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20 Years Ago - WON 10/03/88


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WWF

-- For the week ending 8/28, WWF's syndicated network drew a 9.6 rating in 258 markets covering 97% of the country.

 

-- Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson debut at the next TV tapings as The Brainbusters and will be managed by Bobby Heenan. They will face the Rockers and British Bulldogs in their arena debuts toward the end of October. They are mostly working arenas where the NWA is strongest. They are expected to get a big push, only because the WWF wants Ric Flair, and burying them would make it harder to get Flair.

 

-- One Man Gang is now known as "Akeem" and will be a white wrestler pretending to be black. Dave says this is not the first time this has been done, as Kevin Sullivan pretended to be Kareem Muhammad's cousin last year in Florida.

 

-- Harley Race is booked against DJ Peterson on some spot shows in California.

 

-- 9/24 at the Spectrum drew 3,952, their lowest crowd of all time, headlined by a Savage/DiBiase cage match. 9/23 in Cape Girardeau, MO drew 1,200 fans headlined by Duggan vs DiBiase. 9/12 in Peoria, IL drew 2,411 headlined by Duggan (subbing for Jake) vs Rude. 9/19 at the Cow Palace drew 6,000 headlined by Savage vs Andre. 9/17 in Los Angeles drew 12,500 headlined by Savage vs Andre. 9/18 in San Diego drew 5,000 headlined by Savage vs Andre. 9/2 in Canton, OH drew 500 headlined by Rockers vs Conquistadores. 9/3 in Kitanning, PA drew 369 fans and a $2,1000 gate headlined by Rockers vs Conquistadores. 9/18 in White Plains, NY drew 500 fans headlined by Rockers vs Conquistadores. 9/17 at the Capital Centre drew 7,500 fans headlined by Hogan vs DiBiase. 9/19 in Entfield, CT drew 350 fans headlined by Rockers vs Conquistadores. 9/19 in New Haven, CT drew 6,200 fans headlined by Hogan vs Big Boss Man.

 

-- "Hennig's Mr. Perfect character will be introduced on TV with clips of him being perfect at all sports (ie bowling and doing all strikes, horseshoes with all ringers, baseball with all home runs)."

 

-- Roddy Piper's movie "They Live" was originally planned to debut on 10/29, but has been pushed back to 11/4 to avoid competing with any new Halloween-themed movies.

 

-- Ted DiBiase was on Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, which Dave was told was hilarious. (My note: It was!) DiBiase gave his dog champagne and caviar and wouldn't let Robin Leach have any.

 

NWA

-- Negotiations between Jim Crockett and Fritz Von Erich broke off. Crockett wanted a deal where he would take over the WCCW TV network, take over the promotion, and keep the Von Erichs and a couple of others. Fritz was looking for a simple talent exchange, likely so he could do more Flair vs Kerry Von Erich matches in Dallas.

 

-- Crockett is still attempting to settle his outstanding debts before selling. "He's trying to settle at 40 cents on the dollar according to two different creditors. His largest creditor is Bill Watts, from the purchase of the old Universal Wrestling Federation last spring. Apparently Crockett's offer to settle the outstanding debt (rumored to be in the $3 million range) for less than $1 million didn't go over so well with Watts, who is not only trying to up the price, but also drop the 'no-compete' clause in his sale contract." TBS sources tell Dave they expect the sale to be finalized by the end of the week, but Dave doesn't think they can clear the debt in time.

 

-- Expect minor changes in TV format and some major roster additions by the end of the year, with major, fullscale changes coming in early 1989.

 

-- Bam Bam Bigelow will debut on the 9/27 TV tapings as a babyface and be managed by Oliver Humperdink. While it didn't work in Titan and Dave says it does seem like a more natural heel act, Bigelow is coming in as a babyface because the Road Warriors are about to turn heel. Dave doesn't understand why they're bringing him in now instead of waiting, since he'll have a Japan tour a week later and will be gone for a month. The idea is that Humperdink can do promos while he's gone to keep his momentum going.

 

-- 9/18 in Roanoke drew 3,200 headlined by Flair vs Luger with another two-referee finish with a Tommy Young/Teddy Long argument, which fans have stopped popping for because they've figured out what is about to happen. 9/3 in Baltimore drew 11,000 and a $125,000 gate headlined by Flair vs Luger. 9/25 at the Omni drew 6,700 fans headlined by Flair vs Luger.

 

-- There will be a U.S. tag team title tournament held on TV. This will be a weekly thing for November sweeps.

 

-- Clash II was the highest rated show on cable during its week.

 

-- Brad Armstrong has missed several shows, although it has yet to be confirmed that he's headed to Continental.

 

-- For the week ending 8/28, the NWA's network drew a 6.1 in 159 markets covering 91% of the country.

 

-- Jobber Agent Steele is Brad Anderson, son of Gene Anderson.

 

SUPERCLASH III

-- The show will be headlined by a "must be a winner" title unification match between Jerry Lawler and Kerry Von Erich. There will also be a "Beverly Hills Lingerie match" between POWW girls, where the object is to tear off clothing. " ... that's fine for the Playboy channel but I'm not sure it's appropriate for the general audience, then again, I suppose there isn't much general audience interest in this show either ..." Other matches include Sgt. Slaughter vs Col. DeBeers, Ron Garvin vs Greg Gagne, and Wahoo McDaniel vs Manny Fernandez in a strap match.

 

-- The hope is that the show can be cleared in three million homes, which Dave says will have hurdles because the NWA has a show on 12/26 and the WWF has one on Thanksgiving.

 

-- Dave expects Continental to try to join the show since Eddie Gilbert is no longer booking, as David Woods and Gilbert disagreed on whether or not to participate in this show.

 

-- The plan is for this group to run a second show in February between the Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania. Dave sees oversaturation coming between the WWF PPVs, NWA's hopes to expand PPVs in 1989, and this group running more PPVs, which could result in "as many as 10 or 11 PPV shows next year." (My note: Can you imagine? ...)

 

WCCW

-- "We had one of those 'only in Texas' title changes this past Friday night at the Dallas Sportatorium. The Jerry Lawler-Kerry Von Erich title match ended with a double disqualification, and they emphasized before the match that it was to be held under World Class rules and it was announced in Dallas that because a title can change via DQ in World Class, that both wrestlers' lost their titles and both belts would be vacant pending a Texas Death Match (Falls don't count, No DQ, no time limit, no stopping for blood, match continues until one man can't answer the bell, you can use anything you want to bring into the ring except a gun or knife) at the Cotton Bowl on 10/15. However, the next morning at the TV studio in Memphis, Lawler appeared with the AWA title safely around his waist and promoting a title defense against Ron Garvin on 9/30." The show drew 3,500 fans on 9/24 at the Sportatorium, with Lawler apparently carrying Kerry to a ***+ match and working as a total heel.

 

-- John Tatum is gone.

 

-- Kevin Von Erich is tentatively scheduled to return for the Cotton Bowl show, but it isn't definite. He is having lots of problems from his concussions and the resulting headaches. A doctor told Kevin he should stop wrestling. His brain is jarred, and he is susceptible to more concussions. They are saying Kamala gave Kevin the concussion in a match in Cleveland, which is useless since Kamala is gone. "From all reports, if Kevin suffered a concussion in Cleveland, it wasn't in the ring."

 

-- Kerry Von Erich is officially in charge of the company, but Frank Dusek and Skandor Akbar handle the office work and Percy Pringle does publicity.

 

-- There is a Miss World Class beauty pageant coming up. (My note: Texas pageant hair in the 1980s in pro wrestling should be a sight to behold. Please tell me there is footage.)

 

-- The plan is to start giving away Ft. Worth tickets, since the shows are sponsored anyway, to build up excitement for television. The matches have been good, but they are only drawing 200 fans in an 8,000 seat arena, so they seem dead from lack of heat. They are also going to give out freebies to kids and non-profit groups so there is crowd enthusiasm that carries over to TV. (My note: This is an unusually progressive response to low ticket sales for pro wrestling, especially Fritz.)

 

-- Michael Hayes is in Nigeria.

 

-- They lost TV in San Antonio, which has been their most consistent drawing city.

 

MEMPHIS

-- The combined tapings in Louisville and Memphis drew disappointing numbers: between 2,000 and 3,500 for Louisville, and only about 5,000 in Memphis, despite all the big names on the card.

 

-- Dave is comparing the Frank Dusek/Eddie Marlin shoving match and Hayes/Cox vs Jarrett/Dundee confrontation to New Japan vs IWE, which drew huge in 1981-1982 with Inoki vs Rusher Kimura.

 

-- Hector Guerrero is now working as a full-time gymnastic instructor for kids in Maryville, Tennessee.

 

-- Cactus Jack is now carrying a whip. They did an angle where Brown said that since Fuller still owned his contract he didn't have any money. He brought out his aunt who said she has been having to support him and started crying, which was great. Sylvia then came out - also crying - and said they've give him back the contract until the Stud Stable jumped Brown and choked him with the whip. The other heels held the dressing room door shut so nobody could make the save for a few minutes.

 

-- "Todd Morton, the Ricky Morton look-alike and wrestle-alike debuted this past Saturday and he looks like a top candidate for rookie of the year."

 

CONTINENTAL

-- There has been a "bitter falling out" in Continental, which has led to the departure of booker Eddie Gilbert, along with several other wrestlers. There were business disagreements that escalated out of control, and there was a "full-scale explosion" on Thursday. Dave expects this to put Continental back in the category of minor independent promotion. There were differences between Gilbert and David Woods. Woods felt Continental couldn't afford to expand to new areas and bring in name talent, which Gilbert was trying to do. They also felt they weren't ready for the Road to Birmingham on 10/3. The promotion started second guessing booking decisions and felt that Eddie Gilbert and Paul E. Dangerously focused too much on themselves. In addition, localized promos were getting mixed up or failed to arrive at the city in time for airing because they weren't being mailed for overnight delivery. They were just being sent first class mail. (My note: Where is Bix to advocate for click and ship when we need him? :)) The final straw was when paychecks were given on Tuesday when paychecks were issued. Gilbert has been in charge of payroll, and Woods scaled back the payoffs Gilbert has issued, especially of those who are Gilbert's closest friends. Woods was also against Gilbert returning as a babyface, and was questioning the severity of his injuries. "Really, just about everything that there could be a dispute about, there was. There had been disenchantment because the crowds had been down the past two weeks, although that isn't unusual for this time of the year. Even Gilbert's detractors within the promotion admitted he was both a creative wrestler and great booker, but were leery of his attempts to expand too fast and certain personality conflicts had gotten out of control."

 

-- Because of this, the status of Road to Birmingham is up on the air. Gilbert, Bam Bam Bigelow, Bob Orton, and Chris Adams are definitely not coming in now (in Bigelow's case because he signed with the NWA, not because he's in the middle of this). Terry Gordy may still be on, but Continental may not be willing to fly in outside talent anymore. Nightmare Freddy, D.I. Bob Carter, The Samoans and Shane Douglas are all gone. Austin Idol and a few others are question marks.

 

-- The new booker will be Bob Armstrong, with the full crew cut to 14 wrestlers: Armstrong, Tracey Smothers, Steve Armstrong, Scott Armstrong, Willie B. Hurt, Lord Humongous, Danny Davis, Jerry Stubbs, Ken Wayne, Mongolian Stomper, Tony Anthony, Alan Martin, and two more heels. Dave expects Humongous to get a major push, as Gilbert not featuring him as the #1 wrestler in the promotion was another source of dispute.

 

-- Missy Hyatt will not be working TV anymore, and neither will Joe Pedicino. Brad Armstrong will probably come back in, and Dave expects Continental to be dropped by FNN as a result of all of this.

 

-- 9/23 in Knoxville drew 2,500 and a $20,000 gate.

 

-- Tom Pritchard was going to win the tournament, but probably won't now.

 

-- Eddie Gilbert had been wrestling in the earlier part of the week, and is currently working weekend shows in Puerto Rico.

 

STAMPEDE

-- 9/10 in Edmonton drew 700 fans. 9/17 drew 800 fans.

 

-- Dave is told the Chris Benoit & Lance Idol vs Cuban Commandos (Cuban Assassin & Jerry Morrow) matches are regularly around ****, including one that recently aired in full on television.

 

-- Makhan Singh was suspended for his attack on Ed Whalen so he would be free to tour South Africa. The Great Gama is also there, and Wellington starts for Inoki on 10/7.

 

-- Biff Wellington has a hair match against Johnny Smith before leaving for New Japan, much like Davey Boy Smith and Dynamite Kid used to lose hair matches so they could work New Japan tours bald.

 

-- Buddy Lane and Rip Rogers are coming in mid October.

 

U.S. INDEPENDENTS

-- Ric Flair only drew an average crowd on 9/20 in Portland, where he wrestled Top Gun (Dave Sierra) and was DQ'd for throwing him over the top rope.

 

-- "Lou Thesz was on Goerge Michael's local TV sportscast in Washington D.C. this past week and the two discussed whether or not Lou, who is now 72, could beat Hulk Hogan today. Michael gave you the impression he felt Thesz could have a few years ago but at 72 was pushing it, but Thesz came off confidently saying he'd win with little trouble since Hogan doesn't know how to wrestle. Just a few years back (1985) when Brody and Inoki were feuding in Japan, they had a photo shoot of Thesz training Brody for the match with Inoki teaching him wrestling holds. Anyway, at that point, Thesz was so quick with his moves that Brody probably couldn't have beaten him in an actual wrestling match so as silly as this sounds on the surface, ya never know. Thesz did compliment Randy Savage, calling him a great athlete and a good wrestler. About a week earlier, there was an article on Sam Muchnick's 83rd birthday in one of the St. Louis papers and Muchnick also said that he felt that today, Thesz could beat Hogan. The article only had one graph about wrestling, basically talking about the decline of the NWA and saying some negative things about what pro wrestling has turned into."

 

ALL JAPAN

-- Sting backed off of doing an All Japan tour after NWA pressure to cancel, because they told him they can't afford to lose him in October. His debut has been postponed to January.

 

-- "I had a chance to see the Tenryu-Hara vs. Tsuruta-Yatsu tag matches from 8/29 in Tokyo and 8/30 in Osaka. Both matches went about 30 minutes and were in the four-star range. The first bout started slow but had all the excellent near falls in the final few minutes, but also some missed moves, but the heat was tremendous. Finish saw Tenryu reverse a small package and pin Jumbo. The second night they actually had a superior match pacing-wise and really if it wasn't for the weak finish would have been 4 1/2 stars. Finish saw Jumbo give Tenryu three back suplexes and every time Hara would break up the fall. Then he did it again and this time just simply got the pin and Tenryu was laid out. The crowd was surprised because it was an out of the ordinary ending and the fall came with no heat build-up but it was still a great match."

 

-- Dan Spivey and Johnny Ace will team up in mid-November for the tag tournament.

 

NEW JAPAN

-- 9/12 in Fukuoka drew a near sellout 4,880 fans headlined by a 10-man elimination match of Choshu/H. Saito/Super Strong Machine/Kobayashi/M. Saito vs Fujinami/Kimura/Fujiwara/Koshinaka/Yamada.

 

-- 9/17 in Nagato drew a sellout 1,570 fans headlined by Choshu/Strong Machine/Kobayashi vs Fujinami/Koshinaka/Takano.

 

-- 9/15 in Kokuto drew a sellout 1,720 fans headlined by Fujinami/Kimura/Takano vs Starr/Hall/Vader and Choshu/Saito vs Kokina/Bigelow.

 

LETTERS QUOTES

"If two 'real' wrestlers are ready to leave the top of the promotion and their best feud, both in the ring and in gate potential, that they've ever had as a team, in exchange for a pass into the land of corporate wrestling decisions, that says more about the state of Jim Crockett Promotions than any wild rumors. The fact that JCP survived and thrived while every other major promotion crumbled in the face of Vince McMahon was something I took personal pride in. JCP is the home team that I grew up with. I've had a lot of fun both watching them on the tube and at the live shows. I don't care how much money and marketing expertise the WWF has, their product is heavy-handed, too predictable, condescending to their audience and boring. If the Crockett family acts now and takes the TBS offer, a tradition of 50 years standing may not go down needlessly. If not, I'd like to thank the family for all the years of fun and for bringing me what was the greatest show on Earth. The family ultimately has the right to destroy their business for no reason besides the preservation of Dusty Rhodes, just as they have the right to sell it for several million dollars and watch it survive into the next century. Just as I know Arn & Tully will be misused in the WWF, I have to admit that they made the right career choice. My fervent wish is they make a boatload of money in New York. It is nothing less than what they deserve. When Ric Flair goes, so do I as a wrestling fan." - Bruce Mitchell

 

"You've now reached the point where you have almost no analytical credibility with me when it comes to the WWF. I'm not saying you have a personal hard-on and it effects your judgment, only that you can no longer evaluate all wrestling by the same criteria. Has it occurred to you that the direction the WWF is going is imply not to your taste? I spoke to an awful lot of people after Summerslam. I mean real people, not guys who stay up to 3 a.m. to call you on some sportstalk radio show or Observer readers, just mainstream people who enjoy wrestling. While nobody was confusing Summerslam with Wrestlemania III, they were also sophisticated enough to realize that this was the summer show and was deliberately low-key so as not to destroy the specialness of Wrestlemania but that it was tons better than any other MSG show this year. If you want to throw in the 25-30 folks on the computer wrestling board I frequent who are very hardcore fans, several of whom subscribe to the Observer, the general impression was pretty much favorable. Nobody was going crazy as they did for the first Clash or Wrestlemania IV (Yes, your fabled failure drew mostly excellent notices online) but people were happy, especially with the Hart Foundation-Demolition match. How can you give that 1 1/2 stars when in the same issue you rate a Phil Hickerson vs. Jeff Jarrett match with 3 1/2 stars? All I'm saying is that you don't like the current WWF style of matches and too many of your readers simply like what you like and don't like what you don't like. Maybe I'm wrong, but I'd think about it. I'd also look more at what a promotion is attempting to do and how well they succeed. It was my impression that Summerslam was supposed to be, basically, the year's best MSG show, and it was. I doubt many viewers were all that turned off and suspect most enjoyed it well enough that they'll buy the next WWF PPV show. When Wrestlemania V rolls around, it will still seem like a more important event and it will cost more and people will pay it unless the promotion turns them off. That is more important than how well they draw in Philadelphia the next month. Your comment that, ipso fact, the ridiculous Flair-Luger blood angle on the PPV Bash was a success because live gates were up immediately was the most naive thing I've ever read by you. Don't you think infuriating the PPV audience was more significant than live audience, a totally different and relatively microscopic portion of the potentially vast PPV audience. The NWA's biggest problem is they never take the long view. Like children, they live in the eternal here and now. People are turned out of the blue (Windham, Luger, Murdoch, Garvin) with no build up because they need heat at some shows. They good good notices on Clash and think they've won the wrestling war. They draw a few good live gates and suddenly Dusty and Jimbo are convinced they've been right all along and should continue to run the organization even after Turner spends good money on it. You can't criticize a cowboy movie because it doesn't have ray guns. The WWF style tends toward fewer holds with much more set-up for each. Criticizing it for not equalling the workrate of some other promotion is besides the point. Workrate is all well and good, but smart fans put too much emphasis on it. Five moves aren't necessarily better than one well-executed and well set-up move." -- Bill Kunkel, Woodhaven, NY

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"You've now reached the point where you have almost no analytical credibility with me when it comes to the WWF. I'm not saying you have a personal hard-on and it effects your judgment, only that you can no longer evaluate all wrestling by the same criteria. Has it occurred to you that the direction the WWF is going is imply not to your taste? I spoke to an awful lot of people after Summerslam. I mean real people, not guys who stay up to 3 a.m. to call you on some sportstalk radio show or Observer readers, just mainstream people who enjoy wrestling. While nobody was confusing Summerslam with Wrestlemania III, they were also sophisticated enough to realize that this was the summer show and was deliberately low-key so as not to destroy the specialness of Wrestlemania but that it was tons better than any other MSG show this year. If you want to throw in the 25-30 folks on the computer wrestling board I frequent who are very hardcore fans, several of whom subscribe to the Observer, the general impression was pretty much favorable. Nobody was going crazy as they did for the first Clash or Wrestlemania IV (Yes, your fabled failure drew mostly excellent notices online) but people were happy, especially with the Hart Foundation-Demolition match. How can you give that 1 1/2 stars when in the same issue you rate a Phil Hickerson vs. Jeff Jarrett match with 3 1/2 stars? All I'm saying is that you don't like the current WWF style of matches and too many of your readers simply like what you like and don't like what you don't like. Maybe I'm wrong, but I'd think about it. I'd also look more at what a promotion is attempting to do and how well they succeed. It was my impression that Summerslam was supposed to be, basically, the year's best MSG show, and it was. I doubt many viewers were all that turned off and suspect most enjoyed it well enough that they'll buy the next WWF PPV show. When Wrestlemania V rolls around, it will still seem like a more important event and it will cost more and people will pay it unless the promotion turns them off. That is more important than how well they draw in Philadelphia the next month. Your comment that, ipso fact, the ridiculous Flair-Luger blood angle on the PPV Bash was a success because live gates were up immediately was the most naive thing I've ever read by you. Don't you think infuriating the PPV audience was more significant than live audience, a totally different and relatively microscopic portion of the potentially vast PPV audience. The NWA's biggest problem is they never take the long view. Like children, they live in the eternal here and now. People are turned out of the blue (Windham, Luger, Murdoch, Garvin) with no build up because they need heat at some shows. They good good notices on Clash and think they've won the wrestling war. They draw a few good live gates and suddenly Dusty and Jimbo are convinced they've been right all along and should continue to run the organization even after Turner spends good money on it. You can't criticize a cowboy movie because it doesn't have ray guns. The WWF style tends toward fewer holds with much more set-up for each. Criticizing it for not equalling the workrate of some other promotion is besides the point. Workrate is all well and good, but smart fans put too much emphasis on it. Five moves aren't necessarily better than one well-executed and well set-up move." -- Bill Kunkel, Woodhaven, NY

Over 20 years later and we're still having the same debate!

 

I do agree with his point that WM IV and Summerslam did not turn off the typical WWF paying customer

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Bruce really loves and is really committed to the Mid Atlantic era and the Crockett vision of what wrestling is, and sees the WWF as everything Crockett was not, which is actually true. What is ultimately disappointing is that during the entire Crockett era, and even after the buyout, up until early 2000 when the Radicals jumped, WCW always had better wrestling, better interviews, and usually, better angles. The announcing blew away the announcing in the WWF. But they ultimately failed -- not because the things that they were better at didn't matter, but more because they couldn't promote themselves at all. It would be interesting to see if a company whose organizational skills and business acumen matched that of the WWF running a traditional wrestling promotion could have drawn and been competitive. I tend to think it could have. Guys like Nikita Koloff, Sting, Barry Windham, Magnum T.A., Lex Luger, the Steiners, Ric Flair, and the Road Warriors would have looked larger than life if they were well-produced and had a really strong marketing machine behind them, and guys like the Midnights, Arn, Tully and the Rock & Rolls probably would have been bigger stars and meant more to the overall promotion than the Hart Foundation, British Bulldogs, Killer Bees, and whatever other tag teams you want to mention did in the WWF.

 

The WWF didn't really prove anything new when they showed that the most important thing in drawing is promotion and hype. I think that was always known to be the case, but even they didn't really capitalize on their popularity like they should have, because they were seen as Vaudeville in both boom periods. Really popular Vaudeville at times, but Vaudeville nonetheless.

 

At the same time, the more I've thought about it lately, I think all the old-time promoters would have shot themselves in the foot eventually anyway, WWF expansion or no WWF expansion. PPV and cable television were two concepts they just couldn't wrap their heads around, and Vince understood the potential there better than anyone else did. In some cases, the promotions figured out the battleground and what they needed to do to compete, but by then it was already too late.

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Dave publishing the Kunkle letter in that era wasn't a surprise at all. He often would print letters that disagreed with him, and didn't always feel the need to defend himself with comments after it.

 

Bruce's letter is exactly what you would have expected from Bruce, and frankly don't just reflect Bruce's. A lot of us viewed "WWF vs NWA" the same way at that point, and the Arn & Tully jump as one of the pull back the curtain moments where you felt the NWA was dead. I didn't have the link to Mid Atlantic like Bruce did, having started watching Crockett only through TBS when we got cable. But they were the wrestling that hooked me, and the WWF was a "joke" to me that I followed simply to (i) keep up, and (ii) watch the few guys in it that I thought were decent.

 

Among "hardcore" fans, this was very common. Hell... I didn't even read the WON at the time of that letter, and when coming across it in the early 90s when completely my collection of WON's, the thought very much was: "Bruce captured what I was thinking at the time". Kunkle's was the one that was a bit different, as you just didn't have as many hardcore fans in the 80s and early 90s that were WWF fans. I think that really changed with the growth of the online world, and lets be honest that as that happened it was a slightly different WWF. Online hardcore fans of the WWF tended to point to the good workers (Shawn, Bret, Perfect, recalling Savage and Steamboat) more than they pointed to love of Hogan or Warrior.

 

Kunkle was writing outside the box of the typical harcore wrestling fandom, which makes for an interesting letter two decades later since he ended up being a bit more correct. I wouldn't say 100%, because I do think you could have a successful promotion by taking the strengths of each promotion.

 

John

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Kunkle's was the one that was a bit different, as you just didn't have as many hardcore fans in the 80s and early 90s that were WWF fans. I think that really changed with the growth of the online world

Definitely true. I think around 1996 or so you had this influx of fans who grew up watching 80s WWF and they severly clashed with the more traditional old guard online. Herb Kunze comes to mind

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