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20 Years Ago - WON 02/01/88


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WWF

-- The Royal Rumble: Dave says it wasn't really better or worse than the Bunkhouse Stampede. Dave says the production values for the show were a step down from normal simply because they couldn't post-produce and add in crowd noise and reactions. He says there were too many replays on the show and it looked like it may have dragged a lot for anyone who attended live, although he admits he has yet to speak to anyone who was there live for the Hamilton show. The show happened before a sellout crowd of 18,000.

 

Ricky Steamboat downed Rick Rude via DQ in 17:00: Dave feels this should have been better if the plan was to set up a feud. Rude showed very little. Lack of heat for the first 15:00, considering both guys are headliners. Lots of resting and stalling, although the nearfalls toward the end got good heat. Rude pulled the ref in front of him when Steamboat tried to do the flying bodypress. Rude then put Steamboat in the backbreaker and the ref called for the bell. Rude thought he won, but had been DQ'd. **

 

The Jumping Bomb Angels captured the WWF women's tag team title from the Glamour Girls winning two of three falls: Judy Martin pinned Itsuki Yamazaki at the first fall in 7:00 with the Devil Masami suplex. Second fall saw Yamazaki pin Martin with a sunset flip in 3:00. Finish saw Noriyo Tateno pin Martin after both girls hit her simultaneously with dropkicks off the top ropes in 5:00. Good match, but not great at all. "Tateno doesn't even look like the same girl who came to the U.S. about 10 weeks ago. Actually both the Japanese girls were missing moves and appeared physically to look out of shape. All the Japanese girls (well, except for Dump Matsumoto of course) are noted for their incredible fitness level, but Tateno looks like she's been training with Buddy Rose as of late." ***

 

The Royal Rumble lasted 33:00 before Jim Duggan ducked a One Man Gang charge and Gang flew over the top leaving Hacksaw as the winner: Much better than anticipated and at least as good as the Bunkhouse Stampede. The camera work was great, and it was fun to watch. Dave says he loves watching guys run to the ring, because you can see who does real training, as opposed to weightlighting and needlepoint, by seeing how they run. He also felt you could tell by the order of entry how the promotion feels about the workrate of everyone involved. Bret Hart and Tito Santana were the best and opened the match, and Jake Roberts, Harley Race and Sam Houston were also in early, with "Anabolic Warrior", "Junkfood Dog", Ron Bass and Hillbilly Jim coming in late. "Gang, who most respect as a good worker for a slob, was in next to last." Junkfood was last, and got thrown out in 90 seconds. Dave wishes the faces and heels would have fought among themselves, but that can be excused for the WWF. "Dusty's thing was supposed to be $500,000 winner-take-all and Dusty and Animal on interviews talked about 'no friends' and the like yet they were constantly helping each other out. I know, who cares." ***1/2

 

The Islanders downed "the Barbie Dolls" in two straight falls: Both falls went around 7:00. "I actually saw a submission hold that worked on 'pushed' guys in the U.S. when Haku made Roma submit to a half Boston crab. I got so confused I went out for Oriental food afterwards. The Islanders are a good team because they carried this match from start-to-finish and it was basically good action." **1/2

 

The show also had the Hogan/Andre contract signing, which was well done, and Andre's back is said to be feeling better these days. "Every time I watch Hogan I marvel at the fact that people really eat him up." Dave thinks Vince could get Lee Harvey Oswald over as a babyface, although he couldn't do it for Mr. T or the Honky Tonk Man. He loves the Honky Tonk Man and Peggy Sue. Dino Bravo also attempted to set a world bench press record. The whole idea was that Bravo's bogus 715 pounds is tons more than Crockett's monsters will be doing on 01/30 if they plan on using legit weights, which was the plan at one time. Now, they almost have to gimmick it, because Warlord is the only guy who might have a shot at doing 600 lbs legit.

 

-- According to the newspapers, Wrestlemania IV will be in Atlantic City, NJ, from the 16,000-seat Convention Center. Dave says he was surprised by this because he had heard that Vince was close to finishing a deal for Mania in Las Vegas for either the UNLV gym or Caesar's Palace. The plan is for the show to not be pushed all the heavily as a closed-circuit event, and more as a PPV event, but because so many people still aren't able to get PPV, he thinks the closed-circuit turnout will still be strong. Tickets will go on sale on 01/30. The best 2,000 seats will be freebies given to casino high-rollers.

 

-- The Get Well Matilda write-in is the WWF's way of building up a mailing list for its merchandise catalog

 

-- Dave gives Vince HUGE credit for this: Survivor Series had no chance of selling out, but Vince wanted the PPV audience to see a full house. So he gave thousands of tickets to Kiwanis clubs and Lions clubs to give to kids, and got lots of goodwill in the town fo rthe gesture.

 

-- "Coliseum Video is coming out with a Best of George Steel tape and also WWF's Most Embarrassing Moments. Are you sure that isn't the same tape?"

 

-- Dave says everyone is asking him to predict the finish of Hogan/Andre so here's his guess, because he doesn't know the finish: "DiBiase will interfere and Andre will pin Hogan on 2/5; however, Jack Tunney will prove he can't be bought and hold the title up so Ted doesn't get the title, and order a rematch in a cage at WM4 so Ted can't interfere (and also so Andre can lose without doing a job). Hulk will win on a fluke, and they'll run Hulk vs Andre over the summer in your local cities after the Hulk gets back from playing Hulk Hogan in the movies."

 

-- They are back to trying to run a schedule of C team shows

 

-- 1/17 at the Meadowlands drew 7,500 headlined by Randy Savage vs Honky Tonk Man; 1/18 in Hartford drew 7,500 headlined by Randy Savage vs Honky Tonk Man in a cage; 1/23 at the Capital Centre drew 8,000 headlined by a Bunkhouse Stampede won by Don Muraco

 

-- There was this quote about Hogan in Detroit News: "He's nicer than Kirk Gibson, but not by much." Gibson has the rep of being a total asshole dealing with fans, especially kids.

 

-- Billy Jack Haynes has missed several matches due to health problems. He has an irregular heartbeat which is under control with medication, but he hasn't been consistently taking his medication.

 

-- Dave expects a big week of TV with sweeps coming up

 

NWA

-- The Bunkhouse Stampede: Dave says the card was about what you would have expected, and he says he's gotten a lot of negative feedback from people who were in attendance. He says as a pay-per-view production it was better than Starrcade, although the opening match was completely inexcusable and they should have explained all the wrestlers not appearing. Dave says they hyped Sting vs Mike Rotunda on TBS up to a half hour before the show started, and then just didn't do the match. Also, the show was advertised to start at 7:00, the tickets stated the show started at 8:00, and the show actually started at 6:35, so if you arrived at 8:00, you missed most of the show, and it was over by 9:00. Fans were chanting "Refund, refund" during the live show, and the crowd booed when Dusty Rhodes won the Bunkhouse Stampede. He still thinks the show could have worked with the right undercard, or at least some other changes to the show. There were also quite a few complaints about the camera work, specifically that they missed too much action. It's estimated that less than 7,000 fans were there.

 

Dark match was Sting & Jimmy Garvin vs The Sheepherders, which was called "decent".

 

Nikita Koloff went to a 20:00 draw with Bobby Eaton to retain the NWA TV title: "To say Nikita did nothing would be giving him more of a compliment than he deserves." Eaton took a few great bumps, but mostly held onto the hammerlock until the last 30 seconds or so when they had a slugfest. Stan Lane showed up after the match and they doubleteamed Nikita for a few seconds. Calls the match a candidate for worst match of the year, at -**.

 

Larry Zbyszko pinned Barry Windham in 19:16 to win the Western States title: The match was built around Zbyszko working on Barry's "injured knee" from the TBS match with Tully Blanchard that aired over the weekend, and the last 10 minutes were excellent. Dave says Windham is fantastic at selling with his glassy-eyed routine. It was a good finish. ***1/2

 

Road Warrior Hawk beat Ric Flair via DQ in 21:39 with Flair retaining the NWA World title: Hawk did little early since this was going to be the longest singles match of his career. The heat really built when Flair was on the attack and Hawk sold his knee injury very well. Dave says while Flair's routine was predictable in some ways, there were some differences compared to his usual matches against muscle guys. He'd call it an excellent match outside the finish. There was a ref bump and then Flair was posted and juiced, and Hawk gave him a great superplex. The ref was knocked out for nearly 3 minutes and as Hawk had Flair pinned, JJ Dillon hit him with a chair and he didn't sell. Then Flair hit Hawk with the chair and Hawk kicked out before two, which Dave says was a mess up on Hawk's timing. Hawk then no-selled a Flair suplex, and Flair hit Hawk with a chair again, which the ref saw this time. ***3/4, which Dave would have given **** or more without the weak climax.

 

Dusty Rhodes won the Bunkhouse Stampede finals in 26:21: Lots of blood, and it was as good as it could be. Brutal and bloody, and delivered on what was promised. Ivan Koloff was excellent and was the first guy out at 16:42, Animal and Warlord went together at 18:00, Arn/Tully/Luger went at 22:36, which left Dusty with the Barbarian. Dave says he's not a Luger fan, but Luger should have won this, and the fans started losing interest once he was eliminated. ***

 

-- Dave says he's tired of repeating the same points over and over about the NWA's problems, although he admits that to their credit, they are fairly responsive to fans and he expects a major improvement in television in February with sweeps coming up. Dave also thinks the announcing is much better, and that at Starrcade, Jim Ross overstated every match too much, trying to get all of them over as a classic, and he didn't do that so much here.

 

-- The plan is to start showing the finishes of matches the following week if they go off the air before the match ends.

 

-- All the no-shows aren't exclusive to the Bunkhouse Stampede. They had a horrible card in Los Angeles on 01/21 with eight wrestlers not showing up. Most of the no-shows were due to wrestlers being pulled because of the costs of flights. Dave says all the no-shows can't always be blamed on the promotion, but fans do deserve explanation when someone isn't there who is advertised to be there.

 

-- The lack of correlation with start times on shows is also not exclusive to Bunkhouse Stampede. There was a show in St. Louis on 01/17 that started more than an hour late because the wrestlers were late coming from Charleston, WV.

 

-- Dave says it wasn't a good week for them, because they hurt themselves in both New York and Los Angeles. He does think changes are coming, but they may be coming too slowly.

 

-- TV ratings are up and the shows have gotten better.

 

-- A key difference between the NWA and the WWF is that for WWF shows, fans come to see the stars, and for NWA shows, fans come to see the action. Dave says the NWA has great wrestlers, but the schedule is killing them, and doing cross-country double shots on weekends and making for bad cards. He says they need new talent in the worst way. In recent weeks, they lost Terry Taylor simply because they had a vendetta against him for leaving in 1985 and decided to take it out on him now. They lost Bubba Rogers, who had a great gimmick and had become good in the ring. The Rock & Roll Express quit because they were unhappy about their push, although Dave thinks they've been on borrowed time for the last 9 months or so. The odds of Steve Williams returning are "less than 50/50 for reasons that anyone who has followed the plight of the UWF can understand." Sean Royal has also quit, and Chris Champion, Brad Armstrong and Eddie Gilbert have disappeared. There are other wrestlers who also want to get out.

 

-- Dave really thinks Ric Flair should be turned babyface, because he's the top heel and is more popular than anyone in the promotion despite being a great heel. But he says it can't be done right now because of the Luger turn and that they don't have another heel anywhere near capable of carrying the top spot. He also thinks Dusty Rhodes should turn heel and feud with the Road Warriors, but knows that will never happen. The treatment of Flair is an old issue, but he doesn't know when they'll realize the reason they can't draw with Flair as heel champ anymore is because they've killed his credibility.

 

-- Dave says he can't call himself a WWF fan, he does watch their TV show and has worlds of respect for what they've done in improving the business. He thinks they're only going to get better over the next two years, and deserve to be congratulated for being such a success. But he still insists the NWA's problems have nothing to do with the WWF's success, at least for the most part. He says yes, the WWF doesn't help by counterprogramming their PPVs and locking them out of major arenas around the country, and they do put paranoia about losing wrestlers in the NWA, which does lead to Dusty pushing himself more because he knows Vince won't steal him.

 

-- Regarding Dusty, Dave says he knows that it's hard to step down from the spotlight, because Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Mickey Mantel, Muhammad Ali, Johnny Unitas and Antonio Inoki also couldn't do it. Dave says what happened to Larry Holmes on Friday night is an example of something that any sports or pop culture figure has to face at some point. He says because wrestling is a work, Father Time isn't brutal in the same ways, but in some ways it can be even more cruel because fans turnover so much faster than in sports, and "yesterday's legend, especially a regional one --- well, I'm going to stop here because I'm writing once again what I didn't want to get into this week."

 

-- The Crockett Cup will take place in April. The site will be announced in a few weeks. Dave says while it sounds markish to suggest it, Crockett really needs to establish a working relationship with a few other territories for this tournament, because their talent roster is so thin, especially now compared to the same time frame the year before.

 

-- Correction to previous story -- Starrcade did a 3.3 buyrate (20,000 of 600,000 potential homes), not a 6.6 buyrate. It was reported that the Bunkhouse Stampede cleared 6 million shows, but Dave doesn't buy that. He doesn't think the show did anywhere near a 3.0 buyrate, although the last minute hype was pretty good.

 

-- 1/17 in St. Louis drew 5,900 and a $50,000 gate headlined by Ric Flair vs Michael Hayes in a cage match; 1/14 in Norfolk, VA drew 4,000 headlined by Ric Flair vs Dusty Rhodes in a cage match; 1/20 in Honolulu, HI drew a near sellout 7,200 headlined by Ric Flair vs Nikita Koloff; 1/21 in Los Angeles drew 3,000 headlined by Ric Flair vs Michael Hayes; 1/23 in Cincinnati, OH drew 3,000 headlined by Ric Flair vs Sting

 

-- Michael Hayes has quit and is expected to return to World Class

 

-- "There are personal reasons why Nikita's matches have been so bad as of late as his head isn't into them. He may be taking a sabbatical shortly. Please don't jump to the conclusion this is drug related, in fact it's nothing he has any control over"

 

-- If Steve Williams doesn't return, the UWF title will be forgotten and no unification match will take place

 

-- Dave says he saw the the Windham/Blanchard match mentioned last week and really liked it, but it was obvious based on crowd reaction that fans didn't. He wants to talk more next week about the value of doing 30-minute matches that "tell a story" for today's audience.

 

-- 2/6 in Charlotte headlined by Luger & Windham vs Flair & Arn is being advertised as the first time Flair and Luger have ever opposed each other anyway. Dave says he's not surprised they forgot Luger's Florida days, but just four days earlier, on 2/2 in Miami, they have Flair & Blanchard vs Dusty & Luger as the main event.

 

-- Rick Steiner will be back shortly as part of Kevin Sullivan's Varsity Club

 

-- The NWA will return to Houston in March

 

-- Road Warrior Hawk's interviews have been killer lately. He had a neo-Nazi line in a recent promo, but was just quoting The Breakfast Club. He also had this zinger: "The difference between me and you, Ric Flair, is that if we had a bet for $1,000 and I lost, I wouldn't pay it."

 

MEMPHIS

-- To clarify what was reported the week before, The Gilberts coming in are Doug and Tommy, and Eddie is still with JCP.

 

-- The 1/18 Hennig vs Lawler match saw Larry Hennig come to the ring with Curt. Before the match, Curt said that if he beat Lawler (Lawler's $10,000 ring was at stake against the AWA title), he would give his dad the ring as a present. The finish saw Larry give Lawler the axe before Curt pinned him. However, when Larry was given the ring, Lawler stole it back from him.

 

-- 1/27 will have Lawler & Dundee vs The Rockers, who are calling Lawler and Dundee "The Over The Hill Gang" on TV.

 

-- 1/23 in Jonesboro, AR, was said to have a great main event, Lawler vs Terry Taylor at ***1/2 with tons of strong nearfalls.

 

-- Prelim wrestler Jerry Bryant was recently diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease at 37 years old.

 

SOUTHERN CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING

-- The latest taping on 01/24 drew 630 fans for Bruiser Brody.

 

-- Austin Idol tried to hold them up for more money recently, which is why he's suspended in the storyline.

 

-- The lighting at the first taping was pretty bad, and the sound at the second taping was pretty bad, but Dave is told they've worked these problems out now and fans are really enjoying the shows.

 

-- When Condrey and Rose were AWA tag champs, they were scheduled to do a show, but Condrey didn't appear. Comrade Busich subbed for him, so Paul E. Dangerously grabbed the mic and said "Ladies and Gentelemen, Ravishing Randy and Comrade Busich, the substitute Original Midnight Express."

 

GLOBAL

-- This group deserves high marks for taking a terrible live show on 1/22 in Davie, FL, and sweetening it so much with strong post-production that it aired as a polished and flashy TV a few days later. It was a crowd of 550, half of which were kids who were admitted for free, so they drew a $2,000 gate. It started 30 minutes late, there were long delays between matches, and the ring mic didn't work, so the fans didn't know the wrestlers' names.

 

-- Dave says the group doesn't have much talent, but they are great at putting together a TV show, equal to WCCW and superior to the NWA and AWA.

 

CONTINENTAL

-- Ranger Ross showed up on 1/11 billed as the Alabama champion. He beat Moondog Spot in a fictitious match. He already appears to be gone, though.

 

-- On TV, they had a bench press contest between Lord Humongous and Doug Furnas. They used gimmicked weights, and Humongous did 645 lbs. Furnas then did the same amount twice before Humongous pushed the bar down on his chest and injured his ribs. Their matches are pathetic.

 

-- 1/18 in Birmingham drew 500.

 

-- They are bringing in a wrestling bear for the 1/25 card, which Dave thinks is desperation.

 

-- Charlie Platt is co-announcing with Gordon Solie, which is an addition for the better

 

-- Dave needs a new tape supplier for Continental

 

AWA

-- Paul E. Dangerously may be coming back as the manager of Curt Hennig

 

WCCW

-- The Hood is Jeff Gaylord

 

-- The Fantastics vs John Tatum & Jack Victory matches have been really good. Overall, TV has been strong lately, although still not as good as Stampede or the WWF.

 

STAMPEDE

-- Shows continue to draw near sellouts. 1/9 in Edmonton drew 1,200 in a 1,300-seat building. Standout matches from the show were a Garfield Portz vs Brian Pillman bloodbath at ***3/4; Chris Benoit vs Great Gama at **** and Jason the Terrible vs Makhan Singh at ***. 1/15 in Calgary drew 1,500. 1/23 in Edmonton drew 1,250. Ratings by Trent Walters.

 

-- Bad News Allen was out of action this week because he was on tour with Antonio Inoki in Italy for some cards run by Dominic Denucci. He's scheduled for WWF TV tapings in the coming week, but is scheduled to be back in Stampede for 1/29 and 1/30 cards. He will continue working weekends until he goes full time with the WWF.

 

-- Dave says "Rip Rogers' queer act has been done too many times in this territory to make it and his work is below par"

 

-- Jason is now an honorary member of Bad Company (Brian Pillman & Bruce Hart), which Dave thinks is hilarious because he's wearing two masks, the white outpatient uniform, a bandana around his head, and a black laeather jacket.

 

-- Bad News and Jason were both fined for brawling outside the ring and injuring fans.

 

-- Leo Burke will be in during early February, and Owen Hart returns in the middle of the month

 

-- Keichi Yamada is scheduled to be back in March or April

 

CENTRAL STATES

-- Mike George won the WWA World Title tournament before a crowd of 800 fans in Kansas City on 01/23. The tag titles are still held up. 1/15 in St. Joseph drew 608 fans.

 

PUERTO RICO

-- Keiji Muto is headed in.

 

NJPW

-- Konga the Barbarian will be on the next tour, which could be weird if Crockett shoots a big angle at the weight lifting challenge on 01/30 and Barbarian has to leave 3 weeks later.

 

-- Tatsumi Fujinami & Kengo Kimura won the IWGP tag titles from Yoshiaki Fujiwara and Kazuo Yamazaki on 01/18 in Tokuyama. Originally, they were going to defend against Choshu & Super Strong Machine, but Choshu injured his knee earlier in the week and had to miss the match. Choshu has really bad luck, because he was probably supposed to win.

 

-- 1/11 TV was headlined by Inoki & Takada vs Williams & Hart, which was excellent. Choshu vs Sawyer was also good, but Choshu seemed uninterested.

 

-- Wrestling has been awesome lately, but crowds have been lower than ever: 2,100 on 1/5, 1,620 on 1/6, 1,430 on 1/7, 1,760 on 1/9, 1,430 on 1/10, which shows how much the 12/27 show killed business. The 12/27 TV show drew a great 11.0 rating, but the following week, they were in the 8.0 range again.

 

-- Dave still can't believe they've phased Choshu down so much. He lost steam from the Maeda incident and the whole 12/27 fiasco, which hurt everyone.

 

-- Vader has been given the biggest TV push of any foreigner in recent memory, including Hansen and Brody, but still gets no heat.

 

-- The Owen Hart/Hiroshi Hase match on 01/04 was ***1/2, but still disappointing. Several of Hase's amateur wrestling friends were there and Owen also has a great amateur background, so they wrestled on the mat freestyle for six or seven minutes. Even though it turned into a good match, and Hase's Northern Lights suplex is the best move in wrestling, Owen showed his lack of experience after not recovering from missed moves. Meltzer predicts Hase will win Best Technical Wrestler next year once more people see him.

 

-- Steve Williams was scheduled to leave on 01/20 so he could work the Bunkhouse Stampede, but he sent word that he wasn't coming back and plans to work exclusively in Japan. He was unhappy about his contract with Crockett, and he realizes he can make a good income only working 16 weeks a year in Japan. Still, it wouldn't surprise anyone to see him go to the WWF, since he's close to Duggan and DiBiase.

 

-- Good news for Inoki. They're moving TV to Fuji TV on Saturday afternoons, which isn't a great timeslot, but is much better than the one they would have had otherwise.

 

-- Rumors abound that Inoki will face Koji Kitao at the Tokyo Dome in a mixed match in April. If it takes place, it would draw a huge crowd. Kitao denies the story, but Dave is told the match would easily draw a $1 million gate if it happened.

 

AJPW

-- The next series will be from 02/20 to 03/11 and will include Stan Hansen, Terry Gordy, Joel Deaton, Joe & Dean Malenko and Rocky Iaukea Jr.

 

-- There will be a big "Martial Arts Olympic" show on 4/2 at the Sumo Hall in memory of Ikki Kajiwara, the creator of the Tiger Mask comic strip and cartoon. The show will have wrestling from both AJPW and JWP, boxing and shoot boxing.

 

-- Nippon announced that when baseball season starts, they're moving All Japan TV to 10:30-11:30pm on Sundays. Baba always loses his Saturday night primetime slot when baseball begins, but is usually moved to Saturday afternoons.

 

-- Baba recently turned 50 and stated he has no plans to retire.

 

-- Buddy Landell is looking good on tour, but not getting pushed. He even went to a draw with rookie Akira Taue. Dave is unsure about Taue's future although Baba is high on him.

 

-- Dave finally saw the Hennig/Tiger Mask match. It wasn't horrible, but there was no heat and little action, and the AWA title is pretty much dead as a touring title now.

 

JOSHI

-- Yukari Omori's retirement ceremony will happen on 02/15. She had already announced that if she couldn't beat Chigusa Nagayo on 01/15 that she would retire.

 

-- Due to all the retirements, Pairatu Kuma and Drill Driver will be the new masked top heel team, while Bull Nakano will replace Dump Matsumoto as the top heel. Yumiko Hotta and Mitsuko Nishiwaki will be pushed as a new tag team.

 

OTHER

-- Thanks to Justice B. Hill of Detroit News for writing nice things about the Observer in the 1/17 issue

 

-- A reader told Dave he was being offensive by using the term "abortion" to describe a bad match. Dave said this is an industry term, but there are other industry terms that are offensive to minorities that he doesn't use, so he'll stop using it going forward.

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Amazing to me that Meltz didn't get into the women's tag at Rumble 88, as that was so much better than anything else on that card.

 

I was always under the impression Roma was injured legit taking the tumble to the floor at the end of the first fall and they had to change the original finish, but if that's true Meltzer had no idea about it when he wrote the review.

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Loss, Thanks so much for continuing these, they're an absolute blast to read, even more so with 20 years of hindsight. A couple of things:

 

- I'm assuming the Nikita Koloff bit Dave brought up was about his wife?

- When did Doc go back to the NWA?

- I guess it's safe to say that Akira Taue wound up doing OK for himself.

- I've actually seen the Furnas/Humongous weightlifting angle, it's not bad actually, but it's pretty clear the weights are gimmicked.

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Amazing to me that Meltz didn't get into the women's tag at Rumble 88, as that was so much better than anything else on that card.

 

I was always under the impression Roma was injured legit taking the tumble to the floor at the end of the first fall and they had to change the original finish, but if that's true Meltzer had no idea about it when he wrote the review.

It looked legit, but I remember looking at Graham's site a couple weeks ago. Roma was back in the ring the next night, and did not appear to miss any dates.

 

Nikita at Clash I gave an interview and mentioned seeing a person close to him who fights for life (he was talking about his anti-drug campaign). I would be very surprised if it wasn't to do with his wife's illness at that point. (Though him explaining his stylish dress as his own version of peristroka was a highlight.

 

Steve Williams of course returned by March, as he gave an interview at the same Clash. For those who criticize promotions for scripting interviews, that one was an example of why they do it. Just awful by any standard.

 

The Survivor Series bit was interesting. WWE returned to the same arena for the 1988 version.

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The Jumping Bomb Angels captured the WWF women's tag team title from the Glamour Girls winning two of three falls: Judy Martin pinned Itsuki Yamazaki at the first fall in 7:00 with the Devil Masami suplex. Second fall saw Yamazaki pin Martin with a sunset flip in 3:00. Finish saw Noriyo Tateno pin Martin after both girls hit her simultaneously with dropkicks off the top ropes in 5:00. Good match, but not great at all. "Tateno doesn't even look like the same girl who came to the U.S. about 10 weeks ago. Actually both the Japanese girls were missing moves and appeared physically to look out of shape. All the Japanese girls (well, except for Dump Matsumoto of course) are noted for their incredible fitness level, but Tateno looks like she's been training with Buddy Rose as of late." ***

 

 

This would seem to back up the stories that the Angels went crazy in the US since they had access to all the stuff frowned upon in Japan (booze, men, etc).

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The Get Well Matilda write-in is the WWF's way of building up a mailing list for its merchandise catalog

So great.

 

I didn't know the Rock and Roll Express was gone at that point, but now this makes more sense:

 

I was watching the first Clash last night and heard Ross get in what I figured to be a subtle dig at Morton and Gibson during the Midnights/Fantastics match, when he said something to the effect of "The Fantastics are here for action, they're not just here to dance and rock and roll." :D

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Man I want to see Buddy Landell go to a draw with rookie Akira Taue. I assume that isn't on tape anywhere?

From Dan's AJPW Lists, these were Taue's TV matches from the first series of 1988:

 

1/2/88 Special (taped 1/2/88 )

1. Giant Baba/Akira Taue vs. Buddy Landell/Paul Harris (3:38 aired)

 

1/23/88 (taped 1/23/88 )

1. TNT/Pete Roberts vs. The Great Kabuki/Akira Taue (9:32 complete)

 

Taue wasn't back on TV until July.

 

The 1/2/88 match didn't air on Classics, so there isn't a more complete version of it unless it showed up on some Taue Special. It *was* his debut match, so it might have. One suspect all of it was taped and sat in the can.

 

BTW, is not Taue's wiki bio pathetic:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akira_Taue

 

John

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  • 5 years later...

I guess they didn't have a dark match at the 88 Royal Rumble. Did Meltzer mention that Monsoon and not McMahon was supposed to commentate with Ventura, but didn't due to suffering a mild heart attack. That's also why Heenan wasn't there, because he was with Monsoon.

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  • 2 years later...

What does sweeps mean? A big week of feature matches and interesting angles?

Three times a year (February, May and November) are "sweeps months" for American TV, where the ratings help determine advertising rates, so TV shows would bring in huge guest stars or do cliffhanger storylines to try to increase ratings. This went for all TV, not just wrestling.

 

Not sure it's done so much now since there are so many stations but when you only had 3 stations in a lot of markets that didn't have cable, they were incredibly important.

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  • 2 months later...

Watching the NWA TV in Jan 1988 and I thought the Bunkhouse Stampede Finals was supposed to have 10-20 wrestlers. Steve Williams, Big Bubba Rogers, & the Mighty Wilbur were scheduled to be in that match, but Rogers left, Wilbur was injured, but what was Steve Williams deal? Also, were there supposed to be other people in it? Also, why was the finals done in a cage, when the 2 finals in 86 & 87 didn't have a cage?

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