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20 Years Ago - WON 02/15/88


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WWF

-- Dave just raves and raves about the finish to the Hogan/Andre match on NBC, saying that he hopes whoever came up with that finish got a nice bonus in their paycheck. He's so impressed because he says it's like they thought of everything -- they found a way to get the belt off of Hogan to do a job, Andre wasn't hurt, Wrestlemania was set up, and the nature of the angle was so shocking that it didn't set off a fan riot, which was at one point a concern about taking the belt off of Hogan.

 

-- In the Bay area, radio stations were reporting the title change up to a week before it even happened. The San Jose Mercury ran a story about it the day before. This was out because the WWF had already sent advertising agencies information on Wrestlemania IV, with the slogan "Hogan tries to regain his title." Dave is shocked, but no one in the WWF was even concerned about it, because all the publicity in giving away the finish, and people anticipating a title change, only helped the ratings and buzz for the show. He says that's a clear difference between the WWF and NWA, as Dusty would have gone crazy about a finish leaking like that.

 

-- Trivia: Jerry Monti, the most famous jobber in the San Francisco territory, made the opening credits as the victim of the Honky Tonk Man's Shake Rattle & Roll neckbreaker.

 

-- Dave says production wise, the show wasn't as good as most WWF shows just because they were doing it live. Randy Savage's pre-match interview was a mess, because the mic wasn't on, and HTM's music was being played too loud.

 

-- The show started with Randy Savage vs Honky Tonk Man, and Dave says HTM and Peggy Sue (Sherri Martel) deserve credit for always putting on such a huge show in the pre-match, but that HTM turns it off when the bell rings. He says Savage carried him and it was bad, but watchable. He says Savage was limited by the framework of the match because there were several spots where he had to be laid out selling for long periods of time so HTM could attempt to serenade Elizabeth. The cameras missed a key interference spot from Jimmy Hart. The finish was Savage running HTM's shoulder into the ringpost before winning by countout. Post-match, Savage was hit with the megaphone. Honky was about to hit Savage with the guitar and Liz jumped in the way to save the day. He was about to hit her, but Savage saved the day and the post-match saw him open the ropes for Liz and carry her on his shoulder. Dave says ** for the whole thing. He thinks it was only a *1/4 match, but the post-match boosted it.

 

-- Regarding Hogan/Andre, Dave says Andre looks to have lost a lot of weight since Thanksgiving. He also says he's a great heel with great facial expressions, but has no business wrestling in his current physical condition. He took no bumps, because he would have had to get up again. Hogan did the Ric Flair bump of getting slammed off the top turnbuckle, which shocked Dave, because it's a pretty big bump anyway, but especially for Hogan. At one point, Andre tried to kick Hogan, but his other foot couldn't support him, and he fell. All he could really do from there was choke. Dave says he was admittedly surprised at the crowd doing more mugging than watching the match also. Hogan did his comeback and the legdrop, but Virgil distracted the ref, so there was no count. Andre then got up and did a botched suplex, the ref counted to three even with Hogan kicking out, and at 9:05, Andre was the new champion. Andre was just about to give "The World Tag Team Championship" (he screwed up the name of the belt twice) to DiBiase, but then referee Dave Hebner shows up. Dave had just left the NWA a few days earlier. Vince and Jesse were stunned and wondering how there could be two Dave Hebners, and the crowd was completely shocked. The heel Dave Hebner then beat up the real Dave Hebner and threw him out of the ring. He then turned around and realized Hogan was waiting for him, and Hogan picked up up and threw him outside the ring. DiBiase and Virgil were supposed to catch him, but Hogan was wrapped up in the moment and threw the heel Dave Hebner (Earl) too far, way past DiBiase and Virgil. Hogan did a post-match interview saying that DiBiase paid someone to have plastic surgery to look exactly like Dave Hebner to steal the title.

 

-- The show drew a 16.1 rating and a 26 share, which makes it the most widely watched wrestling match in the history of the United States. Dave says he'll go into more details about the rating next week, but it was an improvement over the bomb "Rags To Riches" that is normally in that time slot. The network was hopeful for top 5 or top 10 for the week, but no such luck. "They aren't going to get a weekly series although I'm sure they'll get another prime time special. I expected much better numbers as well, but I guess there aren't as many potential wrestling fans in the U.S. as I thought there were."

 

-- The syndicated TV aired the next day, and they covered for the taping difference by saying WWF President Jack Tunney had forbidden any discussion from the announcers of what happened the night before, which Dave thought was clever. Jesse Ventura would try to talk about it and they would bleep out everything he said. Jesse then did a spoof on the Dan Rather CBS walkout, started yelling about censorship, and left.

 

-- Dave can't believe how well everything worked, and now thinks calling Wrestlemania IV a $25 million show may be conservative.

 

-- The next day, the WWF ran two house shows -- one in Boston and one in Philadelphia.

 

-- The rumor is that it will be announced in syndication that the title is being held up. Dave goes crazy with speculation about possible scenarios that is too confusing to type.

 

-- Dynamite Kid collapsed in the San Francisco airport last Saturday. At least one radio station reported that he had a heart attack, which is what Dave was told initially as well. In reality, it was a stress-related seizure. He was hospitalized, but as of press time had already returned to the ring.

 

-- Bam Bam Bigelow had also already returned to the ring.

 

-- Trivia: About 14 months prior in Denver, rookie Owen James teamed with SD Jones, but lost to the Hart Foundation. "Owen James is of course Owen Hart, who wrestled against his brother that night. Even then he outshined everyone with Titan, which is probably why he hasn't been back."

 

-- Says the 01/25 MSG main event of Hogan & Bigelow vs DiBiase & Virgil was very good, and that DiBiase is the perfect opponent for Hogan in terms of working, and knows how to get the most out of him. Dave would give it ***1/4.

 

-- Dave was wrong about WM IV tickets in Atlantic City. As of 2/8, there were only 5,000 tickets sold and about 4,000 remaining. They are giving away 8,800 tickets, not 2,000, and the place will seat 17,800 when full. Dave expects a sellout within a week.

 

-- The WWF is now claiming that Wrestlemania III grossed $20.4 million, not $17.1 million as Dave had written in the yearbook. Dave thinks this year, worst case, they'd gross $23.5 million, but most likely $25 million.

 

-- 2/6 in Boston drew 15,534 sellout and $190,000 headlined by Hogan & Bigelow vs Andre & DiBiase. 2/6 in Philadelphia drew 13,112 and $163,608 headlined by Hogan & Bigelow vs Andre & DiBiase.

 

NWA

-- Correction to previous Bunkhouse Stampede figures: the show drew an $80,000 gate and 6,200 paid.

 

-- Ted Turner is now trying to help the NWA fix their PPV woes caused by the WWF blocking almost all of their planned shows for the year. "As we've noted, the future of this business on a major league level is definitely not in house shows, but in PPV and outside merchandising and with McMahon blocking Crockett from PPV, then no matter what else may happen or how much Crockett can turn things around, he won't be able to compete on a major league basis." Turner wants to help get the Great American Bash on PPV, but plans for the Crockett Cup and Starrcade have been canned. After the Bash, they don't have another PPV scheduled until January of '89 with the Bunkhouse final. "I guess the big difference between these guys and McMahon is that at least McMahon learns from his mistakes."

 

-- As of the previous week, JCP is averaging a 6.5 national rating in syndication and is the #12 spot, while Titan is at #3 with an average 10.6 national rating in syndication.

 

-- The Sporting News ran a clip a few weeks back about Lyle Alzado's "Learning The Ropes" sitcom where he plays a single dad who supplements his job as a school teacher by being a masked wrestler called The Maniac. Steve Williams doubled for Alzado in the early pilots filmed just before Christmas. When Williams was wrestling Flair, he injured his knee landing wrong on a leap frog from the top rope. He came back obviously injured for a match with Tully Blanchard. Tully was supposed to hit him on the back with a chair, but instead hit him in the head and he started juicing. He then had to patch his head up for a match with Arn Anderson, but his knee blew out. Arn also doubled for Alzado, teaming with Lex Luger against the Road Warriors. Anderson fell from the ring and jammed his shoulder on a TV camera.

 

-- "Am I imagining things or has Sting totally surpassed Lex Luger and Barry Windham as the top young babyface? I was afraid Luger would lose his 'steam' like Nikita Koloff did, but believe me, in my wildest dreams I didn't think he'd lose it by early February. I figured at worse he'd be a hot headliner at least through the early summer before slipping into Nikita-level nothing stratosphere. Luger is already one of the boys and stuck in a tag team feud with Windham against Tully Blanchard & Arn Anderson ... Even though Sting certainly needs work on interviews, he's got an amazing rapport with the audience and can do some amazing things in the ring and I truly believe he's the kind of a guy who in about a year someone could actually build a promotion around. His work is good already and great in spots and his charisma beats both Luger and Barry Windham by a substantial margin."

 

-- Ole Anderson is back on a semi-regular basis to replace the departing Nikita Koloff, who will be gone for 6-8 weeks.

 

-- Buddy Landell tried to get work, but they wouldn't give him the time of day. He didn't even last for his Japanese tour, disappearing after two weeks. He is scheduled to start back with Continental in early march.

 

-- The Rock & Roll Express are telling everyone they're starting with the WWF in June, which Dave is skeptical about and are just working independents until then. JCP is still getting lots of calls about them leaving, with the official line being, "They aren't gone, they're just renegotiating."

 

-- Michael Hayes still really wants to go to the WWF, but is headed to WCCW.

 

-- Steve Williams is just going to work Japan, although Dave recommends he try to get a part-time gig with WCCW just to stay in shape.

 

-- Dave thinks in spite of the cloud of impeding doom surrounding the NWA lately, they seem to be getting on the right track with booking. He loved the Road Warriors angle and thinks it will draw (not sellouts, but good, respectable houses). Dave now thinks the weights were gimmicked, though. The plan is for the Road Warriors to have ladder matches with the Powers of Pain on house shows with $50,000 at the top of the ladder.

 

-- Eddie Gilbert was offered a spot in the Varsity Club and turned it down

 

-- Dave now wants to talk about the Barry Windham/Tully Blanchard match: "Now I liked the match. I can get into the concept of working on a body part with the guy selling the injury, etc. Both guys know how to work that style, the smashing of the chair on Windham's knee looked legit and Windham did his usual great job of selling the wounded limb. Lots of readers enjoyed the match as well. Now I'm not going to comment on the ending because that's not the issue here. The issue is, Tully had Barry in the figure four at the 22:00 mark, after working on the leg for 12 minutes, and the crowd was chanting 'boring' and there was no heat. Technically, from the wrestling I grew up with, it was a good match, but the fans weren't buying it. I hope everyone takes notice of this because if it continues to happen, long matches may become as prevalent as Dusty's muscular definition. I can recall in Houston this past year I saw a Flair vs. Windham match, which wound up going about 30 minutes and was every bit of a four-star match. They did their usual slow start for 7 minutes before turning up the heat, but in those 7 minutes, several hundred fans went home. So what in my eyes (and in the eyes of the ringsiders who were 'into' the match totally) was a great match obviously was not a great match in the eyes of the bleacher folks who were leaving during the main event. The idea that these slow-builders may not appeal to today's fans is a concept I'd rather not address, but I've seen too many examples of fans being unable to retain interest in long matches. The point being, with the idea of slow-building and telling a story with the matches may not be viable concepts to today's fans. I'd like to hear others opinions on this."

 

AWA

-- The final card at the Minneapolis Auditorium happened on 02/04 before a low turnout of 1,700 fans. They were hyping it as Nostalgia Night, and the WWF countered by running "Mad Dog Vachon Night" in the same market the following week, and even ended up bringing in old AWA stars for their show like The Crusher, Nick Bockwinkel and Blackjack Lanza. Verne had Red Bastien, Killer Kowalski, Carl Eller (never wrestled, but was a member of the Minnesota Vikings Purple People Eaters front four in the early 70s), Butch Levy, Leo Nomellini, Hard Boiled Haggerty, Dick the Bruiser (who wrestled), Billy Robinson and perennial jobber Kenny "Sodbuster" Jay, who actually got the biggest pop. Verne Gagne and Stanley Blackburn were in attendance as well. Dave says Zenk/Robinson stood out in the wrong way, because Zenk is the only potential contender they have for Hennig, and a 50-year old guy took him to a 20-minute draw. He also controlled the entire match, which was in slow motion and Zenk had no opportunity to do anything to get himself over. The AWA now doesn't have a venue lined out for the Twin Cities.

 

-- Adrian Adonis is out until March at the earliest. The match where he broke his ankle was a match against Ricky Rice that did air on TV.

 

-- Kelly Kiniski quit. He was unhappy with his $170 weekly check and went back to Canada.

 

-- Nord the Barbarian quit. He's hugely over in the AWA because of his car commercials, but Verne never wanted to push him because he didn't think he could last.

 

-- Still no word on the future of Paul E. Dangerously.

 

MEMPHIS

-- Scott Hall is gone, and no one knows where he is. (My note: I'm sure something similar has been written at least once every year since in the WON.)

 

-- Pat Tanaka and Paul Diamond are scheduled to come in as a babyface tag team for a few weeks.

 

-- Bill Dundee finally turned heel. There was a battle royal with the winner getting a shot at the CWA title on the 2/6 TV show. It came down to Jeff Jarrett and Bill Dundee. Dundee tossed Jarrett over the top rope, but Jarrett held on and flipped himself back in the ring. Dundee was strutting, and Jarrett hit him from behind with two dropkicks that sent him over the top rope. Later in the show, Lawler defended against Jarrett, and after a ref bump, Dundee came in and hit Jarrett and Lawler very hard with a chair.

 

-- Brother Earnest Angel is in managing a team called the Choir Boys and is doing a televangelist gimmick. They are getting nasty phone calls from religious groups. The angle is intended to spoof Jim & Tammy Faye Baker, which Angel saying he's on a mission to create "Wrestling Village USA". Angel "saved the soul" of Darryl Peterson (Max Payne) on TV.

 

WCCW

-- Ken Mantell really wants to put together a Ric Flair vs Kerry Von Erich match for May.

 

CONTINENTAL

-- 01/29 in Columbus, MS, drew 1,708. Crowds in Montgomery, AL have been less than 150 per week.

 

SOUTHERN CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING

-- The promotion is getting hot in Atlanta, drawing a turnaway crowd of 620 fans in Marietta, mainly due to Ricky Morton.

 

-- Abdullah the Butcher, Robert Gibson, Bruiser Brody and Dick Slater are scheduled for the 02/21 taping, with a likely Brody vs Slater main event

 

-- Dave says he saw the January TV and it's a pretty lively and fun to watch indy show, and has better caliber wrestling than most indies

 

-- There is talk of Dennis Condrey coming in

 

-- There's a major war going on with other Georgia independents. On a recent Deep South Wrestling show, they made fun of Joe Pedicino and Bonnie Blackstone. They did a skit with a guy in an easy chair pretending to be Pedicino, but getting stuck in his chair and needing help to get out. Blackstone was parodied as a total bimbo. Southern countered by showing a clip of The Invader vs The Assassin, with Pedicino saying, "This is the Puerto Rican Assassin because there is nobody named The Assassin in the United States that can wrestle," a dig at Jody Hamilton, the group's headliner.

 

-- On a show they did in Atlanta, Michael Hayes said, regarding the NWA, "It may be the major league, but their checks are minor league."

 

STAMPEDE

-- Garfield Portz suffered a stroke late last week at the age of 30 years old, collapsing while pumping gas. The original prognosis wasn't good, but he began to take a turn for the better. At first, there was fear that he would be paralyzed for life. It's too early to tell.

 

-- 01/29 in Calgary drew 1,300. The 02/05 show drew a near sellout, but there were lots of fans who arrived late because of the NBC special the WWF was airing. That show was the last for Bad News. He didn't do any jobs on the way out because Vince wouldn't let him.

 

-- Dave thinks Rip Rogers has turned out to be great and has surprised everyone by that because no one expected it.

 

-- Stampede really wants to do a Ric Flair vs Owen Hart NWA World title match in Spring, but JCP doesn't seem into it.

 

NEW JAPAN

-- TV tapings on 02/01 in Saitama drew 3,150 headlined by Tatsumi Fujinami & Kengo Kimura vs Buzz Sawyer & Owen Hart.

 

-- Bob Orton is having a great tour, and had a standout match against Riki Choshu.

 

-- The juniors series ended on 02/07 in Sapporo with a Hase vs Koshinaka match. Hiroshi Hase is getting the big push, but the most over wrestlers are still Nobuhiko Takada and Kazuo Yamazaki.

 

-- Owen Hart returns in May, which should kill any rumors of him being WWF-bound.

 

-- "New Japan wrestler Naoki Sano, a prelim guy who is working in Mexico under the name Masked Bushido, which in Spanish means Samurai Spirit, won the UWA International Lightweight title from Astro De Oro while at the same time without his mask, Sano, Hirokazu Hata & Asai hold the Mexican 6-man tag title.

 

-- Antonio Inoki proved to be very over in Italy. His shows drew 12,125 on 1/23 in Milan and 13,854 on 1/24 in Rome.

 

-- Sambo champion Chris Dolman may have a match with Inoki over summer.

 

ALL JAPAN

-- No wrestling until late February

 

-- Dave thinks he reported the Asian tag titles change last week incorrectly, and will get it cleared up.

 

PUERTO RICO

-- WWC in San Juan had a big show at a baseball stadium headlined by Carlos Colon vs Iron Sheik that drew 25,000 fans

 

MEXICO

-- "A brief rundown on the scene here. There are literally dozens of promotions in the country and wrestling draws huge crowds, although the gates aren't high by U.S. standards because of the weak peso so there are very few Americans working here and I don't believe there are any working here on a regular basis. Tickets generally range from $1.50 to $3 in U.S. money and even the main eventers earn something like $25 to $30 on cards which draw several thousand fans."

 

-- MS-1 & Masakurae were recently named Mexico's Tag Team of the Year

 

-- "Top drawing cards in Mexico include Perro Aguayo, Super Halcon, Super Muneco, the Japanese trio and of course veterans like Mil Mascaras, Dos Caras and El Canek."

 

-- "Negro Casas, who some think is the best worker in the world, has resurfaced working out of Tijuana."

 

-- One of the top heels is a Honky Tonk Man ripoff named Beautiful Elvis

 

-- In the Mexico City metro arena alone, there are five cards every Wednesday, seven cards every Friday, and ten shows every Sunday, and still, shows in Mexico City draw in excess of 15,000 fans. Tijuana has two shows per week drawing 5,000-6,000 per show.

 

OTHER

-- An indy billed as Georgia Championship Wrestling has a 2/11 show booked in Albany headlined by Dale Veasy vs Scott Armstrong. Also on the card is Brickhouse Brown vs Hector Guerrero, Jerry Oates vs Ken Timbs and The MOD Squad vs The Children of Doom and Tom Prichard vs Ken Dillinger. They are using WWF graphics in their TV ad which is airing on several local stations. Crockett has a show in Albany on 2/9.

 

-- Chavo Guerrero is now working in catering and is said to be retired.

 

-- World Organization Wrestling ran a show on 01/22 in Philadelphia, MS drawing 150, headlined by Jerry Stubbs vs Bob Holly. Elsewhere on the card was Bob Sweetan vs Paul Diamond, and also a really strong 15:00 Pat Tanaka vs Davey Haskins match, where Pat Tanaka took such a strong bump off of a backdrop that he broke the ring.

 

-- Former pro wrestler Robert Michael Doggendorf (Mike Doggendorf in Angelo Poffo's ICW) was arrested for beating his wife although the charges were lowered from a felony to misdemeanor. He works as a director of custody at the Fayette County Jail in Lexington, KY.

 

-- Roddy Piper is doing great in Hollywood. He should never have to wrestle again unless he wants to, and he's in really high demand.

 

DAVE'S RANKINGS

1. Owen Hart

2. Nobuhiko Takada

3. Ric Flair

4. Ted DiBiase

5. Masa Saito

6. Tatsumi Fujinami

7. Dick Murdoch

8. Barry Windham

9. Bruiser Brody

10. Curt Hennig

11. Bret Hart

12. Keichi Yamada

13. Terry Gordy

14. Rick Martel

15. Tiger Mask

16. Tully Blanchard

17. Bobby Eaton

18. Hiroshi Hase

19. Buzz Sawyer

20. Terry Taylor

21. Randy Savage

22. Brad Armstrong

23. Genichiro Tenryu

24. Shiro Koshinaka

25. Kazuo Yamazaki

26. Riki Choshu

27. Eddie Gilbert

28. Yoshiaki Yatsu

29. Ricky Steamboat

30. Yoshiaki Fujiwara

 

TAG TEAMS

1. Bobby Eaton & Stan Lane

2. Rick Martel & Tito Santana

3. Tully Blanchard & Arn Anderson

4. Tatsumi Fujinami & Kengo Kimura

5. Riki Choshu & Masa Saito

6. The Islanders

7. Stan Hansen & Terry Gordy

8. Yoshiaki Fujiwara & Kazuo Yamazaki

9. Road Warriors

10. Genichiro Tenryu & Ashura Hara

11. Jumbo Tsuruta & Yoshiaki Yatsu

12. Tiger Mask & Shinichi Nakano

13. The Fantastics

14. Brad Armstrong & Tim Horner

15. Bruce Hart & Brian Pillman

16. Rock & Roll Express

17. Midnight Rockers

18. Super Strong Machine & Hiro Saito

19. Hart Foundation

20. Toshiaki Kawada & Samson Fuyuki

 

WOMEN

1. Chigusa Nagayo

2. Lioness Asuka

3. Bull Nakano

4. Yukari Omori

5. Condor Saito

6. Yumiko Hotta

7. Itsuki Yamazaki

8. Kazue Nagahori

9. Noriyo Tateno

10. Leilani Kai

11. Mitsuko Nishiwaki

12. Dump Matsumoto

13. Rumi Kazama

14. Estelle Molina

15. Mika Komatsu

16. Lola Gonzales

17. Yumi Oguar

18. Drill Nakamae

19. Sherri Martel

20. Debbie Combs

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Thanks for this Loss.

 

-- One of the top heels is a Honky Tonk Man ripoff named Beautiful Elvis

I remember AAA had a Elvis in 1993. He use to team with Winners. He was pretty good actually. I doubt it's the same guy.

 

I should post some of my old Torches from 1998/1999/2000. They are really entertaining and show how bad WCW went.

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I can't wait til it gets to Wrestlemania. Dave might be all excited about the gate, but that was a truly boring show.

 

Dave was really high on Owen. An Owen/Flair match would've been interesting. As for fans leaving a Flair/Windham match seven minutes in... I guess that says something about why US pro-wrestling is such crap these days. Props for Nagahori in the women's top 20. I wonder if Dave remembers who Nagahori was these days.

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SOUTHERN CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING

-- The promotion is getting hot in Atlanta, drawing a turnaway crowd of 620 fans in Marietta, mainly due to Ricky Morton.

 

-- Abdullah the Butcher, Robert Gibson, Bruiser Brody and Dick Slater are scheduled for the 02/21 taping, with a likely Brody vs Slater main event

 

-- Dave says he saw the January TV and it's a pretty lively and fun to watch indy show, and has better caliber wrestling than most indies

 

-- There is talk of Dennis Condrey coming in

 

-- There's a major war going on with other Georgia independents. On a recent Deep South Wrestling show, they made fun of Joe Pedicino and Bonnie Blackstone. They did a skit with a guy in an easy chair pretending to be Pedicino, but getting stuck in his chair and needing help to get out. Blackstone was parodied as a total bimbo. Southern countered by showing a clip of The Invader vs The Assassin, with Pedicino saying, "This is the Puerto Rican Assassin because there is nobody named The Assassin in the United States that can wrestle," a dig at Jody Hamilton, the group's headliner.

 

-- On a show they did in Atlanta, Michael Hayes said, regarding the NWA, "It may be the major league, but their checks are minor league."

Hey Kris you have any more background on the 80s Georgia indepedent wrestling war?

Seen the Nightmares v nightmares match on youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HI_uQBVvgKA

What else of this is available to see?

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I can't wait til it gets to Wrestlemania. Dave might be all excited about the gate, but that was a truly boring show.

 

Dave was really high on Owen. An Owen/Flair match would've been interesting. As for fans leaving a Flair/Windham match seven minutes in... I guess that says something about why US pro-wrestling is such crap these days. Props for Nagahori in the women's top 20. I wonder if Dave remembers who Nagahori was these days.

It may be a fair point. I have a problem these days with Triple H matches in that they always seem to go 16-25 minutes. You can safely ignore the first ten minutes because they're just killing time until the finish, or at least that's the impression I have.

 

It is interesting that Dave was so high on the business aspect, because I don't recall WWE having a huge year. Hogan/Andre popped a big rating but otherwise there doesn't seem to be anything remarkable.

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It's nice to see that Dave is letting up on the WWF hate that filled up the Observer in the first couple years of the expansion.

 

Those 84-86 Observers are hard to read IMO with the constant complaining.

 

These issues are a much easier read and for more informative now that Meltzer has calmed down and tried to be objective (ie actually giving the WWF credit for their financial success, praising certain angles, etc).

 

He's obviously not a WWF fan by any means but he's being fair.

 

And Dave being a fan of the HTM gimmick (although he hates him as a worker) is hilarious to me for some reason

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-- Brother Earnest Angel is in managing a team called the Choir Boys and is doing a televangelist gimmick. They are getting nasty phone calls from religious groups. The angle is intended to spoof Jim & Tammy Faye Baker, which Angel saying he's on a mission to create "Wrestling Village USA". Angel "saved the soul" of Darryl Peterson (Max Payne) on TV.

For those few of you who still watch TNA, Brother Earnest was on there last week as the preacher who married AJ Styles and Karen Angle. They've used him at least twice before too, once as Jarrett's lawyer and once as AJ's former gym coach.

 

-- There's a major war going on with other Georgia independents. On a recent Deep South Wrestling show, they made fun of Joe Pedicino and Bonnie Blackstone. They did a skit with a guy in an easy chair pretending to be Pedicino, but getting stuck in his chair and needing help to get out. Blackstone was parodied as a total bimbo. Southern countered by showing a clip of The Invader vs The Assassin, with Pedicino saying, "This is the Puerto Rican Assassin because there is nobody named The Assassin in the United States that can wrestle," a dig at Jody Hamilton, the group's headliner.

I love stories about shit like this.

 

-- In the Mexico City metro arena alone, there are five cards every Wednesday, seven cards every Friday, and ten shows every Sunday, and still, shows in Mexico City draw in excess of 15,000 fans. Tijuana has two shows per week drawing 5,000-6,000 per show.

Wow. For the first time ever, I think Vampiro might not have been completely full of shit when he claimed he wrestled more than twenty times per week in his early days in Mexico. He's still lying of course, but it reduces the severity from an "the earth is flat" lie to a more forgivable "Raven says he worked 400 matches in his first year" typical wrestling exaggeration.

 

-- Roddy Piper is doing great in Hollywood. He should never have to wrestle again unless he wants to, and he's in really high demand.

Heh.
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AWA

-- The final card at the Minneapolis Auditorium happened on 02/04 before a low turnout of 1,700 fans. They were hyping it as Nostalgia Night, and the WWF countered by running "Mad Dog Vachon Night" in the same market the following week, and even ended up bringing in old AWA stars for their show like The Crusher, Nick Bockwinkel and Blackjack Lanza.

It fascinates me that Vince was so intent on running the AWA completely into the ground in the Twin Cities (and everywhere else, for that matter) even at this point, where the AWA was so far off the map as a major league promotion that they weren't close to being a legitimate competitior for the WWF anymore.

 

Either Vince was paranoid that Verne could bring the AWA back somehow, or he legitimately hated Verne for not accepting his buyout offer in 1983-84 and was just being incredibly vindictive. Probably the latter.

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DiBiase was the original plan. Blame the Honky Tonk Man for all the changes. Details are probably in the next WON, or maybe the one after that.

 

I've heard the stories before, but I don't get why Honky refusing to job the IC belt to Savage would prompt Vince to not only change his plans for the world belt but turn his marquee PPV event into an ass-numbing 4 hour long tournament.

 

Like I would totally expect someone like Vince to react to Honky not jobbing by having the IC title vacated and have Savage win the belt at WM from DiBiase.

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