Wrestling Observer Flashback–06.23.85

Live, from New York, it’s SATURDAY NIGHT!:  http://blogofdoom.com/index.php/2016/05/13/wrestling-observer-flashback-april-15-1985-part-2/

Unfortunately, May ‘85 is missing, so we don’t get Meltzer making his first un-retirement like Wally West exploding from the Speed Force in Flash #100, but thankfully the June issue is only SIX PAGES so we can wrap this one up quickly.

– This is his new format to burn off subscriptions for previous readers, as he does a short news update section to a smaller subset of people every few weeks, which then turned into a weekly newsletter of 8 pages forever.

don't forget

– The big news of the week is the WWF TV tapings on 6/17 and 6/18, which saw the bombshell debut of B. Brian Blair and Jim Brunzell as the Killer Bees in a signing that shook up the wrestling world for years to come.

– Oh, also, Randy Savage debuted, but I feel like that’s less of a big deal.

– An even bigger bombshell, notes Dave, is that Terry Funk showed up and beat up Mel Phillips for daring to wear his hat, which made Funk an instant star and shows just how weak that the NWA is becoming, since Dory Funk will be following his brother very soon.  I don’t wanna tell Dave how to do his job or anything, but Randy Savage exploding onto the national wrestling scene like an atomic bomb ended up being a PRETTY big deal.

– Late in the tapings, Barry Windham & Mike Rotundo won the tag titles back from Sheik & Volkoff, I’m assuming because Barry was making so much noise about going back to Florida with his dad.  And Uncle Elmer debuted, much to Dave’s disgust.

– Dave thinks there’ll be a delay in putting out the newsletter for the next little while because he’s working on a Book of Lists type of deal and his deadline is late August.  I’m guessing that must have died on the vine because I never heard about it actually getting released.  He wants to do a serious, hardcore book about wrestling for serious, hardcore fans, but publishers aren’t exactly jumping to publish that sort of thing.

– Mid-South saw a return to the Superdome on 6/1 with a Flair v. Taylor 40:00 draw on top, and Frosty the Snowman pinning Jake Roberts to retain the TV title.  I just couldn’t let THAT one go, so I checked into it and it’s the same Snowman who went to the USWA years later and turned out to be a crazy nutcase who stole the USWA title belt as a shoot and pawned it before leaving the business for good in 1990.  Dave’s take on his skills:  He’s so bad that Dave wishes JYD would come back to replace him, so you KNOW he’s bad.

– Much like Dave himself, Bill Watts is also coming out of retirement full-time this year, supposedly.  I don’t feel like that was a thing that actually happened.

– Even though they were cancelled from TBS because reasons, the TV shows are still professionally done and very impressive.

– Jim Duggan was burned by an Akbar fireball, and Dave thinks that the Duggan interviews have been great, but he came back too quickly.  Look who’s talking.

– Over to the AWA, where Verne booked a Martel v. Saito title match for St. Paul and drew 1300 people.  Yikes.  Now, not only was the problem that this is a shitty matchup, but they were advertising the match while SAITO WAS ALREADY IN PRISON.

– I literally did a Picard facepalm meme in real life after reading that one.  Moving on, the match ended up being Martel v. Michael Hayes instead, and AGAIN they had Martel do the job before having the decision overturned, although Dave was cheering for Hayes to get the belt so that SOMEONE other than Martel would be champion.  No such luck, he notes.

– They’re still trying for that Backlund v. Zbyszko Americas title program they’ve been wanting for months, but now Backlund is in Japan and telling people he’s retired.  Lot of that going around.

– The upcoming Meadowlands show is going to bomb since a bunch of advertised stars, like Saito, Masked Superstar, and Brunzell are guaranteed no-shows.  Dave’s take:  “I guess that’s cool, Vince is still billing Patera everywhere.”

– Dave finally addresses the elephant in the room, noting that Patera and Saito each got 2 years in prison and they’re likely going to be out in 18 months.  With additional probation, it’s also going to mean that Saito probably can’t return to Japan for years.  Ken actually was forced to admit on the stand that wrestling is “beyond fake” and his villain persona is just an act.  Well, except for when he’s high off his fucking ass and throwing rocks through windows.

– In the WWF, business is still up-and-down depending on the area.  Roddy Piper is losing interest in continuing with Vince and is now talking with Crockett, trying to be the “ultimate outlaw” by working for both at the same time according to friends.  Good luck with that, notes Dave.

– Jimmy Snuka is once again missing bookings and back on the firing squad, although Dave notes that at this point it’s no big loss if he goes.  Especially since they basically replaced him with Tonga Kid in that Piper feud and still did big business.

– Hogan v. Funk and Hogan v. Savage appear to be on the horizon.  The matches might even be decent!

– Dave thinks he might attend the 7/1 Oakland show, but he’s leaving before Hulk v. Beefcake headlines.

– Over in New Japan, Vince somehow allowed Inoki to beat both Hogan and Andre on the same tour (by countout both times) so that he could declare himself to be the undisputed World champion or some such nonsense.  The idea, Dave surmises, is that Vince let the baby have his bottle and then he could dangle a new talent exchange contract in front of him and get him to sign.  Well, except that Inoki refused to sign and now their deal is dead.  Dave is pretty impressed with that.

– The Road Warriors are still drawing big for Baba, although they never go more than 2:00 and typically just work prelim matches.

– In the UWF, Boris Malenko’s son Dean Solkoff debuted in a tag team loss.

– In the Carolinas section, Nikita Koloff earned a shot at Flair on the Great American Bash tour by beating up David Crockett.  Dave just calls it an “outdoor show”.  Dusty v. Tully in a cage for the services of Baby Doll is also on the show.

– In Florida, Kamala had some sort of medical issue and wasn’t allowed to wrestle Wahoo McDaniel, so instead Skandor Akbar brought in Red Reese as Voodoo Malumba.  So yes, they were headlining a show with Wahoo v. Voodoo.

– Kendall Windham debuted, and supposedly he’s worse than Mike Von Erich.  Well that’s just ignorant.

– Blackjack Mulligan broke his leg and his career is finished.  Well, until he returned to the WWF the next year, but other than that it’s finished.

– Southeast Wrestling has changed its name to Continental in an attempt to upgrade, which is good because it allowed the show to survive for another five years.

– Nick Bockwinkel was in Memphis teaming with Jerry Lawler for some reason, and Dave notes that at least they didn’t announce him as AWA champion this time.  Also, Dave is pretty sure that Lawler is running the territory.

– In World Class, they have stopped talking about Flair’s World title ever since the last stadium show, and are concentrating instead on Chris Adams’ American title as the main one.  You don’t think Fritz would…nah!

– Dave apologizes for all the typos this time, because he types it early in the morning and ran out of correction ribbon, but he promises next time will be better!  Awesomely, there are typos IN THAT VERY PARAGRAPH.

– And finally, Roddy Piper was supposed to be on the Search for Tomorrow soap opera but no-showed, and they sent Don Muraco instead to replace him.  I’m sad that Mr. Fuji didn’t get to be on the show as well.

This was SOOOO much better than the sprawling 30 page monstrosities.  I hope he sticks to this format for a while.

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