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24 Years Ago - WON 1-5-87


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Loss covered a lot of 86 and 88 so I thought I'd try and fill in the gap with 1987. It'll be mostly focused on the North American stuff. If there's an item that anybody wants more detail on I'd be glad to try and accommodate. I'll try to do one a week, time permitting. This one took a little longer than I expected.

 

- Scott Hall had left the AWA, but "was tired of waiting around for Titan to call" and is back for what Dave thinks will be a short run

 

- Dynamite Kid is being advertised on January shows despite being in traction after disc surgery. "Being the crazy and dangerously determined individual he is," he's expected back by early-mid February. Because he's coming back so soon the WWF has scrapped plans of a tag team title tournament and will leave the straps on the Bulldogs, "unless the doctors chain him to the bed through March"

 

- Dave expects Hogan v. Andre to main-event Wrestlemania III, but that Andre's back is in such bad shape that the match might not happen. Andre canceled his return match in Japan after a 4 month hiatus filming Princess Bride, and needs a back brace just to get around. If he can't return by mid-February to shoot the heel turn angle the match will be off, and Dave thinks that would put the entire show in jeopardy.

 

- Mike Bellew, 27, the editor of the newstand magazine Wrestling Eye, died in a car accident in New York City

 

- "Bigelow" missed the last UWF tapings. Dave doesn't know why but thinks it's because Bigelow doesn't want to sign a long term contract with the promotion

 

- TITAN -

 

- In what Dave calls a "major coup" WWF will start airing on FOX affiliates in New York and Los Angeles. He thinks this is big because it means competing promotions won't get on other local FOX affiliates (my note: FOX started broadcasting in late 1986 with affiliates in NY, LA, Chicago, Washington, Houston and Dallas), but he also thinks the WWF product is overexposed at this point.

 

- First run of Savage-Steamboat matches are drawing well, but not exceptional. 8,500 12/25 in Detroit, 4,000 ($37,000) in St. Louis on 12/27. Dave thinks the first matches will do well everywhere (chaotic brawls meant to build to a return match), but questions whether they can keep drawing for 3 matches in the major cities and still have enough heat for the blowoff at Wrestlemania.

 

- Hogan and Kimala drew a $249,000 (2000 shy of a sellout) gate 12/26 at MSG. A wild but short brawl that ended with interference from Curtis Iaukea, and "everyone including Vince McMahon" involved in breaking it up. 1/19 at MSG will have a no DQ rematch, setting up a cage match in February

 

- 12/28 in Toronto sold out with 18,000 fans for a Hogan-Kimala no DQ match. Match ended when Hogan threw powder at Kimala, then jumped out of the ring and attacked Iaukea and Steve Lombardi, getting counted out in the process. Curtis "sliced and diced" his forehead. Hogan-Kimala also drew 15,000 in Chicago on 12/27, which is slightly more than Crockett did for a Bunkhouse Stampede two weeks prior

 

- Ricky Steamboat filmed an episode of the TV show "Sidekicks" while out selling his voice box injury. He appears as pro wrestler Rick Steamboat, and has dialogue

 

- "There actually is going to be a little Hulkster running around as Hogan's wife Linda Bollea is expecting" (my note: little did he know it would be a little Linda!)

 

- Jose Luis Rivera is working as "The Red Demon"

 

- Titan canceled a Christmas week show in St. Paul because Hogan-Kimala flopped at the box office the last time through and the AWA and Crockett both had strong shows

 

- Paul Orndorff's shoulder problems are worse than initially reported. The nerve endings in the shoulder are dead and doctors are telling him to retire from wrestling. He isn't listening, but will miss some bookings.

 

- The night after Dynamite Kid's back went out he was replaced in a tag match in Milwaukee by THE CRUSHER! (my note: I would love to see the Davey & Crusher tag team). Dave notes that Crusher's son is actually the AWA promoter in Milwaukee.

 

- Crockett -

 

- Dave will have full coverage of the 12/29 LA and 12/30 SF shows in the next issue. Expects both to do well and the LA gate to be in the $100,000 range which is phenomenal because aside from WTBS on cable they only have a 1am TV spot on a weak channel (Dave mentions earlier that with WWF going to the FOX station, Crockett should make a play for their old spot on channel 9 in LA)

 

- Ole Anderson appears to be on his way out of the Four Horsemen as he's being snubbed in the interviews. JJ Dillon and Tully have promised a surprise, which Dave thinks could/should be Lex Luger. Hopes they don't turn Ole face. They seem to be starting a feud between Tully and Barry Windham.

 

- Bob Armstrong will probably be coming in, February at the earliest

 

- The Christmas day afternoon show in Charlotte drew a sellout 10,200, with all tickets $4, headlined by Road Warriors/Nikita/Dusty v. Horsemen. That night in Atlanta they drew 15,000, with all tickets $5, and the same main event. 12/26 in Richmond drew 8,000 headlined by Dusty winning a Bunkhouse Stampede. Dave notes that Dick Murdoch (draw with Tully) is not drawing heat as a face, and Rick Rood (DQ Ricky Morton) looked very good and kept up with Morton.

 

- Arn Anderson has been cutting great promos lately

 

- They're starting to hype the tag team tournament on 4/11 and 4/12 in Baltimore, billed as having 25 teams. Dave doesn't know how they can pull that off when they aren't cooperating with other promotions

 

- Randy Mulkey did a 270 degree flip off a Krusher Khruschev backdrop that was just about the damnedest thing Dave has ever seen. "Mulkey would win hands down if we had a category for guys with absolutely no regard for the laws of gravity or personal safety. Dynamite Kid would come close as well"

 

- Working relationship with Florida is over as Crockett is now starting to run his own shows in the territory, 1/16 in Hollywood (Flair v. Dusty) and 1/21 in Jacksonville. Dave is told that Crockett will draw really well in Florida, and he notes that Dusty is a huge draw there and that Crockett will soon have Lex Luger also. People in CWF like Hiro Matsuda are furious as they had a gentleman's agreement with Dusty that he would never work against them. Flair will no longer be working for CWF either, and on TV Gordon Solie buried him saying he refused to defend the title and Lex Luger or Bad News Allen could beat him at will on any given night. Florida is going to be forced to pull out of the NWA as a result of all this and he expects all the magazines to unfairly make them look bad out of the deal like they did to Fritz Von Erich.

 

- "The NWA has died. Speaking of death, The Central States territory, known as the purgatory of pro-wrestling, is still burning." They drew 300 in Kansas City with all local talent. A card with Crockett talent drew 1,240 in Des Moines. Central States Champion Sam Houston went to a 30:00 draw with Arn Anderson in a boring match, because Arn was more interested in talking to girls at ringside than wrestling. A Christmas day card with all local talent drew "a shocking" 3,040.

 

- Florida -

 

- 12/25 in Tampa drew 2000. Main Event was Bad News Allen pinning Southern Heavyweight Champion Lex Luger in a non-title match, a result Dave is surprised by. Show featured a tourny for the Florida Tag Team Titles won by Chris Champion & Sean Royal over Kendall Windham & Vic Steamboat. Mike Graham teamed with Stan Lane after Steve Keirn quit the promotion. The story was Bob Roop fired Lane & Keirn because they were missing dates, Mike Graham overruled him and ended up firing Roop instead. Keirn was pissed off about the situation and eventually just quit. Dave is told Keirn can make more money in real estate than wrestling, but he wouldn't be surprised to see him end up in Memphis because Jarrett was hot after him and Lane. Lane is still in the promotion for now doing singles matches.

 

- Brody worked 3 shows but was only an average draw because he hasn't been on TV

 

- The Sheepherders are leaving for Alabama. Scott Hall is coming in in February after he does his short AWA run which is the proof Dave needs that his deal with Titan has fallen apart. Kevin Sullivan returns on 1/13.

 

- Ron Simmons is feuding with Kareem Muhammad over the Florida Heavyweight Championship

 

- Jarrett -

 

- All reports are that the Lawler-Tommy Rich feud is going really well. "Sometimes (actually often) I knock Lawler because he doesn't do any moves but he deserves credit for being one of the best workers around and a master at making his opponent, no matter how pitiful, look good." On 12/21 in Memphis they drew 6,500 fans. The match was a 24 minute draw, followed by 24 minutes of brawling all over the colliseum. Dave was told it was the best Memphis match of 1986, which is saying a lot because Lawler/Dundee and Landell/Mantell had "awesome" tag matches.

 

- There's been a lot of animosity between Titan and this group recently, specifically between Lawler and Harley Race. Race has been calling Lawler "queen" on promos that air in this area. Lawler was making fun of Tommy Rich for holding the NWA title for 5 days because he beat "a 60 yr old grey haired drunken bum who couldn't even wrestle!"

 

- World Class -

 

- 12/25 at the Reunion Arena drew 5,800 for a $70,000 gate. Huge walkup and almost double what they'd expected to draw. Main event was Abdullah the Butcher beating Bruiser Brody in a loser leaves town cage match. Dave doesn't know how this happened, but Tony Atlas was sitting at ringside next to Gary Hart and got legit knocked out when the cage door swung open. Match didn't have much heat, and only match on the card that really did was Kevin & Mike Von Erich against Al Madril & Brian Adias.

 

- Scott Casey beat Black Bart in a loser rides a mule match. "It was in the middle of the card and the mule relieved himself at ringside and the place stunk almost as much as the card did."

 

- 12/12 at the Sportatorium drew 250. 12/15 in Fort Worth drew 150. "Things are bad."

 

- Crusher Yircov (my note: Bam Bam Bigelow), who had been making $300 a week, walked out of the 12/12 show when booker George Scott tried to force him to sign a contract.

 

- AWA -

 

- 12/25 show drew 3,500 and Dave is told it was their best show in a while and much better than the Crockett show in the area. Main Event was Curt Hennig DQ'd against Nick Bockwinkel by special ref Billy Robinson in a match the crowd was buying as a title change. Dave says the Midnight Rockers and Doug Somers-Buddy Rose cage match was a definite ****, and everyone but Rose bled. Mr. Saito returned and looked awesome. Col. DeBeers and Jimmy Snuka had "a very bad" 5 minute match.

 

- UWF -

 

- 12/27 in Fort Worth drew 1,900, their biggest crowd yet for a TV taping. Steve Williams and Terry Gordy had a bloody brawl which Dave hears was taped and was very good. Williams bled so much he missed the show in Waco the next day. Duggan & Terry Taylor won the tag team titles, and Duggan also won a First Blood/I Quit battle royale in which about a dozen guys bled, and if you fought outside the ring for 10 seconds it was considered a submission. The same night in Jackson, MS drew 2,800 headlined by Ted DiBiase winning a bunkhouse brawl battle royale by bloodying One Man Gang, who had beaten him in a UWF title match earlier in the show. Dave says Eddie Gilbert did a gimmick where he wore a gas mask so he couldn't be cut, and eventually a babyface gets it off him and makes him bleed.

 

- They've started doing a copy of Savage-Elizabeth with Michael Hayes and Sunshine, which Dave says won't work because Liz is "demure and cute, and Sunshine is neither."

 

- Says Duggan is getting "the big shove" right now, and for this group to do well on the road they have to get guys like Duggan over, and he thinks they need live interviews with announcers to do it, rather than studio interviews which only Michael Hayes excels at

 

- Alabama -

 

- In the process of moving operations from Pensacola, FL to Birmingham, and he's heard they're going to focus on northern Alabama and southern Tennessee and pull out of Florida completely as business there is dead. Also talk that some guys may stay in Pensacola and try to run their own small group in the dead towns. 12/25 in Birmingham drew 4,500. Kevin Sullivan beat Steve Armstrong in the main event after a ref bump and "jabbing a pencil into his groin"

 

- Buddy Landel is coming in full time mid-January

 

- New Japan -

 

- Appears to be no chance of Brody returning here as Seji Sakaguchi doesn't want him

 

- May be facing a crisis as TV Asahi has been pre-empting their shows and may get rid of them all-together when their contract expires in mid-April. New Japan gets $1 million annually for rights fees, and losing that plus the exposure would be "a crippling blow"

 

- Tag tournament drew good houses, all over 10,000

 

- Maeda has toned down what he calls shooting. He says his concept is to make wrestling look legitimate and eliminate phony moves, not to have a pure shoot match or "a kill struggle". Says whatever problems Maeda and Inoki had have been ironed out.

 

- All Japan -

 

- Says Wajima is super over, and at a sold out 12/12 Budokan show several thousand fans actually left after his match, then a few thousand more left after the Choshu-Yatsu v. Funks match....leaving less than 10,000 for DiBiase-Hansen and Tsuruta-Tenryu

 

- Reader Pages -

 

- Somebody asks Dave what Verne would do if the AWA folded. Dave thinks he could end with UWF, Crockett or Titan, but isn't sure how much help he'd actually provide. "Hopefully nobody will ask him to help with booking"

 

- Somebody suggests WWF should phase Hogan out because he's rarely on TV and never has any big feuds. Thinks they should bring in a new heel or put the title on Randy Savage and "interest would heighten 100 percent". Says recent success of Crockett proves fans want real wrestling and not "fantasy world larger than life heroes" (my note: LMAO). Dave says Hogan is the franchise and all the marketing is built around the image of him as champion. Says Hogan chasing the title could do big business, but Hogan also has an ego and is in a position to veto a title change, and Vince can't afford to offend him.

 

- Steve Prazak asks about Titan trying to run Atlanta again, noting they only drew 1000 for their last card there. Dave doesn't see it happening any time soon as they are having a hard enough time keeping hot cities hot if Hogan isn't on the card

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- "There actually is going to be a little Hulkster running around as Hogan's wife Linda Bollea is expecting" (my note: little did he know it would be a little Linda!)

Do you mean Brooke? That would put her at something like 22 now. Is that right? Wow, I was thinking she was younger than that.

 

 

The big Bock-Curt broadway was taped when, Thanksgiving 86? It's not the one mentioned here, right, because this one was not a Draw. And didn't they do a controversial one in early 87? I seem to recall something about a roll of quarters being used.

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The next newsletter talks about the Curt-Bock broadway which aired NYE '86. It was taped in Las Vegas but he doesn't give a date.

I saw that and commented on it in the other thread.

 

Thanks for taking the time to do this. It's great info for me. And because I think of 87 as being a strong year for WWF but don't know that much about it, I am curious to hear what they have to say. I can't believe Kamala was such a draw. He had a cool look, but he has never interested me in any of his matches.

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