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Wrestling Observer Recap -- 2/17/86


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*Biggest news is the death of Gino Hernandez. Gino was 29 and is the ninth active wrestler to die in the last two years, an astonishing number given there are only about 300 active wrestlers in the business.

 

*Dave corrects himself from last issue where he claimed that the AWA tag titles changed hands in a non-match that was said on TV as taking place in Albuquerque. The match actually did take place and Hall/Henning beat Garvin/Regal in a good 58 minute match. The change took place because Regal decided to walk out. Rumors also flying that Garvin is leaving for Crockett to give Baby Doll another valet to feud with.

 

*Wrestlemania II will take place 4/7 instead of 3/31 as originally planned. WWF had booked too many buildings around the country for 3/31 and didn't want to have to eat the deposits. Plus they didn't want to compete w/ the NCAA B-ball championship game. Dave speculates the main event could be Hogan/Savage lumberjack match.

 

*MTV will air the Slammys near the end of April.

 

*A second woman's promotion will start in Japan. The current women's group discourages the women from continuing with wrestling past the age of 25. Dave says the Japanese women put on the best matches of any promotion in the world.

 

*Dave gets letters wondering why ESPN renewed its contract w/ the AWA instead of picking up Mid-South. Dave says to not be surprised because station managers looking at wrestling already assume it's phony and stupid. Vince's material fits the mold of real-life cartoon characters and a circus atmosphere. The AWA is almost cartoon-like in an unintentional way and station managers think that's what people want. Mid-South draws huge ratings, but those are dismissed because it's in deep south markets like Oklahoma and New Orleans. Also, Mid-South caters to actual wrestling fans and is a fairly serious wrestling show. ESPN Sports Center commentators wouldn't be able to make fun of it like they do w/ the AWA.

 

AWA

*Brody will be coming back. Blackwell convinced Verne to bring him back. Greg Gagne wanted Brody to post a 25,000 appearance bond, but that's not happening. Blackwell realizes that age and weight have caught up w/ him and that Brody is one of the few guys that can work around that.

 

*Blackjack Lanza left for a WWF road agent position. Lanza was a great organizer so now the AWA is in organizational disarray. Wally Karbo rumored to be leaving for WWF too.

 

*Hansen is already a disappointment as a champion that can draw. Dave says it will stay that way as long as his only opponent is Slaughter. Problem is the AWA has no faces that are over. David Sammartino is scheduled for several matches w/ Hansen which will bomb.

 

*Sean Michaels is on his way in, but won't get pushed. Dave says he has great potential but is too green.

 

World Class

*Dave doesn't want to speculate on the effects Gino's death will have on the promotion.

 

*Crowds are up a bit because the Freebirds are back in. The Freebirds/Von Erich feud is good, but nowhere near '83/84 good. Lance Von Erich tries but is still horrible.

 

Texas All-Star

*Kimala refuses to work more than one or two minute matches (I love Kimala!)

 

Crockett Country

*Roadies/Russians feud is beginning to fizzle, but a couple of TV appearances by the Roadies could help it out. Dave thinks the Roadies are an attraction that people want to see a few times every now and then instead of on a regular basis. He thinks Crockett should book them like WWF books Hogan, sporadically so as to make their appearance seem like a really huge deal.

 

*Dave says someone needs to tell Flair that the Space Mountain schtick is getting old. (I disagree. Last issue Dave was complaining that Flair shouldn't talk about Space Mountain and use innuendos because kids watch the show.)

 

*Dave gives some results, all of which have Flair losing or getting some cheap win. Dave cracks wise about how he loves the way they "continually put Flair over."

 

Update on Gino Hernandez

*It was reported that Gino's death was due to a liver ailment and that a gun was found near his body. The gun hadn't been fired. Police in Dallas received "tons" of calls saying that Chirs Adams killed him. Apparently, Adams mentioned that he'd kill Gino in a promo.

 

*Dave says there's more to the Gino story, which he won't report anything until next issue when more details come in.

 

WWF

*Dave wouldn't be surprised if the Bulldogs win the tag titles at Wrestlemania II.

 

*The WWF album reached a disappointing No. 84 on the Billboard charts and is on its way down.

 

*Hogan was on the Love Boat last week.

 

*WWF returns to Richomnd on 2/9. Their first show in Crockett Country sold out and this one should too.

 

*Rumors that Dino Bravo will be returning to Canada to run the Montreal office.

 

Mid-South

*Mid-South TV is now on satellite.

 

*Dave isn't used to Dibiase/Williams as faces because they were such great heels.

 

*Chavo Guerrero is on thin-ice w/ the Houston office. It all stems from a "painted yellow" match where he threw paint in the audience and refused his post-match painted interview.

 

Other stuff

*Dave says that because he's always writing negative things, he should commend Rob Richsteiner and Steve Williams for rescuing two men from a burning vehicle about a month back. Dave also says he regrets not putting Williams in the top three of his most improved list for 1985.

 

Superstars on the Superstation

*Dave gives the show a B. He says their attempt to have celebrities flopped because Willie Nelson was the only real celebrity. At least Vince has real celebrities. The pacing and production was also far below what Vince does. Much like Vince's early shows were, this show dragged in places.

 

*Dave hated the Dusty/Tully match but liked the Flair/Garvin match. He says Garvin is just good enough to not ruin Flair's matches. Either that or Flair is just that good. He says they made a mistake by not having a Flair interview after the match.

 

Back to the News

*A passage in Howard Cossell's book highlights how Vince wanted Cossell to call WWF shows. Cossell refused and Vince cussed him out and acted like an asshole.

 

*Dave watched a Hogan/Savage match from MSG and says it's no wonder Hogan is so much more over than Flair. All Flair does is take bumps while Hogan at least gets to look strong. Dave also is amazed that Flair was able to have such a great match w/ Nikita at the Bash in '85.

 

*Barry Windham looks great on his current Japan tour. It's hard to believe he's the same guy that was in the WWF.

 

*WWF will do a Slammy's special on 3/1. This will be the night the big angles for Wrestlemania are shot. Not sure if it will air on NBC or MTV. William Perry rumored to be wrestling.

 

*Dave summarizes a proposed Flair-Race angle in KC that he hopes they will change becaue he gave it away.

 

*Jake Roberts on his way to WWF.

 

*Wally Karbo agreed to go to WWF, but changed his mind last minute.

 

*At a recent AWA St. Paul show, Hennig/Hall beat the Irwins. Hall went into his trunks for a foreign object and his blade fell out. Bill Irwin walloped him w/ his boot and Hall picked up the blade and cut himself. Dave says Hall is improving, but he's never seen anyone screw up so many finishes.

 

*Rumors of 4/20 show at the 60,000 seat Metrodome w/ Crockett.

 

*Verne lost his TV time in Winnipeg to WWF.

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*Dave corrects himself from last issue where he claimed that the AWA tag titles changed hands in a non-match that was said on TV as taking place in Albuquerque. The match actually did take place and Hall/Henning beat Garvin/Regal in a good 58 minute match. The change took place because Regal decided to walk out.

It was debated for the longest time in recent years as to whether this match ever really took place and it was more or less proven on the Kayfabe Board. Dave had this one right. I imagine regal said he was walking out that very night which is why there was no TV (not to mention it was a spot show). It was very similar to the Crusher/raschke victory over Patera/Blackwell, where they only filmed the dressing room celebration after the match but no film of the title change. that would ahve been around when patera had the McDonalds incident and though I believe that the titles were changing hands soon anyways, perhaps that hastened the switch.

Still should filmed it, though.

 

*Brody will be coming back. Blackwell convinced Verne to bring him back. Greg Gagne wanted Brody to post a 25,000 appearance bond, but that's not happening. Blackwell realizes that age and weight have caught up w/ him and that Brody is one of the few guys that can work around that.

This turned into that stellar angle where Rheingans wrestles kaissie in St. Paul, but a big masked guy comes out and saves Sheik. Greg runs in, Masked guy kills him, gets unmasked as the returning Brody, prompting Verne Gagne to run in and save Greg and Rheingans. Good pop but it's pretty funny to watch now. It of course set up the main event (more or less) at Wrestlerock, alluded to by Dave as in the planning stages at the end of the recap.

 

*Blackjack Lanza left for a WWF road agent position. Lanza was a great organizer so now the AWA is in organizational disarray.

this ties into this bit:

*Verne lost his TV time in Winnipeg to WWF.

According to Nick Bockwinkel, he and Lanza bought the Winnipeg office from Verne in the fall of 1985. You can look at this two ways: One, Verne saw he might get pushed off of TV in Winnipeg and got out while he could, or Two, Lanza talked Verne into selling that office to him and Nick knowing Vince would be coming in. Lanza might have also been able to leverage a position in the WWF out of it if he bought the office with Vince's blessing/co-operation. In other words, Lanza played Verne to make the Winnipeg transition go smoother.

Both scenarios have merit, IMO.

When the AWA ran it's last show in Winnipeg, attendance was at a two year high the last three months worth of shows. The last AWA show on 1/16/86 was the highest attended in Winnipeg for quite some time. It featured Martel trying to regain the title from Hansen and Flair defending against Bockwinkel. It might have been the last steadily successful AWA office, actually.

TSN actually taped the first WWF card in Winnipeg for TSN Wrestling to replace the AW stuff, but Vince apparently wanted to use stock generic TV squash stuff for them and TSN wanted original, higher quality matches. As such the WWF and TSN parted ties after about two or three shows.

 

*Hansen is already a disappointment as a champion that can draw. Dave says it will stay that way as long as his only opponent is Slaughter. Problem is the AWA has no faces that are over. David Sammartino is scheduled for several matches w/ Hansen which will bomb.

David had the one Vegas TV match against Hansen which is pretty good, actually. He had one tag title match with Slaughter in January before Garvin and Regal lost the tag titles, too. Other than that, hansen/Jr. might have had one or two matches for the title in the Northeast but that's it, and David never did become an AWA regular.

 

*Sean Michaels is on his way in, but won't get pushed. Dave says he has great potential but is too green.

The Rockers were born about a month-month and a half into his AWA time, of course. Verne had brought Jannetty in around the same time seperately.

 

*At a recent AWA St. Paul show, Hennig/Hall beat the Irwins. Hall went into his trunks for a foreign object and his blade fell out. Bill Irwin walloped him w/ his boot and Hall picked up the blade and cut himself. Dave says Hall is improving, but he's never seen anyone screw up so many finishes.

Not sure if this ever made TV as i don't recall seeing it. Also why was Scott Hall going for a foreign object? he was a traditional face. maybe he just had to adjust himself or something.

 

 

Police in Dallas received "tons" of calls saying that Chris Adams killed him. Apparently, Adams mentioned that he'd kill Gino in a promo.

LOL...I love stuff like that.

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I love your writeups, but I've been waiting for you to get to my birthday (September 8, 1985) and you just skipped from August 1985 to February 1986. Is there anyway you could go back and do the one that came out after 9/8/85 or are you missing those? Thanks, because that would be awesome.

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I love your writeups, but I've been waiting for you to get to my birthday (September 8, 1985) and you just skipped from August 1985 to February 1986. Is there anyway you could go back and do the one that came out after 9/8/85 or are you missing those? Thanks, because that would be awesome.

Dave started doing bi-weekly editions right around this time and I just don't have the time to do a write-up of each and every issue. I'm only doing them when I can find a free minute and feel like it. It'll be sporadic random issues as long as people are still into the write-ups.

 

But since you made a special request, I'll see if I can find a free minute this weekend and write up the issue around 9/8/85:)

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Barry Windham just started showing up on the NWA shows on 24/7 (he and Ron Garvin just beat the Russians for the US tag titles) and I keep thinking this was his first run in a major promotion. My mind just will not retain the info that he was a WWF tag champ the year before.

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Dave summarizes a proposed Flair-Race angle in KC that he hopes they will change becaue he gave it away.

 

---

 

Do tell...

They were going to have Race pin Flair clean in a non-title bout or two and set up a loser leaves town match. Flair would get a cheap win in the loser leaves match and Race would return under a mask as the Midnight Rider. Crockett bought the promotion before the angle was carried out and scrapped it.

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Dave summarizes a proposed Flair-Race angle in KC that he hopes they will change becaue he gave it away.

 

---

 

Do tell...

They were going to have Race pin Flair clean in a non-title bout or two and set up a loser leaves town match. Flair would get a cheap win in the loser leaves match and Race would return under a mask as the Midnight Rider. Crockett bought the promotion before the angle was carried out and scrapped it.

 

Why does that sound familiar? <_>
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  • 6 years later...

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