Wrestling Observer Flashback–10.09.89

Man, all the kids are talking about the Brainbusters!

And rebooking Starrcade 89.  Sometimes I feel like I’m missing the joke on my own blog with this shit.

– OK, so the rumor mill is churning like crazy with the impending departure of Tully & Arn for the NWA, with reports stating that they could make as much as $250,000 a year each and the WWF basically acknowledging that there’s no way they could ever match that.  Other people are now talking about throwing their hat in the ring, but Dave stresses that the only other people who have actually quit at this point are the Rougeaus.  Boy that supposed “250K/year” offer from the NWA sure evaporated in a hurry, didn’t it?

– The WWF is trying a new gimmick for their PPVs from now on, which we normally just call a “dark match”, where they advertise a start time in the city for 15 minutes earlier and run a warmup match for the live crowd, so that the show so that the building won’t look half-empty when it’s time for the TV portion to begin.  Good thing Eric Embry didn’t run PPVs or they’d need like 15 dark matches.

– The refurbished MSG opened again with a WWF show that drew a huge gate, but by a STAGGERING coincidence, the next show will be 10/28, which COINCIDENTALLY is the same night as Halloween Havoc.  Dave doesn’t think that the overlap between PPV audience and MSG Network is that dramatic, but COME ON.

– Dave’s not too excited over Havoc 89.  Just wait until he sees Luger v. Pillman!  He better GET EXCITED.

– Speaking of excitement, the trial of Dusty Rhodes continue, with big fat fuck Steve DiBlasio now testifying under oath that when Dusty threatened to blackball him for not doing the move, what he MEANT to say was that he was just paraphrasing and kind of ASSUMED that was what Dusty meant by whatever his actual words were.  Also, Dusty’s actual instructions for the Big Daddy v. Masked Professional match were that he wanted an over the top DQ and didn’t care who went over the top, so DiBlasio volunteered.  Hold on, I feel a meme coming on…


There we go.

– David Heath has already left Stampede for the brighter pastures of cos-playing a vampire until he’s 60, so he’s been replaced by Red Tyler in the Blackhearts, and that team actually won the tag team titles on 9/29 because Kensuke Sasaki is done. This was the point in the promotion’s history where it’s like you’re in a bridal party at a wedding reception and you’re in charge of cleaning up for the bride and groom, but the DJ is playing “Closing Time” over the PA and the bride’s idiot cousins won’t take the hint and go home, ya know?  And you’re like “Guys, it’s been a fun party, but it’s 1:00 AM and I’ve drinking Sambuca and eating pizza since about 11:30 and we all just want to pay the bartender and go the fuck home for the night.”  I mean, hypothetically speaking.

– Here’s one I haven’t heard before:  Apparently the guys in the Stampede locker room hated working with Jonathon Holliday so much that an unnamed group of them confronted him after a show in Calgary and the beat the ever loving shit out of him.  The main suspect is Chris Benoit because he’s the poor bastard who had to do nightly “chase him around the ring” marathons with him, but Benoit seems like such a nice guy!

– In Memphis, Dutch Mantell had lost a loser-leaves-town match to Master of Pain and returned as Texas Dirt (from Dirt, Texas), and then won the CWA title under the mask.  So on TV the mysterious Texas Dirt tries to give the title to Dutch Mantell, but Eddie Marlin ruled that if Dirt unmasks as Dutch and we discover that he’s been shirking his suspension, then he’ll be fired.  So the title is vacant and a tournament is being held. 

– Meanwhile, the latest monster for Jerry Lawler to face is the 6’9” “black giant” who goes by THE SOUL TAKER, and is said to be “better than Zeus”.  Well, he’s a future WWE Hall of Famer if nothing else.  I always loved Memphis monster names, they knew how to book those heels.  Anyway, the Soultaker was of course Charles “The Godfather” Wright in the gimmick that would eventually lead to the WWF as Papa Shango.

– Oh, damn, Eric Embry was blinded by a bottle of ammonia thrown by that dastardly heel Gary Young, although Dave notes it looked more like Sprite.  Still, fizzy soft drinks in the eye would SUCK.  Plus it’s got lemon AND lime in it!  He might lose the eye, I dunno, stay tuned for updates depending on how the houses are doing I’m assuming.  He only missed one show before returning.

– I’m getting a little annoyed with the USWA section because there’s someone who should be debuting any day now and I’m just waiting for Dave to do the most understated introduction of a future megastar in history and I’m DISAPPOINTED EVERY GOD DAMN WEEK SO FAR. 

– The six-team tag tournament to crown new AWA champions ended up with four, much like the building which started at 1500 and ended up with 200 people by the end of the show.  Wayne Bloom and Mike Enos, to the shock of some guy who just started watching wrestling literally the day before and no one else, won the belts over Paul Diamond & Groovy Greg in the finals. 

– They were supposed to bring in David Sammartino to play the Unknown Solider and challenge Larry Zbyszko for the AWA title, but David no-showed and they just put some guy under the mask and Dave doesn’t know or care who it was because it rendered the whole thing pointless anyway.

– In case someone quits the promotion during the Team Challenge Series, they have a list of ongoing potential replacements, including but not limited to: The Rock N Roll Express, the Guerrero Brothers, Ricky Steamboat, Bam Bigelow, John Studd and Nikita Koloff.  Dave notes that they might as well just list Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair and be done with it. 

– As a part of the Team Challenge Series, we got a wacky new match concept where the Trooper, Kokina and Johnny Stewart were all in the ring together AT THE SAME TIME.  What the FUCK kind of witchcraft is that?

– New gimmick alert: Mike George is now in the AWA as “Timekeeper” Mike George, where he sets an alarm clock before the squash and tries to beat his own goal.  In the world of retail double-speak, we call that setting a “SMART” goal.

– In the CWF, Ron Fuller pitched an angle for Adrian Street and his wife Linda where Linda would be “pregnant” and at the six month mark Fuller would attack and she’d lose the baby.  Dave notes that cooler heads prevailed, but obviously Vince Russo was taking notes.

– Jesus Christ, Dave is STILL giving space to the stupid fucking Bam Bam Bigelow boxing rumors.  I feel like the Tokyo papers are just messing him with at this point.

– Dave notes that the Mexican wrestler known as Konan the Barbarian is actually an AMERICAN.  See, I wasn’t even the first one to make the accusation!

– The proposed Stampede/ESPN deal is dead.  Along with the promotion in two months.

– Blackjack Mulligan is teaming with son Kendall in Florida as heels.  The Counterfeiters?  Also, Dave once again related the most awesome Blackjack stories ever on the radio show this morning, both of which involved Mulligan trying to knock out Andre the Giant from behind as a rib and getting thrown THROUGH A WALL as a result one time, and then he tried it AGAIN later and Andre casually tried to drown Mulligan and Dick Murdoch on the beach to teach them a lesson. 

– The NWA is changing direction (again, notes Dave?) at the next TV tapings, so look for big shakeups.  Also, in the sucks to be them department, Jimmy Garvin missed shows because a hurricane drove a tree through his house, whereas Brian Pillman missed shows because his girlfriend was stabbed four times by a burglar.  Was it Steve Austin?

– TBS sent down a memo stating that no more blood or gratuitous violence would be allowed on TV, but PPV had some leeway.  Gee, you think that Terry Funk trying to smother Flair with a plastic bag might have influenced that?  Dave feels that it’s always wise to limit gruesome stuff on free TV shows that are watched by casual fans, so keeping that in mind he suggests that Dusty Rhodes start wrestling with a shirt on.  I gotta give him a high five for that one.

– Ric Flair did an interview on the radio and buried Jerry Lawler, calling him a “disgrace to pro wrestling” and he was offended that anyone would even consider Lawler’s title on the same level as his. 

– The New Fantastics are already done.

– Robin Green is now “Woman” and Reed & Simmons are known as “Doom.”

– For the segment where Scott Steiner got beat up by thugs and suffered a black eye, he didn’t want to wrestle with makeup on for the next two weeks to sell it, so he just had Rick haul off and PUNCH HIM IN THE EYE.  And people were SURPRISED when he turned out to be nuttier than a fucking fruitcake?

– Vince was getting paranoid about the Tully & Arn thing, so he met with Hulk and Savage to make sure they were happy and not pondering a career with Ted Turner.  I think we can safely say that we’ll never see that day.

– Apparently the reason that John Studd was doing videogame conventions under the WWF umbrella was because he was actually hired by the WWF to do videogame conventions for them.  Sometimes the truth is really simple.

– And finally, for those who wonder why Verne Gagne is such a wonderful human being, he did an interview with Wade Keller this past week and pointed out that Bruiser Brody “probably got what he deserved”.  God bless, Verne.

And that’s the news!