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Re: Wrestling Observer 1994

Mar 21 1994 Observer Newsletter: Tonya Harding and wrestling, Hogan/WCW, Mania X preview, more
Wrestling Observer Newsletter
PO Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228 March 21, 1994
Just days before Wrestlemania, traditionally the biggest wrestling event of the year, it seems that virtually none of the major discussion within the business has to do with the big show.
In what became a major story in the U.S. media on 3/14 that was first reported in Japanese newspapers on 3/8, the All Japan Women's pro wrestling promotion is claiming they are going to make a $2 million offer to Tonya Harding to become a pro wrestler. The story garnered some publicity last week in Japan, and a second story hit the next day when Akira Hokuto returned from Mexico and announced she wanted to train Harding. On Monday morning the story hit in the U.S. in an AP story with a Tokyo dateline which quickly made it, as everything related to Harding over the past few months has become, one of the lead stories in the news.
The actual idea behind this could make a lot of sense. The promotion could use Harding's notoriety in an attempt to gain exposure for its product internationally, particularly in North America. The idea is that the product itself, once exposed to the masses, would be able to keep a level of interest once the novelty interest in Harding as a wrestler wanes. The reported story is that Takashi Matsunaga, one of four brothers who founded the All Japan Women's promotion back in 1968 and still own it today, will offer Harding the $2 million deal next week when Harding is in Japan for the World figure skating championships. Harding's agents were contacted and an employee of the company was going to be sent to Portland this past week to discuss a proposal, but there was no response from Harding's side to a meeting. Supposedly the only reason the $2 million figure is being used is that was the amount of money Disney paid Nancy Kerrigan (nope, you can't pick up anything without reading about them) and so that was the figure Matsunaga used.
There are negotiations set up for Harding and All Japan women when she's in Japan next week for the World Figure Skating championships and they want to bring her to the 3/27 Yokohama Arena show and sit her at ringside to show her what women's wrestling really is, and also to garner whatever mainstream publicity they can over having her in the front row at their big show. Although Matsunaga was quoted in the AP story as saying there was a 70 percent chance of signing her, the odds are tremendously long that will take place and she won't be welcomed into the company by the women wrestlers any better than baseball players are welcoming Michael Jordan. The AP quoted Matsunaga as saying she'd be a heel at first and then turned into a heroine, but Japanese sources claim that was a misquote because Japanese women's wrestling doesn't have babyfaces and heels. Harding has received virtually the same level of coverage in Japan and most of the rest of the world before the Olympics that she did in the United States, where the Tonya/Nancy story led to two of the largest television audiences for any event in U.S. television history for the Olympic women's figure skating championships a few weeks back. Of course Harding faces potential major legal problems stemming from
the Grand Jury's hearing evidence based on her role in the attack of Kerrigan. Indictments, if any, should be released within the next few weeks as well. As of late Monday night, Harding's publicists refused to either confirm or deny that Harding was considering accepting the All Japan women offer.
It is not unusual to take world-class athletes from other sports and try to turn them into pro wrestlers in not only Japan but also the United States. Attempts through the years to do such has resulted in both successes and failures. Anton Geesink and Wilhelm Ruska, both world champions in judo, were signed by All Japan and New Japan respectively in the 1970s, and both were given the megapush from the start, but neither was able to sustain it. In fact, Geesink, who from his debut was pushed behind Baba as the No. 2 babyface in All Japan in the early 70s is categorized as one of the biggest flops in history. Others, like Genichiro Tenryu, a top-ranked sumo wrestler, has become one of the biggest stars in the industry. However, two Yokozunas (Sumo grand champions), Hiroshi Wajima and Koji Kitao, were also flops as pro wrestlers although Kitao still is around with his own promotion. All Japan women took a television star/teenybopper heartthrob/rock singer from the late 70s, Mimi Hagiwara, and turned her into a wrestler and she wound up being a good worker and one of the biggest stars in the promotion's history. In the U.S. years ago, it was commonplace for football greats to augment their income in the days the NFL wasn't nearly as lucrative a profession as it is today and work as pro wrestlers during the off-season, some of which were good workers. Legit football legends like Jim Thorpe, Leo Nomellini and Bronko Nagurski were main event wrestling stars. Ernie Ladd and Wahoo McDaniel, who wouldn't quality as football legends but were stars in the 60s, were main event wrestlers for many years after giving up football. Many other ex-footballers didn't make it as wrestlers. Since Harding is a world-class athlete, the promotion hopes to be able to do the same with her as they did 17 years ago with Hagiwara--take a celebrity and turn her into a wrestler and make a drawing card out of them, although obviously Harding is far more well known even in Japan that Hagiwara was. The idea is for Harding to start training after the skating world championships which will be taking place this week and to debut at the Tokyo Dome on 11/10. Even without Harding that show, which will feature the retirement match of Hokuto, will almost surely break the all-time world record for attendance and gate for a women's wrestling show, however the owners of the company are worried about being able to fill the 63,000-seat arena when the largest crowd in the history of the promotion was 16,500 at last year's Dream Slam I. In addition, with Harding's U.S. and worldwide notoriety, it would open numerous doors to the promotion overseas. Although the women's wrestling business finished perhaps its biggest year ever in 1993, the company from a business standpoint is said to be in something of a precarious financial situation at present because during the glory years it invested the huge profits made when the Crush Gals were on top in real estate, and the Tokyo real estate market has collapsed. Harding's presence in the promotion as a regular would up the group's chances 100-fold of getting weekly television exposure in the United States and enable the major shows to be broadcast on PPV, which is something the group has talked about in recent months. If Harding does debut at the Dome show, the curiosity factor surrounding her would be such that a PPV show sent to the U.S. could do considerable business.
Reality break. None of this is going to happen. Yes, there's a chance the money is such that she'll sign if the $2 million figure isn't simply a publicity stunt. Harding isn't exactly wallowing in endorsements, but the $600,000 she made for doing tabloid interviews doesn't make her destitute as she was earlier in her life. The reported $250,000 deal offered for her to pose sans clothing and movie deals will take a lot less physical risk and allow her to continue to compete as a skater provided she isn't suspended. As of today, she doesn't have any product endorsements, and that isn't likely to change. For someone who grew up with little in the way of money, an offer of $2 million, if it's legit is something that probably would be considered. And if one thing has to be said to her credit, being a world-class performer in her sport takes incredible drive and determination, forgetting the crimes she may have had a hand in. Those attributes, drive, determination and athletic ability are the same attributes needed to survive and make it in the All Japan women's promotion. That would seem to give her a real shot at making it in the most athletically based wrestling promotion in the world. However, Tokyo is a different world from Portland. Figure skating is a different world than All Japan's women wrestling. Living in a different culture full-time is a lot different from visiting for a week for someone who in her own bizarre way can maintain a weird form of celebrity status at home. She doesn't have to go to Japan and go into a very dangerous business she knows nothing about to pay the rent. If she were to do it strictly for money, she probably won't be any good at it. It's one thing for a young girl who idolizes these wrestlers and is a good enough athlete to pass the audition to go through the dedication and torture of learning to wrestle at their level. Even at that, most never make it to their first match and this is their lifelong dream. It's another for someone from another world in a much more pampered sport to agree to get stiff kicked in the face and stretched for months and stick it out in a sport and world that there is no way she'll be able to understand at the beginning.
While Tonya Harding vs. Manami Toyota may never take place, there are a few "dream matches" in Japan that appear to be inevitable. In what will almost surely be one of the biggest wrestling events of all-time, it has been extensively reported in Japan that Antonio Inoki will face Satoru Sayama (the original Tiger Mask) sometime within the next year at a major stadium show. Inoki vs. Sayama is said to be either the headline match at the 5/1 Fukuoka Dome card, or the January 4, 1995 Tokyo Dome show. Sayama, 36, who said to weigh 245 pounds at 5-6, thus would have to lose close to 50 pounds to even look presentable in the ring which given the amount of time, makes the Tokyo Dome far more likely than Fukuoka Dome for the match. Sayama held a press conference on 3/9 challenging Inoki to a singles match and on 3/11, he made his first public appearance at a pro wrestling show since 1985 going to Korakuen Hall to challenge Masashi Aoyagi during Aoyagi's show. It appears Sayama's first match back will be on Aoyagi's show in October at the Yokohama Arena, and that victory will give him "credibility" coming back after a nine-year layoff to set the stage for a January match with Inoki. As the original Tiger Mask, he was one of the most innovative and popular wrestlers in history during his prime in the early 80s with New Japan Pro Wrestling before quitting in 1983 amidst one of the biggest scandals ever to hit the industry. He announced two weeks back that he would be coming out of retirement for a mixed match against pro wrestler/karate fighter Masashi Aoyagi in October. Rumor has it that Sayama will make a "surprise" appearance at a New Japan show on 3/16 at
the Tokyo Gym where Inoki is wrestling to set the stage for the ultimate shoot-work. Back in 1983, Sayama was the leader of wrestlers who successfully caused Inoki to lose is Presidency of New Japan due to them going public that Inoki and his personal business manager and New Japan CEO Hisashi Shinma were using the huge profits the company was making and funnelling it into Inoki's outside losing businesses, particularly an expensive Brazilian cattle farm. Shinma, who many consider the brains behind the early 80s New Japan popularity boom, was forced out of the company in the scandal while Inoki had to relinquish his power as well, although eventually he regained much of it. Shinma and Inoki remained close until this past year when they had a messy split which was a huge headline story this past August. Sayama, who was the secret source for the stories about the coup against Inoki and Shinma, then quit the promotion, fearing reprisals from Inoki's friends, when Inoki wasn't pushed completely out for good in the late summer of 1983. After retirement the first time, Sayama wrote books exposing pro wrestling, but then returned one year later for a one-year run in the original UWF until leaving the business "for good" in September of 1985. Another dream match will take place on 5/5 at Kawasaki Baseball Stadium (where Atsushi Onita and Terry Funk drew 41,000 last year), this one not in the least unexpected with Onita headlining against Genichiro Tenryu in an FMW show in a barbed wire explosive death match. This match was set up on the 3/2 Tokyo Sumo Hall WAR show when Onita & Tarzan Goto beat Tenryu & Ashura Hara when Onita pinned Tenryu with the Thunder fire power bomb. The dream match that might draw the most attention of all in Japan right now--Akira Maeda vs. Nobuhiko Takada, apparently isn't going to take place as on 3/11, UWFI announced in its press conference all five outsiders invited into the 16-man tournament, Mitsuharu Misawa, Genichiro Tenryu, Shinya Hashimoto, Akira Maeda and Masakatsu Funaki had turned down the invitation, even though Maeda publicly had accepted it under certain conditions that UWFI then refused to meet, so Maeda somehow managed to once again emerge without being embarrassed from a potentially embarrassing situation. The funniest thing is that Takada, after beating Vader, has no new superstar opponent in UWFI, and Maeda has no new opponent for RINGS, and a match between the two would sellout the Tokyo Dome, so it is in both promotions' best interest to forget personal problems and do business while the iron is hot.
As for a Hulk Hogan-Ric Flair dream match, in which the first interview to tease the potential match played over the weekend on WCW broadcasts, Hogan has at press time not signed a contract with WCW although serious negotiations have taken place during the past week in Florida. We have no word how close things are to fruition other than contracts are being drawn up and WCW officials seem very confident the deal will be done as they've been all along. The tentative plan right now is that the first Hogan-Flair match would take place at the July Great American Bash PPV show from Miami Beach. WCW is also said to be involved in negotiation with Marvel Comics, which owns the rights to the names Hulk, Hulkamania and Hulkster to get licensing and merchandising rights to use the names provided Hogan makes the deal. Apparently Hogan himself wants to hold things off until late August with the first match at Wembley Stadium, which probably is the site with the most potential for selling tickets to such a match.
In its last major event before its owner and the company itself go on trial, Wrestlemania X takes place 3/20 at Madison Square Garden. There is no organization in this business that can hype a show like Titan Sports, it appears this event has garnered far less interest than any previous Wrestlemania, despite the ten-year anniversary gimmick and increase in television viewership in recent months giving it some initial momentum. The momentum waned and interest seemed to lower each week due to the weak line-up of matches, and with one or two exceptions, a celebrity list of people that hardly qualify as celebrities. Six years ago when WCW used Ken Osmond ("Eddie Haskell" of Leave it to Beaver Fame) as a celeb for the first Clash of Champions, which ran head-to-head opposite Wrestlemania IV, people laughed at such a weak choice of celebrities. This year, he'd fit in right near the top of the list of luminaries including the president and pitchman for "Hair Club for Men," who cab drivers who do a comedy routine on Showtime, a scandal-ridden Burt Reynolds, a singer whose group dropped off the face of the entertainment earth several years ago and Jennie Garth aka "Kelly" from 90210. Still, Wrestlemania, based on name alone, will be the biggest grossing event of the year and it is believed to make up for the weak line-up, there will be a lot of unexpected surprises. With ringside tickets at $300, the highest priced ticket in the history of U.S. wrestling, the 20,000 seat Madison Square Garden alone should gross nearly $2 million which would be the largest live gate in the history of U.S. wrestling (the current record is $1.628 million set at Wrestlemania V in Atlantic City, NJ) although not even among the top 15 of all-time. It'll surely do the biggest PPV buy rate of the year, although almost as assuredly it'll do much lower than any WM in history with the absence of the crossover appeal of Hulk Hogan, the continual decline of PPV and the weak overall card. The rumor mill, which sounds to be about 50 percent accurate, has it that Roddy Piper and Mr. Perfect will return as guest referees (we know both had been contacted for that position but haven't received confirmation on Piper but it is strongly expected he'll be there and Perfect we've heard will ref Lex vs. Yokozuna and probably use that as a springboard for a much-needed heel turn), that Jerry Lawler will return (this one is almost a definite since he's already appeared on the radio show and they've talked about him on television and Vince McMahon was back on Memphis television this week), that Yokozuna will finish the afternoon as a babyface (which has been teased at house shows the past two weeks) and that Lex Luger really won't win the title (it's hard to believe Titan would do an entire elaborate angle at a taping simply to swerve newsletter readers but it has to be considered a possibility since it's clear Luger doesn't have the charisma to carry the promotion). What is for sure is that The Undertaker won't be resurrected on that show, as he's doing p.r. work that weekend in Japan for the WWF tour there in May.
The television situation in Japan is going through major negative changes. As reported a few weeks back, TV-Asahi and New Japan reached an agreement to move the television show to a late night spot in order for the show to air every week. However, when the new schedule was announced, the late night slot was announced to be 1:30 to 2:30 a.m. on Saturday nights starting the first weekend of April. This is hardly a positive move for what many would consider the No. 1 promotion in the world today and in the long run has to do major damage to the group's keeping that spot. New Japan isn't so upset about the switch since they are guaranteed to be on every week, but for casual viewers, that time slot is death and
it's the casual viewers a mainstream promotion needs to worry about, not the hardcores that will set up their VCR's before they go to sleep and watch the show the next morning. Even though their Saturday afternoon shows draw good ratings, they are frequently pre-empted whenever there is a major golf tournament. In the biggest blow of all to tape collectors, All Japan, which suffered a severe ratings erosion over the past year, received word that Nippon TV was considering dropping the show altogether, although the recent upswing in ratings was enough that it is thought that come April, when the new Japanese television season begins, that the show will be cut from one hour to 30 minutes. Actually this isn't so much a ratings problem as a sponsorship problem. Reportedly All Japan's ratings in the 12:30 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. time slot on Sunday nights were more than adequate, but the costs of producing a weekly show were too high for that time slot. A major sponsor of the show pulled out, and even though the reputation of pro wrestling in Japan is much higher than in the U.S., the "pride" of sponsors in Japan is much different in that they are very particular about what they'll associate with and sponsors don't want to be associated with pro wrestling unlike in the U.S. in which most sponsors just care about the return on their investment. Nippon TV, one of Japan's four major networks, which has carried All Japan since its inception in 1972, gave the company the option of a 30 minute weekly show or a one hour bi-weekly show, and the company chose the former. All Japan has the rep for having the best main event matches in the world, many of which last close to 25:00, so expect much heavier editing in the televised version of some of these classics.
Although it will only last a week in this position, the largest gate in the United States thus far in 1994 was the AAA show on 3/12 at the Los Angeles Sports Arena which drew 13,823 fans and $228,595. The number of fans, which was 3,000 tickets shy of capacity, was slightly less than the sellout the WWF drew in Providence, RI for Royal Rumble, although with the higher ticket prices, the AAA show took in more money live. It was the biggest house gate in the United States since SummerSlam and the first AAA show in Los Angeles both in late August. Ironically, even with the continued success in Los Angeles, the future of AAA in the United States is still somewhat speculative at best since there is continual jockeying over what percentages of these houses the American promoters get as opposed to the Mexican promotion and the incredible frustration level of dealing with a different cultural system which by our standards of promotion would be totally disorganized, yet has enormous popularity in some circles and in some ways has to be classified as one of the hottest if not the hottest promotion in the world both in terms of popularity and show quality. The 3/11 show in San Antonio was canceled due to a poor advance even though San Antonio ranks just behind Los Angeles as the city with the largest spanish speaking population in the U.S. The 3/13 show in Oakland, which doesn't have much of a Hispanic population or strong Galavision cable, still drew 1,250. With tickets at $32, $27 and $20 the house was still around $30,000 which is still better than all but a handful of WCW shows in the past year but less than the $45,000 the WWF did nine days earlier in the same city, and much bigger than the $7,000 house the last time WCW promoted in the same building. It wouldn't be an AAA show without advertising faux paus. There were no ads during the seven hours weekly of AAA television leading up to the Oakland show on the local station until Sunday night on the show that airs from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. locally, or just after the Sunday afternoon house show had ended. The Oakland
show was scheduled for a 5 p.m. start, which almost nobody knew. Several of the wrestlers were told it would start at 8 p.m. including a furious Jake Roberts who arrived at 8, only to find the show was over (he got paid since missing the show wasn't his fault). The Mexican wrestlers' booking sheet listed the show at a 7:30 start, although since they went to the building together in a van, they were all there. Antonio Pena told me the show was going to start at 6 p.m. Fans showed up at 5 p.m., another few hundred around 6 p.m., and others were arriving after the show was already over. Even with the small crowd, Oakland was a good show with Rey Misterio Jr. in the opener doing the most spectacular move anyone could remember seeing. It was the "simple" Liger dive, except Misterio flipped all the way around doing a complete mid-air somersault while flying over the top rope and then finished the move landing on one of the Payasos into a Frankensteiner on the floor. Actually there was a good sign on both shows in that the crazy dives, with the exception of the one just mentioned, were toned down in favor of more acrobatic spots in the ring that are just as impressive, probably every bit as difficult, but less dangerous.
Prospective dates in New York and Chicago in April were postponed once again because the American promoters want line-ups six weeks ahead to start publicity and they don't operate that way in Mexico. For example, AAA President Antonio Pena's three TripleMania shows which will now take place on 4/27, 4/30 and 5/7, don't even have definite buildings booked yet nor definite cards laid out, and they are tentatively planned to run in stadiums ranging in size from 37,000 to 55,000 (although depending upon availability of the stadiums due to soccer playoffs, one of the TripleMania shows may have to be moved into a 20,000 seat arena). There is also no return date for Los Angeles although it was hoped for a date in around 10 to 12 weeks. The Los Angeles show was the second best card AAA has produced since entering the U.S. market last August and contained the single best match that I've seen in the U.S. so far this year (keep in mind I didn't see Terry Funk vs. Sabu from New York or the 60:00 Funk/Sabu/Douglas trilogy from Philadelphia). Some thought the actual wrestling was even better than the first AAA show, although the heat was nowhere close. Oakland was nowhere close to Los Angeles quality, but was a good show and was as good, but no better than the SMW show I saw three nights earlier in Marietta, GA. and better than previous AAA shows in San Diego on the first tour and the second San Jose card.
The downside of the Los Angeles show, which may work against them at the gate (although with the gates they've been doing that aspect may not be worth criticism) is the main event didn't even go into the ring until 11:47 p.m. and the show ended at about 12:15 a.m. This kind of show draws a lot of very young children and the one thing noticeable about the card was not that many kids in attendance, which I attribute to the fact that parents who brought kids to the first two shows that ended around midnight weren't so hot about bringing them again although history seems to show that Friday night shows drew more young kids and Saturday nights draw more fans in their 20s. A lot of fans left before the main event because it was so late which made it hard for the main eventers to get a lot of heat even though the work in that Konnan El Barbaro vs. Jake Roberts match itself wouldn't have gotten heat anyway since they needed all kinds of outside
distractions to make what would have been a disaster into a pretty entertaining match.
1. Tim Patterson & The Killer Blond (Louie Spicolli) & Super Rabbit (Bobby Bradley Jr.) beat Chavo & Mando & Hector Guerrero via DQ in 18:57. The Guerreros, particularly Chavo, were huge stars in Los Angeles in the late 70s, but showing that the audience has totally changed since those days, Chavo got no special reaction at all. He really looked old as well (he's now 44) and has declined terribly as a worker from the days in the late 70s when he was one of the biggest draws and best workers in the country. Hector is still very good and hard-working while Mando was both excellent and bad at the same time, which is also the best description of this match. Rabbit entered the ring in a cheesy looking costume that looked like it would be the Easter Bunny costume from an elementary school play, and came to the ring throwing carrots to the fans which was one lame gimmick. Well, carrots are good for your eyesight. The match had no flow, but had many super moves and spots, but also a lot of badly missed spots. Mando did a perfect Asai-moonsault outside the ring in the first fall which ended when Chavo pinned Patterson with a moonsault bodyblock. Second fall was filled with both great spots and missed moves, ending when Blond pinned Mando with a Northern Light suplex and Patterson made Chavo submit while Rabbit dove off the apron with a superfly splash onto Hector on the floor. The third fall had a lot of heat but the action got sloppy. It picked up at the end with Chavo and Patterson doing one near fall after another before heel ref Tirantes DQ'd Mando for a low blow on Patterson. **3/4
2. Los Payasos beat Misterioso & Torero & Mascara Sagrada via DQ in 23:41. Misterioso got a mixed reaction since fans are well aware he's been turning in every match on television for weeks. However, Misterioso worked as a tecnico and won the first fall with a double chicken wing submission in 10:25. The second fall was hot with Sagrada giving one a face-buster but the clown mask came off and Tirantes disqualified him for removing the mask. The heat was incredible on Tirantes since he had already DQ'd the faces in the first match. The heat got even hotter when Tirantes saw one of the Payasos do a low blow but didn't call it. Finally Torero did a tope and Misterioso a plancha and Sagrada had the other pinned with the Tim Horner natural bridge finish but Payaso kicked out to save the winning streak which is just under 100 matches. With the Payasos about to lose, one pulled off another's mask behind both refs back as they were on the floor and threw it into the ring, Sagrada caught it, Tirantes turned around, and you guessed it, called for the DQ. This was a total screw-job but at least it developed the storyline that would climax later in the show. As he does every week on television, after the match Misterioso was so mad at Sagrada for losing the match that he attacked him. ***
3. Espectro Jr. & Fuerza Guerrera & Jerry Estrada beat Rey Misterio Jr. & Heavy Metal & Winners in two straight falls in 22:59. The first fall contained one perfectly executed spot after another. Biggest move of the show was Misterio running across the apron, leaping off onto Guerrera who was on the floor, and then turning the move into a Frankensteiner on the floor. They didn't miss a spot in the first fall and these were all with high degrees of difficulty. After the faces controlled the entire fall, the finish saw Misterio go for the moonsault bodyblock on Estrada, but he caught him in mid-air and turned the move into a powerslam for the pin and Espectro made Winners submit. Between falls Estrada did a one-handed press-slam
on Misterio and dropped him on the buckles and Guerrera crotched him on the post, Espectro did the same and Guerrera posted Metal. The heels destroyed the faces in the second fall with Metal taking a chair shot and bleeding, Guerrera doing a low blow on Misterio right in front of Tirantes, etc. Estrada press-slammed Metal on the floor and then shot-putted him over the guard rail into the third row seats. Estrada is one of these guys like Bob Orton who isn't particularly big and doesn't look muscular at all, but can do power moves in the ring with ease that guys with 20-inch arms couldn't even dream of doing. After taking punishment the entire fall, Espectro pinned Winners with a senton off the top rope. ****
4. In a match to determine the first IWC minis champion, Mascarita Sagrada won 2/3 falls from Espectrito in 24:45. This was the best midget match I've ever seen and would have been a five-star match except there is some flaw in Sagrada's style when it comes to transitions. But it was easily the best match this group has put on in the U.S. since it started coming and better than any television match in Mexico in many months. It combined 1970s U.S. world title match style (Brisco-Dory Funk) pacing early, with unique submission holds, many of which I've never seen, the high spots were 21st century and the near falls during the third fall were Japanese style with fans stomping in unison because of the tension when they kept kicking out of what appeared to be finishing moves. In the first fall alone, Sagrada did a tope, a plancha off the top rope to the floor and an Asai moonsault. Sagrada scored the fall with an incredible series of twists and turns in mid-air that wound up as a Dandina cradle. Second fall went back-and-forth with Espectrito carrying the match with his unique submissions and Mascarita doing comebacks with his high flying. Espectrito gained a submission to win the fall with a move I've never seen before. Third fall from start-to-finish was near falls by Sagrada and near-submissions by Espectrito. Sagrada was on the top rope again and did a Liger flip splash plancha to Espectrito on the floor. Espectrito did the upside down surfboard move (La capatia), dropping him into near falls, and without releasing the move, putting him back up for submissions that he didn't get. Sagrada at one point did a moonsault block off the top rope and turned into a sunset flip for a near fall. The climax of the match saw Sagrada lose control because Espectro Jr. had kept kicking him, so he did the Santo spot where he did a rolling splash on Espectrito into a tope onto Espectro Jr. However, Espectro Jr. caught him and held him up in mid-air (remember, he's only three feet tall) and Espectrito went for a tope but at the last second Mascara Sagrada made a diving tackle out of nowhere knocking Mascarita out of the way so Espectrito dive on his own second which got a huge pop. Sagrada leaped onto the middle ropes and came off with a Frankensteiner for a near fall before finally turning another flying move into a sunset flip for the pin, with a pop sound-wise reminiscent of the Sting title win over Flair in Baltimore in 1990, although the pop wasn't as long. ****1/2
5. It was up to Octagon & El Hijo del Santo & Lizmark vs. Psicosis & Love Machine & La Parka to follow it, with the faces going over in 22:59. Santo pinned Parka with a somersault splash in the first fall. Psicosis pinned Santo with a legdrop off the top rope in the second. In the third fall, Machine pulled off Octagon's mask and then started pounding on Lizmark. It was funny because a fan at ringside handed Octagon an Octagon mask to put on when he was supposed to be on the ground hiding his face so he put the mask on but still hid on the ground anyway. When
Octagon got his real mask back on, Lizmark went after him and they were shoving back and forth while the fans pleaded at Lizmark not to attack Octagon. Santo tried to get them to calm down and then Octagon went after Lizmark, but finally Santo got them to shake hands to a big pop. Psicosis took a header bump over the top reminiscent of Cactus Jack. Finally Lizmark did a facebuster on Parka and wound up with the mask in his hands, put the Parka mask on and attacked Machine which was a super spot. Machine and Parka started fighting and kept fighting all over the place while the three faces had Psicosis left alone against them and finally Santo pinned Psicosis with an elbow drop. Machine and Parka continued to brawl after the match and Psicosis finally sided with Parka and attacked Machine as well, which because of the 2-on-1 makes Machine the face. However Machine grabbed the house mic and called Mexicans stupid and that Americans were smart so he kept himself heel, but to make sure Parka didn't turn, Parka & Psicosis went into the crowd to insult them as well and got pummeled with drinks. The angle itself was great since it built on angles they've been running for months with Machine getting faces to turn on each other by wearing their masks and attacking their partners, but due to the angle there was no "big climactic finish" of this match with all the great workers. ***3/4
6. Konnan El Barbaro beat Jake Roberts in a cage match in 20:17. This match, because of the storyline, will read like it was a good match. It was very watchable and good if you consider what took place outside the ring. The match itself was terrible. Jake has put on a lot of weight in the gut, looks to be about 280 pounds. Before the match started, Tirantes was in the ring and Antonio Pena threw him out saying Pepe "Tropi" Casas (face ref) was assigned to the main event. Blue Panther and Sherri Martel were in Jake's corner while Perro Aguayo was in Konnan's, and they provided most of the entertainment as Panther kept teasing and hitting Perro and hiding behind Sherri. Jake slammed the cage door on Konnan to get the initial advantage and Konnan juiced a small amount. Jake pretty well just choked and kicked Konnan for the first 7:00 and there wasn't really enough outside the save that. Finally the match got interesting when Panther hit Perro's with Sherri's high-heel shoe. Sherri for some unknown reason took off running to the dressing room when Konnan made a comeback, and then came back out with a foreign object that she gave to Panther. Finally Roberts tried to climb out of the cage but Aguayo climbed the cage on the other side and on top started punching him back in. Later Sherri held Aguayo and Panther went to hit Aguayo with a running blow with the object but Aguayo moved and Panther KO'd Martel. However, later Panther managed to KO Aguayo from behind with the object as well. Both Sherri and Aguayo wound up being carried out on stretchers. When they had Sherri on the stretcher, they put a sheet over her like she was dead. When they carried Aguayo out, Panther kept beating on him on the stretcher. In the ring Konnan regained the advantage but Panther climbed up the cage and as Konnan was hurdling the top of the cage, Panther pulled on his leg wrenching his knee, similar to how Sting legit tore up his knee. Konnan then got the advantage once again and went to climb out and again Panther stopped him at the top. At this point Mascara Sagrada and Mascarita Sagrada ran to ringside which actually got a huge pop and Mascarita dropkicked Panther. Finally Jake hit the DDT on Konnan and went to climb out. At this point both Mascara and Mascarita climbed up the cage. Mascara knocked Jake back into the ring and Konnan got up and held him while Mascarita came off the top of the cage (10 feet high) with a Superfly splash onto Jake, who didn't sell the
move for more than a second which is ridiculous since even though the guy is only three-feet tall, it was an incredible spot. Mascarita was standing on the top of the cage and could have easily lost his balance and become soup on the floor. Jake pulled out a foreign object and KO'd Konnan and then cornered Mascarita and began mauling him and ripping up his mask. Panther held Mascara and get him from climbing into the cage while Konnan was out. As Jake continued on the midget, finally Mascara got a coke and threw it in Konnan's face to revive him and he made the big comeback, Jake dropped the object, Konnan used it to bloody him up badly and finally pinned him. After the match Mascarita kicked Jake several times and dropkicked Panther. ***
The United States Wrestling Association drew its biggest crowd in nearly six years on 3/7 for the "Memphis Memories" show which drew 7,934 paid and right at $30,000. It was both the largest crowd and gate for a USWA show since the 1988 match where Jerry Lawler said he'd retire if he didn't win the AWA title from Curt Hennig, which obviously Lawler won. The main reason the crowd was so large was because of the Slamboree type atmosphere, an idea of Randy Hales, taking it from WCW but achieving in some ways even more success from it by bringing in so many names who were major draws in the past in Memphis, most notably former television announcer Lance Russell, Sputnik Monroe, Austin Idol, Jimmy Valiant and Terry Funk, Al & Don Greene, Tommy Gilbert and Jerry Jarrett. Another reason the crowd was so large, although not necessarily the gate, was because they dropped G.A. ticket prices down to $3 for the show. Complete results from the show (although in this case the matches were largely secondary to the old-timers when it came to the drawing of the house) saw: 1. The Nightmares (Ken Wayne & Danny Davis) & Skull Von Crush beat The Spellbinder (Del Rios) & King Cobra & Jeff Gaylord when Davis pinned Gaylord in 8:28 DUD; 2. J.C. Ice went to a double count out with Wolfie D in 8:12 ***; 3. Koko Ware pinned Billy Travis after hitting him with a chain in 9:24 **; 4. Tommy Rich beat Jimmy Valiant via DQ in 4:00 when Valiant, who looked to weigh about 135 pounds, was caught using the chain that Rich had brought into the ring DUD; 5. The Moondogs retained the USWA tag title beating the masked Dr. Frank (?), a creation Jerry Lawler pulled out of a coffin some 15 years ago, & Leatherface (Ken Raper) in 2:24 DUD; 6. Lawler & Austin Idol (who surprisingly since he hasn't wrestled much in years looked exactly the same physically as in the mid-80s and worked close to his previous level aka awful) & Brian Christopher beat Doug & Eddie Gilbert & Terry Funk when Rich interfered for the DQ. **1/2; 7. The finale was an elimination tag team match which lasted 42:00 which ended up with four faces (Lawler & Valiant & Idol & Christopher) against six heels (Funk & Rich & Gilberts & Ware & Moondog Spot). Christopher pinned Doug Gilbert first, then Valiant pinned Rich, Lawler pinned Spot, Idol was disqualified for giving Ware a low blow and Christopher and Ware were both counted out leaving Lawler in with both Eddie Gilbert and Funk. Funk, who had earlier pulled off yet another moonsault (which is now becoming an every-match spot) and from all reports was far and away the star of both the match and the card itself, wound up disqualified at 34:00 for using the piledriver on Lawler. Gilbert pounded on Lawler until the big comeback ending when Lawler pinned Gilbert after a fist-drop. After the match the heels all attacked Lawler and handcuffed him to the ringpost and tried to get Lawler to say Eddie was King until Idol and Christopher made the save. ***1/2
Another show this past week that received a lot of interest nationally, but apparently not enough locally was the Smoky Mountain Wrestling card on 3/10 in Marietta, GA. The show drew 1,075 paid (1,200 total) and $9,500 for a show in which the SMW talent was augmented by several WWF stars. It was definitely a good show, although it was surprising the lack of crowd heat for the show as a whole as compared to most SMW house shows. It appeared that the local Ch. 14, which SMW airs on and is the weakest station in the market and not on many key cable systems, which runs a Saturday night wrestling block with Joe Pedicino and Boni Blackstone, doesn't have a great deal of exposure as the crowd seemed a combination of hardcores who reacted to spots and fans who liked the show but really didn't know the storylines. Unlike most wrestling promotions, SMW's product is not based on delivering stars to the arena but on putting together compelling storylines.
1. 1-2-3 Kid drew with Bobby Blaze in a 15:00 match that actually lasted 12:23. It was a decent opener with both men kicking out of the others' finisher (Blaze kicked out of a moonsault bodyblock; Kid out of a Northern Light suplex) toward the end, but had some missed spots. Considering these two started out together in Florida at the Malenko school, it was disappointing. Fans didn't seem to know who Blaze was, and even though neither played heel, fans were more into Kid. *1/2
2. Hillbilly Festus won the North Georgia title from New Jack in 6:27 when New Jack gave Festus a back suplex but both had their shoulders down and Festus lifted his up at two. I'd been warned how bad Festus was, so given that, it wasn't disappointing or unwatchable and both guys at least tried. 1/4*
3. Tracy Smothers pinned Chris Candido in a non-title match in 12:08. These guys had to work really hard to get a reaction as the crowd didn't seem immediately into their feud. Dennis Coraluzzo managed Candido for this match since he does heel spots on SMW television as the president of the WWA and recognizes Candido as world heavyweight champ. However this had a lot of hot moves and well-timed spots and was a damn good match. Just for wrestling moves this was the best match on the show, however the tag title match was better because the fans were more into it. The highlight was Candido doing a Frankensteiner off the top rope for a near fall. Smothers won clean with the jawjacker. ***1/2
4. Ron Garvin beat Kevin Sullivan via DQ in 9:20 when Sullivan hit the ref out of nowhere. Garvin had brown and grey hair and looked old, and even though this was his old stomping grounds, the fans really didn't seem to care. They slapped each other hard but it wasn't a good match. *
5. Lex Luger pinned IRS with a schoolboy in 8:06. IRS pinned Luger with his feet on the ropes but the ref saw it and ordered the match re-started. As IRS argued with the ref, Luger schoolboyed him. Luger got the biggest pop on the show since he lives in Marietta and everyone sees WWF on cable. Match was boring. 1/2*
6. Dirty White Boy & Dirty White Girl beat Brian Lee & Tammy Fytch in 10:32. The finish saw White Girl chase Fytch back to the dressing room leaving the guys in the ring and White Boy pinned Lee with an inside cradle. The guys took a backseat to the women when it came to the audiences attention here, but in the ring neither is experienced so they couldn't be in there for very long. *
7. Brian & Scott & Steve Armstrong beat Owen Hart & Well Dunn in 10:40. The Armstrongs all grew up in Marietta. Hart wasn't over strong as a heel here although he is everywhere he's against Bret. This was a solid match with the best work when Owen was in with Steve. Those two have a lot of talent and they both had their working shoes on. Hart wasn't over nearly as much as a heel here as he is in the WWF when he faces his brother. Scott pinned Well after Steve did a tremendous dropkick off the top rope. **3/4
8. Rock & Roll Express beat Heavenly Bodies via DQ in 16:20 in an SMW tag title match. This was the same basic match I've seen numerous times but they worked hard, it had the best heat of the night and told the best story. You probably could call 70 percent of it in your head but it all worked and everything looked good. Jim Cornette threw the tennis racquet in and Jimmy Del Rey got it and ref saw it and called for a DQ on Bodies, even though Del Rey wound up with the racquet taken from him and Ricky got it and used it on all three heels. After the match Morton talked about the upcoming loser leaves town match on 4/1 in Pikeville, KY and said that they weren't planning on losing or leaving. ***3/4
9. Bob Armstrong pinned Jim Cornette in 6:00 in a cage match. Because the fans weren't total into the storyline, this match meant a lot less than it would have in an SMW regular city. It got decent heat but nothing great. Cornette came out with his arm in a sling saying he got hurt in the previous match. Finally Scott & Steve Armstrong threw him into the cage. Cornette threw powder early to get the advantage but Armstrong made the comeback. Finally the racquet got tossed in and Cornette used it but Bob didn't sell it. Bob made a comeback and Cornette juiced for only the third time in his career, which is a testimony to just how important the show was to him personally, and Armstrong quickly pinned Cornette. *
There was even more action backstage. Numerous wrestlers both from other groups and local wrestlers were there. Dory Funk was there perhaps scouting for All Japan, which may form a business relationship with SMW. Numerous WCW officials including Gary Juster, Chris Potenza and Robert Welch (Rob Parker) were there. Jim Ross was backstage just watching the show. Ross is still suffering from Bells Palsy which is a sad situation in that he needs to find a new job, but in his current condition, can't do job interviews and there's no way of knowing when the condition will improve enough to where he can. The show opened with a rock concert with The Clintons, who have performed before six or seven major SMW shows and The Armstrongs and Tim Horner all sung with the group. Overall it was a good show, but not great and probably slightly disappointing if anything to the SMW crew who wanted to put on a blow-out show because the show was in the heart of WCW territory. The heat was such that there were a few knocks on WCW during the show. The program, which listed the wrestling block on Ch. 14, in the spot occupied by WCW World Wide simply listed it as "Wrestling?" and local d.j. Rhubarb Jones, who did the ring announcing and was the former WCW ring announcer at Center Stage said before the main event over the p.a. that he had given up on wrestling because of how boring the WCW live shows in the area were but that Pedicino had told him to give this show a chance and come out. He said how much he enjoyed himself at the shows. While the paid attendance was larger than the 789 paid the last time WCW ran the Omni, nobody was making note of that point since they were hoping for at least 1,500. SMW is planning on expanding into North Georgia
and making Marietta's Cobb County Civic Center a regular stop with 5/22 being the next show.
New Japan held a press conference on 3/13 in Tokyo to announce the line-up for the All-Star Junior tournament which takes place on 4/16 at the already sold out Sumo Hall. While using wrestlers from several promotions makes this a unique venture and there are some great wrestlers involved and should provide top matches, there is some disappointment with the line-up because of three names not involved--Ultimo Dragon, Gran Hamada and Sabu. I'm not sure the circumstances of Sabu, who had been talked about at length as a possible participant, or Dragon, who it seemed was a sure thing, but at the press conference the company did announce that Hamada had turned them down. This leaves it as a 13-man tournament, with Jushin Liger (who is booking the tournament), El Samurai, Shinjiro Ohtani, Wild Pegasus and Black Tiger representing New Japan, Negro Casas representing EMLL, Masao Orihara representing WAR, Ricky Fuji representing FMW, Hiyabusa representing the Tijuana-based WWA, Great Sasuke, Super Delfin and Taka Michinoku representing Michinoku Pro Wrestling and Masayoshi Motegi representing SPWF.
Two fairly big names in the industry from a few decades back, Ronnie Etchison and Eddy Creatchman, passed away over the past two weeks.
Etchison, who was a big name babyface largely in Northern California in the 1950s and in his home Central States territory in the 1960s passed away on 3/4 at the St. Joseph, MO Care Center that he had been residing in for the past seven years. Etchison, who age was listed as 73, although that sounds about five years too young because that would have made him both in college and having pro wrestling matches at the age of 14, had been in poor health suffering from a form of Alzheimer's Disease which had developed from numerous lesions on his brain that doctors believed stemmed from his days as a Golden gloves boxer although Etchison himself apparently felt that numerous head bumps during a 45-year career as a pro wrestler were also a contributory factor. Etchison's main claim to fame in wrestling is he was one of the few men in history to wrestle in six different decades, beginning his career in 1935 while attending college and his final match took place on January 4, 1980 at the Kiel Auditorium in St. Louis where he teamed with Sailor Art Thomas to beat Bulldog Bob Brown and protege Ed Wiskoski (Col. DeBeers). Etchison grew up in St. Joseph, MO, which later became the headquarters for Heart of America Promotions run by the late Gust Karras which promoted the old Central States region, which Etchison finished his career with. Etchison started as both a boxer and a pro wrestler in 1935 while in college at the University of Missouri. He had to give up his position on the college boxing team because it was found out he was wrestling professionally and in those days you couldn't be a pro in one sport and maintain collegiate eligibility in another. He ended up as a pro in both sports, winning the St. Joseph City championship in boxing in 1938 and the Missouri state wrestling championship in 1939 before going full-steam into wrestling where legend has it he held the unique distinction of being Harry Truman's favorite wrestler when Truman lived in Kansas City and would regularly attend the matches. After serving in World War II with the late Paul Boesch, Etchison had a good deal of success in wrestling particularly in the early 1950s as Pacific Coast champion for promoter Joe Malciewicz as "Golden Boy" Ronnie Etchison. He returned home in the 1960s as a
babyface headliner in the Central States, holding the Central States title on ten occasions and winning two non-title matches against Lou Thesz and also defeated Jack Brisco before his run as world champion. Etchison was the first opponent in St. Louis in 1961 for Buddy Rogers after he had won the world title from Pat O'Connor and continued to be a fixture in St. Louis, considered in many circles as the wrestling capital of North America, for the remainder of the decade, generally working in the middle or near the top. He worked most St. Louis shows in the early 70s, although by this time he generally worked in the opening tag team matches. Later he trained wrestlers for Karras, with his most famous proteges being Mike George, Wiskoski and Butch Reed. After retiring from the ring in 1980, he spent a few months booking spot shows for Bob Geigel before getting out of the business completely and working as a bouncer and a bartender before his illness confined him to a rest home.
Eddy Creatchman, nicknamed "The Brain" before Bobby Heenan took the nickname, was most famous for his run as the manager of The Sheik, passed away on 3/9 in a Montreal hospital at the age of 66. Creatchman, who had suffered a diabetes-related heart attack six months ago, suffered a second heart attack that day and quickly passed away. Creatchman started out as a wrestler in the 1950s, with little success, then became a referee in 1958, but didn't achieve any notoriety in wrestling until 1963 when he became a manager. He managed most of the heels in Montreal at various times, with his most famous charges being Sheik and Abdullah the Butcher. He was known for carrying a cane to the ring and smoking a cigar, although in reality he hated smoking and only did it because it helped get him heat. During the heyday of The Sheik, Sheik was managed in some cities, most notably Detroit, by Abdullah Farouk (Ernie "Grand Wizard" Roth) and in others, most notably Montreal by Creatchman. Eventually Wizard became a fixture in the WWWF and Creatchman branched into Detroit and Toronto as Sheik's mouthpiece. Creatchman continued to manage in Montreal through 1987, after which he owned a flea market. His son Floyd Creatchman later became the top heel manager for Gino Brito's International Wrestling in Montreal during the late 80s.
Ron Reis, the 7-2, 370-pound former Santa Clara University star who has been training with John Studd and Killer Kowalski, made his debut on Kowalski's 3/12 show in Brantford, CT beating Mike Hollow. At press time we haven't received any reports on Reis, although mentor Studd hasn't been shy about telling people that he will be the biggest thing since Andre the Giant because he's both taller than Andre and a better athlete.
Brazilian jiu-jitsu master Royce Gracie looked unbeatable once again in winning the Ultimate Fight II on 3/11, a 16-man mixed match tournament that once again looked to be a shoot even though many will dispute that. The 176-pound Gracie had too much ground wrestling technique, which saw him never in trouble as he easily defeated a Japanese karate star, a 260-pound sambo wrestler from Holland and a Sabaki champion from Denver. Pro wrestler Ken Wayne Shamrock, who undoubtedly would have been his toughest competition since Pat Smith, who lost to Gracie in the finals, submitted in less than 90 seconds to Shamrock at the first Ultimate Fight, was at the show but didn't compete due to a broken hand suffered in training. Shamrock, who was one of many who predicted Gracie would whip the field, said he'd be in the next Ultimate Fight PPV in September. Overall from a
spectator standpoint this was a better show than the first, and was certainly a lot more brutal, except where Gracie was concerned. The event, which drew a sellout 2,000 at Denver's Mammoth Gardens, opened with seven first-round "dark" matches. Unlike the first show, which had most matches last around 1:00, there was a 15:00 match in the first round. Gracie's first round match, against Minoki Ichihara of Japan, a karate master who wasn't nearly as famous in Japan as they tried to make him out to be, lasted 5:06 although it was really over in 12 seconds which was the time it took for Gracie to take him down and mount him rendering him helpless. Ichihara deserved credit for not quitting and protecting against Gracie's choke, but finally Gracie caught him in a short arm scissors for the submission. Pat Smith of Denver, who would go the finals, was in a brutal :21 match with Scott Morris. Smith wound up on top of his foe and threw rapid punches and elbows to the head until Morris was busted up really bad. The repeat punches and elbows to the eye were not only brutal, but almost sickening even when expecting brutality going in. The next match, Johnny Rhodes vs. Fred Ettish, featured two stand-up fighters so it didn't go to the ground right away and they took standing cautious stances. Finally Rhodes caught Ettish with a knee to the head and a few punches and he went down with Rhodes on top. Since Rhodes had no knowledge of wrestling, he just pounded on Ettish who wouldn't quit until 3:08. The final quarterfinal match had 6-4, 260 pound Renco Parduel, a sambo wrestler from Holland, against Muy-Thai kick boxer Orlando Weit, at 5-10, 170. Weit had such a chiseled physique than even though he was outsized, and history shows that kick boxers don't fare well in mixed matches with ground fighters, he was a major favorite. But Parduel took him down in 15 seconds and threw a series of elbows straight down to his head and split him open and knocked him flat out in 1:26. Gracie's quarterfinal was against Jason DeLucia, a former trainee of Gracie's who is a champion in American Gung fu. DeLucia took Gracie down, but in the disadvantage position, Gracie trapped him anyway and won with a short arm scissors in 1:02. Semifinals saw Smith vs. Rhodes and Smith caught him in a front facelock, and as Stu Hart would say, that's the end of that one in 1:05. Gracie was outsized by Parduel and was facing a ground nighter, but Gracie got behind him and took him down in 38 seconds, and finished him with a choke in 1:29. This left Gracie vs. Smith and nobody thought Smith had a chance, and they were right although it took Gracie 36 seconds to get Smith down and once he was there, he really fought it but he was quickly busted open and his corner threw in the towel at 1:16 when it became apparent he wasn't going to quit without being hurt. At the end of the show, which could also pass as a Gracie Family promotional film, Gracie said that after the first show all kinds of guys said that if they were in it they could win and he challenged all of them. The promoters have put out ads in martial arts magazines challenging people to enter, although again most martial arts are too limited in scope in that they don't teach ground training submissions so as long as Gracie could block punches and kicks long enough to take the guy down, which his style is designed to do with ease, most martial artists would seem to be sitting ducks stylistically. It was reported in mainstream media reports after the show that Ultimate Fight II drew 100,000 buys, which is roughly the same as most WCW PPV shows, although I'd dismiss that figure as being the typical exaggerated PPV figures that come out first from nearly every organization. Another PPV that aired a week earlier, called Future Fights, was said to be an obviously scripted series of
Hollywood karate stunt men matches which even included the introduction of theatrical blood.
Because of an injury, I was unable to put together an Observer last week so this double issue is both the third and fourth issue of the current set. Ever since I'd been hospitalized in December, it's been somewhat painful to type because of an injury to my left arm. The pain level when I was doing the issue two weeks was pretty serious and I was told by doctors to take a few weeks off. There was no way I could have done any typing last week and it wasn't feasible to get someone to type it for me. It's not better right now but it's a lot better than it was. There definitely will be an issue next week to cover Wrestlemania and catch up on more news. There definitely won't be an issue the following week since I'm scheduled for abdominal surgery on 3/28. I expect to be doing an issue the week after that, but that isn't a guarantee. The week after that is a definite and hopefully from that point forward everything will be weekly again.
So this is the final issue of the current set. If you've got a (1) on your address label it means that your Observer subscription expires with this issue. Renewal rates for the United States, Canada and Mexico remain $12 for eight issues, $24 for 16, $36 for 24, $48 for 32 up through $60 for 40 issues. Rates for the rest of the world for weekly airmail delivery are $9 for four issues, $18 for eight up through $90 for 40. All subscription renewals along with match reports, news items, letters to the editor and any other items pertaining to this newsletter can be sent to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228.
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RESULTS
2/13 Zapopan (AAA - 15,000): Prelim results unavailable, Los Payasos b Herodes & Rambo & Ice Killer, Angel Azteca & El Hijo del Santo b Psicosis & Fuerza Guerrera, Konnan El Barbaro & Perro Aguayo & Tinieblas Jr. b Cien Caras & Mascara Ano 2000 & Universo 2000
2/14 Puebla (UWA): Pequeno Chucky & Micro Konnan b Fuercita Guerrera & Pequeno Goliath, Vito Hiroaki & Celestial & Nuevo Audaz b Zandokan II & Bucanero Jr. & Shu el Guerrero, El Signo & Negro Navarro & El Texano b Los Machos I & II & III, Los Villanos III & IV & V b Dos Caras & Gran Hamada & Halcon Dorado Jr., UWA hwt title: Canek b The Killer
2/15 Zacatecas (AAA - 7,500 sellout): Prelim results unavailable, Tony Arce & Rocco Valente & Vulcano b Misterioso & Latin Lover & Torero *1/2, Volador & Mascara Sagrada & Lizmark b La Parka & Fuerza Guerrera & El Satanico ***1/4, Heavy Metal & El Hijo del Santo & Octagon b Eddy Guerrero & Love Machine & Jerry Estrada ***1/2
2/15 Arena Coliseo in Mexico City (EMLL): Felinito & Ultratumbita b Pequeno Jaque Mate & Damiancito el Guerrero, Metalico & Super Brazo & Brazo de Platino b Supremo II & Rey Bucanero & Nuevo Lynx, Fiero & Reyes Veloz & Escudero Rojo d Mogur & Babe Richard & ?, Mocho Cota & Jaque Mate & Sangre Chicana b Blue Demon Jr. & Americo Rocca & El Hijo del Solitario, Javier Llanes & Mano Negra & Black Magic b Dandy & Atlantis & Ringo Mendoza
2/15 Tokyo Korakuen Hall (W*ING - 1,400): Kazuhiko Matsuzaki b Hiroshi Ono, Masayoshi Motegi & Zuleyma b W*inger & Janet, Head Hunters b Shoji Nakamaki & Matsuzaki, Barbed wire baseball bat match: Jason the Terrible b Bart Sawyer, Falls count anywhere: Leatherface b Freddy Krueger, Kendo Nagasaki b Nobutaka Araya, Loser leaves town: Yukihiro Kanemura b Hido (Hido had given notice as he was jumping to NSBW)
2/16 Aguascalientes (AAA - 8,000 sellout): Prelim results unavailable, Los Payasos b Lizmark & El Hijo de Lizmark & Solar-DQ, WWA welterweight title: Psicosis b El Hijo del Santo-DQ to win title (titles change via DQ in Mexico), Konnan El Barbaro & Tinieblas Jr. & Perro Aguayo b Cien Caras & Mascara Ano 2000 & Black Cat (New Japan wrestler)
2/19 Southern Pines, NC (East Coast Wrestling Federation - 200 sellout): John Savage b Willow the Whisp, Dark Patriot b Hollywood Star-DQ, Colossus b White Knight, Mike Vice b Wachee the Samoan-DQ, El Hijo del Fuego b Grave Robber, Black Dragons b Commando & Devastator, Wolverine & Sub-Zero & High Voltage b Colossus & Devastator & T.C. Flexer
2/20 El Toreo in Naucalpan (UWA): Prelim results unavailable, Los Villanos III & IV & V b El Signo & Black Power II & Karloff Lagarde Jr., The Killer & Andy Barrow & Enrique Vera b Canek & Dos Caras & Halcon Dorado Jr.
2/22 Arena Coliseo in Mexico City (EMLL): Comodin & Rey Bucanero b Ultimatum & Angel de Plata, Lady Apache & La Sirenita & Cynthia Moreno b Reina Jabuki (Akira Hokuto) & Lady Star & La Procticante, Panico & Tornado Negro I & Mogur b Trueno & Gran Apache I & Americo Rocca, Ringo Mendoza & Vampiro Casanova & Brazo de Plata b Sangre Chicana & Mocho Cota & Mano Negra, CMLL middleweight title: Dandy d Javier Llanes
2/24 Whitewater, WI (WWF - 1,300): Sparky Plugg b Rick Martel, Diesel b Virgil, Alundra Blayze b Heidi Lee Morgan, Tom Stone b Bastion Booger, Head Shrinkers b Men on Mission, Doink the Clown b Bam Bam Bigelow, Bret Hart & 1-2-3 Kid b Shawn Michaels & Owen Hart
2/25 Oshkosh, WI (WWF - 2,300): Sparky Plugg b Rick Martel DUD, Diesel b Virgil DUD, Alundra Blayze b Heidi Lee Morgan *1/2, Mabel b Samu DUD, Bastion Booger b Tom Stone DUD, Doink the Clown b Bam Bam Bigelow *3/4, Bret Hart & 1-2-3 Kid b Owen Hart & Shawn Michaels **3/4
2/25 Columbia, SC (WCW - 1,800): Jim Steele b The Gambler, Craig Pittman b Brian Anderson, Too Cold Scorpio & Marcus Bagwell b Tex Slashinger & Shanghai Pierce, Arn Anderson b Paul Orndorff, WCW TV title: Steve Regal b Dustin Rhodes, Sting b Steve Austin, WCW title: Ric Flair b Vader
2/25 Poza Rica Baseball Stadium (AAA): One-night tag team tournament, Octagon & Blue Panther split Battle Royal, Fishman & El Satanico b El Hijo de Lizmark & Mascara Sagrada-DQ, Heavy Metal & Latin Lover b Eddy Guerrero & Love Machine-COR, Jerry Estrada & La Parka b Tiger Mask (Koji Kanemoto) & Volador, Octagon & El Hijo del Santo b Blue Panther & Fuerza Guerrera, Metal & Lover b Fishman & Satanico-DQ, Estrada & Parka b Octagon & Santo-DQ, Finals: Estrada & Parka b Metal & Lover-DQ
2/25 Cranford, NJ (Ind): Sledgehammer Al b Damian Stone, Crusher Blackbeard b The American, Gino Caruso b Johnny Grunge, Rockin Rebel DDQ Johnny Rotten, Tommy Cairo b Kodiak Bear, King Kaluha b Cheetah Kid, Keith Scherer b Flex Lavander
2/26 Pachuca (AAA): Stelaris & Bat Blue b Suspenso & Titere, La Monster & La Briosa b La Rosa & Martha Villalobos, Falcon & Antifaz b Igor El Vikingo & King Xadu, Angel Azteca & Love Warrior (Super Calo) b Ice Killer & El Hijo del Espectro, El Satanico & Fishman b Konnan El Barbaro & Tinieblas Jr.
2/26 Manhattan, NY (Lower East Side Wrestling - 75): Inferno Kid b Rick Ratcher, Venom b Devon Storm, Gino Caruso & Metal Head b Assault & Battery-DQ, Johnny Goldfinger b Gemini Kid, El Fantastico & Capt. America b Coco Powers & Chabalin, El Bandito DDQ Fire Hawk, Jason Knight b Rambo, Halcon Lobo & Black Panther & Art Steele b White Star & Mike Stone & The Acrobat, Jason won Battle Royal
2/28 Tokyo Korakuen Hall (Pro Wrestling Fujiwara Gumi - 1,500): Funaki b Tanaka, Otaku Hozumi & Shinobu Kandori b Harley Saito & Mikiko Futagami, Berto Dieuseul b Shupo Toto, Yoshiaki Fujiwara b Osuda, Glen Jacobs b Yuki Ishikawa, Ishikawa won 11 person Battle Royal
2/28 Niage (NOW): Kazuhiko Matsuzaki b Hiroshi Ono, Umakaras b Apollo Sugawara, Tiger Jeet Singh Jr. b Ryo Myake, Tiger Jeet Singh Sr. & Umanosuke Ueda b Rod Price & Kishin Kawabata, Kendo Nagasaki b John Hawk-DQ
3/1 Iida (All Japan - 2,100 sellout): Yoshinari Ogawa b Kentaro Shiga, Tamon Honda b Rob Van Dam, Dan Kroffat & Doug Furnas b Tsuyoshi Kikuchi & Mighty Inoue, Haruka Eigen & Masa Fuchi & Ryukaku Izumida b Giant Baba & Rusher Kimura & Mitsuo Momota 24:44, Dory Funk & Takao Omori b Johnny Gunn & Johnny Ace, Steve Williams & Richard Slinger b Al Perez & Barry Horowitz, Stan Hansen & John Nord b The Eagle & The Patriot, Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi & Jun Akiyama b Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue & Masao Inoue 24:00
3/1 Kumamoto (NOW): Kazuhiko Matsuzaki b Hiroshi Ono, John Hawk b Ryo Myake, Umakaras b Kishin Kawabata, Kendo Nagasaki b Rod Price, Apollo Sugawara & Tiger Jeet Singh Jr. b Tiger Jeet Singh Sr. & Umanosuke Ueda-DQ
3/1 Tampa (WWA): White Shadow b The Mechanic-DQ, Jeff Bradley b Chris Nelson, Frankie Rose b Surgeon General, Odessa Slim b Nuclear Assassin, Lou Perez & Rico Fredrico b Rick Thames & Sonny T, Ned Brady b Randy Fuller
3/2 Tokyo Sumo Hall (WAR - 11,000 sellout): Gedo & Jado b Masanobu Kurisu & Nobukazu Hirai, Koki Kitahara b Kim Duk, Hiromichi Fuyuki b Arashi, Ultimo Dragon & Masao Orihara b Great Sasuke & Sato 28:13, Super Strong Machine b Corazon de Leon, King Haku b Mr. Hughes, Koji Kitao b Koji Ishinriki, Atsushi Onita & Tarzan Goto b Genichiro Tenryu & Ashura Hara
3/2 Kasugai (All Japan - 2,800 sellout): Rob Van Dam & Johnny Ace b Mighty Inoue & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi, Al Perez & Barry Horowitz b Dory Funk & Johnny Gunn, Giant Baba & Jumbo Tsuruta & Rusher Kimura b Haruka Eigen & Masa Fuchi & Ryukaku Izumida 20:44, Akira Taue & Yoshinari Ogawa b Richard Slinger & Steve Williams, Asian tag title: Dan Kroffat & Doug Furnas b The Eagle & The Patriot, Stan Hansen & John Nord b Kenta Kobashi & Tamon Honda, Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama b Toshiaki Kawada & Takao Omori
3/2 Fukuoka (NOW): Hiroshi Ono b Kazuhiko Matsuzaki, Umakaras b Ryo Myake, Tiger Jeet Singh Jr. b Kishin Kawabata, Tiger Jeet Singh Sr. & Umanosuke Ueda b Apollo Sugawara & Rod Price-DQ, Kendo Nagasaki b John Hawk
3/3 Atlanta Center Stage (WCW Saturday Night tapings - 500/all freebies): Non-squash results: Rick Steamboat b Paul Roma, Uncle Buck (Jimmy Golden) b Tom Zenk, Marcus Bagwell b The Terrorist (David "Cuban Assassin"
Cannell), Sting & Brian Pillman b Paul Orndorff & Roma, Roma & Orndorff b Thunder & Lightning, Buck b Erik Watts
3/3 Anaheim, CA (WWF - 5,800): Bushwhackers b Heavenly Bodies, WWF tag title: Quebecers b 1-2-3 Kid & Jim Powers, Doink & Dink b Bam Bam Bigelow & Luna Vachon, Yokozuna & Bastion Booger b Men on Mission, Smoking Gunns b Tonga Kid & Samu, Lex Luger & Bret Hart b Owen Hart & IRS
3/3 Handa (All Japan - 1,800 sellout): Tsuyoshi Kikuchi b Kentaro Shiga, Mighty Inoue & Takao Omori b Al Perez & Barry Horowitz, The Eagle & The Patriot b Dory Funk & Johnny Gunn, Giant Baba & Rusher Kimura & Mitsuo Momota b Haruka Eigen & Masa Fuchi & Ryukaku Izumida 21:43, Dan Kroffat & Doug Furnas b Kenta Kobashi & Tamon Honda, Steve Williams & Johnny Ace & Richard Slinger b Stan Hansen & John Nord & Rob Van Dam, Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue & Yoshinari Ogawa b Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama & Satoru Asako 20:02
3/3 Tokyo Korakuen Hall (All Japan women - 2,100 sellout): Kumiko Maekawa b Miki Yokoe, Tomoko Watanabe & Chapparita Asari b Chikako Shiratori & Rie Tamada, Suzuka Minami & Kaoru Ito b Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda, Yumiko Hotta b Takako Inoue, Sakie Hasegawa d Toshiyo Yamada 30:00, Bull Nakano & Kyoko Inoue b Aja Kong & Manami Toyota 29:17
3/3 Everts, KY (SMW - 250 sellout): Bobby Blaze b The Hornet, Rock & Roll Express b Moondogs-DQ, Dirty White Boy & Tracy Smothers b Chris Candido & Brian Lee, Smothers won Battle Royal
3/3 Tokushima (Michinoku Pro - 1,300 sellout): Kazumichi Nakajima b Naohiro Hoshikawa, Taka Michinoku b Yone Genjin, Terry Boy b Awa, Megumi Kudo b Tsuppari Mack, Super Delfin & Ginsei Shinzaki & Gran Naniwa b Great Sasuke & Sato & Shiryu 28:25
3/3 Mikado (NOW): Kazuhiko Matsuzaki b Hiroshi Ono, Umakaras b Ryo Myake, Tiger Jeet Singh Jr. b John Hawk, Kendo Nagasaki DDQ Rod Price, Kishin Kawabata & Apollo Sugawara b Tiger Jeet Singh Sr. & Umanosuke Ueda-DQ
3/3 Winnipeg (River City Wrestling - 190): Robby Royce b Steve Stryker, Sgt. Steele & Major Impact b Bobby Jay & Sluggo Smith, Brian Jewel b Stan Saxon-DQ, Mike Stone won River City Rumble Battle Royal to become first RCW champ
3/3 Plant City, FL (Plant City Wrestling Federation): Chubby Mo Cool b Butch Long, Cody Wade NC Ned Brady, Luscious Luke & John Law b Sensuous Lee & Hit Man-DQ, Vern Henderson b Chris Nelson, Rick Thames & Sonny T b Randy Fuller & Jimmy Watts, Odessa Slim & Chubby Mo Cool b Dr. Doom & Brady
3/3 Shelbyville, TN (All-State Pro Wrestling): Big Bubba b Chris Kerns, Boogie Woogie Boy b Quinton Quarizma-DQ, Tony Falk b Big Bono, Robbie Rage b Candi Divine, Billy Montana & Ken Arden b Wild Boys, Dutch Mantel b Ben Mullins
3/4 Lenoir, NC (SMW - 500): Anthony Michaels b The Hornet, Bobby Blaze b Jeff Viktory, U.S. jr. title: Chris Candido b Tracy Smothers, Dirty White Boy & Dirty White Girl b Brian Lee & Tammy Fytch
3/4 Tokyo (All Japan women - 1,820): Rie Tamada b Chikako Shiratori, Chapparita Asari b Kumiko Maekawa, Etsuko Mita b Tomoko Watanabe, Suzuka Minami & Toshiyo Yamada b Takako Inoue & Kaoru Ito, Kyoko Inoue b Mima Shimoda, Aja Kong & Bull Nakano b Manami Toyota & Yumiko Hotta
3/4 Osaka (Michinoku Pro - 2,563 sellout): Kazumichi Nakajima b Naohiro Hoshikawa, Taka Michinoku b Monkey Magic (not original), Megumi Kudo b Tsuppari
Mack, Ginsei Shinzaki & Gran Naniwa & Yone Genjin b Great Sasuke & Terry Boy & Shiryu 28:23, Mask vs. hair: Super Delfin b Sato
3/4 Dallas Sportatorium (GWF): Mike Davis b Roberto Soto, Awesome Kong & King Kong b Koko Ware & Jeep Swenson-COR, Chaz Taylor b Danny Davis, Sweet Daddy Falcone & Vito Mussolini DCOR Scott Putski & Ware, Awesome Kong b Putski-DQ, Ware b Mussolini, Calvin Knapp b Falcone, Putski b Moadib-DQ
3/4 Dallas (Big D): Broadway Danny b Chris Rox, El Gato Negro b Ricky Long, Terry Simms b Ray Evans, Mike Savage b Tim Brooks-DQ, Mascara Del Fuego b Cuervo II, Bill Irwin b Jimmy James, Big D & Mr. Mister b Kit Carson & Bullman Downs-DQ
3/4 Ohita (NOW): Kazuhiko Matsuzaki b Hiroshi Ono, Umakaras b Kishin Kawabata, Tiger Jeet Singh Jr. b Ryo Myake, Kendo Nagasaki b John Hawk, Tiger Jeet Singh Sr. & Umanosuke Ueda b Apollo Sugawara & Rod Price
3/4 Yamato (LLPW): Prelim results unavailable, Eagle Sawai b Michiko Nagashima, Noriyo Tateno & Otaku Hozumi b Mikiko Futagami & Shinobu Kandori
3/4 Forest City, NC (Pro Wrestling Federation - 105): Chad Starr b Black Scorpion (Ray Hudson), Sammy Fritz b Eric Drew, Chris Hamrick b Russian Assassin (Terry Austin), Texas Outlaw b Emilio Ulacia, Randy Sledge b Executioner #1 , George South b Brian Lee (not original), Star Ryder (Hudson) & Italian Stallion b Austin & Austin Steele-DQ
3/4 Central City, KY (Tri-State Wrestling): Mike Samples b Hit Man Louie, Dan Shannon b Mark Adcock, Sheik Ali Khan (Mr. Clyde) b David Adcock, The Buzzard b New Dog, Mad Man Pondo & Sledge b Flash Flannagan & Doug Basham
3/4 San Bernardino, CA (Golden State Wrestling): Thrashmaster & Larry Ludden b Kid Kaos & Renegade, Prime Time Peterson & Jeff Bennett b Eric Studd & The Sadist, Thrashmaster & Ludden b Superstorm & Kimara, Scott Cole & Jason Redondo b Peterson & Bennett, Thrashmaster & Ludden b Cole & Redondo to win GSWA tag titles
3/5 Tokyo Budokan Hall (All Japan - 16,300 sellout): Satoru Asako b Kentaro Shiga, Al Perez & Barry Horowitz b Dory Funk & Masao Inoue, Dan Kroffat & Doug Furnas b Tamon Honda & Yoshinari Ogawa, Rusher Kimura & Mighty Inoue & Mitsuo Momota b Haruka Eigen & Masa Fuchi & Ryukaku Izumida, Johnny Ace & Richard Slinger & Rob Van Dam b The Patriot & The Eagle & Johnny Gunn, Akira Taue & Toshiaki Kawada b Takao Omori & Jun Akiyama, Steve Williams b John Nord, Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi b Giant Baba & Stan Hansen
3/5 Wakayama (New Japan - 1,800 sellout): Nobukazu Hirai b Shinjiro Ohtani, Manabu Nakanishi & Satoshi Kojima b Yuji Nagata & Tokimitsu Ishizawa, Killer Bee (Brian Blair) b Takayuki Iizuka, Akira Nogami b Kuniaki Kobayashi, Villano V & Black Tiger (Eddy Guerrero) b Jushin Liger & El Samurai, Tatsutoshi Goto & Great Kabuki & Kengo Kimura b Tatsumi Fujinami & Masa Chono & Tadao Yasuda, The Barbarian & Power Warrior b Scott Norton & Hercules Fernandez, Akitoshi Saito & Michiyoshi Ohara & Shiro Koshinaka b Riki Choshu & Shinya Hashimoto & Osamu Kido
3/5 Philadelphia (ECW - 1,400 sellout): 911 b Paul Laurie & Mikey Watson DUD, Pat Tanaka & J.T. Smith b Rockin rebel & Pit Bull **1/2, Tommy Dreamer b Jimmy Snuka *3/4, Falls count anywhere: Bruise Brothers b Public Enemy ***1/2, Road Warrior Hawk b Mr. Hughes *, ECW TV title: Sabu b Mike Awesome ***1/4,
ECW tag title: Kevin Sullivan & Tasmaniac b Bruise Brothers-DQ **, Sandman b Chad Austin DUD, Taped fist match for ECW title: Terry Funk b Shane Douglas ****
3/5 Morristown, TN (SMW - 700): Anthony Michaels b The Hornet, Bobby Blaze b Mike Samson, Mongolian Stomper b Larry Santo, Rock & Roll Express b Moondogs, Cage match: Dirty White Boy & Tracy Smothers b Brian Lee & Chris Candido
3/5 Tokai (All Japan women): Kumiko Maekawa b Rie Tamada, Chapparita Asari b Chikako Shiratori, Suzuka Minami b Etsuko Mita, Manami Toyota & Takako Inoue b Bull Nakano & Tomoko Watanabe, Yumiko Hotta b Kaoru Ito, Kyoko Inoue & Toshiyo Yamada b Aja Kong & Mima Shimoda
3/5 Clementon, NJ (WWA - 510): Father Ed b Mr. X, Chris Weider b Akita Kaos, East L.A. b Ed Atlas, The Spiders b The Stryker & Boy Gone Bad, Frank Finnegan b 3-D (Damian Demento)-COR, Abdullah the Butcher DDQ Abbuda Singh
3/5 Kyoko (JWP): Prelim results unavailable, Hikari Fukuoka b Candy Okutsu, Mayumi Ozaki & Dynamite Kansai b Plum Mariko & Cutie Suzuki
3/5 Austin, TX (Lone Star Wrestling): Pete Christie b Too Sweet Jones, Bubba Monroe & Gorilla Johnson b Tracy Austin & Bobby Perez, Danny Davis (not original) d Chaz Taylor, Rick Garren & Rico Suave b Hounds of Hell, Dusty Wolfe b Tarzan Taylor, The Heathen & Night Breeder (Moadib) b Hawaiian Crunch & Dr. X, Giant Warrior (Butch Masters) DDQ Tugboat Taylor
3/5 Denton, NC (Atlantic Wrestling Federation): T.C. Flexer b John Savage, High Voltage b Wolverine, Rikki Nelson b David Isley, Thunderfoot I (Isley) & Russian Assassin (Dan Grundy) b Robbie Auman & Les Parker-DQ, Wahoo McDaniel b Nelson
3/5 Cloverdale, BC (West Coast Championship Wrestling): T-Chuck b Lance Idol (not original), The Bodyguard b Buddy Wayne, Firefighter Adrian b Dillon Powers-DQ, Billionaire Boys Club b New Canadians to win Intl tag title, Badnews Allen & Rocky Dellasserra b Timothy Flowers & Adrian
3/5 Chester, SC (North American Wrestling Alliance - 102): Hunter Thompson b Kevin Kirby, Dozer (J.R. Scruggs) b American G.I. (Rich Scruggs), The Assassin (Ken Boone) b Buddy Porter, Ivan & Vladimir Koloff b Harold Helms & Super Rocker (Don Herbert)-DQ
3/5 Centre, AL (Bama Pro Wrestling): Sam Colt b Joel Travis, Richie Dye b Jason Valentine, Billy Montana & Ken Arden b Big Bubba & Tracy Black, Widowmaker b Keith Hart-DQ, Ken Timbs b Tim Strong, Woody Woodchuck b Rawhead Rex-DQ
3/5 Dayton, OH (Global Wrestling Association/Al Snow & Dale Grow promoters):Steve Nixon b Jake LeDuc, Dan Severn b Kodiak, Rock Stevens b Mike Kelly, Al Snow & Denny Kass b Bobby Clancy & Otis Apollo, Reno Havoc b Shawn Casey, The Patriot (not original) b Shinobi (Al Snow), Rick Keller won Battle Royal
3/6 Seattle (WWF - 4,700 sellout): Bushwhackers b Heavenly Bodies, Smoking Gunns b Samu & Tonga Kid, Doink & Dink b Bam Bam Bigelow & Luna Vachon, Men on Mission b IRS & Bastion Booger, WWF tag title: Quebecers b 1-2-3 Kid & Jim Powers, Bret Hart & Lex Luger b Yokozuna & Owen Hart-DQ
3/6 Okayama (New Japan - 4,000 sellout): Nobukazu Hirai b Tatsuhito Takaiwa, Satoshi Kojima b Manabu Nakanishi, Black Tiger b Shinjiro Ohtani, Jushin Liger b Villano V, Great Kabuki b Tadao Yasuda, Masa Chono b Akitoshi Saito, Killer Bee & The Barbarian & Hercules Fernandez b Takayuki Iizuka & Akira Nogami &
Power Warrior, Hiro Saito & Yoshiaki Yatsu b Michiyoshi Ohara & Kuniaki Kobayashi, Non-title: Scott Norton b Shinya Hashimoto, Riki Choshu & Tatsumi Fujinami & Yoshiaki Fujiwara b Shiro Koshinaka & Kengo Kimura & Tatsutoshi Goto
3/6 Beckley, WV (SMW - 425): Prince Kharis b Anthony Michaels, Ladder match: Tracy Smothers b Chris Candido, Rock & Roll Express b Moondogs, Dirty White Boy & Dirty White Girl b Brian Lee & Tammy Fytch
3/6 Philadelphia (ECW TV tapings): Bad Breed b Johnny Hot Body & Tony Stetson, Bruise Brothers b Hack Myers & Bob Starr, 911 b Eric Anderson, ECW tag title no DQ: Public Enemy b Kevin Sullivan & Tazmaniac to win titles, Road Warrior Hawk b Pit Bull, 911 b Damien Stone, Mr. Hughes b Billy Fire Hawk, Ray Odyssey b Anderson, Chad Austin b Fire Hawk, Judge Dredd b Devon Storm, Sandman b Sal Bellomo, Terry Funk & Kevin Sullivan & Crash the Terminator (Bill DeMott) b Shane Douglas & Public Enemy, ECW TV title: Tazmaniac b Sabu to win title, Sandman & Jimmy Snuka b Tommy Dreamer & Tommy Cairo, Douglas b Pat Tanaka, Pit Bull & Rockin Rebel b Young Dragons, Bruise Brothers b Devon Storm & Stone, ECW TV title: J.T. Smith b Tazmaniac to win title
3/6 Tsu (All Japan women - 1,740): Rie Tamada b Miki Yokoe, Chapparita Asari b Kumiko Maekawa, Mima Shimoda b Tomoko Watanabe, Bull Nakano & Yumiko Hotta b Kyoko Inoue & Toshiyo Yamada, Takako Inoue b Etsuko Mita, Aja Kong & Suzuka Minami b Manami Toyota & Kaoru Ito
3/6 Tokyo Korakuen Hall (LLPW - 1,900): Harley Saito b Noriyo Tateno, Mikiko Futagami & Jen Yukari d Mitsuki Endo & Carol Midori 30:00, Handicap match: Yasha Kurenai & Shinobu Kandori b Michiko Nagashima, Rumi Kazama b Leo Kitamura, Otaku Hozumi & Miki Handa b Omukai & Eagle Sawai
3/6 Osaka (JWP - 500): Prelim results unavailable, Dynamite Kansai b Candy Okutsu, Hikari Fukuoka & Cutie Suzuki b Plum Mariko & Boirshoi Kid
3/6 Akita (Michinoku Pro - 650): Yone Genjin b Masato Yakushiji, Taka Michinoku & Terry Boy b Kazumichi Nakajima & Naohiro Hoshikawa, Ginsei Shinzaki b Nakajima, Great Sasuke & Shiryu b Super Delfin & Gran Naniwa
3/6 Hiratsuka aft. (FULL - 636): Pantera II & Kendo b Adrian El Exotico & Karloff Lagarde Jr., Los Brazos b Robin Hood & Brazo de Platino & Rocky Santana, Shu el Guerrero & Villano IV b Dos Caras & Gran Hamada-DQ
3/6 Hiratsuka p.m. (FULL - 632): Rocky Santana b Adrian El Exotico, Karloff Lagarde & Villano IV b Brazo de Platino b Robin Hood, Los Brazos b Dos Caras & Pantera II & Kendo, UWF super middleweight title: Shu el Guerrero b Gran Hamada to win title
3/7 Denver (WWF - 2,300): Bushwhackers b Heavenly Bodies, WWF tag title: Quebecers b 1-2-3 Kid & Jim Powers, Smoking Gunns b Tonga Kid & Samu, Doink & Dink b Bam Bam Bigelow & Luna Vachon, Men on Mission b IRS & Bastion Booger, Bret Hart & Lex Luger b Yokozuna & Owen Hart-DQ
3/7 Nakamura (New Japan): Tatsuhito Takaiwa b Tokimitsu Ishizawa, Yuji Nagata b Satoshi Kojima, Shinjiro Ohtani b Nobukazu Hirai, Black Tiger b Villano V, Great Kabuki & Akitoshi Saito b Tadao Yasuda & Osamu Kido, Michiyoshi Ohara & Tatsutoshi Goto & Shiro Koshinaka & Kengo Kimura b El Samurai & Jushin Liger & Akira Nogami & Takayuki Iizuka, Shinya Hashimoto b Killer Bee, The Barbarian & Hercules Fernandez & Scott Norton b Riki Choshu & Masa Chono & Tatsumi Fujinami
3/7 Dungannon, VA (SMW TV tapings - 250 sellout): Tracy Smothers b Jason West, Bobby Blaze b Larry Santo, SMW TV title: Mike Furnas b Killer Kyle to win
title, Thrillseekers b Masked Infernos (Anthony Michaels & Brian Keyes), Ladder match: Tracy Smothers b Chris Candido, Well Dunn b Blaze & West, SMW TV title: Furnas b Mike Samson, Dirty White Boy b Kyle-DQ, Rock & Roll Express b Infernos, Thrillseekers b Santo & Samson, SMW TV title: Mike Furnas b Inferno #1 , Prince Kharis b Blaze, Rock & Roll Express b Lee & Candido, Thrillseekers b The Hornet & Samson, SMW TV title: Furnas b Santo, Dirty White Boy & Dirty White Girl b Brian Lee & Tammy Fytch
3/7 Gamagori (All Japan women): Chikako Shiratori b Miki Yokoe, Chapparita Asari b Rie Tamada, Kaoru Ito b Tomoko Watanabe, Yumiko Hotta & Suzuka Minami b Manami Toyota & Kyoko Inoue, Bull Nakano b Mima Shimoda, Aja Kong & Etsuko Mita b Toshiyo Yamada & Takako Inoue
3/8 Ludwigshafen, Germany (WCW): Too Cold Scorpio & Johnny B. Badd b Paul Orndorff & Paul Roma, Steve Regal b Cactus Jack, Frank Anderson b Harlem Heat Kane, Ron Simmons b Marcus Bagwell, Sting b Harlem Heat Koal, Vader b Rick Steamboat, WCW title: Ric Flair b Steve Austin
3/8 Matsuyama (New Japan): Nobukazu Hirai & El Samurai b Tatsuhito Takaiwa & Yuji Nagata, Tokimitsu Ishizawa b Shinjiro Ohtani, Hiro Saito b Satoshi Kojima, Tatsutoshi Goto b Tadao Yasuda, Killer Bee b Osamu Kido, Scott Norton & Hercules Fernandez & The Barbarian b Manabu Nakanishi & Riki Choshu & Shinya Hashimoto, Non-title: Black Tiger b Jushin Liger, Akira Nogami & Takayuki Iizuka & Masa Chono & Tatsumi Fujinami b Michiyoshi Ohara & Kengo Kimura & Shiro Koshinaka & Great Kabuki
3/8 Tokyo Korakuen Hall (FULL - 500): Rocky Santana b Adrian El Exotico, CMLL trios title: Los Brazos b Kendo & Robin Hood & Brazo de Platino, Gran Hamada & Dos Caras & Pantera II b Shu el Guerrero & Villano IV & Karloff Lagarde Jr., Brazo de Plata won Battle Royal
3/9 Cologne, Germany (WCW): Marcus Bagwell & Johnny B. Badd b Paul Orndorff & Paul Roma, Frank Anderson b Harlem Heat Kane, Maxx Payne b Ron Simmons-DQ, Steve Austin b Too Cold Scorpio, Rick Steamboat b Harlem Heat Koal, Ric Flair b Steve Regal, Vader b Sting 22:00
3/9 Iwakuni (New Japan): Manabu Nakanishi b Tatsuhito Takaiwa, Satoshi Kojima b Tokimitsu Ishizawa, Akitoshi Saito b Yuji Nagata, Jushin Liger & Shinjiro Ohtani b Black Tiger & Villano V, Kengo Kimura & Michiyoshi Ohara b Hiroshi Hase & Tadao Yasuda, Akira Nogami & Takayuki Iizuka & Masa Chono b Killer Bee & Hercules Fernandez & Scott Norton, Osamu Kido & Riki Choshu & Tatsumi Fujinami b Tatsutoshi Goto & Great Kabuki & Shiro Koshinaka
3/9 Tokyo Korakuen Hall (W*ING): Masayoshi Motegi b Fukumentaro, Rico b W*inger, Bruise Brothers b Kazuhiko Matsuzaki & Nobutaka Araya, Kendo Nagasaki b Shoji Nakamaki, Crypt Keeper & Head Hunters b Jason the Terrible & Leatherface & Yukihiro Kanemura
3/10 Berlin, Germany (WWF): Sparky Plugg b Bastion Booger, Diesel b Virgil, Rick Martel b Jeff Jarrett, Earthquake b Adam Bomb, WWF womens title: Alunda Blayze b Leilani Kai, Tatanka b Kwang, Razor Ramon b Shawn Michaels, Randy Savage b Crush
3/10 Saga (New Japan - 2,860): Satoshi Kojima b Tatsuhito Takaiwa, Manabu Nakanishi b Tokimitsu Ishizawa, Yuji Nagata b Shinjiro Ohtani, Michiyoshi Ohara & Akitoshi Saito & Tatsutoshi Goto & Kengo Kimura b Tadao Yasuda & Takayuki Iizuka & Akira Nogami & Osamu Kido, Kojima won Battle Royal, Killer Bee & Black Tiger b
El Samurai & Jushin Liger, Tatsumi Fujinami & Hiroshi Hase b Great Kabuki & Shiro Koshinaka, The Barbarian & Scott Norton & Hercules Fernandez b Masa Chono & Shinya Hashimoto & Riki Choshu
3/10 New Port Richey, FL (Florida Wrestling Alliance): Bill Pain d Mike Haynor, Manny Fernandez (not original) b The Mechanic, Jeff Bradley b Navy Seal, Haystacks Calhoun Jr. b The Viper-DQ, Fernandez & Randy Fuller b Surgeon Generals-DQ
3/10 Shelbyville, TN (All-State Pro Wrestling): Big Bubba b Ken Arden, Rex Rider b Gypsy Joe-DQ, Billy Montana b Bongo Cool, Boogie Woogie Boy b Blackie West, Candi Divine b Robbie Rage-DQ, Ben Mullins & Big Bono b Tony Falk & Dutch Mantel
3/11 North Charleston, SC (WWF - 3,100): Bushwhackers b Well Dunn, Smoking Gunns b Afa & Samu, Doink & Dink b Bam Bam Bigelow & Luna Vachon, WWF tag title: Quebecers b 1-2-3 Kid & Jim Powers, Yokozuna & Bastion Booger b Men on Mission, Bret Hart & Lex Luger b IRS & Owen Hart
3/11 Halle (WCW): Marcus Bagwell & Johnny B. Badd b Ron Simmons & Harlem Heat Koal, Frank Anderson b Harlem Heat Kane, Too Cold Scorpio b Maxx Payne, Vader b Paul Roma, Cactus Jack b Paul Orndorff, Sting & Rick Steamboat b Ric Flair & Steve Regal
3/11 Onoda (New Japan - 2,250): Shinjiro Ohtani b Tatsuhito Takaiwa, Michiyoshi Ohara b Yuji Nagata, Tatsutoshi Goto b Satoshi Kojima, Akira Nogami & Takayuki Iizuka b Killer Bee & Black Tiger, Jushin Liger & Osamu Kido b Tokimitsu Ishizawa & El Samurai, The Barbarian & Hercules Fernandez & Scott Norton b Tadao Yasuda & Hiroshi Hase & Tatsumi Fujinami, Shinya Hashimoto b Akitoshi Saito, Great Kabuki & Shiro Koshinaka & Kengo Kimura b Manabu Nakanishi & Masa Chono & Riki Choshu
3/11 Paintsville, KY (SMW - 450): Thrillseekers (Chris Jericho & Lance Storm) b Infernos, Non-title ladder match: Tracy Smothers b Chris Candido, Handicap match: Bob Armstrong b Dick Murdoch & Jim Cornette, SMW tag title: Rock & Roll Express b Heavenly Bodies-DQ, Dirty White Boy & Dirty White Girl b Brian Lee & Tammy Fytch
3/11 Iwatsuki (All Japan women): Kumiko Maekawa b Chikako Shiratori, Chapparita Asari b Rie Tamada, Toshiyo Yamada & Takako Inoue b Sakie Hasegawa & Kaoru Ito, Bull Nakano b Tomoko Watanabe, Yumiko Hotta & Manami Toyota b Aja Kong & Kyoko Inoue
3/11 Tagajyo (W*ING): The W*inger NC Rico, Kazuhiko Matsuzaki b Rico, W*inger b Matsuzaki, Kendo Nagasaki & Leatherface (Rick Patterson) DDQ Bruise Brothers, Crypt Keeper (Jose Estrada Jr.) b Nobutaka Araya, Head Hunters b Shoji Nakamaki & Yukihiro Kanemura
3/11 Dallas (GWF - 380/papered): Tugboat Taylor NC Rod Price, Jeep Swenson b Krusher Kong-DQ, Chris Adams b Dr. Doom, Bullrope match: John Hawk b Scott Putski
3/11 Dallas (Big D - 140): Tigre Potocino b Sangre Hidalgse, Jimmy James b Kit Carson-DQ, Ray Evans b Big D, El Gato Negro b El Siniestro, Terry Simms b Bill Irwin, Mr. Mister & Chris Rox b Tim Brooks & Bullman Downs-DQ, Mascara Del Fuego & Condor Azul b El Medico & Quervo II
3/11 Westfield, MA (New England Pro Wrestling - 235): Scott Sharkey b Sky King, Garfield Quinn b Scott Ashworth, Little Louie b Mighty Doom, Izzy Straight
won Battle Royal, Forces of Evil DCOR Party Man & Maverick Wild, Scott Taylor b P.J. Walker, Greg Valentine b Rick Fuller, Jimmy Snuka b Metal Maniac
3/11 Tampa (Mighty Warriors Presents): Frankie Rose b The Lifeguard, Terry Platt Jr. & Sr. b Kenny Kendall & Dr. G, Sonny Beach b Black Panther, Rico Fredrico b Manny Fernandez, Fire Cats b Jumbo Baretta & Jerry Flynn
3/12 Pittsburgh (WWF - 4,500): Bushwhackers b Well Dunn *, WWF tag title: Quebecers b 1-2-3 Kid & Jim Powers 3/4*, Smoking Gunns b Afa & Samu *3/4, Yokozuna & Bastion Booger b Men on Mission 1/2*, Doink & Dink b Bam Bam Bigelow & Luna Vachon 1/2*, Bret Hart & Lex Luger b IRS & Owen Hart **1/2
3/12 Dresden, Germany (WCW): Too Cold Scorpio & Marcus Bagwell b Paul Roma & Paul Orndorff, Frank Anderson b Harlem Heat Kane, Vader b Cactus Jack, WCW TV title: Steve Regal b Maxx Payne, WCW title: Ric Flair b Johnny B. Badd, Rick Steamboat & Sting b Steve Austin & Ron Simmons
3/12 Fukuyama (New Japan - 2,350): Yuji Nagata b Tatsuhito Takaiwa, Osamu Kido b Satoshi Kojima, Black Tiger b Shinjiro Ohtani, The Barbarian b Manabu Nakanishi, Kengo Kimura & Shiro Koshinaka & Tatsutoshi Goto b Hiro Saito & Yoshiaki Yatsu & Shinichi Nakano, Hiroshi Hase & Riki Choshu & Tatsumi Fujinami b Akitoshi Saito & Michiyoshi Ohara & Great Kabuki, Takayuki Iizuka & Akira Nogami b Jushin Liger & El Samurai, Tadao Yasuda & Masa Chono & Shinya Hashimoto b Killer Bee & Scott Norton & Hercules Fernandez
3/12 Johnson City, TN (SMW - 1,000): Mike Furnas b Jeff Viktory DUD, Thrillseekers b Infernos **, Non-title ladder match: Tracy Smothers b Chris Candido ****, Handicap match: Bob Armstrong b Jim Cornette & Dick Murdoch **1/4, Dirty White Boy & Dirty White Girl b Brian Lee & Tammy Fytch **, 60:00 marathon match: Heavenly Bodies b Rock & Roll Express 2-1 ****
3/12 Kasumigaura (FMW - 2,332): Gosaku Goshogawara b Mr. Chin, Crusher Maedomari b Yukie Nabeno, Damian b Masato Tanaka, Koji Nakagawa & Tetsuhiro Kuroda b Battle Ranger & Goshogawara, Combat Toyota & Shark Tsuchiya & Tsuppari Mack b Megumi Kudo & Miwa Sato & Keiko Iwame, The Sheik & Sabu b Masaru Toi & Hideki Hosaka, Mr. Pogo & Goro Tsurumi b Tarzan Goto & Katsutoshi Niiyama, Street fight: Atsushi Onita & Sambo Asako & Mr. Gannosuke b Big Titan (Rick Bogner) & The Gladiator (Mike Awesome Alfonso) & Ricky Fuji
3/12 Nagoya (Pancrase - 3,750 sellout): Katsumi Inagaki b James Matthews, Ryushi Yanagisawa b Robert Yonaso, Andre Ultra b Scott Badeck, Masakatsu Funaki b Vernon White, Minoru Suzuki b Yusuke Fuke
3/12 Katsuda (All Japan women): Rie Tamada b Chikako Shiratori, Kumiko Maekawa b Chapparita Asari, Bull Nakano & Kyoko Inoue b Takako Inoue & Sakie Hasegawa, Aja Kong b Tomoko Watanabe, Manami Toyota & Toshiyo Yamada b Yumiko Hotta & Kaoru Ito
3/12 Mito (JWP): Prelim results unavailable, Mayumi Ozaki b Plum Mariko, Devil Masami & Fusayo Nochi b Candy Okutsu & Dynamite Kansai
3/12 Brantford, CT (IWF): Perry Saturn b Tim McNeeney, Brittany Brown & Steve King b Snooky Fink & Jamie West, Ron Reis (debut) b Mike Hollow, Terra Rizing b Tony Roy, The Warlord b Lanny Poffo
3/12 Melrose, MA (Century Wrestling Alliance - 1,200): El Mascarado b The Viper, Little Louie b Little Doom, Randy Starr b The Intern, Tony Rumble b New Hampshire Nightmare, Vic Steamboat b Metal Maniac, Hillbilly Jim & Cousin Luke b
Trouble Makers, Demolition Ax b Tony Atlas-DQ, Jimmy Snuka b Honkytonk Man-DQ
3/12 Pasadena, MD (Maryland Championship Wrestling): The Comet b Wayne Gill, Duane Gill b T-Bone Strong, Mark Shrader b Mad Maniac, Mike Khoury & Johnny Paradise b Chicken Neck & American Ninja-DQ, Colossal Kongs (not original) b Pat Patterson Jr. & Knife Man, Goodfellas b Agent Orange & Sgt. Smasher, Hack Myers b Axl Rotten to win MCW title
3/12 Centre, AL (Bama Pro Wrestling): Frankie Lee b Jason Valentine, The Flame b T.D. Hogan, Big Bubba & Widow Maker b Billy Montana & Ken Arden, Ken Timbs DDQ Tim Strong
3/13 Philadelphia Spectrum (WWF - 3,800): Bushwhackers b Well Dunn, Smoking Gunns b Afa & Samu, Doink & Dink b Bam Bam Bigelow & Luna Vachon, WWF tag title: Quebecers b 1-2-3 Kid & Jim Powers, Yokozuna & Bastion Booger b Men on Mission, Lex Luger & Bret Hart b IRS & Owen Hart
3/13 Kassel, Germany (WCW): Too Cold Scorpio & Marcus Bagwell b Paul Orndorff & Paul Roma, Frank Anderson b Harlem Heat Kane, Maxx Payne b Harlem Heat Koal, WCW TV title: Steve Regal b Cactus Jack, Vader b Rick Steamboat, Sting b Ron Simmons, WCW title: Ric Flair b Steve Austin
3/13 Knoxville (SMW - 1,200): Thrillseekers b Infernos, Mike Furnas b Killer Kyle, Non-title ladder match: Tracy Smothers b Chris Candido, Handicap match: Bob Armstrong b Jim Cornette & Dick Murdoch, Dirty White Boy & Dirty White Girl b Brian Lee & Tammy Fytch, 60:00 marathon match for SMW tag titles: Heavenly Bodies b Rock & Roll Express 3-2
3/13 Oakland (AAA - 1,250): Los Payasos b Rey Misterio Jr. & Winners & Heavy Metal *1/2, Jerry Estrada & Papucho Jr. (Wayne Bradley) & Espectro Jr. b Misterioso & Torero & Mando Guerrero *1/2, IWC minis title: Mascarita Sagrada b Espectrito ***, Octagon & El Hijo del Santo & Lizmark b Super Rabbit & Fuerza Guerrera & Psicosis ***, Konnan El Barbaro & Perro Aguayo & Mascara Sagrada NC Blue Panther & La Parka & Love Machine ***1/2
3/13 Tokyo Theater (FMW - 2,000 sellout): Koji Nakagawa b Masato Tanaka, Katsutoshi Niiyama b Mr. Gannosuke 33:27, Katsuji Ueda b Gosaku Goshagawara, Tsuppari Mack & Crusher Maedomari & Combat Toyoda & Shark Tsuchiya b Yukie Nabeno & Nurse Nakamura & Megumi Kudo & Miwa Sato, Masaru Toi b Battle Ranger, One-night trios tournament: Hideki Hosaka & Mr. Pogo & Goro Tsurumi b Damian & Sabu & The Sheik, Atsushi Onita & Tarzan Goto & Sambo Asako b The Gladiator & Big Titan & Ricky Fuji, Onita & Goto & Asako b Pogo & Tsurumi & Hosaka to win tournament
3/13 Tokyo Korakuen Hall (JWP - 2,010 sellout): Japanese jr. title: Candy Okutsu b Fusayo Nochi, Dynamite Kansai b Boirshoi Kid, Devil Masami & Mayumi Ozaki b Plum mariko & Hikari Fukuoka, Chigusa Nagayo b Cutie Suzuki
3/13 Tokyo (W*ING): The W*inger d Rico, Kazuhiko Matsuzaki b Rico, W*inger b Matsuzaki, Bruise Brothers b Head Hunters, W*ING hwt title: Crypt Keeper b Leatherface, Ring filled with cream match: Nobutaka Araya & Kendo Nagasaki b Shoji Nakamaki & Yukihiro Kanemura
Special thanks to: Eddie Goldman, Shannon Rose, Scott Hudson, Lenis Sargent, Dave Scherer, Paul Sosnouski, Dave Pinsky, David Geck, Dan Adam, Mike Mooneyham, John LaOxiOxiOxiOxin, Peter Schaar, Jason Peters, Karin Moore, Bob Koenig, Bob Verhey, Johnny Gnatt, Chuck Allen, Brent Kriemen, Chris Dick, Oliver Hollman,
John LaOxiOxiOxiOxin, Dan Reilly, Matt Creamer, Steve "Dr. Lucha" Sims, Eric Brehm, Stefan Pickshaus, Mark Markley, Rich Palladino, Brian Hildebrand, Daryck Beyer, Ted Hobgood, John Clark, K.C. O'Connor, Dan Parris, Shelby Adcock, Freddy Fargo
JAPANESE TELEVISION RUNDOWN
1/19 ALL JAPAN WOMEN: 1. Nakano pinned Ito in 10:38 with a legdrop off the top rope. It was a decent match early. Highlight was Ito burying Nakano under 10 chairs outside the ring. **; 2. Mita & Shimoda beat Hotta & Hasegawa in 22:01 (half of which aired on television). There were a lot of good moves and dives but the pacing was too fast for the audience so it didn't have as much heat as it should have. Finish saw Shimoda do a double cross-armed behind the body german superplex while Hasegawa was sitting on the top rope. ***1/4; 3. Kong pinned Minami in 13:30 with a german suplex. A lot of brawling outside the ring. Kong threw a few tables on Minami and destroyed her with one chair shot and wiped out some rows of ringside with Minami's body, hit her with a metal barricade and piledriver her on a metal barricade, then gave her four piledrivers but Minami kicked out anyway. ***1/4; 4. Toyota & Yamada beat Kyoko & Takako in 17:31 (only 10:00 aired). The crowd was very hard but this was all action and the wrestling was as great as would be expected, but the match was hurt by lack of heat. Toyota blew an Eddy Guerrero jump on the top rope in the middle into a plancha by falling off the ropes, but got so mad that she debuted a new spot right away, a full Superfly splash from the top rope to the floor. Dynamite Kid tried that move about 14 years ago against Bruce Hart and wound up blowing out both his knees in the process. Yamada finally pinned Kyoko with a form of a back suplex. ***3/4
1/30 ALL JAPAN: 1. Inoue pinned Asako with a blockbuster. Match had all kinds of good near falls at the end which drew a lot of heat. Asako is going to be a great worker some day but will be hampered from superstardom because he's so small. ***1/4; 2. Williams & Slinger & Gunn beat Hansen & Nord & Brian Costello when Williams pinned Costello with a Doctor bomb. The match was good since the guys who could work were in the ring most of the way. ***; 3. Taue & Kawada & Omori scored a major upset over Misawa & Kobashi & Akiyama in 32:00. An all action typical super main event. Omori fit in like a glove in this company. He's on his way to being great and will be great in very short order. He's easily the most improved wrestler in the world over the past year. Since the match went so long, it slowed a bit when Misawa's team kept working over Omori but the crowd was hot for him to make the comeback. Match was great, climaxing when Kobashi kicked out of a nodowa by Taue. Finally after Taue & Kawada simultaneously power bombed Kobashi & Misawa, Taue pinned Kobashi after a nodowa. ****1/4
2/5 NEW JAPAN: 1. Hase pinned Ohara in 15:06. Somewhat disappointing considering Hase is easily the top wrestler in the promotion and Ohara is a decent brawler. Match didn't have much early but turned into a good match with back-and-forth near falls. Hase kicked out of Ohara's nodowa (choke slam) finisher twice and a power bomb, and also broke a Texas cloverleaf submission. After two Soviet suplexes (uranage), Hase for the second time did an upside down STF submission for the win. The first time he used the hold was to gain a submission on Masa Chono. **; 2. Hashimoto pinned Rambo in a battle of the IWGP world champ against the CWA world champ although neither belt was at stake. Largely a dead match, made worse since it was a battle of world heavyweight champions. Rambo
is nothing so Hashimoto had to carry it, which isn't a pleasant thought. Hashimoto won in just 8:23 with a flying DDT. 3/4*; 3. Choshu & Fujinami beat Koshinaka & Kabuki in 9:06 when Choshu made Kabuki submit to the scorpion. Match was good when Koshinaka was in, but very weak for a main event. **
2/6 ALL JAPAN: 1. Akiyama pinned Inoue with a Northern Lights suplex. ***1/4; 2. Williams & Slinger beat Gunn & Ace in 15:00+ when Williams pinned Gunn with a backdrop driver. Not much heat. Gunn was solid but got no heat. Ace just didn't have it but Williams and Slinger were good. **; 3. Misawa & Kobashi & Asako beat Baba & Fuchi & Ogawa in 20:30. Not a lot of heat early but the match was solid. Baba mainly worked with Kobashi so it was acceptable. As usual, the finish was excellent with Misawa pinning Ogawa with the Tiger-driver. ***3/4; 4. Hansen & Nord & Costello beat Taue & Kawada & Omori in 16:30 when Hansen pinned Omori with a lariat. The Japanese side must have been great since this was a hot match, although Hansen did dominate ring time. Omori again was the highlight. Costello has neither the look or ability to be in a main event. Nord doesn't have the ability. ***1/2
2/12 NEW JAPAN: 1. Hell Raisers beat Choshu & Hase in 13:36. A lot better than most Hell Raisers matches since Choshu was Power's boyhood hero and Power has so much respect for Hase. Finish saw them do the double impact on Hase and then Power got his new submission maneuver, a form of a crooked head scissors called the Power special over by making Hase submit to it. ***1/4; 2. In the seven match WAR vs. Skinheads feud matches, first Fuyuki pinned Kobayashi with a german suplex in 9:35. These guys are both really washed up compared to their respective primes in the 80s, but worked hard and had a good match. ***; 3. Kitahara pinned Akitoshi Saito with a captured suplex. All kinds of missed moves. This was a disaster. DUD; 4. Kimura pinned Hirai with a leg lariat. 1/2*; 5. Ohara pinned Orihara in 10:18 after two choke slams. Both worked hard but they didn't work very well together. *1/4; 6. Kabuki pinned Hara with a thrust kick to the throat. Only the finish aired and it looked okay; 7. Tenryu pinned Goto. Tenryu, with his team one behind, just destroyed Goto with a chair and Goto juiced. Both guys worked stiff with each other and it was a very exciting match, but only went 4:07 before Tenryu power bombed him for the pin. **1/2; 8. With it tied 3-3, it was left to Koshinaka vs. Machine. Both guys have no charisma but their work started out okay. But without heat, it looked like it would be a dead main event. But these guys worked their asses off and it turned into an excellent match with good intensity and all kinds of near falls that looked to be the finish. Koshinaka finally got the pin with the reverse cradle and natural bridge in 15:50. ****
2/13 ALL JAPAN: 1. Akiyama pinned Omori in the finals of the Asunaro Trophy tournament. Excellent match. Really got heated when Omori reversed Akiyama's Northern Light suplex finisher into a DDT. Omori got another near fall with an elbow off the top. Omori got one near fall after another, then Akiyama came back with the Northern Light suplex but Omori kicked out. Finally Akiyama won with a second Northern Lights. ****; 2. Hansen & Nord beat Ace & Williams. Really stiff with Hansen against Williams. The crowd didn't buy Nord but he is getting better. Hansen pinned Ace with a lariat **1/2; 3. Misawa & Kobashi & Baba beat Fuchi & Kawada & Taue in 39:02. The last 22:00 aired on television and it was hot all the way. Kobashi's selling was incredible. Baba was great when he made the hot tag. Don't ask me why or how that is possible, but he was. He got out of there before he
could wear out his welcome. This turned into a must-see match of the year candidate before Kobashi pinned Fuchi with a moonsault. *****
2/19 NEW JAPAN: 1. This was a one-night Skinheads vs. New Japan feud. Unlike the previous week where it was weak until the final match, this seven match series was really heated. Choshu beat Kimura in just 3:30 in the opener with great crowd heat. Kimura got heat by giving Choshu a low blow early, but Choshu made the comeback with a superplex, lariat, low blow and scorpion submission. **; 2. Hase pinned Kabuki with a Northern Light suplex in 6:15. Hase did a 21-rep giant swing. Hase was a miracle worker here in actually making it a good match. **3/4; 3. Goto pinned Iizuka in 5:44 with a back suplex. Earlier Iizuka ripped Goto's bandages off from the Tenryu match and he juiced heavily once again. **1/2; 4. Ohara pinned Kojima in 4:05. This was as good a short match as you'll ever see. Kojima was hot and they worked a great match with super heat. Kojima is going to be a superstar barring injury. ***1/2; 5. Kobayashi upset Nogami in 5:41. Another match with great intensity . ***; 6. Kido made Akitoshi Saito submit in just 2:21 with the armbar. It was the interesting mixed match style with Saito using kicks and Kido working UWF style. Even though short, it was very exciting. **; 7. It all came down to Fujinami vs. Koshinaka which everyone "knew" Fujinami would win. Match started fast but slowed in the middle and picked up into a great match. I'm in the minority on this but I loved the storyline here and the upset finish even though there were no great moves. Fujinami's offense was nothing and he was on top most of the way, but the storyline was great with Koshinaka working on his injured arm and using submissions until finally getting a short arm scissors in the middle. ***3/4
2/20 ALL JAPAN: 1. Kawada & Omori beat Kobashi & Asako. These four chopped the hell out of each other and all had bruised up chests. Kawada was really brutal on Asako with hard slaps and shotgun lariats and finally pinned him. This was an awesome match. ****1/2; 2. Hansen & Nord beat Ace & Patriot. Match wasn't good when Nord was in with Ace, but Hansen made it watchable. Hansen pinned Patriot with a lariat. **1/4; 3. Misawa & Akiyama beat Eagle & Williams. Real good match, better than it sounds on paper, ending when Misawa made Eagle submit to the facelock while Akiyama kept Williams from making the save with a plancha. ***3/4.
UWA
W*ING world heavyweight champ Crypt Keeper (Jose Estrada Jr.) was in last week but lost when challenging El Signo for his WWF light heavyweight title.
EMLL
A correction is that the 2/18 show where Ultimo Dragon won the UWA middleweight belt back from Koji Ishinriki, the attendance listed here as 12,000 was actually 1,200.
Corazon de Leon (Chris Jericho from SMW) returns this week until 4/1 to drop his NWA middleweight title. Most likely recipient will be Negro Casas.
Javier Llanes was suspended for attacking a fan after a match on 2/22 at Arena Coliseo.
EMLL is planning on running a major show with Mil Mascaras brought in on 4/30 in Acapulco to steal some of the thunder from TripleMania the same day.
Monterrey promoter Carlos Elizondo has raised a lot of ire for debuting a new wrestler called Konnan 2000 (Scott Putski) dressed up exactly like Konnan, billed as Konnan's cousin, on 3/6 teaming with La Fiera in the main event against Mocho Cota & Black Magic. Word has it that Televisa will take legal action if Elizondo doesn't drop the character.
ALL JAPAN
With the annual Champion Carnival tournament, won the past two years by Stan Hansen, in the 3/19 to 4/16 tour, it really makes this the least opportune time for cutting the television back to 30 minutes. Line-ups already announced for the tour are 3/19 at Korakuen Hall has Misawa vs. Akiyama, Kawada vs. Dan Spivey, Hansen vs. Nord and Williams vs. Eagle; 3/20 at Korakuen Hall has Kobashi vs. Ace, Taue vs. Furnas and Nord vs. Eagle; 3/24 has Hansen vs. Kawada, Misawa vs. Ace and Taue vs. Kobashi; 3/27 has Misawa vs. Kobashi, Kawada vs. Ace and Spivey vs. Nord; 3/28 has Misawa vs. Williams, Kobashi vs. Furnas and Nord vs. Akiyama; 3/29 has Misawa vs. Hansen, Kowada vs. Williams and Kobashi vs. Spivey; 4/1 has Misawa vs. Taue and Kawada vs. Akiyama; 4/4 has Hansen vs. Ace, Taue vs. Williams, Kowada vs. Furnas and Akiyama vs. Eagle; 4/6 has Kawada vs Kobashi, Taue vs. Akiyama and Hansen vs. Spivey; 4/10 has Hansen vs. Kobashi, Akiyama vs. Williams and Furnas vs. Spivey; 4/11 in Osaka has Misawa vs. Kawada, Kobashi vs. Akiyama, Taue vs. Hansen and Nord vs. Williams and 4/14 in Nagoya has Kawada vs. Taue, Hansen vs. Williams and Misawa vs. Spivey. The two wrestlers with the best records in the round-robin meet on 4/16 at Budokan Hall for the tournament championship.
TV ratings had the big improvement the past two weeks as 2/27 did a 4.1 and 3/6, headlined by Misawa & Kobashi vs. Hansen & Baba, did a 4.6.
The Misawa & Kobashi vs. Hansen & Baba match sold out Budokan on 3/5 with almost nothing underneath with Misawa pinning Baba in 35:11 after a clothesline off the top rope. I know this sounds both impossible and ridiculous to say this about a match with Baba but it was a genuine classic that will get consideration in Japan for match of the year. It was only the second time in his entire career that Baba had ever done a job for a Japanese wrestler (he lost to Tenryu in a tag match several years ago) and even though the match had super heat, the place died when Baba laid down for the three since it was a finish that nobody wanted to see. To show how weak the undercard was, the semifinal was Williams pinning Nord.
It is expected that Terry Gordy will return in April or May, since he's got a tune-up match for GWF at the Dallas Sportatorium on 4/1.
NEW JAPAN
New Japan announced that Rick Rude will be defending what they are calling the WCW International heavyweight title against Hiroshi Hase on 3/16 at the Tokyo Gym and again against Hase on 3/24 in Kyoto. Another addition to the 3/16 show is Antonio Inoki teaming with rookie Tadao Yasuda, who was a big-name in sumo, against Yoshiaki Fujiwara & Osamu Kido. Inoki's appearance combined with the rumors of Sayama attending the show should guarantee a sellout.
Keiji Muto remains out of action recovering from knee surgery in January, and had to cancel several matches this tour. As expected, the Nasty Boys canceled the current tour due to the legit shoulder injury Brian Knobs suffered against Maxx Payne at SuperBrawl. Hase, now nicknamed "The Professor of Pain" because he was a college professor before going into pro wrestling, also missed some dates with an injury but is already back, and Villano V was injured in a match against Black Tiger and left the tour early.
Both IWGP singles champs lost non-title matches to set up title bouts. Scott Norton beat Shinya Hashimoto on 3/6 in Okayama with a blockbuster suplex, while Black Tiger pinned Jushin Liger on 3/8 in Matsuyama. Both title matches take place 3/21 in Nagoya.
The 3/28 show at Tokyo Bay NK Hall, which is a make-up date because the 2/12 show was canceled due to a snowstorm, has New Leaders vs. Now Leaders with Hashimoto & Muto & Chono & Hase vs. Choshu & Fujinami & Fujiwara & Kido on top, plus Yoshiaki Yatsu & Shinichi Nakano & Norio Honaga & Hiro Saito vs. Skinheads.
New Japan also announced a major show in Hiroshima on 4/4 with Choshu & Tenryu vs. Muto & Chono, Hashimoto defending the IWGP title against Fujinami, Inoki & Hase vs. Fujiwara & Yuki Ishikawa, Steiners vs. Liger & Pegasus and an eight man tag with Yatsu's group (Yatsu-Hiro Saito-Nakano-Honaga) vs. Skinheads.
Steiners had a ****+ television match against Liger & Power Warrior that aired last week, and combined with Tenryu vs. Hashimoto were responsible for the New Japan show to do its highest rating of the year--9.5--on 3/5. With the time slot switch, we won't be seeing anymore numbers anywhere close to that for a long time. 2/26 show did a 7.2
WOMEN
JWP announced some major matches upcoming. On 4/10 at Korakuen Hall they'll headline with Chigusa Nagayo vs. Devil Masami. Nagoya is being groomed for the main event at 5/22 at the Ariake Coliseum (12,000 seats, JWP's biggest card in its history) against Dynamite Kansai for the JWP title, and to give her the megapush she pinned Cutie Suzuki in 48 seconds in the main event of the 3/13 Korakuen Hall show. It was a real shock since JWP main events always go around 25:00. Besides Nagayo-Kansai, the 5/22 card has Bull Nakano & Devil Masami vs. Hikari Fukuoka & Sakie Hasegawa and Cutie Suzuki vs. Takako Inoue.
All Japan women have just run spot shows the past two weeks, but have several big dates in the next few weeks. On 3/21 at Korakuen Hall they'll headline with Aja Kong & Nakano vs. Toshiyo Yamada & Kyoko Inoue, Yumiko Hotta vs. Hasegawa, Takako Inoue vs. Manami Toyota. 4/3 back at Korakuen Hall has Kong & Yamada vs. Hotta & Hasegawa under UWF rules with no pinfalls allowed, match can only end via submission or a ten count knockout, Nakano vs. Reggie Bennett and Chapparita Asari & Toyota & Kyoko Inoue vs. Suzuka Minami & Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda. 4/9 in Sendai is billed as the Super Hurricane Matches with Yamada & Hotta vs. Harley Saito & Shinobu Kandori, Kong vs. Bennett, Hasegawa & Nakano vs. Kyoko & Toyota, Eagle Sawai vs. Mita and Shimoda vs. Miki Handa.
On 3/3 at Korakuen Hall both main events lasted about 30:00, with Yamada and Hasegawa going to a draw, and Nakano & Kyoko Inoue beating Kong & Toyota when Nakano pinned Toyota.
OTHER JAPAN NOTES
Besides Onita vs. Tenryu, Terry Funk will also appear on the 5/5 Kawasaki Baseball Stadium show and they'll bring in Fuerza Guerrera for a grudge match against Great Sasuke.
Super Delfin beat Sato in a mask vs. hair match on 3/4 in Osaka so Sato is now bald.
On the 3/2 WAR card at Sumo Hall, the Ultimo Dragon & Masao Orihara match against Sasuke & Sato was a disappointment since Dragon & Orihara didn't want to make the duo from the "minor league" promotion look good. Sasuke was really over big since fans were chanting for Sasuke during the prelim matches and in an early match when Hiromichi Fuyuki faced Arashi and they went to the time limit and Fuyuki asked for 5:00 more, the fans started booing and chanting "We Want Sasuke" and when the ref ordered the match re-started fans were chanting "End this match." The crowd was really into the Onita & Tarzan Goto vs. Tenryu & Ashura Hara match, in which both Onita and Tenryu juiced, particularly the finish with Tenryu doing the job to Onita's thunder fire power bomb (it took Onita three tries to finally do the move) on his own card. Tenryu doing the first job makes sense in building to the stadium show since it was more important for the feud for Tenryu to do the first job since long-time fans could never envision Tenryu losing to Onita since when they were together in All Japan, Tenryu was a main eventer and Onita was a mid-card wrestler.
The 3/19 Rings show at the 17,000-seat Yokohama Arena is pretty anti-climactic with Maeda vs. Andrei Kopilov as the main event. That same main event drew 14,700 in the same building in August of 1992, but Rings was a lot bigger deal at that time.
Super Vader signed a contract extension with UWFI and was given a raise from his original $25,000 per match deal.
Shu el Guerrero captured the UWF super middleweight title from Gran Hamada on 3/6 in Hiratsuka for the FULL promotion. The FULL promotion ran three shows but died at the box office. Actually right now most of the smaller groups aren't doing any business at all.
The Bruise Brothers are working for W*ING this week and on 3/13 in Tokyo they defeated W*ING tag champs The Head Hunters in a non-title match. When you think of W*ING you think of brutal gimmick matches, but the main event on that show was anything but, with a ring filled with whipped cream as Nobutaka Araya & Kendo Nagasaki beat Yukihiro Kanemura & Shoji Nakamaki.
Japanese Wrestling Journal reported that the 2/11 match with Gedo & Jado (in their last W*ING match) & Hido vs. Nakamaki & Kanemura & Nobutaka Araya was the best match in the history of the promotion and when it was over fans were chanting "WING, WING."
Masayoshi Motegi quit W*ING and will join Yoshiaki Yatsu's SPWF.
USWA
The showing in Memphis and also in Louisville and Nashville has given the company a lot of momentum. Austin Idol and Jimmy Valiant were scheduled in Louisville and Nashville and put both cities above $6,000 for the first time since the early days of the WWF talent trading although Idol no-showed both cities and television, only working the Memphis show.
With Jerry Lawler's legal situation cleared up, the Vince McMahon angle is being revived. McMahon did an interview on 3/12 saying that he welcomed Lawler back to the WWF but said that if Lawler didn't come to the WWF, the WWF would come to Memphis looking for him. As usual, it was said to be a great heel interview. This is all scheduled to build toward a Memorial Day spectacular which will consist of all WWF vs. USWA matches with perhaps McMahon appearing at the show.
The only angle run on 3/5 television before the big show was they had a photo and plaque of the late Sam Bass for induction into the Memphis wrestling Hall of Fame and the Gilberts broke the photo.
Lance Russell did the television and was said to have done a great job selling the show, and got the best reaction of all the old-timers when introduced. Tommy Gilbert, whose two sons are the group's top heels, was the only old-timer that was booed.
Jimmy Hart did a telephone interview on 3/5 saying he'd be in Memphis for the 3/7 show, but wasn't there since his scenes on the Hogan television vehicle are usually shot on Monday and Tuesday, but was back on TV on 3/12 doing a long telephone interview talking about all his battles with Lawler and said he'd be sending the Dream Machine (Troy Graham) to team with Lawler & Christopher for the 3/14 main event against The Gilberts & Tommy Rich. Dream Machine was a mediocre worker in the late 70s and early 80s who was an incredibly underrated interview. His career ended around 1985 when he suffered a broken ankle due to a faulty ring in Nashville in a match with Tommy Rich, although on television they claimed it was Lawler that injured him to put him out of wrestling for years and he had to go on food stamps which makes one think he's going to turn quickly.
Eddie Marlin did an interview on television thanking everyone for coming out on 3/7.
Lawler & Christopher had a match against The Moondogs which was an all-out brawl with tables and chairs and Bert Prentice chasing Ronnie Lottz out of the building before the Moondogs finally left and were counted out.
3/14 line-up featured Moondogs defending the tag titles against Spellbinder & Billy Travis, Koko Ware vs. Robert Gibson with Eddie Marlin as referee, J.C. Ice vs. Wolfie D in a loser leaves town match (both are said to be headed to Mexico), Christopher vs. Eddie Gilbert in a match to unify both the Unified title (isn't that redundant, unifying the unified title?) and the USWA title, Lawler vs. Rich to determine which teams gets a 3-on-2 advantage in the main event which is a Rage in the cage match with the object to handcuff your opponents to the cage with Rich & Gilberts vs. Lawler & Christopher & Dream Machine.
Missy Hyatt turned down the offer to work a few Monday's here in a feud with ex-husband Gilbert.
SMW
Most of the television the next few weeks will build toward the 4/1 Bluegrass Brawl II in Pikeville, KY with the top matches being Rock & Roll Express vs. Heavenly Bodies in a cage match for the SMW belts with both members of the losing team leaving town and Ricky Morton vowing to retire if the Rock & Rolls lose, Dirty White Boy & Dirty White Girl vs. Brian Lee & Tammy Fytch in a match which continues until both members of the losing team are stripped of their clothes and left in their underwear, Bob Armstrong vs. Jim Cornette & mystery partner who I believe will be called Bruiser Bedlam (I don't know this, but my assumption is that it'll be Johnny K-9) and Chris Candido vs. Tracy Smothers in a ladder match.
The Thrillseekers debuted and got big pops everywhere.
Among the highlights of the four television shows taped on 3/7 in Dungannon, VA were Mike Furnas winning the TV title from Killer Kyle and then retaining it for the remainder of the taping. Furnas looked way too green even though all his matches were kept to about one minute although there is a storyline reason that will be made clear at the next taping why this is happening. They announced that at house shows after 4/1, that the main events will either be tag title matches with Rock & Roll vs. Lee & Candido or Bodies vs. Thrillseekers, depending on which team loses the match.
In an interview with Lee & Fytch, White Boy & White Girl came out and stripped Lee down to his underwear.
Smothers and Candido had a **** ladder match on television (reports are their ladder matches at the house shows have been in the **** range as well) which Smothers won by grabbing the $2,500 check at the top, but after the match Candido hit Smothers with the ladder and ran off with the check.
Interviews will air before 4/1 with Eddie Marlin (USWA) and Vince McMahon saying that they'd love to have the losing team in the 4/1 match come to their territory. Cornette said that he'd already been in the USWA and WWF and would rather stay in SMW.
Fytch did an interview challenging White Girl to come out for a match, but when White Girl came out, she was jumped by Peggy Lee Leather. When Dutch Mantel tried to stop it because he was tired of all the brawling during his interview segments, Leather bodyslammed him.
Rock & Roll had their first match against Lee & Candido, who had interfered in their match with the Infernos the previous week, which saw Morton kiss Tammy, Candido hit Ricky with the purse but Morton kicked out and the R&R eventually won the match. Later Fytch in an interview freaked out about being kissed by Morton saying she's afraid she's going to get cooties or AIDS.
White Girl accepted the challenge from Leather to a series of matches.
Another feud started over the SMW title with White Boy going to defend against Prince Kharis. White Boy called the 3,000 year old mummy Prince Charmin and
knocked Darryl Van Horn's hat off. Van Horn, in order to prove that Kharis really was a mummy cut off his thumb and sand came out. Kharis then loaded his forearm and hit White Boy and put the Shinanomachi on him before some of the faces had to break it up.
The ring truck broke down coming from the 3/11 show in Paintsville, KY to Johnson City so they had to use Tim Horner's school wrestling ring in J.C., which isn't nearly as good a ring, but they still had two four-star matches in Johnson City. Rock & Roll and Bodies did a classic marathon match on 3/13 in Knoxville. It was tied 2-2 when Morton had Prichard out with the sleeper but Cornette came out and revived Prichard with an oxygen tank and hit Morton with the oxygen tank to win the fifth fall at 59:40.
J.R. Benson is going to manage The Infernos at a spot show this week.
ECW
Next house show is 3/26 in Valley Forge, PA with an eight man cage match billed as Ultimate Jeopardy with Terry Funk & Kevin Sullivan & Tasmaniac & Road Warrior Hawk vs. Mr. Hughes & Public Enemy & Shane Douglas. The stipulations are that if Funk loses, he loses the ECW title to whomever in him, if Sullivan & Tasmaniac lose, they must split up their team, if Hawk loses, he can no longer ever wrestle with the Road Warrior gimmick (fat chance that's going to happen), if Hughes loses, then Jason must go into the cage for five minutes alone against all four members of the other team, if Public Enemy loses, they lose the ECW tag titles (which they won on 2/6 from Sullivan & Tasmaniac) and have to leave town and if Douglas loses, he gets his head shaved.
Also at the 3/6 tapings, the ECW TV title changed hands twice with Sabu losing to Tasmaniac, who then lost it to J.T. Smith. Apparently this happened more because Sabu refused to drop the strap to Smith, but was willing to put over Tasmaniac, so in getting it to where he wanted it, booker Paul Heyman had to add another title change.
The 3/5 house show at ECW Arena drew another sellout of 1,400 headlined by a taped fist match where Terry Funk kept the ECW title beating Shane Douglas in 22:46 in a match rated between **3/4 and ****3/4 depending upon who you talk to, with most around ****. Bruise Brothers lost via DQ in a tag title challenge to Sullivan & Tasmaniac when Public Enemy attacked both teams with boards. In the TV title match, Sabu pinned Mike Awesome. At one point Sabu had Awesome on a ringside table and then climbed to the top rope to moonsault him but he undershot and crashed onto the floor. No matter, Sabu still got up and when 911 attacked Awesome and laid him out on the table, Sabu this time gave him a flying splash off the top rope onto the table and threw Awesome into the ring for the pin. Awesome attacked the ref afterwards.
AND THERE
Dutch Mantel has started as the new booker for Carlos Colon's WWC in Puerto Rico. Will wonders ever cease?
The Freebirds, who will consist of Michael Hayes, Jimmy Garvin and Terry Gordy will work the GWF show on 4/1 at the Dallas Sportatorium. GWF and Big D continue to
go head-to-head on Friday nights. This past weekend, Big D drew 140 fans while GWF had 380 in the building although that was heavily papered.
Brandon Baxter is doing a gimmick of GWF shows where he paints his face black and calls all the fans honkies.
Damian Demento debuted a new gimmick called 3-D on 3/5 in Clementon, NJ on Larry Sharpe's show. The new ring outfit looked great, but unfortunately he wrestled the same as before so didn't get over. On the same show, Abdullah the Butcher and Abbuda Singh tore the house down in the main event.
Chicago-based indie wrestler Sonny Rogers didn't get his nose broken by Vader in a TV match a few weeks ago as reported here, he just got a nice bruise from the match.
Steve Signore (working name manager Joey "Baggs" Baglia) did a whopping $34,000 house which is the largest indie house in this country in years on 3/5 in Cicero, IL as the debut television taping of his group Midwest Championship Wrestling using King Kong Bundy, Jim Duggan, Jake Roberts, Tito Santana, Nailz, Demolition Smash (Barry Darsow), Ron Powers, Bob Orton and Eli the Eliminator. Steve Regal (Indiana version) did the television announcing and they have six more shows scheduled in upcoming months in the Chicago area.
Sandy Barr has stopped promoting in the state of Oregon although reportedly he's hired a new lawyer to appeal the decision and has moved his Saturday night matches across the river to Vancouver, WA, where he has no problems with the commission. Barr has also reached an agreement with Billy Jack Haynes to come in as his top star. Haynes broke away from the Oregon Pro Wrestling Federation group he started up and did the original legwork for because he apparently was hot that the money man was insistent upon using Buddy Rose.
Art Barr is going to attempt to get a chance to get a rebuttal in The Oregonian, the local newspaper in his hometown regarding the incident with John Rambo, although if he does it'll be a tricky deal since he won't say anything that would expose wrestling.
Former wrestler Dick "Bulldog" Brower was on some television shows in Philadelphia area doing wrestling style promos as a spokesperson for the Klu Klux Klan.
The wrestler Tracy Austin, as opposed to the tennis player, that debuted last month in Texas is actually the first cousin of Dustin Rhodes which makes him Dusty's nephew. Dusty's mother and numerous other family members were in attendance at his debut on 2/26 in Humble, TX. Austin was trained by Tugboat Taylor.
Sid Vicious' first match since being fired by WCW after the incident with Arn Anderson last October will be for the MEWF on 4/9 in Essex, MD in the main event against Jerry Lawler. The Heavenly Bodies are also scheduled on that show. I don't know how feelings are within the industry today, but months ago it would have raised considerable heat toward any promoter that booked Sid.
American Commonwealth Wrestling has shows 3/26 in Johnsonburg, PA with Doink the Clown vs. Damien Demento on top and 4/22 in Cocolamus, PA with Jim Duggan vs. Vladimir Koloff with Terry Funk referee plus Chris Benoit working underneath.
The Gulf Coast Wrestling Reunion on 3/4 and 3/5 in Irvington, AL saw some 85 wrestlers, referees and promoters attend including Rip & Randy Tyler, Bill & Joe Sky, Sputnik & Flash Monroe, Corsica Joe, Sara Lee, Dick Steinborn, Don Greene, Michael P.S. Hayes, John Tatum, Paul Bearer, Eddie Sullivan, Dandy Jack Donovan, Tony Charles, Pat Barrett, Lester Welch, Jack Welch, Rick & Bobby Fields, Jim White, Cowboy Bob Kelly, Dick Dunn, Buddy Wayne, Terry Latham, Treach Phillips, Billy Wicks, Frank Morrell, Fabulous Moolah, Mae Weston, Diamond Lil, Mae Young, Cora & Debbie Combs, Bob Boyer and more.
Southern California wrestler James Aiono has a 3/18 try-out for American Gladiators.
Saw an obit for Dominic Doganiero, 72 of Camden, NJ, who was said tohave been a heel wrestler in the 1950s as Chief Thundercloud.
Indianapolis promoter Jeff Cohen tried to get two local newspaper columnists who are feuding into the ring for a match on one of his shows, but they turned him down.
Speaking of Cohen, he's asked us to get word out that his group won't even consider booking anyone unless they are a name wrestler unless they send a videotape first at CWA at Box 40091, Indianapolis, IN 46240.
The 2/94 issue of Sports Spectrum magazine had two articles on pro wrestling, a background article on a show in Philadelphia and an article on Tully Blanchard. Speaking of Blanchard, he was on the Wrestling Insiders radio show over the weekend and made it very clear he's looking to return to WCW. WCW officials want to debut him at the 5/22 Slamboree show against Terry Funk although that match I believe is simply in the idea phase. It's funny because in numerous interviews Blanchard has said how he couldn't go back into wrestling because of what it stands for because of his religious beliefs. It's really interesting to see people who were very strongly against a business like Blanchard and Sayama, when faced with the fact they won't have a chance to come back later (Blanchard is now 41) and faced with the opportunity to make far more money over the short run as would be possible in any other manner suddenly coming back.
Sabu vs. Al Snow on 4/2 in Lima, OH.
Former wrestler/manager/promoter George Cannon, who is in rough shape suffering from throat cancer, would like to hear from former wrestlers and fans at P.O. Box 204, Emeryville, ONT N0R 1C0.
Apparently Davey Boy Smith's upcoming tour of Australia is running into snags because Titan Sports has taken action to keep Smith from using the British Bulldog name on the tour.
Sports Illustrated, in the 3/7 issue, ran down a list of some former athletes who had major roles in movies. Two former wrestlers, the late Harold Sakata (who wrestled as Oddjob Tosh Togo) and Woody Strode were listed. It didn't list either as being ex-pro wrestlers, however, with Sakata listed as a silver medalist in weightlifting in the 1948 Olympics and Strode as a football teammate of Jackie Robinson's at UCLA.
The Memphis Commercial Appeal ran two stories on Sputnik Monroe (real name Rock Brambaugh), one of 3/5 and another on 3/14. The first was as a preview to the 3/7 Memphis card which Monroe was inducted into the USWA Hall of Fame. The second story was about a party in Memphis over the weekend in his honor.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post wrote a critical short directed at the Boston Garden for putting Hulk Hogan into the Boston Garden Hall-of-Fame, saying that someone whose fame was built on using steroids and then lied to the public about it didn't deserve to be honored in that way.
WWOR-TV news will be doing a follow-up piece on the business of pro wrestling on 3/25.
Larry Sharpe has a show on 4/2 in Clementon, NJ with Jim Duggan vs. Abbuda Singh, Kimala vs. Boy Gone Bad and Super Jocks vs. Bushwhackers.
AAA
The match where Psicosis won the WWA welterweight title from El Hijo del Santo on 2/16 in Aguascalientes aired in the U.S. on 3/13. It was a total screw-job finish where Santo did a rolling splash onto a prone Psicosis and got up and accidentally crashed into Tirantes, knocking him out of the ring. He then put Psicosis in the camel clutch and Tirantes signalled for the bell (well, it's a whistle in Mexico) and fans popped like Santo won and then he raised Psicosis' hand for the DQ. Titles can change via DQ in Mexico. I haven't seen the tape but was told people were disappointed with the match, but the Mexican magazines raved about how good Psicosis was in the match.
Love Machine and La Parka got into it on 3/13 in Oakland in the six-man main event and were beating the crap out of each others' chests on the floor causing the main event with Konnan & Perro Aguayo & Mascara Sagrada vs. Machine & Parka & Blue Panther (subbing for Jake Roberts who arrived late) to end without a decision. The match was a whole lot better without Roberts. They made the announcement that Roberts wasn't going to appear and it got no reaction from the crowd, which apparently will make the promoters realize that Roberts isn't that big of a deal to this audience. Sherri Martel won't be back since she's expected to sign a two-year exclusive deal with WCW next week.
Torero cut himself way too deep in Oakland and bled like a faucet, legitimately needing 16 stitches to close the wound and was hospitalized that night and in rough shape due to loss of blood.
Tiger Mask and Black Cat from New Japan are in. Mask isn't doing very well while Cat had one main event and isn't on upcoming shows so either he's done or injured. Great Sasuke postponed his debut until April for his feud with Fuerza Guerrera.
The 2/25 tag team tournament from the Poza Rica baseball stadium was a night of screw-jobs, as of the seven tourney matches, only two ended with clean finishes and five were either low blow or fake low blow DQ finishes to get heat on Tirantes including the championship match of Jerry Estrada & La Parka beating Heavy Metal & Latin Lover. Parka accidentally low blowed his partner, and then Tirantes DQ'd the faces for no reason.
WWF
Leilani Kai will be the opponent for Alundra Blayze at Wrestlemania. Reports from Japan are that Bull Nakano may come to the WWF in December although I don't believe that is a done deal. Blayze will work under the name Madusa in May when the WWF tours Japan for the first time in a few years.
The Undertaker is doing PR work for the tour in Japan starting 3/19 so he's definitely on the tour which is important since he'd be the biggest drawing card. Also on the shows will be Yokozuna, Bret Hart, Randy Savage, Tatanka, Bam Bam Bigelow, Shawn Michaels, Adam Bomb, Doink the Clown, 1-2-3 Kid, Head Shrinkers, Smoking Gunns, Owen Hart, Lex Luger and Bob Backlund along with several Japanese wrestlers.
It is said that Dave Heath doing television jobs as the Black Phantom wearing his old Black Hearts ring costume was because he was mad at Tom Nash, who still wears the Black Heart gimmick on indies, because of comments Nash made directed at ex-wife Luna Vachon in the newsletter Chairshots.
WWF bought a special advertising pull-out section in the New York Daily News on 3/13 to promote Wrestlemania.
Fatu is out of action after Mabel landed on him wrong on 2/24 in Whitewater, WI. The Head Shrinkers worked the U.S. shots against Smoking Gunns, so on the West Coast they used Fatu's brother Tonga Kid as part of the team, while on the Eastern shows, Afa teamed with Samu. With the exception of a show in Oakland (the Samoans grew up in San Francisco), the Gunns have won all the matches. That's a change of philosophy from the 1980s WWF which wanted to show its power over its wrestlers by usually having them do jobs in their hometown, and now it's the traditional wrestling approach of letting guys win when the tour comes to their hometown.
The Yokozuna vs. Randy Savage title change brought the Monday Night Raw ratings on 2/28 up to a 3.4, while All-American did a 1.9 and Mania a 1.2 that weekend. For the next weekend, Raw (Owen Hart & Crush vs. Gunns) did a 2.8, All-American a 2.1 and Mania a 1.3.
The average for Raw during January, a 3.3, was the highest rated average of any televised wrestling show in the United States for any calendar month since the WCW Main Event show averaged a 3.8 in February 1990 (when Sting was injured and Luger turned).
With the exception of a different result for the Gunns vs. Samu & Tonga Kid match, we got the basic same WWF show that has been running everywhere on 3/4 in Oakland before 3,700 fans: 1. Bushwhackers beat Heavenly Bodies in 11:44 when Butch pinned Del Rey after the battering ram. 3/4*; 2. Doink & Dink beat Bigelow & Luna in 13:23. This was good comedy for about 2:00 but then lost its appeal. Dink was knocked off the apron and carried out, then ran back and distracted Bigelow and Doink schoolboyed him. DUD; 3. Quebecers kept the tag titles beating 1-2-3 Kid & Jim Powers (subbing for Marty Jannetty who has been fired for the fourth time, trailing only Iron Sheik in WWF record books). Kid is wearing a new red outfit that doesn't look nearly as good as the blue one. Pierre pinned Powers with a leg
drop off the top in 11:51. **1/4; 4. Yokozuna & Bastion Booger beat Men on Mission in a weird match. Yokozuna worked the entire match as Booger kept refusing to tag. Yokozuna sold the whole time until out of nowhere hitting Mo with a belly-to-belly for the win in 7:59. After the match Booger tried to congratulate Yokozuna, but Yokozuna head-butted him and played to the crowd as a face but only got a very small face reaction. I can't describe how awful it was when Yokozuna was in with Mabel. Well, actually I can. Remember the Sid Vicious-El Gigante stretcher match. -*; 5. Samu & Tonga Kid beat Smoking Gunns when Samu pinned Bart as he came off the top rope but was met with a thurst kick in 13:02. Both teams worked very hard. Samoans always work harder in front of their friends. ***1/4; 6. Bret Hart & Luger beat IRS & Owen Hart in 14:46 when Luger schoolboyed IRS. Bret received more than double the amount of cheers as Luger. Fans were chanting boring when Luger was in with IRS but Owen vs. Bret had great heat even though they only wrestled scientifically and neither is very animated facially. What they did was good, of course. **.
Interesting that among the people will full page photos in the 1994 WWF calendar were Hulk Hogan, Ultimate Warrior (who hasn't been with the company since 11/92), Ric Flair, Nailz and Repo Man.
Randy Savage made an illusion toward Hogan in an interview on the March to Mania show talking about Crush and comparing him with another friend who turned on him and made it obvious he was talking about Hogan.
Business is said to be very strong on the German dates while U.S. gates are largely subpar with the exception of a sellout in a 4,700 seat building in Seattle on 3/6.
Jacques Rougeau is nursing a sprained ankle so barely worked over the weekend in the tag title matches and may be less than 100 percent at Mania but has told friends he'll be fine for the show.
Even though the Wrestlemania card totally blows, I expect enough surprises on the show to keep things interesting.
The Chicago Tribune did a puff piece story on Vince McMahon on 3/14, complete with a ridiculous $500 million listed as the value of the WWF and the story of how Vince took wrestling out of smoke-filled arenas. What took wrestling out of smoke filled arenas is that virtually every major arena in the country these days bans smoking. While Vince McMahon detests smoking, he had nothing to do with any of this legislation passing. It mentioned the trial with McMahon quoted as saying, "I feel in the end I'll be vindicated. This investigation has been ongoing for almost two years. An investigation of that magnitude does impede the normal flow of daily business activity. You can't concentrate as well as you'd like to. It's been bothersome."
WWF introduced a sound machine on the Superstars show over the weekend. While Johnny Polo is a big improvement over Stan Lane on Superstars, that sound machine made the show even more cornball than before. Some of it was funny, but it was used so frequently it was stupid. Lane leaves a lot to be desired on Face-to-face as well but I think Todd Pettengill does a great job selling the PPV shows.
WCW
The whole crew is in Germany this week and returns for TV tapings on 3/22 and 3/23.
The dates listed in the past Observer for Saturday Night television show airings are one week behind the date they'll actually air.
WCW officials are claiming SuperBrawl did a .67 buy rate, which if true would be a success. While national cable sources have listed a .5 and I've been worked big-time in the past about WCW buy rates, I think the source of the .67 this time is accurate. If it is the case, WCW isn't trailing WWF by much right now and that's before throwing Hulk Hogan into the equation.
There are new announcing changes on TV. Tony Schiavone and Bobby Heenan will host Saturday, Gene Okerlund and Heenan host Sunday but Eric Bischoff and Jesse Ventura will call the play-by-play for the show which will now consist of new voiceovers being done for all the television main events of the other weekly shows and a special main event only for broadcast on Sunday. Because WCW Pro is in so few markets in syndication, the Power Hour show is being replaced in the mornings by WCW Pro which will be hosted by Gordon Solie, Larry Zbyszko and Dusty Rhodes. Schiavone and Ventura will do World Wide.
Ventura, in response to what was written here about expected changes to make Heenan the No. 1 announcer said that since he gets paid more than any other announcer, it makes him the No. 1 announcer. Ventura also said he'd be doing the announcing on all Clashes and PPVs. It may be worth an experiment of doing a three-man team for one show and see how it works, but when it comes down to choosing between Ventura and Heenan, I think Heenan wins hands down.
Ventura's court case against Titan is now scheduled for 3/21. Ventura is suing claiming he deserved a better cut of his merchandise in Titan because his deal was made under duress, and that he deserves a percentage of the videotape sales because his voice was used on so many of the tapes. His current WCW contract expires in March of 1995.
Brian Pillman's contract expired and at press time was still involved in negotiations.
Despite what has been reported elsewhere, Elizabeth was not at the Orlando tapings and she is not negotiating to come into WCW. Apparently she was thinking of going to the tapings but decided against it.
Lots of heat among the wrestlers because many have been asked to take pay cuts while at the same time WCW has spent so much money on its announcing team and recently spent $400,000 on renovating the look of the Saturday show, not to mention how much money they are putting on the table for Hogan.
Hogan's interview and the beginning of a subtle Flair turned both aired over the weekend. Based on reaction here, the Hogan interview caused less of a stir than expected but most readers already knew about it ahead of time.
Jungle Jim Steele isn't Rio Lord of the Jungle. There's two of them.
The Steamboat-Paul Roma match that airs on 3/26 was re-taped with Steamboat not using the figure four.
On 3/3 they taped again at Center Stage with lots of empty seats. The 4/2 show has Uncle Buck over Zenk, Nasty Boys working although not doing much and interviewed about Cactus & Payne at Spring Stampede which will be a falls count anywhere street fight, Steve Austin is now using the old Fuller leglock as his finisher and Sting & Pillman beat Roma & Orndorff when Sting pinned Roma. After the match Rude attacked Sting and gave him a Rude Awakening. Apparently there is some heat because Rude is refusing to drop the strap to Sting which was the company's original plan.
Steve Keirn looked like George Washington in the interview to build up the Fabulous Express tag team, although there is a lot of talk that gimmick is being dropped. It is certain that the Freebirds vs. Johnny B. Badd angle has been dropped and Freebirds are done.
Reports from Germany are that the matches haven't been that good overall. Surprise result on 3/9 in Cologne saw Vader pin Sting in the middle with a moonsault.
Ratings for the weekend of 2/26 saw Saturday Night (Steamboat vs. Vader) do a 2.6, Main Event a 2.2 and Power Hour a 1.8. For the following weekend, Saturday Night did a 2.4, Main Event a 2.6 and Power Hour a 1.6. The Main Event rating, headlined by Pillman vs. Austin, was the highest rating for a Sunday Main Event show since December of 1992 when they replayed the Flair-Steamboat match from Chicago from 1989.
Funniest line of the month, and it was by of all people, Tony Schiavone. When Bobby Heenan was talking about scam artists, Schiavone responded, "I've worked for many of them."
The WCW All-nighter was a classic show and drew a 1.5 rating, which is very strong. The cut-ins at "Tony Schiavone's house" with all the announcers were pretty funny and the matches, most shown in their entirety, were mainly classics. The most notable thing about them to me were: 1) In 1988, Teddy Long looked to weigh about 140 pounds and now he's 230; 2) Anyone who thinks Bret Hart is even comparable to Ric Flair in his prime can't see the big picture, and I think Hart is great, but Flair did so many little things in matches and had so much more charisma that there is just no comparison; 3) The matches from years ago look even better now than then, which shows just how far the overall quality of the product has dropped. They aired a Flair-Lex Luger match with Lex as the face which was very good.
Michael Buffer, the sometime WCW ring announcer, was announcing last week for the opening of the Grand Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles boxing show and welcomed everyone to a night of World Championship Wrestling, er boxing.
THE READERS PAGES
John Tavolacci of 47-29 49th St., Woodside, NY 11377 is selling his collection of wrestling tapes and comic books.
Cory Van Kleeck of 4101 NW Expwy CBT 6-140, Oklahoma City, OK 73116 is looking for tapes of Williams vs. Kobashi 8/31, Hokuto vs. Kandori 4/2, Hansen vs. Kobashi 7/29, Lightning Kid vs. Sabu 4/17, Hansen vs. Kawada 2/28, Kawada vs.
Kobashi 4/14, Misawa vs. Kawada 3/27, Onita vs. Funk 5/5, Dream Slam I, 2/28 and 12/3 All Japan Budokan and Misawa vs. Williams 8/3 and would like a regular supplier of All Japan tapes.
Rob Adzima of 52 Gibson Ave., Trumbull, CT 06611 has tapes for trade.
Stu Kaplan of P.O. Box 176, North Weymouth, MA 02191 is looking for a tape of the 2/21 Vicki Lawrence show.
Joe Manna of 277 Brookville Ave., Islip, NY 11751 has Japanese tapes.
Darrin Lilly of 1101 S. Wall St. #431 , Carbondale, IL 62901 is looking for Ric Flair, Ron Simmons and Missy Hyatt merchandise.
Ian Greenhalgh of 162 Albert St., Millon, Cumbria, LA18 4AB England is looking for tapes from all promotions.
Mike O'Brien of 13 Blanche Ave., New Windsor, NY 12553 is looking for WCW Saturday Night tapes and wrestlers entrance music.
Don Lueft of 1020 Kennett Wy., West Chester, PA 19380 is looking for Ultimate Warrior vs. Undertaker and Bret Hart vs. Mountie matches.
Jason McKenzie of P.O. Box 2720-150, Huntington Beach, CA 92647 would like to alert those he corresponds with of his new address.
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Bill Pancoast of 187 Plaza Dr., Middletown, CT 06457 is looking for tapes of Mid Atlantic and Georgia wrestling 1977-79, Georgia 1983-85, Bob Backlund vs. Dusty Rhodes from Japan and Ric Flair vs. Bob Backlund from Atlanta.
Bill Strong of 447 Marcia Dr., Bristol, CT 06010 is looking for a tape of Ric Flair on Larry King, the Sweden-Canada gold medal hockey game and New York Islanders playoff games 1980-83.
Georgiann Makropoulos of 23-44 30th Dr., Astoria, NY 11102-3252 has a 115-page book of Bruno Sammartino career results with an autographed 8x10 B&W photo to go for the first 12 orders for $15. She also is selling a Buddy Rogers tribute videotape for $25.
Mike Lano of 68 Sable Point, Alameda, CA 94502 is looking for Hasbro figures of Von Erich, Valentine, Ware, LOD, Nasty Boys and has videos for trade and photos dating back to the 60s for sale.
David Whitley of Route 7 Box 105, Washington, NC 27889 is looking to buy wrestling magazines and high quality videos.
Chris Souders of 3600 Keeper Ct., Columbus, OH 43221 would like to purchase the Sammartino autobiography and other non-fiction wrestling books.
James Solomon of Route 5 Box 76, Forest City, NC 28043 is looking for the Gap employee training film with Winona Ryder and will trade anything in his wrestling or concert collection in exchange.
Lauren Fortuna of 59 Oswald Pl., Staten Island, NY 10309 is looking for Memphis tapes of Scotty the Body, Sabu, Cactus Jack, Randy Savage and SMW and Japanese tapes.
Dean Minervino of 48 Ginger Dr., Mount Holly, NJ 08060 has Hasbro WWF figures and AAA figure for sale.
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George Mayfield of 193 Fernbank Rd. #6 , Springfield, MA 01129 has two Medium Ribera tank tops, 3 FMW programs and a seven hour Japanese video including two FMW house shows. He is planning to attend the January 4, 1995 Tokyo Dome show and is looking for 8-10 other readers to attend with him.
Lewis Curry of 1607 N. Port St., Baltimore, MD 21213 is looking for current Japanese merchandise, tapes of Hawaii 5-0 and Entertainment Tonight with A-Ha from Lillehammer, Norway.
James Stevens of 1336 16th St., Columbus, GA 31901 is looking for ECW tapes.
Joey Sprinkle of 8505 Fort Clinch Ave., Orlando, FL 32822 is looking for wrestling cards from any year and football cards of ex-pro wrestlers.
Mark Dylong of 1730 3rd Ave. #405 , San Diego, CA 92101 is looking for martial arts cult videos, Jayne Kennedy's underground home video and videos of Pancrase and Rings.
John Erigo of 410 Pennsylvania Ave., Mineola, NY 11501 is looking for Ric Flair tapes.
Pete Ponzaetti of 2211 Orchard Lake Dr., Fenton, MI 48430 puts out Wrestling Ringside & Locker Room for $2 per issue.
Ken Verret of 505 Gouaux Ave., Houma, LA 70364 is looking for tapes of the 12/4 and 12/18 Southern Wrestling Association shows in Lenior City, TN.
WCW is putting out a special set of merchandise for hardcore fans at Ha-lo Ad Specialties, P.O. Box 48865, Niles, IL 60714. All are limited edition, a High gloss 8x10 color photo of Ric Flair raising the belt after beating Vader for personally autographed for $25.75, ticket stubs from Starrcade '93 at $16.75 and a color photo of Flair winning the belt for $9.75.
Stefan Pickshaus of Brehmstr.4 42549 Velbert, Germany is looking for Japanese merchandise, Howard Stern PPV and Roger Daltrey PPV and is looking to get in touch with fans from Japan.
Mike Cusartelli of 3266 Blandon Rd., Oakland, CA 94605 is looking for SMW tapes.
Ben Lagerstrom of 2440 Broadway Box 112, New York, NY 10024 will send a free copy of his newsletter to anyone who sends two stamps.
John Krollman of 43 Maricrest Dr., Amherst, NY 14228 has SMW, ECW and 1980 Olympic Hockey games for trade.
Stuart Dinkes of 13913 Dressler Ave., Garfield Heights, OH 44125 has tapes from the 60s through 80s for trade.
Sean Pascoe of P.O. Box 363, Pascoag, RI 02859 is looking for best of tapes of Terry Funk, Roddy Piper, Road Warriors and the Freebirds-Von Erich feud. He has all recent SMW, USWA, ECW, Dream Slam I, Onita-Funk and All Japan tapes to trade in exchange.
Bill Pancoast of 187 Plaza Dr., Middletown, CT 06457 is looking for tapes of Road Warriors from Georgia (1983-85), Mid Atlantic (1976-79) and any Georgia tapes from 1983-88.
Scott Cornish of 8603 Seneca Turnpike, New Hartford, NY 13413 would like to let people he corresponds with know his new address.
Sheryl Dunn of 602-A Mulberry, Charleston, MS 38921 has photo key chains for sale. Write for a list of photos available.
Scott Slattery of 18 Chipman St., Medford, MA 02155 is looking to purchase Nasty Boys figures and any Japanese figures.
Michael Ford of 130 El Campo Dr., San Jose, CA 95127 is looking for Hasbro WWF figures of Crush, Shawn Michaels, Kimala and Razor Ramon and WCW International figures of El Gigante, Freebirds, Big Josh and Dustin Rhodes and has LJN Ultimate Warrior and Rick Rude to trade or will buy.
Don Braddy Jr. of 4901 Heil Av. #B-10 , Huntington Beach, CA 92649 is looking for tapes of Halloween Havoc, Starrcade and SuperBrawl and has also PPVs from 1987-92 to trade and old Observers.
Norm Connors of 1719 Rialto #1 , Pittsburgh, PA 15212 is looking for someone who can supply him with tapes of the next six weeks of Wrestling Challenge.
Dee Normandy of 581 Crown St. #42 , Meriden, CT 06450 is looking for a tape or Mr. Perfect on Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.
Lance LeVine of 507 W. 43rd Pl., Chicago, IL 60609 puts out the monthly comedy newsletter Chokehold for $1.
Jon Peck of 11 Dix St., Hamden, CT 06514 has a list of custom made wrestling figures for $1.
Buddy Phillips of 71 Country Meadow Ln., Atoka, TN 38004 has photos of USWA wrestlers from the past and present and will send a list to anyone who sends a SASE. He's also looking for audio tapes of the Wrestling Insiders radio show since the show returned.
Matt Szabo of 7004 Meadowbrook, Cleveland, OH 44144 is looking for a weekly supplier of SMW tapes.
A new Las Vegas promotion is looking for men and especially women wrestlers for work on casino shows in the near future. Please send portfolios with resumes, photos and tapes to P.O. Box 34904, Las Vegas, NV 89133.
Steve Gennarelli of 69 Kendall Ave., Binghamton, NY 13903 is selling his collection of wrestling magazines and newsletters.
Sarah Buisse of 43463 51st W, Quartz Hill, CA 93536 is looking for a regular supplier of New Japan tapes and for a tape of Raw with Steiners vs. Bigelow & Yokozuna.
Alex Rodriguez of 83-08 Broadway #509 , Flushing, NY 11373 is looking to buy wrestling videotapes and is looking for tape lists.
David Stroud of 100 Snow Ave. #303-D , Raleigh, NC 27603 is looking for tapes of Pancrase and other tapes of Wayne Shamrock, tapes of Teen Pro Wrestling and other indies as well as a pair of good condition red or blue patent leather wrestling boots size 10 or 11.
Mike Motley of P.O. Box 691482, Tulsa, OK 74169 is looking for AAA and EMLL tapes both past and present.
Lou D'Angeli of P.O. Box 2040, 200 Bloomfield Ave., West Hartford, CT 06117 has ECW, SMW hand held tapes, NWA, TWA and homemade wrestling tapes for trade and is looking for just about anything but mostly indie shows.
Ted Malash of 520 Old Town Rd., Trumbull, CT 06611 is looking for good quality tapes of the old TNT shows and a copy of ECW Holiday Hell.
Luis Marrero of 1718 McClellan, Philadelphia, PA 19145 puts out the newsletter Mat Mania for $2 per issue.
MICHIGAN COMMISSION
Three weeks ago I wrote about how the Michigan State Athletic Board of Control failed to protect the wrestlers who got stiffed on payoffs on last month's card in Taylor, MI. On 2/19 I was back in Taylor, this time ring announcing for a much more reputable Midwest Territorial Wrestling promotion, and witnessed yet another great example of Michigan's inept commission. The main event was a match for the Smoky Mountain tag titles with the Rock & Roll Express vs. Heavenly Bodies. Ricky Morton limped back to the locker room. By the time I had arrived his boot had been quickly removed so ice could be placed on his injured ankle. I was instructed to find the commission-appointed doctor. I paged him on the p.a. and then went out to the parking lot to try and find him only to be told by the state inspector that he had already left. Promoters are required by the state to pay a minimum of $100 for a commission physician on all pro wrestling cards. Apparently that doesn't guarantee a full night's work because nobody from the commission asked to find out if all the workers finished the evening unhurt.
Kurt Schneider
Warren, Michigan
SUPERBRAWL IV
Overall an obvious thumbs down. There was nothing to this show to recommend it to anyone. Rotten would be too subtle a word to describe the undercard, which was maybe the worst ever. Who was the person responsible for putting the Jim Steele vs. Equalizer match on a PPV? The show was poorly booked, with a screw-job finish in the main event. Arn Anderson vs. Steve Regal was a disappointment, the six-man tag was good and the main event finish showed contempt for the title.
Pat Donovan
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Thumbs down. The show wasn't bad, but I expect a lot more for a $24.95 price tag. This wasn't any better than a typical 1986 house show with a few gimmick matches. None of the matches were that bad, but nothing was that good either. The show looked like a Jim Herd show seeing Hayes and Garvin again. Best match was Flair-Vader. The heat was decent, but I had some problems with this match. This match should have gone 25:00 and badly needed double juice. Instead it just looked like a way to lead from Flair-Vader to Vader-Boss. I never got the feeling during the match that Vader had a chance to regain the title. The six-man had so much potential but never got off the ground. It was too short.
Chris Kazmerzak
Columbus, Ohio
Thumbs up. Even though the undercard was mediocre, the two main events mae up for any earlier boredom. Steve Regal and Arn Anderson would have been good or even great if it had been shorter. The six-man was a solid ***3/4 and Flair vs. Vader was **** with Flair doing some great selling.
Mike Mahoney Jr.
Washington, D.C.
Thumbs in the middle. Everyone is always complaining about wrestlers not having any wrestling ability. Then WCW brings in Steve Regal and people jump all over them. Granted his match shouldn't have been that long. Bobby Heenan is good, but his humor trivializes the good matches.
Scott Whitt
Houston, Texas
Which one of The Freebirds or was it Johnny B. Badd that married into the Rhodes family? 30:00 of that on PPV. No thanks. Two decent matches for $20 is not good value for your money and I definitely won't be ordering another. For my $20 I'd rather invest in Tod Gordon's house show tapes. It amazes me the smaller promotions run the best shows around.
Brian Scott
Hamilton, Ontario
HOGAN-FLAIR
Before everyone gets too excited about the possibility of a Hogan-Flair match in WCW, let's take a stroll down memory lane. Hogan's last return to the WWF was a big bust. Wrestlemania IX didn't have a good buy rate and the house shows he was on stunk. The days of Hogan being an automatic draw in this country are probably over. For Hogan-Flair to draw, I think it is Hogan who would have to turn, something he isn't prepared to do.
Pete Sekularac
Round Lake Beach, Illinois
DM: While Hogan's performance in his 1993 return to the WWF left something to be desired and didn't garner anywhere near the fan reaction of years past, Wrestlemania IX actually did pretty well as far as buy rate goes as it was way above any other show for the year. King of the Ring, which Hogan's defense against Yokozuna headlined didn't do a strong buy rate which shows just having Hogan in the main event on a card today is no guarantee of success as it was at one time. Hogan-Flair should do very well for the first PPV match. After that depends on a lot of factors including how hard Hogan wants to work, how well the storyline is executed and how much "legs" Hogan's appeal has in 1994.
If Hulk Hogan does wrestle in WCW, can or will he be allowed to use the name Hulk Hogan, Hulkamania or Hulkster, all of which are trademarked by Titan Sports?
Andy Raymond
Castle Hills, Australia
DM: The Hulk name is owned by Marvel Comics who leased rights to use it to Titan Sports, so Titan doesn't own a trademark to the name. If Terry Bollea goes to WCW, WCW would have to negotiate a deal with Marvel to be able to merchandise the name. As far as ring use, while Vince McMahon Sr. was the first promoter to give Bollea the name Hulk Hogan with the old Capitol Sports, Bollea used the name worldwide and was a huge name in wrestling internationally and even did the Rocky III movie using the name before ever working for Titan Sports so, as would be the case with Dynamite Kid or Junkyard Dog or anyone who used their ring name prior to entering the WWF, they could continue using the name after their tenure.
900 LINES
I've been reading tons of criticism lately regarding the false advertising of WCW and especially WWF regarding their 900 lines. There can be no doubt that this is dishonest and unethical, but how can anyone who supports professional wrestling condemn these promotions for making money off worked votes or things falsely advertised on hotlines? Sure, the decisions people are calling in about on the WWF hotlines are already made. But every time people pay to see pro wrestling, the matches are also predetermined and I don't hear any complaints about that. Pro wrestling is based on hyping worked events as real, and suckering marks into spending their hard earned money on something they believe to be true. The argument can be made that hardly any of the public believes pro wrestling to be real, but if that's the case, than people who call the 900 lines would be stupid to think that their votes count. I didn't hear anyone complaining about the UWFI PPV show which was advertised as being real. It wasn't real and that was false advertising, just like the WWF 900 lines, and I don't have a problem with either. If there are enough marks out there that believe their votes count and are gullible enough to call in, they are probably enjoying watching wrestling more than ever because they believe they are taking part in making things happen. Anyone who can condemn these 900 line promotions and praise UWFI or Akira Maeda needs to sit down and take a look at their own double standard.
Jeff Benson
San Francisco, California
DM: You're comparing apples to oranges although there can be no denying that Akira Maeda in many ways is the biggest hypocrite of all. There were numerous complaints about UWFI's advertising of its product as real and the negative remarks toward "American pro wrestling's phoniness" by the announcers on the PPV show. I don't have a problem with using the word "real" because in its own way, pro wrestling is real and what they were doing was real, although the outcomes are predetermined and some of the moves are choreographed, but in that way it isn't all that much different from a gymnastics routine or ice dancing or figure skating or live theatrical plays or any type of sport or theater played out in front of a live audience that use routines, none of which would be called fake by the general public. Accepting that premise, you can't criticize American pro wrestling for not being real, because it's the same thing, only for looking less realistic than UWFI when it comes to being judged as a combative sport. 900 lines come under consumer fraud jurisdiction which is why the sleazy late-night 900 ads specify they are for entertainment purposes only. If WWF and WCW specified the same thing when they were doing worked come-ons, there would be no problem. Pro wrestling, as defined numerous times by the WWF is two (or more) wrestlers working together to entertain the audience, not as a competitive sport although one can make a strong and valid argument that the nature of the hype and how events are sold and the fact that definition is never referred to when the events are sold, that inherently pro wrestling is a fraud. By that definition therefore everything associated with it can't be any more fraudulent than the pro wrestling itself.
SMW
I think it's safe to say that Jim Cornette is a hypocrite for being associated with the WWF. The Undertaker resurrection angle was way more embarrassing than anything WCW has done including the exploding boat fiasco. Yet I don't see Cornette complaining about how the WWF is a disgrace to the business like he does with WCW. I understand it is possible that Cornette didn't know what had been planned ahead of time at the Rumble, but that doesn't change the fact he has kept quiet on the subject, he still works for the WWF and if WCW did the same angle, he would never let it go without condemning it. Incidentally, I won't dispute the fact that Cornette is a great manager but I'd say he is slightly overrated.
Joe Puccio
Richmond Hill, New York
Your rebuke to my criticism of Tracy Smothers' loud spot calling has regenerated me. The SMW fans were laughing every time he opened his mouth. Too loud spot calling equals suspension of disbelief, something you criticized Sid Vicious and Rick Steiner for in the 3/4/91 Observer. You can't have it both ways. I know spots are called in virtually every match, but I've been ringside hundreds of times and seen lips move but have never heard anything.
Bob Barnett
Santa Monica, California
DM: According to the 3/4/91 Observer, in a quarter-page review of a War Games match from Phoenix on PPV which was given five stars (so obviously I didn't think it hurt the match or the show, which was the third best received by readers in Observer poll history, to any significant degree, which was my point) the so-called criticism was "On TV, the down side was that on one occasion you could hear Sid Vicious and Rick Steiner setting up a spot."
In regard to Bob Barnett's letter in the 2/28 Observer concerning Sunday Bloody Sunday, I felt some things needed to be clarified. His comment about too many screw jobs isn't correct since there were no matches where the referee's original decision was reversed in favor of the heel which is technically the definition of a screw job. No decisions were reversed in favor of the faces either. Concerning the crowd hanging around the babyface curtain, this has nothing to do with fans expecting a run-in. This happens at all the Knoxville shows because fans want to get a peek at the faces when they stick their heads out of the dressing room and because there were no more chairs on the floor due to the large crowd.
Barnett showed he hasn't been paying attention to the storylines with his remark about Mike Furnas not being ready to do jobs yet. That's the whole idea and even the biggest marks understand the angle. Mike is a former University of Tennessee football player who has never had a match. The big heel team, The Heavenly Bodies, were pushing him around, but then he got someone to stand by his side, his world class wrestler and athlete of a brother, Doug. It's called an angle. As for his comment that Dusty Rhodes could have booked the finishes, he's right about that. Unfortunately, he couldn't book a show with half of the appeal, which wasn't bad for a guy who is "spreading himself too thin."
Perhaps Barnett is crying sour grapes because he had to be escorted from behind the curtain at the show like Bob Uecker after he was caught backstage pestering the wrestlers to tell him Eddie Gilbert stories. Then again, he shouldn't be too unhappy since I've already heard from four people who have paid for a copy of a tape of the show that he taped with his video camera. I guess the SMW office can expect a royalty check in the mail.
K.C. O'Connor
Smoky Mountain Wrestling
Morristown, Tennessee
When I called WSLS-TV in Roanoke, they told me that WCW beat SMW in votes to determine which should would air. WCW was in the low 800s and SMW in the high 500s.
Brian Hiner
Roanoke, Virginia
BRUISER BRODY
There are a couple of points raised by Jerry Wilson's letter and your reply that I'd like to address. In your reply you pointed out the loss of Frank Goodish was a great tragedy to his family and that it was a far greater loss to them than to the fans because of the matches we would never see. You're correct. However, I think you were selling our loss short. I admired Frank Goodish. He was and is my favorite wrestler. But beyond that, I admired him as a performer or an artist. I'm a cartoonist by trade and have nothing to do with the wrestling business, but I could never view Goodish as anything but a fellow artist, a patron saint for artists of all types. His sense of self-worth, integrity and unwillingness to go against his own artistic sensibilities were not only inspiring, but set an example for all artists. People liked to call him a stubborn hard-ass, but he was only looking out for himself and nobody else in this business is going to do that for you. While I may not have felt the sort of loss that his family and friends did, nonetheless I certainly felt a loss that I won't have undersold. I hope that his family understands that we also feel sorrow and sympathy for them.
In your reply you speculated that Brody at 47 would have been a worse performer than in his prime. That speculation is pointless as we'll never know. But I think a 47-year-old Brody would have been just as good as ever. Look at Stan Hansen. I think Stan Hansen is every bit the performer today as when he was younger.
As for Wilson's anger at not getting to see a Brody vs. Vader match, I have a Brody vs. Leon White match from the mid-80s AWA. Yeah, Leon wasn't as great as he would become, but I liked him back then. This match doesn't even hint at what it would have been like but it's still fascinating.
Frank Strom
Revere, Massachusetts
After reading Jerry Wilson's letter on Bruiser Brody in the 2/28 Observer, I had several questions. For example, what did Brody think of Dusty Rhodes as a booker or of both Bill Watts and Ole Anderson as promoters? Maybe these opinions would have determined if Brody would have wrestled for WCW if he had lived. While Jerry Wilson was talking about Brody-Vader matches, I think it's more likely we'd be seeing Brody vs. Sabu and Brody vs. Steve Williams or Brody vs. Hulk Hogan. Did Brody ever wrestle Hogan in his pre-WWF years? In an old book I own there is a story about a Ric Flair-Bruiser Brody feud in St. Louis. I'd like to know the date of this match and was it ever televised or videotaped? How good was it?
Floyd Perry Jr.
Stockton, California
DM: I really can't answer what Brody thought of Rhodes or Anderson but know he wasn't fond at all of Watts. Brody and Rhodes were college football teammates in the mid-60s at West Texas State University. Brody never wrestled Hogan, although I'm relatively sure had he lived that at some point he would have gone to the WWF for a short run and wrestled Hogan. Brody wrestled Flair numerous times, mainly around St. Louis and Kansas City. Matches from both cities have aired on television (St. Louis
matches aired in Japan) and the ones I saw ranged from good to excellent, although they never did any finishes.
WCW
Thumbs up to the WCW all-night special. I enjoyed the idea of all the announcers gathering at Tony Schiavone's house to watch the matches. I hope they do it again, although not too often. How about going further back in the archives and putting together a show of highlights of the old Georgia Championship Wrestling. Starrcade at the Georgia Dome? Not in this century.
Rob Moore
Greenville, Texas
DM: WCW doesn't have tapes of the old Georgia Championship Wrestling. Rumor has it that Ole Anderson had all the tapes in his house and feeling that they were worthless, simply threw them away because they were taking up so much space. In 1992, when they did the 20-year anniversary, they had to get tapes from fans for the clips which, because they were so old and had been dubbed were not of broadcast quality to air for more than a minute or so.
PPV BUY RATE FALLING
Do you think the falling off of buy rates of PPV shows over the last few years might have something to do with the sudden proliferation of illegal hot boxes? This is something I've never heard discussed and yet I know many people who have laid out up to $300 for these boxes. I'm sure the cable industry is losing millions of dollars a year from this.
Joe LaBargo
Staten Island, New York
DM: These boxes or similar decoders will cause fewer people to buy PPV events, but I'm sure if there is enough of them to make a significant enough (statistically measurable) decline in orders. If a million homes have them, you can figure they're cutting at least five percent from the total orders. I've never seen pirating of PPV events talked about in trade journals as reasons for declines in orders either.
WWOR
I was watching the WWOR news report on wrestling. Some reporter who acted like he knew everything said that he told everyone back in 1985 that pro wrestling was fake. No kidding. He then went back to a 1985 report and showed a Bob Backlund vs. Larry Zbyszko match from Pro Wrestling USA. They showed Zbyszko being held in a headlock telling Backlund the next moves. In the first place, if they think this is news, they should wake up. In America, pro wrestling isn't a sport, it's entertainment.
Bill Pancoast
Middletown, Connecticut
To say the 2/23 WWOR TV piece on wrestling was a joke would be a mild understatement. It was amazing how the whole steroid trial issue was just glossed
over. This piece clearly illustrates why even if McMahon is found guilty, it won't receive much mainstream publicity. To the media and general public, when pro wrestling is involved, all credibility and serious reporting is thrown out the window. Let's look at the story. They were dealing with a man being accused at the very least of dealing in controlled substances and perhaps even ordering people to put their personal health at risk and yet all WWOR wanted to emphasize is that wrestling is a work.
Mike Lanzalotti
Williamstown, New Jersey
QUESTIONS
What do you see as the future for Terry Taylor in WCW? Do you see either Sabu or Chris Benoit landing in either of the two major promotions?
Dominic Zammetti
Parts Unknown
DM: Although Taylor is a great wrestler, it seems his career was destroyed so much years ago by doing The Red Rooster gimmick in WWF that nobody has given him a serious shot since. I can see him put in a mid-card or television feud but not in a prominent role although a booker can do almost anything he wants to change a guy's character and try to revive his career. It's hard to say about Sabu's future although I'm sure if he wanted to be in any promotion badly enough besides maybe All Japan, he'd probably be able to get in. Ditto for Benoit, who already is a regular in one of the two major promotions, which is something that can't be said about Ric Flair.
Is Dan Kroffat the same guy who wrestled in Canada in the 1970s? Why did Missy Hyatt get fired? Are Chris Benoit or Bobby Eaton still under WCW contracts?
Ric Davies
Bay City, Michigan
DM: The Dan Kroffat in Japan (real name Phil Lafond) is not the same Dan Kroffat that worked in the 60s and 70s in mainly the Stampede Wrestling territory. That Dan Kroffat was also known in the United States, particularly California, and Japan for his reign as United National champion under the name King Krow. Missy Hyatt got fired for going over Eric Bischoff's head to Bob Dhue in attempting to get her contract, which was expiring at the end of February, renewed. Chris Benoit isn't under contract to WCW. Bobby Eaton is through April on a $500-per-night deal, and it is expected the deal will be renewed since they are putting him back in a pushed position after nearly erasing him from existence this past year.
CHARITY SHOWS
Some time ago I was talking to my cousin who lives in Virginia and he told me about a promotion running a fund raiser for his high school and the promotion took 70 percent of the money raised and the school got the rest. Can they do that? Can they take such a big percentage of money that's raised for the school's benefit?
Joel Horn
Chicago, Illinois
DM: Fund raisers are a funny deal. There are instances where the organization doesn't get a dime when the show is over and times when they raise decent money. Again, it comes down to two things, the NEGOTIATED deal made between the promotion and the organization or person beforehand and the honesty of each. The promotion getting 70 percent is not out of line if that's the negotiated deal, and the general trend has seemed to be 65 to 85 percent so it isn't out of line given the parameters of the business.
LAWLER
Your description of Jerry Lawler's impersonating a masked wrestler and hitting Chris Benoit with a plaque brought a smile to my face. You mentioned this is an ancient angle by American heels on top local faces. I recall it being run in Memphis with Lawler himself the victim. Lance Russell, with typical understated excellence, announced throughout the television show that a Mexican wrestler would be giving Lawler a plaque at the end of the program. When the time came, Lawler expressed great humility and pride over the lovely gift being shown to him by a silent masked Mexican wrestler. As Lawler reached to accept it, the masked man smashed it over his head. The evildoer removed his mask and if memory serves me correct, revealed himself to be Wayne Farris. The angle may lack originality, but my father and I had never seen it before and it cracked us up. Russell displayed that hilarious moral outrage of his. After a commercial break, a bandaged and bloody Lawler accused the horrified Lance himself of being behind the split. This has always been one of our favorite memories and wrestling in Memphis. More than ten years later we still chuckle over it.
Robert Rothhaus
Temple Hills, Maryland
DM: I recall the angle you described being done with Austin Idol as the masked man. The funniest instance to me was probably in the late 70s in Florida with Dusty Rhode getting an award from El Santo, who removed his mask only to reveal another mask, being The Assassin. It was funny to see a masked man remove a mask to reveal a second mask, and even funnier seeing a 300+ pound man pretend to be El Santo.
WWF
The WWF announcing team is at an all-time low with the losses of Gene Okerlund, Bobby Heenan and Jim Ross. Vince is stuck with some real losers. Todd Pettengill, while amusing one percent of the time, is totally out of his element. Lord Al Hayes is horrible. Stan Lane needs to go back to wrestling. He has a voice but he announces like Gorilla Monsoon. Speaking of Monsoon, he's still obnoxious, insipid, condescending and just plain irritating. I watch WWF wrestling now with the sound off because it's much more pleasant that way.
Tom Wagner
Sound Beach, New York
I have questions involving the evolution of the World Wrestling Federation. I believe it was founded by Toots Mondt and Vince McMahon Sr. in 1963, and originally called the World Wide Wrestling Federation. Was the parent company then Capital Sports? When did the WWF and Titan Sports come into existence. Was the WWWF a member of the NWA? Was Jesse McMahon a wrestling promoter? Are there any other partners in the WWF besides Vince McMahon Jr? Is Vince McMahon's son Shane involved in the business?
Cliff Brenner
Dobbs Ferry, New York
DM: I believe Vince McMahon Sr. and Toots Mondt's Capital Sports based out of Washington, D.C. and promoting most of the Northeast went back to the 50s as a member of the NWA. When Buddy Rogers was NWA champion in the early 60s, they had control of his bookings and made it difficult for the other NWA promoters to get good weekend dates on Rogers. Because of that, the NWA decided to take the title from Rogers and the board decided to give it to Lou Thesz, who was semi-retired, because it was a tenuous political climate and they wanted someone who they had confidence that if things got out of hand, could easily spank Rogers. Several strange things happened in late 1962 before scheduled Rogers-Thesz matches where the title was supposed to change hands as both sides were at work politically in either trying to make sure the match did or didn't happen. Finally in Toronto, Rogers was backed into a corner and was told he either had to forfeit his $25,000 bond on the title, or show up for the match, and it was well-known that if he tried to not do the job, that Thesz was under orders to take it from him and Thesz' reputation in the business was such that it was more than enough to get Rogers to not try something funny. At that point Capital Sports pulled out of the NWA and formed the WWWF so they could recognize Rogers as world champion. Although this part of the story has been disputed by Bruno Sammartino, it is generally accepted and has always been claimed by Rogers that shortly into his reign as WWWF champion, Rogers suffered a heart attack and was literally dragged out of a hospital bed to put Bruno Sammartino over in 47 seconds. In 1971 or 1972, McMahon Sr. rejoined the NWA, so the WWWF was a member of the NWA and the champion was no longer referred to as "WWWF World heavyweight champion" but simply as "WWWF heavyweight champion," and the NWA champion was recognized in the programs, but almost never on television, as "World heavyweight champion" although he was virtually never booked into the territory (an exception came during Bob Backlund's title reign when McMahon Sr. booked Harley Race several times, including in a few title vs. title matches that ended without clean finishes). In 1982, when McMahon Sr. passed the company on, McMahon Jr. closed down Capital Sports and reformed the corporation as Titan Sports. I'm not sure when the other W was dropped from WWWF, but it was around the same time, but may have been a year or two earlier. Jesse McMahon, the grandfather of Vince Jr., was a boxing matchmaker at Madison Square Garden and had some involvement in wrestling, although not nearly to the extent as claimed in the largely
fictitious history of wrestling p.r. pieces McMahon's company put out which tried to credit Jesse McMahon with the birth of pro wrestling. McMahon owns 100 percent of the stock in Titan Sports, unless some shifting of stock has been done in recent times. Shane McMahon works in the Titan front office and is being groomed to someday run the company.
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post #12 of 54 (permalink) Old 06-26-2016, 08:12 AM Thread Starter
Asking JAMES ELLSWORTH for Wrestling Advice
 
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Re: Wrestling Observer 1994

Mar 28 1994 Observer Newsletter: Shawn Michaels ladder match review, Mania X, Tonya Harding AJW, tons more
Wrestling Observer Newsletter
PO Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228 March 28, 1994
WRESTLEMANIA X
Thumbs up 339 (74.7%)
Thumbs down 60 (13.2%)
In the middle 55 (12.1%)
BEST MATCH POLL
Razor Ramon vs. Shawn Michaels 353
Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart 101
WORST MATCH POLL
Lex Luger vs. Yokozuna 173
Earthquake vs. Adam Bomb 143
Doink & Dink vs. Bam Bam Bigelow & Luna Vachon 82
Quebecers vs. Men on Mission 40
Alundra Blayze vs. Leilani Kai 9
Based on phone calls and fax messages to the Observer as of Tuesday, 3/22. Margin of error: +-100%
Shawn Michaels put on one of the greatest individual performances in the history of the business at Wrestlemania X on 3/20 in New York's Madison Square Garden to highlight what the consensus is the best PPV show in WWF history. Michaels, in one of his last shows with the company before going on a what is planned to be a several month long sabbatical, put on a performance that left just about everyone in wrestling in awe in his ladder match loss to Razor Ramon. The match, probably the best match ever on a WWF PPV show, somehow overshadowed one of the greatest matches in WWF history between Bret Hart and Owen Hart that opened the show and a WWF title change with Bret's later regaining of the WWF title from Yokozuna in an average match in the evening's finale. The Hart-Hart match, with Owen scoring the surprise clean win to elevate him into the upper echelon, appeared when it was over to be a strong match-of-the-year candidate and was a tad better than the legendary Rick Steamboat-Randy Savage Wrestlemania III match which has largely been considered the greatest match in modern WWF history because of the stronger finish and every bit as good overall work.
Aside from the two excellent matches, Wrestlemania X would have been a mediocre show. However few shows in history from any promotion have ever had two matches of that quality and I was shocked at how many thumbs downs and thumbs in the middles this show received. From our poll standpoint, this show did about the same as Wrestlemania VI and worse than King of the Ring from last year. Even the
first WCW Clash of the Champions on March 27, 1988 in Greensboro which had matches that finished first and second (Sting vs. Ric Flair and Midnight Express vs. Fantastics) in the match of the year balloting couldn't match the 1-2 punch in match quality and that show had nothing but two matches either. Some of the 1989 WCW PPV shows had more great matches, but none had two matches this great on the same show. The only other show that comes to mind that might have been comparable as far as the top two matches are concerned would be an August 22, 1985 All Japan women's show (double main event of Chigusa Nagayo vs. Devil Masami and Lioness Asuka vs. Jaguar Yokota) and those matches were both heavily edited when they appeared on television so comparisons can only be made based on reports from those who attended live. The December 10, 1993 All Japan women's show at Korakuen Hall which had two tag matches with the same four women back-to-back, if they are considered as two separate matches, could be comparable and Cactus Jack and Eddie Gilbert had three memorable matches on the same night in Philadelphia on a Joel Goodhart show several years ago.
Besides the work quality of two of the matches, Wrestlemania X appeared to have set a record for the largest gate for a pro wrestling show ever in the United States (the WWF's three best gates in history were for stadium shows in Toronto, London and Tokyo), although no figures were available at press time and that was a record that had been primed to be broken for several years simply by charging higher prices to a Wrestlemania even in a large indoor arena and selling out. The old U.S. record was $1,628,000 set in Atlantic City for Wrestlemania V (Hulk Hogan vs. Randy Savage). This show sold approximately the same number of tickets (in the 19,000 range, selling out in three days) but had higher ticket prices. Those who were there live reported that there were large blocks of empty seats, particularly at the top, but even in the lower regions, so there were a surprising number of no-shows. In typical WWF fashion, the company sent out a press release after the show claiming the show was expected to draw the largest PPV audience of all-time. I just hope they don't say things like this in the court room or they'll have even more indictments to worry about. As expected, this year's Wrestlemania appears to have actually drawn the lowest buy rate of any WM in the past, a 1.7--down about 15 percent from last year, but between live and PPV that almost surely will be by far the biggest wrestling show of the year. That figure would translate into about 390,000 buys or an estimated $5.27 million company gross. I haven't received a report as far as the adjacent Paramount Theater goes, except that tickets were still available at the door that day.
As for Cactus Jack, his right ear was ripped off on 3/16 in Munich, Germany during a match against Vader, an accident reminiscent of a famous wrestling incident in the late 1950s between Killer Kowalski and Yukon Eric. Jack (Michael Foley) went into the ropes and hung himself between the second and third rope. The pressure of the tightened cables was such that his right ear was torn completely off and his left ear was split badly, needing more than a dozen stitches to close the cut. Ring announcer Gary Cappetta took the right ear and iced it, however doctors were only able to save about one-third to one-half of the lower part of the right ear. Jack actually continued the match for another 2:00 or so, making a big comeback before doing the planned job. Reports we have received are that Jack's hearing is okay and he's in remarkably good spirits. He returned to the U.S. from Germany on
Friday or Saturday and is receiving daily in-home treatment from a nurse. There is no definite prognosis on when he'll be able to return to wrestling, although he is said to be hopeful of returning in time for the 4/17 Spring Stampede PPV show in Chicago. Almost shockingly in the poorest taste possible, WCW in its company newsletter made a joke out of the injury calling him "Vincent Van Jack" saying "Jack did his best Vincent Van Gogh imitation" and said how after the match Cactus grabbed a photographer to make sure he could capture this Kodak moment on film forever and said Jack was being sent home from the tour EARly and closed with, "If Cactus Jack hit the ropes differently, we could be making comparisons to John Wayne Bobbitt rather than Van Gough (sic)" and even had a photo caption saying that Cactus' friends can cross ear muffs from their Christmas list for him this year.
In the late 1950s, Kowalski wrestled Yukon Eric, a famous wrestler during the period who did a strong-man gimmick, and came off the top rope with a kneedrop which somehow caught Eric on the ear. Because so many of the wrestlers in those days had cauliflowered ears due to years of lengthy matches being held in snug headlocks as did Eric, the ear was brittle and broke right off. The incident garnered much national publicity and helped turn Kowalski into one of North America's leading heels, a position he maintained for more than 15 years after. Eric, as it turned out, was so depressed from this and other events in his life that he committed suicide a few years later.
Jack wasn't the only injury suffered on the WCW German tour. On the final night of the tour, 3/20 in Hamburg in the final of a tournament to determine the first WCW European champion, Vader (who pinned Ric Flair in the semifinals) suffered a broken eardrum in a loss to Sting, which caused him problems with his balance and he had to be carried from the arena. Vader was hospitalized after the show and according to one report needed surgery although that wasn't able to be confirmed. Initial reports from Europe were that the doctors told him he'd be out of action for several weeks, although WCW officials have said he isn't going to miss any dates. What is uncertain right now is if his condition will allow him to appear on the UWFI 4/3 card because of the rougher style employed there (scheduled for 4/16 PPV in the U.S. although Vader's match itself won't be televised in this country due to his WCW contract). Vader, wrestling as Super Vader, will be working in the first round of a tournament that based on bracketing, he probably would go to the finals in (against possibly Gary Albright or more likely Nobuhiko Takada) if it went as it looks to be scheduled. If Vader misses the first date, it would severely weaken the tournament that already is somewhat anti-climactic because UWFI's grandstand play brought fans' hopes up for seeing "dream matches" with stars of other promotions, Akira Maeda in particular, that aren't going to happen. In addition, Ron Simmons suffered a torn bicep on the same 3/16 show in Munich in a tag match with Steve Austin against Too Cold Scorpio & Marcus Bagwell, and was sent home. No word on how long he'll be out of action, but torn biceps if it's a minor tear would probably be about six weeks out and if it's a major tear, like Scott Steiner suffered a few years back, can be in excess of six months. Ref Nick Patrick had to return home due to a family emergency and referee Randy Anderson suffered a broken leg early in the tour. With both referees scheduled gone, WCW had to enlist hardcore wrestling fan Didier Gapp from France as an impromptu referee which reportedly caused numerous problems due to his inexperience.
Wrestlemania X opened with a Little Richard (the 50s icon, not the former Roller Derby skater) lip-synch rendition of "America the Beautiful" complete with entourage by the Stamford, CT Baptist Church, which came off well on PPV but didn't go over at all in the building. Reportedly after the show there was heat in that Richard got out of the building after doing his thing and wouldn't sign autographs for the guys backstage. Some weren't particularly happy that when Little Richard was on Jay Leno on 3/16, he never mentioned being at Wrestlemania. Jennie Garth reportedly wouldn't do the vignette planned and seemed when she came out before the final match that she wanted to be anywhere but where she was, and Bucky & Vinny were no-shows to the disappointment of nobody. The other celebrities, in particular Burt Reynolds who is a legitimate wrestling fan because of Ron Simmons (and rumored to be an Observer reader), were largely praised. The reason Burt Reynolds had his hand in a cast is because he decked someone who tried to mug him two days earlier in San Diego, which is why he said how glad he was to be there. The lookalike Bill Clinton idea and two vignettes (with IRS and another with Ted DiBiase, whose original major role in the show was reduced to a 30 second cameo) were really lame, even by Wrestlemania standards. Jerry Lawler had four months worth of material ready and was outstanding in his designed role as staff comedian, and was actually funnier than Bobby Heenan would have been in the same role.
A. In the dark match, The Heavenly Bodies beat Bushwhackers in about 7:00 when they did the battering ram on Jimmy Del Rey, but behind the refs back Tom Prichard came off the top rope on Butch and reversed the positions. Told it was a one-star match.
1. Owen Hart pinned Bret Hart in 20:26. They started out scientifically. After Bret reversed a ride and Owen took a bump to the floor, Owen got back in the ring and gave Bret a hard slap. The early part of the match was matwork with perfectly executed high spots and lots of near falls throughout. Owen used a german suplex, reversed a move into a tombstone piledriver and missed a head-butt off the top rope. Bret got a series of near falls as well. The first attempt at the sharpshooter wound up in a double reversal. Bret did a plancha over the top rope onto Owen, but "injured" his knee once again. Owen went to work on the knee, wrapping it around the post three times and put on the figure four, but Bret reversed it and the two wound up in the ropes. At this point both were selling their knees. Bret came back with an enzuigiri and got a nearfall after Owen took a chest-first full-speed ahead crash into the turnbuckles. Bret followed with a bulldog, a piledriver and a superplex while standing on the top rope for near falls, each time with Owen barely kicking out. Bret was awesome in making his comeback while still selling the knee. He went for a sleeper but Owen broke it with a low blow and put the sharpshooter on in the middle but Bret broke the hold. Bret came with the sharpshooter but Owen made the ropes. Bret came off the top rope onto Owen's shoulders for a victory roll that looked to be the finish, but Owen used a Mexican reversal of the spot and got the stunning three count for a tremendous finish. While the idea of Owen beating Bret was a surprise, but not a total surprise, the idea going in he'd do it clean in the middle was almost unfathomable, but also made it obvious that Bret was ending the show with the title belt. Although the win solidly elevated Owen to the top of the ladder on the heel side, his post-match interview showed that he's
badly in need of a manager to effectively stay in that spot for any length of time. ****3/4
2. Bam Bam Bigelow & Luna Vachon beat Doink (Ray Apollo) & Dink in 6:09. This was meant as a breather after the first match, but Bigelow and Doink worked hard and worked well together but because of what they were following they had a hard time getting heat. Bam Bam knocked Dink off the apron and destroyed Doink, pinning him with a head-butt off the top rope. After the match Bam Bam & Luna went for a double splash on Dink, who moved except Luna's splash still hit him because he didn't move fast enough in a blown spot. A lot better than their house show matches. *3/4
3. Randy Savage beat Crush in 9:43 in a falls count anywhere match with falls not counting and victory achieved when one person couldn't return to the ring after one minute after the fall, which is a flawed concept if you take it seriously because what happens if a fall occurs in the ring? At a house show in San Jose which may have been the first night they tried this concept (with miserable results) they had a fall end in the ring, then had to roll out of the ring to make the concept work. This much better than what they've been doing at the shows. Crush won the first fall in the aisle in :45 when he pressed Savage and dropped him on the guard rail. Actually Savage didn't make it back into the ring until 2:10, which is much longer than one minute, but they must have had a slow stopwatch. In the second fall Mr. Fuji gave Crush salt, but Savage pushed Crush's hand and the salt when in Crush's eyes and Savage delivered the elbow off the top. To make the concept work, he then had to throw him on the floor before getting the pin at 4:30 elapsed time. Crush wasn't going to make it in time, but Fuji poured a glass of water on him which revived him. Crush backdropped Savage over the top rope, but as they brawled on the floor, Savage posted Crush, rammed him into the ring steps and clotheslined him over the guard rail. Crush responded with a superkick on the floor. Crush went for a piledriver in the aisle but Savage reversed it and rammed Crush into the well, threw him threw a few doors like it was the closing of the old TV show "Get Smart", and scored a pin at 8:09. Savage then tied Crush's feet to a chord. He was supposed to hang Crush upside down and leave him hanging and get back in the ring to win, which was a pretty creative finish, but apparently he missed his Boy Scout knot tying classes because he didn't knot part of the job done. Crush couldn't get back in and the match was called after 9:43. **3/4
4. Alundra Blayze retained the WWF womens title pinning Leilani Kai with a german suplex in 3:23. They didn't have a chance. They exploded fireworks for Blaze's ring entrance to try and get over that she's something special and the women's matches are important but nobody is buying it yet. The two did all they could given the amount of time they had, but had almost negative heat and in the building people treated it as if it was intermission. It's going to be a very long and very difficult process in getting this division over. *1/4
5. Men on a Mission beat Quebecers via count out so Quebecers retained the tag title in 7:45. Given the participants (I'm speaking of Men on a Mission), the match didn't have much chance of being good. Guess what? It wasn't, although there were a few good moves thrown in. Pierre was backdropped over the top rope by Jacques into almost a backward tope on Mo. Mo pulled off a somersault bodyblock in the
ring. The Quebecers did a double-team suplex on Mabel which got a crowd pop because they teased not being able to do it (although that's a babyface spot). MOM did their finisher on Pierre while Oscar stopped Johnny Polo from interfering. Mo clothesline Pierre over the top rope and Mabel splashed him on the floor and he was counted out. Finish was really weak. *1/4
6. Yokozuna retained the WWF title beating Lex Luger via DQ in 14:40. Mr. Perfect was the guest ref and played an expected role in the outcome. On the confidential run sheet before the show, this match was listed as being 25:00 (for the record, the finishes weren't listed and in the run sheet the main event was listed as Yokozuna-Luger winner vs. Bret Hart which shows just how much trouble they went through to keep the final result a secret) and thank God it didn't last that long. This was one nerve hold after another by Yokozuna. The guy has just gotten so heavy he has no stamina. He can work in a sense of his ability for somebody who is 580 pounds, but he needs to lose a lot of weight. Awful match. Luger made the comeback after Nerve Hold-a-mania by running Yokozuna into the unpadded turnbuckle (Yokozuna pulled the padding off early but never used it), three clotheslines, a bodyslam and the forearm for the KO. Luger then brought Jim Cornette in the ring and beat up Fuji, then covered Yokozuna. Perfect wouldn't count the fall and kept checking on Fuji. Finally Luger grabbed Perfect to count the fall and Perfect DQ'd him. They did a post-match argument backstage. The finish was a total screw-job but at least it had a purpose--that being the only thing in the match with any redeeming social value. Although this didn't come across on television, apparently this match didn't have much crowd reaction and was filled with "boring" chants. 1/2*
7. Earthquake pinned Adam Bomb in :35 with the Earthquake splash. Harvey Wippleman started making fun of Howard Finkel, with a new hairpiece (I was dreading the aspect of the show with Finkel's new hairpiece and even though it didn't get over at all live, it wasn't an embarrassment although Howard was sans hairpiece the next night in Poughkeepsie so what was the point?) and ripped his tux. Finkel shoved down Wippleman. Bomb then snatched Finkel but Quake made the save and won almost immediately. DUD
8. Razor Ramon retained the IC title in a ladder match with Shawn Michaels in 18:47. Diesel clotheslined Ramon early and was thrown out. Michaels took so many great bumps you couldn't begin to list them all. When the ladder got involved, Michaels did a slide kicking the ladder into Ramon who was on the floor. He gave Ramon a ladder shot to the ribs and destroyed him in the ring with the ladder and threw the ladder at his back. As Michaels climbed the ladder, Ramon pulled his pants down and bare-assed, Michaels did an elbow drop off the second highest step of the ladder and a splash off the second step of the ladder. Michaels climbed up again and Ramon tipped over the ladder and Michaels caught his throat on the top rope. After a double collision, Ramon reversed a whip and Michaels hit the ladder and went over the top rope to the floor. He was trying to take the ladder with him so it would land on him but didn't quite hold on. Ramon took the advantage with several ladder shots. On the floor Ramon slingshotted Michaels into the ladder, which then fell on Michaels. Ramon hit Michaels in the jaw with the ladder and he took another bump over the top. With Ramon on the ladder, Michaels came off the top rope with a double sledge knocking Ramon and the ladder down. Both men
climbed to the top again and this time Ramon suplexed Michaels off the ladder but Ramon fell off as well. Ramon got back up and Michaels dropkicked the ladder and Ramon fell off once again. Michaels came off the top rope with the ladder and splashed Ramon and hit him with a superkick and jumping piledriver. Michaels then came off the ladder with a splash with the ladder. Michaels climbed up again, Ramon knocked the ladder down and Michaels not only crotched himself on the top rope but managed to tie his ankle in the ropes and Ramon climbed up and got both belts. If you haven't seen this match, make sure you do as it'll be remembered for many years. Watch how ladder matches now become the hottest gimmick on the indie scene. *****
9. Bret Hart pinned Yokozuna in 10:36 to win the WWF title in an anti-climactic match. Roddy Piper got a huge pop as guest ref but once the match started the crowd was spent from the previous match. Hart tried all he could but this was nowhere near as good as their match at last year's Wrestlemania or numerous house show bouts between the two. At one point Piper decked Cornette. There were several near falls that got good pops. But the finish was weak, with Yokozuna setting Hart up for the banzai, but slipping and losing balance and getting pinned. After the match about a half-dozen faces including Luger hit the ring for the celebration with McMahon, Pat Patterson and Gorilla Monsoon in as well, and Owen Hart came down the aisle for the final scene giving Bret a dirty look to end the show. **1/4
The much-publicized Vince McMahon lawsuit against New York Post sportswriter Phil Mushnick was dropped this past week. McMahon dropped the suit shortly after attempting and failing to get a ruling from the presiding judge to put the suit on hold until after completion of his and his company's upcoming trial on steroid distribution and conspiracy in steroid distribution. When the judge turned down the ruling, McMahon dropped the case. The only information available regarding the case because of a judges ruling pertaining to the case is that the case was settled with both sides not coming to agreement on what the facts of the case were (in other words, neither side admits the other was right) and that the case was settled without Mushnick or the Post paying any money to Titan.
Since last week's issue, a lot more developed in what will probably turn out to be mainly a publicity stunt regarding getting Tonya Harding to sign with the All Japan women's promotion. On 3/16 as I'm sure you're all aware, Harding pled guilty to obstruction of justice, a felony, and was sentenced to three years supervised probation, fined $160,000, ordered to quit the United States Figure Skating Association (effectively ending her competitive skating career) and ordered to undergo psychiatric testing. Harding's only response when asked about the reported $2 million offer from All Japan women by the nest of news reporters who camp outside where she's living, which was a major topic of conversation on radio talk shows early in the week was, "Get real" after "No comments" to just about every other question asked. The lead story on Entertainment Tonight on 3/17 was on Harding and the All Japan women's promotion which featured several clips of the 12/6 Sumo Hall card, and the offer, which they reported still stands. E.T. reported Harding's representatives were looking to gather more information on the company and details on the offer. The clips that aired were largely of the Shinobu Kandori vs. Akira Hokuto main event, and showed photos and talked about Aja Kong and Bull
Nakano, and showed a prospective photo of Tonya wearing Aja Kong face-paint. Harding's forced leave of the figure skating world removed her from the world championships that were scheduled to start 3/22 in Chiba, Japan, a city about an hour North of Tokyo. The negotiation sessions in Japan that were scheduled are out the window. However, according to the 3/22 OxiOxiOxiOxiOxin Sports, Toshikuni Matsunaga, the Vice President of the All Japan women's office (younger brother of Takashi Matsunaga who was quoted in all the newspapers and appeared on several television shows this past week), one of the four brothers who are co-owners of the company, was leaving that day for Portland for a meeting with Harding's representatives. However, according to our sources within the company, Harding's representatives are overloaded with work stemming from her guilty plea and numerous other offers including a movie deal, that they haven't been able to arrange for a negotiating session and privately those in the promotion don't see the deal as much of a possibility. Takashi Matsunaga told the press in Japan on 3/19 the company was still working on bringing her to the 3/27 Yokohama Arena show, but given Harding's legal status in not being able to travel outside Oregon, Washington and California without petitioning the court, the odds of being able to pull that off in such a short period of time would be difficult, which also would mean it would be under court discretion whether she'd even be able to accept the offer. There has already been interest in the U.S. to pay-per-view the Tokyo Dome show on 11/10 provided Harding would wrestle on the show, although one would have to think the odds of this ever taking place are so slim they almost shouldn't be discussed. However, in the past week, reporters from France, Germany, ABC-TV and the Wall Street Journal have all come to the group's offices in Tokyo for interviews for upcoming stories. The only other story reported in Japan this past week regarding this was another interview by Akira Hokuto, who spent one week wrestling in Korea and returned and once again said she'd like to be Harding's trainer because the two have the same look. Hokuto also said she would be the best teacher for Harding as a heel (funny that the word "heel" was used as if it's part of the Japanese language) in that promotion which would be Harding's role, because she's said she's the best heel wrestler.
Between Harding and Hulk Hogan, in the week leading up to Wrestlemania, the WWF got the big donut when it came to mainstream pub. Hogan, who at this point still hasn't signed a WCW contract but appears that more likely than not will do so, appeared on both Regis Philbin (a regular slot for WWF performers prior to PPV shows) and Conan O'Brien, largely plugging his "Thunder in Paradise" show which opened on television this past weekend to horrible reviews (TV Guide gave it a one on a one-to-ten scale calling it "violent, dumb and dull" and saying that Hogan's facial expressions are all the same, like he swallowed a bottle of kaopectate). In the interviews, Hogan said that in a few weeks he'd have an announcement that would rock the wrestling world. It is expected the announcement of the signing will take place before the McMahon trial, in which Hogan is expected to be one of the key witnesses against his former boss. Hogan appeared to make his plans even clearer in a segment in Chicago on 3/17 on the Danny Bonaduce (Danny Partridge) radio show where he plugged the Flair-Steamboat match on 4/17 and challenged the winner. Hogan's much-hyped first appearance on WCW Saturday Night on 3/12 combined with a Steamboat vs. Steve Austin No. 1 contenders match drew a 2.8 rating, which is higher than usual, but a lower rating than Rob Parker wearing a
chicken suit drew and the same rating a Brian Pillman vs. Mongolian Mauler headliner a few weeks back did.
The announcement of All Japan's television show being cut to 30 minutes last week was followed by another announcement every bit as potentially disastrous for the company. Nippon TV, which considered dropping the show because one of the sponsors pulled out but eventually went with the 30 minute format, announced its new season schedule (In Japan the television season starts in April as opposed to September in the United States but unlike the U.S., the new schedule is only announced two weeks before the start of the season) and All Japan was moved from Sundays at 12:30 a.m., which is a death slot in and of itself, to Saturday nights from 2:30 to 3 a.m., which is even more deadly. The new time slot pretty well eliminates any casual fans from viewing the television. While television hasn't proved to be as important in Japan as far as drawing fans, because so many more big-name wrestlers are known to the general public as celebrities and their name value without television is strong, it will be have severe negative effects in two ways as far as getting the young wrestlers, which are really the life blood of the company, over. They can always bring in Giant Baba, Dory Funk, Abdullah the Butcher and Stan Hansen to spot shows and the public that doesn't watch television will still know the names, and they'll always be able to draw in Tokyo because so many fans are such ardent followers, but it's going to hurt, more as time goes on. Not only will the young wrestlers have left television time and fewer matches to get themselves over in with the show cut in half, but in that time period even if they are on television and have good matches, they are only being watched by the hardcore fans and while they can get over to them, there is nothing they can do to capture the interest of the general public. However, few think this change is of promotion-threatening importance, since All Japan women, which had a weekly highly-rated Saturday afternoon time slot for years, lost their slot in the late 80s after the Crush Gals and Dump Matsumoto era ended and were moved to a monthly show in the graveyard time zone, and the company's popularity was still able to make a comeback over the past few years due to getting over a generation of new talent and interpromotional booking.
UWFI announced this week the first round of its 16-man tournament which will take place 4/3 at Osaka Castle Hall (for PPV air date in the U.S. on 4/16--or the night before WCW's Spring Stampede). The eight match announced line-up, and these matches are being listed as they are bracketed in the tournament (winner of match one faces winner of match two in the second round on 5/6 at Budokan Hall, winner of that match faces winner of the winner of matches three-and-fourth in the semifinals in July at Budokan with the finals on 8/24 at Budokan Hall). 1. Dan Severn vs. Masahito Kakihara; 2. Salman Hashimikov vs. Super Vader; 3. Dennis Koslowski vs. Naoki Sano; 4. Kiyoshi Tamura vs. Badnews Allen; 5. Yoji Anjyo vs. Victor Zangiev; 6. Gary Albright vs. Billy Scott; 7. Vladimir Berkovich vs. Jean Lydick; 8. Nobuhiko Takada vs. Kazuo Yamazaki. From the bracketing it looks like either Albright or Takada would face Vader in the championship match, but because of Vader's injury, if he can't appear, the entire tournament would be messed up. The PPV show will consist of seven of these eight matches minus the Vader match. Hopefully the play-by-play announcer will either be different or improved this time around.
As expected, Satoru Sayama entered a New Japan ring for the first time since his first pro wrestling retirement in 1983 on 3/16 at the Tokyo Gymnasium which will lead to a singles match with Antonio Inoki at either the 5/1 Fukuoka Dome show or the January 4, 1995 Tokyo Dome show. Inoki, who made a rare wrestling appearance on the show, which drew 9,200 fans (about 1,400 shy of capacity), introduced Sayama to the crowd which chanted his name and Sayama said he'd like to wrestle Inoki before he retires. The nature of the angle is such that it appears to be Inoki gaining final revenge over the incident from years ago when Sayama quit the business, vowing the never return, but at the age of 37, he's being lured back by a final shot at making a big payoff because when Inoki really retires, the one big money match stemming from a "real" angle will be gone for him. I wonder if when Riki Choshu decides to retire, that Akira Maeda will do the same, although Maeda at least has been making big money all these years while Sayama has simply been a fighting coach at his own gym. Also on the show in the main event, Hiroshi Hase captured the WCW International title pinning Rick Rude with a Northern Lights suplex in 16:52. The two are scheduled to be rematched on 3/24 in Kyoto where the title will most likely revert back to Rude. Since the idea of Japanese winning major American titles for one week is hardly something new and it is widely expected Hase will drop the strap back and that the change will never be acknowledged in the United States, Hase did an interesting post-match interview. Hase in the interview said that if he doesn't beat Rude on the 24th, then the title win in Tokyo meant nothing because unless he defends it in the United States at Spring Stampede, then it'll never be acknowledged in the U.S. and it's like it never happened. It's the first major singles heavyweight title won by Hase, who is the best worker in the company, but hasn't to this point been pushed as one of the top guys on the ladder, partially due to his own unselfishness as a team leader in his role as assistant booker constantly setting the example by doing clean jobs whenever it is necessary to set someone up for a big match or put someone untalented over the right way. He's still probably going to lose to Rude since that's his role in the promotion, but it did create added interest in the rematch.
The 37th annual Cauliflower Alley Club banquet took place 3/19 in Studio City, CA. The dinner mainly features retired wrestlers along with some ex-boxers and movie stars. Among the wrestlers present and receiving awards were Dick Hutton, an NWA-champ from the late 50s who was a great amateur beforehand, Billy Robinson, Al "Kangaroo" Costello, Sherri Martel, Peggy Allen and Penny Banner while other honorees who weren't able to attend included Ed Francis, Nobuhiko Takada, boxer Oscar De La Hoya and Susan Green. Among other major names in attendance were Gene Kiniski, Lou Thesz, Gordon Solie, Gary Juster (latter two doing some tapings for upcoming pre-Slamboree telecasts), Verne Gagne, Danny Hodge, Tiger Conway, Dick "Destroyer" Beyer, June Byers, Bette Clark, John Tolos, Hardboiled Haggerty, Yoji Anjyo, Don Curtis, Toru Tanaka, Bruce Swayze, Red Bastien, Pepper Martin and Gary Albright.
WWF's Fan Fest was largely a financial success, as all seven sessions drew a sellout 2,200 fans at $22 a pop. Reports we received were that the only negative were there were far too many fans crammed in for the two-and-a-half hour sessions and the lines for autographs for the superstars was more than 30 minutes a pop in some cases and other lines were lengthy as well for climbing into the ring, calling
matches and getting photos taken at the Face-to-face set. The wrestlers and Vince McMahon were said to be very gracious to the fans once they got to meet them. Secondary characters were available for autographs with little or no wait. The WWF was seemingly aware of the problems, so upon leaving, the WWF gave each fan a free pass good for a future WWF event. As mentioned on television, the WWF is planning on including Fan Festivals annually as part of Wrestlemania weekends and perhaps other PPV shows as well. With the upcoming trial, the company is going out of its way to present a positive image to offset what will almost certainly be negative publicity in about six weeks. The old-time wrestling media, for the most part ostracized by Titan in 1984, some of whom have been cooperated with over the past year and others who weren't, were all catered to like they haven't been in years, including, if you'd notice, photographers from non-Titan publications being allowed at ringside for the first time.
This is the first issue of the current four-issue set. If you've got a (1) on your address label it means this is your final set of Observers. Our schedule over the next few weeks can't be labeled as a definite weekly. I'm undergoing abdominal surgery on 3/29 stemming from the burst appendix in December. There may be an issue next week but most likely there won't be. I don't want to put a definite date on when the next issue will be after that other than it will be as soon as possible. After that point there should be no interruptions in the weekly schedule until the WWF trial, which is scheduled for 5/2. There may be a double issue in this set depending upon if more than one week is missed and how much news there is. Renewal rates in the United States, Canada and Mexico remain $12 for eight issues, $24 for 16, $36 for 24, $48 for 32 up through $60 for 40. Rates for the rest of the world for weekly airmail delivery are $9 for each set of four issues up through $90 for 40.
Fax messages can be sent to the Observer at 408-378-6562 after Noon Eastern time on a daily basis and phone messages can be left 24 hours a day at 408-379-8067.
RESULTS
3/2 Arena Coliseo in Mexico City (EMLL): Olimpico & Ultimatum b Comodin & Rey Bucanero, Escudero Rojo & Chamaco Ayala & Reyes Veloz b Ludwig Star & Mestizo & Gran Apache I, Guerrero del Futuro & Guerrero Maya & Damian el Guerrero b El Filoso & Metalico & Oso Negro, Dandy & La Sombra & Pantera II b Tornado Negro I & Cachorro Mendoza & Javier Llanes, Dr. Wagner Jr. & Gran Markus Jr. & Gladiador Jr. b Los Brazos-DQ
3/3 Blackburn, England (WWF - 3,900): Sparky Plugg b Brooklyn Brawler, Diesel b Virgil, Earthquake b Adam Bomb, Tatanka b Kwang, Jeff Jarrett b Rick Martel, Randy Savage b Crush, Alundra Blayze b Leilani Kai, IC title: Razor Ramon b Shawn Michaels
3/3 Pachuca (AAA - 15,000 sellout): Zafiro & Diamante & Brillante b Terremoto & Maremoto & Hecatombe, Rey Misterio Jr. & Winners & Love Warrior Super Calo b Angel Mortal & Mr. Condor & Gallego-DQ ****, Los Payasos d Tinieblas Jr. & Latin Lover & El Mexicano **1/2, Konnan El Barbaro & Octagon & Mascara Sagrada b Black Cat & Mascara Ano 2000 & Universo 2000 **
3/4 Arena Mexico in Mexico City (EMLL): Felinito & Damiancito el Guerrero b Bronceito & Aguilita Solitaria, Panico & Tornado Negro I & Guerrero de la Muerte b
Chicago Express & El Filoso & Metalico, Mascara Magica & Justiciero & Americo Rocca b Kahos I & Cadaver de Ultratumba & Espectro Jr.-DQ, Mocho Cota & Negro Casas & Sangre Chicana b Ultimo Dragon & Ringo Mendoza & Silver King, La Fiera & Rayo de Jalisco Jr. & King Haku b Emilio Charles Jr. & Mano Negra & Black Magic
3/4 Fort Oglethorpe, GA (TWA): Tim Strong b Jamie Strong, Tracy Black & Billy Montana b Gene Spurlock & Dark Knight #2 , Max Von Hess b Richie Dye, Roger Sartain b Joel Travis, Big Tiny & Ken Arden b Bubba Humphrey & Woody Woodchuck, C.M. Quick & Fly Guy b Sam Colt & Keith Hart
3/5 Cuautla (AAA): Centurions I & II b Espeulas de Oro I & II, La Briosa & Neftali b La Rosa & Vicky Carranza, Misterioso & Love Warrior Super Calo & Solar d Angel Azteca & Winners & Volador ***1/2, Pirata Morgan & Fuerza Guerrera & Blue Panther b El Hijo del Santo & Tiger Mask & Tinieblas Jr.-DQ ***, Jerry Estrada & La Parka & Fishman b Perro Aguayo & Heavy Metal & Latin Lover ****
3/5 Inman, SC (Pro Wrestling Federation - 75): Randy Sledge b Russian Assassin, Chief Black Eagle b The Executioner, Texas Outlaw b Scott Powers, George South b American Ninja, Star Ryder & Italian Stallion b Terry Austin & Austin Steele-DQ, Black Eagle won Battle Royal
3/6 El Toreo in Naucalpan (UWA - 3,500): Teutones I & II & Titere b Oriental & Seminarista & Dragon Chino, Ruben Juarez Jr. & Celestial & ? b Gran Sheik (Arias Romero) & Zandokan II & Bucanero Jr., El Texano & Negro Navarro & Shu el Guerrero b Yamato (Kim Duk) & Villano III & Scorpio Jr., Canek & Halcon Dorado Jr. & El Monarca b The Killer & Andy Barrow & Enrique Vera, WWF lt hwt title: El Signo b Crypt Keeper (Jose Estrada Jr.)
3/6 Watham, MA (USWF - 781): Tony Roy b Perry Saturn-DQ, Bulldozer b Mad Dog Richard, Little Louie & Jamie West b Mighty Herc & Brittany Brown, Richard Byrne b Mike Sharpe, Terra Ryzing DCOR Rio Lord of Jungle
3/10 Morristown, NJ (East Coast Pro Wrestling): Jacknife Johnny b Metal Head, Spanish Fly b Dennis Knight, Fly b Vinnie Powers, Devon Storm d Kodiak Bear, Gino Caruso b Powerhouse Chuck, Flyboy b Inferno Kid, Rocky Jones b Storm
3/11 Munford, TN (USWA): The Spellbinder b Ron McClarity, Billy Travis DCOR Ken Wayne, Wolfie D b J.C. Ice, Jerry Lawler & Brian Christopher b Moondogs-DQ
3/11 Union, SC (Big Time Wrestling - 225): Tommy Welker & Chris Hammer (Chris Hamrick) DCOR Bruiser Brothers, Nighttrain Jones (Joe Thomas) b Bad Dog, The Crusader b Billy Ray Badd-DQ, Jay Eagle & Johnny Red Cloud DCOR Scotty Piper & Bo Dalton, The Assassin b Super Rocker
3/11 Fort Oglethorpe, GA (TWA): Widow Maker b Danny D, Richie Dye b Kurt Von Himmler, Woody Woodchuck b Sam Colt, Roger Sartain b Joel Travis, Big Tiny & Ken Arden b Billy Montana & Johnny Blaze, C.M. Quick & Fly Guy & Randy Steel b Sam Colt & Keith Hart & Kurt Von Himmler
3/12 Mount Holly, NC (Championship Wrestling Alliance - 135): Magnificent Marshall & Gentleman James b Don Nie & Billy Diamond, The Lumberjack b Texas Ranger, Emilio Ulacia DCOR Rebel Stud, The Sawyer Brothers DDQ Barry Rose & The Breeze, Jay Eagle b Chris Hamrick, D.L. Cool & The Eliminator b Rattlesnake Westbrook & Mad Dog Malone-DQ, Funktown Kid b Blond Sweetheart
3/14 Memphis (USWA - 1,400): King Cobra b Leon Downs, Skull Von Crush b Jeff Gaylord, Loser leaves town: J.C. Ice b Wolfie D, USWA tag title: Moondogs b Spellbinder & Billy Travis, Robert Gibson b Koko Ware-DQ, Jerry Lawler b Tommy Rich-DQ, Unified title vs. USWA title: Eddie Gilbert b Brian Christopher to win USWA
title, Rage in a cage: Lawler & Christopher & Dream Machine (Troy Graham) b Gilberts & Rich
3/14 Greenville, SC (J.B. Promotions - 700/heavily papered): Johnny Wild b T.W. Steel, Max Miles b Panhead Nelson, Randy Mulkey b Matt James, Davis Isley b The Assassin (Ken Timbs), Steve Carlton (yeah, right, next thing you know some baseball player will call themselves Greg Gagne) & J.W. Steele b Jason Ultima & Rick Michaels, Greg Valentine & Original Masked Undertaker b Rock Rowland & Billy Starr
3/14 Tampa (Florida Wrestling Alliance): Surgeon General #2 b Billy Mack, Frankie Rose b Red Devil, Surgeon General #1 b Randy Fuller, Manny Fernandez b Bill Pain-DQ, Haystacks Calhoun Jr. b The Executioner, Armed Forces b Rick Thames & Sonny T
3/15 Funabashi (New Japan - 2,200 sellout): Yuji Nagata b Tokimitsu Ishizawa, Manabu Nakanishi b Tadao Yasuda, Akitoshi Saito b Satoshi Kojima, Great Kabuki b El Samurai, The Barbarian & Hercules Fernandez & Scott Norton b Osamu Kido & Shinya Hashimoto & Riki Choshu, Jushin Liger & Masa Chono b Killer Bee & Black Tiger, Michiyoshi Ohara & Tatsutoshi Goto & Shiro Koshinaka & Kengo Kimura b Akira Nogami & Takayuki Iizuka & Hiroshi Hase & Tatsumi Fujinami 21:46
3/15 Albany, KY (SMW - 450): Thrillseekers (Lance Storm & Chris Jericho) b Infernos (Brian Keyes & Anthony Michaels), Ladder match: Tracy Smothers b Chris Candido, Handicap match: Tim Horner b Dick Murdoch & Jim Cornette, Dirty White Boy & Dirty White Girl b Brian Lee & Tammy Fytch, SMW tag title: Rock & Roll Express b Heavenly Bodies-DQ
3/15 Tampa (IPWA): A.J. Andrews DCOR Jammin Johnny, Mike Haynor b White Shadow, Manny Fernandez b Luis Morales, Haystacks Calhoun Jr. b The Assassin, Vern Henderson b Jeff Bradley, Handicap match: Rick Thames & Sonny T b Randy Fuller
3/16 Tokyo Gymnasium (New Japan - 9,200): Nobukazu Hirai b Tokimitsu Ishizawa, Manabu Nakanishi b Yuji Nagata, Michiyoshi Ohara & Great Kabuki b Akira Nogami & Takayuki Iizuka, Jushin Liger & El Samurai b Killer Bee (Brian Blair) & Black Tiger (Eddy Guerrero), Scott Norton b Power Warrior, Shinya Hashimoto b The Barbarian, Masa Chono & Osamu Kido b Antonio Inoki & Tadao Yasuda-DQ, Riki Choshu & Tatsumi Fujinami & Yoshiaki Fujiwara b Tatsutoshi Goto & Shiro Koshinaka & Kengo Kimura, WCW Intl title: Hiroshi Hase b Rick Rude to win title
3/16 Munich, Germany (WCW): Paul Roma b Alex Wright, Ron Simmons & Steve Austin b Marcus Bagwell & Too Cold Scorpio, Frank Anderson b Harlem Heat Koal, Maxx Payne b Harlem Heat Kane, Johnny B. Badd b Paul Orndorff, Sting & Rick Steamboat b Ric Flair & Steve Regal, Vader b Cactus Jack
3/16 Evansville, IN (USWA - 400): Danny Davis b Leon Downs, USWA tag title: Moondogs b Spellbinder & Jeff Gaylord, Tommy Rich b Billy Travis, Taped fist match for USWA title: Brian Christopher b Doug Gilbert, Coward waves the flag for Unified title: Eddie Gilbert b Jerry Lawler, Lawler & Christopher & Davis & Travis b Gilberts & Rich & Skull Von Crush
3/16 Kushiro (FMW - 3,310 sellout): Tetsuhiro Kuroda d Masato Tanaka, Battle Ranger b Damien, Big Titan b Sabu, Combat Toyoda & Crusher Maedomari & Shark Tsuchiya & Tsuppari Mack b Megumi Kudo & Miwa Sato & Yukie Nabeno & Keiko Iwame, The Sheik b Masaru Toi, Tarzan Goto & Mr. Gannosuke b The Gladiator &
Ricky Fuji, No rope barbed wire street fight tornado death match: Atsushi Onita & Sambo Asako & Katsutoshi Niiyama b Mr. Pogo & Goro Tsurumi & Hideki Hosaka
3/16 Gifu (All Japan women - 2,380): Kumiko Maekawa b Rie Tamada, Chikako Shiratori b Chapparita Asari, Aja Kong & Sakie Hasegawa b Kyoko Inoue & Tomoko Watanabe, Manami Toyota b Kaoru Ito, Bull Nakano & Yumiko Hotta b Toshiyo Yamada & Takako Inoue
3/16 Portage La Prairie, Manitoba (River City Wrestling): Sluggo Smith d Robby Royce, Jason the Terrible b The Outpatient, Crybaby Levinsky b Vance Nevada, Jason's Outlaws b Levinsky's Machine
3/17 Hof, Germany (WCW): Too Cold Scorpio & Marcus Bagwell b Harlem Heat, Frank Anderson b Alex Wright, Steve Austin b Johnny B. Badd, Vader b Maxx Payne, Sting & Rick Steamboat b Paul Orndorff & Paul Roma
3/17 Sapporo Nakajima Gym (FMW - 4,860): Gosaku Goshagawara b Mr. Chin, Battle Ranger & Masato Tanaka b Tetsuhiro Kuroda & Goshagawara, Sabu & Damian b Masaru Toi & Hideki Hosaka, The Sheik NC Goro Tsurumi, Combat Toyoda & Shark Tsuchiya & Crusher Maedomari b Miwa Sato & Yukie Nabeno & Megumi Kudo, Big Titan & The Gladiator & Ricky Fuji b Sambo Asako & Mr. Gannosuke & Katsutoshi Niiyama, Tarzan Goto b Mitsuhiro Matsunaga, WWA Brass Knux title: Mr. Pogo b Atsushi Onita
3/17 Hyden, KY (SMW - 200): Thrillseekers b Well Dunn, Ladder match: Tracy Smothers b Chris Candido, Handicap match: Bob Armstrong b Dick Murdoch & Jim Cornette, Dirty White Boy & Dirty White Girl b Brian Lee & Tammy Fytch, SMW tag title: Rock & Roll Express b Heavenly Bodies-DQ
3/17 Mie (All Japan women - 1,100): Rie Tamada b Chikako Shiratori, Chapparita Asari b Kumiko Maekawa, Bull Nakano & Yumiko Hotta b Kyoko Inoue & Toshiyo Yamada, Takako Inoue b Tomoko Watanabe, Aja Kong & Sakie Hasegawa b Manami Toyota & Kaoru Ito 20:18
3/17 Plant City, FL (Plant City Wrestling Federation): Jerry Flynn b Luscious Luke, Chubby Mo Cool b Hit Man, Vern Henderson b Butch Long, Ned Brady b Cody Wade, Cuban Assassin b Odessa Slim, Rick Thames & Sonny T NC Randy Fuller & Jimmy Watts
3/17 Winnipeg (River City Wrestling): Dean Ducharme b Todd Bullet, Constable Kane & Caveman Broda & Vance Nevada b The Outpatient & Dakota Moondog & Pink Panther, Brian Jewel & Jason the Terrible DDQ Stan Saxon & Dark Jason, Sluggo Smith b Bobby Jay, Sgt. Steele b Robby Royce
3/17 La Puente, CA (International American Wrestling - 115): Fisico Nuclear b Vandal Drummond, Thunder Machine b Kimera, Dinamico Jr. b Poison, Rick Sadist & G.Q. Gregory b Prime Time Peterson & Super Storm, Mercurio & Chamaco Rebelde b Capitan Oro & Super Boy, Larry Ludden DCOR Mr. Outrageous
3/17 Shelbyville, TN (All-State Pro Wrestling): Boogie Woogie Boy b Rex Rider, Big Bubba b Blackie West-DQ, Tiny b Bongo Cool, Gypsy Joe b Chris Kerns, Billy Montana & Ken Arden b Ben Mullins & Glen Mullins
3/18 Frankfurt, Germany (WCW): Too Cold Scorpio & Marcus Bagwell b Harlem Heat, Steve Regal b Johnny B. Badd, Ric Flair & Rick Steamboat b Paul Orndorff & Paul Roma, Vader b Maxx Payne, Sting b Steve Austin
3/18 Hamamatsu (WCW - 3,470 sellout): Tokimitsu Ishizawa b Tatsuhito Takaiwa, Osamu Kido b El Samurai, Satoshi Kojima b Shinjiro Ohtani, Great Kabuki b Yuji Nagata, Takayuki Iizuka & Akira Nogami b Michiyoshi Ohara & Tatsutoshi
Goto, Akitoshi Saito & Shiro Koshinaka & Kengo Kimura b Tadao Yasuda & Manabu Nakanishi & Riki Choshu, Jushin Liger & Tatsumi Fujinami b Killer Bee & Black Tiger, Shinya Hashimoto & Hiroshi Hase & Masa Chono b Rick Rude & Scott Norton & Hercules Fernandez
3/18 Barbourville, KY (SMW - 625): Thrillseekers b Well Dunn, Ladder match: Tracy Smothers b Chris Candido, Handicap match: Bob Armstrong b Dick Murdoch & Jim Cornette, Dirty White Boy & Dirty White Girl b Brian Lee & Tammy Fytch, 60:00 marathon match for SMW tag title: Heavenly Bodies b Robert Gibson & Tim Horner
3/18 Indianapolis (Championship Wrestling America): Jerry Faith b Doug O'Briley, Lady Vendetta b Lisa Crockett, Mad Man Pondo b Dan Anderson, Sean Casey b Gigolo Joe, Bar Room Brawlers b O'Briley & Flash Flannagan, Flannagan b Mike Samples-DQ, Flannagan won Barbed wire Battle Royal
3/18 Dallas (GWF): John Hawk b Marc Valiant-COR, Rod Price b Scott Putski, Plowboy Wilbur b Sweet Daddy Falcone, GWF title: Chris Adams b Moadib-COR, Mike Davis b Iceman King Parsons-DQ, Country whipping match: Action Jackson b Francis Buxton-DQ, Awesome Kong & King Kong b Putski & Valiant-DQ, Price b Jeep Swenson-DQ
3/18 Scranton, PA (WWWA): Johnny Gunn b The Terminator, Jim Neidhart b King Kaluha, Irish Leprachuan b Mighty Doom, The Boss (Ray Traylor) b Jack Hammer-DQ, The Warlord b Abdullah the Butcher-DQ, Demolition Ax & Blast b Diamond Express-DQ, Road Warrior Hawk b Nailz-DQ
3/18 Yahaba (Michinoku Pro - 925): Wellington Wilkens Jr. b Naohiro Hoshikawa, Terry Boy b Masato Yakushiji, Gran Naniwa b Yone Genjin, Taka Michinoku b Shiryu, Super Delfin & Ginsei Shinzaki & Layo b Michinoku & Shu el Guerrero & Kazumichi Nakajima
3/18 Dolton, IL (Windy City Wrestling): Kevin Quinn b Jake Milliman, Christopher Daniels b Danny Dominion-DQ, Smith Brothers DDQ Texas Hangmen, Ken Erikson b Ike Andrews, K.C. Knight NC Mike Anthony (not USWA wrestler of same name), Koko Ware b Mike Samson-DQ, Knight & Anthony b Senji & Takayama
3/18 San Bernardino, CA (Golden State Wrestling Association - 100): Kid Chaos b Kimera, Thrashmaster DCOR The Renegade, Jason Redondo b Robbie Victory, Larry Ludden b Scott Cole-DQ, Redondo DCOR Jeff Bennett, Rick Sadist DDQ Eric Studd, Sadist won Battle Royal
3/18 Fort Oglethorpe, GA (TWA): Mike Collins & Dakota Outlaw b Billy Montana & Tracy Black, Richie Dye b Kurt Von Himmler-DQ, Widow Maker & Bubba Humphrey d Sam Colt & Keith Hart, Ken Timbs b Randy Steel, C.M. Quick & Fly Guy b Big Tiny & Ken Arden, Roger Sartain & Mad Jack b Joel Travis & Frankie Lee
3/19 Tokyo Korakuen Hall (All Japan - 2,100 sellout): Rusher Kimura & Mitsuo Momota b Haruka Eigen & Ryukaku Izumida, Johnny Ace b Tamon Honda, Dan Kroffat & Doug Furnas b Mighty Inoue & Takao Omori, Giant Baba & Kenta Kobashi & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi b Akira Taue & Masa Fuchi & Yoshinari Ogawa 28:04, Steve Williams b The Eagle, Stan Hansen b John Nord, Toshiaki Kawada b Johnny Smith, Mitsuharu Misawa b Jun Akiyama
3/19 Wurzburg, Germany (WCW): Too Cold Scorpio & Marcus Bagwell b Harlem Heat, Non-title: Maxx Payne b Steve Regal, Steve Austin b Johnny B. Badd, Sting & Rick Steamboat b Paul Orndorff & Paul Roma, Non-title: Vader b Ric Flair
3/19 Yokohama Arena (RINGS - 8,156): Prelim results unavailable, Herman Renting b Todor Todorov, Dick Vrij b Bart Vail, Bitarze Tariel b Clemenchov, Volk Han b Georgi Gandelaki, Akira Maeda b Andrei Kopilov
3/19 Fukaya (New Japan - 1,800): Tatsuhito Takaiwa b Tokimitsu Ishizawa, Satoshi Kojima b Nobukazu Hirai, Yuji Nagata b Manabu Nakanishi, Kuniaki Kobayashi & Great Kabuki b Tadao Yasuda & El Samurai, Black Tiger & Killer Bee b Shinjiro Ohtani & Jushin Liger, Michyoshi Ohara & Shiro Koshinaka & Kengo Kimura b Akira Nogami & Takayuki Iizuka & Masa Chono, Hiroshi Hase & Shinya Hashimoto b Akitoshi Saito & Tatsutoshi Goto, Scott Norton & Rick Rude & Hercules Fernandez b Riki Choshu & Tatsumi Fujinami & Osamu Kido
3/19 Harlan, KY (SMW - 450): Thrillseekers b Well Dunn, Ladder match: Tracy Smothers b Chris Candido, Handicap match: Tim Horner b Dick Murdoch & Jim Cornette, Dirty White Boy & Dirty White Girl b Brian Lee & Tammy Fytch, 60:00 marathon match for SMW tag title: Heavenly Bodies b Robert Gibson & Tracy Smothers
3/19 Miyagi (FMW - 2,088): Masato Tanaka b Tetsuhiro Kuroda, Sabu b Gosaku Goshagawara, Crusher Maedomari b Nurse Nakamura, The Sheik b Koji Nakagawa, Combat Toyoda & Shark Tsuchiya & Tsuppari Mack b Megumi Kudo & Miwa Sato & Yukie Nabeno, Goro Tsurumi b Damian, Mr. Pogo & Hideki Hosaka b Battle Ranger & Tarzan Goto, Street fight: Atsushi Onita & Sambo Asako & Katsutoshi Niiyama b Big Titan & The Gladiator & Ricky Fuji
3/19 Kasugai (All Japan women - 2,295): Prelim results unavailable, Kyoko Inoue b Kaoru Ito, Aja Kong & Yumiko Hotta b Suzuka Minami & Manami Toyota
3/19 Marumori (Michinoku Pro - 422): Wellington Wilkens Jr. b Naohiro Hoshikawa, Leopardo Negro b Masato Yakushiji, Terry Boy d Taka Michinoku, Shiryu b Gran Naniwa, Ginsei Shinzaki b Kazumichi Nakajima-COR, Great Sasuke & Shu el Guerrero b Yone Genjin & Super Delfin
3/19 Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico (WWC): Hurricane Castillo Jr. & Mohammad Hussein (Lou Fabbiano) b El Bronco #1 & Pulgarcito, Dutch Mantel NC Atkie Malumba (Ben Peacock aka Giant Kimala II), Pulgarcito b Tahitian Warrior (Lloyd Anoia), Jose Luis Rivera b El Exotico, Masked Butcher b Cyclone, Rey Gonzales b Greg Valentine, Carlitos Colon DDQ Abdullah the Butcher
3/19 Shenandoah, PA (Championship Wrestling America {not related inn any way to Indianapolis group of same name} - 1,650 sellout): Johnny Gunn won Battle Royal, Ray Odyssey b Abbuda Singh, The Spiders b Super Jocks, Irish Leprachuan b Little Doom, Tito Santana b Jim Neidhart, Gunn b Damien Demento, Doink the Clown (Steve Keirn) b Jerry Lawler-DQ
3/19 Andover, MA (Century Wrestling Alliance - 1,000): Kevin Sullivan & Tasmaniac DDQ Tommy Dreamer & Vic Steamboat, Misty Blue b Nasty Girl, The Trouble Makers (Double Trouble) b The Lazer & El Mascarado, Knuckles Nelson b Randy Starr, Tony Rumble b The Intern, Tony Atlas b Candy Man (Jerry Seevey), Honkytonk Man DDQ Vic Steamboat
3/19 Harvard, IL (Windy City Wrestling): Steve Bishop b Blake Bosworth, Jake Milliman b Ike Andrews, Christopher Daniels b Trevor Blanchard-DQ, Kevin Quinn b Mike Anthony, Manson Brothers DDQ Senji & Takayama, Wrecking Crew (not former WCW team) & Haystacks Ross b Texas Hangmen & J.R., Koko Ware b Mike Samson-DQ
3/19 Auburndale, FL (UCWA - 250): Odell Scaggs b Dirty Dave, Sensual b Mystique, Tommy Wright b Rick Ryder, Vern Henderson b Ned Brady-DQ, Lanny Poffo & Kevin Katlyn b Motor City Bad Boys-DQ, Rocky Johnson DCOR Buddy Valentine
3/19 Shelbyville, TN (All-State Pro Wrestling): Rex Rider b Bongo Cool, Big Bubba b Blackie West, Candi Divine b Robbie Rage, Gypsy Joe b Tiny-DQ, Big Bono b Rex Rider, Billy Montana & Ken Arden b Ben Mullins & Glen Mullins
3/20 Hamburg, Germany (WCW): Too Cold Scorpio & Marcus Bagwell b Paul Orndorff & Paul Roma **1/2, Non-title: Rick Steamboat b Steve Regal 29:28 **1/2, Johnny B. Badd & Maxx Payne b Harlem Heat *1/2, Non-title: Ric Flair b Steve Austin **1/2, European hwt title tournament final: Sting b Vader to become first champion ***1/2
3/20 Tokyo Korakuen Hall (All Japan - 2,100 sellout): Masao Inoue d Tamon Honda, Tsuyoshi Kikuchi & Satoru Asako b Kentaro Shiga & Mighty Inoue, Giant Baba & Rusher Kimura b Ryukaku Izumida & Haruka Eigen, John Nord b The Eagle, Akira Taue b Doug Furnas, Kenta Kobashi b Johnny Ace 21:22, Stan Hansen & Takao Omori b Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama, Steve Williams & Dan Kroffat & Johnny Smith b Toshiaki Kawada & Masa Fuchi & Yoshinari Ogawa
3/20 Tokyo Korakuen Hall (New Japan - 2,100 sellout): Yuki Ishikawa & Tokimitsu Ishizawa b Tatsuhito Takaiwa & Shinjiro Ohtani, Satoshi Kojima b Yuji Nagata, Great Kabuki & Michiyoshi Ohara & Kuniaki Kobayashi b Manabu Nakanishi & Akira Nogami & Takayuki Iizuka, Black Tiger b El Samurai, The Barbarian & Power Warrior b Hercules Fernandez & Scott Norton, Jushin Liger & Hiroshi Hase b Killer Bee & Rick Rude, Riki Choshu & Tatsumi Fujinami b Kengo Kimura & Tatsutoshi Goto, Masa Chono & Shinya Hashimoto b Akitoshi Saito & Shiro Koshinaka
3/20 Shiraishi (FMW): Gosaku Goshagawara b Mr. Chin, Masato Tanaka b Tetsuhiro Kuroda, Battle Ranger b Damien, The Sheik & Sabu DDQ Big Titan & The Gladiator, Combat Toyoda & Crusher Maedomari & Shark Tsuchiya & Tsuppari Mack b Megumi Kudo & Miwa Sato & Yukie Nabeno & Keiko Iwame, Tarzan Goto b Ricky Fuji, No rope barbed wire street fight tornado death match: Atsushi Onita & Sambo Asako & Katsutoshi Niiyama b Mr. Pogo & Goro Tsurumi & Hideki Hosaka 21:02
3/20 Kita (All Japan women): Chapparita Asari d Rie Tamada, Kaoru Ito b Tomoko Watanabe, Bull Nakano & Sakie Hasegawa b Suzuka Minami & Takako Inoue, Manami Toyota b Mima Shimoda, Yumiko Hotta & Aja Kong b Toshiyo Yamada & Kyoko Inoue
3/20 Akita (JWP): Prelim results unavailable, Mayumi Ozaki b Yagi, Plum Mariko & Devil Masami b Hikari Fukuoka & Cutie Suzuki
3/20 Hiraga (Michinoku Pro): Terry Boy b Naohiro Hoshikawa, Shiryu b Masato Yakushiji, Kazumichi Nakajima & Wellington Wilkens Jr. b Leopardo Negro & Yone Genjin, Ginsei Shinzaki b Taka Michinoku, Great Sasuke & Shu el Guerrero b Super Delfin & Gran Naniwa
3/21 Nagoya (New Japan - 11,000 sellout): Satoshi Kojima b Tatsuhito Takaiwa, Manabu Nakanishi b Nobukazu Hirai, Osamu Kido & Tadao Yasuda b Yuji Nagata & Shinjiro Ohtani, Akira Nogami & Takayuki Iizuka b The Barbarian & Killer Bee, Hiro Saito & Yoshiaki Yatsu b Kuniaki Kobayashi & Akitoshi Saito, Rick Rude b Masa Chono, Power Warrior b Hercules Fernandez, IWGP jr. title: Jushin Liger b Black Tiger, 2/3 falls: Michiyoshi Ohara & Tatsutoshi Goto & Great Kabuki & Shiro
Koshinaka & Kengo Kimura b Hiroshi Hase & Keiji Muto & Yoshiaki Fujiwara & Riki Choshu & Tatsumi Fujinami, IWGP hwt title: Shinya Hashimoto b Scott Norton
3/21 Poughkeepsie, NY (WWF Monday Night Raw tapings): Razor Ramon b Diesel-DQ, Lex Luger b Rick Martel, Owen Hart b Mark Kruger, 1-2-3 Kid b Black Phantom (David Heath), Crush b Ray Hudson, Earthquake b Adam Bomb, Ramon b Austin Steele, IRS & Jeff Jarrett & Head Shrinkers & Rick Martel b 1-2-3 Kid & Sparky Plugg & Tatanka & Smoking Gunns, Luger b Bam Bam Bigelow, Yokozuna DCOR Earthquake, Quebecers b Bushwhackers, Tatanka b Chris Hamrick, Diesel b Antonio Lisea, Jarrett b Koko Ware, Owen Hart b ?
3/21 Yamato (All Japan - 1,800): John Nord b Tamon Honda, Johnny Ace b Johnny Smith, Giant Baba & Rusher Kimura & Mitsuo Momota b Masa Fuchi & Haruka Eigen & Ryukaku Izumida 24:46, Steve Williams & Dan Kroffat b Yoshinari Ogawa & Mighty Inoue, Stan Hansen b The Eagle, Mitsuharu Misawa b Doug Furnas, Kenta Kobashi & Jun Akiyama & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi b Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue & Takao Omori 23:00
3/21 Tokyo Korakuen Hall (All Japan women - 1,950): Rie Tamada b Chikako Shiratori, Kaoru Ito b Tomoko Watanabe, Suzuka Minami & Chapparita Asari b Mima Shimoda & Etsuko Mita, Manami Toyota b Takako Inoue, Yumiko Hotta b Sakie Hasegawa, Aja Kong & Bull Nakano b Kyoko Inoue & Toshiyo Yamada 21:59
Special thanks to: Jeff Osborne, Shannon Rose, Dave Pinsky, Richard Lannon, Thorsten Sackmann, Steve "Dr. Lucha" Sims, Jason Meier, Matthew Cail, Karin Moore, Mad Jack, Dan Parris, Ric Gillespie, Rich Palladino, Peter Schaar, Buddy Lamantia, Jason Peters, Brian Hildebrand, Tony Freidman, Kurt Brown, Buddy Phillips, Matt Lansley
JAPANESE TELEVISION RUNDOWN
2/19 JWP: 1. Hikari Fukuoka pinned Cutie Suzuki in 21:10 with a dropkick off the top rope and moonsault. Nice moves back-and-forth. Highlight was Fukuoka missing a plancha off the top rope to the floor and crashing on the floor. ***1/4; 2. Chigusa Nagayo made Plum Mariko submit to the sleeper in 22:40. Mariko jumped Nagayo at the bell and Nagayo bled from the first minute. Although the women fans were solidly behind Nagayo, the male fans who have no loyalty to her legendary status because they weren't fans in that era, were booing her since she worked as a heel. Mainly submissions by Nagayo and good mat wrestling. Match was totally carried by Nagayo and had great psychology and heat, but no spectacular moves. ***3/4; 3. Dynamite Kansai & Mayumi Ozaki beat Devil Masami & Candy Okutsu in 25:54. The match started out okay but slowed until about the 15:00 mark. At that point it got really good with a lot of near falls. Highlight was Masami legdropping both her foes off the top rope simultaneously on two different occasions but them kicking out at two each time. Masami kept getting near falls on both. When Okutsu tagged in at 25:00, you could sense everyone in the crowd knew they were going to the finish. Masami went to suplex her partner onto Kansai, who got her knees up and quickly rolled over and pinned Okutsu. ***1/2
2/23 ALL JAPAN WOMEN: 1. Suzuka Minami & Chikako Shiratori & Kumiko Maekawa beat Etsuko Mita & Tomoko Watanabe & Rie Tamada. It was Maekawa and Tamada's television debut and they looked green. Shiratori is beginning to show that she's got a little potential. All action with a lot of near falls, but the younger girls didn't know how to work to get heat. Minami and Mita carried it well
enough that it was good. Minami surprisingly pinned Mita after a dropkick off the top rope. **1/2; 2. Takako Inoue pinned Mima Shimoda after a flying knee to the back off the top. Both worked hard and did a lot of near falls with suplexes but not much heat. After the match, Cutie Suzuki came to ringside and challenged both women. When Takako accepted and went to shake her hands, Suzuki slapped her hand away to set up a major show match soon. **3/4; 3. Aja Kong & Bull Nakano beat Sakie Hasegawa & Kaoru Ito in 22:31 when Nakano pinned Hasegawa after a legdrop off the top rope. Kong & Nakano sold a lot to make the match better than it would sound on paper because of the size difference between the two teams. Because of that, it was a tremendous match. ****; 4. In a non-title match, Yumiko Hotta & Kyoko Inoue beat Manami Toyota & Toshiyo Yamada in 22:02. Match was super from start to finish. At one point Kyoko did 26 reps in the giant swing on Toyota. Awesome spot as Toyota was running across the ring to do a tope and just as she went through the ropes, Hotta kicked her in the chest. Toyota later did an Eddy Guerrero tope. Yamada did a plancha off the top rope onto Kyoko, who moved and wiped out her teammate. Finally Hotta pinned Toyota after a power bomb. ****1/2
2/26 NEW JAPAN: 1. Choshu & Fujinami & Chono & Kido & Hase beat Koshinaka & Kimura & Kabuki & Goto & Ohara in a best-of-three fall six man tag match that went nearly 30:00. Only highlights of the first 25:00 aired on television. Hase did a 29-rep giant swing. Koshinaka pinned Choshu with a german suplex to win the first fall. Chono made Ohara submit to the STF in the second. Fujinami made Goto submit to the scorpion in the third. What aired on television was excellent largely due to Hase who was in most of the way and carried the match for his team; 2. Steiners beat Liger & Power in 13:05. A super match. Scott suplexed Liger all over the place early. Liger made a comeback with a rana and a plancha off the top rope to the floor. Scott came back with an overhead belly-to-belly and put Liger in the STF. Power tagged in and did a Road Warrior no-sell spot on a piledriver by Rick. Liger tagged in and got suplexed all over the place by Scott again. The Japanese did a dangerous double-team move when Power had Rick on the floor and lifted him up for a back suplex, and Liger came off the top rope to the floor with a flying clothesline for a double-team move on the suplex. Liger got several near falls on Rick, and then Power got Rick in the Power special submission but Scott made the save. The Steiners came back and Rick gave Liger a belly-to-belly superplex but he kicked out, and Scott gave Liger a DDT off the top rope and he kicked out again. Power started clotheslining the Steiners all over. Finish came with Power having Rick on his shoulders and Liger coming off the top with a cross-body, but Rick turned it into a powerslam for the pin. I've seen Rick do that move many times in the U.S. but this was the best I've seen it executed. ****1/4; 3. Hashimoto pinned Tenryu in 15:04. Although this wasn't billed for the IWGP title, Hashimoto before the match said that if Tenryu could beat him, he'd give him the belt. A lot of matwork early but these guys worked even stiffer than you'd imagine. Hashimoto got yet another bloody nose. Match was intense, with great psychology and great heat. Tenryu kicked out of Hashimoto's finisher running DDT and Hashimoto kicked out of Tenryu's finisher the power bomb. Hashimoto finally won after a belly-to-belly, enzuigiri and a second running DDT. The place went nuts seeing the new generation wrestler beat the legend. ****
2/27 ALL JAPAN: 1. Takao Omori pinned Johnny Gunn with a german suplex. Decent pacing but no heat at all. *; 2. Kawada & Taue beat Patriot & Eagle when Kawada made Eagle submit to an abdominal stretch. The work was very good but again the lack of crowd heat made the match seem nothing special. **1/2; 3. Misawa & Kobashi & Akiyama beat Hansen & Nord & Rob Van Dam in 18:00 when Kobashi pinned Van Dam after a power bomb and jacknife pin. Van Dam has improved a lot from when he first came to New Japan. Nord is still clumsy but is aalso getting better. It was a good match but not nearly the level of a usual All Japan main event. ***
3/5 NEW JAPAN: 1. Hase made Tadao Yasuda submit to a short arm scissors in 10:26. This was Yasuda's pro debut and he was super green. Yasuda, 30 years old, about 6-4, 280, was a former decent level sumo, but from his debut, he didn't show any potential but will get a push because he's somewhat famous from sumo and has size. Hase was his trainer, but even so, he showed nothing nor have a hint of having any real potential, almost like a younger Wajima. Hase was so great at wet-nursing him through the match that he exemplified why he's one of the best in the world and made the match also. *1/4; 2. Yoshiaki Yatsu & Hiro Saito & Norio Honaga beat Koshinaka & Kabuki & Ohara when Yatsu pinned Ohara with a bulldog headlock. Only the end aired and it looked good. Yatsu looked fine in his first match with New Japan in almost ten years although he's nothing like he was years ago when he was in the top five in the world; 3. Hashimoto pinned Liger in a battle of world heavyweight champ vs. junior heavyweight champ in 23:08, after a brainbuster. Liger wore a new ring costume without a top and with only a face-mask. He didn't do any flying and the match was mainly matwork and stiff blows. Liger kept working on Hashimoto's knees, and since he was the underdog, had the advantage almost the entire match. Liger got several near falls including a DDT off the top rope, a Frankensteiner off the top, a german suplex and a dropkick off the top. The place went nuts when Hashimoto kicked out of the Frankensteiner off the top. Finally Hashimoto cut him off with an ipponzei (judo hiplock) and stiff kicked him until the finish. ***1/2
3/6 ALL JAPAN: 1. Misawa & Kobashi beat Hansen & Baba in 35:51. This match, complete with the pre-match hype, post-match drama and interviews took up the entire television show. The first 20:00 was just okay. Baba was over like crazy in the match and his presence was responsible for the heat and interest, but you really have to suspend disbelief watching him even though he works about as good as you can expect from a 56-year-old man with no physical credibility. The last 10:00 was great with a lot of near falls, including Kobashi kicking out of a Baba piledriver, Kobashi getting his foot on the rope at the last second ala Flair after a Hansen lariat. The place went nuts at the 30:00 and 35:00 call, as if the match going that long with Baba involved all by itself is something to cheer about. Place went nuts when Baba kicked out of Kobashi's moonsault, but finally Misawa pinned Baba after a flying clothesline off the top rope. Fans chanted like crazy for Misawa since he won, but the biggest reaction after was for Baba as a sympathetic older man who had done his best against men who are not only young enough to be his kids but in many ways are almost considered as his kids. ****1/4
UWA
The only major news is that Scorpio Jr. turned babyface on 3/6 when he returned from Japan, feuding with long-time partner Shu el Guerrero. It started in a heel vs. heel trios match, however all the heels turned on Scorpio, making him a face.
Things should be slow for the next month as El Toreo is booked because of the upcoming national elections on Sundays from 3/20 through 4/10, so the next show won't be on 4/17.
EMLL
Negro Casas turned babyface on 3/4 at Arena Mexico and is feuding with Mocho Cota. After a trios match where they teamed with Sangre Chicana against Ultimo Dragon & Silver King & Ringo Mendoza, the two split up and brawled for 20 minutes all over the building before the other wrestlers pulled them apart.
ALL JAPAN
The annual Champion Carnival singles tournament started 3/19 at Korakuen Hall with no surprises as Steve Williams beat The Eagle, Stan Hansen pinned John Nord, Toshiaki Kawada pinned Johnny Smith (sub for Dan Spivey who canceled the tour due to an injury) and Mitsuharu Misawa pinned Jun Akiyama. The 3/20 tourney results saw Nord beat Eagle, Akira Taue pinned Doug Furnas and Kenta Kobashi pinned Johnny Ace while on 3/21, Hansen pinned Eagle and Misawa made Furnas submit.
It's evident plenty of folks are paying attention to the rapid improvement in Takao Omori, as on the 3/20 Korakuen Hall show he teamed with Hansen to beat Misawa & Akiyama.
The 3/13 television show did a strong 3.7 rating, although they've got only two more weeks to get numbers like that before the time slot kills any real chance to draw much above a 1.0.
NEW JAPAN
The 3/21 Nagoya show drew a sellout 11,000 as both singles champs retained their crowns as Shinya Hashimoto pinned Scott Norton in 18:55 with a running DDT and Jushin Liger pinned Black Tiger in 16:14 in a Frankensteiner in what was reported as a great match. In a rematch of their NWA tournament final in Tokyo in 1992 and their horrible match in Philadelphia later that year, Rick Rude pinned Masa Chono.
The annual Young Lions tournament looks like it'll come down to Manabu Nakanishi vs. Satoshi Kojima. Kojima has already clinched a spot in the finals.
Keiji Muto had his first match since the Tokyo Dome and subsequent knee surgery in Nagoya but was pinned in the third fall by Shiro Koshinaka in a New Japan vs. Skinheads ten-man tag match.
Antonio Inoki worked on 3/16 at the Tokyo Gymnasium in a tag match with a rare DQ finish teaming with rookie Tadao Yasuda to lose to Masa Chono & Osamu Kido when referee Masao Hattori ruled Inoki's chokehold illegal and disqualified him when he refused to stop choking Chono. The gimmick they are using is that in a martial arts rules match which Inoki is billed as the specialist in, choking is legal. Apparently this was done to set up an Inoki vs. Chono match as well for 1994.
3/12 television show did a 5.1 rating.
OTHER JAPAN NOTES
Akira Maeda drew a "poor" crowd of 8,156 to the Yokohama Arena on 3/19 as he beat Andrei Kopilov in the main event which shows just how much his drawing power has dropped.
Sensing the problem Maeda two days later put together a deal to bring 1992 Olympic gold medalist in judo at 209 pounds, 23-year-old Tabil Haharashivili (not certain of spelling) to be his opponent on the 4/23 card in Hiroshima as a fresh new martial arts superstar.
It appears Pancrase will have a 5/31 Budokan Hall show with Minoru Suzuki vs. World heavyweight kick boxing champ Maurice Smith and Masakatsu Funaki vs. Wayne Shamrock as the double main event.
Ryuma Go's latest promotion called Championship Wrestling Japan has shows 3/23 to 3/26 using Jesse Barr, Bruiser Brian Cox, Red October (C.W. Bergstrom) and Lou Andrews from Oregon as his foreign talent.
FMW ran a big show in Sapporo on 3/17 with Mr. Pogo retaining the WWA Brass Knux title pinned Atsushi Onita after three piledrivers and Mitsuhiro Matsunaga made his return after being out since 12/8 after major knee surgery but lost to Tarzan Goto.
Perhaps because the company has run too many shows at Korakuen Hall. Perhaps because it was just six days before the Yokohama Arena big show. Perhaps because the card was on a Monday night. Perhaps it is what everyone predicted would have to happen sooner or later in that Korakuen Hall can't keep being an automatic sellout building with so many shows running each week, since the day before both All Japan and New Japan ran shows in the Hall. Whatever the reason, All Japan women failed to sellout Korakuen Hall on 3/21, the building they usually sell hundreds of standing room to every time they have a show, for the first time in years, doing maybe 100 tickets shy of capacity for a nothing card headlined by Aja Kong & Bull Nakano vs. Toshiyo Yamada & Kyoko Inoue.
Mil Mascaras & Dos Caras will team up for the first time in Japan in more than ten years on the late April WAR tour. The next tour which starts this week will have King Haku, Corazon de Leon and Norman Smiley (EMLL's Black Magic) as foreigners.
Two Japanese wrestlers, who I believe were WAR's Gedo & Jado, worked over the weekend as Senji and Takayama for Windy City Wrestling.
USWA
The gate on 3/14 held up to $8,800 coming off the big show the previous week. The headliner was a Rage in the Cage with Jerry Lawler & Brian Christopher & Dream Machine vs. Eddie & Doug Gilbert & Tommy Rich ended with the faces winning, but after the match Skull Von Crush interfered and got the key to the handcuffs and gave it to Eddie Gilbert, who locked up Lawler and unlocked the heels and Lawler took a major pounding. Lawler is missing the 3/21 show, largely because he's scheduled for WWF voice-overs that morning (syndicated shows airing
this weekend are being done in the early a.m. on 3/21 so they can talk about Mania instead of being done in advance as is the usual case).
Also in the Rage in the Cage, Rich attacked TV announcer Cory Macklin, who did the show on 3/19 with his arm in a sling.
Eddie Gilbert beat Christopher on 3/14 in a match to unify both the USWA and Unified titles. However on 3/19 television, Christopher challenged Eddie just for the USWA belt and put up his '93 Blazer. The match was said to be okay. After a ref bump, Doug Gilbert came in with a chain but when Christopher ducked, hit Eddie. Doug then KO'd Christopher. Eddie tried a bulldog on the floor but Christopher shoved him off into the post and jumped into the ring to beat the count, and under this week's Memphis rules, the title can change hands via count out.
They aired a clip from 3/18 in Middleton, TN where The Moondogs destroyed Billy Travis. During a Dogs squash, Travis & Don Bass came out swinging guitars at the Dogs and Spot juiced hardway. Travis in his interview said he went out to find a partner who could swing a guitar as well as he could.
They set up a feud with Von Crush vs. Dream Machine when Von Crush did an interview and said he'd never heard of Machine. Machine came out and slapped him in the face.
Vince McMahon did his weekly heel interview saying Memphians sounds like Amphibians and compared the fans to reptiles I guess. McMahon said that Lawler would be afraid to come to Wrestlemania and that the reason Lawler wasn't going to be on the 3/21 card is because he was afraid of the Steiners being there.
3/21 show is headlined by a Moondog Battle Royal, which is under Royal Rumble rules and each man as they enter can bring a 2x4 into the ring and use it. The last two men left then are each given garbage cans to pound on each other. In other bouts, Christopher & Steiners face Gilberts & Rich, Moondogs defend the tag titles against Bass & Travis, Rock & Roll Express vs. Well Dunn with the winners facing Moondogs, Machine vs. Von Crush, Ronnie Lottz vs. Bert Prentice and prelims.
In Evansville on 3/16, Eddie Gilbert slapped the ring announcer who bled from the mouth. That show drew more than double the usual weekly crowd with 400 fans attending, largely due to the Rock & Roll Express billed to appear, but were disappointed when both no-showed (they were working for SMW that night).
SMW
Just a regular weekend with no major shows, however Bob Armstrong was ill for part of the weekend and was replaced by Tim Horner in his scheduled handicap matches against Dick Murdoch & Jim Cornette, and Ricky Morton has tonsillitis but still worked through the 17th, but was replaced by Horner and Tracy Smothers respectively in one hour marathon matches on 3/18 and 3/19.
With Chris Jericho leaving for a tour for WAR and Lance Storm returning home to Canada to get married, the Thrillseekers won't be back until May.
With the Heavenly Bodies gone until probably around November, Cornette is going to manage Bruiser Bedlam (Johnny K-9) who is going to get a major push as the top singles heel.
Dutch Mantel is done as color commentator for the present time since he's booking Puerto Rico for WWC, but expect the two groups to work together. Les Thatcher will work with Bob Caudle at the next taping until they get a new regular color man.
On television this weekend, Dirty White Girl did an interview building up the 4/1 Bluegrass Brawl saying that Tammy Fytch was a rat who runs from hotel room to hotel room looking for new meat. Fytch came back and said it'll be easy to win a match where the loser gets stripped of their clothes with White Girl because all you have to do is pull out $10 and she strips automatically.
Bad timing department. Smothers and Chris Candido had a very good ladder match on television Saturday that for one day people were raving about, and by the next day everyone forgot about it.
HERE AND THERE
Mike Samples suffered third-degree burns on 3/18 in Indianapolis doing an angle to set up a ring surrounded by fire match. Samples, the heel, had too much rubbing alcohol poured on him by Flash Flannagan (who has had fire thrown at him a few times before), who got the bottle from Samples' manager, and when he torched him, the flame was way too large. Even the referee, who managed to put out the flames by smothering Samples with his jeans jacket, had minor burns. The ring surrounded by fire match, which has been done a few times in Japan (FMW and W*ING), was originally an idea from Puerto Rico from an outdoor stadium main event between Hercules Ayala and Carlos Colon.
Dennis Coraluzzo and Mark Bodie drew a sellout 1,650 on 3/19 in Shenandoah, PA using Doink the Clown (Steve Keirn) vs. Lawler as the headliner.
Killer Kowalski is now writing a weekly pro wrestling column in the Boston Herald.
Tom Reeder has International Wrestling shows 3/25 to 3/27 in Arizona and New Mexico with Tito Santana and Greg Valentine as headliners.
Former wrestler and promoter Antone Leone passed away. Leone, who was sometimes confused with the more famous Baron Leone, last promoted wrestling in the early 80s around Bakersfield, CA.
Congrats to Wayne Coulter of the Real Wrestling Hotline whose wife gave birth on 3/17.
MaryLou Gantner, the mother of former pro wrestler Ed Gantner who committed suicide a few years back which she blamed on kidney failure due to prolonged steroid use, spoke against steroids on 3/21 before the President's Council on Physical Fitness.
AAA
The promotion continues to be the hottest in the world when it comes to drawing fans. On 3/19 in Toluca for just a regular card headlined by Konnan & Perro Aguayo & Heavy Metal in a trios match, they drew 20,000 fans in the baseball stadium and turned away another 5,000.
The 3/3 show in Pachuca, which aired 3/19 on television in the United States, which was also just a regular show with no stip matches drew a sellout 15,000. That show
featured one of the better matches on television in the U.S. so far this year with underrated heels Angel Mortal & Gallego & Mr. Condor against Winners & Super Calo & Rey Misterio Jr. Misterio pulled off yet another new move, running across the ring apron and leaping onto Condor's shoulders and taking him over with a flying ankle scissors. He won the first fall with a move that looked like it would be a dropkick off the top rope but turned into a Frankensteiner, which when he did it first last year everyone was going nuts over and now he's taken his repertoire so far it's considered ordinary. He also did a Silver King flip dive where he ran across the ring, jumped on the middle rope and dove over the top rope onto the floor on the other side while doing a flip in mid-air. Calo & Winners did simultaneous dives through the ropes with mid-air flips as well. It's interesting how "smart" the newspaper reporters are here, because the reporters heaped most of their praise on the heels, which is deserved because nobody would dare try moves like that unless they had total faith in the person at the bottom catching them. The only thing memorable about the main event is one bizarre ring entrance. New Japan wrestler Black Cat, who wears a black mask here, is a main event heel now. Cat, who was born in Mexico and started his career here before going to Japan in the late 70s and becoming a full-time worker for New Japan underneath. Anyway, this Mexican came out wearing a gi (judo outfit) with a Japanese flag on it to the Bruce Springsteen "Born in the USA" entrance music, while manager Damian (Amigo Ultra) from FMW was waving the American flag.
Nothing new on TripleMania although current tentative plans are to return to the United States in June for some California dates which we should have more definite news on in the next issue although Pena has talked of running four more shows in both San Jose and Los Angeles this year.
Rio Nilo Coliseum near Guadalajara, the site where the Blue Panther vs. Love Machine mask vs. hair match last year drew 21,000 fans, which was being considered as one of the TripleMania sites, was closed down permanently this past week.
The 3/20 television show was taped is Cuautla on 3/5 with the main emphasis put on feuds with Perro Aguayo vs. Fishman and Jerry Estrada vs. Heavy Metal in a brutal trios main event (Estrada-La Parka-Fishman vs. Metal-Aguayo-Latin Lover). It's a good bet that there will be a hair vs. mask and hair vs. hair matches with those wrestlers at TripleMania. Estrada hit a gusher. Estrada, Parka and Metal took turns taking Cactus Jack bumps over the guard rail into the second or third rows. Metal also leaped off the guard rail with a flip bodyblock onto Estrada who was lying on the third row chairs after taking a header over the rail. The funniest thing is there was an "I Love La Parka" fan club at ringside with little kids chanting "I Love you" at this heel doing a skeletor gimmick. Heels won in two straight when Metal went for a Frankensteiner but Estrada not only blocked it and turned it into a power bomb, but then in the same move picked him up by the legs and turned him over into a boston crab for the submission.
Talk of a AAA show in Tijuana on 4/15.
WCW
Brian Pillman's status with the company is up in the air right now. Pillman's contract expired without sides reaching an agreement for renewal, and Pillman was originally pulled from all shows and publicity was given word to remove him for future pub, although it appears right now he'll remain and finish out what was already booked for him at the 4/17 PPV show.
A lot of work is being done overseas this past week. WCW signed Marel Ausun, who was the WWF promoter in Germany which should give WCW primary access to the best arenas. It is believed the idea of having Hulk Hogan on the shows caused him to switch allegiances even though WWF largely packed them in on the recent German tour while WCW didn't do nearly so well for what were all sold shows. In addition Eric Bischoff was in Sweden this past week trying to put together a television deal in that country (which gets no WWF television so WCW will be the first guys in town) building the show around Frank Anderson, the former Olympic medalist that is working internationally for the company. Talk within the company is also that they may contact Davey Boy Smith again, but for exclusively European dates. Bischoff has also opened talks with Ron Skoler because the company wants to use Konnan on West Coast house shows although I don't know if Konnan's drawing power will translate well. Bischoff also met with Chip Minton, a member of the U.S. bobsled team at the recent Olympics who during the Olympics said he wanted to become a pro wrestler.
Looks like Tully Blanchard vs. Terry Funk will take place on the Slamboree PPV show on 5/22 in Philadelphia. Negotiations to bring in Bruno Sammartino as one of the legends seemingly have broken down.
If Pillman does stay, somebody ought to inform Bobby Heenan that the Hollywood Blonds were never managed by Rob Parker. Since Heenan wasn't around, it's a natural mistake to assume such, but now that he's said it several times on television, somebody ought to correct him.
The 3/12 WCW Saturday Night show did a 2.8 rating for Hulk's first appearance, while the new-look Main Event show did a 2.1 and new-look WCW Pro did a 1.6.
A correction from last week is that the All-Nighter did a 1.2 rating, not a 1.5. The number is still good enough that TBS is said to be considering making it an annual event, but other All-Nighters have done better.
On the 3/19 television show they aired a Steamboat-Paul Roma match which included Steamboat using a figure four and the Steamboat-Flair interview where they built up some heat for the match.
Alex Wright, the 18-year-old son of scientific legend Steve Wright from England, worked on the WCW tour after so many had gone down with injuries and was said to have been impressive.
Bryan Yandrisovitz (Brian Knobs) and Rick Rude filed a counter lawsuit on 2/28 against Johnny Small and Randy Jordan stemming from the lawsuit filed after a brawl at the Charlotte Night Club Coyote Joe's on 12/23. The wrestlers claim that Jordan, "fortified with liquid courage," hit Knobs over the head with a beer bottle and Small, also allegedly drunk, hit Rude in the face twice and cracked a tooth. Both wrestlers are seeking damages in excess of $10,000.
WWF
Highlights from the 3/21 Monday Night Raw tapings saw Lou Albano come out during a Quebecers interview and say he's got a mystery team to challenge for the belts, which will turn out to be the Head Shrinkers, who are going face.
Koko Ware returned but was pinned by Jeff Jarrett's DDT, but after the match Randy Savage and Ware cleaned house on Jarrett.
The 3/28 show will be headlined by Lex Luger beating Rick Martel with the torture rack, while the 4/4 show has the ten-man tag match that was scheduled at Wrestlemania although I believe Martel replaced Diesel on the heel side, as would have happened at Wrestlemania if you noticed the interview backstage when they shot the couldn't agree on a captain angle to excuse not holding the match due to time constraints (IRS & Martel & Jarrett & Shrinkers vs. 1-2-3 Kid & Sparky Plugg & Tatanka & Smoking Gunns) which wound up with IRS pinning Kid.
Shawn Michaels was at Raw interfering in a Ramon vs. Diesel match.
Mr. Perfect did an interview talking about Lex Luger.
It appears the current marriages when WWF returns to U.S. arena shows in a few weeks will be Bret vs. Owen or Yokozuna, Yokozuna vs. Earthquake in some cities, Luger vs. Perfect, Ramon vs. Diesel, Head Shrinkers vs. Quebecers, Jarrett vs. Plugg, IRS vs. Tatanka.
The television deal in Bethlehem, PA where Luger came out with the belt was clearly a swerve, because the decision to go with Hart couldn't have been a last-minute one. The decision is pretty much an admission the Luger experiment has failed, which one has to credit McMahon with making. We received a surprising amount of calls from people who thought Luger got screwed since no doubt he was "promised" the title at one point, which is pretty well the story of his career, but you have to be able to carry the ball when you're given the push and nobody has ever been given as big a push in this business while having proven so little. When one looks at Luger, he by all accounts should be a huge drawing star, but even in a cosmetic profession, looks aren't everything and this is more a charisma profession than a cosmetic profession these days, and the bodies don't mean nearly what they used to because that secret is out of the bottle as well.
Chet Coppock, who is the Chicago Bears stadium voice and a Chicago sports d.j., did the radio of Wrestlemania with Gorilla Monsoon.
The reason Stu & Helen Hart weren't at Wrestlemania is because Helen Hart was hospitalized about a week before the show.
Both WWF Mania and All-American were done live Wrestlemania weekend from Madison Square Garden. WCW should copy that policy.
Don't know what the status of the Steiners is other than they don't appear to be part of any current plans, but are under contract until mid-December. They were sent to Memphis by WWF which shows the relationship still exists, although the primary focus for the Steiners is clearly their New Japan dates. Jacques Rougeau did an interview over the weekend talking about how they had run the Steiners out of the WWF.
It appears McMahon & Lawler will now host Superstars while Johnny Polo & Stan Lane (as play-by-play) will do Challenge. Guess we'll know for sure over the weekend. Lane, Polo and Shane McMahon will be working as assistant television producers and it's expected the younger McMahon will start becoming visible as an announcer. They are also going to change the way they promote the local events on the shows.
Vince McMahon's voice was totally shot doing the live Raw from Poughkeepsie, from both doing Mania and then early the next morning doing voice-overs for this coming weekend's Superstars.
Savage did an interview over the weekend making references to someone who stabbed "us all" in the back which was obviously in reference to Hogan, although he didn't use Hogan's name.
The March to Mania special did a 3.5 rating on Sunday, although many think that number was greatly boosted by its movie-lead in on USA (Rambo) doing a whopping 6.0. The Monday replay did a 2.6, while All-American that weekend did a 2.3 and Mania a 1.4.
WWF is returning to Europe this week.
Rocko Gibraltar, doing a garbage man gimmick, is supposed to be heading in as a regular.
Pat Patterson, Terry Garvin and Bruce Prichard were at Killer Kowalski's show on 3/12 to scout Ron Reis.
The New York Daily News gossip columnist reported finishes for Wrestlemania the day of the show, from what was overheard during a conversation with Lane, Polo, Luger, Crush and Bret Hart at a New York steak house. It was clear someone did overhear the conversation, but misinterpreted it as what was reported was that Luger would win, and then Mr. Perfect would screw him out of the title in the match with Hart when that isn't exactly how it went. However, on 3/22, the paper's gossip section reported that Vince McMahon changed the original script from Luger winning the title and losing it to Hart because of the item in the paper and the fact WWF fans were congratulating Hart on becoming the champion all morning at the Doral Court Hotel before the show ever took place. However, the finishes as reported by the Daily News on 3/20 don't make sense as compared to what took place. If McMahon actually changed the finishes of a show of this calibre with all the planning that went into it just to make a newspaper report inaccurate, he'd have lost his mind as bad as Bill Watts did since Watts in the same situation would have changed the finish despite a new finish not making sense because of the belief it proved wrestling was real (I can recall a 1985 incident in Houston that fits this bill exactly), when all it did in was create a situation that made no sense.
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Re: Wrestling Observer 1994

Apr. 4 1994 Observer Newsletter: McMahon steroid trial about t start, All Japan Women Wrestle Queendom II, examining lucha libre, tons more
Wrestling Observer Newsletter
PO Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228 April 4, 1994
WRESTLEMANIA X FINAL POLL RESULTS
Thumbs up 492 (79.1%)
Thumbs down 69 (11.1%)
In the middle 61 (09.8%)
BEST MATCH POLL
Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon 479
Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart 136
WORST MATCH POLL
Lex Luger vs. Yokozuna 228
Adam Bomb vs. Earthquake 193
Doink & Dink vs. Bam Bam Bigelow & Luna Vachon 95
Quebecers vs. Men on Mission 54
Alundra Blayze vs. Leilani Kai 13
Based on phone calls, letters and fax messages to the Observer as of Monday, 3/28. Statistical margin of error: +-100%
With Wrestlemania X now a piece of history, the two biggest names in pro wrestling from the 1980s are getting ready to take opposite sides in what may be the biggest wrestling show of the year. The show, has been almost ten years in the making and there won't be an empty seat in sight. And if you think that we're talking about a wrestling match with a predetermined finish, you're on the wrong page.
With the scheduled trial date of Titan Sports and its Owner and CEO Vince McMahon on steroid charges just a few weeks away, it's time for readers of this publication, many of whom have followed the proceedings from start-to-finish, to sit in the proverbial jury box.
As most of you know, and as apparently few in wrestling are actually aware, there are four charges that will be tried, two each roughly identical against McMahon and Titan Sports. The company's involvement is because allegedly McMahon used company assets to purchase the drugs in question that he allegedly distributed. Of the two real charges, one is in regard to distribution of steroids. The other is a conspiracy charge claiming McMahon, Titan Sports, Dr. George Zahorian and others conspired to get WWF wrestlers on steroids for the purpose of making more money, selling more tickets, selling more merchandise, etc.
For purposes of this, forget about the simple distribution charges. The distribution charge is open and shut in that it is either a matter that it (steroids being illegally
distributed either by McMahon and/or the company) happened or it didn't. None of us know for a fact until evidence comes out whether or not McMahon personally distributed steroids unless he did to the person reading this personally. The indictment claims McMahon used company money to purchase steroids and distributed it to a wrestler known to the Grand Jury, believed to be Hulk Hogan. At the arraignment, Sean O'Shea of the Justice Department said the government would prove McMahon distributed steroids to wrestlers, as in plural. Nevertheless, if there was any direct distribution from McMahon, it doesn't appear that it was widespread. That doesn't mean an eventual verdict if there is a trial will be reflective of either it happened or it didn't as recent highly-publicized trials have shown. Despite what we get taught in grammar school, jury verdicts and the facts of the case or the truth often have nothing to do with one another. If McMahon did distribute steroids to a wrestler, or even wrestlers, which he hasn't admitted to doing, from his own statements it appears he'll try to use the euphemism for distribution into a much nicer sounding "sharing with friends." How a jury will take that defense, if indeed there is proof of distribution, is unknown. It appears the Justice Department Eastern Division has a much better won-loss record in court than does Titan Sports even though there seems to be an overriding belief among people in wrestling than Vince McMahon is the most powerful man on Earth, and the Justice Department is certainly more experience in prosecution, however Titan Sports is far more experienced in public manipulation than most companies the Justice Department goes against. But one can never predict how a jury will view things, particularly since we don't know what will be testified to and who, with the possible exception of Terry Bollea, who doesn't exactly have an exemplary level of credibility, will be his accusers. Let's face it, there should be a big difference between someone regularly distributing something and someone who may have passed an illegal drug on once. Until the trial, we really don't know what will be alleged and nobody with the possible exception of McMahon, Bollea and perhaps a few others in the inner circle, know what actually took place. And given the track record of honesty of many of those who are expected to be involved in this trial, what does come out can't nor shouldn't be taken at face value. We don't even know if people involved in this trial can stop "working," (that's our nice euphemism for lying, which in this case would technically be perjury) even under oath. Maybe some of them can, but in the case of others, it would seemingly be a new experience in their lives.
It's the conspiracy charge that, for purposes of the question asked here, is what we're referring to. No matter what will be testified to, the facts of that case are rather clear. However, while there is little to debate as far as the facts, people's interpretations of the same set of facts will probably vary widely. I hope they won't vary based on whether or not one likes the product the WWF presents, but based on past experience, that probably will be the case.
The facts are this. Titan Sports and Vince McMahon are being charged, from the years 1985 to 1991, with conspiring to have steroids distributed to wrestlers to enhance their size and muscle development. During that time period, it is an admitted fact by all concerned that a significant percentage of WWF wrestlers were using steroids. The WWF's own first steroid test, which took place nine months after possession and use of steroids became a felony, saw half of those taking the test
(which, because managers and valets took the test as well means more than half
the wrestlers) testing positive for steroids, so the excuse wrestlers were only using
the drugs while the drugs were legal is hogwash, although everyone reading this
knows that already. Before 1991, the federal law was such that using steroids were
legal, but distribution for muscle building purposes was not, except in the 1985-88
period when distribution by a doctor with a valid medical prescription was legal on a
federal level. Laws as it pertains to both personal use and distribution actually
varied by states but since this is a federal trial, whatever state laws that could
apply aren't relevant to this specific case, although they are relevant to the
numerous statements by wrestlers who tried to defend personal usage claiming
they used them when they were legal, which may have been true, but in many,
probably most cases, they also used them after that point. The most well-known
but not the only distributor to WWF wrestlers and a few wrestlers from other
organizations as well, during that time period, was Dr. George Zahorian, who was
convicted on eight counts of illegal steroid distribution and four more counts of
other controlled substance distribution in 1991. Zahorian has spent most of the
period since the trial in prison. Zahorian also supplied steroids to McMahon, so if
nothing else, McMahon must have had knowledge of what Zahorian was doing as it
pertains to his wrestlers since he was purchasing them himself. Zahorian, in the
mid-80s, would, according to trial testimony, "set up shop" backstage at WWF
house shows in Western Pennsylvania and routinely distribute various kinds of
drugs including steroids to wrestlers. This is the main distinction between an NFL
coach or even a promoter of American Gladiators or professional bodybuilding
shows, who one can say are no different than McMahon and morally I don't think an
argument can be made that the latter two are any different than McMahon in
regard to this subject. When it comes to an NFL owner or college football coach for
example, a strong case can be made that their role is different than McMahon. They
don't prearrange who wins and loses and decide who will become a star
beforehand. In most cases their motivation is to put the best players on the field.
While steroids certainly in many instances are a competitive benefit which means
inherently that looking the other way constitutes tacit approval, if a player is
talented enough, he'll be allowed to make up for whatever size deficiencies he has if
he can play. In pro wrestling during that time period, all the talent in the world may
not have meant enough to make up for the size deficiencies even if the one with
the size deficiencies had already proven elsewhere they could play. When it comes
to American Gladiators, that is a different story. People on that show are chosen by
how they look rather than for athletic ability and the emphasis on physique is every
bit as strong as it ever was in the WWF during the steroid heyday. Probably
stronger, since Vince McMahon only had one Jim Hellwig and the Gladiators having
nothing but. When it comes to pro bodybuilding or even top-level amateur
bodybuilding, the entire system is based on muscles and no athletic ability needs to
be displayed, so in that context, use of steroids is an even stronger factor than in
pro wrestling, even during the WWF steroid heyday.
So why aren't the promoters of American Gladiators or bodybuilding shows the
target of steroid investigations? It could be one of several factors. The one most
cited by people within the industry choosing to find a way to defend McMahon, is
that somehow McMahon made an enemy and is being picked on. While that isn't
proven and nobody has even been able to point out who this enemy would be, from
a moral standpoint, McMahon is being picked on, as is virtually everyone in society
charged with any sort of a crime. In every crime there are those the government
chooses to prosecute and others they choose not to, and those they have evidence
against and others that they don't who are just as guilty of the same behavior.
However, agreeing McMahon is being picked on, that isn't a valid legal defense if he
conspired to get wrestlers on steroids, if he distributed steroids, and if those two
things were illegal. For example, in the Jerry Lawler case, which is totally dissimilar
to this case, but this singular point is relevant to that argument, if there were five
men who had sex with a 13-year-old girl and Lawler was the only one charged,
Lawler could rightly claim he was being picked on by the prosecution because of his
name value, but if he actually had done it and the prosecution could have proven it,
the government picking on him wouldn't be a valid defense for doing something
against the law. The same logic applies here. Most importantly, there wasn't a
major steroid trial involving Gladiators or bodybuilders so the evidence to start an
investigation wasn't already in the government's lap. If there was such a trial and it
came out in testimony that one of the recipients of said drugs was the owner of the
organization, and where fed-ex records showed numerous packages sent from a
convicted drug dealer right to the company's president at his corporate
headquarters, than I'd like to think the government would investigate that
organization. In addition, that owner, who knowingly purchased drugs from that
dealer, also allowed that dealer to set up shop backstage at his shows. The ironic
part of all this is that not only did McMahon allow this to occur, but also more than
allowing it to occur but assigning the dealer to attend the shows was the state
government of Pennsylvania, whose athletic commission appointed Zahorian to be
its licensed medical representative at these pro wrestling shows. That evidence was
there in 1991, before any investigation was even started and before any
mainstream media began reporting on this issue. It should also be noted that
Zahorian--the pro wrestling doctor, was the first doctor prosecuted on that law,
bringing many to say at the time he was being picked on because he was
distributing to pro wrestlers rather than football players or track stars, and that a
doctor who distributed to our Olympic athletes would never have been prosecuted.
That speculation has since proven to be untrue since the man who according to the
Canadian inquiries post-Ben Johnson testimony was the leading steroid distributor
to U.S. Olympic athletes, Dr. Walter Jekot of Los Angeles, eventually was charged
and plea bargained to the same charges as Zahorian, and even though he didn't
challenge the government in trial as did Zahorian, he was given a much stiffer
sentence than Zahorian, because he was believed to be a much more significant
dealer.
During that period, 1985-91, steroids were rampant within pro wrestling and all
sports involving either explosive strength or speed, or even stamina. They were
more rampant probably in one or two sports than in the WWF, although the WWF
had to rank in the upper echelon of sports when it came to steroid use. They were
more rampant in the WWF during this time period than in pro wrestling in general,
but use spread across all promotions during this time period. The company was at
its economic heyday during this period. Its popularity declined and wrestlers who
certainly had the outward appearance of being into steroids started disappearing at
the same time the company started doing what appeared to be a testing procedure
that involved more than lip service. Wrestlers during this time period were pushed
based on physique. It was never based entirely or exclusively on physique, but
physique was a huge factor, and probably a significantly bigger factor than ability
given who was on top, although that case wasn't exclusively limited to WWF during
that time period either. Too many wrestlers to be coincidental either upped their
dose or "ate a lot of amino acids" when joining WWF because too many were a lot
larger than they'd been before coming in to just be coincidence and not have some
sort of outward motivation to be so. Whether it was peer group pressure which
McMahon simply looked the other way at, as his defenders will say, or whether it
was something that he, by who he hired and who he pushed and who he paid the
most money to, had encouraged, is really the crux of this issue.
In McMahon's defense, the WWF today when it comes to steroid use certainly
appears to be far cleaner than anyone would have believed possible three years ago. Critics of that statement will note that this fact is not so much a credit to McMahon truly wanting to clean things up, but a credit to McMahon not being a complete idiot, since no testing procedure was even talked about until after much negatively publicity had stemmed from the Zahorian trial. My belief is the first drug-testing press conference took place because of the post-trial negative publicity, not because of the trial itself, since WWF had no plans to implement steroid testing at the completion of the Zahorian trial, but reversed its position because they were bombarded with negative publicity over the next two weeks in the New York media. And the fact is, those in power knew what was going on years before the trial. There were no revelations in the trial that surprised anyone within pro wrestling. The truly serious steroid testing in that it actually started making a serious dent in use and started cleaning the company up took place I believe because the negative publicity hadn't subsided and it was at about the same time the government started investigating. Nevertheless, the WWF has done what it appears some sports organizations aren't willing to do, in that there were numerous major stars who left the organization in 1992 which hurt them economically, and although none will admit it was because of the steroid policy, logic says it had to have been because there were too many cases in too short a time period to have been coincidental. From a legal standpoint, what happened in 1992 isn't relevant to charges referring to 1985-91, but may be considered when it comes time to meting out punishment. And there still is the question of how Sid Eudy's case was handled in 1992. Eudy wasn't suspended as per the Titan written drug policy, although he has since admitted cheating on the steroid test from the time he returned from a bicep tendon injury that January and was finally caught cheating by the company just before the Wrestlemania and wasn't suspended. I'd suggest very few companies in the same position would have pulled him from Wrestlemania, but that doesn't explain his continuing as being pushed as the group's top heel on a subsequent European tour and on U.S. house shows until he quit the promotion.
So that's how and why we got to where we are. But, that doesn't answer whether Vince McMahon and Titan Sports should be convicted of any crimes.
So the question I'm asking is:
*Was Vince McMahon and Titan Sports involved in a conspiracy to get WWF wrestlers on steroids to increase ticket sales and merchandise? Remember when answering this question, you are talking about a conspiracy. What you think of the
WWF product, whether you find it entertaining or not, should be totally irrelevant. Also, this question involves a conspiracy to get wrestlers on steroids and nothing else. Lying about steroid use in and to the media or to wrestling fans is not a crime, it's only a lie.
*If they were, why? If they weren't, why?
*If they were, what is fair punishment? If you believe McMahon and Titan were involved in a conspiracy to get wrestlers on steroids, but don't think that in doing so they actually did anything wrong because they never held a gun to anyone's head and shouldn't be punished for it, you can say the law if flawed and there shouldn't be any punishment. If you think Titan was involved in a conspiracy but steroids should be legal and thus shouldn't be penalized, that's a valid opinion as well. Remember, there is no precedence for a sports organization to be charged with the drug use among its participants, although if there is a conviction on this charge, no doubt there will either be similar prosecution in other sports in the future, or other owners will be so scared that they'll clean up the problem in their sport. This is more of a moral question than a legal question. The people who have to answer the legal question, the jury, will be worked by lawyers from both sides first and also, unlike readers, won't actually understand the context of what was going on when this was all going on. If you believe Titan/McMahon to be guilty, you can answer they should be fined a small amount, fined a large amount or there should be jail time done or even forfeiture of assets.
*If Titan/McMahon aren't guilty, should George Zahorian be in prison?
*If they are guilty, should others in wrestling be similarly charged?
And as that subject goes, so goes Hulk Hogan. Hogan got a lot of pub this past week due to the debut of "Thunder in Paradise," the one-hour show which starts this week in syndication (a two-hour pilot movie aired last week in many markets). The show will be used in New York by WWOR-TV as counterprogramming for Monday Night Raw in the 9 p.m. slot, and is head-to-head with wrestling in a surprising number of markets (in the SF Bay Area, the show will air Friday nights on KBHK-TV Ch. 44). The Orlando Sentinel had a series of articles on Hogan and the show, since the show is filmed in Orlando, where Hogan claimed he'll return to wrestling either with WCW or with a new HBO promotion which he claimed is offering him $1,000,000 "every time he laces up the boots." More power to him if it's legit (those at WCW think the idea of an HBO promotion is all hype), although to be able to afford a payoff like that, it would have to be a PPV show and would have to do at the very least an 0.8 buy rate, something WCW has been unable to do with all its syndicated television, a number along the lines of what Survivor Series did with all the great hyping WWF is able to do with strong national syndication and cable. Sources close to Hogan say he'll decide between the two offers in about three weeks, although our understanding is due to contractual things, it would be about four weeks before he actually could sign a contract with WCW.
Hogan also started damage control for what may come out in the McMahon trial in May, with a lengthy discussion of steroids and his career in the New York Daily News on 3/25. The article was a review of his new TV show, which like most reviewers, panned the show saying it "grafts Hogan's unique persona onto an
otherwise forgettable template of sun, sea, beach and babes, with some feeble explosions, dull chases, tepid fight sequences and family values thrown in for punctuation." However, the Daily News story was more favorable to Hogan, saying that it doesn't matter because the overseas TV market will eat the show up like they did "Baywatch." Anyway, the latest Nixonian version of the steroid controversy is that Hogan admitted his previous statements were a mistake. "When the steroid thing came out, I said, `Oh, my god, there's a hysteria, just like there was with AIDS. People don't' know what this is all about.
I thought by touching upon it--and I did say, `Yes, I used them,' --that people wouldn't really dial into it, but it kind of, like, stirred it up more and I probably should have hit them bluntly.
People (were) saying that they injected me at certain arenas. Total lie. Total lie. Never happened. I gave myself any injections there ever was. Or a doctor, under his prescription.
You do what seems to be right at the time, especially when a doctor says, `Hey, here's a prescription' and it's legal.
Instead of my arm being torn and healing in three months, it helped me heal in four weeks. These guys that were wrestling every night, they were bigger and stronger than me, so it gave me that edge to have an extra 20 or 25 pounds on my body.
If I had to do it all over again, knowing what I know now? No way.
It's not like I've got some unknown disease where I gotta be quarantined. I mean, these people (wrestling fans) are very forgiving, and they're very understanding, and it's comforting to know people are like that.
If it comes up again, well then I'll just deal with it. If it's a federal trial or a question from you, this is the way it is. But there's no new news. For me, it's old news." The story that Hulk Hogan used steroids is old news. Hulk Hogan responding is also old news. Unfortunately for Hogan, it's the responses that still seem to be story, which is why the story of Hulk Hogan and steroids follows him around, and thus isn't old news.
All Japan women's Wrestling Queendom II on 3/27 at the Yokohama Arena drew the second largest crowd and gate in the history of Japanese women's wrestling, trailing only last year's Dream Slam I on 4/2/83 in the same building. Although the crowd was announced as a sellout 16,500, real attendance was closer to 15,000 (ringside tickets were $285 so the gate was probably in excess of $1 million range as the building when packed at those prices is scaled at $1.5 mil). Although the quality of the matches themselves were good, in some ways the five-and-a-half hour show was disappointing as it couldn't come close to the standard set in the same building last year (which had both a much stronger line-up and the aura of specialness by bringing back virtually all the big stars in the history of the promotion as its 25th anniversary special), or even at several of the other major women's shows of 1993. Overall it was said the show quality was even topped by many of the monthly AJW Korakuen Hall shows. Still, to call it anything but a good show with an excellent main event would be to compare it to an out-of-whack
standard the company set for itself over the past two years, since it was said to be as good if not better than the major men's spectaculars.
Complete results saw: 1. Candy Okutsu (JWP) retained the All-Japan jr. title pinning Rie Tamada in 9:03 with a german suplex; 2. Midget Little Frankie, using the name Little Great Muta, beat Buddha Man, as Little Abdullah the Butcher in 7:16 with an elbow drop; 3. In one of the better matches on the show, the LLPW duo of Miki Handa & Yasha Kurenai retained the Japanese tag titles beating Kaoru Ito & Tomoko Watanabe when Kurenai pinned Watanabe with a belly-to-belly suplex in 19:26; 4. Hikari Fukuoka (JWP) pinned Chapparita Asari in 14:26 with a moonsault after Asari had missed her Sky Twister. Last 5:00 were filled with hot flying moves; 5. Megumi Kudo & Nurse Nakamura (FMW) beat Suzuka Minami & Chikako Shiratori when Kudo made Shiratori submit to the dragon sleeper in 16:38 in the worst match on the show with the exception of the midgets; 6. Manami Toyota retained her IWA title pinning Plum Mariko (JWP) in 20:31 with a Japanese Ocean suplex. This was one of the better matches on the show, but not nearly as exciting as Mariko's Korakuen Hall match with Chigusa Nagayo; 7. Eagle Sawai (LLPW) & Reggie Bennett beat Takako Inoue & Yumiko Hotta in 13:03 when Bennett made Inoue submit with the Argentinean backbreaker; 8. Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda captured the JWP tag team titles from Mayumi Ozaki & Cutie Suzuki (JWP) in 20:35 when Mita pinned Suzuki with the Death Valley Driver (an airplane spin dropped into a piledriver like move). This was said to be the second best match on the show; 9. Dynamite Kansai (JWP) pinned Sakie Hasegawa in 16:31 with her Splash Mountain (similar to Razor's Edge); 10. Kyoko Inoue captured the All-Pacific title from Toshiyo Yamada via submission with a facelock in 16:16. Most people going in thought this match would steal the show, but told neither looked as good as they usually do at a Korakuen Hall show; 11. In the match that drew the house and stole the show, Akira Hokuto & Shinobu Kandori (LLPW) beat Aja Kong & Bull Nakano in 35:13. The story of the match is that Hokuto and Kandori, who had the two brutal matches last year, couldn't get along. Hokuto started and worked the first five minutes because Kandori refused to tag in. Finally Hokuto slapped her hard in the face, and the ref ruled it as a valid tag. Kandori did the same, as were all the tags for the first 20:00. Finally Hokuto & Kandori started working as a team and it turned into a very dramatic exciting match ending when Hokuto, for the third time, did the Northern Lights bomb on Kong, and got the pin. It seems they are building up the idea that it's a cruel irony that Hokuto, who is retiring after two more matches in Japan (8/25 and 11/10), has never held the World title so she'll no doubt challenge Kong as the headliner on one of the two shows.
The mass media story in Japan as it regarded this show (which saw 50 newspapers and three networks coverage) related to Tonya Harding, who obviously didn't appear as the promotion hoped she would although even if she had wanted to, it would have been difficult because of terms of her plea bargain (having to petition the court to travel) to do so on such short notice. Promotion Vice President Takashi Matsunaga had flown to Portland to meet with Harding's representatives on 3/22, but was unable to even get a meeting, or get photographic proof with her "negotiating" which would have been great press back home, and really worldwide. It's obvious this isn't going to take place, as Sports Illustrated reported in this week's issue in a story on Harding's plea bargain (complete with what appeared to
be a worked quote from Aja Kong) saying she has no interest in wrestling in Japan. Matsunaga returned to Japan for the show and announced in the ring he was unable to meet with her and said he's planning to return to Oregon, but put odds on signing her as 20 percent (as opposed to the 70 percent his brother said two weeks earlier). The newspapers are reporting that Harding doesn't understand what Japanese pro wrestling is, and has a bad view of it having never seen it because she's seen American pro wrestling.
The All Japan Champion Carnival tournament was thrown for a loop when it was announced that the group's triple crown champion, tournament co-favorite and top draw, Mitsuharu Misawa, would miss the remainder of the tour. Misawa apparently suffered a neck injury taking a Frankensteiner from Doug Furnas on 3/21. While he tried to wrestle two nights later in a six-man tag, he only tagged in once and was in so much pain, never tagged in again and was sent home to recuperate. Misawa and Stan Hansen were co-favorites in the annual tournament that Hansen has won the past two years, which culminates on 4/16 at Tokyo Budokan Hall. With Misawa off the tour, it makes Hansen a strong favorite and has taken a lot of interest from the tournament, traditionally the No. 2 tour of the year (behind the year-end tag team tournament). Probably the only way to have the tournament come across as a success in the end would be for Hansen to lose in the finals at Budokan to Kenta Kobashi (since Toshiaki Kawada pinned Hansen in last year's tournament so his beating Stan would be an upset, but not be something new).
With PPV pro wrestling shows on successive nights (4/16 UWFI and 4/17 WCW) for the first time ever in this country, it appears the UWFI show is going to take it on the chin. Even though both groups are appealing to different audiences, UWFI to the contact sports audience and WCW to the pro wrestling audience, cable guides we've seen show a strong lack of visibility for the UWFI show. Because it isn't being carried by Request on its two usual channels, the show won't be available in every PPV market, although in many areas it will be available on a different PPV channel and isn't being highly publicized because of the pro wrestling, karate (4/15) and boxing (4/22) PPV shows all taking place during the same one-week period that are being carried by Request. The UWFI show is scheduled for a 9 p.m. Eastern and 12:30 a.m. Eastern showing (three hours earlier on the West Coast). We'll be doing reader polls for both shows, since based on reader response, the UWFI first PPV show had a larger viewership among this newsletter's readers than WCW shows in recent years have had, although somehow I don't think that'll be the case this time around.
TOTAL UNITED STATES HOUSE SHOW
Promotion
No. of shows*
Est. total revenue*
WWF
57
$3,410,000
IWC/AAA
2
$265,000
WCW
13
$252,000
SMW
33
$149,000
ECW
6
$48,000
Note: Figures unavailable for USWA
*Includes PPV and Clashes, updated to include Wrestl
REVENUE 1994 (as of 3/28/94)
emania
Editorial time. Subject. Pro wrestling media, whatever that is meant to constitute and it covers whomever considers themself part of it. Contrary to what would seem to be popular belief among some, if one travels to California, one does not have to bring a passport. And when one comes from the United States and lands at the Los Angeles or San Francisco Airport, they don't have to go through customs, although it would seem that way when it comes to coverage of IWC/AAA. Since the first IWC/AAA shows back last August, the success of this promotion in California caught most everyone in wrestling by shock. It shouldn't have to an extent since during the summer of 1992, Lucha Libre shows at the Cal State-Los Angeles Gym were the biggest grossing shows in the United States except for very few major market WWF shows and its PPVs, topping out at a $120,000 house for the July 4th show. Even so, I don't know of anyone who follows wrestling closely with one exception who wasn't shocked out of their socks that first weekend when the Sports Arena was sold out and turned away 8,000 fans, the best showing for a pro wrestling card in the largest state in the United States in 22 years.
This is not an editorial saying that Lucha Libre is great wrestling. Just like any form, some is good, some is bad and most is in between. Today I believe AAA has the most innovative inside-the-ring wrestling in the world, but innovation goes in cycles based on when young guys who aren't bound by tradition get a chance to expand past old limitations in their entertainment craft and are put in a position to be allowed to do so. As they got older, and smarter, they also get more routine and less creative. Right now AAA is loaded with creative young workers who are exploring new in-ring horizons and in many cases, coming up with new moves and new spots, some of which will become popular in the future, just as New Japan did in the 1980s before it was overtaken by older wrestlers limiting new creativity. One of the reasons this is the case is because AAA is the youngest major promotion in the world, having debuted in May of 1992. A few years from now, another company will be loaded with talented young wrestlers and the same thing will occur. Every wrestling fan is entitled to form their own opinion about what they enjoy, what they'll support and what entertains them. Opinions are all subjective. If someone has a good time at a show that doesn't draw any fans, that doesn't make them wrong. However, eventually a normal entertainment business (a category WCW doesn't fall into since it's being bankrolled and normal business practices of having to be profitable seem not to part of the equation) to survive at a major level has to garner enough interest to turn a profit or it won't be around. I learned this years ago having a great time supporting pro sports franchises that didn't draw enough fans. It didn't matter in the long run if the people attending had a good time or not if not enough people attended, because if that was the case, economics would determine that it wasn't going to last no matter how much fun those attending had.
Similarly, you can be bored to death with an entertainment event, but if you see the building consistently filled, you know you've got plenty of opportunities to be bored to death in the future because they'll be coming back. My point is that if you are a fan and you don't like a style of wrestling, that is your prerogative. If you are a student of a particular business--which those in decision making positions in this business should be or they'll eventually make a lot of bad decisions that could have been avoided by knowledge of what has been tried elsewhere and succeeded and failed, or a reporter covering a business, and you aren't a fan of a style or promotion, that is also your prerogative. However if you ignore the existence or ignore coverage of something different that is successful based on that factor, you are closing your mind to learning about your own subject, and thus, not doing your job. The only thing that stays the same in wrestling is that it always changes. And the day someone stops accepting that as fact is the day that the business has passed them by.
I'm not sure what wrestling media constitutes. Are pro wrestling magazines wrestling media, or are they purely there own form of entertainment in which real reporting has little or nothing to do with it? Are newsletters wrestling media? A few are for sure, but how many really are? A reporter on this subject should have working knowledge of all significant aspects of pro wrestling or at least make an attempt to. If gaining a working knowledge of the subject, not the subject as it was in 1985, or as you wish it would be because that's how it was when you were a kid, but as it is in 1994, is not a concern, there's nothing wrong with that either if you don't consider yourself a serious reporter on a subject.
AAA is a significant part of the American pro wrestling landscape. Significant for two reasons. One is because of the crowds it has drawn and the television audience it has--ethnic to be sure, and I'm exceedingly skeptical of its chances of gaining popularity outside its ethnic group--but large enough in number that it can no way be viewed as anything less than the third most popular promotion in the country, and second most popular when it comes to presenting live events. It is also the most popular promotion in the second largest city in the country, even outdrawing WWF by a wide margin. It is significant also because it is completely different than any other style of wrestling, which means there is more to learn from it because of those differences. Because it wasn't a significant part of the U.S. wrestling scene years ago doesn't change this fact today. If anything, it accentuates it. If its gain in significance is shunned off by saying it is because there are more Hispanics than ever before in this country, that would be to blind oneself to a significant change in the demographic make-up of our country, that by all estimates is going to only increase as the years go by, thus being blind to eventual change in our society. If one was doing a wrestling magazine or newsletter in England, would ignoring coverage or not attempting to gain a working knowledge of WWF or WCW wrestling be justified because the companies are based in a foreign country and the style is different than what was previously the norm in that country be justified? No. It would be burying ones head in the sand and not coming to grips with the reality of the present. In Japan in 1984 when the first UWF started doing shooting style, a style completely unfamiliar to everyone, most fans and reporters didn't initially understand it. Was it ignored at the beginning? By and large it didn't even draw that well but it had a rabid Tokyo following among high school aged kids. Because
of that everyone learned what it was. Those that didn't got left behind. By 1988 a promotion using that style was the hottest promotion in the world. The reporters there were no different from here. They grew up watching another style. Generally they didn't like change and didn't like the style of the promotion. I'm sure many reporters and fans in Japan still don't like it, and there is no reason they should, but they don't ignore it. And a few years later, that promotion heavily influenced the traditional style promotions' ring style as it is today--virtual elimination of screw-job endings, heavier emphasis on submissions making constant high spots not necessary for false finishes, etc. AAA is not as popular in the United States as WWF is in England, so ignoring it as a subject in this country isn't as preposterous as ignoring WWF in England would be. Dissing the AAA audience for being almost exclusively of one ethnic group is still not a valid reason for ignoring it unless one would approve of the idea of a black reporter or a Mexican reporter considering themselves a serious wrestling reporter and then doing a newsletter or writing for a magazine and choosing not to cover SMW, or even WWF because so few people of his ethnic origin attend the shows. While the company being based in Mexico City (although the IWC is American), it is a very successful American promotion on a regional basis. It may never expand its demographics. In fact, it won't. But it's already here and already has made its mark. To not be able to recognize that is to not be paying attention to what is going on. This is not a situation of saying that certain things are going to change in this business because of an eventual 500 channel television system as they did more than a decade ago when cable took hold, and to be ready for what is coming so when it's here you'll be ready before it catches on. This is already here. If you're a reporter covering this industry and don't have a working knowledge of this promotion, you're in danger of becoming out of touch with your business.
This is the second issue of the current set. The scheduled for this set isn't definite right now. There may be an issue next week and I expect to certainly have an issue in two weeks. If there isn't one next week, the one in two weeks may be a 20-page double issue, depending upon how much news there is, or next week's issue may be late and the week after may be on time. If you have a (1) on your address label, your subscription will expire in either two or three weeks. Renewal rates within the United States, Canada and Mexico are $12 for eight issues, $24 for 16, $36 for 24, $48 for 32 up through $60 for 40. Rates for the rest of the world for weekly airmail delivery are $9 for each set of four, $18 for eight, etc. up through $90 for 40. All subscription renewals along with reports from live shows, letters to the editor, news items and anything else pertaining to this publication should be sent to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228.
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RESULTS
3/12 Portland, OR (Oregon Pro Wrestling Federation - 150):Buddy Wayne b The Bodyguard, Firefighter Adrian b Nick Danger, Billy Two Eagles b John Rambo, Buddy Wayne & Ole Olson b Riot Maker & Moondog Moretti, Mike Miller b Buddy Rose
3/15 Tampa (Showtime Wrestling):Johnny West b Java Ruuk, Mohammad Stud b Chris Nelson, West b Nuclear Assassin, Rick Thames & Sonny T b Randy Fuller & Jimmy Watts, Jim Neidhart b Lanny Poffo
3/17 Charleston, IN (Tri-State Wrestling):Jeff Sword b David Adcock, Kevin Haste b Doug Basham, Doug Vines b Troy Haste, Dan Childers b Jerry Faith, Mike Samples b Danny Davis
3/18 Puebla (AAA - 8,000 sellout):Prelim results unavailable, Jerrito Estrada & Espectrito & Fuercita Guerrera b Mascarita Sagrada & Octagoncito & Super Munequito ***3/4, Los Payasos DDQ El Mexicano & Latin Lover & Tinieblas Jr. **1/4, Konnan El Barbaro & Octagon & Mascara Sagrada b Black Cat & Mascara Ano 2000 & Universo 2000 *3/4
3/18 Dearborn, MI (Midwest Territorial Wrestling)tis Apollo b Steve Nixon, Mickey Doyle b Scott D'Amore, Mike Kelly b The Kodiak, Scott Stevens b Shinobi (Al Snow), Andy Fish b Bobby Clancy, Al Snow & Denny Kass DCOR Chris Carter & Mohammad Saad, Bobo Brazil Jr. b Scott Summers
3/18 Dallas (Big D)my James b Ricky Long, Terry Simms & Terry Black & Alan Dillon b Broadway Danny & Al Clifton & Doom Master, Super Gemini b El Cuervo II, Ray Evans b Big D-DQ, Mr. Mister & Chris Rox b Bill Irwin & Nick Golden-DQ, Jaivo Flores & Mascara del Fuego b Jaque Moy & El Medico
3/18 Union, SC (Big Time Wrestling - 154): Bad Dog b The Avenger (Scott McKeever), Bruise Brother #1 b Night Train Jones, Super Rocker b Bobby Rose-DQ, Jay Eagle & Johnny Red Cloud b Scotty Hot Body & McKeever, Mask vs. mask:The Crusader (Buck Forrster) b The Assassin (Ken Boone), Rocker won blindfold Battle Royal, Junkyard Dog b Billy Ray Badd-DQ (Norman Bragg)
3/19 Central City, KY (Tri-State Wrestling):Chris Dailey b New Dog, Flash Flannagan & Doug Basham b Mad Man Pondo & Sledge, Sheik Ali Ben Khan (Nick Nicnahad) b David Adcock, Dan Shannon b Mark Adcock, Hitman Louie (Harrison Melton) b Mike Samples
3/19 Clover, SC (North American Wrestling Alliance - 250)avid Isley d Gary Royal, Robert Jones & Dozer (J.R. Scruggs) b American G.I. (Rich Scruggs) & Jay Eagle, Junkyard Dog b Rick Link, Buddy Shane b The Assassin, Super Rocker & American Patriot (Johnny B. Goode) DDQ Ivan & Vladimir Koloff, Wahoo McDaniel b Bad Dog-DQ
3/20 Boca Raton, FL (Sunshine Wrestling Federation - 400):Andre Moore b Sheik El Tukis, Mike DeAngelo b The Looter, Chief White Eagle b J.R. James, Steve Collins b Mannibal the Cannibal, Demon Hellstorm DDQ Corporal Kirchner, Haystacks Calhoun Jr. won Battle Royal
3/20 Welford, SC (North American Wrestling Alliance - 47):Jay Eagle d Gary Royal, American Patriot b Thunderfoot (David Isley), Rick Link b Dozer-DQ, Buddy Shane & Super Rocker b The Assassin & Bad Dog, Kevin Kirby b Hunter Thompson, Samoan Ty b American G.I.
3/21 Memphis (USWA - 1,350): The Spellbinder b Reggie B. Fine, Rick Savage b Leon Downs, Bert Prentice b Ronnie Lottz, Well Dunn b Robert Gibson & Jeff Gaylord, USWA tag title:Moondogs b Billy Travis & Don Bass-DQ, Dream Machine b Skull Von Crush, Moondog Spot won Moondog Battle Royal, Brian Christopher & Rick Steiner b Doug Gilbert & Tommy Rich-DQ
3/22 Lowell, MA (WWF Superstar taping - 3,200 sellout): Non-squash results:Smoking Gunns b Head Shrinkers ***, IRS b Koko Ware *, Tatanka b
Kwang-DQ 1/2*, Razor Ramon b Adam Bomb 3/4*, Yokozuna DCOR Mabel *, Jeff Jarrett b Sparky Plugg *, Lex Luger b IRS 1/4*, Bret Hart & Ramon b Shawn Michaels & Owen Hart **3/4
3/22 Keremeos, BC (West Coast Championship Wrestling - 85):Chi Chuck b Lance Idol, Timothy Flowers b Riptide Rockford, Johnny Canuck b Canadian Assassin, Assassin & Rockford & Idol b Randy Taylor & Chuck & Canuck
3/23 White Plains, NY (WWF Challenge taping - 3,000/papered): Non-squash results: WWF tag title: 1-2-3 Kid & Sparky Plugg b Quebecers-DQ, Koko Ware b Bastion Booger 1/2*, Mabel DCOR Yokozuna DUD, Tuxedo match:Howard Finkel b Harvey Wippleman, Lex Luger b Crush *, Razor Ramon & Bret Hart b Owen Hart & IRS **
3/23 Kiryu (All Japan - 2,450 sellout): Mighty Inoue & Takao Omori b Tsuyoshi Kikuchi & Tamon Honda, Jun Akiyama b Johnny Smith, Giant Baba & Rusher Kimura b Haruka Eigen & Ryukaku Izumida, Akira Taue b John Nord, Steve Williams & Johnny Ace b The Eagle & Dan Kroffat, Stan Hansen b Doug Furnas, Toshiaki Kawada & Masa Fuchi & Yoshinari Ogawa b Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi & Satoru Asako 26:51
3/23 Amagasaki (New Japan - 4,500): Nobukazu Hirai b Yuji Nagata, Manabu Nakanishi b Shinjiro Ohtani, Jushin Liger & El Samurai b Satoshi Kojima & Black Tiger, Yoshiaki Yatsu & Hiro Saito & Norio Honaga b Kengo Kimura & Kuniaki Kobayashi & Akitoshi Saito, Hiroshi Hase & Masa Chono b Scott Norton & Hercules Fernandez, Keiji Muto & Power Warrior b Killer Bee & The Barbarian, Riki Choshu b Michiyoshi Ohara, Tatsumi Fujinami & Yoshiaki Fujiwara b Great Kabuki & Shiro Koshinaka, Non-title:Shinya Hashimoto b Rick Rude
3/23 Nanato (Michinoku Pro - 407):Wellington Wilkens Jr. b Naohiro Hoshikawa, Terry Boy d Taka Michinoku, Shiryu b Yone Genjin, Genjin b Shiryu, Super Delfin & Ginsei Shinzaki & Gran Naniwa b Great Sasuke & Shu el Guerrero & Kazumichi Nakajima
3/23 Creston, BC (West Coast Championship Wrestling - 118):Chi Chuck b Riptide Rockford, Randy Taylor b Lance Idol, Johnny Canuck b Cuban Assassin, Timothy Flowers b Badnews Allen
3/24 Kyoto (New Japan - 8,500 sellout): Akira Nogami & Takayuki Iizuka & El Samurai b Tadao Yasuda & Tatsuhito Takaiwa & Yuji Nagata, Jushin Liger & Nobukazu Hirai b Shinjiro Ohtani & Black Tiger, Yoshiaki Yatsu & Shinichi Nakano b Kuniaki Kobayashi & Michiyoshi Ohara, Keiji Muto b Killer Bee, Power Warrior b The Barbarian, Young Lions tournament championship: Satoshi Kojima b Manabu Nakanishi, Masa Chono & Shinya Hashimoto b Scott Norton & Hercules Fernandez, Riki Choshu & Tatsumi Fujinami & Yoshiaki Fujiwara b Akitoshi Saito & Great Kabuki & Kengo Kimura, WCW Int title:Rick Rude b Hiroshi Hase to win title
3/24 Atlanta Center Stage (WCW Saturday Night tapings - 780 sellout/all freebies):Non-squash results:Rick Steamboat b Paul Diamond, Steve Austin b Tanaka-san (Pat Tanaka), Marcus Bagwell b Harlem Heat Koal, Sting b Dallas Page, Erik Watts & Dustin Rhodes b Tex Slashinger & Shanghai Pierce, Brian Pillman b The Terrorist (David Cannell), Austin b Kyoto (Paul Diamond), Steve Regal b Pez Whatley
3/24 Hiratsuka (All Japan - 3,400 sellout): Satoru Asako & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi b Kentaro Shiga & Masao Inoue, Haruka Eigen & Ryukaku Izumida b Mitsuo Momota & Rusher Kimura, Johnny Ace b Mighty Inoue, Giant Baba & Masa Fuchi & Yoshinari
Ogawa b Tamon Honda & Takao Omori & Jun Akiyama 22:46, The Eagle b John Nord, Steve Williams & Johnny Smith b Dan Kroffat & Doug Furnas, Akira Taue d Kenta Kobashi 30:00, Stan Hansen b Toshiaki Kawada
3/24 Narita (FMW - 2,253): Masato Tanaka b Tetsuhiro Kuroda, Battle Ranger b Gosaku Goshogawara, Big Titan b Katsutoshi Niiyama, Tsuppari Mack & Shark Tsuchiya & Crusher Maedomari & Combat Toyoda b Keiko Iwame & Yukie Nabeno & Megumi Kudo & Miwa Sato, The Gladiator & Ricky Fuji DDQ The Sheik & Sabu, Tarzan Goto b Damian, No rope barbed wire street fight tornado death match:Atsushi Onita & Sambo Asako b Hideki Hosaka & Mr. Pogo
3/24 Nipomatsu (All Japan women - 1,000):Prelim results unavailable, Toshiyo Yamada b Takako Inoue, Suzuka Minami & Aja Kong b Etsuko Mita & Manami Toyota
3/24 Niage (JWP):Prelim results unavailable, Devil Masami b Cutie Suzuki, Plum Mariko & Hikari Fukuoka b Dynamite Kansai & Boirshoi Kid
3/24 Trail, BC (West Coast Championship Wrestling - 195):Chi Chuck b Riptide Rockford, Randy Taylor b Lance Idol, Canadian Assassin b Johnny Canuck, Badnews Allen b Timothy Flowers to win WCCW title
3/24 Shelbyville, TN (All-State Pro Wrestling):Boogie Woogie Boy b Chris Kerns, Big Bubba b Lynchburg Kid, Big Tiny b Anthony Michaels, Bono b The Hornet (Brian Keyes), Ben & Glen Mullins b Billy Montana & Ken Arden-DQ, Tracy Smothers b Gypsy Joe
3/25 Tokyo Korakuen Hall (FMW - 2,150 sellout): Gosaku Goshogawara b Mr. Chin, Tetsuhiro Kuroda b Goshogawara, Miwa Sato & Nurse Nakamura b Combat Toyoda & Tsuppari Mack, Katsutoshi Niiyama & Sambo Asako b Battle Ranger & Katsuji Ueda, Ricky Fuji b Damian, Crusher Maedomari & Shark Tsuchiya b Megumi Kudo & Yukie Nabeno, The Sheik & Sabu DDQ Big Titan & The Gladiator, No rope barbed wire street fight tornado death match:Atsushi Onita & Tarzan Goto & Masato Tanaka b Mr. Pogo & Goro Tsurumi & Hideki Hosaka
3/25 Hurley, VA (SMW - 300): Lance Storm b Brimstone the Inferno (Brian Keyes), Tracy Smothers b Chris Candido, Dirty White Boy & Dirty White Girl b Brian Lee & Tammy Fytch, SMW tag title:Rock & Roll Express b Heavenly Bodies-DQ, Storm won Battle Royal
3/25 Indianapolis (Championship Wrestling America - 400): The Comet b Randy Gilbert, Jerry Faith b Doug O'Briley, Bar Room Brawlers b Pennsylvania Pete & Comet, Loser eats dog food: Mad Man Pondo b Dan Anderson, Ring surrounded by fire:Flash Flannagan b Mike Samples
3/25 Dallas Sportatorium (GWF - 360/64 paid): Marc Valiant b Danny Davis (Houston wrestler), Mike Davis b Rod Price-DQ, Moadib b Pete Longhorn, GWF title:Chris Adams b John Hawk-DQ, Action Jackson b King Parsons-DQ
3/25 Dallas (Big D - 189):Kit Carson b Jimmy James to win Big D lt hwt title, El Gato Negro b Crazy Boy, High Voltage b Nick Golden & Bill Irwin, El Medico b Mascara del Fuego, Big D b Ray Evans, Mr. Mister & Chris Rox b Tim Brooks & Bullman Downs, Condor Azul b Cuervo II
3/25 Wakefield, MA (Century Wrestling Alliance - 650):El Mascarado DCOR Hollywood Kid, Knuckles Nelson b Candy Man (Jerry Seevey), Tony Rumble b Mean Black Bear-DQ, Little Louie b Little Animal, Vic Steamboat & Ray Odyssey b Trouble Makers to win CWA tag title, Doink the Clown (Steve Keirn) b The Intern, Jim Duggan b Tony Atlas-DQ
3/25 Farmville, VA (CWA): Leatherface (Larry Bazil) b Blue Angel, Napalm & Ben Vardigan b Preston Fitzgerald & Ray Storm, Barbed wire baseball bat match: Ninja Warrior b Scotty McKeever, Mike Justice b The Assassin (Bazil), Doug Gibson b Buddy Landel-DQ, C.W. Anderson & Pat Anderson b Billy Maddox & Roger Anderson, Chain match:Wahoo McDaniel b Ivan Koloff-DQ, McDaniel won Battle Royal
3/25 Shimizu (All Japan women - 1,140):Prelim results unavailable, Manami Toyota b Etsuko Mita, Aja Kong & Sakie Hasegawa b Takako Inoue & Kyoko Inoue
3/25 Omuta (JWP - 1,100):Prelim results unavailable, Cutie Suzuki b Boirshoi Kid, Devil Masami & Plum Mariko b Dynamite Kansai & Candy Okutsu
3/25 Kawakuto (Michinoku Pro - 378):Naohiro Hoshikawa b Masato Yakushiji, Terry Boy & Shiryu b Wellington Wilkens Jr. & Hoshikawa, Taka Michinoku b Yone Genjin, Ginsei Shinzaki b Kazumichi Nakajima, Great Sasuke & Shu el Guerrero b Super Delfin & Gran Naniwa
3/25 Oliver, BC (West Coast Championship Wrestling - 238):Chi Chuck b Lance Idol, Randy Taylor b Riptide Rockford, Canadian Assassin b Johnny Canuck, Badnews Allen b Timothy Flowers
3/26 Numazu (All Japan - 3,500): Mitsuo Momota b Masao Inoue, Rusher Kimura & Mighty Inoue b Haruka Eigen & Ryukaku Izumida, Giant Baba & Takao Omori & Tamon Honda d Yoshinari Ogawa & Masa Fuchi & Akira Taue 30:00, The Eagle b Doug Furnas, Steve Williams b Johnny Ace, Toshiaki Kawada b John Nord, Kenta Kobashi & Jun Akiyama & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi b Stan Hansen & Dan Kroffat & Johnny Smith
3/26 Harrisonburg, VA (WCW - 1,900): Brian Anderson d Craig Pittman 3/4*, Too Cold Scorpio & Marcus Bagwell b Tex Slashinger & Shanghai Pierce **1/2, Steve Austin b Brian Pillman **, Arn Anderson & Rick Steamboat b Paul Roma & Paul Orndorff **, Sting b Steve Regal *, WCW title:Ric Flair b Vader *1/2
3/26 Valley Forge, PA (ECW - 700): Crash the Terminator b Pit Bull *, 911 b Don E. Allen & Blue Mask (Chad Austin) & Hack Myers DUD, ECW TV title: J.T. Smith b Rockin Rebel **, Bruise Brothers b Pat Tanaka & Paul Diamond **, Tommy Cairo b Sandman **1/2, Cage match: Jimmy Snuka b Tommy Dreamer DUD, Cage match war games rules, numerous stipulations: Shane Douglas & Public Enemy & Mr. Hughes b Road Warrior Hawk & Kevin Sullivan & Tasmaniac & Terry Funk 22:20 (Douglas pinned Funk to win match and by virtue of stipulations won ECW title) ***1/2
3/26 Chilhowie, VA (SMW - 700): Lance Storm b Fire the Inferno (Anthony Michaels), Tracy Smothers b Chris Candido, Dirty White Boy & Dirty White Girl b Brian Lee & Tammy Fytch, SMW tag title:Rock & Roll Express b Heavenly Bodies-DQ, Storm won Battle Royal
3/26 Murakami (FMW - 2,230 sellout): Koji Nakagawa b Gosaku Goshogawara, Goshogawara b Chin, Damian & Sabu b Tetsuhiro Kuroda & Battle Ranger, Tsuppari Mack & Crusher Maedomari & Shark Tsuchiya & Combat Toyoda b Keiko Iwame & Miwa Sato & Yukie Nabeno & Megumi Kudo, The Sheik NC Big Titan, Tarzan Goto & Katsutoshi Niiyama b Ricky Fuji & The Gladiator, No rope barbed wire street fight tornado death match:Atsushi Onita & Sambo Asako b Mr. Pogo & Hideki Hosaka
3/26 Kumamoto (WAR):Mikiko Futagami b Michiko Omukai, Harley Saito & Rumi Kazama b Carol Midori & Otaku Hozumi, Ultimo Dragon & Hiromichi Fuyuki b Corazon de Leon & Yamato (not Kim Duk but a former sumo wrestler making
debut), Super Strong Machine b Koki Kitahara, Arashi b Nobukazu Hirai, Kim Duk b Masanobu Kurisu, Jado b Masao Orihara, Ashura Hara b Takashi Ishikawa, Genichiro Tenryu & Koji Ishinriki b King Haku & Gedo
3/26 Woodbury, NJ (NWA - 400):Johnny Gunn b Duane Gill, Super Jocks b Ray Odyssey & Rich Myers, East L.A. b Chuck Sloan, The Spiders DDQ Black Hearts (Tom Nash & Dave Johnson), Chris Benoit b Jerry Lawler
3/26 Dover, DE (ECW - 430): Chad Austin & Tommy Dreamer & Tommy Cairo b Pit Bull & Sandman & Rockin Rebel, Billy Buster b Hack Myers, Kevin Sullivan & Tasmaniac b Pat Tanaka & Paul Diamond, 911 b Mike Norman & Mikey Wiprecht, ECW tag title: Public Enemy b Bruise Brothers, Road Warrior Hawk b Mr. Hughes, ECW title:Terry Funk b Shane Douglas-DQ, Hawk won Battle Royal
3/26 Johnsonburg, PA (American Commonwealth Wrestling):T.C. Reynolds b Tommy Justice, Lord Zoltan b Johnny Graham, Bad Crew b The Drifters, T.Rantula b Rip Sawyer to win ACW title, Max Thrasher DDQ Virgil, Van Hammer & Doink the Clown (Steve Keirn) DCOR 3-D (Damien Demento) & King Kong Bundy
3/26 Uenohara (Championship Wrestling Japan - 400):Nobutaka Araya b The W*inger, Masahiko Takasugi b Ho Des Minh, Red October (C.W. Bergstrom) b Naito, Goro Tsurumi b Dane Rush, Minh won elimination match, Jesse Barr b Lou Andrews, Ryuma Go b Bruiser Brian
3/26 Daigo (Michinoku Pro - 545):Terry Boy b Masato Yakushiji, Wellington Wilkens Jr. DDQ Yone Genjin, Shu el Guerrero b Gran Naniwa, Shiryu b Taka Michinoku, Super Delfin & Ginsei Shinzaki b Hanzo & Great Sasuke
3/26 Bradford, VT (IWA - 600 sellout):Vladimir Koloff b Cruel Connection, Big Cheese b Scott Taylor, Vic Steamboat d Thunderfoot, Jules Strongbow b Demolition Ax-DQ, Steamboat & Koloff & Ax & Taylor b Cheese & Connection & Thunderfoot & Strongbow
3/26 Cloverdale, BC (West Coast Championship Wrestling - 475/256 paid): Iron Maiden & Randy Taylor b Chi Chuck & Awesome Annie, Dobie Gillis b Rocky Dellassera, Coal miners glove match: Mike Roselli & Randy Tyler b Mike Starr & Johnny Canuck, Ladder match: Firefighter Adrian b Dillon Powers, Chain match:Badnews Allen b Timothy Flowers-DQ
3/26 Ishezaki (Social Pro Wrestling Federation):Lonsap b Maruyama, Duece b Hirofumi Miura, Hopper King b Devil Hopper, Isao Takagi & Hagiwara b Usami & Nishimura & Sano, Shinichi Nakano & Masayoshi Motegi b Yoshiaki Yatsu & Hiroshi Shimada
3/26 Mobile, AL (WWC Carl Roch promoter - 350):Lord Humongous won Royal Rumble Battle Royal, Don Fargo (the original) b Bobby Doll, Marcel Pringle b Humongous, Mike Boyette b Tyrone the Tyrant, Joey Barrett b Crazy Joe
3/26 Centre, AL (Bama Pro Wrestling):Big Bubba b Jason Valentine, Billy Montana & Richie Dye b Tracy Black & Frankie Lee, Tim Strong b Ken Timbs, Bambi & Black b Peggy Lee Leather & Keith Hart, War Daddy & Todd Zane b The Inferno & Bud Black-DQ, Mystic Inferno b Lee Thomas
3/27 Charleston, WV (WCW - 1,500): Brian Anderson d Craig Pittman, Too Cold Scorpio & Marcus Bagwell b Tex Slashinger & Shanghai Pierce, Steve Austin b Brian Pillman, Arn Anderson & Rick Steamboat b Paul Orndorff & Paul Roma, Sting b Steve Regal, WCW title:Ric Flair b Vader-DQ
3/27 Matsumoto (All Japan - 3,500): Satoru Asako b Kentaro Shiga, Jun Akiyama & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi b Masao Inoue & Yoshinari Ogawa, Doug Furnas b
Tamon Honda, Rusher Kimura & Mighty Inoue & Mitsuo Momota b Ryukaku Izumida & Haruka Eigen & Masa Fuchi, John Nord b Johnny Smith, Toshiaki Kawada b Johnny Ace, Akira Taue d Kenta Kobashi 30:00, Giant Baba & Stan Hansen & Takao Omori b Steve Williams & Dan Kroffat & The Eagle
3/27 Yonezawa (FMW - 3,842 sellout): Koji Nakagawa & Tetsuhiro Kuroda b Masato Tanaka & Gosaku Goshogawara, Goshogawara b Mr. Chin, Battle Ranger b Damian, The Sheik & Sabu DDQ The Gladiator & Big Titan, Shark Tsuchiya & Crusher Maedomari & Combat Toyoda b Keiko Iwame & Yukie Nabeno & Miwa Sato, Tarzan Goto b Ricky Fuji, No rope barbed wire tornado street fight death match: Atsushi Onita & Sambo Asako & Katsutoshi Niiyama b Mr. Pogo & Goro Tsurumi & Hideki Hosaka 20:59
3/27 Nobeoka (WAR - 2,100 sellout): Yamato b Matsuoka, Otaku Hozumi b Michiko Omukai, Mikiko Futagami & Rumi Kazama b Carol Midori & Harley Saito, Norman Smiley (Black Magic) b Nobukazu Hirai, Ultimo Dragon & Masanobu Kurisu d Gedo & Jado 30:00, Arashi & Kim Duk b Koki Kitahara & Hiromichi Fuyuki, Great Kabuki b Corazon de Leon, Genichiro Tenryu & Takashi Ishikawa & Koji Ishinriki b King Haku & Ashura Hara & Super Strong Machine
3/27 Philadelphia (ECW TV taping - 350/all freebies): Non-squash results: Public Enemy b Crash the Terminator & Tommy Cairo, Tommy Dreamer b Sandman, Pat Tanaka & Paul Diamond b Pit Bull & Rockin Rebel, ECW title:Shane Douglas b Diamond, Sandman b Ray Odyssey
3/27 Ono (Michinoku Pro - 251): Terry Boy b Naohiro Hoshikawa, Taka Michinoku d Kazumichi Nakajima, Wellington Wilkens Jr. DDQ Yone Genjin, UWF super welter title:Super Delfin b Shiryu, Great Sasuke & Shu el Guerrero b Gran Naniwa & Ginsei Shinzaki
3/28 Winston-Salem, NC (WCW - 1,000): Brian Anderson d Craig Pittman, Too Cold Scorpio & Marcus Bagwell b Tex Slashinger & Shanghai Pierce, Steve Austin b Brian Pillman, Arn Anderson & Rick Steamboat b Paul Orndorff & Paul Roma, Sting b Steve Regal, WCW title:Ric Flair b Vader-DQ
Special thanks to: John Donovan, Scott Wallask, Jerry Lane, Shelby Adcock, Frank Shanley, Chris Zavisa, Gary Woronchak, Brian Hildebrand, David Shelto, Karin Moore, Scott Hudson, Dan Parris, Buddy Phillips, Gary Langevin, Dave Roberson, Eddie Goldman, Freddie Fargo, Paul Sosnouski, Travis Edgeworth, Stuart Kemp, Rich Palladino, Gabe Sapolsky, Tim Noel
UWA
Canek tied Ric Flair's record for most world title reigns (12) by doing a quickie-switch with Yamato (Kim Duk), losing the title on 3/15 in Puebla and regaining it on 3/18 in Netzahualcoyotl. This past week Yamato lost a mask vs. hair match to Canek and wound up with his head shaved.
Super Astro, El Sagrado and El Texano have jumped to EMLL, as a further sign this promotion seems on its last legs.
New are Canadian Tiger (Mike Anthony from USWA) and J.C. Ice & Wolfie D as PG-13.
Apparently Villano V's fourth cervical vertebrae was so badly injured on his recent Japan tour that doctors are telling him never to wrestle again because one more bad bump could lead to paralysis, although most believe he'll be back anyway.
With El Texano gone, the Death Missionaries (Texano & El Signo & Negro Navarro) were tripped of the trios title and a tournament will be held.
Enrique Vera, The Killer and Andy Barrow have also "quit" the promotion to work independently, but that looks right now to be an angle for a worked interpromotional feud.
EMLL
Atlantis won the CMLL light heavyweight title from Dr. Wagner Jr. on 3/2 in Acapulco, and Javier Llanes won the CMLL middleweight title from Dandy. Don't have the date although I believe it was this past week in Cuernavaca, but should have the date next week. They seem to be building toward Dandy vs. Llanes in a hair vs. hair along with Negro Casas vs. Mocho Cota hair vs. hair. The latter feud is really over and the blow-off is expected to draw a big house.
All the wrestlers were taken off guarantees and now working on percentages except Vampire, Casas, Black Magic and King Haku because they have too many wrestlers under contract and aren't running enough shows to support the talent roster and keep everyone busy.
The feud on Tuesday nights at Arena Coliseo with Los Brazos vs. Gladiador Jr. & Gran Markus Jr. & Wagner Jr. is drawing sellouts and near sellouts.
Corazon de Leon returns 4/7.
This group, along with original syndicate head Manny Guzman went to the National Arbitration Board, which ruled Guzman didn't have the right to strike. Guzman, who is one of the main powers in UWA, was trying to strike against EMLL because its wrestlers quit his union to form their own union.
The three brothers of Los Brazos are in full-time as Brazo del Futuro (formerly Robin Hood), Super Brazo and Brazo de Platino.
ALL JAPAN
Champion Carnival standings as of 3/27 are Stan Hansen 8, Toshiaki Kawada 6, Akira Taue 5, Steve Williams and John Nord 4 and Kenta Kobashi 3, The Eagle and Johnny Ace 2 and Doug Furnas and Johnny Smith 0. Nord won't be a factor at the end since he's already been pinned by The Eagle in a non-tournament match.
If the Misawa injury isn't a work, and it doesn't appear that it is, then it throws all original planning out the window. As those who have followed these tournaments before know, it is very well planned because you want to have a certain number of surprises yet at the same time need to have the standings in a certain way at the end, and one figures Misawa would have beaten just about everyone that he hadn't faced yet which gives them all two points they wouldn't have gotten (via the forfeit wins) and means they've got to go back to the drawing board. His loss also hurts at the gate.
The only key matches this past week were 3/24 at the TV taping in Hiratsuka, which was the final one-hour television show that aired this past weekend (the 30 minute show begins on 4/2 every Saturday) as Taue drew Kobashi over 30:00 and Hansen pinned Kawada with a lariat in 19:38. Since the 3/27 Matsumoto main event was scheduled as Kobashi vs. Misawa, they subbed Taue in a non-tourney match and they went to another 30:00 draw. Both the 30:00 matches were said to be very good.
Jumbo Tsuruta works the 4/10 Sendai show.
NEW JAPAN
As expected, Rick Rude regained the WCW International title from Hiroshi Hase on 3/24 in Kyoto before a sellout 8,500 fans via submission with a reverse full nelson (not sure if that's the move Tenryu used on Hase in their single match last year or the move that Steamboat used on Flair in 1989 in New Orleans) in 20:58. Hase had Rude pinned but Rude's female manager (who didn't look familiar in photos) interfered to set up Rude's victory.
Two matches announced for 5/1 at the Fukuoka Dome are Hell Raisers vs. Steiners for IWGP tag title and Rude defending his title against Sting, which may be the title change.
The bracketing was announced for the 4/16 Sumo Hall All-Star Junior Wars card. Great Sasuke (Michinoku Pro) has a bye into the quarterfinals against the winner of first round Masayoshi Motegi (Social Pro Wrestling Federation) vs. El Samurai. Other first round matches in the top half of the bracketing are Ricky Fuji (FMW) vs. Negro Casas (EMLL), Hiyabusa (FMW's Eiji Ezaki) (AAA) vs. Jushin Liger. Bottom half has Wild Pegasus (Chris Benoit) getting a first round bye and facing the winner of Black Tiger (AAA) vs. Taka Michinoku (Michinoku Pro), then Shinjiro Ohtani vs. Super Delfin (Michinoku Pro) and Dean Malenko vs. Masao Orihara (WAR). Figure quarterfinals look to be Sasuke vs. Samurai, Liger vs. Casas, Pegasus vs. Black Tiger and Malenko vs. Delfin. Semis maybe Liger vs. Sasuke and Black Tiger vs. Malenko, although by this point it is anyone's guess.
In between title reigns, Rude wrestled IWGP champ Shinya Hashimoto on 3/23 in Amagasaki in a non-title match which Hashimoto won.
Satoshi Kojiima won the annual Young Lions tournament pinning Manabu Nakanishi in the finals in Kyoto.
OTHER JAPAN NOTES
They are playing up the angle for the 5/5 Kawasaki Stadium main event of Atsushi Onita vs. Genichiro Tenryu. Onita wants the match to be an explosive barbed wire match while Tenryu wants it to be a standard cage match.
In WAR, Super Strong Machine and Ashura Hara have turned heel against Tenryu to breath some life into this group since the Skinheads, who had been headlining all the WAR shows against Tenryu and company, aren't on this tour.
The next WAR tour is 4/21 to 4/27 with King Haku, Corazon de Leon (Chris Jericho as a foreign babyface teaming with WAR members), Mil Mascaras and Dos Caras.
Ryuma Go's Championship Wrestling Japan group using wrestlers out of Oregon opened on 3/26 in Uenohara before about 400 fans. Overall said to be a poor show although Go juiced like crazy to make the mag photos look good.
NHK-TV, a Tokyo station which also airs in some U.S. markets with large Japanese populations, will broadcast Pancrase on 4/14. The group is also looking to pull All Japan women away from Fuji-TV, which has carried the group going back to the early 70s.
JWP on 4/10 at Korakuen Hall has Chigusa Nagayo vs. Devil Masami and Reggie Bennett & Cutie Suzuki vs. Dynamite Kansai & Candy Okutsu. It's really amazing how much the predominately male audience hates Nagayo now that she's back working every Korakuen show when she used to get the loudest cheers of any wrestler, male or female, in the building years ago. The women, especially girls, go crazy for her, but they're down to only about 15 percent of the crowd and it only causes the men to boo her even more.
New FMW foreign object gimmick is an ax, which Mr. Pogo opens the faces's backs up with. From photos, the 3/17 Onita-Pogo match saw Onita wrapped up in barbed wire, choked over barbed wire with Goro Tsurumi pulling his throat down with a rope, clotheslined with Pogo wrapping barbed wire around his arm and finished with Pogo blowing a giant fireball out of his mouth onto Onita's already cut back, followed by three piledrivers on a chair for the pin. Mitsuhiro Matsunaga's return in the semifinal against Tarzan Goto saw the expected heavy juice job, but not only in the forehead, but in the knee.
USWA
Jerry Lawler regained the Unified title from Eddie Gilbert on 3/25 in Senatobia, MS in a match where the story behind the switch is most interesting. Lawler gave up the book because he's having to travel to Connecticut so regularly for voiceovers and Randy Hales was made booker. Gilbert wanted to be booker and wound up no-showing 3/21 in Memphis and 3/22 in Louisville supposedly because he wasn't given the book, and some felt he had quit without dropping the strap. Lawler supposedly told him on 3/16 either (I've heard two versions, the second is the one that sounds most valid) a) He'd be made booker but first had to drop the title to Lawler in a match taped; or b) Lawler told him that he (Eddie) would become Vince McMahon's personal protege as far as local TV interviews go with Gilbert vowing to win the Unified title and bring it to McMahon. To do so, Lawler would have to get the title back so Gilbert returned and dropped the strap to Lawler. In either case, it was apparently simply a work to get the strap back since Gilbert is gone again, although his brother is still around and he is expected back at some point. The local election for County Clerk in Henderson County in Tennessee with Gilbert running is 5/3.
There is a lot of talk about sometime in May, Lawler winning the WWF title from Bret Hart and losing it when Vince McMahon interferes on a major show one week later.
Actual crowd for Memphis Memories on 3/7 was 7,700 and gate was a few bucks less than $30,000.
With Eddie out of the picture, they held a Battle Royal on TV 3/26 with Dream Machine winning. When Lawler, who was doing color, congratulated Dream, Lawler was sucker-punched so Dream went heel.
Billy Travis & Don Bass had two brawls with The Moondogs all over the studio.
Steven Dunn (Well Dunn) did an interview saying the WWF was the best promotion and promised to bring the USWA title to Vince McMahon when he wrestled Brian Christopher on 3/28.
Besides Eddie Gilbert, Scott Steiner and Ricky Morton also no-showed 3/21. Morton had legit tonsillitis. Rick Steiner wound up teaming with Christopher against Doug Gilbert and Tommy Rich on top.
3/28 had Lawler defending against Machine, Christopher defending against Dunn, Moondogs defending against Travis & Bass in a no rules match, Lawler & Christopher vs. Doug & Rich in a match which ends when both members of one team are piledriven, Dirty White Boy defending SMW title against Doug, White Girl vs. Susan Sapphire and more.
SMW
Quiet week with two spot shows featuring Lance Storm winning Battle Royals both nights.
Interviews with Vince McMahon and Eddie Marlin aired on television where both plugged the 4/1 Pikeville card and said they'd welcome the losing team into their federation. Thrillseekers said they were asked to fulfill Rock & Roll Express' contracts if they lost, but said they would, but didn't want to. Ricky Morton read a letter thanking Robert Gibson and the fans and said he thought they'd win, but if they didn't, he was retiring from wrestling.
Jim Cornette to announcer Brian Mathews, who had a black eye: "When you got up in the middle of the night for a drink of water, did the toilet seat fall on your head again?"
A few weeks back, Ron Hed of San Jose who was on vacation in the area did ring announcing and Tom Prichard gave him a DDT on the floor and KO'd him. He did a Bernie Lomax ("Weekend at Bernies") imitation being carried from the floor and put into a chair, where he stood slumped over. When he was supposed to ring the bell, they had someone put the hammer in his hand and move his hand down to ring the bell.
ECW
Three shows over the weekend which were largely described as way below par. The 3/26 Valley Forge, PA show which drew about 700 featured little underneath although Peaches and Sandman continued their break-up, with an eight-man War Games style cage match with numerous stipulations with Mr. Hughes & Shane Douglas & Public Enemy over Terry Funk & Road Warrior Hawk & Kevin Sullivan & Tasmaniac rated ***1/2 in the match nobody could afford to lose. It wound up with everyone climbing out of the cage (isn't the whole idea of cage matches to avoid this?) and brawling all over the place with Sherri Martel involved, leaving Funk in with both Douglas and Hughes. They double-teamed Funk and Douglas pulled out a
plastic bag and suffocated Funk (ala Funk/Ric Flair in 1989 Clash), putting him out so Douglas could pin him and thus win the ECW title. The show that evening in Dover, DE was a little better quality with Douglas retaining his title losing via DQ to Funk before an estimated 430 and Hawk winning a Battle Royal. A free TV taping in Philadelphia on 3/27 which drew about 350 was mainly to set up the next ECW Arena house show on 4/16 headlined by Douglas defending against Hawk. In a Bad Company (Pat Tanaka & Paul Diamond) match with Pit Bull & Rockin Rebel, Jason began arguing with Rebel. An ECW title match with Douglas vs. Diamond saw Martel hit Diamond with a chair at the bell for the pin. Tanaka ran out and he was also hit with a chair and KO'd. Hawk then came out and he was hit with a chair, but didn't sell it at all, and Douglas and Martel ran off. Later in the show, Mr. Hughes did the sidewalk slam on six different guys, egged on by Douglas, when Hawk came out. Hughes sidewalk slammed Hawk and Douglas came off the top rope on him and left him laying.
HERE AND THERE
Steve Signore's Midwest Championship Wrestling, after debuting with a $34,000 house a few weeks back, came back on 3/19 in Westchester, IL drawing 200 fans for a show with Terry Funk, Nailz, Demolition Smash and Eli the Eliminator. They have shows 4/15 in Kankakee, IL (Jim Duggan, Bob Orton, Ron Powers) and 4/23 in Cicero, IL (King Kong Bundy, Tito Santana, Jake Roberts, Duggan, Kevin Sullivan).
Funk was in Orlando this past week filming "Thunder in Paradise." The episode that airs this week and next will feature Sting in a heel role.
Jerry Lawler put Chris Benoit over in their first-ever meeting on 3/26 in Woodbury, NJ stemming from the angle at the previous show where Lawler, disguised as Atlantis, broke a plaque over Benoit's head. The show drew 400, and match was said to be **1/2. 4/23 in the same building will be the first-ever Benoit vs. Terry Funk match.
Funny story of the week. At an autograph show this past week, a fan came up to John Studd with a photo of him with a mask from the late 70s in Texas where he worked as Captain USA. He asked Studd to autograph a photo as Studd and another photo as Captain USA. Studd was really friendly about it and asked him, "How do you spell Captain?"
Dillon Powers broke his ankle on 3/26 taking a big bump in a ladder match against Firefighter Adrian in Cloverdale, BC. Told it was also the best match in years in British Columbia.
West Coast Wresting Alliance on 4/8 in Porterville, CA. That group is looking for technical crew personnel to assist in production of a weekly TV show in the Concord, CA area. For more info call 510-825-6958. First taping is 4/23 at Ygnacio Valley High in Concord.
NWA on 5/13 in Mahonoy City, PA headlined by Doink the Clown (Steve Keirn) vs. Papa Shango, plus Black Hearts, Dick Murdoch and Bushwhackers.
Bobby Fulton has a show 4/8 in Delaware, OH with Junkyard Dog, Doink, Pez Whatley, Fulton and more.
Autograph signings on 4/9 at Pennsylvania National Guard Armory in Philadelphia, free admission, 165 dealer tables, with Sandman (1-3) and J.T. Smith (11-1).
Percy Pringle (Paul Bearer) lives. Using the name Percy Pringle, he has been managing many Saturday nights in Mobile, AL for WWC.
Buddy Rose was on local Portland, OR television with Tonya Harding the day she left for the Olympics. Apparently she was a fan of his growing up.
AAA/IWC
A few corrections from two weeks ago. The gate for Los Angeles was actually $238,225, not $228,225 as listed, which has a good shot at being the second largest in the U.S. this year. Also, while there is constant negotiation between both sides when it comes to expenses of these shows, the percentage each side gets of the gate is agreed upon contractually and there have been no problems from either side over that.
Antonio Pena was named Vice President of International Affairs and booker for IWC. The latter he was to begin with.
The 3/12 Los Angeles show aired on 3/26, which was the hottest TV show of the year because of the minis title match and Mascarita Sagrada splash off the top of a 10-12 foot (as opposed to the usual eight foot billed as 15 foot in the U.S.) cage. Visually, seeing a three-foot tall man standing on a 10-12 foot cage looked like a normal sized wrestler jumping off a tall building. However they didn't air the semifinal with the Love Machine-La Parka feud beginning which is interesting because that was the only match they did post-match interviews at ringside for television. Maybe it'll air later, but nothing is ever guaranteed. Instead of that match, they aired Los Payasos, and it was the best Payasos match thus far. The cage match came off good on television because of the outside interference, although the work in the cage didn't come across any better.
3/27 television was taped 3/18 in Puebla. Main event was one of those confusing all angle, little wrestling matches with Black Cat & Universo 2000 & Mascara Ano 2000 vs. Konnan El Barbaro & Mascara Sagrada & Octagon. Cat kept refusing the tag the Dinamita brothers. After the heels lost the first fall, during the break, Cat attacked Universo and went after his mask while Konnan kept Mascara Ano 2000 from helping his brother. Sagrada & Octagon, after standing around for a while, decided they wanted to help Universo, but Konnan blocked them. But as they occupied Konnan, Mascara Ano 2000 got in and turned the tables on Cat until Konnan started fighting both Dinamita. Sagrada & Octagon then went after Cat to beat him to win the match, but Konnan blocked them as well, although finally they made Cat submit. Konnan continued to shove Octagon & Sagrada after the match and help Cat and eventually carried Cat out. Somehow this built to a match on 3/25 in Cancun which drew a sellout 8,000 with Konnan teaming with Cien Caras (brother of Mascara Ano 2000 & Universo 2000) & Perro Aguayo against Cat & Love Machine & Chicano Power. If you think you misread that and it doesn't make sense, think of actually watching it. In that match Konnan and Cien Caras battled throughout.
The plans seems to be to feud the Dinamita as faces against Cat & Machine & Eddy Guerrero in a Mexico vs. USA feud (even though Cat is actually Mexican, billed from Japan, he comes out to "Born in the USA" which makes him an honorary American).
A press conference will be held this week to announce the cities and main matches for the three TripleMania shows. It now looks like the first will be 4/26 in Aguascalientes.
The main matches for the three shows look to be Aguayo vs. Fishman hair vs. mask, Heavy Metal vs. Jerry Estrada hair vs. hair and maybe Cien Caras vs. Konnan for the IWC title (although they have a title match scheduled next week) or Blue Panther vs. Tiger Mask mask vs. mask. UWA is continuing to want to work with AAA, although that deal is on hold, although Pena has an idea to run a tournament of champions using every IWC, Mexican and UWA champ in every weight division in a one-night tournament to come up with one champion of champions (not one in each weight class, but one overall).
The Toluca show on 3/19 that drew 20,000 airs this coming weekend, although I don't think anything out of the ordinary took place.
WCW
Names listed in a flier being sent out by WCW as appearing at Slamboree are Dusty Rhodes, Verne Gagne, Killer Kowalski, Red Bastien, The Assassin, Ray Stevens, Mike Graham, Tommy Young, Greg Gagne, Tully Blanchard, Ole Anderson, Blackjack Mulligan, Hardboiled Haggerty, Larry Hennig and Lou Thesz. They will hold a Slammeet on 5/21 and Slamfeast on 5/21. It wouldn't be WCW without mucho problemas. The flier lists the show, Meet and Feast as taking place in April, not May.
Cactus Jack will definitely wrestle at Spring Stampede. He's having no hearing problems, but is having some problems with his balance.
Vader was back in action already this week, although the broken eardrum must be holding him back as his arena matches with Ric Flair were only in the *1/2 range.
The Kansas City Star did a feature 3/19 on Harley Race. Race mainly talked about his divorce which he said made "War of the Roses" look tame, said he had dropped 48 pounds and said he still wants to do a retirement tour through Japan.
WCW is going with a three-man play-by-play team (Schiavone, Jesse Ventura and Bobby Heenan) on all Clashes and PPV shows.
Brian Pillman is staying at least through the PPV to appear at all shows where advertising was out, although at press time the sides were said to be far apart in inking a new deal.
WCW Saturday Night on 3/19 did a 2.6 rating for the second week of the Hogan scenario, Main Event did a 1.9 head-to-head with Wrestlemania and Pro did a 1.6.
WWF is attempting to keep WCW from using the name "The Boss" and the policeman gimmick for Ray Traylor. Wonder if the WWF legal department is hassling Bruce Springsteen too.
Steve Austin now using the Fuller leglock, called "Hollywood & Vine."
The Hogan interview where he talked about his four year-old son asking him if he was better than Ric Flair aired this weekend. Actually they are doing a really good job of a slow-build on this scenario. Only problems are that after this weekend's television show, that if Hogan doesn't sign, they've really wasted a lot of time. Even if he does sign, there has yet to be a case of an ex-WWF superstar going to WCW that has taken his fan following and drawing power with him. Hogan may be unique in this, but he may also be seen by fans as yesterday's news.
At least a few wrestlers are being asked to take 20 percent pay cuts to help balance the budget, which will do wonders for morale when they hear about all the money being spent on a new set, new announcers, and the seven-figures it'll take to land Hogan. As noted in the business comparisons, in February, all the new sets and announcers wound up as an eight percent drop in ratings as compared with the same month last year.
Fire Cat, billed as the first of many Japanese wrestlers, who worked a good TV match with Steve Austin was Brady Boone. In upcoming weeks Austin will wrestle Pat Tanaka and "Kyoto" (Paul Diamond under a hood) leading to the match with Great Muta.
Steve Keirn & Bobby Eaton debuted as a heel tag team. They'll be using either the name Bad Attitude, or The Men of Distinction.
Neither Sherri Martel or Kevin Sullivan were at this past week's tapings.
Bunkhouse Buck, after a match where Erik Watts & Dustin Rhodes beat Tex Slashinger & Shanghai Pierce, attacked Rhodes with Watts' trophy. An angle on 4/9 TV has Flair in a suit, winning a squash and won't break the figure four until Steamboat, also in a suit, makes the save, and all the officials pull them apart and Flair slaps Steamboat.
A correction from what has been written in the letters pages. A few months back when Roanoke's WSLS had a pick the promotion vote between WCW and SMW, the final tally was 1,553 for SMW and 862 for WCW according to the station.
WWF
Figures for Wrestlemania. Actual attendance at Madison Square Garden was 18,065 fans with a gate of $960,000. It was nowhere even close to the largest gate ever in the U.S. although almost surely will be the largest of the year. A sellout at those ticket prices would have indicated it would have been a record setter and it actually came nowhere close. This may mean a ton of the highest priced tickets had to be comps and overall there had to be a lot of comps tickets since the same number of tickets with lower prices at Trump Plaza brought in $670,000 more at Wrestlemania V. Mania even brought in less money with higher prices than last year in Las Vegas which had fewer fans and ample comps. As a live gate it be in sixth place on the all-time U.S. list and tenth place on the all-time WWF list. The Paramount, with all the national hype, failed to sellout, putting 4,200 in a 5,500 seat capacity building. The seven Fan-Fests all did full houses of 1,700 each (we were initially told 2,200 each), although they were heavily comped as well as they averaged about 1,000 paid and 700 comps per session. Total merchandise sales for the weekend was $237,000--or about $7 per head.
The Undertaker and Paul Bearer were in Japan for a press conference. Undertaker totally stayed in character as they were plugging the WWF Japan tour in May. Undertaker & Genichiro Tenryu will form a tag team in several main events. It was also announced Bret Hart would defend the title on the four shows against Owen Hart, Bam Bam Bigelow, Randy Savage and Yokozuna and as already mentioned here, Madusa (who will be billed in Japan as Madusa rather than Alundra Blayze) will have two matches with Bull Nakano and one each with Kyoko Inoue and Sakie Hasegawa. There will also be a Royal Rumble and a Tenryu vs. Yokozuna singles match. We should get complete line-ups by next issue.
Some notes from the tapings this past week. At the Superstars taping on 3/22 in Lowell, MA, they ran a strong angle with Tatanka and IRS. Tatanka beat Kwang via DQ when he used the Kabuki mist in the eyes. IRS, who was at ringside, attacked Tatanka and tied him in the ropes, put on the headdress and did a war dance. He started ripping the headdress when Chief Jay Strongbow made the save chopping IRS. As he tried to untie Tatanka, IRS attacked him and destroyed him and started stuffing the feathers down his pants.
Shawn Michaels will apparently in his absence as an active wrestler do a segment called Heartbreak Hotel that will replace the Funeral Parlor. In the first one Bret Hart challenged anyone and Luna Vachon came out to challenge him for Bam Bam. Luna slapped Bret after Bret asked her if she had gotten her rabies shot. Alundra Blayze then came out and said she knew Bret would never hit a woman and challenged Luna to start their program. Another segment with Mr. Perfect (who received about 75 percent cheers) saw Perfect say he doesn't hold grudges and he's long since forgotten that Lex Luger knocked him out at Wrestlemania 392 days earlier and to show he doesn't hold grudges, he shook Michaels' hand.
Jeff Jarrett beat Sparky Plugg with his feet on the ropes and Dink told the ref what happened. Jarrett chased Dink around the ring and to the back but Doink ended up dousing Jarrett with a bucket of water to start their program.
McMahon did live opens with Jerry Lawler.
They set up what will apparently be an IC title match on TV at the next taping with Razor Ramon defending against Diesel, which will probably be a title switch to set up a house show program. It also appeared that Crush and Randy Savage will work cage matches and that Yokozuna will be programmed against Earthquake.
Perry Saturn got a try-out but the jobber didn't work well and his match was pretty bad.
Crush now using the heart punch as a finisher and IRS now using a version of the STF.
3/23 tapings in White Plains saw 1-2-3 Kid & Sparky Plugg apparently win the tag titles from Quebecers with a second ref counting the fall after the first ref was knocked down, however later in the show they announced it was a win via DQ as per the ruling of the original ref and the title didn't change.
Howard Finkel had a tuxedo match with Harvey Wippleman. Wippleman ripped up Howard's pants so he had to work in his underwear, but made the comeback and
left Wippleman in his underwear as Savage's music played. Finkel got one of biggest face pops of the night.
Johnny Polo is doing the interview segment on Challenge since Stan Lane & Ted DiBiase are doing the announcing.
Tapings were far more disorganized than usual. On at least three occasions jobbers were in the ring and told to go back to the dressing room.
Monday Night raw on 3/21 did a 2.8 rating which considering it was going against the Academy Awards isn't too bad, while All-American did a 2.0 and Mania a 1.3, both of which were lower than expected considering all the hype attached to them doing both shows live from MSG.
Roddy Piper did an interview that aired on Superstars, but probably just designed to get people to order the PPV replay.
A lot of changes, mostly for the better, on the syndicated shows, that look even slicker than before overall.
Mabel and Yokozuna worked two matches at the tapings, with each bodyslamming the other although the bouts other than that were said to have been awful.
King of the Ring 6/19 in Baltimore.
Rocco Gibraltar is from South Florida, real name Mike Drossi, about 6-7, 320.
Jennie Garth update. She wasn't unhappy about being there because she was getting a big payday for doing basically nothing. She refused to do the skit they had lined up for her because she thought it was in bad taste and wasn't happy because of a security problem.
People at the tapings in Lowell, MA were raving about the work of jobber Chris Hamrick, who did all kinds of Lucha bumps through the ropes.
THE READERS PAGE
WRESTLEMANIA
Thumbs up. Best match was Owen vs. Bret. Worst was Men on Mission vs. Quebecers. The tone was set for the whole evening when Owen beat Bret in the ****+ match. It was obvious then that Bret would win the belt. Earthquake vs. Adam bomb would have been the worst match but it was kept short.
It is disturbing that neither WWF or WCW can pace a major show. I suppose it was better to drop the 10-man tag than have to rush through two matches, but I wanted to see that match. It was unusual for a card to have the opener as the best match and go downhill from there. Otherwise it was a well-booked show given the talent on hand.
We were so glad not to see Michael Buffer, so they came up with a fake President Clinton to insult our intelligence. This simply affirmed to the average viewer that pro wrestling is something that no President would ever watch. If it had been done more tongue-in-cheek it would have been different, but this wasn't the least bit entertaining and totally lame. Now they've got a credible champion, but pissed it away with a fake president.
Dave Lane
Lewisville, Texas
DM: Pro wrestling may be something that no President will admit to watching publicly, but it isn't something that no President would watch. George Bush was a wrestling fan and used to attend matches before becoming a major political figure when he lived in Houston.
Thumbs up. Best match was Ramon vs. Michaels. Worst was Doink & Dink vs. Bigelow & Luna. I felt that Ramon vs. Michaels was the highlight of the show. It was exciting and very original. The fact that the ladder took as bad a beating as the wrestlers was one of the best parts. the background entrance with the big "X" made me feel like Spike Lee was sponsoring the show. The WWF, for all its faults, has a great way of giving people who order the PPV a lot of atmosphere. The special door, lights, house dimming for entrances, etc. make you feel like you're watching a special event. WCW builds its PPV shows no different than Clashes in that there is no difference in the atmosphere.
The Clinton lookalike was convincing at first, but it really insulted my intelligence. Jennie Garth played a huge role. And Michael Buffer has nothing to worry about if Burt Reynolds gives up acting.
Darren Chan
San Francisco, California
Thumbs up. Solid matches. Mostly logical and good endings and a storyline that went from opener to main event and made sense when it was over. It would have been nice to see 1-2-3 Kid in action, but the matches cut down in time or eliminated weren't missed at all. Best match was Owen vs. Bret and worst was Quebecers vs. Men on a Mission.
Steven Grant
Seattle, Washington
TK175 is offline  
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post #14 of 54 (permalink) Old 06-26-2016, 10:28 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Wrestling Observer 1994

April 11 1994 Observer Newsletter: New IWGP Champion crowned, WCW lawsuit, Thunder in Paradise, Tonya Harding and All Japan Women, more
Wrestling Observer Newsletter
PO Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228: April 11, 1994
A couple of world title changes, a filing of a sexual harassment grievance and a major loser leaves town match headline the news of the past week.
In a major surprise, Tatsumi Fujinami captured the IWGP heavyweight title for the fourth time beating Shinya Hashimoto on 4/4 at the Hiroshima Green Arena. The result was surprising since it seemed since Hashimoto had won the title in September from Great Muta, the promotion had given him the major push as the top member of the so-called Present Generation superstars (Hashimoto, Masa Chono, Keiji Muto and Hiroshi Hase) since the fans believe he is "tougher" even though Muto and Hase are obviously the superior wrestlers. The quality of the match was a surprise as well as the papers reported it was much better than anyone expected. The win may simply be a way to set up a match for the 5/1 Fukuoka Dome, or a last-ditch attempt to get Fujinami, who as a legendary figure "should" be over since Japanese fans "never forget" but the truth is he really isn't, back to being accepted by the fans as something more than a face in the crowd who was once a star. The other title changes were just quickies on the WWF European tour, where Men on a Mission won the tag titles on 3/29 in London, England at Royal Albert Hall from the Quebecers, and lost them back on 3/31 in Sheffield, England. Those title switches were acknowledged in the U.S. on All-American Wrestling 4/3, unlike when WCW did a similar short-term title switch with Rick Rude and Hase overseas that was not acknowledged on television.
Melissa Hiatt (Missy Hyatt) filed a claim with the Georgia Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) on 3/29 claiming that during her five-years of employment with World Championship Wrestling, she was frequently sexual harassed by supervisors, cameramen and wrestlers and was paid substantially less than male announcers with no greater professional talent. WCW has not commented on Hiatt's charges because it is against company policy to comment on threatened litigation. Hiatt has not filed suit against WCW, but has threatened to file a suit for in excess of $2 million against WCW in federal district court demanding back pay and monetary damages for emotional distress. This story, probably because it was revealed that a photo taken of Missy jumping into the ring where her breast fell out of her ring outfit (believed to be from Starrcade '93) was blown up and hung in the photo studio where several employees could see it, got more mainstream media publicity than anything involving pro wrestling except the Tonya Harding/All Japan women story since the indictment of Titan Sports and Vince McMahon in November. Not only did it make numerous television newscasts and newspapers around the United States through the AP wire, but was the subject of lengthy discussion on both Howard Stern and Rush Limbaugh's widely-listened to radio shows. Stern, dismissed it by saying that she didn't complain when she was working there, but now that she didn't have a job, now she's claiming sexual harassment, which is a key point considering he didn't have a clue about the story.
Limbaugh, who knew of Hyatt because he had on a few occasions talked about her on his radio show in the past, first said that it must be a slow news day if this is being carried around the country, then proceeded to go off on a several-minute diatribe about the subject. He had even less of a clue and basically dismissed it saying something to the effect of that in many ways it was her job to be sexually harassed given the nature of the job, which is a valid point as it pertains to the television character Missy Hyatt but not as it pertains to Melissa Hiatt the person, one of which is a fictitious person and the other of which isn't. In WCW's home Atlanta market, there was a seven-paragraph story in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and coverage on two television stations. EEOC guidelines prohibit releasing the contents of her complaint or the names or her alleged harassers, however Hiatt's attorney Allyson Baum said she has evidence that several of Hiatt's supervisors made demands for sex and co-workers subjected her to public embarrassment. After filing the complaint, Hiatt moved from her long-time home in Atlanta to New York. She was quoted as saying that WCW executives demanded she play a bimbo role, and during her tenure endured off-color remarks and insistent requests for dates. She claimed she stuck it out only for the money, $75,000 per year, but that was about $100,000 less than some male announcers and managers.
There is a lot that can and will be said about this. Comparing her income to announcers like Tony Schiavone or Jesse Ventura or managers like Paul E. Dangerously or Jim Cornette when they were with the company is unfair because those managers were far more versatile characters and the announcers mentioned above had far more responsibility. The only character's income that it would be fair to compare Hiatt's to, possibly, would have been Teddy Long, since they had comparable air time responsibilities, but even Teddy Long spent a lot of time with community affairs so that comparison may not be fair. When it comes to this complaint, which pretty much everyone in wrestling dismisses immediately because it involves Missy Hyatt and because of who Missy Hyatt is, one has to differentiate between Missy Hyatt the television performer, which is a fictitious character, and Melissa Hiatt, who filed the complaint, even though there are similarities in both. In a lot of ways, Melissa Hiatt's role in wrestling would be similar to that of Jim Hellwig, although obviously she was never as big a name. She had a job based on how she looked, and it was an unnatural look that she needed to maintain which couldn't be maintained by natural means. Ergo, she felt pressured, whether from her own need to look a certain way or for fear she'd inevitably lose her job without maintenance of that unnatural look (a fear that may very well have been justified and that I'm convinced she herself believed to be true), to undergo numerous plastic surgeries and went through stages of bulimia. Those standards aren't unique to Missy Hyatt in wrestling or limited to women who work in front of the camera in wrestling. You'd surely find numerous similar examples of that in modeling, stripping, acting and numerous other professions where women are in a public spotlight and in any way judged on physical attributes, particularly as they reach 30 and want to maintain their jobs. The problem in simply dismissing this as a simply a hot-tempered vindictive recently fired employee is that while those in an almost totally male-oriented wrestling business in many ways may be happy with the standards of the industry and a woman's role in the profession, a jury in a court room looking in on the business from the outside will probably look at those same
set of circumstances a whole lot differently. Because of that, you can laugh if you want, but this could turn into a serious story.
The two-hour "Thunder in Paradise" movie, that aired nationally from 3/21 to 3/27, garnered a 6.7 national rating, putting it in 14th place among all syndicated shows. There is a lot that needs to be mentioned for future comparison purposes. In many markets, they aired the movie twice, and the individual ratings aren't averaged together, they are added together (for example in the San Francisco market, which was one of the lower rated markets for the movie, it did a 3.1 and a 3.2, which doesn't mean it averages to a 3.15 but combines for a 6.3 within the market). The show itself in most markets will only air once. The show will also have a consistent time period so it is possible it'll build an audience, although it won't have the initial tremendous promotional push behind it after a few weeks. It should be noted that the movie ratings overall have to be labeled tremendous. In the top ten markets the movie did: New York (7.0 + 5.2), Los Angeles (9.1 + 5.2), Chicago (4.9 + 4.3), Philadelphia (3.6 + 3.2), San Francisco (mentioned above), Boston (5.1), Washington, D.C. (5.0 + 8.5), Dallas (5.5) and Houston (5.9). While we don't have national numbers for the debut of the one-hour show itself, on 3/28 on WWOR in New York, the show did a whopping 9.6 rating in the Monday 9 p.m. time slot, finishing second in its time slot behind only NBC programming and more than tripling what Monday Night Raw did in the New York market head-to-head. It would be surprising to see numbers hold up at that level, but they can fall a long way and still have acceptable ratings. As for the first episode of the show, it is clearly not good acting and Hulk Hogan is no actor. It by no means is the worst show on television, although the writing was terrible and acting fair at best and its negative reviews are easily understandable. Generally shows that bad don't last long, but everyone can and will point to "Baywatch" which this show is in many ways an imitation of. The only thing it really has going for it is the scenery, the bikinis and Hogan's charisma. For wrestling fans, there is the curiosity of trying to find the background shots in the crowd scenes of guys like Jim Neidhart, Jimmy Hart and Brutus Beefcake. The show is totally a vehicle for Hogan to play the role of being a tough guy action star and kind to kids at the same time. While he was originally supposed to be in a marriage of convenience, that was already scrapped with the storyline that his wife had died leaving him with a young daughter to give him the spot to do his "kind to kids" routine. Sting, listed in the credits as Steve Borden, guest starred as the lead heel and wasn't bad at all in his role, and had two stiff fight scenes with the show's star that pale in comparison with fight scenes in martial arts movies, and will return as lead heel in the second episode as well. Hogan still hasn't signed with WCW, nor will he for at least a few more weeks, although one has to believe the odds are strong that he will do so. WCW teased on television strongly that Hogan would be at ringside for the Ric Flair vs. Rick Steamboat title match in Chicago on 4/17, although it isn't confirmed that is the case since they also teased Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley being there and they won't be there for sure. Hogan appeared with series co-star Carol Alt on 4/1 on the Larry King show, although it was guest hosted by Kermit the Frog, and the subject of going to WCW was brought up and Hogan gave the "I'd come in if they gave me a shot at the title" response, then asked the caller who he thought would win between himself and Flair. The caller (who obviously watches a lot of tapes since he said how Hogan wrestles much better in Japan and mentioned his match
with Muta) hesitantly indicated he thought Flair was the better wrestler and Hogan did a good-natured acting job of being mad at the caller.
It seems all isn't dead in regard to talk of Tonya Harding and All Japan women's pro wrestling. Harding did her first live interview since the Olympics on 4/3 on Japan's Fuji television network, largely talking about her past skating career. The subject of pro wrestling came up twice during the interview. First she was asked ten questions and asked to simply give yes or no answers, which went something like this--Are you satisfied with your performance at the Olympics--Yes; Have you been misrepresented by the media--No (she really answered that way); Do you think the majority of the American public thinks you are a nice person--Yes (this girl doesn't have a clue, does she?), Have you made a decision about joining All Japan women--No; Do you think honesty is the best policy in every case without exception--Yes. When asked if she realized that she had given figure skating, the Olympics and the United States all a bad image internationally by her competing in the Olympics (because the world saw it as figure skating, the Olympic Games and the United States all as weak and unable to discipline someone who had already admitted to obstructing justice) she seemed totally surprised that was the worldwide perception. The next to the last question was, "Do you have any plans to accept the offer of All Japan women's pro wrestling?" and she responded, "I don't really know. I don't know much about their pro wrestling. I haven't made my decision yet. It sounds exciting." Harding spoke slowly as she did in her infamous press conference ("I want to win a gold medal for my country") when her name was linked to the Kerrigan attack, except when the pro wrestling questions were asked, which she smiled and chuckled and was more upbeat answering. She was then asked if she wanted to wrestle and she said, "I need to know more about it." This isn't going to happen and even if it did, the odds are exceedingly long she'd even be passable at it, but All Japan women does have a 60,000 seat domed stadium show on 11/10, and last weekend with a loaded up show they failed to sellout a 17,000 seat arena so they need a major attraction because 20,000, while it would set an all-time record worldwide for womens wrestling, would look awfully empty in the Tokyo Dome. There are at least a few American promoters kicking themselves for not making Harding an offer, not so much for her to accept, but for the publicity value of getting the promotion mainstream media pub.
Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling announced the complete line-up for its biggest show of the year, on 5/5 at the Kawasaki Baseball Stadium. Last year's show in the same park drew 41,000 fans, headlined by Atsushi Onita vs. Terry Funk, which was the fourth largest crowd of the year to attend pro wrestling anywhere. The Onita vs. Genichiro Tenryu match should outdraw the Funk match, and was announced as being an explosive barbed wire match as expected (they had done an angle where Tenryu wanted a standard cage match rather than an explosive match). The remainder of the card is largely filler with a few highlights, with Funk vs. The Sheik, Tarzan Goto & Sambo Asako vs. Mr. Pogo & Hisakatsu Oya in a street fight, Big Titan & The Gladiator & Ricky Fuji vs. WAR trio of Koki Kitahara & Masao Orihara & Hiromichi Fuyuki, Megumi Kudo defends the Independent world womens title against Yumiko Hotta of All Japan women, Sabu & Damian vs. Dr. Looser & Yone Genjin (Michinoku Pro), Mr. Gannosuke & Katsutoshi Niiyama vs. Goro Tsurumi & Hideki Hosaka, Combat Toyoda & Crusher Maedomari & Shark Tsuchiya vs. Noriyo
Tateno & Eagle Sawai & Mikiko Futagami of LLPW, Battle Ranger & Koji Nakagawa & Masato Tanaka vs. Great Sasuke & Hanzo Nakajima & Shiryu and Tetsuhiro Kuroda vs. Gosaku Goshagawara.
The climactic Rock & Roll Express vs. Heavenly Bodies both members of the losing team leave town cage match on 4/1 in Pikeville, KY was reported as a ****1/2 classic with more heat then the Flair-Vader Charlotte match. The lengthy finish saw Robert Gibson put the Gibson leglock on Tom Prichard but Jimmy Del Rey threw the ref into the cage so he couldn't count the pin. After a double dropkick on Prichard, there once again was no ref to count the pin. A second ref got into the cage and Del Rey gave Ricky Morton the moonsault bodyblock but Morton kicked out. Finally Cornette tossed the tennis racquet to Prichard who hit Morton, but the first ref saw it and refused to count the pin. Del Rey tried to a power bomb on Morton but Morton reversed it into a rana (similar to a Frankensteiner) and got the pin at about 23:00. The Bodies are scheduled to tour with All Japan in the spring and start full-time with Titan Sports in June. Cornette will remain their manager at WWF television tapings, but won't appear at ringside for their house show matches. The Blue Grass Brawl II, which featured a second ****1/2 match between Tracy Smothers and Chris Candido, drew 1,850 fans, which filled all the seats but they sold 150 less standing room than last year's 2,000 tickets, totalling $11,000, which was the fourth largest crowd in SMW's two-year history. Smothers and Candido did a ladder match which was said to have been completely different from the Wrestlemania match, and contained a lot more and better wrestling spots along with the daredevil bumps off the ladder, although nobody was comparing an individual performance with that of Shawn Michaels. In this match, as both men were trading punches at the top of the ladder, the ladder broke and both took a bump, and to do the planned finish, ref Mark Curtis had to hold the ladder together while Smothers climbed it and got the "money" hung from the ceiling. In the street fight match (both team members must be stripped to underwear to lose) with Brian Lee & Tammy Fytch vs. Dirty White Boy & Dirty White Girl, they stripped Lee down from his street clothes to wrestling trunks. Fytch then ran under the ring and White Girl went after her, then came up holding a workout outfit, bra and panties to be awarded the win. Candido then came to ringside with a duffel bag and Fytch came out from under the ring wrapped in a towel.
It was bound to happen with the success of AAA wrestling in California. EMLL, the No. 2 wrestling promotion in Mexico, has signed a deal with California promoter Karl Lauer to begin running a regular series of shows at the Grand Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles starting in mid-May. As it has been explained, the shows will consist of approximately 16 EMLL stars augmented by local wrestlers for combined American and Lucha shows. AAA has generally sent 24 wrestlers per show on its California tours. The plan is to run every other Friday at the Olympic, the same schedule the arena ran for major shows during its glory days in the late 60s and early 70s when Fred Blassie, Mil Mascaras and John Tolos almost routinely sold out the big shows to the point Los Angeles became the first promotion in the country to closed-circuit its biggest cards in around 1971. Adding a second Mexican promotion, combined with WWF still a strong presence in the market as it still draws about 6,000 fans for bi-monthly cards, will almost have to take the edge off the AAA/IWC quarterly shows that have averaged 14,000 fans and $226,000 per
show up to this point. While it is a virtual certainly that the first EMLL show at the Olympic will draw a big house--EMLL doesn't look to have enough to sustain business in this country at a profitable level for the long haul going bi-weekly and mixing too much American talent into the cards as past efforts of promoting Lucha Libre in that market have been victimized by. In the summer of 1992, when the local promoters switched from aligning with AAA to EMLL, they went from $120,000 down to two $50,000 shows (3,000+) with Vampire and Atlantis, and then after a few shows the crowds fell off to virtually nothing and the promotion closed the tent.
At press time we only have sketchy details of the second Union of Pro Wrestling Force International United States pay-per-view taping which took place on 4/3 at the Osaka Castle Hall before 14,000 fans (about 1,000 shy of capacity). The PPV show will consist of eight matches, six of which will be first round matches from the big tournament UWFI is running through 8/18. The only match on the show that isn't scheduled to air is Super Vader vs. Salman Hashimikov, a former Soviet five-time amateur world heavyweight champ who had a brief run as a big draw with New Japan and even won the IWGP pro title one month after his debut 1989 (trivia question and useless trivia--Who did he beat for the title? Answer. Big Van Vader. Behind the scenes question--How did that happen? Originally Hashimikov wasn't supposed to win the title that night, however he was supposed to pin Steve Williams, who at the time worked for New Japan, but Williams refused to him over--probably the last vestiges of the Bill Watts anti-Russian mind-control still hadn't evaporated so New Japan wanted Hashimikov to beat a big American and Williams was unwilling so Vader, who held the title, was asked and, probably for a big bonus although that isn't for sure, he agreed to do so). Anyway, their rematch took less time than it took you to read that story, with Vader winning with a leglock submission to advance into the tournament's next round. In the tourney matches that will air on the PPV, Kiyoshi Tamura knocked out Badnews Allen in 6:11, Jean Lydick made Vladimir Berkovich submit to an armlock in 9:40, Yoji Anjyo made Victor Zangiev submit to an armlock in 5:54, Masahito Kakihara made Dan Severn submit to an ankle lock in 10:39, Gary Albright knocked out Billy Scott in 2:11 after his dangerous Dragon suplex and in the main event, Nobuhiko Takada defeated long-time rival Kazuo Yamazaki in 7:17 with an armlock. No word on the quality of the matches other than one report stated Anjyo-Zangiev was the best match and Zangiev's flying suplexes got big crowd response. I expect we'll have more details in time for next issue. My gut feeling is these matches are all shorter than previous UWFI shows so they can cram more action into a shorter period and thus appear less "boring" to a casual viewer unfamiliar with what they are doing (i.e. the U.S. audience, only problem is, the casual viewer won't even be watching). Or perhaps because Japanese shoot fans have seen or heard about Pancrase which has short matches because supposedly they are completely legit and U.S. audience has now seen Ultimate Fight with the same situation, so with the goal being to make it look totally legitimate, the matches can't go long because the "smart" shoot viewer in both countries now realizes most matches in legitimate shoots don't last very long. Dennis Koslowski was scheduled to wrestle Naoki Sano on this show in a tournament match but Koslowski's contract expired and he asked for a raise and both sides didn't come to terms before the match so Koslowski no-showed, announced in the building as due to a training injury, and Sano got a forfeit win. Joe Hand's Front Row Entertainment, which presents this card called
"Shootwrestling II" on PPV on 4/16, in its press releases gave Koslowski, who is training for the Atlanta Olympics, third billing on the show behind Takada and Albright. The tournaments second round, which takes place 5/6 at Budokan Hall in Tokyo, will have Vader vs. Kakihara, Tamura vs. Sano, Albright vs. Anjyo and Takada vs. Lydick.
This is the third issue of the current four-issue set. If you've got a (1) on your address label it means that your Observer subscription will expire with next week's issue. Renewal rates within the United States, Canada and Mexico remain $12 for eight issues, $24 for 16, $36 for 24, $48 for 32 up through $60 for 40 issues. Rates for the rest of the world are $9 for four issues, $18 for eight, $36 for 16, up through $90 for 40. All subscription renewals along with reports from live arena shows, news items, letters to the editor and anything else pertaining to this publication can be sent to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228.
Fax messages can be sent to the Observer at 408-378-6562 after Noon Eastern time (9 a.m. Pacific) on a daily basis. Phone messages can be left 24 hours a day at 408-379-8067.
I want to quickly thank everyone for so many nice words and cards over the past week. The abdominal surgery, which included an appendectomy, took place a few days ago as I write this and was successful, which hopefully should put all my health problems behind me. My left arm is okay, and it doesn't appear to be Carpal Tunnel, which would have been a disaster, but bicep tendinitis which at this point isn't even painful.
RESULTS
3/19 Toluca Baseball Stadium (AAA - 20,000): Prelim results unavailable, Lola Gonzales & Vicki Carranza & Pantera Surena b Martha Villalobos & Mujer Salvaje & Shitara-DQ -*, Volador & Angel Azteca & Winners b Misterioso & Solar & Super Calo ***1/2, Octagon & Tiger Mask & Fantasma b Pirata Morgan & Fuerza Guerrera & Blue Panther ***1/4, Konnan El Barbaro & Heavy Metal & Perro Aguayo b Fishman & Jerry Estrada & Black Cat-DQ **
3/21 Leon (AAA - 10,000 sellout): Prelim results unavailable, Tony Arce & Vulcano & Rocco Valente b Misterioso & Volador & Angel Azteca 29:05 ***, El Hijo del Santo & Perro Aguayo & Lizmark b Psicosis & El Satanico & Espectro Jr.-DQ 21:53 ***3/4, Cien Caras & Mascara Ano 2000 & Universo 2000 b Love Machine & Black Cat & Chicano Power-DQ **1/2
3/22 Louisville, KY (USWA - 750): Leon Downs b Colorado Kid, Skull Von Crush d Rick Savage, Doug Gilbert b Jeff Gaylord, Moondog Rex b Spellbinder, USWA title: Tommy Rich b Brian Christopher-DQ, Rich & Doug Gilbert & Moondogs b Christopher & Savage & Gaylord & Spellbinder
3/24 Americus, GA (Peach State Wrestling - 650): R.D. Swain & Ray Lloyd b Mike & Paul Golden, Scott Stud b Dale Lucas-DQ, Rob Van Dam DCOR Greg Valentine, Van Dam d Billy Black, Rock & Roll Express b The Nightmare (Ted Allen) & The Flame (Darryl Gower), Dick Slater b Jake Roberts-DQ
3/25 Aschaffenburg, Germany (WWF): Adam Bomb b Rick Martel, WWF womens title:Alundra Blayze b Leilani Kai, Randy Savage b Crush, IC title: Razor
Ramon b Shawn Michaels, Sparky Plugg b Bastion Booger, Smoking Gunns b Head Shrinkers, Lex Luger b Yokozuna-COR
3/25 Thomaston, GA (All-Star Wrestling - 925): Brooklyn Stud b Ray Lloyd, Giant Kimala II b Scott Studd, Bambi b Amazon Queen, Rob Van Dam b The Punisher, Jake Roberts b Dick Slater
3/25 Bellingham, MA (IWF - 1,000 sellout): The Eliminator b Mike Davis, Brittany Brown & Mark Yahoo b Dianna Doucette & Snooky Fink, Smooth Operator b Outpatient, Tony Roy b Chris Duffy, Perry Saturn b Mike Hollow, The Warlord b Bulldozer
3/25 Beloit, WI (Mid-American Wrestling - 235): Great Yojo b Mike Blatnick, Johnny Mercedes won Battle Royal, Rutger Von Nitchske b Farmer Vic, Frankie DeFalco b Tony Ramone, Love Brothers DDQ Wave Riders, Jay Higby b Madison Badger, Jawbreaker Jones b Mercedes
3/25 West Allis, WI (Mid-American Wrestling - 276): Mike Blatnick b Brewtown Bad Boy, Illinois State Trooper won Battle Royal, Great Yojo d Randy Fox, Frankie DeFalco b Frank James-COR, Flying Tigers (Wave Riders) b Love Brothers to win tag titles, Farmer Vic b Rutger Von Nitchske-DQ, Jawbreaker Jones DDQ Illinois State Trooper
3/25 Union, SC (Big Time Wrestling - 97): Bad Dog & Dozer & Billy Ray Badd b Jackson Harley & Bill Harley & Funktown Kid, Bobby Rose b American G.I. (Rich Scruggs), Kid b Dog-COR, Samoan Tai b Masked Mauler, Bo Dalton & Scotty Piper b Jay Eagle & Jimmy Red Cloud to win National tag titles
3/26 Cardiff, Wales (WWF): Kwang b 1-2-3 Kid, IRS b Doink the Clown, Diesel b Tatanka, Earthquake b Bam Bam Bigelow, Jeff Jarrett b Koko Ware, WWF tag title: Men on Mission b Quebecers-DQ, WWF title: Bret Hart b Owen Hart ***1/4
3/26 Hazlehurst, GA (All-Star Wrestling - 575): Rockin Randy b Psycho Rick, Brute Forcz b Mexican Connection, Scott Studd b Tommy Landel, Dick Slater b Jake Roberts, Rob Van Dam b Luscious Lonnie
3/26 Grafton, MA (IWF - 600): Ronnie D b Chris Duffy, Brittany Brown b Jamie West-COR, Smooth Operator b Outpatient, Ron Reis b Mike Hollow, Tony Roy b Russian Mauler, Perry Saturn b El Mascarado, The Warlord b Bulldozer
3/26 Forest City, NC (Eastern Wrestling Federation - 90): Rico b Adolf Sadernowski, Rattlesnake Westbrook DDQ Mad Dog Malone, Rebel Stud & Kenny V b Keith Davis & Bad Dog, Jeff Hamrick b Rick Starr, Greg Hart b Jake Skipper, Chris Hamrick b Tommy Rich-DQ
3/26 Bayonne, NJ (Universal Wrestling Superstars): Bodyguard for Hire b Kodiak Bear, Gino Caruso d Chris Michaels, Johnny Handsome b Abbuda Singh-DQ, Cousin Luke b Hollywood Kid, S.D. Jones b Metal Maniac, Jimmy Snuka b Iron Sheik
3/26 Central City, KY (Tri-States Wrestling): New Dog b Scrappin Scott, Sheik Ali Ben Kahn b Mark Adcock, Dan Shannon b Robbie Sexton, Mad Man Pondo & Sledge b Doug Basham & Flash Flannagan, Hitman Louie b Mike Samples
3/27 Dortumnd, Germany (WWF - 12,000): Adam Bomb b Rick Martel, Sparky Plugg b Bastion Booger, Randy Savage b Crush, IC title: Razor Ramon b Shawn Michaels, Smoking Gunns b Head Shrinkers, WWF womens title: Alundra Blayze b Leilani Kai, Lex Luger b Yokozuna-COR
3/27 Glasgow, Scotland (WWF): Kwang b 1-2-3 Kid-COR, IRS b Doink the Clown, Diesel b Tatanka, Earthquake b Bam Bam Bigelow, Jeff Jarrett b Koko Ware, WWF tag title: Men on Mission b Quebecers-DQ, WWF title: Bret Hart b Owen Hart
3/27 Morristown, NJ (East Coast Pro Wrestling): Infernal Kid b Jason Elliott, The Annihilator b Memphis Maniac, Powerhouse Chuck b Rocky Jones, Metal Head b Gino Caruso, Cage match: Dennis Knight b Spanish Fly
3/27 Jeffersonville, IN (Tri-States Wrestling): Brad Bishop b Tony Tony, Dan Childers b Jim Florence, Jerry Faith b Juan Hurtado, The Rustlers b Kevin & Troy Haste, Mike Samples b Danny Davis
3/28 Manchester, England (WWF - 4,000): Kwang b Koko Ware 1/2*, Earthquake b IRS DUD, Diesel b 1-2-3 Kid **1/4, Bam Bam Bigelow b Tatanka **1/2, Jeff Jarrett b Doink the Clown -**, WWF tag title: Quebecers b Men on Mission *1/4, WWF title: Bret Hart b Owen Hart 22:05 ***1/2
3/28 Tokyo Bay NK Hall (New Japan - 3,500): Yuji Nagata b Tokimitsu Ishizawa, Satoshi Kojima b Tadao Yasuda, Akira Nogami & Takayuki Iizuka b Manabu Nakanishi & El Samurai, Yuki Ishikawa b Tatsuhito Takaiwa, Jushin Liger b Shinjiro Ohtani, Power Warrior b Michiyoshi Ohara, 2 of 3 falls: Akitoshi Saito & Kuniaki Kobayashi & Great Kabuki & Kengo Kimura b Hiro Saito & Norio Honaga & Shinichi Nakano & Yoshiaki Yatsu 24:55, Shinya Hashimoto & Masa Chono & Keiji Muto & Hiroshi Hase b Riki Choshu & Tatsumi Fujinami & Yoshiaki Fujiwara & Osamu Kido
3/28 Nagaoka (All Japan - 4,100 sellout): Satoru Asako b Kentaro Shiga, Tsuyoshi Kikuchi b Masao Inoue, Johnny Smith b Tamon Honda, Rusher Kimura & Mighty Inoue & Mitsuo Momota b Haruka Eigen & Masa Fuchi & Ryukaku Izumida, Jun Akiyama b John Nord, Steve Williams & Johnny Ace b Dan Kroffat & The Eagle, Kenta Kobashi b Doug Furnas, Giant Baba & Stan Hansen & Takao Omori b Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue & Yoshinari Ogawa 20:21
3/28 Memphis (USWA - 1,000): Jeff Gaylord b Ken Wayne-DQ, The Spellbinder (Del Rios) b Leon Downs, Skull Von Crush b Todd Morton, Elimination tag: Spellbinder & Gaylord & Morton b Wayne & Downs & Von Crush, Dirty White Girl b Susan Sapphire, USWA tag title: Moondogs b Billy Travis & Don Bass, SMW title: Dirty White Boy b Doug Gilbert-DQ, USWA title: Brian Christopher b Steven Dunn, Unified title: Jerry Lawler DDQ Dream Machine, Piledriver matchoug Gilbert & Rich b Lawler & Christopher
3/28 Tsujyo (WAR): Rumi Kazama & Otaku Hozumi b Harley Saito & Mikiko Futagami, Arashi & Yamato b Koki Kitahara & Nobukazu Hirai, Corazon de Leon (SMW Chris Jericho) b Norman Smiley (EMLL Black Magic), Masanobu Kurisu & Masao Orihara b Gedo & Jado, Takashi Ishikawa b Kim Duk, Ashura Hara & Super Strong Machine & King Haku b Genichiro Tenryu & Hiromichi Fuyuki & Koji Ishinriki
3/28 Ohmagari (FMW - 2,823): Prelim results unavailable, The Sheik & Sabu DDQ Big Titan & Ricky Fuji, Combat Toyoda & Crusher Maedomari & Shark Tsuchiya & Tsuppari Mack b Megumi Kudo & Miwa Sato & Yukie Nabeno & Nurse Nakamura, Tarzan Goto b Hideki Hosaka, No rope barbed wire street fight tornado death match: Atsushi Onita & Sambo Asako b Mr. Pogo & Goro Tsurumi
3/28 Funahiki (Michinoku Pro - 261 sellout): Naohiro Hoshikawa b Shiryu, Wellington Wilkens Jr. b Masato Yakushiji, Wilkens b Hoshikawa, Taka Michinoku b Shiryu, Super Delfin & Ginsei Shinzaki & Yone Genjin b Great Sasuke & Leon Guerrero & Kazumichi Nakajima
3/28 Tampa (Florida Wrestling Alliance): Bill Pain b White Shadow, Manny Fernandez b Kevin Scott-COR, Haystacks Calhoun Jr. b Red Devil, Billy Mack DDQ Garbage Man, Armed Forces b Jeff Bradley & The Viper
3/29 London, England (WWF - 3,000): Kwang b 1-2-3 Kid, Diesel b Tatanka, IRS b Doink the Clown, Earthquake b Bam Bam Bigelow, Jeff Jarrett b Koko Ware, WWF tag titles: Men on Mission b Quebecers to win titles, WWF title: Bret Hart b Owen Hart
3/29 Toyama (All Japan - 4,450 sellout): Masao Inoue b Kentaro Shiga, Rusher Kimura & Mitsuo Momota b Satoru Asako & Haruka Eigen, Dan Kroffat & Doug Furnas b Tamon Honda & Yoshinari Ogawa, Akira Taue & Masa Fuchi & Takao Omori b Giant Baba & Jun Akiyama & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi 23:35, Kenta Kobashi b Johnny Smith, Stan Hansen & John Nord b The Eagle & Johnny Ace, Toshiaki Kawada d Steve Williams 30:00
3/29 Minami Ashikaga (FMW - 3,250 sellout): Ricky Fuji b Battle Ranger, Katsutoshi Niiyama b Damian, Keiko Iwame & Yukie Nabeno & Miwa Sato & Megumi Kudo b Tsuppari Mack & Crusher Maedomari & Shark Tsuchiya & Combat Toyoda, The Sheik & Sabu DDQ Mr. Pogo & Hideki Hosaka, Tarzan Goto b Goro Tsurumi, World Brass Knux tag title: The Gladiator & Big Titan b Atsushi Onita & Sambo Asako
3/29 Hakata (WAR - 2,600 sellout): Carol Midori b Mikiko Futagami, Harley Saito & Otaku Hozumi b Michiko Omukai & Rumi Kazama, Masanobu Kurisu b Matsuoka, Norman Smiley b Corazon de Leon, Ashura Hara b Koji Ishinriki, Arashi b Nobukazu Hirai, Takashi Ishikawa b Kim Duk, Masao Orihara b Jado, Super Strong Machine b Hiromichi Fuyuki, Genichiro Tenryu & Koki Kitahara b King Haku & Gedo
3/30 Peterborough, England (WWF): Kwang b Koko Ware, Diesel b 1-2-3 Kid, Earthquake b IRS, Bam Bam Bigelow b Tatanka, Jeff Jarrett b Doink the Clown, WWF tag title: Men on Mission b Quebecers, WWF title: Bret Hart b Owen Hart
3/30 Atlanta Center Stage (WCW Saturday Night taping - 785 sellout/all freebies, a few paid by the promotion to attend): Non-squash results: Arn Anderson b Hyeeto-DQ (Paul Diamond), Steve Keirn & Bobby Eaton b Thunder & Lightning, Terra Rizing d Terry Taylor, Harlem Heat & Ron Simmons b Marcus Bagwell & Too Cold Scorpio & Ice Train, Keirn & Eaton b Sullivan Brothers-DQ, Rick Steamboat & Arn Anderson b Tanaka-san (Pat Tanaka) & Hyeeto
3/30 Fukui (All Japan - 2,900): Mitsuo Momota b Kentaro Shiga, Rusher Kimura & Mighty Inoue b Satoru Asako & Haruka Eigen, Johnny Ace b John Nord, Dan Kroffat & Johnny Smith b Tamon Honda & Yoshinari Ogawa, Steve Williams b Doug Furnas, Akira Taue b The Eagle, Stan Hansen b Jun Akiyama, Giant Baba & Kenta Kobashi & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi b Toshiaki Kawada & Masa Fuchi & Takao Omori 29:01
3/30 Naha (All Japan women - 3,300 sellout): Kumiko Maekawa b Rie Tamada, Chikako Shiratori b Chapparita Asari, Suzuka Minami & Manami Toyota b Tomoko Watanabe & Bull Nakano, Toshiyo Yamada b Kaoru Ito, UWA tag title: Mima Shimoda & Etsuko Mita b Takako Inoue & Yumiko Hotta to win titles 22:03, Aja Kong & Sakie Hasegawa b Kyoko Inoue & Reggie Bennett
3/30 Niage (WAR - 1,900 sellout): Rumi Kazama & Harley Saito b Carol Midori & Mikiko Futagami, Yamato b Matsuoka, Corazon de Leon b Nobukazu Hirai, Norman Smiley b Masanobu Kurisu, Koji Ishinriki b Kim Duk, Ultimo Dragon & Takashi Ishikawa b Gedo & Jado, Arashi & King Haku & Ashura Hara b Genichiro Tenryu & Hiromichi Fuyuki & Koki Kitahara
3/30 Kawanishi (Michinoku Pro - 183): Masato Yakushiji d Naohiro Hoshikawa, Yone Genjin DDQ Wellington Wilkens Jr., Terry Boy b Monkey Magic, Leon Guerrero b Shiryu, Ginsei Shinzaki & Super Delfin b Great Sasuke & Taka Michinoku
3/31 Sheffield, England (WWF): Kwang b 1-2-3 Kid, Diesel b Tatanka, IRS b Doink the Clown, Earthquake b Bam Bam Bigelow, Jeff Jarrett b Koko Ware, WWF tag title: Quebecers b Men on Mission to regain titles, WWF title: Bret Hart b Owen Hart
3/31 Nayaro (All Japan women - 2,100 sellout): Kumiko Maekawa b Miki Yokoe, Okinawa tag team tournament: Takako Inoue & Toshiyo Yamada b Suzuka Minami & Kaoru Ito, Kyoko Inoue & Reggie Bennett b Bull Nakano & Chikako Shiratori, Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda b Aja Kong & Rie Tamada, Manami Toyota & Sakie Hasegawa b Yumiko Hotta & Tomoko Watanabe, Takako Inoue & Yamada b Mita & Shimoda, Toyota & Hasegawa b Bennett & Kyoko Inoue
3/31 Noshiro (Michinoku Pro - 1,520): Terry Boy b Masato Yakushiji, Taka Michinoku b Naohiro Hoshikawa, Yone Genjin DDQ Wellington Wilkens Jr., Shiryu & Leon Guerrero b Super Delfin & Monkey Magic, Great Sasuke DDQ Ginsei Shinzaki 22:05
3/31 Shelbyville, TN (All-State Pro Wrestling): Big Bubba b Big Tiny & Top Gun, Rex Rider d Kris Kerns, Billy Montana & Ken Arden DDQ Bongo Cool & Rider, Bono b Glen Mullins, Tracy Smothers b Gypsy Joe
4/1 Pikeville, KY (SMW - 1,850 sellout): Killer Kyle b Anthony Michaels 1/2*, Lance Storm b Steven Dunn **, Storm b Timothy Well, Ladder match: Tracy Smothers b Chris Candido ****1/2, Handicap match: Jim Cornette & Bruiser Bedlam (Johnny K-9) b Bob Armstrong *, Dirty White Boy & Dirty White Girl b Brian Lee & Tammy Fytch **1/2, Loser leaves town cage match for SMW tag title: Rock & Roll Express b Heavenly Bodies ****1/2
4/1 Okayama (All Japan - 2,800 sellout): Satoru Asako b Kentaro Shiga, Masao Inoue b Tamon Honda, Haruka Eigen & Masa Fuchi b Mitsuo Momota & Rusher Kimura, Dan Kroffat & Doug Furnas b John Nord & Johnny Smith, Kenta Kobashi & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi b Akira Taue & Yoshinari Ogawa, Toshiaki Kawada b Jun Akiyama, Giant Baba & Stan Hansen & Takao Omori b Steve Williams & The Eagle & Johnny Ace
4/1 Tokyo Korakuen Hall (WAR - 2,100 sellout): Yasha Kurenai & Michiko Nagashima b Carol Midori & Mikiko Futagami, Ultimo Dragon b Gedo, Koji Ishinriki b Yamato, Nobukazu Hirai b Norman Smiley, Jado b Corazon de Leon, Super Strong Machine b Masanobu Kurisu, Kim Duk b Takashi Ishikawa, Genichiro Tenryu & Hiromichi Fuyuki & Koki Kitahara b King Haku & Ashura Hara & Arashi
4/1 Okinawa (All Japan women - 3,200 sellout): Kumiko Maekawa b Miki Yokoe, Rie Tamada b Chikako Shiratori, Mima Shimoda b Tomoko Watanabe, Etsuko Mita b Kaoru Ito, Bull Nakano & Aja Kong & Reggie Bennett b Yumiko Hotta & Suzuka Minami & Kyoko Inoue, Okinawa Cup tag tourney final: Manami Toyota & Sakie Hasegawa b Takako Inoue & Toshiyo Yamada
4/1 Dallas Sportatorium (GWF - 750/150 paid): Mike Davis b John Hawk-DQ, Rico Suave & Danny Davis b Steven Dane & Chaz Taylor, Marc Valiant b Black Bart, Jeep Swenson b Moadib-DQ, Scott Putski b Danny Davis, Mike Davis b The Intruder, GWF title: Rod Price b Chris Adams to win title, Terry Gordy & Jimmy Garvin b Bart & Hawk-DQ
4/1 Dallas (Big D - 171): Terry Simms & Chris Rox b Kit Carson & Broadway Danny, El Gato Negro b El Che, Mike Andrews b Plowboy Wilbur-DQ, Bill Irwin & Nick Golden b High Voltage, Big D b Ray Evans, El Medico b Condor Azul, Mr. Mister b Tim Brooks-DQ
4/1 Indianapolis (Championship Wrestling America - 350): Jerry Faith b Dan Anderson, Nick OxiOxiOxiOxiOxihad b Mad Man Pondo, Doug O'Briley & Flash Flannagan b Bar Room Brawlers, Sean Casey b Danny Davis, Mike Samples b The Comet (Derek Stone)
4/2 Izumo (All Japan - 2,900): Johnny Ace b Doug Furnas, Giant Baba & Rusher Kimura & Mitsuo Momota b Haruka Eigen & Masa Fuchi & Ryukaku Izumida, Steve Williams b Johnny Smith, Stan Hansen & Takao Omori b The Eagle & Dan Kroffat, Kenta Kobashi b John Nord, Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue & Yoshinari Ogawa b Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama & Satoru Asako 23:40
4/2 Barbourville, KY (SMW - 475): Tracy Smothers b The Hornet DUD, Lance Storm b Timothy Well **, SMW title: Dirty White Boy b Killer Kyle *1/2, Bruiser Bedlam b Bob Armstrong *, SMW tag title: Rock & Roll Express b Brian Lee & Chris Candido-DQ **1/2
4/2 Clementon, NJ (WWA - 717): Father Ed b Stryker, Frank Finnegan b East L.A.-DQ, Boy Gone Bad b Rich Myers, Misty Blue b Nasty Angel, Jim Duggan b Abudda Singh-COR, Duane & Wayne Gill b Spiders ton win WWA tag titles, Bushwhackers b Super Jocks
4/2 Central City, KY (Tri-State Wrestling - 250): Jerry Faith b Mark Adcock, Terry Adonis b New Dog, Doug Bashan & Flash Flannagan b Mad Man Pondo & Sledge, Dan Shannon & William the Lion b David Adcock & Kevin Haste, Mike Samples b Hitman Louie
4/2 Lima, OH (ICW - 200): One-night tournament: Al Snow b Rick Keller, Steve Nixon b Bobby Clancy, Judge Dredd b Lumberjack LeDuke, Reno Havoc b Mark Bryant, Shinobi (Snow) b Pete the Pirate, Sabu b Otis Apollo, Mike Kelly b Canadian Kodiak, Randy Mullins b Scott D'Amore, Snow b Nixon, Dredd b Havoc, Sabu b Shinobi, Mullins b Kelly, Snow b Dredd, Mickey Doyle b Rock Stevens, Snow b Sabu to win tournament
4/2 Grand Saline, TX (Tom Lanoe promotions): The Avenger (Chris Adams) b Bobby Chase, Tasha Simone-Love b Nasty Girl, Treach Phillips Jr. b Ed Robinson, Calvin Knapp b Pretty Boy Jimmy, Adams b King Parsons, Adams won Battle Royal
4/2 Portland, OR (Oregon Pro Wrestling Federation): The Bodyguard b Dirty White Boy (Bobby Blair), Billy Two Eagles b Timothy Flowers-DQ, Firefighter Adrian d Riot Maker, John Rambo b Ole Olson, Moondog Moretti b Buddy Wayne-COR, Jimmy Snuka & Mike Miller b Scott Norton & Buddy Rose
4/2 Centre, AL (Bama Pro Wrestling): Billy Montana DCOR Frankie Lee, Tracy black b Sam Colt-DQ, Steve & Scott Armstrong b Mr. Atlanta (Tony Zane) & The Nightmare (Ted Allen), Richie Dye b Big Bubba, Colt d David Young, Todd Zane & War Daddy b Mr. Vane & Tim Strong-DQ
4/3 Tokyo Korakuen Hall (New Japan - 2,000 sellout): Shinjiro Ohtani b Tokimitsu Ishizawa, Manabu Nakanishi b Tatsuhito Takaiwa, Takaiwa won Royal Rumble rules Battle Royal, Power Warrior & Hiroshi Hase b Akira Nogami & Takayuki Iizuka 25:39, Akitoshi Saito b Yuji Nagata, Great Kabuki b Satoshi Kojima, Kengo Kimura b Tadao Yasuda, Elimination tag match:Michiyoshi Ohara & Kuniaki Kobayashi & Tatsutoshi Goto & Shiro Koshinaka b Norio Honaga & Hiro Saito & Yoshiaki Yatsu & Shinichi Nakano 27:38
4/3 Tokyo Korakuen Hall (All Japan women - 1,800): Prelim results unavailable, Bull Nakano b Reggie Bennett, Aja Kong & Toshiyo Yamada b Sakie Hasegawa & Yumiko Hotta 31:39
4/3 Jeffersonville, IN (Tri-State Wrestling): Troy Haste b Jake Farler, Kevin Haste b Jim Florence, Jerry Faith b Juan Hurtado, Mike Samples & The Rustlers b Danny Davis & Troy Haste & Kevin Haste
4/4 Hiroshima (New Japan - 7,875 sellout): Prelim results unavailable, Akira Nogami & Takayuki Iizuka b Power Warrior & Satoshi Kojima, Norio Honaga & Hiro Saito & Yoshiaki Yatsu & Shinichi Nakano b Michiyoshi Ohara & Kuniaki Kobayashi & Kengo Kimura & Shiro Koshinaka, Rick & Scott Steiner b Jushin Liger & Wild Pegasus, Antonio Inoki & Hiroshi Hase b Yoshiaki Fujiwara & Yuki Ishikawa, Riki Choshu & Genichiro Tenryu b Great Muta & Masa Chono, IWGP hwt title: Tatsumi Fujinami b Shinya Hashimoto to win title
4/4 Clinton, TN (SMW TV taping - 400): Thrillseekers b Chris Hamrick & The Hornet, SMW TV title: Bruiser Bedlam b Mike Furnas to win title, Ricky Morton b Brian Lee-DQ, Rock & Roll Express b Killer Kyle & Dark Secret (Brian Armstrong), SMW TV title: Bedlam b Bobby Blaze, Lee & Chris Candido b Anthony Michaels & Hamrick, SMW title: Dirty White Boy b Prince Kharis, Well Dunn b Michaels & Blaze, Kendo the Samurai b Brian Logan (Brian Keyes), SMW TV title:Bedlam b Tracy Smothers, Thrillseekers b Kyle & Inferno (Michaels), White Boy b Secret, SMW TV title: Bedlam b Hamrick, Thrillseekers b Well Dunn
Special thanks to: Brian Hildebrand, Rick Bentley, Shannon Rose, Jason Meier, Greg Price, John Muse, Christian Bunderlas, David Wright, Dan Parris, Scott Hudson, Michael Crockett, Jerry Faith, Kim Lamberth, John Kowalski, Karin Moore, Shelby Adcock, Sal Corrente, Scott Lemmer, Timothy Walker, Oliver Hollman, Gabe Steffan, Bruce Mitchell
FEBRUARY BUSINESS COMPARISONS
WORLD WRESTLING FEDERATION
Estimated average attendance 2/93: 3,410*
Estimated average attendance 2/94: 3,130* (-8.2%)
January 1994: 2,880
Estimated average gate 2/93: $47,740*
Estimated average gate 2/94: $40,000* (-16.2%)
January 1994: $39,320
Percentage of house shows sold out 2/93: 0.0
Percentage of house shows sold out 2/94: 13.3
January 1994: 8.1
Average cable television rating 2/93: 2.3
Average cable television rating 2/94: 2.1 (-8.7%)
January 1994: 2.3
*European dates not included in average
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING
Estimated average attendance 2/93: 1,690
Estimated average attendance 2/94: 1,440 (-14.8%)
January 1994: 2,040
Estimated average gate 2/93: $13,300
Estimated average gate 2/94: $12,800 (-3.8%)
January 1994: $18,200
Percentage of house shows sold out 2/93: 7.7
Percentage of house shows sold out 2/94: 0.0
January 1994: 20.0
Average cable television rating 2/93: 2.6
Average cable television rating 2/94: 2.4 (-7.7%)
January 1994: 2.2
Major show 2/93 (SuperBrawl--6,500 sellout/6,200 paid/$55,000/0.5 est. buy rate/$980,000 est. PPV revenue)
Major show 2/94 (SuperBrawl--7,600 sellout/4,217 paid/$39,000/0.5 est. buy rate/$1.26 million est. PPV revenue)
Est. buy rate even; Overall PPV event revenue estimated +20.3%
ALL JAPAN PRO WRESTLING
Estimated average attendance 2/93: 2,080
Estimated average attendance 2/94: 2,320 (+10.3%)
January 1994: 2,590
Estimated average gate 2/93: $70,720
Estimated average gate 2/94: $78,840 (+10.3%)
January 1994: $88,000
Percentage of house shows sold out 2/93: 84.3
Percentage of house shows sold out 2/94: 62.5
January 1994: 58.8
Average television rating 2/93: 3.9
Average television rating 2/94: 3.4 (-12.8%)
January 1994: 3.4
NEW JAPAN PRO WRESTLING
Estimated average attendance 2/93: 5,170
Estimated average attendance 2/94: 5,050 (-2.3%)
January 1994: 2,430*
Estimated average gate 2/93: $217,760
Estimated average gate 2/94: $180,000 (-17.3%)
January 1994: $82,260*
Percentage of house shows sold out 2/93: 81.8
Percentage of house shows sold out 2/94: 41.7
January 1994: 50.0*
Average television rating 2/93: 6.1
Average television rating 2/94: 7.7 (+20.8%)
January 1994: 6.7
*New Japan only ran two house shows in January so averages are barely applicable
ALL JAPAN
No major surprises thus far in the Champion Carnival tournament as all the remaining contenders (with Mitsuharu Misawa having forfeited his matches) continue to win and the only match this week among contenders was a 30:00 draw on 3/29 in Toyama between Toshiaki Kawada and Steve Williams. Standings as of 4/4 are: Stan Hansen 6-0-0, 12 points, Kenta Kobashi 5-0-1, 11 points, Steve Williams 5-0-1, 11 points, Toshiaki Kawada 4-1-1, 9 points, Johnny Smith 8, Akira Taue 3-0-1, 7 points, Jun Akiyama 4, John Nord 4, The Eagle 2, Doug Furnas 0, Johnny Smith 0.
Misawa, who was originally expected to be out until the next tour, returned on 4/2 in a six-man tag and worked his fair share, about 8:00 of a 23:40 match teaming with Jun Akiyama and Satoru Asako to lose to Kawada & Taue & Yoshinari Ogawa. Misawa sold most of the way. Misawa will have a non-tournament singles match on 4/11 against Kawada, which I can only assume is because Kawada was supposed to pin Misawa for the first time in a singles match in the tournament this month but Misawa's injury prevented that aspect of the storyline from happening.
Final two television shows before the TV moved into television purgatory on 4/2 were the 3/20 show doing a 4.1 rating and 3/27 did a 2.8.
NEW JAPAN
Initial reports we've received are that the 4/4 Hiroshima Green Arena show, which headlined with the Fujinami-Hashimoto title change, was the company's hottest show of the year from top-to-bottom. The semifinal on the show saw Riki Choshu & Genichiro Tenryu beat Keiji Muto & Masa Chono in a weird match. Early in the match, Muto walked out on his partner to the dressing room and Chono was left 1-on-2. A few minutes later, The Great Muta (face painted, new ring outfit) ran to the ring and made a big comeback. Choshu still pinned Muta to win the fall. Antonio Inoki wrestled, adopting more of a shoot-style technique, teaming with Hiroshi Hase to beat Yuki Ishikawa & Yoshiaki Fujiwara when Inoki used a sleeper on Ishikawa, while Rick & Scott Steiner beat Jushin Liger & Wild Pegasus in 14:03 when Scott pinned Liger with a Frankensteiner.
The complete Fukuoka Dome line-up will probably be announced on 4/8 as New Japan has a press conference scheduled that day. It is expected that Inoki vs. Muta will be the main event and that Satoru Sayama will return and wrestle against either Liger or Tiger Mask. I'd suspect the latter as there would be a major
credibility problem with out-of-shape Sayama beating Liger right now and obviously Sayama can't lose before his match with Inoki. Magazines really made fun of how fat Sayama got when he was in the ring at the 3/16 Tokyo Gymnasium show and New Japan p.r. announced that Sayama had gone to the mountains to train for his comeback since he needs to lose 40 to 50 pounds.
The current tour, which began on 4/3 and lasts until 4/15, has no foreign talent except for Pegasus and Steiners brought in for the 4/4 show. Major shows are 4/7 in Kumamoto (Choshu & Fujiwara vs. Hase & Chono, Liger & Power vs. Fujinami & Masa Saito), 4/11 in Kose (Choshu & Masa vs. Power & Hase, Fujinami & Tadao Yasuda vs. Kengo Kimura & Michiyoshi Ohara, Muto & Chono & Hashimoto vs. Liger & Nogami & Iizuka), 4/14 in Nishiwaki (Choshu & Fujinami & Iizuka & Nogami vs. Power & Hashimoto & Muto & Chono, Hase vs. Kabuki) and 4/15 in Okazaki (Choshu & Yasuda vs. Hase & Chono, Fujinami & Masa & Kido vs. Hashimoto & Muto & Power, Liger vs. Otani, Yatsu vs. Kobayashi).
New Japan failed to sellout its second straight Tokyo show on 3/28 at the NK Hall drawing 3,500 (7,000 capacity) for the start of the feud between "The Present Generation" (Hashimoto & Muto & Chono & Hase) vs. "Past Generation (Choshu & Fujinami & Fujiwara & Kido) when Hashimoto pinned Kido. Considering it was the first match of what is supposed to be a long feud, it was not an auspicious beginning.
Everything involving Inoki is still edited off television as the TV-Asahi network refuses to air his matches because of his political scandals.
Here are the supposed reasons for Gran Hamada, Sabu and Ultimo Dragon not being on the All-Star Junior Wars show on 4/16. Supposedly Hamada agreed, however FULL President Hisatsune Shinma refused to allow him to go since it would mean doing a job. Sabu was told by Onita that they didn't want to send him because he'd have to do a job in the first round. It was announced that Dragon's schedule in Mexico wouldn't allow him to free up that date, although that sounded suspicious since he's not involved in anything that pressing right now.
Rick Rude's manager on his last tour was named Lady Love, and she didn't look familiar at all, but played a part in several of Rude's matches. In the 3/24 match where Rude regained the title from Hase, Hase was on the top rope when she sat on the apron by him and hiked up her skirt, distracting him and allowing Rude to DDT Hase off the top, do a fullnelson front drop (similar to a Russian leg sweep) and won via submission with a Lucha double fullnelson. She also distracted the ref in Rude's single match against Chono, allowing Rude to use a low blow which led to the pin.
OTHER JAPAN NOTES
All Japan Women had a successful three-night tour on the island of Okinawa, with three sellouts. In Naha on 3/30, Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda captured the UWA (Mexico) womens tag titles beating Yumiko Hotta & Takako Inoue. They held a two-night tag team tournament for the Okinawa Tag Team trophy on 3/31 and 4/1, ending up with Manami Toyota & Sakie Hasegawa beating Toshiyo Yamada & Takako Inoue in the finals.
The second straight non-sellout at Korakuen Hall took place 4/3 at Noon on Easter Sunday, drawing 1,800 for a non-descript show headlined by Aja Kong & Yamada over Hasegawa & Hotta in 31:39 when Kong beat Hotta with a sleeper.
FMW completed its tour on 3/29 in Minami Ashikaga headlined by a World Brass Knux tag title match with champs Big Titan & The Gladiator retaining beating Atsushi Onita & Sambo Asako.
Next FMW tour is 4/17 to 5/5, climaxing with the stadium show. 4/21 will have Titan & Gladiator defend against Mr. Pogo & Hisakatsu Oya, while 5/3 in Nagoya has Terry Funk vs. Sabu.
W*ING appears to be right on the verge of folding as it was left with only four native wrestlers (Yukihiro Kanemura, Nobutaka Araya, Shoji Nakamaki and W*inger) after Masayoshi Motegi jumped to SPWF, Fukumentaro quit and rookie Hiroshi Ono suffered a broken back. On 4/4, Victor Quinones, who booked much of the foreign talent and was the group's top heel manager, announced he was leaving W*ING and forming his own company called IWA, and announced Nakamaki, Araya and W*inger were coming with him leaving Kiyoshi Ibaragi's W*ING group with only one Japanese wrestler, his close friend Kanemura, so many expect that W*ING is already history and eventually Kanemura will join with Quinones. It is believed Quinones' group will start 5/23 at Korakuen Hall. Quinones will book the new group but won't work as a heel manager.
Pancrase 4/21 in Osaka Furitsu Gym has Minoru Suzuki vs. Thomas Puckett, Masakatsu Funaki vs. Yusuke Fuke and Wayne Shamrock vs. Ryushi Yanagisawa.
It was first announced that judo gold medalist at the Barcelona Olympics, David Haharashivili from Gruziya, would face Akira Maeda on the 4/23 RINGS show in Hiroshima, however Maeda's foe will be Peter Ura and Haharashivili will debut on 5/17.
JWP wrestler Candy Okutsu, who holds the All Japan promotion's jr. title, broke her right elbow and is out of action.
USWA
A clarification from last week. Jerry Lawler is still the booker, not Randy Hales. Hales is in charge when Lawler is in Connecticut, which is often.
The big hype for the 4/4 show was built around which corner Downtown Bruno (Harvey Wippleman) would be in for a Jerry Lawler vs. Adam Bomb main event. Bruno, who lives in the Memphis area, has worked here as a face even though he's been a heel on WWF television for the past few years and is known to be long-time friends with Lawler. Lawler did an interview saying he hoped that Bruno would be on his side, but then they aired a taped Vince McMahon interview where McMahon said that everyone, and he meant everyone, in the WWF does exactly what he tells them to do and he's told Bruno that he's on Adam Bomb's side. Bruno did an interview and said the people would find out Monday night whose side he'd be on. To hype Bomb, they showed a match from Superstars but Lawler and McMahon did commentary just for the Memphis market with McMahon doing the heel role and Lawler the face role. I don't believe Superstars is on local Memphis television anymore, although obviously the folks who have cable can see through this thing.
At the 3/28 show in a piledriver match, Lawler & Brian Christopher lost to Doug Gilbert & Tommy Rich when Dream Machine (Troy Graham) interfered so after the tape aired, Lawler announced he was calling up Jimmy Valiant to even the odds for a six-man I Quit match at the 4/4 show.
The Spiders, who are the same masked team from Larry Sharpe's WWA, are coming in as faces managed by Bert Prentice.
Mr. Perfect is scheduled to appear on the 4/9 television show, although I'm not certain who the WWF will send for 4/11 because they are doing Raw tapings the same night, so Lawler won't even be in Memphis for that show.
Ian & Axel Rotten are supposed to be headed in as well.
Besides Lawler's two matches, also on 4/4 are Christopher defending against Rich, Moondogs defending against Billy Travis & Don Bass with Ronnie Lottz in a cage at ringside, Spiders vs. Skull Von Crush & Doug Gilbert, Leon Downs vs. Jeff Gaylord, Frank Parker vs. Spellbinder and Super Mario vs. Galaxa. Parker and Mario are in because they are friends with Valiant and will only be around for a week or two.
Most people seem to expect Eddie Gilbert back in a week or two.
SMW
With the Heavenly Bodies gone, Bruiser Bedlam (Johnny K-9) was brought in as Jim Cornette's new protege and is being given the monster push. Bedlam, who arrived as a mystery opponent, pinned Bob Armstrong at the house shows over the weekend, then at the 4/4 television taping in Clinton, TN won the TV title from Mike Furnas using the stomach claw in a quick squash. With the claw and the name, he's pretty trying to make him a copy of Dick the Bruiser, who Cornette grew up watching as the focal point of everything off Dick's own Indianapolis television show. Bedlam later at the taping made Bobby Blaze submit, which was pushed hard because Dirty White Boy was never able to make Blaze submit, and then had a match with Tracy Smothers. With Smothers on the top rope for a fourth move off the top, Cornette hit Smothers' foot with his racquet, Smothers fell in and was pinned. After the match Bedlam put the claw on Smothers. Bob Armstrong ran in but Bedlam hit him with the racquet and put the claw on him. At this point Smothers came around and hit Bedlam three times with the racquet before Bedlam would release the claw, but Cornette threw powder at Smothers and left both laying. Smothers said he'd pick up all of Armstrong's arena commitments against Bedlam so that'll be the main arena match, although on 5/20 in Knoxville at Volunteer Slam II it'll be Bedlam vs. Randy Savage and Dirty White Boy defending the SMW title against Jake Roberts among other matches. Savage vs. Bedlam also takes place 5/21 in Morristown and 5/22 in Marietta, GA. Dory Funk is coming in for Marietta a singles match with Smothers.
Les Thatcher is now doing color, replacing Dutch Mantel who is now booking for the WWC in San Juan.
Chris Jericho was in for the tapings so the Thrillseekers picked up several wins, including one against Well Dunn although Well Dunn left them laying after the win. Jericho just returned from a Japan tour with WAR, and was scheduled to return to EMLL on 4/7 for a few weeks so won't be at the arenas until May.
I'd suspect the Prince Kharis (Rob Mayze) character was written out as he had a title shot against White Boy, but White Boy won the match by hitting Kharis over the head with his own loaded forearm and knocking him out. After the match Kendo the Samurai blew mist in White Boy's eyes and the next week White Boy came out with a patch over one eye, so they'll be programmed at the arenas.
They also continued the Rock & Roll Express feud with Brian Lee & Chris Candido over the tag titles. Morton challenged Candido to a singles match and Candido accepted, but for Lee. In the match, Tammy Fytch threw her purse in the ring but Robert Gibson intercepted it but it was still a DQ on Lee.
HERE AND THERE
Terry Gordy had his first match since going into a coma on a flight to Japan eight months ago on 4/1 at the Dallas Sportatorium for GWF. It was billed as a Freebirds Reunion, although Buddy Roberts wasn't there and Michael Hayes didn't wrestle because of back surgery two months ago and he's still in a back brace. Sad to report that Gordy looked absolutely nothing like Terry Gordy in a tag match teaming with Jimmy Garvin, who, as those who saw SuperBrawl can certainly believe, looked so different that numerous fans thought they had put a fake Jimmy Garvin in the ring, against Black Bart & John Hawk with a heel DQ finish when Scandor Akbar interfered. Gordy & Garvin managed by Hayes are scheduled to work again on the 4/15 GWF show. There has been a lot of fear from Gordy's friends that he may have suffered permanent damage during the period he was in a coma. On the same show, Rod Price won the GWF title from Chris Adams when manager Brandon Baxter shot Adams with a stun gun. The return of the Birds saw the crowd increase to about 750 and paid attendance double, but that is from like 80 to like 150.
Rival Big D was supposed to do a title change the same night from Mr. Mister to Tim Brooks, however Brooks refused to put the rookie over, so they will announce this coming week of a phantom title change with Mister as champ having won it in El Paso.
Also on the 4/1 Big D show, Plowboy Wilbur (Jim Ryder) came to the ring after jumping from GWF, took off his overalls and said his name isn't Wilbur and he was never a Plowboy, turned heel on Mike Andrews and face manager Freddie Fargo, destroying Fargo, and now calling himself Devastation.
Larry Sharpe's next WWA show in Clementon, NJ is 5/7 with Abdullah the Butcher vs. Abbuda Singh with Sharpe as ref and King Kong Bundy vs. Frank Finnegan, a local 500-pounder. Sharpe's Mini-Mania show with Jim Duggan and The Bushwhackers on 4/2 drew a $7,800 house.
4/15 somewhere in Detroit will be The Sheik vs. Abdullah the Butcher.
Jim Neidhart vs. Hercules in a chain match on 4/26 in Tampa and Sabu comes to Tampa on 5/17 for a match with Rob Van Dam.
Speaking of Sabu, and somebody always is, he didn't refuse to put J.T. Smith over for the ECW TV title as was reported here. Technically it was suggested he put Smith over and he was asked about putting Smith or Tasmaniac over and he decided he'd rather put Tasmaniac over.
Junkyard Dog had a car wreck last week but showed up for several of his dates even though he couldn't work so fans knew he wasn't no-showing.
Peach State Wrestling on 4/8 in Cordele, GA has Tommy Rich vs. Paul Golden, Scott & Steve Armstrong vs. Ray Lloyd & R.D. Swain and Bob Armstrong vs. Mike Golden.
Dennis Coraluzzo has a show on 4/29 in Flemington, NJ with Bundy vs. Tito Santana on top.
Greg Price has these upcoming dates: 4/9 in Metter, GA (Jake Roberts vs. Giant Kimala II, Rob Van Dam vs. Dick Slater), 4/15 in Jesup, Ga (same matches) and 4/16 in Washington, NC (Roberts vs. Slater, Van Dam vs. Greg Valentine).
Ron Reis worked what was probably his second match on 3/26 in Grafton, MA. John Studd was in his corner. Reis does a move, then look to Studd who tells him what to do next.
WWWA at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City has Nailz vs. Road Warrior Hawk, Sid Vicious vs. Santana, Abdullah the Butcher vs. Rick Martel, Diamond Express vs. Demolition Ax & Blast and Jack Hammer vs. Neidhart.
ACW has a date 4/23 in Wayne, PA with Jim Duggan vs. Damien Demento and Doink the Clown (Keirn) vs. Terry Funk.
Randy Powell is promoting an all women's show on 4/9 in Trinity, NC headlined by Debbie Combs vs. Leilani Kai.
AAA
Anibal, who was a headliner from the late 60s until his retirement in 1993 for just about every promotion around Mexico, passed away on 3/9 from brain cancer. Anibal, whose real name was Ignacio Carlos Carillo, was one of the most legendary shooters in the history of Mexican wrestling. He had been in a coma for several months so his death at the age of 53 came as little surprise. Anibal started wrestling in 1961 under his real name, then took the Anibal name in 1965 and debuted with EMLL in 1966 in Mexico City. His first world title win was the NWA world middleweight title when NWA meant a legitimate world-wide conglomerate of promotions, from Japan's Masio Koma in 1970 in Mexico City. He was one of the key draws that left EMLL in 1975 to form UWA, which through the mid-80s became the top organization in Mexico. Eventually, he went back to EMLL and finally lost his mask to Universo 2000 on December 11, 1990 at Arena Mexico. Anibal's most famous matches in Mexico were his two mask vs. hair wins over Gran Hamada and mask vs. hair wins over Pepe "Tropi" Casas, Masio Koma and Rene Guajardo. He jumped to AAA shortly after it formed in 1992 and continued to wrestle until diagnosed in early 1993 with the brain cancer. His son, who uses the name El Hijo de Anibal, debuted this past year for UWA.
Television this weekend saw the Saturday show air the 3/19 Toluca Stadium card, which really was nothing special with no special angles or anything other than Volador pinned Misterioso in the third fall of a trios match to set up their match for the IWC middleweight title which took place 3/25 in Cancun and airs on television this coming weekend.
The Sunday show was from 3/21 in Leon saw Tony Arce & Vulcano & Rocco Valente beat Misterioso & Volador & Angel Azteca when Misterioso refused to help his partners in the third fall and eventually reversed positions when Volador had Vulcano pinned for the third fall which pretty well was stage 95 of the Misterioso turn. They aired a great match with Perro Aguayo & El Hijo del Santo & Lizmark beating El Satanico & Psicosis & Espectro Jr. via DQ when Psicosis gave Santo a low blow which wound up with interviews and challenges for Santo vs. Psicosis mask vs. mask. I believe they were referring to Satanico-Espectro-Psicosis as the new Infernales trio, so they may become a regular grouping. Espectro is one of the most improved wrestlers in the world as he's gone in a short time from barely passable to very good. The main event saw a battle of heels with Los Hermanos Dinamita vs. Chicano Power & Love Machine & Black Cat in a battle of heels which saw incredible crowd support for the Dinamita since they were playing it as Mexican heels vs. American heels in which case the Mexicans will get the crowd support. That match was shockingly good, which is a testament to Machine who is one of the most underrated workers in the world, and Cat, who is also very underrated as New Japan has kind of buried him as a second match guy. They made that match **1/2 despite Chicano Power being of El Sicodelico calibre and the presence of Cien Caras as the top face who is just awful, although he has a lot of charisma although nobody who wasn't a fan of his for years would be able to figure out why.
WCW
A few additions to the PPV show. Johnny B. Badd vs. Dallas Page is scheduled as the opener replacing Tom Zenk vs. Terra Rizing. In addition, a match is scheduled with Danny Bonaduce (Danny Partridge of "The Partridge Family") vs. Christopher Knight (Peter Brady of "The Brady Bunch") which may or may not be a dark match. The two are scheduled to have a pro wrestling style match, which better be kept short.
Sid Eudy's attorney is attempting to get the suit by Arn Anderson thrown out by claiming that the state of North Carolina, where the suit was filed, has no jurisdiction.
Cactus Jack may have the surgery to re-attach his ear. If he does, and we've heard no definitive word, he'd have to take about four months off. Either way, he's supposed to be working the PPV show.
Steve Keirn & Bobby Eaton's tag team will be called Bad Attitude, not Bald Attitude. Keirn in that Fabs ring outfit looks positively ancient.
Rick Steamboat had a hot television match with Paul Diamond that aired on Saturday. All the build-up regarding Flair-Steamboat-Hogan has been strong but nothing else in the promotion comes off as that interesting. Despite all that, the Chicago line-up is the best PPV line-up in a long time, and judging from the advance, will draw the most money of any house show this company has done in years.
If the Hogan deals comes through, the first Flair-Hogan match will most likely be 7/17 at the Great American Bash PPV show from the Miami Beach Convention Center.
Only house show over the weekend was 4/2 at St. Marten in the Caribbean which drew 2,200.
Ratings for the Sunday show for 3/27 were the highest the show has done since the end of 1992 so therefore anything said in criticism about the show must be ignored, however the Easter Sunday show sucked. The hosts, Gene Okerlund and Bobby Heenan, do nothing but comedy routines and Heenan is hilarious and Okerlund was funny until he got overbearing at the end. But they never talked about anything to do with the promotion except for Hulk Hogan, Flair and Steamboat. The comedy is great but it does nothing to sell the product, which should explain why the product isn't selling. Of the four matches, none had a real finish. Like why can't Terry Taylor or Dallas Page beat one or the other without eight guys interfering? What'll it do if they do a job, kill their drawing power? Ruin killer ratings for a rematch? It's not like all the interference added to an existing storyline or created a new one, it was just a match without a finish for no reason. Ditto Harlem Heat vs. Ice Train & Marcus Bagwell. Then after three matches with no finishes came Ric Flair, as a 100% babyface, against Steve Regal. Like the world champion headlining on a PPV in two weeks can't even get a clean win in this promotion against a decent mid-card heel, and forget about the useless piece of tin around Regal's waist, that's all he is. Instead, when Flair gets the figure four on, Sir William interferes for a DQ. The announcers, Bischoff & Ventura, praise Flair as 100% face, even though the day before on TV he was 100% heel. Then after a commercial, 100% babyface Flair becomes 100% heel Flair in a tape of the previous days' interview confrontation with Steamboat and talking about Hogan. The announcers are too busy doing their stand-up routine to explain any of this to the audience. And they wonder why the company loses $6 million every year and blame it on the wrestlers being unable to draw houses.
Ventura's trial in Minneapolis regarding his lawsuit against Titan Sports was still going at press time. Vince McMahon won't be testifying in his company's defense. Titan instead sent Doug Sagis (Comptroller) and Dick Glover (former VP who now works at ESPN). Ventura is suing largely for back merchandising revenue, claiming that as he found out when he went to Hollywood that the split between the company making the deal and the individual whose likeness is on the doll is 75-25 in favor of the individual but that with Titan the split was 75-25 in favor of Titan.
3/26 weekend saw WCW Saturday Night, featuring the second Hogan interview, do a 2.3, however Main Event did a 2.7, its best in more than a year, and Pro did an excellent 2.0.
Alexander Wright, an 18-year-old British wrestler billed from Germany, who worked the recent German tour as a fill-in due to all the injuries, was given a try-out on 3/30 at Center Stage and looked really green. Wright is the son of Steve Wright, who was a scientific wrestling legend in Europe, Mexico and Japan. At the 3/30 taping, they taped matches for 4/16 and 4/23, but no interviews and no angles were shot. Top matches for 4/16 airing were Arn Anderson over Hyeeto (Paul Diamond with a hood) via DQ when Tanaka interfered to set up a tag match the next week with Steamboat as Anderson's partner, Bad Attitude over Thunder & Lightning, Terra Rizing drew Terry Taylor but Rizing left Taylor laying after the match and Harlem Heat & Ron Simmons (already back with a heavily taped left
bicep) beat Marcus Bagwell & Too Cold Scorpio & Ice Train. 4/23 saw Bad Attitude beat Sullivan Brothers via DQ (no Sherri Martel appearance yet) and Steamboat & Anderson over Tanaka & Hyeeto.
WWF
When the WWF goes back to promoting regular house shows in the U.S. in mid-May, they'll embark on a "Wrestlemania Revenge" tour for about one month with one loaded up show per night, tickets raised to $25 ringside and throwing in the special effects usually reserved for PPV shows. Top matches on these shows are Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart, Lex Luger vs. Mr. Perfect, Razor Ramon vs. Diesel, Yokozuna vs. Earthquake, Jeff Jarrett vs. Doink & Dink, Tatanka vs. IRS and Alundra Blayze vs. Luna Vachon. Kind of says something when a line-up like that constitutes "loaded up" shows. I suspect the name and special effects, not to mention the ticket prices, will result in much higher grosses per event than they've done post-WM over the past several years.
On the recently-completed European tour, the shows in Germany did big business once again but the England crowds were way down, so the bloom is off the rose there. The 3/29 show in London drew only 3,000 fans, for example.
It appears Bret vs. Yokozuna will headline King of the Ring.
For the first time I can ever recall, they are running back-to-back New York dates with 5/19 at the Nassau Coliseum and 5/20 at Madison Square Garden with largely the same card in both building.
Top matches on the Japan shows are 5/7 in Yokohama with Bret vs. Savage, Tenryu & Undertaker (who has much longer hair bleached more blond judging from photos from Japan although that could change by the time he comes back to the U.S.) vs. Yokozuna & Bam Bam Bigelow. 5/8 in Nagoya has Bret vs. Bigelow, Undertaker vs. Yokozuna and Tenryu & Savage vs. Adam Bomb & Shawn Michaels. 5/9 in Osaka has Bret vs. Owen, Tenryu vs. Yokozuna and a Royal Rumble. 5/11 in Sapporo has Bret vs. Yokozuna, Tenryu vs. Savage and Undertaker vs. Bomb.
Bull Nakano will work two dates against Madusa (as she'll be billed there), then continue to work a few WWF dates in Guam and Hawaii in May, but won't work the continental U.S. until December when she'll begin a six-month full-time WWF tour.
Rick & Scott Steiner are back on the booking sheets, although not in prominent roles.
Roddy Piper will have a regular short commentary piece every week on All-American wrestling. There are strong rumors that Piper and Len Denton (The Grappler) with the blessing on Don Owen will start a Portland Wrestling promotion as soon as the next few months, using local veteran wrestlers and Piper keeping the WWF connection in order to use WWF talent similar to SMW and USWA.
A correction from the 3/28 issue. The WWF never sent out a press release claiming that Wrestlemania was expected to be viewed by the largest audience in the history of PPV. That was actually from a story that went over the wires written after the show with quotes from the WWF press conference, but nobody in the WWF authorized any statements claiming expectation of a record audience. The
company, in fact, has not even sent out a press release since Wrestlemania, which means that my editorial comments on that claim as it regards Titan weren't applicable.
Lex Luger vs. Rick Martel on the 3/28 Raw drew a huge 3.3 rating, while All-American that weekend did 2.5 and Mania a 1.0.
A German magazine called "Bravo" listed Bret Hart as a top desirable role model for German youth. The Japanese mags were also very praising of Hart after WM, comparing him with Baba (not as a wrestler, but as a good representative of their respective companies).
The "Wrestlemania 10-man" took place on the 4/4 Raw, with IRS & Martel & Head Shrinkers & Jarrett over 1-2-3 Kid & Sparky Plugg & Tatanka & Smoking Gunns when Kid missed a charge into the corner and was pinned by IRS.
THE READERS PAGES
Current line-up for the Real Wrestling Hotline (900-903-9030; 99 cents per minute) is Monday: Myself and Mike Mooneyham; Tuesday: Steve Beverly and Scott Hudson; Wednesday: Me and Boni Blackstone; Thursday: Scott Hudson and ?; Friday: Me and Steve Beverly; Saturday: Steve Beverly and Joe Pedicino; Sunday: Mark Madden and Georgiann Makropoulos.
Wade Keller has just released the 1993 Pro Wrestling Torch yearbook, a 66-pager with year-end awards, top 100 ratings, feature stories, a glossary of pro wrestling terms and a lengthy interview with Ted DiBiase unique among wrestling newsletter interviews because it seemed he left his "working" boots off. This publication is highly recommended. Price is $10 in the U.S. and Canada and $13.50 overseas, at P.O. Box 201844, Minneapolis, MN 55420.
For information on how to find out if the Wrestling Insiders radio show is in your market or what station in your market you can contact to help get it on, send a SASE to the Wrestling Insiders, 8635 W. Sahara Ave., Box 542, Las Vegas, NV 89117. Mike Tenay is also selling a two-hour audiocassette featuring highlights of recent radio interviews with Ric Flair, Jim Hellwig, Tully Blanchard, Vader, Bobby Heenan, Jerry Lawler, Cactus Jack and Terry Funk for $10 at the same address.
Jeff Rodrigues of 6486 Lotus Ct., Newark, CA 94560 is looking for Florida and Georgia tapes from the 70s through early 80s, WWF 1983-84 TV tapes from St. Louis and any WWF footage or independent footage of Alexis Smirnoff, particularly against Andre the Giant, Sgt. Slaughter and Tito Santana.
New England Pro Wrestling at 121 Cohasset St., Worcester, MA 01604 has a ring for rent as reasonable rates.
Bill D'Anna of RD2 Box 480, Brockway, PA 15824 is looking for a tape of the Larry Cameron benefit show on 12/27/93 and any tapes of Demolition Ax & Blast and Apache Bull Ramos.
John Brooks of 5949 Terrace Dr., House Springs, MO 63051 is looking for WCW PPV posters, Japanese wrestling masks, WCW dolls released exclusively overseas and Jushin Liger dolls.
Jeff Xuereb of 75 Vincent Ave., St. Albans 3021 Melbourne, Australia is looking for the June/July 1984, August/September 1984, August/September 1985 issues of WWF Magazine and the first three WWF Spotlight magazines.
Hernan Villareal of 1920 W. El Portal, La Habra, CA 90631 has the 3/12 AAA show from Los Angeles for trade and is looking for a regular supplier of SMW and ECW tapes.
Brian Last of 257 Neptune Bl., Long Beach, NY 11561 has Bluegrass Brawl for trade and is looking for old Detroit and Georgia tapes.
Brandon Chow of 11812 Tunstall St., Garden Grove, CA 92645 is looking to trade for new WWF Hasbro figures, AAA figures and entrance music tapes from Mexico and is looking to subscribe to Arena Magazine.
Mike Richardson of 1663 N. Riverside Dr. #C , South Bend, IN 46616 is looking for 70s and 80s wrestling videotapes from all over and tapes of Roller Derby and a tape of Ric Flair on Larry King.
Michael McDonald of 195 Fries Mill Rd., Cumberland #16 , Turnersville, NJ 08012 has a Japanese flag autographed by Chris Benoit, Sabu and Jushin Liger for sale.
Casio Yamamoto of 2-2 #305 Kanshiji, Higashide-cho, Yamashina-Ku Kyoto 607 Japan is looking for videotapes of Australian shootwrestling, Australian kick boxing, European wrestling posters and programs that include Japanese wrestlers.
George Simone of 22-04 77th St., Jackson Heights, NY 11370 is looking for audio and videotapes of Pearl Jam and has a complete version of Superclash III available for trade.
Colin Spencer of P.O. Box 583, Provo, UT 84603 has wrestling tapes for trade and is looking at getting USWA t-shirts and merchandise and will trade tapes for those items.
Jerry Grey of 6315 Jennings Rd., Orlando, FL 32818 is looking for eight wrestlers, six men and two women and two rings in the Las Vegas area for upcoming shows. Send photos or resumes to the address.
Chris Rose of P.O. Box 214, Big Stone Gap, VA 24219 would look to buy packages or loose AWA Remco figures of Midnight Rockers, Buddy Rose & Doug Somers, Sheik Adnan El-Kaissey, Boris Zhukov and Nord the Barbarian and would like to correspond with fans in England or Japan who have WCW International figures of Freebirds, Dustin Rhodes, Big Josh, Lex Luger and Sting.
Bill Gilger of 10 N. Shamokin St., Shamokin, PA 17872 is looking for tapes of matches with Bruno Sammartino against either Stan Hansen or Bobby Duncum.
Michael Tisdale of 8400 Shore Front Pkwy. #2-C , Rockaway Beach, NY 11693 is looking for SNES game traders, wrestles theme music and would like to hear from fans in the New York area.
Stuart Kemp at P.O. Box 31004, St. Johns Post Office, Port Moody, BC V3H 2C0 Canada puts out Western Ringside Report covering British Columbia, Alberta and Manitoba wrestling for $2 per issue.
Myron Popowski of 42 Woodmont, Springfield, MA 01104 is looking to trade videotapes.
Alex Rodriguez of 83-08 Broadway #509 , Flushing, NY 11373 has a tape of the 1/4 Tokyo Dome show and would like to receive tape lists.
Everett Reagan of 1717 16th Av. #25 , Seattle, WA 98122 is interested in purchasing videos of Portland Wrestling and martial arts films with Richard Norton.
The NWA at P.O. Box 22, National Park, NJ 08063 has the Chris Benoit vs. Sabu match for $25.
Greg Ferrell of 20 Windsor Mews, Cherry Hill, NJ 08002 is looking for tapes of The Spoiler from Georgia and can trade virtually anything in exchange.
Charles Dietrich of 2200 Frantz, La Habra, CA 90631 is looking for a tape of the Hogan-Inoki IWGP title match.
Bernd Hashemian of Saatweg 26, D-425 Minden, Germany is looking for people interested in getting NTSC New Japan and All Japan tapes.
Mark Taylor of 208 Sports Rd., Mount Juliet, TN 37122 is looking for a ring in good or great condition in Tennessee to buy.
Lou Pickney of 4914 Timberdale Dr., Nashville, TN 37211 is looking for tapes of Brutus Beefcake and can trade Memphis tapes in exchange.
Don Braddy Jr. of 4901 Heil Ave. #B-10 , Huntington Beach, CA 92649 is looking for tapes of Halloween Havoc '93 and SuperBrawl IV, the TBS All-nighter and the 2/5 ECW show and has most PPV shows to trade in exchange.
Kevin Hauer of 6666 W. Washington Ave. #419 , Las Vegas, NV 89107 is looking to get in touch with wrestling fans in Las Vegas.
Tommy Fierro of 14 Terrace Ave., West Paterson, NJ 07424 has ECW tapes for trade.
Christopher Lang of 315 Meadowridge Dr., Warner-Robins, GA 31093 has a tape of the 3/10 SMW Marietta show for trade and is looking for NWA Grand Slam II, ECW shows with Sabu's debut, title wins and matches with Funk or Douglas, USWA shows with Papa Shango or Owen Hart beating Jerry Lawler and Lawler regaining the title from Owen Hart, NWA handhelds from 88-90 and other major handhelds and NWA television shows from 85-87 with title changes and Tiger Mask cartoons.
Eric Simms of 9 Geanne Wy., Marlboro, NJ 07746 has photos for sale.
Jon Peck of 11 Dix St., Hamden, CT 06514 is looking for AAA and EMLL action figures to buy.
Ron Pimpsner of 16 Governor Rd., Staten Island, NY 10314 is looking for tapes of Pro Wrestling USA from 1984-85, pre-1987 AWA, AWA Superclash II from San Francisco, AWA Wrestle Rock '86 from Minneapolis, AWA Superclash IV from St. Paul, AWA Twin Wars '90 from St. Paul and WWF Shea Stadium from 1980.
Adrian Chavarria of 4950 Sugar Grove B. #903 , Stafford, TX 77477 has AAA Konnan action figures for sale or trade.
Matt Obema of 7670 Lantana Dr., Buena Park, CA 90620 has a tape of the Ultimate Fight Championship II for trade and is looking for a tape of Sting's appearance on Arsenio Hall.
Ashely Oglesby of 880 Harold Dr., Denham Springs, LA 70726 is looking for tapes of SMW, Mid South, Mid Atlantic and FMW.
Joe Lancello of 219 1/2 W. Green Bay St., Shawano, WI 54166 is looking for a cassette tape or CD of theme music from the 1988 version of Maeda's UWF.
Timothy Vachula of 27 Scammel Ave., Pittsfield, MA 01201 is looking for anyone who can get wrestling figures from overseas and for tape lists.
Mark Black of 475 Liberty Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15224 is looking for All Japan souvenirs such as jackets or hats.
WRESTLEMANIA
Thumbs down. Maybe I'll stop buying WWF PPV's and rent them when they're released on video and save $20 a pop. The ladder match and Bret Hart's matches were good and you could scrap the rest. It was nice to see Jerry Lawler once again. In hindsight, Mr. Perfect and Roddy Piper should have been announced a few weeks back and become part of their respective angles because there was history between Perfect and Luger and Piper and Hart. What happened to Bucky & Vinny?
There couldn't have been a better opening match. Although the result was an upset, it all made sense at the end. The mixed tag was better than expected while the Falls Count Anywhere was flat. Although Quebecers vs. MOM was a mess, it did have two great moves. Luger vs. Yokozuna was just one long resthold. When Lawler said, "Why does Luger prolong the agony?" he must have meant the agony of the fans watching such a boring match. Why even have Earthquake and Adam Bomb wrestle? The ladder match was five stars and a strong contender for match of the year. Yokozuna-Hart almost took a backseat to Piper as referee. I believe the Bret vs. Owen main events will be stronger draws than Luger vs. Hart or Yokozuna vs. Hart.
Steve Wacker
Lynwood, Illinois
Thumbs up, if only because McMahon played it like Gorbachev. He saw his Luger strategy was a failure but had the guts to pull the plug on the original plan before more damage was done.
Name withheld by request
Slight thumbs up. For $29.95 we should have gotten more than two good matches. There were a couple of surprises, but the two title matches were just reruns of previous matches with all the same spots. Best match was Bret vs. Owen. Owen Hart can wrestle, but he needs to take an improv class on interviews. Best worker was Shawn Michaels.
Elliott Serrano
Chicago, Illinois
Thumbs in the middle. Best match was Bret vs. Owen. Worst was Yokozuna vs. Luger. I was amazed at the difference between Yokozuna vs. Luger and Yokozuna vs. Hart. It looked like Yokozuna was someone who couldn't work a lick when he wrestled Luger. Against Hart he looked as decent as a big tub of goo can look. It just goes to show that some people can work, and some people can't.
Ron Daignault
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
I attended Wrestlemania live and have to give it a major thumbs up. Everyone worked to the best of their abilities and the matches that looked bad on paper, with the exception of Luger-Yokozuna, were kept short. Bret vs. Owen was as satisfying as any great match in Japan. Shawn Michaels' performance was breathtaking. Rating that match anything but ***** would be an injustice to both wrestlers. Quebecer Pierre may be the most underrated man in wrestling. He's still a little green but shows flashes of brilliance and could be great one day. Vince McMahon has been criticized for slipshod booking the past few years, but with this show he displayed the same drive that put the WWF over in 1985.
David Doyle
Braintree, Massachusetts
SMW
Absolute b.s. I did not tape the 2/13 SMW show. I arranged, in advance, with Brian Hildebrand to have SMW guys who knew Eddie Gilbert to comment for a documentary I'm producing. K.C. O'Connor is a liar. If K.C. can prove that anyone purchased a copy of that phantom tape from me, I will pay him $1,000.
Bob Barnett
Santa Monica, California
ULTIMATE FIGHT
I had about 20 people over at my house recently. After dinner, I put in the Ultimate Fight II tape. Much to my surprise, all ten males at the house were on the edge of their seats. Not one of those people was even a casual wrestling fan and I believe none of them were even casual boxing fans. One guy was into karate and had heard of Royce Gracie. Afterwards there was great interest from them all about getting together for the next Ultimate Fight PPV show in September. I seriously doubt any U.S. style of pro wrestling would spark anywhere near that kind of interest inn affluent adult viewers.
With this in mind, has it ever occurred to WCW or anyone in the U.S. to try to put on reality-based matches? I remember what really hooked me as a fan in the 80s was seeing the UWF in Japan. While Eric Bischoff and the fools are spending millions at WCW to draw crowds in the hundreds, shoot style with far less money draws crowds in the tens of thousands. I understand we are dealing with a different culture, but there must to a whole lot more to learn from the successful Japanese companies than any U.S. promoters have been able to absorb.
Jay Arbetman
Oak Park, Illinois
Having been a practitioner and instructor of martial arts for the past ten years, I have never seen a martial art so deadly effective, so street defensive as what I saw with Royce Gracie's Jui Jitsu on the Ultimate Fighting Challenge II. I've personally witnessed and trained in the Gracie system of Jui Jitsu and it is an unbeatable art. The whole idea is to take your opponent to the ground and set them up for a choke or a submission. If anyone thought the Ultimate Fighting Challenge was a work or rigged in any way for Gracie to win, just find someone to challenge them and see if they can beat him.
Eric Simms
Marlboro, New Jersey
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Re: Wrestling Observer 1994

April 18 1994 Observer Newsletter: Charge dropped in McMahon case, Harding, biggest Hogan payoff and for what match, more
Wrestling Observer Newsletter
PO Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228 April 18, 1994
This coming week may be one of the most eventful weeks for the business of the year. For the first time ever, there are back-to-back PPV shows on Saturday and Sunday night with UWFI's Shootfighting II and WCW's Spring Stampede, although the former is seemingly having a far more limited penetration than the first UWFI PPV. Also on Saturday night, All Japan and New Japan go head-to-head with major Tokyo shows, All Japan holding the finals of the annual Champion Carnival tournament at Budokan Hall and New Japan holding All-Star Junior Wars (a one-night junior heavyweight tournament involving wrestlers from seven different promotions in Japan and Mexico). If reports from inside the promotion are correct, this also may be the week that Hulk Hogan comes to terms with WCW.
In what was reported on two New York television stations on 4/6, the U.S. Justice Department has dropped one of the two charges in regard to steroid distribution against Titan Sports. Sean O'Shea of the Justice Department, who is prosecuting the case against both Titan Sports and CEO Vince McMahon, indicated to WPIX-TV in New York (which teased the story in news promo breaks all night long) that the decision to drop the one charge was "for tactical reasons," while Titan Sports' attorneys claimed on camera the dropping of the charge was proof that the government had no case. All posturing aside, whatever the truth is in these statements will become obvious in only a few more weeks, but the story was covered as a major victory for Titan because it guaranteed the company will stay in business after the trial, although I don't really think there was any chance of the company folding even with four guilty verdicts, although property loss would have certainly been a huge financial hit. Both counts against McMahon remain as of press time, which bring with them a maximum eight years in prison and $500,000 in fines. The two counts against Titan were for 1) Conspiracy to distribute steroids; and 2) For illegal distribution of steroids. Attempts to confirm which of the two charges were dropped by the government have been unsuccessful and weren't reported on either news report, however it has been confirmed that by the dropping of the count, the government is no longer attempting to seize company assets, most importantly Titan Towers, the $10 million office complex in Stamford, CT. The dropping of the charge did eliminate any possibility for what would have been the most potentially devastating blow financially to the company that a conviction could have brought. But it had been known since a December Supreme Court ruling that it would be very difficult for the government to seize Titan Towers. It is believed that a December U.S. Supreme Court ruling on seizing of assets in drug cases was a factor in this decision, in that even if the government got a conviction, they would have to go through another expensive procedure to seize the building and the mood of the Supreme Court was such that if it was appealed, the odds were that the government would be unsuccessful in seizing the building in the long run. The remaining three counts are, pending either a plea bargain, an 11th hour dropping of
any or all charges, or a postponement, scheduled to be tried beginning 5/2 at the Nassau County Court House in Uniondale, NY.
Chunichi Sports, a Japanese daily sports newspaper which originally broke the story about All Japan women's plan to sign Tonya Harding as a pro wrestler, reported in a front page story on 4/11 that a deal has been completed between AJW and Harding for Harding to appear for one show, the 11/10 card at the Tokyo Dome. Our Japanese sources indicate no deal has been completed, although negotiations are considered at the serious stage for the first time. This story hasn't broken as of press time in any other Japanese newspaper or television station. The story reported that the contract would not be signed until May, but that it was 100 percent that Harding would appear for the one show. Sources close to AJW told us at press time that a deal had not been reached but believed the chances of it happening were better than ever--perhaps 50 percent as opposed to less than one percent two weeks ago. The newspaper printed a photo of AJW Vice President Toshikuni Matsunaga (younger brother of Takashi Matsunaga whose original quotes garnered considerable media attention several weeks ago in the U.S.) negotiating with Harding's lawyer and the American lawyer for AJW. According to the story, AJW opened negotiations with Harding offering her $380,000 to work 50 dates starting with the Tokyo Dome and continuing throughout 1995. Harding's representatives in turn proposed $2 million for one match. The newspaper reported the deal agreed upon was close to $2 million for one match, although I can't believe that type of figure could be justified and am exceedingly skeptical of its legitimacy. It would by leaps and bounds be the biggest payoff in the history of the wrestling business. The story also reported that the company admitted they would be losing considerable money on the deal no matter what the Dome house was. Apparently they would be more concerned with setting an attendance record for p.r. value of creating an aura nationally of even more of a womens wrestling boom than last year, and getting on the map internationally that Harding's name value and a huge house at the Dome could bring, then actually making a profit on the show itself. It is up to the court in Portland, OR if Harding would even be allowed to accept the deal, because terms of her felony plea bargain limit her travel to the states of Washington, Oregon and California.
It is believed that and has apparently been testified in court that, including merchandising and videotape royalties, that the largest payoff ever for one match was Hulk Hogan receiving in the vicinity of $1 million for his 1989 Wrestlemania match with Randy Savage. Reports we've received indicate that some main eventers on the biggest WWF PPVs, besides Hogan, when the buy rates were at their peak, received in the $125,000 to $150,000 range and Ultimate Warrior's proposed and dropped lawsuit against Titan threw around seven figures for PPV matches. Although many sports publications reported in 1986 that Refrigerator Perry received $350,000 for appearing in Wrestlemania II, the real figure was $150,000. People Magazine reported that Burt Reynolds received $200,000 for his appearance at the recent Wrestlemania, that since that was probably a publicity leak from Reynolds' camp, there is a good chance that figure is somewhat inflated but he obviously didn't work cheap. The largest known one-match payoff in Japan would probably be slightly in excess of $100,000 for Hulk Hogan and Antonio Inoki for recent Tokyo Dome and Fukuoka Dome shows and Koji Kitao was rumored to
have received in the $80,000 range for his match with Nobuhiko Takada. The story said the company is hoping Harding enjoys wrestling enough that she continues with it in 1995, but that Harding wouldn't commit to more than the one match to see if she liked it. Aja Kong was quoted as saying that she and the other women would be happy to have Harding join their promotion because it would only raise the pay scale for everyone involved. The story also quoted Etsuko Mita and Mima Shimoda as saying they would want to team with Harding at the Dome show and hoped that she would have enough fun doing the match that she would do it again. The story reported All Japan women would attempt to PPV the Dome show to the United States but that is a long, long way from happening although it is true that the company is attempting to get on American television. With a weekly television outlet, Harding's name value, and a great promotional effort behind it, the show would garner interest at the beginning.
There was a lot of talk all weekend that WCW officials expected to come to an agreement early this week with Hulk Hogan and subject of several news reports on 4/11 and 4/12 in the New York market. If the agreement is finalized before the weekend, it was expected there was a good chance that Hogan would be in Chicago for the Spring Stampede PPV show as has been strongly hinted on WCW telecasts. The Hogan hype has been amazing, if only because the company has already started making Hogan the centerpiece of its company before it even has him signed and with knowledge that Hogan's release from Titan Sports gives them the legal option to match any offer and prevent him from accepting the WCW offer according to a report on a New York television station citing a Titan Sports source, which is consistent with information we've received. If Hogan doesn't wind up with WCW, it will leave the company with major egg on their faces. WCW VP Eric Bischoff canceled a planned 4/11 meeting with AAA and IWC officials in order to fly to Orlando and attempt to finalize the deal with Hogan. On 4/8, Bischoff and Ric Flair were in Orlando negotiating with Hogan and discussing potential scenarios involving him that would be used if he came in, which are believed to include Hogan winning the WCW title. Although Hogan didn't agree to the deal on 4/8, some WCW officials felt there was a strong chance that an agreement would take place before the PPV show. Because of his contractual release from Titan, even if Hogan agrees to a deal, it would be 21 days after that point before he could legally sign a contract because Titan has 21 days to match the offer, and if Titan matches the offer, Hogan still couldn't sign, which is why the offer is said to include such amazing revenue percentages of merchandise and PPV revenue that there is no way Titan would match it. The belief is Hogan would still be able to appear on WCW PPV and television events, just not wrestle on them, before officially signing which is the key for Sunday's show. The current time table seems to be that he wouldn't wrestle until the 7/17 PPV show against Flair anyway. If Hogan is to return to wrestling in the U.S. this summer or fall, which it certainly seems probable he will given how much he's talked about returning, WCW seems to be the only viable option. HBO officials have been denying all week that they would even consider running a wrestling promotion and have totally dismissed Hogan's claim of a major offer. As for the potential of Hogan starting up his own company, while it apparently has been discussed, there doesn't appear to have been any serious movement in that direction as far as talent and administrative acquisitions and it would take months of planning before it could be put together, so that has to be viewed right now as a
major longshot and a tremendous gamble. Signing with WCW would be a gamble because if it flops, it would damage the Hogan mystique as a draw, and most of what WCW has done in recent years has flopped. However, they have the financial resources to put big money on the table, so there would be no financial gamble for Hogan and even in a worst case scenario, he'd probably make huge money.
New Japan announced on 4/8 the key matches for the 5/1 Fukuoka Dome show, which is the largest indoor arena in Japan. Besides the matches already reported here--The Hell Raisers defending the IWGP tag team titles against Rick & Scott Steiner and Rick Rude defending the WCW International title against Sting, and what we expected to be the main event that was made official--Antonio Inoki vs. Great Muta, the following matches were added: Tatsumi Fujinami defends the IWGP heavyweight title against Shinya Hashimoto, which explains the 4/4 title switch; Masa Chono vs. Yoshiaki Fujiwara; Hiroshi Hase vs. Riki Choshu (if Choshu can't have a good match with Hase, then it is time for him to move to a mid-card non-serious spot); Yoshiaki Yatsu vs. Shiro Koshinaka and The Original Tiger Mask (Satoru Sayama) vs. Jushin Liger in match of the two most popular junior heavyweight wrestlers in Japanese history. At the press conference the Sayama-Liger match was not announced as a definite, but said that it would take place if Sayama was able to get back into top shape in time for the show. Reportedly, and this is likely hype as much as anything, Sayama has already dropped 40 pounds since appearing in the New Japan ring on 3/16 announcing he was coming back to the promotion after 11 years. Putting Sayama in with Liger right away is a gamble because if they have anything but a great match, it'll expose Sayama isn't what he once was and hurt his drawing power for the expected Tokyo Dome match in January against Inoki. However, Liger is the guy who has the ability to carry Sayama better than anyone else and it is a match that will sell tickets. In addition, El Gigante (Giant Gonzales) will appear, probably against Tadao Yasuda, which almost sounds like someone's idea of a practical joke.
The scheduled line-up for Slamboree PPV on 5/22 in Philadelphia is Rude defending the WCW International title against Vader, Flair defending the WCW title against "A member of the Stud Stable" managed by Col. Parker (does that mean Col. Parker is now the Tennessee Stud again?) who it is believed will be Barry Windham, Nasty Boys defending the tag titles against Kevin & Evad Sullivan (The Equalizer), Terry Funk vs. Tully Blanchard, Dustin Rhodes vs. Bunkhouse Buck (Jimmy Golden) in a bullrope match, Steve Austin vs. Johnny B. Badd for the U.S. title and Steve Regal vs. Larry Zbyszko (no word on WCW TV title). No Sting. No Steamboat. And they won't be announcing the challenger for the title match until show time, although billing the challenger as a 6-7 blond former world champion means they are going to try and do the ultimate swerve to make you think it's a Flair-Hogan main event without actually saying it or delivering it. This doesn't guarantee Rude not losing to Sting, because they could do a quickie double switch again, with it going back to Rude at the Fukuoka Dome, and have Rude as champion for Slamboree.
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RESULTS
3/13 El Toreo in Naucalpan (UWA): Lobo Rubio & Mohicano II d Rey Richard & Angel o Demonio, Black Power & Principe Maya & Villano I b Celestial & Blackman II & Seminarista, El Mercenario & Karloff Lagarde Jr. & Rocky Santana b El Monarca & Ruben Juarez Jr. & Nuevo Audaz, El Signo & El Texano & Negro Navarro b Transformer & El Hijo de Anibal & Halcon Dorado Jr., Yamato & Villano III & Shu el Guerrero b Canek & Dos Caras & Scorpio Jr.-DQ
3/14 Puebla (UWA): La Gata & La Indomable b Lady Magic & Linda Starr, Rey Richard & Rocky Santana & Karloff Lagarde Jr. b Siminarista & Mensajero de la Muerte & El Coloso, El Signo & El Texano & Negro Navarro b Nuevo Audaz & Transformer (Kendo) & El Hijo de Anibal, Scorpio Jr. & Dos Caras & Halcon Dorado Jr. b Shu el Guerrero & Los Villanos III & IV-DQ, UWA hwt title: Yamato b Canek to win title
3/15 Arena Coliseo in Mexico City (EMLL): Tigre de Oro & Nuevo Lynx d Xavier Rocca & Angel de Plata, Olimpico & Olimpus b Supremo II & Babe Richard, Metalico & Justiciero & Brazo de Platino b Drako & Tornado Negro I & Guerrero de la Muerte-DQ, Ringo Mendoza & Blue Demon Jr. & Americo Rocca b Kung Fu & Javier Cruz & Halcon Negro Jr., Non-title: Angel Blanco Jr. & Dr. Wagner Jr. & Gladiador Jr. b Los Brazos
3/16 Acapulco (EMLL): Kimba b Lalo el Exotico-DQ, Porky & Genesis b Guerero & Rudo, La Sombra & Ciclon Ramirez b Felino & Guerrero de la Muerte-DQ, Non-title: Bestia Salvaje & Emilio Charles Jr. & Sangre Chicana b Los Brazos
3/18 Arena Mexico in Mexico City (EMLL): Panico & Cadaver de Ultratumba b El Filoso & Triton, Kung Fu & Javier Cruz & Cachorro Mendoza b Americo Rocca & Blue Demon Jr. & Chicago Express, Brazo de Plata & El Hijo de Solitario & Pantera II b Guerrero Maya & Guerrero del Futuro & Damian el Guerrero, Silver King & Mocho Cota b Negro Casas & Dandy-DQ, Yamato & Pierroth Jr. & Emilio Charles Jr. b King Haku & La Fiera & Rayo de Jalisco Jr.
3/18 Netzahualcoyotol (UWA - 1,500): Black Birds I & II b Suspenso & El 32-DQ, Teutones I & II & Titere b Arqeros I & II & III, Rocky Santana & Karloff Lagarde Jr. & Principe Maya b Ruben Juarez Jr. & Seminarista & Soberbio, Los Villanos III & IV & Shu el Guerrero b Scorpio Jr. & Nuevo Audaz & El Hijo de Anibal-DQ, UWA hwt title: Canek b Yamato 31:00 to win title
3/20 Mexico City Pista Arena Revolucion (EMLL - 2,000): Tigre de Oro & Astro Jr. b Ultimatum & Olimpus, Guerrero del Futuro & Guerrero Maya & Damian el Guerrero b Panico & Tornado Negro I & Archangel de la Muerte, Oso Negro & Pantera II & La Sombra b Popitekus & Cachorro Mendoza & Espectro Jr., Vampiro Casanova & Atlantis & Silver King b Negro Casas & Black Magic & Javier Cruz, Mask vs. mask: Legendario b Kunda (unmasked as Martin Moreno, 28)
3/24 Cancun (AAA - 8,000 sellout): Octagoncito & Mascarita Sagrada & Super Munequito b Jerrito Estrada & Piratita Morgan & Espectrito **3/4, IWC
middleweight title: Misterioso b Volador 23:30 **, Tiger Mask & Octagon & Latin Lover b Pirata Morgan & La Parka & Blue Panther **1/2, Black Cat & Chicano Power & Love Machine b Konnan El Barbaro & Cien Caras & Perro Aguayo-DQ *1/2
3/25 Calgary (Canadian Rocky Mountain Wrestling): J.J. Taylor b Johnny Lee, Steve Rivers b Katana, Eric Freeze b Dale Rivers, Black Bart (not Texas wrestler of same name) & Randy Rudd b Chris Craemer & Klaus Bruderheim, Ken Johnson b Jason Helton-DQ, Steve Wilde b Rob Austin
3/25 Sierra Vista, AZ (IWA - 1,500): Larry Ludden b The Sadist, Don Juan b Verne McMillan, Mr. Outrageous b Thunder Machine, Victoria Bradley & Satin Doll b Barbara Blaze & Sabrina Fury, Ludden & McMillan & Thunder DDQ Outrageous & Juan & Sadist, Tito Santana b Greg Valentine
3/26 Merida (AAA - 2,800): Prelim results unavailable, Mexican minis title: Octagoncito b Jerrito Estrada to win title ***1/4, Psicosis & El Satanico & Espectro b El Hijo del Santo & Perro Aguayo & Angel Azteca-DQ ***1/2, Black Cat & Love Machine & Chicano Power b Cien Caras & Mascara Ano 2000 & Universo 2000 *1/4
3/26 Silver City, NM (IWA - 850): Larry Ludden b The Sadist, Don Juan b Darren Langdon, Mr. Outrageous b Thunder Machine, Victoria Bradley & Satin Doll b Barbara Blaze & Sabrina Fury, Ludden & Langdon & Thunder DDQ Outrageous & Juan & Sadist, Tito Santana b Greg Valentine
4/1 Calgary (Canadian Rocky Mountain Wrestling): Steve Rivers b Chris Craemer, Randy Rudd b Sonny Corleone, Black Bart b Katana, Ken Johnson & Eric Freeze b Jason Helton & Dale Rivers, Steve Wilde & J.J. Taylor b Rob Austin & Steve Gillespie (Dr. Hannibal)
4/1 Union, SC (Big Time Wrestling - 117): American G.I. (Rich Scruggs) b Rick Starr, Barry Rose & The Breeze b Jackson Harley & Ricky Storm, Billy Ray Badd b Kenny V, Samoan Tai b Bad Dog-DQ, Bruiser Brothers b Scotty McKeever & Scotty Hot Body-COR, Super Rocker b The Assassin, Wahoo McDaniel & Jay Eagle b Rebel Stud & Scotty Piper to win Natl tag title
4/1 Fort Oglethorpe, GA (TWA): Jamie Strong b Michael Collins, Billy Montana b Dakota Outlaw, Richie Dye & Bubba Humphrey b Jimmy Sharpe & Bobby Rogers, Tracy Black b Widowmaker, Ken Timbs NC Kurt Von Himmler, Frankie Lee & Collins b Roger Sartain & Sam Colt
4/2 Haifa, Israel (WWF): Earthquake b Kwang, Bam Bam Bigelow b Tatanka, Diesel b Randy Savage, WWF title: Bret Hart b Owen Hart, Men on Mission b Head Shrinkers
4/2 Reynosa (AAA - 6,000 sellout): Rey Misterio Jr. & Volador b Juventud Guerrera & Misterioso-DQ, Los Payasos b Tinieblas Jr. & Latin Lover & El Mexicano, Tiger Mask & El Hijo del Santo & Lizmark b Blue Panther & Love Machine & Eddy Guerrero, IWC hwt title: Konnan El Barbaro b Cien Caras to win title
4/2 Humble, TX (Texas All-Star Wrestling - 315): Black Assassin b Wichita Willie, Ben Taylor b G.Q. Knight-DQ, Bruiser Bennett b Rick Garren, The Gladiator (Rick Lerebus/Marc Valiant) b Jason the 13th, Speedy Gonzales b Manu, Butcher Brothers b Hell Hounds
4/2 Chester, SC (North American Wrestling Alliance - 45): Scotty McKeever d Jay Eagle, American G.I. DDQ Bad Dog, Johnny B. Goode b Thunderfoot (Davis Isley), Robert Jones b Texas Ranger, Super Rocker b The Assassin, Buddy Shane b Jimmy Valentine-DQ
4/4 Sasebo (All Japan - 2,050 sellout): Satoru Asako b Kentaro Shiga, Rusher Kimura & Mitsuo Momota b Masao Inoue & Haruka Eigen, Johnny Smith & John Nord & Dan Kroffat b Mighty Inoue & Tamon Honda & Yoshinari Ogawa, Jun Akiyama b The Eagle, Kenta Kobashi b Doug Furnas, Stan Hansen b Johnny Ace, Steve Williams b Akira Taue, Mitsuharu Misawa & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi & Kobashi b Giant Baba & Masa Fuchi & Takao Omori 26:46
4/4 Memphis (USWA): Super Mario b Galaga, Spellbinder b Frank Parker, The Spiders b Reggie B. Fine & Doug Gilbert, USWA tag title: Don Bass & Jeff Gaylord b Moondogs-DQ, USWA title: Brian Christopher b Tommy Rich-DQ, Unified title: Jerry Lawler b Adam Bomb, I Quit match: Lawler & Christopher & Jimmy Valiant b Doug Gilbert & Rich & Dream Machine
4/4 Tampa (Florida Wrestling Alliance): Butch Long d Dennis the Menace, Billy Mack b Manny Fernandez, Vern Henderson b Red Devil, Bill Pain b Frankie Rose, The Viper & Jeff Bradley & Rick Thames & Sonny T b Randy Fuller & Jimmy Watts & Haystacks Calhoun Jr. & Freight Train Freddy
4/4 North Grosvenor Dale, CT (New England Pro Wrestling): Tournament for NEPW title, Rip Morrison b Shane Simons, Eclipse b Thrasher, Big City Mike (Rick Martello) b Bob Evans, P.J. Walker b Garfield Quinn, Tully McShane b Johnny Royal, Executioner b Jimmy Lazar, Mike b Eclipse-DQ, McShane b Walker, Joel Davis b Robbie Ellis-COR, McShane b Mike to win tourney and title
4/5 Kumamoto (All Japan - 3,200 sellout): Mitsuo Momota b Kentaro Shiga, John Nord b Tamon Honda, Mighty Inoue & Rusher Kimura b Masao Inoue & Haruka Eigen, Steve Williams b Johnny Smith, Giant Baba & Takao Omori & Yoshinari Ogawa b Satoru Asako & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi & Mitsuharu Misawa, Jun Akiyama d Johnny Ace 30:00, Kenta Kobashi b The Eagle, Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue & Masa Fuchi b Dan Kroffat & Doug Furnas & Stan Hansen
4/5 Omura (New Japan - 1,600): Yuki Ishikawa b Tatsuhito Takaiwa, Shinjiro Ohtani b Yuji Nagata, Akitoshi Saito b Tokimitsu Ishizawa, Hiro Saito & Norio Honaga b Jushin Liger & El Samurai, Kuniaki Kobayashi & Michiyoshi Ohara b Satoshi Kojima & Hiroshi Hase, Masa Chono b Osamu Kido, Great Kabuki & Shiro Koshinaka & Kengo Kimura b Akira Nogami & Takayuki Iizuka & Tadao Yasuda, Power Warrior & Keiji Muto & Shinya Hashimoto b Riki Choshu & Tatsumi Fujinami & Yoshiaki Fujiwara
4/5 Nagaoka (All Japan women - 1,100): Prelim results unavailable, Manami Toyota b Takako Inoue, Suzuka Minami & Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda b Aja Kong & Reggie Bennett & Kaoru Ito
4/5 Queretearo (UWA/AAA - 2,000): Takeda & Oriental b Canga Mohawks I & II, El Bucanero & Lobo Rubio b Tiger Man & Dragon de Oro, El Satanico & Psicosis & Espectro d Gran Hamada & Canadian Tiger (Mike Lonzasky) & Halcon Dorado Jr., Villano III & El Signo & Masakre b Konnan El Barbaro & Latin Lover & El Hijo del Santo
4/5 Pachuca (UWA/AAA - 3,500): Gran Apache & The Apache b Marabunta & El Hijo del Diablo, Rey Misterio Jr. & Volador & Winners d Karloff Lagarde Jr. & Shu el Guerrero & Principe Maya, Canek & Scorpio Jr. & Dos Caras b Cien Caras & Mascara Ano 2000 & Universo 2000-DQ
4/5 Winnipeg (International Wrestling Alliance TV taping- 800/mostly comps): Adam Impact b Joe Ace, Steve Rivers b Tiger Kasaki, Dr. Luther (Len St. Clair) b Chris Craemer, The Natural b Rivers, The Titan (Rick "Big Titan" Bogner) b
Katana, Chi Chi Cruz b Kerry Brown-DQ, Luther b Jake Steele, Eric Freeze b Johnny Paradise, Cruz & Robbie Austin b Kerry Brown & Kasaki, Steele b Zak Wilde, Impact b Paradise, Luther DDQ Steele, Titan b Natural-COR
4/5 Tampa (APW): Kevin Katlyn b Java Ruuk, Rico Morales b Butch Long, Randy Fuller b Ian Rotten-COR, Nuclear Assassin b Johnny West, Chubby Mo Cool b Lanny Poffo, Jim Neidhart & Horace Boulder DDQ Mike Awesome & Mohammad Stud
4/5 Fort Pierce, FL (Florida Wrestling Federation): Barry Houston d Alex G, Al Hardimann b Black Assassin, Phi Delta Slam & Chubby Mo Cool b The Hitmen & Super Destroyer, Rusty Brooks b Cliff Anderson, Lou Perez b Ricky Santana-COR
4/6 Hakata (All Japan - 2,900 sellout): Tsuyoshi Kikuchi b Kentaro Shiga, Rusher Kimura & Mitsuo Momota b Masao Inoue & Haruka Eigen, John Nord & The Eagle b Mighty Inoue & Tamon Honda, Giant Baba & Mitsuharu Misawa & Satoru Asako b Masa Fuchi & Yoshinari Ogawa & Takao Omori 26:20, Steve Williams & Johnny Ace b Dan Kroffat & Doug Furnas, Akira Taue b Jun Akiyama, Stan Hansen b Johnny Smith, Toshiaki Kawada b Kenta Kobashi 23:06
4/6 Ohita (New Japan - 1,250): Tokimitsu Ishizawa d Yuki Ishikawa, Satoshi Kojima b Tatsuhito Takaiwa, Jushin Liger & El Samurai b Yuji Nagata & Shinjiro Ohtani, Kuniaki Kobayashi & Akitoshi Saito b Norio Honaga & Hiro Saito, Masa Chono b Tadao Yasuda, Keiji Muto b Michiyoshi Ohara, Power Warrior & Hiroshi Hase & Shinya Hashimoto b Tatsumi Fujinami & Masa Saito & Osamu Kido, Riki Choshu & Akira Nogami & Takayuki Iizuka b Great Kabuki & Shiro Koshinaka & Kengo Kimura
4/6 Steinbeck, Manitoba (IWA): Steve Rivers b Johnny Paradise, Death Wolf Fendress b Eric Freeze, Chi Chi Cruz b Joe Ace, The Natural b Jake Steele, Dr. Luther (Len St. Clair) b Adam Impact, Steele won Royal Rumble Battle Royal
4/7 Miyagi (All Japan - 1,850): Satoru Asako & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi b Kentaro Shiga & Yoshinari Ogawa, Johnny Ace b Tamon Honda, Doug Furnas b John Nord, Rusher Kimura & Mighty Inoue & Mitsuo Momota b Masao Inoue & Haruka Eigen & Masa Fuchi, Steve Williams b Dan Kroffat, Akira Taue b Johnny Smith, Toshiaki Kawada b The Eagle, Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi & Jun Akiyama b Giant Baba & Stan Hansen & Takao Omori
4/7 Kumamoto (New Japan - 3,150 sellout): Shinjiro Ohtani b Yuki Ishikawa, Yuji Nagata b Tatsuhito Takaiwa, Akitoshi Saito b Satoshi Kojima, Akira Nogami & Takakyuki Iizuka b Jushin Liger & El Samurai, Super Strong Machine b Hiro Saito, Great Kabuki & Kengo Kimura b Masa Chono & Tadao Yasuda, Yoshiaki Yatsu & Shinichi Nakano & Norio Honaga b Michiyoshi Ohara & Kuniaki Kobayashi & Shiro Koshinaka, Riki Choshu & Yoshiaki Fujiwara b Great Muta & Hiroshi Hase-DQ, Tatsumi Fujinami & Osamu Kido b Power Warrior & Shinya Hashimoto
4/7 Cumberland, KY (SMW - 200): Steven Dunn b Bobby Blaze, Tracy Smothers b Timothy Well, SMW title: Dirty White Boy b Prince Kharis, SMW tag title: Rock & Roll Express b Brian Lee & Chris Candido-DQ, Smothers won Battle Royal
4/7 Plant City, FL (Plant City Wrestling Federation): Jerry Flynn b Freight Train Freddy, Luscious Luke b Red Devil, Cody Wade b Bill Garrett, Vern Henderson b Ned Brady-DQ, Ali Pasha b Butch Long & The Mechanic, Cuban Assassin b Odessa Slim, Randy Fuller & Jimmy Watts b Rick Thames & Sonny T
4/7 Yukulit, BC (West Coast Championship Wrestling - 105): Firefighter Adrian b Canadian Assassin, Timothy Flowers b Chi Chuck, Michelle Starr b Johnny Canuck, Flowers & Starr b Canuck & Chuck
4/7 Shelbyville, TN (All-State Pro Wrestling): Lonnie Lane b Top Gun, Gypsy Joe b Bono-DQ, Ken Arden & Billy Montana b Backwood Brawlers, Robbie Rage & Marcus Woodrow III b Glen Mullins & Regina Mullins, Big Bubba & Tiny b Chris Kerns & Mr. Sicko
4/8 Manhattan, KS (WCW - 880): Arn Anderson b Bobby Eaton, Steve Austin b Brian Pillman, Non-title: Kevin & Evad Sullivan b Nasty Boys, WCW Intl title: Rick Steamboat b Rick Rude-DQ, Non-title: Sting b Steve Regal, Vader b Anderson
4/8 Paintsville, KY (SMW - 500): Anthony Michaels b The Hornet, Well Dunn b Tracy Smothers & Bobby Blaze, SMW title: Dirty White Boy b Prince Kharis, SMW tag title: Rock & Roll Express b Brian Lee & Chris Candido, Candido won Paintsville Royal Rumble
4/8 Aizuwakamatsu (All Japan women - 1,230): Chapparita Asari b Kumiko Maekawa, Kaoru Ito b Tomoko Watanabe, Reggie Bennett & Bull Nakano b Toshiyo Yamada & Etsuko Mita, Kyoko Inoue b Mima Shimoda, Aja Kong & Suzuka Minami b Sakie Hasegawa & Yumiko Hotta
4/8 Flint, MI (Midwest Territorial Wrestling - 200): Steve Nixon b Denny Kass, Andy Fish b The Kodiak, Judge Dredd b Jerry Allen, Sabu b Al Snow ****1/2, Bobo Brazil Jr. b Mike Kelly, Bruiser Bedlam (Johnny K-9) b Scott D'Amore, Chris Carter & Mohammad Saad b Otis Apollo & Bobby Clancy, Road Warrior Hawk b Terry Funk-DQ
4/8 Indianapolis (Championship Wrestling America): Bar Room Brawlers DDQ Doug O'Briley & Flash Flannagan, Mad Man Pondo b Nick Nicnahad, Jerry Faith b Dan Anderson, Danny Davis b Sean Casey, Brawlers won Battle Royal, Mike Samples b The Comet
4/8 Hamilton, ONT (Canadian Wrestling Association - 250 sellout): Terry Morgan b The Assassin, Angelo Mosca Jr. b Pierre Bonet, Ricky Johnson b Bill Scullion, Dan Johnson b Steve Ocean, Jason & Mark Robertson (Jason & Mark Sterling) b Mad Dog Rex & Too Hip
4/8 Fort Oglethorpe, GA (Tri-State Wrestling): Bubba Humphrey & Mike Collins b Jimmy Sharpe & Jamie Strong, Billy Montana d Dakota Outlaw, Fly Guy & C.M. Quick b Ken Aden & Dangerous Danny, Widow Maker b Tracy Black, Sam Colt & Roger Sartain b Frank E. Lee & Johnny Blaze, Danny & Black & Kurt Von Himmler b Randy Steele & Lee & Widow Maker
4/8 Qualkin Beach, BC (West Coast Championship Wrestling - 125): Adrian Balboa b Chi Chuck, Michelle Starr b Johnny Canuck, Timothy Flowers b Badnews Allen-DQ
4/8 San Bernardino, CA (Golden State Wrestling Association): Kimara b Kid Kaos, Eric Studd b Rob Victory, Thrashmaster & Larry Ludden b Wayne's World & Drago, Jason Redondo b Jeff Bennett, Ludden b Brett Sazio, Scott Cole b Prime Time Peterson, Ladder match: Sadist b Studd
4/8 Bartlesville, OK (Power Zone Wrestling): Liberty Kid d Chains, The Shadow b Shawn Summers-DQ, Shadow & Kid b Chains & Billy Steele, Tom Jones b Rod Price-DQ, Steve Cox & Bill Irwin b Colossal Kongs
4/8 Waynesboro, NC (Mid Atlantic Wrestling - 200): Ray Storm b California Kid, Chief Navajo b Spud Wade, Preston Fitzgerald d Lady Killer, Ninja Warrior (Scott Block) b Ben Vardigan, Doug Gibson b Ivan Koloff, Billy Maddox & Buddy Landel b The Terminator & Roger Anderson, Maddox won Battle Royal
4/9 Kansas City, KS (WCW - 2,000): Arn Anderson b Bobby Eaton, Steve Austin b Brian Pillman, Non-title: Kevin & Evad Sullivan b Nasty Boys, WCW Intl title: Rick Steamboat b Rick Rude-DQ, Non-title: Sting b Steve Regal, WCW title: Ric Flair b Vader-DQ
4/9 Sendai (All Japan women - 3,000): Rie Tamada b Chapparita Asari, Little Buddha Man b Tsunokake, Suzuka Minami & Tomoko Watanabe b Takako Inoue & Kaoru Ito, Japanese title:Mima Shimoda b Miki Handa, Eagle Sawai b Etsuko Mita, Kyoko Inoue & Manami Toyota b Bull Nakano & Sakie Hasegawa, Aja Kong b Reggie Bennett, Yumiko Hotta & Toshiyo Yamada b Shinobu Kandori & Harley Saito
4/9 Morristown, TN (SMW - 550): Mike Furnas b The Hornet, Well Dunn b Tracy Smothers & Bobby Blaze, SMW title: Dirty White Boy b Prince Kharis, Lumberjack match: Bob Armstrong b Jim Cornette, SMW tag title: Rock & Roll Express b Chris Candido & Brian Lee-DQ
4/9 Taylor, MI (Midwest Territorial Wrestling - 638): Andy Fish b The Kodiak, Chris Carter & Mohammad Saad b Al Snow & Denny Kass, Ron Thiede b Lone Eagle, Judge Dredd b Scott D'Amore, Mike Kelly b Mickey Doyle, Scott Stevens b Scott Summers, Bobo Brazil Jr. & Road Warrior Hawk b Bruiser Bedlam & Johnny Paradise, Sabu b Terry Funk-COR ***3/4
4/9 Essex, MD (MEWF - 500): Mike Khoury b Bob Starr, Morgus the Maniac b Max Thrasher, Chad Austin b Ricky Blues-COR, Joe Thunder b Shane Shamrock, Goodfellas DCOR Duane & Wayne Gill, The Comet & Quinn Nash & J.R. Willert & Tyler Martin b Sons of Satan & Wolfman & Colossal Kong (not former WCW wrestler of same name), Nikolai Volkoff b Russian Assassin, Doink the Clown (Matt Osborne) b Lucifer, Heavenly Bodies b Rich Myers & Jimmy Janetty, Brutus Beefcake b Kimala-DQ
4/9 Linden, NJ (WWWA - 400): Mad Russian b Super Nova, Drake Debonair b Bobby Piper, Frankie Burns b Amazing Martine, Jack Hammer b Rick Ratchett, Diamond Express b Mr. Motion & Ace Darling, Jimmy Snuka b Metal Maniac, Abdullah the Butcher DDQ Nailz
4/9 Summerville, GA (Power House Wrestling): Yellow Flash b Wrestling Kid, Rick Blade b Crazy Ernie, Lady Hawk DCOR Double D, Scott James DDQ David Destruction, Cody Gunn b Kenny D, Rick Justice d Max Steel, Knight Hawk b Dakota Outlaw
4/9 Nanaimo, BC (Pacific Coast Championship Wrestling - 102): Johnny Canuck b Michelle Starr, Stunning Steve & Chi Chuck b Mike Roselli & Randy Tyler, The Hangman b Tyler-DQ, Firefighter Adrian b Rocky Dellassera-DQ, Timothy Flowers b Badnews Allen-DQ
4/9 Centre, AL (Bama Pro Wrestling): Widowmaker b Tracy Black, Billy Montana & Ken Arden b Big Bubba & Frankie Lee, Richie Dye b Widowmaker, Tim Strong b Ken Timbs, Steve Armstrong & Mr. Vain b Todd Zane & War Daddy
4/9 Miami, OK (Power Zone Wrestling): Chains b Tom Jones, Liberty Kid b Chains, Chief Standing Bear b Treach Phillips Jr., Steve Cox & Jones b Shawn Summers & Chains, Butch Reed b Rod Price
4/10 Springfield, MO (WCW - 2,100): Steve Austin b Brian Pillman, Arn Anderson b Bobby Eaton, Non-title: Kevin & Evad Sullivan b Nasty Boys, WCW Intl title: Rick Steamboat b Rick Rude-DQ, Non-title: Sting b Steve Regal, WCW title: Ric Flair b Paul Orndorff
4/10 Sendai (All Japan - 3,950 sellout): Satoru Asako b Kentaro Shiga, Yoshinari Ogawa & Mighty Inoue b Tamon Honda & Takao Omori, Johnny Ace & The Eagle b John Nord & Dan Kroffat, Jumbo Tsuruta & Rusher Kimura & Mitsuo Momota b Masao Inoue & Ryukaku Izumida & Haruka Eigen, Doug Furnas b Johnny Smith, Steve Williams b Jun Akiyama, Kenta Kobashi b Stan Hansen 26:55, Giant Baba & Mitsuharu Misawa & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi b Akira Taue & Toshiaki Kawada & Masa Fuchi 23:47
4/10 Nagasaki (New Japan - 1,300): Tatsuhito Takaiwa b Tokimitsu Ishizawa, Satoshi Kojima b Shinjiro Ohtani, Hiro Saito b El Samurai, Great Kabuki b Yuji Nagata, Jushin Liger b Norio Honaga, Riki Choshu & Tatsumi Fujinami & Osamu Kido b Michiyoshi Ohara & Shiro Koshinaka & Kengo Kimura, Hiroshi Hase & Tadao Yasuda b Kuniaki Kobayashi & Akitoshi Saito, Masa Chono & Keiji Muto & Shinya Hashimoto b Power Warrior & Akira Nogami & Takayuki Iizuka
4/10 Tokyo Korakuen Hall (JWP - 2,010 sellout): Fusayo Nouchi b Hiromi Sugo, Mayumi Ozaki b Hiromi Yagi, Hikari Fukuoka b Plum Mariko 21:29, Cutie Suzuki & Reggie Bennett b Dynamite Kansai & Boirshoi Kid, Devil Masami b Chigusa Nagayo 28:38
4/10 Koriyama (All Japan women - 1,250): Chapparita Asari b Rie Tamada, Tomoko Watanabe b Kumiko Maekawa, Bull Nakano & Suzuka Minami b Sakie Hasegawa & Yumiko Hotta, Toshiyo Yamada b Kaoru Ito, Manami Toyota & Kyoko Inoue & Takako Inoue b Aja Kong & Mima Shimoda & Etsuko Mita
4/10 Levittown, PA (WWWA - 300): Ace Darling b Bobby Piper, The Zombie b Mr. Motion, The Lumberjack b Steve Richards, Diamond Express b Super Nova & Drake Debonair, Jack Hammer b Harley Lewis, Jimmy Snuka b Metal Maniac
4/10 Alpharetta, GA (North Georgia Wrestling Alliance - 180 sellout): Bo LeDue b Steve Pritchard, Heartless b Mark Thorne, Scott Studd & Lee Thomas b The Flame (Daryl "Steve Lawler" Gower) & Mystic Warrior (Terry Gower), Bobby Hayes b David Young, Pritchard b Mike Golden-DQ, New Jack & Sheik Mutapha Ali b R.D. Swain & Ray Lloyd, LeDue b Thorne, Sam McGraw b Young, Thomas & Studd b Bod Squad, Mystic Warrior b Pritchard, Swain & Lloyd b Bod Squad, New Jack & Ali b Thomas & Studd to become NGWA tag champs in tourney final
4/10 Studio City, CA (Slammers): Vengeance b Malicious Mike-DQ, Vengeance b Jeff Lindberg, Hombre de Oro b Dynamite D
4/11 Utica, NY (WWF Monday Night Raw taping): Non-squash results: Earthquake b Bam Bam Bigelow, Razor Ramon b Jeff Jarrett-DQ, Ramon b Jarrett-COR, Diesel b Virgil, WWF tag title: Quebecers b Men on Mission, Bret Hart b Kwang, Lex Luger b Jarrett, Bret Hart & Ramon b Shawn Michaels & Owen Hart
Special thanks to: Shannon Rose, Mark Keahey, Matt Langley, Bruce Bennett, Dan Parris, Dan Farren, Jason Peters, Chris Zavisa, Mike Tenay, Bill Needham, Adam Kaine, Paul Sosnouski, Chuck Langerman, Bruce Grummert, Tim Noel, Scott Hudson, Casey Steffan, Brian Hildebrand, Gary Woronchak, Steve "Dr. Lucha" Sims, Gregg John, Mad Jack, Karin Moore, Paul MacArthur, Stuart Kemp
JAPANESE TELEVISION RUNDOWN
3/12 NEW JAPAN: 1. Satoshi Kojima made Manabu Nakanishi submit. Nakanishi threw a lot of nice suplexes but was still green and tentative in the ring, which says something since he and Jun Akiyama started at the same time. *3/4; 2. Nobukazu Hirai pinned Tatsuhito Takaiwa with a german suplex. *3/4; 3. Yoshiaki Yatsu &
Hiro Saito beat Michiyoshi Ohara & Kuniaki Kobayashi when Yatsu pinned Kobayashi with a stuff power bomb. Only the finish aired but it looked good; 3. Scott Norton pinned Shinya Hashimoto in a non-title match in 13:19. Bad. Hashimoto mainly worked on the left arm early and it was boring. Norton just didn't have it and the match was a mess. Norton won with a power bomb and backward splash. 1/4*; 4. Choshu & Fujinami & Fujiwara beat Koshinaka & Kimura & Goto in 12:29. Match was fine, but hardly a main event calibre bout. Fujiwara as the non-regular was the focus and got big pops whenever he used the armbar. After several saves, Fujiwara finally caught Kimura in the armbar in the middle for the submission **1/2
3/13 ALL JAPAN: 1. Ace & Richard Slinger & Rob Van Dam beat Patriot & Eagle & Johnny Gunn. Van Dam tried a lot, some of which looked weak and some of which looked good including a split-leg moonsault and a flip tope. Patriot & Eagle destroyed him outside the ring. Slinger probably looked the best of all. After several good near falls, Ace pinned Gunn with the Ace Crusher for an upset. ***; 2. Kawada & Taue beat Akiyama & Omori in 12:00. A good match, but not as good as it sounds considering the participants. The young team kept dropkicking Kawada in the knee to cut off his brutality. Omori looked green in spots. Taue pinned Omori with a nodowa (choke slam) in a finish below this group's typical excitement level. **3/4; 3. Williams pinned Nord with a dangerous back suplex in 9:18. Williams opened fired up and even did a tope, but when they got in and Nord got the advantage, the heat died. Match got dull even though it was short and they kept things moving but the people don't buy Nord's offense, even when he dove over the top rope with a kneedrop to Williams on the floor. Nord controlled the match since he was doing a job, but the people don't buy him because he looks uncoordinated by the way he works. After Nord missed a kneedrop off the top rope, Williams did the finisher. *1/2
3/19 NEW JAPAN: 1. Norton pinned Power Warrior in 10:27 with a powerslam. They traded power moves back-and-forth but this wasn't good. *1/4; 2. Choshu & Fujinami & Fujiwara beat Koshinaka & Kimura & Goto when Choshu pinned Goto after three lariats. **; 3. Hase pinned Rude in 16:52 to win the WCW International title. Started slow but Rude dropped Hase's stomach on the guard rail to gain an advantage. Hase did a comeback with a 20-rep giant swing. Rude kicked out of a german suplex and Hase kicked out of the Rude Awakening. Hase also kicked out of a piledriver, a DDT and a Russian leg sweep. Rude then blew his nose and wiped his sweat on Hase. As Rude went to the top rope, Hase hit him with a uranage (Soviet judo style back suplex), then two more uranages, but Rude got a sleeper. When Rude went for a sleeper again, Hase turned it into a Northern Lights suplex to win the title. ***
3/20 ALL JAPAN: 1. Williams pinned Eagle in 4:08 with a dangerous back suplex. Pretty much a squash match. 3/4*; 2. Hansen pinned Nord in 9:04 after a lariat. Hansen knows exactly how to work, but Nord doesn't have it at all. *; 3. Kawada made Johnny Smith submit to a stretch plum in 9:29. Match was okay, but at Korakuen Hall, nobody believed for a second Smith had a chance so no matter how hot Smith's wrestling was, he couldn't get any heat. **; 4. Misawa pinned Akiyama in 13:57 with a Tiger-driver. Below par for these two but still a good match. Akiyama controlled almost the entire match and got several near falls. Crowd didn't think he had a chance, but when he hit a power bomb and Misawa kicked out, the crowd woke up and was with it until the end. ***
3/26 JWP: 1. Candy Okutsu pinned Fusayo Nouchi in 13:53 after five back suplexes and a german suplex to retain the All-Japan jr. title. Started on the match but turned into a decent match in the last 4:00 with Okutsu showing a lot of potential *3/4; 2. Dynamite Kansai pinned Boirshoi Kid in 14:08 after dropping her on her head. Due to the size difference, this was almost all comedy. It was awful most of the way but picked up at the end. 3/4*; 3. Devil Masami & Mayumi Ozaki beat Hikari Fukuoka & Plum Mariko in 20:40 when Masami pinned Mariko after leaping off the top rope and sitting on her. It wasn't good early but picked up into a good match, particularly in the last 5:00. Masami was well below her normal standard. ***; 4. Chigusa Nagayo pinned Cutie Suzuki with a power bomb in :49. About as good as you're going to get in a match this short. *
3/27 ALL JAPAN: 1. Taue drew Kobashi over 30:00. The last 21:00 aired on television and it was a well-paced long match which kept building until the end. Both men pulled out the hot moves for the last 10:00 or so getting near falls back-and-forth. It was great, but no better than you'd expect from these two. ****; 2. Hansen pinned Kawada in 19:48. Very stiff but slow match. These guys largely pounded on each other with forearm blows and looked like they were trying to kick 50-yard field goals with each other. Very good, but nowhere close to some of their matches last year since they worked slow and the crowd never exploded, and they didn't do near falls at the end. Hansen went for a lariat a few times but Kawada caught him with the Fujiwara armbar, but finally Hansen hit the lariat and got the fall. ***1/2
UWA
For the record, the dates of the quickie Canek-Yamato UWA title change saw Canek lose the title on 3/14 in Puebla with a power bomb in the third fall; and regain the strap on 3/18 in Netzahualcoyotl in Yamato's last match with the promotion before leaving for EMLL. In the 4/4 issue we had given a 3/15 date for the Puebla match.
The biggest news is that on 4/5, UWA combined with AAA to run interpromotional matches at its regular weekly shows in Pachuca and Queretearo. In Pachuca they drew a near sellout, which was the largest crowd for the UWA in that city in almost three years, to see Canek & Dos Caras & Scorpio Jr. beat Cien Caras & Mascara Ano 2000 & Universo 2000 via DQ when Cien Caras hit Canek with a low blow. On that show, regardless of who were the faces or heels, the crowd was vocally behind the UWA wrestlers in every match. In the semifinal, which saw AAA tecnicos Rey Misterio Jr. & Winners & Volador go to a draw against UWA heels Karloff Lagarde Jr. & Shu el Guerrero & Principe Maya, Misterio's daredevil work was such that the partisan UWA crowd finally broke down and gave him polite applause. In Queretearo, they drew a half-house to see UWA heels Villano III & El Signo & Masakre (who just jumped from EMLL when offered, in addition to a wrestling spot, an office job as UWA public relations head) beat AAA faces Konnan El Barbaro & Latin Lover & El Hijo del Santo when Signo pinned Lover after a low blow. Although Konnan got some cheers by the end of the match, the crowd was solidly pro-UWA in every match seeing this as a promotion vs. promotion deal.
The AAA wrestlers are scheduled to start when UWA goes back to its Sunday El Toreo major shows after the upcoming election (El Toreo is being used every Sunday for political rallies) with the first show set for 4/17 which will be a tag team tournament involving teams from both offices.
This deal was put together because UWA crowds had dropped to the point their was serious concern that the company would last the summer and the interpromotional idea was the one thing that could save it. Antonio Pena agreed to the deal which has been reported as a signed deal in the papers although it's just a verbal deal as opposed to a contract, but Pena felt in the early stages it would be important to put the UWA wrestlers over for credibility purposes. The UWA guys won't be appearing right now on AAA television, although eventually there are plans to do an angle that would lead to some of them appearing, probably a Japanese-style angle where some UWA wrestlers show up in street clothes at an AAA taping and disrupt things and issue challenges. The whole thing will most likely lead to a title vs. title match with Konnan (who won the IWC heavyweight title on 4/2 in Reynosa from Cien Caras) against Canek.
At the 3/13 El Toreo show, they held a moment of silence for Anibal and El Hijo de Anibal released three white doves in the air in his father's memory.
EMLL
Add Miguelito Perez to the list of wrestlers who have jumped from UWA here.
They are building toward a major show on 4/22 at Arena Mexico, which will probably be the Negro Casas vs. Mocho Cota hair match. The two had a singles match on 3/25 that drew about 8,000 fans to Arena Mexico, which says something since the Friday night shows in the building have been drawing about 1,000 per week.
A lot of the wrestlers are upset that Perez and Yamato were brought in because this group has more than 200 wrestlers under contract, only four of whom are on guarantee, and the rest paid by the show and there aren't enough shows in the week to give most of them regular work. A few years ago, before television, it used to be that this group would have more than a dozen house shows in Mexico City area alone on certain nights, but now they are down to 15-20 shows per week.
Perez looks to be a heel feuding with Vampire. Corazon de Leon is back for a few weeks teaming with Vampire.
They are talking about bringing in The Barbarian as a heel and turn King Haku to be his partner.
Felino beat Ciclon Ramirez on 3/30 in Acapulco to win the CMLL welterweight title.
Mocho Cota beat Chamaco Valaguez in a hair vs. hair match on 3/29 in Cuernavaca.
Xochitl Hamada, daughter of Gran Hamada and wife of Silver King, is out of action as she's expecting, about three months into the pregnancy.
After a lengthy Tuesday night build-up, the CMLL trios match on 3/22 at Arena Coliseo drew a packed house as Los Brazos kept the belts beating Angel Blanco Jr. & Dr. Wagner Jr. & Gladiador Jr. In the third fall, El Brazo and Brazo de Oro were both KO'd leaving "Super Porky" Brazo de Plata against all three. As he was bloodied and pounded on, he kept clutching his bad heart and they had the ref and doctor check him but let him continue and his brothers tried to throw in the towel,
but he'd throw the towel back out before the ref would see it, and finally he scored a cradle pin out of nowhere and collapsed and was carried out.
ALL JAPAN
It appears the Champion Carnival tournament is going to come down to Steve Williams vs. Toshiaki Kawada on 4/16 at Budokan Hall. Stan Hansen suffered his first two pinfall losses to Kenta Kobashi and Akira Taue on 4/10 and 4/11. Among the top contenders, Williams is the only one undefeated, with a draw against Kawada. Kawada has a loss to Hansen and the draw with Williams. Hansen has the losses to Kobashi and Taue. Kobashi has a loss to Kawada and draw with Taue while Taue has a loss to Williams and a draw with Kobashi, so the key matches left are Williams vs. Hansen, which Williams will probably lose since Hansen needs a big win and Williams can afford a loss, Williams vs. Kobashi which Williams will probably win since Kobashi gained so much momentum beating Hansen that he can lose, and Kawada vs. Taue which Kawada will probably win because the winner of that match goes to the final and it would be much better for Kawada to be in the final for the great championship match than Taue. I'd bet on Williams, because Kawada will probably beat Misawa for the first time in a singles match this week, so Kawada can afford the loss in the finals and it's time for Williams to be moved into an equal footing with Hansen in the top foreigner spot. Anyway, those are all predictions and we'll see next week how close they came. With Terry Gordy out of the picture and Williams big improvement in 1993, expect Williams to be pushed later in the year as the top contender for Mitsuharu Misawa's Triple Crown title. If he wins it, then at least it should silence UWFI from making any grandstand challenges.
The injury to Misawa from all accounts was legit because it caused them to re-arrange all the original tournament plans and apparently Kobashi wasn't originally going to beat Hansen.
The Kobashi win over Hansen in 26:55 after two moonsaults was huge news, as fans were waiting years for that result. The result was probably brought on by the fact All Japan needs to do more "newsworthy" things because its TV time was moved to 2:30 a.m. and because with Misawa out, Hansen had to lose another match.
The first TV show on 4/2 in the new slot drew a 1.2 rating, which is about as good as it's going to get.
Next tour is 5/13 to 6/3 with the debut of The Heavenly Bodies, plus Hansen, Williams, Johnny Ace, Bobby Fulton, Tommy Rogers, Abdullah the Butcher and Giant Kimala II. The final night of the tour will be a Budokan show.
As the tourney heated up this past week, crowds were all full houses except one, which is saying something because in two medium-sized cities, they had almost head-to-head shows. All Japan ran Sendai on 4/10, the day after All Japan women had a major show in the same city with All Japan selling out and the women doing a respectable house of 3,000. All Japan also ran Kumamoto on 4/5 while New Japan ran it on 4/7, with both shows selling out.
Jumbo Tsuruta wrestled in Sendai in the mid-card comedy match, using his back suplex finisher for the first time since October of 1992, to pin Masao Inoue. Apparently, as everyone has figured, Tsuruta isn't expected to ever return full-time, but will be used maybe every other month as a special attraction in the comedy match as long as he can go into the ring.
NEW JAPAN
Current tour with no foreign talent is drawing poorly except for a sellout in Kumamoto as Riki Choshu & Yoshiaki Fujiwara wrestled Great Muta & Hiroshi Hase. Muta had a rare DQ end by blowing mist in Choshu's eyes, and after the match blew the mist in Fujiwara, Hase and the referee's eyes as well.
Masao Orihara of WAR was injured this past week and had to pull out of the Junior Wars on 4/16 and will be replaced by Jado, who faces Dean Malenko in the first round.
First show in the 1:30 a.m. slot on 4/2 drew a 1.1 rating.
According to an article in the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Road Warrior Hawk (Mike Hegstrand) was charged with misdemeanor assault and disorderly conduct in connection with an incident on 3/10 at the Skyway 6 theaters. According to the police report, the alleged victim, 19-year-old Ambe McKenzie told police he was taking with friends in the lobby of the theater when six large men walked by and one of them began pounding against the window. McKenzie said his friend went outside and told them to stop because they could break the window and cut them up and McKenzie said he went outside with his friend. "They're arguing back and forth and he (a man in the group) just smacks me," McKenzie said. "I ran back into the theater and he followed me." McKenzie said he hit the man with a garbage can on the head but another man in the group threw the can out of the way, picked him up, threw him against the wall and again on the ground, stomped and kicked him and hurled a racial epithet (McKenzie is black). Police reported they had at least five witnesses, some of whom recognized some of the men as wrestlers. McKenzie's attacker was described as a large white man wearing a long black trench coat, a bandanna on his head and snake skin boots. The police later went to a Night Club and identified Hawk based on the description and arrested him. Hawk plead not guilty and a preliminary hearing is set for 4/28. McKenzie's older brother was convicted last year of killing a Minneapolis police officer.
OTHER JAPAN NOTES
FMW held a press conference on 4/7 for the Tenryu-Onita match and they ran an angle. Onita gave Tenryu a present--an FMW video of his best matches so he can see what an explosive barbed wire match is all about. Tenryu ripped open the package and destroyed the videotape which got Onita so mad that he said that if he lost to Tenryu, that he would retire.
Mitsuhiro Matsunaga showed up at the press conference and asked Onita if he could appear on the 5/5 Kawasaki Stadium show.
Onita also announced that they would hold a tournament in June to crown a new jr. heavyweight champion. This may explain why Sabu isn't in the New Japan tournament this week, because if they put Sabu over after he's already done a job
early in the New Japan tournament, it kind of ruins any illusion about a claim as world champion.
It looks like JWP has given up on Chigusa Nagayo as a drawing card. They spent all year putting Nagayo over to build to a Nagayo vs. Dynamite Kansai main event for the JWP title on 5/22 at the 12,000-seat Ariake Coliseum, which would be JWP's biggest show in its history. But on 4/10 at Korakuen Hall, Nagayo wrestled Devil Masami, who used her Lady Undertaker gimmick and beat Nagayo with a sleeper in 28:38. It appeared going in that Nagayo would avenge her loss to Masami last year at Dream Slam I, and coming off the :49 win over Cutie Suzuki, would be established as Kansai's big contender. The next day the promotion announced the main event had been changed to Kansai vs. Aja Kong in a battle of each group's champion. Kong beat Kansai to retain the WWWA title on All Japan's show 8/25 at Budokan Hall so this may be the time to return the favor.
All Japan women ran a semi-major show on 4/9 in Sendai with some LLPW women on it before 3,000 with Yumiko Hotta & Toshiyo Yamada over the LLPW duo of Shinobu Kandori & Harley Saito on top and Aja Kong pinning huge Reggie Bennett. In the undercard, Mima Shimoda retained her Japanese title pinning Miki Handa of LLPW, but after the match Shimoda returned the belt to the promotion, saying she wanted to concentrate on her tag team with Etsuko Mita (the two last week won the UWA tag titles) and have them unify the UWA tag titles with the WWWA tag titles held by Manami Toyota & Yamada.
Victor Quinones' IWA, which will pretty much be a new group started with the remnants of the rapidly disintegrating W*ING promotion, debuts with its first tour 5/21 to 5/26 using Dick Murdoch, The Head Hunters, Miguelito Perez, Silver King, El Texano, Oriental and Johnny Gomez.
Expect a Tenryu vs. Koji Kitao match on 7/17.
UWFI announced complete 5/6 Budokan Hall line-up. Besides the four tourney matches listed last week (Vader vs. Masahito Kakihara, Nobuhiko Takada vs. Jean Lydick, Gary Albright vs. Yoji Anjyo and Kiyoshi Tamura vs. Naoki Sano) are Kazuo Yamazaki vs. Salman Hashimikov, Dan Severn & Billy Scott vs. Hiromitsu Kanehara & Yoshihiro Takayama, Vladimir Berkovich vs. Tatsuo Nakano, Tom Burton vs. ?, and Makoto Ohe defending his ISKA lightweight kick boxing world title against Dominic Kane from France. Apparently Hashimikov did nothing and the match with Vader was pretty bad. They did an angle at the show with Vader and Albright when they brought all the wrestlers in the ring at the start of the show where they had a stare-down and started shoving until Lou Thesz broke them up. Front Row Entertainment, which is promoting the PPV show (and also plans to promote a live UWFI show in the U.S. this year) sent out a press release this week that heavily knocked American pro wrestling ("Grown men in Halloween costumes jumping around in a ring pretending to hit one another.
In amazement you ask yourself, `Am I the only one who sees that this is fake.'") while claiming their product was the real thing.
After the last show reporters brought up Akira Maeda's name and Anjyo said that Maeda was past his prime and that he could beat him easily now. When Takada was
asked about Maeda, Takada simply said that he was focusing on winning the tournament and can't be bothered worrying about anything else.
RINGS announced 5/17 in Sendai headlined by Maeda vs. Willie Williams.
NOW has a tour from 4/17 to 4/22 with Tiger Jeet Singh Sr. & Jr., Bill Irwin, Rod Price, John Hawk, Alex Porteau and Mr. 90. Most of the tour will continue the feud between babyface Singh Jr against his heel father on top.
WAR wrestler Koji Ishinriki and LLPW wrestler Otaku Hozumi are scheduled for a 6/18 wedding, at which point Hozumi will retire.
USWA
Eddie Gilbert, as expected, returned on 4/4, but it was as a face. Gilbert came to ringside during the I Quit main event with brother Doug & Tommy Rich & Dream Machine vs. Jerry Lawler & Jimmy Valiant & Brian Christopher. Eddie tried to throw fire at Christopher, but he ducked, and it hit Doug which ended the match. After the match, Dream, Rich and Adam Bomb all attacked Eddie for several minutes destroying him. Finally Lawler & Christopher came back and tried to help Eddie, but they were ganged up on and left laying in the ring as well.
Earlier in the show, Lawler retained the Unified title beating Adam Bomb. The big story of the match was whose corner Downtown Bruno would be in, with Vince McMahon saying Bruno (Harvey Wippleman) would do exactly what he told him to and that was to make sure Lawler would lose while Lawler hoped Bruno would be in his corner citing their long-time friendship. Finish saw Lawler have Bomb pinned, but Bomb put his foot on the ropes and Bruno shoved the foot off the ropes so Bomb was counted down.
Eddie did an interview saying he wanted to team with Christopher, but Christopher turned him down saying he knew the fireball was meant for him. Eddie then told Christopher that he was the one who taught him how to use chains and finally convinced Christopher to team with him against Machine & Bomb on 4/11 with Doug Gilbert as ref.
Mr. Perfect was scheduled to be in for the weekend, including appearing on television, but at the last minute said he suffered a broken toe in a non-wrestling related accident and would be out for a few weeks. He should be ready to work in time to start his WWF commitments against Lex Luger in mid-May.
Dirty White Boy returns 4/11 to face Doug Gilbert for the SMW title stemming from a few weeks back in Memphis when Gilbert gave Dirty White Girl a piledriver.
The Spiders debuted on television and was told they didn't get over, although they did some good flying moves.
Also debuting were Axl & Ian Rotten managed by Freddie Fargo. Fargo claimed he was a distant relative of Jackie Fargo, but said that Jackie was the black sheep of the family and said he was an old drunk.
4/11 show besides Machine & Bomb vs. Eddie & Christopher, had White Boy vs. Doug, Moondogs vs. Billy Travis & Don Bass in an elimination tag match for the USWA belts, Christopher defends USWA title against Steven Dunn, Rottens vs.
Spellbinder & Jeff Gaylord, Spiders vs. Reggie B. Fine & Leon Downs and Debbie Combs, billed as USWA womens champ, defending against Susan Sapphire.
SMW
Pretty slow weekend as far as news with three house shows running with Rock & Roll Express defending the tag titles against Brian Lee & Chris Candido on top and Dirty White Boy defending the singles belt against Prince Kharis.
Peggy Lee Leather starts this coming week for matches with Dirty White Girl.
They aired the last 5:00 of the 4/1 Pikeville, KY loser leaves town match with Rock & Roll vs. Heavenly Bodies and what aired it said to have had incredible heat and looked tremendous. After it aired, Jim Cornette did an interview saying that after ten years, he had to admit that the Rock & Roll Express finally got the best of him and said he was considering leaving with the Bodies.
Tammy Fytch did an interview complaining about Ricky Morton kissing her on television saying he might get cooties or AIDS and said she may sue for sexual harassment.
HERE AND THERE
WTLK, Ch. 14 in Atlanta which has a Saturday night wrestling block, was sold to a Christian Broadcasting group and will be cutting back to three hours of wrestling per week. The block includes WWF, SMW, WCW and USWA tapes, and it's the only outlet in the area for SMW which is planning on making Marietta a regular stop. The station's penetration is weak because it isn't on cable in most of Atlanta or in Marietta, but it's the only outlet any of these groups have in the Atlanta market except WCW on TBS.
The Sabu Express was rolling again this weekend having returned from Japan. On 4/8 in Flint, MI, Sabu and Al Snow had a ****1/2 match while the next night in Taylor, MI, Sabu had a violent brawl with Terry Funk rated ***3/4.
Sid Vicious' scheduled first match back since the 10/26 stabbing incident with Arn Anderson in England was supposed to be 4/9 in Essex, MD against Jerry Lawler for MEWF. However, both main events no-showed and Brutus Beefcake (who is available for weekend indies) and Kimala replaced them. Lawler had canceled several days earlier due to prior commitments. It was announced Vicious wasn't there because of "legal problems," although from what we understand, Vicious wanted a first class plane ticket and there was a $500 between promoter and wrestler on what he'd be paid which all happened pretty well at the last minute. They announced Vicious not being there at the beginning of the show, which drew about 500, and apparently nobody reacted. Later in the show when they announced Beefcake as the sub, it was said that Lawler (who actually wasn't there) refused to come out and wrestle Beefcake so Kimala subbed.
Jason and Mark Robertson, the sons of Byron "Dewey Missing Link" Robertson, tore down the house at the Ricky Johnson show on 4/8 in Hamilton, ONT. The two used to work in Texas as Jason and Mark Sterling years ago.
Dennis Coraluzzo and Mark Bodey are running three shows on 4/22 and 4/23 using among others, Terry Funk, Chris Benoit, Osamu Nishimura (New Japan young boy who is training in Florida) and Louie Spicolli.
In Winnipeg, the old West Four Wrestling Alliance changed its name to International Wrestling Alliance and had its first TV taping on 4/5 using among others, FMW's Dr. Luther (Len St. Clair) and Big Titan.
Amateur Wrestling News mat historian Mike Chapman, did a recent column on former NWA champion Dick Hutton. Recently Pat Smith of Oklahoma State became the first four-time NCAA champion in history, and the column mentioned that in history, only six men had made the NCAA finals all four years in college, and mentioned that the two men who came closest to being four-time NCAA champs were Hutton and Lee Kemp (who wrestled in the late 70s). Hutton, who was called by Lou Thesz the greatest mat wrestler he ever faced, won the NCAA heavyweight title as a freshman for Oklahoma A & M (now Oklahoma State) in 1947 beating Verne Gagne (a sophomore in college) in the semifinals and Ray Gunkel (who later was a top babyface draw in Georgia before dying of a heart attack after a match in the early 70s) in the finals. He won the title again in 1948, which was an Olympic year (Gagne, who it is believed would have been his top rival for the title, dropped down to 191s that year and also won the NCAA title). The fact Hutton took sixth as a heavyweight in the Olympics was blamed in the article on him competing with a severe shoulder injury suffered just before the Games. As a junior in 1949, Hutton faced Gagne, then a senior in the NCAA heavyweight finals. The two battled to a 1-1 draw, and then an 0-0 tie in overtime, however the referee gave the decision to Gagne, which was Hutton's only collegiate loss. Hutton took the NCAAs as a senior in 1950 after Gagne had graduated and had already turned pro. Ironically, even though both Hutton and Gagne were pro world champs and had the collegiate rivalry, they never faced each other as pros. The fact Hutton was NWA champ is an interesting story in itself. In 1957, Lou Thesz, after reigning as champ since the late 1940s, tired of the constant travel and wanted to give up the title. The NWA promoters wanted to give the belt to Buddy Rogers, who was the leading draw in the business and probably the best worker at the time. However, Thesz and Rogers had a personal problem because Rogers unknowingly years earlier made bad remarks to Thesz about his mentor, Ed "Strangler" Lewis, and Thesz vowed that he would never put Rogers over (which he never did). Thesz did agree to drop the belt to Hutton, because Hutton was such a great "real" wrestler, however Hutton never got over, which Thesz blamed on his being marketed all wrong but others say because Hutton was like a Bob Backlund in that he lacked color, and eventually Hutton dropped the title to Pat O'Connor and faded out of pro wrestling a few years later.
The 4/23 American Commonwealth Wrestling show in Berwyn, PA has been moved from Valley Forge Middle School to Conestoga High School (Jim Duggan vs. Damian Demento, Doink Keirn vs. Terry Funk). Funk will do double duty that night as he's also wrestling Chris Benoit in Woodbury, NJ the same night.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post wrote a great column on steroids on 4/6, previewing the HBO special on 4/7 and wrote a lot about Hulk Hogan's numerous responses to the subject.
. Midwest Territorial Wrestling on 5/27 in Taylor, MI will have an eight-man tournament to decide the first MTW singles champ with Sabu, Johnny Paradise, Bobo Brazil Jr., Al Snow, Bruiser Bedlam and more, and a match to determine the first tag champs with Rock & Roll Express vs. Chris Carter & Mohammed Saad.
Jerry Monte will be holding a free TV taping on 4/15 at the Newark, CA cable TV studio using local wrestlers headlined by Earthquake Ferris.
Speaking of Thesz, I got a chance to see a video interview of him, interspersed with old clips, put out by Mike Chapman called "An American Icon: The Lou Thesz story." In the video, Thesz, who turns 78 this week, gives a lot of stories about his breaking in wrestling in the 30s with George Tragos, Ray Steele and Lewis, and talks and gives his opinion on many of the most famous world champions from George Hackenschmidt in the early 1900s through Jack Brisco, Bruno Sammartino and Nick Bockwinkel in the mid-70s, with Hulk Hogan thrown in for good measure. The video is interesting if you're a fan of wrestling history or of Thesz, although the wrestling clips are very short, some of the old newsreel clips of Thesz as a champion in the 50s are interesting. There is no discussion of today's wrestling scene, which is a particular disappointment since Thesz still follows the business closely and is involved with UWFI, and has had a hand in some of their recent grandstand angles. Even though Thesz hints at some things, calls some wrestlers "showmen" and said that certain world champions couldn't even really wrestle, he never breaks kayfabe totally or gives inside political stories behind some of the famous title switches. For example, when Chapman brought up Wayne Munn (a 6-6, 280 pound giant in those days who had a college football name who Strangler Lewis put over for the title because the marks believed in the giant footballer because he known by all sports fans even though he had no wrestling ability, to build for a rematch where Lewis would win the strap back, which actually never happened and is a story in itself) and Thesz said he wasn't a good wrestler but explained him beating Lewis by saying sometimes upsets happen. Video is available for $22.95 from Icon Video, 706 Heights Rd., Dixon, IL 61021.
Bob Barnett of 3101 Fifth St. #2 , Santa Monica, CA 90405 put together a two-hour video on the career of Eddie Gilbert, featuring numerous clips from the early 80s. Gilbert is more open about things, talking about background of certain angles and the video has clips of some great angles, unfortunately in some of the older ones, particularly the famous Gilbert & Ricky Morton vs. Masa Fuchi & Atsushi Onita (none of whom have even the slightest resemblance to the way they look today) concession stand brawl in Tupelo, MS, the video quality is poor but if you've never seen the clips, they are worth seeing. The tape goes for $20 bookrate U.S., $22 priority and $25 overseas.
The 3/27 Morristown, NJ results phoned in and reported here last week were apparently worked.
There was a riot at the 4/8 West Coast Championship Wrestling show in Qualkin Beach, BC. Apparently the crowd consisted largely of intoxicated students and when Michelle Starr (doing the gay gimmick) & Adrian Balboa came out for their main event match, they were bombarded with cans, cups and everything else and couldn't be calmed down so the show had to be canceled before the main event began.
AAA
The match where Konnan won the IWC heavyweight belt from Cien Caras in 4/2 in Reynosa, saw Caras accidentally throw soda in ref Tirantes' face, then kick Konnan low. With Tirantes out, nobody could count the fall. Caras tried to help Tirantes out, but Konnan gave him a low blow and then put him in a submission for the win. Told the match, which airs on television in the U.S. this coming weekend, was real bad.
Octagoncito won the Mexican minis title from Jerrito Estrada on 3/26 in Merida in a ***1/4 match with almost the same finish. Octagoncito and Tirantes (heel ref) were arguing on the floor when Estrada went for a tope, but Octagoncito moved and hit Tirantes. When they got back in the ring, Estrada went for a low blow, but was blocked and Octagoncito kicked Estrada low instead. At this point substitute ref Pepe Casas ran in the ring and counted the fall.
The top matches at the first TripleMania on 4/26 in Aguascalientes were finally made official--Heavy Metal vs. Jerry Estrada hair vs. hair on top, then Love Machine & Eddy Guerrero & Black Cat vs. Octagon & El Hijo del Santo & Perro Aguayo, Cien Caras & Mascara Ano 2000 & Universo 2000 defending the Mexican trios title against Los Payasos and Konnan & Mascara Sagrada & Lizmark vs. La Parka & Fishman & Blue Panther. The other two TripleManias will be 5/7 and 5/15. They are trying to bring in Jushin Liger to defend the IWGP jr. heavyweight title against Guerrero on one of those cards.
The television over the weekend saw them air the 3/24 Cancun and 3/26 Merida cards. Cancun was a weak show but drew a sellout of 8,000, highlighted by an IWC middleweight title match with Misterioso vs. Volador that was only **. Misterioso, who still isn't 100% heel although he's been turning for months, had Octagoncito in his corner. After he used a low blow to keep the strap, Octagoncito and him had words and Misterioso attacked the midget, choked him with a towel and hung him until Octagon made the save, however La Parka & Pirata Morgan & Blue Panther all attacked Octagon making it 4-on-1. Starting probably this week, Misterioso is going to be part of a regular trio with Fuerza and Juventud Guerrera.
Merida was better, but had the smallest house of a TV show in months of 2,800, which tons of visible empty seats on television, but ironically the fans there were as rapid as could be. Besides the minis title switch, The New Infernales (Psicosis & Espectro & El Satanico) beat Aguayo & Santo & Angel Azteca via DQ in the third when Santo unmasked Psicosis to continue building toward their mask vs. mask showdown.
The main events of late have revolved around The "American" trio of Love Machine & Chicano Power & Black Cat, which have been really bad matches since Cat hasn't looked that good, Power is awful, and they've been feuding with the Dinamita, and 45-year-old Cien Caras is looking worse than ever these days.
In Cancun, it was Cien Caras teaming with Konnan & Perro, ending when Cien was DQ'd in the third for a low blow right in front of the ref. After the match Cien and Konnan argued about him costing them the match. Cien attacked both Konnan and Perro. In Merida, Cien teamed with his brothers in a non-title death match, who the fans were totally behind in the old Black Gordman & Goliath role (ie, fans love them when they face heels but hate them against the faces). Eddy Guerrero returned
from Japan and threw a coke at Cien and hit him with a chair and the Dinamita basically were destroyed and pinned in the third fall.
On 4/2 in Reynosa, Machine & Guerrero teamed with Panther in a trios match against Santo & Tiger Mask & Lizmark. Machine & Eddy turned on Panther, reviving the Machine-Panther feud that drew two of the biggest crowds ever for a mask vs. mask and mask vs. hair matches over the past two years, both of which were won by Panther. Espanto will be Panther's partner in these bouts.
On 4/3 in Matamoros, Machine & Power & Cat faced the Dinamita again, with Eddy Guerrero interfering hitting Cien with a chair and making him juice. With a 4-on-3, longtime veteran heel Satanico helped the Dinamita. The match in Los Angeles where Machine started his feud with La Parka and Psicosis will probably air on television this coming weekend as well. So the basic storyline is that instead of faces, or tecnicos and heels, or rudos, they have three groups--faces, regular heels, and the group of Guerrero, Machine, Cat and Power and Los Payasos who feud with all the faces and all the heels and are heels when they face the other heels.
The promotion was positively thrilled over Easter weekend, since traditionally that is death at the box office in the heavily-religious Mexico, however both major shows sold out.
The next show in Los Angeles isn't scheduled until 8/6, the reason being given that the Sports Arena doesn't have any open dates on weekends until then, although that is hard to believe since the Sports Arena sits empty most of the summer.
WWF
Pretty uneventful first night of tapings on 4/11 in Utica, NY. They introduced a flashier ring entrance for Jeff Jarrett, and in turn he lost via DQ and COR in a pair of matches with Razor Ramon and submitted to Lex Luger. They introduced a King's Court segment, where Lawler interviewed Lex Luger (regarding Mr. Perfect), Alundra Blayze (regarding Luna) and Nikolai Volkoff (which went nowhere). On the live King's Court, as he was being carried to the ring on a throne, the jobbers carrying him dropped him and he took a face-first bump on the apron. They made several references throughout the show to both Piper's Pit and Brother Love.
Rick & Scott Steiner returned in a squash.
Shawn Michaels was working as Diesel's manager, which it appears he's going to do at all the tapings until he goes back in the ring. He's wrestling in dark matches on TV nights as well.
They did a 900 line vote with Men on Mission getting the title shot at Quebecers, and in a match better than it sounded going in (but still only average), the Quebecers retained the title when Pierre pinned Mo. On the West Coast feed they flashed a crawl whenever the 900 line plugs were going on, telling viewers not to call and that voting had been completed.
Wrestlemania revenge tour beings 4/23 in Cleveland. Advances are said to be way up for the first few weeks, although it wasn't differentiated if dollars were up (which would be expected with $25 ringside seats as opposed to $15 to $19 tops for
regular shows) or if actual tickets were selling faster. Told the show itself for this tour with special effects and intros will be patterned after NBA games.
There were no shows the week of 4/4 to 4/10. The weekend of 4/2 and 4/3 the only cards were in Israel, and they didn't draw well because it was during the final days of a religious observance.
Monday Night Raw on 4/4 did a 3.3 rating (ten man tag + Earthquake vs. Adam Bomb), which is the most impressive rating in the history of the show because it went head-to-head on the East Coast with the NCAA basketball finals, which was the second most watched college basketball game in history. Main Event did a 2.5 that weekend while Mania did a 1.2.
For those interested, according to the format sheets, this is what was supposed to happen at Wrestlemania that didn't. First off, it appears the problem wasn't that the matches early went long but that whomever put together the format greatly overestimated how much time they would have for the wrestling aspect of the show. Bret and Owen Hart went 2:00 long in the opener, but that was more than made up when Doink & Dink vs. Bam Bam & Luna went 2:30 short. Savage and Crush went 1:15 long, but again that was made up by the women's match being 3:00 short. Men on Mission vs. Quebecers went :45 under the original planning. Luger and Yokozuna were scheduled for a 25:00 segment (which means about a 23:30 match, which would have been unbearable since they only went 14:40 and that was almost all restholds). At this point they should have been 12 minutes under in time, but instead they were lagging. Earthquake & Bomb were scheduled for a 4:00 segment (or about a 2:30 match), but instead did :35. Ramon and Michaels went :17 long, so they were right on target, yet they had to cancel the 10-man, which was only given 6:00 so even if they had gone on, the plan was to rush through a 4:30 match. By the way, the segment with the heels arguing over who would be the captain was taped hours before the show started and was scheduled to be part of the show, it wasn't a last-minute excuse for not having the match. That was supposed to leave Bret and Yokozuna about 18:30 for their title match, and PTL (praise the Lord) they only had to go out their for 10:36. Who was the practical joker that formatted Yokozuna having to work 42:00 on one show? The only other changes from the plan is that the skit Jennie Garth wouldn't do was a planned deal with her, Rhonda Shear and Shawn Michaels. Burt Reynolds subbed for her and obviously the whole thing was changed.
Japanese complete line-ups are: 5/7 in Yokohama--Doink vs. Nobukazu Hirai, Owen Hart vs. Masashi Aoyagi, 1-2-3 Kid vs. Shawn Michaels, Bob Backlund vs. Adam Bomb, Smoking Gunns vs. Head Shrinkers, Tatanka vs. Ginsei Shinzaki, Alundra Blayze vs. Bull Nakano non-title, Genichiro Tenryu & Undertaker vs. Yokozuna & Bam Bam Bigelow and Bret Hart vs. Randy Savage for WWF title; 5/8 in Nagoya--Tatanka vs. Fatu, Hirai vs. Samu, Gunns vs. Doink & Owen Hart, Kid vs. Shinzaki, Aoyagi vs. Backlund, Blayze vs. Sakie Hasegawa for the title, Tenryu & Savage vs. Bomb & Michaels, Undertaker vs. Yokozuna and Bret Hart defending against Bigelow; 5/9 in Osaka is Kid vs. Fatu, Blayze defending against Nakano, Undertaker vs. Shinzaki, Savage & Bret vs. Owen & Bomb, Tenryu vs. Yokozuna and Royal Rumble; 5/11 in Sapporo is Backlund vs. Michaels, Kid & Hirai vs. Gunns, Shrinkers vs. Owen Hart & Tatanka, Doink vs. Shinzaki, Bigelow vs. Aoyagi, Blayze defending
against Kyoko Inoue, Undertaker vs. Bomb, Tenryu vs. Savage and Bret defending against Yokozuna.
WCW
The status of Brian Pillman and Steve Austin has to considered murky. Pillman's contract expired a few weeks ago but is fulfilling his commitments through the PPV show, but isn't on the booking after 4/17 and the sides were far apart enough on figures (WCW's offer was a serious pay cut, believed to be in the $50,000 to $60,000 annual range from the $240-250,000 range to $190,000) that is looks difficult to come to an agreement. Austin is on the sheets through the end of May, but his contract expires well before that and it was known he wanted a significant raise but WCW offered him a cut in pay as well. The fact that Pillman & Austin, coming off a year where they were the best tag team in wrestling and being two of the only top-level performers the company has, and probably the two that show the most potential for the future, that aren't pushing 40, are being offered cuts has made everyone else coming up for renewal in great moods as well. Obviously the line is there is a mandate the company has to cut back on wrestlers salaries because of how much money it has lost over the years, which is believable, but it's hard to justify that to some wrestlers when the amount being offered Hogan is probably as much as the total combined salary per year of everyone being asked to take a cut, not to mention the added expense of announcers and renovating Center Stage. Gene Okerlund on the WCW hotline acknowledged Austin's problem and said he may be departing WCW for parts unknown. Reports we've gotten seem to indicate there will be an attempt to sign Austin, but that Pillman's leaving is pretty much acknowledged. If one or the other leave, the only viable options would be WWF or All Japan and indies.
Sting is said to be close to a deal to star in a "Hercules" remake movie that films this summer.
Whatever happened to The Assassin as Roma & Orndorff's manager?
At the tapings on 4/5 in Columbus, GA, Flair worked as a face (since he'll be in the face role for Slamboree) teaming with Sting against the Nasty Boys and they did a television feud with Bad Attitude (Steve Keirn & Bobby Eaton) vs. Arn Anderson & Rick Steamboat. Barry Darsow was backstage at the show so he may be returning.
WCW Saturday Night on 4/2 did a 2.1 rating for more Flair-Hogan interviews, apparently taking it on the chin from NCAA basketball, while Main Event did a 2.5 for that discombobulated show and Pro did a 1.7.
Gordon Solie on Pro mentioned the wedding of long-time reader Chris Quallman.
Expect Cactus Jack to get the reconstructive surgery on his ear after all after the PPV match, so he'll be out of action again for a few months as he doesn't seem to be in the plans.
Supermarket tabloid The Star had a story on Missy Hyatt this past week. There was also a lengthy article in the Charleston (SC) Post-Courier on Hyatt on 4/3 talking about her threatened legal action.
WCW ran three house shows over the weekend, drawing about 900 in a 14,000 seat building in Manhattan, KS, but doing about 2,000 fans in Kansas City, KS and Springfield, MO in 2,800-seat buildings. The first show was said to be bad, but KC was said to be a hot house show. Flair-Vader was scheduled to headline all three nights, but in Manhattan, Flair missed the show (which was announced going into the building and over the p.a. blaming trans problems since he was in Orlando all day negotiating) and Arn Anderson wrestled Vader, and in Springfield, Vader missed, so Flair wrestled Orndorff. In KC, Flair, who worked 100% face all weekend, won via DQ when Harley Race interfered, and Steamboat made the save for Flair, but afterwards Flair and Steamboat had words and Flair "turned heel" at the live show.
Aaron Neville will sing the national anthem in Chicago.
The Peter Brady-Danny Partridge match in Chicago will be a dark match.
Steamboat said on the Wrestling Insiders radio show that he and Flair have a personal competition in the match to see which one gets tired first, so expect a long match with fast pacing or else neither will get tired. Steamboat also mentioned that his son, who is now seven, has already started amateur wrestling.
WCW canceled shows cards scheduled for Milwaukee and Fort Wayne this week.
THE READERS PAGES
Bill Johnson of 19 Town Garden Dr. #1 , Liverpool, NY 13088 has for sale several Mil Mascaras board games and is looking for ECW, SMW, USWA footage of Vince McMahon and old Georgia wrestling tapes.
Rita Kent of P.O. Box 242, Mill Spring, NC 28756 would like to hear from fans of Ric Flair for her Friends of Ric Flair fan club.
Jonathan Milner of 11 Lowland Close, Astral Way, Sutton, Hull, Humberside HU7 4YT England is looking for tapes of UWFI, Rings, Pancrase and tough-man contests with mixed matches.
Dan Adam of 2220 Westridge Ave W #F-20 , Tacoma, WA 98466 is looking for a regular supplier of tapes of the Wrestling Insiders radio show and for tape lists.
Peter Paulsen of P.O. Box 1127, Hudson, PQ J0P 1H0 Canada is looking for the episode of "Swamp Thing" in 1991 which aired with El Gigante and Kevin Nash as guests.
David Manns of 1781 Craig Dr., North Huntingdon, PA 15642 is looking for newsletters from the 70s to the present, and results from USWA (1988-present), World Class (1987-closing), Puerto Rico (77-93), Texas (1972-present), Florida (72-present), WWWF (70-75), Georgia (73-76), AWA (70-76) and Mid Atlantic (72-76).
Mike McNulty of 2680 Bush St., San Francisco, CA 94115 is looking for a tape of Gilbert Gottfried's appearance on the Emmy's.
D. Davis of 4392 Old Mulkey Rd., Tompkinsville, KY 42167 is looking for tapes of current Georgia, Florida, Tennessee and Kentucky indies and the 11/6/92 Kiss
concert from Nashville, "Austin City Limits" TV show, the movie "Nashville Rebel from 66" and country/rock CDs and has wrestling tapes to trade.
John Carella of 36 Tardy Ln, Wantagh, NY 11793 is looking for someone who can trade him videos each month of ECW TV. He is also looking for a tape of Holiday Hell, the Hennig vs. Bockwinkel 60:00 draw and the TV series "Soap" and can trade SMW, New Japan, All Japan and much more in exchange.
Greg Seagraves of 164 Maple Grove Rd., Lafayette, TN 37083 would like old USWA tapes and current tapes of Monday night Memphis shows and has ECW, most PPV shows, WWF, WCW and SMW tapes.
Scott Decker of P.O. Box 5600, Hamden, CT 06518 has 1550 tapes and is looking for trade for old Portland, NWA and WWF and indie tapes.
John McAdam of 64 Tennis Plaza Rd. #1 , Dracut, MA 0-1826 has videos from all over the world.
Championship Marketing at 3530 Forest Ave., Memphis, TN 38122 has Monday Night Memories t-shirts (L & XL) for $12 and Monday Night Memories program for $3.
Bill Brown of 168 Boston Rd., Middleton, CT 06457 is looking for old MSG tapes, Mid Atlantic and ECW tapes.
MISSY HYATT
Recently on the Howard Stern show, I heard that Missy Hyatt was suing WCW and TBS for sexual harassment. The next day on WCW Pro, I caught Dusty Rhodes on commentary saying something that was really disturbing. During a Terra Rizing squash match, when Rizing flexed his pecks, Rhodes said something to the effect of, there used to ba a girl around here who could do that, but I won't get into that now. Then Larry Zbyszko said, Yeah, but her's were bigger. Do the announcers at WCW think they are "cool" when they say stupid things like that, or are they just ignorant?
Bobby Warren
Holbrook, New York
AAA
I went to the 3/12 AAA show and overall was very disappointed. I paid $30 to see a card for no Lucha at all. With the exception of the minis match and the semifinal match, this card was around the quality of a WWF show. They got rid of the best rudo in the promotion (La Parka). Now, who is going to work key matches, Eddy Guerrero, Love Machine, Cien Caras and Jake the Snake. The last two can't work at all. They also have Blue Panther who is good and can give Misterioso a big push. Jake is the Ishinriki of AAA. He can't work the style. The whole match all they did was punch each other back-and-forth. The only good thing about the match it is was short and that Mascarita Sagrada did the splash off the cage.
Konnan is another story. He's way too over to phase down. He needs to be kept in the main matches, but only wrestle for a limited amount of time. He's the Ultimate Warrior of AAA. How can he say Rayo de Jalisco Jr. is no good? I know there are
guys more over than Rayo de Jalisco Jr., but at least he can work. I like watching EMLL instead of AAA. After EMLL is over, I turn the television off because I don't want to see most AAA matches. The AAA has Konnan, Los Payasos and Jake Roberts. What next? Jungle Jim Steele, Erik Watts or Bastion Booger? I just hope they go back to how they were last summer.
Name withheld by request
DM: Where did La Parka go? The cage match went 20:27, which by today's standards would hardly be considered a short match.
The topic of conversation as we left the 3/12 AAA show at the Los Angeles Sports Arena was whether or not the card was superior to the first AAA show in Los Angeles on 8/28/93. Most of the fans present voted for the first card citing the superior heat. I preferred the 3/12 card because the first card was performed before a crowd starving for good wrestling and finally getting to see what they were promised. The 3/12 card had fans who weren't starving for anything. All the heat had to be earned and Antonio Pena and his wrestlers pulled it off. The 8/28 main event was an all angle, no wrestling match while 3/12 had an old-style cage match complete with blood, lots of action outside the ring and a three-foot midget doing a Jimmy Snuka dive off the top of a high cage. The whole show was great, starting with an opening match that had local legend Chavo Guerrero doing his famous flip off the top rope to the finish more than three-and-a-half hours later. It produced a level of heat unheard of in the United States without TV cameras or for entrance music.
A lot of people seem to look down their noses at these shows and their audience, but I sensed the crowd at this show to be a lot smarter than similar crowds watching U.S. promotions. Sure, they are more emotional and make like marks throwing everything not nailed down, but I detected from the crowd a sense of humor indicating they understand the art form and are just playing their part in the show. Also, when you think about it, the whole concept or rudo vs. tecnico is more intelligent than our system. In Mexico, it's a clash of styles. A rudo such as Cien Caras, Blue Panther or Jerry Estrada still has a code of conduct they don't violate. In fact, they are less likely to break with their traditional rudo style than the tecnicos, who are easily frustrated into punching and kicking. The rudos aren't necessarily evil, just crude and rough. The evil vs. good concept of American wrestling comes across as overly simplistic and something I wish we'd have less of. Another sign of the intelligence of the Lucha audience is that Lucha Libre never finds a need or tries to hide or change its history.
Watching Lucha Libre without experience following it does make the product seem both strange and dumb because it is a different product. But like anything else worthwhile, you have to take the time to study it and understand the traditions and philosophy that built it. The world of pro wrestling is filled with numerous different styles and wrestling fans are just depriving themselves by closing their minds to any of them without learning about them.
I love the entire spectacle of an AAA show. As long as AAA continues to produce shows of this quality, I don't see the need to change anything. Let their promotion of shows by unprofessional and lacking in sophistication. So what if they always
start the show late and fans threw objects all over the place. They also give you three-and-a-half hour shows, have intensity like the 70s and use ringcard girls as sex objects. It's true wrestling, both raw and dangerous. If someone sophisticated were to get a hold of it and sanitize it, it would turn into another WWF or WCW and like them, nobody in their country will care about it.
Some people criticized the cage match, saying there wasn't much going on inside the ring. That's true, but Pena was a smart enough booker to realize that would happen and have Blue Panther, Sherri Martel, Perro Aguayo, Mascara Sagrada and Mascarita Sagrada carry the match. Jake Roberts is probably the best heel performer in wrestling. It was obvious he was trying hard to put on a great show, doing one of the goriest blade jobs I've seen in years. But he got fat. At first I thought he was doing a weird tribute to John Candy. He may have a badly injured neck, but he still could get on a stairmaster four times a week. I liked everything Konnan did. It was a great show complete with a ****1/2 midget match.
Steve Yohe
Montebello, California
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Re: Wrestling Observer 1994

Apr 25 1994 Observer Newsletter: Ventura wins lawsuit against WWE, Austin and Pillman re-sign with WCW, Scorpio released, tons more
Wrestling Observer Newsletter
PO Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228 April 25, 1994
SPRING STAMPEDE
Thumbs up 254 (91.7%)
Thumbs down 6 (02.2%)
In the middle 17 (06.1%)
BEST MATCH POLL
Ric Flair vs. Rick Steamboat 114
Nasty Boys vs. Jack & Payne 100
Vader vs. The Boss 14
WORST MATCH POLL
Johnny B. Badd vs. Dallas Page 122
Steve Austin vs. Great Muta 28
Sting vs. Rick Rude 28
Brian Pillman vs. Steve Regal 27
Ric Flair vs. Rick Steamboat 8
UWFI
Thumbs up 29 (63.0%)
Thumbs down 9 (19.6%)
In the middle 8 (17.4%)
BEST MATCH POLL
Nobuhiko Takada vs. Kazuo Yamazaki 15
Victor Zangiev vs. Yoji Anjyo 14
Gary Albright vs. Billy Scott 9
WORST MATCH POLL
Badnews Allen vs. Kiyoshi Tamura 26
Vladimir Berkovich vs. Jean Lydick 10
Based on fax messages and phone calls to the Observer as of the morning of 4/19. Statistical margin of error: +-100%
World Championship Wrestling announcer Jesse Ventura (Jim Janos) was awarded $809,958 in his lawsuit against Titan Sports, largely for videotape royalties, by a St. Paul jury on 4/13.
While the verdict of the seven women jury, which deliberated for seven hours before coming up with its verdict, was a major courtroom loss for Titan Sports, the most significant damage that could have come out of the suit to Titan Sports, a potential landmark decision that would have opened the floodgates to virtually every performer from its mid to late 80s heyday, was avoided when the jury failed to award Ventura money for personalized action figures, which, had he won on that specific point, would have been a landmark decision virtually every performer during that time period could have sued over.
The jury awarded Ventura $801,333 for royalties for his announcing work on 90 videotapes, ruling that Titan Sports had lied to him in negotiations and thus induced him into making an agreement fraudulently, therefore legally the agreement between the two sides in which Ventura agreed he wasn't entitled to any royalties for videotapes containing his commentary was considered nullified. The judge ruled his contract as a wrestler, which was the only contract Ventura ever signed with Titan Sports, wasn't valid to carry over into his announcing work. Ventura's contract as a wrestler, which the jury considered valid, also would not have entitled him to videotape revenue. It is believed that the current Titan Sports wrestlers contracts do contain provisions for videotape royalties. Because of that, Ventura was entitled to what was considered fair market value of such royalties. Ventura's attorney, Alan Eidsness of St. Paul, had asked for approximately $1.2 million as fair market value for such royalties which Titan Sports had claimed the figure as being $150,000, and the jury came up with its figure through its own deliberations.
The key point in the case, which lasted more than two weeks, is that the jury believed that in Ventura's negotiations with Titan Sports regarding announcing matches that were to be videotaped, such as pay-per-views or Coliseum video special main events, he had agreed he wouldn't receive royalties on the videotapes because Titan had told him in negotiations that no other performers had received or were receiving royalties from videotape sales except in cases when videotapes were marketed based on a specific wrestlers' name such as "Best of Jim Duggan" tapes in which Duggan would get royalties on, but not generic tapes in which wrestlers appeared in matches on tapes or PPV shows. In the discovery process of the case it was determined that Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, Mr. T and Cyndi Lauper, and perhaps others, had received and were receiving royalties on from sales of generic tapes and thus Titan had lied to Ventura in the negotiations, rendering Ventura's agreement with the company void.
The jury also awarded Ventura $8,625 for other merchandising, a calendar poster of him and a computer game with his likeness on it, neither of which he had received payment for. Ventura, 42, started as an announcer for the WWF in 1985, after a blood clot in his lung temporarily curtailed his wrestling career where he had been a top heel since the late 70s, particularly in the old AWA and WWF. When he quickly gained more fame for his quick-witted heel commentary than he did as a wrestler, combined with the job being physically less taxing, he retired as a wrestler in 1986, but continued as an announcer with Titan through July of 1990, when he
was fired by McMahon over McMahon telling him he couldn't accept an offer to do his own wrestling video game and him refusing to back down. In early 1992, Ventura signed a lucrative two-year deal with then-WCW Executive Vice President Kip Frey and after it had expired, a new deal was reached earlier this year.
Ventura had asked for more than $2 million in the suit, which he filed in November of 1991, not only for videotape royalties, but also for other merchandising, including personalized action figures. Ventura, who after leaving wrestling and going to Hollywood, learned that the 75/25 split of royalties in favor of the company above the individual was the exact opposite of the split for similar merchandise in Hollywood. Ventura had argued that he had signed his wrestling contract, which stipulated that split, under duress and was asking for fair market value, or roughly double the total amount he had received from all doll merchandising checks. The jury ruled that specific contract was binding, thus ruled against the additional revenue, which was the biggest risk Titan took by not settling the suit ahead of time before a landmark ruling could have been issued which literally would have opened the floodgate to every ex-WWF wrestler during that time period.
"The wrestlers were like serfs," Eidsness said in an AP story. "The kings were the ones that made the decisions. The jury decided the kings were wrong."
Mark Ginder, an attorney representing Titan Sports in the case, was quoted in the same story saying that Titan was "very disappointed, although the jury significantly reduced Ventura's request of over $2 million." Ginder also said that Titan Sports denies any misrepresentation of its royalty policy.
In an article in the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Ventura said he hoped the verdict would send a message to wrestling promoters and organizations like the WWF. "I'm hoping it brings to light what's gone on in the world of wrestling. Wrestlers have never been allowed to unionize. Wrestling evolved from the carnivals. They've tried to keep us back in those carnival days."
Titan Sports is considered appealing the ruling.
Two other major stories involving both Titan Sports and Hulk Hogan broke on 4/14. An agreement was reached to move the steroid trial of Titan and Vince McMahon from its scheduled 5/2 date back to 7/5. No reason was released for the postponement, although it wasn't unexpected. Additionally, Hogan reached an agreement with WCW to sign a contract. Due to the terms of Hogan's release from Titan Sports in late 1993, Titan has the right of first refusal on any offer given to Hogan to wrestle. Titan now has a 21-day period in which it can match the WCW offer, or else Hogan would sign with WCW and most likely start out at the 7/17 Great American Bash PPV show in a match against Ric Flair. There is a lot of strategy involved in this, because if McMahon were to believe that Hogan would refuse to come back to Titan, which would be Hogan's option, he could match the offer, block WCW from using Hogan, and it wouldn't cost him a cent. However, if Hogan would return, obviously we are talking about a multi-million dollar offer to a company that is taking severe financial hits at the present time, not to mention the situation it would create internally if Hogan were to return to the company at this point for a short period of time. No terms have been released on the Hogan deal, although the New England Sports Network ran a story on Hogan agreeing to the
deal reporting Hogan as receiving $600,000 or 40 percent of the company gross per PPV event. I have no idea if those figures are even close, although if that figure is correct, for WCW to equal its current profit level on PPV events by adding a deal like this into the mix, it would have to increase its buys for all three events Hogan will appear on to 227,000 (an 0.99 buy rate, or slightly above the level the WWF has drawn in its past two non-Wrestlemania PPV shows, Survivor Series and Royal Rumble), or it would be a money losing deal for PPV. While it is conceivable a first Flair-Hogan match correctly promoted would do that business, it would be a lot more difficult to average that over three shows. Several weeks back Multi Channel News, in an article about WCW potentially acquiring Hogan got feedback from major PPV companies in which the consensus was Hogan would add to WCW's buy rates, but even with Hogan they would trail WWF. It is not unusual for companies to pay above the figure that would be profitable in certain situations if the feeling would be, as it would be in this case, that just having Hogan would also aid them in acquiring television stations, merchandising deals, etc. and thus make money in other ways, although with Hogan signing what is believed to be a short-term deal rather than a long-term, that may not be possible. Based on information we've received, it is believed the deal for Hogan will be short-term, probably debuting at the June Clash and having his first match on the July PPV, and lasting through February 1995, to include three PPV shows, three Clash appearances, a U.S. house show tour and a European house show tour and that most of the money is based on percentages, and that the deal could reach $4 million although that figure is no doubt based on huge increases in business on every show he appears. It is believed that the producers of "Thunder in Paradise" (which drew a 5.4 rating in syndication this past week, good for 19th place among all syndicated shows) are looking at not only renewing the show based on the early ratings, but filming more than 30 episodes in 1995, which pretty much given the time constraints make it extremely difficult for Hogan to be involved in much wrestling next year, so whatever this is will not be for the long haul.
It was also a big week for WCW besides reaching the preliminary agreement with Hogan and putting on a spectacular PPV event on 4/17 in Chicago, as Vice President Eric Bischoff also reached two-year contract agreements with Steve Austin and Brian Pillman. Bischoff also reached a very limited deal with Eastern Championship Wrestling which resulted in Arn Anderson and Bobby Eaton shooting an angle at the 4/16 ECW show to set up them wrestling on the 5/14 card. In addition, Too Cold Scorpio is no longer with the company, and WCW was featured in a story about Missy Hiatt's firing on the 4/19 edition of "A Current Affair."
Both Pillman and Austin had met with Titan Sports in recent weeks and tested the waters with All Japan and were considered somewhat likely to leave the promotion. It is believed Austin's contract calls for 200 dates minimum (at the present rate, WCW won't book 200 shows so he'll get his minimum) per year at $1,000 per show, which would be a slight raise from what was believed to be a $190,000 base per year deal he was under, although both contracts reportedly had several bonuses worked in so comparing flat figures could be misleading. Pillman's contract calls for 185 dates per year. No reliable money figures have been speculated on, although it is believed to be in the ballpark with his previous deal. The failure of Titan to pull the trigger on the deal in a large part is because of the perception that Titan is an
organization that has a more unstable future than WCW, despite its huge lead in popularity and revenue. In addition, as many have cited, besides the guaranteed money, an advantage of working with WCW is that even though the wrestling itself is tougher physically, the travel schedule is far less grueling, particularly with Titan running a larger and larger percentage of its shows on foreign soil, making going to Titan less enticing than ever for wrestlers with families who have the WCW option. Given all that, McMahon's inability to pull the trigger on deals he certainly would have had years ago was still surprising, especially with WCW making so many key acquisitions from his stable over the past six months.
Scorpio (Charles Skaggs) was let go in the middle of this past week for reasons that weren't officially released but are believed to be a company policy violation which will probably be confirmed within the next week as to the nature of it. Although it was said to be a firing, rather than a suspension, it was also said there is a slim chance they would try and find a loophole to bring him back although doing so at this point would be against company policy. An angle explaining his disappearance from the promotion is expected to be shot at television tapings this week. Scorpio is luckier than most in that he'll no doubt receive numerous offers from both indies, Japan and possibly Mexico or WWF.
The Hiatt story on "A Current Affair" was pretty much a dud, with the show obviously not wanting to break any new ground until Hiatt files a lawsuit. The story just focused on the photo of her exposed and didn't use any of her comments about the industry other than it was more back-stabbing than Hollywood and that wrestling was a "complete fabrication." Hiatt's detailed harassment claims, steroid claims, etc. didn't air, and WCW attorney Alan Sharpe was on camera with a no comment. Hiatt claimed in the story she was not only going to sue the company, but several of her former supervisors individually.
As the poll indicates, Spring Stampede on 4/17 from the Rosemont Horizon in suburban Chicago was an awesome show. It had its flaws, an inconsistent finish (over-the-top rope was called as a DQ as a finish in one match but ignored in another), a clumsy announcement and post-match explanation for a double pin finish in the main event and the non-appearance of Hulk Hogan which was promised on the Saturday television show as Gene Okerlund stated he had talked to Hogan who told him he would be at ringside, which strangely was again plugged during the show. Hogan was actually never scheduled to come to this show even after the agreement was worked out earlier in the week, so it was nothing more than deceptive advertising on the Saturday show. Plugging it again on the PPV was really strange because it only called attention to the fans to the fact they'd been deceived in the hype. I doubt many were disappointed at the end because the workrate and match quality from top-to-bottom ranked with the best PPV shows of all-time with not one match below average. This show had an added dimension for WCW, which has put on many PPV shows with great work in recent years (although none at this level since the 1993 SuperBrawl), a huge rabid crowd, the likes of which the promotion hasn't performed before in this country in more than four years. While called "capacity" several times on the broadcast, the actual crowd was 12,200, of which about 9,000 was paid with a gate in excess of $125,000. The paid crowd and gate was the largest for WCW in North America since the Ric Flair vs. Sting title change at the 1990 Baltimore Bash. In fact, it was the largest paid crowd
to attend a wrestling show in the Rosemont Horizon for either promotion in several years, as the late 1991 first Ric Flair vs. Hulk Hogan WWF match in the same building drew 8,000 paid and $135,000 although Hogan sold out the building, which holds more than 17,000, on several occasions during the peak of the WWF's popularity, most recently in 1989 for a cage match against Big Bossman the night before the first of the Flair-Steamboat matches in Chicago. The live crowd has to largely be credited to the work of local promoter Barry Fox of Chicago, who came to WCW from WWF as part of the deal which brought WWF's Zane Bresloff, its major Western States event promoter, to WCW earlier this year. The first move relative to that deal was to book a WCW PPV show into the Rosemont Horizon, a building the WWF had been able to promote exclusively in since 1985. The paid attendance was roughly triple what WCW has done for most of its PPV shows over the past year.
The only major backstage commotion regarded Ventura, who arrived at the building completely unaware he wouldn't be doing the play-by-play as apparently nobody in the company had informed him, although a lot of people were less than thrilled about the Danny Bonaduce-Christopher Knight match. Ventura opened the show with Gene Okerlund, with them alluding to his lawsuit victory ("you look like a million bucks") and telling fans to call the hotline on Wednesday where Ventura would give all the details without specifically mentioning it was a court case against Titan Sports. Ventura and Okerlund, both of whom were downplayed as compared with previous shows, were limited to a few locker room interviews. There were numerous comments to us about Bobby Heenan's work being below his level at previous shows, but I didn't see a problem with the announcing until the main event, where Heenan threw in comedy at times they should have been selling the drama of the match, although Tony Schiavone to his credit remained focused on the match rather than diverted by the comedy.
A. In a dark match which received a lot of national publicity in newspaper gossip sections a few days before the event, Danny Bonaduce (Danny Partridge of "The Partridge Family"), a local Chicago d.j. who has been a wrestling fan since he was a kid TV star) beat Christopher Knight (Peter Brady of "The Brady Bunch") in a match said to be incredibly horrible to the point it was perversely entertaining as bad comedy. It was a total expose as they were doing high spots and Knight couldn't stop laughing while he was in the ring, although Bonaduce got a big pop and his appearance sold tickets locally. Next time they do something like this, they should put oversized boxing gloves on them rather than try to give them a crash course in being a wrestler and have botch up high spots.
B. In a second dark match, Kevin & Evad Sullivan beat Pat Tanaka & Haito (Paul Diamond) in a match that was said to be pretty bad, with Evad (The Equalizer) tearing his knee ligaments during the match. If he's out of action for any length of time, it destroys months of taped-in-advance television angles, although at press time we didn't have word on how long he'd be out of action.
1. Johnny B. Badd pinned Diamond Dallas Page in 5:55 with a sunset flip from the top rope. The crowd didn't want to like this match because of who was involved, but the work was solid with a few spectacular moves by Badd including a spinning headscissors and an over-the-top-rope tope that they removed virtually all crowd abuse. Good opener. **1/4
2. Steve Regal retained the TV title going to a 15:00 draw with Brian Pillman. I'd say it's a safe bet the original finish was going to be Regal going over but was changed since Pillman had signed the two-year contract for good money and it would be a poor investment to beat him in the second match. The only problem is it created another draw situation involving Regal, which everyone is tired of. Aside from that, the work was very good. It started fast with Pillman using hard slaps and chops and Regal countering with his usual solid mat wrestling. It showed in the middle and picked up in the final minute when Regal came off the top but Pillman caught him with a dropkick, however they didn't have a run of near falls in the last minute, instead Pillman decked Sir William for the big pop at the bell. **3/4
3. Nasty Boys won a Chicago street fight from Maxx Payne & Cactus Jack in 8:59 of one of the wildest, sickest, most brutal matches you'll ever see. Knobs attacked Jack with a pool stick but Jack got the stick, by this time broken, and made a comeback with it. They traded brutal chair shots and Jack took his usual psychotic bumps in what apparently will be his last match for several months as he's expected to undergo surgery to re-attach his ear. Knobs and Payne wound up in the first "fake concession stand brawl" ever, as they set up a concession stand with four t-shirts and a few foam hands which was obviously a work since it was inside of the barricaded off region of the building. Knobs hit Payne with a garbage can with no garbage. Payne slammed Knobs through the concession stand table. Payne shoved a t-shirt down Knobs' throat. Jack took a header over the guard rail. Knobs threw Payne threw the concession stand wall. Knobs hit Jack four times with a table. Jack made a comeback using a neckbreaker on the ramp on Sags, then picked up a table like a suplex and dropped it on Sags. Knobs then got a plastic snow shovel and hit Jack with a brutal shot, but Payne got the shovel and hit Knobs three shots with it. Payne went to piledrive one of the guys through a table, but with about 700 pounds of combined weight, the table broke before he could set up the move. Finally Jack took the sickest nestea plunge bump off the ramp onto the concrete, sounding like a watermelon was being splattered on concrete. Sags then used the shovel and gave Jack what looked to be a shot to the head far too brutal for words and got the pin. After the match the Nasty's KO'd Payne by destroying a table over him. One of the most brutal matches of all-time. ****1/2
4. Steve Austin retained the U.S. title with a disqualification win over Great Muta (Keiji "I go to America, take steloids, get big" Muto) in 16:29. These two had no choice after the previous match to take the crowd down, so they mainly did matwork for the first 10:00 with Muta doing a few high spots in between. Col. Parker tripped Muta, who didn't seem that popular coming to the ring but seemed to get great babyface heat as the match wore on, giving Austin a few minutes of advantage. Muta didn't make a comeback until 14:00 but missed a dropkick off the top rope. He got a big pop by using Austin's stun gun on him. After a handspring elbow, Muta used a Frankensteiner off the top rope, but got tied up fighting with Parker. As Austin charged at him, Muta backdropped Austin over the top for the DQ. After the match Muta did a plancha onto Austin and Parker. Solid match but probably didn't meet expectations going in. **3/4
5. Sting won the WCW International title from Rick Rude in 13:09. Harley Race came out before the match so Vader could challenge the winner (which is funny since Vader actually is going to wrestle the loser). Sting whipped Race over the top
rope and clotheslined Rude over the top rope which was weird to see a match open with two over the top bumps after the previous match ended with a DQ for the same bump. Typical Rude match, with him holding the chinlock for a long time before the face makes the comeback and he bumps like crazy. The ref got squashed in the corner by Rude, and squashed again when he was behind Rude and Sting delivered the Stinger splash. Sting put on the scorpion but no ref. Race came back but Sting beat him to the punch, which brought out Vader, and Sting was holding his own on all three knocking Vader and Race out of the ring. The finish was just awful as far as execution goes but it didn't seem to matter to the crowd. Rude was supposed to try the Rude Awakening, Race would come in and go to hit Sting with a chair but Sting would fall and Rude would get the blow and get pinned, which is what happened. The only problem was that Race couldn't find a chair and was completely out of position when Rude went for the move, so Rude had to do a ten second freeze waiting, and Harley was still looking for a chair, let alone getting into position for the finish. We figure Aaron Neville was sitting on the extra one since Vader also had a chair but just kneeled at the ring for no reason. Finally Race got the chair and Rude and Sting went back into the same position and they did the finish, with Race splitting the back of Rude's head open hardway with the blow. Several minutes after the match they interviewed Rude, who complained about Vader, and the two started getting into it with the other heels (including an embarrassed towel-clad Jerry Sags) having to break it up in a segment that came off too staged. **
6. Bunkhouse Buck (Jimmy Golden) pinned Dustin Rhodes in 14:17 after hitting him with a foreign object. An excellent bloodbath. Rhodes sprinted down the aisle and flew over the top rope with a clothesline to open the match. Rhodes missed a crossbody and went to the floor giving Uncle Buck the advantage, breaking a stick on Rhodes' back and hitting him in the head with the stick. Rhodes did that hereditary juice job and was covered with blood, although the cameras were doing everything they could to avoid showing it since the PPV distributors and cable companies don't want juice on these shows. Rhodes took a spin bump off a clothesline on the ramp. Rhodes threw powder in Buck's eyes. Buck came back using his belt and solidly whipped Rhodes with it, including a belt buckle to the forehead and Rhodes was bleeding heavily. Rhodes then used his belt and whipped and hit Buck with it with Buck juicing. Rhodes removed his cowboy boot and did a fist-drop on Buck's head using the heel of the boot and went back to whipping him. Rhodes did the bulldog, but instead of going for the pin, went after Parker. Rhodes started whipping Parker with the belt allowing Buck to schoolboy him from behind for a near fall. Parker then gave Buck an object which he used for the pin. About halfway into the match the announcers, when Buck put on a glove, both seemed to think it was the loaded glove and they were going to the finish, but instead pretty well gave away the finish that was still to come. Since they were bringing these two back in a bunkhouse match on the next PPV, the heel had to go over so this was the only logical finish. ****
7. Vader pinned The Boss with a moonsault in 9:17. Vader came into the match moving slowly like he was hurting, but as the match wore on he took all kinds of crazy bumps and delivered his usual stiff shots back. Vader and Cactus Jack, if anything, are too committed to always delivering a memorable match on PPV which
is why both always come out of these matches banged up. At one point Vader ran across the ramp and dove over the top, but Boss got his knees up to break the splash, and also probably did wonders for his own bad knees legit. At one point Vader took a guard rail shot and went over wiping out the first row. Boss dropped him on the guard rail. Somewhere in here Vader's eye and possibly mouth were busted open and the cameras were doing everything not to show the blood. Vader backdropped Boss over the top but no DQ was called. Vader came back with the brutal looking punches and a shotgun lariat. Boss came back and suplexed Vader, who landed on his shoulder. Finish saw Boss come off the top rope and Vader catch with and turn it into a powerslam, then after a splash for a near fall, he got the pin with the moonsault. After the match Boss attacked the literally destroyed Race with night stick shots. In the post-match interview, Nick Bockwinkel told Boss that in other matches (Street Fight and Bunkhouse) the stipulations allowed gimmicks, but this match wasn't a gimmick match and he was taking the nightstick and handcuffs and told him he could no longer wrestle as The Boss. Poor Nick is continually put in a position to make rulings that make no sense (who can forget, well, okay, everyone can forget the memorable ruling threatening to suspend Jimmy Garvin who didn't even work for the company) as what does the name have to do with anything? Well, of course, it has to do with everything since Titan has been sending nasty threatening legal letters about the name, uniform, nightstick and handcuff gimmick and if there ever was a case that they should win, this would seem to be it since they created the entire gimmick and trademarked it, and their competitor was using it. Given all that, one asks why WCW used it in the first place, but that's another story. So Ray Traylor will have a new gimmick, names bandied around are The Vigilante, The Guardian Angel and Buford Justice. ***1/2
8. Ric Flair was awarded a decision in a clumsy and nonsensical post-match after going to a double pin with Rick Steamboat in 32:21. No matter how much hard training, the reality is an athlete can't be as good at 45 as he was at 40, or at 41 as he was at 36. And no matter how much comedy and gimmicks are involved in pro wrestling, certain performers are also excellent athletes who rely heavily on their athletic ability once the bell rings, and few in this country more than these two. No, this wasn't as good as 1989, and it was unrealistic to expect it to be. They were the two best wrestlers in the world at that time, both at the peak of their games, with complimenting styles, against one another doing what was at the time state-of-the-art. Now they are "just" two great wrestlers having an excellent match, and considering the quality of this show that so many voted it as the best match on the show says just how good it really was. Although they weren't doing move after move to put their careers at serious risk, they had excellent ring psychology and both are still in tremendous condition. Unfortunately, the evolution of this business is to more and more stunt men spots (splashes through tables, topes, etc.) and less psychology and matwork which is the difference between a 1989 state-of-the-art match of the year and a 1994 match of the year, which this wasn't. There are great arguments on why this is a bad evolution and it can be, the most important being the physical damage to the bodies involved if the guys cross the line and some do, but you can't put the genie back in the bottle when crazy men who perform for the moment are hungry to reach the top. As sick as it is what Cactus Jack and the others following in his footsteps and making bigger footsteps into broken tables do to themselves, it is raw and compelling and evolution rarely goes backwards. This
in many ways is an uncivilized business, and gets worse and business declines and people are desperate for ways to revive it, and Flair and Steamboat are civilized. Flair looked lighter in the ring than ever before, almost bordering on looking overtrained since he and Steamboat had their private competition on which of the two would be in better shape for the match. This was a slow-building match that got better as it lasted, but unfortunately because of the finish, left one flat as it ended. They did basically everything you'd expect and it turned into a classic, with Steamboat on offense most of the way and Flair taking big bumps, although not as many or as crazy as they would have been years ago, but he took a bump off the top rope and took two superplexes and two upside down flips into the turnbuckle. After numerous near falls, Steamboat got Flair in the double chicken wing (which he really should have highlighted on television winning squash matches with in the weeks leading up to this show because they were relying on five-year old memories to get that finish over which is dangerous since most wrestling fans don't last that long) but fell backwards and both had their shoulders pinned. It was announced that Flair was awarded the decision by Bockwinkel since Steamboat failed to beat him and on a tie the decision goes to the champion, but to tune in on television Saturday because the decision may be reversed. It was actually a simple double pin finish which is the traditional title match draw ending in Lucha Libre since those matches have no time limit. Apparently this was done to set up a television rematch to pop a big rating, perhaps at the June Clash. I think it's a bad policy to ask fans to spend $24.95 for a PPV show and then tell them they have to wait a week to find out who won the main event, but at least they didn't tell them to call the 900 line to find out. The idea of a double pin finish, with the challenger in command and executing the hold, to lead to a rematch is a good finish provided the issue is eventually resolved. This is soap opera. If there is no rematch, this was a weak finish. And most had the latter feeling after the match. After all, this still is WCW with a tremendous track record to live down. ****1/4
Saturday night was a huge night for wrestling in the city of Tokyo, as both All Japan and New Japan presented major cards at Budokan Hall (16,300 seats, est. $850,000) and Sumo Hall (11,500 seats, est. $570,000) respectively, both selling out well in advance. In addition, the LLPW sold out 2,000-seat Korakuen Hall the same night, and that evening between 1:30 and 4 a.m., not only were All Japan and New Japan on their regular television slots, but All Japan women had a 90 minute late-night show airing highlights of the 3/27 Wrestling Queendom at Yokohama Arena card. The All Japan show was headlined by the finals of the Champion Carnival tournament, which saw Toshiaki Kawada pin Steve Williams in 25:48 with a power bomb. The carnival tour started out slowly, with predictable results and no new faces involved, leading everyone to believe it would be another Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Stan Hansen final. An injury to Misawa (who probably was scheduled to face Kawada in the finals in the original booking) and two clean pins against Hansen one week before the event picked up interest substantially in the final week, ending up with two men who had never been in the finals before meeting at Budokan. Going into the final two nights of the tournament, Akira Taue, Kenta Kobashi, Steve Williams and Toshiaki Kawada all had 17 points (all had 8-1-1 records except Williams who was 8-0-1), while Stan Hansen had 16 (8-2). In Nagoya on 4/14, Hansen pinned Williams to finish up at 9-2, while Kawada pinned Taue in a match where the winner would clinch a spot in the final in 20:20 with a
power bomb. Williams faced off with Kobashi on 4/15 at Korakuen Hall in the first singles rematch of their legendary match from last year, and reportedly they had the best singles match thus far for All Japan this year as well, with Williams using the dangerous back suplex to score the pin in 22:10.
New Japan's gamble of booking Sumo Hall for a one-night junior heavyweight tournament, called the Super Junior Cup, paid off big, as even going head-up with the Champion Carnival, the lure of seeing a tournament with top lighter weight wrestlers from seven different offices (New Japan--Liger, Wild Pegasus, Shinjiro Ohtani, Dean Malenko and El Samurai; FMW--Ricky Fuji; Michinoku Pro--Great Sasuke, Super Delfin and Taka Michinoku; AAA--Black Tiger and Hayabusa; EMLL--Negro Casas; Social Pro Wrestling Federation--Masayoshi Motegi; and WAR--Gedo) sold out weeks in advance and featured a few surprises. The tournament was a bone thrown to Jushin Liger, who was given pretty much free reign of who he wanted to invite from other offices and on the finishes. The tournament was designed to get the top star of the regional Michinoku Pro Wrestling group based on the Northern Island of Hokkaido, The Great Sasuke, who holds the FMW and MPW combined Independent jr. title, over as a new star and challenger for Liger and others in New Japan. After receiving a bye, Sasuke pinned El Samurai in a very good match, then in the semifinals pinned Liger in a huge upset in 18:09 of what was said to be the second best match of the tournament. In the finals, Wild Pegasus (Chris Benoit), who had earlier beaten Black Tiger (Eddy Guerrero) and Gedo, pinned Sasuke in what was said to be the best match on the show in 18:46. Gedo, WAR's last minute replacement for the injured Masao Orihara, was praised by New Japan President Seiji Sakaguchi after the show, and scored "upsets" over Malenko and Delfin. The other upset, but one that actually makes political sense saw Negro Casas lose in the first round to Ricky Fuji, since Fuji is coming back for New Japan's round-robin junior heavyweight tournament later in the year and Casas isn't. Fuji is pushed as something of a heel name in FMW, while as talented as Casas is and Fuji isn't, he doesn't work Japan regularly so the result, while a surprise in that one would have thought Liger would want to face Casas in his first round match, does make sense. Pegasus, upon winning was presented by New Japan President Seiji Sakaguchi with the old WWF junior heavyweight championship belt that had been in the possession of Tatsumi Fujinami since the belt was retired years ago. Sakaguchi said because tickets sold so quickly for a junior heavyweight tournament, that next year's Tokyo Dome show on January 4 will be a one-night heavyweight tournament and be the biggest heavyweight tournament in the history of Japanese wrestling.
The fact that at least a limited agreement was reached between WCW and ECW became evident at the ECW show on 4/16 in Philadelphia during a match between Terry Funk vs. Sabu. The card was originally scheduled as Funk vs. Mr. Hughes and Sabu vs. mystery opponent as two supporting matches underneath Shane Douglas vs. Road Warrior Hawk for the ECW title (an uneventful match with a heel DQ finish that took place early in the card) with the crowd down a few hundred from the full houses the past few major shows, with 890 paid. After Hughes cost the Bruise Brothers a tag team title match against Public Enemy, the Brothers attacked Hughes twice, the second time on way to the ring for this match, leaving him "unable to wrestle." Paul E. Dangerously eventually clocked Funk with a telephone
and Sabu, brought out by three masked handlers on a gurney, wound up wrestling Funk. They had their typical ****1/4 brawl for 12:28 complete with a broken table and piledrivers on chairs. Funk put the spinning toe hold on Sabu when one of the masked men interfered, however Funk beat him to the punch and unmasked him, revealing the Rockin Rebel, an ECW regular mid-card wrestler. The same scenario happened a second time, with Funk unmasking another handler as a bald guy who just ran off. As this was about to happen a third time, Funk was distracted and the masked wrestler gave him a neckbreaker and a forearm drop off the top rope and Sabu pinned Funk. At this point 911 (a large monster-type undercard wrestler being groomed for a program with Hawk) blocked the face dressing room as Sabu, the masked man who Dangerously unmasked as Bobby Eaton, and Dangerously continued to attack Funk. When promoter Tod Gordon tried to interfere, he took his obligatory bump courtesy of Eaton and Dangerously started pounding on him. Finally Arn Anderson came in and cleaned house, to set up a 5/14 show with Sabu & Eaton vs. Funk & Anderson. The story behind this is WCW wanted to work with ECW in the Northeast to aid in promoting Slamboree in Philadelphia, plus as a revenge against the WWF for aiding SMW for cards in Marietta, GA. Gary Juster, who has become Bischoff's right-hand man in many aspects, offered Gordon any wrestler and in return proposed a deal which included WCW getting four weeks of one ad per show for Slamboree on the ECW show, and an interview with Funk plugging his match with Tully Blanchard at Slamboree on the show. WCW offered to put some ECW wrestlers on its TBS shows for a few weeks to build up an ECW feud, but that proposal was turned down. Dangerously, who still has a lot of bad blood with the WCW hierarchy, in particular Bill Shaw and Bob Dhue because of how his dismissal and post-dismissal legal action was handled, initially didn't want to make the deal, but asked for Steve Austin and Brian Pillman first, with Pillman to be Sabu's mystery opponent on the show. WCW turned down the request not wanting either to be injured for Spring Stampede the next day, but did send Anderson and Eaton to the show to do an angle and several weeks worth of interviews leading to the 5/14 show. Gordon is also interested in booking Ric Flair and/or Cactus Jack for future dates, although apparently nobody else has even been asked about. ECW is also planning on becoming a regular weekend promotion rather than a one show and one TV taping per month outfit, as staring in June the plan is to run shows every Friday and Saturday night throughout the Northeast, which would require getting television in numerous new markets.
The Tokyo-based Union of Wrestling Force International's attempt at doing a second PPV show, taped on 4/3 in Osaka and airing on 4/16, was a major flop. For numerous reasons, most important among them being no follow-up hype on whatever success the first PPV show had in October, an inability to clear the show with Request and Viewers Choice due to those companies carrying a Karate PPV the day before and a pro wrestling (Spring Stampede) the day after limiting availability, and absolutely no hype and virtually no advertising, viewership of this show had to rank among the lowest in the history of wrestling PPV events. Based on calls here, very few systems even offered the event, and of those who did, there was no advertising. While responses by those who did order the show were generally positive, my feelings were in the middle leading up to the Nobuhiko Takada vs. Kazuo Yamazaki main event. While both men showed quickness and skill, overall a 7:00 match that was more pretty than stiff or brutal and that didn't build up much
heat left the show flat, especially considering these two have had numerous classic matches against one another over the past 11 years. There were improvements technically from the first show, as more interviews with those who could speak English were added, including post-match interviews showing guys that appeared to be totally brutalized in their matches. With the elimination of Jim Dougherty, the announcing improved. Play-by-play man Bob Papa was adequate, although nothing more, while color man Gene Pelc once again was excellent in explaining strategies and did a better job in differentiating the Japanese from one another. However, it appeared the announcing track was put on in studio rather than live, as there was no excitement in either announcer's voice so fans unfamiliar with the style, as virtually all would have been, had no exciting spots to pop for. Unlike the first show, American pro wrestling wasn't mentioned in a derogatory fashion, or even hardly at all. The problem with UWFI in the United States is this. In Japan this thing started in 1984 and has slowly evolved into something more and more realistic, even to the point one promotion (Pancrase) is either the closest thing to or is really shooting. But it didn't start that way and people wouldn't have understood it at the beginning if the style was at it is now. It was a slow evolution process of the style that took ten years so the fans are on the same page with the promotion. Now the more realistic it gets, the least spectacular it gets. That's reality. If the change is gradual and comes at the same time the audience is learning, there is no problem with that. But for American fans, it's like coming into a movie in the last ten minutes and being told to understand the finish when you've missed the whole story. Moreover, unlike Japan, nothing can make it in this country without television, and unless this group gets television to garner an audience, it's spinning its wheels no matter how good its PPV presentations might be. Also, the Ultimate Fight, which is a true shoot, shows time-after-time than in mixed matches, a ground fighter or wrestler with knowledge of submissions will beating a standing striking fighter because it always goes to the ground and the striking fighter is a fish out of water at that point. However, UWFI puts over the striking fighters above the wrestlers because the striking is more spectacular than matwork. Having said all that, this second show was a disappointment because of match quality. Although most of the matches were part of a summer-long tournament, the existence of the tournament was never acknowledged. Vader's name was never mentioned. The only hype or building for the future was after the final match, Bob Papa rather calmly mentioned he'd like to see Gary Albright against Takada and Gene Pelc said they're working on making that match in a few months, which theoretically should be the next PPV.
The show started with Yuko Miyato vs. Yoshihiro Takayama, a 6-4ish bodybuilder type. The two worked a believable match with a finish coming out of nowhere with the smaller man winning convincingly, but it was a good opener. Next up was a totally out-of-shape Russian Vladimir Berkovich vs. Jean Lydick, an American who has extensive UWFI training. The match was really bad because of Berkovich's condition, and also because it appeared because of his superior wrestling skill, than in a shoot he could have controlled Lydick on the mat forever, but did the job at the end. Then came Tatsuo Nakano vs. Hiromitsu Kanehara. Kanehara had fast feet and bloodied Nakano's nose, but Nakano won with an armlock in a good match. Badnews Allen, who in his younger days certainly could have torn apart most of these guys, again had the worst match on the show which was a chore since his
opponent, Kiyoshi Tamura (incorrectly called Hiroshi Tamura by Papa) is one of the most exciting wrestlers in the group. Allen was listed as being 45 (he's really 52) and was never alluded to as being a pro wrestler. As old an out of shape as Allen is by this group's standards, his reputation and strength is such that Tamura had a lot of respect for him. However, Allen has really bad knees and after some hard kicks to the thigh and knee, it was no mas time. It was then announced Dennis Koslowski was injured and couldn't appear, but in order not to disappoint those who ordered to see him (what a concept, delivering what was promised), they aired a match from August of 1993 with Koslowski vs. Yuko Miyato in which Dougherty and Lou Thesz joined Pelc on commentary. Since this was taped a year ago, this was the only part of the show in which American pro wrestling was referred to in negative terms or even acknowledged. This was a tremendous match and the best example of this style on the entire show, with Koslowski countering brutal kicks with great suplexes, and winning at the end. Next up was Dan Severn of Michigan against Masahito Kakihara, a much smaller younger wrestler with an incredibly well-conditioned physique. It was obvious Severn's wrestling ability was far too much for Kakihara, even though Kakihara was great with his feet, and Kakihara went over with an achilles tendon hold in a fair match. Yoji Anjyo then met the star of the show, Soviet Victor Zangiev, who obviously had no idea what he was supposed to be doing and was out there entertaining with nip ups and flips and all those things removed from this style, but popped the crowd big. Zangiev, who the Russian character in the Streetfighter Arcade game was patterned and named after (bet he's not getting his fair royalty checks) from his days with New Japan, was excellent, but lost at the end. This was realistic enough to suspend disbelief, but flashy enough to pop a crowd at the same time. Gary Albright followed by destroying Billy Scott in 2:11 with four devastating suplexes. This was the in-ring wrestling version of the Chicago Street Fight the next night. Albright is very effective at coming off as an unbeatable monster, and his interviews are great for his role as well, building up that he wanted a singles match with Takada. If this group had television and built a following in the U.S., Albright would be its biggest star. Takada and Yamazaki followed trading submissions back-and-forth quickly in a very pretty high spot like opening. But the match was too short and didn't have the brutal kicks expected.
EMLL, the second Mexican office to invade California, released its line-up for its debut card on 5/14 at the Grand Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles, a newly refurbished arena which was the home of Los Angeles wrestling for decades. The schedule right now is promoters Abel DeLuna and Karl Lauer of Los Angeles are going to promote every other Saturday (as opposed to the traditional Friday nights at the Olympic of yesteryear so as not to compete for talent with EMLL's biggest show each week on Friday's in Mexico City). The initial line-up is Vampiro Casanova & Rayo de Jalisco Jr. & Blue Demon Jr. vs. Pierroth Jr. & Black Magic & Gran Markus Jr., Ringo Mendoza & Aguila Solitaria & Mascara Magica vs. Archangel de la Muerte & Halcon Negro & ?, a womens match with the "Michael Jordan of wrestling," Japan's Akira Hokuto & La Diabolica vs. Lady Apache & Cynthia Moreno, plus locals Super Boy & Rey Misterio (original, not Jr.) vs. Capitan Oro & Ultraman (who I believe is FMW wrestler Damian who most recently worked for AAA as Black Cat's manager) and Chavo & Mando Guerrero vs. Principe Indu & ? which means not to expect Chavo & Mando on future AAA/IWC shows in California. Scheduled for the
second show on 5/28 will be Los Brazos, Mocho Cota, Mano Negra, Negro Casas, Vampiro and Black Magic. They are charging high prices ($17 average) so going bi-weekly sounds too much, but we'll have to see. The first show should draw a decent crowd by U.S. standards, but I doubt it'll approach the AAA or WWF crowds in Los Angeles. It's going to be tough to maintain this going bi-weekly with the high costs of flying in so many wrestlers from Mexico City and high ticket prices in a 7,450 seat arena. The current plan for AAA is to run IWC shows on 6/4 at the Ampitheatre in Chicago and 6/5 at the Paramount in New York with line-ups expected to be available by next week, although venturing outside of California for Lucha Libre is definitely a major dice roll.
In the "60 Minutes" segment on 4/17 about Rick "Elvis" Parker, a boxing promoter called in the piece the missing link between boxing promoters and wrestling promoters, since he's being investigated for fixing fights, among those interviewed claiming Parker had fixed fights were Rob Russen, a sometime wrestling promoter and Derrick Dukes, a sometime wrestler based out of Minneapolis. Both men stated that Parker would look for opponents to take dives, not just guys who couldn't fight but guys who going in knew they were being paid to lose, to build up winning records for white heavyweights in the hopes of building them into one marketable payday. The Dukes-Mark Gastineau fight in 1991 was brought up with both saying that Dukes went in and was told to take a dive as soon as possible. Russen said they used a wrestler because many wrestlers have the "pin me as long as you pay me" philosophy. Dukes said he was paid $600 and lost as soon as possible, which was 18 seconds. The Dukes-Gastineau fight caused a lot of major media interest for about a week, since Jay Mariotti in the defunct National Sports Daily claimed he talked with Dukes at the airport the day after where Dukes admitted taking the dive and saying if it was legit he could have beaten Gastineau. Dukes, Parker and Russen all vehemently denied it was even possible Dukes could have talked to Mariotti because he was someplace else, and all at the time claimed the fight was real, as did the athletic commissioner in Virginia who claimed to have investigated the allegation of a fixed fight. With Parker under investigation, they've changed their story. The story gave the impression that a lot more boxing matches are fixed then one would normally think, an assertion several wrestlers who have done some boxing (usually in the "taking a dive" role) have also maintained. What's interesting about this is that on one of the highest rated TV shows in the country, a wrestler was openly talking about how in wrestling school he learned to take bumps from fake blows, gave an example when a reporter threw a pulled punch and he took a big wrestling bump from it, and it was openly talked about wrestling as being predetermined and not only will it have no effect whatsoever on the pro wrestling business, but nobody even freaked out over it. Years ago the mentality would have been that if the wrestling fans saw it, the business would be dead the next day. Today it means nothing and has no impact. Real vs. fake is no longer an issue in this business and people not believing has nothing to do with them not attending, nor does people believing have anything to do with them attending, although there is everything to the ability of making them suspend disbelief when they are watching on television and once they are there.
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RESULTS
4/3 Matamoros (AAA - 8,500 sellout): Prelim results unavailable, Solar & Rey Misterio Jr. & Angel Azteca b Tony Arce & Vulcano & Rocco Valente *1/2, El Hijo del Santo & Heavy Metal & Latin Lover b Psicosis & El Satanico & Espectro Jr.-DQ **1/2, Cien Caras & Mascara Ano 2000 & Universo 2000 b Love Machine & Black Cat & Chicano Power-DQ **
4/8 Delaware, OH (James Hines Big Time Wrestling - 375): Danny Two Rivers b Badstreet, Bobby Fulton b Killer Kent, Doink the Clown (Matt Osborne) b Pez Whatley, Junkfood Dog b Mr. Russia (Ron Cumberledge), Fulton & Two Rivers b Kent & Bad Street
4/8 Union, SC (Big Time Wrestling - 137): Stone Cold Kid b El Lobo (Rick Storm), American G.I. (Richie Scruggs) b Dozer (J.R. Scruggs), Kenny V & Storm b Bruiser Brothers-DQ, Johnny Red Cloud d Billy Ray Badd, Wahoo McDaniel & Jay Eagle b Barry Rose & The Breezer, Bruiser Brothers b McDaniel & Eagle to win Natl tag title, Rebel Stud b Scotty Piper
4/8 Porterville, CA (Ind - 300): Mac Truck b Salt & Pepper, Latin Doll b Victoria Victory, Hangman b Executioner, Mr. Outrageous b Thunder Machine, Paul Brown & Nito Gomez b Earthquake Ferris & Pit Bull Payne
4/8 Trinity, NC (Professional Girls Wrestling Association - 90): Malia Hosaka b Lisa Livingston, Jo Day b Lady Stardust, Molly McShane b Robbie Rage, Brittany Brown b Fabulous Cookie, Candi Divine b Allison Royal, Leilani Kai DCOR Debbie Combs, Hosaka & McShane & Royal b Kai & Cookie & Livingston
4/9 Nashville (USWA): Leon Downs b Colorado Kid, Axel & Ian Rotten b Spellbinder (Del Rios) & Jeff Gaylord, The Spiders b Doug Gilbert & Downs, USWA title: Brian Christopher b Eddie Gilbert, Unified title: Jerry Lawler b Adam Bomb
4/9 Metter, GA (All-Star Wrestling): Luscious Lonnie b Tito Santos, Bambi b Amazon Queen, Rob Van Dam d Dick Slater 30:00, Giant Kimala II b Jake Roberts
4/9 Yardsville, NJ (IWCCW): Chris Michaels b Hollywood Kid, Powerblaster Blast b Johnny Goldfinger, Ray Odyssey b H.D. Rider, Duke Snyder b Big Bad Bob, Tony Atlas b Tito Santana, Kid b Damien Stone, Greg Valentine b Joe Savoldi, Powerblasters Activator & Blast & Kodiak Bear b Primo Carnera III & Gino Caruso & Cousin Luke
4/9 Pittsburgh (Ind - 400): Blue Cyclone b Chopper Davidson, Randy Lewis b Frank Staletto, T.Rantula b Lou Marconi, Lord Zoltan b T.C. Reynolds, Preston Steele b Evil Clown (Steve Keirn)-DQ, Devon Storm DDQ Thunder Morgan, Evil Sheik & Green Hornet b Don Red Cloud & Shane Wilson
4/10 Cherry Hill, NJ (IWCCW): Frankie Burns b Amazing Martine, Hollywood Kid b Powerblaster Activator, Cousin Luke b Damien Stone, Powerblasters Activator &
Blast b Ray Odyssey & Kid, Tony Atlas b Primo Carnera III, Joe Savoldi b Chris Michaels, Tito Santana b Greg Valentine-COR
4/11 Osaka (All Japan - 5,600): Mighty Inoue b Kentaro Shiga, Dan Kroffat & Doug Furnas b Tsuyoshi Kikuchi & Satoru Asako, Johnny Smith & The Eagle & Johnny Ace b Tamon Honda & Yoshinari Ogawa & Takao Omori 21:40, Giant Baba & Rusher Kimura & Mitsuo Momota b Masao Inoue & Haruka Eigen & Masa Fuchi 20:54, Steve Williams b John Nord, Kenta Kobashi b Jun Akiyama, Akira Taue b Stan Hansen, Toshiaki Kawada d Mitsuharu Misawa 30:00
4/11 Kitakyushu (New Japan - 1,600): Akitoshi Saito b Yuji Nagata, Michiyoshi Ohara b Satoshi Kojima, Great Kabuki & Kuniaki Kobayashi b Norio Honaga & Hiro Saito, Jushin Liger & El Samurai b Shinjiro Ohtani & Tokimitsu Ishizawa, Shiro Koshinaka & Kengo Kimura b Akira Nogami & Takayuki Iizuka, Osamu Kido b Great Muta-DQ, Shinya Hashimoto & Masa Chono b Tatsumi Fujinami & Tadao Yasuda, Power Warrior & Hiroshi Hase b Riki Choshu & Masa Saito
4/11 Memphis (USWA - 900): Ian & Axl Rotten b Jeff Gaylord & The Spellbinder, The Spiders b Leon Downs & Reggie B. Fine, USWA womens title: Debbie Combs b Susan Sapphire, Billy Travis b Doug Gilbert-DQ, USWA title: Brian Christopher b Steven Dunn, USWA tag title:Moondogs b Travis & Don Bass, Christopher & Eddie Gilbert b Adam Bomb & Dream Machine
4/11 Saitama (All Japan women - 1,320): Prelim results unavailable, Yumiko Hotta b Etsuko Mita, Bull Nakano & Kaoru Ito b Manami Toyota & Sakie Hasegawa
4/12 Syracuse, NY (WWF Challenge taping - 7,500/? paid): Non-squash results: WWF tag title: Rick & Scott Steiner b Quebecers-DQ, Owen Hart b Mo, Heavenly Bodies b Bushwhackers, Kwang b 1-2-3 Kid, Bam Bam Bigelow DCOR Mabel, IC title: Razor Ramon b Diesel-DQ, Lex Luger b Jeff Jarrett, WWF title: Bret Hart b Owen Hart
4/12 Matsuzaki (All Japan - 1,800): Mitsuo Momota b Kentaro Shiga, Takao Omori b Satoru Asako, Johnny Smith b The Eagle, Jun Akiyama b Doug Furnas, Giant Baba & Rusher Kimura & Mighty Inoue b Masao Inoue & Ryukaku Izumida & Haruka Eigen, Akira Taue b Johnny Ace, Stan Hansen & John Nord b Dan Kroffat & Steve Williams, Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi b Toshiaki Kawada & Masa Fuchi & Yoshinari Ogawa 25:04
4/12 Iizuda (New Japan - 1,450): Satoshi Kojima b Tadao Yasuda, Norio Honaga b Tatsuhito Takaiwa, El Samurai b Shinjiro Ohtani, Masa Chono b Hiro Saito, Power Warrior b Great Kabuki, Kuniaki Kobayashi & Michiyoshi Ohara & Akitoshi Saito b Tokimitsu Ishizawa & Yuji Nagata & Hiroshi Hase, Shiro Koshinaka & Kengo Kimura b Jushin Liger & Shinya Hashimoto, Riki Choshu & Tatsumi Fujinami & Osamu Kido b Akira Nogami & Takayuki Iizuka & Keiji Muto
4/12 Tokyo Korakuen Hall (PWFG - 1,400): Shoichi Funaki b Ikeda, Katsumi Usuda b Minoru Tanaka, Funaki b Usuda, Yoshiaki Fujiwara d Yuki Ishikawa
4/13 Rochester, NY (WWF Superstars taping - 6,000/? paid): Non-squash results:Earthquake b Bam Bam Bigelow, IC title: Diesel b Razor Ramon to win title, IRS b Scott Steiner, Mabel b Pierre, Doink the Clown (Ray Apollo) & Men on Mission b Jeff Jarrett & Quebecers, WWF title: Bret Hart b Owen Hart
4/14 Nagoya (All Japan - 4,000): Satoru Asako & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi b Kentaro Shiga & Yoshinari Ogawa, The Eagle b Mighty Inoue, Rusher Kimura & Mitsuo Momota b Masao Inoue & Haruka Eigen, Dan Kroffat & Doug Furnas b Johnny Ace & John Nord, Giant Baba & Masa Fuchi & Takao Omori b Tamon Honda & Jun Akiyama
& Kenta Kobashi 24:01, Mitsuharu Misawa b Johnny Smith, Stan Hansen b Steve Williams, Toshiaki Kawada b Akira Taue 20:20
4/14 Nishiwaki (New Japan - 1,250): Akitoshi Saito b Satoshi Kojima, El Samurai b Tokimitsu Ishizawa, Tadao Yasuda b Yuji Nagata, Hiroshi Hase b Michiyoshi Ohara, Jushin Liger & Masa Saito b Shinjiro Ohtani & Osamu Kido, Kuniaki Kobayashi & Kengo Kimura b Shinichi Nakano & Hiro Saito, Shiro Koshinaka & Great Kabuki b Yoshiaki Yatsu & Norio Honaga, Akira Nogami & Takayuki Iizuka & Riki Choshu & Tatsumi Fujinami b Power Warrior & Masa Chono & Shinya Hashimoto & Keiji Muto
4/14 Harlan, KY (SMW - 253): Tracy Smothers b Inferno Fire, SMW title: Dirty White Boy b Prince Kharis (Rob Mayze), Bruiser Bedlam (Johnny K-9) b Bob Armstrong, SMW tag title: Rock & Roll Express b Brian Lee & Chris Candido-DQ
4/14 Maryville, TN (All-State Wrestling): Jeff Gann b Road House Red, Billy Marshall b Jerry Manuel, Rick Connors & Lone Star b Charlie Long & Bobby B, Tony Prichard b Regulator Stone, Steve Flynn NC Len Montana
4/15 Tokyo Korakuen Hall (All Japan - 2,100 sellout): Yoshinari Ogawa b Satoru Asako, John Nord b Tamon Honda, Mighty Inoue & Rusher Kimura b Masao Inoue & Haruka Eigen, Johnny Ace b The Eagle, Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi b Johnny Smith & Dan Kroffat & Doug Furnas, Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue & Masa Fuchi b Takao Omori & Giant Baba & Stan Hansen, Steve Williams b Kenta Kobashi 22:10
4/15 Okazaki (New Japan - 3,700 sellout): Tatsuhito Takaiwa & Satoshi Kojima b Tokimitsu Ishizawa & Yuji Nagata, Akira Nogami & Takayuki Iizuka b Akitoshi Saito & Great Kabuki, Jushin Liger b Shinjiro Ohtani, El Samurai won Battle Royal, Shiro Koshinaka & Kengo Kimura b Hiro Saito & Norio Honaga, Hiroshi Hase b Michiyoshi Ohara, Masa Chono & Hase b Riki Choshu & Tadao Yasuda, Power Warrior & Keiji Muto & Shinya Hashimoto b Tatsumi Fujinami & Masa Saito & Osamu Kido
4/15 Tijuana (AAA - 5,500 sellout): Piloto Suicida & El Puma b Rocky Boy & Ultratumba-COR **3/4, Gallego & Mr. Condor & Angel Mortal b Zafiro & Diamante & Brillante-DQ ****, Mascarita Sagrada & Octagoncito & Voladorcito b Piratita Morgan & Fuercita Guerrera & Espectrito ***1/4, Los Payasos b Torero & Fantasma & El Mexicano-DQ 21:21 **, Huichol & Fuerza Guerrera & Misterioso b Rey Misterio Jr. & Rey Misterio & Volador-DQ ****, Konnan El Barbaro & Perro Aguayo & Heavy Metal & El Hijo del Santo b Love Machine & Psicosis & La Parka & Jerry Estrada ***1/2
4/15 Kamagone (All Japan women - 1,500 sellout): Chapparita Asari d Kumiko Maekawa, Kaoru Ito & Takako Inoue b Rie Tamada & Yumiko Hotta, Manami Toyota & Toshiyo Yamada b Bull Nakano & Etsuko Mita, Kyoko Inoue b Tomoko Watanabe, Aja Kong & Mima Shimoda b Suzuka Minami & Sakie Hasegawa
4/15 Shakopee, MN (World Television Wrestling): Karate Kid b Little Tokyo, Doug the Heartbreaker b Tony the Annihilator, J.B. Trask b Jerry Lynn, Blake Beverly b Demolition Smasher (Barry Darsow), Road Warrior Hawk b Nailz
4/15 Dalton, GA (SMW - 98): Tracy Smothers b Inferno Brimstone, Bobby Blaze b The Hornet, Bruiser Bedlam b Bob Armstrong, SMW title: Dirty White Boy b Prince Kharis, SMW tag title: Rock & Roll Express b Brian Lee & Chris Candido-DQ
4/15 High Point, NC (Atlantic Wrestling Federation): Dan Curry b Tim Blade, TNT b Terminator, Jammin Jason d Mike Ash, Heartbreak Express b Jimmy Valiant & Les Parker, Wahoo McDaniel b Helmet Hessler
4/15 Fort Oglethorpe, GA (Tri-State Wrestling): Jimmy Sharpe b Bubba Humphrey, Roger Sartain & Sam Colt b Joel Travis & Fly Guy, Widowmaker b Tracy Black, Frankie Lee & Johnny Blaze b Jamie & Tim Strong, Billy Montana & Richie Dye DDQ Ken Arden & Dakota Outlaw, Randy Steele b Kurt Von Himmler
4/15 Manchester, OH (Ind - 100): T.Rantula b Derek Stone, Handsome Frank b Thunder Morgan-COR, Don White Cloud & Hurricane b Evil Clown & Chopper Davidson, Green Hornet b Preacher Man, Lord Zoltan b T.C. Reynolds-DQ
4/16 Tokyo Sumo Hall (New Japan - 11,500 sellout): One night Super Junior Cup tournament--Gedo (WAR) b Dean Malenko (New Japan), Super Delfin (Michinoku Pro) b Shinjiro Ohtani (New Japan), Black Tiger (AAA) b Taka Michinoku (Michinoku Pro), El Samurai (New Japan) b Masayoshi Motegi (Social Pro Wrestling Federation), Ricky Fuji (FMW) b Negro Casas (EMLL), Jushin Liger (New Japan) b Hayabusa (AAA), Gedo b Delfin, Wild Pegasus (New Japan) b Tiger, Great Sasuke (Michinoku Pro) b Samurai, Liger b Fuji, Pegasus b Gedo, Sasuke b Liger, Pegasus b Sasuke to win tournament
4/16 Tokyo Budokan Hall (All Japan - 16,300 sellout): Satoru Asako b Kentaro Shiga, Yoshinari Ogawa b Tsuyoshi Kikuchi, Rusher Kimura & Mighty Inoue & Mitsuo Momota b Masao Inoue & Haruka Eigen & Masa Fuchi, Dan Kroffat & Doug Furnas b John Nord & The Eagle, Johnny Ace b Tamon Honda, Akira Taue b Johnny Smith, Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi & Jun Akiyama b Giant Baba & Stan Hansen & Takao Omori 24:19, Champion Carnival tournament final: Toshiaki Kawada b Steve Williams 25:48
4/16 Philadelphia (ECW - 1,050/890 paid): 911 b Crash the Terminator *, Kevin Sullivan & Tasmaniac b Jimmy Snuka & A.J. Power **1/4, ECW TV title: Pit Bull b J.T. Smith to win title 1/2*, Tommy Cairo b Sandman ***3/4, ECW title: Road Warrior Hawk b Shane Douglas-DQ *3/4, Lumberjack match for ECW tag title: Public Enemy b Bruise Brothers ***, Sabu b Terry Funk ****1/4
4/16 Osaka Furitsu Gym II (NOW - 1,100): Apollo Sugawara b Mr. Nasty, Goro Tsurumi b Ho Des Minh, John Hawk b Bill Irwin-DQ, Kishin Kawabata & Kendo Nagasaki b Alex Porteau & Rod Price
4/16 Tsurumi (Pro Wrestling Crusaders - 300 sellout): Matsuoka b Tsukioka, Violence Revenger b Tomita, Shogun Wakamatsu b Hirofumi Miura, Hopper King b Maruyama, Barbed wire chain match: Shunji Takano b Power X #1
4/16 Columbia Heights, MN (World Television Wrestling): Karate Kid b Little Tokyo, Mr. Dynamic b Tony the Annihilator, Jerry Lynn b J.B. Trask, The Punisher b The General, Charlie Norris & Baron Von Raschke b Randy Gust & Sheik Adnan El-Kaissey, Blake Beverly b Demolition Smasher-DQ
4/16 Atlantic City, NJ (WWWA): Johnny Gunn b King Kaluha, Misty Blue b Rusty Thomas to win WWWA womens title, Little Leprechaun b Little Ninja, Rick Martel b Abdullah the Butcher-DQ, Diamond Express b Demolition Ax & Blast-DQ, Tito Santana b Sid Vicious-DQ, Jack Hammer b Jim Neidhart-DQ, Brutus Beefcake b Nailz to win WWWA title
4/16 Gardner, MA (Century Wrestling Association - 125): El Mascarado b Knuckles Nelson-DQ, Little Louie b Little Doomer, New Hampshire Nightmare & Black Bear & Connecticut Crusher b Todd Dorn & Rip Morrison & Johnny Royal, Candyman b Intern, Hollywood Kid b Suicide Samson, Vic Steamboat b 3-D (Damien Demento), Doink the Clown (Steve Keirn) b Tony Atlas-DQ
4/16 Tampa (Florida Pro Wrestling Federation): Cody Wade d Rico Fredrico, Odessa Slim b Kato (Paul Diamond), Pat Tanaka & Diamond b Dirty Dennis & Classy Chris, Max Moon (Diamond) b Ricky Santana, Ron Slinker b Cuban Assassin, Lou Perez b Hercules
4/16 Foxboro, MA (IWF): Ronnie D b Russian Mauler, Smooth Operator b Outpatient, Tony Roy b Chris Duffy, Snooky Fink & Jamie West b Steve King & Brittany Brown, Tim McNeeny b Perry Saturn-DQ, The Warlord b Bulldozer-DQ
4/16 Auburndale, FL (UCWA - 300): Kevin Katlyn b Brain Scan, Superstar Dallas b Black Sudan, Mystique b Allison Royal, Tommy Wright b Ned Brady-DQ, Buddy Valentine b The Mechanic & Butch Long, Vern Henderson b Nuclear Assassin, Motor City Bad Boyz b Security Force
4/16 Centre, AL (Bama Pro Wrestling): Roger Sartain b Frankie Lee, Widowmaker b Tracy Black, Big Bubba & Lee b Billy Montana & Ken Arden, Golden Eagle b Jason Valentine, Richie Dye & Sam Colt b Bubba & Dakota Outlaw, Todd Zane & War Daddy b Mr. Vain & Mike Golden
4/17 Knoxville (SMW - 750): Mike Furnas b Larry Santo, Tracy Smothers & Bobby Blaze b Disco Infernos (Anthony Michaels & Brian Keyes), Dirty White Girl b Peggy Lee Leather, SMW title: Dirty White Boy b Prince Kharis, Bruiser Bedlam b Bob Armstrong, SMW tag title: Rock & Roll Express b Chris Candido & Brian Lee-DQ
4/17 Saitama (FMW - 3,520 sellout): Mitsuhiro Matsunaga b Masato Tanaka, Yukari Ishikura b Mayumi Shimizu, Gosaku Goshogawara b Mr. Chin, Dr. Luther (Len St. Clair) b Koji Nakagawa, Tsuppari Mack & Shark Tsuchiya & Crusher Maedomari & Combat Toyoda b Keiko Iwame & Yukie Nabeno & Miwa Sato & Megumi Kudo, Goro Tsurumi b Damian, Sato won womens Battle Royal, Ricky Fuji & The Gladiator & Big Titan b Battle Ranger & Katsutoshi Niiyama & Tarzan Goto, Street fight: Atsushi Onita & Sambo Asako & Mr. Gannosuke b Hideki Hosaka & Mr. Pogo & Hiskatsu Oya
4/17 Shimozu (NOW - 200): Apollo Sugawara b Hiroshi Ono, Masahiko Takasugi b Ho Des Minh, Rod Price b Mr. Nasty, John Hawk b Ryo Myake, Bill Irwin & Umanosuke Ueda & Tiger Jeet Singh Sr. b Kishin Kawabata & Tiger Jeet Singh Jr. & Kendo Nagasaki
Special thanks to: Paul MacArthur, Dom Valenti, Norm Connors, Dan Parris, Jeff Lowe, David Roberson, Paul Sosnouski, Mike Heimberger, Greg Seagraves, Mike Lamark, Shannon Rose, Matt Langley, Dave Scherer, Rich Palladino, Bill Needham, Frank Nemeth, Brian Hildebrand, Karin Moore
EMLL
El Texano's heel turn on Silver King in UWA was ignored as he debuted here as a face teaming with his two nephews Silver King & Dandy.
The 4/1 show at Arena Mexico, which drew about 2,000, saw La Fiera beat Emilio Charles Jr in a bloodbath and Pierroth Jr. & Mano Negra & Miguelito Perez beat Vampiro Casanova & Atlantis & Rayo de Jalisco Jr. when Perez pinned Vampire clean in a ***1/2 match to build heat for the eventual Vampiro vs. Perez hair match.
ALL JAPAN
Final Champion Carnival standings were: 1. Toshiaki Kawada 21; 2. Steve Williams 19; 3. Stan Hansen 18; 4. Kenta Kobashi and Akira Taue 17; 6. Johnny Ace 11; 7. Jun Akiyama 9; 8. John Nord 6; 9. Mitsuharu Misawa, The Eagle and Doug Furnas 4; 12. Johnny Smith 2.
Misawa and Kawada's singles match to headline the 4/11 Osaka show ended up as a 30:00 draw.
Akira Fukuzawa is no longer the television announcer since the show was moved to 2:30 a.m. The new 30 minute show is really sad to watch as it's simply too short. The first episode on 4/2 aired the 22:00 of a 30:00 Williams vs. Kawada draw and cut away right after the bell and that was the entire show.
TV ratings on 4/9 picked up to a 1.9.
NEW JAPAN
The complete card for the 5/1 Fukuoka Dome show were announced as Satoshi Kojima vs. Yuji Nagata, Tatsuhito Takaiwa & Shinjiro Ohtani vs. El Samurai & Tokimitsu Ishizawa, Akira Nogami & Takayuki Iizuka & Osamu Kido vs. Tatsutoshi Goto & Michiyoshi Ohara & Akitoshi Saito, Kengo Kimura & Great Kabuki & Kuniaki Kobayashi vs. Norio Honaga & Hiro Saito & Shinichi Nakano, El Gigante vs. Tadao Yasuda, Shiro Koshinaka vs. Yoshiaki Yatsu, Hawk & Power Warrior defending IWGP tag titles against Rick & Scott Steiner, Sting defends WCW International title against Rick Rude, Yoshiaki Fujiwara vs. Masa Chono, Riki Choshu vs. Hiroshi Hase, Satoru Sayama vs. Jushin Liger (this is still not 100% definite), Tatsumi Fujinami defends the IWGP title against Shinya Hashimoto and Antonio Inoki vs. Great Muta.
The round-robin Best of the Super Junior tournament will take place from 5/26 to 6/15, with the finals at Budokan Hall. Foreigners brought in for the tournament will be Brad Armstrong, David Finlay, Black Tiger, Dean Malenko and Wild Pegasus, while it is expected that wrestlers from other Japanese offices including Ricky Fuji, Great Sasuke, Gedo and Hayabusa will be involved along with New Japan's Jushin Liger, El Samurai and Shinjiro Ohtani. Also on the tour will be Rick & Scott Steiner (6/13 to 6/15), Hawk Warrior (5/26 to 6/6), Scott Norton and Mike Enos.
The 4/9 television show did an 0.8 rating, which is pretty disastrous.
Aside from the sellout for the Sumo Hall junior tournament, crowds this week were again really weak with a few below 1,500, largely blamed on no foreign talent at any of the house shows.
In an eight-man tag on 4/14 with Iizuka & Nogami & Choshu & Fujinami vs. Power & Chono & Muto & Hashimoto, Nogami scored the biggest pin of his career pinning Power with a german suplex.
On 4/11, two of New Japan's greatest tag teams in history faced off as Power teamed with Hiroshi Hase for the first time since taking his new identity and faced off with Riki Choshu & Masa Saito, who were the legendary tag team of the early 80s, with Power pinning Saito. On that same show, in a match scheduled as Muto vs. Kido, Muto came out as Great Muta, fighting the heel style and was DQ'd for blowing mist, which was the first time in Japan he used the Muta gimmick when
advertised as Muto. After the match Muta said that from now on you never know when Muta will suddenly appear.
OTHER JAPAN NOTES
JWP's complete line-up for 5/22 at Ariake Coliseum will be Aja Kong vs. Dynamite Kansai (AJW), Chigusa Nagayo vs. Mayumi Ozaki, Devil Masami & Bull Nakano (AJW) vs. Hikari Fukuoka & Sakie Hasegawa (AJW), Cutie Suzuki vs. Takako Inoue (AJW), Candy Okutsu vs. mystery opponent, Plum Mariko & Hiroumi Yagi vs. Kaoru Ito (AJW) & Kumiko Maekawa (AJW), Boirshoi Kid vs. Boirshoi Kid (nobody knows who the second wrestler in the clown outfit will be, but I'd bet on AJW's Chapparita Asari) and Fusayo Nouchi vs. Rie Tamada (AJW).
Michinoku Pro has Tokyo's Ota Ward Gym booked on 4/29 with Great Sasuke vs. Ginsei Shinzaki on top.
FMW is planning its own junior heavyweight tournament and asked New Japan for reciprocal help sending Liger and/or Samurai, plus wrestlers from Mexico and Michinoku Pro.
Mil Mascaras & Dos Caras' first tour as a tag team in Japan in nearly 11 years from 4/21 to 4/27 for WAR will see them wrestle Ultimo Dragon & Lion Heart (Chris Jericho aka Corazon de Leon which is spanish for Lion Heart), team with Dragon vs. King Haku & Gedo & Heart, Gedo & Jado, Heart & Gedo, Dragon & Koji Ishinriki and Ishinriki & Heart.
All Japan women on 5/2 at Korakuen Hall has Toshiyo Yamada & Takako Inoue vs. Manami Toyota & Kyoko Inoue, Kong vs. Hasegawa and Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda defend the UWA and JWP tag titles against Yumiko Hotta & Kaoru Ito.
USWA
Eddie Gilbert remained in the forefront of this week's soap opera. On 4/11 in Memphis, Gilbert & Brian Christopher beat Adam Bomb & Dream Machine in the main event with Doug Gilbert as referee, but after the match Doug attacked Christopher and Eddie separated the two. On television, Doug asked Eddie to referee his match for the USWA title on 4/18 and Eddie agreed but Christopher said that even though Eddie was his partner last week, that didn't mean he trusted him and didn't want him to ref. Eddie promised Christopher that he wouldn't turn on him and said that if he turned, he'd retire from wrestling and then did a face interview talking about his street fight match on 4/18 against Tommy Rich.
Christopher wrestled Machine on television in a fair match. After a ref bump, Machine went to the top rope with a chain but Jerry Lawler shoved him off and the chain fell into the ring for a DQ finish. Machine then challenged Lawler to a match on 4/18 and they got into a brawl which went into the dressing room and out into the parking lot with Lawler bouncing Machine's head into a pick-up truck.
Also on television they had a tag title match with The Moondogs defending against Billy Travis & Don Bass. After a ref bump, one of the Dogs pinned Travis as the ref groggily counted the pin. Bass then switched places and put Travis on top and the groggy ref raised Travis' hand seeing him on top of the pile. Eddie Marlin
announced that the ref made the wrong decision but he was holding the belts up until 4/18.
Dirty White Boy missed the 4/11 show where he was to defend the SMW title against Doug Gilbert, so Billy Travis subbed and the Moondogs attacked him. Crowd on 4/11 was down to 900 fans and $5,500.
The complete 4/18 line-up is Lawler vs. Machine for the Unified belt, Christopher vs. Doug with Eddie as ref with the USWA belt, Moondogs vs. Bass & Travis in a hospital elimination match (eliminated when bleeding), Eddie vs. Tommy Rich street fight, Spellbinders vs. Axl & Ian Rotten, Steven Dunn vs. Spellbinder and Leon Downs vs. Colorado Kid.
SMW
Pretty uneventful weekend with weak crowds in two spot towns, a cancellation due to a flood, and a Knoxville show that was nothing spectacular drawing 750. Dory Funk appeared in Knoxville and Jim Cornette said that if anything should happen to Bob Armstrong that he wanted to nominate Funk to be the next commissioner.
Weekend shows all were headlined by Bruiser Bedlam pinning Armstrong, Dirty White Boy keeping the SMW title from Prince Kharis and Rock & Roll Express winning tag title defenses via DQ from Brian Lee & Chris Candido.
Lee & Candido are doing a comedy routine based around their huge height difference which on the surface would make them an incompatible looking team. On television, Candido called Ricky Morton a pervert and said he sexually assaulted Tammy Fytch and challenged him, but when Morton came out, Candido said that Brian would fight him, which surprised Brian. Candido during interviews talks to Lee and always says tells Lee that Lee is the stud of the team, points to his arms and says to look at his guns, etc.
The last 7:00 of the television show that aired on 4/9, which aired the last few minutes of the loser leaves town match, an incredible interview by Jim Cornette and a short music video may be the best 7:00 of wrestling television this year. Wrestling is about stirring emotion and it really doesn't take a ton of money to produce television that accomplishes that purpose. All the money in the world can't buy it, though, if you don't understand how to do it.
SMW's Fan Week will take place from 8/5 to 8/13 and will include two or three major house shows including what is planned on being the biggest show in the company's history in Knoxville, get-togethers with the wrestlers and more. For more info write to SMW at P.O. Box 1279, Morristown, TN 37614.
HERE AND THERE
There was definitely some truth to the idea of HBO talking with Hulk Hogan about doing a limited amount of wrestling despite repeated denials from the company, but I don't think anything ever got past the extremely formative stages.
A couple of major deaths in the industry among names familiar in the Midwest. Ernie Dusek, who was the last surviving member of the original Dirty Dusek Brothers Riot Squad, the first famous heel tag team in this country in the late 30 and 40s, passed away on 4/11 in his hometown of Omaha at the age of 85. Dusek
teamed with brothers Joe (a long-time Omaha wrestling promoter after retiring from the ring), Emil and Rudy. Dusek was a stage name for all the brothers, whose real last name was Hason. Don Marxen, an AWA promoter in the Moline, IL market from 1963-79 passed away on 3/25 in Davenport, IA at the age of 73. Marxen was the brother-in-law of Verne Gagne.
More notes from the 4/16 ECW show in Philadelphia. Pit Bull won the TV title from J.T. Smith. Smith came out on crutches and was then attacked by Public Enemy. He went on with his match anyway but was put in a submission and the ref stopped the match. Sandman and Tommy Cairo had a hot but short brawl when ref Sal Bellomo counted fast on Sandman, who kept threatening him. Bruise Brothers vs. Public Enemy Lumberjack match for the ECW tag title saw both members of Enemy bleed but Hughes hit one of the Bruise Brothers with a chair giving Enemy the win.
Shane Douglas did an interview on the ECW TV that airs this week sending Sherri Martel "on vacation" to explain her leaving for WCW. Douglas needs shoulder surgery at some point in the near future.
After a false start last weekend when he didn't appear on a scheduled show in Essex, MD over a dispute about first class airfare, Sid Vicious made his first appearance since his British hotel room brawl and injuries in late October as he appeared in Atlantic City on 4/16 for the WWWA getting DQ'd against Tito Santana in a show featuring one heel DQ finish after another, including one in a no DQ match. Brutus Beefcake (subbing for Road Warrior Hawk who was advertised even though he was booked in Philadelphia the same night for ECW) pinned Nailz in the main event to win the WWWA title.
The American Independent Network (AS Transponder 8 on the satellite) has wrestling Monday through Friday at 10 p.m. Eastern time, including old South Atlantic tapes, SMW, USWA and WWF Spotlight.
Darren Wise has a show on 4/30 in Red Lion, PA with Doink the Clown, Jerry Lawler, Bastion Booger, Johnny Gunn and Tony Atlas.
Mark Bodey of ACW wants to make clear he is not affiliated with Dennis Coraluzzo even though the two are sharing talent for shows this coming weekend.
Jeff Siegel of Chicago will be on the Score sports radio station in Chicago on 4/24 at 8 a.m. doing a call-in segment on the WWF steroid trial. The station is using the segment as a test to see if there is interest in carrying a weekly wrestling show on the station. Readers are invited to call in at 312-736-8282.
Ron Higgins, who does a wrestling radio show out of Cincinnati is doing a show on 5/14 with Tito Santana vs. Rick Martel, Greg Valentine vs. Bob Harmon (who worked as Beautiful Bobby in the early 70s) and Doink the Osborne.
A Detroit high school show on 4/15 headlined by The Sheik vs. Abdullah the Butcher with Sabu vs. Al Snow as the semi promoted by Malcolm Monroe was canceled when the ring didn't show up. They were planning on doing the show on the high school wrestling mats but the athletic commission wouldn't allow it.
Randy Powell's Professional Girls Wrestling Association promoted an all-women show on 4/8 in Trinity, NC drawing about 90 fans to see a Leilani Kai vs. Debbie Combs main event.
Several Southern California based Lucha Libre style wrestlers are doing a card billed as Shoot Style wrestling at Fu Ling Restaurant in Los Angeles at 970 N. Broadway in Chinatown on 4/22.
West Coast Wrestling Alliance has house shows on 4/22 in Rancho Cordova, CA and 4/23 in Concord, CA.
The Lincoln, NE Star and Journal each ran feature stories last week on former University of Nebraska wrestler Gary Albright to hype the PPV show. In the story, Albright threw several knocks at pro wrestling, saying he's no longer marketable as a pro wrestler because promoters know that if they asked him to lose, he'd say no. "Those promoters are just looking for muscle heads who don't know how to wrestle. We have legitimate wrestlers in Shoot Wrestling."
A barbed wire match that was scheduled to take place in Calgary on 4/15 was canceled by city government officials when public health officials called the match barbaric and said it exposes fans and wrestlers to the risk of Hepatitis B and AIDS. The promoters and the Calgary Boxing and Wrestling commission called the match safe show biz. The match was moved to 4/16 at an Indian reservation south of Calgary.
Bobby Fulton is running his biggest show to date in Circleville, OH on 4/23 headlined by Ron Garvin vs. Abdullah the Butcher in a cage match with Wahoo McDaniel as referee, plus a tournament with Fulton, McDaniel and Jake Roberts.
All-Star Wrestling on 5/3 and 5/4 in Christiansburg, VA at the Fair, 5/6 in Claxton, GA (Jake Roberts vs. Dick Slater), 5/9 in Andrews, SC (Roberts vs. Slater.
National Wrestling League on 4/29 in Boonsboro, MD and 4/30 in Winchester, VA has Sgt. Slaughter vs. Iron Sheik.
Buddy Roberts will be returning to the Dallas Sportatorium for one show with The Freebirds in July.
Wrestling Insiders radio show will expand to two hours starting in May.
Saturday Night Live did a comedy sketch about steroids over the weekend with characters with steroid side effects doing wrestling-style interviews and one dressed up like Hulk Hogan.
Congrats to Observer reader Ted Field, who is celebrating birth of his first son Michael on 4/10.
AAA
The second TripleMania show is set for 5/15 in Guadalajara and the third show is tentatively now on 5/29 in either Tijuana, Monterrey or Veracruz. The line-up for the second show won't be announced until the middle of next week as it'll stem from grudges at the first show on 4/26 in Aguascalientes.
Television on Saturday was taped 4/2 in Reynosa with a ****1/4 two straight DQ fall win by Rey Misterio Jr. & Volador over Misterioso & Juventud Guerrera, the
Konnan IWC title win over Cien Caras and Tiger Mask & Lizmark & El Hijo del Santo over Love Machine & Eddy Guerrero & Blue Panther. Machine took off Tiger Mask's mask and attacked Santo while wearing it causing minor dissension on the face team. However, like in Los Angeles, Lizmark unmasked Panther and put on a Panther mask and attacked Machine. When Panther got his mask back, both Machine and Guerrero turned on him which caused him to lose the fall. Espanto wound up helping Panther at the end to set up a heel vs. heel tag team feud.
Sunday's TV aired a weak card from Matamoros 4/3 highlighted by the Dinamita vs. Machine & Chicano Power & Black Cat, ending when Eddy Guerrero tried another run-in but this time was clocked with a chair by the Dinamita and juiced and was pounded on.
AAA returned to Tijuana, which is right across the border from San Diego, which I attended, for a TV taping on 4/15 which drew a sellout 5,500 and turned away another 2,000. Think about this. Every time AAA runs a major show in the city they sellout, partially because it's a small building. Yet as of 3 p.m. the day of the show, there were only a few hundred tickets sold. At 7:15 p.m., there were lines down the street and thousands were turned away. Do you think that next time people will buy their tickets in advance to avoid the long lines to get in and avoid the risk of being turned away? If you do, you're thinking far too logically to understand pro wrestling. One thing surprising is the crowd was amazingly well behaved with tons of young kids wearing masks. Much better behaved than most U.S. crowds and probably a cross between a WWF and Japanese audience although there was tons more heat for the actual matches than at either of them, although not as much heat for the ring entrances as for U.S. groups or for the finishes as a Japanese crowd. Highlight was a match that probably wasn't taped with Zafiro & Brilliante & Diamante losing via DQ to Angel Mortal & Gallego & Mr. Condor in a **** featuring the fastest and crispest daredevil high spots back-and-forth you'll ever see. These are six of the most underrated workers anywhere, comparable to watching Midnight Express vs. Rock & Roll Express from 1986 in fast-forward but with more futuristic moves, but the fans here react up to speed so they aren't working too fast. It was almost like watching one of those faster-than-you-can-watch Harlem Globetrotters exhibition plays from decades ago, only they spent 15:00 before putting the ball in the basket. Minis followed and were good, but they've had better matches, then the Payasos vs. Torero & El Mexicano & Fantasma (who works like an American). Payasos matches are much better live than on television and they are over strong, but that match was only **. Best match was another **** trios with Huichol & Misterioso & Fuerza Guerrera vs. Rey Misterio & Rey Misterio Jr. & Volador, with the show stolen by the local top feud of Misterio vs. Huichol as they had an intense brawl into the seats with tons of juice and great heat, complete with Huichol giving Rey Jr. a low blow, then faking like he'd been given the low blow to gain a cheap DQ win that built his heel heat to a fever pitch when Misterio then challenged him to a hair vs. hair match for next week but he walked out rather than accepted. Main was good but distracting eight man with Heavy Metal & Chief Jay Konnan (complete with headdress and war paint) & Santo & Perro Aguayo vs. La Parka & Psicosis & Machine & Jerry Estrada. First fall was really hot but second fall turned more into Machine fighting more with Psicosis & Parka (since they turned on one another in Los Angeles last month and it aired in Mexico the previous week they sold it from
the start of the match) and more of the tecnicos standing around watching the rudos brawl with each other before winning the second fall. It was a great house show although Chicago was better.
WWF
Diesel (Kevin Nash) won the IC title from Razor Ramon at the 4/13 Superstars taping in Rochester, NY in a match that will likely air in syndication during the May sweeps. Finish saw Ramon go after Shawn Michaels and was caught from behind and then pinned with the jackknife (power bomb).
Two other major angles were shot at the taping. In one, Ted DiBiase is winding up as manager of Nikolai Volkoff. The gimmick is Volkoff and his family are so poor and DiBiase offers him big money. Volkoff doesn't want to accept but has no choice and ends up crying in the ring when he accepts. DiBiase will continually humiliate him no doubt.
The other saw Jerry Lawler interview Dink and keep teasing him. Doink then came out with two pies and fans thought he'd throw them in Lawler's face, but instead threw them in Dink's face. Doink then unmasked as Jeff Jarrett.
Scott Steiner did a job for IRS at the taping with IRS had his feet on the ropes.
The Power Twins got a try-out on the 4/12 Challenge tapings in Syracuse. With Challenge now in so few markets in syndication, very little when it comes to angles and advancing storylines is done at Challenge tapings.
Monday Night Raw on 4/11 did another 3.3 rating, while All-American that weekend did a 1.9 and Mania a 1.5.
They are teasing a Scott Steiner turn, since Scott worked heel style during a squash match that aired on the 4/18 Raw and Vince McMahon in commentary said how Rick and Scott don't always get along. Bill Watts wanted to do the same thing a few years ago and it wound up with a major blow-up, including Arnold the Dog holding the World TV title for a few months.
The first vignette of Duke Dumpster Droese (Mike Droese from Florida who worked indies as Rocco Gibraltar) doing the garbage man gimmick started airing.
They also began setting the stage for eventual sumo matches with Yokozuna vs. Earthquake. Earthquake actually did sumo for several years and was a pretty famous and successful lower level sumo. Supposedly Quake doesn't like the idea of these matches.
Randy Savage did about the worst job in history on color on the 4/18 show. Bottom line (the most overused phrase in wrestling history). He was overbearing and had nothing to say.
Jacques Rougeau has given notice. He can always change his mind, but if he doesn't, except a title change very quickly. On TV, they were building to a Raw match against Head Shrinkers.
There will be a Howard Finkel vs. Harvey Wippleman match at the next MSG show.
Reports we have is that Mr. Perfect needed foot surgery and will be out of action until the end of May, which would mean he'd miss scheduled semifinal matches on all the house shows, which start this coming weekend.
Former announcer Sean Mooney is now a news reporter for WWOR in New York.
The IRS-Tatanka angle with Jay Strongbow involved air on virtually every show over the weekend. I'd suspect it'll lead to Strongbow in Tatanka's corner at house shows down the line.
It seems they are building up to some sort of talk show challenge with Jerry Lawler against Roddy Piper.
Expect Undertaker back in June at the PPV, but not appearing in a major match until SummerSlam.
Because the McMahon trial is federal rather than a state deal, it can't be aired on Court TV (which thought it could draw ratings with the trial) and cameras won't be allowed in the courtroom.
ESPN is working on a major feature leading up to the trial.
WCW
Dusty Rhodes wasn't even at the building for Spring Stampede so his front office power appears to be nil. Rhodes this past week did a guest shot on the TV show "Burke's Law," including a fight scene where Marcus Bagwell and Brian Pillman put him over. Rhodes apparently did so good on the show that they want to bring him back.
Speaking of recurring roles, expect Sting's character Hammerhead to wind up as a babyface and friends with Hulk Hogan's character, which will probably coincide with tag team matches with the two provided Hogan's deal is worked out.
There were numerous banners and signs regarding Hogan in Chicago, most of which were negative.
WCW Saturday Night on 4/9 did a 2.1 rating, which is even worse than it sounds considering they've been building angles week-to-week and the Sunday show was pre-empted, which traditionally ups the Saturday rating. WCW Pro did a 1.6.
A house show scheduled for 4/19 in Nashville was canceled, which makes three house shows in a row canceled and no house shows this entire week and nothing until 4/27 so that aspect of the business has as many problems as ever.
On the WCW syndie show that aired Sunday (day of show) in Chicago, they kept plugging the house show as being "tomorrow night."
On 4/16, WCW aired the Sting-Vader '92 Bash title change match.
WCW Magazine is folding due to decreasing sales. Subs had fallen below 3,000.
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Re: Wrestling Observer 1994

May 2 1994 Observer Newsletter: Huge WWE tour, future of Mr. Perfect, five counts against Vince, Tony Harding wrestling career, more
Wrestling Observer Newsletter
PO Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228 May 2, 1994
SPRING STAMPEDE FINAL POLL RESULTS
Thumbs up 409 (90.5%)
Thumbs down 12 (02.7%)
In the middle 31 (06.9%)
BEST MATCH POLL
Nasty Boys vs. Jack & Payne 171
Ric Flair vs. Rick Steamboat 153
Vader vs. The Boss 19
Dustin Rhodes vs. Bunkhouse Buck 15
WORST MATCH POLL
Johnny B. Badd vs. Diamond Dallas Page 178
Steve Austin vs. Great Muta 38
Sting vs. Rick Rude 37
Brian Pillman vs. Steve Regal 32
Ric Flair vs. Rick Steamboat 14
UWFI FINAL POLL RESULTS
Thumbs up 49 (67.1%)
Thumbs down 14 (19.2%)
In the middle 10 (13.7%)
BEST MATCH POLL
Nobuhiko Takada vs. Kazuo Yamazaki 20
Gary Albright vs. Billy Scott 19
Victor Zangiev vs. Yoji Anjyo 17
WORST MATCH POLL
Badnews Allen vs. Kiyoshi Tamura 33
Vladimir Berkovich vs. Jean Lydick 12
Based on phone calls, fax messages and letters to the Observer as of 4/25. Margin of error: +-100%
If the first day and early advances for upcoming shows are any indication, the WWF is about to have its biggest house show run of the year with its Wrestlemania Revenge tour. The gimmick of loading up the shows (WWF is running "B" shows concurrently, but with weaker line-ups than ever before) and adding in upgrades in presentation look to be more than offsetting the higher ticket prices being charged and what in recent years has traditionally been the hardest time of the year to draw fans. This should show once and for all that it isn't the prices and it isn't the season that keep people away from the buildings if you present a show that they want to see. Even with a comparatively weak heel (Owen Hart) in the top drawing slot, loaded cards with lots of so-called special effects and mainly through tons of national hype making the local arena shows seem special are resulting in a substantial increase in attendance. The 14-show tour, which opened on 4/23 at the Richfield Coliseum and continued and is continuing with shows on 4/24 at the Cincinnati Gardens, 4/25 at Market Square Arena in Indianapolis, 4/27 in Albany, NY, 4/29 in Providence, 4/30 at the Boston Gardens, 5/1 at the Centrum in Worcester, MA, (during this period the WWF is running shows in Japan and Guam), 5/13 at the NBC Arena in Honolulu, 5/14 at the Pond in Anaheim (the same night at the EMLL's debut show at the Olympic Auditorium), 5/15 at the San Jose Arena, 5/19 at the Nassau Coliseum, 5/20 at Madison Square Garden, 5/21 at the Palace in Auburn Hills, MI and closing on 5/22 at the Rosemont Horizon. According to our reports from the first show, even with the higher ticket prices including $25 ringside, the show drew about 6,000 fans and $110,000 compared with the usual 4,000 fans and $60,000 that the WWF has been averaging at the Richfield Coliseum. Cincinnati drew a larger crowd than usual as well, although WWF hasn't drawn well there in years. The shows featured the type of atmosphere found in NHL and NBA events. This included a host of the festivities, apart from the traditional ring announcer role who hyped giveaways and introduced features before and between matches. They also had contests during the show to pick a fan to be a ring announcer for one match as they've been doing on television and to be Bret Hart's manager in his main event matches against brother Owen. These are all gimmicks designed to turn the company's image into being fan-oriented to combat the negative publicity from the drug distribution charges against them and also to make the house shows more entertaining and seem more important. In addition, there were flashy lights and more elaborate ring entrances, similar to concepts AAA introduced in its house show business in Mexico that spread into this country, but upgraded with even more unique lighting ideas. They also brought television cameras to the shows to get fan reactions that will be inserted into the television shows. It is believed the cost of all the production upgrades is at least $15,000 extra per show, but that on the first night was more than offset by a $50,000 increase over the "normal" gate.
The first show was described as really good as a spectacle, although even with the loaded line-up, the quality of wrestling was still well below par with only the main event (Bret vs. Owen) reaching ***. The second show in Cincinnati was described as being not good in any aspect although fans popped for the special effects but none of the heels had any heat, with the matches not being any good except for the Bret vs. Owen. The biggest disappointment is IRS vs. Tatanka, which in recent weeks has been the most hyped issue on television, but they didn't deliver a thing in their match. There was also a change in WWF philosophy as it regards title
changes taped for television that haven't aired. The match where Diesel beat Razor Ramon for the Intercontinental title is scheduled to air 4/30 on the Superstars show in syndication. However, over the weekend, Diesel was announced as champion and brought the belt to the ring for a title match against Ramon, which Ramon won via DQ. The WWF also acknowledged the title change on its radio show the weekend after the match.
In addition, there were four no-shows, with only one announced in the building before the show started (Mr. Perfect) and no refunds offered. Perfect was out with a broken foot anyway, but rumor has it that he quit the promotion on Saturday. On Monday Night Raw, Perfect was buried in a manner that suggests he won't be back, with them saying he no-showed his matches because he was afraid of Luger and has been suspended indefinitely, and mentioned that Crush would be replacing him. Randy Savage went on to say how Crush is much tougher than Perfect. Perfect's WWF contract doesn't expire until November or December, although rumor has it he's in the financial position right now where he doesn't need to work. Rick & Scott Steiner no-showed opening weekend because they also reportedly quit the WWF earlier in the week. They've reportedly been unhappy about pay for months, having been used to that $300,000 per they used to earn with WCW and having that estimated $12,000 per week deal in Japan as a back-up. It is believed they'll be forced to sit out the remainder of their Titan contract, which expires on 12/15, as far as North America is concerned, but continue to work on New Japan major shows. Really, the Steiners/Titan relationship was doomed when they signed the big money New Japan contract because it set a bad precedent in that a Titan pushed commodity would have a higher money priority elsewhere. Steiners before that were scheduled to win the tag belts at Wrestlemania, but instead weren't even put on the card. When they are legally allowed one would expect they'll return to WCW and in 1995 work both WCW and New Japan, although the current economic climate in WCW is such that there is a good chance they won't be able to get a deal like they originally had with WCW, which could stand in the way of it being a given they'll return. While we have no confirmation of this, when last week's Raw aired and Vince McMahon did commentary about the brothers not getting along and the match looked like stage one of a Scott heel turn, several who know them remarked they felt they'd quit if that apparent direction would continues, since that was a big problem a few years back under Bill Watts, who also wanted to break up the team and turn Scott heel, and also resulted in them quitting. The Steiners were scheduled as challengers in title matches on the shows this weekend, as was Luna Vachon, who also didn't appear for reasons unclear at press time. No announcement was made at the shows regarding either the Steiners or Vachon. The Steiners were replaced by Men on a Mission in Cleveland and the Bushwhackers in Cincinnati. Leilani Kai replaced Luna at both shows.
The bad news for the week for Titan Sports is that the criminal indictments against the company have been re-written with two additional charges being added, bringing the total to five counts--three against Vince McMahon and two against Titan Sports. Both new counts are similar, charging both McMahon and the company with possession with intent to distribute anabolic steroids on April 13, 1989. In the count against McMahon, the indictment claims he "knowingly and intentionally possessed with intent to distribute to a WWF performer known to the
Grand Jury a substance containing anabolic steroids for use in humans other than for the treatment of disease. In the grand jury evidence from the Zahorian trial, there was a two pound package sent from Dr. George Zahorian to Titan Sports at the company headquarters, signed for by Emily Feinberg, for Vince McMahon. Feinberg, McMahon's personal secretary at the time, is strongly rumored to be a key government witness in the case. In the count against Titan, it claims the company together with others including Zahorian possessed with intent to distribute anabolic steroids to Vince McMahon. The two new counts are virtually identical to two other counts against Titan and McMahon, relating to another alleged steroid package sent from Zahorian on October 24, 1989 which allegedly included distribution to a WWF performer known to the Grand Jury, believed to be Hulk Hogan. The other count, against both McMahon and Titan (but held to one count rather than two counts as in the original indictment) is for conspiracy to defraud the FDA in its attempts to regulate distribution of steroids, to introduce into interstate commerce prescription drugs without a prescription, and to distribute steroids for use in humans other than for the treatment of disease.
The additional two indictments increase the maximum penalty against McMahon upon conviction from eight years to 11 years in federal prison in the trial currently scheduled for 7/5 at the Nassau County Court House in Uniondale, NY. The amount of potential fines against Titan Sports and McMahon with the added indictments are $2 million. The most damaging potential penalty originally, the government's attempt to seize Titan Towers, the WWF's $9.5 million office complex in Stamford, was dropped a few weeks ago as was also widely reported. Titan's lawyers have a hearing on 4/29 before Judge Jacob Mishler in an attempt to get the case dismissed before a trial.
In addition to the new indictment, it was also released on 4/22 in the New York Daily News in a page three story that the government is alleging that in February 1990, McMahon ordered a Titan Employee, Howard Finkel, a long-time McMahon lieutenant in the office and ring announcer dating back to the 70s, to fraudulently take an HIV blood test for Terry Bollea (Hulk Hogan) which was required by a state licensing authority. This story was reported on widely throughout the New York radio and television media that morning as well. The story sprang from the release of a memo from the Justice Department to the Titan defense team on 4/7, alerting them to this new information. The memo was originally sealed by the court, but was unsealed one week later. The television show "A Current Affair" is preparing yet another wrestling story based on this information that was scheduled to air on 4/28. But the story asks a lot more questions than it answers. First, if true, how does this relate to the case? If it was a drug test, the implications toward the case would be a lot more obvious. Second, if it was true, what could be the reason it would be done, since there is no evidence whatsoever that Hogan is HIV positive? In the Daily News story, Hogan's attorney, Henry Holmes, claimed "Hulk doesn't know anything about anyone taking a blood test for him." In addition, early 1990 was about a year-and-a-half prior to Magic Johnson's admission of being HIV positive, so at that point what state licensing authority was testing wrestlers? In talking with numerous people involved with the business, the only state anyone can come up with that did HIV testing at that time was Oregon. The Oregon commission had required passing drug tests (steroids were not tested for) in order to be
licensed and at one point tested for HIV as well. It dropped testing due to costs, although it is considering implementing it once again. Commissioner Bruce Anderson of the Oregon commission hadn't heard about the Daily News story and had no knowledge of a drug-test stand-in allegation in regard to his state, but believed if that story was during that time that it would have been Oregon's regulatory board. Anderson said that at that time HIV and drug testing was done as part of complete physicals with the results sent in for license application with the forms filled out by a WWF physician who he said he believed to be very ethical. Titan Sports has decided to offer no response to this story and it isn't known at press time whether or not this will affect Finkel's professional role both in front and behind the scenes just as he was getting the most exposure of his career on television and his upcoming match at Madison Square Garden.
Titan Sports did have some good news over the past week because the 4/18 edition of Monday Night Raw set an all-time record for the show with a 3.7 rating, meaning it was viewed in 2,324,000 homes, or the largest viewing audience to see any wrestling television show in the United States in several years. The television main event on the show was Bret Hart vs. Kwang for the WWF title, which certainly on the surface doesn't seen like a record-breaker. Raw ratings have been exceptionally strong over the past several weeks, and have been buoyed greatly by the lead-in of "Murder She Wrote," which is the most popular show on cable right now, which did a 4.5 as a lead-in. Trying to use that strong lead-in as a complete explanation for a record rating would be a fallacy, since numerous wrestling shows have had super lead-in ratings and failed to hold them, but it doesn't hurt. In the days when the old NWA Saturday show on TBS was always one of the five the highest rated show on cable, its lead-ins, usually either fishing or auto racing shows, delivered horrible ratings. Lead-ins were never even an issue in those days. That changed when the ratings for wrestling plummeted and some, looking for a scapegoat, started blaming the fishing show which gave them no lead-in. When the fishing as a lead-in was replaced with movies, some of which were higher rated than wrestling, it led to no increase in wrestling ratings. Aside from Raw, none of the television numbers are noteworthy in recent weeks, which is a story because WCW believed running a storyline with Hulk Hogan (even before he had signed with the company) would generate a big ratings increase and would be thus worth it even if he didn't sign. However, while Hogan has proven to be a draw at least initially on "Thunder in Paradise," this didn't translate to WCW which saw its numbers actually drop since the Hogan storyline with Flair began, to figures equal to what it was doing one year ago during the same time of the year. Most likely the ratings will continue to drop over the next few weeks because that's the seasonal pattern of afternoon/early evening wrestling viewing.
Tonya Harding will not be wrestling. Harding's lawyers broke off negotiations with All Japan women's wrestling after it became evident the sides weren't going to come to an agreement over financial terms. While All Japan women publicly claimed they were going to offer Harding nearly $2 million to wrestle, when they came to the table in Oregon and put their cards on it, the initial offer to Harding was reportedly $380,000 for 50 dates in 1994-95. It was reported in a major Japanese weekly early last week that negotiations between the sides had ended and joked that Toshikuni Matsunaga, the Vice President of the company who had travelled to
Oregon for negotiations, came out of the trip with nothing but a lot of salmon. On 4/20, the group called a major press conference which saw more than 100 newspapers, television stations and magazines represented which shows how much publicity the group was able to garner for its attempt to sign Harding, confirming what had been reported, that Harding had turned down their offer. At the press conference the company still claimed the offer to be for 200 million yen ($1,936,000). The company then stated to the press that for its 11/20 Tokyo Dome show, the total payoffs to the wrestlers would total 100 million yen ($968,000), which sounds like a financial work of equal proportions to the figures released about offering Harding.
Galavision cable in the United States has cut back from seven hours to two hours the amount of wrestling it airs each week, leaving its only remaining show going head-to-head with WCW on TBS. The cable system for years carried a two-hour show every Sunday night at 7 p.m., but in September added a two hour Saturday show, a two hour Thursday show, and added a third hour to Sunday. In late 1993, this consisted of one up-to-date show, which aired on Saturday, and a Sunday and Thursday show that contained all repeated material. This year, generally both Saturday and Sunday were airing new material from major house shows, generally airing about two-weeks after being taped and one week after its air date in Mexico City. However both shows were airing about 90 minutes of new material and filling out the time with random recent repeated matches. The new schedule, which went into effect on 4/23, eliminates both the Thursday and Sunday shows, and changes the Saturday time slot from 7 p.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time (3 p.m. Pacific). Basically the entire show, which will consist of all new material, will go head-to-head with the regular time slot of WCW Saturday Night. While there is very minimal crossover in the audience of the two shows, it is ironic since the AAA's American promoters (IWC) were in Atlanta this past week negotiating with WCW to put together some type of a working agreement, although nothing concrete came out of the negotiations. Reportedly the change was made at the request of AAA, due to concerns of overexposing its product.
Next week's issue will contain major coverage of two of the biggest shows of the year--New Japan's annual show at the 80,000-seat Fukuoka Dome on 5/1 and AAA's TripleMania II at a 37,000-seat outdoor stadium in Aguascalientes on 4/26. Besides the expected WCW International title switch-back from Sting to Rick Rude (which will probably air on WCW television on the 5/7 Saturday night show), the most intriguing thing about the second New Japan Fukuoka Dome show is the return of Satoru Sayama to the ring after a nearly nine-year-long retirement. Sayama, the original Tiger Mask, faces many-time IWGP jr. heavyweight champ Jushin Liger in a non-title match, matching up the two most famous and most successful lighter weight wrestlers in the recent history of the business. The match was announced as official during this past week. No word on the advance but nobody seems to think that the all-time Japanese attendance record (64,500 set by Ric Flair vs. Tatsumi Fujinami on 3/21/91) is in jeopardy for this show, headlined by Antonio Inoki vs. Great Muta. The most interesting part of the promotion of the show is that TV-Asahi, the network that broadcasts New Japan, has banned any matches or interviews involving Inoki from airing due to his political scandals from last year, so the main event isn't being announced or hyped at all on television
other than airing video clips of Great Muta without directly saying why, and a short clip of Muta coming out of the ring after a match looking into the camera saying, in English, "Inoki, I kill you, faggot." On the last show I've seen (4/9), most of the Dome hype was spent regarding the return of the original Tiger Mask, showing clips of his early 80s matches against Dynamite Kid. Last year's show, headlined by Inoki & Tatsumi Fujinami vs. Riki Choshu & Genichiro Tenryu and Hulk Hogan vs. Muta, drew 55,000. Hogan's won't be on this card because originally with the McMahon trial scheduled to begin on 5/2, he wouldn't have been able to appear. By the time the trial was delayed, the card had already been put together. The show kicks off Golden Week '94 in Japan, a traditional nine-day holiday period which includes the Dontaku Festival in Fukuoka, which becomes a big tourist town during the week which is why a major show is scheduled now annually during the first week of May. In addition, FMW has a big show on 5/3 in Nagoya headlined by Terry Funk vs. Sabu, and its annual Kawasaki Stadium show on 5/5 headlined by Atsushi Onita vs. Tenryu in an electrified explosive barbed wire match. UWFI then runs the quarterfinals of its tournament on 5/6 at Tokyo's Budokan Hall headlined by Super Vader vs. Masahito Kakihara, and the WWF's four-city Japan-Mania tour opens on 5/7 at the Yokohama Arena.
TripleMania II-A is the first of three major shows over the next five weeks promoted by AAA. TripleMania I in Mexico City drew a sellout 50,000 fans, setting the country's all-time gate record for a Konnan El Barbaro vs. Cien Caras main event in which the loser had to retire, which Konnan actually did for four months. TM II-A will be headlined by a hair vs. hair match with Heavy Metal vs. Jerry Estrada, which most feel will be a great match, but as a draw is a weak match to headline such a major show. Although promoter Antonio Pena is confident of a sellout since his regular cards are doing consistent sellout business in arena-sized settings, others are more skeptical that Metal, who is at best the No. 5 face in the promotion, could work in the key drawing match and sellout such a large stadium. Underneath is mainly trios matches, with one title match having Los Hermanos Dinamita, Cien Caras & Mascara Ano 2000 & Universo 2000 defending the Mexican trios belts against Los Payasos in a heel vs. heel match-up. It is expected there will be a major angle on the show similar to last year when Jake Roberts showed up unannounced and set up his feud with Konnan, this time with Canek, the 12-time UWA world champ, showing up at ringside unannounced and setting up a feud with IWC world champ Konnan to lead to a title unification match. TripleMania II-B, which is 5/15 in Guadalajara, is scheduled to include Vincente Fernandez, a legendary old-time singer in Mexico who would be equivalent to Frank Sinatra in the United States, and Julio Caesar Chavez, who is far and away the country's No. 1 sports hero, as celebrity guests, so it is believed that will sellout no matter what the card is. Can you imagine the mainstream publicity a WWF or WCW PPV show would get if Frank Sinatra and Michael Jordan were both on it?
This is the second issue of the current four-issue set. If you have a (1) on your address label it means your subscription will expire in two weeks. Renewal rates in the United States, Canada and Mexico remain $12 for eight issues, $24 for 16, $36 for 24, $48 for 32 up through $60 for 40 issues. Rates for weekly airmail delivery in the rest of the world are $9 for four issues, $18 for eight, $36 for 16 up through $90 for 40. Subscription prices will be increasing and the newsletter will be
expanding to 12 pages shortly because it is becoming obvious the amount of news on this business is impossible to fit in the current format and still include readers pages, which I don't want to drop, particularly since we are flooded with letters and have no room currently for them. All subscription renewals along with news items, reports from live shows, letters to the editor and anything else relating to this publication should be sent to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228.
Fax messages can be sent after Noon Eastern time (9 a.m. Pacific) to the Observer at 408-378-6562. Phone messages can be left 24 hours a day at 408-379-8067. For the most up-to-date late-breaking news reports, we update our report on the Real Wrestling Hotline (900-903-9030; 99 cents per minute) every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, with other reports from Steve Beverly, Mark Madden, Scott Hudson, Mike Mooneyham, Georgiann Makropolus and others each week. If there are regular shows in arenas that aren't being covered here, we are always on the lookout for up-to-date information which can be left by either fax or phone.
RESULTS
4/8 Morelia (AAA - 7,000 sellout): Martha Villalobos & Mujer Salvaje & Shitara b Lola Gonzales & Vicki Carranza & Pantera Surena-DQ *, Lizmark Jr. & Solar & Dragon de Oro b Damian & Picudo & Ice Killer 20:09 ***1/2, Lizmark & Volador & Mascara Sagrada b Fuerza Guerrera & Juventud Guerrera & Misterioso-DQ 24:00 ***1/2, Konnan El Barbaro & El Hijo del Santo & Tiger Mask b Eddy Guerrero & Love Machine & Blue Panther ****
4/11 Many Farms, AZ (American Wrestling Federation - 350): The Mauler (Keith Heit) b Joe Kimble, Bill Anderson b Dirt Bike Kid (Jason Harrison), Navajo Kid b Louie Spicolli-DQ, Anderson & Kimble b Mauler & Dirt Bike Kid, Steve Gatorwolf b Tim Patterson
4/12 Tsaile, AZ (American Wrestling Federation - 250): Joe Kimble d The Mauler, Bill Anderson b Dirt Bike Kid, Navajo Kid b Zodiac (Louie Spicolli), Anderson & Kimble b Mauler & Dirt Bike Kid-DQ, Steve Gatorwolf b Tim Patterson
4/13 Pinon, AZ (American Wrestling Federation - 615): Bill Anderson b Joe Kimble, The Mauler b Dirt Bike Kid, Anderson & Louie Spicolli b Mauler & Dirt Bike Kid, Navajo Kid b Zodiac, Steve Gatorwolf b Tim Patterson-DQ
4/14 Shonto, AZ (American Wrestling Federation - 425): The Mauler b Joe Kimble, Bill Anderson b Dirt Bike Kid, Navajo Kid b Zodiac, Steve Gatorwolf b Tim Patterson
4/15 Calgary (Canadian Rocky Mountain Wrestling): Katana d Kris Kramer, Eric Freeze b Jason Helton, Steve Rivers b Sonny Corleone, Jason the Terrible (Karl Moffat) b Ken Johnson-DQ, Steve Wilde DDQ Black Bart (Bart Steiger)
4/15 Page, AZ (American Wrestling Federation - 350): Bill Anderson b Joe Kimble, Steve Gatorwolf b The Mauler, Navajo Kid b Louie Spicolli, Mr. Page (Steve Gatorwolf) b Tim Patterson
4/15 Jesup, GA (All-Star Wrestling): Luscious Lonnie b Rockin Randy, Bambi b Amazon Queen, Rob Van Dam b Dick Slater, Jake Roberts b Giant Kimala II
4/15 Union, SC (Big Time Wrestling - 100): Stone Cold Kid d Bad Dog, The Hillbilly (J.R. Scruggs) b Scott McKeever, John B. Dead & Jim Tucker b Colin McCremon & Mr. Jailhouse Rock, Billy Ray Badd b Rattlesnake Westbrook, Jay Eagle & Johnny Red Cloud b Bruiser Brothers, American G.I. (Rich Scruggs) b Ivan Koloff
4/16 Portland, OR (Oregon Pro Wrestling Federation - 450): Little Nasty Boy won Battle Royal, Ole Olson b The Bodyguard, Billy Two Eagles b John Rambo-DQ, Buddy Wayne DCOR Bart Sawyer, Timothy Flowers b Mike Miller, Moondog Moretti b Riot Maker, Scott Norton b Buddy Rose to win OPWF title
4/16 Tsuu T'ina Reserve, AB (Canadian Rocky Mountain Wrestling - 100): Steve Gillespie (FMW Dr. Hannibal) b Jason Helton, J.J. Taylor b Sonny Corleone, Steve Rivers & Black Bart b Katana & Ken Johnson, Barbed wire match: Jason the Terrible b Steve Wilde
4/16 Washington, NC (All-Star Wrestling): Rockin Randy b Tommy Landel, Bambi b Amazon Queen, Rob Van Dam b Greg Valentine, Jake Roberts b Dick Slater
4/16 Winnipeg (River City Wrestling): Robbie Royce b Scott Stryker, Sluggo Smith b Outpatient, Mike Stone b Dean Ducharme, Sgt. Steele & Major Impact b Vance Nevada & Caveman Broda, Jason the Terrible & Jason II b Dakota Moondog & Bud E. Bundy, Brian Jewel & Bobby Jay b Royce & Todd Bullet, Broda & Nevada b Moondog & Bundy, Dave Petro b Ducharme, Stone b Steele
4/16 Drexel, NC (Championship Wrestling Alliance - 50): George Bowman b Joe Slater, Kevin Ingle b Dan Diamond, Billy Ray Badd b Jay Eagle, Rick Dorsey b Blond Sweetheart, D.L. Cool & The Eliminator b Bad Medicine Breeze & Barry Rose, Rattlesnake Westbrook NC Mad Dog Malone
4/18 Memphis (USWA - 1,400): The Spellbinder b Tony Falk, Colorado Kid b Leon Downs, The Spiders d Ian & Axel Rotten, SMW title: Dirty White Boy b Steven Dunn, USWA tag title:Billy Travis & Don Bass b Moondogs in disputed finish, belts held up after the match, Street fight:Eddie Gilbert b Tommy Rich-DQ, USWA title: Doug Gilbert b Brian Christopher-DQ, Non-titleream Machine b Jerry Lawler
4/19 Hachinohe (FMW - 3,841 sellout): Mitsuhiro Matsunaga b Koji Nakagawa, Keiko Iwame b Ishikura, Gosaku Goshogawara b Mr. Chin, Tetsuhiro Kuroda & Battle Ranger b Goshogawara & Masato Tanaka, Tsuppari Mack & Shark Tsuchiya & Crusher Maedomari & Combat Toyoda b Nurse Nakamura & Yukie Nabeno & Miwa Sato & Megumi Kudo, Damian & Dr. Luther b Hideki Hosaka & Goro Tsurumi, Tarzan Goto & Mr. Gannosuke & Katsutoshi Niiyama b Ricky Fuji & The Gladiator & Big Titan, No rope barbed wire street fight tornado death match: Hisakatsu Oya & Mr. Pogo b Atsushi Onita & Sambo Asako
4/19 Choshi (All Japan women - 1,350): Handicap match: Tomoko Watanabe b Kumiko Maekawa & Chapparita Asari, Kyoko Inoue b Mima Shimoda, Etsuko Mita & Yumiko Hotta b Bull Nakano & Kaoru Ito, Toshiyo Yamada b Sakie Hasegawa, Aja Kong & Suzuka Minami b Takako Inoue & Manami Toyota
4/19 Minami Ashikaga (NOW): Kishin Kawabata b Hiroshi Ono, Masahiko Takasugi b Kazuhiko Matsuzaki, Mr. Nasty b Ryo Myake, Tiger Jeet Singh Jr. & Apollo Sugawara NC John Hawk & Umanosuke Ueda, Rod Price & Kishin Kawabata b Tiger Jeet Singh Sr. & Bill Irwin
4/20 Atlanta Center Stage (WCW Saturday Night tapings - 675/all freebies): Non-squash results: Vader b Maxx Payne, Arn Anderson b Brad Armstrong, Steve Austin b Dustin Rhodes
4/20 Towada (FMW): Mitsuhiro Matsunaga b Masato Tanaka, Gosaku Goshogawara b Mr. Chin, Koji Nakagawa & Battle Ranger b Goshogawara & Tetsuhiro Kuroda, Ricky Fuji b Goro Tsurumi-DQ, Tsuppari Mack & Shark Tsuchiya & Crusher Maedomari & Combat Toyoda b Megumi Kudo & Miwa Sato & Yukie Nabeno & Keiko Iwame, The Gladiator b Damian, Big Titan & Dr. Luther b Tarzan Goto & Mr.
Gannosuke, Barbed wire street fight: Atsushi Onita & Sambo Asako & Katsutoshi Niiyama b Mr. Pogo & Hisakatsu Oya & Hideki Hosaka
4/20 Yashio (NOW): Ryo Myake b Hiroshi Ono, Masahiko Takasugi b Ho Des Min, Rod Price b Mr. Nasty, Kendo Nagasaki & Tiger Jeet Singh Jr. DDQ John Hawk & Bill Irwin, Apollo Sugawara & Kishin Kawabata b Tiger Jeet Singh Sr. & Umanosuke Ueda-DQ
4/20 Iida (JWP): Commando Boirshoi b Sugaya, Devil Masami b Hiroumi Yagi, Cutie Suzuki & Hikari Fukuoka b Dynamite Kansai & Fusayo Nouchi, Kansai & Masami & Nouchi & Yagi b Suzuki & Mayumi Ozaki & Fukuoka & Boirshoi
4/21 Atlanta Center Stage (WCW Saturday Night tapings - 780 sellout/all freebies):Non-squash results: Steve Regal b Alex Wright, WCW title: Ric Flair b Ricky Steamboat 35:38 ****1/4, Handicap match: Marcus Bagwell b Steve Keirn & Bobby Eaton-DQ *3/4, Paul Orndorff & Paul Roma b Brian & Brad Armstrong **, Dustin Rhodes & Johnny B. Badd b Steve Regal & Bunkhouse Buck-DQ ***
4/21 Osaka Furitsu Gym (Pancrase - 5,957): Takahashi b Ultra, Tomas Spelling b Scott Bessac, Katsumi Inagaki b Matt Hume-referee decision 30:00, Bas Luton b Vernon White, Wayne Shamrock b Ryushi Yanagisawa, Masakatsu Funaki b Yusuke Fuke, Minoru Suzuki b Thomas Puckett
4/21 Aomori (FMW - 4,380 sellout): Mitsuhiro Matsunaga b Tetsuhiro Kuroda, Gosaku Goshogawara b Mr. Chin, Goshogawara & Battle Ranger b Masato Tanaka & Koji Nakagawa, Sambo Asako b Damian, Katsutoshi Niiyama & Mr. Gannosuke b Dr. Luther & Ricky Fuji, Tsuppari Mack & Shark Tsuchiya & Crusher Maedomari & Combat Toyoda b Nurse Nakamura & Yukie Nabeno & Miwa Sato & Megumi Kudo, World Brass Knux tag title: Hisakatsu Oya & Mr. Pogo b Big Titan & The Gladiator to win titles, No rope barbed wire street fight tornado death match: Atsushi Onita & Tarzan Goto & Sambo Asako & Mr. Gannosuke b Hideki Hosaka & Oya & Pogo & Goro Tsurumi
4/21 White Sulphur Springs, WV (SMW - 200): Brad Batten b James Alls, Bart Batten b Fire the Inferno, SMW title: Dirty White Boy b Prince Kharis, SMW tag title: Rock & Roll Express b Chris Candido & Brimstone the Inferno, White Boy won Battle Royal
4/21 Gifu (WAR): Jen Yukari b Michiko Ohmukai, Otaku Hozumi & Eagle Sawai b Mitsuki Endo & Rumi Kazama, Yamato & Gedo b Matsuoka & Koji Ishinriki, Mil Mascaras & Dos Caras b Lion Heart (Chris "Jericho" Irvine aka Corazon de Leon) & Ultimo Dragon (Yoshihiro Asai), Genichiro Tenryu b Jado, Koki Kitahara d Super Strong Machine, Arashi b Nobukazu Hirai, King Haku b Takashi Ishikawa, Hiromichi Fuyuki b Ashura Hara
4/21 Hamamatsu (All Japan women): Tomoko Watanabe b Chapparita Asari, Suzuka Minami b Kaoru Ito, Aja Kong & Kyoko Inoue b Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda, Bull Nakano b Sakie Hasegawa, Yumiko Hotta & Manami Toyota b Takako Inoue & Toshiyo Yamada
4/21 Plant City, FL (Plant City Wrestling Federation): Billy Garrett b Cody Wade, Freight Train Freddy b Bill Payne, Randy Fuller & Jimmy Watts DCOR Rick Thames & Sonny T, Odessa Slim b The Creeker, Billy Mack b Luscious Luke to win PCWF title
4/21 La Puente, CA (IAW - 170): Vandal Drummond b Fisico Nuclear, Jason Redondo b Thunder Machine, Mr. Outrageous b Larry Ludden-COR, Dama Esnmascarada b Mujer Maravilla
4/21 Corpus Christi (Gulf Coast Championship Wrestling - 389): Dino Hernandez b J.R. Reyes, Al Jones DCOR Master of Style, Doc Holliday b Hellbilly Bob-DQ, Lobo Negro b Black Storm, Chuck West & Tracy Austin b Dark Shadows, Paul Gelvan b Mr. B, Mr. Wrestling (Dusty Woods) b The Spoiler (Ken Johnson)
4/22 Clinchco, VA (SMW - 350): Anthony Michaels b The Hornet, Well Dunn b Tracy Smothers & Bobby Blaze, SMW title: Dirty White Boy b Prince Kharis, SMW tag title: Rock & Roll Express b Chris Candido & Brian Lee-DQ, Smothers won Battle Royal
4/22 Tokyo Korakuen Hall (NOW - 800): Kazuhiko Matsuzaki b Ho Des Min, Masahiko Takasugi b Ryo Myake, Kishin Kawabata & Apollo Sugawara b Mr. Nasty & Bill Irwin, Rod Price & Kendo Nagasaki b Tiger Jeet Singh Sr. & John Hawk, Tiger Jeet Singh Jr. b Umanosuke Ueda-DQ
4/22 Cocolamus, PA (American Commonwealth Wrestling - 1,000): Johnny Gunn b Johnny Graham, Lord Zoltan b Lucifuge, Goodfellas DDQ Bad Crew, T.Rantula b Glenn Osbourne-DQ, Chris Benoit b Rip Sawyer, Doink the Clown (Matt Osborne) b 3-D (Damien Demento), Terry Funk referee: Jim Duggan b Vladimir Koloff
4/22 Indianapolis (Championship Wrestling America): Troy Haste b Jerry Faith, Sean Casey b Danny Davis-DQ, Doug O'Briley & Flash Flannagan b Bar Room Brawlers, Mike Samples b Dan Childers
4/22 Merritt, BC (West Coast Championship Wrestling - 90): Firefighter Adrian b Riptide Rockford, Michelle Starr b Johnny Canuck, Timothy Flowers b Badnews Allen-DQ, Canuck & Adrian b Starr & Rockford
4/22 Los Angeles (Shoot Wrestling - 100): Vandal Drummond b Kip Thorne (Jeff Larson), Golden Boy b Ultra Rojo, Boy b Drummond, Super Boy b Capitan Oro II, Chamaco Torres b Blue Angel, Magneto b Benson Lee, Al Burke b Kid Pepe
4/23 Richfield, OH (WWF - 6,000): Kwang b 1-2-3 Kid *3/4, WWF womens title: Alundra Blayze b Leilani Kai **, Lex Luger b Crush DUD, IC title: Razor Ramon b Diesel-DQ *1/4, Bam Bam Bigelow b Sparky Plugg **1/2, IRS b Tatanka-DQ DUD, WWF tag title: Quebecers b Men on Mission *, WWF title: Bret Hart b Owen Hart ***
4/23 Johnson City, TN (SMW - 750): Mike Furnas b The Hornet 1/4*, Well Dunn b Bobby Blaze & Anthony Michaels **, Tracy Smothers b Kendo the Samurai (Tim Horner)-DQ *3/4, Dirty White Girl b Peggy Lee Leather *, SMW title: Dirty White Boy b Prince Kharis *1/4, Ricky Morton b Chris Candido ***, SMW tag title: Brian Lee & Candido b Rock & Roll Express to win titles ***1/2
4/23 Hiroshima (RINGS - 4,238): Grom Zaza b Todor Todorov, Hans Nyman b Mitsuya Nagai, Yoshihisa Yamamoto b Sotir Gotchev, Nikolai Zuev b Masayoshi Naruse, Volk Han b Bitarze Tariel, Akira Maeda b Peter Ura
4/23 Soma (FMW - 2,235): Tetsuhiro Kuroda b Gosaku Goshogawara, Goshogawara b Mr. Chin, Damian b Koji Nakagawa, Mitsuhiro Matsunaga b Ricky Fuji, Tsuppari Mack & Shark Tsuchiya & Crusher Maedomari & Combat Toyoda b Keiko Iwame & Nurse Nakamura & Miwa Sato & Megumi Kudo, Dr. Luther & The Gladiator & Big Titan b Masato Tanaka & Battle Ranger & Mr. Gannosuke, Tarzan Goto b Hideki Hosaka, Street fight: Hisakatsu Oya & Goro Tsurumi & Mr. Pogo b Atsushi Onita & Sambo Asako & Katsutoshi Niiyama
4/23 Kanazawa (WAR): Otaku Hozumi b Mitsuki Endo, Eagle Sawai & Jen Yukari b Michiko Ohmukai & Rumi Kazama, Arashi b Matsuoka, Koki Kitahara b Jado, Mil
Mascaras & Dos Caras & Ultimo Dragon b King Haku & Lion Heart & Gedo, Super Strong Machine & Ashura Hara b Genichiro Tenryu & Nobukazu Hirai, Takashi Ishikawa b Koji Ishinriki, Hiromichi Fuyuki b Masanobu Kurisu
4/23 Noda (All Japan women - 1,920): Chapparita Asari b Rie Tamada, Tomoko Watanabe b Kumiko Maekawa, Yumiko Hotta & Etsuko Mita b Sakie Hasegawa & Kaoru Ito, Manami Toyota b Mima Shimoda, Aja Kong & Takako Inoue b Toshiyo Yamada & Kyoko Inoue
4/23 Woodbury, NJ (NWA - 350): Doink the Clown (Matt Osborne) b Dave Johnson, Osamu Nishimura b Silver Streak (Matt Delaney) Jerry Lawler b Johnny Gunn, Black Hearts (Tom Nash & Johnson) b Louie Spicolli & Hollywood Kid, Terry Funk DCOR Chris Benoit ***1/2
4/23 Kawasaki (NOW Toshimitsu Naoi Memorial show - 1,000): Robin b Azteca, Katsumi Usuda (PWFG) b Minoru Tanaka (PWFG), Miki Handa & Harley Saito (LLPW) b Noriyo Tateno & Mikiko Futagami (LLPW), Ryo Myake b Yukihiro Kanemura (IWA)-DQ, Shunji Takano (PWC) b Hiroshi Ono, Bull Nakano (All Japan women) b Suzuka Minami (AJW), Umanosuke Ueda & John Hawk NC Rod Price & Apollo Sugawara, Kendo Nagasaki & Kishin Kawabata b Bill Irwin & Mr. Nasty
4/23 Needhaam, MA (IWF - 500): Mad Dog Richard b Russian Mauler, Brittany Brown b Tammy West-DQ, Chris Duffy b Ronnie Dee, Bulldozer DCOR Ron Reis, Tony Roy b Tim McNeany, Smooth Operator b Mike Hollow, The Warlord b Mr. Hughes
4/23 Cloverdale, BC (West Coast Championship Wrestling): Mike Roselli b Riptide Rockford, Firefighter Adrian b Randy Tyler, Dobie Gillis b Rocky Dellassera-DQ, Michelle Starr b Johnny Canuck, Cage match: Timothy Flowers b Badnews Allen
4/23 Vista, CA (Coast to Coast Wrestling Federation - 50): G.Q. Gregory d The Sadist, Jason Redondo & Scott Cole b Eric Studd & Prime Time Peterson, Larry Ludden b Thrashmaster
4/23 Centre, AL (Bama Pro Wrestling): Golden Eagle b Tracy Black, Frankie Lee & Big Bubba b Magic Dragon & Jason Valentine, Billy Montana & Ken Arden NC Bo Alexander & Mike Mercedes, Widowmaker b Eagle, Richie Dye b Mr. Vain, Bob Armstrong & Mike Golden b War Daddy & Todd Zane
4/23 Downington, PA (WWWA): The Overlord b Juggernaut, Glenn Osbourne b Harley Lewis, King Kahlua b Drake Debonair, Mad Russian b Bobby Piper, Mr. Motion b Steve Richards, Diamond Express b East-West Connection, Super Nova b Metal Maniac, Jack Hammer DCOR Jimmy Snuka
4/23 Concord, CA (West Coast Wrestling Alliance - 180): Mac Truck b Salt & Pepper, Doug Storm b Super Diablo, Johnny Pain b Billy Monroe, Nito Gomez b Earthquake Ferris-DQ, Paul Brown b Martin Blood
4/24 Cincinnati (WWF): Bam Bam Bigelow b Sparky Plugg, WWF womens title: Alundra Blayze b Leilani Kai, Lex Luger b Crush, IC title: Razor Ramon b Diesel-DQ, Kwang b 1-2-3 Kid, IRS b Tatanka-DQ, WWF tag title: Quebecers b Bushwhackers, WWF title: Bret Hart b Owen Hart
4/24 Fukui (WAR - 3,300): Mitsuki Endo b Michiko Ohmukai, Otaku Hozumi & Rumi Kazama b Jen Yukari & Eagle Sawai, Ultimo Dragon b Lion Heart, Super Strong Machine & Yamato b Masanobu Kurisu & Takashi Ishikawa, Hiromichi Fuyuki b Nobukazu Hirai, Mil Mascaras & Dos Caras b Gedo & Jado, Arashi & King Haku & Ashura Hara b Genichiro Tenryu & Koki Kitahara & Koji Ishinriki
Special thanks to: Dave Pinsky, Mike Rodgers, Dan Parris, Bob Koenig, Scott Hudson, Steve Prazak, Shannon Rose, Andy Stowell, Brian Hildebrand, Mike Wood, Dom Valenti, Steve "Dr. Lucha" Sims, Norm Connors, Rick Garcia, Paul Sosnouski, Dan Farren, Tim Whitehead, Casey Steffan, Karin Moore, Stuart Kemp, Scott Ondreyko, Jason Peters
MARCH BUSINESS COMPARISONS
WORLD WRESTLING FEDERATION
Estimated average attendance 3/93 4,040
Estimated average attendance 3/94 3,450* (-14.6%)
February 1994 3,130*
Estimated average gate 3/93 $56,567
Estimated average gate 3/94 $40,750* (-28.0%)
February 1994 $40,000*
Percentage of house shows sold out 3/93 0.0
Percentage of house shows sold out 3/94 25.0*
February 1994 13.3*
Average cable television rating 3/93 2.0
Average cable television rating 3/94 2.1 (+0.5%)
February 1994 2.1
Major show 3/93: Wrestlemania preview special (3.3 rating; 2.5 replay)
Major show 3/94: Wrestlemania preview special (3.5 rating; 2.6 replay)
(+5.0%)
Major show 4/93: Wrestlemania (15,045 fans; paid est. 14,000; $1.1 million; est. 2.0 buy rate/est. $5.5 million)
Major show 3/94: Wrestlemania (18,065 fans sellout; $960,000; est. 1.68 buy rate/$5.2 million)
Buy rate -16.0%; Overall est. revenue -6.7%)
*European tour shows not included in average
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING
Estimated average attendance 3/93 1,770*
Estimated average attendance 3/94 1,430* (-19.2%)
February 1994 1,440
Estimated average gate 3/93 $12,390*
Estimated average gate 3/94 $12,500* (+0.9%)
February 1994 $12,800
Percentage of house shows sold out 3/93 5.0*
Percentage of house shows sold out 3/94 0.0*
February 1994 0.0
Average cable television rating 3/93 2.4
Average cable television rating 3/94 2.4
February 1994 2.4
*European tour dates not included
ALL JAPAN PRO WRESTLING
Estimated average attendance 3/93 3,210
Estimated average attendance 3/94 2,910 (-9.3%)
February 1994 2,320
Estimated average gate 3/93 $109,140
Estimated average gate 3/94 $99,880 (-8.5%)
February 1994 $78,840
Percentage of house shows sold out 3/93 87.5
Percentage of house shows sold out 3/94 75.0
February 1994 62.5
Average television rating 3/93 3.8
Average television rating 3/94 3.6 (-5.3%)
February 1994 3.4
Major show 3/95: Budokan Hall (16,300 sellout; est. $850,000)
NEW JAPAN PRO WRESTLING
Estimated average attendance 3/93 4,170*
Estimated average attendance 3/94 4,310 (+3.2%)
February 1994 5,050
Estimated average gate 3/93 $158,480*
Estimated average gate 3/94 $178,020 (+11.0%)
February 1994 $180,000
Percentage of house shows sold out 3/93 84.6*
Percentage of house shows sold out 3/94 46.2
February 1994 41.7
Average television rating 3/93 6.1
Average television rating 3/94 7.3 (+16.4%)
February 1994 7.7
JAPANESE TELEVISION RUNDOWN
4/2 NEW JAPAN: 1. Michiyoshi Ohara & Tatsutoshi Goto & Kengo Kimura & Shiro Koshinaka & Great Kabuki won 2/3 falls from Tatsumi Fujinami & Hiroshi Hase & Yoshiaki Fujiwara & Riki Choshu & Keiji Muto. This match was much better than the typical Skinheads match due to the presence of Muto and Hase. After Fujiwara put the armbar on three different guys but it was broken up by saves, Muto pinned Kimura with a Frankensteiner in 14:49. In the second fall, Choshu was hit with everyone on the opposite team's finishing move before Koshinaka pinned him with a german suplex in 7:54. Things picked up in the third fall as Muta did his 50-yard dash clothesline on Koshinaka. Hase did a 29-rep giant swing but then Goto hit a dazed Hase with his dangerous back suplex. With Muto and Ohara in, Muto did all his hot moves but when he went up with a moonsault, Kabuki pushed him off the top. Muto kicked out of Ohara's choke slam, Kimura's leg lariat, Koshinaka's butt bump and Goto's back suplex but needed to be saved from a Koshinaka power bomb. Muto made another comeback and went up for a moonsault but Kimura held him and Ohara got up and gave him a choke slam off the top rope and pinned him with a power bomb in a major surprise. ***3/4; 2. Shinya Hashimoto retained the IWGP title pinning Scott Norton with a DDT in 18:55. Very stiff but not pretty, as you'd expect. This was tons better than their match a few weeks earlier. Hashimoto isn't very good in a lot of ways, but somehow he has the knack for being able to put world title intensity into at least his title matches. Hashimoto hit eight enzuigiri's before the finish. **3/4
4/2 ALL JAPAN: 1. Steve Williams drew Toshiaki Kawada. The final 22:00 of their 30:00 draw aired, which is all the television time the new show allots. While the new show accomplishes an important purpose of leaving the audience wanting more, it's really sad because of the long history of this promotion on television to see it relegated to 30 minutes in a death time slot. Williams got a bloody nose from stiff kicks. Kawada was pounding on Williams outside the ring but kicked the ringpost when Williams moved and Williams started working on Kawada's ankle. Even though their were no restholds, the crowd didn't start popping until the 18:00 mark since they have unfortunately been trained that in matches involving top level talent, the finish "never" occurs until that point. Biggest pop was Kawada kicking out of Williams' backdrop driver. Tons of finishing moves back-and-forth with the fans really into Kawada's submissions. Kawada hit a power bomb in the last ten seconds but Williams kicked out of it and the two brawled after the bell until the show went off the air. ****
4/9 NEW JAPAN: 1. Satoshi Kojima pinned Manabu Nakanishi in 16:20 to win the Young Lions tournament. Kojima at this stage is clearly the better of the two but Nakanishi has more potential. Nakanishi got several near falls with suplexes and did a cool spot of holding Kojima on his shoulders in an Argentinean backbreaker (torture rack) and throwing him from that position in the air and dropping him high onto the knee. The match had a lot of heat at the end, with Kojima winning with a standing small package into a suplex into a submission in one fluid motion. After the match Kojima cried in the ring and again during his interview. Onita started a trend. Well actually Terry Funk started the trend and Onita popularized it. ***; 2. Yoshiaki Yatsu & Shinichi Nakano & Hiro Saito & Norio Honaga beat Michiyoshi Ohara & Kengo Kimura & Shiro Koshinaka & Kuniaki Kobayashi when Saito pinned
Ohara with a senton (backward splash) off the top rope in 15:54. **1/4; 3. Choshu & Tenryu beat Muto & Chono. Muto started out and was embarrassed by both veterans, including Tenryu pouring a bottle of water on him. He ran to the dressing room leaving Chono against both. Chono was pounded on for about 3:30 before Muto returned as Great Muta with a new outfit and face paint and cleaned house. Chono kept getting Choshu in the STF but Choshu kept making the ropes. Finally Muta blew mist in Tenryu's eyes, went to blow mist at Choshu but he ducked and Chono got the mist and was pinned after a lariat in 10:12. Muta then blew mist at Choshu and attacked Choshu & Tenryu with a stretcher that is always kept underneath the ring. When they started recovering, he blew mist at them again. **
UWA
Crowds have picked up greatly over the past two weeks with all the interpromotional matches against AAA. The return to El Toreo in Naucalpan on 4/17 drew about 8,500 fans--four times the usual crowd and the house itself was the biggest in two years, for a tag team tournament consisting of several UWA and AAA teams which came down to El Signo & Negro Navarro beating Latin Lover & Lizmark Jr. in the finals. The biggest angle came underneath when Jerry Estrada & Fuerza Guerrera faced Villanos III & IV. Love Machine, who wasn't even booked on the card, hit the ring and attacked the Villanos, bringing out Villano V, who has been out of action since early March with a spinal injury suffered in New Japan that doctors told him should have been a career ender (although nobody believed he'd actually retire) for the save. This set up an eight-man tag as the main event for 4/24 with Canek teaming with the three Villanos against Estrada & Guerrera & Machine & Konnan, which is unique since both teams consist of the top face from each promotion teaming with three heels that they usually feud with on their own promotion's shows. In these promotion vs. promotion matches at the UWA weekly cities, the local crowds vociferously cheer their regular wrestlers against the visiting "television stars" no matter who the faces or heels are supposed to be, although at El Toreo, the fans did pop for the AAA faces when they did hot moves.
The AAA wrestlers on these shows are working on a percentage rather than their guarantees, which has some of them mad because they are earning less money per show than their normal pay and they believe they are doing this promotion a favor in keeping a nearly dead promotion alive and taking a cut in pay to do so. The argument is they are being booked for several more dates each week so even though they are earning less per show, they are actually earning more in total per week.
Canek had a singles match against Cien Caras in Pachuca on 4/19 that drew a sellout 2,500 with Mascara Ano 2000 interfering for the DQ. Canek pinned Mascara Ano 2000 in Netzhaulcoyotl on 4/22 which drew a near sellout of 2,800 in arenas that they've been doing 300 and less of late.
On 4/20, they shot an angle in Tlalnepantla between El Hijo del Santo and Gran Hamada. Hamada wasn't booked on the card but was at ringside as a "fan" arguing with Santo and eventually hit the ring and ripped up Santo's mask.
EMLL
This group ran its biggest card so far this year on 4/15 at Arena Mexico headlined by Emilio Charles Jr. beating La Fiera and was what scheduled as a 16-man International Grand Prix singles tournament which Rayo de Jalisco Jr. won in the finals pinning King Haku after two power bombs. Actually the tournament consisted of 15 wrestlers since the company's top draw, Vampiro Casanova was "injured" in the Battle Royal opener to determine the pairings, by Pierroth Jr. and Black Magic, and carried out. Miguelito Perez looked the best in the tournament, including shocking everyone with a clean pin on Atlantis in just 3:00, however he eventually lost to Haku. Also in the tournament were Yamato, Ultimo Dragon, The Killer, Corazon de Leon, Brazo de Plata, Gran Markus Jr., Dr. Wagner Jr., Silver King and Popitekus.
Wagner Jr. & Markus Jr. & El Hijo del Gladiador finally won the CMLL trios titles from Los Brazos this past week.
JAPAN
Judging from the magazine photos, the New Japan 4/16 Super J Cup show looked to be incredible, particularly the flying moves of Great Sasuke.
The feud between Rings and UWFI grew stronger this past week. I'm not clear of the details, but apparently Akira Maeda did a magazine interview and got hot about Yuko Miyato (the UWFI wrestler who handles much of the company's business affairs) and said something to the effect of that if he fought Miyato, he'd beat him 200 times out of 200 and that if he caught him on the street he'd prove it and made some remarks about Miyato's family, which apparently resulted in some kind of civil action filed by Miyato and UWFI against Maeda. Since it appears a lawsuit was filed, this angle doesn't appear to be a work.
In a Japanese style shoot-angle, Yukihiro Kanemura and Shoji Nakamaki got into a fight in the Shinjuku area of Tokyo as a publicity stunt. Both men were part of the W*ING group, which has folded with most of the wrestlers joining Victor Quinones' new IWA. Kanemura was the only W*ING wrestler who didn't jump, and the angle is he's mad at the rest for abandoning his good friend Mickey Ibaragi, who headed W*ING. IWA's first show is 5/21 in Yokosuka with Nakamaki vs. Kanemura the likely main event, plus Miguelito Perez vs. El Texano, Dick Murdoch & The W*inger vs. Head Hunters, Silver King & Johnny Gomez vs. Nobutaka Araya & ?.
Mitsuhiro Matsunaga returned to FMW when the recent tour started 4/17. The gimmick is that Matsunaga agreed to work in the opening match every night as a way to prove himself. This lasted until the 4/21 show. During the main event, an eight-way barbed wire street fight with Mr. Gannosuke & Sambo Asako & Atsushi Onita & Tarzan Goto beating Hideki Hosaka & Mr. Pogo & Goro Tsurumi & Hisakatsu Oya, after the match, Matsunaga did a run-in and held Goto while Pogo went for the fire, but Goto moved and Matsunaga took the fireball. Onita helped Matsunaga, thus turning him face. Earlier in the show, Pogo & Oya had won the World Brass knux tag title from Big Titan & The Gladiator. It was then announced that Pogo & Oya would defend the belts at Kawasaki Stadium on 5/5 against Gogo & Matsunaga.
While this hasn't been officially announced, magazines are hinting the All Japan 6/3 Budokan Hall double main event will be Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Toshiaki Kawada for the Triple Crown and Steve Williams vs. Stan Hansen.
Since no angles involving Antonio Inoki can be covered on the television show, they did a newspaper angle where after Spring Stampede, Muta went to Florida and spent the day with Hulk Hogan who is advising him on how to beat Inoki.
Rings on 4/23 in Hiroshima drew 4,238 with Maeda beating Peter Ura in the main event. 5/17 in Sendai is Maeda vs. Willie Williams on top, while 6/18 Rings has the Ariake Coliseum in the Tokyo Bay area booked with Maeda vs. Volk Han.
Pancrase ran a show on 5/21 in Osaka drawing 5,957 or a few hundred shy of capacity.
LLPW has its biggest show in history planned for 7/14 at the 10,600-seat Tokyo Gymnasium.
New Japan announced for 6/15 at Budokan Hall the headliners will be Choshu vs. Hashimoto, Steiners vs. Power & Hase, Liger & Samurai & Shinjiro Ohtani vs. Sasuke & Sato & Shiryu and Yatsu & Hiro Saito & Honaga & Nakano vs. Koshinaka & Kimura & Goto & Kobayashi. The storyline over the next few months at big shows will be Choshu vowing to beat all the new stars (Power, Hase, Muto, Chono and Hashimoto) in singles matches starting at Fukuoka Dome with Hase.
It appears Tiger Jeet Singh Jr. & Sr. quit NOW as both no-showed the 4/23 show in Kawasaki, which was a Memorial show for the late Toshimitsu Naoi, who died in a truck accident last year. NOW got help from All Japan women, PWC, IWA, LLPW and PWFG for the show, but it only drew about 1,000 which actually is good for that promotion outside of Korakuen Hall.
WAR did an angle where Hiromichi Fuyuki turned against long-time partner Genichiro Tenryu. On 4/21 in Gifu, Fuyuki wrestled Ashura Hara (who had recently turned on Tenryu--sounds like old Dusty booking) in the main event and pinned him. After the match Fuyuki said that Hara and Tenryu were both old men and mentioned how his long-time tag team partner Kawada is now the top wrestler in All Japan winning the Champion Carnival and it's time for him to be the top wrestler in WAR. At the next WAR show in Kanazawa, Fuyuki worked the main event in a singles match against Masanobu Kurisu and pinned him in 42 seconds.
Television ratings on 4/16 saw New Japan do a 1.6 and All Japan a 2.1. The latter rating is phenomenal since the show aired from 2:35 to 3:05 a.m. and also went head-to-head with All Japan women on Fuji network airing the Yokohama Arena show (no rating available for that show at press time but it was expected to outrate All Japan because they aired the Hokuto & Kandori vs. Bull & Aja match).
USWA
The Jerry Lawler vs. Dream Machine (Troy Graham) feud, stemming from their respective great interviews and a television angle which saw them brawl into the parking lot the previous Saturday, picked the gate up to $8,500 on 4/18 for a non-title match that Dream won after using a chain. Lawler had the advantage the entire match and Machine bled, but Machine pulled out the chain and scored the pin
after one punch. After the match Dream said that he had waited ten years to pin Lawler in Memphis.
The tag team titles were held up on the 4/16 television show between Don Bass & Billy Travis vs. Moondogs. Although Bass & Travis won in Memphis on 4/18, the belts were once again held up and a tournament was held on 4/23 in Jonesboro, AR which was won by Eddie Gilbert & Brian Christopher.
Lance Russell will be back on a semi-regular basis as television announcer. Russell, who did the Memphis television wrestling show dating back to the 50s until going to WCW in 1989, was brought back due to popular demand stemming from his appearance on the show building up the Monday Night Memories card. Russell will work with Dave Brown every third or fourth Saturday starting in May, and also ring announce at the Mid South Coliseum on most Monday nights after his Saturday appearances.
The other top angle continues the Eddie Gilbert vs. Doug Gilbert feud. Eddie refereed the USWA title match with Christopher defending against Doug, and Eddie DQ'd Christopher for using a chain. However Doug was mad because by DQing Christopher, he had cost him the title.
Later in a street fight with Eddie vs. Tommy Rich, Doug attacked Eddie and Christopher made the save for him.
A tag team called The Eliminators debuted but reportedly didn't look very good. Both men are from New England, one of whom is Perry Saturn.
Axel & Ian Rotten are still around programmed with The Spiders underneath, but Freddie Fargo is already gone.
Lawler did the announcing on television since Dave Brown's daughter was getting married Saturday, and was told he couldn't physically get involved in anything. Dream kept teasing him and calling him chicken. Finally Dream called Lawler's mother and late father chickens and Lawler said he was quitting as an announcer and attacked Dream, but both were pulled apart before any blows were thrown.
On television, Bass & Travis faced the Rottens and Moondogs attacked Bass & Travis. Then as the Moondogs faced Eddie & Christopher, Doug Gilbert & The Eliminators attacked Christopher and brought him to the back. The Dogs then beat up Eddie until Bass & Travis made the save for him.
4/25 line-up had Lawler vs. Machine for the title in a Coward match with no referee and no rules where the match continues until one man leaves the building, a "Marathon" match with Doug vs. Christopher which continues until one man wins two consecutive falls, then a dream match where if Doug wins, it'll be a handicap match with Doug & Tommy Rich vs. Christopher and if Christopher wins, it'll be a tag match with he and Eddie against Doug & Tommy, a first blood match with Eddie vs. Tommy, Moondogs vs. Travis & Bass in a lumberjack match where the lumberjacks have chairs and boards, Rottens vs. Spiders and Spellbinder & Jeff Gaylord vs. Eliminators.
SMW
Brian Lee & Chris Candido won the SMW tag titles from Rock & Roll Express on 4/23 in Johnson City. They had announced a special dream match where the fans could vote for any singles match they wanted. Apparently they were confident enough that Morton would get the loudest cheers, which he did, when all the faces came out that they did nothing to "stack the deck" since they had booked Morton vs. Candido as the dream match. When the heels were scheduled to come out, Candido didn't, and they dragged him kicking and screaming out and basically made sure the fans would vote for him as Morton's opponent. Morton won the match, but after the match Tammy Fytch sprayed perfume in Morton's eyes and Candido gave him a piledriver, which is the killer move in SMW and Morton was carried to the dressing room. Fytch then demanded the tag title match take place immediately, so Robert Gibson had to face both men. Eventually as Gibson was getting creamed, Morton came out wearing a neck brace and tagged in Gibson, who didn't even tag him, and after a quick comeback, Lee dropped Morton throat first on the top rope for the pin.
They pretty well needed the switch since crowds have been way down the past two weeks since the Heavenly Bodies left and Lee & Candido have been on top against Rock & Roll with Prince Kharis vs. White Boy as the other headliner. Nobody takes Kharis seriously so there is no drawing power there, and I believe his character has been done away with effective this past weekend. It's hard for Lee & Candido to be taken as a serious team because of the size difference, but it was pretty well necessary for this feud to ever get out of the blocks to get the Rock & Roll back in the challengers role.
Well Dunn continues to challenge the Thrillseekers, who should be returning early next month. Thrillseekers definitely have major star potential with either of the big groups, but are tailor made for the type of team the Heavenly Bodies would get over but Well Dunn doesn't appear to be able to cut it in the position of getting them over.
Speaking of the Thrillseekers, Chris Jericho's (real name Chris Irvine) father, Ted Irvine, played 11 seasons in the NHL from the late 60s through the late 70s bouncing around several teams including the New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings.
Lee & Candido had a TV squash match and Candido simply talked to the announcers table and had Lee work the match by himself. When announcer Les Thatcher said that in his day the wrestlers were such that a member of a tag team would never leave his partner out there to do the match by himself, Candido said that it wasn't 1924 anymore. Candido talked about how he's training Lee and teaching him wrestling, that he's the WWA champ and the U.S. jr. heavyweight champ and that Lee doesn't hold any singles titles. But when Lee won the match and came to the desk, Candido changed his tune saying that he was learning so much from him.
Before the weekend broadcast on the Knoxville station a disclaimer was put on the screen during the opening of the show saying, "This presentation is paid for by the sponsor and the views expressed within are not necessarily those of WKCH-TV." I guess somebody figured out what Darryl Van Horne was actually saying. In the late 70s in this area, at one point the California State Athletic Commission had ordered a disclaimer (ironically only in Northern California and not Southern California) before the television show saying "These wrestling exhibitions are for entertainment
purposes only. The winners and losers have been determined in advance by the promoters."
While this isn't official, I'd suspect there is a very good chance that Jim Ross will become Bob Caudle's color commentator as soon as his physical condition allows him to, which is hoped to be early June. Ross has moved from Connecticut back to Atlanta, but his facial muscles on one side of the face are still weakened to the point he's at least one month away from being able to appear on television.
The promotion is planning on peaking its angles for August to coincide with its Fan Week from 8/5 to 8/13. 8/5 will be a card called "Night of the Legends" in Knoxville which will be a Slamboree type show bringing back the biggest names to work Knoxville. 8/6 will be a luncheon with the faces and the annual "Fire on the Mountain" show in Johnson City. 8/7 will be a card billed as "The Battle of Beckley." 8/8 will be a television taping. 8/9 will be an afternoon BBQ cook-out with the heels. 8/10 will be a Q&A session with Jim Cornette, Heavenly Bodies, Candido and Fytch. 8/11 will be a wrestling show as part of a local county fair. 8/12 will be a card called "Knox County Knockout" in Barbourville, KY and 8/13 will be a wrestling training class with Tim Horner and a King of the Mountain singles tournament in Morristown, TN. They are offering an 8/5 to 8/9 package and an 8/5 to 8/13 package, with prices not as yet determined. Besides the group's regulars, appearing during this week for SMW will include Dory & Terry Funk, Jake Roberts and Heavenly Bodies. For more info you can call Brian Hildebrand at 615-585-8454.
HERE AND THERE
King Kong Bundy appeared this past weekend in Puerto Rico for the WWC. Dutch Mantel is currently booker and turned himself heel to feud with Invader #1 on top, while he is giving Rey Gonzalez a major push as a new star babyface putting him over the likes of Greg Valentine, Warlord and Abbuda Singh, the latter managed by Larry Sharpe.
The first Terry Funk vs. Chris Benoit match took place on 4/23 in Woodbury, NJ, going to a double count out in 8:58 of a ***1/2 match. New Japan's Osamu Nishimura worked the opener beating Silver Streak, a Tony Rumble student also known as Hollywood Randy Starr.
ECW on 5/14 in Philadelphia called "When World's Collide" with Sabu & Bobby Eaton vs. Terry Funk & Arn Anderson plus a Singapore Caning match, loser to be whacked six times with a Singapore cane (actually a kendo stick) with Sandman & Woman vs. Tommy Cairo & Peaches and Pit Bull defending ECW TV title against Tasmaniac. At this point the ECW/WCW agreement is only for this show and in return, ECW will plug the WCW PPV show. Tod Gordon said he would be interested in doing future business with WCW, but since his booker Paul Heyman has a problem with it, he doesn't want to put Heyman in a position where he'd have a problem so this may be as far as it goes. ECW is looking at running regular shows in Wildwood, NJ and Montgomeryville, PA starting in June and has Dennis Galam headed to Florida to book a four-city Florida house show tour which is planned for the summer. The ECW TV show starts 5/6 on the American Independent cable network. Kevin Sullivan will still work for this group when he doesn't have WCW commitments. They have also signed Sabu to an exclusive deal for the states of New York, New Jersey and
Pennsylvania which eliminates him from several indie groups he had been working with and are working on getting Terry Funk for a similar agreement.
Brian Pillman will be working an indie show at Norwood High School in Cincinnati, his alma mater, against Rick Martel on 5/14.
Doink the Clown vs. Jim Duggan and Sabu vs. Tasmaniac headline 5/7 at West Babylon High School on Long Island.
Rich Mancuso and Steve Mueller have a weekly boxing and wrestling talk show called "Sound of the Bell" on Sports Channel New York (F2, Ch. 22 for dish owners) at Noon on Saturdays.
Steve Gatorwolf ran an Arizona tour from 8/11 to 8/15 using Bill Anderson, Louie Spicolli and Tim Patterson plus three trainees of Anderson making the debuts. Dirt Bike Kid is Jason Harrison from England. The Mauler was Keith Heit from Las Vegas, who works at the same night club in Las Vegas where Chuck Wright (Papa Shango) works and Joe Kimble, an American who lives in Mexico.
Former wrestler Darryl Karolet, who worked under the name Nitron for EMLL and WCW and also for WCW as Big Sky, recently did an acting job on the syndicated show "Bandit."
The Oregon Pro Wrestling Federation promoted by Ron Barber has boosted crowds up to the 400 to 500 level using Buddy Rose and Scott Norton as headliners and is now running weekly. Jimmy Snuka worked two shows early this month. Norton beat Rose to win the group's title on 4/16. This was set-up on 4/2 when Snuka & Mike Miller wrestled Rose & Norton when Norton accidentally hit Rose who was pinned. Rose had refused to tag in most of the match, so Norton mainly worked with Miller. Norton sold almost nothing. Crush, who lives in nearby Oregon City (like you thought he really lived in Hawaii) was also at the card doing an interview saying he was negotiating to work for this group. Since Sandy Barr can't run in Oregon due to the commission, he's moved across the river to Vancouver, WA but crowds have been below 100. Billy Jack Haynes had gone to Barr's group to be its top drawing card and got the crowd up to 350 a few weeks back, but as expected, that tag team didn't last long and Haynes is gone. Art "Love Machine" Barr did an interview on one of the TV shows last month and said he'd be back in May along with top AAA wrestlers. On TV this past week they started hyping an outdoor show in late May in Vancouver, WA with Machine, Eddy Guerrero, Blue Panther, Perro Aguayo and El Hijo del Santo being brought in.
After the city of Calgary refused to allow a barbed wire match amidst much local media publicity, Canadian Rocky Mountain wrestling put on a show at a nearby indian reservation with the Jason the Terrible (Karl Moffat) vs. Steve Wilde bared wire match but only draw about 100 fans.
The Ottawa Citizen ran a story recently about Canadian Vampire. The story on the Thunder Bay, Ontario native mentioned that in the December issue of Circo, the Latin American equivalent to People Magazine, he was listed as one of the 50 most beautiful people in Latin America. In the story Vampiro claimed he went to Mexico City four years ago after living in California to escape drugs, crime, depression and a broken heart, got off the plane and went straight to wrestling promoters looking
for a job, claiming he'd never wrestled before, although others claim he had worked as a jobber for the old International Wrestling office out of Montreal in the late 80s. Vamp's lack of wrestling ability wasn't hidden in the story, but in fact emphasized, as the editor of Arena said "The truth is he isn't much of a wrestler and never really knows what to do in the ring. But people don't like him for how he wrestles, but rather for how he looks.
I don't think Ian ever really cared about wrestling. His real thing always was rock and now he has his band and he's happy. Maybe he can't wrestle and can't sing--but the fact is he is wrestling and singing." He claimed to have earned up to $30,000 a week at the peak of his popularity, which certainly sounds suspicious, and said that interest in wrestling in Mexico exploded a few years ago but is now on the wane.
Cody Boyns wrestling radio show in Providence, RI has been dropped.
Correction from results in last week's Observer on the 4/16 Tampa show, the results listing Pat Tanaka & Paul Diamond as a team actually were Al Hardimann & Cliff Anderson. The confusion was because Hardimann & Anderson are using the name Bad Company.
AAA
The Tijuana card reported on last week will presumably air on 4/30, although the **** match with Zafiro & Brillante & Diamante vs. Gallego & Angel Mortal & Mr. Condor wasn't taped.
It appears that TripleMania II will air on 5/14, or head-to-head with WCW's Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat match.
This past Saturday's television show was taped 4/8 in Morelia with three hot matches out of four. Lizmark Jr. has the potential in a few years to be one of the best workers in Mexico. He's been working only two years and is already great. They set up a Lizmark Jr. & Sr. vs. Fuerza & Juventud Guerrera feud on the show. Juventud, who is very good considering he's only been wrestling one year but unlike Lizmark's son (who is 6-1, 205 and muscular), Juventud is very small (like 5-2, 135) and a heel to boot which makes his small size even more of a major obstacle. Juventud unmasked Lizmark in a trios match with Fuerza & Juventud teaming with Misterioso vs. Volador & Lizmark & Mascara Sagrada, which brought out Lizmark Jr. to make the save and both families started brawling after the match. During the match Misterioso used a fork to heavily juice Volador. The commentators talked about Oakland (which wasn't televised but the most graphic sickening bloody photos of an unrecognizable head covered in red lying in a red pool appeared in the magazines of Torero from the show) where Misterioso used the fork on Torero.
TV main was Konnan & Tiger Mask (Koji Kanemoto) & Santo vs. Machine & Eddy Guerrero & Blue Panther. Machine & Guerrero tried to make up to Panther for turning on him a few days earlier but in the first fall, Panther kept refusing to tag in. The heels still won the fall when Eddy used a german suplex on Konnan followed by a superplex while standing off the third rope and Machine splashed him off the top rope. Once Panther got in during the second fall, both Machine and Guerrero
climbed on the turnbuckles and laid their like it was a hammock and Panther had to work the fall by himself and eventually submitted. Panther and Machine finally went at it in the third fall and as they were brawling, Machine whipped Panther into the ropes, who suddenly did a tope onto Guerrero on the floor. Guerrero was thrown into the ring and Konnan then gave him a Niagara driver (Dynamite Kansai finisher) and Tiger Mask pinned him with a moonsault. After the match, Panther pressed Guerrero over his head and threw him over the top rope onto Machine on the floor. Machine & Guerrero then attacked Panther until Misterioso made the save for Panther.
While not definite, they are working on a Jushin Liger vs. Guerrero match for TripleMania II-B.
WCW
It's been reported just about everywhere that Too Cold Scorpio was fired after failing a drug (not steroid) test, which was more the result of failing several in a row than a singular one.
Because of that, the company surprised the wrestlers with drug tests this past week and it is well-known and obvious from the PPV that if the results are to be adhered to that several key wrestlers would likely be suspended, so it'll be difficult for the results to be adhered to according to company policy that mandates six-week suspensions for failure. The last company-wide drug test was nearly one year ago and saw nearly numerous failures and no suspensions.
Vader suffered a broken wrist at Spring Stampede when Boss suplexed him off the middle rope onto his shoulder which looked like he'd break his collarbone from the bump but the collarbone was okay. He didn't miss any dates.
With Vader going to Japan for the UWFI show, he'll be replaced on house shows on top against Boss, who is now The Guardian Angel, by Barry Windham, who is officially Flair's opponent at Slamboree as well.
Evad Sullivan (The Equalizer) will be out indefinitely after blowing out his knee at Slamboree, so Kevin Sullivan & Cactus Jack have become a new tag team to feud with the Nasty Boys. Jack will be postponing his reconstructive ear surgery because of this. At Slamboree, the Sullivan & Jack vs. Nasty Boys tag title match will have Dave Schultz (former Philadelphia Flyers hockey goon, not the ex-wrestler Dr. D) as guest referee.
For such a nothing piece, the "A Current Affair" segment 4/19 on Missy Hiatt stirred up a lot. There was tremendous initial heat on Cactus Jack for his comments where it came off as he was encouraging Missy in some ways because of Ted's deep pockets. We incorrectly last week referred to Alan Sharpe as a company attorney when he's in p.r. My own thoughts are there is a lack of credibility on both sides. Hiatt has continually said she's not interested in being in wrestling any longer, yet also talks of working with WWN and has contacted other promoters. WCW claimed she wasn't fired, that they simply let her contract expire (which is the same thing) and there were no future plans for her. However, that line was proven totally bogus because Sherri Martel was brought in as a face to manage the Sullivans against the Nasty Boys, and the company even taped television (that hopefully won't be airing
but you can never tell) with Sherri in that role. The only way Sherri could have worked in the face role would be to play off Missy as a heel. To prove that point, with Missy gone, Sherri has been re-packaged as Sensuous Sherri, as a heel, managing Ron Simmons. This about-face clearly shows that there were plans to begin a Missy-Sherri angle as part of the Sullivans-Nasties feud beginning in May, so the line that they had no plans for her after February is clearly b.s.
Spring Stampede did an estimated 122,000 buys (0.53 buy rate) which would be a $1.37 million gross. The buy rate was either even with or down slightly from the previous two PPV shows.
WCW Saturday Night on 4/16 did a 2.2 rating, while Main Event the day of the PPV drew a 1.7 (a shocking number since you'd think ratings would be up for the day of the show) and WCW Pro did a 1.5.
There is a good chance there will be a tour of South Korea in June.
The 7/17 Great American Bash PPV will not be taking place in Miami Beach as originally planned. No new site is official but it is believed it will take place somewhere in Florida.
The May Disney tapings (5/11 to 5/14) won't be from the Disney studios because they are already booked. Instead they'll have to tape outdoors. Because of the heat and lighting problems, they'll have to be done at night.
Eric Bischoff has done a multi-part interview in Pro Wrestling Torch that has resulted in some quarters of the industry in making him a laughing stock, particularly his comments regarding steroids (he had no real answers for any of the questions asked), talent decisions and Disney tapings. Regarding new talent, Bischoff claimed the first thing the company looks for is in-ring talent, which I guess explains why Thunder & Lightning and Harlem Heat got jobs and Jimmy Del Rey and Sabu didn't. Regarding Disney, Bischoff claimed the exposing of storylines and title changes months in advance caused no controversy within the company when everyone we spoke to within the company at the time had a strongly differing viewpoint (in fairness, I'm sure none told Bischoff at the time because in the corporate world you don't question when your boss makes a bold new decision). Besides, giving away title changes in advance is the least of the problems. What happens, as continually does, when the storylines on syndicated television have nothing to do with what is going on with the product because this is a business that requires constant last-minute changes due to injuries and unforseen circumstances. Remember, this is a company that was planning on building around Sid Eudy, having him as the top babyface unifying both titles, until the incident in England with Arn Anderson. The fact the past three PPV shows have been pretty good is largely due to Eudy's problem because if it had gone as originally planned, Ric Flair would be in the middle of the card, Rick Steamboat probably wouldn't be on the card, and who knows who they could program Eudy with on top.
Tom Zenk's contract won't be renewed after its 5/16 expiration due to the attempt to cut back on the talent budget.
Ads are everywhere for the Slamboree PPV with the only match listed being "Rick Rude defends his WCW World title against Vader" despite the fact the change hasn't taken place and that the title is called something else.
A WCW press release for Slamboree lists a three-man broadcast team of Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan and Jesse Ventura, although they were saying that before the last PPV as well.
WCW taped Saturday night through 5/21 in tapings on 4/20 and 4/21. Although this was all done behind the scenes, apparently a scenario will develop where the WCW title is held up or at least in a state of controversy pending a Flair vs. Steamboat rematch that airs on 5/14 (taped 4/21). That match went 35:38, ending with Steamboat going for a leapfrog but Flair head-butting him in the groin and cradling him for the win. This was said to be another ****1/4 match, and if anything better than Chicago, with Flair working as a total heel. After the match Rob Parker did an interview and they talked about the match between The Stable Stud, a blond 6-7, 300 pound former world champion who has personal animosity for Flair, and Flair for the title. Flair confronted Parker and Parker offered Flair "$100,000" to walk away from the match. Parker opened the briefcase and showed Flair the money, Flair decked Parker, turning himself back face for the short term, and walked away with the money. On the show that airs the day before the PPV, Dustin Rhodes & Johnny B. Badd wrestled Steve Austin & Bunkhouse Buck when Parker interfered for the DQ. This brought out Flair for the save when the Stable Stud (Windham under a mask, making it obvious the day before the show that it isn't Hogan and avoid the bad p.r. after a few weeks of what would have to be classified as bait & switch) ran in and left Flair laying.
At the 4/20 tapings, during an interview with Steve Regal, Larry Zbyszko came out and ripped off Regal's blazer and shirt and decked Sir William. Vader pinned Maxx Payne, and after the match Rick rude destroyed Vader and Harley Race with a chair. Steve Austin pinned Dustin Rhodes when Bunkhouse Buck hit him with a cowbell and they doubled on him until Badd made the save.
Badd is getting a major face push at the arena shows working a lot of six-man semifinals with Rhodes & Sting as his partners.
A match scheduled as Sullivan Brothers vs. Tex & Shanghai saw only Kevin come out and Kevin cleaned house on both. Nasty Boys then attacked Kevin when Jack made the save. Kevin in an interview claims the Nasty Boys jumped Evad in the dressing room and broke his leg.
A very green tag team called The Border Patrol debuted.
They were leading the crowd into chanting "Four Horseman" during the show.
On the show that airs 5/21, Bad Attitude was scheduled against Marcus Bagwell & Scorpio but they claimed Scorpio missed his flight. Bagwell went at it alone and was double-teamed until Jim Steele made the save. Originally Bagwell & Steele were to be pushed as a team but that may be re-evaluated.
WCW taped Main Event on 4/25 in Macon, GA, introducing Boss as The Guardian Angel with two legit Guardian Angels at ringside during his squashes and the main
item was a several week long program with Paul Orndorff & Paul Roma vs. Brad & Brian Armstrong.
Arn Anderson may be doing a subtle heel bit ala Flair as his house show matches in May include vs. Brad Armstrong and The Patriot. There are also Flair-Steamboat main events booked for May in the Carolinas.
WWF
The Head Shrinkers vs. Quebecers match will air on the Raw show that airs 5/2, which would normally be live except because of the original trial date, the tapings were moved up one week, so three weeks of Raw were taped 4/26 in Burlington, VT and tapings were also 4/27 in Albany, NY and 4/28 in Springfield, MA. Upcoming tapings are 5/23 in Warren, OH, 5/24 in Canton, OH and 5/25 in Erie, PA, and 6/13 in Liberty, NY, 6/14 in Poughkeepsie and 6/15 in White Plains.
Besides the record setting 3.7 Raw, other ratings for the weekend were a 2.1 for All-American and a 1.3 for Mania.
IRS is using an STF like move as a finisher called The Penalty.
Yet another lawsuit involving the WWF is ongoing involving Chuck Austin, a jobber who suffered a broken neck in a December 1990 match against the Rockers. The trial began 4/19. The injury came when Marty Jannetty did a move where he put his leg over Austin's neck and jumped down (Johnny Ace's Ace crusher in Japan, the only other wrestler I know of doing the move today is Santo in Mexico) but Austin landed on his head instead of his face, which paralyzed him from the neck down. Austin now can walk with crutches. Austin, who filed suit in 1991, sued Jannetty, Shawn Michaels and Titan for assault and battery, negligence and misrepresentation. Both Jannetty and Michaels testified in the trial. Dean Malenko and Killer Kowalski were being brought in by Titan as expert witnesses while Austin's side brought in Bruno Sammartino as an expert witness on 4/20.
Expect Undertaker to show up unannounced on the King of the Ring PPV.
"B" shows over the weekend with Jarrett vs. Doink and Yokozuna vs. Mabel drew 1,800 in Sarnia, ONT on 4/23 and 1,000 on 4/24 in Flint, MI.
THE READERS PAGES
I'm on the lookout for someone with a satellite dish who can provide tapes of both the AAA shows and the EMLL shows each week.
Bernhard Steger of A.Baumgatnerstr. 44/A4/223, 1230 Vienna, Austria is looking for Japanese merchandise, Japanese entrance music and Maxx Payne t-shirts.
Sheryl Dunn of 602-A Mulberry, Charleston, MS 38921 would like to receive photo lists and is looking to get in touch with Ron McDowell .
Brian Boutwell of 33 Green St., Abington, MA 02351 is looking for tape lists and to trade tapes.
Tony Brown of P.O. Box 50, Bassett, VA 24055 is looking for New Japan tapes and theme music and WWF unopened action figures of Kerry Von Erich and has Ric Flair Gold's Gym t-shirts to trade in exchange.
Brian Smith of Connecticut Pro Wrestling will send three back issues for a $5 donation to Fidelico Guide Dog Foundation, checks should be sent to Fidelco at CPW 5K run, P.O. Box 56, Colchester, CT 06415.
Brian Last of 257 Neptune Bl., Long Beach, NY 11561 has the UWFI PPV show and is looking for Japanese and Mexican wrestling figures in exchange.
Stuart Kaplan of P.O. Box 176, North Weymouth, MA 02191 is looking for tapes of the WWF-Mania Japan tour.
Mike Rodgers of 2740 SE Lewellyn, Troutdale, OR 97060 puts out Ring Around the Northwest, which is probably the best regional newsletter around, for 50 cents monthly and also has photos and results packages for sale.
Mike Wood of P.O. Box 642, Lafayette, CA 94549 is looking for tapes of Wrestlemania X and Spring Stampede and has AAA and old Japanese and U.S. tapes to trade in exchange.
Scott Druyan of 525 Bronxville Rd. #4H , Bronxville, NY 10708 has an extensive photo list for an SASE.
David Whitley of Route 7 Box 105, Washington, NC 27889 is looking to buy photos, magazines and videos, especially handhelds.
Ken Bonsporte of Route 1 box 251, Elloree, SC 29047 is looking for old episodes of Wonder Woman vs. The Skrulls.
Jeff Ng of 937 Kenyon Ave., San Leandro, CA 94577 is looking for All Japan and New Japan tapes and anything on Howard Stern.
Sunshine Wrestling Federation of 810 SW 5th Ave. #Rear , Hallandale, FL 33009 is putting together a mailing list for those interested in tickets or videotapes of South Florida indie shows. Anyone interested should send a name address and phone number.
Greg Guarini of P.O. Box 93, Sea Isle City, NJ 08243 has ECW tapes for trade for old Stampede tapes of Bret & Owen Hart and British Bulldogs.
Ramon Lores of 150-38 Union Turnpike #7A , Flushing, NY 11367 is looking for old and current Japanese tapes.
Lenis Sargent of 12 Spring St., Gainesville, GA 30501 has SMW, USWA and North Georgia tapes to trade in exchange for All Japan, New Japan and All Japan women and other Japanese tapes.
Cliff Brenner of P.O. Box 167, Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522 is looking to get in touch with someone to attend area WWF shows with at the Westchester County Center.
Harold Workman of 1401 21st Ave. N., Unit 29C, Myrtle Beach, SC 19577 is looking for a tape of Robert & Doug Gibson vs. Midnight Express from 11/89 and looking for SMW, USWA and old WWF tapes and for non-WWF action figures.
Anthony Scala of P.O. Box 22-0540, Brooklyn, NY 11222 is looking for Hasbro action figures of Razor Ramon, Owen Hart, Kamala, Nailz, Shawn Michaels and Crush.
Don Braddy Jr. of 4901 Heil #B-10 , Huntington Beach, CA 92649 has NWA, WCW, WWF and All Japan tapes for trade and is looking for tape lists.
Gregg Fiske of 6440 SW 130th Av. #411 , Miami, FL 33183 is looking for tapes of strange and bloody angles and for Japanese wrestling workout clothes.
Ken Verret of 505 Gouaux Ave., Houma, LA 70364 is looking for the 3/25 Mid American Wrestling shows in Beloit, WI and West Allis, WI.
Matt Herrold of RD 1 Box 561, Port Treverton, PA 17864 is looking for past or present info on Tully Blanchard.
Wilson Solano of SU Box 3131, Williams College, Williamstown, MA 01267 is looking for a tape of Dream Slam I & II.
Luis Lacourt of 5150 Scarsdale Dr. #A , Kettering, OH 45440 is looking for videos of the Japanese matches that finished high in the 1993 Match of the year balloting.
Scott Ferenczi of 150 Pierre Pl., Lima, OH 45805 is looking for photos of Jerry Lawler, Jeff Jarrett, C.W. Bergstrom, Melvin Penrod and Ron Cumberledge and photo lists.
Carl Mues of 208 Driggs Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11222 is selling his old magazines and newsletters.
Tom Walker of 543 1/2 N. Appleton St., Appleton, WI 54911 is looking for AWA tapes from the 70s and 80s, particularly the 1985 Comiskey Park show.
Stefan Hollman of Grevenhofstr. 33, 58708 Menden, Germany is looking for a tape of the 11/5 Sabu vs. Rob Van Dam match, the 3/12 debut of Ron Reis and any footage from John Arezzi or John clark wrestling conventions and indie tapes.
Jesse Erhard of 930 Sun Valley Ave., North Tonwanda, NY 14120 would like info on any shows in the Las Vegas area from 5/29 to 6/4.
Greg Petrosino of 502 E. Broadway, Bel Air, MD 21014 is looking for tapes of AAA, EMLL and 1982-84 North American promotions and has Mid South, Mid Atlantic, Southwest and Japan in exchange.
Steve Burton of 3752 Kistner St., Cincinnati, OH 45204 is looking to sell and trade color wrestling photos and is looking for Mid South programs.
Jim Schoene of P.O. Box 25222, Arlington, VA 22202 is looking for Best of tapes from Japan, SMW and old Madison Square Garden tapes.
Matt Obbema of 7670 Lantana, Buena Park, CA 90620 is looking for tapes of Lex Luger from Florida, Ric Flair on Larry King, WWF Summer Slam '93 and has tapes to trade in exchange.
SPRING STAMPEDE
Thumbs up. Best match was Nasty Boys vs. Jack & Payne. No bad matches. Johnny B. Badd may be the most underrated wrestler in WCW. Muta-Austin was a great match with a weak finish. Great mat wrestling in the Pillman-Regal match. Flair-Steamboat would have been better if Flair got his shoulder up for the win. They are trying to build him up for a match with Hogan when he can't even beat Steamboat. The best thing about the show was no wasted matches and no stiffs.
Cary Zel
Miami Beach, Florida
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Re: Wrestling Observer 1994

May 9 1994 Observer Newsletter: Charles Austin receives gigantic judgment after suffering paralysis following Rocker's match, Tiger Mask returns, tons more
Wrestling Observer Newsletter
PO Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228 May 9, 1994
In a decision that has the potential to change the wrestling industry, Charles Austin, a jobber left nearly paralyzed after a December 1990 squash match, was awarded a $26.7 million judgement by a jury on 4/29 in a Hillsborough County, FL circuit court.
The judgement, believed to be the largest ever awarded in the Tampa Bay area and one of the largest in the history of sports, left the wrestling world in a state of shock and threatens to change many accepted business practices as they regard jobbers and television tapings. The jury, which deliberated seven hours after the two-week long trial which included some of wrestling's biggest names being called as witnesses, made a ruling that could change the entire methodology used by Titan Sports, and has been traditionally used by many pro wrestling offices since the beginning of time, in using inexperienced wrestlers as jobbers to make stars look good should include more safeguard measures. They also believed jobbers should be trained specifically beforehand on how to take new moves before they are tried inside the ring.
Austin, now 37, was in a tag team match at a television taping at the Sun Dome in Tampa, teaming with The Genius (Lanny Poffo) against The Rockers (Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty). Before the finish, Jannetty executed a maneuver called the Rocker Dropper (better known today as the Ace Crusher), putting his leg on Austin's neck, then jumping up in the air, with the object being Austin would take a face-first bump. Instead, Austin apparently claimed he had been instructed to take the move, which he claimed he was told by Jannetty was "a piece of cake," by taking a forward roll, which he attempted, and wound up landing on his head, breaking his neck. Others in the trial testified he was never told to take a forward roll and that taking a forward roll was exactly the wrong thing to do. The move looked so severe that wrestlers backstage watching on the monitor feared he'd been killed. Bruno Sammartino, who originally had wanted to not be involved in the case, was shown a videotape of it by Austin's lawyers and was so outraged that he became the key witness for the plaintiff. With Austin limp on the mat, he was turned over so Michaels could leap off the top rope with a splash for the planned finish.
It was initially feared by doctors that Austin would be paralyzed from the neck down for life. As more than three years have gone by, Austin has regained some feeling in his arms and legs and can get around with crutches. He still is unable to control his bodily functions and his hands and legs constantly sting and burn. For the duration of the trial, he said because of bladder control problems that he had to restrict liquids.
Austin's suit originally asked for $3.8 million, although Austin's lawyer, Richard Wilkes, in his final admonitions to the jury asked for a minimum $7 million award.
It is believed that only in about one case out of 1,000 that a jury will award a plaintiff more then he asked. It is actually extremely rare for a jury to award the total amount asked, and almost unheard of to award more than six times the original request. The jury awarded Austin $4.2 million for medical bills and rehabilitation and $16 million for pain and suffering. His wife Holly was awarded $5.5 million for her suffering and his two sons were awarded $500,000 apiece because of the limitations the injury placed on their father in functioning as a parental figure.
The actual award will be slightly less because the jury determined Titan Sports was 90 percent negligent, Jannetty was five percent negligent and Austin was also five percent negligent. The actual damages due are $23.5 million by Titan, which Titan spokesman Curt Block said would be covered by insurance, and $1.3 million by Jannetty. The remainder is a combination of Austin's share of the damages, an amount deducted because one of Austin's sons had already reached the age of 18, and an amount Titan had already paid Austin for medical attention. Michael Hickenbottom (Shawn Michaels) was originally named in the suit, but was dismissed as a plaintiff by the judge who ruled he had no part in Austin's injuries. Michaels did testify for the defense during the trial. The decision is already in the process of appeals. Motions are being prepared to argue before the judge shortly to lower the award, a decision several lawyers contacted by us believed was likely to happen. Titan will then have 30 days after a judge's ruling, on which there is no timetable but is largely expected to occur within three weeks, to officially file for an appeal. Based on Florida law, if an appeal were to be filed, the defendants would have to post a bond for the award, which would be $24.8 million, with the cost of securing such a bond being nearly $2.5 million. There is a possibility that due to the size of the award that securing of a bond that large may be waived in the appeals process.
The defense in this case was that wrestlers assume a certain amount of risk every time they step into the ring. Austin's lawyer, Richard Wilkes, countered in arguments that wrestlers should assume the risk of what they have the experience level to perform, arguing that Austin, who only had six months of training and a handful of matches under his belt, was not at the experience level necessary to pull off a dangerous move of that type without a strong risk of injury.
During the trial, the defense introduced videotape of Jannetty performing the move on a few dozen different occasions on television matches without injury resulting, to show the move wasn't dangerous and what happened was a freak accident. They even brought in mats to the court room and had Jannetty perform the maneuver on Dean Simon (Dean Malenko), and Simon got up unhurt. Austin's lawyer countered by saying Titan had to bring in Simon, a top-level pro from a wrestling family with more than a decade of experience in taking high risk moves, but that Austin was a novice who didn't have the experience to be put into that position.
Those who watched the trial said they believed the jury award was based on a combination of believing Austin's version of what happened, and not believing many of the Titan witnesses, whose stories not only contradicted Austin's as far as what went on before the match and how the planning of the move was discussed, but also reportedly at times contradicted both themselves and each other. Ultimately it
was believed by those watching that the award was so great because by the time the case was over, the jury thought the witnesses for Titan lacked credibility, in addition to the obvious sympathy for the victim.
Joe Lopez, the attorney representing Titan in the case called the verdict an abomination, saying the jury didn't make a ruling based on testimony or evidence but based on sympathy.
"The WWF and/or Marty Jannetty and/or Shawn Michaels didn't do a damn thing wrong. I'm absolutely shocked. There was not one scintilla of evidence for that award. What happened (Austin's injury) was tragic but every witnesses with one exception (Rusty Brooks, one of only two men, the other being Sammartino, who testified in Austin's behalf) testified there is an inherent risk of injury. And he was torn apart on the stand since he'd suffered a broken leg (and other injuries while wrestling).
Every wrestler knows that and assumes that risk every time they get in the ring."
"We thought the award was excessive," said WWF spokesperson Curt Block. "We feel that we aren't negligent. The insurance company handled the trial and we don't expect the award to stand."
Wilkes countered by saying that Titan Sports had an obligation to provide a safe work environment and they were at fault for not properly training and instructing their jobbers on how to safely take dangerous moves, and their personnel in how to react in the event of a serious injury. What may have been a strong factor in the award, besides what some believed was a credibility problem with certain witnesses, was that after Austin's neck was broken by the "Rocker Dropper," a bump shown to the jury to be so devastating (the match never aired on television due to the violent nature of Austin's injury), the match wasn't stopped even though it appeared obvious there was a serious injury. Jannetty testified that he asked Austin if he was okay after the move and concluded Austin was simply "selling the move," which is why the match continued.
"He was not properly instructed on how to perform that maneuver," Wilkes said. Wilkes said the normal business procedure regarding both jobbers and officials in regard to amount of training before they are put in the ring to take potentially dangerous bumps is lacking, and that personnel had no training as far as what to do if someone is seriously injured during a match. Wilkes said that upon cross-examination, every Titan witness said that when someone is injured that seriously, the match should immediately be stopped, but in fact that wasn't the case because personnel was inadequately trained.
"I would certainly hope (this decision will lead to a change in the standard business practices of wrestling in regard to training of jobbers before being asked to take dangerous moves) so," said Wilkes, who during the trial said that the pro wrestling business needs governmental regulation. "Something like this should never happen again."
Block said he didn't think the trial verdict would change in any fashion the WWF's business procedures as it comes to the role of jobbers and moves they take.
"We've been operating this way for a long time. Despite the verdict, we feel we've handled things properly in this case as well."
Austin, who has been unable to work since suffering the injury, wiped tears from his eyes after being stunned when the award was announced, said the verdict would allow him to provide for his family and get physical therapy for himself.
A former linebacker at the University of North Carolina, Austin worked in construction before meeting up with some wrestlers and getting trained.
"This just shows the truth came out," Austin said to the St. Petersburg Times after the verdict. "In spite of all that's been said, despite the magnitude of their organization, the truth came out."
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This was the second straight major court case where Titan Sports was hammered, the case two weeks earlier where Jesse Ventura won nearly $810,000 for back royalties being the other. While the two cases themselves had virtually no similarity except in who the defendants were, both awards were stunning, and both cases pointed to a major problem plaguing this business that has already devastated it in many ways. The lack of credibility. Not credibility of the matches and storylines. But credibility of the people involved when they are on the hotseat in regard to controversial issues, and even more so, in court. In the Ventura case, he was awarded money that, based on an agreement he had made with Titan, he shouldn't have been entitled to. But the jury believed he had been lied to, or deceived, or whatever phrase you want to use, in negotiations so therefore that agreement wasn't valid. In this case, Titan had about a dozen witnesses, including all three other wrestlers in the ring during the match, agents backstage who tried to claim Austin professed no concern about taking the maneuver, local promoter and former wrestler Gerald Brisco and former wrestlers Robert Marella (Gorilla Monsoon) and Walter (Killer) Kowalski. Still, after establishing early on in the trial that wrestling is a work, moves and finishes are planned out in advance and that the role of the jobber, in this case Austin, is simply to make the stars look good, Marella testified about his 1976 angle with Muhammad Ali (to hype the Antonio Inoki match), almost trying to insinuate it was a shoot ("Ali found himself eight feet high in the air in an airplane spin. That was the last I saw of Muhammad Ali") and made ridiculous claims like having witnessed Jannetty performing the Rocker Dropper on hundreds of occasions. Kowalski testified about his 1954 incident where he accidentally kneedropped Yukon Eric's ear off, and then bragged about not visiting Eric in the hospital afterwards ("So what. These things happen"). While these statements may come off as cool if the jury was composed of wrestling fans from the 70s who are marks for these two former stars, to the layperson, the old bar war stories only made the profession and those in it seem uncaring and barbaric, a disaster when a jury is faced with a nearly paralyzed man on the other side. A reality check is needed and this may be the most expensive reality check possible. Many wrestlers and promoters believe this business consists of nothing but working marks, and they believe everyone is a mark to be worked except themselves. In many ways, that makes them the biggest marks of all, since they are marks for themselves.
Unfortunately, while they may get besieged with autographs and people wanting to buy them beer and tell them how great they are, the minute they believe that, they are dead. Dead because they've lost perspective. Dead because even the people who tell them how great they are don't really mean it, they're just thrilled to be in the presence of a television celebrity and if the celebrity is nice to them, it makes them feel important and they'll say anything to make the celebrity be nice to them. Dead because if they go to court and react as wrestling has taught them to, they wind up turning off the jury with the result being awards that on the surface seem ridiculous. After this award, expect numerous lawsuits filed using this as a precedent against major wrestling companies over injuries. Another case was just recently filed in Tampa, jobber James Goczewski sued Titan and Chris "Tatanka" Chavis over neck, back and other injuries suffered in a March 9, 1992 television match claiming Tatanka didn't follow the script in their match and injured him, and after alerting him that he had injured him, continued the match and inflicted more damage. The Ventura case didn't open any floodgates because it only applied to wrestling announcers who hadn't signed a new contract, a minute group that may have only consisted of one person, Ventura. This result opens the floodgates to every jobber who was ever injured, a huge group. If this verdict holds up and is used as a precedent, saying this could wind up bankrupting companies and devastating the entire industry is not an overstatement. If those within the organizations aren't taught a lesson that the courtroom isn't a wrestling arena and that having credibility problems is deadly, then what happened over the past three weeks won't be isolated. The way Titan (and probably WCW as well) handled jobbers in the past is that a member of the front office (for years Terry Garvin, of late Tony Garea) either contacts certain wrestlers they know of (say a Barry Horowitz) that are regular jobbers that often are even flown in, a few in the area they have experience with, an often contacts a local performer who trains or knows the local scene and asks him to provide a certain number of wrestlers, generally sight unseen to Titan. Generally the pay is $150. Most young wrestlers would almost kill for the chance. First off, there is the minute chance someone will have an idea of something to be done with them and they'll get a spot and make money, although the percentage of jobbers who ever get that break is small. Second, $150 is still a lot more then they'll make working local indie shows. Third and most importantly, they get to be on television and work with stars in front of genuine crowds. Since the jobber's job is just to get beat up, most wrestlers with limited experience can handle it adequately. A few, Chris Hamrick or Scott Taylor recently coming to mind, can do the job spectacularly. Sight unseen jobbers being brought in happens far less frequently now because all tapings are in the Northeast and very few jobbers come in as complete unknowns. In the case of WCW, most tapings are done in either Georgia or Orlando, FL and the jobber crew is generally more experienced than in years past when tapings could be done in a city they rarely visited. A few years back, when both groups taped all over the country, many more local wrestlers were used that were far more inexperienced. The usual result is that matches were still airable because jobbers only had to take a few bumps and the winning move. A few had to be taped over because they looked so bad, a lot more then were ever taped over because of serious injuries. Given all the high-risk maneuvers that are continually developing in this business, it is almost a miracle injuries like Austin's don't happen more often, although injuries themselves are not
rare. This is probably a testimony to the fact that the stars for the most part do take enough care of the jobbers that besides the requisite bumps and bruises that are unavoidable, that the real serious injuries aren't plentiful.
Austin's injury was the second most severe injury we know of over the past five years in wrestling. The most severe was Akira "Tiger" Katayama, an SWS wrestler who in early 1992 missed a tope when his opponent took a step backwards instead of forwards, landed on his head, and he's now a quadriplegic for life. While Mexican wrestler Oro passed away in the ring last October, his death from a brain aneurism resulted from a medical condition he was born with rather than from being injured by something during a match, ironic since he was one of the biggest daredevils in the sport.
It may be a fact of life that the smaller groups are at all times one major lawsuit away from extinction if this becomes a precedent setting decision. The biggest factor in the smaller groups' favor may be the knowledge of the wrestlers that there simply aren't millions of dollars to get, which isn't the case with WCW and WWF. If this award isn't lowered, it will scare people away from promoting wrestling and make it something of a necessity to get large amounts of liability insurance and greatly increase the cost of that to those who do. It already has caused promoters and potential promoters second thoughts about continuing. The risks are just too high in the event of injury even if injuries this severe only happen once every few years. That in itself may be the real significance of this story because this award isn't going to cause Titan to go out of business. Appeals can delay this award for a year or more. The sides may settle, although based on this award, it's doubtful the settlement would be less than a few million if Austin's side decides to take the safe money rather than take the chance of a decision being overturned upon appeal. And they could still lose the case once again on appeal. Considering just how big the loss was the first time, one would think the odds are against the defendants in a return.
It goes without saying that it was a horrible injury that Charles Austin received. But there is also an element of risk in participating in pro wrestling. Austin absolutely deserves money for hospital bills and rehabilitation. But should this style of wrestling, which can be dangerous and in which it is inevitable that serious injuries will eventually occur in, be placed in a position that one severe freak injury could threaten its future?
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At the same time the jury handed in its verdict in the Austin case, another group of Titan attorneys were making their arguments in an attempt to get some or all of the five counts against the company and owner Vince McMahon in regard to steroid distribution dropped at the final pre-trial hearing before a scheduled 7/5 trial date. As of Monday, no decision was reached by trial judge Jacob Mishner, who was expected to rule on the arguments this week.
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After a nine-year absence, the return to pro wrestling of Satoru Sayama, the man who revolutionized flying maneuvers as the original Tiger Mask between 1981-83 and is still remembered as a phenom on three continents, took place on 5/1 at the
Fukuoka Dome, the largest indoor stadium in Japan. Sayama, 37, quit New Japan and his Tiger Mask role amidst scandal in 1983. He returned with a new style for the original UWF, and then retired from pro wrestling for good in 1985 when that promotion was facing extinction. He returned to New Japan, rumored to be because his backers in his shooting sport felt he needed to be back in mainstream and regain his name among the general public, since the release of his videos of his early 80s matches as Tiger Mask created a new awareness and nostalgia for him and this was the perfect time to strike. His first opponent was Jushin Liger, a wrestler who would have never even gotten the chance to wrestle in Japan because of his size had Sayama not blazed the trail so successfully first. Years later Liger was considered on a world-wide basis not only the greatest small man in the sport since Sayama's retirement, but over a several year period, the best in the world overall.
The result of such a dream match? A nightmare. Sayama, who claimed in the newspapers the day before the show that he'd unleash a style reminiscent of martial arts hero Jackie Chan, was overweight as expected, but wrestled mainly on the mat, doing no flying moves or flashy martial arts, to the disappointment of the announced crowd of 53,500 fans paying an estimated $3 million, who booed the match and Sayama heavily as it went on. After Sayama and Liger had battled to a 10:00 time limit draw in what was billed at the show as an exhibition, Liger asked Sayama for a rematch and asked that for the rematch he wrestle as Tiger Mask because that's the match everyone wants to see. This match also greatly damages the drawing potential of an Antonio Inoki vs. Sayama match that was widely rumored to be the headline match at the Tokyo Dome next 1/4.
Complete results of the 13-match show, which drew what will almost assuredly be the second largest crowd to attend pro wrestling in 1994 and 15th largest recorded crowd of all-time:
1. Satoshi Kojima made Yuji Nagata submit to a leg and neck cradle type submission in 11:21 of a good opener; 2. Tokimitsu Ishizawa & El Samurai beat Shinjiro Ohtani & Tatsuhito Takaiwa in 13:48 when Samurai pinned Takaiwa. This was said to have been a great match, combining flying moves and submissions; 3. Akira Nogami & Takayuki Iizuka & Osamu Kido beat Akitoshi Saito & Michiyoshi Ohara & Tatsutoshi Goto in 14:06 when Kido made Ohara submit to the Kido clutch. This was also a good match with Nogami & Iizuka the most impressive with fast-paced double-team moves; 4. Kuniaki Kobayashi & Great Kabuki & Kengo Kimura beat Norio Honaga & Hiro Saito & Shinichi Nakano in 8:39 when Kimura pinned Honaga with a power bomb. This match wasn't good; 5. El Gigante (Jorge "Giant" Gonzalez) pinned Tadao Yasuda in 3:51 with a claw. Horrible, of course, although Japanese fans get into Gigante because of his height for short matches. Yasuda is about 6-5, so he's tall for a Japanese, but is inexperienced and the wrong guy in this spot of trying to carry the uncarryable; 6. Liger drew Sayama; 7. Shiro Koshinaka pinned Yoshiaki Yatsu in 12:16 with a power bomb. After the match Koshinaka challenged Yatsu to a future match where the entire losing group (Koshinaka's Skinheads or Yatsu's Raging Staff) would have to leave the New Japan promotion. There was no heat or interest in this match; 8. Hawk & Power Warrior retained the IWGP tag team titles in a minor surprise handing Rick & Scott Steiner their first loss as a tag team in Japan since returning when Hawk pinned Scott in
15:27 after the double impact move, which is Power having Scott on his shoulders and Hawk coming off the top with a clothesline. This was one of the best matches on the show; 9. Rick Rude regained the WCW International title from Sting in 22:48 with Eric Bischoff at ringside. Sting got a big pop coming out and the fans booed Rude. Rude won with a piledriver and knee drop off the top. Sting was distracted by Rude's manager/valet in Japan, Lady Love near the finish. This match was said to have been poor; 10. Masa Chono made Yoshiaki Fujiwara submit to the STF in 8:08. They traded submissions, and Fujiwara has that unique charisma, but it wasn't good and neither man was over at all; 11. Riki Choshu made Hiroshi Hase submit in 10:56 to the scorpion deathlock after hitting him with three lariats. People were really into this teacher vs. student match and fans live were surprised by the result, which seemed obvious since they are just beginning a Choshu vs. younger guys series and he can't lose the first one, and also because it should be clear by now that Hase's role is to carry and put over the big names on the major shows; 12. Shinya Hashimoto regained the IWGP heavyweight title from Tatsumi Fujinami in 6:04. Hashimoto brutally kicked the crap out of Fujinami, who had little offense, and finally was pinned after a DDT. This match may have been rushed because of the length of the show. This match had the second most heat on the card because of the feud between the two and was said to have been great; 13. Antonio Inoki pinned Great Muta in 20:12 after a sleeper. Muta piledrove Inoki outside the ring. Inoki bled early, and also had the mist sprayed in his eyes so his face was red and green which made him somewhat resemble Muta. Muta did every move in his arsenal on Inoki, who continually kicked out. Finally Inoki won with the sleeper. Inoki is the all-time legend in Japan and was cheered far more than anyone on the show and this match did have the most heat on the card since Muta has been put over so strong as a heel on television in recent weeks. However, a lot of people had a problem with a 51-year-old man beating a 31-year-old who was obviously so far superior it wasn't funny. But that isn't a new story either.
Overall the card got mixed reviews. The show lasted six hours, beginning at 3 p.m. and ending at 9 p.m. The walk-up was said to be huge, because the advance didn't indicate a building packed except for the outfield section.
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The other major show of the week was the first in the three-show TripleMania II series on 4/26 in Aguascalientes, Mexico. As an overall show, this was said to have been spectacular. Several who attended both this show and the WCW PPV in Chicago and also Wrestlemania said there was no comparison between those shows and this one, which is pretty high praise because they were also both great cards. However, it was marred by an attendance of only 9,500 and an estimated $100,000 gate, which was a tremendous disappointment to the point it was both embarrassing and shocking since AAA has almost routinely drawn sellout crowds for shows without any special matches and has been the most successful attendance-wise in the world in 1994, yet this turnout for can be labeled a bomb. The weak crowd was blamed on the main event, Heavy Metal vs. Jerry Estrada in a hair vs. hair match as involving wrestlers who aren't over enough to draw on top. But even if that is true, and it is, every major drawing card in the promotion appeared on the undercard and it was pushed as the biggest show of the year. This shows that the name TripleMania is not yet established after one year to where people will buy
tickets to the show and casual fans don't have it embedded in their brain that it's something special based simply on the name. The four-and-a-half hour show (starting at 8:30 p.m. and ending at 12:55 a.m. on a Tuesday night--with no intermissions, no matches where people left their seats to go to the concession stand and nobody leaving early) was said to be balanced in that every match on the card was good and heated, although there were no match-of-the-year candidates. The special effects were at a new level, the entrance music is by far the best in wrestling (they have an advantage since they have hit songs from several different cultures to choose from because both English and Spanish hits are recognizable to everyone rather than the elevator music the U.S. groups use since no record companies are chasing AAA for royalties) and the booking from start-to-finish of the show remained the best in the world. The ring entrances were spectacular, with everyone having their own gimmick. For example, Santo & Octagon came out with tons of kids dressed in Santo & Octagon costumes. Heavy Metal came out with a crew of bikers carrying him on their shoulder. Winners came out with a dance troupe that danced down the aisle. Jerry Estrada came out with a Bengal Tiger who nearly got out of control at ringside (but still was under more control then "El Puma"). Antonio Pena is not the best booker in the world taking everything a booker does into account such as long-term organization and storylines as compared to a Jim Cornette or a Vince McMahon. But he is a booking genius when it comes to the night of the show itself. From the beginning of the first match until the end of the last match on a given night, partially but not completely because his talent depth is the best around, he puts on the best booked shows in the world right now. The Dusty finishes in the long run may come back to haunt him at the box office, but most of them at this point are new to the country. The group does the second best overall shows, trailing only All Japan women, which relies more on workrate than booking.
1. Rey Misterio (subbing for Super Calo) & Rey Misterio Jr. & Winners beat Tony Arce & Vulcano & Rocco Valente when Rey Jr. pinned Valente in a super opener. ****; 2. Mascarita Sagrada & Octagoncito & Super Munequito beat Espectrito & Jerrito Estrada & Fuercita Guerrera via DQ when Espectrito gave Mascarita a low blow. Believe it or not, this was the worst match on the card, and it was a good match. ***; 3. El Satanico & Espectro & Psicosis (The Infernales) beat Lizmark & Lizmark Jr. & Tinieblas Jr. when Satanico made Lizmark submit to the camel clutch in the first of many upset finishes. Lizmark Jr. was said to have been the most impressive wrestler on the show, doing a Great Sasuke/Manami Toyota like moonsault off the top rope to the floor at one point. ***1/2; 4. Fuerza Guerrera & Juventud Guerrera & Misterioso beat Latin Lover & Volador & El Mexicano when in another upset, Juventud Guerrera, at 5-2, 135 and a heel, pinned Latin Lover, at 6-1, 235, a pretty-boy babyface type being pushed as a headliner, clean in the middle with a fisherman suplex. ***1/2; 5. Konnan El Barbaro & Mascara Sagrada & Tiger Mask (Koji Kanemoto) beat La Parka & Blue Panther & Fishman when Tiger Mask, who had his mask ripped up and juiced heavily courtesy of Panther, came back to surprisingly pin Panther clean in the middle with a moonsault. Tiger Mask was said to have looked much better in this match than he has in the past due to working with Parka and Panther. After the match, high in the upper deck, what appeared to be fans started waving the American flag. It turned out the two "fans" were Chicano Power, wearing a mask, and Miguelito Perez, who jumped from EMLL the previous
day to replace Canek, who they are having trouble with (more on that later). Konnan went to the upper deck but security and Pena kept the three from actually touching each other. ***3/4; 6. Los Payasos beat Cien Caras & Mascara Ano 2000 & Universo 2000 to win the Mexican trios titles. The win leaves Los Payasos with a 143-0-2 record since joining the promotion. Although both these teams are heels, the Dinamita as expected was heavily cheered. Under Mexican rules, to win a fall in a tag team or trios match, either two members of a team has to be pinned or submit or the captain can be pinned or submit. To tell them apart, Los Payasos (three clowns) have red, yellow and blue wigs. Red was the captain. As the Dinamita were making a big third fall comeback, Los Payasos went under the ring and came up all wearing yellow wigs. The captain was then pinned by Cien Caras, but since the wig wasn't red, the pin was overruled by heel ref Tirantes who said they still had to pin another. Cien Caras, the captain of his team, was then triple-teamed and pinned. It was another upset finish because nobody believed the clowns had a chance against the Dinamita, let alone that Cien would do the job in the end. ***1/2; 7. El Hijo del Santo & Octagon & Perro Aguayo beat Love Machine & Eddy Guerrero & Black Cat via DQ in the best match on the card. Finish was an outside interference DQ when Misterioso, Perez and Chicano Power all hit the ring and attacked the faces 6-on-3. Volador made the first save brawling with Misterioso, but it was still 5-on-3 until Konnan cleaned house. ****1/4; 8. In one of the strangest hair vs. hair matches on record, Heavy Metal beat Jerry Estrada. This was strange for both what took place in the ring and behind the scenes. When this match was first booked months ago, apparently the idea was that Estrada was going down. However, Metal missed two house shows in the past five weeks, one at the final TV taping before this card so he was in the doghouse and was told to lose. At some point while the match was in progress, that decision was changed again. Metal won the first fall in 1:30 with a Japanese rolling crotch cradle. Estrada won the second fall with a low blow after a ref bump. The third fall went 15:00 and had double heavy juice, similar to an old-time Wahoo McDaniel vs. Terry Funk match. Finally Metal was throwing kicks like his idol Satoru Sayama, and Estrada started selling one of them like it was low, which it wasn't, and Tirantes went to raise Estrada's hand. Rey Misterio Jr., Metal's second, started pleading to the ref that there wasn't a low blow and told the ref to ask the fans. The fans screamed there wasn't but he didn't reverse the decision, and then went to the Televisa crew and asked them to view the replay ala football. They told him there wasn't a low blow, but then Tirantes raised Estrada's hand again. At this point pretty-boy Metal is crying in the ring, Misterio Jr. is still arguing and about ten minutes went by until Pena showed up and ordered the match re-started for a fourth fall to the finish. Metal then pinned Estrada with a schoolboy. However, before they could cut Estrada's hair, he pulled the chord apart on the electric shears so they wouldn't work (which wasn't a planned spot, and in doing so, among several other things termed as conduct unbecoming a professional probably because he didn't want his hair cut, he has been suspended for three months). They did find scissors from the dressing room and cut about half his hair off before he escaped. I've heard reports that this match was terrible up through ***3/4 and several in between, although because of the long delay between third and fourth fall and the fact this was all going on around 12:40 a.m., they couldn't follow the semifinal. Metal was also suspended for 15 days because of his performance in this match and word we get is
the promotion was so unhappy about match quality and the non-haircut finish that the match won't air on television.
TripleMania II-B is scheduled for 5/15 in Guadalajara. Not only has no card been announced publicly, but no card is even known privately amazingly enough, which is the alter ego of Pena's booking genius. Actually a card was put together with Konnan vs. Canek for both the IWC and UWA titles as the headliner, which would have been an easy sellout because it's Mexico's closest thing to Hogan-Flair. The angle was scheduled to be shot at this show, but things are at a stalemate right now between Canek and AAA, so as of the weekend, that match was out the window. TM III-B has been mentioned by various sources as either taking place 5/28 in Monterrey, 5/29 in Tijuana or 8/6 in Los Angeles, but all are speculative. As of this weekend, the Televisa signal that broadcasts both AAA and EMLL in Mexico City that Americans in the Southwest can pick up on dishes was scrambled, so the second weekly AAA show that no longer airs on Galavision because of the American cutback won't be available by dish owners in the U.S. either. The scrambling of the Mexico City feed leaves EMLL with only one station (Ch. 22 in Los Angeles) and no satellite access.
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The line-up for the WWF's second King of the Ring tournament on 6/19 from the Baltimore Arena is taking shape. The top two non-tournament matches will be Bret Hart vs. Diesel for the WWF title, and the match that will be relied on to actually get the show over, Roddy Piper vs. Jerry Lawler. The return of Piper should do business, and with Lawler he has the perfect opponent to work off of on interviews to build the match up and in the ring as well. Based on what has already been announced, if Piper wasn't returning, this show would have been guaranteed to do the lowest buy rate ever for a WWF show. It appears the tag title match will be The Head Shrinkers vs. Yokozuna & Crush. In the King of the Ring tournament, of the eight contestants, four already in based on matches already taped are 1-2-3 Kid, IRS, Razor Ramon and Jeff Jarrett. They will also induct wrestler(s) into the WWF Hall of Fame, the same idea WCW will have four weeks earlier at Slamboree. Overall this has to be considered a weak field with Ramon looking like the only possible winner of the four announced, since Lex Luger won't be in the tournament because of an angle already taped where Crush cost him the match with Jarrett.
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The AAA/IWC gamble in New York and Chicago is now set for early June. On 6/4 at the International Ampitheatre in Chicago, it'll be Konnan & Perro Aguayo & Cien Caras vs. Jake Roberts & La Parka & Psicosis, Octagon & Santo defending the AAA tag team titles against Love Machine & Eddy Guerrero, Heavy Metal & Rey Misterio Jr. & Misterioso vs. Los Payasos, Mascarita Sagrada & Jerrito Estrada vs. Octagoncito & Espectrito and Tito Santana, Too Cold Scorpio and Louie Spicolli also on the show in an opening match. The Chicago card is unique in that there are face and heel mixed teams in three of the top four matches. The minis match is a parejas increibles (face and heel vs. face and heel), while Misterioso and Cien Caras are teaming with faces as well. It's kind of weird to run unique rather than standard matches the first time in the city. On 6/5 at the Paramount in Madison Square Garden will be a more standard show with the exception of the main event where
Konnan & Aguayo team again with Cien Caras vs. Jake & Machine & Guerrero, Octagon & Santo defending against Parka & Psicosis, Mascarita Sagrada & Octagoncito vs. Espectrito & Jerrito Estrada, Metal & Tito Santana & Too Cold Scorpio vs. Los Payasos and a prelim tag match which will include Rey Misterio Jr. and Misterioso. While both New York and Chicago have large spanish speaking populations, this is the first time AAA/IWC will have attempted shows outside of the Southwest and in markets where there is no past history of successful Lucha Libre style shows.
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Although this is not confirmed at press time, I'm relatively certain that before any of you read this, that Hulk Hogan will have officially signed his deal with WCW. With everything that is going on, there is no way Titan can afford to match the offer and the 21-day deadline runs out this week.
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This is the third issue of the current four-issue set. If you've got a (1) on your address label it means your subscription expires with next week's issue. Renewal rates within the United States, Canada and Mexico remain $12 for eight issues, $24 for 16, $36 for 24, $48 for 32 up through $60 for 40 issues. Rates for the rest of the world are $9 for each set of four issues, $18 for eight, up through $90 for 40. Rates will be increasing in upcoming months as we expand to 12 pages. All subscription renewals, reports from live shows, news items, letters to the editor and any other items pertaining to this publication should be sent to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228.
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RESULTS
4/6 Texcoco (AAA - 7,000 sellout): Mexican womens title: La Briosa & Neftali b La Rosa & Vicki Carranza to win titles, Fantasma & Tinieblas Jr. & Lizmark Jr. b La Mommia & Damian & Espectro, Konnan El Barbaro & Octagon & El Hijo del Santo b Love Machine & Eddy Guerrero & Black Cat, WWA welterweight title: Psicosis b Heavy Metal
4/8 Arena Mexico in Mexico City (EMLL): Reyna Jubuki (Akira Hokuto) & La Diabolica b Lady Apache & Cynthia Moreno, Guerrero Maya & Guerrero del Futuro & Damian el Guerrero b La Sombra & Pantera II & Ciclon Ramirez, Non-title: Dr. Wagner Jr. & Gran Markus Jr. & El Hijo del Gladiador b Los Brazos, Negro Casas & La Fiera & Corazon de Leon b Bestia Salvaje & Mocho Cota & Emilio Charles Jr.-DQ, Black Magic & Miguelito Perez & Yamato b King Haku & Rayo de Jalisco Jr. & Vampiro Casanova
4/8 Netzahualcoyotl (UWA/AAA Double Power - 2,500): Los Matematicos II & III b Veneno & Condor Man, Blackman II & Nuevo Audaz & Seminarita b Tony Arce & Rocco Valente & Vulcano-DQ, Winners & Rey Misterio Jr. & Super Muneco d Perro Silva & Principe Maya & Karloff Lagarde Jr., Heavy Metal & Angel Azteca & Tinieblas Jr. b Los Villanos III & IV & Shu el Guerrero, Cien Caras & Mascara Ano 2000 & Universo 2000 b Canek & Dos Caras & Halcon Dorado Jr.-DQ
4/9 Mexico City La Pista Arena Revolucion (EMLL): Comodin & Tigre de Oro b Xavier Rocca & Angel de Plata, Nuevo Lynx & Supremo II & Babe Richard b Ultimatum & Platino & Principe Halcon, Panico & Guerrero de la Muerte & Cadaver de Ultratumba b Oso Negro & Filoso & Chicago Express, Popitekus & Mogur & Bestia Salvaje b El hijo del Solitario & Aguila Solitaria & Mascara Magica, Vampiro Casanova & King Haku & Corazon de Leon d Dr. Wagner Jr. & Black Magic & Miguelito Perez
4/10 Monterrey (AAA - 5,500 sellout): Fuercita Guerrera & Espantito & Jerrito Estrada b Super Munequito & Octagoncito & Mascarita Sagrada, Solar I & Angel Azteca & Rey Misterio Jr. b Tony Arce & Vulcano & Rocco Valente, Latin Lover & Heavy Metal & Sergio Roma Jr. b Jerry Estrada & Fishman & Spartaco-DQ ***1/2, Volador & Octagon & El Hijo del Santo b Psicosis & Misterioso & La Parka-DQ ****, El Satanico & Cien Caras & Masacara Ano 2000 & Universo 2000 b Love Machine & Eddy Guerrero & Black Cat & Chicano Power **
4/10 Netzahualcoyotl (EMLL): Principe Isis & Principe Iora b Murcielago & Inquisidor, Duende & Hombre Dorado b Zorro & Aliado, Orito & Ultimo Dragoncito b Fierito & Felinito, Cynthia Moreno & Lady Apache b La Diabolica & Tonia, Dr. Wagner Jr. & Pierroth Jr. b La Fiera & Blue Demon Jr.
4/12 Arena Coliseo in Mexico City (EMLL): Xavier Rocca & Super Angel b Tigre de Oro & Astro Jr., El Cafre & Babe Richard & Buffalo Salvaje b Olimpico & Olimpus & Ultimatum, Mascara Magica & Oso Negro & La Sombra b Panico & Guerrero de la Muerte & Archangel de la Muerte-DQ, Cachorro Mendoza & Tornado Negro & Javier Cruz b Ringo Mendoza & Pantera II & Ciclon Ramirez, Javier Llanes & Jaque Mate & Sangre Chicana b El Brazo & Brazo de Oro & Dandy
4/15 Arena Mexico in Mexico City (EMLL - 10,000): Panico & America d Solar II & Metalico, Dr. Wagner Jr. & Gran Markus Jr. won Battle Royal to determine Grand Prix tournament bracketing, One night International Grand Prix tournament: Atlantis b Corazon de Leon, Miguelito Perez b Silver King-forfeit (injured in Battle Royal), King Haku b Ultimo Dragon, Yamato (Kim Duk) b Vampiro Casanova, Rayo de Jalisco Jr. b Popitekus, Pierroth Jr. b Black Magic, Brazo de Plata b The Killer, Wagner b Markus, Perez b Atlantis *, Haku b Yamato -**, Jalisco b Pierroth **, Brazo de Plata b Wagner **1/2, Haku b Perez **1/2, Jalisco b Brazo de Plata *, Jalisco b Haku to win tournament **, Hair vs. hair: Emilio Charles Jr. b La Fiera-DQ
4/16 Nagano (All Japan women - 1,600): Rie Tamada b Kumiko Maekawa, Tomoko Watanabe b Chapparita Asari, Etsuko Mita b Kaoru Ito, Aja Kong & Suzuka Minami b Yumiko Hotta & Takako Inoue, Bull Nakano b Mima Shimoda, Toshiyo Yamada & Kyoko Inoue b Manami Toyota & Sakie Hasegawa
4/16 Tokyo Korakuen Hall (LLPW - 2,120 sellout): Shinobu Kandori b Mima, Kandori b Mima, Rumi Kazama & Harley Saito & Michiko Nagashima b Jen Yukari & Mitsuki Endo & Otaku Hozumi, Miki Handa b Michiko Ohmukai, Elimination match: Mikiko Futagami & Eagle Sawai & Noriyo Tateno & Yasha Kurenai b Combat Toyoda & Shark Tsuchiya & Crusher Maedomari & Tsuppari Mack 36:43
4/16 Puebla (EMLL): Prelim results unavailable, Atlantis & Rayo de Jalisco Jr. b Dr. Wagner Jr. & Miguelito Perez-DQ, CMLL hwt title: Brazo de Plata b Pierroth Jr.
4/17 El Toreo in Naucalpan (UWA/AAA Double Power - 8,500): Giro & Colorado & Torero b Casandro & Aguila Negra & Bucanero Jr., Double Promotion Grand 17-team tag team tournament: (Results only of semis and finals): Latin
Lover & Lizmark b Jerry Estrada & Fuerza Guerrera, El Signo & Negro Navarro b Canek & Halcon Dorado Jr., Signo & Navarro b Lover & Lizmark to win tournament (Others involved--Dos Caras & Scorpio Jr., Canadian Tiger & The King, Transformer & Audaz, Los Villanos III & IV, Shu el Guerrero & Masakre, Karloff Lagarde Jr. & Perro Silva, Mascara Sagrada & Heavy Metal, Lizmark Jr. & El Mexicano, Angel Azteca & Solar, Super Muneco & Torero, Mascara Ano 2000 & Universo 2000, Pirata Morgan & La Parka, El Satanico & Fishman)
4/17 Trenton, OH (Western Group International): International Connection & Steve Steiner b Gay Blade & Sunset Rider, Rok & Rattlesnake b Tower of Doom & Darryl the Dude, Major Massacre & Alexandor Budikov b Body Count, T.C. Reynolds b Lord Zoltan, The Destructor b Damien, Doink the Clown (Matt Osborne) b Big Bully Busich
4/18 Iwate (FMW - 2,046 sellout): Mitsuhiro Matsunaga b Tetsuhiro Kuroda, Keiko Iwame b Mayumi Shimizu, Gosaku Goshogawara b Mr. Chin, Hisakatsu Oya b Masato Tanaka, Big Titan b Damian, Combat Toyoda & Shark Tsuchiya & Crusher Maedomari b Megumi Kudo & Miwa Sato & Yukie Nabeno, The Gladiator & Ricky Fuji b Battle Ranger & Katsutoshi Niiyama, Tarzan Goto b Dr. Luther, No rope barbed wire street fight tornado death match: Atsushi Onita & Sambo Asako & Mr. Gannosuke b Mr. Pogo & Goro Tsurumi & Hideki Hosaka
4/18 Greenville, SC (Black Star Promotions - 550 heavily papered): Johnny Wild d Rick Michaels, Super Mario b Jason Ultima, T.C. Carter DDQ Steve Carlton, David Isley b Max Miles, Mr. Jam b Frank Parker, Jimmy Valiant b Ivan Koloff, Rock Rowland & Billy Starr b Bill & Randy Mulkey
4/23 Sarnia, ONT (WWF - 1,800): Bushwhackers b Heavenly Bodies, Smoking Gunns b Head Shrinkers, Duke Droese b Bastion Booger, Jeff Jarrett b Doink the Clown, Adam Bomb b Virgil, Razor Ramon b Yokozuna-DQ, WWF title: Bret Hart b Owen Hart
4/23 Gastonia, NC (Southern Championship Wrestling - 120): Super Mario b The Executioner, Hunter Thompson b Kevin Kirby, Jay Eagle b The Crucifier, Scotty Hot Body & Scott McKeever b The Juicer & Flaming Youth, Ladder match: Bad Dog (David Lynch) b Jeff Viktory, Dozer (J.R. Scruggs) & American G.I. DCOR Rick Starr & John Sullivan
4/23 Southern Pines, NC (East Coast Wrestling Federation - 100): Sub Zero b Black Skull-DQ, Carolina Warrior b White Knight, Mr. Inferno b Wa-Chee, Grave Robber & Gale Force b El Hijo del Fuego & Willow the Whisp, The Devastator d High Voltage, John Savage b The Commando, Colossus b H.M. Peterson, High Voltage & Sub Zero b Black Dragon Nails & Wa-Chee, T.C. Flexer b Wolverine-DQ
4/24 Flint, MI (WWF - 1,000): Men on Mission b Heavenly Bodies, Adam Bomb b Virgil, Duke Droese b Bastion Booger, Jeff Jarrett b Doink the Clown, Yokozuna DCOR Mabel, Smoking Gunns b Head Shrinkers
4/24 Winnipeg (Rough House Rasslin - 170): Robbie Royce d Bruiser Bastien, Kerry Brown b Paul Marcoux-DQ, Chi Chi Cruz & Gene Swan b Stan Saxon & Brian Jewel, Cruz won Junkyard Dogfight (Royal Rumble rules)
4/25 Memphis (USWA - 1,100): The Eliminators b The Spellbinder & Jeff Gaylord, Axl & Ian Rotten b The Spiders, Lumberjack match: Moondogs b Billy Travis & Don Bass, First blood: Eddie Gilbert b Tommy Rich, Marathon match for USWA title: Brian Christopher b Doug Gilbert, Winners choice match: Eddie Gilbert
& Christopher b Rich & Doug Gilbert-DQ, Unified title, loser is first person to walk out of the ring to dressing room: Jerry Lawler b Dream Machine
4/25 Kawagoe (FMW - 2,537): Gosaku Goshogawara b Mr. Chin, Battle Ranger b Damian, Mitsuhiro Matsunaga b Dr. Luther-DQ, Sabu b Ricky Fuji, Combat Toyoda & Crusher Maedomari & Shark Tsuchiya & Tsuppari Mack b Megumi Kudo & Miwa Sato & Nurse Nakamura & Keiko Iwame, Big Titan & The Gladiator b Tarzan Goto & Mr. Gannosuke, Street fight small cage match: Atsushi Onita & Sambo Asako & Katsutoshi Niiyama b Mr. Pogo & Hisakatsu Oya & Hideki Hosaka
4/25 Niigata (WAR): Rumi Kazama & Otaku Hozumi b Eagle Sawai & Michiko Ohmukai, Yamato b Matsuoka, Hiromichi Fuyuki b Koji Ishinriki, Mil Mascaras & Dos Caras b Lion Heart & Gedo, Ashura Hara b Masanobu Kurisu, Arashi b Koki Kitahara, Takashi Ishikawa b Jado, Super Strong Machine b Ultimo Dragon, Genichiro Tenryu b King Haku
4/25 Osaka Furitsu Gym II (All Japan women - 1,980): Prelim results unavailable, Bull Nakano b Toshiyo Yamada, Manami Toyota & Sakie Hasegawa b Kyoko Inoue & Takako Inoue
4/25 Tampa (Florida Wrestling Alliance): Bill Payne b White Shadow-DQ, The Viper b Manny Fernandez-COR, Haystacks Calhoun Jr. b Butch Long, Horace Boulder (Mike Bollea) & Mark Starr b Billy Mack & Sid Powers (Glen Jacobs)-DQ, Jeff Bradley b The Heartbreaker, Rick Thames & Sonny T b Randy Fuller & Johnny West
4/26 Burlington, VT (WWF Monday Night Raw taping - 2,500 sellout): Non-squash results: Earthquake b Bam Bam Bigelow, WWF tag title: Head Shrinkers b Quebecers to win titles, Razor Ramon b Kwang, IRS b Tatanka-DQ, Bam Bam Bigelow b Sparky Plugg, Sumo match: Earthquake b Yokozuna, Lex Luger & Bret Hart b Owen Hart & Yokozuna
4/26 Kayano (FMW - 3,273 sellout): Tetsuhiro Kuroda b Gosaku Goshogawara, Yukari Ishikawa b Shimizu, Battle Ranger b Koji Nakagawa, Mitsuhito Matsunaga b Masato Tanaka, Crusher Maedomari & Shark Tsuchiya & Combat Toyoda b Keiko Iwame & Nurse Nakamura & Megumi Kudo, The Gladiator & Big Titan b Sabu & Damian, Tarzan Goto & Mr. Gannosuke b Ricky Fuji & Dr. Luther, No rope barbed wire street fight tornado death match: Atsushi Onita & Sambo Asako & Katsutoshi Niiyama b Mr. Pogo & Hisakatsu Oya & Hideki Hosaka
4/26 Iwate (WAR): Otaku Hozumi b Michiko Ohmukai, Eagle Sawai & Mitsuki Endo b Yukari Jen & Rumi Kazama, Yamato b Matsuoka, King Haku b Lion Heart, Super Strong Machine & Ashura Hara b Nobukazu Hirai & Masanobu Kurisu, Ultimo Dragon & Koji Ishinriki b Mil Mascaras & Dos Caras, Hiromichi Fuyuki & Gedo & Jado b Genichiro Tenryu & Takashi Ishikawa & Koki Kitahara 21:45
4/26 Ena (All Japan women): Prelim results unavailable, Bull Nakano b Mima Shimoda, Manami Toyota & Toshiyo Yamada b Yumiko Hotta & Suzuka Minami
4/26 Arena Coliseo in Mexico City (EMLL): Pequeno Jaque Mate & Pequeno Damian el Guerrero b Platita & Sombrita, America & Supremo II & El Cafre b Olimpus & Olimpico & Legendario, Archangel de la Muerte & Panico & Guerrero de la Muerte b Aguila Solitaria & Chicago Express & Mascara Magica, Tornado Negro I & Mogur & Cachorro Mendoza b Ciclon Ramirez & La Sombra & Blue Demon Jr., Los Brazos b Mocho Cota & Sangre Chicana & Black Magic
4/26 Onomichi (International Wrestling Union): Prelim results unavailable, Apollo Sugawara b Ho Des Min, Kishin Kawabata & Masahiko Takasugi b Goro Tsurumi & Yoshimura-DQ, The Mummy DDQ Kazuhiko Matsuzaki
4/26 Tampa (IPWA): Ned Brady b Glen Powers (Glen Jacobs), Freight Train Freddy b Jeff Bradley, Navy Seal b Cuban Assassin-DQ, Classy Chris & Dirty Dennis b Rico Fredrico & Frankie Rose, Vern Henderson b Jumbo Baretta-DQ
4/26 Tampa (Level Two Wrestling): Rico Morales b Jeff James, Randy Fuller b Dave Manson, Nuclear Assassin b Haystacks Calhoun Jr., Horace Boulder b Mohammad Studd, Chain match: Jim Neidhart DDQ Hercules
4/27 Albany, NY (WWF Superstars taping): Non-squash results: IRS b Tatanka-DQ 1/4*, Earthquake b Yokozuna-DQ 1/4*, King of Ring qualifier: 1-2-3 Kid b Adam Bomb *1/4, King of Ring qualifier: Jeff Jarrett b Lex Luger-COR *1/4, IC title: Razor Ramon b Diesel-DQ **, Bomb b Kwang-COR DUD, Luger b Crush **1/4, WWF title: Bret Hart b Owen Hart ***
4/27 Tokyo Komazawa Gym (WAR - 2,500): Michinko Nagashima & Yasha Kurenai b Jen Yukari & Otaku Hozumi, Shinobu Kandori & Michiko Ohmukai b Mitsuki Endo & Rumi Kazama, Yamato b Nobukazu Hirai, Elimination match: Super Strong Machine & Ricky Fuji & Gedo & Jado b Masanobu Kurisu & Koki Kitahara & Ultimo Dragon & Takashi Ishikawa 30:33, Hiromichi Fuyuki b Ashura Hara, Mil Mascaras & Dos Caras b Lion Heart & Koji Ishinriki, Genichiro Tenryu b Arashi, Koji Kitao b King Haku
4/27 Kyoko (FMW - 3,662 sellout): Koji Nakagawa & Tetsuhiro Kuroda b Masato Tanaka & Gosaku Goshogawara, Goshogawara b Mr. Chin, Battle Ranger b Damian, Sabu b Goro Tsurumi-DQ, Tsuppari Mack & Crusher Maedomari & Shark Tsuchiya b Keiko Iwame & Yukie Nabeno & Megumi Kudo, Big Titan & The Gladiator b Mitsuhiro Matsunaga & Katsutoshi Niiyama, Tarzan Goto b Dr. Luther, No rope barbed wire tornado street fight death match: Atsushi Onita & Sambo Asako & Mr. Gannosuke b Hideki Hosaka & Hisakatsu Oya & Mr. Pogo
4/28 Springfield, MA (WWF Challenge taping - 5,500/? paid): Non-squash results:Earthquake b Bam Bam Bigelow, Sparky Plugg & 1-2-3 Kid b Kwang & Adam Bomb *1/2, WWF womens title: Alundra Blayze b Luna Vachon *, WWF tag title: Head Shrinkers b Quebecers **, IRS b Tatanka-DQ *1/2, WWF title: Bret Hart b Yokozuna *1/2
4/28 Columbia, SC (WCW - 800): Erik Watts b Brian Anderson, WCW TV title: Steve Regal b Johnny B. Badd, Bunkhouse Buck b Dustin Rhodes-DQ, Non-title: Kevin Sullivan & Watts b Nasty Boys, Vader b Cactus Jack, Non-title: Rick Steamboat b Steve Austin
4/28 Takamatsu (FMW - 2,102): Masato Tanaka & Koji Nakagawa b Gosaku Goshogawara & Tetsuhiro Kuroda, Goshogawara b Mr. Chin, Mitsuhiro Matsunaga b Goro Tsurumi-DQ, The Gladiator b Katsutoshi Niiyama, Tsuppari Mack & Shark Tsuchiya & Crusher Maedomari & Combat Toyoda b Keiko Iwame & Nurse Nakamura & Megumi Kudo & Yukie Nabeno, Dr. Luther & Big Titan b Sabu & Damian, Tarzan Goto b Ricky Fuji, No rope barbed wire street fight tornado death match: Atsushi Onita & Sambo Asako & Mr. Gannosuke b Mr. Pogo & Hisakatsu Oya & Hideki Hosaka
4/28 Laredo, TX (Texas All-Star Wrestling): Manny Villalobos b Javier Santana, Ben Taylor b G.Q. Knight, Bruiser Bennett b Jason the 13th-DQ, Bob Butcher & B.A. Dalton DDQ Hell Hounds, Bennett won Street fight Battle Royal
4/28 Jacksonville, FL (Pan Am Championship Wrestling - 95): Haystacks Calhoun Jr. & Nitron b Slick V & The Penguin, Constant Pain & Pvt. Kalaski b Okie Dokey Cowboy & E.G. Blazer, Alex G d Larry Hamilton, G b Shawn Starr, Calhoun &
Hamilton & Johnny Evans & Soultrain Garmon b T.J. Jackson & Jake Allen & V & Penguin
4/28 Maryville, TN (All-State Wrestling): Billy Marshall b Russel Thompson, Night Rider b Jeff Gann, Chic White b Rick Cannon, bobby B b Charlie Long-DQ, Tony Prichard & Steve Flynn & Greg Hart b Lynn Montana & Mike Powers & Bo James, Rick Connors & Lone Star b Tom Pitner & Jim Yates
4/29 Providence, RI (WWF Wrestlemania Revenge tour - 4,500): 1-2-3 Kid b Kwang **, WWF womens title: Alundra Blayze b Leilani Kai **1/2, IRS b Tatanka **, IC title: Razor Ramon b Diesel-COR **, Mabel b Bam Bam Bigelow *3/4, Lex Luger b Crush-DQ *, Smoking Gunns b Heavenly Bodies-DQ **1/2, WWF title: Bret Hart DCOR Owen Hart ***, Rematch for WWF title:Bret Hart b Owen Hart **1/2
4/29 New Haven, CT (WWF): Sparky Plugg b Bastion Booger DUD, Duke Droese b Adam Bomb 3/4*, Earthquake DCOR Yokozuna 3/4*, Jeff Jarrett b Doink the Clown *1/2, Bob Backlund b P.J. Walker DUD, WWF tag title: Head Shrinkers b Quebecers **1/2
4/29 Charlotte (WCW - 1,900): Erik Watts b Brian Anderson, WCW TV title: Steve Regal b Johnny B. Badd, Bunkhouse Buck b Dustin Rhodes-DQ, Non-title: Kevin Sullivan & Cactus Jack b Nasty Boys, Non-title: Rick Steamboat b Steve Austin 25:00, WCW title: Ric Flair b Vader-DQ
4/29 Lenior, NC (SMW - 300): Steven Dunn b Anthony Michaels, Timothy Well b Bobby Blaze, Tracy Smothers b Kendo the Samurai-DQ, SMW title: Dirty White Boy b Prince Kharis, SMW tag title: Rock & Roll Express b Brian Lee & Chris Candido-DQ
4/29 Tokyo Ota Ward Gym (Michinoku Pro - 4,500 sellout): Kazumichi Nakajima b Naohiro Hoshikawa, Terry Boy & Taka Michinoku b Monkey Magic & Rayo Negro, Falls count anywhere: Wellington Wilkens Jr. b Yone Genjin, Sato & Shiryu & Kendo b Super Delfin & Gran Naniwa & Rams 22:42, Ginsei Shinzaki b Great Sasuke 21:32
4/29 Yokkaichi (Independent Wrestling Union): Fukada b Miyamoto, Kishin Kawabata b Ryo Myake, Apollo Sugawara b Goro Tsurumi-DQ, Ho Des Min b Kazuhiko Matsuzaki, Myake won Battle Royal, The Mummy NC Masahiko Takasugi, Mummy b Kawabata
4/29 Elwood City, PA (United States Wrestling League - 1,000): J.T. Lightning b Darryl DeFazio, Psycho Mike b Gino Rocco, Lord Zoltan b T.C. Reynolds-DQ, Shane Douglas b Jimmy Garvin 36:00, Jim Duggan b Moondog Splat (Bubba White)
4/29 Boonsboro, MD (National Wrestling League - 400): Brian Dee b Mr. Haito, Neil Superior b G.Q. Strattus, Goodfellas b Duane & Wayne Gill, Ken Shifflett b Death Wish, Morgus the Maniac b Shane Shadow, Sgt. Slaughter b Iron Sheik
4/29 Indianapolis (Championship Wrestling America - 300): Sean Casey b Judo Master, Danny Davis b Doug O'Briley, Jerry Faith b Mr. Electricity (Troy Haste)-DQ, Young Stallions (Bill & Steve Marino) b Bar Room Brawlers (Doug Vines & Jeff Sword) to became CWA tag champs, Dan Childers b Mike Samples
4/30 Boston (WWF Wrestlemania Revenge tour - 7,500): Kwang b 1-2-3 Kid **1/2, Mabel b Bam Bam Bigelow-COR DUD, Heavenly Bodies b Smoking Gunns *3/4, IC title: Razor Ramon b Diesel-DQ ***, WWF womens title: Alundra Blayze b Leilani Kai *1/2, IRS b Tatanka-DQ *, Lex Luger b Crush 3/4*, WWF title: Bret Hart b Owen Hart 25:12 ***1/4
4/30 Wilton, CT (WWF - 650): Bob Backlund b P.J. Walker, Duke Droese b Adam Bomb, Bastion Booger b Sparky Plugg, WWF tag title: Head Shrinkers b Quebecers, Jeff Jarrett b Doink the Clown, Earthquake DCOR Yokozuna
4/30 Feds Creek, KY (SMW - 325): Steven Dunn b Anthony Michaels, Timothy Well b Bobby Blaze, Tracy Smothers b Kendo the Samurai-DQ, SMW title: Dirty White Boy b Prince Kharis, SMW tag title: Rock & Roll Express b Brian Lee & Chris Candido-DQ
4/30 Weirton, WV (United States Wrestling League - 450): J.T. Lightning b Darryl DeFazio, Lord Zoltan b T.C. Reynolds-DQ, Jim Duggan b Moondog Splat, Big Bully Busich & Local TV DJ b Psycho Mike & T.Rantula, Shane Douglas b Jimmy Garvin
4/30 Red Lion, PA (NWA - 800): Mark Mest b Cremator, James Keiser b Flex Wheeler, Deadly Dutchman b The Intern-DQ, Johnny Gunn b King Kaluha, Darren Wise b Tricky Nicky, Tony Atlas b Black Heart #1 , The Drifters DDQ Bad Crew, Doink the Clown (Steve Keirn) b Jerry Lawler
4/30 Murphy, NC (South Eastern Wrestling Alliance): Masked Warrior b Steve Phillips, Terry Austin b Southern Rebel, Juicer b Carolina Heartbreaker, Rick Savage NC The Assassin
4/30 Brooksville, FL (Southeastern Wrestling Association): Bubba Bond & Dennis Saver b Dirty Dave & Gorgeous One-DQ, Rocky Johnson DCOR Cuban Assassin, Kevin Katlyn b Max the Destroyer, Randy Hogan b The Ninja, Vern Henderson b Buddy Valentine, Rick Ryder & Tommy Wright b Ned Brady & Bob Cook
4/30 Medford, WI (Nu Age Wrestling): Jerry Lynn b Brett Stryker, The Punisher b Mr. Security, The Cobra d Stephanie Starr, Mr. Dynamic b Jawbreaker Jones, Handicap match: Tony the Annihilator b Lynn & Dynamic & Punisher
5/1 Kawashiki (FMW - 2,648): Masato Tanaka & Tetsuhiro Kuroda b Koji Nakagawa & Gosaku Goshogawara, Damian b Battle Ranger, Big Titan & Ricky Fuji NC The Sheik & Sabu, Combat Toyoda & Crusher Maedomari & Tsuppari Mack b Megumi Kudo & Keiko Iwame & Yukie Nabeno, The Gladiator & Dr. Luther b Mitsuhiro Matsunaga & Katsutoshi Niiyama, Street fight:Atsushi Onita & Tarzan Goto & Sambo Asako & Mr. Gannosuke b Mr. Pogo & Goro Tsurumi & Hiskatsu Oya & Hideki Hosaka
5/1 Katagami (Michinoku Pro - 333): Wellington Wilkens Jr. b Naohiro Hoshikawa, Shiryu & Hanzo b Yone Genjin & Gran Naniwa, Terry Boy & Taka Michinoku b Masato Yakushiji & Hoshikawa, Kendo & Sato & Great Sasuke b Super Delfin & Rams & Rayo Negro 24:29
5/1 Studio City, CA (Slammers): Vengeance b Dynamite D, Vengeance b Jeff Lindberg, Malicious Mike b Hombre de Oro
5/2 Atlanta Center Stage (WCW Saturday Night taping - 625/all freebies): Non-squash results: Marcus Bagwell b Shanghai Pierce, WCW TV title: Larry Zbyszko b Steve Regal to win title, Steve Austin b Bagwell, Regal b Brad Armstrong, Steve Austin b Brian Armstrong, Rick Steamboat b Bobby Eaton, Alex Wright b Tanaka-san, Dustin Rhodes & Johnny B. Badd b Paul Roma & Paul Orndorff
5/2 Memphis (USWA - 500): Spellbinder b Leon Downs DUD, Billy Travis b Reggie B. Fine 1/2*, Moondog Rex b Jeff Gaylord -*, The Spiders b Axl & Ian Rotten 1/2*, Loser wears a diaper: Bert Prentice b Ronnie Lottz -****, Moondog Spot b Don Bass DUD, USWA title: Doug Gilbert b Brian Christopher to win title *, USWA
tag title: The Eliminators b Christopher & Eddie Gilbert to win titles *1/2, Christopher won bring a weapon Battle Royal **, Unified title taped fist match: Jerry Lawler b Dream Machine-DQ **1/2
5/2 Harriman, TN (SMW TV taping - 275): Bobby Blaze b Killer Kyle, SMW TV title: Bruiser Bedlam b Anthony Michaels, SMW title: Jake Roberts b Dirty White Boy to win title, SMW TV title:Bedlam b Brian Logan (Bedlam vacates title after 5th consecutive win), Ricky Morton b Chris Candido-DQ, Rock & Roll Express b Kyle & Mike Atkins, Well Dunn b Logan & Michaels, SMW TV title: Kendo the Samurai b Chris Hamrick to become new champ, SMW tag title: Brian Mike Furnas & Blaze b Brian Lee & Candido, Smothers b Logan, SMW TV title: Kendo b White Boy-COR
5/2 Tokyo Korakuen Hall (All Japan women - 2,000 sellout): Prelim results unavailable, Rie Tamada b Chapparita Asari, Aja Kong b Sakie Hasegawa, UWA & JWP tag titles: Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda b Yumiko Hotta & Kaoru Ito 26:46, Toshiyo Yamada & Takako Inoue b Manami Toyota & Kyoko Inoue 20:31
5/2 Miyako (Michinoku Pro - 420): Rayo Negro b Masato Yakushiji, Naohiro Hoshikawa b Negro, Yone Genjin DDQ Wellington Wilkens Jr., Terry Boy & Taka Michinoku b Shiryu & Hanzo, Kendo & Sato & Great Sasuke b Super Delfin & Gran Naniwa & Rams
5/3 Nagoya (FMW - 4,500 sellout): Tetsuhiro Kuroda b Gosaku Goshogawara, Goshogawara b Mr. Chin, Damian b Masato Tanaka, Big Titan & The Gladiator & Ricky Fuji b Mitsuhiro Matsunaga & Katsutoshi Niiyama & Koji Nakagawa, Combat Toyoda & Crusher Maedomari & Shark Tsuchiya & Tsuppari Mack b Megumi Kudo & Yukie Nabeno & Nurse Nakamura & Keiko Iwame, The Sheik DDQ Dr. Luther, Terry Funk b Sabu, Barbed wire bullrope match: Tarzan Goto b Goro Tsurumi, Barbed wire small cage survival match: Atsushi Onita & Sambo Asako & Mr. Gannosuke b Mr. Pogo & Hisakatsu Oya & Hideki Hosaka
Special thanks to: Shannon Rose, Gary Langevin, Chris Cummings, Brian Hildebrand, Bill Needham, Richard Kunkel, David Whitley, Dan Parris, Bob Koenig, Alex Marvez, David Shelto, Steve "Dr. Lucha" Sims, Ted Hobgood, Ken Jugan, Lou D'Angelli, Bruce Buchanan, Dom Valenti, Bruce Bennett, Casey Stephon, Tim Harshmann, David Roberson, Jerry Lane, Jacob Gilbert, Norm Connors, Ron Skoler, Dave Scherer, Ken Doucet, Chris Zavisa, Matt Langley, Georgiann Makropoulus, Tom Motley, Scott Wallask, Gregg John, Jeff Sharkey, Scott Hudson
UWA
A snag has fallen into the Double Power (AAA & UWA) interfederation shows stemming from the 4/24 show at El Toreo, the UWA's long-time home. The card was headlined by an AAA vs. UWA match (I've actually heard two different versions of what the match was and can't get in confirmed, either Konnan & Fuerza Guerrera & Love Machine & Jerry Estrada vs. Los Villanos III & IV & V & Canek or Konnan & Cien Caras & Mascara Ano 2000 vs. Villanos III & IV & Canek) to set up the Konnan-Canek feud. The two never touched until the second fall. At that point when they finally both got in, the place went nuts with the partisan UWA hardcore fans wanting Canek to destroy the TV star from the more glamorous promotion. After trading high spots, Canek went for a press-slam but Konnan wouldn't go up for him. Canek got mad and tripped Konnan and stiff kicked him in the face. Konnan got up swinging as both momentarily lost their cool. Canek tripped Konnan and tried to pull off his bandanna and hair extensions and Konnan stuck his thumb in
Canek's throat to stop him and the two started swinging again and the other wrestlers had to break them up. There is tremendous legit heat between the two stemming from when Konnan was a rookie working for UWA. The two still worked together in a post-match interview, however Canek saw how much heat he got and this feud could revitalize his career, not to mention the UWA pocket book since the normal crowd of 1,000 increased to 9,000 for the show. Canek apparently felt that instead of doing the title vs. title match on 5/15, they should just do trios matches all summer and hold the singles match off for six months. AAA had it scheduled for TripleMania II-B. In retaliation, while AAA has not pulled its talent from the UWA shows, where the interpromotional bouts had seen attendance increase almost tenfold at the UWA weekly spots, but won't let any of its big draws like Konnan, Santo, Octagon, Cien Caras, Aguayo, etc. work the shows until Canek comes back to the table. The belief is the houses will drop down to normal and not only will UWA President Carlos Maynes, whose company was in danger of not lasting the summer without this interpromotional feud, pressure Canek to do the plan (Maynes had offered Pena El Signo and Gran Hamada's hair and Canek's title to get Pena to agree to the company vs. company feud), but the UWA wrestlers, who have seen their payoffs go up with the bigger houses since they work on a percentage, pressure Canek as well.
5/1 at El Toreo, all with AAA vs. UWA matches, was headlined by El Signo vs. Latin Lover in a hair vs. hair match and Canek & Hamada & Dos Caras vs. Satanico & Black Cat & Chicano Power, so none of the AAA top draws were there.
ALL JAPAN
The top two matches on the 4/16 Budokan show, Steve Williams vs. Toshiaki Kawada and Giant Baba & Stan Hansen & Takao Omori vs. Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi & Jun Akiyama, which aired on 4/16 and 4/23 respectively, have both been said to be strong match-of-the-year candidates. Haven't seen either, but have received more than a half-dozen phone calls saying Williams-Kawada was the best match so far this year.
The 4/23 television show drew 1.4 rating.
Next tour opens 5/13 at Korakuen Hall with Misawa & Akiyama & Satoru Asako vs. Heavenly Bodies & Williams, Kobashi & Tamon Honda vs. Akira Taue & Kawada and Hansen & Omori vs. Abdullah the Butcher & Giant Kimala II.
5/21 in Sapporo has Misawa & Kobashi defending the tag titles against Kawada & Taue and Hansen & Baba & Omori vs. Williams & Johnny Ace & Tom Prichard plus Jumbo Tsuruta making his monthly comedy match appearance.
5/31 in Niigata is headlined by Misawa & Kobashi & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi vs. Baba & Kawada & Taue plus Akiyama vs. Abdullah, Omori vs. Williams, Honda vs. Hansen, Asako vs. Kimala II and Masao Inoue vs. Ace.
Tour ends 6/3 at Budokan Hall with a Misawa vs. Kawada triple crown match officially announced this past week.
NEW JAPAN
The 4/23 television show was a must-see since they aired in abbreviated form, most of the Super J Cup tournament from 4/16 at Sumo Hall. Based on what aired, the home video, when it's released, looks to be the hottest home video since the 1987 Summer Night Fever series. They generally only aired about 1:00 of most of the bouts, but with the exception of the matches with Ricky Fuji, they all had super heat and what aired looked great. The only matches to air in more than brief form were El Samurai vs. Great Sasuke which was ****1/2 and Gedo vs. Wild Pegasus which was ***1/2. On 4/30 the TV was scheduled to have Pegasus vs. Sasuke and Jushin Liger vs. Sasuke from that same show. The 4/23 show did a 2.2 rating, which is New Japan's best number since being moved to its new time slot. The surprise of the recent shows has been just how good the Tatsumi Fujinami feud with Shinya Hashimoto has been.
The round-robin junior heavyweight tournament from 5/26 to 6/13 is something of a disappointment with Sasuke, Ultimo Dragon and Gedo not involved. Line-up is Liger, Samurai, Shinjiro Ohtani, Tokimitsu Ishizawa, Pegasus, Black Tiger, Super Delfin, Masayoshi Motegi, Taka Michinoku, David Finlay and Dean Malenko. Match-ups have yet to be announced but it seems almost guaranteed that Liger will, after not making the finals last year and at the J Cup, will come back and probably beat Pegasus in the finals. TV tapings are 5/26 in Tsu (Choshu & Fujinami & Fujiwara vs. Muto & Chono & Hashimoto, Yatsu & Hiro Saito & Honaga & Shinichi Nakano vs. Kimura & Goto & Koshinaka & Akitoshi Saito, Hell Raisers vs. Scott Norton & Mike Enos and Nogami & Iizuka vs. Koshinaka & Ohara); 6/1 in Sendai (Hashimoto vs. Fujiwara, Hell Raisers vs. Nogami & Iizuka, Choshu & Fujinami vs. Goto & Koshinaka); 6/8 in Takamatsu (Choshu & Fujinami & Fujiwara vs. Chono & Hase & Hashimoto, Nogami & Iizuka vs. Norton & Brad Armstrong, Muto vs. Enos); 6/13 in Osaka (home video taping rather than for TV with Super Junior tournament finals, Choshu & Fujiwara vs. Chono & Hashimoto, Fujinami vs. Muto, Hase & Power vs. Nogami & Iizuka and Steiners vs. Norton & Enos).
Fukuoka Dome matches will air on 5/7, 5/14 and 5/21. Of course Inoki vs. Muta won't air on television because of the ban on Inoki.
OTHER JAPAN NOTES
The lawsuit by Yuko Miyato on Akira Maeda was settled this past week when Maeda made a public apology to Miyato, saying he was very sorry for his threats in an interview. Maeda also announced that Rings has booked a card in Russia on 8/27 and in Holland in early 1995.
On 4/16, All Japan women got a 2.0 rating (All Japan did a 2.1 going head-to-head from 2:30 to 3:30 a.m.--both numbers are excellent considering the time slot) with the Hokuto & Kandori vs. Bull & Aja match.
The small Michinoku Pro group drew a sellout 4,500 fans at the Tokyo Ota Ward Gym on 4/29 in a card promoted by Weekly Pro Wrestling magazine as Ginsei Shinzaki pinned Great Sasuke in the main event.
Terry Funk and Sabu continued their feud in Japan on 5/3 in an incredibly violent double-juice match in Nagoya which ended when Funk scored the pin doing his first moonsault in Japan. After the match, Funk started screaming about The Sheik (who he faces on 5/5 at Kawasaki Baseball Stadium). Sheik and Sabu then jumped Funk
and Sheik used a nail to the forehead to further cut him up. This isn't confirmed, but it appeared Sabu broke his hand during this match. After the main event six-man match, Atsushi Onita grabbed the mic and once again said that if he loses to Tenryu on 5/5 that he's retiring.
Great Sasuke showed up at ringside when WAR ran a show on 4/26 in Sasuke's home town of Iwate. After the match where Ultimo Dragon & Koji Ishinriki upset Mil Mascaras & Dos Caras when Dragon pinned Dos, Sasuke got into the ring and challenged Dragon for his UWA middleweight title. Sasuke said that Dragon was his teacher and he wanted to wrestle him in a single match. Dragon accepted the challenge saying he was looking forward to the match because he said Sasuke is a much better wrestler than him now. The match is expected to take place in July.
All Japan women ran 5/2 at Korakuen Hall, packing the place with 2,000 fans but no standing room, so it's the third or fourth straight show that the usual SRO crowds at Korakuen weren't there as Toshiyo Yamada & Takako Inoue beat Manami Toyota & Kyoko Inoue on top when Yamada pinned Toyota. In the semifinal, Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda retained both the UWA and JWP tag titles beating Yumiko Hotta & Kaoru Ito. Mita & Shimoda will go to JWP on 6/3 at Korakuen Hall to defend the JWP belts against Candy Okutsu & Hikari Fukuoka.
Wayne Shamrock has a mixed match against a former IBKF kick boxing champ Frank "The Animal" Lohman as part of the 5/31 card headlined by Minoru Suzuki vs. Maurice Smith.
LLPW's 7/14 Tokyo Coliseum show will be headlined by Shinobu Kandori vs. Bull Nakano.
FMW from 6/14 to 6/28 will have Judge Dredd, Damian, Big Titan and Gladiator.
USWA
Two title changes on 5/2, both ending up with Brian Christopher losing belts. First he lost the USWA title to Doug Gilbert when the Eliminators interfered and KO'd him with a chain. Then Christopher & Eddie Gilbert defended against The Eliminators when Doug tried to interfere using a chain, but he was blocked at the Eliminators got the chain and used it for the pin. Doug's hair was at stake if the Eliminators didn't win the belts.
Christopher got a measure of revenge in a Battle Royal that he won next. Christopher pulled out a chain to use on The Eliminators, but one ducked and he accidentally KO'd Eddie Gilbert, who was eliminated. Fans thought Eddie would turn on Christopher, but instead Gilbert pulled down the ropes and caused both Eliminators to be eliminated.
Eddie Gilbert's republican nomination election for County Clerk in Henderson County, TN, a $32,000 per year position, was 5/3. Gilbert's mother Peggy is the chairperson of the republican party in their home county.
In the main event on 5/2, a taped fist match for the Unified title between Jerry Lawler and Dream Machine, a good brawl ended when Jeff Jarrett showed up to about 50% cheers and Jarrett and Machine destroyed Lawler for 10:00 including a piledriver on a chair.
Also they had a match with Moondog Spot vs. Don Bass in which the loser would have to break up their tag team, which Spot won, which means Bass & Billy Travis can no longer team.
In the 4/25 main event with Jerry Lawler defending against Dream Machine with the loser being the first man who ran to the dressing room, Lawler won when Dream ran to the dressing room when Lawler threw fire after a good brawl.
TV on 4/30 was the weakest in several months with the only key angles being during an Eddie Gilbert & Brian Christopher vs. Rottens match, Doug Gilbert & The Eliminators attacked Eddie & Brian for the DQ.
Ronnie Lottz was doing an interview for a loser has to wear a diaper match against Bert Prentice, when Prentice came out with The Spiders and pulled Lottz' pants down (insert your own joke here). Prentice told the fans he wanted to get Lottz ready for the upcoming diaper match, which he ended up winning.
Lance Russell's return to television will be on the 5/7 show and is scheduled to do three of the four TV shows in May.
SMW
Jake Roberts won the SMW title from Dirty White Boy to highlight the TV taping on 5/2 in Harriman, TN. The first show saw White Boy in the ring when Roberts showed up. Roberts said he didn't want to wrestle White Boy because he was physically handicapped (White Boy is still wearing a patch on his eye courtesy of an angle with Kendo the Samurai). Roberts told White Boy he'd allow him to hold the title for a few more weeks. White Boy then demanded the match right there while Bob Armstrong told him that Roberts was playing mind games with him and he shouldn't let him get to him. They kept telling fans that White Boy's eyes were sensitive to bright lighting. During the match, as White Boy fell outside the ring, Kendo (Tim Horner) ripped his eye patch off. Bob Armstrong, Tracy Smothers and Bobby Blaze chased Kendo away. White Boy made a comeback. At this point Roberts got out of the ring and took a camera away from a photographer (K.C. O'Connor) after kicking him, then flashed the flash in White Boy's eyes. As White Boy "sold" the blinding, Roberts hit the DDT for the pin.
After a videotape aired of Brian Lee & Chris Candido winning the tag titles, Ricky Morton vowed he'd give Candido a piledriver. Lee, Candido and Tammy Fytch then bragged about winning the belts and Tammy thanked Candido. When Lee asked her why she didn't thank him, Tammy told Lee, "That's your job."
Bob Armstrong did an interview and said the next piledriver in SMW is a $2,500 fine.
For the second hour, they highlighted with Morton vs. Candido with Robert Gibson and Lee each handcuffed to a different ring post. Both kept trying piledrivers and never getting it. Finally Morton had Candido up when Fytch got a key and unlocked Lee, who interfered for a DQ. When they doubled on Morton and were ready to stuff piledrive him, ref Mark Curtis unlocked Gibson in time to make the save.
After the match, both teams demanded non-sanctioned matches where the only way to win was with a piledriver, with the belts at stake. Armstrong approved this.
The idea of belts being at stake in a non-sanctioned match sounds like an idea WCW would come up with and force poor Nick Bockwinkel to try and make sense out of.
Jim Cornette & Bruiser Bedlam did an interview saying basically that Smothers' father was a drunk and mother was had a revolving door in her bedroom. Candido attacked Cornette, but Bedlam hit him with Brass Knux and threw him over the announcers desk. Smothers came up bloody and was pounded on while Bedlam also beat up four jobbers before Armstrong and Blaze stopped it. Smothers then demanded a Coal Miners glove match with Bedlam.
Roberts did an interview where he said he was refusing to wear the SMW title belt.
The third show of this set will be taped on 5/20 at the Volunteer Slam in Knoxville.
The fourth show saw them start pushing the 8/5 Knoxville show with a Night of the Legends update. After Bruiser Bedlam completed all five weeks as TV champ, the TV belt went to Kendo as he pinned Chris Hamrick. In a tag title match, Lee & Candido beat Blaze & Mike Furnas. The two gave Blaze a piledriver, which resulted in a fine, and when they went to do it to Furnas, Rock & Roll made the save.
During the final show they announced the SummerBlast tour from 7/1 to 7/9 which will be headlined by the Coal Miners matches with Smothers vs. Bedlam and the piledriver matches for the tag title. Probably Jake vs. White Boy in some cities, and in the cities Jake doesn't appear, it'll be White Boy vs. Kendo.
Morton said he'd be giving Tammy something she's been giving everyone else, and when Tammy asked what it was, Gibson poured a bucket of dirt on her, which they sold as if it was a bucket of shit with everyone acting like it smelled horrible. The only problem is, the dirt was dry so it looked like dirt.
Bob, Scott & Steve Armstrong did an interview with Scott & Steve being set up for tag matches against Dory & Terry Funk.
Final match was White Boy getting a TV title shot at Kendo. Jake came to ringside but tripped Kendo on purpose. When Kendo came out to argue, Jake gave him something and he blew the Muta mist at White Boy, but missed. White Boy hit the Bucksnort blaster (choke slam) but the ref was distracted by Jake and couldn't count the pin. Kendo then hit a knee from behind on White Boy, who fell out of the ring, and Jake KO'd White Boy with the SMW belt and he lost via COR.
5/22 in Marietta, GA is Randy Savage & White Boy vs. Roberts & Bedlam, Lee & Candido defend against Rock & Roll, Dory Funk vs. Smothers, New Jack & Sheik Mustafa vs. Scott & Steve Armstrong, Well Dunn vs. Thrillseekers (Chris Jericho returns from Mexico 5/14) and more.
HERE AND THERE
Yet still more on Tonya Harding. A TV movie about Harding aired, no doubt to huge ratings on 4/30 (I missed it because I was watching 64-year-old Ann Calvello in a Roller Derby game) where her wrestling offer was brought up. On the 5/2 "Inside Edition," Harding did an interview and talked about the All Japan women's wrestling deal as something that is still being negotiated.
Peach State Wrestling on 5/30 in Cordele, GA has two cage matches with Bambi vs. Peggy Lee Leather and Bob Armstrong & Ray Lloyd & R.D. Swain vs. Scott & Steve Armstrong (who are heels for this group facing their father for the first time) & manager Mad Jack. Working the undercard will be Tom Zenk, Too Cold Scorpio, Dick Slater and Greg Valentine.
Sgt. Slaughter and Iron Sheik headlined a National Wrestling league show on 4/29 in Boonsboro, MD.
When Ch. 14 in Atlanta pulled both USWA and WCW World Wide because the wrestling block has been cut to three hours (now airing North Georgia, SMW and WWF), supposedly there have been dozens of calls about USWA and not one complaint about World Wide being dropped.
Midwest Territorial Wrestling has a one-night tournament to crown a singles champ on 5/27 in Taylor, MI with Sabu, Bruiser Bedlam, Al Snow and more, plus a tag title match with Chris Carter & Mohammad Saad vs. Rock & Roll Express. They also have shows 6/10 in Jackson, MI and 6/11 in Port Huron, MI with Bastion Booger vs. Doink the Clown.
ACW on 5/29 in Lancaster, PA has Johnny Gunn vs. Rick Martel on top.
WWA on 5/14 in Williamstown, NJ (same night as Tod Gordon's show in Philadelphia) has Doink vs. Dick Murdoch on top and 5/7 in Clementon, NJ has Abdullah the Butcher and King Kong Bundy appearing.
Mid American Wrestling on 5/21 in West Allis, WI has a barbed wire match with Wave Riders vs. Love Brothers on top.
A wrestler wearing The Assassin mask on 4/30 in Murphy, NC took a terrible bump as he was on the top rope when the rope broke, and he lost his balance falling backward and hit headfirst on the concrete. He suffered head, neck and possibly ankle injuries from the dangerous fall.
Glen Jacobs and Bruise Brothers are working WWC in Puerto Rico.
Scott D'Amore vs. Chris Pillon headlines 5/14 in La Salle, ONT.
WWF
The Head Shrinkers won the WWF tag titles from the Quebecers on 4/26 in Burlington, VT. Lou Albano and Afa both managed the Head Shrinkers, in their first match in the babyface role. The storyline revolved around Quebecers miscuing and hitting one another. Finally after Pierre hit Jacques, Fatu pinned Jacques after a leap off the top rope. Johnny Polo and Pierre walked out leaving Jacques after the match, so it appears Pierre will be going as a single. As is new WWF policy, Shrinkers were billed as champs from the following night and retained vs. Quebecers at the B shows all week. Don't know Jacques' departure date, but rumor has it he's planning on opening a gym in Montreal.
"A Current Affair" did another wrestling story on 4/28, stretching a two sentence letter by the government to Titan's attorneys into a six minute story which spread the Hogan has AIDS rumor nationwide. Do you realize what an epidemic that disease would really be if it spread as fast as rumors about it have? McMahon came off more as the heavy than anyone in the piece, but that isn't the first or last time
that is going to happen. David Shults was interviewed and talked about wrestlers sharing steroid needles, but said he never saw Hogan share a steroid needle with anyone else. Shults also said he didn't believe the claim from Hogan's camp that Hogan knew nothing about someone taking an HIV test for him saying that Hogan knew everything that was going on. The fact Shults talked so freely on camera would indicate Titan dropped the suit against him as well. It had been rumored more than a month ago in the New York media that Titan would drop the Geraldo, Shults and Rita Chatterton suits after dropping the Phil Mushnick suit, but there had been no follow-ups on that. They didn't explain how this has anything to do with a steroid case.
Luna Vachon worked all three nights of television, but was again absent and replaced by Leilani Kai at house shows this weekend. Don't know the story behind it although current WWF suspension policy allows characters to work TV nights so storylines don't have to be changed, although we have heard nothing to indicate Luna is suspended.
Chief Jay Strongbow was in the corner of Tatanka for a squash match at the Raw taping on 4/26. In the show that aired 5/2, after Yokozuna squashed a jobber, he was challenged by Earthquake.
A King's Court with Diesel saw them say Shawn Michaels is out with an injury to explain why he wasn't there (no Heartbreak Hotels were taped at the three tapings so either Michaels won't be doing TV and it is an excuse for him to take a break, or, since they tried to play it off as a minor injury, it was simply a way to explain why he wasn't there because of the trial in Florida). Diesel also challenged Bret Hart for the title.
On the show that airs 5/9, in the King of Ring qualifier, Razor Ramon pinned Kwang in a poor match, where Razor suffered a bloody nose. In the King's Court, Lawler interviewed Jim Cornette who showed photos of Earthquake when he was a sumo wrestler and challenged him to a sumo match "next week" claiming Yokozuna was a sumo grand champion.
Lex Luger now poses ala Hulk Hogan after winning his matches.
Bam Bam Bigelow beat Sparky Plugg in a Raw match.
On 5/16 Raw, Ted DiBiase & Nikolai Volkoff are interviewed by Lawler. Volkoff comes out in a ring outfit which cents signs instead of dollar signs all over it and reads, "Property of MDM (Million Dollar Man)." Quake beat Yokozuna in a no rope sumo match by knocking him out of the ring in a poor match. Lawler did a taped King's Court with Bret Hart for Coliseum video ending with Hart punching Lawler after Lawler made fun of his family except Owen. A scheduled Ramon-Diesel title match didn't take place because it was announced Ramon broke his nose, although that wasn't the case.
Howard Finkel did the ring announcing at the Raw show as usual.
At the Superstars taping on 4/27 in Albany, Earthquake beat Yokozuna via DQ when Yokozuna hit him with the salt bucket. In a qualifying match for King of the Ring, 1-2-3 Kid beat Adam Bomb when Kwang shot the Muta mist at Kid, who ducked and it hit Bomb, who was then pinned. This set up Bomb's face turn and
break-up with Harvey Wippleman. In another qualifying match, Jeff Jarrett beat Luger via COR when Luger chased Crush, who interfered, from the ring area.
The Bomb-Kwang match ends with Wippleman talking to Kwang and they simply leave the ring together.
At the Challenge taping, which because the show now airs in so few markets, little takes place, Earthquake beat Bigelow in a dark match, Sparky Plugg & Kid beat Bomb & Kwang when the heels kept hitting one another and Kwang ended up being pinned. Wippleman and Kwang blamed Bomb for causing the loss and Bomb stormed out as they were arguing with him. The Bret & Luger vs. Yokozuna & Owen dark main event turned into a Bret vs. Yoko single match when Cornette did an interview for the house fans saying Bret was scared to give Yoko a title shot. Owen interfered and accidentally hit Yoko with the salt bucket for the pin. The Ramon-Diesel match again didn't take place. After a Diesel interview had ended and cameras were shut off, Ramon came out and got the belt and KO'd Diesel with it and they explained Diesel couldn't defend the title on the show because of the vicious beating he had taken.
Duke Droese got no reaction to his squash matches.
Wrestlemania revenge tour drew 4,500 in Providence, RI on 4/29 and about 7,500 in Boston on 4/30. The Japanese tour starts 5/7 in Yokohama. Advance in Yokohama is fine, but the other three cities weren't doing well.
4/25 Raw did a 3.2 rating, while All-American that weekend did a 1.5 and Mania a 1.1.
Heavenly Bodies now have wings on their jackets. It was a compromise since they were asked to have both wings on their jackets and halos above their head.
Ludvig Borga apparently won't be returning.
Curt Hennig told Wrestling Flyer the reason he didn't do the WWF run is because he had a set price to come back and McMahon didn't match the price since McMahon doesn't guarantee money, only paying based on the houses and position on the show. Hennig, who is in a much better personal financial state that most wrestlers, hence he doesn't need to wrestle, said he'd never agreed to return except for that price and would be glad to return if the price was met. Hennig is widely rumored to be WCW bound and it is well-known Ric Flair wants him, but he is under contract to Titan until November so don't expect it to happen until that time.
WCW
Barry Windham is already gone, and at press time no replacement for the Flair title defense at Slamboree has been decided upon. Nothing was re-taped on 5/2 at Center Stage to replace the Windham angle at the last taping that was scheduled to run the day before the card. According to WCW officials, Windham had told the company he had a doctor's release to return to wrestling, but never came up with the release and the company didn't want to put themselves in a horrible legal position should he return and get hurt. Don't know what will be done regarding house shows this weekend which Windham was scheduled to headline, or about the TV angle where Windham under a hood leaves Flair laying.
Larry Zbyszko apparently won the TV title from Steve Regal at Center Stage in Atlanta on 5/2 in a match scheduled for airing after Slamboree.
King Haku is in as Rob Parker's bodyguard, Ming.
Next Clash is 6/23 in Charleston, SC. Only match official is a U.S. title rematch with Steve Austin vs. Johnny B. Badd stemming from Slamboree.
Current plan is to run 6/7 to 6/15 in South Korea.
Some WCW officials insist the real crowd and gate for Spring Stampede in Chicago was just over 7,000 paid and $107,000, while others claim 9,000 paid and $128,000.
WCW Saturday Night on 4/23 did a 2.2 rating, Main Event that weekend did a 1.9 and Pro a 1.3. Considering it was the week after a PPV, and a great PPV at that with the PPV ending with a tease to find out the finish of the main event on Saturday, the numbers all have to be disappointing. You can't run a tease in front of 120,000 hardcores, most of whom religiously watch Saturday anyway, and expect it to make much of a difference in the Saturday ratings where 120,000 homes equals .2 differential. The rating for 5/14 with Flair vs. Steamboat is going to be very significant.
On TV this weekend, they aired the angle to build that up. Nick Bockwinkel told Flair the board was in the process of deciding whether or not to hold up the title and Flair simply gave the title to Bockwinkel. Steamboat said Flair was only giving up the title because he knew he couldn't beat him, so Flair challenged Steamboat to a match as soon as possible and later in the show it was announced for "two weeks from now." The angle was illogical and rushed. It's almost like whomever is in charge of what Bockwinkel has to explain has a grudge against him and makes sure everything he has to say makes absolutely no sense.
They gave national publicity for a house show this coming weekend in the Bahamas because of problems promoting the show locally.
They also did the Boss angle, calling him Ray Traylor, with two Guardian Angels asking him to join their ranks. He debuts as The Guardian Angel at the house shows this weekend.
The first show in Charlotte on 4/28 since Starrcade, headlined by a Flair-Vader rematch which went 8:00 with Flair winning via DQ when Harley Race interfered, drew 1,900 fans and $17,000. For reasons of which I have no idea, they've got Charlotte and Columbia, SC booked every month for house shows but run almost nowhere else regularly.
At the 5/2 taping (moved from 5/3 at almost the last minute because nobody had remembered to reserve a production truck and with Bill Clinton at CNN and the Hawks and Braves having games all on 5/3 it was too late to get one from outside), they taped for 5/28 and 6/4. Largely uneventful except for the TV title switch. On 5/28, Marcus Bagwell beat Shanghai Pierce in a real good match. Ming was at ringside for a Steve Austin squash. Ric Flair did an interview talking about his big win at Slamboree (without mentioning the name of who it was) and again challenged Hogan and Zbyszko pinned Regal in 22:00 after dropkicking Sir William
off the apron and then falling backward on Regal for the pin. Zbyszko did two post-match interviews, one with the sound off (which means it'll be the one that airs) and another talking about just winning the title. Little happened at the second show except Austin beating Bagwell and Okerlund interviewed Austin who talked about his 6/23 Clash match against Badd.
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Re: Wrestling Observer 1994

May 16 1994 Observer Newsletter: Onita becomes one of history's great drawing cards, Titan Sports pre-trial hearing, Hogan to WCW done deal, tons more
Wrestling Observer Newsletter
PO Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228 May 16, 1994
Atsushi Onita added another line to his resume applying for the position as one of the biggest drawing cards in pro wrestling history on 5/5.
After vowing to retire if he lost, thereby putting the result of his main event match with Genichiro Tenryu in question, Onita's Frontier Martial Arts-Wrestling (FMW) promotion drew a legitimate standing room crowd of 52,000 with thousands more turned away at the gate, and more than $2 million at the Kawasaki Baseball Stadium in a show to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the promotion. The show broke the promotion's all-time attendance record of 41,000 set one year earlier to the day in the same venue for Onita's match with Terry Funk. It was the 14th show in pro wrestling history to top the $2 million mark in live gate receipts.
The retirement vow, made on several different occasions was probably the key in putting the first singles "dream match" between Onita and Tenryu over the top with casual fans. Most of the hardcore fans realized that Tenryu was going to win, even though it was Onita's specialty gimmick match. It was simply returning the favor for Tenryu putting Onita over clean in a tag team match on a WAR show on 3/2 at Tokyo Sumo Hall. Then, of course, Onita would come up with some sort of a gimmick to enable him to return. Casual fans, having never seen that angle, popped for it because while they would have "expected" Tenryu to win to even the score, Onita throwing the retirement line changed the equation since they didn't think Onita would break a vow. If he had broken the vow, while Onita would have put millions in his pocket book in one night, it could have put his future in danger in a country that places such a high premium on its native athletes keeping their word.
Officially, after the requisite explosions and juice from both men, Tenryu won in 23:55, finally scoring a pin after five attempts at pins with power bombs in a match described as slightly better than average. The result evened the score from Onita pinning Tenryu with a power bomb in their tag meeting when Onita teamed with Tarzan Goto against Tenryu and Ashura Hara.
It was the fifth show that Tenryu had been in the main event of that drew in excess of 50,000 fans. This ties him with only Hulk Hogan as having been in the main event of that many shows that have drawn more than 50,000 fans. Tenryu's other four were singles matches against Antonio Inoki (Tokyo Dome '94) and Riki Choshu (Tokyo Dome '93) and tag matches with Choshu against Inoki and Tatsumi Fujinami (Fukuoka Dome '93) and with Tiger Mask (Mitsuharu Misawa) against Choshu and George Takano (Tokyo Dome '90). That statistic is amazing only because most of the greatest drawing cards in the history of wrestling (Buddy Rogers, Gorgeous George, Jim Londos, Strangler Lewis, Dusty Rhodes, Bruiser Brody, Ray Stevens, Freddie Blassie, Giant Baba, Dick the Bruiser, Verne Gagne, The Crusher, Nobuhiko Takada and Bruno Sammartino) don't have even one crowd of 50,000 to their credit
and a few hardly legendary names who do (Willie Wilhelm and Shota Chochyashivili, who headlined Tokyo Dome shows against Akira Maeda and Inoki respectively). Besides Tenryu and Hogan, only Choshu (four), Inoki (four), Fujinami (three), Lou Thesz (two) and Ultimate Warrior (two) have more than one to their credit. But those figures say something that isn't the truth. Tenryu is a famous wrestler and in an interpromotional "dream match" situation has a great track record, but on his own he is not the kind of a draw that a Hogan or an Inoki or a Choshu or many others were or is.
After the match, Onita's future as a wrestler became the main topic. At the building when the match was over, an announcement was made to try and soften the blow, saying Onita, 36, had only said he would consider retirement upon losing, which actually would be nothing new since Onita has talked of retirement in house show interviews for the past 16 months citing all the punishment he's taken in the ring since debuting as a wrestler at the age of 15. Onita actually first retired back in 1984, when he was an All Japan mid-card junior heavyweight, due to a serious knee injury, only to resurrect his career in his own blood'n'guts promotion less than five years later. But behind the scenes came the "secret" story, that Onita's latest goal is to run for the Japanese Senate ala Antonio Inoki. While Onita's plan is that he would stick around for one year to fulfill "dream matches" such as a proposed upcoming match with Inoki, this would enable him to make the transition from pro wrestling but maintain his cult celebrity status. The rumor of Onita running for the senate picked up so much steam in the days after the match that at a press conference on 5/9 in Tokyo, Onita denied it and announced he would be retiring in one year with his final match on May 5, 1995 at Kawasaki Baseball Stadium, copying Inoki's extended retirement theme. Nevertheless, Onita's statements did nothing to quell the speculation that he would follow in Inoki's political footsteps.
The idea that Inoki, who always had a controversial business past but somehow maintained enough respect and popularity as a national sports hero, largely among the kids who grew up in Japan with him in prime time every Saturday night beating any and all comers as their favorite television sports star, could squeak into political office is one thing, which probably is embarrassing in some circles. However, the way Inoki handled himself and what came out once he got there only led to more controversy.
But the idea of Onita, who is a mainstream celebrity but of a far more bizarre fashion, not an athletic hero at all but a guy who sliced and diced his way into millions running "garbage" wrestling shows to an audience that would be labeled as far more lowbrow, going into politics is even more bizarre, but no more so than Onita being a national spokesperson for AIDS awareness.
If Onita's political goals don't transpire and he sticks around as a full-time wrestler for more than one year, this has a good chance of affecting his popularity. In Japan, statements of this type are meant to be honored. For example, in 1983, when Terry Funk retired, at the time he was the most popular foreign wrestler in the country. After he returned about a year-and-a-half later, his popularity was never the same. He remained a wrestler with name value and was popular, and always will be in that country, but no matter how hard he worked in late 1984 when
he returned, the crowds still held back and his popularity never got near the old levels because of the belief fans had that Funk broke his word.
As often happens in wrestling, that may be a lesson that should have been learned by Onita, who copied much of his act from Funk, from the overall intensity of his performance, to the juicing of various body parts to the crying interviews after grueling matches. On one hand it may be worse for Onita because the Japanese fans traditionally have a lot less patience when a Japanese wrestler dishonors his word or his sport than a foreigner, who is almost allowed and expected to (what hurt Funk was by 1983, he was pretty much accepted as being an honorary Japanese). The one advantage Onita may have in all this is that his audience may be more forgiving and forgetting.
The FMW anniversary show was the first of three major shows inn a three-day period in the Tokyo metro area as part of "Golden Week." The first week of May is a period where virtually all businesses shut down and workers are encouraged to go on vacation with their families. This has become a traditional week to run major shows, particularly New Japan and FMW. Of course New Japan opened Golden Week on Sunday in Fukuoka, a city some ten hours from Tokyo, drawing an announced 53,500 fans (a figure that may be somewhat but not heavily inflated). After the FMW show, UWFI ran the quarterfinals of its Best of the World '94 tournament the next night in Budokan Hall, drawing a legitimate sellout 16,500. The night after, the WWF invaded the Yokohama Arena for the first of a four-show Japan-Mania tour, drawing an estimated 4,000 (announced as 8,056) fans, or about a one-quarter house and the smallest crowd for pro wrestling ever in the building, headlined by Bret Hart retaining his WWF title beating Randy Savage in 17:38 with a sharpshooter submission.
Complete results of the show, which was largely described as a good card: 1. Tetsuhiro Kuroda pinned Gosaku Goshogawara in 9:28; 2. Battle Ranger & Koji Nakagawa & Masato Tanaka of FMW pinned the Michinoku Pro trio of Great Sasuke & Hanzo Nakajima & Shiryu in 18:49 of a Lucha style match when Ranger pinned Nakajima; 3. Another mixed promotion match was Combat Toyoda & Crusher Maedomari & Shark Tsuchiya over FMW win over the LLPW trio of Eagle Sawai & Noriyo Tateno & Mitsuki Endo in 14:44 when Maedomari pinned Endo; 4. Sambo Asako & Mr. Gannosuke beat Goro Tsurumi & Hideki Hosaka in 12:24 when Gannosuke pinned Hosaka; 5. In a martial arts match, resident FMW retired kick boxer and "enforcer" Katsuji Ueda knocked out wrestler Katsutoshi Niiyama in 1:43 of round three; 6. Sabu, working with two broken hands and a possible torn tendon in one of them, naturally didn't miss the show, teaming with Damian to beat Dr. Luther & Michinoku Pro's Yone Genjin in 15:14 when Damian pinned Genjin. Damian is over as a comedy figure since he screams out the name of famous wrestlers like Tenryu or Choshu and then does their signature moves and everyone laughs; 7. Megumi Kudo retained her WWA and World Independent womens title beating All Japan's Yumiko Hotta in an interpromotional match in 16:48 which is one of those travesty of justice results that shows All Japan is willing to play the game and have their women put over inferior women in order to maintain the cooperation with other offices that enables them to draw their own big houses; 8. Big Titan & The Gladiator & Ricky Fuji, known in FMW as Team Canada (even though only Titan is actually Canadian), beat the WAR trio of Gedo & Jado &
Hiromichi Fuyuki in 15:06 when Gladiator pinned Gedo. During the match Titan & Gladiator accidentally hit one another with clotheslines to start what appears to be a break-up. After the match Gladiator walked out on Titan and Fuji with Fuji grabbing the house mic asking why and Titan saying he didn't know; 9. In an match that could only been won via knockout, Terry Funk defeated The Sheik in 5:59. This was said to have been a good match which is double amazing, since Sheik rarely went 6:00 even in his prime, and now he's pushing 70 and can barely move. Sheik threw fire and burned Funk's leg after Sabu had poured lighter fluid all over his leg. It looked really dangerous and Funk juiced heavily. The crowd chanted for both men since Sheik is over as a character babyface. Funk made the comeback and won when Sheik went to throw fire again, Terry kicked his hand and the fire got all over Sheik, and he couldn't answer the bell; 10. Mr. Pogo & Hisakatsu Oya retained the World Brass Knux tag team title in a street fight beating Tarzan Goto & Mitsuhiro Matsunaga in 16:38 when Oya pinned Matsunaga after a back suplex after Pogo blew the fire on Matsunaga once again; 11. Tenryu pinned Onita.
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As of press time, U.S. District court judge Jacob Mishner hadn't made any ruling regarding the pre-trial hearing on 4/29 regarding the five steroid counts facing Vince McMahon and Titan Sports. A series of written rulings are expected this week, although courtroom observers at the hearing think it's a major longshot the case will be dismissed as was proposed by the Titan defense team.
Pending another delay or a plea bargain, the trial, which is expected to last approximately five weeks and will include many of the biggest names in the industry as witnesses, is set for 7/5.
However, more negative news regarding Titan Sports was uncovered at the hearing when Sean O'Shea, who is heading the prosecution team, went on the record saying there is another Grand Jury investigation on Titan Sports investigating other matters. What matters that might be is only open to speculation. This information was released when the Titan defense team requested a complete transcription of the testimony of Emily Fineburg, McMahon's former secretary who is believed to be the key witness in the case. O'Shea spoke against the request, which is one of many things the judge will rule on, claiming some of her testimony relates to matters other than steroids in which is there currently an investigation in front of a Grand Jury regarding.
The two-and-a-half hour hearing was highlighted by arguments relating to other matters. The biggest skirmish related to formerly sealed documents by the court that were unsealed and placed in the public file on the case which led to the New York Daily News, "A Current Affair," and this publication getting information about allegations that McMahon had ordered Howard Finkel to take an HIV blood test under the name Terry Bollea for a governmental regulatory agency, believed to be the Oregon commission. It is widely speculated, but not confirmed that the government will use that information as an attempt to convince the jury that if the company attempted to defraud government testing, that it would be capable of similar acts when it comes to its own testing by company patterned behavior, although the memo released does indicate this information will be introduced in the steroid case. Another skirmish occurred when Titan lawyer Laura Brevetti asked for
psychiatric reports on Fineburg, which led to O'Shea countering by saying it was an outrage and an attempt at character assassination.
Two other items brought up pertained to additions to the original indictment: "On or about December 1, 1989, a Titan executive known to the Grand Jury sent a memorandum to another Titan executive known to the Grand Jury discussing the fact that (Dr. George) Zahorian was under investigation and instructing the executive to ensure that Zahorian did not attend an upcoming Titan exhibition and to warn Zahorian of the existence of the investigation," and "In or about December 1989, (Vince) McMahon and a Titan executive known to the Grand Jury discussed informing Zahorian that he was under investigation by law enforcement authorities" and "In or about December 1989, a Titan executive known to the Grand Jury had a telephone conversation with Zahorian and directed him to destroy any records of Zahorian's contact with WWF or WWF wrestling personnel."
In addition, "In or about February 1991, McMahon had a conversation with an attorney about ownership of steroids found in a hotel room and turned over to law enforcement authorities in Maryland."
A vial was confiscated by law enforcement authorities, which was turned over to the FBI for chemical testing of its contents, and the contents of the vial will be introduced as evidence in the trial.
Two of the things Mishner will rule on that the government is asking for is the complete contents of the aforementioned memorandum which was from Linda McMahon to Pat Patterson. The government currently has a portion of the memorandum, however a portion of their copy was erased with Titan lawyers claiming that it is protected under attorney-client privilege, apparently arguing that Linda McMahon, who has a legal background was acting in a lawyer role rather than a supervisorial role in the erased portion of the memorandum. It is already known from testimony in the Zahorian trial that when the government raided Zahorian's office, that no medical records of WWF personnel were found because Zahorian was warned about the raid by Patterson and told to get rid of the records. In addition, Titan is also asking to keep confidential the contents of the conversation between Vince McMahon and the attorney which are believed to be regarding steroids found in a hotel room in Maryland on attorney-client privilege, which the government is contesting.
Among the television media sources known to be working on this story are ESPN (apparently focusing on the trial and steroids in the WWF for a lengthy piece on a late June SportsCenter), American Journal (focusing more on the Charles Austin case, including interviews with the jurors in that case) and CBS' "Eye to Eye" show, which is planning a story to run after the trial and hoping for an interview with McMahon, who at this point isn't talking.
In 1991 and 1992, the wrestling industry took a tremendous hit from bad publicity. The last hit included a 40 percent drop in WWF arena attendance (and a huge drop across the board among other U.S. promotions which were also affected), all-time record low television ratings throughout the industry and huge declines in sales of wrestling-related products, much of which the industry has yet to fully recover from. Some believe that because those who remained attending matches weren't
fazed by negative publicity that somehow the bad publicity didn't affect the business, but any study of the business shows that to be ridiculous. It has been more than two years since the real wave of bad publicity hit and many schools that used to sponsor wrestling events as fund-raisers still won't consider housing such events; Many anti-drug organizations that used to use wrestling as a fund raiser still steer clear of it; demand for wrestlers for endorsements lowered; visibility of wrestling merchandise at toy stores is way down compared to three years ago, etc.
If you don't think the WWF is concerned about this, check out all the references to charity work on television the past few weeks and in upcoming weeks. I also would expect the WWF to pull a WWC in the pre-Jose Gonzales murder trial and use its television even stronger before the trial to subliminally get across the message that Vince McMahon is a nice guy, instances like McMahon being grouped in with an innocent young child and Tatanka in IRS' lists of tax cheats. The organization is desperate to avoid a repeat of 1992. In one case, the Roddy Piper angle where he will "donate his winnings" from the Jerry Lawler match to a Children's hospital in Toronto, they are even tying it into the storyline. Pro wrestling will survive this trial, no matter what the results are. The WWF will survive this specific case and the Chuck Austin verdict if that's where it all ends, but not necessarily survive at this level if there is a conviction. With the prospective of an onslaught of lawsuits being brought based on two heavily-publicized losses and with more potential legal problems and the prospective of greatly increased insurance rates, it is hardly a given the WWF will survive in its current form or with its current management team.
As for the Austin verdict, as of press time there have been no changes in the award. Titan spokesman Curt Block said that whatever award is settled upon if the decision isn't overturned by appeal will be handled by the insurance company. Other sources have pegged Titan's liability insurance at between $5 and $10 million. Realistically the amount Austin will get probably won't exceed $10 million and paying the money can be stalled for more than a year through appeals, so the case isn't going to bankrupt Titan Sports. The real danger is during much of the month of July, there may be a heavily publicized drug trial that is sure to be covered heavily in the New York media, and on days when people like Hulk Hogan, Vince McMahon, Rick Rude, Bobby Heenan and others who are expected to be called, end up testifying, by the national media. Because that is the same time television executives are putting together their new fall schedules, this trial couldn't come at a worse time. Over the past few years, the WWF has dropped from almost 300 to 172 affiliates which is the backbone of their live event promotion. In any market where ratings are shaky, and syndicated Superstars ratings are said to be on the downslide and Challenge has almost turned into a throw-away, this is not going to work in anyone's favor when it comes to renewal. But if there is an acquittal, the damage will be far less.
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The on-again off-again status of Barry Windham at press time is off-again. Windham missed his scheduled main event matches against The Guardian Angel (as billed in newspaper ads and as "The Man Who Represents Law & Order" at the shows) on the WCW weekend house shows in Florida and the Bahamas and was
replaced by Paul Orndorff. It is believed Windham was pulled from the shows because he hasn't given the organization medical clearance to return after major knee surgery. Windham was scheduled as the secret opponent for Ric Flair at the 5/22 Slamboree PPV show in Philadelphia. Although there was talk mid-week that Windham's appearance at Slamboree, which would at least make the storylines make sense and because a pre-taped angle of a masked Windham leaving Flair laying is scheduled for the 5/21 WCW Saturday night show, several sources within the company have confirmed that Windham isn't expected on the show. There was no speculation on who could be the replacement since there is a shortage of 6-7, 300 pound former world champions with blond hair, and because absolutely no consideration has been given to bringing back Sid Eudy and because they aren't going to waste Hulk Hogan's first match on a scenario that hasn't been well promoted. The leading candidate appears to be Terry Funk, who would be pulled from the legends match.
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As for Hogan, it is pretty much a done deal. Titan Sports informed WCW last week that they wouldn't be matching Hogan's offer, although at this point nobody expected anything different. Scenarios we hear are sketchy, but it is believed Hogan will make a "surprise" appearance at the 6/23 Clash in Charleston, SC to lead to his 7/17 PPV appearance, which could be right in the middle of the trial. The location of the Bash PPV is not confirmed but it will be in Florida and the Orlando Arena seems to be the most likely place. There has been a lot of scenario talk which seems to indicate it may be a tag match rather than Hogan-Flair at the Bash. Since WCW is taping at DisneyWorld this week, it would make sense for Hogan to appear for interviews at the taping since the company is going to be built around him from the point he shows up, which it has to be in order to justify both his price and all the effort it took to get him. Word we get is that Hogan's house show appearances in the United States will be far fewer then initially anticipated, limited to "very few" from the 40-50 dates talked about earlier in the year. There is tremendous skepticism among many of the top wrestlers in the company to this deal because of the huge amount of money Hogan will be making, the guarantee he'll be on top and almost surely with the main title, yet only working limited dates, that everything will be focused on him and he won't be at the house shows, especially since this is a short-term deal. The odds are great against it ever being a long-term deal because of Hogan's non-wrestling commitments. There is a widespread belief within the industry that Hogan and Flair's attempt to relive what they never got to do the right away is simply too late for both of them to do the business expected. The real upside to Hogan is if him being with the company will result in a major perception increase that results in acquiring more television stations and getting casual fans to sample and stay with the product. Hogan may not be worth the money on a simple dollars and cents basis based on added gates for the few shows he's going to work, even with the contract heavily based on revenue percentages rather than huge guaranteed money. The real possibility for it to pay off is going to be if him being with WCW jump-starts the entire company to a new level, something nobody else who has left WWF for WCW has been able to do. My own belief is the first show with Hogan will do good business with the right build-up, but it's going to be very difficult for it to be worth what they are surely paying Hogan for the subsequent
appearances unless he really does take them to a new level. With all the added expense, this could be WCW's biggest money losing year ever.
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The AAA/IWC shows reported last week for 6/4 in Chicago and 6/5 in New York have already been postponed. AAA asked to move the dates back a few weeks, apparently because they are planning on running some hot angles at TripleMania II-C on 5/29. Whatever drawing power the group has in Chicago and New York for a first show isn't going to be helped no matter what angles are being shot, so it's hard to make sense out of that decision. We don't have new dates although this is the second postponement in these cities. The word we get is to expect the shows to take place in July, although that depends on building availability.
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RESULTS
4/19 Zacatecas (AAA - 5,500 sellout): Gallego & Angel Mortal & Mr. Condor b Zafiro & Diamante & Brillante ***1/4, Pimpinela Escarlata & My Flowers & Rudy Reyna b Tony Arce & Vulcano & Rocco Valente *1/4, Los Payasos b Lizmark Jr. & Fantasma & Mascara Sagrada 21:07 **1/2, Love Machine & Chicano Power & Black Cat b El Hijo del Santo & Octagon & Perro Aguayo-DQ 26:14 ***1/2
4/27 Hollywood, FL (Ind - 300): J.R. James b Wild Thing, Cliff Anderson b Barry Houston, Uvalde Slim b Blaze Bigelow-DQ, Rusty Brooks b J.S. Spider, Steve Collins & Red Roberts b Phi Delta Slam, Vampire Warrior (Dave Heath) b Johnny Gunn, Gunn won Battle Royal
4/29 Kings Mountain, NC (Pro Wrestling Federation - 35): Russian Assassin (Scott Powers) b Keith Davis, Terry Thomas b Black Scorpion (Ray Hudson), Brian Lee (not SMW wrestler) b George South, Star Ryder (Hudson) & Flaming Youth (Krazy Kane) b Randy Sledge & Scotty Powers, Italian Stallion b Austin Steele (Danny Deese)-DQ
4/30 Veracruz (AAA - 8,000 sellout): Prelim results unavailable, Jerrito Estrada & Espectrito b Mascarita Sagrada & Octagoncito, Tony Arce & Vulcano & Rocco Valente b Solar & Super Muneco & Rey Misterio Jr., Love Machine & Eddy Guerrero & Black Cat b Konnan El Barbaro & Cien Caras & Mascara Sagrada, Mexican
middleweight title: Octagon b Blue Panther-DQ to win title (titles in Mexico can change hands via DQ)
4/30 Chester, SC (North American Wrestling Alliance - 25): Terry Slayer d Robert Jones, American G.I. b Bad Dog, David Isley b Scotty McKeever, Buddy Shane b Jimmy Valentine, Super Rocker won Battle Royal
4/30 Manhattan, NY (Ind - 75): Lou Diamond b Ken Sweeney, Infernal Kid & Gino Caruso b Spanish Fly & Jacknife Johnny, Tigre del Ring d Silver Lightning, Tony Rambo b Toxic Avenger-DQ, Primo Carnera III b Mongo Vale, Black Panther & El Bandito & Skipper b Big Joe & Al Bold Eagle, American Spirit b Ninja Force, Fire Hawk NC Jason Knight
4/30 Centre, AL (Bama Pro Wrestling): Frankie Lee & Big Bubba b Billy Montana & Joel Travis, Widowmaker b Brad Cameron, Johnny Blaze & Dakota Outlaw b Jimmy Hodge & Mike Golden, Todd Zane & War Daddy DDQ Jet Set, Mr. Vain b Richie Dye
5/2 Miyako (Michinoku Pro - 420): Rayo Negro b Masato Yakushiji, Naohiro Hoshikawa b Negro, Yone Genjin DCOR Wellington Wilkens Jr., Terry Boy & Taka Michinoku b Hanzo Nakajima & Shiryu, Kendo & Sato & Great Sasuke b Gran Naniwa & Super Delfin & Rams
5/2 Tampa (Florida Wrestling Alliance): Bill Payne & Butch Long b Manny Fernandez & Mike Haynor, Jim Magnum b The Mechanic, Navy Seal b Jeff James-DQ, Jeff Bradley b Haystacks Calhoun Jr., Randy Fuller & Kevin Scott NC Rick Thames & Sonny T
5/3 Albany, KY (SMW - 400): Well Dunn b Bobby Blaze & Anthony Michaels, Dirty White Boy b Kendo the Samurai, Bruiser Bedlam b Tracy Smothers, SMW tag title: Rock & Roll Express b Brian Lee & Chris Candido-DQ, Smothers won pole Battle Royal
5/3 Shibita (Michinoku Pro - 888): Wellington Wilkens Jr. b Naohiro Hoshikawa, Masato Yakushiji b Rayo Negro, Kendo & Shiryu b Yone Genjin & Rams, Taka Michinoku & Terry Boy b Yakushiji & Hoshikawa, Great Sasuke & Sato b Gran Naniwa & Super Delfin
5/3 Nakusp, BC (West Coast Championship Wrestling - 54): Trash Man b Silver Hawk, Timothy Flowers b Steve Stunning, Michelle Starr b Johnny Canuck, Canuck won Battle Royal
5/4 Toda (All Japan women - 2,340): Little Buddha Man b Tomezo Tsunokake, Etsuko Mita b Tomoko Watanabe, Japanese title tournament final: Kaoru Ito b Rie Tamada to become new champion, Bull Nakano & Toshiyo Yamada b Suzuka Minami & Yumiko Hotta, Aja Kong b Mima Shimoda, Manami Toyota & Sakie Hasegawa b Kyoko Inoue & Takako Inoue 22:48
5/4 Hagu (Michinoku Pro - 347): Shiryu b Masato Yakushiji, Taka Michinoku & Shiryu d Hanzo Nakajima & Naohiro Hoshikawa, Terry Boy & Kendo b Rams & Rayo Negro, Wellington Wilkens Jr. DCOR Yone Genjin, Great Sasuke & Sato b Gran Naniwa & Super Delfin
5/4 Castleguard, BC (West Coast Championship Wrestling - 85): Trash Man b Silver Hawk, Timothy Flowers b Steve Stunning, Michelle Starr b Johnny Canuck, Flowers won Battle Royal
5/5 Harlan, KY (SMW - 200): Well Dunn b Bobby Blaze & Anthony Michaels, Dirty White Boy b Kendo the Samurai, Bruiser Bedlam b Tracy Smothers, SMW tag
title, no DQ, no time limit:Brian Lee & Chris Candido b Rock & Roll Express, Smothers won pole Battle Royal
5/5 Sapporo (Dojogeki): Revenger b Tomita, Masuda b ?, Masayoshi Motegi b Hirofumi Miura, K.Y. Wakamatsu & Hiroshi Hatanaka b Kishin Kawabata & Miura, Shunji Takano & Kawabata b Uchu Power X I & II
5/5 Komagaya (JWP): Prelim results unavailable, Candy Okutsu b Boirshoi Kid, Cutie Suzuki & Hikari Fukuoka b Devil Masami & Hiroumi Yagi
5/5 Plant City, FL (Plant City Wrestling Federation): Jeff Bradley b Randy Fuller, Cody Wade b Red Devil-COR, Jerry Flynn b Cliff Anderson, Billy Mack NC Vern Henderson, Rick Thames & Sonny T & Ned Brady DCOR Odessa Slim & Lou Perez & Freight Train Freddy
5/5 New Denver, BC (West Coast Championship Wrestling - 75): Steve Stunning b Silver Hawk, Timothy Flowers b Trash Man, Michelle Starr b Johnny Canuck, Canuck won Battle Royal
5/5 Fall Branch, TN (Southern States Wrestling): John Manson b Eddie Bruiser, Beau James b David Lynch, Eddie Golden b Alabama Hearthrob, Danny Christian b Jack Slate, Steve Flynn & Scotty Lee Cyrus b Death Riders-DQ, Mike Sampson b Mongolian Stomper (Archie Gouldie)
5/5 Fort Oglethorpe, GA (Tri-Star Wrestling): Sam Colt & Laredo Kid b Billy Montana & Joel Travis, Frankie Lee & Widow Maker b Tracy Black & Dangerous Danny, Kurt Von Himmler b Johnny Blaze, Richie Dye & Bubba Humphreys b Ken Arden & Dakota Outlaw, Jet Set & Randy Steele b Roger Sartain & Larry Santana (Larry Santo) & Colt
5/5 Novelle, ONT (Border City Wrestling): Jake Steele b Mike Wildside, Rico Rodriguez b Tommy Wonder, Mike Legacy & Bobby Clancy b Tommy Perez & Chris Pilon, Scott D'Amore b Mickey Doyle, Canadian Patriot b Teddy Marshall
5/6 McMinnville, TN (WWF): Kwang b Koko Ware, Earthquake b Barry Horowitz, Mabel b IRS, IC title: Diesel b Razor Ramon, Lex Luger b Crush
5/6 Tokyo Budokan Hall (UWFI - 16,500 sellout): ISKA kick-boxing welterweight title:Makoto Ohe b Montoya, Tom Burton b Kazushi Sakuraba, Hiromitsu Kanehara & Yoshihiro Takayama b Dan Severn & Billy Scott, Victor Zangiev b Yuko Miyato, Kazuo Yamazaki b Tatsuo Nakano, Best in the world '94 tournament quarterfinals: Kiyoshi Tamura b Naoki Sano, Gary Albright b Yoji Anjyo, Nobuhiko Takada b Jean Lydick, Super Vader b Masahito Kakihara
5/6 Blytheville, AR (USWA): Spellbinder d Axl Rotten, Billy Travis b Ian Rotten, Non-title:Brian Christopher b Doug Gilbert, USWA tag title: Christopher & Eddie Gilbert b Eliminators-DQ, Non-title: Dream Machine b Jerry Lawler
5/6 Arena Coliseo in Mexico City (EMLL): Prelim results unavailable, Atlantis & Rayo de Jalisco Jr. & La Fiera b El Hijo del Gladiador & Gran Markus Jr. & Dr. Wagner Jr.-DQ, Kung Fu & Espectro Jr. & Javier Cruz b Americo Rocca & Apolo Dantes & Ringo Mendoza, Vampiro Casanova & Ultimo Dragon & Brazo de Plata b Negro Casas & Mocho Cota & Pierroth Jr.
5/6 Hahara (Michinoku Pro - 491): Terry Boy b Masato Yakushiji, Hanzo Nakajima b Naohiro Hoshikawa, Wellington Wilkens Jr. NC Yone Genjin, Sato & Shiryu & Kendo b Rayo Negro & Rams & Damian, Gran Naniwa & Super Delfin b Taka Michinoku & Great Sasuke
5/6 Arecibo, PR (WWC): Doomsday (Glen Jacobs) b Cyclone, Sargento Rios b El Exotico, Pulgarcito b Tahitian Warrior (Lloyd Anoia), La Ley & Sasha b Mohammad
Hussein (Lou Fabbiano) & La Tigra, Carlitos Colon b Hurricane Castillo-DQ, Whip on pole match: Dutch Mantel b Invader #1 (Jose Gonzales), Bruise Brothers DCOR El Bronco & Rey Gonzalez
5/6 Brooklyn, NY (Universal Wrestling Superstars - 325): American Ninja b Damien Stone, Cousin Luke b Mr. X (Gino Caruso), Bodyguard for Fire b Kodiak Bear, Jimmy Snuka b Metal Maniac, Jim Duggan b Doink the Clown (Steve Keirn)
5/6 Kimberly, BC (West Coast Championship Wrestling - 90): Steve Stunning b Silver Hawk, Timothy Flowers b Trash Man, Steve Rivers b Ken Johnson, Michelle Starr b Johnny Canuck, Canuck won Battle Royal
5/6 North Bay, ONT (Border City Wrestling): Bobby Clancy b Mike Wildside, Tommy Wonder b Rico Rodriguez, Jake Steele b Scott D'Amore, Mickey Doyle & Chris Pilon b Coco the Samoan & Mike Legacy, Canadian Patriot NC Teddy Marshall
5/7 Yokohama Arena (WWF - 4,000): Rick Martel b 1-2-3 Kid, Owen Hart b Masashi Aoyagi, Adam Bomb b Bob Backlund, WWF tag title: Head Shrinkers b Smoking Gunns, Non-title: Bull Nakano b Alundra Blayze, Tatanka b Ginsei Shinzaki, Doink the Clown (Ray Apollo) b Nobukazu Hirai, Undertaker & Genichiro Tenryu b Yokozuna & Bam Bam Bigelow, WWF title: Bret Hart b Randy Savage
5/7 Barbourville, KY (SMW - 550): Timothy Well b Bobby Blaze, Dirty White Boy b Kendo the Samurai, Bruiser Bedlam b Tracy Smothers, SMW tag title, no DQ, no time limit: Brian Lee & Chris Candido b Rock & Roll Express, Smothers won pole Battle Royal
5/7 Portland, OR (Oregon Pro Wrestling Federation): Mike Miller b Buddy Wayne-DQ, Wayne b Bruiser Brian, John Rambo b Brian Brown, Riot Maker b Silver Shadow, Miller & Scott Norton b Moondog Moretti & Buddy Rose
5/7 Trujillo Alto, PR (WWC): Cyclone b El Exotico, La Ley b Tahitian Warrior-DQ, Doomsday b Sargento Rios, Pulgarcito b Don Harris-DQ, Carlitos Colon b Ron Harris-DQ, WWC tag title:Hurricane Castillo & Mohammad Hussein b Invader #1 & El Bronco, Universal title: Rey Gonzalez b Dutch Mantel-DQ
5/7 Hammond, IN (Windy City Wrestling - 1,300): Steven Bishop b Brandon Bishop, Christopher Daniels b Danny Dominion, Randy Rhodes b Blake Bosworth, Karate Kid b Little Tokyo, Twin Turbo & Fabulous Kangaroos & Haystacks Ross b Manson Brothers & Texas Hangmen & J.R., Mike Anthony b Dark Man-DQ, Trevor Blanchard b Midnight Stranger, Susan Green b Toni Alexis to win womens title, Koko Ware b Ken Ericson, Kevin Quinn b Rick Valentino, Bo Zane & Frank Melson b Hawkeye Smith & Hurricane Smith in cage to win Windy City tag titles, Mike Samson b K.C. Knight in cage to win Windy City hwt title
5/7 West Babylon, NY (Universal Wrestling Superstars - 425): Gino Caruso b Hollywood Kid, S.D. Jones & Tony Atlas b Todd Thickwaist & Damien Stone, Taz-maniac b Tommy Dreamer, Jim Duggan b Doink the Clown (Steve Keirn)
5/7 Clementon, NJ (WWA - 315): Akida Kaos b Venom, Father Ed b Chuck Sloan, Gus the Greek b A.C. Connor, Ed Atlas & Chris Weider b Duane & Wayne Gill to win WWA tag titles, Abbuda Singh DCOR Sasheem the Somalian Warrior, Frank Finnegan b King Kong Bundy-COR
5/7 Aizu Sakashita (Michinoku Pro - 350): Shiryu b Naohiro Hoshikawa, Taka Michinoku b Masato Yakushiji, Yone Genjin DCOR Wellington Wilkens Jr., Kendo & Terry Boy & Sato b Rayo Negro & Rams & Damian, Shiryu won Battle Royal, Super Delfin & Gran Naniwa b Great Sasuke & Hanzo Nakajima
5/7 Hiratsuka (International Wrestling Union): Isao Takagi & Goro Tsurumi b Kishin Kawabata & Ho Des Min, The Mummy b Kazuhiko Matsuzaki, Mummy b Ryo Myake
5/7 Yokosuka (Social Pro Wrestling Federation): Hirofumi Miura & Masahiko Takasugi b Hiroshi Shimada & Mike Lonsap, Kamikaze b Miura, Yoshiaki Yatsu b Shinichi Nakano
5/7 Phelan, CA (Western States Wrestling Association - 300): Electric Youth b Prime Time Peterson, Rick Sadist b Third Dimension, Apocalypse b Angie Jennay, Larry Ludden b Jason Redondo, Bobby & Wayne Bradley b Thrashmaster & Renegade
5/7 Invermere, BC (West Coast Championship Wrestling - 102): Steve Rivers b Ken Johnson, Timothy Flowers b Trash Man, Michelle Starr b Johnny Canuck, Canuck won Battle Royal
5/7 Lenior City, TN (Southern Wrestling Association): David Lynch b Scotty McKeever, Bam Bam Christian b Len Montana, Akran Al Hussian b Splash, Charlie Long b McKeever, Tom Pitner & Jim Yates DDQ Rick Connors & Lone Star, Mad Dog Stuffy & Dennis Coates b Iron Man & Mike Powers-DQ
5/7 Centre, AL (Bama Pro Wrestling): Widowmaker b Dakota Outlaw, Sam Colt & Brad Cameron b Frankie Lee & Big Bubba, Mr. Vain NC Richie Dye, Ken Arden & Billy Montana b Mike Mercedes & Planet Ranger, Frankie Lee b Joel Travis, Johnny Blaze & Todd Zane b Jimmy Hodge & C.M. Quick, War Daddy b Fly Guy
5/7 Burt Falls, ONT (Border City Wrestling): Mike Legacy b Coco the Samoan, Tommy Wonder d Rico Rodriguez, Scott D'Amore b Jake Steele, Bobby Clancy b Canadian Destroyer, D'Amore b Chris Pilon, Mickey Doyle b Teddy Marshall
5/8 Nagoya Rainbow Hall (WWF - 2,500): Samu b Nobukazu Hirai, 1-2-3 Kid b Ginsei Shinzaki, Tatanka b Fatu, Smoking Gunns b Doink the Clown & Owen Hart, WWF womens title:Alundra Blayze b Sakie Hasegawa, Masashi Aoyagi b Bob Backlund, Undertaker b Yokozuna-COR, Genichiro Tenryu & Randy Savage b Adam Bomb & Rick Martel, WWF title: Bret Hart b Bam Bam Bigelow
5/8 Beckley, WV (SMW - 350): Timothy Well b Bobby Blaze, Dirty White Boy b Kendo the Samurai, Bruiser Bedlam b Tracy Smothers, SMW tag title: Rock & Roll Express b Brian Lee & Chris Candido-DQ, Smothers won pole Battle Royal
5/9 Osaka Castle Hall (WWF): 1-2-3 Kid b Fatu, Randy Savage & Bret Hart b Owen Hart & Adam Bomb, Undertaker b Ginsei Shinzaki, WWF womens title: Alundra Blayze b Bull Nakano, Genichiro Tenryu DCOR Yokozuna, Undertaker won Royal Rumble 46:15
5/9 Fort Lauderdale, FL (WCW - 1,300): Erik Watts b Brian Anderson DUD, Cactus Jack b Brian Knobs **1/2, WCW TV title: Steve Regal b Johnny B. Badd ***, The Man Who Represents Law & Order (Ray Traylor) b Paul Orndorff *, Dustin Rhodes b Bunkhouse Buck **1/2, Sting & Rick Steamboat b Steve Austin & Orndorff *1/2
5/9 Igawa (Michinoku Pro - 201): Wellington Wilkens Jr. b Naohiro Hoshikawa, Hanzo Nakajima b Masato Yakushiji, Kendo b Yone Genjin, Taka Michinoku & Terry Boy & Sato b Rayo Negro & Rams & Damian, Super Delfin & Gran Naniwa b Great Sasuke & Shiryu
Special thanks to: Eddie Goldman, Jeff Bowdren, Shannon Rose, Dan Parris, Scott DeBauche, Eric Bemben, Keith Barbaro, Myron Popowski, Stuart Kemp, Adam Geller, Mia Ferguson, Bill Needham, Buddy Lamantia, Karin Moore, Dom Valenti, Ric
Davies, Timothy Walker, Jason Peters, David Hannah, Mike Tenay, Dave Scherer, Brian Hildebrand
JAPANESE TELEVISION RUNDOWN
4/9 ALL JAPAN: 1. Kenta Kobashi pinned Johnny Smith in 16:43 with a moonsault. Smith is a good worker but has been used as a jobber for so long that everyone knew he had no chance to win. This made it hard to get heat after an opening string of hot moves by Smith. Smith picked things up near the end using a superplex standing on the top rope, a dropkick off the top followed by a nip-up, an enzuigiri and german suplex before Kobashi finished him off. **3/4
4/13 ALL JAPAN WOMEN: 1. Toshiyo Yamada pinned Kaoru Ito with an enzuigiri off the top rope. **3/4; 2. Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda captured the UWA tag titles from Yumiko Hotta & Takako Inoue in 22:03. Excellent match with one great near fall after the other in the final minutes. Finish saw Shimoda do a Tiger superplex (german suplex holding a reverse grip fullnelson) while standing on the top rope which looked like a killer move. ****1/4; 3. Aja Kong & Sakie Hasegawa beat Kyoko Inoue & Reggie Bennett in 12:18 when Kong pinned Inoue with an elbow drop off the top rope. Inoue and Hasegawa carried it so it was very good, particularly Inoue's transition wrestling on the mat. ***1/2
4/16 NEW JAPAN: 1. Rick & Scott Steiner beat Wild Pegasus & Jushin Liger in 14:03. The match didn't flow at all early but it started with a collection of high-risk moves. However, by the end of the match, the heat was great and it turned into an excellent match. Liger & Pegasus did simultaneous Frankensteiners off the top rope and later did a double superplex standing on the top rope on Scott. Steiners made a comeback and hit every killer move in their arsenal on Pegasus. Liger hot-tagged in and did a series of big moves on both. Finally Liger & Pegasus did simultaneous head-butts off the top on Scott. However Rick press-slammed Pegasus and dropped him over the top rope to the floor. Inside the ring Liger got several near falls on Scott including the Liger-bomb, but Scott kept kicking out. Scott made a quick comeback and used a vertical suplex dropped straight down like a piledriver for the pin. ****; 2. Tatsumi Fujinami won the IWGP title from Shinya Hashimoto in 14:53. No great moves here but an excellent psychology and story match. Hashimoto just destroyed Fujinami with brutal kicks with Fujinami's entire body turning red. At two different points, Hashimoto had Fujinami "out cold" but Fujinami would collapse under the ropes so ref Masao Hattori refused to count pins or knockouts on him. Fujinami did a great job of trying to stay "alive" while getting destroyed. Hashimoto did his DDT finisher but Fujinami kicked out. As Hashimoto came off the rope with a running DDT, Fujinami side stepped him and turned it into a Dandina cradle out of nowhere for the pin. After the match Hashimoto stomped and kicked Fujinami brutally to heavy booing. ***1/2
4/16 ALL JAPAN WOMEN: 1. Megumi Kudo & Nurse Nakamura from FMW beat Suzuka Minami & Chikako Shiratori. All-action but no heat early. Kudo finally made Shiratori submit to the dragon sleeper. Why they aired this match with so many good matches from this card to choose from is beyond me. **1/2; 2. Dynamite Kansai pinned Hasegawa with the splash mountain (Razor's edge dropped into a Liger-bomb). This match was poorly edited for television and will be much better on home video. **1/2; 3. Kyoko Inoue won the All-Pacific title from Yamada with a facelock submission. Very good but nowhere near the quality of their usual Korakuen Hall matches. ***1/2; 4. Akira Hokuto & Shinobu Kandori beat Kong &
Bull Nakano. The 35:13 match was edited to 19:00 for television. It was very stiff and brutal and told a story. Early on they slapped the you-know-what out of each other. Hokuto piledrove Kong on a table. Kong made a comeback and piledrove Hokuto on the floor. Nakano missed a tope on Kandori and crashed onto the floor. All kinds of near falls and near submissions at the end turned it into an excellent match. Hokuto did her flip splash off the top rope to the floor on Nakano. She did her Northern Lights bomb on Kong twice, but Kong kicked out both times. After a third NL bomb, Kong stayed down for three. ****1/2
4/16 JWP: 1. Mayumi Ozaki pinned Hiroumi Yagi with a back suplex in 8:06. *; 2. Hikari Fukuoka pinned Plum Mariko with a powerslam off the top rope. Only the last minute of a 20:00+ bout aired, but there wasn't a lot of heat; 3. Bennett & Cutie Suzuki beat Kansai & Boirshoi Kid in 14:54. Two different Boirshoi Kids came out to her entrance music to set up the Boirshoi vs. Boirshoi match on 5/22, with one chasing the other away. Better match than expected considering who was in it. Suzuki pinned Boirshoi with a knee off the top rope. ***; 4. Devil Masami beat Chigusa Nagayo in 28:38. Incredible heat and psychology for the entire match, but not much in the way of spectacular moves. The girls love Chigusa and the guys, who make up 90% of the crowd, hate her and not only give her no respect for who she is, but resent her for it. In return, she flips them off and acts like a heel. This whole scene creates awesome heat no matter who her opponent is because the girls are always doing chants for her and the guys are screaming to drown them out. Masami did her Undertaker gimmick so she did less wrestling and relied more on the stone facials. A lot of brawling early with Masami using a beer bottle and both using parts of the guard rail and chairs on one another. Instead of near falls, they did lots of submissions but because of the personalities, everything got great heat. Nagayo had Masami out with the sleeper but just as the ref went to stop the match, she sat up ala Undertaker. After a facebuster off the middle rope, Masami sat up again. Masami went to the top but Chigusa went up for a superplex. Masami turned her around and put her in a sleeper. Masami dropped her and put her in a sleeper on the mat. Chigusa was foaming at the mouth before she was out as the girls cried. ****1/4
4/23 NEW JAPAN: 1. Riki Choshu & Yoshiaki Fujiwara beat Great Muta & Hiroshi Hase via DQ in 6:19. Choshu and Hase worked great sequences early to build up their Dome match. Muta tagged in and immediately blew mist in his partner's eyes, then into Fujiwara and Choshu's eyes for the DQ. After the match Muta did a moonsault on Choshu and kept hitting Choshu, Fujiwara and Hase with chairs. It was a strong angle to get Muta over as a killer heel for the Dome. **1/4; 2. Fujinami & Osamu Kido beat Hashimoto & Power Warrior in just 4:57. Hashimoto just destroyed Fujinami again with brutal kicks. He was so intent on destroying Fujinami that he paid no attention to the match and Kido pinned him out of nowhere for the big surprise. After the match Hashimoto left Fujinami laying with a DDT. Hashimoto's intensity and ability to get over the storyline has improved so much over the past year, which makes him stronger in the top spot than one would have thought given that he isn't a good worker ***; 3. The rest of the show aired the finishes of the matches from Super J cup. Because of that this was a must-see show because of all the acrobatic highlights and finishes. The only matches where they showed a lot of the match were Great Sasuke beating El Samurai ****1/2 and Pegasus pinning Gedo ***1/2.
UWA
It appears relations with AAA have improved in the past week and Canek is ready to come to the table since the 5/8 El Toreo main event was a parejas increibles match with Canek & Cien Caras vs. Perro Aguayo & Villano III which was expected to draw the biggest house to date (this would be equivalent to an American match with Flair & Piper vs. Savage & Steamboat cross-promotion for reputations although absolutely not for ability). The fact that Antonio Pena sent Caras and Aguayo to El Toreo this weekend is a sign relations are smoothening up. Pena wants to keep the relationship going because it means more work for his main guys although as of last report, Canek and Pena hadn't reached a deal but UWA promoter Carlos Maynes promised Pena he'd smooth everything out and Maynes is expected at ringside for TM-II-B.
The 5/1 El Toreo show saw Latin Lover beat El Signo in a hair vs. hair match that drew about 4,000.
On the 4/25 show which started all the controversy, the main event was Konnan & Jerry Estrada & Fuerza Guerrera & Love Machine vs. Villanos III-IV-V & Canek. Last week we weren't sure what the make-up of that match was.
EMLL
Americo Rocca beat Kung Fu in a hair vs. hair match on 4/29 at Arena Coliseo.
Adolfo Bonales, a legendary shooter in his prime and a long-time office worker who served as the interpreter for all the foreign wrestlers, passed away this past week.
The 5/5 Arena Coliseo show drew a poor crowd headlined by Vampiro & La Fiera & Ultimo Dragon winning two straight from Negro Casas & Mocho Cota & Pierroth Jr., and afterwards Cota turned on Casas again and pounded on him for several minutes, but this time to very little heat since they had just done this angle.
JAPAN NOTES
With the exception of the WWF tour (see WWF section) and Kawasaki Stadium, it was largely a slow news week in Japan. UWFI ran the quarterfinals of its tournament on 5/6 at Budokan Hall with Kiyoshi Tamura making Naoki Sano submit to a double wristlock in 13:52, Gary Albright winning via knockout over Yoji Anjyo in 4:26 after a series of suplexes, Nobuhiko Takada winning via knockout over Jean Lydick in 5:04 with a kick to the face and Super Vader winning via knockout over Masahito Kakihara in 3:40. The show was said to have been a lot better than the PPV show. This sets up the semifinals on 6/10 at Budokan Hall with Takada vs. Albright and Vader vs. Tamura.
Kaoru Ito won the Japanese womens title that had been held up since Mima Shimoda vacated it, pinning Rie Tamada in the tournament final on 5/4 in Toda.
Now that Pancrase tapes have made their way into North America, the big question the tapes ask is whether the matches are genuine shoots or the tightest, most realistic works ever seen in the modern era of pro wrestling. Upon casual viewing, the matches look like they could be shoots and there are less holes in the style than UWFI or Rings. There are spots where there are openings look to be not taken advantage of, but that is the case in "real" boxing and martial arts matches as well.
The main events, that involved Wayne Shamrock on the first two shows did have spots where it looked as though Shamrock could have put his opponent away but held back, but Shamrock also used subtle maneuvers you wouldn't think guys would do in a working situation. Anyway, after talking with one of the top pro-style wrestlers who has a combat sports background and has also seen the tapes, his opinion was most of the matches were 90% real but the main events were closer to 60%, citing there would be more serious injuries in shooting events with kicking and kneeing the face and submissions being legal.
Victor Quinones of IWA, which opens on 5/21, offered Hiyabusa (Eiji Ezaki) a $10,000 signing bonus and $3,000 per month to jump from FMW and be its top native star. Hiyabusa turned the offer down. Whether this is related to the above or not, Hiyabusa, who is currently with AAA, hasn't had a booking since, although since he's on a $500 weekly guarantee, it's not as bad as it could be.
USWA
Lance Russell returned on the 5/7 television show saying he missed doing the show and would be there some weeks but had promised his wife they would still have their weekends to travel so he wouldn't be there every week.
Eddie Gilbert finished sixth out of eight candidates in the Republican primary for City Clerk of Henderson Country, TN. Gilbert picked up around 458 votes, or 6.5%, for the nomination for the $32,000 per year position.
Brian Christopher regained the USWA title from Doug Gilbert on the 5/9 show in a match where he put up his hair.
Jeff Jarrett returned for the 5/9 Memphis card as a heel. Jerry Lawler did an interview and said he was surprised that Jarrett had attacked him in Memphis because when he would see him at the WWF shows that they got along, but then said he heard that Dream Machine had been calling Jarrett every week and told him that he (Lawler) had been saying things behind his back. Lawler then said he couldn't remember even talking about Jarrett. Jarrett did an interview where he said how Dream Machine calls him every week to tell him about what Lawler is saying behind his back. Lawler then asked Eddie Gilbert to be his partner against Dream & Jarrett. Dream said he had another surprise for Lawler at the show.
Rest of the 5/9 show had Doug Gilbert's title loss to Brian Christopher, Eliminators defending the USWA tag titles against Billy Travis and the returning Spike Huber, Bert Prentice vs. Ronnie Lottz in a loser leaves town match, Moondogs vs. Rottens, Spider #2 vs. Reggie B. Fine and Spider #1 vs. Spellbinder.
SMW
Slow week with the house shows headlined by Rock & Roll Express vs. Brian Lee & Chris Candido in tag title matches. Lee & Candido won the no DQ matches when Candido pinned Ricky Morton after hitting him with Tammy Fytch's purse as Morton was getting ready to piledrive Fytch, while in the regular matches, Lee & Candido lost via DQ.
Steve & Scott Armstrong return this coming weekend for matches against Well Dunn, since The Thrillseekers won't be back until 5/19.
HERE AND THERE
Sabu suffered serious enough injuries in Japan that he missed his scheduled match in West Babylon, NY on 5/7, although he appeared at the show with his hands in casts. He is expected to return to action this weekend working 5/14 in Philadelphia teaming with Bobby Eaton vs. Arn Anderson & Terry Funk on the ECW show, and the next night in Lincoln Park, MI (near Detroit) vs. Funk for promoter Malcolm Monroe.
Speaking of Funk, after his match with Chris Benoit a few weeks ago at Dennis Coraluzzo's show, Funk attacked Coraluzzo as part of an angle but said how ECW (Coraluzzo's rival) was better than Coraluzzo's NWA.
It doesn't look like ECW is going to reach its goals of two shows per weekend by June, as thus far there are only three dates booked for June. Dennis Galam was looking into buildings in Florida this past week attempting to arrange an ECW tour for late summer.
In last week's issue when talking about serious injuries in the ring in regard to the Chuck Austin case, we failed to mention Larry Cameron, who passed away pretty well in the ring last year in Bremen, Germany, although that wasn't from a mistake in the ring or a daredevil move (although some would say taking steroids with a history of heart problems is more of a daredevil move than anything Sabu does) but from a heart attack.
King Kong Bundy worked for Larry Sharpe on 5/7 in Clementon, NJ against local champ Friendly Frank Finnegan. After losing via COR, Bundy put a $500 bounty on Finnegan to lead to next month's match with Finnegan against Bastion Booger.
GWF crowds at the Sportatorium in Dallas have really picked up the past few weeks with The Freebirds (Jimmy Garvin & Terry Gordy managed by Michael Hayes) on top, although it is still mainly freebies.
A correction from last week. The 4/30 Red Lion, PA show we reported a crowd of 800 for was really closer to 400.
West Coast Wrestling Alliance returns to Concord, CA at Ygnacio Valley High School on 5/21.
It was reported to us that Jason Redondo and Larry Ludden had one of the best indie matches in years on the West Coast at the 5/7 card in Phelan, CA.
Sweet Daddy Siki and Ron Hutchison have a show on 5/29 in Hillsburgh, ONT with Siki in concert.
For those of you interested in trivia such as the age of the Fabulous Moolah, we were sent a newspaper article stemming from 1958 which listed her age (taken from an arrest warrant so it's a legit source) at the time as 32, which makes her either 67 or 68 today. There have been so many rumors about her age that hopefully this can put them all to rest.
Windy City Wrestling's Battle of the belts IV drew 1,300 fans to the Hammond, IN Civic Center on 5/7.
Don Laible is now doing a wrestling column every three weeks in the Herkimer, NY Evening Telegram.
There is a one hour wrestling talk show on WRUN (1150AM) in Utica, NY on Sundays from 7 to 8 p.m.
AAA
Octagon won the Mexican middleweight title from Blue Panther on 4/30 in Veracruz via DQ when Panther hit heel ref Tirantes but Tirantes called him on it. Also on the show which drew a sellout 8,000, Love Machine & Black Cat & Eddy Guerrero beat Konnan El Barbaro & Cien Caras & Mascara Sagrada when Cien Caras turned on Konnan and caused him to get pinned in the third fall.
They now have a midget referee for midget matches who wears suspenders and is a Mini-Tirantes.
For those with satellite dishes, the Mexican show wasn't scrambled this weekend. The shows air on Saturday night (usually the show that airs on Galavision the following week) and Sunday mornings (a show that no longer airs in the U.S., plus opens with EMLL) on M1, Ch. 21, although sometimes if Ch. 21 has other sports, you can catch it on Ch. 9.
TripleMania II-A aired in Mexico on 5/1 and 5/8.
TripleMania II-B on 5/15 in Guadalajara will have Jushin Liger & Tiger Mask & Octagon & El Hijo del Santo vs. Psicosis & La Parka & Panther & Eddy Guerrero which will be the first time Liger and Psicosis have ever faced one another, plus Konnan & Perro Aguayo & Cien Caras vs. Machine & Jake Roberts & Miguelito Perez, Mascara Sagrada vs. Black Cat in a mask vs. mask match (which will reveal Cat as being Mexican rather than American) and Dos Caras & Scorpio Jr. & Halcon Dorado Jr. from UWA vs. Los Payasos.
TripleMania II-C looks to be 5/29 in Tijuana.
They ran a Bill Watts-like angle on 4/19 in Zacatecas, which is Aguayo's home town where Machine buried him underneath the American flag.
Victor Quinones, who is apparently behind the deal where Perez jumped to this group, is trying to get a deal where AAA talent will appear for his IWA in Japan. If that happens it will cause a lot of problems with both FMW and New Japan which thought they had the business arrangement with AAA. Quinones, Seiji Sakaguchi and Carlos Maynes are all scheduled to be at TripleMania II-B.
It looks as though Jerry Estrada's three-month suspension based on unprofessional conduct during his hair vs. hair match with Heavy Metal (where he wouldn't allow his hair to be cut and was reportedly not in any condition to put on a hot match) will be lifted well beforehand. Heavy Metal's suspension ends this week.
AAA had a show on 5/8 in Monterrey and local promoter Carlos Elizondo, who has his own federation called CILL, booked a 15,000-seat arena in opposition the same night bringing former welterweight boxer Ruben Oliveras, who was a national hero in the 70s and an ethnic hero in Southern California as well, into a boxer vs. wrestler match against Konnan 2000 (Scott Putski, copying the Konnan gimmick and being given a superpush).
Don't expect Fuerza Guerrera on anymore U.S. shows. Guerrera, president of the AAA wrestlers union, is attempting to put into the labor contracts that the wrestlers should get double their normal per-match guarantee for working any dates outside Mexico, which has really made him a popular figure with the IWC promoters.
Correction from last week. At TM II-A, Jerry Estrada came to the ring with a cougar, not a tiger.
WCW
Rick Rude and Jerry Sags were both apparently injured over the weekend and missed the 5/9 show in Fort Lauderdale. Rude reportedly is suffering back and neck problems, while Sags injured his shoulder on 5/7 in Nassau. No word on the severity of either injury. But those two missing only complicated things since Barry Windham, scheduled for the main event against Ray Traylor, also missed the show and Paul Orndorff wound up working both main events.
There is serious talk of reviving the WCW Magazine with a new publisher.
The Missy Hiatt segment on "A Current Affair" was repeated over the past weekend. Hiatt is said to be under contract with the show for another few weeks, but is expected to do the talk show circuit in June when the contract expires. A correction from a few weeks back when the story first broke, it was listed that Alan Sharpe was a WCW attorney when in fact he is the head of p.r.
WCW Saturday Night on 4/30 did a 2.2 rating, while Main Event did a 1.8 and Pro a 1.3.
The Flair-Steamboat match airs on 5/14.
A few faux pas on the Sunday show. On Saturday they announced that Rob Parker's man would challenge the Flair-Steamboat winner for the title and on Sunday they did interviews and talked of the match as being Flair vs. Parker's man. Also on the graphics they listed Nasty Boys vs. Cactus Jack & Kevin Sullivan but Gene Okerlund said the face team would be Kevin & Dave Sullivan. The angle making sense out of all this should air this week.
The "Burke's Law" episode with Dusty Rhodes aired on 5/6 and Rhodes was said to be pretty good in it.
The advance for Philadelphia for Slamboree is said to be fine. It isn't expected to do the kind of business Chicago did, but it'll easily outdraw most of the other recent WCW shows.
The reason Jesse Ventura hasn't been appearing on the Main Event and others shows in recent weeks is reportedly because his contract stipulates a certain number of days notice has to be given for him to come in for voice-overs. Dusty Rhodes has been taking his place on the "just-for-Sunday" match with Eric Bischoff.
Clips of the Sting-Rude title change from Japan aired on 5/8.
On the Saturday show, Arn Anderson asked Ric Flair if they could revive the Four Horsemen.
The fake crowd noise during the interview segments (most of which aren't done before a live crowd in order to not give away storylines in advance) is poorly produced in that it distracts from the interviews.
They are advertising the Disney tapings to wrestling fans because they are being done at night, outdoors, after the park closes. Reportedly there will be three-hour nightly tapings, mainly of matches without a lot of interviews or angles so storylines won't be locked in so far in advance. They won't be having a fresh audience every hour as in past tapings. No word if they'll be having the audience led in cheering and booing which creates the "fake" sounding crowd responses since this taping audience will be comprised mainly of wrestling fans.
Who is Lady Love?
WWF
The Japan-Mania tour, which opened 5/7 in the Yokohama Arena, appears on the surface to be a flop. Despite tons of publicity in the magazines and special magazines printed to hype the tour, the audience seemed to be limited to hardcores. Those in Japan said part of the problem is they didn't poster the cities which is traditional for all Japanese groups and there weren't enough television ads leading up to the shows.
The first show drew an announced 8,056 in a 17,010 capacity arena that has never drawn below 8,000 for wrestling before, but live estimates claim 4,000 is closer to reality. Shawn Michaels no-showed the tour and was replaced by Rick Martel. By and large the wrestlers attempted to wrestle Japanese-style, but those who attended, most of whom were familiar with WWF through its home video releases of PPV shows, expected more special effects and were disappointed with both the shows and the match quality. Undertaker, in his first matches since going on hiatus in January, was by far the most popular wrestler on the tour with Randy Savage second, although Savage tried to play heel against Hart but fans cheered him more than Hart anyway. The downside is that even though the wrestlers were trying to do Japanese style, there appeared to be a lack of understanding in that the referees counted fast on the pins (American style is slow throughout the match and fast for the finish while Japanese style is even counts throughout) and called for the bell the minute finishing submissions were put on, while Japanese fans expect the guys caught to put up a big struggle before submitting, which resulted in a lot of booing of the finishes in Yokohama. Although Bret Hart isn't considered a major star by Japanese fans (even though the magazines have pushed him heavily as a great representative of wrestling), his matches with Savage and Bam Bam Bigelow the first two nights were said to have been great. Also in Yokohama, Undertaker & Tenryu beat Bigelow & Yokozuna in 18:17 when Undertaker pinned Yokozuna with a choke slam after Bigelow accidentally squashed him. Bull Nakano pinned Alundra Blayze in a non-title match which was said to be only slightly above average, but the second best match on the show.
In Nagoya on 5/8, they announced 6,735 in a 12,000-seat arena but live estimates pegged it at 2,500, although it was said to have been a better show wrestling wise, with 1-2-3 Kid vs. Ginsei Shinzaki, Blayze vs. Sakie Hasegawa and Hart vs. Bigelow as good matches, and Doink & Dink getting over as comedy performers. Blaze-
Hasegawa was much improved over Blayze's match with Nakano. However, Yokozuna-Undertaker was a flop with Yokozuna losing via one of those quick WWF-style COR finishes in just 4:00 and fans chanting "refund" after the match. Underneath they had a match with Doink & Owen Hart vs. Smoking Gunns which Doink and Owen didn't get along throughout and eventually Owen turned on Doink, causing him to get pinned.
5/9 at Osaka Castle Hall (15,000 capacity) drew an announced 7,120, although no word on what the real attendance was with Undertaker winning the Royal Rumble throwing out Bigelow in 46:15. Underneath Blayze retained her title pinning Nakano with a german suplex in 15:10, Tenryu DCOR Yokozuna and Savage & Bret beat Owen & bomb when Bret made Owen submit to the sharpshooter.
Final night of the tour was 5/11 in Sapporo.
A "B" team headlined by Mabel vs. IRS, Ramon vs. Diesel and Luger vs. Crush headlined small Tennessee and Kentucky towns this past weekend.
It appears three of the four first-round King of the Ring matches will be Mabel vs. IRS, Razor Ramon vs. Bigelow and Jeff Jarrett vs. Kid. I have a suspicion they may sneak Luger back in, and if they do, he'll win because they are pushing him awfully hard on TV for someone who at this point doesn't even look to be on the show.
Expect Jim Neidhart, Papa Shango and/or Brian Lee in by the end of the summer. Neidhart is expected to get a major heel push.
Jacques Rougeau will be done on 6/25, apparently a combination of too little time at home with his family and not enough money.
For upcoming house shows, they've replaced advertising Luna Vachon vs. Blayze with Leilani Kai vs. Blayze. Although unconfirmed, this does appear to be some sort of a suspension since Vachon did work television but no house shows.
Monday Night Raw on 5/2 with the tag title change drew a 2.9 rating, while All-American did a 1.9 and Mania a 1.3 that same weekend.
We used to say this could only happen in WCW, but that isn't the case. On Monday Night Raw in the San Francisco-San Jose market there were two ads for the upcoming house show on 5/14 in Anaheim, some 370 miles away rather than for the 5/15 San Jose show.
The Ramon-Kwang match on Raw was far better than it sounds or I was led to believe.
THE READERS PAGES
Tony Valotta of 1435 Balsam Dr., Allison Park, PA 15101 is for tapes of the WWF Japan Mania tour and has unopened LJN figures.
Eric Simms of 9 Geanne Way, Marlboro, NJ 07746 has photos for sale. Send a SASE for more info.
Mark Dylong of 299 17th St., San Diego, CA 92101 wants PKA Karatemania #8 , Go Go's underground video and Claudia Jennings videos.
Paul Paccagnella of P.O. Box 24, Palmyra, WI 53156 would like to hear from Observer readers in Southeastern Wisconsin that would like to attend the 6/4 AAA show in Chicago with him.
Breck Ray of Route 6 Box 753, Georgetown, SC 29440 is looking for tape lists, particularly of Shawn Michaels.
Shannon Rose of P.O. Box 22164, Tampa, FL 33612 is looking for wrestling tapes of Prof. Boris Malenko.
Frank Supiot III of 9228 Kingstree Rd. #1 03, Baltimore, MD 21234 is looking for tape lists.
Maniax at 2-19-8 Nishi Magome, Ota-Ku 143 Tokyo Japan has the WWF Super Guide magazine for the WWF Japanmania tour on sale for $20 which includes postage and handling.
Jon Peck of 11 Dix St., Hamden, CT 06514 has WCW England only figures of El Gigante and Freebirds for sale.
Charles Dietrich of 2200 Frantz, La Habra, CA 90631 is looking for pre-1984 Hulk Hogan and old Mid South and NWA videos.
David Southwick of P.O. Box 2434, Quincy, MA 02269 is looking for results from all federations from the 50s through 1990 and has more than 350 tapes to trade in exchange.
For information of Sabu merchandise including t-shirts write to Sabu Merchandise, 132 Covington Rd., Philadelphia, PA 19120.
Larry Pollack of 1079 Commonwealth Av. #3 11 , Boston, MA 02215 is looking for Bob Backlund tapes.
Lewis Curry of 1607 N. Port St., Baltimore, MD 21213 is looking for Snake Mountain, Fright Zone and Castle Grayskull playsets from Masters of the Universe, Backlund vs Bockwinkel '79 match and looking to contact Frank Amato and George Napolitano.
Greg Seagraves of 164 Maple Grove Rd., Lafayette, TN 37083 has USWA programs for sale.
Jimi Varner of 5029 Kenilworth, Dearborn, MI 48126 is looking for Ultimate Warrior talk show appearances and tapes of Dingo Warrior and Sabu.
Richard Fletcher of 131 N. Kimberly #56 , Youngstown, OH 44515 is looking for back issues of wrestling magazines and old Roller Derby VHS videos.
Paris Anderson of 3105-2A Trappers Cove Trail, Lansing, MI 48910 is looking for a copy of George Napolitano's book "Great Grudge Matches" and for new Hasbro Head shrinkers figures.
Tim Vachula of 27 Scammell Ave., Pittsfield, MA 01201 is looking for videotapes and wrestling dolls from other countries and a tape of Oro's last match.
Leroy McCuff Jr. of 7624 Este Av. #3 , Philadelphia, PA 19153 is looking for Jushin Liger and Great Muta t-shirts.
Tommy Fierro of 14 Terrace Ave., West Paterson, NJ 07424 is planning on running shows and conventions this summer. Any wrestler interested in working should send a tape to the address above.
Chris Yee of P.O. Box 90870, Honolulu, HI 96835 is looking for purchase a tape of the 4/19 "A Current Affair" and 4/17 "60 Minutes" shows.
Mark Keahey of P.O. Box 1681, Stuart, FL 34995 puts out Wrestling Reporter with four issues for $3.
John Mazzaglia of 197 Sherman Ave., Hawthorne, NY 10532 is looking for tapes of Howard Stern's syndicated TV show, Bob Backlund matches when he was champion, the Bruno Sammartino vs. Larry Zbyszko TV match and has wrestling videos and Stern radio tapes for trade.
Chris Dick of 10417 35th Av. SW, Seattle, WA 98146 is looking for old UWF and NWA tapes from the mid-80s and current ECW tapes. He has lots of tapes to trade in exchange.
Robert Naylor of 1501 W. Willow St., Coal Township, PA 17866 is looking for tapes of the 1/4/94 Tokyo Dome, Sabu, Head Hunters, Jushin Liger and the 8/31/93 Steve Williams vs. Kenta Kobashi match.
Larry Wilson of 418 7th St. SW, Rochester, MN 55902 is looking for tapes of the Howard Stern show and the Funk-Onita match.
Tom Young of 16 Morgan Dr., Gander, NF A1V 2H4 Canada is looking for good quality copies of "Ring Wrestling" magazine from 1973-80.
Jeff Xuereb of 75 Vincent Ave., St. Albans 3021, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia is looking for tapes of cage matches of Savage vs. Steamboat and Savage vs. Hogan.
John Pantozzi of 1000 Polk Ave., Franklin Square, NY 11010 has a set of four different Hulk Hogan stuffed dolls for sale.
ECW
In the 4/25 issue, you referred to the Chicago Street fight at Spring Stampede as one of the wildest, sickest, most brutal matches you'll ever see. Perhaps this is one of the wildest, sickest most brutal matches you'll ever see, but that is only because you have yet to pay a visit to the ECW Arena in Philadelphia.
As the play-by-play man, I can say that the Chicago Street fight was tame compared to the matches I call. In fact, it appears to me that at least one person in Atlanta has enough smarts to own a satellite dish. In the past seven months, I've seen J.T. Smith get thrown out of the Eagle's next, fifteen feet above a concrete arena floor, three matches with Public Enemy vs. Bruise Brothers that made the WCW street fight look like a tea party, and I've seen Sabu, Terry Funk, Kevin Sullivan and the Tazmaniac invent the most dangerous and career-threatening maneuvers that an abnormal human mind could possibly devise.
We at ECW are proud our hardcore promotion is not for everyone, but if anyone enjoyed the WCW street fight and bunkhouse match, I suggest you come to Philadelphia or get tapes of our shows. However, if you are the type of person who
cried at the end of "Bambi," forget it. Our fans cheered the hunter that shot his mother.
Joey Styles
Eastern Championship Wrestling
DM: It's policy not to print self-promotional letters of this type, but that last line about ECW fans cheering the hunter that shot Bambi's mother was one of the best of the year, ranking up there with the line about Jody Hamilton eating his original tag team partner.
WAS VINCE PART OF A CONSPIRACY?
In regard to Vince McMahon's guilt or innocence, while I profess no love for the guy, I think it is only fair to hear his side of the story in court before passing judgement. I don't think wrestling fans have a prayer of being unbiased. As for Dr. Zahorian, he is in jail because he belongs in jail. He claimed he was doing the wrestlers a favor by providing them with steroids and tried to paint himself as a savior to them. Zahorian sold steroids for a profit. If he was doing wrestlers a favor, he'd have only prescribed them or sold them for cost. Wrestlers testified Zahorian tried to push other steroids on them. He was hardly a victim of Vince McMahon's alleged steroid conspiracy. He also got stung for trying to sell barbiturates in large quantities to a bodybuilder, which was one of the finishing knots in the case against him. The facts of the Zahorian case showed him to be a drug profiteer. If he sold at cost and didn't attempt to push drugs, he wouldn't have gone to jail. He'd have gotten a much more lenient sentence. The whole case pivots on one point, the credibility of witnesses, which is a joke, and whether or not McMahon actually sold steroids to Hulk Hogan.
Teresa DeMarie
Charlotte, North Carolina
I'd say yes. He knew what he was doing. I don't buy that he or the wrestlers were naive about the subject and it was obvious they were on them. I think McMahon felt guys looking like that would sell more tickets and merchandise. Fair punishment would be a short sentence, six months to a year at most, but heavy, heavy fines to set a precedent within the sports world and shake up people in sports to either clean up or face the consequences. I think he's guilty but Dr. Zahorian deserves the stiffest sentence. He was legitimizing what they were doing with their company. I don't think for a second the wrestlers and McMahon are so naive that they didn't know of legal and health consequences, but they had a doctor giving them their drugs. I think the government should seriously look at WCW and any other promotion which openly and flagrantly push and gives jobs to guys based on chemical bodies. You mentioned American Gladiators, and they are worse than wrestling because they're all steroid freaks. Nobody talks about them. The only time it came out was with that woman who probably hurt her credibility because she admitted she was a lesbian. But they're all guilty of pushing steroids and deep down they know it.
Ken Doucet
Revere, Massachusetts
I believe there are no grounds for conspiracy charges against Vince McMahon or Titan Sports. The charges are without any basis. It's a witch hunt. Somebody has a grudge somewhere. I'm outraged the U.S. prosecutors have spent more money on this case than I will ever contribute in taxes my whole life. Dr. Zahorian deserved to go to jail. He should have counseled the parties on steroid abuse with his medical background. Instead, he contributed to the problem. He had the knowledge about steroids. They did not.
Geoff Hawkes
St. Cloud, Florida
I suspect Vince McMahon is being lynched because wrestling is disposable. Who is going to defend something considered to be one of the lowest forms of pop culture? Pro wrestling's image to the general public is awful and nobody is likely to raise a stink. Imagine a two-year investigation of the Dallas Cowboys if Jimmy Johnson was accused of giving steroids to Emmett Smith. All hell would break loose and people would call it a witch hunt for dragging on so long. In short, I think Vince was an easier target than American Gladiators because the government would have to fight Universal, which has deeper pockets.
You mentioned on the Real Wrestling Hotline that some people involved with All Japan women had their noses way out of joint by the reaction and coverage here to the offer made to Tonya Harding. I can't blame their reaction. Being compared to mud wrestling or even the WWF is an insult to those women.
All Japan women shouldn't try a PPV. They should try to get a one-hour show with two really good commentators to educate the audience that has never seen the product. They'd better forget about Jim Dougherty. Maybe Jim Ross. It might attract some people initially based on curiosity. Whether it would have staying power is another story. I won't hold my breath for All Japan women on American television, but I'd save a fortune in tapes and postage.
Adam Patrizio
Stamford, Connecticut
DM: If there was evidence that Jimmy Johnson supplied steroids to Emmett Smith and a Grand Jury federal indictment alleged such, the media would play it up as the biggest sports scandal of the decade and Johnson would be suspended for years if that was proven to be the case. All hell would break lose and the story would be so far blown out of proportion it would rival the Ben Johnson story. When Johnson failed a steroid test in the 1988 Olympics after winning the gold in the 100, it received 1,000 times more coverage than any wrestling story and resulted in a very thorough and very public governmental inquiry into the entire track scene in Canada and major changes in law in both the U.S. and Canada.
In my opinion, the WWF seems to still be lying when it comes to ridding its organization of steroids. Many publications, including the Observer, have consistently been saying that the WWF has a stringent steroid policy in place. At the same time WCW has been criticized for dragging its feet on the steroid issue. Don't perceive this as a defense of WCW or Eric Bischoff. I feel he came off as a fool
when discussing steroids in the Torch. However, the WWF's policy seems to apply to many of their performers while making an exception for a valuable few. Look at Tatanka, Crush, and the Steiners. None of them shrank. Furthermore, why does Lex Luger's body continually fluctuate? McMahon and Titan seem to believe in selective enforcement, remember Sid Justice in Wrestlemania VIII. Besides, the push of 1-2-3 Kid now looks like just a public relations move to weather the storm at that time. One hopes for Vince McMahon's sake that he isn't naive enough to believe he can work the government like this.
Ian Goodwin
Brooklyn, New York
DM: Tatanka's physique changed markedly after steroid testing. Rick Steiner failed a steroid test and was suspended for six weeks. When Scott Steiner returned for the last TV taping before they quit, after the brothers hadn't worked WWF for several weeks, he was smaller and softer. While there was one WWF wrestler who told me the policy is a joke, he was the only one of many that have discussed it with me. If an athlete or his doctor are smart and sophisticated enough, they likely can have outside help, although not necessarily anabolic steroids, and beat the tests, particularly since Growth Hormone (which in a lot of cases by itself without being stacked in conjunction with steroids doesn't add a lot of size, but does seem to harden up the body) is undetectable. Having said that, the response to the previous letter is that any form of testing is fallible. Even if it wasn't, I wouldn't have 100 percent belief in the fairness and honesty of the policy because of the company's track record for honesty on this and other subjects. However, I do believe the WWF, probably because of outside pressure, has been more vigilant is reducing steroid use among its athletes than most other sports and entertainment forms.
MISSY HIATT
I just caught the segment on Missy. To start with, I never thought Missy was worth anything more than cosmetic. She's totally inept on the mic. That was proven on the segment. She couldn't even be interviewed on a legitimate matter. Instead of appearing as a serious women with a serious complaint, she retained her wrestling persona and came off like a whiny bimbo, the very image she claimed WCW forced upon her and isn't the real her.
Next is the way she's led her life. Any rape victim will tell you just how difficult it is to bring charges. Her entire sexual past becomes a matter of public record. Personally I think it's terrible this is how it is, but it is, and will be as long as we live in a backward repressive society. That established, how far can Hiatt survive in court under those circumstances.
I have no love for WCW, but they didn't establish her character. She did that since her career began with World Class and the UWF. Has her mud wrestling match with Valerie French been forgotten? Remember when Sunshine tore off her dress in an angle.
I expect Missy made a ton of friends when she exposed the business. Personally I don't think there is anything left to expose but a lot of people still worry about
things like that for whatever reason. WCW may well have treated her terribly, but she isn't a believable representative of that to the general public.
Jack Thompson
Salt Lake City, Utah
Missy Hiatt will probably win her case against WCW because hanging up that photo does constitute sexual harassment. But if she files a lawsuit, it probably will put an end to her career. Who else will hire her? It looks like she is biting the hand that fed her and she may regret that in the long run. There aren't many jobs out there that pay that much money to stand there and look pretty.
Russ Cress
Union, New Jersey
WRESTLEMANIA REVENGE TOUR
It was a pretty disappointing first stop in the Wrestlemania Revenge tour at the Richfield Coliseum on 4/23. No WWF out of ring celebrities could be found, such as TV announcers, commentators or even familiar security people. The theme music was far too similar for every ring entrance. A newspaper article promised all sorts of things, virtually none of which materialized. The article promised that fans would be able to get in the ring and wrestle. Never happened. That prizes and t-shirts would be given away. One t-shirt was given away and a section of the crowd that cheered the loudest got free tickets to the next show. There were no indoor fireworks either. They did have new lighting effects, heart-shaped lights for Bret Hart, razor's for Razor Ramon and red, white and blue for Lex Luger, but that was it as far as improved special effects went. None of the matches was better than one star. There were a few missed moves and lots of restholds. Of the seven matches, three main matches had no-shows and only one was announced ahead of time. None of the managers showed up. Overall it was an average card with no squash matches but very little good action.
Rich Kunkel
Wadsworth, Ohio
AAA
The 3/12 AAA show in Los Angeles struck me as a New Japan style card. Solid matches on the bottom. Great matches in the middle and a main event designed to pack a building. The openers, featuring a pair of the goofiest gimmicks I can recall, were solid matches that warmed up the crowd. I didn't care for the Los Payasos match but everyone else thought the match worked. I probably missed the boat on it due to my bias against wrestling clowns. The mid-card matches all looked good on paper if the promotion let the guys do their thing. With the typical AAA ring introductions and post-match angles, this portion of the card took about two hours to complete, but it wasn't a minute too long. Sandwiched in between two excellent trios matches was a match of the year candidate between Mascarita Sagrada and Espectrito. It was without a doubt the best Lucha singles match that I've ever seen. They worked at the deliberate pace of an old style match, bringing the crowd up with a spot, then slowing it down in between by either selling the spot big or going
to a submission. Of course, the spots they worked were anything but old-style. They hit moonsaults and topes left and right. The submission holds were intricate and very believable. Both wrestlers deserve a lot of credit with Espectrito looking great carrying the match while Mascarita Sagrada chipped in every aerial move that you could imagine. It was more than a simple pop at the end of the match. The crowd seemed to know that they had witnessed something special.
The main event can be summed up as an awful match that gave the fans what they came to see. The match was watchable because of the antics outside the ring, with a pair of stretcher jobs and Mascarita Sagrada doing the Snuka splash off the cage on Jake Roberts. The work was atrocious at best in the cage. Roberts seems to have been hitting the Bud too much of late as he looked to be 50 pounds overweight. He didn't do a thing except blade, although I must admit he did that very well. Konnan did even less and looked bad. Konnan clearly is the Jim Hellwig of Mexico, becoming the same type of pitiful sideshow freak. The only difference I see is that the Ultimate Warrior had more hair and could be carried to a good match. That being said, the objective of the business isn't to put on matches of great quality or weaving compelling storylines. The object is and has always been and always will be to draw money. Right now, Konnan has few peers in the world in that department. He would say that's the bottom line when it comes to judging him as a wrestler and I can't argue with that.
Two other comments. The tickets indicated an 8 p.m. starting time. Perhaps Pena, Arezzi, and Skoler don't know but 8:00 is when the little hand is on eight and the big hand is on twelve. If you are going to put on a four hour long show, do us a favor and at least start the opener reasonably close to the announced starting time.
John Williams
Arcadia, California
DM: An interesting note about Konnan and that show is that of the nearly 14,000 fans in the Sports Arena that night, nobody and I mean nobody was madder about the quality of the work inside of the cage than Konnan. There were major problems and conflicts between himself and Jake Roberts, not to mention style conflicts of American style vs. Lucha style with two guys who can't work the others' style, and it just didn't work. Why it worked on the second show was because Jake and Konnan were only in together for short spurts rather than 21 straight minutes, both had their working shoes on that night and that Love Machine and Eddy Guerrero carried most of that match. Konnan was a lot madder about putting on an admittedly bad match (he thought it was worse then it was but he wasn't watching what was going on outside the cage either but knew he was dying inside) than pleased by the fact he was responsible for drawing the largest house in the United States up to that point in 1994. He also felt his placing in the Most Unimproved category in the Observer balloting for 1993 was deserved. He was a lot happier after the show the next night in Oakland with an empty building, because he had a much better match. 8 p.m. Lucha Libre time is when the big hand is between the eight and the nine and the little hand is on the six.
In regard to your commentary about coverage of AAA by the so-called wrestling media, what else can you expect from people who hype the ability of Bret Hart beyond the point of embarrassment. How would you expect people like that to even know who Rey Misterio Jr. is? So then all of a sudden AAA draws big crowds in the United States and none of them have a clue what happened. Great reporters.
Bernhard Steger
Vienna, Austria
I'm writing in defense of Carmelo Reyes, Cien Caras. It seems every time I pick up the Observer, I read negative comments about him. True, he isn't as great a wrestler as he once was, but I remember back in 1982 this man was a scientific wrestler of decent calibre. One of the reasons he creates the heat and excitement he does is that fans loved him, but never forgave him for turning heel. Sometimes he would be a face, sometimes a heel, hence the name 100 faces. One of his greatest angles was when he teamed with Sangre Chicana as a heel and went against face brother Mascara Ano 2000 but would refuse to wrestle him. This led to a great and bloody feud with Chicana.
As far back as anyone can remember in Mexican wrestling, it was customary that after a great match, the fans would shower the ring with coins in appreciation. In one of Reyes most famous matches as a heel, he was showered with coins by fans for his performance in losing the match. One of those coins hit him in the eye and he almost lost his eyesight. To this day, not one coin is thrown into a Mexican ring because of what happened to him. Hopefully this will make people think about Reyes differently. Just think of him as a Mexican Terry Funk. Both could wrestle, but as they got older, they relied more on brawling tactics.
Carlos Rey
Hialeah, Florida
DM: I just don't see any comparison with Cien Caras and Terry Funk when it comes to performing in the ring. I realize Caras is a legendary figure and still has drawing power, a weird charisma and the best ring entrance music in the business, but as a worker, he doesn't have it anymore.
WWF
I've been in the People's Republic of China for the past four months. The Chinese can get WWF Mania from the sports satellite station "Star TV." My language exchange partner surprised the hell out of me when he randomly asked if I knew about the WWF. I didn't bring any Observers to the country as the last thing I expected to find there was interest in pro wrestling. The punch line to this is the Chinese are completely unaware of the concept of predetermined finishes or anything else.
Jason Tan
Washington, D.C.
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post #20 of 54 (permalink) Old 06-27-2016, 05:21 AM
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Re: Wrestling Observer 1994

What in the actual fuck.
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