Welcome to 1987! We’re really getting into the thick of my early fandom now.
– Dave has no headlines for us. Strong start!
– He does correct one bit, as Scott Hall is now working for the AWA again after previously quitting months earlier. Dave thinks he just got tired of waiting for the WWF to call him back, but the upshot is that all those advertised Scott Hall appearances are now valid again.
– Dynamite Kid is currently in traction in hospital, where he is scheduled to reside until February 10. Kid, being the insanely stubborn bastard that he is, is determined to return February 11. Regardless of the fact that he’s literally strapped into a hospital bed like Wile E. Coyote after falling off a cliff, the WWF is still advertising him for all the Bulldogs’ upcoming dates. Dave is unsurprised. Plans for the tag team tournament have been scrapped because Kid is going to be up and around in time to drop the titles in the ring.
– To Wrestlemania III, which will be headlined by “Andre the Giant Embarrassment against Hulk Hogan.” Andre hasn’t actually wrestled in four months and there’s concern that his back is in such bad shape that he won’t make it to the show. He has to wear a back brace at all times to move around, and if he’s not back by Mid-February they’ll have to consider an alternate plan. Dave doesn’t think they can pull off Wrestlemania this year. Just keep digging that hole, Dave.
– The WWF signed a deal with the very early Fox Network (back when it was just the Joan Rivers show and not much else) and will be showing Superstars on their stations soon.
– Savage-Steamboat is doing well at the box office, but not what Dave would call exceptional. About 8500 in Detroit. The matches have been out-of-control brawls (or at least as crazy as WWF matches can get) with non-finishes to build to rematches. Dave questions whether there will be enough heat to carry it to through to Wrestlemania.
– The first Hogan-Kamala match in MSG ended up about 2000 short of a sellout, but was notable for a giant brawl at the end which even brought Vince himself out to break it up.
– Dave notes that all the commercials for Rick Steamboat’s episode of “Sidekicks”, where he plays pro wrestler “Rick Steamboat”, feature him talking just fine with his voice box totally intact.
– Hulk Hogan’s wife Linda is expecting a Little Hulkster!
– To Crockett, where the Four Horsemen appear to be suddenly snubbing Ole Anderson during interviews. Dave thinks that turning him babyface would be pretty dumb. Dave thinks they’ll replace him with Lex Luger, which is a great idea because then he can hide in tag matches and have Dillon do the talking for him.
– Ron Garvin vacated his Mid-Atlantic title in favor of the US tag titles, and that was the end of that belt.
– They ran two shows in one day (one afternoon in Charlotte and then at night in Atlanta on CHRISTMAS no less!) doing sellouts both times with Superpowers & Road Warriors v. The Four Horsemen. Perhaps they should think up some new gimmick match to really blow that feud off…
– Dave thinks that Arn Anderson is getting really great at promos as of late. This is a recent development?
– Dave’s Fantasy Booking: Barry Windham wins the TV title from Tully Blanchard and chooses to give up the US tag titles, resulting in Jim Crockett declaring them vacant and holding a tournament. Thus, Ron Garvin has lost two titles without getting beaten and turns heel.
– The Crockett Cup ‘87 is already in the works, and they’ve announced 25 teams for the show. Not WHICH 25 teams, just that there’s gonna be 25. Dave is skeptical of that happening.
– Crockett is now running opposition shows in Florida, which is going to kill the Florida promotion until they’re forced to pull out of the NWA. And in fact Crockett took it one step further and just bought them outright later on. Anyway, with Dusty Rhodes and Lex Luger on top, the Florida crew will have no real way to fight back. Even worse, Dusty made an agreement on his way out never to run opposition there. Well, Dusty has been known to fib. Occasionally.
– Speaking of dead territories, Central States (aka the “Purgatory of Wrestling”) is still burning. Down to 300 fans for their last show and Sam Houston everywhere you look. It’s probably not long for the world.
– The Fabulous Ones may or may not be gone from Florida, as the office is just a huge mess. Booker Bob Roop fired the Fabs for missing dates, but Mike Graham decided to get involved in the office again and overruled Bob, hiring the Fabs back and firing Roop as a result. Steve Keirn, unsure of whether he even had a job or not, just decided to quit and go back to sell real estate because the money was better anyway.
– Dave reveals that Chris Champion and Mark Starr are actually brothers in real life. And this is true. And both have awesome wrestling names.
– Paul Orndorff’s neck is in really bad shape, and he’s also suffering from damaged nerves in his shoulder, to the point where the nerve endings are dead and doctors have told him to quit wrestling. However, the $10,000 a night he was making at the time said otherwise.
– To Memphis, where the Jerry Lawler-Tommy Rich feud is going swimmingly because Lawler actually has someone he can work with for once and they’re doing big houses. Now, I don’t want to comment on the Lawler arrest until everything shakes down, but the police will probably have trouble finding any physical evidence against Lawler because every time they go to search him he’ll just keep switching the weapon to some other part of his trunks when they’re looking the other way.
– Yes, I did spend all day thinking up that joke and looking for a place to work it in, why do you ask?
– Debuting in Memphis as a manager is Downtown Bruno, “a 115 pounder with a mouth that never stops”. I feel like a “yo mama” joke would be appropriate here.
– Harley Race’s King gimmick is causing some animosity between Lawler and the WWF, with Race referring to Lawler as “Queen” during interviews that air in Memphis, and Lawler telling off Tommy Rich by making fun of him for winning the World title from a “60 year old grey haired drunken bum” for five days. To be fair, he could be talking about pretty much any of Verne’s top stars as well…
– The Reunion Arena show for World Class on Christmas turned out to be less of a disaster than originally feared (high praise indeed these days!) but despite Dingo Warrior stinking up the ring with Bob Bradley, the true lowlight proved to be a match between Black Bart and Scott Casey. The loser had to ride a mule, and said animal decided to take a shit right on the floor at ringside, leaving the arena “stinking almost as much as the card did”.
– “Things are bad,” Dave sums up at the end of the section.
– The AWA also did a Christmas show in St. Paul, featuring Nick Bockwinkel defending the World title against Curt Hennig in the match where everyone in the building assumed that Hennig was getting the title. BUT NO, it was yet another DQ finish. Also the Rockers had a hellaciously awesome cage match against Rose & Somers that’s actually featured on a WWE DVD set somewhere and it’s fucking great.
– Not to be outdone by Memphis, Bill Watts presented a First Blood I Quit Battle Royale, where the only ways to get eliminated were bleeding, submitting, or fighting on the floor for 10 seconds (which counts as a submission). Or as the rest of the world calls it, “a countout”.
– Jim Duggan and Terry Taylor won the tag titles from Bill Irwin & Leroy Brown (thank god) as Duggan continues to be pushed hard in an effort to sway him back to the UWF.
– The Alabama territory is moving the base of operations from Pensacola to Birmingham, which was basically the death of the old version of the promotion and the transition to the Continental Wrestling Federation era, mainly because the older towns like Dothan and Pensacola are considered dead.
– And finally, Bam Bam Bigelow was supposed to debut at the UWF tapings after burning his bridges with World Class, but then no-showed on them as well.