000 fans. 8/5 in Springfield, MA drew 2,700 fans.

-- "This has been a great week for rumors, but a lousy week for news. At this point, I don't take rumors of wrestlers jumping very seriously, it's kind of, when they're there, they're there type of thing. And nobody has officially jumped from the NWA despite the rumors that every single wrestler from Ric Flair to the Italian Stallion is going to and that Vince McMahon and Pat Patterson's phone lines were buzzing all week (just remember an inquiring phone call and a change in jobs are two very different things). At this point, nothing major has happened, but nothing would be surprising either."

-- The sale of the NWA to Turner is close to happening. The hold-up right now is that Turner wants Crockett to clear his outstanding debt first. There are expected to be major organizational changes after the sale because something has to change, but no one knows what those changes are going to be.

-- The next Clash special is scheduled for 9/7 and will be headlined by Barry Windham vs Sting for the U.S. title. Dave expects an Ivan Koloff babyface turn in the chain match with Ricky Morton. "So once again, they are doing their big television special without Ric Flair, Lex Luger, the Road Warriors, or Jim Cornette on the bill. Actually I'm pretty sure Flair and Luger will be there in some fashion, but equally sure they won't approach (nor are they trying to approach) the first Clash in Greensboro."

-- The Bash ended on 8/7 in Kansas City before 6,800 fans on a pretty hot card. The main event was a six-man cage match with Dusty/Murdoch/Luger vs Flair/Tully/Windham.

-- Lots of worry about the status of Flair, Arn, and Tully. They have all said they're gone unless "a specific change is made" (My note: Hmmm, I wonder what that could be), and Crockett called their bluff.

-- 8/12 in Norfolk did a $90,000 house, and a TV taping in macon did around $20,000. They are off for a few days and are returning with cards this weekend in Raleigh, Richmond, and Philly.

-- Dusty wants to bring in some new faces. There are rumors of wrestlers being let go, but there are no notable names that are absent on cards booked through the end of September. They still want Karl Moffatt (Jason the Terrible in Stampede/Barry Gasper in New Japan), but probably won't get him, as Moffatt likes his Japanese commitments. He was going to be Russian Assassin #2 and team with Dave Sheldon.

-- The ESPN show is maintaining a 1.8 national rating in the late Saturday night time slot, which makes it the second highest rated show on the station. This is impressive considering the lack of respect ESPN gives the show.

-- Jimmy Snuka and Col. DeBeers are coming in to restart their feud, which will be on the November show if it happens.

-- Steve & Shaun Simpson captured the Texas tag titles from John Tatum & Jack Victory in late July in Temple, TX. (Later in the issue, Dave reports that they have quit.) The Texas title also changed hands on 8/5 with Iceman Parsons becoming the new champion. Kevin was the champion, but was injured, so Kerry defended on his behalf, since WCCW by-laws state allow a champion to pick a replacement for a title defense if needed. Dave has heard that Kevin's injury is both real and an angle, so he's not sure which is true, but the explanation at the arena was great. They said Kevin stepped on glass and had stitches in his feet and couldn't wrestle, and everyone believed it since Kevin doesn't wear shoes. Dave points out that Kevin never does jobs, and something like this always happens when he needs to drop a belt. The Samoan Swat Team also capture the tag titles from Kerry & Kevin on 8/12 in Dallas. Dave says Buddy Roberts is really great at their manager.

-- The Brody memorial on 7/29 drew 3,400 in Dallas. The best match on the card was said to be Michael Hayes & Steve Cox vs Samoan Swat Team.

-- 7/30 in Shreveport drew 2,000 fans.

-- About three dozen wrestling fans came in for a convention and saw the 7/29 and 7/30 shows. Another convention is set for next year in Denver, and Dave would also like to remind everyone of the UAWF convention from Oct 7 - Oct 11 in Memphis.

-- Savannah Jack has his heart problem fixed and wants to come in. It was thought he would need a heart transplant at one time, but he had a major recovery when he gave up steroids.

-- Fritz Von Erich is back in the office and they are becoming more of a family-run territory again.

-- The Penthouse article on the Von Erichs goes on the newsstands on 8/6.

-- 8/7 in Jackson, TN drew 2,300. 8/8 in Memphis drew a $20,000 for the restart of the Lawler/Idol feud. They had a ***3/4 match and Lawler gave a piledriver to ref Jerry Calhoun, which Dave calls a fine way to treat a brother-in-law and softball teammate.

-- Brickhouse Brown finally turned on the 8/13 TV. Robert Fuller came out in a wheelchair and said he had presents fro all of the Stud Stable. He gave Gary Young a robe, Bruno a rolex watch, and Sylvia a ring. He gave Brown a shower cap and cassette tape. Brown got mad and threw the stuff down, so the Stable held him down while Fuller whipped him with a belt. Dave says the angle didn't get over at all because fans just don't like Brown and the teases were dragged out too long. They tried to rectify this by pairing Brown with Jeff Jarrett and Bill Dundee, who both offered to team up with him.

-- Max Pain is back at home in Utah and won't be wrestling anywhere. Akio Sato and Tojo Yammamoto are also gone. Big Bubba (not Ray Traylor) is on his way back in after the Oregon group folded. The Mongolian Stomper is in and will be teaming with Jimmy Golden while Fuller is out of action.

-- 8/15 had Lawler vs Kerry in their fourth double title meeting, this time with a 90-minute time limit. Dave says they've gone overboard, because they can only book so many double title matches with no title change.

-- Lawler vs Idol drew a $10,000 gate on 8/9 in Louisville, the largest gate in that city in a long time. They wanted to do Lawler/Kerry vs Idol/Rich, but Idol refused to be a heel. While he's the heel in the Lawler feud, he's approaching it like he's got a grudge with Lawler, but isn't really a heel.

-- Lots of talent departures and a thinned down roster. Jerry Morrow was injured on 8/6 in Camrose and will be out of action for a few more weeks. Brian Pillman finished up on 8/13 and is going to Continental.

-- Makhan Singh may be on his way out. He has done three TV commercials to air in Calgary and has signed a one-year deal with a furniture store in Edmonton. Singh is apparently very funny in these commercials and is doing a character similar to Jacko in the Energizer battery commercials. He holds the North American title and will feud with Jason the Terrible, who just returned, but both will be leaving shortly for Japan. After Jason leaves, they are turning Steve DiSalvo, but Dave can't see him as a face, because he's so good as an arrogant and condescending heel. The last time they turned him face to feud with Badnews Allen, he was turned back quickly. Singh recently wore a Wayne Gretzky Oilers jersey into the ring for a match, and the Gretzky trade is the biggest news story in modern history in Edmonton.

-- 8/13 in Edmonton drew 320 fans.

-- Jason is nowhere near as over as he was in winter when he was the reason they were selling out.

-- They are pretending Owen Hart is still working Japan "defending the world title" to fans, since technically, Owen isn't with the WWF, the Blue Angel is. Although, Owen has wrestled in several cities without the mask using his real name.

-- Scott Peterson beat The Grappler (Len Denton) in 10 seconds on 8/5 in Eugene, ending a nine-month reign as Northwest champion.

-- A tournament for the TV title will be held on 8/16 in Portland. Dave Sierra was the last champion but left for Japan.

-- There is interest in bringing in Ric Flair and the Road Warriors for a major card in Portland.

-- According to the Torch, Mel Saraceno will be opening up a new promotion called the OWA that will compete with Don Owen. Billy Jack Haynes will not be affiliated in any way. The scheduled start is 8/13 and will have Rip Oliver and Mike Miller as co-bookers and top stars, plus Brian Adams, Joey Jackson, Moondog Moretti, Lex Luther, Cocoa Samoa, and Tiger Chung Lee.

-- They returned to the International Ampitheatre in Chicago on 8/12 and drew a $15,000 house, headlined by Bam Bam Bigelow winning a battle royal.

-- 7/29 in Columbus, MS drew 1,021 fans.

-- Dave just watched four weeks of TV, and said there is less fast-forwarding with Continental than any other group, but he thinks they run too many angles and do too many run-ins. He said Eddie Gilbert and Paul E. Dangerously attacking Pez Whatley's son was the best thing he has seen in a long time. Dave calls Paul E. the best heel in wrestling, and says you can hate him for a variety of reasons, and he's not a one-dimensional heel at all. Dave also says they've gone about as far as they can with beating up civilians, and adds that Gilbert and Ken Wayne are both great workers who are great at their roles, and Danny Davis is really good as well. Austin Idol's babyface promos are great, and Paul E. obviously picked up a lot from Idol if you watch him do local promos. Tom Pritchard and Tony Anthony are great workers, but both seem stuck in their feud, and the only interesting thing about it is Missy Hyatt's role. The matches are great from what Dave hears, but the feud needs something to freshen it up. The rest of the group Dave isn't as sold on, but says Pez Whatley is a surprisingly good and charismatic babyface.

-- There is talk of making Smothers, Armstrong, Pillman, and Shane Douglas into some type of fab four.

-- They want to expand into Knoxville and Chattanooga, plus Louisiana and Mississippi, but Dave hopes they proceed with caution, because trying to expand too quickly has done in a lot of territories.

-- NJPW had a live prime-time wrestling special taped from Yokohama before a sellout 6,070 fans. In the main event, Tatsumi Fujinami and Antonio Inoki went to a 60-minute draw. The match had a ton of interest because of behind-the-scenes politics. Inoki announced that if Fujinami beat him, he would retire from pro wrestling. Fujinami has not renewed his contract and has walked out twice recently, and he is trying to force NJ's hand to be the top star. Although Fujinami is regarded as the best worker in the company, Inoki is considered the bigger draw, but Fujinami is really forcing the issue to get his way. Fujinami is really tired of patiently waiting for Inoki to retire so he can be top star, and his fear is that Inoki's retirement may never happen. The draw was booked to appease Fujinami, who in his mind is still the top star because he has the title, and also, Inoki wasn't beaten, so he is still around. Only the first 25 minutes or so of the match aired, "... and you know how the first 25 minutes of most 60 minute matches are." Dave says the heat was actually tremendous even when they were exchanging holds on the mat, and the match was never boring at any point. "My guess is that overall it was an excellent match, and my one live report indicated that this was excellent for the entire 60 minutes."

-- Also, on the card, Bam Bam Bigelow returned and went to a double countout with Vader. The crowd was strongly on Vader's side early on, but Bigelow gained momentum as the match progressed, and won the fans over. Dave calls this a good big man match with some really good high spots, but the brawling wasn't that great. **3/4 ... "Actually, whenever I see Vader against anyone besides Fujinami, I realize just how good Fujinami is to carry the guy to good-to-great matches." Also, Shiro Koshinaka pinned Kuniaki Kobayashi in a **** match, and Choshu & Saito beat Manny Fernandez & Buzz Sawyer in the show opener. "I don't know the TV ratings for this special, but assume they won't be all that good because it appears New Japan simply no longer has the following to draw large TV ratings."

-- There is a tour scheduled starting 10/7 with Bam Bam Bigelow, Steve Williams, Owen Hart, and Biff Wellington all tentative. It will be interesting to see if Doc or Owen come, since neither the NWA nor the WWF allow their wrestlers to work Japan.

-- In a class act, the 7/29 show had a moment of silence for both Adrian Adonis and Bruiser Brody.

-- Baba is ready to give up on Hiroshi Wajima as a big name. The novelty has worn off.

-- The best TV match of the past month was Footloose vs Shunji Takano & Shinichi Nakano at ****+. "The Foot Loose are as good as any team in wrestling at making their foes look good and deserve more television exposure because their matches are always in the four star range against Japanese foes."

-- The arraignment for Jose Gonzales is scheduled for September 8. Gonzales is expected to plead not guilty and claim self defense.

-- There are two cable sports networks trying to get into the cable TV game. Mizzlou is launching an all sports network in April 1989. The network will mainly be betting odds and results, but they want a lot of boxing and pro wrestling, which Dave says in theory would give TV to a smaller promotion. NBC is debuting a cable station called CNBC, which is looking for a one-hour pro wrestling show for the weekends. No date has been set for when CNBC will debut.

-- Dave praises Wade Keller's Torch annual, and provides details on how to get it. It has lots of content from both Meltzer and Keller, drawings from Mr. Mike, interviews with Tom Zenk and Bruiser Brody. It's $7.50 and Dave says it's the best thing he's read on wrestling in a long time. (My note: It's amazing that Wade was doing all of this at 16 years old.)

-- Central States drew 48 fans on 8/6 in DeSoto, KS. Carolina Championship Wrestling drew 100 fans on 8/6 in Roanoke. Bob Raskin's USWA drew 2,516 fans on 8/4 in Bloomington, IL with mostly people from Dick the Bruiser's crew, along with Sgt. Slaughter and Misty Blue.

-- The only U.S. wrestlers left in Puerto Rico are Bobby Jaggers, Dan Kroffat, Ron Starr, the Batten Twins, and Tony Falk. The rest left. "The wrestling grapevine indicates that there are no hard feelings towar the guys that were there and stayed, being that everyone understands you have to make money to feed your family. However in the case of the Battens, who left a U.S. promotion to go to Puerto Rico, they may have to stay there until this all blows over because there may be some hard feelings because of them going there. By the way several have written noting to me that Puerto Rico is not a foreign country, but a territory of the U.S. While that is certainly legally the case, this is a wrestling newsletter and in the wrestling world, Puerto Rico is a lot more of a foreign country than Canada or Japan."

-- Ron Fuller's final USA Pro card will be on 8/19 in Knoxville. Dave lists the card, which includes Jamie Dundee in a midget match.

-- Eddie Sharkey is promoting wrestling in Minnesota using Larry Cameron and Tommy Ferrera as his top stars, along with Sheik Adnan El-Kaissey.

-- A group called MCW Sports drew 2,423 at the county fair in Northwood, IA, using Rufus Jones, Roger Kirby, Sandy Partlow, Terry Hart, and Billy Howard. They also drew 1,650 in Harlan, IA using the same crew and Porkchop Cash.

-- Michael Hayes and Kevin Von Erich are being advertised for an independent show in Medina, OH, which will also feature a Madusa Miceli vs Fabulous Moolah match.

-- Larry Hamilton (Missouri Mauler) failed in his third attempt to win the Buchanan County sheriff election.

-- Dave is impressed with how the Japanese media is covering the UWF so seriously. He says he's not a fan of the style, which he calls "amateur wrestling mixed in with karate", but the guys do work hard, and it's amazing that they draw like they do with no TV, and that the UWF is wrestling's #1 success story of the year. They are the only promotion in the world whose audience believes they are real at this point.
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post #138 of 274 (permalink) Old 06-10-2011, 02:29 AM
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Re: 20 years Ago: Wrestling Observer

This stuff is always interesting to read back, or hilarious, especially the late WCW ones but that's for another thread. Thought this was epic:

-- The Thing, a Boris Malenko trainee from Florida, left after losing to Kerry Von Erich in 57 seconds on Thanksgiving. On TV, they said The Thing was an imposter. Gary Hart brought Rip Morgan in, who was now being called The Real Thing.

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post #139 of 274 (permalink) Old 06-23-2011, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
Asking SCOTT STEINER for Wrestling Advice
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Re: 20 years Ago: Wrestling Observer

August 29th, 1988

-- Dave received a very impassioned letter from someone tired of him insulting Jim Wilson and Eddie Mansfield on the letters pages. The first chunk of the newsletter is devoted to answering the criticisms instead of reporting any news. The gist of the letter:

* Your facts are wrong about their careers
* You are wrong to write off their complaints because they never became stars
* They deserve credit for coming clean about wrestling in a public forum and trying to start a union
* Dave spends more time encouraging fans to contact TV stations than labor unions who could actually reform the business
* "The routine reports on crowd size, monetary gates, PPV clearance rates and estimated gross revenues is distributed among the guys whose matches you rate with asterisks. Older and ailing wrestlers are snidely criticized without explaining the reasons for their condition, the absente pensions, and medical insurance. Wrestler mobility is noted, but not 'the power of the pencil.' Green wrestlers and jobbers are continually insulted without explaining why talented athletes are in no hurry to get into wrestling. The superficial fascination with wrestlers' real names, height, weight, and hometown is laughably distant from their daily reality of being 'paid with pussy.'"
* Dave failed to criticize the wrestling business for its role in the deaths of Bruiser Brody and Adrian Adonis
* "The perception of readers that the Observer has a reputation inside The Business as a pernicious kayfabe sheet is a heretofore unexposed work. In fact, The Business (my note: that's how he keeps writing it) likes you. You tell some secrets, but hide the real ones."

Dave's response, highlights:

* "While the formation of a union, in theory, is a good idea, I have talked to very few wrestlers who even entertain the notion that it has even a slim chance of being successful."
* "There are abuses in the wrestling business, to be sure. This idea of a pro wrestler as an independent contractor as the business tries to portray is a joke, and one which abuses the wrestler. The idea that when a wrestler suffers an on-the-job injury, that in most cases not only does the wrestler have to pay the bill himself (and there are plenty of exceptions to this, but it also often is the case) but also in more cases than not, suffers from lost wages until he can return to the ring. Because of that, in almost all cases, the return is premature, and the injury often never fully heals, and the wrestler is unable to perform at peak efficiency because of it. While wrestlers with the major offices do receive air-faire to the city they are performing in, they have to pay their own hotel, rent-a-car or taxi to get to the arena, and all other expenses of living on the road, which often cuts what on the surface appears to be a healthy paycheck down to nothing. The performance and travel schedule is often nothing short of brutal. I can recall instances of NWA wrestlers, in particular, wrestling in cards in two cities on the same night and often, back in '86 when they were doing TV's on Saturday morning and then double-shots on Saturdays, working three shows in one day and maybe five shows in a weekend. The WWF a few months back was nearly destroying its wrestlers with those five-show weekends, which saw one or two wrestlers literally collapse in airports from exhaustion, and another suffer a heart attack."
* "The pressure, stronger now than ever, to have an unnatural physique, had made steroid use and abuse, particularly in the WWF, almost a necessity to have any chance at success. Yet these same steroids are blamed for at least one heart attack, one stroke, and another wrestler whose heart deteriorated so badly from such abuses that it was feared until recently that he would have to undergo a heart transplant. The wrestling business is far, far from perfect. Nor is any other business. The previous paragraph could have the word 'WWF' taken out and inserted the sports of bodybuilding, powerlifting, several track and field events and to a lesser extent, pro football linemen, and the same would be true, and none of those sports are any closer to changing that truism than pro wrestling."
* "Agreed, it is a sad and indefensible state that pro wrestlers don't have any kind of medical insurance to cover on-the-job injuries, and that they often don't receive pay while recovering from those same injuries. As for pension plans, while again in theory that sounds good, in reality, this is not a stable enough business. We've had two promotions fold in the past few weeks alone. With the exception of Titan Sports, how many U.S. offices actually are operating in the black right now? The answer is two, maybe three. I'm going to go back to pro soccer and make a point. The soccer players unionized and of course it helped them, at least in the short run. The owners claimed that the unionization helped put the outdoor game virtually out of business in this country (a faulty claim, the game would have gone down the tubes because of public apathy, union or not). But whatever pension plans may be negotiated are lost when the business folds up. And as we've seen by wrestling contracts, it is better to get the money up-front and set it aside yourself, because these balloon and deferred payments have a way of never coming to fruition."
* Using any term (e.g. "The Business") collectively about a group of individuals, whether they be people in the wrestling business, "smart fans" (who for some reason seem to be getting criticized in many other newsletters for reasons I can't fully understand), Republicans or any other group generally leads to unfair assumptions. All "smart fans" (whatever that connotates and I'm still not sure) don't think alike. I don't know of any two that think exactly alike, and I certainly don't speak for all of them. Yet many people seem to think that whatever I state constitutes the viewpoint of all 'smart fans.'"
* "In the same way, the wrestling business has no unity of purpose, whatsoever. It is not a monopoly, in fact it is competitive, even if the competition is terribly one-sided in this country. Promoters don't get together and blacklist wrestlers and the term blacklisting is highly overused. Wilson can talk about being blacklisted, and I won't argue the point that several promoters were contacted and told not to use him. However, there has never been a singular unity of purpose among those who run wrestling companies."
* Brody got away with things like changing finish mid-match and refusing to do jobs because he was marketable and an attraction. If he wanted to play by the rules, he could have gone to the WWF and worked on top. Even in the NWA, where there is personal heat with Dusty, had Brody agreed to do business Dusty's way, he could have come in. It isn't fair that he got chances guys like Mansfield and Wilson didn't, but that's the reality of pro wrestling. Not just the wrestling business, but life.
* Brody wasn't regarded as a renegade because he had a bad attitude. In fact, he was one of the smartest wrestlers around and most wrestlers would classify Brody as a genuine, friendly guy, unless it was a promoter who had to do business with him.
* While you could blame the WWF for making sure Adonis wouldn't be taken seriously on top again because of the gimmick, in truth, Adonis was responsible for his downfall. He was self-destructive and McMahon gave him several chances. He could have even worked Japan for a few years until the image of him as an obese drag queen faded.
* "The Business" has no viewpoint of the Observer. Some love it, some hate it. Most of the major power brokers hate it, but even that isn't unanimous. Publicly, most wrestlers hate it, and privately, the reactions are more mixed.
* "The realities of professional wrestling are that it is a business, and in theory, the bottom line should be that it be a profitable business, although the reality in many cases is it is a business run by those in power often times for personal ego gain as much as profit. Wrestlers and promoters have similar goals, raising fan interest and increasing the revenue generated by the promotion so both promoter and wrestler, at least in theory, will benefit. They are also put in an adversarial position. Every dollar spent for talent is a dollar less of profit margin ... One thing unfortunate about wrestling is that it is a business often built on false hopes, false promises and false dreams. Wrestlers constantly have the carrot of success, whether it be a hot new angle "we are planning for you in October", promise of a title belt or any kind of a major push, placed in front of their eyes, and oftentimes that never comes to fruition. But wrestling is not unique in this way."
* "I want to make one last personal comment before getting into the news. I do not make any claims as to being anything but a reporter who tries to do as accurate and honest a job as possible in covering a business in which accomplishing those goals is impossible. Other people are welcomed to label me a mark who doesn't know what he's talking about, an expert, or anything in between. The audience the Observer is aimed at is that of hardcore fan, whether you want to label him a smart mark or a smart fan of whatever labels can be given, and also secondarily as a trade journal of sorts for the business, not that the business itself wants it, but a large percentage of the readership is within the business and they are a lot more interested in gate figures than results of matches. Now that all of this has been covered, I don't plan on getting into it again for a few more years."

-- The WWF will co-promote the Sugar Ray Leonard boxing PPV on November 7. This is their first venture into boxing, and their PPV experience gave them the edge over both Viacom and HBO.

-- They continue to hype Summerslam. The latest rumor is that Brother Love's guest will be Jessica Hahn. MSG is sold out and they've opened up the Felt Forum for closed circuit, which is almost sold out as well.

-- 8/7 in Toronto drew 8,500 fans headlined by Savage vs DiBiase in a cage. 8/15 in Omaha drew 5,248 fans headlined by Andre vs Duggan.

-- Dave had a chance to see the Owen Hart/Barry Horowitz match everyone is talking about and would give it ***. He said both guys sold well for each other and Hart did some spectacular moves, but the match was in "ssssslllllloooowwww motion".

-- The sale is coming down to the wire. The deal is not yet complete, but Ted Turner made an unofficial deadline for getting things wrapped up. TBS sources told Dave papers could be signed as early as Monday, but there are still minor hold-ups. Wrestlers have started meeting with Jack Petrik, who will oversee wrestling operations when the sale goes through. Both Ric Flair and Dusty Rhodes had personal meetings with Ted Turner. Major changes in the television product will take place in the first 3-4 months. Dave says they need some type of strategy to get over in Los Angeles and New York as strong as they are in the Southeast in order to be a national promotion.

-- Steve Williams was arraigned in federal court in Detroit on charges of attempting to transport cocaine, marijuana, and mushrooms to Japan. Dave says this would have been far more heavily covered if Doc worked for the WWF. Contrary to rumors, Doc is still very much with the NWA.

-- Flair/Luger is drawing HUGE on house shows, with near sellouts in Norfolk, Richmond, and Philadelphia. The reason this seems to be working is that that they are advertising that the only rematch will take place in "your" town. Dave says regardless of his thoughts on the finish at the Bash, and that Luger needed to bleed a lot more, if they're drawing numbers like this, it was a success, period. Any thoughts that they pissed off fans too much with that finish should be dismissed by looking at the gates they're drawing for this feud now.

-- Ron Garvin and Tim Horner are no longer around. Garvin quit/was fired over a misunderstanding at a house show and is AWA-bound. The AWA is planning on running tons of shows in the Carolinas with Garvin, Wahoo McDaniel, Manny Fernandez and Robert Gibson. Horner was supposed to do a job for The Masked Maniac (Italian Stallion under a hood, but Lyle Alzado's alias on Learning The Ropes). They were shooting the match to be used on the TV show. (My note: Dave didn't say Horner refused, but he implied it.)

-- 8/12 in Norfolk drew 9,500 fans and a $98,900 gate headlined by Flair vs Luger. Luger won by DQ when JJ interfered. After the match, Luger had Flair pinned and Ricky Morton counted his shoulders to the mat, which led to Luger and Morton getting destroyed by the Horsemen to close the show. 8/19 in Richmond drew 10,500 fans headlined by Flair vs Luger. 8/20 in Philly drew 11,000 fans headlined by Flair vs Luger.

-- Ron Simmons is back in, taking Tim Horner's spot.

-- Jack Victory will be Russian Assassin #2.

-- Brad Armstrong will replace Tim Horner at Clash III in the TV title match against Mike Rotunda.

-- They shot an angle with Barry Windham attacking Sting recently and making him juice with the claw in order to start their feud.

-- Dave Sheldon (Angel of Death) is learning Russian to be more believable in the Russian Assassin gimmick.

-- 8/20 in Las Vegas drew 1,250 fans, their largest crowd in a long time, which Dave uses to poke fun at Curt Hennig's drawing power. (He had also noted in a recent WON that Hennig was having bad matches on WWF house shows and wasn't getting much crowd response.) Jimmy Snuka no-showed, but wasn't advertised, making Jimmy Valiant the only "official" no-show. Highlights of the show included Wahoo vs Manny in a double juice match, Lawler defending the AWA title against Tijo Khan, and Chavo/Mando/Hector vs Bad Company/DeBeers in a *** match, which included DDP taking a great bump over the top rope.

-- Col. DeBeers is now managed by Diamond Dallas Page and gets lots of heat.

-- Verne Gagne is telling everyone in Las Vegas that the NWA is about to fold and that he's going to get their entire roster except Flair, Dusty, and Tully.

-- The scheduled PPV has been pushed back to 12/26, which is when the NWA also has a PPV planned, but Dave thinks it's just an oversight and that they'll reschedule.

-- 8/12 at the Sportatorium drew 750 fans.

-- Kendo Nagasaki and Keiji Muto are headed in after Fritz Von Erich met with Seiji Sakaguchi. Fritz keeps accidentally calling him Seiji Inoki. Sakaguchi really wants to get Muto work in the US, as Muto is his protege.

-- 8/17 in Lawton, OK drew 800 fans. 8/19 in Dallas drew 1,000.

-- There are rumors of Tama coming in as a third member of the SST, but Dave calls that wishful speculation.

-- Rumors of Ken Mantell running a new group in Texas to rival WCCW.

-- Cactus Jack is on his way in and Dave said he looked okay from his debut.

-- Billy Joe Travis is out of action. He got married and is honeymooning.

-- Bill Dundee is back as a babyface with his son Jamie. Jamie is scheduled to feud with Downtown Bruno.

-- Brickhouse Brown is doing babyface promos specifically asking black fans to support him. Dave says they seem obsessed with mentioning that he's black every time he's on TV for some reason.

-- The TV tapings on 8/14 in Montgomery drew a sellout 2,700 fans, 2,200 paid, "and the 2,700 was a sellout." (My note: Wow, Eddie Gilbert had influence over Dave. What?) The WWF show the day before only drew 76 fans in the same market.

-- Paul E. had a line in a TV promo where recently when Ron West threatened to suspend him, and he responded by saying he would just come back as the Midnight Rider. Joe Pedicino then said, "It wouldn't surprise me to see Eddie Gilbert do something as low class as come back as the Midnight Rider."

-- Crowds are down, but not as much as had been feared.

-- The lineup for the Brody memorial on 8/29 has been announced and it's nothing special. The headlining match is Jumbo & Yatsu vs Tenryu & Hara. Tickets were selling very well for this show, which will include a memorial service for Brody. They also flew in his widow and son for the show. There was talk of drawing a sellout at Budokan, which hasn't happened for wrestling since a combined AJ/NJ show nearly 10 years earlier.

-- The 8/13 card was a huge success. All 12,000 tickets were sold months back in six hours and thousands of others were turned away the first day tickets went on sale. Factoring in closed circuits, they had an $800,000 gate, a number only matched by the biggest WWF and NWA shows.

-- Jim Carlisle, the TV announcer for Fred Ward's Georgia NWA promotions, passed away at the age of 49. Carlisle pre-dated tape trading, so his name is really only known to those in the Georgia area around Columbus and Macon.

-- Mike Sharpe Sr., father of Mike Sharpe in the WWF, passed away from a heart attack at the age of 67. Sharpe was a leading attraction on the west coast with his brother Ben during the 1950s, and was well known in Japan. He main evented the first major wrestling card ever held in Japan in 1954.

-- Corporal Kirchner was sentenced to 180 days in prison for non-payment of child support (over $7,000). He was also ordered to go into rehab for drug and alcohol addiction.

-- Shinya Hashimoto wants to work Memphis, and Masa Chono wants to work Continental.

-- A Current Affair is doing a segment on Brody's death and interviewed Lou Thesz and Bruno Sammartino for it.

-- Dave is having a video party on 8/27. Contact him for details.
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post #140 of 274 (permalink) Old 07-01-2011, 11:42 PM Thread Starter
Asking SCOTT STEINER for Wrestling Advice
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 444
Points: 9
Re: 20 years Ago: Wrestling Observer

September 5th, 1988

-- Most reports outside of wrestling are saying the WWF paid $8-$9 million for PPV rights to the Sugar Ray Leonard/Donnie Lalonde fight on 11/7, but some are saying they paid as much as $15 million. Wrestling sources tell Dave it was closer to $5 million. Even if the fight bombs, which is expected, this may be a wise investment on the WWF's part, because the WWF has no involvement in closed circuit promotion of the show, and it's much easier to profit from PPV than closed circuit because the local promoters take a bigger cut of closed circuit gates.

-- Randy Savage's title defenses aren't drawing nearly as well as they were. The Andre matches are doing okay, but the DiBiase series appears to have run its course. A Montreal match against Dino Bravo, however, drew over a $300,000 gate. Savage/Andre only drew 3,000 seats in the new 17,000 seat arena in Miami despite tons of local publicity.

-- Superstars taping on 8/23 in Providence drew a sellout 13,800 fans. To get around the issue of Summerslam having not yet happened, Warrior came out at the beginning of the show and beat Honky Tonk Man to win the IC title. They then referred to HTM as former champ throughout the taping, and Warrior as the champ. At the end of the taping, Jack Tunney came out and said Warrior's win was null and void since the match was not scheduled, so the belt would be returned to HTM. Also at the taping, Rick Rude wore tights with Cheryl Roberts' face on his crotch, which brought Jake out to rip them off of him, leaving Rude in his underwear. Other highlights: The Rougeaus announced Jimmy Hart as their manager. Owen Hart debuted as "The Blue Lazor", but they screwed up in Philadelphia calling him "The Blue Blazer", which made Dave laugh because Owen Hart is not a sports coat. He got a great reaction for his moonsault press finisher, but not much reaction for anything else. Terry Taylor and Curt Hennig also worked the taping, but Owen got the best reaction of the three. They set up a feud with Dino Bravo and Jim Duggan, which Dave says shows Duggan's big push is over.

-- Challenge taping on 8/24 in Hartford drew 16,000 repeating the Warrior/HTM scenario from the Superstars taping.

-- 8/22 in Utica, NY drew 3,400 fans in a match where I guess the main event was Duggan vs DiBiase, but it wasn't last. 8/26 in Calgary and 8/27 in Edmonton both drew 13,500 fans headlined by Duggan vs Andre. 8/27 in Philadelphia drew 4,418 and a $56,562 gate, the second smallest crowd for a Spectrum show ever, with the show closed by Rick Rude vs Jake Roberts with fans leaving in the middle of the match. Savage and DiBiase also wrestled each other in the middle of the show in an excellent match. Flair vs Luger, which is on fire in the NWA, drew a $128,000 gate in Philly by comparison.

-- Dave says the Brutus Beefcake/Ron Bass injury angle was neat, in that they immediately cut to Sean Mooney who said it was so violent they couldn't show it.

-- One Man Gang and Greg Valentine are still around, despite rumors to the contrary. Oliver Humperdink is getting a weekly check, but his managing days seem to be over.

-- The Jumping Bomb Angels are expected back in the WWF in January.

-- On 9/5, Dave reported that there was new news on the sale. The sale was actually closer to happening a week ago than now. Everyone is vying for power with the new owners after the sale takes place. It is assumed Dusty Rhodes will remain the booker, but he will also be held far more accountable than he is now. The rumor mill is going crazy and will continue until something happens with the sale.

-- Regarding the news item on Steve Williams, he was arrested on January 4 for attempting to smuggle cocaine, marijuana, mushrooms, barbiturates, and both oral and injectable steroids to Tokyo. He was released on an unsecured $25,000 bond, which means he has to show up for court cases or he must pay the full amount. His Japan tour scheduled to start 10/7 will likely be cancelled, as Doc is not currently allowed to leave the U.S. Because this is a first offense, odds are good he will not have to serve time.

-- Ron Garvin has quit, and Dave hates the way they handled it. They said on TBS that Dusty Rhodes beat him up so bad he put him out of wrestling, which would be fine if he was touring Japan or retiring, but he's going to be on ESPN working for the AWA within a month. He says it made Dusty look like a fool, especially considering Garvin is going to be working spot shows in the Carolinas and will be just fine.

-- Kendall Windham is leaving for WCCW, and no one has a clue why.

-- Flair vs Luger continues to draw big numbers at house shows. 8/26 at the Omni drew 13,700 and a gate of over $100,000. 8/27 in Charlotte drew 16,000.

-- They ran an angle recently where Arn and Tully beat up Bobby Eaton in the dressing room to try to fully turn the MX babyface.

-- Nothing definite on the PPV show, but they have relinquished the 12/26 date. They want to run a show on election night in Chicago, but every arena has turned them down. Jerry Jarrett is telling wrestlers it is his show and he'll book who he wants, while Verne Gagne is telling wrestlers the opposite. Lawler will likely win both belts, and drop one later back to Kerry at a WCCW show.

-- WCCW, the AWA, and CWA are planning on co-promoting a 10/30 show at The Omni in Atlanta, which Dave says spells disaster because even Hogan can't draw in Atlanta, but maybe Michael Hayes can still draw there on a one-time basis.

-- Keiji Muto is in as Super Ninja, and Dave points out no ninjas have gotten over since Kabuki a long, long time prior and Kendo Nagasaki in his early days in Florida, yet every Japanese wrestler who comes in is billed as a ninja.

-- 8/22 in Memphis drew a $15,000 gate headlined by Tommy Rich beating Jerry Lawler by DQ after Lawler decked referee Jerry Calhoun. Cactus Jack wrestled in the show opener against Ray Odyssey, and the show also had a comedy match with Downtown Bruno vs Jamie Dundee, and the best match on the show was a ***1/2 match with Robert Fuller & Jimmy Golden going to a double disqualification against Bill Dundee & Jeff Jarrett. The wrestlers brawled all over the building until the locker room emptied. The crowd was up a few hundred from the 8/15 Lawler vs Kerry double title match.

-- They are heavily promoting a 9/19 show called Renegade Mayhem that will feature all the AWA names, Kerry & Kevin Von Erich, Michael Hayes, and they are stating "NWA wrestlers" Robert Gibson and Ron Garvin will be there as well.

-- 8/27 TV had a Jarrett/Dundee vs Cactus/Young match where Bruno tried to jump off the top rope and hit Dundee with his loaded boot. However, Jamie Dundee came in and took the blow himself and was carted out. Dundee did a great interview about this and later dove over a table at Robert Fuller when he was doing an interview, in an attempt to heat up their feud. This was way too much like the angle in Continental with Pez Whatley's son, but Dave credits them for at least copying good angles when they could be copying the AWA.

-- The Road To Birmingham tournament on 10/3 will feature 10 wrestlers: Bam Bam Bigelow, Tommy Rich, The Bullet, Dirty White Boy, Tom Pritchard, Eddie Gilbert, Bob Orton, Chris Adams, Willie B. Hurt, and Terry Gordy. (My note: This is a pretty awesome line-up.) The original plan was for Lawler to face Bigelow, but Lawler will not be working here anymore. He cancelled all of his dates, so now Memphis and Continental are at war again.

-- Doug Furnas, Johnny Rich, Davey Rich, and Nelson Royal all debuted on FNN/Score. Brian Pillman, JT Southern, and Tim Horner are all headed in as well. Pillman starts 10/1.

-- The final USA Pro show drew close to 4,000 in Knoxville. The first Continental show in Knoxville will be on 9/23.

-- Jerry Stubbs turned heel and will be feuding with Austin Idol starting on 9/3 in Dothan. A few weeks back in a battle royal in Pensacola, Idol had been taken out with ether in a match with Gilbert, but came back for the battle royal and somehow won in the first ring while Stubbs won in the other ring. Idol grabbed the house mic and suggested they not fight and just split the money. Stubbs wanted to fight for it and was cleaning Idol's clock, but Idol lucked out and won anyway. Then on 8/27, it was announced Idol would get a world title shot, which brought Stubbs out to do an interview complaining about how Idol gets everything. Idol responded by saying he didn't want getting the title shot to ruin their friendship, so Stubbs could have the shot himself. Later on the show, during a six-man tag where Idol was teaming with Bullet & Willie B. Hurt against Gilbert, Dutch Mantel, and Paul E. Dangerously, the ref was knocked out and Stubbs came in to referee. In the finish, Idol decked Dangerously, Gilbert posted Hurt and then took out a chain to hit Idol, who ducked and hit him for the pin. Stubbs wouldn't count though, instead taking the chain, decking Idol with it, and putting Gilbert on top for the pin. On 8/28, they brought Idol and Stubbs out to resolve their problems, but Stubbs decked him again.

-- "Nelson Royal looked out of place in this territory with its emphasis on younger wrestlers and exaggerated personalities. Royal's subtle heel, which he does well, doesn't seem strong enough with all the characters running around."

-- 8/21 at Henderson's Arena in Atlanta drew 115 fans headlined by Mr. Wrestling II vs Moondog Spot (Larry Latham) for the Southern title. Dave says Moondog won the title from Chris Adams, but he's unsure a match actually took place to change the title. Dave also praised Ken Timbs for his work against Scott Armstrong on the undercard, saying he just got back from Mexico and did a great job getting the crowd riled up.

-- Dave is unsure who the tag champions are, but lasts he remembers, it's Tommy Rich & Ted Oates. Oates quit the group, so they held a fictional tournament won by Rich and Steve Pritchard.

-- Rival Deep South held a tournament on 8/28 in Marietta to crown a new champion, which is expected to be Randy Rose. Headed in are Dale Veasey, who Dave calls a good worker, and Tony Zane, who is billed as Mr. Atlanta and is feuding with The Assassin. Neither group is doing very well at the gate.

-- Buck Robley left as booker after a falling out with Jerry Blackwell, so Blackwell and Tommy Rich are handling the booking.

-- The usual Saturday show did not take place on 8/27, as the WWF was running Edmonton for the first time possibly ever that night, and drew 13,500 fans headliend by Andre vs Duggan. So, Stampede ran their show on 8/25 in Calgary, where they drew 1,200 fans on the strength of Steve DiSalvo's turn.

-- Makhan Singh is making noise about going to South Africa, where he has previously wrestled as Big Ben Sharp.

-- They ran an angle where Carlos Colon was named Wrestler of the Year at a banquet, but Hercules Ayala stood up ahead of time thinking it was going to be him. Colon then thanked his wife, and Ayala attacked her and beat her up to a point she juiced. WWC suspended him and stripped him of the title, but Colon insisted he be reinstated, and they are scheduled to meet in a fire death match, an idea Dave expects to be copied in the U.S. (My note: Unbelievable he reported the Colon angle without comment.)

-- Buddy Landell won the Carribean title from TNT on 8/13 at Bayamon Stadium.

-- The new series started on 8/20 in Tokyo. Dave says Johnny Ace has potential to be a big star in both the U.S. and Japan. He says he looked great in his highspots, but is still weak on transitions, but he actually looked better than Tom Zenk, who has bulked up a lot. Dave suspects they're being groomed for the tag tournament, and Zenk's dropkicks still look great. He is also unsure what happened with Takano, who looked like he would be a star a couple of years back and is not.

-- Stan Hansen broke down and cried after being Tenryu for the PWF title and the fans started chanting Brody's name. "In Japan, this has turned into almost an Elvis Presley type thing as the magazines are still filled with Brody photos four weeks after his death and on Baba's show they mention his name dozens of times each hour." (My note: Being mentioned in wrestling magazines puts you on par with Elvis?)

-- The new series started on 8/26 at Korauken Hall. They are pushing a big show on 9/5 in Osaka with Vader vs Bigelow and Choshu/Saito vs Fujinami/Koshinaka.

-- New Japan announced they are bringing in Paul Orndorff, John Studd, and King Kong Bundy, although Orndorff said he does not miss wrestling at all and has no intentions to ever return. Dave says Orndorff is doing really well for a guy who has died 200 times over the past three months.

-- Dave finally saw the entire Fujinami/Inoki 60-minute draw and said it would have been a great way for Inoki to go out. He says it wasn't match of the year, but will win in Japan because they always pick long matches that are classics. Dave acknowledges that there was tons of time killing, but also gives Inoki credit for his effort at his age going so long, especially because he was "literally dying for the last 10 minutes". Dave loved the post-match with Choshu putting Inoki on his shoulders and Koshinaka doing the same for Fujinami, and said it almost felt like a passing of the torch, and New Japan making a statement that Fujinami is their new #1 guy.

-- Dave loved the Don Nakaya Neilsen vs Yoshiaki Fujiwara match from Ariake Coliseum. "Neilsen will make one great worker if he decides to become a pro wrestler, even though he doesn't have the body for it (he's got the lean boxer physique rather than the lifter/thick physique)." Dave thinks Fujiwara should have gone over because wrestling should be portrayed as superior to kick boxing.

-- Dave says Keiji Muto works like Bret Hart but is quicker and more agile, but has the same hard style. He says Chono is fine, but is overshadowed by Muto, and Hashimoto seems more preoccupied with pretending to be a shooter than being a good wrestler. "There is a lot of danger in Maeda's popularity because it is the antithesis of what pro wrestling should be and encourages gaining a reputation through cheap-shots, which ruins the business in the long run."

-- Chigusa Nagayo wants to tour the United States in October and is willing to work for any promotion that will have her. She will probably work the 10/15 Cottonbowl show for WCCW. Dave says the only problem is that Leilani Kai is the only U.S. wrestler that could work with her, and she may be free, as the WWF has phased out all women wrestlers except Sherri Martel and Rockin' Robin. Nagayo wants to work against Susan Starr or Rhonda Singh.

-- Nord the Barbarian filed for bankruptcy. He may have to return to wrestling, which he doesn't want to do.

-- A Current Affair is moving forward with a Brody story, but Barbara Goodish refused to be interviewed by them.

-- Wrestler of the Year: Dave thinks Maeda has to win, but also walks through the cases for Randy Savage, Ric Flair, Ted DiBiase, Eddie Gilbert, Owen Hart, and Tatsumi Fujinami.

-- Most Overrated: Dave mentions Dusty Rhodes, Kevin Von Erich, Lex Luger, Brutus Beefcake, Honky Tonk Man, Nikita Koloff, and Ultimate Warrior for this category.

-- Strongest Wrestler: Steve Williams.

-- Most Embarrassing Wrestler: Dusty Rhodes, Ultimate Warrior, and George Steele take this category for Dave. If he watched the AWA, he might say Madusa Miceli.
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