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post #21 of 275 (permalink) Old 07-04-2008, 05:22 PM
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Re: 20 years Ago: Wrestling Observer

Now I've already read these.. I know where you got them from

But I have to say.. it is really strange reading them.. Although I do love when Dave is wrong

Although the best thing I ever read was him reporting Vader's Debut

He misheard his name as "Big Ban BAder" and said that if he lasted more than a month he would be in shock

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post #22 of 275 (permalink) Old 07-09-2008, 10:49 AM Thread Starter
Asking JAMES ELLSWORTH for Wrestling Advice
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Re: 20 years Ago: Wrestling Observer

March 7th, 1988

-- Wrestlemania will actually be longer than 2 1/2 hours, as was originally reported. The WWF reserved four hours of satellite time in two blocks, which means WM IV is budgeted for between 3 1/2 hours and 3 hours, 45 minutes. Dave says with around 17 matches, they'll have a little extra time to work with, and they can also show more clips, have an intermission to plug merchandise and have rest time in between matches for guys who have to work multiple times.

-- Hulk Hogan will be gone after Wrestlemania to film his movie, so he isn't being talked about as someone who will win the tournament. The talk was DiBiase for weeks, but it's known, and Dave agrees, that he can't draw as champion. Dave says it may not matter, because the WWF usually can't draw after Wrestlemania anyway. WM4 may also be profitable enough that they can lose money all summer and still come out ahead. "It's kind of a shame, but there is no question that DiBiase's gimmick is over, but his wrestling ability isn't over. The casual fan doesn't see DiBiase as a great wrestler, in fact, they don't even see him as a good wrestler. While one could make the case that his vulnerability would make him a draw as champion (fans will show up thinking that Savage, Bigelow, Steamboat, etc. can win the title because Ted is beatable) the bottom line is that the belt has no drawing power. While the WWF belt is the 'most over' title in wrestling, people have seen so many champions and so many championship matches that seeing a title change, even a WWF title change, will do very little to up the gate. DiBiase didn't draw in his one week dry run as champion in California (traditionally Titan's hottest corner of the U.S. aside from the Northeast), and his main event last Monday at the Garden with Bam Bam Bigelow drew the smallest MSG crowd in years. Still, nobody but Hogan himself is going to sellout buildings this summer."

-- Dave says because of this, Randy Savage's name is now being mentioned, meaning Savage would have to knock DiBiase off in the semifinals and meet a heel like Andre, Rude or Bravo in the finals. Dave predicts Bravo will go out of the tournament in the first round, and Andre making it to the finals would have to work three times, so that's not happening. So he predicts Savage vs Rude in the finals, with Savage going over. Dave says if they can figure out a way to get Andre into a match where he can do a job for Savage, they'll have succeeded in getting over another babyface at the Hogan level, which would make a lot of sense, but Savage couldn't hold the belt for long because Hogan has to be champ when he comes back, since he'll be promoting a movie.

-- Dave says the latest WWF magazine is showing different brackets than are being shown on television, and from the looks of the bracketing in the magazine, it's possible Savage vs DiBiase will be the final match in the tournament, which means DiBiase would have to face the winner of Hogan/Andre in the semifinals. He predicts Hogan beating Andre, leading to a half dozen guys attacking Hogan, causing a forfeit and allowing DiBiase to win and advance to the finals against Savage.

-- The WWF has had a lot of ads in trade magazines recently, because they're dropping Video One as their TV production company and will be doing production in-house. It's expected the change will take place shortly after Wrestlemania when they take a small break from live cards. Ads were there for a TV play-by-play guy, an interview guy, and a senior producer, so Dave expects personality changes on TV in the near future.

-- 2/22 at MSG was a horrible show and drew less than 10,000, the smallest in five years. The show was headlined by Ted DiBiase vs Bam Bam Bigelow. Dave gave the match **1/2 and said it was the only decent match on the show. Dave thinks DiBiase is the best in the country on his good nights, but he can't touch Ric Flair as a night after night guy. 2/27 in Denver drew a sellout 8,500 headlined by Hogan & Bigelow vs Andre & DiBiase. 2/21 in Providence, RI, drew 3,100 headlined by Brutus Beefcake vs Greg Valentine.

-- The Wichita Eagle Beacon had an article on Harley Race's son Justin on 2/11. He is ranked #2 in Kansas in high school wrestling. Harley Race was quoted in the interview and said his ring career is just about over.

-- Earl Hebner was very lucky in the bump he took on NBC when Hogan threw him over the top rope. He did need four stitches to close a wound on his face, but didn't suffer a concussion or major injuries.

-- It was Bad News's insistence on changing his name, not the WWF's. He was afraid they would trademark his name, and he'd be screwed if he ever left.

-- Ken Osmond (Eddie Haskell on Leave It To Beaver) will be at the Clash of the Champions special on TBS. "I know he's not exactly Vanna White, and unfortunately it makes Crockett's show look like a cheap imitation. They should have avoided the celebrity game, unless they had somebody like Bob Hope or Stallone to blow away Titan." Ric Flair vs Sting will have JJ Dillon in a cage above the ring and three guest judges at ringside to announce a decision if the match goes the full hour. Dave says the question is whether or not the title can change hands based on this decision, because if not, giving a decision win to Sting would accomplish nothing.

-- Dave says it will be very difficult for the Clash to not have more viewers than Wrestlemania because of the power of TBS and the fact that it's free. "If this isn't the most-watched Crockett house show ever, and in fact except for the NBC specials and the Royal Rumble, the most-watched wrestling show of the modern mat era, then Crockett should be very disappointed." Dave says even if they don't hurt the WWF much with the show, and they probably won't, they should get at least a 6 rating out of the Clash. He also says some people think Crockett is suicidal, because last year's WM was such an overwhelming success and JCP just can't offer anything close to that no matter what they do. However, if they put on a hot show, they have a chance to undo some damage from the last two shows. Dave says while house shows have picked up lately due to hot-shotting instead of fixing their problems, a hot show may reverse the negative momentum.

-- Dave apologizes, because he still doesn't have the Road Warrior Animal story completely accurate. He was not injured on 1/29 in Pittsburgh. He was injured a day or two before that, and was a no-show in Pittsburgh.

-- JCP tried to book a show at the Cow Palace. The Cow Palace agreed, until the WWF told them they wouldn't book any shows there if Crockett got a date. Now Crockett probably won't get to run a show there.

-- "For all Titan says about JCP not concerning them and not being competition, they sure are doing actions that speak the opposite. I don't blame them, since JCP would do the same thing in the same situation and I'm sure has in Charlotte and Greensboro, etc., however JCP's chances of being profitable in this market are slim because they don't know how to appeal to California fans to begin with (I wish I didn't have to say this but they've proven this statement over the last year) and why McMahon still would be so paranoid of competition which is a longshot to be profitable shows they are far more insecure than their public image would have you believe."

-- There was a lot of cockiness about putting 20,000 fans in the Omni, and it ended up not happening, as the 2/28 show drew 7,300. Dave says it's not a bad crowd at all considering that Omni shows have been down, but they've been overconfident lately, and they're still having trouble selling non-upper deck tickets. That seems to be a pattern lately on NWA shows. They're selling out the $5.00 cheap seats and can't sell the closer tickets. The show was headlined by Flair, Arn & Tully vs Luger, Dusty & Ole. There is paranoia about the Omni because the WWF is running WM4 there closed-circuit, and they don't want the WWF taking over the market.

-- "Let me tell you, I'm getting tired of getting asked why they are called the Four Horsemen when there are three of them."

-- They had to cancel a show for 2/23 in Asbury Park because they had sold less than 100 tickets the day before the show.

-- 2/19 in Hillsville, VA, drew 900 fans. 2/26 in Cincinnati drew 3,500 fans headlined by Flair vs Sting. 2/27 in Greensboro, NC, drew 10,000 headlined by Flair, Arn & Tully vs Luger, Dusty & Ole. 2/18 in Sioux City, IA, drew a sellout 2,750 fans headlined by Flair vs Dusty. 2/20 in Norfolk drew 8,000 fans headlined by the six-man again.

-- The Fantastics debut at the TBS tapings on 3/2. They're in a weird position, because they told Brody they would work a 3/4 show in St. Louis, but if they do it, they're running opposition to their home company. "But who wants to no-show on a card put together by Brody?"

-- Boston Gardens is allowing the NWA to come back on 4/15, but is only going to allow them to run one show a year.

-- From an anonymous reader:


There once was a promoter named Crockett,
Who watched his promotion take off like a rocket,
His was the best of its day,
The one we called the NWA,
Its angles were hot and the talent was great,
And these were the reasons for so many a big gate.

The champion was a great one named Flair,
To take his title nobody would dare,
The action was heated with plenty of fightin',
Soon Crockett would challenge McMahon and his Titan,
Jim's business was strong, he possessed all the goods,
But he had an egomaniac booker called "Bull of the Woods."

Fat like a whale, whose work was quite rusty,
This scar-headed juice freak also called himself Dusty,
He always put himself over, and formed his own clique,
He created the Horsemen -- Arn, Tully, Lex and Ric.

The angles grew stale and fans got tired of the crew,
So Dusty turned Luger-- a foolish thing to do,
Lex is not a good worker, opponents have to take up his slack,
He's just a musclebound stiff with a human torture rack,
They should've just turned Flair, what a babyface he'd make,
Just chalk up another Dusty mistake.

The UWF Jim Crockett did buy,
Only to destroy all its talent, never give them a try,
First Taylor and Williams, then the Freebird named Hayes,
This goofball Jim Crockett must have been in a daze!
His only salvation was pay-per-view cable,
But Crockett showed the Nassau fans the same tired old stable,
Vince McMahon had a great laugh indeed,
When the fans booed fat Dusty when he won the Stampede.

Egos die hard and wrestlers lose their fire,
But some just simply refuse to retire,
Crockett and Dusty are two of a kind,
Greed and ignorance like theirs simply boggles the mind,
And I never thought that I would live to see the day,
When I would truly disdain the NWA,
The Dream and his cronies have sold themselves short,
And deserve to be second in the great wrestling sport,
Give me Andre and Hogan and all of the rest,
For Titan have proven that it is the best.

-- Latest on the Penthouse/Von Erich story -- A woman named Wanda Lee Nichols is trying to angle herself into a Jessica Hahn-type role. She made headlines recently when she requested that David Bowie submit to an AIDS test in front of her, and she is now claiming to be Mike Von Erich's former lover. Penthouse loves this, because of the potential to sell magazines, but the author hates it, because he feels they have a good story as it is and this may or may not be real. There is speculation that Fritz or someone planted this woman to distract from the story. "Obviously the proposed story has the Von Erichs uneasy to say the least, as a recent story in 'D Magazine' (in which I was quoted saying several nice things about the family, that reporter sure did a job for Fritz) mentioned a few times the families uneasiness about the Penthouse story."

-- "As for the World Class promotion itself, count me in on the list of believers." Michael Hayes is in as booker. Dave says there is no doubt he'll make himself a centerpiece, but he's already created some tremendous television. Hayes arrived on 2/12 and did an interview to plug a concert at the Sportatorium on 3/4. He made it clear he was back only to do a concert, not wrestle. Buddy Roberts, Angel of Death and King Parsons come out afterward. Hayes hugs Roberts and Buddy is thrilled to see him, saying now they can run the Von Erichs out of wrestling. Hayes has been telling people he will not be booked into that feud because it's been run into the ground. He cautiously shook hands with them, and made fun of Iceman Parsons now being called Blackbird by saying "I don't care if he's Blackbird, Dodobird, or whatever, he's still Iceman to me." He then called the Angel of Death a no good son of a bitch, tying in the UWF angle where Angel turned on Hayes the year before. This brought Gordy out. They teased a Hayes/Gordy confrontation, but Gordy said he would back Hayes in whatever he wanted to do and they shook hands. On 2/14, Hayes did another interview plugging the concert, and this time was interrupted by Gary Hart and Al Perez. One thing lead to another, and Hayes ended up punching Gary Hart and Perez then jumped him. They both attacked him until Gordy and Roberts made the save. Later in the show, Roberts, Parsons and Angel were plugging their six-man title defense against Kerry, Kevin and Steve Simpson, and Hayes comes out talking about his match with Perez, yells at Buddy Roberts to shut up, and looks at Angel and says "You got a problem?" Dave says, "I just can't describe how good Hayes is in this type of scenario." A week later, Hayes was out with Ray Wiley Hubbard, a country musician who is his opening act and is well known locally. Marc Lowrance then said everyone knows you're the #1 contender for the AWA title (he totally flubbed the line, because he was supposed to say NWA title), and because of that, WCCW has also decided you're a top contender for our title and you get Al Perez on 3/11 in Dallas, with two stips in the contract: on 2/28, in Ft Worth, Hayes had to have three warm up matches, one of which would be with Angel of Death. Hayes agreed. The second stip is that the winner of the Perez-Hayes match would face the #1 contender in a title match on 3/27 (same day as Clash and WM). That person, of course, is Terry Gordy. He earned the shot by beating Kerry on 2/14 in Fort Worth, but was unavailable on 3/11 due to being in Japan. Hayes paused, but agreed saying business is business or something like that, which brought Roberts and Parsons out. They begged him not to fight Gordy and made it a point to say they would be at the concert to make sure the Von Erichs didn't ruin it. Hayes told them they were being ridiculous, and that the Von Erichs wouldn't do anything like that. They argued back and forth, Hayes told Buddy to shut up, and finally, after more arguing, ended up slapping him. They teased a confrontation, but didn't follow through, as Roberts just said again, "Don't worry. I'll be there so the Von Erichs can't interfere in the concert."

-- "So that's where we stand today. These are the kind of angles that make it fun to be a wrestling fan. Now Ken Mantell proved both in World Class and in the UWF that he has no peer when it comes to putting together exciting television shows. And obviously from this angle, Hayes is a creative booker. However, what did the UWF in under Mantell and Hayes was a lack of organization when it came to live shows. They probably can turn Dallas and Fort Worth around. I don't know if they can turn Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, etc. around or not. But if they start thinking that they've gotten strong enought o challenge Crockett on a national basis, that may be their undoing."

-- They're doing lots of gimmicks and stips in matches to try to build the houses. They did "the stupidest thing I've ever seen in wrestling" when the Fantastics went to a draw with John Tatum and Jack Victory on 2/14, and they resolved the draw by drawing from a deck of cards. They're also doing a Royal Rumble ripoff called Texas Roundup. They tried to do legit times, unlike the WWF which rushes it, and John Tatum ended up being late and causing a long and awkward delay in the match, because the wrestlers needed him to move to the next part of the match. They're also doing more swearing and "bare-ass stuff".

-- "The TV has picked up immensely as of late. Last week's show had a Badstreet Match with Kevin & Kerry vs Gordy & Roberts which was a four-star match."

-- "And Mark Lowrance became the front-runner for the 1988 Bill Mercer Award for Extemporaneous Speaking with this gem from last week in a discussion with Frank Dusek (now working with Mantell in the front office). They were talking about the Thunderdome matches in which when a guy gets pinned, he gets handcuffed to the cage. Lowrance noted that even though a guy is handcuffed to the cage, he could still fight back with his one free hand. Dusek responded, 'Would you like to fight Kerry Von Erich with one arm handcuffed?' And the brilliant Lowrance responded, 'I wouldn't want to fight him with both arms handcuffed.'"

-- Bruiser Brody will be at the 5/1 show at Texas Stadium.

-- Memphis has a hot angle of its own with Eddie Gilbert. He returned to Memphis on 2/22 during the Jerry Lawler vs Tommy Rich main event. Dave says it was actually Doug Gilbert, but bear with him. Rich and Gilbert double-teamed Lawler, and Tommy Gilbert finally came down to help. This brought out Eddie Marlin, who was part of a tag team with Tommy Gilbert in the 60s and 70s, to tell Tommy to get his son out of the ring. At that point, Tommy attacked Marlin and they started brawling. Lawler starts his comeback after that and is beating on both Rich and Gilbert when Eddie Gilbert comes out and throws a fireball in Lawler's eyes. The place went crazy. Dave says he had two calls the following morning telling him how perfect it was. Right now, Lawler is selling the injury to build a gate for the feud a few weeks down the road. The show drew 4,500.

-- The Bruise Brothers (the version that later became Jacob & Eli Blue, DOA, and Creative Control) won the tag titles in a big upset. They remind Dave of Ron Fuller when he started, and they're terribly green and only have about two years of experience.

-- Steve Keirn is returning as a babyface to feud with Eddie Gilbert in Lawler's absence, and Ricky Morton and Manny Fernandez will be having a singles feud to revive their old NWA rivalry.

-- The 2/19 TV taping in Las Vegas drew 2,000 fans.

-- Pat Tanaka and Paul Diamond are supposed to be going back to Memphis until the AWA resumes on 3/19.

-- Ch. 20 in San Francisco announced they were dropping the AWA "forever".

-- 2/19 drew 800 fans, a near sellout, and they're still running a smaller building because of the Olympics. Dave calls it a good number, considering so much is going on in Calgary.

-- Owen Hart returns on 2/26 to restart his feud with Makhan Singh. Dave says that should on paper be such a mismatch because of the difference in size and opposite styles, but every match Dave has seen them in has been good, and some have been great.

-- Brad Rheingans is coming in, and Dave says if he's willing to learn, he could be more effective than you'd think, but he needs to learn the style.

-- They are hinting about Steve Williams coming in, but it probably won't happen, although Dave thinks Doc vs Steve DiSalvo matches would be great.

-- 2/27 in Edmonton drew 925 fans and a $7,500 gate to see the Stampede MOTY: a 45 minute 10 man bunkhouse elimination match, where Makhan Singh, Steve DiSalvo, Gama Singh, Akam Singh & Jerry Morrow faced Bruce Hart, Wayne Hart, Owen Hart, Jason the Terrible & Brian Pillman. Dave has heard it called ****1/2 by those who attended live.

-- The reason Mr. Hito hasn't been working lately is because he found work as a Japanese tour guide for tourists and journalists covering the Olympics.

-- Makhan Singh has a reputation for bringing real life news stories into all of his interviews. City Hall in Calgary made a big fuss before the Olympics, and insisted Singh not say anything negative about it in his promos.

-- There are problem with Ed Whalen. He cuts off any match on TV that gets violent or bloody. As a result, the most heated angles are not shown on television, which is why most think Edmonton has the better shows.

-- Devil Masami and Dump Matsumoto want to work Stampede. Devil Masami has already moved to Calgary, and Dump Matsumoto is being talked about to feud with Rhonda Singh.

-- They still want to bring in Ric Flair to defend the NWA title against Owen Hart, but it would cause problems since Stu is a WWF agent for Calgary shows, and Crockett would have to lose Flair on two weekend shows.

-- They're now running the following feuds: Scott Hall vs Lord Humongous, Robert Fuller & Jimmy Golden vs Southern Boys, Larry Hamilton vs Frankie Lancaster, Danny Davis vs Tony Anthony and Tom Pritchard vs Jonathan Boyd.

-- They were negotiating to bring Akira Maeda back, but things fell through. He was suspended after throwing a legit kick at Riki Choshu and breaking two bones in his eye. There was a contract dispute because they wanted him to take a 15% pay cut, and Maeda refused the pay cut. He also refused to tour the US when it was requested. Then, they wanted him to tour Mexico, which he also refused. They have taken him out of the TV opening and removed him from all promotional materials. The reason for the pay cut is that New Japan is having to cut back on expenses because of lost TV revenue with the change in time slot.

-- Hiroshi Hase seems to be having a banner year, creating new moves in every match and standing out. Dave says the NJ juniors put on the best matches in the world, but they all beat each other all the time, so none stand out.

-- The latest series began on 2/20 before a sellout of 2,050 at Korauken Hall in Tokyo. Stan Hansen and Terry Gordy won the tag tournament by beating Jumbo Tsuruta and Yoshiaki Yatsu in 6:37. Yatsu took his first pinfall in a year. It was also the first clean loss for Jumbo and Yatsu as a tag team. It was also Gordy's first major win over a Japanese main eventer, in an attempt to establish him on the level of Brody, Hansen and Abdullah.

-- Dave praises Joe and Dean Malenko. He says their style, which he compares to that of Lou Thesz, would go over the heads of US fans, and that they appear to have gotten over by working a different style than everyone else. Dave cites the Jumping Bomb Angels and British Bulldogs in the WWF as two teams that were over huge at first, but became just like everyone else because they were forced to change their style.

-- Hiroshi Wajima is out of action with a stress fracture of the neck. It's a result of too many clotheslines. He'll be out for two months or so, which is why Shunji Takano is in as a babyface.

-- Kawada and Fuyuki have started doing aerobics training and are working 20-25 minutes of nothing but highspots in most matches, and says as hard as it is to believe, they may be the best tag team in the world. He says they blow away Strike Force, the Islanders, and even Arn and Tully.

-- TV ratings have picked up slightly to decent levels.

-- The biggest wrestling event of the week has to be the retirement of Dump Matsumoto. Her last match was set for the Monday night after press time, and the card was not going to be taped for television. Her last TV appearance was taped as part of Yukari Omori's retirement card, where they teamed against the Crush Girls in Kawasaki. Dave says he should have details on that next week.

-- Wrestling USA, an amateur magazine, had a feature about forming a legit pro wrestling league, called the National Wrestling League (NWL). They plan on putting together 8 to 12 wrestling teams in major cities around the country, starting in November. November is the starting date so Olympic eligibility will not be affected, and they're hoping the Summer Olympics will give them some momentum if the U.S. takes home the gold. They are based out of Chicago. Dave does not think amateur wrestling is marketable, and is the reason pro wrestling is pro wrestling, but he does wish them luck, which he suspects they will need. Dave says he can recall two attempts at this within the last decade, both of which failed.

-- Dave reviewed a book called Drawing Heat:

"When I first started reading the book, I got bored in a hurry. I first found it outdated, focusing on personalities that were no longer a part of the business. The book itself by Jim Freedman was taken from his traveling on the road with David McKigney (the Canadian Wildman) and his independent troupe in Ontario in 1981. That was part of the problem. It was seven years old and wrestling has changed so much in the last seven years that it isn't the same. But after getting midway through the book, I realized, as a wrestling book this wasn't much. None of today's personalities and news items are touched. The beginning seeds of the promotional war were there, and McKigney did make some very prophetic statements about where the business was headed. This is more a book about McKigney, a small-time promoter trying to survive when in reality, he had no chance to survive, and about the big boys, basically being Jack Tunney, who takes his orders from Vince McMahon, setting out to destroy him even though he really wasn't even competition to them. As a book about McKigney, it made fascinating reading. The analysis of The Sheik (Ed Farhat) was excellent as well. My favorite part, however, was Freedman's inability to accept the wrestlers' disdain for their audience and their need to believe that fans believed it was real and that if the fans didn't believe it was real that wrestling would be destroyed. McKigney, who comes off as the hero of the book, basically didn't care what the fans knew, figuring if he put on good shows they'd come back and if he put on bad shows, it didn't matter how well kept the secrets of the business were. He even got into the news networking of the bulletin world in 1981 bringing up Terry Justice's bulletin and Elio Zarlenga's. He said Zarlenga was mercilessly judgmental and a riot to read. I bring this up because Zarlenga (who last I heard worked for Titan) and Norm Dooley did bulletins that were the basic prototype for the Observer. I think that many of you would be bored by this book, but there are also many of you that would find it fascinating reading. Anyway, of all the commercially released books on wrestling, even though this is very much dated, it is the most intelligently written and by far the best that I've seen."

-- Bubba Rogers is looking for independent work. He got caught in the middle of the JCP/WWF war. He left the NWA to work for the WWF while still under contract to the NWA. They threatened to block his jump. The WWF is afraid of a legal battle and won't be using him now, and he can't earn any money until May. Dave says it's doubtful Crockett would take legal action against an independent, but he could legally.

-- Awesome! JEFF LYNCH has a letter on the letters page talking about how he just purchased his first VCR and is interested in watching a lot of Japanese wrestling.

NOTE: Dave said at the beginning of this issue that this was a slow news week, but I personally think this was the best WON yet.
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post #23 of 275 (permalink) Old 07-09-2008, 10:57 AM
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Re: 20 years Ago: Wrestling Observer

Thanks for posting.

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post #24 of 275 (permalink) Old 07-09-2008, 12:03 PM
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Re: 20 years Ago: Wrestling Observer

This is really interesting stuff.

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post #25 of 275 (permalink) Old 07-09-2008, 12:26 PM
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Re: 20 years Ago: Wrestling Observer

This is very interesting. I think it's nice seeing how the WWF and NWA were back in the day. It seems all the reports about Dusty Rhodes were worse than what I've heard.

"-- The Cuban Assassin showed up for the Wichita, KS, TV tapings. Bad News Brown saw him and started chasing him around with a chair. Something apparently happened a few months prior in Calgary where both wrestlers (and their wives) had some type of fight."

I hear this was mentioned in Bret Hart's book, but I'm not sure what the fight was about.
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post #26 of 275 (permalink) Old 07-10-2008, 03:52 PM
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Re: 20 years Ago: Wrestling Observer

Thank you so much!
I hope there's more to come!
thank you again!
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post #27 of 275 (permalink) Old 07-10-2008, 05:28 PM
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Re: 20 years Ago: Wrestling Observer

Thank you so much for this. Repped!
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post #28 of 275 (permalink) Old 07-11-2008, 09:50 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 20 years Ago: Wrestling Observer

March 14th, 1988

-- Dave starts off with the most ... homely looking version of the Wrestlemania IV brackets possible. I wish I had Fast Stone Capture at home so I could show you all a copy of it.

-- Dave says Hogan, Savage and DiBiase are the only possible winners of the tournament at this point, and that while most people think Savage or DiBiase, he doesn't think you can rule Hogan out, although he has a lesser chance than the other two.

-- Dave says because the bracketing has changed, something has gone "afoul" in their original plans, and he isn't sure what.

-- Gladys Knight and the Pips will perform "America the Beautiful" at the beginning of the show.

-- Bruno Sammartino has left the WWF. He received an offer for a company involved in promotion of a national 900 number wrestling hotline which paid more than his job as color commentator. He had been unhappy with the current state of wrestling and didn't like the direction it was going. There were also problems because the WWF never pushed David Sammartino. Dave says the truth is that when Bruno retired in 1981, he had no intentions of ever coming back, but came back to help David's career. Since the comeback drew some big crowds, pressure was put on him to do more and more appearances. He also filled in for Duggan, Jake Roberts, and Ken Patera when they were suspended or injured. He reinjured his back but still made every show through August. He decided at that point he was done even though the WWF still wanted him to wrestle in the Northeast to try to boost house show attendance. Bruno and Vince's problems started because Bruno felt credibility in wrestling was very important, and he didn't like Vince's promotional tactics. Bruno also often refers to his track record of drawing consistent sellouts in arenas where Vince now draws 3,000 to 5,000. "The funny thing is wrestling probably would be better off if McMahon at least tried not to insult credibility at all costs, but that's a subject we beat to death in 1985."

-- 3/5 at the Cow Palace drew 8,500 headlined by Hogan & Duggan vs DiBiase & Virgil, a show Dave attended live. 3/5 in Irvine, CA, drew 500 fans headlined by DiBiase vs Duggan. They had just run LA the day before, which is why the crowd was so small. 3/5 in Boston drew 11,000 headlined by Randy Savage & Strike Force vs the Honky Tonk Man & Hart Foundation. 2/26 in Hollywood, FL, drew 10,000 headlined by Ted DiBiase vs Randy Savage. 2/8 in Clinton, NY drew 450 fans headlined by Killer Bees vs Bolsheviks. "This isn't even a C Team!" an outraged Meltzer said. 2/29 in Utica, NY drew 3,228 headlined by Duggan vs One Man Gang where both no-showed, and instead the main event was the Junkyard Dog & George Steele vs The Bolsheviks. 3/6 in Los Angeles drew 4,000 fans, the lowest drawing Hogan crowd ever in LA. He teamed with Duggan against Virgil and DiBiase.

-- The Iron Sheik is already fired, which may be a record.

-- Adrian Adonis is trying to get back in.

-- NBC has agreed to do five SNMEs in 1988, and one prime time special in the 1988-89 TV season.

-- The syndicated TV ratings have the NWA ratings increasing because the TBS viewership is not counted. The NWA ranked 6th with an 8.9 national rating on 185 stations, ranking just behind the WWF, fifth with an 11.4 rating on 258 stations. Dave says the ratings aren't completely accurate because of the way they're tabulated, but they're significant nonetheless because they determine ad rates.

-- Road Warrior Animal is back working with a mask.

-- 3/4 in Pittsburgh drew 3,000 fans. 3/4 in Houston also drew 3,000 fans headlined by Flair vs Sting. 3/6 in St. Louis drew 5,700 fans headlined by Flair vs Sting.

-- Steve Williams now wants to return. Nikita Koloff says he has no plans of returning.

-- Dusty Rhodes did a horrible interview where he told viewers if they didn't watch the Clash, he would remember and that on Christmas, he would come down their chimney and beat up their kids. Dave thinks he meant it as comedy, but he's gotten lots of calls from people asking if he finally lost his mind.

-- The Von Erichs were on The 700 Club, "alternating occasional truth with a few major lies and minor fibs."

-- Legends of WCCW has started airing on ESPN, and is basically chronicling Kevin and Kerry in the pre-Freebird era. They also have a trivia contest where for some reason, the answer to practically every question is either the Von Erichs or Ken Mantell. "One of the questions even was asking where and when did David die, which as someone explained to me is almost like a parody of the silliness of the family based promotion and the exploitation of the very real tragedies and trying to feed overblown egos."

-- The latest on the Penthouse story is that it's scheduled for the July issue.

-- Kerry Von Erich won the WCCW title on 3/6 in Dallas from Al Perez. It was originally going to be Hayes, but Hayes was "injured" earlier in the card and couldn't wrestle. The concert drew 2,000 fans. Terry Taylor beat Matt Borne on 2/26 in Dallas to win the Texas title. The Simpsons won the Wild West tag titles from Tatum & Victory on 2/29 in Fort Worth.

-- The Texas Stadium show is now on 5/8 and is probably going to have some sort of Freebirds vs Von Erichs match on top. Talk of Flair vs Kerry Von Erich has cooled off.

-- At the concert, the big angle was that Hayes was about to sing Willie Nelson's "My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys." He dedicated the song to David Von Erich and invited his brothers on stage. This brought Iceman Parsons out to argue with Hayes. Buddy Roberts then comes out and the Von Erichs get into it. Buddy tries to hit Kerry with a guitar, but Buddy ducks and he ends up knocking Hayes cold.

-- "You aren't going to believe this, but they've got Sputnik Monroe in feuding with Billy Wicks. I thought Eddie Marlin feuding with Tommy Gilbert was outrageous but this is out of control. Wicks apparently was the big star in Memphis before Jackie Fargo (we are talking of the 1950s) and Sputnik is a legendary heel of the business from the late 1950s and early 1960s and lasted through around 1973."

-- Manny Fernandez is gone again, this time fired for missing shows. The Samoans quit just before they were going to win the tag titles. Bill Dundee has left for Knoxville after all, where he will be a babyface. The Rock & Roll Express are also gone, and Steve Keirn isn't coming back this week. As a result, the 3/7 card only had 15 wrestlers, and had quite a few of them wrestling twice. The key matches are Jeff Jarrett vs a heel Shawn Michaels, Marty Jannetty vs Billy Travis, and then Michaels & Jannetty vs Jarrett & Travis later on the show with no time limit and no DQ. The 2/29 show drew 3,500 fans, a good number for a show without Lawler.

-- "Manager Brother Ernest Angel got off a nice line saying the problem with the TV evangelists is that they can't keep their flies up in reference to Jimmy Swaggart, and it went on TV like that, which I guess is the beauty of live television."

-- Dundee was wrestling Ken Wayne on 02/29 when the Gilbert family all rushed the ring and attacked him. They are now claiming they've run Dundee, Keirn and Lawler out of the territory, to leave the door open for Dundee to return as a babyface and team with Lawler against the Gilberts.

-- Eddie Gilbert and Missy Hyatt have been taking over the Jerry Lawler Show.

-- They lost TV in Jackson, TN, where they always drew well until about a year prior.

-- 3/5 in Jonesboro, AR before 737 (a huge crowd for Jonesboro) was headlined by Jerry Lawler vs Eddie Gilbert in a **** match.

-- The 2/20 card in Edmonton drew 1,080, considered a great house since TV was cancelled and there were no newspaper ads. 2/26 in Calgary drew 850 fans, another packed house, on the next to last night of the Olympics.

-- Owen Hart missed two weeks after his Japanese tour because he injured his back taking a guard rail bump in New Japan.

-- Gary Albright will be coming in as Makhan Singh's brother, using the name Vulcan Singh.

-- The Rock & Roll Express and Eddie Gilbert are scheduled to appear on the 3/17 show in Kansas City.

-- Dave Peterson regained the held up Central States title beating Cuban Assassin on 2/18 in Kansas City. Also, Masa Chono won their World title on 02/26 by beating Mike George in St. Joseph.

-- The 2/26 show drew 738 fans.

-- They are running two shows per week. The wrestlers are starving.

-- Billy Jack Haynes is only interested in guys 280 lbs and up for his startup promotion. Bill Alfonso will be his referee.

-- Buddy Rose talked to Don Owen about coming back, but nothing is coming out of it.

-- 2/29 in Birmingham, AL, drew 600 fans. The bait-and-switch tactics have continued, as Larry Hamilton was a no-show for his match with Scott Hall, and two other matches didn't even take place although all four guys were at the show. 2/16 in Columbus, MS, drew 1,662 fans.

-- Masa Saito is returning and stated on television he would be bringing in Riki Choshu as his partner, and that they would challenge the Rockers, which surprised everyone.

-- Verne Gagne has been talking to Mike Graham about re-opening a promotion in Florida. He was also spotted at the GLOW show in Houston on 02/26, which at 3,500 fans actually outdrew recent WWF and NWA house shows headlined by big matches like Hogan vs DiBiase and Flair vs Sting.

-- Olympia from GLOW is coming in to feud with Madusa Miceli. "I guess Verne was looking over to see if he can bring someone in who looks better and can wrestle worse than Miceli. Well, if it gives him something to keep himself busy."

-- It's not certain that Adrian Adonis will return when his ankle heals. In fact, he probably won't. He was very upset about the injury, and Verne Gagne cut off his weekly guarantee at the end of December. This was just before a trip to Japan. So he lost out on two weeks in Japan and now has no guarantee. He asked Verne for help while he's recovering, and was turned down.

-- They're now running 5 to 7 shows every two weeks in Georgia. They taped 3 hours of TV on 3/6 in Marietta before a sellout 620 fans.

-- The second annual Gillette Cup took place on 2/27 in San Juan and drew 17,000 fans, which was actually considered a disappointing crowd. The show was built around a tournament, of which the finals were Afa vs Carlos Colon.

-- "I've had a chance to watch a ton of tape from here. None of the Puerto Rican wrestlers except TNT could be classified as even average workers. The bouts are slow-paced, although the ones with the likes of Brody and Abdullah and lots of the rest can be extremely bloody. Still, judging from their success, they can't be faulted because they are apparently delivering a product that their audience likes. The audience is a rabid one and I guess they probably have the highest percentage of fans who truly believe as any promotion around this neck of the world which is why emotions and heat run high and they have some huge crowds at baseball stadium spectaculars."

-- The new series started on 02/29 at Korauken Hall in Tokyo before a small crowd. They officially announced that Akira Maeda has been fired, and so the question now is if Maeda even has a future in wrestling. Dave expects someone will try to start a new promotion with Maeda as the top star, possibly also attempting to lure Satoru Sayama back, but that they would need TV.

-- The next tour starts on 4/1 with Vader, Scott Hall, Steve Casey, Villano III, and Manny Fernandez all scheduled to appear.

-- In the 2/23 issue of Tokyo Sports, they had a front page story stating Hiroshi Wajima would have to retire because of a neck injury, but Wajima insists he will be back wrestling. Dave is told he'll be out several months.

-- The next series begins on 03/25. Abdullah the Butcher, Tiger Jeet Singh, Bruiser Brody, Jimmy Snuka, Tom Magee, Austin Idol, Tommy Rich, Fred Ottman and George Skoaland are scheduled to be on the tour.

-- 2/27 TV taping drew 3,050 fans. 2/21 in Maoka drew a sellout 2,100 fans. 2/22 in Fukaya drew 1,650 fans. 2/24 in Matsuzaka drew 2,100 fans.

-- In 1987, AJPW averaged 3,192 fans per show. By comparison, New Japan averaged 3,003 fans per show.

-- Dump Matsumoto has officially retired. Her final match happened on 2/28. She beat Bull Nakano and Condor Saito in a handicap match. Her retirement was such a big deal that Fuji TV Network ran a 30-minute TV special of her career, showing her early matches and big feuds. Dave thinks without Dump, they are going to lose so much and that TV ratings are probably going to drop quite a bit for AJW.

-- JWP drew 1,900 to Tokyo on 02/27 for the opening of their series.

-- 02/27 in Hanno drew 1,445 fans.

-- Sports Illustrated ran a story on Hiroshi Wajima. The story had been on hold since November of 1986.

Last edited by tlk23; 07-14-2008 at 03:35 PM.
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post #29 of 275 (permalink) Old 07-11-2008, 10:26 AM
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Re: 20 years Ago: Wrestling Observer

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post #30 of 275 (permalink) Old 07-14-2008, 03:34 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 20 years Ago: Wrestling Observer

March 21st, 1988

-- Dave starts by making his predictions for Wrestlemania IV, first giving the disclaimer that he doesn't know any of the results, and if he did, he wouldn't make any predictions. Hogan, Savage, and DiBiase are the only ones Dave gives any chance of winning, and no one else in the tournament is strong enough to carry the title, "or have problems from their past that Titan is afraid of coming out should they be placed in the public spotlight." Dave is able to make some eliminations based on the fact that they have already done their first post-WM TV taping, and Andre the Giant, Hacksaw Duggan, Butch Reed, Don Muraco, and Bam Bam Bigelow were all there, with none of them wearing the belt. Jake Roberts, Greg Valentine, One Man Gang, and Dino Bravo can be ruled out because they aren't really pushed that hard and he suspects they won't make it past the first round. Rude and Steamboat are guys who he sees having more than one match, but obviously not winning. The brackets were changed to ensure Savage in the finals recently. Also, the latest issue of WWF Magazine, weeks before the show mind you, has a photo of Elizabeth, accompanied by the caption: "Elizabeth, manager of the World Wrestling Federation Champion Randy 'Macho Man' Savage." Dave wonders if this is a red herring, a misprint, bad proofreading, or a clue. Dave also got a letter from a reader who insists at the previous Wednesday's TV taping that he looked through the curtain and saw Savage doing a promo while carrying the belt. "So much for the honor of kay-fabing the public. His final prediction is Savage, because he says if he's wrong, so are a lot of other people.

-- Regarding HTM/Beefcake, Dave guarantees this match won't win any MOTY honors. "Honkeytonk has bizarre talents, but none of them have anything to do with wrestling (that sometimes forgotten art form of putting together exciting pro style matches)." Dave says Beefcake has no talent he has ever been able to find, and he's been watching him for years. Dave thinks he's a teacher's pet, but also says that the Barber gimmick is one that has gotten him more over than anyone would have expected. Dave says the main clue of a title change is that the scheduled Honky Tonk Man Coliseum Video release has been replaced with a Beefcake video, and that it's well known that HTM is in the doghouse for refusing to job at the NBC taping on 2/5. Dave predicts HTM "will no longer be the worst Intercontinental champion of all time. Then again, I remember Pedro Morales ..."

-- Regarding the Islanders & Bobby Heenan vs Koko B Ware & the Bulldogs, Dave says it's amazing that Dynamite Kid made the comeback he did when his career was ruled over a year earlier. He says the WWF acknowledging it would have resulted in the Bulldogs being over as a team again, but that the WWF didn't seem to want them to get over again, but rather want to get Matilda over, which they have. The drawing point of this match is Matilda's return, and a likely spot where Bobby Heenan gets chased around the ring. Dave predicts the Bulldogs will win in the end.

-- Regarding Demolition vs Strike Force, Dave thinks it will be a "semi-fun" match. Dave mentions Strike Force being booed recently at the Cow Palace. "Is the matinee idol look out? Is ugly in? Is being a good tag team out? Is wrestling skill out? Demolition isn't a great team. I don't even think they are all that good of a team, but they are certainly not a bad team. Dave's prediction is that "Every time the tag team title has been on the line at WM, it has changed hands. This will make it a hat trick."

-- Regarding "Anabolic Warrior" vs Hercules, Dave says it's the stuff nightmares are made of. "Is this what pro wrestling will be like in the 1990s?" Dave says Hercules has had two good matches in two straight Wrestlemanias, which puts him in company of only Ricky Steamboat, who has two top-notch WM performances coming into this year. Dave says "If Harley Race, one of the greatest performers this business has ever seen, is unable to carry this amazingly popular blend of chemicals, face paint, and a lifetime of praying to the God Arnold in Gold's Gyms across the country, past the one star level, then Hercules will have to put on the match of his life to make this one good." Dave's final prediction? "Neither man will live to see 50." (OUCH! He was half right, I guess.)

-- Regarding the battle royal, Dave ponders if Bret Hart can single-handedly make a bad concept work. Dave thinks anyone can win, but will likely be a babyface. "George Steele won't get in the ring. Paul Roma and Jim Powers will smile a lot. Junkfood Dog won't do anything. If Sam Houston doesn't win, he'll take the best bump going out. Harley Race's bump will be the second best."

-- Hulk Hogan is scheduled to take time off following Wrestlemania to do a movie and spend time with his wife, as they are expecting their first child.

-- WM IV sold out over the past week. Dave says one could make the point that last year's show sold more than 90,000 tickets and sold out roughly as far as in advance of this show in which the paid attendance will probably be around 13,500 fans. However, Michigan was blacked out of both cable and PPV for WM III, so either you went to the show live or you had to drive all the way to Toledo, OH, to watch it. This year, they have 8 closed circuits in NYC alone, 8 more in New Jersey, another closed circuit at the Spectrum in Philadelphia, and PPV everywhere. Tickets were also much more expensive this time. For WM 3, the average paid ticket price was $16.50. The top price was $100, but the place was flooded with $9 seats. This year, the best tickets go for $150 and there are 55 rows priced at $100. They're still expected to do a $1 million gate.

-- The big post-WM feud will be Duggan vs Andre. The angle was shot on 3/9 in Winston-Salem, NC before a sellout of 9,000 fans. During an interview, Duggan tries to interrupt Andre and DiBiase. Andre beats up Duggan, headbutts him off the stage, and Duggan has to be held back from charging. The next week, Andre has a match with Brian Costello, and Duggan runs in. Andre gets the advantage and starts choking Duggan, who bleeds heavily from the mouth, but he gets the 2 x 4 and knocks Andre out with it. They bring out a stretcher to carry Andre away, and he revives, goes berzerk, and chases Pat Patterson all the way to the dressing room.

-- The biggest surprise at the TV taping was the appearance of Owen Hart. He appeared using his real name as a jobber. Later in the taping, he wrestled Hercules and got some offense, which the crowd loved, but submitted in the end. Dave doesn't understand the rationale behind bringing Owen Hart in only to do jobs.

-- Vince was embarrassed by the Hogan/Andre NBC rating, as he had claimed publicly beforehand that it would be the highest rated prime time television show not only of the week, but of the entire television season.

-- Bruno Sammartino has quit to work for Lou Albano's new 900-line. Bruno hated the modern version of the WWF, claiming wrestling should treat its fans as intelligent people and try to maintain credibility, and he was also bitter about David never being given a push. When he left, Linda McMahon called him and told him he was not allowed to use his name in any outside business ventures, because the WWF had trademarked the name, which Bruno didn't exactly react to all that well. (My note: I never realized Bruno was a gimmick name.) On 3/9, David was wrestling in Watertown, NY. He allegedly went after a fan who was heckling him and threw him out of his chair. The WWF then fired David. Later in the issue, Dave says all charges have been dropped.

-- In Nashville, before the 3/12 SNME, they did a ticket giveaway to ensure a full house where anyone who could name two WWF wrestlers who receive two free tickets. Reader Jeff Bowdren gave the Savage/DiBiase match ****1/2 and called it the best match of the year so far.

-- 3/6 in San Diego drew 3,500 headlined by Duggan vs DiBiase. 3/12 in Philly drew 10,731 headlined by Hogan vs DiBiase in a "terrible lumberjack match".

-- Mark Young, son of Chief Jay Strongbow, appeared at the last TV taping.

-- The WWF plans on raiding the NWA's roster in May because they're mad about them running the Clash.

-- Dave says Ric Flair wins the line for best overstatement in terms of hype, calling the Clash the biggest sporting spectacular in the history of television. Dave compares this to the WWF and their "What The World Is Watching" and laughs, saying their "world" is 37 states and 7 Canadian provinces. Regarding Flair/Sting, Dave predicts a 20+ minute match with lots of nearfalls. "Ric somehow will get caught before he can jump off the top rope. In other words, this match will be exactly as expected. I'm not complaining, it still could be the best match of either card. But do you know of anybody who is really excited about seeing this match? Prediction: Flair will get destroyed. He won't lose the title. The finish will be something we've all seen dozens of times. Whooo."

-- Regarding the battle of the barbed wire, Dave expects lots of blood, otherwise, why are Dusty Rhodes and Ivan Koloff there. Dave thinks the babyfaces will win, with Ivan Koloff doing the job, and most fans except the juice freaks will be disappointed.

-- Regarding the tag title match, Dave thinks it will be ***1/2 or better. "You've got three of the best workers in the NWA and a fourth who has improved to the point it would be no problem to at least hold up his end of things. Prediction: Luger will have the best physique on the card. A title change wouldn't surprise me here. But if not, the heels will get DQ'd. The latter is the more likely prospect."

-- Regarding the Midnight Express/Fantastics match, Dave thinks there will be tons of highspots and lots of effort from everyone involved. Dave thinks Jim Cornette has done too many interviews talking about the length of time the MX have had the belts to not do a title change, and he also thinks the Fans need to be put over big and fast, because of the tough road ahead of them. "Lots of fans don't like little guys, especially cocky little guys. The Rock & Roll Express fans will be divided. Some will like them anyway, but some will view them as replacements so they'll get cheered, but won't be 'over'. Of course The Fantastics really are a good team, so maybe they'll overcome all that. "A title change here seems the most logical thing they could do. Even so, I'm picking a title change."

-- Regarding Garvin/Rotunda, Dave has no prediction other than that Rotunda will break the rules and Kevin Sullivan will do something dastardy. Dave expects a hot angle.

-- Regarding Larry Zbyszko vs Shane Douglas, Dave calls the match "two guys on the road to nowhere".

-- The lineup for the Crockett Cup will be announced at the Clash. Dave has heard they will be as follows:

1. Tully Blanchard & Arn Anderson
2. Dusty Rhodes & Nikita Koloff
3. Road Warriors
4. Midnight Express
5. Powers of Pain
6. Lex Luger & Barry Windham
7. The Fantastics
8. Rick Steiner & Mike Rotunda
9. Sting & Ron Garvin (Managed by Magnum TA)
10. Ivan Koloff & Dick Murdoch

-- No big name outside team is scheduled to be part of the tournament, because the Von Erichs and Inoki won't allow them to come, do the job, and be unseeded on top of that. They are dropping hints about teams from Puerto Rico and Japan, but Dave has heard nothing. But he does expect the Lighting Express, Sheepherders, Shane Douglas & Ricky Santana, Kevin Sullivan & Larry Zbyszko, and Ron Simmons & Jimmy Garvin as teams. Because of all the jobber teams, Dave expects the first round to be squashes. With Steve Williams returning, Dave is hoping we can finally get that NWA/UWF unification match on the second night, although Dave has heard one of the babyfaces will pull out of the tournament to get the title shot.

-- Dave got lots of calls wondering how Jim Cornette got away with saying "beating meat" on TV

-- Ted Turner will be starting a new network in October called TNT with lots of sports and MGM movies. Wrestling may switch to TNT.

-- 3/5 TV tapings drew a sellout 4,600 fans. 3/12 in Baltimore drew 8,000 fans and a $91,000 gate headlined by Flair vs Sting.

-- Dave is told a Norfolk match between the Midnight Express and Fantastics on 3/12 was an MOTYC and will air on TV soon

-- Memphis is using the Observer for an angle, as Jerry Jarrett appeared on TV giving Lance Russell an announcer of the year plaque "for the fourth straight year." Eddie Gilbert and Missy Hyatt came out and started arguing with Jarrett. Jerry Lawler was doing an interview by phone explaining that he still doesn't have a doctor's release. They started building up the upcoming Gilbert/Steve Keirn main event, an argument broke out, and Eddie Gilbert ended up throwing a fireball at Jerry Jarrett.

-- Brother Ernest Angel is now doing an interview segment called "Quiet Time", asking people to send their money to help him build Wrestling Village USA. He is also using "the good book" as a weapon at ringside.

-- Brickhouse Brown is back, but is not scheduled to get any type of push.

-- There is great heat in the Lawler & Jarrett family vs Gilbert family wars, but the rest of the program doesn't have all that much heat. (My note: I don't really know what that means.)

-- Stan Kowalski is headed in as a heel manager. He'll be given an interview segment and a big push, which means Paul E. Dangerously isn't coming back. "Leave it to the AWA to have a choice between a hot new manager and a guy who has been out of the business for 15 years and choose the older guy. I couldn't make up comedy this funny."

-- Expect to see more of Madusa Miceli.

-- Kerry Von Erich regained the WCCW title on 3/6 in Fort Worth. He wrestled a 20-minute scientific match against Al Perez, won clean, and they hugged afterward, in an effort to turn Perez babyface. Perez and Gary Hart will be joining the NWA soon, which is important, since Perez was originally going to regain the WCCW title on 3/25.

-- Fabulous Lance is coming back, which Dave has no clue how they're going to handle. Dave thinks it signals that Dave Manning no longer has interest in running opposition to WCCW. Later in the issue, Dave says he might not be coming in after all. Fritz wanted to use him as a heel partner of the Freebirds, but Manning didn't want him wrestling unless he was a babyface.

-- Kerry doesn't want to work full-time and defend the WCCW title. Two wrestlers have been offered the title. Terry Gordy is likely the frontrunner, although Dave thinks Terry Taylor would also be a good choice.

-- 3/4 in Calgary drew 1,100 fans.

-- Garfield Portz has returned home to Florida to recuperate from his stroke.

-- Ross Hart is saying the 8-man Bunkhouse Brawl on 2/27 was one of the best matches in the history of Stampede Wrestling.

-- Carl Styles may be headed in.

-- Okay, I have to transcribe this: "This group taped about six weeks worth of television on 3/5 in Pompano Beach at a TV studio. Most of the hot angles revolved around the babyface duo of G.I. Joe Palardy & Colonel Kirchner feuding with Dr. Red Roberts & V.C. Minh (Masami Soronaka). At the previous taping, Minh came out with a photo of U.S. soldiers in body bags being carried home from Vietnam which caused Palardy & Kirchner to freak out. Roberts, whose gimmick is he plays a psychologist (which he is in real life as Dr. Michael Brannon) then made some funny interviews calling Kirchner a nut case with 'Patriophobia'. Anyway, a match between the two teams was scheduled, however Roberts invoked the Baker Act and somehow got Kirchner declared a psycho so he couldn't wrestle, which if you've ever seen Kirchner's interviews, is certainly consistent with his character. Later on TV, Roberts and Minh won a squash with the sleeper hold and Medics came out, under masks, and attacked the heels. Of course Palardy & Kirchner were the Medics. Roberts was beaten up so badly he later announced his retirement from wrestling and said he was going to use his psychiatric skills to help young men combat drug abuse."

-- Lou Perez is wrestling in Global, and is being billed as Al Perez.

-- Death Row is "a heel team supposedly on a work furlough from prison yet everyone cheers them which I'm not sure what that means"

-- Gordon Solie and Ron Fuller are doing announcing for the Knoxville-based USA Championship Wrestling, which is taped in a hotel ballroom.

-- 3/9 in Yokohama drew 6,000 in a 6,500 seat building headlined by Hansen vs Tenryu

-- Outlet Communications, which owns Pro Wrestling This Week, is for sale. PWTW is going to do an angle based on this, and it will be played like someone is attempting a hostile takeover of the show.

-- Fred Blassie, Roddy Piper, Buddy Rogers, Fabulous Moolah, and Clara Mortenson were honored at the Cauliflower Alley Club banquet. John Tolos was in attendance, said to look 20 years younger than his real age of 58. Piper was very polite and subdued, totally out of character. He did appear to have bitterness about wrestling and anger toward several promoters. Dave honestly believes he has no intention of ever wrestling again. He has moved his family to Burbank and has lost about 30 lbs from his wrestling days.

-- The New York Athletic commission is claiming that Misty Blue's ring attire is too revealing.

-- John McAdam would like to hear from everyone he owes tapes.
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