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24 Years Ago: WON March 1984


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March 1984 Observer Recap

 

-On the Cover (yes, there was a cover): An “In Memoriam” picture of David Von Erich.

 

TOP STORY: David’s death recap. This was reported straight up as acute enteritis. The shock of this in both Japan and Texas was reflected on, with Dave noting it was not known how this would affect business in WCCW in the immediate future. Dave also mentions that David was the strongest contender to win the World heavyweight title at that time. There is also a rundown of David’s career highlights and his pro debut is noted as being June 28th, 1977, going to a draw with John Studd.

 

Notable quote: “He (David) had a flu-type condition for six weeks, but in our business if you can walk, you go out there. David was in no condition to wrestle. I feel very guilty about it. I’m very upset about it.”—Fritz Von Erich

 

OTHER LATE NOTES(included here in the front of the newsletter with the DVE news because the David piece was actually added after this issue was put to bed): Tito Santana should be IC Champ by the time this publication gets to it’s readers…Dynamite Kid over The Cobra in the tourney finals of the WWF Jr. heavy tournament in Japan. Davey Boy 3rd, Kuniaki Kobayashi 4th…1st WWF show in St. Louis drew 13,000 at the Kiel and 2500 on closed circuit to see John Studd win a Battleroyal where he eliminated Hogan and Andre together as they were fighting each other in a corner. The card was taped as the WWF wanted to emulate the way WCCW did their TV (big matches, classy production) and so it could air in markets the WWF was breaking into for the first time, like Chicago and Columbus…Bob Geigel ran a show in St. Louis the week before and drew 10,700 (my note--!!!)…..Bruiser and Crusher to team again in Chicago (my note—went to a double DQ vs. Stan Hansen and Nick Bockwinkel on March 4th)..

 

PULLING NO PUNCHES: Dave addresses the biggest, most talked about story in pro wrestling: the change/metamorphosis of Pro Wrestling itself.

-notes Vince going head to head with Geigel/Verne/Harley in St. Louis

-Vince possibly opening a third promotion in Japan as early as April

-Lists many wrestlers rumoured to be leaving their current area and and notes the devastating effect that going to the WWF would have on their home promotion. Wrestlers rumoured included Orton, Valentine, Butch Reed and Brody

-notes Sayama was supposed to return to MSG on 3/25 billed as “The Tiger” and how the plan was for him to be the WWF’s top draw overseas

-every major promoter except Eddie Graham was forming a NATO-type of alliance with one or more other promoters to help fight off WWF invasion. Even Baba and Inoki were planning a joint card for the middle of the year to counteract any potential McMahon forays into Japan

-Dave correctly noted that despite the thunder of the WWF, it remained to be seen if Vince could actually drive any other established promotions into the ground. He does note that the WWF would probably have a good shot at taking down the AWA due to the familiarity of the workers to the area (Schultz, Hogan, Okerlund, etc.), but that WCCW and Memphis would probably not have to worry right away

-Dave says he is not against what Vince is doing in principle because it would benefit everyone from the wrestlers to the fans paying to get in. The only ones not benefiting would be the promoters. He is against what McMahon is doing for many other reasons, though:

a) Vince isn’t playing a game based on who runs the best shows or has the best talent/booking, he’s banking on “political power plays” to aid his takeover bids. He notes how Eddie Einhorn never got a fair chance to run on the East Coast due to Vince Sr. blocking him out of all the arenas. Same thing happened in 1982 to a lesser extent to Bruno Sammartino’s IWF promotion (my note--??What’s the story on Bruno having a promotion?)

B) Vince was learning as he went with a gaffe in St. Louis when he tried to block out Geigel et al from having a tv outlet—he screwed up but is taking notes…

-Ole Anderson is splicing together clips from past shows putting current WWF stars like Iron Sheik, Tito and Piper in a bad light on their TV. Ole even dug up Lawler vs. Hogan footage to show that Hogan wasn’t so great. Ole would be noting at the end of the clips stuff like “well, Pat Rose beat Tito Santana here…” which Dave thinks would actually piss off the fans even more due to their being treated like idiots (i.e., nobody would believe Pat Rose ever beat Tito at any stage of his career)

-notes Ole and Verne Gagne set to work together and wishes Verne luck.

-Final Notes about McMahon: Working with him is no bargain (see George Cannon, Inoki and Altoona promoter gene Dargen), and Vince was heading for trouble trying to keep a room full of Superstars happy. Hogan’s contract was already apparently being pointed at by others and was becoming a sore spot.

Dave said he would use this column every month to track the latest on McMahon’s takeover bids in various areas.

 

 

DAVE'S PERSONAL WORSTS OF 1983:

Worst Wrestler: Ox Baker (honorable mention: the Crusher and Adrian Street (but notes Street is at least entertaining)

Worst Babyface: Tommy Rich.

Worst Feud: wants to pick Rich and Sawyer but his poll naming it third best feud makes that impossible…doesn’t seem to actually name one.

Worst Tag Team: Bob Brown and Buzz Tyler (apologies to The Strongbow Brothers and the Zambuie Express)

Worst Finishing Hold: Crusher’s Bolo Punch. Honorable mention: Bob Backlund’s Chicken Wing, despite Dave noting that it was basically a legit hold.

Least Agile: Plowboy Frazier

Worst Brawler: Jimmy Valiant

Weakest Wrestler: Baba and Mike Von Erich

Worst on Interviews: too many to pick just one but notes Bellomo, Backlund, Strongbow and Putski among others

Worst Circuit: Florida, “not because of the talent or the gimmicks, but how that promotion pretends that there is credibility around their horrible stunts.”

Worst Run Circuit: Ole’s Georgia with Southwest not far behind

Worst TV Show: Sheiks’ Big Time Wrestling. If only considering “larger’ promotions then Geigel’s Wrestling at the Chase shows wins

Worst Match Dave Saw All Year: Angelo Mosca Jr. (in his second week) vs. Ox Baker

Worst Announcer: Dave McClane from Bruiser’s Indiana promotion (“not only worse than Solie, but worse than Jeff Walton out of Los Angeles.”)

Worst Manager: Don Carson, honorable mention to Skandor Akbar and Paul Ellering

 

Did you know that Dave gave his phone number in this issue in case any of his readers wanted to phone him?

 

He’s also shilling a three tape “Best of 1983” set. Each tape is 4 hours long and has most of the major bouts of the year on them.

 

 

Next is a reprint of a newspaper article on Lord Athol Layton. The paper it is from is not noted. It’s the actual article added into the newsletter.

 

An Article by Joe Soucheray is next, detailing a Minneapolis group called the USA Professional Wrestling Group that had a card scheduled for Minneapolis which was cancelled due to interference by unnamed parties. It is whispered that it’s Verne and Wally Karbo’s doing, but Karbo is interviewed about it and denies it and the columnist doesn’t believe they would bother given that the talent they were trying too bring in was lightweight (Amazing Zulu, Bruno Sammartino Jr) and the AWA had nothing to fear from such a fledgling group.

 

Next is another Article, this one from John Sherman. It details Hulk Hogan being upset with Verne and Wally for advertising him on the Christmas St. Paul card, knowing full well he had terminated his service to the AWA a full four weeks earlier. Hogan goes on to claim his problems stem from the fact that the powers-that-be screwed him out of the AWA title three separate times...and a whole bunch more kayfabe hyperbole about one champion, unification, and whatnot. The point of this article seems to be that Hogan wanted to come back to the Twin Cities with the WWF belt in tow. The article did a good job of making the AWA look poor and heightening anticipation for Hogan returning to the area as a champion in the future (which finally happened in June of 1984).

 

Both of these articles are noted on the next page as being from Twin Cities papers.

 

LETTERS: Mick Karch has a letter in about a previous Vince McMahon article and AWA implications. Mike Rosen writes a friggin NOVEL about the AWA and the idea of a fight with the WWF in the near future next. (my note—Mike I believe was the original source for the 1983-85 AWA Raw Footage discs (Civic Center bouts) that I introduced a few years back. He apparently has lots more if anyone knows where he might be at…)

 

****

 

That’s the first 17 pages of this Observer and I’m stopping for now. As I have time I will summarize the next 17 pages in this thread. Next up: Dave details the best matches he saw in each month of 1983.

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March 1984 Observer Recap, Continued

 

Month-By-Month Best Bouts Dave saw in 1983

 

Jan 17, Memphis: Jerry Lawler and Koko Ware vs. Wild Sabu and Bobby Eaton

-brawl included Lawler slamming Eaton on the press table, Sabu being slammed onto Eaton on that table, the table breaking, and that table being thrown onto Jimmy Hart

-Ware hits perfect missile dropkick from the top rope on Sabu and Ware landing standing after a double backdrop to hit a double dropkick on the heels, one leg hitting each of them

-Ware and Lawler executing 4 piledrivers on Sabu and Eaton

-Lawler catching Hart, choking him and decking referee Jerry Calhoun when he tried to break it up for the DQ

 

Feb 18, Dallas: Freebirds vs. Von Erichs

-first 6-man meeting between the two teams, non-title, and it was a lumberjack match although the lumberjacks had little to do as the action stayed mostly in the ring

-12 minutes of back and forth brawling, ending with Kevin knocking Gordy back while he tried to piledrive david and David scoring the pin

-Dave notes that this was undoubtably the first of many sellouts this feud would garner in Texas rings

 

Mar 4, Tokyo: Khan/Saito/Chosu vs. Kimura/Hamaguchi/Teranishi

-ten minute bout with several sensational moves including Teranishi hitting a top rope dropkick and Hamaguchi’s blockbuster suplex

-endind was “incredible” as Hamaguchi was trapped in the heels corner and took a suplex from Chosu, a Khan back suplex right on his head, a Saito front suplex, a vertical suplex from Chosu, a Chosu/Saito stuff piledriver, and topped off by a Khan kneedrop off the top rope into a Scorpion leglock by Chosu. Kimura seeing the end near tore the top rope off the turnbuckle and used it to choke Chosu who was on the opposite side of the ring. Kimura team was DQed as a result.

 

April 23, Tokyo: Dynamite Kid vs. Tiger Mask

-tons of action in the first three minutes and eventually ended in a double countout after a dive saw both men trapped on the other side of the guardrail and unable to get back into the ring. The crowd chanted “encore” so loud that they decided to go at it again.

-Dynamite hit “the most sensational diving headbutt I’ve ever seen”

-Ende dup being a battle of suplexs and piledrivers until Kid broke a beer bottle on the ringpost and brought it into the ring, where he proceeded to headbutt the referee. The Ref refused to DQ him and they kept battling. Tiger hit s suplex and piledriver on the floor, and somehow Dynamite got up and piledrove Tiger, at which point both men collapsed and were counted out of the ring.

 

May 9, Memphis: Moondogs vs. Stan Land and Jackie Fargo

-four minute bout that saw Fargo and lane use everything not nailed down as a weapon and Keirn coming to the ring with a 2 x 4 to brain the Moondogs until the bout was just stopped (I assume a N/C).

 

 

June 2, Tokyo: Hulk Hogan vs. Antonio Inoki

-notes that although there was 20 minutes of solid action, the ending and aftermath were what made the bout memorable.

-recaps Hogan no-selling an inziguri but selling a poorly hit dropkick, and then the lariat on the apron to Inoki that ended up KOing him outside the ring.

-the bout was ruled a draw by the ref but another referee/official came into the ring and discussed how bad a draw verdict would look. After ten minutes the decision was changed to a win for Hogan and with it the IWGP Championship. It was later revealed that Inoki had a concussion and was subsequently out for several months

 

July 23, Landover: Jimmy Snuka vs. Don Muraco

-19,000 fan sell-out with no undercard of note at all

-peak of their feud and probably one of their best bouts of all.

-Muraco switched a vertical suplex in mid-air to a facebuster

-Don bled freely as Snuka pounded on him

-ending was Muraco pulling the ref in between him and a Snuka splash attempt and the ref DQing both wrestlers

 

Aug 4, Tokyo: Riki Chosu vs. Tatsumi Fujinami

-Fast paces scientific feud spotlighting Fujinami using Chosu’s best holds against him like the Scorpion Deathlock

-Fujinami also hit a superplex

-Fujinami hie Chosu with a back suplex on the floor and an Enziguri and then jumped back in the ring for a countout win to regain the International Title

 

Sept 5, Fort Worth: Von Erichs vs. Freebirds-typical 6-man between the two (read: highly entertaining) with Hayes getting a pin on Kerry for a shocking victory

 

Oct 17 New York: Don Muraco vs. Jimmy Snuka

-notes bout wasn’t the greatest but the tension in the arena and the ending were incredible

-noted that the sellout crowd (lists attendance at 26,300—felt forum overrun, I assume?) was shocked by the ending (Muraco getting out after a Snuka headbutt) as they had never seen a heel win a cage match before

-dive from Snuka onto Muraco was “incredible”

 

Nov 24, Greensboro: Harley Race vs. Ric Flair

-said that the bout could never have lived up to it’s hype but surprisingly, it did (my note: feh.)

-ending was messed up because Race never reacted well and Flair’s dive was poorly executed but those were minor blemishes on a classic match.

(my note—surprised that no commentary was given on how piss-poor Kiniski’s refereeing was in this bout).

 

Dec 8, Tokyo: Chosu/Yatsu/Hamaguchi vs. Fujinami/Kimura/Maeda-Dave never thought he would see a better match than the march 6-man bout, but he did here

-bout was “suplex city”

-Fujinami was the best wrestler in the match

-ending was a double countout when the teams hit the floor for the third time in the match

 

WRESTLING NOTEBOOK

WWF

-Hogan’s title win recapped (26,300 attendance noted again..overflow to Felt Forum noted) with the unbelievable heat in such a short bout noted. 180 degree turn from the Sheik-Backlund bout the month previous

-biggest run on tickets and scalpers had a field day after Backlund was replaced in the title match with Hogan

-2/20 card has Hogan-Orndorff on top and Tito vs. Muraco which would either see Tito win the title or end his hopes, and Atlas/Johnson/Puski vs. Slaughter/Chung Lee/Fuji (Dave notes that this would likely see Slaughter get pearl harboured by the heels to set up his face turn)

Crowds good in core markets, noting 15,700 for Sheik-Santana title match in Philly on 1/21, 1/28 LA Battleroyal selling out the Olympic at 11,104

-Ohio was not successful so far—Cinci and Dayton only drawing 1000-1500, roughly the same as the competing Ole Anderson promotion

-notes disappointment with the Kiel TV show although Adonis and Murdoch are tremendous in their squashes. First Kiel card upcoming on 2/10

-Detroit was drawing 2000-2500. Vince brought in Cannon, Cannon gave up his TV time to him, and “Cannon should really have known better”…lol…

-Mangon Managoff (Jerry Graham Jr.) was brought in as the heel manager for the St. Louis tapings but was let go after Piper was signed.

-Bob Backlund’s status is a mystery. He was pulled from many major shows due to the shoulder injury but wrestled at several others. Speculates Bob might be gone from the WWF or out of the business completely in the next while and noted that Arnold Skaaland was out of the WWF as part of Vince’s “centralization of power plan”.

-WWF surprisingly pulled out of San Fran and San Jose, noted as a surprise because of how bad the AWA was doing. TV would be on in Sacramento in the spring

-other expansion plans include Indianapolis very soon and everyone was assuming the AWA was just around the corner at this point

-Greg Valentine would be coming in and this was seen as a huge blow to the Carolinas. Brian Blair had debuted in December but hurt his hand and would re-debut shortly once it was healed up

-Slaughter vs. Sheik were set to feud. Slaughter already receiving about 75% cheers against his face challengers in the arena and 90% on TV

-Piper would have a segment replacing “a vapid Victory Corner”

-Hindsight tells Dave that Sheik as interim champ was a tremendous mistake and it should have been Muraco. Sheik-Backlund rematches did not draw well and he asks if this was really the fans being sick of Backlund more than anything else

-Dave was disappointed that Hogan got the belt so quickly and notes there were rumours of a Hogan-Andre match at Shea that summer happening, with Andre getting jealous of Hogan as the scenario that would create that match-up (which would “most certainly draw”)

 

 

ALL-JAPAN

-12/12 Tag Tourney finals (Hansen/Brody vs.Tsuruta/Tenryu) best bout he saw in the tourney

-Flair vs. Kabuki was good if you consider that Kabuki was in it

-Mil Mascaras received poor reports from his tour of Japan and might not be back

-Lizmark being brought in as World Middleweight Champion to be their new Mexican superstar

-Baba/Dory vs. Tsuruta/Tenryu 45 minute draw on 11/29 in Sapporo was surprisingly good

-Terry Funk would likely wrestlea series in 1984 “if he indeed did come out of retirement”

-January tour included Steve Olsonowski, Kelly Kiniski, Gypsy Joe, Michael Hayes, Terry Gordy, Lizmark, and others. Tour did well but Hayes/Gordy vs. Baba/Tsuruta for the tag titles could not sell out Korakuen Hall (a relatively small venue). Freebirds controlled almost the whole match but a bloody Hayes was counted out at the 17:14 mark

-Most reports on the Freebirds quite good in their debut as a team in Japan

-Feb-March series had David Von Erich, Brody, Irwins (as Super Destroyers), Smirnoff, Chavo Guerrero, Jerry Morrow, and Koko Ware. Bockwinkel to be in 2/23-2/29.

-DVE appearance is to further expose him before his title victory, which Dave hopes doesn’t happen

 

NEW JAPAN

-Hishashi Shimna now managing Sayama, notable because it was Shimna’s tyranny that Sayama said caused him to retire.

Sayama was the source of all the news stories about New Japan for the past several months (behind the scenes stuff), it was his source of income (getting paid for the stories he leaked out) and his Martial Arts school

-notable stories traced to Sayama include Fujinami being named as the primary force in getting Inoki out, then Fujinami betraying Sayama and retaining Inoki’s favor. Almost every wrestler was furious over Sayama being a leak to the press and that was why he couldn’t go back.

Inoki and Sakaguchi regaining power left Shimna on the outside and his looking to hook up with Vince McMahon was seen as a revenge type of ploy (as noted earlier that Vince wanted to go to Japan quickly in early 1984)

-Dave figures despite having access to guys like Hogan, Andre, Superstar and Adonis, Shimna would need one of the Japanese heavyweight superstars to come over to ultimately be successful.

-Baba and Inoki to co-promote card in August. Baba hates Shimna.

-Adonis and Murdoch were better than Dave thought they were

-Andre was generally poor in his last tour here with the exception of a couple of bouts

-other wrestlers in were Dusty Rhodes (Generally disappointing), Abdullah, Bad News Allen.

_Inoki vs. Dusty was reported on as “bad matchmaking”. Bad News broke it up before the fans fell asleep

-Chosu/Hamaguchi scored their biggest win beating Inoki/Fujinami in under 7 minutes

-coming in March were Murdoch, Adonis, Stomper, Grappler, Duncum, Sammy the Samoan and Jim Neidhart. Coming in April would be Masked Superstar, Don Muraco, Elijah Akeem and Kareem Muhammad, Hercules Ayala, Bruce hart, and Mike Sharpe.

 

WEST GERMANY

-promoter Nicolai Selenkowitsch ran a 41 day tour from 11/10 to 12/20 that drew nearly 100,000 fans

Otto Wanz pinned John Studd on the final night to retain the CWA title in front of 9400.

-Klaus Wallas declared the tourney winner

 

SOUTHWEST-a few bright spots including a few dates that Brody came in and drew 3500 in Temple, Texas and 4700 in San Antonio on 1/28. Both were for bouts against Voodoo Malumba (Big Red Reese). The San Antonio crowd was the biggest in 14 months.

-other bouts from 1/28 included Dick Murdoch and Manny Fernandez over Sheepherders by countout in a match so bloody that when Butch Miller had to legit go the hospital after the bout they thought he had been in a car wreck upon his arrival there. Embry/Timbs won by DQ over Morton and Gibson, Al Perez over Killer Brooks by DQ and Adrian Street over Scott Casey via DQ

-the SA crowd is even more impressive when you consider that WCCW came in the very next night and drew 13,000.

-all Sheepherders bouts are absolute gorefests and Manny Fernandez’s bouts are just as bad blood-wise

-thinks Southwest group’s wrestlers work harder than WCCW ‘s guys on spot shows. Notes Embry/Timbs vs. Mexican Connection (Replamago Leon and Buddy Moreno) bouts as being really good.

-Gino Hernandez fired again for missing several bookings

-Southwest sent a four bout tour to the East Coast. They drw 800 in Fall River, Mass, and 200 in Providence. Some WWF promoters screwed by Vince Jr. were part of the venture to bring in the Southwest guys.

 

NEXT TIME: More area recaps

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- Piper would have a segment replacing a vapid Victory Corner

Funny how this ended up in retrospect probably the biggest news of all.

 

 

-Dave was disappointed that Hogan got the belt so quickly and notes there were rumours of a Hogan-Andre match at Shea that summer happening, with Andre getting jealous of Hogan as the scenario that would create that match-up (which would almost certainly draw)

Dave Meltzer, wrestling psychic.

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With Shea Stadium shows in 1972, 1976 and 1980, it would have made a lot of sense to try it again in 1984. Amazing that Meltzer pretty much nailed the storyline, though good for WWF that they held it off for three years.

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March 1984 Observer Recap, continued

 

WORLD CLASS

-JYD in Ft. Worth on 1/30

-Star Wars card at Tarant County Convention Center drew an announced crowd of 15,000. The building holds 12,000 and there was probably an honest 13,000 there. Main event was Adams/Sunshine over Garvin/Precious in the cage, with Adams regaining the American title in that bout. Also Flair went ten minutes with Mike Von Erich with Mike almost having Flair out with the sleeper at the end. From this Flair is to defend against David Von Erich—David gets to pick the ref and any stipulations he chooses to include. This bout is set for April.

-As an aside, notes Flair and Harley set for a ten day tour of New Zealand, Malaysia and other areas from 3/19 through 3/28 with title matches every night. Thus the DVE-Flair hype won’t begin until after Flair returns from that tour.

-Freebirds vs. Von Erichs was another Main event at Star Wars. Angle was that Kevin got beat up in the dressing room before the bout by the Birds. “Anyway, the 170-pound Superman who was to beat up on the World Champ later that night subbed for his big brother.” The ending was Kevin coming out and going berserk on the Birds, causing the Von Erichs to lose by DQ and thus allowing the Freebirds to legally return to Texas rings.

-also on the card, Super Destroyers beat Parsons and Adidas in a clean cut best of three falls bout/ Parsons ended up with Akbar for five minutes after the bout but the effects of a superplex during the previous bout allowed Akbar to have control for 4 minutes and change. The final minute saw Parsons get in a few blows while Akbar ran. JYD downed Kamala when Missing Link interfered for the DQ. JYD moved and Link headbutted Kamala and they started to go at it.

-basically the same card sold out the Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio the previous night with the one difference being Flair vs. Kevin in the Main event

-2/3 in Dallas drew an overflow crowd with Flair pinning Adams, David winning the UN title from Michael Hayes, David beating Gordy by DQ, Mike beating Buddy Roberts, Pero Aguayo beating Fishman and some other prelims. IT was the second largest crowd ever in the Sportatorium

-SD 1 won the TV title from Adias on 1/9. Adias didn’t win a single match between Christmas and that title loss and this included a pinfall loss to Ken Mantell.

-Rick Rood came in on 1/6 for the sole purpose of studying Jimmy Garvin so he could imitate him in Memphis

-Kamala vs. Kerry is about the worst thing going in WCCW right now as Kerry slams him every night and Akbar refuses to pay him the $10,000

-Kamala and Link scored an upset in Dallas on 1/13 over Kevin and Kerry. Kevin and Kerry won a rematch by DQ two weeks later

 

MID SOUTH

- Magnum TA and Wrestling II won the tag titles on 12/25 from Reed and Neidhart. Reed and Neidhart split a few days later in a tag match with Neidhart becoming the babyface.

-II and TA will feud with Condrey and Eaton and will lose the belts to them. TA and II may also split up. Cornette had his team tar and feather II on a tv taping to get things going

-Watts established a connection to Memphis because he was paranoid of a McMahon invasion. Lawler, Terry Taylor, Koko Ware and Carl Fergie had all made appearances. Dundee is booking the circuit but not wrestling on it

-1/20 loser leaves town 6-man with Duggan/Santana/JYD vs. Reed/Darsow/Volkoff saw Duggan lose. He is now in Florida

-Oklahoma City is the best drawing city on the circuit right now with three straight 5000+ crowds. The headliner was the Garvin-Adams feud on those shows.

-Darsow as a Russian sympathizer has come a long way and Dave regrets that he didn’t get better recognition in the previous year’s rookie of the year voting

-Watts came out on TV and admitted he was the president of Mid South. Dick The Bruiser and Jerry Jarrett were in as visitors to TV tapings

“One last note: Lots of people say bad things about the USFL. I will never do such a thing. The reason is that any organization that keeps Steve Williams out of pro wrestling is fine with me…I wish Dr. Death the best of luck in his tryout with the Denver Gold, or at least enough luck to make the team.”

 

AWA-Harley Race in as a regular managed by Heenan. He would act as Nick’s policeman and eventually turn and feud with him. Notes Race apparently looks good in the AWA but says that considering the rest of the roster that isn’t surprising

-Larry Zbyszko and Bruno Sammartino Jr are expected to come in by late march

-1/15 in St. Paul was a disaster in some ways according to Dave, who then notes that “disaster” drew 11,000 people. “Considering it was the return of the Crusher, well, they will miss Hulk Hogan.”

-recaps Lanza coming down during the Mulligan/Bockwinkel brawl vs. Vachon/Crusher and convincing Mulligan to abandon his partner and reunite the Blackjacks. Crusher hit “a six decade old Bolo” for the win after that.

-other bouts saw Lanza beat Heenan in a Bunkhouse match, Saito/Ventura beat Robinson/Rheingans, Brunzell pinned Superstar Graham, and Steve Regal beat Buck Zumhofe but didn’t get the Jr. Title because he didn’t make weight.

-also notes it was supposed to be Greg Gagne vs. Sheik Kaissie but Kaissie came out and claimed a broken leg. Blackwell and Patera attacked Greg and Crusher got run into a ringpost when he tried to make the save, so “daddy Verne” made the save. “The answer to the next question is yes”, says Dave.

-notes that Ken Resnick’s ring announcing was met with “We want Mean Gene” chants, and that Gagne and Brunzel were both booed, presumably because of their connection to Verne who of course had just lost Gene and Hulk Hogan. Verne saving the day was not well received and apparently Jesse Ventura got lots of cheers.

-notes that 2/26 would have Raschke/Brunzell vs. Saito/Ventura, Regal vs. Zumhofe and Lanza vs. Race. “Should be a thrill a minute”…(my note: Wow, Dave really hated the AWA even though it seems pretty clear by how he writes this that he didn’t see much or any of it regularly. The Blackjack reunion I know was absolutely a killer moment and the fans ate it up. Nothing strange about it, just a very cool angle, especially with the hated Bockwinkel taking a terrible beating after Mulligan left.)

-1/3 in San Fran was a complete disaster drawing 1,000 for Bockwinkel-Rheingans and Vachon/Crusher vs. Saito/Ventura where Raschke interfered out of the crowd (my note—Raschke did this around the circuit in disguise and actually got held back by security in Winnipeg when he tried to make the save)

-Annual Christmas skit saw Ventura and Saito break boards over Raschke’s head (sending Raschke to Charlotte) and “Greggie” saving the day

 

CENTRAL STATES

-Blanchard won Central States title on 1/26 in KC beating Buzz Tyler

-the promotions revolving door policy made things messy was Bobby Fulton left with the TV title so Buck Robley booked himself to win the tourney for the title in Des Moines.

-1/13 in KC saw Les Thornton regain his Jr. Title beating Ron Ritchie and Bob Brown/Buzz Tyler/King Cobra over Blanchard/Kirby/Luke Graham

-1/19 saw Robley/Brody lose to the Grapplers via DQ

-1/26 saw Flair in to retain his title over Harley Race in Race’s first rematch since losing the title back to Flair in Greensboro. Also Kamala vs. Brody for the fourth time was a no DQ bout that ended up with Brody, Kamala, Friday, and Robley all brawling back to the dressing room for a No Contest. Dave heard it was very bloody

-Youngbloods supposed to be in on 2/2

-“Even stranger is the booking of Tommy Rogers. Now the Rogers Wrestling here is not the third Sawyer brother who wrestles in Georgia. (my note—huh?) Nevertheless TV announcer Rick Stewart bills him from Atlanta and says things like “I can’t believe how much he’s changes since Alabama.” The guy he saw in Alabama is the guy now in Georgia. “He’s bulked up and trimmed down and changed his looks completely”. How can one bulk up and trim down at the same time?”

-Dave eliminates Stewart from Announcer of the Year consideration…

-thinks that Tiger Mask, aka Ken Wayne, is the best guy on the circuit.

 

***

 

More area recaps to come including Montreal, Mid Atlantic, Toronto, Southeast, Florida, the Maritimes, and more.

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With Shea Stadium shows in 1972, 1976 and 1980, it would have made a lot of sense to try it again in 1984. Amazing that Meltzer pretty much nailed the storyline, though good for WWF that they held it off for three years.

From a business standpoint I agree, but from the vantage point of actually having their big matchup, it would have been so much better to have that match in 1984 just because Andre was still somewhat mobile in the ring.

 

But they waited, and it was probably the smartest thing that they ever did.

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With Shea Stadium shows in 1972, 1976 and 1980, it would have made a lot of sense to try it again in 1984. Amazing that Meltzer pretty much nailed the storyline, though good for WWF that they held it off for three years.

From a business standpoint I agree, but from the vantage point of actually having their big matchup, it would have been so much better to have that match in 1984 just because Andre was still somewhat mobile in the ring.

 

But they waited, and it was probably the smartest thing that they ever did.

 

In fairness, they had the matchup was Andre was even more mobile in 1980 and it was awful.
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I wonder though why they didn't attempt to run something at Shea Stadium that year. Hogan/opponent, Slaughter/Sheik, Adonis and Murdoch defending the belts, Andre appearing, etc. It could have been a great card.

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Hogan and Andre had an excellent match at WMIII and they've had very good work in New Japan too. I know I've seen another good match they had in North America as well.

I'll respect your opinion on the WM III match but let me ask you, don't you think an Andre from 1984 would have been able to give a better match to Hogan than he did in 1987? I think he could have strictly on the idea that 1984 Andre was way more mobile and could do more than 1987 Andre.

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This I found weird:

 

-Rick Rood came in on 1/6 for the sole purpose of studying Jimmy Garvin so he could imitate him in Memphis

Memphis experts, do you recall any similarities between Rood in that time frame and Garvin's persona? I'm curious if he actually did lift some mannerisms and stuff from Garvin while in Memphis.

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I'll respect your opinion on the WM III match but let me ask you, don't you think an Andre from 1984 would have been able to give a better match to Hogan than he did in 1987? I think he could have strictly on the idea that 1984 Andre was way more mobile and could do more than 1987 Andre.

I've got copies of two WWWF Andre/Hogan matches from the Spectrum, and at least one from New Japan. They were damn near identical to the matches they had in 87 and 88, only slightly faster. But still, lots of long bearhugs was always the rule of the day.
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Hogan and Andre had an excellent match at WMIII and they've had very good work in New Japan too. I know I've seen another good match they had in North America as well.

I'll respect your opinion on the WM III match but let me ask you, don't you think an Andre from 1984 would have been able to give a better match to Hogan than he did in 1987? I think he could have strictly on the idea that 1984 Andre was way more mobile and could do more than 1987 Andre.

 

Well yes. Being physically able to do stuff better always helps in making a match possibly better since wrestling is an extremely physical activity.

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March 1984 Observer recap, continued

 

ST. LOUIS WRESTLING CLUB

-22-man battleroyal on 2/3 at Kiel was won by Barry Windham. He “won” $35,000 and a title shot against Ric Flair on 2/17 in a bout that would no doubt be excellent.

-“The Chrome Dome Connection” was bringing in talent from several areas for the 2/17 card. Bouts included Race defending the Missouri title against Wahoo McDaniel, Dusty Rhodes vs. Luke Graham (“honestly folks, if you’re in a promotional war, why put a match like this on?”), Patera and Blackwell vs. Ritchie and Robley, Dick Slater vs. King Cobra, Mulligan vs. Bob Brown and the Grapplers vs. Mark and Jay Youngblood.

-drew 9,372 for the 2/3 card, with three hours of TV helping that out

-The 1/11 card was accurately reported previously as being a sellout (11,000+). Main event for that card was Flair-Brody.

-On the AWA show that is broadcast into that market, Nick Bockwinkel has been interviewed and is asking for a title vs. title match against Flair later that year. (my note—I have some of these shows and it’s pretty cool to see).

-Dave lists reasons why it would be better for Flair to win a title vs. title match against Bockwinkel: The bouts would be better as Nick had gotten boring, and there were AWA cities (St. Paul, Chicago) that drew more than 10,000 which would benefit from seeing Flair regularly. Dave says the AWA has no real contenders but Flair vs. Brunzell or Gagne would at least be different. Dave also expects any title vs. title match would need to have a conclusive finish as the St. Louis crowd was not used to double countouts.

- Dave also figured that this would be where the WWF would possibly slip up in the St. Louis market: lack of conclusive finishes in main events.

-ultimately Dave does not think this will happen because Gagne would have to admit his title was second best to the NWA title, at least to himself.

 

CWA/JARRETT PROMOTIONS

-crowds were up since the low of 2500 on 12/19 (Lawler/Idol W DQ Savage/Leduc)

-12/26 show (Lawler pinned Idol with Jimmy Hart’s help to earn a shot at Bockwinkel, Kiern W loser leaves town for a year match with Dundee) drew 6,450

-Jimmy Hart’s family had a major housecleaning happen with The A Team, Moondogs, Dennis Condrey, The grapplers and more all gone. New in were the Zambuie Express and King Konga. They were under the charge of JJ Dillon.

-Hart kept begging Lawler to help him run JJ Dillon and his family out of the area. Lawler kept refusing. Later Sabu (A Hart wrestler) was beating Lawler badly until Hart tripped Sabu and allowed Lawler to get the pin. Hart then claimed that Lawler owed him one.

-Dave expected King Konga to win the Southern title before that issue reached it’s subscribers

-Zambuies won the tag title by forefeit over the Fabulous Ones. The Fabs did not show up apparently because of the weather being treacherous. Dave heard that this was probably a legit excuse and the Zambuies would not hold the belt for long because they were booked for Japan soon

-Bockwinkel in for matches vs. Lawler. 1/1 saw Lawler win by DQ, and 1/9 is the $500 per-punch match with two refs (Paul Morton and Austin Idol). Stanley Blackburn in attendance so Lawler winning the title and having the decision reversed was not a surprise.

-Bock-Lawler drew 7800 in Memphis on 1/1, 5600 on 1/9 in Memphis, 4900 on 1/10 in Louisville and 4000 on 1/23 in Louisville (The Louisville bouts had similar endings to the two Memphis bouts.

-Rick Rood in doing a Jimmy Garvin impression complete with valet

-1/3 Louisville drew it’s largest gate in history (and about 6,000 fans) to see the Fabs vs. the debuting Road Warriors. Bout was a double DQ. LOD won on 1/4 in Evansville by Dq and had a double DQ against Lawler and Idol on 1/5 in Lexington. Lawler taking a beating in the LOD matches for most of those bouts

-1/7 Louisville saw Roadies back for a Lumberjack match with the Fabs (LOD counted out) before 4200. LOD was scheduled to be Memphis regulars after their Georgia commitments were done

-Idol defending his title against Leduc, Sabu, and Savage

-Mantel feuding with Savage as well

-Patera and Blackwell in on 1/16 and beat Morton and Gibson in an AWA tag title match

-Fabs won Loser Leaves Town bouts over Moondogs throughout the circuit

-1/23 in Louisville saw the Fabulous Ones beat the Rock and Roll Express in a scientific match. Fabs were cheered heavily but R and R’s were not booed, just cheered less.

 

SOUTHEAST

-Flair pinned bob Armstrong on Jan 2 in Birmingham. Armstrong left for Georgia after that and was seriously injured in either a car accident or a bar brawl.

-Charlie Cook beat Jerry Stubbs for the State title on 1/9

-Leduc lost a Loser Leaves Town match to Robert Fuller so he went back to Memphis

-1/23 saw Jacques Rougeau beat Super O in a hair vs. mask match. O turned out to be Arn Anderson/Marty Lunde.

-also David Morgan (“Is he the very good English wrestler?”) beat Franklin Hayes (“billed as Michaels brother and really may be as he was so bad in Memphis that he was let go after one week”)

-tag belts haven’t been mentioned since Ron Starr, who holds the titles with Wayne Farris, disappeared from the circuit a few months ago

 

CALGARY

-“If anyone lives up to his nickname it’s Bad News Allen Coage.” Dave then lists some of his exploits:

* punching a fan while brawling with Davey Boy Smith outside the ring, knocking over a pregnant woman who had to be taken to the hospital, and failing to report for his pre-match physical. All this happened on the same night in Edmonton and Coage is suspended from wrestling there as a result.

*Breaking the collarbone of Jeff Gouldie (Archi’s son) apparently legitimately “Because it was brutal enough to where the Calgary Boxing and Wrestling Commission banned wrestling from TV and long-time announcer Ed Whalen quit over the brutality.”

*The following weekat a suburban Calgary show, Coage caused a riot with 4,000 fans that caused the show to have to be ended early

*Coage had been suspended several months earlier. He was gone from the area after losing the NA title on 12/23 to The Stomper.

*Coage’s actions also caused the Commission to have Stu Hart post a $10,000 bond insuring no more fighting outside of the ring

*Coage bloodied up Inoki on a 12/19 card in Vancouver where Inoki was fighting Kerry Brown. Brown was DQ’ed for this. The bout was shown in Japan. Several Japanese wrestlers appeared on that card including Nobuhiko Takada going to a draw with Hiroyuki Saito, Two Rivers (actually Japanese matman Junji Hirata, and Dave has no idea how they sold him as a native) pinning Cuban Assassin, and The Cobra and Tatsumi Fujinami going to a double countout with Davey Boy Smith and Bret Hart.

 

TORONTO

-Area is getting reputation for being heavy on the “no-shows” lately. Recent example was the 1/8 Piper-Buzz Sawyer Dog collar match turned into Piper vs. Kurt Von Hess Dog Collar match when Buzz didn’t show up. Piper beat Hess easily and without drama

-on 1/8 Slaughter lost to Mosca Sr by countout in a Canadian title match (Slaughter is Champion). Mistake on TV on 1/7 as the 1/22 promos were shown and the cage match on that card between Mosca and Slaughter was advertised “so Sgt. Can’t run”. This of course was the day before the 1/8 countout between the two…

-Piper set to wrestle Don Kernodle which could be interesting for a variety of reasons, if it comes off (my note—Not sure what the deal is with this item. Anyone?)

 

 

MONTREAL

12/12 in Montreal saw Brito/Parisi win the tag titles from Lefebvre and Pat Patterson

12/26 in Montreal saw Bravo pin Bockwinkel (non title), Andre beat Mulligan, Leo Burke kept his NA title with a DQ win over Abdullah the Butcher, and Parisi/Brito beat Lefebvre/Frenchy Martin

12/28 in Quebec City saw Bravo win a battleroyal for another crack at Bockwinkel and Andre beat Mulligan

-There might be problems between promoter Frank Valois and the Mcmahons due to Bockwinkel being in with the AWA title.

-January cards were featuring Bravo vs. Martel in scientific matches with Bravo winning

 

more to come….

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Piper was working for Vince and doing shots for Maple Leaf who was still aligned with JCP so that was the deal with the match against Kernodle.

 

Franklin Hayes = John Tatum BTW

Cool.

 

Also there's note about Piper ready to come in to the PNW at the end of this last update (posting next). Think Dave forgot that Piper was working for Vince at that point?

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Observer March 1984 Recap (Conclusion)

 

MARITIME PROVINCES

 

-promoter Al Zink’s International Wrestling promotion is returning in May after a 6 month absence with five confirmed shows a week and one “spot” show. There will be 10-14 wrestlers employed on a regular basis and Zinck expects to pay some of them 1200-2800 dollars per week to work there.

-wrestlers appearing during the season will include Andre the Giant, Cyclone Negro, JJ Dillon, Dory Funk, Blackjack Mulligan, Ric Flair, Harley Race, Dusty Rhodes, Kevin Sullivan, Barry Windham and Jake Roberts. Zinck will be affiliated with the NWA and plans to negotiate a world title match for the area.

-TV is being negotiated with the local ATV and a station out of Bangor, Maine

-Emil Dupre’s Atlantic promotion will also run cards for the summer. The Cormiers (Leo Burke, Rudy Kay and Tery Kay) will appear for Dupre.

-Zinck is working closely with Florida for his venture and will try to bringin wrestlers from Puerto Rico, Georgia and the Carolinas in an effort to invade McMahon-land. There is at least one card planned for Maine already.

 

FLORIDA

-Dusty Rhodes announced he would retire unless Kevin Sullivan’s suspension from Florida is lifted.

-Sullivan has brought in Kharma (Gene Lewis from Dallas where he played The Mongol). He is billed as having been so deranged that he was given a lobotomy but Sullivan got ahold of him and rebuilt his thought process. “Don’t you love it?” opines Dave

-Kendo Nagasaki won the state title over Mike Rotondo on 1/22 in Orlando. Rotondo and Mike Davis won the tag belts on 1/11 when Yellow Dog stole Ron Bass’s saddle and Bass and One Man Gang chased him to get it back. They were counted out and the titles changed.

-2/8 in Miami had Bass vs. Yellow Dog with the saddle suspended above the ring

-Flair was in for three dates. He went 60:00 with Rotondo on 1/15 in Orlando, was DQed against Dusty on 1/21 in St. Augustine and was DQed against Dusty again on 1/21 in Sarasota.

-New in the area was Billy Jack as a face and getting well-received with a good push, and Jim Duggan as a villain.

-Kharma dressed as The Midnight rider on 1/14 and caused Dusty to lose the first Dusty-Sullivan match. Then on 1/24 in Tampa Rhodes wrestled Kharma and if he won he would get Sullivan in the ring for 5 minutes, but SUlivan interfered and Rhodes lost again.

-On the local TV show there was a story about Hogan winning the WWF title. Dave found this strange as almost every promotion was trying to ignore the win and not give Hogan any positive publicity.

-Barry Windham is being noted as doing well in the “All-Asian Tournament”. Meanwhile Yellow Dog is beating Bass in bunkhouse and dog collar matches and slamming One Man Gang, all the while being it is being speculated by the announcers that Dog is Robert Fuller.

-Black Bart not getting much of a build. Hector Guerrero working prelims but he is a hard worker and is wrestling very good

-The son of Tony Charles, Anthony Charles, is almost a twin of Scott Armstrong.

 

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING

-Ups and downs at the gate for this promotion. They drew 14,000 in Cleveland for a tag team tournament (Briscos beat Pez Whatley and Dusty Rhodes in the finals, with the Briscos wrestling in their Mid-Atlantic “Scientific Heels” role). The Briscos then appeared on TV the next morning as straight-up good guys.

-tag title confusion: The Sawyers beat the Road Warriors for the title on 1/27 in Cleveland. Sawyers missed TV the next day and the Warriors were announced as being champs again. Later in the show the Warriors were interviewed and said they were looking for the Sawyers to try and regain the belts. On 2/4 TV the Warriors appeared with the belts and it was announced that Buzz Sawyer was injured. Bret Sawyer and Tommy Rogers both appeared on TV and vowed revenge for their brother, which was strange because the TV had not acknowledged that Buzz and Bret were brothers yet.

-Buzz may have disappeared to join the WWF (likely according to Dave), in which case Ole announcing him as injured was “incredibly stupid”.

-Ole was almost out of money and it was reported that Jim Barnett, a McMahon ally, would be moving in.

-Despite all the WCW blunders, the WWF having local TV and Ole having to rely on cable for his TV, WCW still outdraws the WWF in most Ohio and West Virginia cities. (my note—why does this WCW recap ring so close to the blundering of WCW near the end of their run?)

-12/25 in Atlanta (DiBiase vs. Rich, Rich retiring if he lost, Ellering vs.Sawyer Hair vs. hair) only drew 2500 to the Omni. Dave thinks that it drew so poorly because people are wise to Ole’s promotional tactics in retirement bouts or that people just didn’t care if Rich was gone or not. He expected this card to draw 10,000 given the rich tradition of Omni Christmas cards doing well at the gate.

-1/15 Omni drew 4500 which is better than anything since Thanksgiving. Dave says that it being the first card in Atlanta in forever without Tommy Rich probably brought the fans out. (my note-Tommy Rich = Bob Backlund in Dave’s mind?) Results were Tommy Rogers winning the Jr title from Les Thornton but Thornton got the title back next day because his foot was on the ropes. Live crowd thought it was a title change. Ron Garvin drew Pez Whatley (now not turning heel), Jake Roberts retained TV belt going to a double Countout with Jerry Lawler, Jerry Brisco/Bugsy McGraw/Brett Sawyer beat The Road Warriors/Killer Karl Krupp when Krupp was pinned. After the bout, The Road Warriors cleared the ring until Stan Hansen, not booked on the card, came in and clobbered the LOD with a 2 x 4. Johnny Rich pinned Ted Dibiase when Mr. R interfered and in the finale Buzz Sawyer and Jos Leduc went to a bloody double DQ in a four minute match.

-Dave is betting that the 2/5 Omni card drew less than 2000. Results were Garvin beating Bundy by forfeit (Garvin gets TV title match on 2/11 as a result), Mr. R beat the Spoiler, Roberts over Jerry Brisco to retain TV belt, Pez Whatley/Sweet Brown Sugar beat Road Warriors by DQ, and Dibiase retained Georgia title by beating Jack Brisco.

-wrestlers on TV but not at the Omni in the last month included Hansen, Jay Youngblood (looking really fatigued), Wahoo McDaniel, Jimmy Valiant, Ric Flair and Brad Armstrong. Dave is impressed with how much Brad has improved.

-Bob Armstrong was set to appear with Brad but is in the hospital. The promotion claimed Dibiase injured Bob but Dave believes the injuries were legit (given his speculation in the Southeast section combined with no buildup or angle around the injury happening). Bob received several broken bones in his face which also makes Dave believe he came out on the wrong side of a real fight.

-The Spoiler looks slow, which is understandable according to Dave because he has been wrestling “since before I was alive and has to be in his mid/late 40’s”. He was involved in a bad skit on 2/4 where he put the Claw on Greg Kosloff, billed as a protégé of Ole’s.

-Bundy turned good guy on that 2/4 show when Paul Ellering was making fat guy jokes about Bundy and Ellering did not realize that the comments were going out on air as he said them. Bundy jumped Ellering and The Road Warriors jumped on Bundy. Bundy looked very bad in the brawl. It is expected Bundy would replace Buzz against the LOD for the departing Buzz.

-others shown on tape on their TV include Dick Slater, Greg Gagne (apparently because of Ole’s supposed alliance with Verne), and Magnum TA (“which shows Ole doesn’t know something very important”)(--my note—anyone know what Dave is implying here?)

-Dave thinks the Briscos looked good in their appearances and Sweet Brown Sugar looks out of shape since being out with an eye injury.

-Ole using an “interesting’ promotional tactic for Baltimore on 2/16. It’s billed as “Fan Appreciation night” and fans are encouraged to bring their cameras. This is a shot at the WWF as they had banned cameras at their shows for several months already. The lineup which Dave thinks won’t draw includes DiBiase vs. Mr. R, Road Warriors/Ellering vs. Hansen/Bundy/Brett Sawyer, and Bruno Jr. vs. Zbyszko before both leave for the Midwest.

 

MID ATLANTIC

-Dick Slater beat Greg Valentine for the US title on 12/22. End saw Orton interfere, Valentine go after him and get back suplexed for the pin. It was a 30 minute match and Dave said the action was really good. Valentine is still wrestling as a good guy.

-Slater pinned Ric Flair at TV on 1/20 when Orton held Flairs legs. Slater was given the belt even though it was announced as a non-title match before the bout began. The belt ended up getting taken away due to Orton’s interference. Slater is claming he is the uncrowned champ and to give credence to this he is beating Flair cleanly in several non-title matches around the area including 2/5 in Greenville with a Russian Leg Sweep in a pretty clean match.

-Slater gave the Mid Atlantic title to Ivan Koloff who was then upended by Angelo Mosca Jr on 1/26. Mosca Jr. has improved “but is still very bad”.

-TV title is still held up after Charlie Brown disappeared and Jimmy Valiant came back.

-TV title tourney started with Mark Youngblood beating Barry Orton (both are pretty good according to Dave). Michael Samuel Houston (Jake’s brother) is also in town.

-Bob Orton Jr. and Don Kernodle, who Dave thinks are the second best team in the US, are set to battle the Youngbloods after beating Valentine and Dory Funk and Angelo Mosca Sr and Wahoo McDaniel.

-Jay Youngblood legit sprained his ankle which would keep him on crutches for two weeks minimum

-Rick Steamboat wrestled several farewell matches, beating Ivan Koloff around the horn. The last one that Dave knew of was 1/22 in Roanoke. His Greensboro farewell, which most of his fans assumed was his real last bout, drew 6800.

-Ernie Ladd is winning most of the bouts in his feud with Angelo Mosca Sr. Dave has heard the bouts are pretty bad

-another feud is Jimmy Valiant/Dusty Rhodes/Dory Funk/Baron Von Raschke vs. The Assassins/Paul Jones with Raschke getting a pretty good response.

-Brody and Hansen were in Greensboro on 2/5 for a rare US appearance and apparently faced Dory Funk and Terry Gibbs

-Tully Blanchard in and winning a few prelims

-Kabuki is back

-shocker to Dave is the Grapplers (Len Denton and Tony Anthony) are appearing here without their maska and losing to the likes of Johnny Weaver and Vinnie Valentino

-Big news is this promotion teaming with Puerto Rico and Atlanta to run TV in New York on Spanish channel 41 and they are announcing that they are on their way to the Big Apple. Dave thinks the TV is weak because the interviews are given in English and then translated to Spanish which loses a lot of steam. Still, Dave thinks that they could not make a dent in the market yet still draw decently enough to make it a worthwhile venture.

 

OTHER LATE NOTES (I may have done some of these already)

-Killer Khan beat Stomper for NA title in Calgary on 1/30

-John Quinn and Ron Starr now working for Stampede as well

-12/26 MSG will be re-broadcast on USA Network in March

-Bruiser’s Indianapolis group drew two sellouts (3100) for Bruiser and Brody vs. tag champs Jerry Valiant and Abdullah the Great. Brody no-showed both dates although Dave was told he was really expected to be there. Bruiser teamed with Jeff Van Kamp instead to win the tag titles

-Mid South Correction: the three Oklahoma City cards featuring Garvin, Adams and their valets drew in the 8-10,000 range and the12,000 at the 1/29 show was the largest crowd ever to see wrestling in the state of Oklahoma.

-Reed and Neidhart’s split after they lost the Mid South tag titles on 12/25 occurred in the dressing room and the two were facing each other in football helmet matches now

-Kerry in at the last Mid South TV tapes. Terry Taylor getting big reception there for his bouts

-Hogan billed in Vegas on Jan 4 against Billy Robinson. Show drew 6,000. Hogan was replaced by Jesse Ventura

-1/24 in Vegas drew 8900 even without Hogan billed at all for Bockwinkel over Rheingans, Lanza over Heenan in a Bunkhouse match

-1/14 in Boston drew 14,800 (just under a sellout) for a Battleroyal won by Slaughter and Backlund over Iron Shiek by DQ

-2/18 in Philly not a cage bout between Hogan and Superstar. Also Snuka/Andre vs. Muraco/Slaughter

-JYD set to feud with Darsow in Mid South. Darsow to Siberia if he loses

-Sheepherders, Bobby Jaggers and Manny Fernandez all arrested on 2/1 during a match on the East Coast due to the match getting so out of hand that chairs. Tables and garbage cans were thrown into the crowd. All pleaded innocent to the charges

-Bass and Bart won US tag titles from Davis and Rotondo on 2/6 in West Palm Beach

-Geigel had a show set for Kemper Arena in KC featuring Road Warriors, Kamala, Brody, McDaniel, Flair, JYD, and more

-Matt Borne returned to the Northwest joining Oliver’s Clan to replace departing Dynamite Kid

-Borne then turned good by helping the good guys (Curt Hennig and Pat McGee) retain their tag titles over Oliver and The Assassin in a rematch. Heels then beat up Borne with a cowbell to set up Oliver vs. Borne on 1/28. Borne beat Oliver with a chair for the win in only a few minutes. Brett Sawyer returning in March and Piper set to return in May

-Curt Hennig won annual Salem battleroyal and one-night tournament

-Kid either returning to Portland or going to Calgary after Japan trip

-Ed Wiskoski bought a ranch and is semi-retired. Dave hears he is gaining weight and moving slower

-coming in for WCCW were Lars Anderson, Kelly Kiniski, JYD and Jim Neidhart

-Parsons over SD I for Texas TV title on 2/6 in Fort Worth

-Mid South newcomers due to Dundee’s booking include Rock and Roll Express, Masao Ito, and Buddy Landell

-Volkoff headed to Atlanta

-DiBiase vs. Mr. R in mask vs. National title on 2/18 in what will certainly end up being a title change (my note—is this the Mr. R angle where he was actually Brad Armstrong and Rich appeared at ringside near the end of the bout?)

 

FINAL PAGE

There is a picture of Carlos Colon escaping a cage against NWA World Champion Ric Flair on 12/18 in San Juan in a bout to determine the Undisputed World Title. Colon won but the NWA did not recognize the change because they don’t allow “first out of the cage” as an option for a win in NWA title matches contested in a cage.

 

That’s all for the March 1984 Observer.

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