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20 Years Ago - WON 03/07/88


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WWF

-- Wrestlemania will actually be longer than 2 1/2 hours, as was originally reported. The WWF reserved four hours of satellite time in two blocks, which means WM IV is budgeted for between 3 1/2 hours and 3 hours, 45 minutes. Dave says with around 17 matches, they'll have a little extra time to work with, and they can also show more clips, have an intermission to plug merchandise and have rest time in between matches for guys who have to work multiple times.

 

-- Hulk Hogan will be gone after Wrestlemania to film his movie, so he isn't being talked about as someone who will win the tournament. The talk was DiBiase for weeks, but it's known, and Dave agrees, that he can't draw as champion. Dave says it may not matter, because the WWF usually can't draw after Wrestlemania anyway. WM4 may also be profitable enough that they can lose money all summer and still come out ahead. "It's kind of a shame, but there is no question that DiBiase's gimmick is over, but his wrestling ability isn't over. The casual fan doesn't see DiBiase as a great wrestler, in fact, they don't even see him as a good wrestler. While one could make the case that his vulnerability would make him a draw as champion (fans will show up thinking that Savage, Bigelow, Steamboat, etc. can win the title because Ted is beatable) the bottom line is that the belt has no drawing power. While the WWF belt is the 'most over' title in wrestling, people have seen so many champions and so many championship matches that seeing a title change, even a WWF title change, will do very little to up the gate. DiBiase didn't draw in his one week dry run as champion in California (traditionally Titan's hottest corner of the U.S. aside from the Northeast), and his main event last Monday at the Garden with Bam Bam Bigelow drew the smallest MSG crowd in years. Still, nobody but Hogan himself is going to sellout buildings this summer."

 

-- Dave says because of this, Randy Savage's name is now being mentioned, meaning Savage would have to knock DiBiase off in the semifinals and meet a heel like Andre, Rude or Bravo in the finals. Dave predicts Bravo will go out of the tournament in the first round, and Andre making it to the finals would have to work three times, so that's not happening. So he predicts Savage vs Rude in the finals, with Savage going over. Dave says if they can figure out a way to get Andre into a match where he can do a job for Savage, they'll have succeeded in getting over another babyface at the Hogan level, which would make a lot of sense, but Savage couldn't hold the belt for long because Hogan has to be champ when he comes back, since he'll be promoting a movie.

 

-- Dave says the latest WWF magazine is showing different brackets than are being shown on television, and from the looks of the bracketing in the magazine, it's possible Savage vs DiBiase will be the final match in the tournament, which means DiBiase would have to face the winner of Hogan/Andre in the semifinals. He predicts Hogan beating Andre, leading to a half dozen guys attacking Hogan, causing a forfeit and allowing DiBiase to win and advance to the finals against Savage.

 

-- The WWF has had a lot of ads in trade magazines recently, because they're dropping Video One as their TV production company and will be doing production in-house. It's expected the change will take place shortly after Wrestlemania when they take a small break from live cards. Ads were there for a TV play-by-play guy, an interview guy, and a senior producer, so Dave expects personality changes on TV in the near future.

 

-- 2/22 at MSG was a horrible show and drew less than 10,000, the smallest in five years. The show was headlined by Ted DiBiase vs Bam Bam Bigelow. Dave gave the match **1/2 and said it was the only decent match on the show. Dave thinks DiBiase is the best in the country on his good nights, but he can't touch Ric Flair as a night after night guy. 2/27 in Denver drew a sellout 8,500 headlined by Hogan & Bigelow vs Andre & DiBiase. 2/21 in Providence, RI, drew 3,100 headlined by Brutus Beefcake vs Greg Valentine.

 

-- The Wichita Eagle Beacon had an article on Harley Race's son Justin on 2/11. He is ranked #2 in Kansas in high school wrestling. Harley Race was quoted in the interview and said his ring career is just about over.

 

-- Earl Hebner was very lucky in the bump he took on NBC when Hogan threw him over the top rope. He did need four stitches to close a wound on his face, but didn't suffer a concussion or major injuries.

 

-- It was Bad News's insistence on changing his name, not the WWF's. He was afraid they would trademark his name, and he'd be screwed if he ever left.

 

NWA

-- Ken Osmond (Eddie Haskell on Leave It To Beaver) will be at the Clash of the Champions special on TBS. "I know he's not exactly Vanna White, and unfortunately it makes Crockett's show look like a cheap imitation. They should have avoided the celebrity game, unless they had somebody like Bob Hope or Stallone to blow away Titan." Ric Flair vs Sting will have JJ Dillon in a cage above the ring and three guest judges at ringside to announce a decision if the match goes the full hour. Dave says the question is whether or not the title can change hands based on this decision, because if not, giving a decision win to Sting would accomplish nothing.

 

-- Dave says it will be very difficult for the Clash to not have more viewers than Wrestlemania because of the power of TBS and the fact that it's free. "If this isn't the most-watched Crockett house show ever, and in fact except for the NBC specials and the Royal Rumble, the most-watched wrestling show of the modern mat era, then Crockett should be very disappointed." Dave says even if they don't hurt the WWF much with the show, and they probably won't, they should get at least a 6 rating out of the Clash. He also says some people think Crockett is suicidal, because last year's WM was such an overwhelming success and JCP just can't offer anything close to that no matter what they do. However, if they put on a hot show, they have a chance to undo some damage from the last two shows. Dave says while house shows have picked up lately due to hot-shotting instead of fixing their problems, a hot show may reverse the negative momentum.

 

-- Dave apologizes, because he still doesn't have the Road Warrior Animal story completely accurate. He was not injured on 1/29 in Pittsburgh. He was injured a day or two before that, and was a no-show in Pittsburgh.

 

-- JCP tried to book a show at the Cow Palace. The Cow Palace agreed, until the WWF told them they wouldn't book any shows there if Crockett got a date. Now Crockett probably won't get to run a show there.

 

-- "For all Titan says about JCP not concerning them and not being competition, they sure are doing actions that speak the opposite. I don't blame them, since JCP would do the same thing in the same situation and I'm sure has in Charlotte and Greensboro, etc., however JCP's chances of being profitable in this market are slim because they don't know how to appeal to California fans to begin with (I wish I didn't have to say this but they've proven this statement over the last year) and why McMahon still would be so paranoid of competition which is a longshot to be profitable shows they are far more insecure than their public image would have you believe."

 

-- There was a lot of cockiness about putting 20,000 fans in the Omni, and it ended up not happening, as the 2/28 show drew 7,300. Dave says it's not a bad crowd at all considering that Omni shows have been down, but they've been overconfident lately, and they're still having trouble selling non-upper deck tickets. That seems to be a pattern lately on NWA shows. They're selling out the $5.00 cheap seats and can't sell the closer tickets. The show was headlined by Flair, Arn & Tully vs Luger, Dusty & Ole. There is paranoia about the Omni because the WWF is running WM4 there closed-circuit, and they don't want the WWF taking over the market.

 

-- "Let me tell you, I'm getting tired of getting asked why they are called the Four Horsemen when there are three of them."

 

-- They had to cancel a show for 2/23 in Asbury Park because they had sold less than 100 tickets the day before the show.

 

-- 2/19 in Hillsville, VA, drew 900 fans. 2/26 in Cincinnati drew 3,500 fans headlined by Flair vs Sting. 2/27 in Greensboro, NC, drew 10,000 headlined by Flair, Arn & Tully vs Luger, Dusty & Ole. 2/18 in Sioux City, IA, drew a sellout 2,750 fans headlined by Flair vs Dusty. 2/20 in Norfolk drew 8,000 fans headlined by the six-man again.

 

-- The Fantastics debut at the TBS tapings on 3/2. They're in a weird position, because they told Brody they would work a 3/4 show in St. Louis, but if they do it, they're running opposition to their home company. "But who wants to no-show on a card put together by Brody?"

 

-- Boston Gardens is allowing the NWA to come back on 4/15, but is only going to allow them to run one show a year.

 

-- From an anonymous reader:

 

BALLAD OF THE BULL

 

There once was a promoter named Crockett,

Who watched his promotion take off like a rocket,

His was the best of its day,

The one we called the NWA,

Its angles were hot and the talent was great,

And these were the reasons for so many a big gate.

 

The champion was a great one named Flair,

To take his title nobody would dare,

The action was heated with plenty of fightin',

Soon Crockett would challenge McMahon and his Titan,

Jim's business was strong, he possessed all the goods,

But he had an egomaniac booker called "Bull of the Woods."

 

Fat like a whale, whose work was quite rusty,

This scar-headed juice freak also called himself Dusty,

He always put himself over, and formed his own clique,

He created the Horsemen -- Arn, Tully, Lex and Ric.

 

The angles grew stale and fans got tired of the crew,

So Dusty turned Luger-- a foolish thing to do,

Lex is not a good worker, opponents have to take up his slack,

He's just a musclebound stiff with a human torture rack,

They should've just turned Flair, what a babyface he'd make,

Just chalk up another Dusty mistake.

 

The UWF Jim Crockett did buy,

Only to destroy all its talent, never give them a try,

First Taylor and Williams, then the Freebird named Hayes,

This goofball Jim Crockett must have been in a daze!

His only salvation was pay-per-view cable,

But Crockett showed the Nassau fans the same tired old stable,

Vince McMahon had a great laugh indeed,

When the fans booed fat Dusty when he won the Stampede.

 

Egos die hard and wrestlers lose their fire,

But some just simply refuse to retire,

Crockett and Dusty are two of a kind,

Greed and ignorance like theirs simply boggles the mind,

And I never thought that I would live to see the day,

When I would truly disdain the NWA,

The Dream and his cronies have sold themselves short,

And deserve to be second in the great wrestling sport,

Give me Andre and Hogan and all of the rest,

For Titan have proven that it is the best.

 

WCCW

-- Latest on the Penthouse/Von Erich story -- A woman named Wanda Lee Nichols is trying to angle herself into a Jessica Hahn-type role. She made headlines recently when she requested that David Bowie submit to an AIDS test in front of her, and she is now claiming to be Mike Von Erich's former lover. Penthouse loves this, because of the potential to sell magazines, but the author hates it, because he feels they have a good story as it is and this may or may not be real. There is speculation that Fritz or someone planted this woman to distract from the story. "Obviously the proposed story has the Von Erichs uneasy to say the least, as a recent story in 'D Magazine' (in which I was quoted saying several nice things about the family, that reporter sure did a job for Fritz) mentioned a few times the families uneasiness about the Penthouse story."

 

-- "As for the World Class promotion itself, count me in on the list of believers." Michael Hayes is in as booker. Dave says there is no doubt he'll make himself a centerpiece, but he's already created some tremendous television. Hayes arrived on 2/12 and did an interview to plug a concert at the Sportatorium on 3/4. He made it clear he was back only to do a concert, not wrestle. Buddy Roberts, Angel of Death and King Parsons come out afterward. Hayes hugs Roberts and Buddy is thrilled to see him, saying now they can run the Von Erichs out of wrestling. Hayes has been telling people he will not be booked into that feud because it's been run into the ground. He cautiously shook hands with them, and made fun of Iceman Parsons now being called Blackbird by saying "I don't care if he's Blackbird, Dodobird, or whatever, he's still Iceman to me." He then called the Angel of Death a no good son of a bitch, tying in the UWF angle where Angel turned on Hayes the year before. This brought Gordy out. They teased a Hayes/Gordy confrontation, but Gordy said he would back Hayes in whatever he wanted to do and they shook hands. On 2/14, Hayes did another interview plugging the concert, and this time was interrupted by Gary Hart and Al Perez. One thing lead to another, and Hayes ended up punching Gary Hart and Perez then jumped him. They both attacked him until Gordy and Roberts made the save. Later in the show, Roberts, Parsons and Angel were plugging their six-man title defense against Kerry, Kevin and Steve Simpson, and Hayes comes out talking about his match with Perez, yells at Buddy Roberts to shut up, and looks at Angel and says "You got a problem?" Dave says, "I just can't describe how good Hayes is in this type of scenario." A week later, Hayes was out with Ray Wiley Hubbard, a country musician who is his opening act and is well known locally. Marc Lowrance then said everyone knows you're the #1 contender for the AWA title (he totally flubbed the line, because he was supposed to say NWA title), and because of that, WCCW has also decided you're a top contender for our title and you get Al Perez on 3/11 in Dallas, with two stips in the contract: on 2/28, in Ft Worth, Hayes had to have three warm up matches, one of which would be with Angel of Death. Hayes agreed. The second stip is that the winner of the Perez-Hayes match would face the #1 contender in a title match on 3/27 (same day as Clash and WM). That person, of course, is Terry Gordy. He earned the shot by beating Kerry on 2/14 in Fort Worth, but was unavailable on 3/11 due to being in Japan. Hayes paused, but agreed saying business is business or something like that, which brought Roberts and Parsons out. They begged him not to fight Gordy and made it a point to say they would be at the concert to make sure the Von Erichs didn't ruin it. Hayes told them they were being ridiculous, and that the Von Erichs wouldn't do anything like that. They argued back and forth, Hayes told Buddy to shut up, and finally, after more arguing, ended up slapping him. They teased a confrontation, but didn't follow through, as Roberts just said again, "Don't worry. I'll be there so the Von Erichs can't interfere in the concert."

 

-- "So that's where we stand today. These are the kind of angles that make it fun to be a wrestling fan. Now Ken Mantell proved both in World Class and in the UWF that he has no peer when it comes to putting together exciting television shows. And obviously from this angle, Hayes is a creative booker. However, what did the UWF in under Mantell and Hayes was a lack of organization when it came to live shows. They probably can turn Dallas and Fort Worth around. I don't know if they can turn Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, etc. around or not. But if they start thinking that they've gotten strong enought o challenge Crockett on a national basis, that may be their undoing."

 

-- They're doing lots of gimmicks and stips in matches to try to build the houses. They did "the stupidest thing I've ever seen in wrestling" when the Fantastics went to a draw with John Tatum and Jack Victory on 2/14, and they resolved the draw by drawing from a deck of cards. They're also doing a Royal Rumble ripoff called Texas Roundup. They tried to do legit times, unlike the WWF which rushes it, and John Tatum ended up being late and causing a long and awkward delay in the match, because the wrestlers needed him to move to the next part of the match. They're also doing more swearing and "bare-ass stuff".

 

-- "The TV has picked up immensely as of late. Last week's show had a Badstreet Match with Kevin & Kerry vs Gordy & Roberts which was a four-star match."

 

-- "And Mark Lowrance became the front-runner for the 1988 Bill Mercer Award for Extemporaneous Speaking with this gem from last week in a discussion with Frank Dusek (now working with Mantell in the front office). They were talking about the Thunderdome matches in which when a guy gets pinned, he gets handcuffed to the cage. Lowrance noted that even though a guy is handcuffed to the cage, he could still fight back with his one free hand. Dusek responded, 'Would you like to fight Kerry Von Erich with one arm handcuffed?' And the brilliant Lowrance responded, 'I wouldn't want to fight him with both arms handcuffed.'"

 

-- Bruiser Brody will be at the 5/1 show at Texas Stadium.

 

MEMPHIS

-- Memphis has a hot angle of its own with Eddie Gilbert. He returned to Memphis on 2/22 during the Jerry Lawler vs Tommy Rich main event. Dave says it was actually Doug Gilbert, but bear with him. Rich and Gilbert double-teamed Lawler, and Tommy Gilbert finally came down to help. This brought out Eddie Marlin, who was part of a tag team with Tommy Gilbert in the 60s and 70s, to tell Tommy to get his son out of the ring. At that point, Tommy attacked Marlin and they started brawling. Lawler starts his comeback after that and is beating on both Rich and Gilbert when Eddie Gilbert comes out and throws a fireball in Lawler's eyes. The place went crazy. Dave says he had two calls the following morning telling him how perfect it was. Right now, Lawler is selling the injury to build a gate for the feud a few weeks down the road. The show drew 4,500.

 

-- The Bruise Brothers (the version that later became Jacob & Eli Blue, DOA, and Creative Control) won the tag titles in a big upset. They remind Dave of Ron Fuller when he started, and they're terribly green and only have about two years of experience.

 

-- Steve Keirn is returning as a babyface to feud with Eddie Gilbert in Lawler's absence, and Ricky Morton and Manny Fernandez will be having a singles feud to revive their old NWA rivalry.

 

AWA

-- The 2/19 TV taping in Las Vegas drew 2,000 fans.

 

-- Pat Tanaka and Paul Diamond are supposed to be going back to Memphis until the AWA resumes on 3/19.

 

-- Ch. 20 in San Francisco announced they were dropping the AWA "forever".

 

STAMPEDE

-- 2/19 drew 800 fans, a near sellout, and they're still running a smaller building because of the Olympics. Dave calls it a good number, considering so much is going on in Calgary.

 

-- Owen Hart returns on 2/26 to restart his feud with Makhan Singh. Dave says that should on paper be such a mismatch because of the difference in size and opposite styles, but every match Dave has seen them in has been good, and some have been great.

 

-- Brad Rheingans is coming in, and Dave says if he's willing to learn, he could be more effective than you'd think, but he needs to learn the style.

 

-- They are hinting about Steve Williams coming in, but it probably won't happen, although Dave thinks Doc vs Steve DiSalvo matches would be great.

 

-- 2/27 in Edmonton drew 925 fans and a $7,500 gate to see the Stampede MOTY: a 45 minute 10 man bunkhouse elimination match, where Makhan Singh, Steve DiSalvo, Gama Singh, Akam Singh & Jerry Morrow faced Bruce Hart, Wayne Hart, Owen Hart, Jason the Terrible & Brian Pillman. Dave has heard it called ****1/2 by those who attended live.

 

-- The reason Mr. Hito hasn't been working lately is because he found work as a Japanese tour guide for tourists and journalists covering the Olympics.

 

-- Makhan Singh has a reputation for bringing real life news stories into all of his interviews. City Hall in Calgary made a big fuss before the Olympics, and insisted Singh not say anything negative about it in his promos.

 

-- There are problem with Ed Whalen. He cuts off any match on TV that gets violent or bloody. As a result, the most heated angles are not shown on television, which is why most think Edmonton has the better shows.

 

-- Devil Masami and Dump Matsumoto want to work Stampede. Devil Masami has already moved to Calgary, and Dump Matsumoto is being talked about to feud with Rhonda Singh.

 

-- They still want to bring in Ric Flair to defend the NWA title against Owen Hart, but it would cause problems since Stu is a WWF agent for Calgary shows, and Crockett would have to lose Flair on two weekend shows.

 

CONTINENTAL

-- They're now running the following feuds: Scott Hall vs Lord Humongous, Robert Fuller & Jimmy Golden vs Southern Boys, Larry Hamilton vs Frankie Lancaster, Danny Davis vs Tony Anthony and Tom Pritchard vs Jonathan Boyd.

 

NEW JAPAN

-- They were negotiating to bring Akira Maeda back, but things fell through. He was suspended after throwing a legit kick at Riki Choshu and breaking two bones in his eye. There was a contract dispute because they wanted him to take a 15% pay cut, and Maeda refused the pay cut. He also refused to tour the US when it was requested. Then, they wanted him to tour Mexico, which he also refused. They have taken him out of the TV opening and removed him from all promotional materials. The reason for the pay cut is that New Japan is having to cut back on expenses because of lost TV revenue with the change in time slot.

 

-- Hiroshi Hase seems to be having a banner year, creating new moves in every match and standing out. Dave says the NJ juniors put on the best matches in the world, but they all beat each other all the time, so none stand out.

 

ALL JAPAN

-- The latest series began on 2/20 before a sellout of 2,050 at Korauken Hall in Tokyo. Stan Hansen and Terry Gordy won the tag tournament by beating Jumbo Tsuruta and Yoshiaki Yatsu in 6:37. Yatsu took his first pinfall in a year. It was also the first clean loss for Jumbo and Yatsu as a tag team. It was also Gordy's first major win over a Japanese main eventer, in an attempt to establish him on the level of Brody, Hansen and Abdullah.

 

-- Dave praises Joe and Dean Malenko. He says their style, which he compares to that of Lou Thesz, would go over the heads of US fans, and that they appear to have gotten over by working a different style than everyone else. Dave cites the Jumping Bomb Angels and British Bulldogs in the WWF as two teams that were over huge at first, but became just like everyone else because they were forced to change their style.

 

-- Hiroshi Wajima is out of action with a stress fracture of the neck. It's a result of too many clotheslines. He'll be out for two months or so, which is why Shunji Takano is in as a babyface.

 

-- Kawada and Fuyuki have started doing aerobics training and are working 20-25 minutes of nothing but highspots in most matches, and says as hard as it is to believe, they may be the best tag team in the world. He says they blow away Strike Force, the Islanders, and even Arn and Tully.

 

-- TV ratings have picked up slightly to decent levels.

 

JOSHI

-- The biggest wrestling event of the week has to be the retirement of Dump Matsumoto. Her last match was set for the Monday night after press time, and the card was not going to be taped for television. Her last TV appearance was taped as part of Yukari Omori's retirement card, where they teamed against the Crush Girls in Kawasaki. Dave says he should have details on that next week.

 

OTHER

-- Wrestling USA, an amateur magazine, had a feature about forming a legit pro wrestling league, called the National Wrestling League (NWL). They plan on putting together 8 to 12 wrestling teams in major cities around the country, starting in November. November is the starting date so Olympic eligibility will not be affected, and they're hoping the Summer Olympics will give them some momentum if the U.S. takes home the gold. They are based out of Chicago. Dave does not think amateur wrestling is marketable, and is the reason pro wrestling is pro wrestling, but he does wish them luck, which he suspects they will need. Dave says he can recall two attempts at this within the last decade, both of which failed.

 

-- Dave reviewed a book called Drawing Heat:

 

"When I first started reading the book, I got bored in a hurry. I first found it outdated, focusing on personalities that were no longer a part of the business. The book itself by Jim Freedman was taken from his traveling on the road with David McKigney (the Canadian Wildman) and his independent troupe in Ontario in 1981. That was part of the problem. It was seven years old and wrestling has changed so much in the last seven years that it isn't the same. But after getting midway through the book, I realized, as a wrestling book this wasn't much. None of today's personalities and news items are touched. The beginning seeds of the promotional war were there, and McKigney did make some very prophetic statements about where the business was headed. This is more a book about McKigney, a small-time promoter trying to survive when in reality, he had no chance to survive, and about the big boys, basically being Jack Tunney, who takes his orders from Vince McMahon, setting out to destroy him even though he really wasn't even competition to them. As a book about McKigney, it made fascinating reading. The analysis of The Sheik (Ed Farhat) was excellent as well. My favorite part, however, was Freedman's inability to accept the wrestlers' disdain for their audience and their need to believe that fans believed it was real and that if the fans didn't believe it was real that wrestling would be destroyed. McKigney, who comes off as the hero of the book, basically didn't care what the fans knew, figuring if he put on good shows they'd come back and if he put on bad shows, it didn't matter how well kept the secrets of the business were. He even got into the news networking of the bulletin world in 1981 bringing up Terry Justice's bulletin and Elio Zarlenga's. He said Zarlenga was mercilessly judgmental and a riot to read. I bring this up because Zarlenga (who last I heard worked for Titan) and Norm Dooley did bulletins that were the basic prototype for the Observer. I think that many of you would be bored by this book, but there are also many of you that would find it fascinating reading. Anyway, of all the commercially released books on wrestling, even though this is very much dated, it is the most intelligently written and by far the best that I've seen."

 

-- Bubba Rogers is looking for independent work. He got caught in the middle of the JCP/WWF war. He left the NWA to work for the WWF while still under contract to the NWA. They threatened to block his jump. The WWF is afraid of a legal battle and won't be using him now, and he can't earn any money until May. Dave says it's doubtful Crockett would take legal action against an independent, but he could legally.

 

-- Awesome! JEFF LYNCH has a letter on the letters page talking about how he just purchased his first VCR and is interested in watching a lot of Japanese wrestling.

 

NOTE: Dave said at the beginning of this issue that this was a slow news week, but I personally think this was the best WON yet.

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-- There are problem with Ed Whalen. He cuts off any match on TV that gets violent or bloody. As a result, the most heated angles are not shown on television, which is why most think Edmonton has the better shows.

I have to wonder what a best of the '80's Stampede set would look like if Whalen hadn't hacked everything they did to shit. I'm astounded to this day the way the man is celebrated in Calgary as an icon. It's not like he was a good announcer either, as anyone that heard him in mainstream sports beyond the wrestling gig will be happy to tell you.

 

-- Devil Masami and Dump Matsumoto want to work Stampede. Devil Masami has already moved to Calgary, and Dump Matsumoto is being talked about to feud with Rhonda Singh.

Did any of this ever come to pass? My memories of Stampede are sketchy at best, as I was pretty young.

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DiBiase didn't draw in his one week dry run as champion in California

I never heard they did a dry run with DiBiase as champ (ostensibly to gauge fan reaction). I guess would have been in the time between the Main Event and when they announced the belt as being held up on the syndicated shows. That's pretty cool.

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There's footage of DiBiase as champ from the broadcasts of both shows (Boston & Philly) that the crew he was headlining worked as a double shot the day after The Main Event. The Boston match is on DailyMotion.

 

WWF @ Boston, MA - Boston Garden - February 6, 1988 (matinee) (15,534; sell out)

Televised on NESN - included Craig DeGeorge & Lord Alfred Hayes on commentary:

Lanny Poffo pinned Terry Gibbs at 9:48 with a moonsault

Jacques & Raymond Rougeau defeated Steve Lombardi & Barry Horowitz when Raymond pinned Horowitz at 11:20 after a double team move from the top

Prime Time Wrestling - 2/22/88: Sam Houston pinned Iron Mike Sharpe with a bulldog at 11:37; after the bout, Danny Davis attacked Houston until several referees were able to intervene

Rockin Robin vs. WWF Women's Champion Sensational Sherri

Hulk Hogan & Bam Bam Bigelow (w/ Sir Oliver Humperdink) defeated Ted Dibiase (w/ Virgil) & Andre the Giant at 7:59 when Hogan pinned Dibiase with the leg drop after Andre's arm became entangled in the ring ropes; prior to the bout, Dibiase came to the ring wearing the WWF World Title belt and was introduced as the new champion as a result of what occured the previous night in Indianapolis

Ricky Steamboat fought Dino Bravo (w/ Frenchy Martin) to a double count-out at 12:23; after the bout, Bravo challenged Steamboat to 5 more minutes; after Steamboat accepted, he was double teamed by both Bravo & Martin until Bravo accidentally hit his manager; Steamboat then cleared the ring of both men

Prime Time Wrestling - 2/22/88: Danny Davis pinned Brady Boone with a sit-down splash off the top at 7:59

The One Man Gang (w/ Slick) pinned George Steele at 4:24 with a kneelift to the back after Steele became distracted by Slick on the ring apron; after the bout, Steele cleared OMG from the ring with Slick's cane before attacking Slick as well; Steele then chased the referee and Frenchy Martin, who was providing guest commentary, around the ring

The Islanders defeated Davey Boy Smith & the Dynamite Kid via disqualification at 12:36 when Dynamite shoved the referee; after the bout, Dynamite cleared both Islanders from the ring with the dog leash they brought ringside; during the match, Frenchy Martin left the commentary table after an argument with DeGeorge

 

WWF @ Philadelphia, PA - Spectrum - February 6, 1988 (13,112)

Televised on the PRISM Network - featured Dick Graham & Lord Alfred Hayes on commentary; included footage from the previous night's The Main Event in which Andre the Giant won the world title and then sold it to Ted Dibiase; featured the announcement that Dibiase would defend his newly won title against Hulk Hogan at the following month's card, to be held March 12:

Lanny Poffo pinned Terry Gibbs at 8:59 with a moonsault

The One Man Gang (w/ Slick) pinned George Steele at 4:32 with a splash to the back, even though Steele's shoulder was clearly up; after the bout, Steele cleared OMG from the ring with Slick's cane before attacking Slick with it

Ricky Steamboat fought Dino Bravo (w/ Frenchy Martin) to a time-limit draw at 13:31; after the bout, Bravo challenged Steamboat to 5 more minutes; when Steamboat accepted, he was double teamed by Bravo and Martin before eventually clearing both men from the ring

Danny Davis pinned Sam Houston at 9:41 with a reverse roll up, grabbing the top rope and the tights for leverage

Hulk Hogan & Bam Bam Bigelow (w/ Sir Oliver Humperdink) defeated Andre the Giant & Ted Dibiase (w/ Virgil) at 9:56 when Hogan pinned Dibiase with the legdrop after Andre became tied in the ring ropes; prior to the bout, Dibiase came to the ring in possession of the world title belt and was announced as the champion

Jacques & Raymond Rougeau defeated Steve Lombardi & Barry Horowitz at 9:08 when Raymond pinned Lombardi following a double team move from the top

WWF Women's Champion Sensational Sherri pinned Rockin Robin at 7:35 with a roll up

Prime Time Wrestling - 3/7/88: Iron Mike Sharpe pinned Brady Boone with a clothesline at 9:05, using the loaded forearm support

The Islanders defeated Davey Boy Smith & the Dynamite Kid via disqualification at 13:03 when Dynamite shoved referee Joey Marella; after the bout, Dynamite attacked the opposition with the dog leash the Islanders had brought ringside

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Guest Joe Gagne

From what I remember the NESN shows were tape delayed.

 

Why did they used to air WWF house shows on market specific sports channels (Prism, NESN)? Was it just that wrestling was that hot in the 1980's? Pity they don't do that anymore, but I'm sure the economics don't make it feasible.

 

These recaps are awesome, btw.

 

Joe

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It started with MSG, going back to 1973 on a new premium cable channel called HBO that shows various events from The Garden. Eventually the content moved to the original version of the MSG Network (which became the USA network while a new MSG Network started, taking over the old network's programming while USA still aired some WWF MSG shows). The specials ended in '92 (except for a one-off in '97). I guess that the idea just spread. MSG also aired shows from the Meadowlands & Nassau Coliseum (generally when MSG was being renovated, I think), and USA aired occasional shows from the Cap Centre in Landover, MD as well as Nassau & Meadowlands shows.

 

I think that the Prism shows started in the late '70s, around '77 maybe and ran through '89.

 

The NESN shows ran from '85-'89.

 

LA Sports Arena shows aired on the Z Channel from '88-'89.

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Prism was a premium channel as well, locally. They aired Phillies games and I think otherwise stuck to movies.

 

As khawk noted, it benefit the cable channels who were new entities and needed programming.

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People give Dave alot of shit these days as though his opinions and values in wrestling have changed a ton but nice to be reminded that Dave was always a Dragon's gate fan:

 

Kawada and Fuyuki have started doing aerobics training and are working 20-25 minutes of nothing but highspots in most matches, and says as hard as it is to believe, they may be the best tag team in the world. He says they blow away Strike Force, the Islanders, and even Arn and Tully.

I gave Bix shit for praising Missy for saying the same kind of obvious stuff that you can get from any other veteran. But she understands that MX were great (for ability to work toward heat) despite the highspots.

 

Dave reviewed a book called Drawing Heat:

 

"When I first started reading the book, I got bored in a hurry. I first found it outdated, focusing on personalities that were no longer a part of the business.

Not really sure why he thinks that Observer readers would find book boring or that the analysis outdated in 88. Fun book and easy read. I sent Bix a copy at one point and remember liking it a bunch. I know they used it in the MIT class on wrestling last year and the students really didn't get it at all. But honestly most of the students' analysis of all the materials came off sub Keith (I'm guessing that social science students at MIT are about as sophisticated as mechanical engineering students at Barnard). Still they really didn't get that book at all.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Dave reviewed a book called Drawing Heat:

 

"When I first started reading the book, I got bored in a hurry. I first found it outdated, focusing on personalities that were no longer a part of the business.

Not really sure why he thinks that Observer readers would find book boring or that the analysis outdated in 88. Fun book and easy read. I sent Bix a copy at one point and remember liking it a bunch. I know they used it in the MIT class on wrestling last year and the students really didn't get it at all. But honestly most of the students' analysis of all the materials came off sub Keith (I'm guessing that social science students at MIT are about as sophisticated as mechanical engineering students at Barnard). Still they really didn't get that book at all.

 

Dang! The book lists for $75 used on Amazon.

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  • 5 years later...

-- Dave reviewed a book called Drawing Heat:

 

"When I first started reading the book, I got bored in a hurry. I first found it outdated, focusing on personalities that were no longer a part of the business. The book itself by Jim Freedman was taken from his traveling on the road with David McKigney (the Canadian Wildman) and his independent troupe in Ontario in 1981. That was part of the problem. It was seven years old and wrestling has changed so much in the last seven years that it isn't the same. But after getting midway through the book, I realized, as a wrestling book this wasn't much. None of today's personalities and news items are touched. The beginning seeds of the promotional war were there, and McKigney did make some very prophetic statements about where the business was headed. This is more a book about McKigney, a small-time promoter trying to survive when in reality, he had no chance to survive, and about the big boys, basically being Jack Tunney, who takes his orders from Vince McMahon, setting out to destroy him even though he really wasn't even competition to them. As a book about McKigney, it made fascinating reading. The analysis of The Sheik (Ed Farhat) was excellent as well. My favorite part, however, was Freedman's inability to accept the wrestlers' disdain for their audience and their need to believe that fans believed it was real and that if the fans didn't believe it was real that wrestling would be destroyed. McKigney, who comes off as the hero of the book, basically didn't care what the fans knew, figuring if he put on good shows they'd come back and if he put on bad shows, it didn't matter how well kept the secrets of the business were. He even got into the news networking of the bulletin world in 1981 bringing up Terry Justice's bulletin and Elio Zarlenga's. He said Zarlenga was mercilessly judgmental and a riot to read. I bring this up because Zarlenga (who last I heard worked for Titan) and Norm Dooley did bulletins that were the basic prototype for the Observer. I think that many of you would be bored by this book, but there are also many of you that would find it fascinating reading. Anyway, of all the commercially released books on wrestling, even though this is very much dated, it is the most intelligently written and by far the best that I've seen."

I greatly enjoy this book. I first found it at my local Library over 10 years ago. To me, it was a fascinating book at that period of wrestling. I think I read it a few more times over the years.

 

My favorite part of the book was at the beginning I believe. The author is in Toronto talking with Jack Tunney talking about Punches in wrestling and how they always don't make their mark. Tunny's explanation is awesome, and I never forgot it. I even use his explanation to this day. :lol:

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  • 2 years later...

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