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22 Years (and a bit) ago: WON 2/24/86


khawk20
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In the spirit of what Loss has been doing, I thought I would put one up in the same general time frame as his recaps but a few years earlier. The issue wasn't complete but I tried my best with what was there.

 

I'll try to do more pre-88 ones occasionally if the interest is there and if I can manage the time.

 

Observer Recap—February 24th, 1986

 

Page 1

 

Lead Story: The coroner’s report on the death of Gino Hernandez is out, and the verdict is that it was an “Acute cocaine overdose”. Dave discusses the negative impact that it would have on the business if, say, Kerry Von Erich or Hulk Hogan were to end up involved in a drug scandal. He does add to this that the average wrestling fan probably knows that most of their favourites are “high as a kite” while working anyways. The sponsorship, cartoons, and merchandising would all be hit hard and the current “Boom” period would likely end. He notes that Gino’s death got medium-profile news coverage in the Dallas area.

 

--Wrestlemania 2 speculation and notes: Dave points to William Perry being quoted in the Chicago Sun Times as saying he would never appear in any wrestling show. He doesn’t know much about the upcoming event but does review what little he does know, including naming the three locations for the event, the Budny-Hogan LA Main event, the Piper-Mr. T Boxing Main event, and the proposed “$100,000 Open Battleroyal” for wrestlers, athletes, and other celebrities in Chicago. He notes that Lyle Alzado and Mark Gasinteau were to be involved in that one, and Perry was supposed to be in but seems to have backed out unless it was an angle. Other matches he had heard of being signed included Bruno Sammartino vs. Jesse Ventura from the New York location, Savage vs. Santana, and the Bulldogs vs. The Dream Team which would be a title change. He confirmed the card as “definitely happening on 4/7.”

 

--3/1 NBC WWF TV show recap. Other than reviewing the matches and angles done to setup Mania, he includes mention of Mr. T getting fired recently from the A-Team show for being to obnoxious for his fellow actors to handle, and T blowing up badly during round 1 of his boxing match with Orton. He also noted that angles making sense in the WWF these days wasn’t necessary and pointed to Heenan managing Muraco during his Hogan match as evidence of this. He based his expectance of the Bulldogs winning the titles at WM II on the fact that they lost the NBC match with Valentine and Beefcake controversially.

 

 

HAWAII: Poly Pro drew 1200 in Honolulu, and 189 in Los Angeles. Dave is amazed that their group is trying to run without TV in LA as Crockett and McMahon are there. He notes the airline costs alone from Hawaii to LA for the wrestlers (he quotes $14,000 in airfare for that junket) make shows like that impossible to be profitable on any level. Notes from a coinciding San Jose card itself are weird, as I guess Dave didn’t see most of it, but he did say he would go again if the Japanese (Fujinami/Kimura) and Lawler returned. PowerTeamUSA was mentioned and noted as “ so very green and stiff, it’s unbelievable”. Nobody knew who the babyfaces were so the crowd booed all of them. Snuka was described as typical (2:00 of action, then total slow-down). He said the girls battleroyal was fun. Lawler vs. Lars Anderson was decent because Lawler worked at letting the fans know he was the heel, and had to work hard because Lars couldn’t/can’t do anything in the ring. “Wolfe” (my note--I assume Buddy but I could be wrong, he isn’t named) came out and interfered for Lawler, and Snuka made the save for Lars and they had a good post-match brawl.

Dave recaps the Poly bouts from the LA card which are similar. He notes Kimura and Fujinami were wasted against Tim Patterson and Budda Khan (my note—these guys were AWA jobbers on ESPN a lot around this time) and that Lars-Lawler wasn’t nearly as good as the San Jose bout. The girls from San Jose did not work as there was no money to pay them.

 

WWF in Oakland on 2/26 drew 7,700 and Dave says it wasn’t terrible, which I assume is high praise of a WWF product for him. He notes that Rene Goulet did the Flair corner-flip and ran into a punch in his match against Pedro Morales, and Dave didn’t think anyone else in wrestling could do that move. Oh, and Sivi Afi stinks.

 

JAPAN: I’m missing a page here so bear with this…Takada beat Yamada in 12:57 with a German Suplex….Tokyo series finale drew 11,190 (Sell-out) for Inoki beating Fujiwara with a sleeper “to kill a potentially great feud”, Koshinaka upsetting The Cobra for the first IWGP JR title, Kerry beating Fujinami by DQ and Kevin beating Kimura by DQ…He notes dollar devaluation in Japan is likely seeing Baba and Inoki making 25% more profit on their current shows than the shows they ran the previous year….Dave notes that the Japanese girls are still headed into MSG on 3/16/86 (my note—currently this card is on 24/7) but Nagayo would miss it due to a knee injury.

 

CROCKETT: Tijiho Khan debuts and was trained by Eddie Sharkey, described as a “230 pounder with an average steroid body who can’t put together a match”…Crockett was going into St. Louis on 3/2 with all their own people, not using Geigel’s Cetnral States crew on the undercard this time…Talks about the Midnight Rider-Harley Race Loser Leaves Town match that might now be shelved and says it wasn’t going to happen on 3/2 anyway because Harley was in Japan. (my note—I never heard that the Rider thing was tried with Race)..Jim Garvin coming in.

 

MEMPHIS: Drew around 1800 on 2/9 flying in Terry Taylor and Austin Idol for the show. This is a jump in attendance from previous weeks...Randy Culley in as the Assassin…speculated with the low attendance that Lawler’s return would be pushed up from the original 6-month timeline but no idea how they would get around the stips that saw him leave. He backpedaled on a previous claim that Lawler and Jarrett had a falling out of some sort.

 

AWA: 2/9 St. Paul drew 2,784….reviews the 2/21 TV taped in Oshkosh on 1/31 where Brody brawls with Greg Gagne and Blackwell alternately and together in the ring…notes that Brody was given 7 arena dates but only committed to appearing at 1, 4/20 at the Metrodome, “currently scheduled as Blackwell/Gagne vs. Brody/Kaissie in the cage—the AWA wanted a singles match but Brody flatly refused to given them the ending they wanted—a clean pinfall—so they made it a tag instead. I do know that Brody, and probably Blackwell, wanted Verne in the tag match, not Greg, because it would heighten the interest in the match much more…”

 

 

LETTERS PAGE: Norm Dooley talks about how people seem to have the idea that areas like Memphis and Portland are so much bigger than they actually are, and how Watt’s promotion should be considered fourth in relation to those smaller outfits and “the Big 3” (Gagne, Crockett and McMahon ). He advocates that the smaller groups should just sell out and noted that current stars like Flair and Terry Funk (my note: lol) would be retired in ten years but guys like Tojo Yamamoto and Rufus Jones would still be wrestling.

 

That’s all I have.

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"Too Tall" Jones was advertised to wrestle in the event right to the end, but ended up refereeing with no explanation given.

 

--3/1 NBC WWF TV show recap. Other than reviewing the matches and angles done to setup Mania, he includes mention of Mr. T getting fired recently from the A-Team show for being to obnoxious for his fellow actors to handle, and T blowing up badly during round 1 of his boxing match with Orton. He also noted that angles making sense in the WWF these days wasn’t necessary and pointed to Heenan managing Muraco during his Hogan match as evidence of this. He based his expectance of the Bulldogs winning the titles at WM II on the fact that they lost the NBC match with Valentine and Beefcake controversially.

Heenan had a reason. Mr. Fuji had the flu! Someone really needs to get a screencap of Fuji with two ice packs now that this event is currently airing on 24/7.

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