Bret Michael partner

Wrestling Observer Rewind ★ May 16, 1988

2020.10.22 18:00 SaintRidley Wrestling Observer Rewind ★ May 16, 1988

Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words, continuing in the footsteps of daprice82. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives.
The Complete Observer Rewind Archive by daprice82
1-4-1988 1-11-1988 1-18-1988 1-25-1988
2-1-1988 2-8-1988 2-15-1988 2-22-1988
2-29-1988 3-7-1988 3-14-1988 3-21-1988
3-28-1988 4-4-1988 4-11-1988 4-18-1988
4-25-1988 5-2-1988 5-9-1988 *
  • The big stories this week really won’t hit until late in the issue, so read down I guess.
  • [NWA] The Midnight Rider angle lasted just a whole two weeks after his initial arrival. The whole thing began just four or five weeks back with a baseball bat and punching Magnum T.A., and all that work was wasted when they pulled the plug. The Midnight Rider gimmick just wasn’t working, so they did an official announcement that Paul Boesch convinced the NWA board to reinstate Dusty. All the panicked decisions lately leave Dave with the impression that the NWA is in worse shape than they seemed to be a few weeks back, and things don’t look likely to change any time soon. More of a surprise to Dave than the fact that it wasn’t working is the fact that they did it so quickly when the angle was supposed to last through the summer. He thinks that has to be hard on Dusty’s ego. So them setting up a feud between Dusty and Barry Windham when the logical feud should be Luger and Windham seems a desperate move to placate Dusty. And there’s no predicting what the NWA will do next, because the people in charge don’t seem to know what they’re doing week to week.
  • Ex-NFL star Steve Courson makes his pro wrestling debut this week at a Pennsylvania independent show. He’s barely trained and being rushed into the ring to capitalize off his NFL fame. The guy was a heavy steroid user back in the NFL and admitted as much, and his career ended due to health issues a couple years ago. Nevertheless, he’s got an anti-steroid book about to hit bookshelves. Seems carny enough for the business.
  • Roddy Piper showed up at Don Owen’s April 30 card in Portland. Billy Jack Haynes’ rival promotion debuted on May 7 and starts its tv program on May 14. Haynes claims he didn’t delay a week due to Piper’s April 30 appearance, but because his ring lights were late in arriving. They were lighting Chris Adams’ ring, I’m sure. Anyway, Piper showed up in the interview area and never entered the ring, and when Mike Golden told Piper to scram during his interview, Piper acted passive and backed off to help put Golden over. Golden then produced a contract for a match on May 7 and tried to goad Piper into a match, to which Piper retorted he’s lost a lot of weight and isn’t a fighter anymore, only to finally get into it with Golden after more taunting and Golden spitting on him. Fans left with the idea that Piper would fight Golden, but Piper never appeared on May 7 and no announcement of them having a match took place.
  • Variety Magazine reports that all the weekly pro wrestling shows have dropped out of the top 15 in syndicated ratings. So the real story is the way that the wrestling shows made it into the top 15 in the first page. The WWF network had 5 shows, Crockett network had 4, and All-Star Wrestling network had at least 6, and each of those packages added up the ratings of all the shows in them and reported that rating. Compare to say, Wheel of Fortune, which is just the one show, and so you had the combined ratings of anywhere from 4-6+ shows trying to act like all the shows in that package were competitive ad space to a show like Wheel or Jeopardy, which is unfair to those single shows that pull in massive ratings. Anyway, those who calculate ratings have done away with those network packages in their calculations to level the playing field, so WWF isn’t getting ahead of Oprah and her single show’s 9 rating by combining five shows to pull a 10 rating anymore. Superstars, which is definitely WWF’s most watched show, doesn’t even come close to the top 15 on its own. For Dave, this isn’t a big deal, other than that it’ll be harder to track ratings, which are the best way to measure interest at the moment. Dave’s tv industry contacts think this is a big blow to wrestling as an industry, however, and more damaging to Crockett than McMahon since Vince has sold most of his ad slots for the year already. Nothing has materially changed, but advertisers are going to see wrestling as less hot, and their places in the top 15 have been taken by shows like Love Connection, Star Search, and Hollywood Squares. A wrestling network package might offer the same number of viewers, but advertisers look at the rankings to decide what’s hot, and wrestling’s not going to appear there anymore, and their ads in trade publications won’t be able to boast WWF or NWA as among the highest rated networks in syndication. Long story short, Promoters are going to have to chase advertising dollars rather than advertisers chasing promotions, and that spells an eventual downturn for the business.
  • [NWA] Clash of the Champions II, called Miami Mayhem, has been announced for June 8. Dave gets the feeling that it won’t be as hot a show as the first Clash and that those in the company think they might have given away too much on the first and thus hurt themselves at the gate. Dave thinks they did indeed give a lot, but they also failed to take advantage of a lot. Like, the barbed wire match was the end of a feud and they didn’t even know it because despite the heels being beaten quick and clean, they’re still running the match when there’s no point in continuing the feud. Dave thinks they had a lot of momentum coming off the first clash and they squashed it by downplaying everything in favor of the now-aborted Midnight Rider angle.
  • Randy Savage is now being billed as Undisputed WWF Champion. They’ve dropped the word “heavyweight” and Dave’s been told they’re planning to no longer use it, for whatever that’s worth.
  • WWF is working on a bunch of non-wrestling specials. Kind of like the Slammy Awards in the way they’ll sell the shows and in their hopes for ratings. Dave hopes not similar in terms of quality, at least.
  • Managers Mr. Fuji, Jimmy Hart, and Frenchy Martin appeared on WWF’s May 7 Boston house show. No idea if it’s just certain New England cities they’ll appear in or what, but yeah, that’s the update on the managers at house shows thing.
  • Dave and his friends were joking that Ultimate Warrior vs. Andre the Giant would be the worst possible match this generation. Lo and behold, Dave found out that they put that match on a few weeks back in Switzerland on a European tour. Dave asks “What did the Swiss ever do to Vince McMahon?” I can't find anything from Switzerland, but I did find a clip from Italy on that same tour.
Watch: Andre vs. Warrior
  • Dave saw the program for the Central States April 28 show in Kansas City and it’s the funniest thing he’s seen in a while. The program talks about the Freebirds (supposed to be coming in) and says they’re managed by Michael Hayes, and it has a picture of Hayes taken from their original heel days in Georgia in 1980. Bob Geigel runs the promotion and makes his own programs, and it’s good to see how up to date he’s managed to be.
  • Ken Mantell sent a letter to every promotion except WWF and NWA offering for World Class to work with them. World Class isn’t running a full-time schedule, so Mantell’s looking for ways to get his guys out there, but they only have a couple guys with any significant name value. Michael Hayes, Terry Gordy, Terry Taylor, and maybe Chris Adams could give a boost to a promotion getting into things with a local babyface, but just sending Taylor and Adams to have a match against each other won’t help anyone (they did that for the May 2 show in Memphis). Talent sharing isn’t helpful to the other promotions unless they can do a tv angle or work several shows rather than a one-off date (with the rare exception of a Michael Hayes date in Atlanta, or Gordy doing an independent show with a match against Brody or Abdullah).
  • [Memphis] Eddie Gilbert beat Jerry Lawler on May 2 to keep Missy Hyatt’s hair on her head. The finish saw Lawler punch Paul E. Dangerously (who manages Gilbert in Continental) after Missy failed to distract Lawler with her open shirt trick. Dangerously showed up when Lawler went after her, and then Kenny Dee, who was managing Lawler, threw powder in Lawler’s eyes, leading to Gilbert getting the pin. Money wound up changing hands from Dangerously to Hyatt to Dee after the match, so Kenny Dee is a newly minted heel manager.
  • Also in Memphis, the Iceman King Parsons vs. Kerry Von Erich match from the same show got little reaction. People came to see Lawler and Gilbert, not them, and Dave still doesn’t understand putting this match on and billing Parsons as a world champion when the next show is Lawler vs. Hennig for the AWA World Title. It’s just undercutting that match to act like the WCCW title is a world title and then turn around and go “Well here’s a different world title” and being very inconsistent in their recognition of world championships.
  • More on the special referee poll for the May 9 LawleHennig match. They’re running the poll from a 1-900 number (which means a cost of $1 per phone call), so the company was profiting off the poll. That explains the amount of promotion they were doing saying that Larry Hennig was winning the poll by a narrow margin due to fans in Minnesota flooding the line with votes for Hennig. They were doing no such thing, but it’s a smart way to bilk the local fan base. In Memphis, they run their tv show live, so when it started at 11 am, they did a segment where they said the poll would close at noon (Hennig still leading the results) to keep fans voting until the last minute, even doing another segment at 11:45 am. At noon, Lawler came out and acted all serious with his best Bad News Barrett impression and said he was afraid he had some bad news. “Bad news for Curt Hennig, that is,” and announced Jackie Fargo was the winner of the referee poll. Dave guesses the reason for the charge is probably to drum up enough money to pay Curt Hennig enough to be happy, but this sure is a new way to try and make money off wrestling.
  • There’s a newcomer in the Oregon territory named Steve Austin. No, he’s not stone cold, but he’s also used the name Steve Winters (Dave believes this is his real name), and he’ll wind up wrestling for Stampede in the future under the name Lance Idol. Dave’s seen him a bit before in his early days in the Bay area and recalls him being a good worker trying to emulate Ray Stevens in style.
  • Don Owen’s May 7 show had the best case for allowing blading that Dave has ever heard of. They had a Northwest Tag Title cage match with Steve Doll and Scott Peterson beating Avalanche and Mike Golden to regain the titles. Owen believes you need blood in a cage match, while the Oregon commission has banned blading, so how do you suppose Owen got around the issue? Mike Golden got bloody hardway, and they wanted Peterson to bleed too, so they had Golden and Avalanche try to hardway Peterson with potatoes to the forehead. Dave hears they did some 14 hard punches to Peterson’s head and none of them opened him up. One did bust up his nose a bit, though. This is what happens when blading is banned and wrestlers feel the need to get color - they’re going to be really unsafe and hurt themselves.
  • Tatsumi Fujinami beat Vader by countout on April 27, in a show that drew 5,000 in Osaka. For comparison, All Japan’s Brody/Tenryu match there last month drew 4,000. Fujinami had vowed to retire if he couldn’t beat Vader, so they kind of had to have that finish if they wanted Vader to keep his monster aura without honoring a retirement. Anyway, Dave isn’t sure if this is legit or just an angle, but Fujinami is being reported as trying to make a play for the top spot now that Inoki’s foot is broken. He’s even got a new haircut to symbolize his change from being a young disciple of Inoki to being his own man.
  • All Japan Women’s May 15 show has a hell of a triple main event lineup. At the top of the card you have the Crush Girls vs. the Jumping Bomb Angels. Then you have Mika Suzuki vs. Kaoru Maeda for the jr. championship (not a weight class, but rather a title exclusively for wrestlers with under 2 years experience). Lastly, Erika Shishido and Nobuko Kimura defend the AJW tag titles against two of the standout rookies from the class of 1987 who are getting their first crack at major exposure, Manami Toyota and Toshiyo Yamada. Erika Shishido, by the way, is a 17 year old from the class of 1986 and the company has big plans for her as a future heel star and partner for Bull Nakano. You may know her better as Aja Kong.
  • Windy City Wrestling drew remarkably well, drawing $40,000 at International Amphitheater in Chicago. It’s the largest gate Dave’s ever heard of for an independent promotion. The card had Col. DeBeers, Candi Divine and Debbie Combs, Paul E. Dangerously, Buddy Rose and Doug Somers, and a bunch else going on. Based on ticket prices, they pulled an audience of over 4,000 people. The promoter sold the show to the venue for $10,000, so they made a big profit on the event. WWF has taken notice and already there’s talk of them running the same venue, because they believe it may tap into a different crowd than the Rosemont Horizon.
  • [Stampede] Owen Hart’s reign as North American champion has ended as of May 6. He dropped the title to Makhan Singh, whom he beat for the title on April 10, 1987. Definitely a step toward Owen’s departure from the promotion here, as his last match with Stampede if he does go to the WWF will be on May 14 before he does the IWGP series for New Japan. Owen did agree to go to the WWF for a masked gimmick, either a Tiger Mask or Mighty Mouse type, but he’s apparently having second thoughts, perhaps related to a personal goal he supposedly has of having the match of the year with Ric Flair. Sadly, Owen’s never going to get that match. Bret and Davey Boy Smith are pushing hard for Owen to come to WWF.
  • Heading to Stampede is Steve Blackman. Blackman’s done some jobs for WWF in the past and is kind of a powerlifter type. He’s being paired with Brick Bronsky, whom Dave describes as an untalented lifter type (Dave rates the May 7 Edmonton match between Kerry Brown and Bronsky at -3.5 stars and calls it one of the worst matches Stampede will ever have), and their team name is the Abortion Alliance. Jeezus, Bruce.
  • A new women’s wrestling promotion is supposed to start up, doing tapings at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. Wendi Richter and Misty Blue are said to be the top stars and Gordon Solie is said to be on board for announcing, and there’s supposedly tv contracts lined up.
  • Ted Turner is working on a new cable station called TNT. It’s gonna have a lot of MGM movies and sports events, and probably eventually some Crockett wrestling. The FCC is expected to change some regulations, which would put WTBS back to only being Atlanta-local and all the superstations will revert to local tv.
  • Looks like a lock that Financial News Network will be taking on Continental by the end of the month or early June. As for a deal with New Japan, that seems to be on hold, as neither side could come to an agreement.
  • Lawsuits corner. WWF is suing FNN over their Hulkamania package. Larry Sharpe is suing Bam Bam Bigelow for breach of contract. Sharpe was Bigelow’s real manager back in Japan.
  • The best match on an independent show in Brooklyn on April 29 saw Lou Fabiano (a former WWF jobber) team with Cactus Jack against George Skaaland and Tom Brandi. Cactus Jack is a trainee of Dominic DeNucci, and Dave hears that he’s a top flight worker.
  • Word is that Futahaguro (real name Koji Kitao), the yokozuna who got kicked out of sumo, is reporting to the Monster Factory in New Jersey to train under Larry Sharpe. He’s in New York this week on other business (mostly talk shows), so no definite word, but that’s the rumor coming out of the area.
  • The Von Erich Parade of Champions drew an estimated 7,000 fans. Dave anticipates a more accurate estimate and gate next week. The show was… Let me just give some highlights. The first match was terrible. The second match was mostly rest holds and had no heat, and after winning the match Mike George grabbed the mic to make sure the fans knew he was recognized as World Champion in Kansas City. Nobody cared because nobody cares about the Kansas City promotion. Steve Casey was supposed to challenge Eric Embry for the light heavyweight title, but he came in 1.5 pounds over the weight limit. After the crowd heckled Embry, he agreed to a non-title match, which Casey won in 19 seconds. That extra weight made all the difference, I reckon. Bill Irwin vs. Black Bart was fair. Then you had Michael Hayes vs. Terry Gordy in a triple tower of doom and Dave says that while there was heat, the gimmick’s a total dud because you can’t do any moves or take any bumps the way it’s all structured. They then gave the crowd something good, as Terry Taylor beat Chris Adams to keep the Texas title in a great match. The Texas roundup in the triple tower of doom, on the other hand, was the opposite of great. If Dusty plans to actually use this concept, he’s got a lot of work cut out for him, because not one fan in the building understood what the hell was going on. Bruiser Brody carried his match teaming with Kevin Von Erich against Buddy Roberts and Solomon Grundy, and nobody cared about Kevin. They had to replace Schaun Simpson with Terry Gordy due to injury suffered in the Texas roundup for the Wild West/Texas tag title unification match, and Gordy/Simpson won by disqualification. It’s unclear if that makes the Simpsons Wild West tag champs and Gordy/Simpson Texas tag champs, or if it unifies the titles on the Simpsons, or what. In the end, Kerry Von Erich regained the WCCW title. Nobody cares. World Class is every bit as fucked as WCW in 2000.
  • Dave’s got the lineup for the second Clash, and he thinks the NWA is now afraid to put on a hot show. Windham vs. Ricky Santana, Koloff vs. Al Perez, Dusty vs. Larry Zbysko, the Garvins vs. Rotunda and Rick Steiner, the Fantastics vs. Sheepherders for the U.S. Tag Titles, and Blanchard/Anderson defending the NWA tag titles against Sting and Steve Williams. No Flair, Luger, or Road Warriors in sight.
  • When the NWA announced Dusty’s reinstatement, the reaction was pretty negative. After a moment of silence, one woman cheered and two more joined her, and they were swiftly drowned in a chorus of boos.
  • Night 2 of the Crockett Cup grossed $115,000 at the gate. The Cup as a whole managed a combined gate equal to the merch sales gross at Wrestlemania.
  • They’re building a new Coliseum in Charlotte, North Carolina, and it’s supposed to open in the fall. Word is that WWF will get the first two shows there and Crockett will be relegated to the 2,500 seat Charlotte Park Center, since the old Coliseum building will be torn down. WWF can’t run the existing Coliseum for the same reasons Crockett can’t touch Madison Square Garden, but the new Coliseum has different management with no relationship to Crockett, so they’re going to give WWF a chance.
  • Gordon Solie and Mike Graham’s new Florida Championship Wrestling has opened up and did their first tv taping on April 30. They’re looking to run five days a week in central Florida starting real soon.
  • Antonio Inoki’s injury has led to New Japan declaring the IWGP Title vacant. Tatsumi Fujinami battles Vader on May 7 for the title. Seems to be a lot of behind the scenes tension between Fujinami and Choshu as well. Fujinami walked out after the April 27 show, leaving only Choshu of the original four top draws in the company.
  • Tiger Mask (Mitsuharu Misawa) is getting married on May 10 and will unmask for the wedding. He’s marrying movie star Tomomi Shiina. After the wedding he may stop wrestling as Tiger Mask and go back to his real name.
  • As soon as TNT is available in 30 million homes, Crockett’s tv will be moved there. All kinds of rumors are swirling about Crockett and Turner, but as far as Dave’s aware no firm deal of any kind has been reached.
  • The NWA, Mike Rotunda, Kevin Sullivan, and the city of Albany are all being sued for “torturous acts and personal injury” by 16 year old Mike Strickland. Strickland alleges that on February 9 he was patting wrestlers on the back when city police officers working security for the show seized him and arrested him, then took him to a secluded area where Rotunda and Sullivan “wilfully, intentionally and purposefully assaulted and attempted to commit violent and illegal physical injury” on him and that the police did nothing to stop the beating.
  • Dave wants us to know that although it was extremely predictable, he found the Midnight Express’s party on the WTBS show really entertaining. Yeah, when you have a cake in wrestling it winds up in the heel or announcer’s face, but the banter between Cornette and Stan Lane was really fun.
Watch: Jim Cornette gets caked
  • Ted Turner’s got some kind of package deal he’s pitching, using the July NWA ppv as incentive to get cable systems to buy in on TNT. Or maybe it’s the other way around. Dave understands that the cable companies will likely get a higher share of revenue for the PPV from the show than the usual 50/50 split, and Dave says this show is really do or die for Crockett.
  • Abdullah the Butcher and Kamala no-showed Jerry Blackwell’s May 8 show. They had turned down a spot at the Von Erich Memorial Parade of Champions to do that show, so that’s ironic.
  • ”JERRY LAWLER PINNED CURT HENNIG TO WIN THE AWA TITLE ON 5/9 IN MEMPHIS BEFORE 9,500 FANS." The match was apparently “not great” and saw Lawler win by grabbing Hennig by the knees and kangaroo flipping him headlong into the ring post for the pin. Great reaction to the finish, but yeah, Lawler is the new AWA champion. More on this next week.
Watch: the finish to Lawler vs. Hennig
  • One letter writer chimes in that “loser groups” like GLOW and POWW don’t deserve time in the Observer. In fact, he hopes they lose their time slots in New York and Boston to Continental and Memphis to give WWF real competition. Yeah, because those groups are going to be able to do that.
  • Still a bunch of letters sniping back and forth about Clash vs. Wrestlemania. One says they can’t believe anyone could think FlaiSting was the best match they’ve seen in years. Another says that for “Vince McMahon to put WWF fans through that show constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.” As usual, wrestling fans are level-headed and gracious in their disagreements. It warms my soul to see us carrying on this proud tradition of sober discourse on reddit in 2020.
NEXT WEEK: AWA Champion Jerry Lawler, reports from Texas Stadium, Fujinami becomes IWGP champion, Oregon-Washington Wrestling Federation debut show, and more
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2020.10.16 18:35 SaintRidley Wrestling Observer Rewind ★ May 9, 1988

Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words, continuing in the footsteps of daprice82. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives.
The Complete Observer Rewind Archive by daprice82
1-4-1988 1-11-1988 1-18-1988 1-25-1988
2-1-1988 2-8-1988 2-15-1988 2-22-1988
2-29-1988 3-7-1988 3-14-1988 3-21-1988
3-28-1988 4-4-1988 4-11-1988 4-18-1988
4-25-1988 5-2-1988 * *
  • WCCW has finally announced the card for their May 8 David and Mike Von Erich Memorial Parade of Champions. Credit to the company, they’ve not put much effort into pushing the Von Erich part of the name this year and seem to have kept that part out of deference to Fritz. The headliners are two triple tower of doom matches. Dave’s understanding is that there will be three rings built atop one another with a firefighter’s pole through the center to allow ring to ring transitions. You can also move from level to level by climbing the cage from the inside. They’re also having an 18-man Royal Rumble style battle royal called a Texas Roundup inside the three rings, with the winner being the wrestler who gets to the third ring, climbs the cage, and grabs the envelope with the “money” for the winner and five prizes for fans. I’m astonished TNA in the Jarrett/Russo days never did this. Michael Hayes and Terry Gordy will have a Bad Street match, Kerry Von Erich challenges King Parsons for the title, and Kevin Von Erich teams with Bruiser Brody vs. Buddy Roberts and a mystery partner. Roberts was originally meant to partner with Kamala or Abdullah the Butcher, but they’re both booked. There will be other matches as well, but eh.
  • Over in Oregon the battle of May 7 is coming. Don Owen’s show in Portland will feature Hennig vs. Tom Zenk along with his regular crew, while Billy Jack Haynes’ Oregon-Washington Wrestling Federation debuts twenty miles away in Oregon City. No cards, partial or complete, have been announced, but Haynes has 16 guys including Tom Magee (yes, the one who only Bret Hart knew how to make look good), Steve Gatorwolf (fuck Steve Gatorwolf), Chavo Guerrero, Corporal Kirchner (due to be promoted to Colonel when WWF turns their eyes this way), Brian Adams, Fred Ottman (Memphis’s Big Bubba, whom you’ll come to love as Typhoon in a couple years), himself, and a bunch of other guys who I can’t make any interesting comments about.
  • Memphis’s Monday show after those will surely be the most talked about show of the weekend, though. Hennig defends the AWA Title against Jerry Lawler in a match where Lawler will retire if he doesn’t become champion. Most of the undercard is still unknown, but that match alone carries the interest.
  • Crockett has made a major retreat and given up the New York market. Nassau Coliseum accepted WWF’s ultimatum, and will now refuse to allow Crockett to run shows. Over Crockett’s four show run at the arena since November, it’s been rocky. They had a successful first show in November, but the second show was the Bunkhouse Stampede in January, which drew a gate of $80,000 (actually above WWF’s average there). But that show was so poorly received it killed them. The third show drew poorly, and they managed to improve a bit to $48,000, around WWF’s typical non-Hogan card there, for the fourth show. But with the ultimatum and the fact that gates have dropped to basically equivalent to a WWF card, they’re out. They’ve also lost their time slot in New York, leaving them without local tv access in New York and LA. Crockett may have pulled the plug on New York tv themselves. They were paying a rumored $6,000 weekly for access, and that just does not make sense to do when you can’t run local shows anymore. It will hurt their ad revenue, so it’s a mixed bag.
  • WWF taped Saturday Night’s Main Event on April 22 to air April 30. Dave mentioned the results last week, but upon airing some changes had been made. They didn’t air Andre/Roberts and instead put on a Rick Rude vs. Koko B. Ware match. Randy Savage is obviously the face of the company right now - they didn’t even mention Hogan on the episode. And it’s a big improvement to the wrestling quality having Savage as the main event over Hogan. Duggan’s work has significantly regressed. Bulldogs vs. Demolition was garbage and they were not working together at all. Rude vs. Ware was fairly good and the only match that didn’t involve a total carry job by one guy.
  • Joe Pedicino is collaborating with WATL-TV in Atlanta to do a 30 hour wrestling telethon on June 17-18. They’re even going to have over six hours of wrestling live in studio. As part of the telethon, they’ll have a bunch of syndicated wrestling shows as well as the Henry Winkler movie The One and Only (Dave’s favorite wrestling movie of all time) and the Alex Karras movie Mad Bull (not as good, but some good in it). They’re also going to do a segment on the history of pro wrestling in Atlanta. Proceeds will go to the Atlanta police department so they can buy bullet proof vests. Dave even has word that two WWF wrestlers will appear.
  • Dave’s regular typewriter is in the shop, so he’s using a different one that kind of sucks. He apologizes for any issues, and has gone with a smaller font to give more content as a make-good. Yay, more stuff for me to type about.
  • [All Japan] John Tenta accidentally broke Jimmy Snuka’s ribs on April 21 with a powerslam. Not much else of interest out of All Japan this week.
  • [New Japan] Antonio Inoki has a broken foot and is out of action. That’s gonna hurt New Japan at the gate. Riki Choshu vs. Vader has been made to replace Vader vs. Inoki for May 7. It’ll be an interesting test of Choshu’s remaining drawing power.
  • New Japan went really weird with a locker room scene on the April 22 tv show. The main event had Inoki and Tatsumi Fujinami beating Vader and Masahiro Saito by dq, and the locker room scene had Inoki and Fujinami arguing. Fujinami then got scissors and started cutting his own hair until Inoki hit him and told him to wrestle Vader in Osaka on April 27 (at which show Fujinami declared he’d retire if he lost).
  • The major hype in Memphis still surrounds the LawleHennig match set for May 9. They’re claiming Larry Hennig is leading the voting for referee over Jackie Fargo, but that’s obviously to drum up more support for Lalwer.
  • Meanwhile, Memphis is bringing in guys from WCCW for three matches on May 2. Dave’s heard conflicting stories. They’re there for just the one show, or they’ll be in again multiple times. Just have to wait and see, Dave supposes. Even with Lawler vs. Eddie Gilbert with Missy’s hair at stake, they’re billing Iceman King Parsons vs. Kerry Von Erich for the WCCW Title as the main event, and Dave doesn’t get the point in bringing in another world champion when you’re spending so much effort and time on hyping up the AWA title match for the next week. This is the beginning of the Memphis/WCCW alliance and eventual merger.
  • A funny story from Southern Championship Wrestling. They’ve got this local country western DJ on color commentary and he goes by Rhubarb Jones. For a few weeks, they did a bit where Paul E. Dangerously constantly called him “Rub Hard Jones” and Jones would correct him. Then the blowoff was Dangerously asking “How come whenever I call you Rub Hard you say it’s Rhubarb, but when Missy Hyatt calls you Rhubarb, you say Rub Hard?” This made it on the air. And honestly, it sounds like a fucking funny bit.
  • Stampede’s crowds have dipped a bit. It’s probably a bit of annual drop off as summer comes along, but also according to local fans it’s because the show has become so much less family oriented with all the blood and excessive violence lately. Kids have been the biggest demographic to drop, so that makes some sense.
  • Les Thornton is not content to start up a competing wrestling school to Stampede, but is now planning to start a competing promotion. He may get started as soon as May, and he’s planning to run Calgary too.
  • World Class is negotiating to get their syndicated package added to the All-Star Wrestling Network ad package. That’s the same one that has the AWA.
  • Big John Studd has sent out a country music demo to some record companies. He’s apparently trying to cash in on his fame as a wrestler as a selling point for how well his record would sell. One person in the music industry told Dave that Studd wrestles better than he sings, and Dave says if it does ever release not to buy it if there are any cats who live in your neighborhood.
  • UWF announced its May 12 Korauken Hall card. There will be three matches: Nobuhiko Takada vs. Shigeo Miyato, Tetsuo Nakano vs. Yoji Anjo, and Akira Maeda vs. Kazuo Yamazaki. That’s the entire stable of wrestlers they have so far. Since they sold out so quick without announcing the card at all, it’s a good thing they’ve saved the best main event they have (Maeda vs. Takada) for June. Since there are only three matches, each match will likely be in the 30 minute range.
  • Dave hears word that Iron Sheik will be back in WWF if he can clean up his act. No more cocaine for Sheiky baby.
  • AWA has an interesting card for their May 14 tapings in Las Vegas. Tanaka and Diamond defend the tag titles against Chavo and Mando Guerrero, Greg Gagne defends the International TV title against Brian Knobbs, the Midnight Rockers take on Riki Choshu and Masahiro Saito, and Curt Hennig vs. Jerry Lawler for the AWA Word Title.
  • In addition to Memphis and the AWA, Continental now recognizes the AWA Title as a world title. The AWA title is quickly becoming the world title of the remaining independent territories. Related, in a recent interview Curt Hennig said that he’s the real world champion among himself, Ric Flair, and Randy Savage because they only defend their titles in one company while Hennig defends his in all companies.
  • The Fantastics beat the Midnight Express on April 26 in Chattanooga to win the NWA US Tag Titles in a 40+ minute match. They teased referee stoppage and Bobby Eaton, who was the illegal man, wound up pinning Robert Fulton. Cornette did a promo saying he was planning a party for this coming weekend because of course Jim Crockett would return the belts, but obviously that’s not going to happen, Dave says.
  • Ric Flair missed some shows this past week (April 25 in Nashville and Chattanooga, April 27, and April 28. Dave’s heard two stories - either a severe fever or a staph infection. Due to his absence, the NWA offered refunds for those who wanted them. He was supposed to wrestle Road Warrior Hawk in Nashville, and that show drew around 2,500 people.
  • Dave thinks it’ll be interesting to see if WWF tries counterprogramming the next NWA ppv. It’s set to air on July 10 with Flair vs. Luger and a triple tower of doom match (they should be glad that WCCW is using it first, it means they can see how it actually works in practice and figure out the bugs before doing it themselves). Correction time: the triple tower of doom WCCW has concocted wasn’t a Dusty Rhodes original. It was a Kevin Sullivan idea, which makes way more sense when I remember the doomsday cage match he came up with. Anyway, Dave thinks it would be smart if both stopped this game of countering each other’s big shows. It’s just costing both sides a lot of money and neither side has really benefited.
  • The 1988 NWA Great American Bash tour will run June 26-August 7 and have some 40 or 41 shows. A lot of those shows will have War Games matches. After the Bash tour, Crockett’s wrestlers are going to be getting a week off to make up for working 6 weeks straight.
  • NWA got the time slot WCCW used to have in Jackson, Mississippi and their first tape they sent had no commentary track. They had promos, but not one word of commentary.
  • Word is that a 6’7” masked wrestler called “The Texan” is coming to NWA to feud with Dusty Rhodes. Dave thinks they’re bringing in Dick Murdoch, who once wore a mask and attacked Rhodes, but 6’7”? Maybe if he had stilts.
  • WWF is instituting a new policy where managers aren’t being booked for house shows anymore, only tv tapings. The only exceptions are where they’re booked to actually get in the ring and wrestle a match. Elizabeth is a unique case, and Dave’s not sure where they’re landing on her yet, but she’s so integral to Randy Savage’s act that you can’t take her out without upsetting fans. The last Dave’s heard is they’re likely to have her only appear in certain markets and not regularly anymore.
  • Additionally, WWF has made significant cuts to the number of dates. Last year at this point they were running between 20-25 shows a week, and they’ve cut it down to 10, 12 on tv taping weeks. The new schedule has three shows on Saturdays and Sundays, two on Mondays and Fridays, and Tuesday-Thursday as days off (again, except on tv weeks). Well, that’s the schedule for the big names. The rest will work when they get work, with the third string guys working twice a week at most. With this severe a cutback, you can expect probably more guys to be let go. On the other hand, this new scheduling will give the wrestlers more chance to rest, and seems to be having positive effects on performance (though DiBiase/Savage and Hart/Badnews working together might also be a factor). DiBiase/Savage is the only major drawing match they have, so cutting dates means avoiding overexposing the match, too, so that’s a possible factor. This is evidence that pro wrestling as an arena spectator sport is in the worst place it has been in a long time and even WWF is tightening their belt, which only means that everyone else is probably feeling it a lot more.
  • One of the letters this week is about how fans smart to how the business works should act at shows. Not said in the letter is that they should shower, almost as if that’s a given. Anyway, the writer conjures up the image of the fan who goes to the show and calls the wrestlers by their government names and screams at Wahoo McDaniel to “blade!” when he gets posted and goes prone on the floor and how irritating those people are. Smart fans, our writer argues, should try to keep the heat up for the match. Cheer the faces, boo the heels, help encourage the marks around you to do the same. The writer is friends with a mid-level heel from a promotion not to be specified to protect the source, and the writer tries to make a point of going to that heel’s tv tapings. Some of the wrestler’s colleagues know our writer is an Observer subscriber and considers Dave a friend, but even so, after the last taping the writer went to and played it off like they were a total mark, one of the managers came over and thanked the writer for keeping the heat up and asked for thoughts on the angles and how they were getting over. You don’t get asked questions like that from the workers if you’re the kind of irritating, insufferable smart fan who has to show off how smart you are. Honestly, I really enjoyed this letter, because it definitely jives with my feelings about how to act at a show. Respect and engage with the performance you are presented. I remember going to a RISE show last year where I had a fantastic conversation with AQA, one of the women there who was coming from Booker T’s school, and she was asking me about how her elimination looked from my vantage, if I thought she hit her spots well, and that sort of stuff. I’ve had a lot of great conversations like that at RISE and SHIMMER shows and I’m really glad I got to have that conversation with AQA. By the way, she’s fantastic and is definitely on her way to having a big future once she hits the point of signing with Impact/WWE/AEW.
  • Another writer notes that he has a friend who now works part time for the Rhode Island State Athletic Commission. Said friend knows nothing about wrestling and can’t even answer questions about whether blading is allowed in Rhode Island because he doesn’t know what the question means. So yeah, that’s what you’re dealing with in athletic commissions.
  • Our most interesting letter of the week concerns the origins of the term “working.” A lot of people think it originates with the advent of tv and working for the benefit of the camera, but the term originates back in the early part of the 20th century. Wrestlers began using what they called the “working” system rather than shooting, which allowed them to turn wrestling into a traveling act. Wrestlers at that point still had to be capable shooters, of course, just in case someone didn’t want to go along with the script. And there were wrestlers like Jack Sherry who couldn’t adapt to working rather than shooting, and so they were on the outs with the major promoters of the era. Also, the writer found a membership list for the NWA from 1968. Just 20 years ago the NWA boasted 23 different member promotions in the U.S. and Canada. How much things have changed.
  • There’s a big letter from a couple guys in Maine that goes off on Dave for his “anti-WWF” bias and it’s a big enough deal that Dave actually responds. In brief, the letter says “we are disturbed by your continuing, and, we believe, unwarranted criticism of Titan Sports and Vince McMahon in particular. This anti-Titan attitude, while understandable, and in some cases laudable, has been of concern to us for some time, and we had intended to write soon, but your recent post-Wrestlemania newsletter moved up our timetable.” Fucking hell, that’s most of the opening paragraph and I am rolling laughing (literally, I am high as balls as I do this part). Their criticisms of Dave’s takes on Wrestlemania seem to be saying Ventura was great on commentary and Uecker was funny. And since Dave’s writing basically the newsletter of record on wrestling, he’s being derelict in his responsibilities. One good thing they suggest is that Dave try to keep commentary and news separate. Basically, they usually find themselves agreeing with Dave and are very confused and concerned that his opinions on Clash and Wrestlemania were opposite of theirs. The part that really ticks Dave off is that, “at risk of insulting” Dave, they conclude that his commentaries are tailored to satisfy certain constituencies of his readership rather than reflecting his own opinions. Dave even says that the one thing they got right was that he felt insulted by their letter, and not because they disagree with him. Dave even says “anyone who agrees with all my opinions is obviously letting me do their thinking for him.” There you go. He then gives a complete takedown of every point they made, pointing out where they ignored the context of his statements, pointed out how it wasn’t just him who felt how he did, points out his takes on Starrcade and Survivor Series to kill dead the idea that he has an anti-WWF or pro-Crockett bias, etc. As for biases, Dave does admit to a bias toward Crockett’s in-ring style compared to WWF’s, but it’s also hardly his favorite style (New Japan juniors, there’s his favorite style at this point), and he also admits to a bias toward how WWF handles publicity, its company, and its rotating talent in and out of the spotlight to keep things fresh.
  • So, Dave transcribed the first hour of Bruno Sammartino’s radio interview from 6 weeks back. A couple highlights, then I’ll just put a link to read the transcript yourself. He felt like the lone voice defending the old way of wrestling and nobody would listen. He says some wrestlers today, he might call them athletes, but Bam Bam Bigelow? He’s too fat to be an athlete. He calls Andre and Hogan sad because of Andre’s condition, and even worse because making it out like the match of the century is practically obscene to him. He doesn’t consider either of them to be wrestlers. Basically, he’s going to old man yell at the cloud of modern wrestling for a while and he said Vince doesn’t want commentary to refer to it as wrestling anymore. He tries to maintain some kayfabe about the legitimacy of wrestling in his day, but tries to claim it mostly was. There’s stuff about his son I’m going to be honest about not reading, I’m just not sober enough to care about David. He also says he never once saw a bladejob or blood capsule in his life and points to his scars above his eye “that came from being hit”. He is vague about Jimmy Snuka, but he says Snuka’s got serious drug problems and seriously messed himself up.
Read: Bruno radio interview transcript
  • There’s also a long letter about Bruno, so you can read that along with the transcript So click that link too. Smash that like button. Subscribe to my twitch channel. Words.
Read: end of transcript and letter
  • Dave also gives comments of his own on the transcript, letter, and Sammartino’s issues with McMahon. In short, the business of wrestling has changed a lot, especially lately, and change isn’t inherently bad. Some changes made wrestling more mainstream acceptable. Some caused the decline of regional territories, but were always inevitable. Some brought unheard of amounts of money to the business. Wrestling isn’t shooting, but entertainment isn’t a dirty word and things like wrestlers booking to suit their egos dates back to the 20s. Dave says the wrestlers who have learned to do today’s craft and not an outdated style that won’t connect, should be commended and respected. If you know how to work for your audience, can maintain conditioning, and work hard to get yourself over, you’re the kind of wrestler Dave respects. If you don’t respect the paying customers and think steroids can substitute for knowing your shit, Dave thinks less of you for it. Using steroids doesn’t disqualify you from respect - a lot of great workers are well conditioned and use the stuff to maintain the size that pleases the promoters. He just dead refutes the idea that wrestling was legit in Bruno’s day or that he never bladed. He also talks about Vince and that Vince has on the one hand had a very negative influence on ring style, but he’s opened wrestling up to the larger media landscape and that’s a good thing.
  • Dave rates Savage vs. DiBiase from the April 25 Madison Square Garden show 4 stars. A rare high mark for a WWF match at this point.
Watch: DiBiase vs. Savage at MSG
  • Harley Race will be out for several months. He ruptured his intestine and had to have 18 inches of it removed.
  • Big Bubba’s coming next week with a prison guard gimmick and will likely be built up for Hogan’s return.
  • Owen Hart is now apparently 50-50 on coming to WWF.
  • Ricky Steamboat has apparently quit WWF. He was scheduled for the MSG show against Greg Valentine, but wasn’t there and wasn’t on tv. It could just be a hiatus, but Dave reckons he’s gone.
  • Dave wants us to confirm, but does Matilda look different than she used to?
NEXT WEEK: Midnight Rider unmasked, Jerry Lawler becomes AWA World Champion, Roddy Piper comes to Oregon, Clash II announced for June 8, and more!
submitted by SaintRidley to SquaredCircle [link] [comments]

2020.09.22 04:18 SteveMcQueen36 Playing through the WWF - Part 3 (1988 to 1989 SummerSlam - Wrestlemania V)

I am using games like WWE2k19, 2k20, and Fire Pro Wrestling World to simulate and play through the WWF's PPV's and other events. The outcomes will be different thus forcing me to change story lines. Let me know what you think. This issue covers SummerSlam '88 to Wrestlemania V. When the Mega Powers EXPLODE!!!

WWF SummerSlam - August 29th, 1988 - New York, NY - Madison Square Garden

No. Results Stipulations Rating Times Note
1 The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers (Jacques Rougeau and Raymond Rougeau) def. The British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith and Dynamite Kid) Tag team match 92% 18:32 The Rougeaus looked amazing in this match. The crowd hates them but they seem to be fueled by that hate. They fly around the ring with so much skill. The Bulldogs looked... off. It's clear that Davey Boy Smith needs to take some time off for a few months. Jacques won after a Moonsault.
2 Curt Hennig def. Bad News Brown Singles match 88% 15:57 Curt Hennig is a newcomer to the WWF and he is taking on Ted DiBiase's body-guard, Bad News Brown. Bad News plans to make mincemeat out of Hennig. But it's mostly in Curt's favor. Curt Hennig wins after a Fisherman Suplex.
3 Rick Rude (w/Bobby Heenan) def. Brutus Beefcake Singles match 76% 15:44 The match started off with a pose-off with Rude clearly out-flexing Beefcake. Then the match started when Beefer started getting more cheers and Rude clotheslined him to the outside. These two traded blows and moves before Beefcake was opened up outta nowhere. Rude won with the Rude Awakening.
4 The Powers of Pain (The Barbarian and The Warlord) def. The Bolsheviks (Boris Zhukov and Nikolai Volkoff) (w/Slick) Tag team match 70% 17:52 The newest dominating tag team in the division is The Powers of Pain. The Warlord and The Barbarian hit hard and don't stop until they get blood. That's what happened in this match. Barbarian was literally biting Nikolai on the forehead. Demolition is on notice. The Warlord won with a Power Slam on Boris Zhukov.
5 The Ultimate Warrior (c) def. Honky Tonk Man (w/Jimmy Hart) WWF Intercontinental Title 79% 18:10 The Honky Tonk Man is great at irritating the Intercontinental Champion. Warrior had been wanting to slap Honky down for weeks! This match was clothesline after clothesline. Honky didn't stand a chance. He was done after a Gorilla Press Slam. The Ultimate Warrior wins after a Gorilla Press Slam.
6 Bam Bam Bigelow & Big Bossman (w/Slick) def. Jake Roberts & Ricky Steamboat Tag Team Match 98% 29:18 Wow! What a tag team match. These guys gave it their all but Slick's team had too much power. For everything Roberts and Steamboat had, Slick's team was ready to knock them down. Bossman pinned Steamboat after a Bossman Slam in the middle of the ring.
7 Demolition (Ax and Smash) (c) (w/Mr. Fuji and Jimmy Hart) def. The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart) WWF Tag Team Titles 60% 27:52 A surprisingly dry and boring match from two teams I would have expected more from. It was a back and forth until Demolition really started laying it in thick. Bret Hart was pinned following a Tombstone from Smash.
8 Leilani Kai (w/Judy Martin) def. Wendi Richter (c) (w/Rockin' Robin) WWF Women's Title 72% 13:07 Leilani Kai and Judy Martin have been beating up on Richter for weeks. It started on SNME when they double-teamed Richter after her win over Sensational Sherri. Then it started happening every time she was interviewed. Richter didn't even wait until the ring bell was rung. It was a good match that Richter had in the bag. She was a woman unleashed. Beating Kai all over the ring. That was until a chair from Judy Martin, from the outside of the ring, cost Richter the match. Leilani Kai won with a Backslide.
Main Event The Mega Powers (Hulk Hogan & Randy Savage) (w/Miss Elizabeth) def. King Kong Bundy and Ted DiBiase (w/Bad News Brown) Tag Team Match 77% 16:34 Hogan and Savage joined forces when it was Randy Savage who saved Hogan from a DiBiase beat down. The two shook hands and it was magic from there. Bundy and Hogan were a treat for the crowd. Hogan wins after the Big Leg Drop on King Kong Bundy. After the match Miss Elizabeth is kidnapped by DiBiase. Savage makes chase.... Hogan poses.
81% 173:06
Total Time: 2:53:06
This was the first Summer Slam and it was a pretty popular one. The Mega Powers were everywhere doing promotions all over the country. Hogan didn't want to be in a big feud since he was filming a movie at the moment. The Ultimate Warrior is getting an enormous pop and he might be poised to be the next in line for the world title. Wendi Richter want's revenge but she needs some time off after the beating she took at the hands of the Glamour Girls.

WWF Survivor Series 1988 - November 24, 1988 - Richfield Township, Ohio

No. Results Stipulations Rating Times Note
1 The Honky Tonk Man, Bad News Brown, Rick Martel and Greg Valentine (w/Jimmy Hart) def. The Blue Blazer, The Ultimate Warrior, and The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart) 4-on-4 Survivor Series Match 100% 49:39 The Hart boys looked great but Honky was using chairs and taking everyone into the ringside area. The Ultimate Warrior held his own, but was ultimately beat down before being eliminated first! Blazer went next. The Hart Foundation then eliminated Martel and Bad News Brown, but fell to Rhythm & Blues. Rhythm & Blues were the survivors in this match.
2 The Rockers (Marty Jannetty and Shawn Michaels) and The British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith and Dynamite Kid) def. Demolition (Ax and Smash) and The Bolsheviks (Boris Zhukov and Nikolai Volkoff) 4-on-4 Survivor Series Match 83% 30:39 This match was a knock-down drag-out battle. It was great. All of the teams looked fantastic and worked really well together. The Rockers took out the Bolsheviks, but got smacked by Demolition. It looked bad until Davey Boy Smith eliminated both Ax and Smash on his own. Great show. Davey Boy Smith and Shawn Michaels are the Survivors.
3 Akeem, Bam Bam Bigelow, Big Bossman, and Butch Reed def. Jake Roberts, Ricky Steamboat, Curt Hennig, and Don Muraco 4-on-4 Survivor Series Match 86% 41:53 Akeem was eliminated by Don Muraco. Who was teamed up on and beaten down before being eliminated by Bossman. Bossman then went on to deliver two Bossman Slams to Ricky Steamboat eliminating him. Butch Reed overpowers a weakened Jake Roberts to eliminate him. Mr. Perfect was last to fall. There is just too much power on that side of the ring. The survivors are Slick's Squad; Butch Reed, Bossman, and Bigelow.
4 The Glamour Girls (Judy Martin & Leilani Kai) (c) def. Wendi Richter & Rockin' Robin Tag Team Match 82% 12:02 Wendi Richter and LeiLani Kai had a feud to settle and it was settled here. Richter was working much slower in this match. She refuses to take time off. But when Rockin' Robin got in the match really picked up. Robin hit Judy Martin with a really tough running cross-body. But it was Leilani Kai that was the deciding factor. Leilani Kai wins with a Pinning German Suplex to Wendi Richter.
Main Event Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Brutus Beefcake, and Roddy Piper def. Ted DiBiase, Rick Rude, King Kong Bundy, and Hercules 4-on-4 Survivor Series Match 93% 58:42 This was an awesome match if your a fan of Hulkamania. It started out with Hercules being eliminated by Beefcake. Then Beefcake by Bundy. Then Bundy by Hogan. Then Rude by Hogan. Savage by DiBiase. Then DiBiase by Hogan with the Leg Drop. The Survivors are Hulk Hogan and Roddy Piper who both eliminate Hercules last.
90% 223:35
Total Time: 3:23:55
The Survivor Series is proving to be one of the best PPV's in the company's history. Always consistently good matches. This year we got the Mega Union with not only Randy Savage, but also Roddy Piper and Brutus Beefcake. Hogan really has some great friends. But DiBiase proved to have deep pockets as these guys took a beating for the Million Dollar Man. And it looks like Wendi Richter will be taking some time away from the WWF.

WWF Royal Rumble 1989 - January 15, 1989 - Houston, Texas

No. Results Stipulations Rating Times Note
1D Jim Powers def. Barry Horowitz Singles match 99% 19:45 Jim Powers and Barry Horowitz are enhancement talent that knows how to put on a good match. They didn't tell any one they were going to take advantage of the twenty minute time limit. This is one of the greatest Dark Matches of all time. So much emotion and anger. Jim Powers won with an Electric Chair Slam.
2 Tim Horner def. Sam Houston Singles match 92% 19:24 Tim Horner and Sam Houston are both big names in Texas and this match really got some great cheers. The crowd was still coming into the building, but they got a great show. Horner was dominating for most of the match. Really working over Houston's midsection. Then Horner put Houston away with a Flying Body Press.
3 Best 2-of-3 Falls: The Blue Blazer and The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart) def. Dino Bravo and The Fabulous Rougeaus (Jacques Rougeau and Raymond Rougeau) (w/Jimmy Hart) Tag Team Match 78% 32:32 The Blue Blazer has been working with the Hart Foundation in a lot of Six-Man tag matches against Slick's Squad in the months leading up to the Royal Rumble. During those matches, The Rougeau Brothers would poke fun during promos against The Hart Foundation. This led up to Bret Hart challenging Jacques to a 1-on-1 match on SNME. But Hart lost after being distracted by Dino Bravo beating up The Blue Blazer at ringside. Now both teams are going to settle their differences in a 2-of-3 Falls Six-Man Tag Match. The match was wonderful. Bret Hart was on point. Blue Blazer was lightning quick. It was a sight to see. Bret won both falls on the Rougeaus with the Sharpshooter on Raymond and Dino Bravo.
4 Leilani Kai (c) (w/Judy Martin) def. Rockin' Robin WWF Women's Title 70.% 13:15 The Glamour Girls are holding all of the gold in the Women's Division. After defeating the Jumping Bomb Angels on SNME for the Women's Tag Titles, Leilani Kai went on to defeat long-time champion, Wendi Richter at Summer Slam. With the help of her partner, Judy Martin. Martin has been integral in helping Leilani Kai keep the Women's Title around her waist. But tonight, Judy Martin is banned from ringside. Can Leilani Kai beat Wendi Richter's best friend? Yes. Leilani Kai and Robin had a great back and forth match with Kai eating a lot of offense from Rockin' Robin. But Leilani Kai is a veteran that knows the ring better than her opponent. It was easy for Kai to pick up the victory after two running power bombs.
5 Harley Race (w/The Wizard) def. Haku (w/Bobby Heenan) King of the Ring Final 80% 18:16 The King of the Ring was a tournament that had taken place across various events leading up to the Royal Rumble. Haku vs. The Blue Blazer on Prime Time Wrestling and Hercules on Saturday Night's Main Event. And Harley Race vs. Koko B. Ware and Butch Reed on Superstars and Wrestling Challenge. Tonight they meetup in the final. A hardened veteran setting out on a new journey in his career. Or the young up-and-coming superstar of the tag division. Haku came out fierce. He attacked Race's forehead and tried to bust him open. But Harley Race beat Haku back. It turned into a bloodbath on the outside. Harley Race wins this hard-fought battle with a bloody Piledriver.
Main Event Bam Bam Bigelow wins the 30 Man Royal Rumble Match Royal Rumble Match 81% 58:53 The final eight are Akeem, Bossman, Bigelow, Piper, Martel, Studd, Savage, and DiBiase. It came down to the newly turned face, Bam Bam Bigelow vs. his former partners, Bossman and Akeem. And the Million Dollar Man. Million Dollar Man threw out Akeem while Bam Bam threw out Bossman. Then Million Dollar Man tried paying off Bam Bam. Bigelow threw Ted DiBiase out last to win the Rumble.
83% 159:05
Total Time: 2:49:05
The Royal Rumble was exciting! Bam Bam Bigelow came out on top of the Royal Rumble vowing to put the WWF heels on notice. Harley Race and Haku had an obviously bloody match. All of that while Hulk Hogan was absent filming a movie.

Wrestlemania V - April 2nd, 1989 - Atlantic City, New Jersey - Historic Atlantic City Convention Hall

No. Results Stipulations Rating Times Note
1 Hercules def. King Harley Race (w/Bobby Heenan) Singles match 70% 11:51 Harley Race had won the inaugural King of the Ring tournament in a finals match against Haku at the Royal Rumble. After that show, Bobby Heenan dropped Haku and picked up King Race to be in his crew. However, Race hadn't foreseen that Heenan's former talent, Hercules, had turned face and would be looking to stop The Heenan Family in anyway possible. At WrestleMania V these two clashed in a 1-on-1 bout that saw Harley Race taken to the limit. Hercules defeated Race after a Football Tackle.
2 The Twin Towers (Akeem and Big Boss Man) & Butch Reed (w/Slick) def. The Rockers (Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty) & Bam Bam Bigelow Six-Man Tag Match 84% 26:01 Slick's Squad has been a thorn in the side of the WWF baby faces for months now. But tonight Bam Bam Bigelow and The Rockers are going to try and shut Slick up. Bam Bam took the fight to Big Bossman, these two kept just punching each other in the face. It was great. The Rockers got some double offense in, but Akeem and Bossman are too much for the young team. Not to mention Butch Reed dominating them. Akeem won the match for the heels after a Series of Short-Arm Clotheslines. This is Butch Reed's last match in the WWF.
3 Ted DiBiase (w/Bad News Brown) def. Jake Roberts Singles match 100% 25:51 Ted DiBiase left Bobby Heenan just before the new year and purchased the assistance of Bad News Brown, as his personal bodyguard. He has been feuding with Jake Roberts for most of that time. DiBiase tried to pay to get Roberts fired from the WWF. But Jack Tunney wouldn't be swayed. So Roberts put his snake, lol, on DiBiase. This pissed off DiBiase leading to this match. Which was phenomenal. A 5 STAR Banger for sure. These two duked it out for over twenty minutes before moves even came into play. DiBiase had he upper hand for most of the match and he kept it. Roberts passed out in the Million Dollar Dream.
4 The Islanders (Haku and Tama) def. The Fabulous Rougeaus (Jacques Rougeau and Raymond Rougeau) Tag team match 80% 24:51 Haku and Tama are one of the most dangerous tag-teams in the WWF and after some injury leave for Tama. The team is back together. At least they aren't some weird face licking team from Australia that wags their arms up and down. I hate that team. The Islanders though are awesome. Haku wins the match for them with a big Tongan Kick square on Raymond's chin.
5 "Mr. Perfect" Curt Hennig def. The Blue Blazer Singles match 80% 12:24 The Blue Blazer has been wowing the crowds with his dexterous style. Curt Hennig has been also wowing the crowds with his impressive technical nature. In this exhibition of talent, Blue Blazer and Hennig put all they had on display. It was a fantastic bout that incorporated British, Lucha, and classic Catch-as-Catch-can styles. While Curt Hennig won the match with the Perfect Plex, the match still elevated both superstars.
6 Demolition (Ax and Smash) (c) def. The Powers of Pain (The Barbarian and The Warlord) WWF Tag Team Titles 92% 26:14 Demolition had recently turned face, leaving Mr. Fuji to be beaten-up by The British Bulldogs on Superstars. The crowd loved them and their new badass style. Mr. Fuji, still hated by the fans, picked up a new team, The Powers of Pain. A wreckless, destructive, and powerful tag team that has been running rough-shot in the tag division. Now they are challenging Demolition for the WWF World Tag Team Titles. The match was a brawl. Demolition and The Powers of Pain beat the shit out of each other. There was even a spot with the referee being sandwiched in between Smash and The Warlord. Knocking down the referee and busting him open. Ax won the match after a Shoulder Buster on The Barbarian. The champs celebrated in the ring and rode motorcycles out of the ringside area. Yeah!
7 Leilani Kai (c) (w/Judy Martin) def. Velvet McIntyre WWF Women's Title 83% 14:12 The Glamour Girls are tremendous heels. Cutting promos on various tag-teams and finding new ways to cheat. They have really excelled after leaving manager, Jimmy Hart. The WWF have even sent this dastardly duo to Japan to represent the WWF Women's Tag Team Titles across the world. Velvet McIntyre has been the main face since Wendi Richters departure earlier in the year. Velvet vowed to get the Women's Title around her waist tonight. And while Leilani Kai and McIntyre had a great match. Velvet couldn't get the job done and submitted in a Boston Crab. Putting the WWF Women's Title out of reach. Kai and Martin hugged in the ring and the crowd showered them with garbage.
8 Strike Force (Rick Martel and Tito Santana) def. The Brain Busters (Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard) (w/Bobby Heenan) Tag team match 90% 27:54 Bobby Heenan debuted the Brain Busters on SNME in October of '88. They instantly made an example of Sam Houston & Tim Horner and then systematically destroyed every jobber team. Now Arn and Tully will show the world their talents and their intentions for the WWF Tag Team Titles. Demolition will be on notice. But Strike Force is being pushed hard right now to try and get Santana and Martel over. The match was great. Everyone looked good. The Brain Busters looked amazing. But it just wasn't in the cards. Tito Santana pinned Arn Anderson, you read that right, after the Flying Cross-Chop. Strike Force... uggh.
9 The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart) def. Rhythm and Blues (Greg Valentine and The Honky Tonk Man with Jimmy Hart) Tag team match 71% 17:13 The Hart Foundation have been feuding with Rhythm & Blues for the better part of the year. Bret and Honky have a deep seeded hatred for each other. Unfortunately, that emotion didn't come out in the match. It was a good match with a lot of things that worked out well. But it actually ended up being the worst of the nights tag matches. Bret Hart won with a Piledriver on Honky Tonk.
10 The Ultimate Warrior (c) def. Rick Rude WWF Intercontinental Title 89% 17:32 The Ultimate Warrior has been on a tear since arriving in the WWF. Winning the Intercontinental Title at WrestleMania IV and now holding it for over a year. Warrior has been locked in a feud with Rick Rude who has lost in various pose-offs and matches. These two went at it trading blows. Trading clotheslines. Trading Dropkicks. It seemed like Rude would beat Warrior when he choked him with a camera cord. But no. Warrior defeated Rude with a Big Splash.
12 "Hot Rod" Roddy Piper def. Bobby Heenan (w/The Brooklyn Brawler) Singles match 82% 7:23 Bobby Heenan has been angling to get the WWF World Title into the Heenan Family ever since Andre retired. So, Heenan tried to lure in Roddy Piper with a promise of money and a match with Hulk Hogan. But Piper refused to turn on Hogan and vowed to shut the Weasle up for good. And he did, putting Bobby Heenan down on the mat with a Sleeper.
Main Event Randy Savage (w/Miss Elizabeth) def. Hulk Hogan (c) WWF World Heavyweight Title 87% 16:27 The Mega-Powers EXPLODE! Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan have been two of the most dominant champions in WWF history. Savage is in the height of his popularity and has just come off of a record breaking Intercontinental Title run of 771 days. Hulk Hogan held the WWF Title for an uncanny 1093 days before losing to Andre the Giant. However, now in the middle of his second run, Hogan is facing his greatest threat. His best friend. His compadre. His brother, man, whatcha' gonna do? Savage is mad that Hogan made "advances" toward Elizabeth. And he believes that Hogan is too arrogant. The crowd can't wait, this is one of the biggest matches of all time! - Hogan hit the big boot on Savage - Savage hit a huge dropkick on Hogan sending him toppling to the outside - Hogan hit a Leg Drop but Macho was near the ropes and reached them. "Macho Man" Randy Savage defeats Hulk Hogan with the Flying Elbow Drop to win the WWF World Heavyweight Title. Hogan and Savage embrace after the match and Hogan holds Savage on his shoulders.
84% 227:53
Total Time: 3:47:53
Hogan and Savage were deep in a feud when this match took place and the crowd was glad to see them posing in the ring together. Now Hogan is leaving the WWF for a bit to work on some other projects. The Ultimate Warrior is a promising Intercontinental Champion and showed off in a great match with Rick Rude. The future of the WWF looks promising with Macho Man at the helm.

Title History

WWF World Heavyweight Title

No. Champion Championship change Event Location Reign statistics Notes
1 Hulk Hogan 3/31/1984 WWF on MSG Network New York City, NY 1 1093 Hogan is the first WWF champion according to this title history. He won the WWF title in a single night tournament at MSG from The Iron Sheik. Hogan did well promoting the title and defended it quite a bit. However, it was a double-cross from his friend Andre the Giant that dethroned this king.
2 Andre the Giant 3/29/1987 Wrestlemania III Pontiac, MI 1 368 Andre the Giant had been best friends with Hulk Hogan for years before turning on him and joining Bobby Heenan. This partnership would be lucrative since Andre would beat Hogan for the WWF Championship at Wrestlemania III. Thus striking a blow to Hulkamania and weakening the iconic one. Andre would also defend the title quite a bit. He was undefeated until Wrestlemania IV.
3 Hulk Hogan 3/27/1988 Wrestlemania IV Atlantic City, NJ 2 369 Hulk Hogan regained his title from Andre the Giant in front of over 100,000 people in Atlantic City, New Jersey! It was a decent match that also served as Andre's retirement match.
4 Randy Savage 4/2/1989 Wrestlemania V Atlantic City, NJ 1 Randy Savage won the title from Hulk Hogan at Wrestlemania V when the Mega Powers EXPLODED! Meltzer would report that Hogan is going on to make some movies in Hollywood before returning to the WWF. Savage is a great face and will be an amazing champion.

WWF Intercontinental Title

No. Champion Championship change Event Location Reign statistics Days Notes
1 Greg Valentine 1/17/1985 WWF on PRISM Philadelphia, PA 1 73 Greg Valentine was the first IC champion that I started the game with. He defeated Pat Patterson for the title, technically making him the second champion. But again, I started my game with him as IC champ. He would lose the title in a very bloody match with JYD.
2 Junkyard Dog 3/31/1985 Wrestlemania I New York, NY 1 258 JYD was one of the most beloved and most punishing champions. His battles were always bloody and always crowd favorites. He dropped the belt to Randy Savage on Saturday Night's Main Event at MSG.
3 Randy Savage 12/14/1985 WWF at MSG New York, NY 1 771 Randy Savage held the WWF Intercontinental Title for an unprecedented amount of time. He was one of the best champions of the eighties. Defeating opponents like Ivan Karloff, Harley Race, Brutus Beefcake, Rick Rude among others.
- Vacant 1/24/1988 WWF Royal Rumble Hamilton, ON - CAN 1 63 Randy had to vacate the title following an injury at the hands of the Honky Tonk Man's guitar shot.
4 The Ultimate Warrior 3/27/1988 Wrestlemania IV Atlantic City, NJ 1 The Ultimate Warrior won the IC title in a one-night tournament defeating Jake Roberts in the final. He has been a terrific champion so far during his feud with Rick Rude.

WWF Tag Team Titles

No. Champion Championship change Event Location Reign statistics Days Notes
1 The U.S. Express (Barry Windham & Mike Rotundo) 3/31/1984 WWF on MSG Network New York City, NY 1 586 The U.S. Express was a great tag team that started the game as Tag Champs. They would lose them to the British Bulldogs at the Wrestling Classic.
2 The British Bulldogs (Dynamite Kid & Davey Boy Smith) 11/7/1985 The Wrestling Classic Rosemont, IL 1 871 The British Bulldogs vs. The U.S. Express in a fantastic bout. Dynamite and Rotundo were meant to do battle. They have defended against Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff, The American Express, The Hart Foundation, The Islanders, and many more during their impressive multi-year run.
3 Demolition (Ax & Smash) 3/27/1988 Wrestlemania IV Atlantic City, NJ 1 While the British Bulldogs were the most popular team in the WWF. No team were turning heads faster than the big, angry, Demolition. Ax and Smash along with their manager, Mr. Fuji, have been running rough-shot over the WWF. They had their eyes set on gold. The Bulldogs are good, but they couldn't best the beasts.

WWF Women's Title

No. Champion Championship change Event Location Reign statistics Days Notes
1 Wendi Richter 3/31/1985 Wrestlemania I New York, NY 1 1,247 Wendi Richter beat Leilani Kai for the WWF Women's Title at Wrestlemania I in 1985 and held it until 1988. It was a tremendous reign that almost no one will be able to beat.
2 Lelani Kai 8/29/1988 SummerSlam '88 New York, NY 1 In 1988 Leilani Kai and Judy Martin changed the face of women's wrestling by taking their tag team out on the world and inspiring many young women wrestlers. Leilani Kai would put the crowning achievement of the Glamour Girls by winning the Women's Title from Wendi Richter at Summer Slam '88.

WWF Women's Tag Team Titles

No. Champion Championship change Event Location Reign statistics Days Notes
1 The Glamour Girls (Judy Martin & Leilani Kai) 3/16/1985 WWF on PRISM Philadelphia, PA 1 1,044 Judy Martin and Leilani Kai are one of the greatest teams in Women's Professional Wrestling. Their work around the world is tremendous.
2 The Jumping Bomb Angels (Noriyo Tateno & Itsuki Yamazaki) 1/24/1988 Royal Rumble Hamilton, ON - CAN 1 The Jumping Bomb Angels (Noriyo Tateno & Itsuki Yamazaki) were one of the coolest teams the WWF ever let slip though their fingers. Much like the duo of Io Shrai and Kairi Sane.

Previous Posts

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2020.09.11 17:00 PaulPM1 My Fantasy All Time Summerslam

Dream Summerslam Card – Paul (2020) – The Games”
Announcers: Jim Ross & **Jerry “The King” Lawler (**Unless Stated Otherwise) Referees: Mike Chioda (Mens), Jessika Carr (Womens)
Opening Video Package Content: Gladiator Theme Opening Video Package Theme: Time is Now by Moloko
J.R says welcome to Summerslam and says we have breaking news that there is going to be an exclusive interview with Bray Wyatt later on tonight.
1. NXT Fight Pit Match - (Announcers: J.R, M Ranollo) (Guest Referee: Nigel McGuinness)
Build: Past vs Future (talking up tyler bate all the time) dunne to regal, you don’t like me cos I remind you of the younger you, just I won’t get stuck in the middle tier and let myself down with drugs etc I will be world champion, but I need to take you out and prove the doubters wrong.)
William Regal vs Pete Dunne
Finish: Dunne distracts the ref and hits Regal with brass knuckles then grabs a groggy regal and hits him with the bitter end.
2. Lumberjill Match (Announcers: J.R, M Ranollo, Paige) (Guest Referee: Ronda Rousey)
Build: Beth previously announced she wants her final match to be at summerslam, and she wants it to be against her best friend Natalya, and that through a friend she has convinced the Mcmahons to allow Ronda Rousey to be special guest referee (as shes thinking about joining WWE), a week before the summerslam paperview wwe do a tribute night to beth and this climaxes with a contract signing to end raw, beth signs the contract and natalyas music plays, then plays again, the titantron changes to refs and paramedics running to a beaten unconscious Natalya on the floor, beth runs backstage and demands to see the cctv, as she see the footage, the camera goes back to the ring where the contract lays on the table in the middle of the ring and Rhea Ripley signs where Natalya should have signed, Rhea says natalya won’t make it and that beth won’t get a friendly goodbye from a bland competitor, that she will be forced to retire, just like Natalya, by the woman who will go down as the most dominant woman in professional wrestling history, me, Rhea Ripley. And in the blank stipulation section of the contract Rhea writes Last Woman Standing Match.
Beth Phoenix vs Rhea Ripley
Finish: Beth gets rhea into the glamslam position but rhea reverses underneath and gets behind beth to do the riptide for the 1-2-3. Rhea the kicks beth over the apron, ronda goes to check if beth is okay, Rhea pushes Ronda and shouts her to raise her hand, Ronda does this begrudgingly and as rhea goes to walk away, Ronda still has her arm and judo throws her into an armbar.
3. 4 Man Extreme Tornado Tag Team TLC Match – Stipulation If Dudleys and DIY lose, the teams have to be disbanded forever: (Announcers: M Ranollo, Samoa Joe, Triple H)
Build: Undisputed Era had run through every team and faction and claimed total domination, and started attacking DIY, and with no one willing to help, undisputed era go to attack DIY to put them through the Titan Tron stage, when a firework hits the stage and signals the return of the Dudley Boyz. Who run of undisputed era and. DIY challenge them to a 4 man tag team TLC match, and the Dudleys say its going to be an extreme TLC Match. Adam Cole accepts but only if the stipulation is if Dudleys and DIY lose they have to disband there teams forever.
Dudley Boyz & DIY vs Undisputed Era
Finish: Dudley Boyz put Fish through a flaming table, Roderick strong takes himself and D-von over the rope, Bubba Ray turns around and O’reilly picks up Bubba and Cole is on the other side and they pick him up for what looks like a 3D but Cole converts his end into the Last Shot, and pins him for the 1-2-3. Undisputed era celebrate and make their way to the back, leaving the Dudleys and DiY to hug their partners in a final goodbye, DiY both Superkick the Dudleys, then Ciampa superkicks Gargano.
4. Loser Leaves WWE match -Unsanctioned Match Stipulation: (Announcers: J.R, M Ranollo)
Build: edge – yeah we both came back from injury but you’ve done nothing, I had to sit on the sidelines as you do shit storylines and don’t even go for world titles, and crying about how you owed it to your dumb wife, brie mode? Sounds like something an angry retard would say,…..behind every man is a great woman? Damn. Then you are less of a man, remember what you had, how you had to crawl and claw your way to the main event picture, and now your just happy to be here, you might as well be in the indies, because this Daniel bryan doesn’t belong in the big leagues.
Edge vs Daniel Bryan
Finish: Edge rolls through on the yes lock and hits Bryan with the Spear for the 1-2-3
5. 2 Falls Count Anywhere Lumberjack Match “Career vs Career”- Stipulation: Must get a Pin Win & A Submission Win (Announcers: J.R, M Ranollo, J Lawler)
Build: Jericho called out Owen, to never meet your heroes, and goes on to say that owen doesn’t love wrestling, he is ashamed of it, whether it’s his wife or he’s in the shadow of bret, he needs to get out of wrestling, because he’s taking a spot of people who are 100% committed to be here and that Jericho isn’t going to allow Owen to stay in wwe. And both put careers on the line.
Chris Jericho vs Owen Hart (Outside the ring are The Radicalz and the Hart Foundation)
Finish: Owen Catch jerichos codebreaker and puts him in the sharpshoot for a submission fall, Jericho pushed owen into an exposed turnbuckle then as owen falls on the ground Jericho hits the lionsault for the 1-2-3, then as owen tried to do a sitdown tombstone, Jericho reverses behind, hits a reverse codebreaker then makes Owen submit from the liontamer.
6. Hell In A Cell Match: (Announcers: J.R, M Ranollo, Mick Foley)
Build: Taker says that no matter who came and went, this ring will always be his yard, Walters music hits and he comes out and says taker is just an old soldier that needs to be put out of his misery and that he is the ring general now. Walter says he knows takers weakness and that taker will finally go down in flames.
Walter vs The Undertaker
Finish: As taker goes to hit the last ride, while walter is in the air, he singles to the titantron and waves for help to come down. suddenly 4 flames of fire come from each ringpost and the arena goes dark, the voice of paul bearer screams “he’s here” and out comes 97 kane and rips the hell in a cell cage door off. Does a faceoff with taker then tombstones him, walter crawls over for the win.
7. 20 minute Samoan Strap Match: (Announcers: J.R, M Ranollo, Paige) (Guest Referee: Stephanie McMahon)
Build: bitches about the rock being selective about his samoan legacy, quick to help roman, but where was help for joe when he was struggling at other companies, only mentions his somoan lineage if its good for the p.r. and how he became Hollywood over somoan without hesitation and that he is so paranoid to do anything as he wants to be mr.perfect, no not that guy, and can’t handle anything negative, seems a bit phoney to me rock, you used to tell us to know your role, but what is your role rock and to smell what your cooking, well all I can smell is shit.
Samoa Joe vs The Rock
Finish: the clock is into the last minute, in a last ditch attempt the rock goes to hit the 3rd rock bottom of the match, butjoe swtches behind for the kokina clutch, 10 seconds to go joe wraps the strap around the rocks throat, the rock seems passed out, the ref raises his arm once, twice, then on the 3rd the rock uses his last bit of strength to keep it raised for half a second, the ring bel rings. And the rock lets his hand drop. Result – Time Limit Draw.
Segment : Exclusive Interview with Bray Wyatt on who his next target is (Intentions to destroy the 3 faces of Foley)
Video package opens with Bray in the Firefly Funhouse and says he needs the right conditions to reveal the truth and walks through a door of the firefly funhouse and opens into the heartbreak hotel,
Looks at shawn michaels and says “hi shawn” nah this feels like it could be a screwjob wink wink, goes to walk away and turns back and says hey shawn, don’t you lose that smile and laughs, then bray falls back and lands in a chair, camera zooms out and hes in beefcakes barber shop, laughs and says touch me like I’m Hogan hahaha and runs of with his scissors, he runs into another room and hears a hissing and cuts the head off a snake, then the camera zooms out, he’s in jake Roberts snake pit…..bray holds up a beer and closes his eyes, the scene changes and his beer turns into a cocktail and hes on carlitos cabana, and bray says nah this ain’t cool and runs into a giant apple, and when he comes out the other side he steps out of a giant heart and is looking into the face of brother love, love asks who is your opponent, and bray says it’s something he’s wrestling with, wink wink, and falls through the floor and lands in a royal ring and jerry lawler says welcome to kings court, and bray says you’re a king? It’s all fantasy right, I’d rather be a king than a grand master hahaha, bray looks away and puts his hand over his eyebrows to see further and in the distance you see Christian with his peep show, and just lets it fade to black, and light creeps in as a door opens, but its actually bray stepping out of a coffin into the funeral parlour, and just looks at paul bearer, bray says oh yesssss, bearer falls back and shouts for help, undertaker robotically walks in, and bray says deadman, it’s not your time, yet…and laughs into the coffin. And falls back into an asylum and does his reverse crab walk past dean ambrose and do to a corridor, and into a room where the miz is watching a giant TV and bray says you will be a star and then crawls into the tv and is next to Jericho, and there is a highlight reel playing but it gets darker and darker and bray says your star will fade chris, if you try to be elite hahaha bray screams elite and lands in the ring on a sofa that’s says VIP lounge, MVP welcomes Bray and says give me the exclusive and tell me who you are targeting next to be your opponent, bray stars rocking on the sofa and says I’m not going to help you try and stay relevant…I want this to be right,.and bray gets up and walks into the ring rope and puts his head down on the turnbuckle, and raises his head as he hears bagpipes, brays turns around and smiles at “rowdy” roddy piper., roddy says so you’re the one that’s got the whole world in his hands huh, then I got just one question for you, who’s world are you trying to end? Bray walks into the face of roddy and says why aren’t you afraid, roddy laughs and says enough of the games bray, tell us who should be afraid, who should have fear over their faces, bray smiles and says faces…..roddy says he doesn’t do riddles, and bray says again faces….i want to destroy 3 faces……..Mick Foley……have a nice day and it goes to black with bray laughing, then a flash on the screen of the fiend.
8. Stretcher Match – Stipulation Lose has to not wrestle for a year (which is how long is on hogan contract): (Announcers: J.R, M Ranollo,) 3 on 1 turns into 3 on 2.?
Build: on a Hogan tribute night, Punk interrupts and says to Hogan, that hulk doesn’t like him, why it that, is it because I don’t politic brother, is it my tattoos, is it because I don’t look like you, or do you hate me because I will do a pipebomb on you and there is nothing you can do about it, or do you hate me because I can get the type of women like your daughter or her friends, while you can only get there photos, your time is over old man, your in courtrooms more than rings and that is just the way punk likes it, so hulkster, brother, I want a match and hell I’ll give you the advantage, you can pick the stipulation, hell I’ll even make sure the referee is white. so make sure you take your vitamins, although we know the type of vitamins you like brother,
Cm Punk (With Paul Heyman) vs Hogan (With Jimmy Hart)
Finish: Hall and Nash interfere to take out punk and they go to turn on heyman who runs to the back then comes out with a smile on his face, then the returning brock lesnars music hits, hall and nash get taken out by Lesnar, then jimmy hart eyepokes hogan and punk hits hogan with the go to sleep and hogan falls straight into an f-5 onto the stretcher, punk straps hogan in for the win.
After the match heyman raises brocks hand and jimmy hart raises punks hand, punk looks at brock and brock f-5s hart, heyman grabs a microphone and says hart is just a big a fool as hogan and lets him know the match stipulation meant hogan and hart, and when hart recovers to enjoy irrelevancy stuck at home for a year.
9. Street Fight (Announcers: J.R, M Ranollo, J Lawler) (Guest Referee: Mike Tyson)
Build: Orton calls out stone cold in recent documentary on austin and the attitude era, and orton said it’s funny Austin and attitude go together, but I mean shit attitude, this is a guy that had top spot then as the company was starting to evolve he became a coward and took his ball and went home instead of staying and fighting to keep top spot, because he knows he couldn’t hang with the guys that were going to takeover and realise his one dimension schtick wasn’t going to cut it. And that it’s funny that Austin has had so many neck injuries because randy didn’t think Austin had a spine. the rattlesnake has nothing on the viper.
Randy Orton vs Stone Cold
Finish: Stone cold tried to hit his elbow drop off the top rope and orton rolls out the way and get up and runs and punt kicks Austin for a 1-2-3 (Tyson appeared to count quickly)
Post Match: Orton looks at Austin and said it was ring rust but he gave him a hell of a fight…goes to shake Austins hand..Austin goes to stunners Orton, but Tyson stops him, stone cold goes face to face with Tyson and Tyson rips off his ref shirt to unveil an evolution shirt, Austin looks confused and orton hits a running ko on steve Austin.
10. Stipulation: For the 17th World Title (Announcers: J.R, M Ranollo, JBL) (Guest Referee: Harley Race)
Build: flair previously cost cena a chance to win the title and it gets vacated due to the champ Triple H being injured, and flair blackmails Vince Mcmahon to not give the title to cena, but to put it on the line in a match between the two.
Ric Flair vs John Cena
Finish: Harley appears to be letting a few things go, including flair with a low blow on cena, flair pushes cena into Harley, Harley is down, cena gets put the the figure 4 leg lock, but works his way out as they both get up, batista enters the ring and hits cena with the spear., Cena tried to get back to his feet and Batisa goes to grab cena, but Harley is on his feet and orders batista from ring side, with flair looking at batista and with Harleys back to flair, cena low blows flair then fu’s him for the 1-2-3.
Post Match: Harley hands the World Title to John Cena. Confetti falls.
Segment: a brief advertisement of 50% off on wwe Shop. (this gives the ring crew time to clean up the ring off confetti)
Segment: Interview with Triple H, he says he is happy for cena, and announced while he isn’t back for a while he will be coming for that title, but for now, triple h announces that the next match, the last man standing match, is now a no.1 contenders match for cena’s world title.
11. Last Man Standing Match- Stipulation: (Announcers: M Ranollo, J.R, Triple H)
Build: AJ styles calls out Michaels, and says he’s sick of being compared to him and that styles is better, but shawn is too scared to find out the truth, aj then says he didn’t need a kliq to get where he was and that he never lost his smile, and he didn’t need to screw anyone to get to the top. Shawn says that he was always the guy, and that Aj can’t stand that he was a big fish in a big pond for so long and that aj is just upset that most of his career aj was a medium fish in a small pond.
Aj Styles vs Shawn Michaels
Finish: As aj jumps the the top rope to hit the phenomonal forearm, but as he goes to jump off the rope, hbk hits the sweet chin music and sends styles through the tables on the outside of the ring.
Aj fails to get up at the 10 count, but shawn almost gets up at 9 at the corner but falls back down to the ring., Ref Announces a draw.
Post Match: Aj and Hbk shake hands. (Triple H announces at the next paperview it will be AJ vs Hbk, vs Cena for the world title
12. 30 Minute Ironwoman Match - Stipulation: Charlotte wins, she’s the restored and new Womens Champion and Satomura has to retire, Satomura wins, she is champ and charlotte is not allowed a title shot for a year this includes being invalid for rumble, money in the bank and no.1 contender matches. (Announcers: T Stratus, M Ranollo, AJ Lee) (Guest Referee: Steph Mcmahon)
Build: AJ Lee has had to vacate the Divas championship due to needing surgeries, but she threw it down and presented a new women’s championship, and says there are only two women wrestlers that she respect that aren’t expendable, plastic, poor excuses for women and says it’ll be Charlotte vs Meiko.
Charlotte Flair vs Meiko Satomura
Finish: with a minute left and both 1 fall each, flair puts Satomura in in the figure 4- then converts it into a figure 8, meiko submits making it 2-1 to flair with 12 seconds left, AJ helps Satomura to her feet and says there is only 20 seconds left, Satomura is struggling to walk, and tries to kick flair with a standing inziguri kick, but charlotte ducks and rolls out the ring, circles the ring on the outside and comes in on the opposite end with 1 second to spare and the ref counting to 9. Timer runs out flair wins 2.1.
Post Match: Aj brings in the New Womens Championship and gives it to charlotte, Stephanie raises charlottes hand and Aj stares at the title being lifted by flair, flair catches aj staring, aj does a big smile and skips away. Confetti falls for charlotte.
Closing Credits.
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2020.09.08 20:21 NotYujiroTakahashi Yujiro's What if Anthologies Episode #4: Wrestle Summit 1993

This is the event I brought up in The Brody vs Hogan episode.
In 1993, The World Wrestling Federation was beginning to change after Hulk Hogan had left to Hollywood. The big stories for the road to Summerslam was Bret Hart facing the crafty king of Memphis Jerry Lawler and The unstoppable WWF Champion Yokozuna vs Vince's new experiment Lex Luger. But before all that in July the WWF went on a tour of Japan with Vince's old business partner Giant Baba and his promotion All Japan Pro Wrestling.
The WWF always did well in international tours for Europe but in Japan they struggled due to the showman style the WWF had been using to great effect in America. So anytime they go to Japan they partner up with some major Promotions there. This the story of the final day of the Wrestle Summit tour of 1993.
  1. Chris Von Erich def. The 123 Kid
  2. Tatanka def. IRS
  3. Eagle and The Patriot def. The Beverly Brothers
  4. Bam Bam Bigelow def. Damian DeMento
  5. Misawa, Kobashi and Razor Ramon def. Ted Dibiase and The Holy Demon Army (Kawada and Taue)
  6. Lex Luger and Mr. Perfect def. Shawn Michaels and Diesel by countout
  7. The Steiner Brothers def. Stan Hansen and Steve Williams
  8. Bret Hart def. Bruiser Brody
The show was a success with the 6 man tag being MOTN and the road to Summerslam continued for the WWF while All Japan continued on with upcoming tournaments.
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2020.08.30 03:04 Chris_R2001 Rebooking The Nexus

Summerslam 2010:
I'd keep the build up the same as it was in real life, The Nexus invades and dismantles Raw, turn on Daniel Bryan and cause terror on Raw. Cena gathers 6 Raw superstars to team up and face The Nexus (Wade Barrett, Justin Gabriel, David Otunga, Heath Slater, Michael Tarver, Skip Sheffield & Darren Young) in a 7 on 7 elimination tag match. Cena's 6 tag partners are Sheamus, Evan Bourne, John Morrison, R-Truth, Bret Hart & the returning Daniel Bryan. The changes are largely due to a bunch of different stories I have in mind. Obviously Team Nexus defeat team Cena.

Night of Champions 2010:
Wade Barrett in the build up to NOC has a lot of momentum he is white hot since he defeated John Cena's team at Summerslam. Barrett says since he won NXT he is entitled to a WWE Championship match at a PPV of his choice, he challenges Randy Orton the WWE Champion to a match at NOC for the title but since Orton won the title from Chris Jericho at Summerslam its a triple threat. Wade Barrett wins the WWE Championship at NOC.
Also at NOC, Justin Gabriel & Heath Slater win the Tag Team Championships from The Hart Dynasty in a tag team gauntlet match.

Hell in a Cell 2010:
After NOC Barrett's roll continues he is still undefeated at this point, John Cena comes out and challenges Wade Barrett to the WWE Championship. He wants Barrett at Hell in a Cell for the title Barrett agrees on the condition that if Cena loses then he has to join The Nexus. Cena reluctantly agrees. The match is of course a Hell in a Cell match.
At this point Skip Sheffield has gone out with injury we need a new member to join Nexus so how about we have 2. At Hell in a Cell Cena is about to win but the referee is distracted by 2 men who break into the cell and help Barrett retain the title.
The next night on Raw, Barrett announces since Skip Sheffield & Michael Tarver are gone with injury they are out of The Nexus, he then inducts Cena into the faction and forces him to introduce the newcomers who are Husky Harris & Michael McGillicutty. Harris is there as the new enforcer.

Bragging Rights 2010:
John Cena becomes Wade Barrett's lackey. Edge the World Heavyweight Champion on Smackdown is set to face Wade Barrett the WWE Champion on Raw he is trying to convince Cena to turn on Barrett but Cena just wont since Barrett like he did in real life has the power to fire John Cena.
At Bragging Rights The Nexus help Wade Barrett defeat Edge and win the Bragging Rights trophy for Raw.
Also at Bragging Rights Justin Gabriel & Heath Slater from Raw defend the Tag titles against The Usos from Smackdown and obviously they retain.

Survivor Series 2010:
Randy Orton finally gets his 1 on 1 rematch with Wade Barrett after he becomes the #1 contender to the WWE Championship. Orton begins feuding with Wade Barrett, Barrett demands to have a special guest referee and he demands for it to be John Cena, since the anonymous Raw GM is scared that The Nexus will cause more trouble if he doesn't comply with the request he agrees and John Cena is made special guest referee. Barrett is suspicious that Cena is going to screw him out of the title so he says if he doesn't win then Cena is fired. Barrett wins the match but Cena refuses to hold his hand up afterwards and instead he gives Barrett an AA and locks him in the STF.
Earlier in the show, Michael McGillicutty after weeks of feuding captures the United States Championship from Daniel Bryan thanks to help from David Otunga and the rest of The Nexus.
On the Raw after Survivor Series Wade Barrett kicks Cena out of The Nexus for his actions the previous night and since Cena is out of Nexus he is out of a job. Cena then at the end of the night gives an "I'm going away" speech and he leaves the WWE for the time being.

TLC 2010:
Barrett is on top of the world since all of Raw's titles are in the possession of The Nexus, Barrett is the WWE Champion, Heath Slater & Justin Gabriel are the Tag Team Champions and Michael McGillicutty is the United States Champion.
Barrett issues an open challenge for TLC. And who shows up to fight him? CM Punk who turns face and challenges him for the title. CM Punk isn't after leadership of The Nexus he just wants what he's never had and that is the WWE Championship. Even though he is a 4 time World Heavyweight Champion and a triple crown winner by this point he still wants the WWE title. Barrett calls Punk a nobody and declares that he is royalty. He says Punk isn't even in his league and that he spent 2 years disgracing the World Heavyweight Championship.
Punk says "we'll see who the better man is when I beat you at TLC" and the match is set. CM Punk vs Wade Barrett for the WWE title. The match is a TLC match.
Barrett is acting all cocky, Punk is about to win the title but every member of Nexus come down and push over the ladder sending Punk through a stack of tables. Wade Barrett then gets up climbs the ladder and unhooks the title.
The next night on Raw CM Punk due to the ending of the match at TLC costs Justin Gabriel & Heath Slater the Tag titles further adding fuel to the fire.

Royal Rumble 2011:
CM Punk really wants his rematch so his feud with Wade Barrett goes on, since Morrison earned the right to have a WWE Championship match he confronts Punk and tells him its back of the line he then turns around and tells Barrett that he's coming for the WWE title. Punk says that Barrett can't win matches on his own and he even compares his loss at TLC to the Montreal screwjob, the anonymous Raw GM then books a match for that night Morrison v Punk winner faces Barrett at the Royal Rumble and in that match The entire Nexus run down and attack them during the match resulting in a no contest.
For the actions of The Nexus Barrett is forced to defend the title in a triple threat with The Nexus banned from ringside. In the lead up to the Rumble Nexus go on a tear, they are incredibly toxic and need to be stopped. Of course Barrett retains in the triple threat.
He orders everyone of The Nexus members into the Rumble and they dominate the match, your mid carders such as Dolph Ziggler, Kofi Kingston, Jack Swagger, R-Truth etc. come in and are eliminated very quickly, Barrett, the returning Booker T does manage to get the better of the group and even eliminates Justin Gabriel & Heath Slater though after that he is eliminated by Mason Ryan. Barrett yells in Slater & Gabriel's faces who turn face and leave him they decide they are sick of Barrett's tyrannical leadership. Right before number 40 comes out Wade Barrett gives a speech he says "its over whoever number 40 is, The Nexus has already won, just come out so we can put you out of your misery" and outcomes John Cena who runs down and eliminates every member of The Nexus. He wins the Royal Rumble.

Elimination Chamber 2011:
After the Rumble, The Nexus are imploding, half The Nexus love Barrett half of them hate him, Barrett tells them they were a disgrace at the Rumble and this makes them flip since they dominated most of the match. Elimination Chamber is coming up and Barrett needs to defend his title in a chamber match so we have David Otunga, Mason Ryan, Michael McGillicutty, Husky Harris & Darren Young compete for Barrett's WWE Championship. At the beginning of the match Barrett orders David Otunga to lay down, Otunga refuses and clobbers. Barrett goes on and retains the WWE title and after the match John Cena comes down and batters Wade Barrett, he tells him "I'll see you at Wrestlemania" and leaves.

Wrestlemania 27:
John Cena vs Wade Barrett is set for the main event, Cena the winner of the Rumble chooses to face Barrett for the WWE title. Cena tells Barrett that he has no help since The Nexus is over and they only thing he has left the WWE title will be his come Wrestlemania, Barrett says he used The Nexus to get to the top and now that he is there he no longer needs them, Wade tells Cena that Wrestlemania is judgement Day for him. Since this nearly year long storyline is white hot and needs a bump up we are making it an "I quit" match.
(BTW The Rock isn't involved in this rivalry at all).
Cena obviously wins at Wrestlemania and becomes the new WWE Champion.
On the Raw after Wrestlemania, Barrett demands his rematch, they have it in a steel cage match which Cena wins and after that The Rock attacks John Cena. The Miz then cashes in his Money in the Bank contract on John Cena to become New WWE Champion.

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2020.08.27 18:18 SaintRidley Wrestling Observer Rewind ★ Mar. 21, 1988

March 21, 1988
Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words, continuing in the footsteps of daprice82. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives.
The Complete Observer Rewind Archive by daprice82
1-4-1988 1-11-1988 1-18-1988 1-25-1988
2-1-1988 2-8-1988 2-15-1988 2-22-1988
2-29-1988 3-7-1988 3-14-1988 *
  • It’s a really slow week for news, so Dave spends a lot of real estate giving his predictions for Wrestlemania and Clash of the Champions. Wrestlemania is first, and he starts with the tournament. There are only three real contenders there: Hogan, DiBiase, and Savage. Everyone else isn’t good enough to carry the company or has loads of baggage the company doesn’t want coming back up. The recent tv taping’s third hour was meant for post-Wrestlemania, so guaranteed non-winners are Andre, Duggan, Reed, Muraco, and Bigelow. Steamboat and Rude probably make it through a round, but not to the final. WWF has foreshadowed things a bit, though. Changing the brackets seems designed to get Savage to the finals, which really necessitates a heel opposite him, which rules out Hogan. Since DiBiase could have won the title in the old bracket without facing Savage in the final (they would have met in the semifinals), changing the bracket to put Savage in the final seems suspect from a DiBiase-must-win scenario. Secondly, the latest issue of WWF magazine has a photo of Elizabeth shopping, captioned “Elizabeth, manager of the World Wrestling Federation Champion Randy ‘Macho Man’ Savage”). Red herring? Misprint? Clue? It’s hard to say. The magazine has been out for two weeks. Lastly, a reader swears they were at the taping and peeked behind the curtain and saw Savage carrying the title while doing a promo. Savage has Dave’s vote, as everything just adds up to it and has been since they changed the bracket. For the IC title match, Dave predicts the match will not only be terrible, but that Honkeytonk Man will no longer be the worst Intercontinental Champion ever. Beefer to win it, because somehow he’s managed to get more over than he has any right to be with this barber thing. The Islanders and Heenan vs. Koko B. Ware and the Bulldogs seems destined to go to the Bulldogs, in part because after Dynamite’s injury last year, somehow the company decided to use their time to get Matilda over and this is Matilda’s return. They’ve only got Heenan in so Matilda can chase him around the ring. For the tag titles, Dave predicts Demolition to win. WWF has booked a title change for the tag titles every Wrestlemania to include a tag title match so far, and curiously, Demolition seem to be getting over real well - the last show at the Cow Palace saw all the fans dutifully cheer every face and boo every heel during the announcement of the card with one exception: Demolition got cheered and Strike Force got booed. Dave really hopes Warrior vs. Hercules won’t be the template for pro wrestling in the 90s, as Dave’s only predictions are that this will be a worst match of the year candidate and that neither man will live to see the age of 50. He’s half right: Herc died at 47, but Warrior managed to make it all the way to 54. Lastly, Dave considers the battle royal, a bad concept that Bret Hart managed to single-handedly save and make work previously. There’s no stakes and no heat, it’s just a way to get everyone a payday. Dave’s predictions: babyface will probably win, George Steele won’t get in the ring, Roma and Powers will smile, JYD won’t do anything, Sam Houston takes the best bump going out if he doesn’t win, Harley Race takes the next best bump.
  • Over in Greensboro Coliseum, Crockett’s Clash of the Champions offers its own speculative fun. Flair vs. Sting will certainly go over 20 minutes with loads of near falls and all the usual stuff (Sting not selling the suplex, Flair getting plucked off the top rope). It’s a Ric Flair match, so it’s going to be exactly what you expect, which isn’t a bad thing really. But it does kind of take the excitement out of things. Flair’s gonna get destroyed, but he won’t lose the title and the finish will be one we’ve all seen before. Woo. Dusty and the Road Warriors vs. Ivan Koloff and the Powers of Pain in a barbed wire match seems to exist just for the sake of lots of blood, and barbed wire matches aren’t conducive to good wrestling. Dave figures Dusty wins to the disappointment of many while satiating fans’ blood thirst. For the NWA tag titles, Dave thinks Luger has improved enough to hold up his end of things and the other three are some of the best workers in the territory. Probably a DQ win for the Horsemen, but Luger and Windham winning the titles isn’t a negligible possibility either. On paper, it’s an easy 3.5 star+ match. For the U.S. Tag Titles, Midnight Express vs. the Fantastics looks like a title change. Cornette’s spent too long hyping the length of the Midnights’ title reign for it not to be, and you gotta put over the Fantastics now before fans have a chance to turn on them for being small and too much like the Rock & Roll Express. Rotundo vs. Garvin in an amateur rules match, Dave doesn’t have a prediction for the winner, but figures Rotundo will cheat somehow and Sullivan will do something dastardly, and a hot angle should spin out of it. Finally, Zbyszko vs. Shane Douglas will end, Dave guesses, in a time limit draw or some other kind of unclear finish. Shane’s gotten good, but with Magnum managing others for the Crockett Cup and the Dusty/Zbyszko feud going nowhere, it seems his push is being tweaked.
  • Wrestlemania 4 did finally sell out this past week for the live crowd. You can point out how last year’s show sold over 90,000 tickets to sell out and this show has only 13,500 sold tickets, but there are more things to consider. Last year, all of Michigan was blacked out for closed-circuit and PPV, meaning to see Wrestlemania you either had to leave the state or be in attendance. On the flip side, WWF has eight closed-circuit sites in New York City, eight more in New Jersey, one in Philadelphia, and PPV everywhere. So that’s a huge difference in accessibility, plus tickets this year were way more expensive. Last year’s average ticket price was $16.50, with a lot of $9 tickets for the cheap seats and $100 for the top price. The lowest price this year is $25, and the top price is $150. Overall, this year’s live gate will still be around $1 million, even with the smaller audience.
  • The Crockett Cup’s top ten seeds will be announced at Clash of the Champions. Dave has word about the top 10, and those are Arn & Tully, Dusty & Nikita, Road Warriors, Midnight Express, Powers of Pain, Luger and Windham, Fanatics, Mike otundo & Rick Steiner, Sting & Ron Garvin, and Ivan Koloff & Dick Murdoch. No big name outside teams look to be involved, since even if the Von Erichs and Inoki were to send teams over, they’d insist on them being seeded, if not outright making it to the finals. Crockett’s dropping hints about Puerto Rico and Japan, but there’s no indication other than that of any deals in the works. Steve Williams is returning, but don’t expect him to have a unification match with Ric Flair on night two - the scuttlebutt is that a face from one of the seeded teams will pull out of the tournament to challenge him.
  • WWF looks to be going with Andre vs. Duggan as their big angle following Wrestlemania. They shot the first thing for it on March 9 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where Jim Duggan interrupted an Andre and DiBiase interview, only to get beat up and headbutted off stage before he tries to charge and is held back. This is set to air the day before Wrestlemania. The second part of the angle, set to air after Wrestlemania, has Duggan interfere in an Andre match until Andre chokes him and Duggan bleeds from the mouth until he can somehow get his 2x4 and knock Andre out. They bring out a stretcher for Andre but he wakes up and goes berserk, chasing Pat Patterson to backstage.
  • A bigger surprise from that taping, though, is Owen Hart. Apparently he worked the previous night in Bristol, Tennessee as well, but the big deal is he appeared using his real name. He jobbed in a squash in his first match of the show, then had a match in the third hour against Hercules where he got to do a lot of his really cool offense and the crowd was into it, and definitely seems like this match was taped for April 2. No idea if Hart is in for a try-out or what, though it makes little sense to Dave that they’d debut him as a jobber if this was a debut.
  • Outlet Communications, which owns both WATL in Atlanta and Pro Wrestling This Week, is for sale. They’re using it to fuel an angle on the show, announcing on this week’s episode that someone is attempting a hostile takeover.
  • AGB, the other national ratings source besides Neilsen, came out with their ratings for The Main Event. They listed it 35th for the week out of 72 shows, with a 15.1 rating and 23 share (Neilsen had them at 31st place). WWF winning the time slot for the night, which looked really clear going by Neilsen, is now disputed, as AGB had the CBS Beauty and the Beast that aired at the same time ahead of it at 32nd place for the week. This is a huge blow to WWF. Vince had been claiming that Andre vs. Hogan would put them right at the top for the week and be the highest rated show in prime time all season. And now he can’t even definitively claim top of the time slot, nevermind beating Dallas (which both groups had ranking in the top 20).
  • In syndicated ratings, the week ending February 14 saw the WWF network rank 4th place with an 11.1 combined rating. Crockett had a 7.9, falling to 7th place.
  • The Sammartino family is in the news this week. Last week, Bruno quit WWF to promote a 900 hotline amid many complaints about the state of wrestling and WWF specifically. Bruno’s contentions have to do with insulting the intelligence of the fansand not trying to maintain credibility, but obviously Vince thinks differently about how to promote. He was also upset David never got a push, and when he gave his notice two weeks back, Linda McMahon called the next day to tell him they had the name Bruno Sammartino trademarked so he couldn’t use it in any outside business ventures. Considering Bruno’s drawing power in the 60s is the reason many believe Vince Sr. survived as a promoter and WWF even exists today, obviously that should be upsetting. It may be debatable whether or not he’s the sole reason WWF even exists today, but it isn’t debatable that his popularity is the foundation WWF built off. And to make matters worse, David Sammartino was wrestling in New York on March 9 and apparently assaulted a fan who was heckling him. David reportedly went after the fan and threw him out of his chair. He was arrested and given a court date of April 4, and he lost all of his bookings as a result.
  • Saturday Night’s Main Event, filmed March 7, aired March 12. The five matches that aired were part of a massive 14 match card that drew a 10,000 fan sellout, though the crowd was heavily papered as only 2,000 tickets had sold by March 4. Local radio did a deal where anyone who could name two WWF wrestlers got two free tickets. The televised matches saw 1. Beefer pin Valentine by kicking out during a double pin situation while Honketonk taunted him from ringside. 2. Hogan pinning Harley Race. 3. DiBiase beat Savage by countout, with Virgil ejected quickly and Andre interfering after a ref bump to cause the countout, then Elizabeth ran back and got Hogan to save him. 4. Islanders beat Killer Bees with Haku pinning Blair, and what aired was just the first fall - the live crowd got a two of three falls match that the Islanders won 2-1. 5. One Man Gang squashed Ken Patera. The unaired main event saw Andre squash Bam Bam Bigelow in 3 minutes, which shows where Bam Bam’s future is. Duggan’s been getting more and more over again and is primed to take the spot Bam Bam was set up for as #3 babyface after Hogan and Savage.
Watch: Savage vs. DiBiase from Saturday Night's Main Event
  • The annual Cauliflower Alley Club banquet took place this past Saturday. The Cauliflower Alley Club is a group of “wrestlers, boxers, and Hollywood types” mainly from the early tv era, and their banquet is something of a class reunion type deal every year. Lots of names Dave’s read about but never seen, and special honors were given to Fred Blassie, Roddy Piper, Buddy Rogers, Moolah, and Clara Mortensen (who was a pioneer in women’s wrestling alongside Mildred Burke). Loads and loads of old names there: John Tolos, Doc & Mike Gallagher, Ox Anderson, Count Billy Varga, Billy Darnell, Paul Boesch, Kit Fox, Donna Christanello, Toru Tanaka, Red Bastien, Ray “Thunder” Sterne, Reggie Parks, Bob Orton Sr., George “Crybaby” Cannon, Vic Christy, Mike Mazurki, and more. Fred Blassie hammed it up the entire night, but Piper was subdued and seemed happy to be out of wrestling, and Dave believes that Piper believes he’s got no intention of wrestling again (though never say never, if his film career doesn’t pan out). Buddy Rogers still has his trademark strut and look of arrogance, and his old manager Bobby Davis was with him. Davis apparently wants to work as a manager in WWF.
  • [Memphis] Lawler and Eddie Gilbert collide in their first match of their feud on March 14. It all started when Jerry Jarrett made an appearance presenting Lance Russel with a plaque for winning best wrestling announcer for his fourth consecutive year as voted by the fans (fun fact - 1987 was Lance Russel’s fourth consecutive year winning the Observer award for best wrestling announcer) and Russel noted that the tv show also won the fan vote for best tv show. Anyway, Eddie Gilbert and Missy Hyatt came out and started arguing and Lawler did a phone interview at the same time where he said he was waiting for a doctor’s clearance to wrestle. The main event of the show this week saw Gilbert vs. Steve Keirn, and Gilbert kept arguing with Jarrett and then Tommy Gilbert got hold of Jarrett and Eddie threw a fireball at him, and Lawler said doctor’s orders or not he was going to get his hands on Eddie Gilbert.
  • The Samoans were supposed to win the tag titles in Memphis on March 7. But they quit the week before the match.
  • March 14 for Memphis will also feature a cage battle royal with a key on a pole. The only way to win is to get the key from the pole and use it to unlock the door and escape. Vinny Russo, is this your idea?
  • Not a lot new in World Class, except for the fact that Al Perez is set to go to the NWA. He was supposedly meant to regain the title from Kerry on March 25 in Dallas.
  • The Fabulous Lance, formerly Lance Von Erich, is rumored to be returning to World Class next month. Last Dave had heard of him, he was wrestling in South Africa. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out, given Fritz tried to bury him and outright stated he wasn’t a real Von Erich after he left.
  • [Stampede] Scott McGhee has returned to Florida to recuperate from his stroke. He’s made good progress, reportedly, but still no indication he’ll ever be able to return to the ring. Indeed, McGhee’s career is over. He’ll do two more one-off matches in 1989 and 2010, but otherwise, he’s past his wrestling days here.
  • The 8-man match on February 27 was, according to Ross Hart, one of the best matches in the history of Stampede. Wayne and Owen Hart teamed with Brian Pillman and Jason the Terrible against Akam Singh, Steve DiSalvo, Gerry Morrow, and Makhan Singh in a match that went 47 minutes and came down to Owen getting pinned by Morrow in the end. Wayne was the first eliminated, and Dave doesn’t know it but this was the last match of Wayne Hart’s in-ring career. I tried to find a video, but I couldn’t find one.
  • Not much news on the AWA front, but they are bringing in a new manager and giving him a big push at their Vegas tapings on March 19. On the one hand, they could have chosen Paul E. Dangerously who is dynamic and great at getting heat with his mic work. But this is the AWA, so they’ll choose someone who has been out of the game for 15 years over a young, hot act. So welcome to the AWA Stan “Big K” Kowalski, whose last relevant work was managing Ivan Koloff and Shozo Kobayashi int the early 1970s.
  • Global hasn’t folded yet, and they recorded six weeks of tv on March 5. The interesting angle saw the evolution of the feud between Col. Kirchner & G.I. Joe Palardy vs. Dr. Red Roberts and V.C. Minh. Last taping, Minh came out with a photo of American soldiers in bodybags being carried home from Vietnam, which caused Kirchner and Palardy to freak out. Roberts, whose gimmick is based on his real life day job as a psychologist, diagnosed Kirchner as having “Patriophobia” and invoked the Baker Act to get Kirchner involuntarily committed to an institution for evaluation. Given Kirchner’s promos, Dave notes that this is entirely consistent with his character, at least. Anyway, shenanigans and such, and the heels win a squash so bad they send out medics, and the medics turn out to be Kirchner and Palardy, who attack and beat up Roberts so badly he declares he’s retiring from wrestling to use his skills in his field to help young men work through drug abuse. Dr. Roberts’ real name is Dr. Michael Brannon, and he’d find himself embroiled in the world of wrestling again in 2001 when the Lionel Tate case happened, providing testimony as an expert against Tate, arguing Tate knew wrestling was fake all along. Who knew that this would tie in so neatly with one of the stories from a recent 2002 rewind?
  • About the only news out of Japan is that All Japan’s March 9 card drew a near sellout for Tenryu vs. Stan Hansen. Tenryu pinned Hansen, Hansen’s third pinfall loss in Japan in seven years, to win the PWF Title, making him a triple champion alongside his United National and PWF Tag Titles.
  • The New York State Athletic Commission showed their double standard against independent groups earlier this month. They wrote a memo to Northeast Championship Wrestling citing Misty Blue’s attire as “too short.” Meanwhile, Vince gets to fly in the face of any and all Athletic Commission rules in the state. Granted, some of the rules are beyond asinine (it’s still illegal for a wrestling promoter to have a financial interest in a wrestler), but come on. It’s ring attire.
  • The Von Erich story in Penthouse looks pretty set for the July issue now. Nope.
  • Queen Kong/Mount Fiji from GLOW and POWW is setting up her own tv show called Rasslin Revival. You didn’t hear it from Dave, because he didn’t write it in the issue, but Queen Kong apparently also invented the phone sex line.
Read: The Woman Who Invented Phone Sex and Wrestled Bears
  • Barry Orton was convicted in his vehicular manslaughter trial. His sentence is six years, but he could be out in under two with good behavior. The conviction comes right as he was starting to do some of the best work of his career, but you know, someone’s dead so that should probably be the key takeaway.
  • A sportscaster who has worked with both Kirk Gibson of the L.A. Dodgers and Hulk Hogan called in to give his opinion on the comparison that was made forever ago and which still comes up in some of the letters. Anyway, the guy says Gibson is an asshole 99% of the time and Hogan is often quite nice and is easily 10 times more popular than Gibson on top of being friendlier in public. Good thing those numbers look reasonable, or I’d suspect the sportscaster’s name was Bulk Bogan.
  • A lot of Crockett contracts are set to expire in May, so expect WWF to make a play for several of them to retaliate for Clash of the Champions.
  • Almost everyone who called Dave this week had something to say about Jim Cornette’s comments on TBS this past Saturday. How the hell did he slip “beating meat” past Standards and Practices?
  • Ted Turner is starting a new tv network in October with a focus on sports and MGM movies, and Crockett may wind up switched to that new network. It’s going to be called TNT. Oh yeah, that network will definitely have wrestling on it in the future.
  • Something Dave does now and again that I usually skip over here is give rankings for who he feels are the top wrestlers. This week he ranks his top 25 men’s tag teams and top 40 men’s singles guys. Owen Hart is #1 for singles guys. Ric Flair has fallen all the way down to #3.
  • Fabulous Lance may not be coming into World Class afterall. Apparently his booker didn’t want him as anything but a babyface, while Fritz wanted him to partner with the Freebirds.
  • The Owen vs. Hercules match was apparently not supposed to be taped, so who knows if it’ll air. It definitely did wind up taped, so that’s all up in the air. It in fact did not air.
  • All charges against David Sammartino have been dropped in the case of the incident with the fan. It made a lot of press nationally for such a small thing, and it did result in David getting fired while other WWF guys have skated by with worse incidents. Apparently the fan was heckling David by using insider terms, which I guess absolves David from any responsibility for putting hands on the guy?
  • A reader writes in that as much as Dave complains about bad taste, he’s put out some really tasteless stuff himself. Namely, putting the info to help Al Blake (Vladmir Petrov) pay his legal expenses given his conviction for drug smuggling, and the writer would probably have let it slide if not for it being the Observer and how many readers “seem to live and die by the gospel according to Dave Meltzer.” The other instance he cites is admittedly less severe, but using one of his trademark denigrating nicknames (“Doggie” in this case) to refer to Maurice “Mad Dog” Vachon regarding the hit and run that cost him his leg strikes the writer as blatant and callous disregard for Vachon’s dignity after what he went through. He also throws a plea to Dave to cover GLOW and POWW, “keeping in mind I’m wasting my time.” Or at least, let the readers vote on it. It’d be a better use of space than covering Central States (and if you’re wondering why you rarely see anything about Central States in the rewinds, it’s because nothing and no one of consequence is there).
NEXT WEEK: Interest in Wrestlemania down, Billy Jack Haynes vs. Don Owen promotional war, Dump retirement ratings hit, syndicated ratings rankings, and more
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2020.08.06 16:56 MatthewMir WWE Network Primer Part 2 - Your guide to every match you should watch on the WWE Network during lockdown/quarantine.

Hi Everyone,
You may know me from my Essential Lists post I have posted throughout the last few years - which you can find here shameless plug I know
Unfortunately where I live in Australia is currently in a Stage 4 COVID-19 Lockdown which has given me some spare time to actually work on a new list - that looks at another top 100 WWE Matches.
These collection of matches are my own personal opinion of the another Top 100 WWE Matches; for this specific list I tried to include more forgotten gems and/or matches that I deserve more love from fans. I have not included Dave Meltzer’s ratings like I usually would on these lists but have decided to use CageMatch Ratings. I understand there is going to plenty of omissions of matches but before you comment saying matches are missing – please look at the original listed which I posted a few months ago. Also since a few people have commented on these posts saying 'stop throwing lists at us with no information' so on a few matches I’ve added a little bit of a backstory for new fans/fans of who haven’t seen the matches, some match details do contain spoilers, so you have been warned. I have also tried to add a link to each match as well; all videos come from the WWE Network.
Alright, now lets start the list:
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2020.08.05 18:06 daprice82 Wrestling Observer Rewind ★ Jul. 22, 2002

Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives.
1-7-2002 1-14-2002 1-21-2002 1-28-2002
2-4-2002 2-11-2002 2-18-2002 2-25-2002
3-4-2002 3-11-2002 3-18-2002 3-25-2002
4-1-2002 4-8-2002 4-15-2002 4-22-2002
4-29-2002 5-6-2002 5-13-2002 5-20-2002
5-27-2002 6-3-2002 6-10-2002 6-17-2002
6-24-2002 7-1-2002 7-8-2002 7-15-2002
  • WWE hit the reset button again with a new storyline assigning general managers to each brand, and it featured the shocking debut of Eric Bischoff. The new storyline will have Bischoff as the heel GM of Raw, while Stephanie McMahon will be the babyface GM of Smackdown, while Vince McMahon will take more of a backseat role and reduce his TV presence. Of course, just 5 weeks ago, Vince panicked and blew up the existing "feuding GMs" storyline between himself and Ric Flair, so now we're re-starting it with new people I guess. It feels like a last-ditch effort to save the brand extension, which has been an utter flop since day one, with no effort to differentiate the shows and only resulting in diluting the talent and falling ratings.
  • Bischoff and McMahon struck a secret deal about 10 days prior to his debut. Bischoff had talks with WWE last year about coming in during the original Invasion angle, except they only wanted him to do a one-off match with Vince for the PPV (which Vince would obviously have won), but Bischoff turned down that offer. But this time, they agreed to a more long-term deal. Bischoff didn't know he was going to debut on Raw until just a day or two prior, when Vince called him and told him to be there. The whole thing was kept secret and almost no one other than Vince himself knew about it. This is believed to be a unique contract, in which it's a short-term deal with the option to renew it for longer-term if the angle gets over. His only role is as a television character, it's strictly a performance contract. Bischoff is not going to be a part of management or creative.
  • When Bischoff walked across the screen in the backstage segment, almost everyone in the company was just as shocked as the viewers at home. Bischoff's debut saw him come out and hug Vince, which Dave thinks about is the dumbest possible way to introduce him. Sure, the Invasion angle is over but WCW's corpse isn't completely cold yet. It's only been a year or so. There is probably still plenty of money to be made in Bischoff as an outsider trying to destroy Vince McMahon and the WWE. But as always, that would involve Vince allowing himself or WWE to look vulnerable against an "outsider" and his utter refusal to do that is a big part of what tanked the Invasion. But that's par for the course. Bischoff cut a promo, giving the fake "WWE version" of the Monday Night Wars history (Dave points out multiple inaccuracies that WWE still clings on today, such as claiming they stole Hulk Hogan from WWF. Of course, Hulk had been in NJPW and hadn't worked for WWF for nearly a year at the time WCW signed him. Things like that.). Dave thinks it became one of those promos full of old stuff or inside references where so much of it is about things that the average fan doesn't know or care about. Dave thinks most of this audience in 2002 isn't familiar with Alundra Blayze, they don't know Raw used to be taped instead of live, and they don't care about 83-week TV ratings streaks (Dave also notes that Bischoff said 84 on this show, which is incorrect). And once again, it became one of those promos talking about how much WWE sucks lately, which is something you don't want to keep pointing out to the fans who are still watching because you just make them feel dumb for supporting something that even the people producing it knows sucks. Shit like that is partly what drove off WCW fans. Bischoff also gloated about almost putting WWE out of business, and to the many guys in the locker room who remember that vividly, it wasn't a joke or a storyline. Those are guys who really were fighting for their job against a guy who really was trying to put them out of business. Bischoff has tremendous heat from the locker room, with a lot of people who worked for him in WCW or who resent him from the WWE side....they don't want Bischoff there.
WATCH: Eric Bischoff debuts in on WWE Raw - 2002
  • This angle was going to take place regardless, but it's thought that the injury to Kevin Nash may have moved things up a couple of weeks because Vince once again panicked when his plans went down in flames. Nash had surgery last week. Because of the location of the tear, it's not quite as serious as the tear Triple H suffered last year. But Nash is also 10 years older. However, he has vowed to return, noting he doesn't want his career to end like that. With his age and his track record of injuries (this is his 22nd surgery, dating back to his collegiate basketball days), Dave isn't sure how much Nash will be able to offer if/when he returns next year. Also, while nobody wanted Nash to get hurt, the mood in the locker room was said to be much happier this week without him around, as the whole Nash/X-Pac/Shawn/Triple H group isn't very well liked these days (the more things change...)
  • Speaking of X-Pac, a weird situation with him this week led to him being suspended by WWE. The day of the Raw when Nash tore his quad, X-Pac missed his flight to the show. Why? Well, he was hospitalized earlier that day in Minneapolis. Again, you ask, why? No idea. Sounds like X-Pac sure would like to know also. He called WWE saying he was in the emergency room and had no idea how he got there. He left the ER and made new travel arrangements and he got to Raw 90 minutes before the show started. And then he went out there that night and worked his match (and Dave says looked more impressive than he had in a long time). However, after the match, he still couldn't explain to WWE officials how or why he was in the hospital earlier that day and so they were naturally suspicious. As a result, X-Pac has been suspended and removed from all upcoming bookings until they get a medical report on what the deal is. Dave says X-Pac has been acting out of control for weeks now and it's been well-documented (threatening to quit if match finishes weren't changed week after week). The feeling backstage was that as long as Nash was around to go to bat for him, he was basically protected, but no longer. With Hall fired, Nash out for probably a year, X-Pac suspended, and Hogan a babyface, the feeling within the company is that the NWO angle is dead. Shawn Michaels is still expected to appear at upcoming house shows and Raws in some new role, since much of the advertising for those shows was based around him appearing, but this is probably the end of the road for the NWO. (This kinda flew under the radar, but yeah, X-Pac never wrestled another match in WWE. The match where Nash tore his quad remains to this day the last time X-Pac ever worked a match in a WWE ring. He gets released soon after this and we all know in retrospect that he was dealing with some drug issues throughout this time).
  • Dave provides some details on Vince Russo's first (and only) creative meeting when he was briefly rehired by WWE last month. Russo apparently proposed a Raw vs. Smackdown feud that would eventually lead to reviving one of them as WCW and reigniting the WCW vs. WWE war. This time, they would have Eric Bischoff leading the WCW side, while Russo suggested Mick Foley as the leader of the WWE side. It was pretty much made clear to Russo during the meeting that if they were to do a Raw vs. Smackdown angle, it would be Stephanie in charge of the WWE side, not Foley, and sure enough, that's what is expected to happen (but without the whole WCW-revival part). Russo's idea was pretty much a combination of the 2001 Invasion angle and the 2000 WCW Bischoff/Russo angle. Dave notes that Russo wanted to essentially start from scratch again, strip everyone of their belts the way they did in 2000, and bring in Bret Hart and Goldberg to be involved as well.
  • A big recap of UFC's debut show in England, which featured rising star Frank Mir getting beat in what should have been an upset, but word is Mir didn't take the fight seriously and barely trained. As a result, he got murked in the first round. Also, while in England, some people in Tito Ortiz's camp got into a big drunken bar brawl with fellow fighter Lee Murray. Chuck Liddell was somewhere involved too. Anyway, long story short, some people tell the story that Murray knocked Ortiz out. Ortiz denies it (to this day, this is a famous MMA story and both men tell different versions, so depending on who you believe I guess).
  • TNA's 4th show ended with a strong angle that actually got them some national publicity. It involved Tennessee Titans players Frank Miller and Zach Piller hopping the rail and attacking Jeff Jarrett and some other wrestlers, resulting in a big brawl to end the show. So how much of it was real or shoot? Well, Russo is involved, so who knows. The official story is that Jarrett and Piller were supposed to shove each other from across the rail, but that's it. From NFL sources, Dave has actually heard the same thing. It was supposed to stop at a shoving confrontation, and then Malice would come pull Jarrett away. That was the story as Russo allegedly wrote it. But reportedly, Piller had been drinking and he ended up hopping the rail and straight up overpowered Jarrett like it was nothing and took him down. Whether this was a shoot or a work is still unknown, but it ended up getting them coverage on SportsCenter and Dave says it's possible it was a work that only a few people were in on. If it was a work, nobody else was in on it. Ron Harris, who works backstage, almost rushed to the ring to save Jarrett and Malice (who wasn't supposed to touch the football players) got involved and broke it up quickly. After the show, the players were backstage laughing and joking with Jarrett and Miller has been openly telling people it was all planned and they were told to make it look as real as possible, but it's still unknown if jumping the rail and tackling Jarrett was part of the plan or not. Several other Titans players were at ringside with them and saw it unfold, but mostly didn't get involved. So now after the publicity, TNA is trying to see if they can make a match out of this. Either way, it's starting to feel like an elaborate work that none of the rest of the roster was clued in on, which is exactly the kind of shit Russo used to do constantly in WCW that soured morale among the locker room, and for this to happen on Russo's first night in, with an angle he wrote, sure feels a little familiar.
WATCH: Tennessee Titans/TNA brawl
  • Puerto Rico's IWA had its most successful show in company history, drawing more than 11,000 fans (without a single WWE name on the card) to see the payoff of an angle with Savio Vega fighting for control of the company. WHO SAID SAVIO AIN'T A DRAW?!
  • On the other side of things, WWC has postponed its anniversary show from August to September in order to give themselves more time to build up big angles and storylines. Seems like something they probably should have been planning earlier? IWA has become the dominant promotion in Puerto Rico and WWC felt they didn't have the build-up necessary to do a big-money show right now. Especially after this IWA show did such big business, anything less would be an embarrassment.
  • Bischoff's debut on Raw was a pretty big hit. How big, you ask? During Bischoff's in-ring promo after his debut, Raw added nearly 1.1 million new viewers from the previous segment. Meaning that as soon as Bischoff walked across the screen backstage, tons of wrestling fans started calling their friends telling them, "Holy shit, Eric Bischoff is on Raw, turn it on!" The bad news is that as soon as Bischoff's promo was over, a lot of them tuned right back out, leading to a huge drop-off for the rest of the show. On the flip side, this week's Smackdown, featuring the heavily-hyped return of The Rock ended up being the 7th lowest rated episode of the show in history (4th if you don't count holidays). Rock's not a draw, bet he won't even be in the business in a couple more years.
  • Kenta Kobashi is finally back in the ring, wrestling undercard prelim tag matches for NOAH. Even though he's in tags and doing limited in-ring work, his knees are said to be already killing him and one of them totally locked up on him after one of his recent matches. But he still hasn't missed any dates.
  • NJPW announced that Kensuke Sasaki will face Pancrase star Minoru Suzuki at the Tokyo Dome in October. This match was actually planned for the big Tokyo Dome show back in May, but negotiations fell apart because Pancrase didn't like the idea of Suzuki doing a worked pro-wrestling match. Suzuki started his career in NJPW back in 1988 and was being groomed to be a big star for the company, but he quit and joined UWF because he preferred to work shoot-style matches. In 1993, he and a few other guys all started Pancrase, which he's been doing ever since. These days, Suzuki's days of fighting for them at a top level are over and he usually only competes against nobodies or in catch wrestling (grappling and submission only, no striking). Anyway, for those curious, this didn't happen. Not sure why yet, I haven't gotten that far, but Suzuki doesn't return to NJPW until 2003.
  • Goldberg is said to be leaning very much against going to WWE anytime soon and is instead eyeing his options of working big shows in Japan. He's contemplating an offer to make an appearance at Toryumon's show in Tokyo in September, but only an appearance. He doesn't plan to wrestle until later in the year (don't think the Toryumon appearance happens, but he does end up working a few matches in Japan here soon).
  • Bret Hart is still hoping to make his scheduled appearance for Jacques Rougeau's upcoming indie show in Montreal. If you recall, Rougeau's big show there last year drew over 11,000 fans and he's got himself another big stadium to fill this year and Bret was expected to be the biggest draw. Whether he'll be healthy enough to make the show, following his recent stroke, remains to be seen but he's determined to try. As of this week, Hart is able to lift his left arm over his head. Just a week ago, he couldn't move it at all. His grip strength is also coming back and he's able to walk short distances. His vocal cords were also damaged but have started strengthening again and he's able to talk again (though he can't cut a wrestling promo yet, Dave says, so he might not be doing much other than coming out and waving to the crowd if he does make it). He's still having some vision problems also, but not too bad all things considered.
  • Dave says that "no matter what you may hear," a lot of people involved in TNA behind the scenes are very unhappy about Vince Russo being brought in. He also says that a lot of people associate Russo and Ed Ferrara together, but they actually had a major falling out awhile back and hadn't been on speaking terms until now. When it became clear Russo was coming back, Ferrara reached out to Russo and the two sides made up. He goes on record saying for sure that neither Mike Tenay or Bill Behrens are happy about Russo's arrival, among others, but says everyone is being professional.
  • Notes from TNA Weekly PPV: Crowd of about 1,500, only about half paid. Dave says it was easily the best of the 4 shows they've had so far. About 85% of it was written and booked by Jerry Jarrett and the original writing team before Russo was hired, but Russo did make some changes. Dave says some people are beginning to get tired of Don West on commentary already and he definitely brings a ton of enthusiasm (but nothing else, Dave adds) to the table. During the Ken Shamrock vs. Omori match, the crowd was distracted by one of the cage dancers near the entrance who was apparently showing her ass to the crowd. Former WCW wrestler Crowbar (real name Chris Ford) worked a tag match under the name Tempest and Dave notes that when Ford worked a try-out match for WWE awhile back, he also signed over the name Crowbar to them when he did (guessing Dave is mistaken about this. He never used the name Crowbar in TNA, but he's been using it everywhere else ever since for the last 18 years). Brian Christopher is now going by his real name, Brian Lawler, and cut a promo on Jerry Lawler about being a bad father. It got a lot of heat but now they've made fans want to see a match that they can't deliver. K-Krush faced NASCAR driver Hermie Sadler and got DQ'd. Dave says Krush was absolutely awesome here, actually carrying Sadler to a watchable match. Sadler was awful of course, but the Gayda/Stratus match from Raw was light years worse, so hey, who cares? TNA tried to bring in Hermie's more famous older brother Elliott Sadler, but that fell through because Elliott has some type of affiliation with WWE, though Dave isn't sure what (I did the research and apparently Elliott drove a Summerslam-themed car during a race around this time, so I assume that's it).
  • More notes from TNA Weekly PPV, since this recap is huge and big, unbroken paragraphs suck: Mark and Jay Brisco worked a brief match until Malice ran in and destroyed everyone (Dave says this was a Russo addition to the show. Dave also says the Briscos will be great some day and notes that on this show, the announcers lied and said both of them are 18, when in fact, Mark Brisco is still 17 and therefore not even allowed to wrestle in many commission states). Former porn star and ECW valet Jasmine St. Claire debuted and gave Jeremy Borash a lap dance, took off her underwear, and was about to strip nude until a big angle stopped it. And yes, in case it wasn't obvious, this was another Russo addition. AJ Styles and Jerry Lynn are the tag team champions and ended up in a big brawl backstage. If you've been paying attention to the show the last 2 weeks, you would have recognized that they were doing a slow build with these two partners having friction, but Russo convinced Jarrett to hurry up and pull the trigger on the split, so here we are. Dave thinks this had no impact at all because it felt completely rushed, the story hadn't progressed far enough yet for these two to already be coming to blows. Another interview with the Dupps saying "shit" repeatedly was, yes, another Russo addition. Try not to cut yourself on all this edginess. Shamrock vs. NOAH star Takao Omori ended in a no contest because of politics. Shamrock was supposed to win clean, but then NOAH decided they didn't want Omori to do a job, so this is what we got. Dave thinks TNA should have said screw them then and just not used Omori because it's not like TNA's fanbase knows who the fuck he is anyway. Omori was said to have been spaced out all day beforehand and looked bad in the match. Crowd didn't care and they pumped in a ton of fake crowd noise for it. Jeff Jarrett ran in and took everyone out with chair shots, including "NWA rep" Harley Race, who ate a brutal unprotected chair shot to the head from Jeff and Dave thinks that's not good for anyone's brain, especially a guy pushing 60. Race was there basically to help Omori since Harley's small promotion in St. Louis has a relationship with NOAH. And finally, the 6-man X-Division #1 contenders match was excellent. Dave thinks WWE really missed the boat on Jerry Lynn and K-Krush. He admits Lynn probably couldn't have ever been a top guy in WWE or anything, but he makes everybody he wrestles look like a million bucks and guys like that are priceless to have on your roster. They also pumped a bunch of crowd noise in for this match, and at one point, the fake crowd noise loop stopped and there was a moment where it went from a loud roaring crowd to dead silence in a blink. Also, a fight in the stands distracted the crowd near the end. But great match otherwise. Show ended with the Titans players angle.
  • In other news, The Shane Twins have been working as the masked penis wrestlers The Johnsons in TNA but the penis aspect of it has been played down to almost nothing. Upcoming plans were for the team to unmask and revert back to the Shane Twins, but when Russo came aboard, that plan got scrapped and they will remain The Johnsons for now. Because dammit, Russo will get to make penis jokes on TV or he's going to die trying.
  • Many of the key names in TNA (Shamrock, AJ Styles, Jerry Lynn, Mike Tenay, among others) have now signed 1-year contracts. Scott Hall was rumored to have also signed a 1-year deal, but Hall is telling people it's not true and he's only committed for 4 more dates. Low-Ki is signed through the end of the year.
  • At the recent K-1 vs. PRIDE show, there was a huge upset when PRIDE fighter Quinton Jackson knocked out Cyril Abidi, one of the top kickboxers in the world. The "plan" was for Abidi to win and then go on to a bigger money match with Don Frye, but that's what happens when you try to plan things around a shoot.
  • And I'm sorry, I know this ain't an MMA recap, but this is too good: at the UFC press conference for the UK show this week, Dana White showed up with a bag filled with $250,000 in cash and challenged UK boxing promoter Frank Warren to put up any fighter in his stable and White would find a UFC fighter of the same weight to fight him, winner takes all the money. If you recall, Warren made some statements a few weeks back calling UFC fighters unskilled steroid freaks and claiming that his boxers could beat any of them in a real fight. So Dana showed up with a whole bag of cash, doing Dana things.
  • Notes from Raw: Vince came out to the NWO music and said that's the last time we'll ever hear it and that the NWO is dead, so as expected, that's it for that gimmick. Tommy Dreamer is back to his old ECW gimmick and is already 1000x more over than the jobber-eating-gross-stuff gimmick WWE gave him. There was a Coach/Booker T segment backstage which is when Eric Bischoff walked through the shot, leaving everybody with their mouths hanging open, and then his promo. Another hype video for Rey Mysterio debuting on Smackdown next week. Former WCW wrestler and recent developmental guy Johnny The Bull made his Raw debut winning the hardcore title, and Dave is baffled how he got the call up because he's one of the worst guys they have in developmental and is nowhere near ready. But it's all about how he looks. Undertaker & Lesnar beat RVD & Flair in the main event and afterward, Lesnar turned on Undertaker in a good angle, though Dave doesn't have high hopes for the inevitable match.
WATCH: Rey Mysterio debut vignette
  • Notes from Smackdown: it was a pretty bad show and for a pretty surprising reason. It was all built around Rock and he was awful. Rather than trying to sell a PPV, he came off like he was trying too hard to be a funny, "cool" guy and became a parody of himself. Dave is a huge Rock fan and thinks it was painful. He did a big in-ring promo segment with rapper Busta Rhymes that was just an elaborate plug for his new Halloween: Resurrection movie ("coming out in July?" Dave asks incredulously and, right, wtf?). Even Rock using Angle's own ankle lock against him at the end of the show looked hilariously fake and Dave has no interest in the Rock/Angle match at Vengeance after this show. Edge & Hogan defending the tag titles was a super heated match and Dave can't understand it. The live crowds are still nuclear hot for Hogan, but it's not translating at all into TV ratings or ticket sales. But man, the people who do buy tickets sure do love him. They seem to be slow-burning a Randy Orton heel turn. The Nidia segment at the buffet was great and Dave thinks they may have stumbled across a pretty great gimmick with her.
WATCH: The Rock & Busta Rhymes Smackdown segment
  • The crew got a little backstage pep talk before Raw this week, mostly given by the agents (John Laurinaitis, Arn Anderson, and Fit Finlay) as well as Triple H. In particular, Triple H talked about there being too many people in the locker room who think they deserve a push ahead of the newer guys because they've been there longer. He said too many guys are sitting back waiting for someone to give them a push rather than breaking out from the pack and earning the push. He said he got over on his own when management was trying to hold him down after the MSG curtain call incident. Said too many guys are being lazy, playing cards and playing video games backstage rather than watching the matches and learning. He said just because you've had a few good matches on TV doesn't mean you know how to work or deserve a push, and also said everyone needs to work harder at house shows because attendance is down and it was guys like him who worked hard to re-build the company the last time business was down. Needless to say, for a locker room full of people who feel like they bust their asses only to get their legs cut off and hit a glass ceiling (often at the hands of the same guy giving the speech), this went over just about as well as you'd expect with the rest of the locker room. Not that anything Triple H said is wrong. Dave agrees with most of it. But considering who the messenger was, it was not well-received.
  • Lots of backstage talk about last week's Bradshaw/Trish Stratus vs. Chris Nowinski/Jackie Gayda match, which was among the worst matches anyone has seen in years. Fit Finlay is the usual trainer and agent for the women and usually goes over their matches and spots with them, but in this case, Sgt. Slaughter put together this match. Gayda missed a few spots early in the match and seemed to panic and it all fell apart from there. Backstage, she was fully aware of how bad it was and was said to be extremely upset. There's been talk of sending her down to OVW for more training, but she'll probably still be on TV because she's fresh off winning Tough Enough.
  • Steve Austin hasn't had any contact with anyone in WWE except for Jack Lanza, who was the agent Austin often worked with for his matches. All that's known now is Austin told Lanza he's still training hard and Lanza felt like he's getting antsy sitting at home and may be ready to return already (I think he's got bigger problems at home). But Austin and Vince still have not spoken and there's still a lot of bad feelings there.
  • In light of recent events, Dave digs up the transcript from an old Prodigy online chat from 1996, in which Eric Bischoff was asked if he would ever work for Vince McMahon. His response: "I would rather chew off my fingers."
  • Writer Brian Gewertz reportedly has some heat over Raw's declining ratings. The problem is, no matter who it is (Gewertz, Heyman, Russo, or even Stephanie), the final approval for everything you see on television comes down to Vince McMahon. He deserves the credit when it's good and the blame when it's bad, end of story. It's a common occurrence for Vince to rip up a script and tell the writers to come up with something new, so any bad segment that makes it to TV is on him, and resulting in lots of last minute changes. Some people are even blaming Gewertz for Kevin Nash's recent injury because Gewertz wrote the match into the script the day of the show, so Nash wasn't even aware he was going to be wrestling until a couple hours before they went on the air and I guess he didn't have time to properly stretch and get ready, and ended up tearing his quad 10 seconds in. Same thing with Cena's debut, that was a day-of decision, and luckily Cena was already on the road with the crew working dark matches, so he was available. But again, Dave says you can't blame Gewertz for either of those things because, once again, it's Vince who is constantly changing his mind and forcing last minute rewrites and whatnot every week. How is Gewertz or any other writer supposed to build long-term stories under those conditions? (Man, this sure feels familiar)
  • Latest on DDP, he and wife Kimberly are planning on moving from Atlanta to Los Angeles to try their hand at acting careers. They've both saved a lot of money from their years in wrestling and can afford to take a chance on this kind of thing I guess. (DDP has done a handful of acting roles, mostly in the mid-00s, but obviously nothing of note. And Kimberly Page did a few movies, including a starring role with DDP in a movie called The Scam Artist that I can't find anywhere, and of course, her most famous role as "chick who's tit fell out" in The 40 Year Old Virgin).
  • Randy Orton suffered a concussion in a house show match with Batista. Orton was trying to sell a clothesline by flying in the air and taking a big flat back bump, but hit his head on the mat coming down and was knocked unconscious. He should be back in a week or so though, because it's not like concussions are serious injuries or anything. EMT's helped him out of the ring and he walked to the back under his own power but he was knocked clean the fuck out for a bit there.
  • This week's episode of WWE Confidential featured Big Show and Bradshaw playing a game of HORSE with the winner "getting a shot to sexually harass Linda Miles." So obviously they're out of ideas for this show. (Yeah JBL is on some full-blown Jerry Lawler shit with Miles here).
WATCH: JBL perving on Linda Miles for 5 minutes under the guise of playing basketball
  • John Cena is still finishing up in OVW and working the upcoming big Six Flags show in Louisville. Despite being a big babyface on TV, he's still a heel in OVW and is playing a gimmick where his main roster success is going to his head.
  • The New York Daily News ran a story on the "Sex, Lies & Headlocks" book that is coming out soon about Vince McMahon and noted several revelations in the book, such as Vince being paranoid about his office being bugged in 1993 prior to the steroid trial and how he wouldn't sit or talk near windows because he thought the FBI was listening in. It also talked about how Vince gave a job interview to Matt Lauer to host the WBF Bodystars show but didn't think Lauer had the right look, among other things. When asked for comment, WWE responded "No one in WWE has any interest in reading it. No one cares to." Dave says that's 2002 carny talk for, "Can you get us an advance copy?"
NEXT WEDNESDAY: Raw appears to turn a corner (lol no), WWE making major cutbacks and severing developmental ties, TNA also making major budget cuts, WWE Vengeance fallout, and more...
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2020.07.30 18:00 SaintRidley Wrestling Observer Rewind ★ Feb. 29, 1988

Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words, continuing in the footsteps of daprice82. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives.
The Complete Observer Rewind Archive by daprice82
1-4-1988 1-11-1988 1-18-1988 1-25-1988
2-1-1988 2-8-1988 2-15-1988 2-22-1988
Rewinder note: Sorry about missing last week. Should be looking good going forward, just last week left no time for this.
  • Crockett has taken a page out of WWF’s playbook and announced a card to counterprogram Wrestlemania. Not all the details are known yet, but on March 27 Crockett’s NWA will run a 2.5 hour show from 4 pm to 6:30 pm, the same time slot WW has reserved for Wrestlemania (remember when Wrestlemania was less than 3 hours?). It’s probable that this show will be held at the Greensboro Coliseum, and it’s being billed as some kind of “Clash of the Champions” and is expected to be packed with seven main event level matches. Flair defending against Sting will headline, along with Dusty and the Road Warriors vs. the Powers of Pain and Ivan Koloff in a barbed wire match, Tully and Arn vs. Windham and Luger for the NWA tag titles, Midnight Express vs. the Fantastics for the U.S. tag titles, Mike Rotunda vs. Jimmy Garvin for the TV title in an amateur rules match, Zbyszko vs. Shane Douglas, and tentatively Kerry and Kevin Von Erich are scheduled for this and the Crockett Cup. That last is huge, as it means there’s an open line of communication between Crockett and Ken Mantell.
  • As for Wrestlemania, the card is set for that now. The tournament is the main point of the card, but there will also be a few other matches. Honkeytonk Man vs. Brutus Beefcake match for the IC Title is one, and Dave expects a title change here or sooner than Wrestlemania. Dave hears that Honkeytonk isn’t going to be punished for refusing to drop the belt, but it’s hard to imagine they won’t make an example of him so nobody else gets any bright ideas about refusing to go along with storylines. The British Bulldogs and Koko B. Ware vs. The Islanders and Bobby Heenan is also on the docket, while Demolition and Strike Force will fight for the tag titles. Lastly, Hercules Hernandez takes on Warrior, and a battle royal will feature all those unfortunate no-talent bums who just can’t earn a spotlight match on the card like Sam Houston, Bret Hart, and Harley Race. Celebrity appearances are to include Vanna White as guest timekeeper, Robin Leach of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous presenting the title to the winner of the tournament (looks like a sign DiBiase will win), and Bob Uecker returning as ring announcer and color commentator.
  • So will Clash of the Champions hurt Wrestlemania? Yes and no. Wrestlemania is theoretically an 18 match card, though double eliminations will probably help bring it down to around 16, and that many matches on a card for a 2.5 hour show (not to mention the ridiculous length of WWF ring entrances, intermissions, and other assorted nonsense they tend to pack a show full of) means most matches won’t even top 5 minutes (more on the length of the show next week: spoilers, Wrestlemania is closer to 4 hours). The card for Wrestlemania is honestly just not good. Dave thought the tournament was a stroke of genius at first, but the layout and talent in it make it much weaker than it should be. Hogan, who is the big marquee guy, is now just one of the boys here, and that means there’s no real main event to hype up because the tournament means they can’t build the show around Hogan vs. DiBiase or Hogan vs. Andre. And that probably hurts impulse purchases on ppv. It makes some sense to make Hogan one of the boys if he’s taking the summer off, though, and all indications point that way, because the goal is to make the belt the main draw of the company independent of Hogan. But that’s unlikely to work. No belt today can draw on its own. Hogan is a draw. Flair is a draw. Hennig and Perez aren’t draws, with or without belts. There’s no difference between a show where Flair defends the belt and one where he’s in a tag match, and the same goes for Hogan: they’re the draws, and fans don’t care about the belt. And you’ll notice not one word of that has a thing to do with whether Crockett will hurt WWF on Wrestlemania with their show. And that’s because for the most part, any damage done to Wrestlemania is WWF’s own fault for booking the show they’ve booked. Wrestlemania 4 will be a success. No question there, and there’s zero chance Crockett can ruin the show with their counteroffer. What they can do is cost WWF a bit of money, just like WWF did to them in January. There is a chunk of WWF’s potential market for Wrestlemania who will watch Crockett’s show instead because it is free and Wrestlemania costs $20. Wrestlemania will be a success because it’s Wrestlemania and last year’s show earned a lot of good will in the fans’ eyes as a can’t-miss show like the Super Bowl. So Crockett will have a small effect, and probably cost WWF serious money, but in the grand scheme of things it won’t be a big blow. Crockett stands to do well, as most of the country can’t get ppv so they ought to get a pretty solid rating, while WWF will most probably have a similar buyrate to last year and pull in around $18 million (which will net the company $9 million after cable gets their cut). And that’s not touching closed-circuit, which WWF will do well with, but that’s where Crockett can cost them money. Being a free alternative will probably knock off about 10% of WWF’s closed-circuit viewership, possibly more if they build well since WWF has booked Wrestlemania the way they have. And still, there’s taking into consideration the reality of what happened in January. Can Crockett get past the negative reception of its last few big shows against WWF’s run of well-received big shows?
  • Finally, something different, it's Road Warrior Animal injury update time. Dave knows he’s made errors and wants to get everything straight in one go here. So. Animal was legit injured on January 29 in Pittsburgh. Warlord, not Barbarian, Samoan dropped Animal. It was done wrong or Animal bumped wrong or just freak accident, but thebone above Animal’s eye got smashed badly, and it wasn’t known how bad right away. He went to Greensboro for the weightlifting competition the next day, and they were worried about pressure on the eye, so while they used legit weights they just called out fake numbers (as opposed to WWF, which went with fully gimmicked weights for theirs). After the competition, Animal went to the hospital and they discovered he had a detached retina, broken bone, and his eye was knocked half an inch into his forehead. He had eye surgery, and they’re advertising his return for this coming week. No word on if that’s going to happen or not, though - they were pushing that he’d return in Philly last week when they knew he wasn’t going to be. More on this next week, because Dave keeps finding this story to change on him.
  • [Alabama/Knoxville] The Continental split-up finally went down. The Knoxville territory will be called USA Pro Wrestling and will be running east Tennessee, with Ron Fuller running the show. Their roster includes Mongolian Stomper, Buddy Landel, the Rock & Roll RPMs (Mike Davis and Tommy Lane) as USA Tag champions, Hector Guerrero, Doug Furnas (injured with a concussion), “Bullet” Bob Armstrong, Austin Idol, and a few other names. Continental Championship Wrestling will remain in Alabama and start running Northwest Florida again as well, with David Woods running the promotion. Dutch Mantell, Wendell Cooley (currently out with a broken kneecap), Lord Humongous (Sid Eudy) and Detroit Demolition (Randy Culley, aka Moondog Rex, who actually was part of the original Demolition while Barry Darsow grew his hair out, and still wearing Demolition gear) managed by Downtown Bruno (later on it turns out Culley is not being managed by Bruno and is instead the fourth member of a stable including Robert Fuller, Dutch Mantell, and Jimmy Golden as a weak imitation of the Four Horsemen called the Studs), Dirty White Boy Tony Anthony (and Mystic as Dirty White Girl), Tom Prichard, Scott Hall, Robert Fuller and Jimmy Golden as tag champs, and some others.
  • Memphis is going to start on Financial News Network on April 2 and run weekly on Saturday nights at 9 pm eastern. Don’t rest on this info, as it’s outdated by next week. The network has discussed possibly running New Japan on Sunday nights, but Dave thinks it’s so unlikely to actually happen he shouldn’t have bothered typing it.
  • There’s been a fund set up to help pay Al Blake’s (Vlaidimir Petrov) legal expenses. Blake was convicted a few months ago for cocaine trafficking. Dave gives the info for people to write in and get more information about the fund.
  • Billy Jack Haynes has been granted a promoter’s license in Oregon and started a promotion called Oregon Wrestling Federation. He apparently plans to hold six shows a week in Oregon, with himself as top babyface. Haynes will now be in direct competition with both Don Owen and Vince McMahon. Plans are to have a roster of about 14-16 wrestlers, but no names are official yet, and there’s rumor that he’ll get tv in Portland on the local ABC affiliate. Haynes plans to concentrate on big guys rather than small guys like most of the regional territories now focus on. The only name that anyone knows he has contacted is Tom Zenk. Owen also runs Washington, but no plans currently exist for Haynes to run up there. Owen’s promotion has been around since the 1920s, and there’s really not room for two regional promotions, so this should be interesting to see how it shakes out. Also interesting to see what happens with Haynes wrestling - reports from WWF indicate that he left because of poor health due to a heart condition. It’s really hard to find any real information with a quick google search, but I strongly suspect that this venture goes under before the year is out.
  • The Simmons Research Bureau released its annual sports demographics statistics for this year, and pro wrestling is one of the sports they cover. Some good news and some bad news for wrestling, of course, and the accuracy of these numbers is debatable, but they are important in that they are perceived as facts by advertising firms and thus these are very important for figuring out advertising rates. In good news: wrestling supposedly saw a 5% increase in viewers over the past year with 30.3 million adult viewers, ranking 7th behind pro football, MLB, college football, the NBA, college basketball, and boxing. Sports viewing on the whole was down 5.6% though, and wrestling and the NBA were the only top 10 sports to see an increase (boxing was down 16.4% from last year). Dave doesn’t really take the report seriously because of its findings on roller derby. Derby supposedly saw a 29.8% increase over last year, but Dave thinks that’s just preposterous, as just two years ago roller derby had national coverage on ESPN and drew good ratings, and last year they weren’t even on the list while this year it was 20th out of 21 listed). This year? No new tapes for syndication, one Derby group isn’t even running, and the other hasn’t made new tv in over a year. So the idea that they have been getting more viewers (to the tune of a 29% increase) without putting out new material for tv is just absurd. Setting that aside, the bad news is wrestling’s demographics are considered less desirable by advertisers. The raw numbers look good and might make it a good buy for advertisers, but they’ll pay less for ad time because wrestling viewership isn’t dominated by the demographics advertisers want to market to. Wrestling, according to Simmons, is strongest among Black folks, 18-24 year old men, men more than women (61% of the audience is men, 39% women) in general, low income families, people who have less than a high school education, and single adults. In short, advertisers will look at this and conclude wrestling fans are stupid, poor, and too young (18-24 men don’t have the same level of disposable income as another age bracket up) and Black to be worth the effort of spending large amounts of money to try and reach for little perceived return.
  • A correction on Crockett Cup - it’s set for April 22/23 in Greensvile, S.C. for the first day and Greensboro for the second day. Seedings will likely be announded on March 27, and Dave recommends readers (a lot of readers typically have attended the Cup) stay in Charlotte since it’s halfway between both sites.
  • Wrestlemania tickets should be sold out by the time this issue reaches readers. After figuring out exactly how many freebies they’re giving, somewhere between 7,000 and 9,000 tickets were being held out of 18,165 total seats. As of February 19, around 1,500 tickets were left to be sold, and paid attendance will be in the 15,000 range. That means roughly 3,000 freebies.
  • The Penthouse story on the Von Erichs has been delayed again. The earliest it’ll appear is August, and given the history of the family, they’ll likely suffer one real tragedy, two fake tragedies, and find a new fake relative all before the issue hits newsstands.
  • Paul E. Dangerously had a hilarious promo moment in Southern Championship Wrestling while interviewing Randy Rose. Paul was saying he doesn’t care how much money it costs, he’s going to do away with Tommy Rich, and Rose pulls out his wallet and throws a bunch of dollar bills in the air. Paul just looks at him and says something along the lines of “I see you cashed Verne’s check.”
  • The Bunkhouse Stampede finals did a 3.5% buyrate out of 6 million available homes, which means roughly 200,000 buys. Gross revenue should be in the $3 million range, with JCP getting about half. Dave’s sources said anything higher than 3% would be profitable, so the show wasn’t a bomb financially, but it definitely could have been better.
  • [Memphis] Over here the AWA tag titles are held up between the Rock & Roll Express and the Midnight Rockers. The finish on February 15 in Memphis saw a ref bump, and then a second referee came out, and both referees counted simultaneous pins for each side. The next day in Lousiville (which drew 3,000, when normally they draw 1,000) they repeated the finish, and probably did the same the next night in Evansville as well. So there will be rematches in each city as well to decide the champion. Ah the days of non-televised shows being the important thing, so you could do this sort of thing and really make the title histories convoluted and confusing.
  • [Memphis] Missy Hyatt showed up on February 20’s tv in Memphis with Doug Gilbert. She avoided the subject of Eddie Gilbert, who hasn’t made an appearance, but that’s obviously going to happen. The story as Dave understands is that Gilbert was fired by Crockett for missing two tv tapings nobody had told him he was supposed to be at. It’s a miracle he lasted as long as he did anyway, considering he somehow got into the position of UWF booker for the UWF vs. NWA feud and wound up outlasting all the ex-UWF guys except Black Bart, Sting, and Rick Steiner.
  • New to Memphis is an opening act heel guy named Scotty the Body. Dave’s heard of him from some independent promotion somewhere, but the guy isn’t getting a push, and from what Dave’s heard of his ability, he doesn’t deserve one. Eh, never say nevermore, because this is the Observer debut of Raven.
  • [Oregon] The Frank Bonema Memorial show on February 16 was a major disappointment, only drawing 600. The matches were all good, at least. The Grappler beat Hennig for the AWA title after using a loaded boot, but the promoter later on said he was ordered by AWA president Stanley Blackburn to hold up the title (which means the title is held up in both Minneapolis and Oregon). Given the time difference, fans in Oregon must be expected to believe Blackburn is the hardest working president in wrestling, since it was well past midnight in Minneapolis when he supposedly made the call to hold the title up.
  • Stampede is being forced into a smaller building due to the Olympics being in Calgary. The building they have to work with seats 950, and with all the competition around town they’ll not be able to draw very well in all likelihood. And even after the Olympics, with how much money the event takes out of the economy, they’re likely to still have problems for a while.
  • In what will remain of Continental (Alabama), Scott Hall is being set up to feud with Lord Humongous (Sid Eudy). Hall is improving, but is nowhere near ready to have a good match with Humongous, who is just awful. Probably too much softball stunting his ability.
  • Is the world ready for a Von Erich comic book? No, not really, but we're getting one anyway. Creative Ink of Tyler, Texas is scheduling the March release of “The Saga of the Von Erich Warriors” in which Kerry, Kevin, and Fritz are taken from Earth to the planet Namoria to rescue the Namorians from attackers from the planet Nefarian. The comic winds up not coming out until 1989, and it’s a one off single issue.
Read: The Saga of the Von Erich Warriors
  • If Ken Mantell and Jim Crockett can strike a deal, expect Flair vs. Kerry Von Erich in Texas Stadium in May. Don't hold your breath. WCCW has started doing okay business again (okay, however, does not translate to taking Crockett’s place as the number 2 promotion like some people who have way too many drugs in their system think), so that’s probably helpful to negotiations.
  • WCCW has cut ticket prices to $5 for their February 22 Fort Worth show, headlined by the Thunderdome cage match. The Von Erichs and Steve and Schaun Simpson and Bill Irwin will face Buddy Roberts and King Parsons and Rip Morgan and Angel of Death and Eric Embry in a cage match where all ten men are in the ring tornado style, and each time a guy gets pinned he gets handcuffed to the corner and when all members of a team are handcuffed their opponents get to uncuff their partners and beat the losers for five minutes without a referee.
  • WCCW came up with something Dave thinks is even dumber than buying a belt. On February 14 (Dave has the 15th), the Texas tag titles were contested in a best two of three falls, where the final fall went to a double countout. So they brought out a deck of cards and each team drew a card, with the high card winning the titles. So John Tatum and Jack Victory won by drawing the high card against the Fantastics.
  • No word yet from AWA’s Feb 20 Las Vegas tapings before they go on hiatus other than the Rock & Roll Express debuted (or were scheduled to, update on this below) as babyfaces. Obviously that’s a silly move, since they have a natural feud with the Midnight Rockers if they were heels and they have always been booed in the Twin Cities. Also Tom Zenk quit the AWA on the day of the taping just as they were setting up for a feud between him and Curt Hennig (also an update on Zenk below). Zenk knows his worth, though, and he knows he’s not going to be paid decently to actually wrestle in AWA, so it’s not worth doing. Also, he seems to have no idea what the thinking behind having him debut in a draw with Billy Robinson before going on to feud with Hennig.
  • Speaking of AWA pay, Hennig isn’t the only one who will be paid while AWA is on hiatus. Kevin Kelly and Madusa are also on guarantees, although theirs are substantially less than Hennig’s Hennig is getting around $1500 per week, while they’re on under $300 per week. Better than nothing, though.
  • Here’s the current situation with the tag titles and world title in AWA. So the tag titles are currently held up in three different cities, but everywhere else the Midnight Rockers are definitively the tag champions. As for the world title, that’s held up in two cities and they have different challengers with claims to the title in those cities. Totally not a headache to keep track of.
  • Verne Gagne and Wally Karbo’s lawsuit has been settled out of court. Karbo was Gagne’s partner and co-founder of the AWA when they broke away from the NWA back in 1960, and he sold his interest in the company to Gagne in 1985, from which I suspect this lawsuit emerged. From piecing info together (none of the newsletters to this point that I have contain anything about the lawsuit, and this isn’t easy to pull from the internet either), it looks like Gagne was unable or unwilling to pay what he owed to Karbo in full, so Karbo sued, and here we are with the settlement. Dave’s gotten two stories out of this settlement: one has Verne agreeing to pay in full by March 1, while one report says Karbo is settling for getting 10 cents on the dollar of what he’s owed. Maybe we’ll learn more in the future, because it’s an interesting piece of info about the death spiral of the AWA.
  • Former UWF TV Champion Savannah Jack has developed serious heart problems. Serious enough he may need a heart transplant. He’s still working as a manager right now for Pro Wrestling America. Don’t worry - Savannah Jack will pull through this one.
  • POWW is scheduling 20 dates in March. A few of their women can work, but most are trying to get exposure to launch into modeling or film acting, which, hey, do what you gotta do to make it. The pay for them is pretty good, Dave hears, but the issue is that their training hasn’t really given them enough to really make it in wrestling for any of them who choose to try - the ex-GLOW girls in particular apparently don’t even know what spots are, let alone how to do them. It makes the matches between the women who can work and those who can’t really bad.
  • Global Wrestling in Florida has lost all their big name talent except Colonel Kirchner. Dave says they’ve become the “only amateur pro wrestling organization in the country” if you get what he’s saying.
  • A Muscular Dystrophy auction at a new york night club saw a bunch of sports memorabilia auctioned off, including a pair of Bruiser Brody’s boots. The boots sold for $500.
  • There’s a new book by Jim Friedman called Drawing Heat coming out. Dave’s going to read it this week and give impressions, but his initial impression is that it’s a smart analysis of how wrestling has changed over the years.
  • Apparently on their last Japan tour, Abdullah the Butcher and TNT had some issues. TNT refused to work with Abby for a few days, feeling like he was being held back to make Abby look better, but they resolved it. Likewise, Tatsumi Fujinami boycotted a card where he was supposed to team with Inoki because Inoki’s ego is planet-sized. But that has also been worked out.
  • Very little of the New Japan jr. heavyweight tournament was broadcast in Japan. TV Asahi believes that jr. heavyweight matches between Japanese guys don’t create much in the way of viewer interest, and were really only interested in the matches pitting a Japanese guy against a foreigner.
  • All Japan is putting Killer Khan, Tiger Chung Lee, and Shunji Takano in Tenryu’s Revolution group. Khan and Lee are on the older side and it just makes Dave wish Baba would invest more in younger talent. Takano has excellent potential with this group, at least. I'll be keeping an eye on this - 1988 is where Revolution starts picking up steam.
  • John Tenta is a candidate for most improved in Japanese Wrestling Journal for 1988. He throws the best dropkick in the entire business and makes the Road Warriors look like kids. His dropkick is so good it's actually his photo on Wikipedia
  • According to Japanese Wrestling Journal, the December 27 New Japan show where the fans rioted in Sumo Hall drew massive ratings when Takeshi Kitano appeared. Dave just quotes a translation of what the journal says and I’ll do it here too:
It started off with a 6 rating while Kobayashi wrestled Hase for the jr. title however it drew nearly a 17 rating at its peak when Takeshi Kitano, one of the top comedians in Japan, appeared at the Sumo Hall for the first time. This means that Takeshi has strong ratings power for TV. This is the reason Inoki and TV Asahi joined hands with the famous comedian. However, Takeshi’s angle is fading out because of the riot held in the Sumo Hall. To make matters worse, New Japan is banned from using the Sumo Hall “for good.” There is nothing wrong with Takeshi being involved in the business since the TV was in a critical situation and New Japan had to take desperate steps to keep the show in prime time, but the plan backfired due to Inoki’s ego.
  • AWA update - the Rock and Roll Express didn’t show up to the Vegas taping. So Paul Diamond and Pat Tanaka got a non-title match with the Midnight Rockers and won that.
  • [WWF] Cuban Assassin and Badnews Brown almost had an incident at the WWF tv tapings on February 16 and 17 in Wichita and Topeka, Kansas. Brown was chasing Assassin around with a chair. Apparently there’s some bad blood between them (and their wives got into it as well) stemming from their Calgary days that led to Assassin leaving Calgary. I guess nothing actually happened beyond the chase with the chair, though, because Dave doesn’t say anything else.
  • Recent AWA shows have been drawing between 42 and 300 fans. The Baron Von Raschke vs. Sheik Adnan grudge match they taped at the Vegas taping will definitely boost those numbers. Yesiree.
  • Tom Zenk apparently left AWA because they kept blowing him off when he asked for guaranteed money. Verne, you can’t expect people to stick around if you won’t pay them.
  • The AWA Title situation remains screwed up, but that’s pretty normal. On the February 21 airing of their Minneapolis tv show, Verne said all the midwestern promoters want to recognize Greg Gagne as champion and said if Stanley Blackburn doesn’t like it, then maybe AWA should get a new president. And thus Stanley Blackburn has been put in the position of being the top heel in the promotion, a full decade before Vince McMahon would actually successfully position himself the same way. Verne also compared this to the situation that led to the formation of the AWA in the first place - the Lou Thesz vs. Edouard Carpentier match in 1957 where Carpentier beat Thesz in two falls (one by DQ) and the NWA wouldn’t recognize the Carpentier as champion but all the midwestern promoters decided to recognize Carpentier as the legitimate champion (and the NWA would eventually pretend Carpentier’s reign never happened at all), which led to them uniting under Verne and Karbo a few years later when Verne beat Carpentier (by countout in the third fall) and forming the AWA. Dave’s not sure what to make of all this, but there seems to be a lot of pressure on Hennig and AWA seems to be holding Greg as an option to cover their asses if Hennig does something. But Hennig really hurt himself bad taking a bad neck and shoulder bump and is supposed to be resting, but instead he worked Vegas and Portland and the AWA office is mad that he’s missed shows (maybe they’re looking for an excuse to cut his guarantee given their financial situation). Dave just hopes Crockett’s people wake up, because Hennig would make a perfect fourth Horseman.
Watch: Gagne vs. Carpentier for the World Title in the match that launched the AWA
  • WTBS has extended its contract with Crockett through 1994. There are a bunch of changes to the tv on TBS as well. The Saturday morning studio show is now becoming NWA Pro on a one-hour delay. The Saturday evening show will almost always be in-studio, and Sunday will be in the arena every week beginning in April with high caliber matches (they’re looking at only 3-4 matches per week for that, which should give the show decent length for undercard matches and 20 minutes for the main event). The Sunday show is aimed at getting ratings up (workrate = ratings, you know), and Saturday is mainly to build house show interest. And the TBS shows will now all be part of the syndicated package, and that should boost their syndicated rating to around the 8.5 level, which is just 1.5 points behind WWF and should get them decent ad sales income through TV.
  • Talks between Crockett and Mantell have gotten “real cold” as of the latest info. Dave’s thinking nothing’s going to come of it at this point.
  • FlaiSting at Clash of the Champions will have J.J. Dillon in a cage above the ring. They’ll also have three judges to decide the match in the event of a time-limit draw. TBS has also agreed to four Clash-like specials per year and Turner signed a five year deal with Crockett to co-promote ppv cards together. So look to Crockett to try to do another ppv this year.
  • A reader suggests that since the Von Erichs keep winning Most Disgusting Promotional Tactic that Dave should rename the award. The Fritz Von Erich Promotional Tactic of the Year would allow Dave to stop spilling so much ink on how scummy the Von Erichs are and instead allow a quick reminder without having to go into detail. It's funny, because this is the last year the Von Erichs will ever win the award. Fritz's fake heart attack will win for 1988 - next year WWC will win for pushing Invader #1 (fuck Invader #1) a year after he murdered Bruiser Brody, the 90s are pretty evenly between WCW and WWF, and from 2001 on WWF/E only loses this award twice: TNA in 2007 (signing Pacman Jones) and Bellator in 2016 (Kimbo vs. Dada 5000). Really, it's the Vince McMahon Promotional Tactic of the year award at this point in all but name.
  • Did you know that Boris Malenko was apparently blacklisted out of the mainstream promotions back in 1972? I didn’t. But apparently it followed a babyface turn in Florida where he teamed with Eddie Graham’s son Mike. Dave’s not sure why he got blacklisted, only that it was pretty common at that time. He did briefly go to Texas in 1972, maybe that had something to do with it?
  • Magnum T.A.’s latest on-air protege is Shane Douglas. In other Magnum news, his doctors have told him he ought to be able to start jogging again by summer.
  • Crockett is working with the people behind the Candian tv show Learning the Ropes that is being offered up for syndication soon. It’s a comedy about a school teacher whose night job is as a masked wrestler and features clips of NWA wrestlers in character, and if it’s a hit this could help Crockett get some of their guys to become real celebrities. Needless to say, you probably don't remember this show because it wasn't a hit, and if it does ring a bell it's probably thanks to Brian Zane or Wrestlecrap.
Watch: Learning the Ropes opening
Watch: Wrestling with Wregret's review of Learning the Ropes
  • Reports of Crockett’s demise are greatly exaggerated. They drew $350,000 last weekend alone, so they’re still going reasonably strong.
  • Big praise for the Varsity Club in the NWA. Dave’s amazed at how well the gimmick has helped Mike Rotundo turn things around when his career appeared to be stagnating.
  • Although nearly everyone agrees Sting has surpassed Luger, Luger’s still the guy Crockett’s going to be putting time into as the young babyface. Luger’s still going to get all the chances, and Dave likens it to a first-round draft pick who turns out not so hot and a 7th-round pick who does better: you still keep giving the first guy chances because you don’t want to admit you made a mistake and because you’ve invested too much time and money into him already. Speaking of monetary investment, Luger’s contract is seven times more lucrative than Sting’s. So yeah, they’re gonna run with Luger to make that money worth it because the sunk cost fallacy is a difficult one to get over. Sting’s contract runs out in May, so those negotiations could become quite interesting.
THURSDAY: Who will win the Wrestlemania tournament?, Michael Hayes gets the book in World Class, and more
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2020.07.29 15:00 Cahootie The League of Legends European Championship announces NEOM, the Saudi Arabian city project, as main partner for the summer season, while also currently celebrating Christopher Street Day. Casters, employees and the community come out in full force.

The partnership has been cancelled! Discussion about it can be found here.

The announcement

The partnership announcement was made about 1.5 hour ago, and Riot Games talks about being "excited" for a partnership with a city that "will be the home and workplace for more than a million citizens from around the world who want to be part of building a new model for sustainable living, working, and prospering in Saudi Arabia."
This announcement was then posted on the official LEC account, which resulted in people either being outraged or mocking those who are outraged (as you would expect), and was then posted to the leagueoflegends subreddit. Further posts were then made, including an article about the partnership and a satirical post about the North American league partnering with North Korea.

Twitter reactions

As it turns out, employees of Riot Games were completely blindsided by this after only being told about it last night. This led to every single member of the European on-air talent team as well as other casters, multiple people from within the company, former casters and team staff turning to Twitter to express their anger (credit to the leagueoflegends OP for compiling the beginning of this, as well as Spideraxe, ReganDryke and TBSkyen for retweeting a bunch of these tweets).

Casters an on-air talent

Trevor "Quickshot" Henry Link to an article from The Guardian titled "‘It’s being built on our blood’: the true cost of Saudi Arabia’s $500bn megacity".
Daniel Drakos
There have been many good days to be a member of the #LEC team, today is not one of those days.
Aaron "Medic" Chamberlain
I cannot express how frustrated and disappointed I am with #LEC today.
Indiana "Froskurinn" Black
This is disappointing because this is the LEC. It's my team, my product, my managers, my office. My family. My home. This isn't someone far away in HQ that I don't know. This is devastating because I know who made these choices and I feel silenced.
Andy "Vedius" Day
How very upsetting #LEC
Christy "Ender" Frierson
Eefje "sjokz" Depoortere
I am terribly disappointed.
Laure Valée
Disappointment is an understatement.
Joseph "Munchables" Fenny
Incredibly sad to see the league perceived and branded as the most "progressive" in our scene double back on the standards it set. #LEC
Ceirnan "Excoundrel" Lowe
I'm so disappointed in the #LEC today.
Georgia "Troubleinc" Paras
Where is the dislike button we were promised...?
Ovilee May
Tried to find nice words to express my feelings of today's news. Couldn't. This sucks It sucks for the #LEC It sucks for my friends who are casters It sucks for those who are LGBT It sucks for esports as a whole Thought we were better than this
Isaac "Azael" Cummings
Incredibly disappointed to hear about this partnership today. Spreading a positive message alone is not enough, actions must align with and support that message. Proud of all my friends and colleagues in the #LEC speaking up against this swiftly & unequivocally. We're with you.
James "Dash" Patterson
My disappointment is immeasurable. I adamantly do NOT support this partnership.
Dan "Foxdrop" Wyatt
Reminder of what your #LEC crew actually stands for. This isn't ironic or sarcastic, please remember that despite the disappointing news today that your on-air team (and many, many behind the scenes) stand with LGBTQ+ rights.
Richard "Pulse" Kam
alright listen up, I know a bunch of us are outraged at @LEC (and that's good you should be) but don't take your anger out on the broadcast team I know they might be the only folks you know but it's not their fault. Just because you don't have a human to aim at don't target them


Greyson "Goldenglue" Gilmer
My heart goes out to all the talent at the LEC who has been doing an amazing job making content for the league community just to have their values shattered by their new sponsor..
Yiliang "Doublelift" Peng
human rights violation HYPE

Other Riot employees

Rioters Against Forced Arbitration
Riot’s decision to partner with NEOM flies in the face of all the progress that Rioters have worked hard to make over the past few years. Please join us in voicing your support for ending this partnership at #NoToNEOM #RiotGames
Renato "Shakarez" Perdigão
I'm still trying to find the words and the only thing I can say is that I do not support this #LEC partnership. A lot of us were blindsided with the news of this yesterday and we were not told when it would be announced.
Jeff Latham
Not sure what to say today. Sad. Disappointed. Frustrated. Betrayed. More than anything else being gay, and being proud of it, has defined my life, and it always will.
John Daniel "Triaged" Depa
I’m crestfallen and immensely pained by what has been announced today.
Michael Konkol
Riot Katana
At Riot we have spent years coming together, sharing, listening, I believe genuinely trying to improve inclusivity. Today we took a step off that path and failed. That step was heartbreaking and requires intense reflection and action. The next step speaks volumes to the future.
Sara "necrotix" Dadafshar
This is extremely disappointing & is making me sick to my stomach - this goes against creating a safe and inclusive space for all - using that logo is absolutely toxic - whoever green lit this decision needs to do some research & re-educate themselves Use your voice & speak up
Ananda Gupta
Leadership's got some explaining to do. Not sure how this partnership could have passed vetting without some pretty substantial lapses in process and judgment.
Tea "Evergreenily" Chang
There's actually just too much to say. I literally cannot support this. Remove your logo. Who are you representing?
J. T. Vandenbree
I'm really, REALLY sick of waking up to finding out my employer did something unbelievably offensive. I was so happy about the LGBT icons and our Pride month messaging, but to turn around and partner with a political leader of a country who punishes homosexuality with death.
Reina "Reinboom" Sweet
I usually like to keep personal feelings towards things off my twitter... but to this, fuck this. This partnership is a statement of active threat against the livelihoods of both myself and my wife. :(
Riot Shynkro
I usually feel proud to work at where I work but not today. Just sad, numb, and angry
Naomi McArthur
Riot has always had this mentality of teams being empowered within their problem spaces to do what they feel is best with little oversight, which creates a lot of agency and satisfaction for Rioters. This LEC Neom bullshit is what happens when this fails. Not proud of us today.
Dana Luery Shaw
This is a horrible and hurtful decision that needs to be reversed ASAP. I condemn this choice unequivocally, and I send my love and support to my fellow LGBTQ+ and female Rioters and players. I wish I felt like there was anything I could do other than speak out and wait.
Riot Wild Bazaam
As a Rioter and as a human this does not represent my views in any way, nor does it represent the views of any of the Rioters I know. I am ashamed.
Laura Michet
i don't want to help build a city where gay people will be killed lol
Mac "Duckfist" La Due
Every day I work to represent Riot's culture to new hires. To create a space where they feel welcomed and valued; where they can make a difference. Today I'm incredibly disappointed in a company that I love. I'm hurting for players as well as my fellow Rioters. I love y'all.
Alexandra "Eneopa" Cohen
I'm really disappointed and angered by this. I don't personally support this partnership. It's a sad day to be a Rioter. :(
Nathan "Blaustoise" Blau
I do NOT support this partnership. I'm joining colleagues who have already spoken out against the LEC x NEOM partnership on their own, and I hope these individuals don't face punitive action or get put on a "list" by our company.
Mel "Swimbananas" Capperino-Garica
As a Rioter who for the first time ever posted on my "Riot" account this pride about who I am, I'm embarrassed. To the community- please be kind to those who have "Riot" in their tag. For the most part, we don't know about these things until you do. And we are processing too.
Jocelyn "Guldeuxchats" Monahan
To my colleagues who have spoken up against Riot’s NEOM partnership: I am proud of every single one of you. This decision was disgraceful, and things like this set our progress so far back. I am proud to work with all of you, but today is a tough day to be proud of Riot.
Mark "Scruffy" Yetter
I can't and do not personally support this partnership. Sponsors are essential for the esport to thrive, but not at the cost of human life and freedoms.
Bret "Ashekandi" Forbus
Like many other Rioters, this is something I can't and won't support. The fact that its been done with a LEC pride icon still in place speaks loads to how worthless my existence feels.
Jo Graylock
This disgusts me. I wish I had the ability to be calm or reserved about this, but I don't. This is wrong in so many ways that I'm just a seething ball of rage.
Hideo Hikida
probably no more than 8 ppl at riot who have actual real power over the deal. pretty indicative of how disconnected they are from riot
Jeremy "Brightmoon" Lee
I am disturbed and unable to personally support this on multiple levels.
Rowan "L4T3NCY" Parker
Jason Hendrich
Pretty horrible news to hear. Really disappointing.
Howon "CroissantCat" Lee
I've had the pleasure of working at Riot Games across three offices for over 5 years. There's been a lot of improvement over those five years, but today's a reminder that there's still a lot of work to do. My heart goes out to the Berlin team.
Alex "Astryx" Shahmari
Incredibly disappointed in Riot today and am baffled at how we could support this, does not reflect the company that I started at six years ago and goes against so much of the progress that we’ve been trying to make in the last few years.
Sassy Sunkern
I'm so so disappointed. As others have said, today is a sad day to be a Rioter. I fully support and stand by the LEC team members speaking up and sharing their pain. This is not right.
Jeffrey "Zephyreal" Dee
i admittedly was not well informed regarding neom before today, but given everything coming out and how much pain it's causing so many of my coworkers and community members, riot should backtrack on this immediately imo
Riot Whiskies
reminder to not take things out on the individuals who work at riot -- most of us do not have any say or impact on these larger decisions. i am disappointed in you, riot games. but i will fiercely love and protect my fellow rioters. even if it's from our own company.
Phillip Vargas
This is so disappointing.

Team staff

James "Stress" O'Leary
The league I cover is now promoting a country that would kill me just for existing. Feels great.
Darius Matuschak
I understand that a company is not responsible for the laws of the country it resides in, but this is literally an advertisement to go to a location where I and many other #LEC fans could be threatened by torture or even the death penalty for existing. Nice pride logo btw...
Becca Henry
It's important to not accept things on face value without having a full understanding of the implications. Sucks to be an LEC fan today.
Duncan "Dunc" Cox
I can't add anything to what has already been said. It's incredibly disappointing to see the recent actions of the #LEC and I feel sorry for those working close with the product who now feel oppressed.
Chris Whitley
Protesting NEOM is not hypocritical. Tencent is a global company w/ 63,000 employees. The #LEC is a family, where talent play a huge role in sponsorship content. The decision makers behind NEOM are our colleagues, friends, and the feeling of powerlessness is frustrating.


Kevin Kim
This is really disappointing. You can't have a pride icon and then get into a partnership like this. This is one of the worst sponsorship deals I have ever seen in esports, especially from a league that portrays itself as a supporter of LGBTQ+ community. What a terrible news.
Rod "Slasher" Breslau
Riot's LEC, donning a pride flag logo right now, has just announced NEON, a new city backed by the regime of the Saudi Arabian government, as its title sponsor. the same regime that persecutes and kills LBGTQ members with human rights abuses

Former players and content creators

Ram "Brokenshard" Djemal
Once again glad I'm not currently actively working. This aint it LEC
Mike "Wickd" Petersen
If you work for Riot Games and you're truly against NEOM sponsoring the #LEC. You indirectly benefit from it by being paid by Riot Games. The only way to truly follow your morals is to tell your bosses. Stop/Remove the deal or I quit.
Travis Gafford
Honestly so proud of the LEC casters right now.
Joedat "Voyboy" Esfahani
The @LEC really gonna make me sit back down on the stairs already... Pathetic and depressing.
Tom Matthiesen
Riot Games donned the Pride Flag "in support of the LGBT community." Today, they show their true corporate colors. NEOM their is a project led by the Saudi Arabian government. Is Saudi Arabia, openly gay people can face whipping, chemical castrations, or the death penalty.
TB Skyen
Hey @riotgames your staff and players deserve better than to be forcibly associated with a regime that murders LGBTQ+ people and dissidents, or a project that violently displaces indigenous people #NoToNEOM

Subreddit reactions

As could be expected, the League of Legends subreddit aren't taking this too well, and there's some nice whataboutism going on in the comments to the post. Let's start with the reactions denouncing the partnership:
Ah yes truly a huge W by the LEC to be partnered with.. checks notes a genocidal murderer in the form of MBS

Can't wait for the LCS [the North American League] to partner with Al Qaeda

Today we present our newest sponsor! The NSDAP!

Imagine having the audacity to have a logo representing and supporting the same people your main partner would hunt down and kill for existing. They can go fuck themselves, I'm not watching a minute of a broadcast funded by those who would kill me if they had the chance.

Rule #1 never believe in corporate proganada. They are only interested in money. Do you think they take pride month seriously? Ofcourse not. People are so naive these days. Look at Nike, preaching moral highground, punishing the Washington Redskins...while employing asian child labor.

Tencent is like a horrible birth defect we have gotten used to. NEOM is a horrible decision we might be able to do something about.

Tencent is probably the closest thing to Big Brother: A superbig megacorp that wants to control as much data as possible to make as much money as possible. Horrible for sure, but at the end of the day they don't give a fuck about humans, they only care about money. Saudi Arabia however actively punishes, tortures and kills LGBT members, as well as other minorities and other religious groups. This makes it, imo, even worse.
And then there's the naturally spicy comments talking about all the other horrors in the world, since Riot are owned by Tencent:
The level of ignorance and hypocrisy in these dramas is always hilarious. Riot, owned by China. Half the sponsors are gross human rights violators, Samsung, Coca Cola, etc. People whining on twitter and reddit on their Samsung and Apple phones, materials for which were mined by African child slaves and then further processed by Chinese slaves. And now pretending like accepting Saudi money is anything new or interesting, lol. It's literally the same as it always has been, it's just that the Saudi's haven't whitewashed their brands yet like the others have.

Not a single one spoke out when Nestle became a sponsor. For everyone that doesnt know just take a look at their Wikipedia page.

I see no difference between this and being owned by Chinese company controlled by the government who literally tries to copy Germanys IIWW techniques of destroying whole cultures with reeducation camps, forced labor camps, separating families etc.
There is definitely more to come, so let's see how this plays out. Many people are expecting this partnership to be cancelled, calling for the casters to go on strike, calling for boycotts, but no matter what happens drama will be guaranteed.
Edit: Apparently it seems like they have also sponsored the BLAST Premier CS:GO tournament, and the CS:GO subreddit isn't happy either.
Edit 2: Drunk me just added a bunch more people to the list. I'll see if I find more tomorrow when I'm not as tired, not as drunk and hopefully not hungover.
submitted by Cahootie to SubredditDrama [link] [comments]

2020.07.27 02:23 Ainsoph777 Looking at who is on the board of directors at the Jesuit 'John Caroll Society' (July 2020)

Looking at who is on the board of directors at the Jesuit 'John Caroll Society' (July 2020)
source :
The statue is located at Healy Hall at Georgetown University in Washington D.C.
Further reading Robert Brent, the first mayor of Washington D.C. was the nephew of Jesuit priest John Carroll S.J.!--the founder of Jesuit Georgetown University :
The excerpt on Jesuit priest John Carroll S.J. in Appleton's Cyclopædia of American Biography Volume 1 (1887) :
Memorial Of The First Century Of Georgetown College, D.C.: comprising a history of Georgetown University, John Gilmary Shea(1891) :

"Meet Our Leadership

Jeffrey H. Paravano, President :
Andrew L. Cook, 1st Vice President : "Andrew Cook, chair of the Red Mass Committee for the John Carroll Society described the Mass as wonderful. “It was a time to reflect and to pause and appreciate the blessings we have in our legal system and our Church,” he said."
Preeya Noronha Pinto, 2nd Vice President :
Elizabeth A. Young, Secretary :
Suvia Yuan, Assistant Secretary :
Christopher H. Mitchell, Treasurer :
Mary Ann Dmochowski, Assistant Treasurer :
Jane Sullivan Roberts, Parliamentarian :
Carol Grefenstette Bates, Immediate Past President :
John J. DeGioia, Ph.D., Historian :
Bret Baier :
James D. Bishop :
Gregory D. Grant :
Michael R. Huston :
Catherine Ronan Karrels :
Alex LaFrankie :
Michelle Lally :
Jeff MacKinnon :
Hon. Anita McBride :
Eileen Moore, MD :
Jack Murphy :
Ricardo Perez, DDS :
Scott Rembold :
Phil Ward :
Rev. Monsignor Peter J. Vaghi, Chaplain :
Colleen Mudlaff, Executive Director : "
submitted by Ainsoph777 to Jesuitworldorder [link] [comments]

2020.07.23 21:11 flipshotmahoney Rebooking Royal Rumble 91 to Wrestlemania VIII

Royal Rumble 91
The Main Event V in February
Wrestlemania VII
WWF Superstars in April
Saturday Night's Main Event in April
WWF Superstars in July and August.
Summerslam 91
WWF Superstars in September
WWF Superstars in October
Survivor Series Showdown in November
Survivor Series 91
This Tuesday in Texas
Royal Rumble 92
Saturday Night's Main Event in February
Wrestling Challenge in February
Wrestlemania VIII
submitted by flipshotmahoney to fantasybooking [link] [comments]

2020.07.19 18:36 _The_Hard_Truth_ Trump Covid Timeline (March 25 - April 20)

March 25: Trump makes baseless attack on nurses, claims they are stealing equipment. Not only is there no evidence, but the explanation for increased usage is straightforward: During a pandemic *all* hospital workers (janitors, techs, foodservice employees, etc.) need PPE – not the case otherwise.
March 26: US death count is now over 1,100.
March 27: $2 trillion stimulus package signed into law (official document / breakdown of spend / chart). Key points: Unemployment insurance extended, individuals gets a small one-time payout ($1,200 per person or less), small businesses get up to $2 million in forgivable loans (but not really…) if they keep people on their payroll, a dedicated bailout for the airlines (with those who donated to Trump getting first dibs), and a $4.5 *trillion* fund for big business (leveraging the $454 billion in the bill as credit for a greater fund) – to be doled out by Secretary of the Treasury, with Inspector General oversight). Trump immediately vows to remove that oversight (official Signing Statement), which would violate the law. He makes good on this promise on April 7th.
March 29: US death count is now over 2,400. Trump Thrilled That Coronavirus Is Boosting His Press Conference Ratings
March 29: Trump says he expects 100,000 US deaths, and that 200,000 deaths would still indicate we’ve done a ‘good job’
March 30: “I haven't heard about testing in weeks. We've tested more now than any nation in the world. We've got these great tests.... I haven't heard about testing being a problem."
March 30: Trump bizarrely blames hospitals for mask and ventilator shortages. Definitely part of a larger trend.
March 30: Trump repeatedly claims (at least four times) “We inherited a broken (covid-19) test.” The virus did not exist before he took office, so (of course) there was no test then. The faulty initial test for the coronavirus was created during Trump's administration, in early 2020, by the CDC.
March 30: Asked about the expansion of mail-in voting (with so much of the country in lockdown), Trump says Republicans would ‘never’ be elected again if it was easier to vote.
March 31: Trump, when asked why the US is not testing (per capita) as many people as South Korea, “It’s very much on par.” It’s not. Embarrassingly so.
March 31: “I know South Korea better than anybody. It’s a very tight. Do you know how many people are in Seoul? Do you know how big the city of Seoul is? 38 million people. Bigger than anything we have. 38 million people all tightly wound together.” Seoul has just under 10 million people. Wonder where that came from?
April 1: Journalists are skipping Trump’s daily coronavirus briefings, citing a lack of information and an abundance of campaigning.
April 1: US death count is now over 5,000. 1,000+ people are now dying per day, over twice the rate of the flu – and death rates are still doubling every 3-5 days.
April 2: Pence Denies Trump Ever Downplayed the Coronavirus
April 2: Networks refuse to carry Trump’s daily coronavirus press briefings, saying they have little news value and are basically campaign rallies.
April 2: The Labor Department announces that 6.6 million Americans filed jobless claims through the end of March, bringing the two week total to 10 million. Trump responds “It’s not like we have a massive recession…
April 3: Trump fires the Intelligence Inspector General, the watchdog who sparked the impeachment process, who publicly states he was fired for doing his job. Even Republican leaders are asking for an explanation.
April 3: Jared Kushner, taking a greater role in managing medical supply chains in response to the virus, declares that stockpiles of much-needed supplies (PPE, ventilators, etc.) governors were requesting to help with the coronavirus pandemic aren’t meant for the states (video), but instead for private corporations that will sell them to the highest bidding states. Four days later it comes out that Feds are seizing PPE directly from hospitals, with hospital leaders unable to get answers as to where the PPE is going. Some in Congress believe it is going to Trump’s allies. They prioritized tips and bids from close Trump associates rather than experienced/legitimate vendors, which predictably led to some bad deals.
April 3: Trump orders PPE manufacturers to stop shipping to other countries. 3M publicly rebukes him (official statement) and ignores the order, and Canada’s Prime Minister threatens retaliation.
April 3: From this point forward, at least 10,000 people in the US will die from the virus each week. The following week more than 15,000 will die, and the week after that more than 19,000 will die.
April 4: Governors confirm that Trump is selling PPE to private companies (McKesson Corp., Owens & Minor, Cardinal Health, Medline Industries, etc. These companies receive an antitrust waiver on Saturday, so they can coordinate pricing (to maximize profit) across state lines.
April: The Trump administration pays a bankrupt company with zero employees $55 million for N95 masks, which it's never manufactured. Why? Likely, that company is going to buy masks from the seized federal pool for $0.64 each and sell them to the government for $5.00+ each, using the profit to pay outstanding company debts. Since the money repays a "debt", it cannot be feasibly recovered in the future since it has already been paid to someone else (guy that loaned the company his own money, Trump's buddies, Russians etc.) Being loan repayments, the payouts are difficult to legally prove are "kickbacks."
April 4: Only one official has been fired over the virus – the captain of an aircraft carrier who pleaded to let his infected ship dock so his infected men could go into isolation. The captain tests positive for the virus. The secretary of the Navy flies 8,000 miles to Guam to publicly humiliate the captain over the carrier’s PA system, and is forced to resign a couple days later. By April 12th, over 600 sailors will be infected before the ship is (mostly) evacuated. 850 will be infected in total. The first sailor from the ship will die on April 13th. Captain Crozier will be restored to duty on April 24th.
April 5: Administration officials are telling reporters that, with his corona policies, ‘Trump is killing his own supporters’.
April 6: Trump cuts off Dr. Fauci during a briefing when he attempts to answer a reporter’s question about Hydroxychloroquine; a White House meeting erupts afterward where Dr. Fauci is attacked for disagreeing with the president. Trump’s enthusiasm for the drug is reported to be from Dr Oz. and Rudy Giuliani. Trump’s information is incorrect. Two weeks later the FDA will issue warnings on the drug as ‘serious poisoning and death’ reported, and that patients receive no benefit and have a higher death rate taking hydroxychloroquine for the virus.
April 7: Trump effectively removes the stimulus oversight role by replacing the Inspector General with a loyalist. This gives Trump unfettered access to, through Secretary Mnuchin, dole out $4.5 Trillion (more than the *entire* Federal budget) to whoever he wants.
April 7: Trump publicly states that he is considering cutting off US funds to the World Health Organization, saying they missed the call” and were months late warning about the virus (WHO warned that the global risk from SARS-CoV-2 was high on January 23rd, and declared a global health emergency on January 30th).
April 7: Two more Republican Senators found profiteering on Inside corona info - Senator Perdue (R – GA) bought $185,000 in PPE stock and that Senator Burr (R – SC, the guy who told his donors to sell) also sold shares in a company just before sanctions were imposed that crushed the stock price.
April 8: Wisconsin holds their in-person Democratic primary during lockdown, with extensions for mail-in / absentee ballots being rejected by the Republican WI legislature and the US Supreme Court. Over a million people applied for ballots, but most were not even sent to voters by election day, particularly in “blue” counties. There were very few open polls: Milwaukee, for instance, has 600,000 people and *five* polling stations (down from 180). Wait times were over four hours as polls opened, and increased as the day went on. In addition to being obvious voter suppression (“'One of the Most Brazen Acts of Voter Suppression in Modern Times'”, per the US Supreme Court dissenting opinion), it will result in the direct & unavoidable outcome of more COVID-19 cases and deaths. Ironically, the Republicans in the WI legislature and the WI Supreme Court voted absentee to make this decision because they determined that it wasn't safe to meet in person to vote on it. This is considered to be a trial run for the election in November. The debacle backfires for Wisconsin republicans, who fail to hold onto a key state Supreme Court seat.
April 9: Trump denounces mail votes as corrupt – before admitting he applied for one (and ignoring that there is over a century of precedent). Most Americans want mail-in ballots; Trump admits he is against them because more inclusive voting is bad for Republicans. Trump lies about voter fraud while his own CDC encourages mail-in ballots and voter support for mail-in ballots continues to increase.
April 9: The Labor Department announces that another 6.6 million Americans filed jobless claims through April 3rd, bringing the recent total to 16.8 million. Trump boasts about stock market gains.
April 9: Pence's office says it will block experts such as Dr. Fauci from appearing on CNN until the networks agree to televise the portion of the White House briefings that include the president / vice president. Reverses course when called out.
April 10: Trump tweets about ratings for his coronavirus press briefings for the 3rd day in a row as US death toll surpasses 18,000 and unemployment nears 17 million.
April 10: Trump claims unconstitutional power to overrule state stay-at-home orders, as falling re-election polls drive him to want to prematurely re-open the economy.
April 11: Chief medical officer on the White House's coronavirus task force, Dr. Deborah Birx tells administration officials that the virus would most likely soon go away
April 11: New York Times publishes major article on Trump’s handling of the virus. Trump is enraged.
April 11: The Postal Service announces bankruptcy by September without assistance (above, Trump explicitly banned $13 billion for the USPS in the stimulus package). Voices from all sides proclaim that the Post Office must remain viable. His motivation seems to be (seriously) jealousy of Jeff Bezos.
April 11: Trump shows that he still doesn’t know the difference between bacteria and a virus; says ‘germ is so brilliant antibiotics can’t keep up with it’ in chaotic White House briefing – describes the virus as ‘very smart’, ‘a brilliant enemy’, and ‘a genius’, on same day more than 2,000 US citizens die.
April 13: Trump claims he has “total” authority as US president and insisted he had the power to lift coronavirus restrictions despite the nation’s constitution leaving such rights to state governors. Constitutional experts disagree. The CDC and FEMA warn of a significant chance of resurgence. Even Fox News anchors see the problem.
April 13: Governors respond by pointing out that the United States is not a monarchy, that they will ignore any orders to re-open while they feel it’s unsafe, start to form regional alliances to coordinate their respective reopening, publicly state they expect no further help from the federal government, and organize secret flights to bring masks and gloves from China out of fear Trump would seize them (unfortunately, this doesn’t always go well.)
April 13: Networks continue to not cover or to cut away from his press briefings; CNN cuts away from this one with the chyron “Angry Trump turns briefing into propaganda session”. MSNBC cut away as well. Coverage of the briefings has changed from covering the news around the virus to covering Trump’s increasingly crazy antics.
April 13: Number of diagnosed cases of the novel coronavirus: 555,371, though experts believe the real number is far higher due to under-testing. Number of deaths: 22,056, though experts believe the real number is far higher because of people who die at home or have their deaths misclassified (in mid-May, Dr. Fauci says the same.) Number of newly unemployed: 17 million, though experts believe it's likely higher because so many laid-off workers were unable to file for unemployment.
April 14: Trump cuts off US funding to the World Health Organization, says "I am directing my administration to halt funding while a review is conducted to access the World Health Organization's role in severely mismanaging and covering upthe spreadof the coronavirus," While the largest contributor to the WHO’s budget, the amount he is stopping is less than half of what he has spent on golf outings since becoming president… during which time (3+ years) he has failed to appoint a US Representative to the WHO.
April 15: Trump delays printing of Stimulus checks to get his name printed on each one.
April 15: It’s revealed that Senate Republicans snuck a $90 billion tax cut for millionaires into the stimulus package. Over 43,000 US millionaires will get ‘stimulus’ averaging $1.6 million each. “For those earning $1 million annually, a tax break buried in the recent coronavirus relief legislation is so generous that its total cost is more than total new funding for all hospitals in America and more than the total provided to all state and local governments,” Billionaires are now $280 billion richer since the start of the pandemic.
April 15: Trump threatens to adjourn both chambers of congress (allowable under the constitution only under conditions that are not met) to unilaterally install judges and political nominees - something no president has ever done. There is little doubt where this is coming from.
April 15: Protests against stay at home policies occur in several states are organized by an group linked to the DeVos family and guns rights groups. Fox defends even the fringe protesters. And there are a lot of them. Less than 24 hours after stating that the decision to ease restrictions was up to governors (and just two minutes after Fox News airs a segment on the protests) Trump tells protesters to ‘Liberate’ their (democrat) states and lends support to the protesters. Governors accuse Trump of encouraging ‘domestic rebellion’; and experts agree. Protests will continue and expand over the next few weeks, with increasingly bad elements at many rallies, leading to fears of violence.
A few weeks later, 72 people in Wisconsin test positive after attending one of these 'large gatherings'… and Michigan’s governor warns Pence that anti-lockdown protesters are spreading the virus to rural areas.
April 15: White House snubs Azar, installs Trump loyalist Michael Caputo as Health and Human Services (HHS) spokesperson.
April 16: The Labor Department announces that another 5.2 million Americans filed jobless claims in the week ending April 10th, bringing the four week official total to 22 million, or 13.5% of the labor force.
April 17: Trump calls for reopening America’s gyms (germs?) one day after call with SoulCycle’s owner, who happens to be a big supporter that recently had a Trump fundraiser. A big one.
April 18: Trump ridicules social distancing at Air Force Academy commencement as 'Politically Correct'.
April 18: Trump boasts he likely saved ‘billions’ of lives in a nation with 330 million people.
April 19: Trump brands FBI top brass ‘human scum’, calls CNN reporter ‘brainless’, and says he’s ‘not a fan’ of Mitt Romney in freewheeling press conference.
April 20: Trump tweets that he will, through executive order, ‘suspend immigration’ into the U.S – parroting Fox News talking points. The USCIS has been closed since March 18, 2020, so practically this was already in effect.
April 20: Government Accountability Office (GAO) launches 30+ separate coronavirus Stimulus related audits, striving to bring accountability to fund dispersal.
submitted by _The_Hard_Truth_ to Trump_Covid_Timeline [link] [comments]

2020.07.15 18:04 daprice82 Wrestling Observer Rewind ★ Jul. 1, 2002

Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives.
1-7-2002 1-14-2002 1-21-2002 1-28-2002
2-4-2002 2-11-2002 2-18-2002 2-25-2002
3-4-2002 3-11-2002 3-18-2002 3-25-2002
4-1-2002 4-8-2002 4-15-2002 4-22-2002
4-29-2002 5-6-2002 5-13-2002 5-20-2002
5-27-2002 6-3-2002 6-10-2002 6-17-2002
  • Bret Hart was seriously injured in a bicycle accident in Calgary last week. As of press time, Dave has very little info. Hart was thrown off the bike and flipped over the handlebars going at a high speed and landed on his back and hit the back of his head. Over the next couple of days, he's undergone a number of tests due to issues he's had since the accident. Bret was forced to retire 2 years ago after he suffered a serious concussion during the Starrcade 99 match with Goldberg and it's believed the fall may have aggravated the issues he's had since then. Hart is expected to be hospitalized for at least a week and has little movement on the left side of his body and can't see out of his right eye. He's also suffering severe back pain, though x-rays and scans haven't shown any physical damage to his back. That's all Dave knows right now. (Much more on this next week, obviously).
  • After a year of questionable decision-making, Vince McMahon made his most questionable decision yet when he announced the surprise re-hiring of Vince Russo. It's a shocking decision for lots of obvious reasons, not the least of which is most of the wrestlers either outright don't like him or at the very least, don't respect him. And many front office employees feel even more strongly about him. Not even Stephanie McMahon, who is the head of creative, knew Russo was coming back and she was just as blindsided by the news as everyone else. It's believed the deal has been in the works for a few weeks. Russo had owned a CD store in Marietta, GA but he sold the store recently. He also stopped submitting ideas to the Jarretts for TNA a couple of weeks ago. There's also the fact that Russo's lawsuit against Hulk Hogan over the Bash at the Beach 2000 incident is still pending and now they're in the same company again, although Dave suspects the legal issues must be wrapped up for Russo to take the job (Turner was still paying his legal fees so long as he didn't work for any other wrestling company, which is why everyone was denying his involvement with TNA). Another rumor going around is that Russo is planning to write a tell-all book about his time in WWF and when word about that got out, the company rehired him in an effort to squash the book. Dave thinks that might be believable if Russo was just hired and stuck in a closet somewhere. But he was brought back in a key position in the creative department, which means that likely wasn't the reason (or not a big part of it). Most likely, it's exactly what it appears on the surface: Vince McMahon is getting desperate and he's going back to what worked in the past.
  • When word got out about Russo's hiring, needless to say, everyone was shocked and, as you'd expect, it was an overwhelmingly negative reaction. The plan for Russo on day one was for him to be in control of the creative team, answering only to Stephanie McMahon. The next day, those plans changed after McMahon, Russo, Stephanie, and the rest of the writing team had a big meeting. There's been multiple stories about what happened during the meeting. One version of the story is that Russo's ideas were so bad that he pretty much buried himself with everyone immediately. Another version is that Stephanie pretty much buried all his ideas and shut him down. And yet another version is that Russo obviously hadn't kept up with the product and was unfamiliar and out of touch with many of the characters and ongoing storylines, and that soured Vince McMahon on him. Regardless, the result was the same: the very next day, Russo was no longer part of the creative team. Word is he has already been sent home and will be brought back if/when they need ideas, as sort of a consultant on retainer. Officially, his role now is to critique the TV shows and report back to Vince McMahon what he thinks. So he's basically paid to be a critic and tell McMahon how he would do it better. Anyway, that's the story for now. Dave runs down Russo's history in the business, how he came into power in WWF, jumping ship to WCW with no notice, where he proceeded to help kill the company and all the drama that happened there (can't wait for that one Vince Russo superfan that always accuses me of lying about him to chime in on this one).
  • For the record, one of Russo's big ideas for TNA's debut was taking the Shane Twins and dressing them up as giant penises and calling them the Big Johnsons. Thankfully, when the show aired, the announcers downplayed the "penis" aspect of it a lot, leading Russo to tell friends that the idea flopped because the commentators didn't sell it hard enough. Just in case you're wondering what Vince Russo is bringing to the table in 2002.
  • WWE's King of the Ring is in the books. For the first time since Wrestlemania, it was a legit sellout on PPV. And sucks for them because this was a pretty blah show. Undertaker retained the WWE title over Triple H in a bad match that was hampered because Undertaker is banged up in general and Triple H came into the match with an elbow injury. 2 days after the show, he underwent elbow surgery to remove bone chips, one of which was embedded in cartilage and had caused his arm to lock up. He was nowhere near 100% during the match, but if he had been, Dave suspects they probably would have put the belt back on him. But for now, they stuck with Undertaker. They did a post match angle to set up Rock vs. Undertaker vs. Triple H at Vengeance, assuming Triple H is ready by then (he was not).
  • The biggest story of the PPV, in Dave's opinion anyway, is the Kurt Angle/Hulk Hogan match, in which Angle beat Hogan clean as a sheet by submission. Dave gives Hogan credit: he didn't treat this like Kidman. Hogan put Angle over as strong as he possibly could. Dave believes it's the first time in Hogan's entire career that he lost via submission as a babyface. He did have a few submission losses as a heel (once to Inoki in NJPW in 1981 and a handful in WCW during the NWO era) but that's it. If he had any as a babyface, it would have been before 1979, before he was a national name. Whether this ultimately springboards Angle into a certified top guy that fans take seriously remains to be seen, but Hogan did everything he could. Probably didn't help that, as soon as the match was over, Angle put his goofy wig back on, at a moment that should have been used to turn him into a serious threat. But regardless, nobody can fault Hogan here if it doesn't get over.
  • Other notes from the PPV: Jericho vs. RVD in the opening match was easily the best match on the show. Lesnar got loud "Goldberg" chants and Dave thinks he sold way too much for Test, especially since the rumor is Lesnar is being groomed for a Summerslam main event with Rock. Nidia in her hillbilly gimmick with Jamie Noble was great and Dave thinks they might have something with Nidia and this gimmick. Ric Flair vs. Eddie Guerrero was.....not what you'd think. Dave has seen Flair drag talentless hacks to great matches for 20 years but somehow, Flair vs. Guerrero was a drag and should have been better than it was considering the two men involved. Two all-time greats just had a misfire somehow. Molly won the women's title from Trish and Dave thinks this whole storyline where they claim Molly is fat is insulting to probably every single female viewer they have and a lot of the males too. A backstage segment with Rock, Goldust, and Booker T was the most entertaining thing on the show. Lesnar won the King of the Ring tournament by beating RVD in a nothing match. And of course, the main event, which was an overbooked mess with two guys who probably didn't have any business wrestling that night anyway.
WATCH: Goldust/Booker T/Rock backstage segment at WWE King of the Ring 2002
  • NWA-TNA's debut show is in the books! Actually, so is their second show because it was a double-taping. And buckle in because we have a metric fuck-ton of TNA news to cover. Overall, it was a well-received debut. A lot of the young wrestlers were hungry and some of the old guys worked like they had something to prove. Guys like Konnan and Buff Bagwell looked the best they have in years and many of the people who worked the show said this felt like the real deal (many of those same people had worked the recent WWA shows and saw those as paid vacations, nobody took it seriously). Scott Hall, said to be the highest paid wrestler in the company ($3,500 per week) didn't do anything special but he got by far the biggest reaction and, according to all accounts, was sober and professional. There were about 3,000 fans in the building, but only 400-500 were paid. More than 10,000 freebies were given away around Birmingham the week of the show, but the crowd they got was actually a good, active audience, so it worked. Mike Tenay on commentary was great and full of knowledge, though Ed Ferrara playing heel announcer was useless. Don West was enthusiastic as hell, but knew nothing about the product. Regardless, he knows how to work a camera and he took charge of the commentary booth and Dave thinks he did fine in the role and will only get better. Ricky Steamboat was there, giving an emotional interview and putting over the NWA title. Ken Shamrock won the gauntlet battle royal (basically the same thing as a Royal Rumble match) to win the title, beating Malice (former WCW wrestler The Wall) in the final match after they were the last 2 left in the battle royal. There's been talk of doing a Shamrock vs. Don Frye match to try to catch some of that crossover UFC/PRIDE audience, but Dave is doubtful it'll be a draw here like it is in Japan.
  • What else? Country music star Toby Keith did a series of angles with Jeff Jarrett and Keith was by far the biggest star to the live fans. Keith got involved in the battle royal and eliminated Jarrett. NASCAR drivers Hermie Sadler and Sterling Martin got involved in a racial angle with K-Krush (R-Truth) using a bunch of "your kind" and "my kind" talk and Dave thinks that was pretty pathetic. The company was hoping all this celebrity involvement would get them some mainstream publicity but it got practically none. They brought in a bunch of women, most of whom were total unknowns except for ECW's Francine, Electra, and former WCW valet Daffney under the name Shannon, and their battle royal on the second show was said to be awful. The whole event definitely had a southern/regional feel to it. The opening match of Jerry Lynn, AJ Styles, and Low-Ki vs. Jorge Estra, Sonny Siaki, and Jimmy Yang was the show-stealer and was better than most of the matches in WWE this year.
  • Now the bad news: TNA was under the impression they had Dish Network cleared to air their show, but no dice. They don't have Cablevision in the U.S. either. For a company that needs to draw 50,000 buys a week to break even without a corporate sponsor, that's extremely bad news. They're also losing their Canadian PPV after the response to the debut show was said to be lackluster. At press time, InDemand has allegedly told TNA that their debut show did 80,000 buys but preliminary numbers are always drastically higher than the final result, so it'll almost certainly be less than that (for example, InDemand's number for WWA's first PPV was originally 40,000 but later got revised to 15,000). In WWE, they don't take any PPV numbers seriously at first because the thought is any numbers you hear within the first 2 months of the show are always wrong, the final tallies take time to come in. Regardless, even if this show did well, the more important question is how will they be doing in 4-5 weeks when the new has worn off?
  • Despite TNA claiming they aren't even interested in TV and are 100% committed to running exclusively on PPV, that's obviously not true. They have already struck syndication deals in Nashville and Chattanooga and are actively working to get a national television deal. The problem is that, as you can tell by looking at WWE ratings over the last year, the business is in a sharp decline, meaning the TV industry isn't chomping at the bit to give TV deals to some new startup nobody company. But anyone who understands the industry knows they have no chance of surviving on weekly PPV alone so getting on TV sooner than later is going to be essential to TNA's survival. The local syndicated deals they struck will mostly be hype shows with interviews and highlights designed to drive viewers to buy the weekly PPVs. Dave lists, like, 10 different promotions that have folded over the years in part due to the costs of paying for television.
  • Tons of TNA news in this issue which brings us to the debut "Random TNA News & Notes" section! Here we go: Bert Prentice will be working with the company and will no longer be running his own weekly shows in Nashville. There will be a one-night tournament at the next show to crown NWA tag team champions. Fun fact, those belts are currently held by The Shane Twins, who now wrestle in TNA as The Johnsons, doing the aforementioned masked penis gimmick. They'll be in the tournament even though they were already the champs in their previous gimmick. But the titles are being vacated and they will crown new ones.
  • We ain't done with TNA news. The dark match of the show featured a 450 pound dude named Cheex who is basically ripping off Rikishi's gimmick of doing things with his big ol' ass. And in case the ass gimmick and the "Cheex" name wasn't clear enough, he's being managed by a woman named Brown Eye Girl. So....yeah. If this ain't Vince Russo, I'll eat my shoe. Anyway, during the dark match, because Cheex is so big, the ring broke. As the show was going on the air live, the ring crew was frantically struggling to fix the ring, which is why it felt like they were stalling so much for the first 15 minutes. Because they were. The ring breaking also caused them to not be able to do the second dark match they had planned. Both matches were being taped to air on next week's show.
  • Actual notes from TNA's debut show (I'm gonna divide this into multiple paragraphs because there's a lot): it opened with some pyro, which is meant to make them look major league, but everyone else always looks minor league compared to WWE's huge pyro show every week and this was no exception. No graphics or details on any of the wrestlers, which is a mistake considering so many of them are complete unknowns to most fans. Started with a bunch of legends coming out to put over the NWA title, including Ricky Steamboat cutting one of the best promos of the year in any promotion and Dave thinks they need to hire Steamboat and put him in an on-air role as a commissioner or something ASAP. Jeff Jarrett cut a promo saying it was stupid to crown a new champion in a battle royal. Way to bury your own main event 10 minutes into your debut show, especially since most people also agree that it's a pretty dumb way to do it. But they still did. Then Ken Shamrock and Scott Hall came out and they both cut promos and they also shat on the battle royal idea, leading Dave to worry already that this company hasn't learned anything from WCW's mistakes. As mentioned earlier, the opening match easily stole the show. Next up was a little person match, with the jobber actually being referred to as "an enhancement midget." The Shane Twins did the penis gimmick, but as mentioned, it was severely played down from the original idea as conceived by Russo.
  • More notes from the show: They brought out a bunch of women for a big segment and Dave, who spends his entire life watching wrestling, didn't know half of them. And even if he did, it wouldn't matter because there were no graphics to name any of them and even if there had been, the cameras were often showing the wrong woman when a name was announced. Anyway, among them were Francince from ECW (who Dave is worried about because she looked sickly thin), Shannon (formerly Daffney in WCW), Alexis Laree (better known years later as Mickie James), Elektra from ECW, Taylor Vaugn (formerly Barbara Bush in WWF), Erin (who was a finalist on Tough Enough season 1 but got booted from the show before production started because other contestants saw her out on a date with one of the judges and they complained and got her kicked off), and some others. At least one of the no-name chicks was a stripper they hired specifically for this show because they needed one more woman to make 10. Anyway, this all led to the expected brawl with Elektra getting her shirt ripped off to show her bra. It wasn't even that risque. If you're trying to use sex appeal to draw viewers, the worst thing you can do is be less risque than WWE is on free TV when you have the luxury of PPV (give em a few months and we'll get actual nudity on this show). Alicia Webb, formerly known in WWF as Ryan Shamrock (and who is dating Ken Shamrock in real life) was playing a prostitute collecting money from referee Mark Johnson.
  • Even more notes from the show: the NASCAR guys got a bigger pop than any of the wrestlers. K-Krush came out to confront them about not being real athletes and they did the racial angle. Brian Christopher got involved and funny story there, they were debating whether to use the last name Christopher, or his real last name of Lawler. Nobody told the announcers which it was gonna be so Mike Tenay kept using "Christopher" while Ed Ferrara kept using "Lawler." More WCW-level shit. Toby Keith performed. The gauntlet battle royal to crown the new champion featured Buff Bagwell, Prince Justice (later becomes Abyss), Konnan, Rick Steiner, Scott Hall, Jeff Jarrett, etc. Toby Keith ran in and suplexed Jarrett, causing him to get eliminated because why not? Chris Harris, Vampire Warrior, Steve Corino, and more. And when it got down to the last two, it became a regular match and Shamrock beat Malice to win the title with Steamboat as the special referee.
WATCH: NWA-TNA' s debut PPV (Full Show)
  • So that's the notes from the debut show. Are we done with TNA yet? Not by a long shot. They taped a whole second show, remember?! It hasn't aired yet so Dave hasn't seen it so here's the scarce details. The crowd started filing out after the first show ended and kept leaving as the second one was going, to the point that Jeremy Borash and Bert Prentice had to get on the mic and beg everyone to stay and then moved a bunch of people to the hard camera side so there wouldn't be visible empty seats all over the place. Lenny Lane and former WCW star Kwee-Wee were put together as a gay tag team called Rainbow Express, managed by Joel Gertner, and kissed each other instead of tagging each other to swap in and out during the match, which got a lot of heat because Alabama. A 9-woman battle royal (guess they didn't let the hired stripper actually work) to crown Miss TNA resulted in a bunch of women getting stripped half naked. They did a 4-way elimination match to crown the X-Division champion which was won by AJ Syles in what was said to be easily the best match of either show, with even Harley Race going on record later to say it was one of the best matches he'd ever seen. But by then, there were very few fans left in the building. And that is finally it for TNA news for now. Whew.
  • PRIDE's latest show is in the books and once again featured pro wrestlers drawing the crowd. NOAH's Yoshihiro Takayama replaced Mark Coleman in the main event (out due to injury) against Don Frye, leading to last minute interest from wrestling fans that packed the house. Frye defeated Takayama in what many are calling the best fight in the history of PRIDE. Takayama has had 3 fights in PRIDE and has lost all 3 of them, but all 3 of them were also show-stealing outright wars that, despite losing, has grown Takayama into an even bigger star. Afterward, Frye hinted at retiring from MMA and returning to NJPW full time. Dave hasn't seen this fight but it was described to him as "something out of Dragonball Z or a comic book" the way they were just throwing bombs at each other, with the crowd going insane (yeah the opening minute or so if this fight is absolute madness, video below). The show also featured Bob Sapp vs. Kiyoshi Tamura, which was a total mismatch. Tamura is a skilled MMA fighter, but Sapp outweighed him by literally almost 200 pounds and the fight was over in 11 seconds, with Sapp basically murdering him. Dave says it's clear they're trying to turn Sapp into a huge unbeatable monster psychopath and it's working. But Dave thinks it's bullshit to put fighters this mismatched against each other in real shoots. It was funny though because after what happened in Sapp's K-1 fight a few weeks ago, they made some new rules like no knees and no kicking a downed opponent, which is fine. But they also announced other rules for the fight, such as no flying sentons or splashes off the top ropes, which have never been done in an MMA fight and is utterly ridiculous (If Cormier doesn't hit Miocic with a Canadian destroyer at UFC 252 next month, what's even the point?). Another NOAH star, Takashi Suguira, lost a split decision with Daniel Gracie and Suguira had several NOAH wrestlers at ringside cheering him on. And of course, Antonio Inoki came out at intermission and did his catchphrase.
WATCH: Yoshihiro Takayama vs. Don Frye - PRIDE
  • UFC made its TV debut with a half-hour segment on Fox Sports Net's "Best Damn Sports Show Period" which featured a full Robbie Lawler vs. Steve Berger bout, as well as highlights of other fights. "Fear Factor" host Joe Rogan did commentary with Mike Goldberg and Jeff Osbourne. They aired several warnings during the show, but the violence ended up being far less brutal than most average boxing matches. The show drew a strong crowd and there's talk that this may become a regular thing on the network. They also hyped the planned Tito Ortiz vs. Ken Shamrock fight for later this year and Dave thinks TNA would be wise to get the NWA title off Shamrock before the fight, because he's going into it as the underdog. Plus, Shamrock would likely not want to risk injury or spend time flying to Nashville every week during the last few weeks of training. Wouldn't be a good look for TNA if Shamrock goes to the octagon with the NWA title belt and gets demolished by Ortiz. Also on the show, Chuck Liddell defeated Vitor Belfort in a war that catapulted Liddell into title contention and he'll likely face the winner of Shamrock/Ortiz sometime down the road.
  • Dave got his hands on a copy of Shaun Assael's new book "Sex, Lies, and Headlocks: The Real Story of Vince McMahon and the World Wrestling Federation" even though it hasn't been released yet. Review time! The original concept for the book was to chronicle the Monday Night Wars, but just as the book was being finished, the whole business changed and since Vince became the lone survivor, the book was changed to focus on him and the WWF primarily. The book is fair and accurate for the most part. Assael didn't run from any of the controversial stories, but he also didn't sensationalize things to make them seem bigger than they were. If you're a long-time Observer reader, you already know all this stuff and could probably point out details or inconsistencies in the story, but to the average fan who hasn't been following all the behind-the-scenes stuff for the last 20 years, it's sure to be an eye-opener. Anyway, Dave recaps the book in detail, mostly just correcting things that the author got wrong but also acknowledging that this is an early review copy and some of these mistakes will be corrected before it's published and released. Otherwise, he just pokes holes in various myths and stories that are covered. The Observer was credited in the book for being one of the author's sources, specifically in regards to Dave's coverage of the steroid trial (yeah, if you haven't read it, go back and check those out. Dave actually attended the trial and his recap of it is one of the most must-read issues of the Observer in its entire history). The book pretty much ends at the death of WCW, though it does note that business has declined significantly since then. Overall, Dave says it's by far the best book on the real modern history of professional wrestling that he's ever read and is a must-read for any wrestling fan. But it's also too short (288 pages) to really get into all the detail needed to tell so many of these stories. But for what it is, best book of its type that Dave's ever read.
AMAZON LINK: "Sex, Lies, and Headlocks: The Real Story of Vince McMahon and the World Wrestling Federation" by Shaun Assael
  • In AAA in Mexico, there's a new guy named Canibal who's gimmick is pulling his opponent's trunks down and biting them on the ass. It's too late. You already read the sentence. You can't un-know that now.
  • AJPW stars Kaz Hayashi and Kendo Kashin were supposed to be working some shows for AAA at the moment. Fun story, when they arrived in Mexico, nobody from AAA was there to meet them at the airport and nobody they called from the AAA office would answer the phone, so they basically found themselves stranded in Mexico with no idea what to do and unable to speak the language. Dave says the exact same thing happened to Great Sasuke several years ago when he went to Mexico. Anyway, last Dave heard, Hayashi and Kashin were trying to get themselves booked on some indie shows in Mexico so they can get some pictures of them working there to take back to the magazines in Japan (which was the whole reason for their trip) so they're just looking to work one or two shows and then go back home. They can't work for CMLL because that promotion has a business relationship with NJPW.
  • Last month, AAA held its 10th annual Triplemania show in Los Angeles. Here's the problem though: it was an utter flop, with embarrassing attendance and almost nobody even realizing it happened. So AAA has decided to just pretend it didn't happen and has now scheduled Triplemania X again, this time in Mexico (maybe WWE should do that next year. Since Wrestlemania was pretty much just in an empty warehouse this year, they shouldn't even acknowledge it. Just redo Wrestlemania 36 again next year and pretend it's the first time).
  • Remember the story a couple months ago about how Invader 1 (the guy who murdered Bruiser Brody) left the WWC promotion? Well, he was scheduled to return this week as a special referee for a Carlos Colon match but it ended up not happening. He said he wanted his return to be a surprise, but the story was already out on the internet that he was coming back. For what it's worth, almost none of the wrestling fans in Puerto Rico have internet (I did the research, only 17.5% of the country had internet access in 2002 and you gotta figure only a fraction of those are wrestling fans, so Dave is likely correct here) so it still would have been a surprise to probably 99% of them. But either way, Invader 1 pulled out of the show over it and still isn't back with the promotion.
  • Spanky (Brian Kendrick) won a tournament at an indie show in California to get a shot for the Zero-1/UPW unified title. That's not the important part. How it happened is the original guy who was scheduled to win ended up pulling out of the show at the last minute because his pregnant wife was overdue so he stayed behind to be with her. So they made a call to Spanky, who was in Cincinnati. He immediately packed up his car and was on the road 30 minutes after receiving the call. And didn't stop. He drove 30 hours straight, some 2,200 miles, and made it to the venue literally an hour or so before showtime and did the match. That's freakin' dedication (I think he's talked about this in a shoot interview before. Said he masturbated to stay awake and started vomiting uncontrollably halfway through the drive or something, but still made it. Madness.)
  • AJPW news: there are no truth to the rumors of a WWE/AJPW relationship, which was mentioned last week. Motoko Baba and Tenryu were at WWE's show in Hawaii to take photos for the Japanese magazines to make people think something is up, but there's nothing there. They were just visiting because Johnny Ace got them backstage. Also, the newspapers in Japan have begun reporting that Keiji Muto will take over as AJPW president when Ms. Baba retires, which confirms what Dave has been saying for months.
  • Kenta Kobashi's first match back for NOAH will be this week at Korakuen Hall. He'll be working undercard tag matches so he won't be doing too much. If you recall, he was out for over a year with knee injuries, had one match in February in which he re-injured himself again and has been out ever since.
  • Speaking of Korakuen Hall, NJPW's latest show there only drew 1,200 fans, which means the building was only half full. Just in case you're wondering how NJPW is doing in 2002. Not great.
  • Don Frye did an interview claiming Antonio Inoki is working to put together a match between himself and Mike Tyson. "Nobody is taking that seriously," Dave says.
  • Speaking of Japanese companies trying to latch on to the WWE train and speaking of lyin' ass Inoki: there have been rumors that Inoki is putting together a relationship with WWE. Not true. Inoki claimed recently that he had met with Vince McMahon about using some of WWE's undercard guys in NJPW and of starting his own promotion in the U.S. Dave says the meeting with Vince never happened and, in fact, the two men haven't gotten along or really even spoken at all in nearly 20 years.
  • More on Jesse Ventura's decision not to run for re-election as Minnesota governor. Part of the reason may be that the polls are showing he would likely lose the race. Of course, that's what the polls said last time and he shocked the world. But after 4 years in office, his popularity isn't near what it was back then, when he was the exciting outsider. Now the voters have seen what he brings to the table and they don't seem to like it too much. Ventura was already planning to make the announcement, but then the story about his son hosting parties at the governor's mansion broke, and Ventura made the announcement 2 days earlier than he'd planned. Using the criticism that his son has gotten in the media as his excuse for not running provided Ventura a good "out" but he was already planning not to run long before that story happened and the press conference had been scheduled nearly 2 weeks earlier, so take it with a grain of salt. Most likely, he saw the writing on the wall and knew he was going to lose if he ran again.
  • Notes from the latest Ring of Honor event: it was said to be an incredible show, with guys like Bryan Danielson, Low-Ki, Christopher Daniels, Spanky, Jerry Lynn, AJ Styles, and more all having amazing matches. There was a moment during the show where Scoot Andrews went to hit Christopher Daniels' valet, Lucious. But then he stopped himself and said he'd never hit a woman, but he knew somebody who would. This was a tease to bring out another female wrestler, but the crowd started chanting for Steve Austin. The show drew 450 fans and sold out the building, which is the largest crowd ROH has drawn so far.
  • Famous St. Louis Cardinal announcer Jack Buck passed away a couple weeks ago and Dave notes that Buck actually had some involvement in wrestling back in the day. He used to do radio broadcasting of Sam Muchnick's shows live for KMOX radio in the 1960s and there's even a picture somewhere out there of Giant Baba picking Buck up and holding him like a baby. (I actually just watched the 30 For 30 documentary on the McGwire/Sosa home run race and they talked about Jack Buck in there. Good times. Anyway, someone find that picture because I'm having no luck).
  • Sting is scheduled to make an appearance, but not wrestle, at an indie show Harley Race is putting together this week in St. Louis. This will be Sting's first wrestling-related appearance since WCW folded.
  • In case you're wondering what XPW and Rob Black are up to these days, allow Dave to fill you in. Black is currently doing an angle where he's pretending he had a stroke and he pisses and shits on himself all over TV. They also did a segment where wrestler GQ Money (now a producer for NXT) broke into Black's home and tried to rape his wife until somebody made the save. The next week, they showed Money supposedly raping a girl in the parking lot and leaving her for dead, and the week after, he got sprayed with raw sewage. Now they're building up to a raw sewage match, based on this rape storyline. XPW, folks.
  • Dave has some more notes on Cody Runnels, the son of Dusty Rhodes who was backstage at WWE's show in Atlanta last week. Cody is a sophomore in high school and placed 6th in the state in amateur wrestling the past year. He also plays football. He was described to Dave as having a similar physical look as Randy Orton, "but with a face like Dusty."
  • WWA's scheduled tour of Europe has been officially canceled. The German and Switzerland shows had abysmal ticket sales and pretty much had to be canceled. The show in Ireland had more than 4,000 tickets sold and would have been a success, but even so, that one show alone wasn't going to make enough money to offset the cost of the whole tour.
  • This is actually hilarious. UFC fighter Vitor Belfort and his training partner were in a taxi before the UFC show when a bunch of cops showed up and surrounded the car. Why, you ask? Well the cab driver overheard Belfort and his partner talking about "shooting at the legs" and she got scared, not knowing what they were talking about, and called the police. Seems like they got it all straightened out though.
  • Rock will be working nearly full-time on TV from now until Summerslam, at which point he's leaving for a few months to go film his next movie. He won't be on every Smackdown, but he'll be on most of them.
  • Nothing new on the Goldberg/WWE negotiations. Vince McMahon told Goldberg's agents that he will clear his schedule any time Goldberg wants to have a meeting, but Goldberg doesn't seem particularly interested. The fact that WWE rehired Russo probably won't help matters because Goldberg is one of the many who doesn't like Russo.
  • Shawn Michaels is booked to be in Kevin Nash's corner on upcoming house shows once Nash is cleared to wrestle again. There's still no plans for Shawn to wrestle, but given how depleted the WWE roster is right now, Dave is sure they'll probably start pushing him to sooner than later (Nash ends up getting injured again almost immediately, so I don't think Shawn ever did these house show appearances).

Looks like this is one of those issues where I went over the 40,000 character limit. Hit the comments below for the rest.

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